Chapter Twelve: Nasty Little Prank.
Cheeky little sod, that lion. ~The Watcher.It was one of those calm evenings on a day off after hectic days of work. Francesca was running on the treadmill when Isabel came back from the museum. Attie was watching a squash match on the television as her shift ended early.
"Where's Hera?" Isabel asked.
"She took the evening shift at the computer club this time," replied Attie. "How's work?"
"Fine, I'm giving tours about local artists for the time being," Isabel said. "How's your work going?"
Francesca said as she continued pacing on the treadmill, "I'm now proofreading consulted articles for the likes of Cosmo, Hello, and Women's Weekly. The day before yesterday, I had to deal with an angry reader and I called security on him once he started saying I was a pathetic loser. Just because I wrote a short piece about villain-worship-syndrome and how straightforward heroes should have more love."
Attie rolled her eyes. "That's nothing compared to what I did a few days ago," the younger Lion said.
"Try me," said Francesca. "Maybe your adventures top having to deal with a troll who thinks all heroes are lame-brained losers and only villains are worth one's time. Pah, pah, and PAH!"
"We were raiding a smugglers' hideout, had to choose between the basement or the attic. We chose to get into the attic, but the smugglers came back," said Attie, "I held back the line for my team to escape, then got out by rappelling down with bedsheets tied as ladders before the smugglers saw us." Francesca nodded, almost doubting the fanciful story.
Just then, the squash match took an abrupt turn as one of the women fumbled the serve. Francesca peeked over her cousin's head to watch the match. "Nicol David saves it again! One up over by the wall, she catches it and hits back before the second bounce..." the sports reporter blared. Attie was as calm as ever.
"She really deserves the moniker Squash Queen," Francesca remarked, then yawned suddenly. Attie nodded in agreement. Isabel took out a bowl of soup and sat at the table to eat it. The squash match ended with a victory for miss David, so Attie and Francesca went to help themselves to dinner. They joined Isabel at the table.
"Now, why are you so sleepy, Fran?" Isabel asked her cousin, who looked about ready to drop beside her soup. Francesca mumbled something in reply.
Attie got up. "I don't know what she just spouted, but I've got something to help," she said. "Fran, please get up."
Francesca got up and shuffled over to her second-eldest cousin. "What is it?" she asked, then put out her hand.
"Here's something to spark you up," Attie said as soon as Francesca put her hand out to shake. Isabel noticed the hidden pin much too late. Zap! Francesca jumped up in fright when an electric shock ran up her arm. She shouted in pain as Attie let the weapon react.
|Francesca jumped up in shock.|
|Declaiming your scoldings?|
"I suppose, for instance, you believe this is a Looney Tunes tale?" Francesca went on crossly. "Or an old Disney cartoon, for that matter."
|"Stop laughing at me!"|
"You're hopeless," Francesca grumbled and walked off. She had only gone a step before a wave of drowsiness overcame her. Her knees gave way and she landed face down on the floor. Attie noticed that Francesca's rump was highlighted by her tight black pants, so she gave a long monologue about that rump. Isabel walked off to bed, annoyed with her twin's immaturity.
|"Ooh, I need a nap."|
|Attie continued addressing her cousin's rump.|
Francesca got to her knees and stood up. She stared sleepily at the floor and blinked. Attie continued in a sing-song voice, "Vogue's gone about face on its modeling, curves are in and bones are out."
|"Paraphrasing Sir Mixalot isn't funny, you know."|
"What? It's not every day a part white gal has va-va-voom curves," Attie replied.
"I don't really think of myself as white, even if my dad's mother was part Portuguese. But my mom's relatives save for Nona-obaasan and aunt Greta say I'm not very Japanese."
"Your dad claims that the average American has mixed up ancestry, and he's got nothing against that. I agree with him," said Attie. "Then again, you look very Japanese to anyone else. Even your surname is the 'Smith' of Japanese names."
Francesca stretched and yawned. "That might be, but your average Japanese person is hard pressed to accept a part Japanese who looks like them in almost every way, save for an accent and brown curls."
"Not to mention a stout body," Attie said with a snort. "Even if stout voluptuous bodies are back in fashion, what with Old Hollywood nostalgia and all."
"I'd rather everyone accepted that we have different frames and looks, like Hera being all bones or me being fleshy," Francesca replied. "Not just your frame or Isabel's in high fashion or pop culture."
"I can't help having very long legs for the rest of me, you've been more articulate since working for fashion magazines," Attie said. "But wait, it's almost time we went up to bed."
"You're right, I've got to go to the magazine house early in the morning. Good night, then," said Francesca. She went up to her room. Attie looked around the large room once more, before going up to bed herself.
Next chapter: Bad Omen.