To commemorate the completion of another scene of my tale I have decided to post my first draft of the first chapter. Enjoy! (oh and if you see any mistake or potential improvement make sure you tell me!)
Liam and Emily
Emily Florine DeClair was part-French and was very inclined to tell you. Personally Liam didn’t understand the importance.
“Honestly Liam, acting agencies like actors with foreign backgrounds- it makes them more interesting you know?” She was also determined to become a Hollywood film star.
“But it’s just a name- you can’t even speak French.” The sandy-haired boy said with a frown.
“It’s the name that’s important- not my language.” Emily gave a delicate sigh, “I suppose I can’t expect you to understand with a name like ‘Willford.”
“Yeah…” Liam replied without conviction as he looked up at the clock in the hopes that it was time for Emily’s mother to come and take her home.
“Oh!” Emily shouted and Liam jumped at the sudden sound. His eyes darted back to see her standing with her hands clapped to her mouth and her eyes wide as she stared out of his bedroom window.
“What?” he asked, following her eye line into the back garden.
“A bird! A bird just crashed into the garden! Oh god, what if it’s been hurt?” She cried, “we have to help it Liam!” She didn’t give him time to resist as she grabbed his wrist and dragged him down the stairs and out the kitchen door. Liam’s mother stared at them in surprise as they rushed past her cooking dinner. “Look! There it is! Oh the poor thing- it’s not moving!” Emily pointed frantically at a black blob lying motionless in the centre of the lawn. “I don’t want to go near it,” Emily declared, “It might be dead!”
“You were the one who wanted to help it,” Liam said uncaringly.
“So? Just go and see if it’s alive!” the dark-haired girl argued.
Liam rolled his eyes but couldn’t see the worth in arguing, “Fine,” he sighed, trudging forwards with his hands in his pockets. The bird looked like a crow and Liam didn’t want to get too close to it because he knew they could get nasty. Instead he leant over and stared at it keenly. It was lay on its side with one wing stretched out beneath it and its head thrown back displaying a black beak. It chest was moving, up and down in a steady breathing. “It’s alive.” Liam called back, “you can come over and help it now.”
“Well of course its alive- it only fell a few feet.” Emily said as though she had been expecting the answer all along. She hurried over and knelt down beside the fallen bird to slip her hands gentle beneath the small body.
“Careful, that’s a crow and they can be pretty mean, “Liam warned her quietly.
“I’ll be fine- I’m helping it not trying to kill it.”
“It’s a crow- they can’t tell the difference.”
“It’s unconscious- I’ll be fine.” She replied dismissively before slowly raising the injured bird. “See?” she said with a smug smile as the crow remained asleep in her hands.
“Fine, fine,” Liam raised up his hands as she stood up and walked back to the house. “I was only trying to help,” he grumbled to himself as he shoved his hands back at in his pockets and kicked at some dirt visible between blades of grass.
“Liam!” Emily called loudly from the house, “come on!” Liam sighed again before turning to follow after her.
“There: good as new.” Liam’s mum announce with a smile as she placed the bandaged wing gently back against the limp body of the unfortunate crow. She was tall for a woman, with sandy blonde hair which fell in waves down her back, which she kept out of her face with a purple bandana decorated with silver swirls and stars. She wore orange tie-dye shirt which flared at the wrists- although at the moment the flare was tied out of the way- and a long purple skirt which flowed from her hips. Around her neck a necklace of purple glass beads was wrapped several times and her arms were decorated with orange and purple rubber bands. “He was lucky he landed on his wing- it saved his life!” she added affectionately.
“Thank you for looking after him Mrs Willford,” Emily said sweetly, “I wish I could take him home but there’s no way my mum would let me keep him.”
“That’s alright sweet, we’ve still got that cage that Andrew kept his parrot in. We can put him in there.”
“Liam’s brother used to have a parrot?” Emily asked in surprise.
“It wasn’t a real one,” Liam muttered, “it was a toy you could put on a perch.”
Mrs Willford laughed, “Yes and we bought him a cage from a car boot sale to put it in. He was so pleased he demanded we put it in straight away despite the fact that it was filthy!”
“That’s so sweet!” Emily cooed.
Liam rolled his eyes, “just because you’ve got a crush on him.”
“I do not!” Emily shouted even as her cheeks blushed as red as fire engine.
“Don’t embarrass her Liam,” Mrs Willford said with twinkling eyes, “I’m sure she has no such thing.”
“See, your mum knows,” Emily added with folded arms. She was still blushing.
“Whatever,” Liam said unbelievingly. He turned away from the two of them and stared out of the window. “Your mum’s here,” he noted as the silver Mercedes-Benz pulled up outside the house.
“Oh!” Emily rushed to the window to wave frantically at her mother stepping out of the car. The designer pulled on her fitted jacket and straightened her red cashmere scarf before looking up at the house. Catching her daughter making a fool of herself in the living room window she raised an eyebrow and raised her hand calmly before strutting towards the house in her expensive heels.
Emily rushed to meet the beautiful woman at the door, jamming her feet into her shoes which had been left haphazard at the bottom of the stairs and grabbing her school bag just as three steady knocks came from the front door. Mrs Willford, who had followed Emily at more sedate pace, opened the door to welcome Emily’s mother.
“Sophie, I’ve told you before, you can just come in. We are all friends here.” She said with a warm smile.
“I’m sorry Lucy,” Sophie De Clair apologised with a cold smile of her own as she viewed Mrs Willford’s attire. “It’s the old lessons; they stick in the back of your mind you know.”
“Yes of course. My mother certainly knew how to impress manners on me and my brothers.” Lucy replied with a small laugh, not noticing the scrutiny her clothes were under.
“Emily are you ready?” Sophie asked, looking down at the girl who had pressed herself in front of Liam’s mother.
“Yes mother!” Emily said eagerly, “bye Liam, bye Mrs Willford,” she added as she glanced back at the two standing behind her. “I’ll see you tomorrow okay?”
“Of course sweet. It’s nice to have you here.”
“Goodbye Lucy, it was nice to see you again Liam. Thanks again for looking after Emily.” Sophie gave another of her cold, little smiles.
“That’s alright, see you tomorrow Sophie.”
“Indeed.” Emily’s mother turned around and pressed her daughter gently towards the car before sashaying away. Lucy stayed standing at the door and waved as the vehicle pulled away even though neither of the occupants seemed to notice.
Liam frowned at his mother, “why do you do that? They never look.” He said unhappily.
“It’s polite.” Mrs Willford told him. “come on, we need to get that cage out of the loft and dinner on the table before it burns. Hopefully your father and Andrew will be home soon.” The tall blonde woman smiled down at her son and- with one last glance out into street- shut the door firmly on the outside world.
After a few minutes watching unconscious crows started to lose its appeal, so Liam had upgraded to drawing them. The injured animal was laid out in a plastic cage standing on a window sill in the Willford family sitting room. It wouldn’t prove much an obstacle to a healthy crow but Mrs Willford seemed to think it would work well enough for an unhealthy one.
Liam was gently shading in the nape of his sketch’s neck when the door banged upon and his brother loudly announced his presence. “I’m home!”
“Hey honey, you’re just in time for dinner. It’ll be ready in 10!” Mrs Willford called back.
“Okay!” Footsteps padded firmly into the sitting room and Liam listened to his brother collapse on the couch with sigh before he turned around. His brother was reclined across the couch in a pair of baggy jeans and a hooded tracksuit jacket. “What you up to squirt?”
Drew frowned and stared at him with green eyes identical to his brother’s. “What crows?”
“This one,” Liam jabbed his pencil at the cage behind him.
“Hey isn’t that my old cage?” Drew asked as he pushed himself off the couch to inspect the new addition to sitting room.
“Yeah.” Liam replied and bowed his head back to his work.
“Why is there a crow in there?” Drew continued curiously.
“Emily found it, it had a broken wing.”
“So Mum took it in.” Drew guessed.
“Pretty much, yeah.” Liam tilted his head at the bird he was drawing and pursed his lips. His fingers fumbled for the rubber which he had placed on his chair’s arm earlier and had now lost. Drew took the opportunity to peer down at the work in progress on his brother’s lap.
“Hey that’s pretty good!”
“The angle of the head’s all wrong,” Liam muttered, finally locating his rubber and applying it vigorously to the area giving him so much trouble.
“Looks good enough to me squirt.” Drew ruffled his brother’s pale hair and chuckled, “I bet all the girl are gonna love you when you’re older; the sensitive artist with mum’s hair and my gorgeous looks.” Drew declared dramatically, running his fingers through his cropped brown hair.
Liam rolled his eyes and turned back around just in time to see a car pull into the drive.
“Hey Dad’s on time for once!” Drew exclaimed, “Mum’s probably already put his dinner in the microwave.” He sniggered.
The two boys watched as a tall, lanky man with dark hair and a youthful face emerged from the seat of his old, blue Audi A4 dressed in an average grey suit and carrying a cheap briefcase. The man grinned at the brothers as he spotted them in the window and gave a small wave which only Liam returned.
“Go tell Mum Dad’s home.” Drew said, giving Liam a small push.
“Why don’t you?” Liam returned with disinterested stare.
“‘Cuz I can’t be bothered.” Drew replied as he flopped back on the couch.
“Well neither can I,” Liam retorted and turned back to reattempt his model’s head.
The door opened for the second time within the last ten minutes and Mr Willford stepped through. “Honey do you want to take my dinner out of microwave?” he asked as he slipped out of his work shoes.
“Richard? You’re back already? What happened?”
“Well the guy pleaded guilty so we managed to get it wrapped up pretty quick.” Richard replied. Mr Willford was a state lawyer; available for people who couldn’t afford one of their own. Unfortunately the position meant he was usually defending criminals.
“Excellent,” Mrs Willford strained up on her bare tiptoes to press a small kiss to her husband’s cheek, “It’ll be an interesting experience to have you at the dinner table, are you sure you still remember how to behave?” she asked with a cheeky grin.
“That’s harsh Lucy.” Mr Willford replied but he grinned even as he said it.
“Sorry dear,” Mrs Willford said with a smile.
“Oddly enough, I don’t believe you.”
“Such a lack of faith in me, my love. Now go and set the table before dinner gets cold.”
“Your wish is my command.” Mr Willford leaned down to kiss his wife as he shrugged off his jacket.
“Oh gross, do you have to do that in full view of everybody?” Drew asked from where he’d been sitting.
“No-one said you had to look,” his mother replied as his father laughed. “Now come help your father lay the table and we can sit down a proper family dinner for a change.”
“Can’t I just have mine in my room?” Drew retorted, looking less than impressed with the idea.
“Not a chance.” Mrs Willford informed him, crossing her arms sternly.
“Why not?” Drew argued loudly.
“Because for once everybody’s at home and dinner’s on the table- you’re not squirming out of this one Andrew Willford.” His mother replied with a cold glare.
“It’s not like it’s that important anyway.” The fifteen-year-old grumbled.
“Maybe not to you Drew, but it is to me.” Mrs Willford sighed, “Can’t you just humour me once in a while?”
Drew glared and crossed his arms irritably, but Liam knew that his brother had already lost the battle, “…fine.” The older boy muttered. He turned and flopped down on the couch to sulk for a moment and Mrs Willford smiled triumphantly before padding away to make sure her husband wasn’t stealing any of the dessert.
Liam sighed as the tension of the air increased and lay down his pencil and paper to look over at his brother.
Drew glared back, “what?” he demanded.
“Nothing,” Liam murmured and rose to his feet. “I’m gonna help Dad, you coming?”
“Eloquent.” Liam replied ironically.
Drew glanced up at him, “you’ve been spending too much time with that snooty girlfriend of yours.”
Liam shrugged, “it’s not my idea.” He informed his brother.
“Do you ever get embarrassed?” Drew questioned with a glare.
“What would be the point?” Liam answered.
Drew rolled his eyes, “oh I forgot; it would require too much effort.”
Liam shrugged again, “So are you coming?” he repeated.
Drew glared at him for a second before replying, “It’s not like I’ve got much of a choice,” he grumbled.
“Not if you want to go out tomorrow.” Liam agreed.
“Come on then,” Drew hauled himself out his seat and strode out of the door, leaving Liam to follow at a stroll.
Seven characters already! That's quite a lot for the first chapter....
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