I dedicate this story to my dear friend, Angelique.
The names of buildings, streets and cities in this story are fictional.
Near the center of the city, on Rojek Ave., was the Jones Academy for Boys. This noble educational institution was filled with the young men of the finest families in New Hampshire, and only once has a female body dared to tread the sacred halls.
Sarah had long been fascinated with the art of disguise, ever since her tenth birthday party in the year of 1910. Uncle Fredrick, a jolly soul, was an actor. Though the rest of the family was embarrassed to admit his relationship to them, Sarah was more than delighted to declare this man to be her uncle.
It was, as I said, on Sarah's tenth birthday, that she began to show interest in costumes. Near the end, her uncle and several of his friends put on a short performance about a young woman who, disguised as a man, warned her true love against a plot to take his life.
Sarah was unable to guess which of the actors was truly her beloved uncle until the end. After her friends had all returned home, Uncle Freddy (as he insisted that she called him) revealed himself. He had played the antagonist, with a convincing wig and accent.
"You see, my dear, when you are acting," Uncle Freddy explained, "It is not enough to just look the part. You must bewho you are pretending to be. Each character has a history. Each character is motivated by something; love, hatred, the past, it doesn't matter."
He would have continued with this lecture, save for the fact that Sarah's horrified mother shushed him.
"I will not allow my daughter to take part in anything so dreadful as acting." Winifred stated calmly, emphasizing the last word with loathing. Uncle Freddy laughed.
"Oh, I won't encourage her anymore." Uncle Freddy promised, winking slyly at Sarah, who giggled in return. She knew what that cunning look meant; all she had to do was beg sweetly and promise never to tell her mother, and Uncle Freddy would teach her in secret all she wanted to know about acting.
Within one year, Sarah as able to walk and talk in the same manner as a boy of her age, and dressed appropriately, she was fairly convincing. Small details would set an observant person to wondering if he had misjudged.
Another three years, and Sarah could convince people that she were a foreigner, if said foreigner was mute. It was another year before she acquired the talent of mimicking accents correctly. All this time, she studied the manner in which people of all ages moved and spoke, mixing them to make her own characters. By the time she was sixteen, Sarah boasted she could be anyone she liked, and the claim was entirely probable.
Sarah's friends found her acting to be an amusing pastime, and would often watch from a safe distance as Sarah portrayed the son of a rich French family or a poor Irish orphan-girl begging. But their fun would soon come to an end.
Sarah's parents soon heard about her dreadful acting lessons and even more appalling charades about town through the careless victory whispers between her and her friends one night. The next evening it was stated that Sarah would be sent away from her beloved South Carolina mansion. She would instead spend the next year with her Aunt Macy in Barjok, New Hampshire.
"Hopefully you will be able to put this childish nonsense to an end once you are away from that uncle of yours." Sarah's father explained.
"It really is for the best, dear." Her mother agreed, "Don't pout; it isn't lady-like. Oh Sarah," Winifred sighed, stroking Sarah's cheek, "One day you'll see how foolish all this acting business really is, I promise."
Sarah knew better than to cause more trouble by disagreeing with her parents. Her only consolation was that the year in a new city would give her a chance to truly test her skills at disguise. In fact, the instant this thought entered her mind, her outlook on the trip brightened, though she did not show any sign of this change.
"As you wish." Sarah conceded, a false look of defeat on her face.
"That's my girl." Alexander smiled, patting Sarah on the shoulder.
"Go up to bed now, and don't forget to wash your face." Winifred instructed gently. Sarah obeyed, inwardly smiling at her good fortune. She would have to write her friends often about her latest adventures.
I'm sorry about the short first chapter! I promise the rest will be longer!