Breaking and Entering the Past

by

Christy Winn

Kateri Conway woke up at 9 AM on a rainy Friday morning in her house in Saratoga ,California. The 14 teen year old sadly got up out of her warm bed, changed into jeans and a T shirt, and began to brush her long blonde locks.

"Hey, sis, do you want to play a quick game of basketball after breakfast?" asked her 15 year old brother, Percy.

"Oh, I would love to, but I'm going with Drew to get my eyes checked, maybe after lunch," replied Kateri.

The two siblings walked down stairs to eat breakfast. Once they arrived to the informal dinning room the family discussed sports, upcoming events, and the weather. Kateri's cousin 16 year old cousin, Drew, came down to the dinning room and told Kateri he was ready to go to the optometrist.

Kateri and Drew walked to Drew's red Jeep Cherokee and he drove down their long drive way. Pulling into the optometrist office, the cousins entered the waiting room and checked in. Five minutes later they called Kateri into get her eyes checked. The optometrist told Kateri she needed glasses. Kateri slowly walked out of the office and gave the receptionist her prescription. Grimly Kateri told Drew she needed glasses, Drew decided to take his depressed cousin to Zaxby's to cheer her up. After the wonderful lunch they walked into the brisk rainy weather and drove home. After Kateri told her family she needed glasses they played a quick game of basketball during a break in the rain. Mrs. Smith, Kateri's aunt, came out and announced they would all be leaving for a family vacation to Nashville Tennessee at 5:30 the next morning. Somehow, Kateri thought this would be a trip she would always remember.


Kateri Conway got into the family bus and began to lead the Rosary. After the Rosary, the kids layer Hangman, riddles, listened to music, or slept. The trip was going swimmingly, until the drivers switched. Mr. Conway drove through a beautiful city which had a football stadium with red and blue seats. The stadium also had two gigantic scoreboards. About one hour later a blue sign illuminated to the world: "Welcome to Kentucky."

Percy, who was sitting next to Kateri, said, "Ah, Dad, I hate to break it to ya, but we were in Nashville one hour ago."

Mr. Conway hastily took exit 22 and found a tourist destination store which looked like a log cabin. To pass time, everyone started play "Guess that Song." After 20 minutes Mr. Conway came back into the bus looking as calm as ever.

"Well, we are in a city called Bowling Green, Kentucky. Like Percy said, we left Nashville one hour ago. I have arranged for everyone to stay at Town Place Suites. Tomorrow we will be going to Mass at 4:30 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church," Mr. Conway said as calmly as a clam.

On Saturday evening, after Mass, the family decided take a tour of Bowling Green the next morning. One of the brochures which Mr. Conway pick suggested a Civil War tour. After discussing the history of the Cilvil War and how Bowling Green was a part of the four year war, the family received a wonderful night's rest.

At 9 AM Kateri woke to find warm breakfast food which one of her kind relatives brought up to the hotel room. After refreshing herself, Mr. Conway told every one it was time to go on the tour the small town had to offer. After everyone was buckled in their seats, Mrs. Conway drove them to the historic downtown where the tour group met up. Excited about what the young day had to offer, Kateri hopped out of the bus.

The tour began and Percy must have gotten extremely board because he started to make faces at the lady guiding the tour. Kateri tried to mute her laughter, but failed. Percy started to wander away from the tour. He was looking at a house which had historic marker in front of it. The sign said the house was owned by Mr. Grider and was the Confederate capital of Kentucky.

"Let's go inside," said Percy with an evil grin on his face.

Kateri, looking worried, replied, "Percy, this looks like a private residence. We really shouldn't just barge in their front door."

Percy, with a quick wave to his sister walked up the sidewalk. With a groan, Kateri jogged to catch up with her brother. Percy rang the doorbell ten times before walking into the house. He was looking around, then a floor board creaked. Looking down, he noticed it was loose. He moved his hand toward the broad and tried to pull it up. Kateri looked at her brother in horror.


"Percy! You shouldn't be doing this!" Kateri strictly warned her older brother.

Percy let out an aggravated sigh, "Look, sis, it's not like I'm gonna hurt anyone or anything. I'll put the board back when I'm done."

He lifted up the board all the way to find straw under it. Percy dug through the straw until his hand hit an ancient wooden box. Carefully, he pulled the small chest out.

"What do you think is in it?" questioned Kateri.

"I dunno, but it's super light," replied Percy.

Kateri handed her bobby pin to her brother so he could unlock the box. Percy took the pin and moved it around in the keyhole. Once the gears made a click, Percy slowly opened the box. Inside, there was an envelope. For five seconds the siblings just stared at the contents in wonder. Carefully, Kateri picked up the envelope and read it aloud.

To: Miss Josie Underwood

518 Monte Air Drive Bowling Green, KY

From: Mr. Grider

213 Park Street Bowling Green, KY

Percy, who was hopping on his feet with excitement, said to his sister, "Let's open it!"

Hesitantly, Kateri opened the envelope. Slowly, and excitedly, she read the letter aloud.

Miss Underwood,

I truly hope this letter reaches you in time. The Confederates are planning to use your family's home as a shelter for their soldiers. Also, if you wish to send more letters to me, they will use my wonderful home as their capital of Kentucky. My new address is 3012 First Street Bowling Green, KY. Just remember, no matter what happens, I love you.

Yours truly,

Mr. Grider

"Wow, it was a love letter with an important warning. I guess they came before he had a chance to send it to her," Percy slowly said.

At that moment the tour guide and the family barged in the front door.

"What do you think you're doing? This is private property," the tour guide said in a rapid voice.

The guide saw the paper in Percy's hands and hastily rushed to kneel at the teenager's side. The docent began to look very pale and dazed after reading the letter. The young lady fainted and Kateri caught her in one swift motion. Looking shocked, Kateri looked at her dad in question.

Carefully, Mr. Conway took the letter out of the girl's small hands. Smiling from ear to ear he said in a jolly tone, "Kids, you didn't do the right thing by breaking and entering, and you are both grounded for a month. But, you unlocked a new key to history;" looking at the guide he added, "Let's get this humble woman to a doctor."

They all gathered in the bus and took the tour guide to the doctor. Once up, she couldn't stop talking about Josie Underwood and Mr. Grider.


The Conway tour group finished taking the chatty guide to the doctor. The guide all of a sudden stopped in mid sentence with an appearance of fainting again. Her skin had an unnatural white color with sweat dewing on her hairline.

"Um, ma'am are you alright?" Percy questioned.

"Quite alright child, I have an idea. Look, it is imperative all of you hear me out. I think the envelope and the letter should be put into a Civil War museum," the guide said while looking at everyone in the eyes. "Josie Underwood's story is unknown to the universe and this discovery will unveil the secrets this young antebellum woman left for future generations. This letter is one of the greatest breakthroughs for all mankind.

Kateri boldly said, "Yes! That is the right thing to do and I think we should jump on it."

Once the plans were made to take the artifacts to a museum the crew went out for frozen yogurt to celebrate their victory! Kateri and Percy were beaming with pride.


LPH Writing Class stories 2013-2014