Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Four Stars Chapter Nineteen

Previous chapter: It Was A Sunday.

Chapter Nineteen: Storyteller, Storyteller.

Attie rolled about in her bed, trying to sleep through the noise. It wasn't easy, as Vernon was very loud and had turned on the radio's pop station.

Attie hopped out of her bed when the noise got too loud for her liking, and came down to see the new young guest. "What do we have here?" she said sharply. "When did this turn into a nursery?"
The boy stared back at Attie. "Is something wrong with wanting to visit Hera?" he asked. "I'm not just a shrimp."

"I like your attitude, champ," said Attie. "You'll go a long way in life."

"Attie, do you really want a smart-mouth in the neighborhood?" Francesca said to her cousin. "First Ana, now him, really..."

"I don't mind that at all," replied Attie. "Nobody's going to make smart remarks about me."
"Really?" said Vernon. "I'll come back to you on that later, miss Reddy."

"It's Attie, not Reddy," the Lion said. Isabel came back from work and sat down at the dining table.

"Well, what have we here? Another kid!" said Isabel. "Who are you trying to see, boy?"

"Miss Hera. I don't forget those blue eyes easily."

Francesca said, "Attie, you can be so patient with kids. How do you do it?"

"By being cool," the younger Lion replied.

Isabel chuckled. "Of course it's hard to forget Hera's blue eyes. I'll call her out," she said, and got up. She headed to Hera's room and saw Hera still playing Torchlight. "Hey, it's dinner now," said Isabel.

Hera replied, "Ok, I'll be there in a jiffy," and started saving her game. She followed Isabel out to the hall and sat down in a chair. Francesca realized there was no room for her at the table, so she decided to tell a tale to get someone out of the seats.

"I am the one who got the Pink Panther and Blood Rubies stolen from the Louvre," Francesca began, but before she could continue, Vernon and Attie shook with laughter and heckled her.

Vernon exclaimed, "You? You don't look like a thief, you're too big."

Attie remarked, "He's right, you just don't have the imposingly lean and mean air to be a mastermind."
Francesca's story got booed.
"Hera! Isabel! Please say something," Francesca begged, now worried about her storytelling skills. Unfortunately, they both ignored her plea and chatted with Vernon instead, leaving Francesca to feel really small.

Attie finally said, "You know, you're just not cut out to be a supervillain. You look too young, too innocent."

Francesca groaned and excused herself from the table, then went to have a shower as the others continued talking. She got into the tub and thought things over as the water cascaded onto her stout frame. Francesca sighed and washed her long hair, letting it droop down her back. When she was finished, she put on her panda hoodie and another pair of black shorts.

When she came out of the bathroom, Vernon was gone. Francesca was somewhat relieved. Now, if only her cousins could go away too. She took a serving of fried eggs and hash browns from the counter and walked to the empty chair. "What happened?" she asked Hera, staring at the table in embarrassment.

"Is he gone, Hera?"
"Vernon had to go home early, his sister called," said Hera. "I tried asking him to stay until you could explain what you were doing with that tall tale, but he wouldn't agree."

"Great, he probably thinks I'm an enormous dweeb," Francesca sighed, settling down to eat her plate of eggs and hash browns.

Attie said, "If you were that lame, you'd be a superstar on the latest teen show. Hollywood's always looking for the next biggest loser to turn into a celeb. Or was that Disney? I forgot."

"You're not helping," Francesca said, chewing on a piece of fried potato. She hoped the kid wouldn't embarrass her again by saying her story sucked. Oh, she would have to polish her declamation skills all right.

Next chapter: He Came Back.

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