Authors: Janna Jennings
A Grimm Legacy
By Janna Jennings
Copyright © 2013 Janna Jennings
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and plot are all either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
Cover designed by Ravven (www.ravven.com)
ll my base are belong to you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Grimm Legacy
“Once upon a time, in a great country a far way off…”
“This isn’t what I’d planned for my afternoon.”
the screen out of her window, set it aside and slipped onto the garage roof. The sun slid toward the horizon and the air carried a crisp, fall tinge. Andi considered going back in for a jacket, but decided it was too much effort.
Instead she scooted to the edge of the roof, the brittle wooden shingles shifting under her. She hung her legs over the edge and lay back, lacing her fingers behind her head. A top-of-the-world feeling bubbled out of her, she’d had a ridiculous grin plastered on her face for the last hour.
She’d got it! The lead in the school musical! A shiver of satisfaction ran through her. After she’d seen her name lined up next to the part of Cinderella, Andi made her way home in a happy daze and gone straight to her thinking spot to hang on to the incredulous feeling a little longer.
A high-pitched woman’s scream cut the silence, startling her into sliding several inches farther off the edge of the roof. Heart hammering she edged back to safety, cursing herself for changing her ring tone. She
thought it funny every time she got a call and her mother jumped. She slid her phone out of her back pocket.
The silence stretched so long Andi almost hung up. Static blasted through the speakers making her jerk away from the phone. When a voice did break through, she missed the first few words.
“…coming for—don’t touch—careful…”
The voice sounded male, but the connection was so bad, Andi couldn’t be sure.
“Who is this?” Andi asked, but the call already dropped.
Puzzled, she glanced at the recent history on her phone, but the number was unlisted.
“Andi!” Her mom’s voice whipped up the stairs and Andi fumbled her phone, juggling it close to the edge of the roof. For a moment she
clutched it to her chest, frozen in panic. She’d already lost one phone this year when she dove into the pool with it tucked into the front of her swimsuit. To say her mom had not been pleased was an understatement.
She also wasn’t a big fan of Andi climbing on the roof.
She scrambled through the window and replaced the screen just as her mom barged in.
Her mother’s keen gaze eyed Andi suspiciously. “There you are. Why didn’t you answer?”
“Didn’t hear you,” Andi said with a half shrug she knew her mother hated.
dinner’s ready. Come on down,” came the huffed response.
Sliding her phone on her desk, the excitement over her big news returning as Andi traipsed down the stairs. The strange phone call already forgotten.
The trapdoor thumped open sending a cloud of dust into the air. Andi ducked back down the ladder and waited as it settled before crawling through the hole on to the attic floor. Outgrown baby clothes, half working Christmas lights, tired toys and ugly art lay piled in every corner of room.
“I told you it’s been awhile since I was up here. I’m not sure what we’ll find.” Andi’s mom’s voice followed her up the ladder.
“There’s got to be something,” Andi said, wrapping her arms around herself in the cooler attic air.
Rubbing her gritty hands on her jeans, Andi stooped slightly, despite her petite build. The one, small, grimy window gave off just enough light to turn the surrounding boxes, bags, and trunks into mysterious lumps.
Her mom pulled herself up beside her, hunching over and wrinkling her nose. “This isn’t what I’d planned for my afternoon.” Her mother had high cheekb
ones and wonderfully red hair, her looks could have made her a model instead of a housewife. It was incredibly unfair that the only thing she passed down to Andi were her delicate lashes. She’d certainly missed out on her height; at 6 feet tall her mom looked crammed in the cramped space.
Making a face that begged her mother to play along, Andi turned back to the mess. “It’s over there, right?”
“Under the window I think,” her mom said.
The clutter was a minefield Andi picked her way across. She reached the round window on the opposite wall and rubbed a forearm against it, succeeding only in smearing the grit instead of removing it. Peering through the gloom she could just make out the snow capped mountains surrounding their ranch in the Utah desert.
A sparrow appeared and landed on the ledge outside. He cocked his head slightly before hopping from side to side like a sprinter warming up. Andi tapped gently on the glass and the sparrow gave a sharp peep causing two more birds to land beside the first, all emitting sounds surprisingly loud and piercing for such tiny bodies.
"You’ve the oddest relationship with birds,” her mom said.
"They just like me," Andi said.
“Here it is,” her mother said, dragging Andi away from the window. You’re going to have to help me unearth it.”
Grabbing one side of an enormous oil painting portraying a winter landscape, Andi scooted it to one side, tracking clean marks in the dusty floor. Her mom shoved a pair of skis into the opposite corner with totes full of winter clothing, and they exposed her grandmother’s old steamer trunk.
The trunk was enormous, large enough for Andi to sit inside and close the lid. Faded gray wood with tarnished brass fittings and two cracked leather straps made the piece look like something that should be heaved aboard a train at the turn of the twentieth century. Her mom knelt and unbuckled one strap while Andi worked on the other.
“If there’s something in here, will I still be able to use it?” Andi asked.
“I assume so; it depends how it was packaged up all those years ago.”
Together they lifted the lid with a protest of warped wood and rusty hinges. Andi sneezed as a cloud of dust wafted into the air.
Peering into the trunk and shifted aside mountains of tissue paper, Andi joined her mom in shoving aside the crumbling packaging.
“Ah ha!” Andi lifted a picture frame out of the trunk. “What have we here?” It was an old black and white photograph in a tarnished silver frame. She studied the figures she found behind the glass. A slight woman clutched the arm of a man in a dark gray suit and black tie. She beamed at the camera, her blonde curls frost-like under a filmy veil, her simple dress alabaster and trailing. The man whose arm she held was slightly older with early gray showing at his temples. He stood awkward and uneven with an uncomfortable look in his eye, like he wanted to sidle out of the frame.
"Is that her?" Andi trailed a finger over her face. The resemblance was a little unsettling. It was like looking at a picture of herself she didn’t remember posing for.
Her mom peered over her shoulder. "Yes, her and your grandfather on their wedding day. I’d forgotten about that picture. I haven't seen it since you were little...” She took the photograph and studied it intently. "Goodness, Andi this looks—a lot like you." Her glance darted between Andi's expectant face and the photo.
"So? You knew that, right?” Andi hated it when her mom seemed to know what she was thinking. She wound her curls in a knot on top of her head and turned back to the trunk. “I mean I don't really remember Grandma, but you do."