Olivia Bell a.k.a Livy
Amanda G. D.
Amie (again xD)
Kyrie Noel Brink
Kyrie is a lonely orphan that lives with her old grandmother and prim and proper aunt. She’s never had any adventures worth recounting (there is that time she was in the middle of a food fight…) but that soon changes.
She enjoys mostly books, shopping, and getting good grades. She’s good-humored and doesn’t often get ruffled. Her main fear is displeasing her aunt, who is very strict. She isn’t one to say she won’t do something and just goes with the flow.
She’s fourteen with blonde long hair, green eyes, and a rather sour look. She’s just used to sitting still and doing nothing.
Christian Alexander Worth
Christian, or Alec as he’s known, is the oldest of the Worth quartet. He is the leader of the escapades and hasn’t seemed to grow up. He lives next door to Kyrie with his family.
Alec enjoys sports but his favorite is track. He is a born runner. He’s the one that goes sniffing around for adventure and dashing into it recklessly.
He’s seventeen and considers himself a man. (Much to Jill’s annoyance!) He has red hair,freckles, and blue eyes.
Jill Morgan Worth
Jill is the oldest daughter and probably the most responsible. She is as much of a leader as her brother, so they often butt heads. She sometimes worry about the thoughts of her peers, but mostly she’s as eager for adventure as all her siblings.
Jill tends to be on the bossy side, with a bit of caution mixed in. She enjoys music, photography, and fashion. She likes her camera so much, that her brother’s have titled it her “BCF” or otherwise known as best camera forever.
Jill is fifteen with darker hair, light eyes, and freckles.
Edmund Timothy Worth
Ed was named after his mother’s favorite book series. (*sighs in happiness* Guys, I want to name my kid Edmund!) Ed is always prepared, carrying around what Alec kindly refers to as his ‘man purse’. (Two of the articles in the purse are a knife and flashlight.)
Edmund is the witty one of the family; every ready for a quick come back. He tends to be a bit of a sass king but at heart is brave and full of determination. He isn’t as athletic as Alec, but he still enjoys outdoor activity.
Ed has dark hair like his older sister and blue eyes. He’s fourteen, but according to Jill acts younger.
Philadelphia Elise Worth
Phil often wishes she had a nicer name. NO ONE is named Philadelphia or Elise, but it turns out Philadelphia is where her parents met. She’s the youngest Worth and often feels neglected or slighted. She hardly ever finds her voice listened to.
She enjoys animals of any kind. She has her own bunny and they have a family dog. She also really likes any boyish sport, especially baseball. She is ever ready for a tumble in the mud or a fist fight, evidence of her temper. She’s outgoing and kind, nonetheless.
Phil has red hair and green eyes with freckles. She’s eleven and often complains eleven is old enough to be treated like a grown-up.
If you had been walking down Elm Grove Street in Abbeyton, you might have heard the hoarse voice in number 73. Old Mrs. Landers was nearly deaf and blind, and wasn’t much help to her spinster daughter in the raising of her granddaughter. One thing she did help with was making sure Kyrie did her school work.
“Make sure you do it all,” Mrs. Landers croaked to her young granddaughter. Kyrie had always been told she was an orphan from birth. Kyrie looked up lazily from the book she held in her hand.
“I will, Grandma,” she promised, smiling a bit drearily, at least the normal observer would have called it that. The keen observer would have called the full mouth dreamy instead of dreary. The warm brown eyes seemed to have a lethargic glimmer in them, as if the soul within was already tired with this world. Crowning her brow was locks of a striking blonde, almost of a gold color. All together, Kyrie Noel Brink was not to be called ugly.
Spinster Eliza Landers walked into the room at that moment, if anything Eliza Landers did could be called walking. “Mother, I think Kyrie should do her schoolwork outside. It would be needful for Kyrie, as she hasn’t had her fill of sunlight for the day. Outside, Kyrie,” Eliza ordered, half pushing Kyrie out the back door.
Kyrie grabbed her school books and went out the back door, heavily sitting down on the doorstep. The sun shone in it’s golden beauty and the birds sang in concert. The soft smell of flowers drifted into Kyrie’s nostrils but sadly, the girl was immune to it. She sat with her chin cupped in her hand daydreaming about things far away.
“Ouch!” Kyrie gasped as a red ball landed squarely on her head. Blinking rapidly, she stood up to see who had thrown it.
“See, Ed! I told you that you threw it too high!” a voice came from beyond the hedge that separated the Lander’s yard and their neighbor’s.
“Bother, you could have refrained from ‘I told you so’” a voice snorted. “I don’t think it will take too long to get, Phil.”
“But that’s the Lander’s yard,” the first voice almost whispered. “Let’s get Alec and Jill. They might know what to do.”
“Do what?” a friendly voice said as a dark brown head appeared over the hedge. The brown head was followed by a startling red one.
“Edmund threw the ball over the hedge,” the first voice said simply.
“Ed!” cried the friendly voice, now a bit more demanding.
“Well, Edmund will have to go and get it,” a voice said. There was a strange silence over on the other side of the hedge.
“No, that won’t do,” finally the friendly voice said determinedly. “I think we all should go and tell them. It’s their ball now, isn’t it?”
“It’s their ball now?” the second voice snorted. “No way! I’ve got it handled, don’t you worry. Now, where’s my bag?”
“Your man purse,” laughed a voice, the sound of clinking and a humph came from the other side of the hedge. Kyrie started forward but stopped.
“What are you going to do, Ed?” the first voice asked.
“You’ll see,” answered the voice that must be Ed. “You’ll be surprised.”
“Edmund, you’d better not!” the friendly voice warned when there was a rustling sound.
“Don’t worry, Jill,” came Ed’s voice, a bit muffled. “I’ve done this many a time.” The sound of snipping and grunts filled the air.
“Alec, stop him!” the girl she assumed was Jill cried. “He can’t do that!”
“Why not?” asked the person who had to be Alec. “Let him.”
Kyrie grabbed the ball and started to walk towards the part of the hedge that was trembling as if it were alive. She wasn’t sure what kind of boy this was, but she had to find out. The hedge gave another shiver and a head popped out.
“Oh, hello!” the boy cried, his blue eyes wide. “I didn’t know that you lived here.”
“What is it?” asked a voice from the other side of the hedge.
“Just wait,” the boy instructed, wiggling out of the hedge and standing up next to Kyrie. He was average height and just about average looking. He smiled, revealing rather large teeth and full lips. He had a small amount of freckles sprinkled over his high cheek bones.
“I would say you aren’t much of a talker,” he laughed. “I’m Edmund Worth.” Edmund stuck out a grimy hand expectantly.
Kyrie looked at Ed’s dirty hand and seemed half inclined not to shake it.
“Come now, it’s just a hand. It won’t bite you,” Edmund said, looking at Kyrie. Kyrie hesitantly shook it.
“I’m Kyrie Brink.”
“It is a shock to see you here. We thought that it was only the sour faced lady and that deaf granny…”
“Edmund! Who are you talking to?” the friendly voice came, a bit sharply.
“That’s Jill,” Edmund said, as if that explained everything. “I assume you guessed the ball is ours? Can I have it back?”
Kyrie almost gave the ball to Edmund, but she suddenly changed her mind. “No, I’d like to see your siblings before I give it back.”
“Why? I’m the best one out of them,” Ed interjected. “Mom says that I’m the worst but I wouldn’t listen to mothers. I can’t decide which one is the worst but…”
“Ed! What are you saying?” Jill yelled over the hedge.
“It’s actually probably Jill,” Ed shrugged. “Well, let’s go under the hedge.”
“Actually,” Kyrie said timidly. “There’s a gate this way.”
“Oh, that would have been nice to have known,” Edmund laughed as he followed Kyrie through the gate that lead to the Lander’s front yard. They cut across it to Edmund’s yard. Three other people stood by the hedge. A red-headed boy was helping a red-headed girl onto his shoulders.
“Wait! There they are,” the tall brunette pointed out. The boy jumped, making the smaller girl fall off his shoulders.
“Guys!” Edmund broke into a run. Kyrie didn’t know whether she should follow or not, but decided to follow anyway. “This is Kyrie. I don’t know why she lives there, as you kept insisting I hurried.”
Jill looked at the girl in interest and stuck out her hand. “I’m Jill Worth, nice to meet you.” It seemed Jill and Edmund shared one side of the families looks. Both had the full lips and slightly up-turned nose. While on Edmund, it made him look a bit funny, the same characteristics on Jill made her stunning. She had a generous amount of freckles and light blue eyes that were more hazel than Edmund’s.
“I’m Kyrie Brink,” Kyrie shifted the ball from one hand to the next. “It’s nice to meet you too.” Kyrie looked over the four children’s faces. There was marked similarity in all of them, making it easy to see they were siblings. Yet, at the same time, they all had very different personalities shiny out of their eyes.
“This is Alec,” Jill motioned to the tall older boy with the red hair He looked about sixteen, muscular and well-built. His eyes were hazel, but he had the freckles that all the siblings seemed to have, more or less. He stuck out his hand for a handshake. “And Phil,” Jill motioned to the younger girl. She had the same colored hair as her older brother, and the same nose. Her eyes were large in her thin face and seemed greener with her green shirt.
Kyrie blinked. A girl named Phil? That was different. “Hi,” Kyrie shook Alec’s hand and waved at Phil.
Phil smiled joyfully. “I suppose you’re a hidden child locked in the closet that they found when they moved.”
“They who?” Kyrie looked puzzled.
“Oh,” Phil laughed. “The deaf granny and the sour-faced lady.”
“Those are my Aunt and Grandmother,” Kyrie said a bit indignantly. Feeling as if she had to make Phil sting in the same way she had made loyal Kyrie sting, Kyrie maliciously asked, “So, why’d your parent’s name you Phil? It is a boy name, you know.”
Phil’s eyes sparked dangerously, but before she could reply, Edmund snapped, “Oh, and Kyrie’s a girl name, is it? I thought it was a cow’s name.”
“Ed!” Jill reprimanded. “Phil’s real name is Philadelphia, but Phil is much shorter and easier to say.”
“I like Phil,” Phil spat, grimacing at Kyrie.
“Sorry,” Kyrie felt dreadfully sorry at make Phil and Edmund upset. “I didn’t mean to upset you, really I didn’t.”
“And we didn’t mean to call you a chicken pie,” Ed muttered.
“Never mind Ed, Kyrie, he’s a case,” Alec said, bopping his younger brother on the head.
“Am not!” Ed exclaimed.
“I suppose you might be thirsty,” Jill said, pointing toward the house. “We have some lemonade and chocolate cookies in the house.”
“Those are my cookies!” Ed objected.
“I’m sure we can scrape a few for you, Kyrie, if you’d like some.”
Half of Kyrie knew she should be studying her lessons, but her curiosity was aroused and she wanted to learn more about the Worth children. They seemed nice and full of excitement.
“All right, I’ll come,” Kyrie agreed, following the Worths. She looked back toward her house, wondering what her aunt would think of this. Alec dashed off toward the house while the rest followed more leisurely.
“How old are you?” Jill asked.
“Fourteen,” Kyrie replied promptly.
“What do you do all day in that house?” Phil scrunched up her nose and shook her head.
“I do my homework, clean my room, and practice my flute,” Kyrie answered, as if reciting a poem or research paper.
“That’s it?” Phil shook her head is disbelief.
“Mom says we can bring her in,” Alec announced, popping his head out of the glass door that lead into the kitchen.
“Okay,” Jill motioned toward the door. “Come on in.”
Kyrie nodded and walked in. If she had known the adventures that would have happened because of the simple action, she might have reconsidered. But maybe she wouldn’t have. Maybe the adventures were worth it.
Two hours later, Kyrie rushed in the Lander house, colliding with Aunt Eliza who had her arms full of dirty laundry.
“Oh, Aunt, I’m so sorry,” Kyrie gasped. “Are you all right?”
Eliza, who was just recovering from back surgery, gave a short yell. Her hands clutched at her back; the laundry fell at her feet. Slowly, Eliza straightened, and the two pairs of brown eyes locked.
“Where have you been, Kyrie?” Aunt Eliza demanded, ignoring the question.
“At the neighbors. Oh, Aunt, they are so much fun! There are four children…one of the boys is my age.”
Eliza Lander’s brown eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Children? Neighbors? Is that where you have been?”
“Yes,” smiled the golden haired girl, her lips turning up slowly but gradually.
“Well,”–Eliza said stoutly–“It seems they’ve done you good. There is color in your cheeks.”
Kyrie’s eyes grew wider, and her hand reached up to her cheek. “Just like the princess in The Jeweled Crown! Are my cheeks really rosy, Aunt?”
“Yes, child, they are,” and for once Kyrie saw the love in her Aunt.
But good times pass, and soon Eliza was back to her old brisk self. “Hand me the laundry, Kyrie; I can’t bend down.” So Kyrie did as she was told, and Eliza headed for the laundry room. Kyrie followed at a distance.
“May I invite them over?” Kyrie asked, leaning against the laundry room door.
“For heaven’s sake, where would they play?” Aunt Eliza demanded, expertly shaking out cloth after cloth.
“The attic,” Kyrie sold, her brown eyes all a twinkle.
“So, you’ve already planned everything out, eh?”
“Yes. They could come tomorrow when Grandma has her doctor’s appointment.”
“Is that so?” Eliza mused, her forehead wrinkled in meditation.
“Yes,” continued Kyrie, twiddling with her shirt fringe. “It’s so big that we’ll have plenty of space to play. And, it’s so high up Grandma will never hear us when she gets back!” All this was true, but Kyrie had abstained from mentioning the fact that there were many old trunks and antiques from late relatives of the Landers that Kyrie wanted to search with her new friends. She crossed her fingers and waited for her aunt’s answer.
Aunt Eliza threw the last clothe in–Kyrie’s Sunday dress–and slammed the washer machine lid shut. She turned around to face her niece.
“Well, I suppose you can. But–” she pointed a long, bony finger–“I want it nicer then you found it when you’re done. Everything spick and span. Or no more children over here, do you understand?”
Oh yes, Kyrie understood. It’d be so clean that Aunt Eliza would think she had hired a cleaner–not four kids playing. And may they come over to 10:00 tomorrow? Of course, I’ll do all my schoolwork right now. Thank you so much! You are the best aunt ever.
Kyrie was bubbling with joy as she returned to the back door step to retrieve her schoolbooks. Never in her life had she been so excited, she reasoned.
The night passed quickly, but when Kyrie rose at 6:00 the next morning, she sunk back on her bed in despair. There were still four more hours left before the Worth’s supposed arrival. (Kyrie had phoned the Worth house the night before.) However, Aunt Eliza had heard her sigh of disappointment and bustled in, her brown hair pinned back tight into a bun. She flicked on the lamp.
“Time to get up, Kyrie,” she said. Kyrie sighed once more and slid off her full sized bed. The covers were a grand mess, and her clothes from the day before were strewed on the polished wood floor.
“Now,”–the bony finger once again was aimed at Kyrie–“I want your room spotless. Breakfast will be ready at 6:30.”
“Yes, Aunt,” Kyrie yawned and rubbed her golden head.
“After that you can vacuum the living room. Do you need to clean the attic before they get here?” Eliza asked anxiously. The spinster was evidently ruffled at the event of having five children in her house at once.
Kyrie gave a short laugh. “No, it will be fine. What are we having for breakfast?”
“Oatmeal. Now hurry up and start getting dressed,” and Eliza swooshed out, her old fashioned dress trailing after her.
The chores helped pass the time, and before Kyrie knew it, it was 10:00. She squealed with joy when she saw through the window, a glimpse of brown and read hair bobbing up and down the driveway. She jumped from her perch on the sofa and ran to the front door, flinging it open.
“I’m so glad you’re here!” Kyrie gasped, falling into Jill’s arms. The latter laughed and hugged her new friend.
“Mother wouldn’t let us leave early,” Edmund mumbled, scuffing his shoe on the porch wood.
“Don’t tell me we’re playing dolls, Kyrie,” Alec smiled, his cheeks becoming little hills, and his green eyes twinkling.
“Nope,” Kyrie smiled back, ushering her friends into the house. “We’re going to play in the attic.”
“The attic?” Ed snorted, while Phil gave a whoop.
“The attic!” She cried, excitement laced in her tone.
“Yes. My grandmother has so many old dresses and letters and stuff from old relatives. I though it would be fun to go through it.”
“You bet,” Alec said, who seemed to agree with Kyrie on everything.
Kyrie lead the quartet up the creaking wood stairs. Her slender arm was holding onto the rail, going farther up with every step she took. She looked back over her shoulder to see Edmund swing a leg over the railing.
Kyrie was too shocked to say anything at first. If her grandmother of Aunt Eliza saw this they would truly, literally, die!
“No…no, Edmund!” Kyrie cried, as soon as she recovered her wits. But it was too late. He slid all the way down the banister and then, kaplunk! Fell flat on his back. Kyrie’s mouth slowly dropped, but his siblings looked as calm as you could get. As if sliding down banisters is a regular activity! Kyrie thought.
Ed slowly pulled himself to a sitting position. “Ed! Are you alright?” Kyrie gasped.
“Awe, don’t worry, Kyrie. Ed’s got a head made of iron,” piped up Phil. But Kyrie snooker her head and trotted down the stairs. What a thud he had made with he hit the bottom!
Kyrie dropped to her knees beside him. “Do we need to call the ambulance?” she asked anxiously.
“Nope,” Edmund answered, giving a violent shake to his head. “Guess I wasn’t expecting it,” and he gave a mischievous grin.
“Please, Edmund–umm, well, just don’t slide down the banister again,” Kyrie swallowed, trying to find the right words.
“Really? C’mon, Kyrie, your railing is so slick! I ain’t never seen it like that. It was like a greased lightning pole,” protested Ed.
Kyrie helped him to his feet and they mounted the stair while Jill, Alec, and Phil waited at the top.
“No,” Kyrie said firmly. “My grandma and Aunt Eliza would die. Besides, it’s not nailed in all the way.”
“Fine,” Ed grumbled, rubbing the back of his head where a fine sized knot was already appearing.
Kyrie couldn’t remember the last time she had been in the attic. Years, she thought, and she didn’t even remember how it looked. The first impression the children got was that it was dusty. A spiderweb was in nearly every place it could be. Rouches scattered under their feet. Kyrie, who wasn’t used to such things, screamed and clung to Jill or Phil, who only laughed and stomped on the bugs. The boys got out old walking sticks and began to clear the cobwebs away instantly.
How in the world does Aunt expect this place to be spic and span? Kyrie shuddered before burrowing herself in the nearest trunk. Jill, Alec, and Phil crowded around her while Edmund still wrestled with cobwebs.
“I hope it’s not locked,” Kyrie muttered, and when she found it was only rusty and the lid opened easily, her face brightened.
The trunk was filled with old-fashioned dresses, but on the top sat a brown leather book. It seemed quite new, for it wasn’t very dusty. Kyrie’s finger traced the patterns on the cover.
“Open it,” Jill breathed.
Kyrie flipped the cover. It was not a book at all, but someone’s diary! A ripple of delight went through the children, and Edmund joined them.
“What does it say?” Phil asked, squinting her eyes at the fancy handwriting.
“June fifth, Sister Ann’s house,” Kyrie read. “My name is Ava Joy Landers..”