Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Four Stars Chapter Forty Five

Previous chapter: Wisdom and Toothache.

Chapter Forty Five: Bringing Up Old Times.

Francesca felt her toothache was much better the following morning. When she came down for breakfast, Attie had taken a steak for herself and put out pancakes for Francesca. Hera had already eaten and was talking to Attie.

"As I was saying, Attie," Hera said, "I'll compose a few snippets of music for a new game project I'm making with Francesca, involving some of our old characters. So the story's mostly Francesca's idea."

"Oh really?" said Attie. "If that's the case, maybe Francesca can tell me all about it."

Francesca told her cousin about her plan for the Mechanical Armageddon. "You know Demoliri, right? The executioner girl who lost the Freedom Heart? This time, she'll retrieve it, while beating back the supervillains, the Mechanical Armageddon is her redemption."
"Wait, isn't Demoliri the Goth chick with a nano-leotard and executioner's hood?" Attie asked. When Francesca nodded, Attie blurted, "You and your dumb ideas! Making your character an executioner with a creepy mask and a provocative outfit, then putting her in the starring role of your game idea!"

"That's what the last storyline was before the admins of our roleplaying group gave up. I wanted to tidy up the loose ends."

"By the way, nobody's going to read a story where the heroes win, nobody wants a straightforward superhero victory anymore," Attie said. "Just my advice, cause so many people hated your character for what she did in the roleplay and won't read about her redemption if you post it."
"Oh shut up!" Francesca said peevishly. "It's been three years since the group broke up because Isabel got angry with the villain fans and asked you to quit. So it's your fault the SuperHeroQuest roleplay disbanded, not mine!"

Attie growled and turned away to look at her steak. Hera said, "It's not our fault that the company gave up on SuperHeroQuest as a game, though."
Attie glared.
"I wasn't blaming you for that, the roleplay and the actual game are two different things," Francesca said and tried to be nice, but Attie continued glaring.

"If anyone actually likes stories where the heroes win and redeem themselves, I'll take my words back," Attie said. "Before then, I say the Mechanical Armageddon sounds like a stupid idea and a shill for your character."

"Fine! Be that way!" Francesca said, losing her patience with her cousin. "How did you end up as cynical as your mean old mother? Nasty old grump complaining about everything!"

"You're another complainer! Wanting everything to be happy go lucky! You're not a Disney character and real life isn't a Disney musical!"

Hera didn't like where this was going, so she excused herself and went into her room to hide.

--------

After an hour, Hera looked out of her room. Francesca and Attie weren't in the living room. Isabel was there instead. "Where's your twin?" Hera asked.

"Upstairs in our room. She's quite angry with Fran."

"I wish I hadn't brought the matter up, the one about our failed roleplaying group."

"If anything, it's everyone's fault, not just one person," Isabel said. "The blame goes both ways."

"Still, do you think it's really fair for the admins to claim they couldn't spare resources to support SuperHeroQuest, and yet have the time and cash to stuff everything into CelebQuest?"

"So Fran told you, huh?" Isabel said. "I don't think it's fair, personally, but sometimes companies just have to follow the trends. It could bite them in the rear sooner or later."

"Especially with Marvel's Chibi Squad coming up," Hera said. "So super deformed characters are no excuse to dump a game. Still, I'd like to get my mind off that and on some music. Want me to teach you some violin playing?"

Isabel agreed and picked up the violin. Hera stood closer to Isabel to see what she was doing.
The violin lesson started innocently enough. Isabel played the scales on the violin. Hera kept count. "Play Mary had A Little Lamb now," she said.

Isabel tried that. Squeak squeak squeak. Hera started thinking of mice and men, Gauls and cacophony.
Hera groaned and grumbled.
Isabel's playing sounded like cats choking. Hera covered her face in disgust, groaning at the headache Isabel's playing gave her. Finally, Hera couldn't stand it any more. She complained, "Your playing sucks! Stop the violin already!"
"Your playing sucks!"
Isabel got very angry. She put down the violin with a clatter, tossed the bow aside, then turned to Hera. "YOU be quiet!" she roared into Hera's face. "Just because you are a conducting genius doesn't mean you have the right to make fun of your tutelage!"

"I didn't mean that, I meant that your playing is so bad, you need more lessons, and..."

Isabel snorted loudly and stormed off, just like her twin after breakfast. Hera shook her head. "What on earth have I done?" she asked herself.

Next chapter: Apologies.

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