Good day on this beautiful April 13th morning (or afternoon or evening or night)!
Here’s my April #BlogBattle entry for the word: JURY.
This is a continuation from last month’s miscellanarian word prompt. June stood in a long line of hopefuls who wanted the job of the now deceased miscellanarian (who died with the word ‘spoon’ spelled backward on his forehead, poor man).
There are mysteries beyond the miscellanies in the Miscellanarium. (say that 5 times fast! haha), and June is going to get wrapped up in this plot brewing in my head. I’m so excited for the possibilities of this odd story and the chance to poke at the oddities of June’s world. In my head, the plot forming has Warehouse 13 meets Aurora Teagarden vibes. Or maybe The Librarian meets Aurora Teagarden. 🙂 Either way, I think it’ll be fun! I’ll mostly be writing this 1st draft during Blog Battles, but I might throw in some extra story bits in between. It’ll be so fun! 🙂
So, now that June has entered the Miscellanarium, she’s literally and figuratively made it past a threshold. Today’s story is short but meets the prompt by a hair! I might write more in the next week or two, because I’ve got more in my head about this jury word, but I don’t have a bunch more time at the moment.
June Makes a Friend at the Miscellanarium?
by Rachael Ritchey
Stories in relief-carved walls reaching into forever and a ceiling replete with stained glass skylights made the interior of the Miscellanarium foyer feel like a resplendent cathedral, a place of beauty and solemnity.
“Keep moving,” a gruff man’s voice barked at June, yanking her wondering mind back to the stark present of her circumstances.
She gulped down the awe and nerves building in her throat and attempted a weak smile at the security guard. Before her was an aisle created by a set of long red velvet ropes strung between brass poles. The floor’s gigantic, tiled star pattern had the feel of ancient Rome but the modernity of the current century.
“Miss, move along now,” the guard said with a little more gentleness than before.
“Yes, sorry.” She rolled her shoulders back, took a deep breath and gripped her notebook with both hands. Striding down the makeshift aisle with all outward semblance of confidence, her insides quaked and her stomach flipped.
“Welcome to the Miscellanarium, Ms.—?”
“Ms. Lenderfrith,” the tall smiling redhead said while looking down at her tablet, scrolling through what appeared to be a list of names. “Yes, I see you here.” She looked up and her smile bloomed, bright white teeth perfectly aligned. “Welcome to the Miscellanarium. Is this your first visit here?”
“No.” She watched the redhead’s eyebrows raise. It was a rare treat to be invited into this sanctuary of knowledge. Come on, June! Keep it together. Be polite. “That is, I came once with my grandfather when I was four. I don’t really remember it except that it was fun.”
“Fun?” Her eyebrows remained pointed upward.
“Uh, yes, in the educational way.” June nodded as if that’d explain that and relieve the wrinkles in the pretty woman’s forehead.
“I’m teasing you, Ms. Lenderfrith,” she replied, her face morphing into one of mischief. Conspiratorially, she leaned in. “I think it’s fun here too.”
Immediately, June’s body relaxed, and she released her pent-up breath.
“Ms. Lenderfrith, I’ve been working here for two years and can attest to the fact that it is a dream job. My name is Corinn, by the way.”
“You had me worried there for a minute,” June said with a nervous laugh. “I’m so tangled inside, I don’t know where up and down or left and right go.”
“Relax. You’ll be fine. On the other side of this door is the jury you’ll sit before.”
The jury. June’s stomach tightened at their mention and stared at the closed 10-foot doors. The Miscellanarium’s jury was well-known for their harsh and stark judgments, but no one gainsaid their final call on anything. The seven judges on the jury had only been known to be out of unity in one case, and that had ended in disaster.
“Don’t worry, Ms. Lenderfrith. If I could do it, so can you.”
“You had to sit before them?”
“Oh, yes. Everyone who works here does. It’s part of the interview process. They seem intimidating, but they’re really just a bunch of softies. And if they still make you nervous, just imagine them in their underpants.”
June laughed, shaking her head. “That’s the oldest suggestion in the book. Surely you have a better one than that?”
“There are other ways to help allay the nerves, surely, but that one is my favorite. I imagine Judge Binkly in boxers with little hamburgers all over them and wearing a tie with a fake mustard stain.”
June burst out laughing while Corinn’s mouth puckered into a pert smile with laughter in her eyes. “It’s true. Just give it a try.”
“Thank you, Corinn. I think I needed that. And, please, call me June.”
Corinn’s smile turned genuine and she reached out to grip June’s arm. “Chin up, June. You’ll do great.”
“Thanks,” June said with a nod before facing the door and taking a deep breath.
The doors swung open, and June took a tentative step forward to challenge her future dreams.
And that’s where we end for now! I wonder what June will imagine about the judges of the jury. Maybe she’ll have some other nerve-coping mechanism that’ll kick in!
If you’re interested, there’s still time to join in the writing fun! Check out the prompt and info over at our BlogBattle page: bbprompt.com
And make sure to follow the page so you can get updated when the stories post goes live!
Have a great day y’all!
Please leave a comment, question, or idea! I’d love to chat!