Things to Adore

…a pinhole look into the life of one not-so-ordinary girl.

FRIDAYS WITH FRITZI: Whereabouts 1

The Many Lives of Fritzi

Whereabouts

Chapter 1

Lying there on the grass underneath the stars, Fritzi couldn’t have imagined another thing so delicate and beautiful and wondrous as the night sky. Well, knowing Fritzi, she could have imagined it, but she forced her mind not to for fear of becoming distracted from relaxing.

Her mother said she’d been acting like a maniac all that day. She wasn’t offended. Because she was not violent, she assumed her mother was referring to her curiosity and unabashed spirit of inquiry. She was quite the enthusiast when it came to, well, just about everything.

Fritzi and her family were vacationing on the coast of South Carolina. Fritzi didn’t know that’s where they were. Her parents made her wear a blindfold the last two hours of the long drive to the house they had rented for a week. Part of the fun of vacation was guessing where her parents brought her to. She would go outdoors and discover different plants and animals; listen to the accents of the locals. There were rules, of course. She wasn’t allowed to google street names or ask anyone specific questions about the area. She was also not allowed to look at any mail or telephone books that were inside the house.

Regardless of the rules, usually by the third day, she had guessed the region. It generally took her a couple days after that to guess which town or city. The name of the location game was Whereabouts and in her opinion she was excellent at it.

The reason for such secrecy from her parents was a profound desire for some quiet and relaxation. If Fritzi was told where they were going, she would research everything about the place before they even arrived and after two or so days of exploring would be completely bored and therefore hang around them and nag them to drive to surrounding areas looking for more to discover.

While she was lying in the grass, looking at the night sky, she was recounting the past five days they’d been on vacation.

They arrived at the house late one night. She couldn’t see a thing because of the thick cloud-cover. It was almost a full moon and she hoped it wouldn’t be so cloudy the next night. Like many beach vacations, it was raining the next day and the next. She tried to sleep-in as long as possible but when the clock struck eight she couldn’t help but begin to gather her things, get dressed, brush her teeth and her hair, and inch her way down the stairs.

Her mother called to her, “Itzi! I don’t want you going outside until it calms a bit. A little rain is fine, but going out in this cloudburst is far too dangerous.”

She complied. She didn’t know what to do with her spare time. She didn’t want to get too far behind schedule with Whereabouts, but she went back to her room and set down her things. She headed down the stairs once more and told her mother she was just getting some breakfast. Her mother quickly faded back to sleep.

Fritzi wondered if Allister gloated whenever he was allowed to do things she was not. He had been sitting in the front porch, in a seemingly smug posture, the whole time she are her granola bar and tried to find something to watch on the television.

The only program she could find was one she’s already seen twice before. It was about continents. There was much speculation about they came to be shaped as they are so she didn’t much care for it. People speculating was the same thing as guessing and she felt that she could come up with enough good guesses of her own.

She glanced at the bookshelf to her left that lined the entire wall of the sitting area she was in. A series of encyclopedia books caught her eye. She stood up from her chair and walked over to pull one out, already knowing what she wanted to look up. She grabbed the book labeled “C” and sat back down.

She flipped to the glossary and found what she was looking for. She turned to the page, moved her finger down as she read about a cloudburst. Words like “sudden” “flood” and “possible hail” stuck out to her. She decided to let Allister inside, despite his manner, since he had probably never looked up he definition of a cloudburst and could therefore never know what kind of weather he was sitting in.

He did the typical dog-shake to get the few rain drops off of his fur and onto Fritzi’s feet and legs. She thanked him and shut the door. She went back to her book and continued reading.

She was encouraged to know that cloudbursts didn’t linger long. Just as she was putting the book back in its place on the shelf, she saw a ray of sun shine through the window right above the book’s home between the B’s and the D’s.

She knew it was time to explore.

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