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Charlotte and Jane

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It was a warm, bright, breezy day in mid-fall. The school year was just beginning, and a lack of funds had caused my old school to shut down. As such, I was being sent to a new one...a bustling girls’ boarding school right in the heart of London.

 

I was used to the open air and the wide expanse of the countryside-now I found myself deep in the city, surrounded by every activity imaginable.

 

It was all extremely beautiful to someone like me, who was highly accustomed to a smaller population. I loved the roar of the crowds as people rushed by, headed to work or school. Finally my taxi stopped, and as I stepped out, the sight of my new school drove a wave of anxiety over me.

 

Luckily, curiosity overwhelmed my fear.

 

Soon I had stepped into the main dorm room. It was a very plain room, lined with beds and not much else. Each bed had a small trunk at its foot, a very sad excuse for storage. I slipped off my back-back and sat it on top of the trunk, unloading a few books before I stepped back to breathe in my surroundings.

At the bed beside mine, stood a girl a bit taller than myself. She had long, curly black hair and piercing, beautiful blue eyes. She was holding a violin, and although she looked quite graceful playing it, the sound was so very ungraceful!

Suddenly, a mad look came over her face, it seemed she had an idea.

I tried to yell, “Stop!” But before I could, she'd let the violin fall from her hands and smash upon the floor. “Oh my goodness! Isn't that expensive!?” My face was still scrunched up in horror, and I realised I'd bit my own tongue!

“Well my sanity is more expensive,” The girl spoke calmly, as though she didn't just smash an instrument, “Besides, I should have mastered the damn thing by now.”

 

“How long have you been playing?” I asked, still flabbergasted.

 

“Three days.”

 

“Well then...perhaps you should have been patient.” I said, giggling.

 

She headed toward the dorm's kitchen, gesturing for me to follow, “You're the new girl, right?”

 

“Yes,” I confirmed, “I'm-”

 

“Wait!” She said firmly… “Let me.”

She looked me over for a few seconds. I was confused, what was going on? She was emotionless for a few seconds before suddenly smiling.

 

“Your name is Joan Watson,” She stated, very close to the truth.

“You're from the north of England-”

“Your grandfather is a doctor, you spend a lot of time writing, and you have a love for custard tarts,” She laughed.

 

She gave me a look, clearly wondering how she had done.

“My name isn't Joan it's Jane.” I slightly huffed, though secretly I was impressed.

 

“Ahh, Joan, Jane, what's the difference…”

“A great deal…” I answered.

 

“Very well, so your name is Jane. How did I do on the others?” She raised her eyebrows.

 

“Correct...every count.” I admitted, “What did you even do? A magic trick?”

 

She laughed, “Ah no, Jane, just deduction.”

She pointed toward the bed area, “The name tag on your bag says J. Watson. I guessed the common name Joan-”

“Your shirt,” She points out, “I've only seen that brand name once while visiting the north of England. You have a callus on your finger indicative of a writer, and you're carrying the Hunter’s Encyclopedia of Disease, an old book which was originally not available to the general public.”

“Someone of your age clearly hasn't been to medical school, so I assumed an older relative, someone very dear to you who was concerned for your health-your grandfather.”

 

“And the custard tarts?” I asked, seriously curious. The girl dusted her sleeve off, not even the slightest bit unnerved at being asked.

“Ah, simple Jane! You have a yellow stain on your sleeve, that particular type of custard is used in the making of custard tarts.” She smiled, “And well, your shape has convinced me you've eaten a lot of them.” I scrunched up my face.

 

“Well there's no need to be rude.” Came my reply, though I was generally unaffected by the jab.

“Ah well, come on, we haven't got all day.” She headed toward the door.

 

“What?” I asked, surprised but not questioning her, “Where are we going?”

 

She stopped for a second, “You wouldn't want to miss Chemistry class, would you?” She asked, slightly appalled at the thought.

 

I hurried along behind her. As she poised herself in front of the door my curiosity got the best of me yet again. “So what's your name then?”

 

She turned with a smile, “Holmes. Charlotte Holmes.”

Then she was running out the door, and I was just struggling to keep up…