The Bell Tower (Chapter One)

The air smelled musty, and not a single gust of wind could be felt. The only sound was a lone crow’s call; the broken sound, the only sense of company in the tower. The taste of dust felt heavy on my tongue. The bell was rusted with years of age and rain with no usage. Once rung, the bell resounded with years of age and tire.


“Cassandra! Where are you? Mother wants us to be at Madame’s for tea!”

I sighed. There wasn’t a single time I could escape up to the tower in my imagination. There was always something to do, something to attend, some tea party my mother needed me to go to. I opened my eyes to see my sister dash into my room.

“Cassandra! There you are. Don’t you know what time it is? It’s much too late to still be in bed!”

 This was routine by now. Every Saturday morning at 11:34, my sister dashes in to reprimand me for wasting time. Elle was always the one to adhere to the rules. I fathom she didn’t even know how much fun it was to bend the rules every so often.

“I was already awake, Elle, though I doubt anyone a mile ‘round is still sleeping after the racket you made coming up here.”

Elle rolled her eyes.

Then, her voice softer, she she said, “Get up already, Cass. We really need to get going. You know how Madame gets when we arrive late to tea.”

Madame Bartmellow was one of Mother’s friends, and she always invited us to tea on Saturdays. How I wished I could do something else on Saturdays, like my older brother, Samuel. When he wasn’t at the family manor in the countryside, he got to stay home with Mother and Father. But even Sammy insisted I go. Madame lived a block away, but Mother made us ride in the carriage anyhow.

“It looks refined!” She always exclaims. “I know you’d prefer to walk, but I wouldn’t like you to catch cold.”

It may be cold in London, but Mother simply did not understand how to appreciate the adventure in life. The only thing closely resembling adventure that she approved of was reading adventure novels. I do love those mystery novels. I only wished that something would happen to me like that! This need for adventure was why I was always trying to escape to the old belltower. It seemed so real in my mind, and there was always so much detail when I thought about it, that it seems like a memory. I realized Elle was looking at me expectantly. I sighed. It was going to be a long day.

About half an hour later, I was in the dining room, ready to head out to the carriage. Elle was on my right, complaining about how long I took to get ready, and Mother was bustling out of the parlor with a worried expression on her face.

Mother was always worrying about something or another. I didn’t take it to mean much, especially when it came from Henry, the butler Father hired a month prior. In the four weeks he had worked in our household, he already told Mother about five events, that were supposedly happening, but never did occur.

“Henry told me that there seems to be some commotion going on outside. I don’t exactly know what is happening, but do try to stay out of trouble while you’re out.”

Mother may have been anxious, but little did I know that the “little commotion” was actually going to forever change the course of my life.


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