Annica (and I are back!) - Part I

Fiction By KatieSara // 11/26/2012

*Feel free to skip this rather long intro if you'd rather just get to the story- I promise not to be offended. ;)*

Hi everybody!
Wow, it's been a while. A very long while. Therefore, I'm going to guess that most of you don't remember me or just plain don't know me. I was on here for a few years and then disappeared for a while starting around when I started college (I'm halfway through my sophomore year now, crazy!). I've visited a few times just to see how things were going, but for the most part my life has been very sadly AP-less. So what's brought me back? Well, those of you who've been around long enough may remember a certain story about a girl named Annica, a plague, and a crazy king. There was a studly Wickham-like character and a de Bourgh-ish aunt in there as well. "When lacking originality, draw from Austen," appears to have been my motto in those days. Anyhow, all that fell by the wayside as my AP activity lessened and Annica was all but forgotten...until I had to write a short story for this semester's lit class. The plot sketch was due and I had nothing, no ideas. "Why not resurrect Annica Sees?" I thought. So after some workshopping, rethinking and tweaking, I ended up with a finished short story (which I turned in to my prof just today, as a matter of fact). It's very different from the original, many major changes have been made and a lot of things just got axed, as you'll see if you ever read the old stuff or ever do (which I don't recommend, as it's terrible). I'm pretty happy with it though, as I think it achieves what I always wanted to with the original, and much better than I could have in those days. All that being said, I wanted to bring it here for those of you who showed interest in the old version all that time ago to read, and just for the sake of sharing it with somebody besides a few fellow students and my professor. I may or may not stick around and keep posting; I haven't written much for fun in the past year and a half or so, but I'll see what I can dig up. I'll shut up now and hope that you enjoy the following story. Meanwhile, as soon as I get some free time, I'll have to start catching up on what y'all have been up to. For now, I present to you Part I of the new and improved Annica. Let me know what you think! :)

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Part I

Thuddity-thuddity-thud went the horse’s hooves. The miles went by much more swiftly on this urgent return trip than they had on the way there two weeks previously. Annica remembered saying goodbye to her mother and smallest sister so early that morning, while everyone else was still asleep.
“Bye-bye, Annica!” five-year-old Grace had said, clinging lovingly to Annica’s leg.
“Oh, get off,” she’d replied brusquely as she half pried, half yanked the child off herself. Grace had looked up at her briefly with wide eyes (that might have teared up if she hadn’t been used to similar treatment) before silently running upstairs to get back into bed.
“Goodbye dear, have a nice time at your aunt’s!”
“Unlikely,” had been Annica’s muttered response. She’d then pulled away from her mother’s farewell kiss and left without another word, anxious to get away from home although at the same time not so happy about where she was going.
The yearly visit with her aunt in the country had passed quietly…she could now look back on it only as a blur of long and boring days sitting in the drawing room enduring endless pleasantries from neighbors, or walking circles in the unnaturally neat gardens surrounding the manor. She’d resisted her aunt’s well-meant indulgences and gifts, which she’d always enjoyed in previous years, insisting she’d much rather be left alone. It was all bit uncomfortable, but the days dragged on without event, until they received the news…
“A deadly epidemic in the city! A plague! Thousands dead already!” The ladies and gentlemen at the dinner table had exclaimed in horror before rushing off to their homes to panic, hold their loved ones and decide what was to be done. Annica, however, had known immediately exactly what she had to do.

Thuddity-thuddity-thud. “Soon,” she thought as she rode, “it can’t be that much further…”

It hadn’t been easy. Her aunt had insisted there was no hope, it was too late for the afflicted city, they must flee the area and hope the sickness did not follow them.
“Come, Annica, this is madness, you must come with me.” Annica had stood her ground, however. “I have to go home. I have to help them, be with them, do whatever I can. I can’t leave. Don’t you understand? I can’t leave!”
Eventually, her aunt had given up. “We part, then.” She hugged her tightly. “You are so brave, child. Braver than me…go, and be well. I hope I may see you again soon.”
Annica galloped down the road towards the city, with only one small bag looped to the saddle, containing whatever she’d managed to pack in the short time allowed her. It was getting dark as she finally came up the last hill, only a few miles away from her destination, and was stopped. A barricade, hastily built but well guarded, blocked the road. Armed soldiers, at least fifteen of them, were posted around it. They eyed her curiously; a girl travelling towards the city alone was naturally a rather unexpected sight, given the circumstances.
“Let me through!” she demanded. “I need to get into the city, my family are there.”
“Sorry, miss,” one of the soldiers said as he approached her. “They’ve got plague in there. We’re under orders not to let anyone pass.”
“You don’t understand,” she cried, “I need to go to them, I need to help them. I can’t just leave them in there! My family, sir, please!”
“You must be crazy, miss! D’ye want to get the sickness too?”
“Let me through!” she yelled. “You must! Please,” she began sobbing, “You must!
“Awful sorry, miss, but we just can’t do that. Those poor folks in there are done for, and that’s that. Nothin’ to be done. You just go and find somewhere else to lay your pretty head. Maybe your family got out, there’s always hope, miss.”
Annica sat there for a moment looking frantically around her, trying to find some way…the barricade was too high, there could be no jumping over it. The soldiers began to close in on her, backing the horse up. “No, no, please! You have to…I can’t….please!” she cried. She tried to look over the barricade, straining her neck…normally from this point she would be able to see the city, but not now…she couldn’t even get a last look at her home, couldn’t see the familiar buildings, the surrounding valley…
She looked desperately around her one last time, taking everything in, the guards slowly forcing her to back up. The soldier who had spoken to her was closest to her, and his sympathetic eyes met hers. “Just go, miss,” he reached up and touched her hand kindly, “For your own good. I’m sorry. Go.”
Not knowing what else to do, suddenly feeling completely helpless and hopeless, she swiftly turned her horse around and ran.
On and on she went, not even paying attention to where she was going. The horse galloped, she clung to its neck and sobbed and couldn’t think. It was dark and she couldn’t see where she was headed anymore…things started to look unfamiliar…they were in a forest. Suddenly the mare tripped over an unseen root, and both horse and rider went tumbling down. Annica felt a sharp pain in her head, her whole body was jarred, and then there was only darkness as she fell into blessed unconsciousness.

Comments

!!

I feel like screaming and jumping up and down! Okay, you probably don't know me or read any of my work. Anyways, I read Annica back in the beginning of this year and was quite upset when the Annica was not completed...but here you are again and you brought Annica along! I like the improvements very much. The story has revived, in a way, you could say. Keep writing!! God Bless! Megan

Lucy Anne | Mon, 11/26/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, you probably don't know

Well, you probably don't know me either! And I haven't read the old Annica. And I won't. ;) I like where the story's going. Keep it up!

Maddi | Mon, 11/26/2012

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Oh my goodness COMMENTS

Wow, I was not expecting comments that soon! HIII! Thanks for reading! You're right, I don't know either of you but I'm sure I will! :) Megan, I love that you read the old Annica and I'm so glad you like the new one! Parts II and III are coming soon!

KatieSara | Mon, 11/26/2012

Katie:-)

"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"
-Idris/TARDIS

I absolutely remember you!!!!

I absolutely remember you!!!! And I loved Annica. Can't wait to read this. Just had to say that. LOL!

Madeline | Tue, 11/27/2012

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

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