Adventures of Freya
Chapter 1, The encounter.
Seventeen year old Freya woke to the howls of her black lab/security alarm Buford announcing he’d heard a car pull into the driveway of she and her mother Mary’s contemporary home. Reluctantly Freya crawled out of bed and opened the door for the tall black dog, whose resemblance to a small bear was uncanny, so he could investigate.
“Good morning, honey. You better get in the shower, it’s almost 9 o’clock.” Freya’s mother said to her as she trudged out of her room. Straight down the hall from Freya’s room, her mother sat slaving away at her desk. Mary was a writer and, luckily for Freya, worked from home.
“Morning.” Freya mumbled as she turned into the bathroom, grabbed a towel and started her shower.
The pipes were so old it took about five minutes for the water to heat up, so Freya looked in the mirror and studied all her flaws; she was very insecure, despite how beautiful she was. She was tall and blonde with a slender figure, and the same sky blue eyes as her mom and four brothers, her sister Charlotte was the only sibling who ended up with green eyes like their father.
Freya hadn’t seen her father since she was two and he left their mother to pursue his ‘business ventures’. Charlotte, or Charlie as she preferred, always said he didn’t leave them and that he’d be back one day, but after the fifth year without a birthday card she spoke of him less and less, until eventually he wasn’t spoken of at all.
Buford continued to howl until he saw the contractor Edmund and his son Nolan, schlepping their tools through the backyard to the still unfinished greenhouse, something Freya’s mother was excitedly anticipating. If it ever actually got finished, that is. Freya and her mother both loved to garden and grow their own vegetables; unfortunately they hadn’t had a good place to do either until now.
Freya walked into her bedroom and began to pick out her outfit for the day. After some contemplation she decided on a short blue sundress and a pair of slip-ons. Freya’s style was pretty plain with a unique twist now and then, she didn’t really need to dress outrageously – her personality was colorful enough. She was adding her final touch ups when her phone started blaring, announcing a call from her best friend Maya.
“Hey, what’s up?” Freya groaned, as she answered still not quite awake. “Are you coming over?” Maya asked. “Yeah, I’ll be there soon.” Freya replied before she hung up the phone and started collecting her keys and purse.
Freya walked out of her bedroom.
“Where are you going?” Mary asked as Freya passed by with all her stuff. “I’m going to Maya’s I’ll be home later.” Freya said. “Alright, I love you. Don’t be too late, we have to go into the city today.” Her mother said, and resumed her work. “Okay, I love you too.” Freya said, then left.
Freya climbed into her car and started the engine. She drove an electric blue two-door sports car that was a little too fast for her own good, but she loved the car anyway because she’d bought it herself. Freya was a very independent girl and much preferred to do things herself than to accept help from others.
A short drive later, Freya pulled into the driveway of Maya’s manufactured home. Maya was waiting by the garage door, smoking a cigarette. She and Freya had both taken up smoking in an effort to be like their older siblings and they both regretted it more than anything now. Freya climbed out of the car and greeted her friend.
“You going to give me some of that?” She asked as she approached Maya. “Yeah.” Maya said and handed the cigarette to Freya. Maya was several inches shorter than Freya with bright orange hair, and big, deep blue eyes. Freya was always jealous of Maya’s eyes, she’d trade her skinny, almond-shaped eyes for Maya’s any day.
“So, what do you wanna do today?” Freya asked.
“I don’t know let’s go out to the river or something.” Maya responded.
“Alright, well get ready, then.” Freya said, looking pointedly at Maya’s pajamas.
“Alright, alright, I’m getting in the shower.” Maya smirked.
They went inside. Freya poured a cup of coffee and sat down at the table with Maya’s mom, Andrea, and her older sister Bre.
“How are you guys today?” Freya inquired. She inhaled the scent of the coffee happily.
“Oh, good. What have you been up to? We haven’t seen you in a couple days.” Andrea said. Normally Freya was at Maya’s day in and day out, but with the construction she’d been spending more time at home.
“I’ve just been spending more time with my mom lately.” Freya replied.
“Did you see that video Maya posted, of the guy putting super glue in his brother’s hair gel?” Bre cut in. “No, is it funny?” Freya asked. “So funny! You gotta watch it.” Bre said, and whipped out her phone to show Freya.
“Well, on that note I’m off to work. You know I never understand comedy these days.” Andrea said, as she got up and grabbed her keys.
“See you later mom.” Bre and Freya said in unison. Freya never called Andrea by her name – ‘mom’ was the only thing that suited her.
“Are you almost ready?” Freya yelled towards Maya’s room while outside she heard the huge Grow family Ford Expedition’s pistons sputter and yelp as the engine fired on, meaning Andrea was out of hearing distance. “Ten minutes!” Maya’s reply came screaming over the sound of the blow dryer. Maya always took ages to get ready. Much longer than Freya, who had a quick fifteen-minute routine.
Freya felt a pull on her leg and looked down to see Maya’s little nephew, Noah.
“Well, hi Noah!” Freya said in her peppiest voice, and picked up the 30-pound ball of love.
Noah was the sweetest baby Freya had ever met; he had huge blue eyes like the rest of the Grow clan, and he was a cuddle bug. All he ever wanted to do was lay on your chest.
Freya always loved kids and couldn’t wait to have her own. Sometimes she thought that being a wife and mother was all she really wanted in life, but she felt so much pressure to make something of herself. She’d already graduated a year early and sometimes thought that she’d never do anything better than that. She was still planning to start college in the Fall, even though she really had no idea what she wanted to study.
“Alright, ready?” Maya asked, walking down the steps to the kitchen. “Yeah, let’s go.” Freya said, pulled out of her thoughts.
The two walked out to Freya’s car and hopped in. “So Laverne or Monaloa?” Freya asked, starting the engine. “Let’s do Laverne today, I’m in the mood for a hike.” Maya said.
Freya backed out of the driveway and sped off down the road.
The two arrived at Laverne shortly after, it was only about a fifteen-minute drive from town. They climbed out of the car and headed towards their favorite spot. They liked that spot the best because there was a waterfall and plenty of rocks in the river to walk across. Maya and Freya were always the ones adventuring through the woods while everyone else went to the city or partied.
The girls used to enjoy a party now and then, but they’d grown up, out of that phase. Neither of them could handle their liquor, so they’d always end up sick anyway. Freya remembered too many a time that they stumbled home heading straight for the toilet.
The two began their trek across the river, it wasn’t a long walk in distance but it took a few minutes to hike over the rocks to the other side. They arrived at the hidden fort they’d built about a year earlier. It was a simple shelter made with sticks, brush, and big leaves leaning on a fallen tree, but was still in surprisingly good shape even after the terrible winter they’d had this year. The flowers they planted were blooming beautifully in the summer months, though.
They’d planted roses and lilies, along with some strawberries just for a snack. They’d planned to plant more, but both their schedules had become so hectic over the summer.
Freya and Maya started the usual routine – hop on a log, talk about the many troubles all average teenagers experienced. They’d always been able to talk about anything with each other; Maya was one of the only people Freya truly trusted.
Another reason the girls liked the spot so much was because it was so far away from all the park noise. Not a single person could see or hear them, they loved the seclusion. Mostly because they liked to get away from everyone for a while and just enjoy a judgment free conversation, and maybe a little weed.
Freya and Maya had both once been very avid smokers but had recently decided to cut back. But they still liked to come to their favorite spot and enjoy “the green” with nature.
Freya packed the bowl of the sparkling purple pipe she’d bought Maya for Christmas the year before. She ripped it and passed it on to Maya.
“Hit it or quit it.” Freya said with a chuckle after about a minute of Maya staring blankly into the forest. “Sorry,” Maya said, and handed it back to Freya, “You know how easily I get distracted.”
“You get distracted easier than a two-year old at Chuckey-Cheese.” Freya said with a laugh.
“Alright, I’m good.” Freya said, after exhaling and just about coughing up her lungs.
“Too much for you, huh?” Maya teased.
Freya stood up from the makeshift swing she and Maya had added to their fort a few months before, after growing tired of sitting on logs and getting covered in dirt. Freya walked over to the strawberries they had planted, searching for the ripest ones.
She then looked up to see something she’d never seen before: a beautiful, majestic, bright blue butterfly. It was strange, though, with six wings. Freya had only ever seen a butterfly with maybe four wings, if not usually two, but six? They were long, thin, and translucent, with a sparkle unlike anything she’d ever seen. It almost looked computerized; how glittery and magnificent it was. Freya was mesmerized, so much so she couldn’t even get out the breath to point it out to Maya. Before she could make another move the butterfly flapped its wings and perched right on her shoulder. Freya was shocked, she’d never been able to get close to a butterfly, let alone have one take a seat on her shoulder.
Maya, who’d finally noticed what was happening, was also shocked by the beauty and tenacity of this creature. “Oh my gosh Freya! You’ve been blessed!” She said.
Distracted by the butterfly, Freya asked, “What are you talking about? It’s just a butterfly.”
“Freya, a butterfly doesn’t just sit on your shoulder! It’s a blessing. That’s what my grandmother always said.” Maya said with that ‘I know everything’ face she was always flaunting.
“So you’re grandmother just happened to talk about butterflies landing on shoulders a lot huh?” Freya asked, skeptical despite her wonder at the butterfly, who remained on her shoulder.
“I’m just telling you, Freya, it’s a sign! You don’t have to believe me, but you should.” Maya said, matter-of-factly.
While the girls had been so wrapped up talking about it, they hadn’t realized the butterfly was starting to glow a brilliant blue.
“Oh my gosh! What’s happening?” Freya whisper-shouted, afraid to disturb the butterfly but shocked all the same.
“I don’t know! My grandmother never said anything about that!” Maya said, in much the same tone of voice.
The butterfly continued to glow and the girls continued to watch until Freya began to slip into some sort of trance, her eyes rolling into the back of her head.
Entranced as she was, Freya missed the cries of Maya. “Are you okay? Freya? Freya?!”
“Freya! Freya, Freya!” Maya shouted, growing more panicked.
Freya only barely registered the sounds, still lost as she was. Until finally, the butterfly ceased to to glow and flew away all at once. Freya’s eyes returned to their usual position, and she let out a long breath.
“Are you okay!?” Maya shouted now, this time directly in Freya’s face to be sure she was heard.
“Yes, I’m okay, I think.” Freya said, rubbing her head as if she’d just woken up. “What’s going on?” She asked.
“I don’t know, but whatever it is it’s making me wanna get the hell out of here. Let’s go.” Maya answered.
Maya and Freya, still in awe of what had happened, drove back to town. It was all the girls could do not to go on and on about it. After an entire ride of nonstop butterfly talk, the girls decided to write it off as an anomaly and leave it at that, but what had happened would float on Freya’s mind for days, little did she know.
Freya pulled into the driveway of Maya’s house.
“Okay, call me tomorrow. Maybe we can go out without something weird happening.” Maya said before she hopped out of the car and headed inside. “I will, talk to you later.” Freya called after her.
Freya pulled into her driveway just as her mother was walking out the door; although she was zoned out thinking of what had happened she could hear her mother saying loudly, “Thank goodness you’re here! I was starting to think I was going to have to leave without you.” Mary had her arms full with files and boxes, which she began to load into her car.
Mary was a very busy woman and had a lot to do with local politics. She had a meeting in the city that day, and Freya had decided to tag along to do some shopping. She was in desperate need of a new blow dryer and a few other toiletries.
Riding in the car with Freya’s mother was always fun. Freya enjoyed the talks they had, and the fact her mother couldn’t answer her phone in the middle of a conversation. Even though Freya understood it was her mother’s job to talk to people and get the scoop, it still disappointed her when she had to share her.
They arrived in the city around two o’clock and headed to the mall where Freya could wait and shop while her mother was in her meeting.
“Alright dear, I’ll be back in an hour. I love you.” Freya’s mother said as she pulled up to the mall. “Okay, love you too mom.” Freya said, stepping out of the car.
All of a sudden, Freya grew very dizzy and leaned back on the car for support. “Are you okay?” Freya’s mother exclaimed as she noticed Freya’s imbalance. The dizziness faded and Freya took a moment before responding, “Yeah, I think I’m okay, just got a little dizzy. Love you.” Her mother frowned a little, “Call me if you get dizzy again, honey. I love you too.”
Freya, a little befuddled walked into the mall and headed straight for the beauty store to search for the perfect blow dryer. The lights in the mall were so bright they hurt her eyes, and it seemed so hot she was sweating. She didn’t know why she was feeling so dizzy; as if she couldn’t support her own weight. She just wanted to get her blow dryer and get the hell out of there. As she continued to walk through the mall she grew more and more faint. Until, all at once, she collapsed.
Freya lay unconscious as people ran to see what had happened. As she lay there her mind raced with millions of images, but one central idea: the butterfly she and Maya had seen. Until then Freya had tried to brush it off, but she subconsciously knew something amazing was happening to her in that moment. All she could see was the brilliantly glowing blue butterfly. It seemed to her as if the butterfly was trying to tell her something – but not with words, with emotion.
Freya, unaware that she was lying on the floor of the Steamtown Mall seizing, felt total euphoria. This went on for several minutes causing more panic to passersby as the girl twitched and shook, then suddenly her mind went black, her seizing stopped and she lay still as a board, unresponsive.