Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Four Stars Chapter Thirty Two

Previous chapter: Acting For Sweeps.

Chapter Thirty Two: Postal Order.

Francesca told Hera a very rude joke involving blancmange over breakfast the day after the Sweeps stunt. Hera was grossed out, but tried to keep it down, along with the thin-crust pizza that was her brunch.
Hera was grossed out.
She wondered if she should ban Francesca from her life. On second thought, she pondered, it wasn't a very smart idea. It would just strain a good relationship, Francesca's sudden inappropriateness notwithstanding.
"Let's ban Fran," said Hera's brain.
Unfortunately, the thought "Let's ban Fran," resonated in her brain. She couldn't stop thinking about it, not even when she chattered about the game contest she had signed up for at work the week before. "I'm going for a Team Fortress 2 tournament," she said.

"Who are you playing as?" Francesca asked, giving Hera a curious look. "Soldier, Spy, or what?"

"I'd rather play as a Medic," Hera replied. Attie got up and cleared the plates as Hera ate the last of her pizza. "I can heal myself as well as the others."

"Good luck," said Francesca. "May you and your team win."

"Thanks, Fran. Same about your work at the magazine house today."

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That afternoon, Isabel decided to go for a run on the treadmill. "I'll cook a quick dinner for my housemates later," she decided. She set the treadmill to the mountaineering mode and started running.
When the treadmill went a bit too high, Isabel fell with a bump on her head. Isabel hopped up again after falling down from the treadmill. "Oh, why did I do that?" she thought. "Good thing Attie's at the police station, she'd laugh if she saw me just now."

"I really need to be careful. How undignified it is to be the big sister and constantly goof up! Doesn't help my image at all."

"Isabel, I'm going to work now," Hera said, coming out of her room just after Isabel recovered from her fall.

"Right, take care then," Isabel replied, not looking up in case she lost her footing. Hera left the house in jeans and a neon purple sweater.

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After the run, Isabel cooked some soup and rice with random bits of vegetables and meat in it. She left the food to cool down and went upstairs to read on art theory. When she heard her twin come back from work, she came downstairs to have dinner with her.

"Where's Fran?" Attie asked. "She usually comes home around dinner."

"I got a message from her saying that she'll be a bit late. You look tired," Isabel said to her twin.

"Yeah," Attie yawned. "Combat training at the police station today," she said, swallowing some soup.

"How about I tell you a story to help you sleep?"

"Just like the old days when we were kids. Why not?" Attie said after finishing the last of her soup. Isabel cleared up the plates as Attie went upstairs. After Isabel washed the plates, she went up to their bedroom.
Attie slipped into the bed.
Attie slipped into the bed as Isabel put on her gray smock, ready to tell a story about Raphael the painter. Isabel's calm smooth voice soothed Attie and the younger Lion soon fell asleep. The elder Lion continued her story right to the end, then looked at her sleeping twin.

"Mom, I can take care of us in a new town, don't worry," thought Isabel. She turned to the mirror and practiced her introduction speech for her tutorial class in the next few days.

"I wonder how Hera's doing," Isabel thought to herself as she practiced her speech. "Playing in the computer club as part of her work? I suppose she'll become a gaming celeb like Markiplier or CinammonKen."

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Hera paced up and down along the corridor. "My turn in Team Fortress 2 comes next!" she thought with a shiver. "I'm a gun maniac, and so are the others. Can we win?"

She looked at her notes again. "Okay, the Spy can disguise himself as another teammate. I need to watch my back. The Soldier is an all rounder,  the Engineer can fix things. I can play almost all the roles except the Spy and Demolition Man, though I prefer being the Medic."

The whistle blew for the start of the next tournament. Hera got up after a short wish that she and her team would win, then headed into the special competition cubicles.

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When Hera came back from the computer club after her unexpected victory, she made her decision to send a postal order.
She filled out a form for an order.
She scribbled out a form to Sears, putting down her full name. "Everyone calls me Hera, but for legal purposes, it's Herakaris," she thought. She slipped a check into the envelope, which was stuck with sufficient postage.

Hera sent the order away.
After Hera filled out the envelope, she put it into the mailbox and propped the little red flag up to remind the postal workers. She went indoors, had her supper, and went to sleep after waiting half an hour for the food to settle.

Next chapter: The Kiss.

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