Paragraph 1: Barb Campbell
Round Robin - Sept 25, 2002
She was at the end of her rope -- trapped with no way out. This was not how she planned her life - not the way it was to unfold. She felt so lost and so alone. What happened along the way? Where were the carefree days of youth -- the big plans and the dreams? How had she gotten here and was there a way out? All of the questions made her head swim and ache. There had to be answers, but she was too tired to search for them now. She curled up in the corner of her tiny box and sought temporary escape through fitful slumber.
Paragraph 2: Denise Imbody
As she tried to sleep, she heard voices off in the distance. She wondered why people would be out so late. She looked down at her wrist watch that was tattered, and torn, and held together with tape. It said 7:00. It wasn't as late as she thought--it just felt so late, because it was so dark, and she wanted the day to be over. In fact, she wished it all could be over. While she was trying to figure out the time, and slowly slipping into her thoughts, she all of a sudden heard footsteps. She thought that maybe the people were leaving, but she realized that the footsteps were drawing closer. She tried to peek out, to see if she could figure out what was going on. It was just as she thought; they were coming towards her, and some of them held something that appeared to be little pieces of paper, in their hands. At first she thought maybe it was money, but as they came closer with every step, she noticed that the size of the paper was too big to be money.
Paragraph 3: Gwen Tweedy
As the papers came close enough for her to reach out an take them along with a flashlight they were holding she could make out the faint outlines of a map! But a map to what! Yes she was right! Now that she got a better look at the papers they held. They were of a series of maps leading her to an old abandoned cabin in the woods, her grandfather used to own when he was alive. But why the secret? Why maps to guide her there. Why didn't they just simply tell her where it was and be done with it? What was in that cabin that her grandfather was afraid of someone to find? She was puzzled, that was for sure, and she guessed she'd have to study these maps and go in search of the mystery
Paragraph 4: Jan Dobens
She received the maps from the lawyers that brought them to her, turned around and slowly walked back in the house. Locking up her house as she did every night before going to bed and in a daze walked up to her room to lay her weary body down. It had been such a draining day after the funeral of her grandfather and now getting these maps and wondering what it was all about. Her mind was racing so much that she decided to get up and take some Tylenol pm to help her to sleep because she new she had herself a long day tomorrow and wanted to be rested.
After a good night sleep, she began her journey to this cabin she had never heard about but with much anticipation wanted to find out what her grandfather could of possibly kept from the family for so long! Not being quite awake, she pulled into Duncan Donuts and got herself a large coffee hoping it would wake her up and help her to think clearly. She figured the trip, by looking at the map, would take about 5 hours.
Paragraph 5: Jeff Imbody
The rain poured down as she drove, reducing her vision greatly. She slowed down considerably, knowing it would take that much longer to reach her destination. Her heart raced with anticipation, moving faster than the car, and leaping to every conclusion that was possible...money, family ornaments, diaries, keepsakes....she was awash with ideas which flowed over and through her like the rain which pelted her windshield in great screaming torrents.
She drove for so long she was sure she had missed her turn, but suddenly, it loomed up ahead of her, the rain seeming to pause so she would be sure not to miss it. She turned as the map instructed, her eyes pinned to the road, hands glued to the wheel, watching the shape looming out of the darkness, her grandfather's house, her destination, her destiny, tied up into one broken down cabin. A flash of lighting threw the house into relief suddenly, and for a split second, she thought she saw a figure standing on the half collapsed porch, and then nothing. Her anticipation was rolled over with fear for a moment, and she wondered, but drove on, up the road, into the driveway. She turned off her lights, and sat in the car a moment longer, clutching the map close to her, her heart pounding harder than the rain on the windshield....and suddenly..........
Paragraph 6: Matt Imbody
Suddenly, something hit the windshield, shattering it completely--sending shards of splintered glass everywhere! The constant tapping of rain swelled to a thunderous pounding. Beside her, on the seat, lay the broken bits of a hailstone that must have been as big as a softball! Her mind raced, trying to grasp the situation, and weigh her options. Frantically looking around, she grabbed her flashlight, and a clipboard that was on the back seat. With a deep breath, she summoned all her courage, opened the car door, shielded her face with the clipboard, and r an, headlong, towards the entrance to her Grandfather’s cabin.
Paragraph 7: Robin Sloboda
It took all of her strength to reach the front porch steps of the old cabin as the hailstones came down with rocketing might upon the earth, accompanied by the continued down pouring of rain. Tanya's skin felt raw and tender as the hard pelts hit her soft bare skin, leaving her long light brown hair in a tangled mess around her face; her clothing was soaking wet and she was feeling worn from all of the events that were coming with rage upon her life. Placing the clipboard and flashlight on stairs of the veranda, she took a deep sigh of relief...her body melted with the release of tension.... as she arrived at her destination.
Many thoughts attacked her already confused mind, who was person looming in the shadows? Why was her life in such a mess? Why was her watch tattered and torn? Why all of the maps? Why? Why? Why? Numerous why questions assaulted her psyche, but the one thought that concerned her the most was why would her Grandfather leave to her maps containing secrets of unknown mysteries? Thinking her journey was almost over, unknown to her, the greatest journey of her life was about to begin….
Standing at the cabins front entrance in a state of bewilderment, Tanya turned the knob of the old door and walked into the rustic cottage.
Chapter Two -- Journey into the Old CabinParagraph 8: Robin Sloboda
Upon entering the cabin, her heart was full of unrefined emotions that she did not comprehend. Franticly searching the inside wall with her left hand, looking for a switch she turned the entrance light on. Tanya used the other hand to brush her hair, running fragile fingers through the mangled mess around her face and wiping the rainwater from her eyes. Turning to face the room, with weakened bruised arms at her side, she stood in silent awe at what was laid out before her.
Paragraph 9: Matthew Imbody
Ornate paintings, crystal chandeliers, and fancy furniture met her eyes, as she stood, staring in disbelief. Marble supports flowed up to meet tiled ceilings. The satin finish on the hardwood floors reflected the brilliant light from the brass and glass lamps which lined the walls. The room seemed to go on forever. Tanya stumbled back into a chair that a servant has wisked behind her. The young lady then held out a silver platter on which a golden hairbrush lay. Her face beamed and she shook her head slightly, letting Tanya know that it was OK to take it.
The three men and two women at the table were finishing hors d’oeuvres. One, who looked very familiar to Tanya, stood up, and held out his hand. With a smile, he said, “Good Evening, young lady. We’re glad you could make it. If you will follow Lucy”, he motioned towards the servant girl, “she will show you where you can freshen up.” He put his hand on her shoulder, and continued, “I know you have alot of questions, and they will be answered soon enough. Lucy has put out clothes for you.”, he gently helped Tanya to her feet, “Please. Dinner is about to be served. We will wait for you, but hurry. Chef has gone all out on this special occasion--and we wouldn’t want the Prime Rib to get cold...”
Tanya followed behind Lucy in a daze. How could the inside of the cabin be so large--and so luxurious? There was no pounding of hailstones inside either--and no sound of torrential rain. Lucy lead her into an enormous bathroom. A beautiful velvet red dress hung in the corner of the room. Without a word, Lucy gracefully dismissed herself and closed the door.
Tanya stared at herself, blankly in the mirror for a minute, and then she began dealing with her tangled, matted hair. There was only one way to find out what was going on. Determination rose in her as she made herself ready for dinner--and for answers...
Paragraph 10: Jeff Imbody
Tanya allowed her sea-green eyes to wander over the clothes that had been laid out for her. She stood in the bathrrom, her tangled mess of hair finally tamed into something she could tolerate, brown curls dried and tucked into an ornate bun, (at least, as ornate as her skills would allow), and her hand rested lightly on her hip as she stood and tried to make any sense of it all.
The dress was very expensive. She did not have to see the tag or feel its quality to recognize that. She did, however step forward and touch it lighty with her short, slender fingers. The material was soft and smooth to the touch, almost like silk or satin, but it did not have the sheen of either material. The shoulders and neckline were demurely cut, designed to be fashionable rather than revealing. She pulled the dress from the hanger on the back of the door, and slipped it on over her skin. Immediately she felt warm, and relaxed as if the bruises on her body had suddenly faded. The dress was a perfect fit, and could almost have been tailored specifically for her...maybe it was. She examined where the hem of the dress hit her knee, and how the bodice flattered her not to large, but not small belly. Red wsa not her favorite color, but somehow this dress seemed to be her, through and through.
She opened the door slightly after slipping into the red evening slippers which had been left by the bathroom door, feeling like cooling spring water on her feet, and nearly glided out of the bathroom, back towards the dining room. Tanya marvelled at the expansive house she found herself in. Opulent would have been the word her father would have used, for he had a taste for the expensive. Tasteful would have been the word her mother would have added, for she knew what do do with fancy things when she get her hands on them. She moved through the hall and into the dining room, wondering at all she saw.
"Ah, good, you are ready to eat. Chef has just put out our dinner. Please, join us."
Somehow the man seemed more familiar now than before. She sat down at the table, and studied his salt and pepper hair, and his grey eyes which seemed full of merriment, worry, and wariness all at the same time. He was dressed in white, sporting very formal attire, and no adornments, save for a gold ring on his right hand.
"Why am I here...." She stammered for a moment, not knowing quite what to do.
The man smiled, the jesture going all the way to the corners of his eyes. "I am called Jasper, Tanya. And after dinner, we will explain much to you. For now..." he jestured formally at the others seated at the table, "suffice it to say that we need your help."
Paragraph 11: Gwen Tweety
After the meal was complete everyone retired to the parler and because Tanya was on Jasper's arm she was placed on a velvitsetteeand she sat forward nervously clasping and unclasping her hands in anticipation of what was to come next. After the coffee and tea trays and been whisked away by silent attentive servants and everyone was relaxed Jasper began to speak. Tanya I know you have questions and that is understandable because it probably seems to you as if you were brought here under a secret cloak of mystery and it is as it appears. You by your grandfather's death have acquired quite an inherritance young lady and had word gotten out no telling what could have happened to me or your servants. You see your grandfather was so happy and blessed when he found out about you even though you never met him that he spent his last years emagining what you looked like and wishing he could have broken the stubern pride of his daughter so you two could have met. He got to know you by some journals that your mother left when she was so suddenly taken ill and taken home to be with the Lord. He had made a foolish promise that He would probably regret to this day not to open them until your mother's death when she became ill. I am your grandfather's twin brother. Tanya gasped in surprise! Jasper only kept smiling and and your grandfather willed this house, me and all the servants here and his entire bankings to you my dear because he never wanted you to be alone.
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Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. --1 Thessalonians 5:16-22