Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Four Stars Chapter Eighteen

Previous chapter: Scary Saturday.

Chapter Eighteen: It Was A Sunday.

The first thing Hera usually did on Sundays, after breakfast, was to read some religious scriptures. "Three days after the execution, Christ rose again and appeared before the apostles," was among the things Hera wrote in her computer's notepad as part of her studies. She then flipped to the chapter on the creation of the world, looking in awe at the feats of the week.

After that, she tried to read about the fall of Gomorrah, and shivered in terror at the retribution. "Gee, you don't see miraculous retributions like these nowadays," thought Hera. "Not even speaking in tongues you haven't heard of!"

She logged on to the net and started browsing the web, while chatting to her parents about her life in Willow Creek. After that, she logged on to VaudeVille, and found that she wasn't banned, much to her relief. After checking her game character, Hera checked her email and noticed one instant message from Vernon.

He was already online, and his message was asking for permission to visit Hera. She read it, thinking of a good reply.

"You can come over this afternoon," Hera typed in reply to Vernon's question. "Just watch out for my housemates. There are Lions and one little dragon in there," she added, mentioning her address as an afterthought.

After sending the message, Hera went out to run on the treadmill in the hall and watch some news.

Francesca came downstairs and said in surprise, "I thought you still hate running."

"No mice, I hope."
"My mother went on about laziness spoiling my health. You know her spiel about doctor's kids having to set a good example in terms of health," Hera replied and stepped down from the treadmill. She looked aside, just behind Francesca. "Did I see a mouse?" asked Hera. "You know what I think of them."

"No miceys, Hera," said Francesca, after she looked at where Hera's gaze fell.

"Good," said Hera. "We really need to get a cat, or a rat-catching dog. Nightshade's a good girl but she's too big to chase mice."

"If I know anything about your dog, she's more likely to make friends and encourage mice. That's what she tried to do with the cats back in NYC," Francesca added.

Hera chirped in amusement. "Even when she got snubbed by the cats, she still wouldn't attack them on sight."


Francesca suddenly took out her phone. "I didn't come down just to talk about animals," she said.

Hera asked, "What do you mean, Fran?"

"Would you like a photo with me?"

"Oh! Sure, why not?" said Hera. She sidled up and Francesca lifted the phone to take a photo.

"Hang on, didn't we do this weeks ago?" said Hera after Francesca took the picture.

"Yes, we did, and you've still got shocking blue eyes," Francesca replied.

"If my eyes suddenly turn green or yellow, you know what to do," Hera joked.

"I'll ask you to handle the silverware if that happens, cause that means you've been switched with one of the fair folk."

"Indeed, fair folk are allergic to iron or steel. Gives them rashes like poison ivy. Then again, you'd be better off calling the hospital for yellow eyes."

Francesca put away her phone, then asked, "What are you going to do today?"

"What else besides play some video games and music? One more thing, a guest might be coming this afternoon, a little boy I met in the park the other day. Invite him in if I don't get around to it."

"Alright then," Francesca said.

--------

That afternoon, Francesca cleaned up her collection of nail polish bottles and rearranged them. She admired the silvery colors that swirled in each bottle, especially the dark purples and blackened reds. "Mom just didn't get why I like those colors," Francesca thought to herself. She went over to the mirror and said to it, "She thinks makeup of any sort is unnecessary, I shouldn't wear it, bla bla bla."

"However, I still like the way a face can look with some outstanding colors," Francesca went on. Her thoughts were cut short by a sharp ringing.
"The doorbell!" thought Francesca when she heard the ringing from downstairs. She hurried down and opened the door. A swarthy little boy stood on the doorstep. Francesca said to the boy, "Hello, kid."

The boy said, "You're not Hera! You can't fool me with a ponytail of dark hair."

"Of course I'm not Hera! She's home, though," Francesca replied. "Come in," she said, extending her hand in a friendly manner. The boy squeezed past her and made a beeline for the dining table. He sat on the nearest chair as Francesca went to ask Hera what to do.

Hera was too engrossed in a game of Torchlight to reply, so Francesca went out again and made awkward small talk with the boy. Unknown to them, Attie was trying to rest in her bed.

Next chapter: Storyteller, Storyteller.

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