‘Rosie’, A short story in installments

Part One - The Oak Tree

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Photo via Wikimedia under the Creative Commons Licence

 

Once upon a time, not that far from here, lived a young girl named Rosie. All her life she’d dreamed of travelling the world, going to places she’d never dreamed existed and meeting people with incredible stories. Unfortunately, her family was very poor and the most adventure little Rosie got in her everyday life was a walk to the local park. She longed for a better life, where she could get an education, play sports and have a new set of clothes everyday.
Although Rosie wished for such things, she was unlike any ordinary,teenager. She didn’t spend half her time sitting on electronic gadgets, or spend half her money at coffee shops with overpriced drinks filled with harmful chemicals and sugar. Instead, she kept herself busy by helping her mother care for her younger brothers and sisters, working with her dad in his garage and in her free time she would sit in a huge oak tree just opposite her house reading stories about magical worlds filled with princesses and dragons that she borrowed from the library. She would then sit on the pavement right in front of the tree and draw her surroundings, over and over again, the same nights and the same days which she would then sell for extra money. Rosie was both very bright and talented and her parents knew this but they couldn’t afford to send her to school; it would have to take some kind of miracle for that ever to happen.

One Monday afternoon, after she had just finished her shift at her dad’s garage, Rosie set out for the big oak tree. She was feeling very drained and knew exactly which book she needed to read to lift her spirits. So before going to the tree, she took a detour to the library. The library was somewhere Rosie went often, it had been the place where she first learned to read and she’d almost read every single book in it. The librarian, Mrs Parker, was actually the woman who had taught her everything she knew about books and she was the one who secretly let her borrow a handful of books every week.

“Good afternoon Mrs Parker!” she greeted her with a smile.
“Afternoon Rosie dear, same as usual?” she questioned.
“No, I want to take out a book that I’ve taken out before. I can’t remember the exact title; something about a girl with a magic mind I’m sure. “
“Oh yes.” She went behind the desk and took out one of the books.
“Matilda, by Roald Dahl?”
“Wow, you know me so well!” she giggled and then took the book, placing it in the inside pocket of her jacket and then racing out the doors. She thought, there’s no time to waste! Every moment that goes by is getting closer to my death…

She got to the crossroads and looked left and then right. No traffic was passing by. That’s strange; it’s usually jam-packed with traffic during Rush Hour. She shrugged her shoulders and then crossed the road. She couldn’t wait to sit up in her favourite spot and read her favourite book, while the sun went down and made that blood-orange light through the tree’s leaves.

“BIG OAK TREE, HERE I COME-“ Rosie stopped dead in her tracks. There in front of her, stood a man in construction clothing waving at people to step back.

“Young lady, I’m afraid this area is off limits. Please move away.”

She couldn’t understand what was going on so she moved as far back as possible to get a better view. Above the man, was a huge poster and written in massive writing was “DESTRUCTION OF THE OLD OAK TREE.”

The world turned upside down as Rosie hit the pavement with a thud and her vision blacked out.