CHAPTER 1: No. 5 Bellfield Way
It had been cold and gloomy for days and anyone in the Realm knew change was coming. But no one expected anything unusual in this pleasant small neighborhood with it's neat little houses at the edge of the sleepy town. Yet unlike any other row of houses, this street was home to a very special but still unsuspecting eleven year old girl named Frederika Jonquil (Fredy for short) who happened to ran around the street corner at this very moment.
She ran passed several houses with her school bag over one shoulder, she jumped over the ornamental hedges and crossed the front yards in between. Until with one last jump, she stopped in the front of No. 5 Bellfield Way.
Fredy slammed the door against the inside wall with a loud bang and disheveled as she was, ran into the hallway.
“Oh, Fredy ... you are early.” Her mother rushed toward her, but the girl stormed past her without a word and slammed the door to her bedroom. Mrs. Jonquil closed the front door, head shaking and followed her.
“What happened?” The mother asked calmly.
“I hate her! I so hate Sammy! I'm not going to school tomorrow or ever again!” Fredy cried into her pillow.
Mrs. Jonquil took the box of tissues from the dresser and sat down on the bed next to her. “Tell me what happened.”
Fredy took a moment to calm herself and sat up. She pulled a tissue out of the box and dried the tears from her round cheeks.
“She ... she told them my … my secret again, but this time she blabbed it out in front of everyone and they all laughed! Even the teacher laughed, and then they said things like ‘you’re a nut!’ and ‘you don't belong with normal people!’” Fredy broke off, sobbing and collapsing into her mother’s arms.
“I'm so sorry, Fredy.” said Mrs. Jonquil patting her daughter's back. “But there is no need to worry about these kind of people, you know your secret is special and so are you.”
Fredy shook her head. “I don't feel very special. You only say that because you are my mom, it's your job.”
“Oh, Fredy. There is so much more to you than you can imagine. Why don't you go freshen up and come help me with dinner? Your father should be home soon.” She gave her daughter one more hug before she pulled away and walked to the door.
Fredy wiped the last of her tears off and asked, “Mom, do you think I will ever have a really good friend who doesn't care about my secret?”
Mrs. Jonquil turned around and smiled at her. “I'm sure you will find many good friends, maybe even some who hear the same voices, and I'm not only saying this because I am your mother,” she said encouragingly and left the room. Fredy took a deep breath and followed her.
On the way to the kitchen Fredy passed through the spacious living room, when her eyes fell onto the shelf that framed the kitchen door. It was filled with many photographs, all neatly in their own picture frames so lovingly displayed. Nearly all showed Fredy's family; her parents, grandparents and Fredy herself in various ages. The last two years, she shared the pictures with her long-hoped-for sister Susie. Fredy smiled at the latest photo. Her and Susie had dressed up in matching dresses and smiled widely into the camera. She smiled, remembering that it had been the first time she allowed her mother to buy her a dress and to style her short, brown hair.
In day to day life Fredy was a real tomboy. She loved wearing jeans and sweatshirts and could not keep them clean for any length of time. Fredy dared everyone to climb the tree in the front yard and did not fuss about scraped knees.
If it were not for the kids in school and the constant fights she was in because of her uniqueness she would have been very happy. She loved her little family and wished she could just stay home where her secret had never been a problem. Only now, when she looked at the picture of her and her sister she thought she looked very different from the little round toddler. It was true that similarities were still hard to tell between her and Susie. After all, Susie was still a baby, but Fredy looked different from her parents as well. Her father and mother had dark blond hair and were very slim in build with long-shaped faces. Fredy was tall and big for her age, her face was round, in fact everything about it was round including her eyes, nose, and mouth.
She shook her head, this was silly. Then her eyes fell onto a different picture on the shelf. It did not really belong in this all family-photo display, but Fredy knew at once who this couple was.
“Mom?” She picked the small silver frame up and walked into the kitchen. “Mom, wasn't she your friend? What happened to her again?”
Mrs. Jonquil turned away from the stove and looked at the photograph in Fredy's hand. “Oh yes, you mean Danielle. That's her with her husband and you when you were just a few weeks old. They were really good friends of your granddads but when they both got very sick, we took them in and cared for them. Her husband died first. You were too small to remember him, but you should remember Danielle. She died ... is it already five years? Yes, she died on your 7th birthday.”
Fredy looked down at the picture. “I think I remember her, I really liked her long hair and pretty smile.”
“Oh, yes. Her smile was pretty and no one could stay mad once she decided to make everyone around her happy, but Fredy please set the frame back on the shelf I need your help.”
After dinner, Fredy returned to her bedroom. She told her parents she had a lot of homework to do and she had every intention to start with it straight away, but when she settled down on her bed with her 6th grade history book, Fredy did not even open it. For days she had this strange feeling as if something was about to happen, she could not explain the feeling, but somehow she has had the same sense about her secret. She shock her head feeling silly. Fredy wanted to open her book again but then all of the sudden her thoughts drifted back to the picture on the living room shelf, to Danielle's long brown hair and her radiant smile. She had been always so happy, even when she was so sick.
Fredy wished she could be as happy with her secret among other kids as Danielle had been with her illness. How could Danielle stand to live from day to day knowing her husband had already died of the same illness and this would be her fade too. Fredy's secret was that she heard voices before she went to sleep every night and there was nothing wrong with her, no illness, nothing. But every night around the same time her head was invaded by those voices. They never said anything terrifying to her, most of the time they were nice voices, like phone calls of people who wanted to check up on someone. But Fredy could not get use to them nor ignore them and most of the time she was woken up by them which gave her a paralyzing fear of the darkness.
Fredy laid back on her bed thinking for a long time. She was unable to get Danielle out of her thoughts, not that Fredy could remember her very much, other than that she wore old fashion clothes and kept her hair long. All what Fredy wanted was for the kids in school to accept her the way she was.
Soon Fredy felt very tired and her eyes became so heavy that she could not hold them open anymore.
'Good evening, Frederika.' A woman's voice spoke up and at once Fredy's eyes popped wide open and her heart began to race. 'I hope you had a good day.'
“NO, NO, STOP IT!” Fredy called out, holding her ears shut with both hands. She knew it did not matter if her eyes were open or not, she could not see the speaker, just hear her in her head. The woman's voice faded away and a soft voice of a boy became clearer.
'Hey Frederika, we are all so very exited, I made sure there will be a lot of food when you … '
“NO!” Fredy screamed. But then she put both hands over her mouth remembering her baby sister was sleeping next door. So Fredy screamed in her head … in her thoughts. 'NO! NO! I don't want this anymore! I want you to go away!'
The boy's voice had stopped in the middle of the sentence as if he had heard her.
'You don't want any food?'
“What?” Fredy said out loud. She had always heard these voices for as long as she could remember, but they had never communicated with her. Fredy sat up in the dark room, rubbing her forehead with both hands.
'What's going on?' she thought to herself.
'You don't want any food? Are you crazy, girl? That is the best thing about the … .'
'No. I meant I don't want to hear your voices any more. But who are you anyway?' Fredy thought. She calmed herself. Fredy never thought that she could communicate with these voices and something inside her made her more curious than afraid.
'Well ... mm ... I don't think I can tell you that. I don't want to get in trouble. You see, I'm not of age yet. I am sorry I channeled you.' The boy's voice faded away.
Fredy was confused, 'getting in trouble', 'not of age' and what was this channeling he talked about? 'Wait! Wait! What is your name?' Fredy asked, but there was no answer nor did she hear any other voice until she was awoken very late that night.