POP! Heather flinched as her brother popped his bubble gum.
“Could you please pop your gum quietly? Or not at all? I’m reading here.” She asked irritated.
“There is only one way to pop gum. L-O-U-D.” Drew snapped his gum again. Heather inwardly groaned. She loved Drew; you couldn’t ask for a better brother. But you could ask for a less annoying one. She put away her book and pulled out her Ipod to listen to her favorite music. Heather then withdrew her phone from the depths of her bag to text her friends. Her friend, Jessica, aka faerieStaR, had returned her message.
faerieStaR: we totes miss u greeny!
Greeny was Heather’s contact name. Ladibug, her friend Addisyn, had also responded.
Ladibug: yeah, i’m so glad ur out of that awful old house, but i miss u sooooooo much!
faerieStaR: did ur mom & dad say you could come @ halloween?
Heather quickly began typing her response.
greeny: havent asked yet. guess what?
greeny: my mom told us that my grandma & grandpa live in a huge estate!
faerieStaR: no way!
meg-a-cute: what’s up?
Heather smiled. Megan, or meg-a-cute, had finally picked up her phone.
greeny: grandma & grandpa have a massive estate
meg-a-cute: magnificent! is it large?
greeny: i think mom said it is a couple hundred acres…ish. bigger? something like that
faerieStaR: and youre moving to LA?
greeny: north of LA.
meg-a-cute: whats the name of the estate
Ladibug: looking it up meg?
meg-a-cute: did you have to ask?
greeny: let me ask how to spell it
“Mom, what’s the name of the estate Grammy and Paw live at?” Heather asked. Her mom turned down her audio book.
“I think it is An Bhaile Ar An Layabrunm.”
“Uhhh…. how would you spell that?”
“I have the name written down by the address in my purse. By the way, we are in Santa Monica, so we should be arriving soon. Clean up your stuff. And tell Andrew to do the same.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Heather proceeded to dig through her mom’s purse until she found the card.
greeny: An Bhaile Ar An Laybrunm
meg-a-cute: conducting search. two minutes please
Heather set aside her phone to pass the message to Drew.
“Hey, Drew.” No response.
“OWW! What was that for?” he complained, pulling his earbuds out. Heather’s flying shoe had succeeded in catching Drew’s attention.
“We’re almost there. Mom says clean up your stuff.”
“Thanks. Don’t you have to clean up your stuff too?”
“I don’t because I don’t have my things strewn across oblivion.” Heather pointed out. Drew put his buds back in and got to work. Heather’s phone dinged.
meg-a-cute: wow. great results. apparently, the woods and beach are haunted by the spirits of the celts, ancestors of the irish immigrants. a wealthy european owned it originally, but had lost his only daughter to a disease. with no other family, he eventually wrote in a young irishman as the benefactor of his will. it is unknown how they met, but seemingly, the irish guy worked there. it was said that the irishman blessed the grounds, and dedicated it to the irish celtic gods. the gods then accepted it, and mystical beings now reside there.
faerieStaR: can we get the simplified version of that?
meg-a-cute: that was the simple version
Ladibug: place is haunted basically
greeny: i g2g guys. ttyl
meg-a-cute: ditto. c u later
Ladibug: remember to ask about halloween
greeny: i will. bye!
faerieStar: bye heather! miss u! ttyl!
Heather put her phone away, and then her Ipod as well. Heather went to grab a piece of gum, but instead encountered a furry ball. She picked up her furry ball, named Mandi, and held her up to eye level. The little weasel yawned enormously, showing all of her tiny sharp teeth.
Mandi was a strangely well behaved weasel. Two winters ago, at the animal shelter, she had overheard that they were going to put down a weasel. She had frantically searched until she found it. A small white and black weasel was sitting in the corner of a cage. Heather had asked to see her. After a large amount of assuring and convincing, the staff let Heather take the weasel out of the cage. To their astonishment, the weasel did not attack Heather; on the contrary, it snuggled Heather and licked her cheek. They happily let Heather adopt the weasel, which she named Mandi.
“We’re almost there Mandi! I can’t wait to see Grandma and Grandpa!” Mandi squeaked and chittered. It would be so cool to be able to understand Mandi. Heather thought.
Heather was playing with Mandi when her mom said, “Look out the window. You can see the ocean.” Heather looked out the window. For someone who lived in the middle of the desert all of her life, seeing that much water was incredible. She held Mandi up so she could look out as well.
“Would you look at all that water! It’s amazing!” Heather said, mostly to herself.
“I know! The ocean is HUGE! But I remember it being bigger. But maybe that was because I was smaller.” Heather screamed and dropped Mandi. Her mom swerved the car a bit, and it sounded like Drew hit his head.
“Heather! What was that!” Her mom exclaimed.
“I… I… there was an… earwig? There was an… earwig… on me. Sorry, just caught me off guard.”
“Just don’t do that again, alright? Oh, you did kill it, right? I don’t want more earwigs around the car.”
“Yeah, it’s dead.”
Heather carefully picked up Mandi. The reason she screamed was not because of an earwig. Yes, she would scream or at least yelp if she found an earwig. But there was no earwig. Heather had screamed because she was quite sure that the voice had emanated from Mandi. Heather looked Mandi in the eye. Mandi stared back at her.
“Say something.” Heather whispered. Mandi just gave an excited squeak and hopped back onto her shoulder. Heather sighed and looked out the window. She couldn’t have imagined the voice, could she?