Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Four Stars Chapter Twenty

Previous chapter: Storyteller, Storyteller.

Chapter Twenty: He Came Back.

Isabel shuffled back home from work. "Ah!" she muttered. "How tiresome things are nowadays. Bills, not knowing whether my application to be a tutor will be accepted. If I had been made of weak stuff..."

She chose not to finish that thought and plodded over to the mailbox. Before opening it, she stretched. Pop! Crick! Isabel really worked the kinks out of her bones as she twisted around. "Crackling and popping at twenty two? Really now?" thought Isabel. "Must have gotten it from my mother."
Isabel stretched.
She looked in the mailbox. Nothing except some forms for magazine subscriptions in there. "Cosmo, Vogue, PopTeen USA?" Isabel asked herself. "Must be from the magazine house Fran works in. Didn't think she had an affinity for fashion, not mainstream celeb fashion anyway. Then again, still waters run deep."

The elder Lion Twin went in after closing the mailbox. She grabbed a quick meal of a chicken sandwich and ate it quickly. She then went upstairs to have a shower. After the shower, Isabel felt much better, and went out to draw on the balcony.

She looked at the town in the golden sunset, admiring its shining glory. Then she began, sketching furiously on the canvas before refining the sketches into something with clear flowing lines.

In the meantime, Isabel's housemates returned from their work. Hera first, for she had finished her game session early and got tired before she could be interviewed. "I can always do a web interview later," thought Hera, as she went to listen to her phone's collection of music.
Minutes later, Attie and Francesca came home. Francesca went upstairs to take a bath, while Attie sat down to watch the news. There was a knock on the door. "Come in!" Attie said, annoyed. She already saw who it was.

Vernon came in. He was wearing the same soot-gray shirt and orange pants that he wore on his first visit. He  made a beeline for the fridge, took out some pudding, then put himself in front of the television. Attie rolled her eyes at his behavior. Hera walked out of her room, whistling yet another tune. She then tried to do the Twist in front of the radio set.

Hera tried to do the Twist.
Francesca came down after her bath. She noticed Hera dancing, and Vernon sitting in front of the television while scooping pudding into his mouth. Francesca shrank back at Vernon's rude manners, then said, "You eat just like my little brother."

"Huh?" said Vernon through a mouthful of pudding. "Whose brother?"

Francesca talked about her brother.
Francesca explained, "I have a little brother who's a few years older than you. He gobbles like anything during his mealtimes. You eat just like him."

"I can't help it," Vernon said, now busy sucking up the whey from the bowl. "I'm growing up."

Hera remarked, "He's got a point. Kids on the brink of puberty tend to have bigger appetites."

"Now you sound like my science teacher," Vernon said to Hera. "She told us that puberty's not an excuse to pig out in yesterday's class."

Attie told tall tales.
"Growing up will burn off what you gobbled up, kid," said Attie. "Just as long as you remember to run, jump, and be active."

"Are you active, miss Reddy?" asked Vernon. Hera passed by them to enter her room, and lay down for a nap on her bed.

Attie went on, "Oh, I am. I run after supervillains. I arrest them. I might not have much in the way of superpowers, but believe me, I can go toe to toe with most of them."

Francesca stared at her cousin in surprise. "Are they really supervillains, or just cunning criminals?" she asked.

Attie continued, "Why, one time, I decided to give a certain criminal a taste of frontier justice by tying him to the railings of the police station."

Vernon looked at Francesca and said, "I think Reddy would make an awful teacher."

"Why?" said Francesca.

"Too impatient," Vernon replied.

Attie honked with laughter. "I can be patient when needed," she said. Isabel, who had finished her drawing, came down and leaned over the sofa to watch the conversation.

"If you want patience, she's looking right at you," Isabel said with an amused purr. Vernon looked up into Isabel's black eyes and grinned back. They continued chatting until Vernon had to go home to his mother and sister.

All in all, it was a pleasant evening.

Next chapter: Evening Matters.

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