“Wow,” said Kate.
“Her name is Alysha Huntingdon-Lin, she’s a model, and she and Chace have been dating for the past nine months,” said her mother immediately.
“She looks like Barbie’s evil cousin.”
“Now, Kate,” said her mother with a mildly disapproving look. “The golden rule. Please remember it.”
“Yes, ma’am,” she sighed. “It’s a little hard, though, being around these plastic people all day.”
“Plastic people?” Her mother raised an eyebrow.
Kate waved a hand. “Yeah, you know. Plastic. And I’m not just talking surgery. Their personalities are plastic. It’s like they’re not even real.”
There was silence for a moment while Mrs. Frietag took a sip of her tea and said “That’s either very deep, or somebody’s Facebook status.”
“I think it may have been a Facebook status, but it still works,” said Kate with a grin as she dipped her last French fry in ketchup, salted it carefully, and popped it in her mouth.
– Face Value
Kate knew, as she watched Chace talk with stylists, choosing and changing jewelry and clothing, that she would not have had the patience for something like this. When the first break came, Chace had changed feathers for a turban with a tassel that hung down the side of his head, high-top boots, and a half a dozen large, chunky rings. His makeup had been re-done to emphasize the tilt of his eyes and his lips had been painted black. Kate hoped he didn’t ask what she thought if it, because she honestly had no idea what she would say.
He did not ask her; he only sat down in the chair across from her, drained half the contents of a plastic water bottle, and watched her through half-narrowed eyes as he screwed the lid back on.
“Uh,” said Kate, focusing on the thin stack of papers in front of her, “Right. Well, you did pretty well yesterday on the review tests for history and literature, but you didn’t do so well in biology or trig.”
He shrugged his cape-clad shoulders. “So?”
“So that means that you can stay where you are in lit and history and go on from there, but you’ll have to re-start science and math.”
His eyes darkened into slits, and Kate felt as if there really was a supernatural being sitting across from her, about to cast some sort of dark spell over her life.
Oh, wait. He’s already done that.
– Face Value
There was a short stretch of silence, with only the faint ‘swish, swish’ sound of brush-bristles through hair. Then – “Are you two getting along?”
Kate’s head snapped up and she met her mother’s reflection with an expression of incredulity. “Get along? Funny, I’m sure I’ve heard that phrase somewhere… oh, well, I guess I never paid that much attention to it since it didn’t apply to me.”
“I take it that’s a ‘no.’” Her mother set the brush down on the vanity and turned to face her daughter.
Kate nodded vigorously. “You got it. Mom, he’s so… so… urgh!” She tugged on the ends of her hair, trying to sort her words out. “He’s so full of himself. I mean, it’s like I’m this little bug trying to – that’s it! I feel like Jiminy Cricket. I’m this tiny little thing trying to show him what to do, and he’s totally ignoring me. He only ever looks at me to glare or do his snarky little smirk-thing,” she pulled her mouth into an imitation of Chace’s sneer, “and he only ever talks to say something irritating. In fact, he’s never spoken civilly to me.”
Her mother’s eyebrow rose.
“Okay, so he’s said things like ‘what’s up,’” Kate amended. “But that doesn’t make up for everything else! Mom, the guy’s a jerk!”
“Honey…” Mrs. Frietag sighed. She tapped her manicured nails on the vanity for a moment, a thoughtful expression on her face. “You two still don’t know each other very well. You’re irritated at him because he won’t co-operate, and he’s angry because he feels like PopNote dragged a second-rate nobody in here to slam some knowledge into his head.”
“Second-rate nobody? Thanks, mom,” said Kate drily. She flopped back onto the bed, clutching the pillow to her chest.
“You know what I meant,” said her mother sternly. “You’ve only ever seen the worst side of him, and I think-”
Kate snorted. “There’s a better one?”
“Yes.” Her mother’s tone was firm. “I’ve been working around him for almost six years. He’s not as bad as he seems.”
There was another stretch of silence, longer this time, while Kate eyed her mother and her mother stared pensively at the ceiling.
“Tell you what,” said Mrs. Frietag presently. “Tomorrow we’re flying toNew York, and we’ll be there for a few weeks. When we get there, why don’t you take a day off school and just follow him around. Go where he goes.”
“Ah-ha,” said Kate, sarcasm coating her words. “Observe the wild animal’s behavior in his natural habitat.”
“More or less,” said her mother. The corners of her mouth twitched; her frequent version of a smile.
“Won’t he think I’m… I don’t know, stalking him or something?”
“I doubt it. You can tell him about the arrangement if you want; it’s only for one day.”
“Sure. ‘Hey, Chace, I hate you so Mom says I should follow you around for a day.’”
“I don’t appreciate the attitude, young lady.”
Kate sighed apologetically. “Sorry.” She sat up, sighed again, and smacked both palms down onto the bed. “Okay. I’ll do it.”
– Face Value
“What happened to this?”
She turned her head away from her mother’s shoulder and looked at the owner of the strange voice. He had crouched by the corner of the room and held Boo’s torn-off head in his hands. He saw Emmaline looking and held up the severed head. “Your favorite?”
She sniffed and nodded, unable to take her eyes off him. He wasn’t an odd-looking person, but there was something different about him – something hard to pinpoint. His hair was curly and dark, but when the sun caught it, it shone in sparks of orange.
When she grew older, she would see that he was not an overly-tall person, but to her, just then, he seemed enormous. Slender and elegant, he would have seemed very refined if his eyes – so green, like her mother’s emerald earrings – had not sparkled with something she knew very well.
He let out a loud ‘tsk’ and held up Boo’s sad body. Stuffing, like white, fluffy gore, spilled out of the gaping wound. “It is my opinion,” said the stranger, “that the head and body of a bear ought never to be separated.”
“What does that mean?” asked Emmaline, looking more fully at him.
He smiled and ruffled her hair with long fingers. “It means, Spricket, that I’m going to fix her.”
“It’s a him,” said Emmaline solemnly, though her heart leaped with relief and joy. Boo was going to be all right!
“But he’s pink.” The stranger held up the two halves of the bear and peered closely at them. “Yes, that’s definitely pink. Are you certain it’s not a girl?”
“It’s a boy!” Emmaline punctuated her statement with a sharp nod that set her blond curls bouncing.
“Very well then, my lady.” He bowed and smiled at her, showing slightly crooked, but very white, teeth. “He will be as good as new before the day is out. I give you my word.”
– Emmaline Earl and the School for Seelie Sidhe
“Were the kindness of my doing, I would assure you to think nothing of it,” said Geoff, taking the cup of tea proffered by Betty. “However, I can take no credit for it. That was Avalon’s doing.”
“The master,” said Betty quickly. “Sir Blackmoor.”
“Oh, I see. May I see him? I should very much like to thank you,” said Chaville, looking from the housekeeper to the gentleman and back again.
“The master… is not fond of company,” said Betty hesitantly, wringing her hands and glancing at Geoffrey in a manner very much like a birds’.
“Oh…” Geoff scratched the back of his head and said carefully, “I should ask first, of course, but I can see no cause for objection on his part.” He looked meaningfully at Chaville. “Do not be overly grateful,” he instructed, “and do not attempt to go nearer than he demands, else you might arouse his temper.”
A small frown of puzzlement drawing her brows together, Chaville asked “Is his temper that fearful?”
“It can be,” was the esoteric reply.
– Blackmore’s Chaville
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Jungsu’s hand protruded from the covers and felt around for the noisy offender. His fingers brushed plastic and without a second thought he pounded on top of the alarm clock, forcing the alarm button into the ‘off’ position.
After several seconds of disentangling himself from two lower sheets, Jungsu sat up and rubbed a hand over his eyes, hoping to dislodge the sleep that remained and tried to drag his eyelids closed again. A yawn, a stretch, and he shoved the comforter off his legs and stood up. He took one step and tripped. He put a hand out and used the wall to stop his fall, his senses alerted with the surprise. “Hey!”
He kicked the bundle arms and legs wrapped in a down comforter that had rolled from its proper place and ended up in his way.
“Ow,” was the mumbled protest from the bundle.
“Whatcha think you’re doin,’ huh?” Jungsu demanded, giving the bundle another kick. He figured he could probably kick with all his might and the blankets would keep the victim from feeling anything.
“Cut it out, would you?” Justin’s hair poked out from the top of the blanket wrap. He waved a hand feebly at Jungsu’s leg but hit only air. “Go’way.”
“You can’t sleep on the floor like this every morning, y’know.” Jungsu’s voice was clipped with irritation. He could already sense an argument brewing, and knew he had probably just begun it himself – which put him in an even worse mood. Never mess with a night owl in the morning.
“I rolled over, okay?” Justin’s head appeared, scowling tiredly at the person standing above him. “What’s your problem, anyway?”
“My problem? You almost broke my neck, that’s what!”
Justin muttered something intelligible, and Jungsu reached down and gave the comforter a hearty tug, dislodging its contents onto the floor. “Get up!”
Justin jumped to his feet as quickly as a sleep-deprived person can and grabbed a corner of the blanket Jungsu now held. “Hey, give that back,” he growled.
“It’s time to get up,” was the smug answer.
Justin shoved Jungsu against the wall. “Gimme!”
“It’s time to get up!” Jungsu stepped hard on Justin’s foot and threw the comforter at him, causing the teenager to trip and fall back on Jungsu’s mattress. “And get off my bed!”
From beneath the blanket came more growling and several curses, and when Justin emerged again, he looked ready for war. “You know, just because it’s your apartment doesn’t mean you’re the boss,” he snarled.
Jungsu waved a hand in an ‘I-can’t-hear-you’ motion. “And yes, I am,” he added as he walked out the door.
– A oneshot with two characters belong to a friend =)
I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing; and I hope to get even more writing done in March! OH; don’t forget, my art sale ends March 10th, so be sure and take advantage of it!