A Dress from the Queen

I’m sharing chapters randomly while working on my book. If you’d like you can feel free to edit however I’m trying to develop the characters more. The illustrations will be done during my commute as usual but the writing will be during my downtimes. The characters looks might change as my style develops but ultimately would love to get this out as published. If you help, you get credit of course. This chapter is called Name Brand.


queenUnexplainable things had been happening to Joanna lately. She couldn’t discuss it with her grandmother, Mama, feeling that it would only confirm the rumors around her current family. She hadn’t always fit in. She started living with Mama shortly after age 5. She wasn’t blood no matter how much Mama loved her.

Mama had lost her daughter the same time Joanna’s mum died—an accident. They had went swimming.

Mama’s daughter, Tricia, had knocked her head when she dove in and Karen, Joanna’s mum, went after her. None came back. Both women were loved—by their families at least. A tragedy. Taken too soon.

Now Joanna wasn’t sure what had been happening to her. She had been waking up with random items and forgetting where she had gotten them. She felt exhausted daily even if she went to bed early and she felt like she was falling every time she closed her eye to sleep.

This time, she saw pairs of jeans that her friend Shannon was wearing the week before draped on her dresser. She had really liked them. She was thinking of them the night before realizing that she would never afford items like that because Mama didn’t believe in name brand.

Maybe Mama had gotten them for her? She hadn’t seen her this morning when she was getting ready for school so she folded them away and got ready to walk over to her friend. She would meet Shannon along the way and probably mention the jeans.

***

 

Shannon waved at Jo. She ran up the hill to meet her. They hugged and continued walking.

Remember de jeans I had geh last week?” Shannon said.

Jo nodded.

“Meh look everywhere today. Ah can’t find it qui.”

“Why’s that?”

“Dunno,” said Shannon, “It wah hanging on de line behind de house.

Shannon explained how she thought her mother took it and brought it inside but it would be weird to just bring in one piece of clothes. Jo’s face felt warm.

What happened last night?

She had heard about sleep walking before but how would she have gone all the way to Shannon’s? It also wasn’t the easiest place to get to. If she had sleep walked or not, it wasn’t right.

She had to return the jeans. Someone in her household had taken them. It couldn’t have been Mama, could it? What was Mama doing at Shannon’s late at night anyway? Or knew she wanted those jeans? She wanted jeans like Shannon’s—not exactly hers.

She contemplated how to return them without getting Shannon angry.

Later that day after school, Jo told Shannon she would be over to study after she changed at home. They usually headed straight to Shannon’s place so Shannon found that a little puzzling however, Jo managed to run home, pack the jeans in her book-bag, and came back. While Shannon was getting them something to eat, she slipped the jeans in Shannon’s drawer. Odd, yes, but she’d come across it eventually.

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