|From:||that frolicsome kid|
|To:||Whom this may concern|
|Date:||27 November 2006, 13:46|
|Subject:||Kinderella - Chapter 5|
Hi everyone! It's been days since I last updated, but here's Chapter 5. I'm already halfway through Chapter 6 now, and things are slowly piecing together. Today, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, I will do my very best to churn out 10 000 words per day (at least 4 chapters a day! :-O ), by hook or by crook. I am really determined to meet the deadline on November 30. And now I must defeat Mr. Evil Procrastination and Mr. Discouragement. Charge!!!
Prepare for some inactivity for a few days but I'll be back soon, hopefully a winner. ;) The few upcoming chapters that I will be uploading are a bit "boring" in my opinion, because they're mainly fillers and descriptions for that word count. Things are slowly picking up now.
Click on No. above the Date field to view the story. To view my progress, click here (don't mind the 2 week inactivity period - that was what caused me to fall behind badly).
Edit at 00 04 the next day: Oh my goodness! I've just hit 25 000 words, halfway through the goal. Things are definitely looking much cheerier now! I sweated out 8 000 words today, and it wasn't an easy task! Now to keep the momentum going for 3 more days. Can I make it? I sure hope I would!
If you're eyes tire after reading such long blocks of text, I have divided this chapter into 2 halves for your convenience. Words in bold mark where the anchors lead to.
A perspiring Amy tiptoed down the hallways and took a left turn. She opened the slightly ajar sliding door. She looked behind to ensure that no one was shadowing her and quickly squeezed herself through the narrow gap she created. She stepped inside and breathed a huge sigh of relief.
“A close one!” she exclaimed to no one in particular.
She walked past the exercise machines: the treadmill, abdominal machines, exercise bike, rowing machine; and went to a corner of the gym. She changed into her sports outfit, a collared sweatshirt and track pants, and stuffed her sweaty clothes into the gym bag she brought along with her. With a handkerchief, she wiped off the sweat in her forehead and she ran to the door. She placed her ears at the door, listening for footsteps.
A minute later, she heard the sound of tapping stilettos. Perfect timing, Amy thought. She tied her hair into a ponytail, and slid open the door. She walked out nonchalantly and pretended to pant loudly. She purposely cried out loudly.
“Ooohh! That was so tiring!” Amy took out her handkerchief and like a lady, she dabbed it on her face to wipe off any sweat that were beginning to form.
“Honey! How was your gym routine today? You seem to be pretty worn out.” President Charming gave her daughter her usual affectionate smile.
“Oh Mother! You just don’t know how…” Amy paused for a few seconds, trying to formulate up a make-believe exercise regime.
Amy snapped her fingers. She continued, “You know what, Mother? Those dumbbells are heavy, even though they’re 1.5 kg. It’s okay Mother, don’t worry, it’s my first time! I’m sure with constant lifting, it would be nothing at all! Honest!”
Amy’s mother widened her eyes when her usually feminine daughter mentioned the word dumbbells. She questioned herself again. Did she really say that?
“Yes Mother,” replied Amy. She enunciated the word once again, this time much more slowly. She was afraid that her mother this time would not buy her. “Dduuummmbb bbeeellllsss…”
“Yes, yes, honey! I heard you,” President Charming touched her chin with her finger. “But it isn’t nice for women like you to have big bulging muscles. It’s very unladylike, you know!”
“Sorry Mother! But I got bored of running the treadmill and cycling the stationary exercise bike. I’m too weak to use the abdominal machine…”
Amy quickly changed the subject. “Say, isn’t it about time for dinner?” She pushed her mother gently, ushering her to go. “I’m famished already.”
“Yes, dear,” said President Charming, who was getting suspicious of her daughter’s weird actions today. “I shall go change into a more comfortable wear.” She walked off into her bedroom.
Amy clapped her hands and gave herself a pat on her back. “It was too close for comfort! I must be back earlier the next time.” She smiled at herself, and she jogged back to her bedroom to change out of her clothing, and to pass the maid her dirty laundry.
Amy took quick steps down the carpeted stairs, with beautifully carved rails and smooth polished handles. Her patched skirt fluttered as she walked down the stairs, and when her legs suddenly come in contact with the cold wooden floor, she lifted it up with grace and continued walking in a quicker pace towards the dining room. And there she saw her mother sitting wonderfully poised at the other end of the extra-long table.
Amy spied the eating utensils and the fine glasses sitting on the table when she entered the dining room. She furrowed her eyebrows and immediately went to see her own mother. She bent down and whispered something into her ears. President Charming’s expression turned from a blank one into a look of surprise. As she listened to her daughter’s sweet voice, she could not help but nodded in agreement and immediately she summoned the butler on duty that night. She stood up and pointed the other end of the table and then moved her finger to the seat near her. The butler nodded as if he understood her gestures even though no words came out of her mouth, and very quickly another butler set up the plates, the chopsticks and the spoon near the President’s seat. Amy smiled and showed her mother the thumbs up. President Charming’s eyes twinkled and she casually winked at her dear daughter Amy. Amy giggled a bit at her mother’s cute act.
They both sat in silence as they waited for food to be served to them. Amy stared at the courtyard outside lit by bright Victorian lamp posts dotted around the courtyard. She could make out some silhouettes of the shrubs; she recognised the lavender, the bonsai, the bougainvillea, the periwinkle… Suddenly, her integral recall of the plants was interrupted by the faint sound of “Ahem!” that came from behind her. Amy turned around, and she came face to face with a young chef of about 30 years old. He was moustached and slightly hunched back. He was holding a plate of sweet-smelling exotic food which Amy could not guess what it was.
President Charming held her nose up high and tried to sniff a waft of the food. “Smells delicious! May I know what is that?”
The chef cleared his throat and answered her, saying, “今天的晚餐是有咖喱鸡, 黑豆牛肉, 小白菜和轻汤加饭.” He set the first dish down on the table and bowed. Other chefs who were tagging behind him quickly served the rest of the Chinese food on the table.
“Wait, hold on,” the president called for the chef. The chef quickly came to her and asked whether he can be of assistance.
“Can you repeat what these dishes are in English?”
“Oh, I’m sorry! What I was saying is that tonight’s dishes are curry chicken, beef in black bean sauce and cabbage. Today’s soup is a light vegetable soup with tofu. You will eat all of them with rice.”
“Mother, it sounds really yummy!” piqued in Amy.
“Thank you! I love today’s Chinese cuisine as well. My compliments to you chefs!” The chef blushed and nodded his head. They left mother and daughter dining alone in the big dining room. Despite the appetising looks of the Chinese food, Amy was not feeling hungry as she had eaten just now. Amy felt shameful that she actually might have to miss eating them on that evening. Chinese food is rarely served to them, and now she was too full to actually eat them. Amy bit her tongue and forced herself to eat at least some of the food served on the table.
She held her chopsticks and helped herself to some of the curry chicken. She picked a drumstick up and gobbled the meat down. Without wiping the curry stains at her mouth, she helped herself to more servings of the chicken, the beef and the vegetables. She raised the bowl and started the sweep the rice and food with her chopsticks into her mouth. She rested for a while to chew the food properly and repeated again for another time.
Amy let out a small burp and giggled at herself. She then stabbed the chopsticks into her bowl of rice and left them standing upwards. President Charming nearly choked on her food when she saw the chopsticks pointing upwards in the bowl and hit her daughter’s hand twice.
“Ouch, what was that for Mother?”
“The first hit was for eating like a barbarian. The second was for that intolerable act of yours – poking your chopsticks into a bowl of rice!”
“What?!” asked Amy in disbelief, “What’s wrong with my eating habits?”
“You need to slow down and enjoy your food. You’re not in a rush to go anywhere are you?”
“No… But Mother, I wasn’t really hungry to begin with!” protested Amy.
“Oh? You looked like you haven’t eaten in ages! And please, get those chopsticks off the rice and place them horizontally across the bowl! It’s disrespectful!”
“How so?” questioned Amy.
“For starters, Asians believe that the chopsticks which stuck upright in a rice bowl represent joss sticks that are used as offerings to deceased family members.
“Really?” asked Amy who was now really flabbergasted when she heard that. She sheepishly placed the chopsticks down and placed them properly on the table, clearly embarrassed that her gestures like that could potentially offend her mother’s guests if they were there tonight.
“Sorry, Mother. I didn’t mean to do that. I am truly sorry!”
President Charming caressed her daughter’s cheek. “You’re lucky that none of my guests are here today. They will certainly be enraged and upset if you do that!”
“Never again! Cross my heart.”
“Oh Mother. I got to go up now and finish up on my school assignments,” chirped in Amy.
Before her mother could say anything, Amy kissed her mother on her cheek and happily skipped back to her bedroom, leaving a very confused president behind.
“Teens,” sighed President Charming, “they’re so difficult to understand. Being a lion tamer is so much easier.”
She pitifully looked at Amy’s half-full bowl and the dishes on the table. What a shame, what a shame. She shook her head. She ate in silence at the table all alone. She used the Chinese soup spoon to sip some soup, and smiled when the soup touched her taste buds. “Heavenly, and simple,” she told herself.
She summoned the butlers who were standing by. She told them to clean up the table and insisted them to finish up the food. They nodded at her instructions and she left them alone to do the cleaning and the eating. She retired herself to the lounge where she watched the news and reviewed some statistics.
Amy slowly shut her own bedroom door. She went straight to her computer and booted up her PC. She logged on to Ebay.com once again to check up on her original Versace handbag. She banged her fist on her keyboard. No one was interested to purchase it. “Morons! Where are the rich people when you need them?” she wondered.
She then hopped up onto her soft bed, and she zipped open her school bag. With care, she took out a few notebooks of different colours. “Helps me in telling which notebooks belong to which subjects,” she once told to her friend. She opened her Mathematics notebook and flipped to the page where the class was supposed to complete some simultaneous equations. Oh, how she dreaded those!
She took out her pen, and she was about to begin when the questions suddenly morphed. She stared again and it was not what she thought it was. She had completely overlooked one of the coefficients. She groaned. That darned number made things even harder now. She cursed under her breath.
She started with writing out the rough working in pencil. After a couple of trials and mistakes for twenty minutes, she finally found the light at the end of a long tunnel. Finally, the variable x was 12 ¾ while y was 27. She double-checked her answers. She substituted the variables of the first given equation and calculated the answer. It did not match the solution of the equation.
“No! How can it be possible?” Unfortunately, mistakes are very much prevalent in Mathematics. That was why there were many Sixth Form students dropping that subject in her school. It’s either they could not comprehend the complexity of Mathematics, or that they find the subject very frustrating. Despite that, she persisted because she always loved Maths although she was not the best student in class.
She took about two hours to finally finish her Maths assignment. She groaned as she had two more subjects to tackle. She decided to take a short breather before continuing.
She climbed out of the bed and decided to first check up on her e-mail inbox. A message glowed yellow, signifying a new e-mail from Mary. A wave of exuberant rush washed over her as she assumed that Mary had news to tell her. She clicked to open the mail and quickly scanned her e-mail. “I’m so not missing that computer exhibition downtown! This is the perfect opportunity to get my PC its well-deserved upgrade cheaply.”
She logged off her account. Amy suddenly yawned, and she yawned again, and decided to shut down her computer. For some unknown reasons, she felt more tired than usual that day. She got out of her swivel chair and since she was moodless to do anything else, she settled on planning for her outfit tomorrow. “Whee, how I loved school! How I love my friends and Physics classes!”
“And how I loathe my enemies,” she grumbled.
She went into her walk-in closet and flipped through the clothes she owned. She reminded herself never to buy so many again, it is such a chore to choose what she will wear the next day. She took out a few and put them aside neatly. She then picked the clothes up and did some comparative study of clothes.
“Shall I wear this dandy blue cropped top with this cute palazzo pants? Or wear it with this really cute pleated skirt?”
She held the cropped top up high and placed the palazzo pants beneath it. “Not good, the colours clash.” She then tried it with the pleated skirt.
“Ill! It’s a mix and match gone bad! You know what, I hate cropped tops.”
She tossed the clothes on the floor. She randomly picked out a blouse, a camisole top and bell-bottomed jeans from the stack she put away. She thought for a while on how to match the three articles of clothing. She tried fitting them on herself; she wore the camisole top and jeans first, then she put on the blouse over them.
She modelled in front of the mirror, turned around and flaunted a little. And she gave a seductive wink to herself. She was overjoyed. Amy founded, or rather will promote, a fashion statement and she will be the hottest hit in school. “I will show that Melissa and prove to her that even ‘nerds’ can dress good!”
She hung her attire for tomorrow at a knob, and looked around for another outfit she should wear tomorrow afternoon when she will be going out to shop for some computer parts. She looked at the stack of her favourite clothes she carefully put aside and scanned for her baju kurung, a traditional dress of the Malays in Malaysia. Baju kurung is a long-sleeved loose fitting long blouse worn over a matching sarong, and she loved the its silky feel and the way how the traditional Malay dress can make her look slender, yet very conservative.
Her eyes stopped over a blue floral-patterned baju kurung. She yanked the dress out and decided to try it on. She did not remember buying it in a first place but who really cared about it at that moment. As long as she has something nice to wear! She slipped onto the dress, and grabbed a blue tudung, the Malay name for a Muslim women’s headscarf, with intricate golden lace from her drawer.
She tied the headscarf properly on her head and admired the foreign lady in the mirror. The reflection that stared back was not her. A lavish Persian woman with beautiful fair skin and twinkling hazel eyes stared back, dressed in a flowing baju kurung. Her name was Zuleikha.
(Catch Chapter 6 soon! Comments and criticisms very much welcomed =). Thanks for reading!)