Ah, the door. I promised a story, so here goes. A couple years back, I begged my old friend Ant to take me to Sleepy Hollow. I love the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Washington Irving. After reading Jessica Verday’s The Hollow, I had to visit the graveyard.
As we wandered the cemetery where the headless horseman took his legendary ride, we came across this mausoleum. I’ve always been fascinated by hourglasses and I took 6 photos–my norm for when I find something intriguing. The design lingered in the back of my mind.
A month later, I was working on my first draft of The Girl Who Saved Ghosts. I had this scene where Kat is led by her great aunts, Jacqueline and Vivian, to the center of power in her family’s home, Dumbarton. And this door popped into my mind.
Here’s a sneak peek at the draft:
I stood there, staring at the door. It was a greenish-blue metal and had an hourglass sculpted on it. Carved above the hourglass was a crescent moon and below the hourglass was a sun.
I looked from Vivian to Jacqueline, bewildered. “What am I supposed to do?”
“Open this door. It protects the family’s power,” Jacqueline said.
There wasn’t a knob or a handle. No keyhole. Nothing. “How?”
“Touch the door. Let it know who you are and why you are here,” Vivian said.
Nothing like major existential questions. Who was I? Katarina Preston. Now Katarina Langley. I was a girl who spoke to ghosts and helped them with their reckonings. I was the Langley heir. A time traveler who changed the past. The one who protected the Radcliffes from supernatural harm.
Why I was here? That was complicated. I wanted to find out who my family was. And I was supposed to help Evan by returning the Kingsley dagger to him. And I needed training to use my powers to protect Joshua, Evan, and everyone else I cared about. I chewed on my lip and stared at the door. Was that enough? Was there more I had to tell it?
Suddenly, the hourglass came to life. The sand began flowing in reverse from bottom to top. When it was full, the door sprang open.
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