Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Four Stars Chapter Three

Previous chapter: The First Week.

Chapter Three: Later That First Week.

"I'm not going to abandon this experiment." ~The Watcher.

"Fran! We're back!" Attie shouted as she approached the front door with Isabel. Francesca opened the door with a nervous look on her face, and let the Twins enter.

"Look, cousin, we got your favorite chips and ice cream with the rest of the groceries," Isabel said in a coaxing tone. "Help us sort out the food."

"Yes, Isabel," Francesca said in a little voice.

As she stuffed the packets of food in the cupboards and fridge, her elder cousin continued talking. "We saw the cutest pile of toy puppies in the store on the way home," Isabel said. "Black and white and polka-dotted."

"Like Hera's dog?" Francesca asked.

"Yep, just like my Nightshade," Hera interrupted. "She was such a fluffy wiggly girl."

"Do tell," Attie said in a bored voice. "If you ask me, I'd rather have a copy of the latest Assassin's Creed. Pirates, just like that Puzzle Cove game Francesca used to play."

"I still play it," Francesca said in that little voice. "Sinopia's a famous sailor now."

"Sharpens your brain, doesn't it?" said Hera, arranging the cold meat in the freezer.

"Kinda. The sea battles helped me plan ahead," Francesca replied as she put the last packet of biscuits in place. "I've made the sandwiches as you asked, Isabel."

"Great! I'm famished," Attie said boldly.

"Then set out the plates," Isabel said, deflating her twin's bravado. Attie sighed and started arranging the plates to put the sandwiches on.

Francesca felt unhappy.
That evening, Francesca went to the balcony after another dinner of the remaining sandwiches with her housemates. She started drawing, and could hear Attie's noisy video game through the window behind her. Francesca was overcome with longing for her family back in New York, along with her childhood days.

She cried softly as she tried to finish her drawing. "I've been a fool to mope my youth away," she sniffled. "Yet I can't help over-thinking everything."

Attie was too engrossed in her game to bother about Francesca crying outside, even though she heard the sniffling. After a while, Francesca managed to stop crying so much, and hid in her room to think things over. She fell asleep while thinking about her high school days.

They played chess.
After breakfast the next morning, Hera tried to cheer Francesca up by playing chess with her. They hung out on the balcony as Isabel drew on the easel again. Hera set up the pieces and sat down, inviting the plump young woman to take a seat too. Then the game began. Francesca set out a pawn two steps forward.

"Heard that you had a fit of nostalgia-induced weeping last night, Fran," said Hera. "Attie told me so."

"Yeah, I did. I feel like I want to go back home and stay with my family now."

"Oh, Fran," Hera sighed. "You were pumped up about leaving the city months ago, saying that at least you won't have your mother fussing about you."

"Eh, that's one boon of moving out, Hera. No more mom saying that I'm being a freak for wanting black nail polish, black lipstick, and black eyeshadow for Christmas."

"Before we left, your dad told me that moving out would be good for our experience with the world. He knows you love him, Fran, but that devotion is holding you back," said Hera.

Francesca looked at her pieces glumly. "That doesn't mean you have to stop loving your family, but at some point, you'll have to make a break for it and live your own life," Hera clarified.

"I'll try, Hera, but I haven't been away from my parents for so long until now."

"As I said, we'll have to split, sooner or later," Hera said. "Oh, yes, have you found some work to do? It can help you feel better by giving an anchor in your day."

"I signed up for a job at SimCity's magazine house, that job starts in a few days. What about you?"

"To be honest, I haven't decided whether I should game or conduct for a living," Hera said. She picked up a pawn and placed it a step forward.

"Couldn't you conduct music in games?" Francesca asked.

"Pah, the only music indie games want nowadays is heavy metal or punk-influenced," Hera snorted. "You already know my disdain for dark alt."

"What about Firefly Studios? They don't shoehorn punk since their games are history-based. Middle Ages to be precise."

"Perhaps later. I'm asking for suggestions for entry-level musicians that don't involve being Gothic or having a emo-wannabe image like yours."

"Hera, I don't know any," Francesca admitted. She let the wannabe remark slide.

"Then it's decided," Hera said with a huff. "I'll game for a living, study programming on the side, then put neo-classical on the map again."

"Good luck with that."

"I hope that wasn't sarcastic," Hera remarked.

"It wasn't." The two left it at that.


Isabel and Attie had gone to work, so Francesca decided to spend her morning playing in the park. She indulged in her childhood memories and pretended to be a Kraken while one of the neighborhood kids played pirate. After the little girl got tired of pretending to be a Neverland Pirate, Francesca took out a battered silvery violin and started playing that.

Townies showed up.
An old lady and careworn younger man came up to see what was going on. They watched the plump young woman play her violin without making any silly comments. Francesca eventually got bored of playing her violin and went home.

The careworn man wondered, "Didn't I see this young woman before? Or was that someone else on the town?"

He went back home, wondering about this purple-clad stranger with long brown hair.

Next chapter: Babysitting at Dinner.

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