Elathargood: The Beginning

13-year-old Alana Lockwood has always loved her home in Yorkshire, and she never wanted to leave her house. When she moves house with her Dad's new girlfriend, she feels a sense of insecurity right from the beginning. She dislikes her new house and her Dad's girlfriend even more. Her new house didn't feel like home at all, and there are some really nasty people and strange happenings in her new school. However, with a bit of romance and a touch of magic, she is lead into what is probably an even better world than ever before.


2. New Experiences

I was awoken by the piercing sound of my alarm clock buzzing in my ears. I must have fallen asleep. I slowly opened my eyes. My book was lying on me and I was holding my phone close to me the way I usually held Wuddlesnuggy in my sleep.

It was so cold I didn't want to move from under my sleeping bag, which I had thrown over me. I'd better get up, I thought. So I reluctantly pulled away my sleeping bag, got out of bed, put my book into my school bag and my phone in my blazer, which was hanging in the doorway, ready for school. I looked out the window. I didn't have any curtains yet. I stared in amazement at the beautiful sight. It was snowing. The view was so beautiful. I could see beyond the hills for miles, trees, hills and buildings all covered in thick white snow. I watched as the snow dripped and slid down my window. I hadn't seen snow for ages - it didn't snow at all last year. I was so excited to see the snow. I opened up my window and reached out for a large snowflake that was falling down. It was beautiful. It made me shiver and then my hand went numb, but I didn't mind. I watched as the snow shimmered and slowly melted in my hand. Hopefully school will be off, I thought.

I hoped it would be - I didn't feel ready to start my new school yet. But, then again, would I ever feel ready? "I don't know", I whispered. At least if school was off it would give me a chance to unpack and get used to my new home a bit more. I peeped into Delilah's room to see if she was awake. She was sitting up in her bed, which was right next to her window. She was staring out her window at the snow, which was still drifting down and pilng up deeply onto the ground.

"Um..." I said shyly, as I didn't really know what to say. For a moment I completely forgot why I came to her bedroom in the first place.

"What do you want?" She said, still looking out the window, not turning round at all; as if she was talking to the falling snow outside.  

"Well... Do you know if school is on today?" I asked nervously.

"What do you think?" She said with a sigh, "go back to bed".

I walked out of the room.

"And don't bother me again!" she added as I was walking out.

I didn't feel like going back to bed; I was up now. I had always been a morning person. I didn't really feel like doing anything though. It was such a shame that, after waiting so long for snow to come round again, I just didn't feel like playing in it. The lovely sparkling snow dripping down and the deep pile of white snow on the ground used to really brighten up my day, and I used to play in it for hours, throwing snowballs and making snowmen, and going sledging. But today I didn't feel any of that excitement. The snow gently drifting down just seemed so dull, cold and unappealing. Usually Dad would come out and play in the snow with me for a bit as well, but I just knew that he wouldn't today. He was still in a deep sleep in his new comfy cosy bed. He looked so comfortable, as if he would never wake.

I decided that I should unpack. I lifted a box from the big pile and put it on the ground so I could start to unpack. It made a big bang on the floor. I heard Leah groan.

"Alana!" yelled Dad. I couldn't remember the last time he yelled at me like that.

"Sorry!" I yelled back

"Shut up!" groaned Delilah, as if she had just been awaken.

I decided it probably wasn't a very good idea to unpack if I was just going to make loads of noise and everyone else was asleep and in a bad mood. I decided to just read my book for a bit before I decided what to do next.

I had been reading for an hour,and I finished my book. Dad and Leah were up, but not Delilah. I decided to have a shower and get dressed. When I walked past Delilah's room to get to the bathroom, she was asleep once again.

When I had got dressed, I started to unpack once again.

Two hours had passed and I had finally unpacked. Dad and Leah were still downstairs, we hadn't aknowledged each other since Dad yelled at me three hours ago. I looked out the window, it was still snowing.

I took a quick peek into Delilah's room, just to see what she was up to. She was sitting up in bed, her eyes glued to her laptop. It was half past ten and still nobody was dressed apart from me.

I put on the radio and flicked it off as quick as I turned it on. It was playing a Christmas song. I was so fed up with Christmas songs. I put on one of my favourite CDs instead, then sat on my bedroom floor and did some drawing. I've always loved to draw - it allows me to express myself and my feelings through pictures, and escape from the real world for a bit whilst I am in my own world I am creating on paper. This is why I enjoy writing, too. I write stories, songs and poems.

It was 11:00. I heard footsteps approaching up the stairs. It was Dad, still in his dressing gown. Finally, I thought, I was beginning to think he was going to stay downstairs forever. He smiled at me, and I smiled back. A few seconds later he greeted me: "Alright?" He said this every morning, but today it sounded different. He didn't say it like he normally said it - it sounded more grumpy and as if it was a chore for him to talk to me. I just carried on smiling, then he walked into Delilah's room. "Delilah", he said tunefully, "time to get u-up!"

Delilah groaned.

"Come on, get off that laptop! It's 11 o'clock!"

"And? There's no school. I might as well make the most of my bed while I can."

"No... you might as well make the most of the snow while you can!"

"Ugh..." Delilah groaned, "I don't want to play in the snow."

I was in envy of Delilah. I wished it was me Dad was asking to play in the snow. I would have said yes, and been downstairs and outside in a flash. Delilah was just groaning.

"You won't get another chance for ages! Come and make the most of the snow!" Dad said, but still failing to encourage Delilah.

"No! I hate snow! And a grown man like you shouldn't get so excited about the snow, it's worrying!" Delilah said in a teasing voice.

"Snow! Wonderful snow!" Dad started singing.

"Seriously, leave me alone."

"Somebody needs a tickle!"

Dad was laughing hysterically, and I could tell Delilah was trying hard not to laugh even though I couldn't see her.

"Get off!" She yelled.

Dad gave up in the end and came over to my room.

"You'll play in the snow with me won't you, my baby?"

I felt like saying something rude back, like, "I thought Leah was your baby now", or, "Am I your second option, then?" But I didn't feel like arguing then. I thought I'd just leave it and play in the snow with my Dad, after all, like he said, we won't get another chance for ages.

"Of course I will, Dad", was what I decided to say.

"Yay!" Dad exclaimed.

I pulled on my boots and coat, grabbed my gloves and walked downstairs  with Dad. We did the Monkee Walk down the hall whilst singing, "Snow! Wonderful snow!"

It felt just like it used to be for that hour or so - just the two of us playing in the snow together. We had a snowball fight, made snow angels, and built a snowman as big as me.

Then Leah came out.

"I see you've decided to come out!" said Dad, greeting his girlfriend with a snowball in her face.

"Oi, you!" squealed Leah, struggling to make a snowball to throw back. Dad threw another at her when she had just finished making her own, and knocked her snowball straight out of her hands.

"Hey!" She yelled.

I instantly felt left out and isolated. Leah hadn't acknowledged me all morning. All the excitement of the snow I had had a few minutes ago had faded away, and I didn't see anything exciting in the snow anymore, so I wandered back indoors.

"Laters, Alana!" called Dad. I gave him a sad smile and wave. If Leah wasn't there, he would more than likely have tried to encourage me to come back out. But he had Leah now.

I wondered back up to my room and carried on drawing. Delilah was still on her laptop. It was coming up to 12 o'clock when I realised I hadn't had anything to eat all day and I was feeling quite hungry, so I searched the kitchen for some food, though there wasn't much because we hadn't been shopping yet. I had a slice of bread (we didn't have a toaster yet) and a banana.

As I was finishing off munching my banana, Delilah came downstairs for the first time all day. I gave her a smile, to which she just turned her head away.










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