Strangers in a Strange Land

Chapter Eight: A Quiet Lunch

Never finishing anything, Angelica flitted from one activity to the next. Waiting for Selene to return was almost more than she could handle. Usually, she was even-tempered when it came to watching matters resolve themselves in the ebb and flow of communication. The majority of conflicts were an immediate result of miscommunication. A person says something and rather than clarifying the recipient of the information reacts. And the back and forth begins.

Except, the problem between Selene and her father were a result of silence. The truth about Hade’s life away from his daughters came to light revealing he had another wife, in another realm. Learning the bitter winters that caused their arthritic grandmother’s bones to ache and the deadly ice slick that ended their Uncle’s life was a result of this second marriage was more than Selene wanted to comprehend. In her mind, their father’s crime of passion cursed their mother’s life.

One time Marjorie tried using logic to bring her around. “Technically, the length of the days are controlled by the tilting of the earth towards the sun. It’s always cold in one hemisphere. I seriously doubt it’s our father’s fault the world isn’t flat.”

The explanation did little to dissuade Selene from classifying their father as the family pariah.

A roll of thunder in the distance perked up the somber group of friends. Nicholas, the first to reach the window, said, “A storm is approaching from the east.”

Angelica didn’t bother to look up from the sewing project she attempted. Ella taught her to make a flower by closely stitching a series of x’s. The right colors combined in the right pattern formed a whimsical pattern that looked like a sunflower. As far as Angelica was concerned, The amount of time it took to recalculate the pattern wasn’t worth the momentary distraction. Unless the storm was a tornado, there was no point in paying it any attention.

It was as though her thoughts materialized. “The clouds are forming a funnel!” Nicholas marveled.

At this point, Peter joined the conversation. “Maybe it’s a portal to get home.”

“You can go ahead.” Marjorie didn’t bother looking up from the word search puzzle on her lap. “I’m not going anywhere without my sister.”

“Well that ends that discussion and begins another,” Damien huffed. “We need to make an agreement always to stay in close to each other.”

“Uhm, guys.” Nicholas stepped away from the window. “The cloud is getting closer.”

Brian joined Nicholas beside the window and whistled. “Does anybody remember what we’re supposed to do in the event of a tornado.”

“Get under the table and cover our heads?” Nicholas answered.

“That’s an earthquake.” Damien groaned.

Ella hurried into the room. Her eyes were wide and her voice was tight. “We need to go to the root cellar.”

Everyone froze in shock.

She clapped four times. “Now! Let’s go.”

“Demetrius! Stop!” Angelica implored as they ran out the back door of the house.

“Why do you think I’m doing it?” Demetrius yelled.

Angelica pointed at the funnel that touched the ground. Debris from the prairie whirled around the base of the ever increasing wind tower. “Because I wished for a tornado and there it is.”

“It wasn’t me.”

“Then who was it?”

“Those two.”

As soon as he said it, Angelica saw two men in the distance. Unphased by the oncoming storm their eyes seemed to burn through the dust as they focused on the group of friends. Angelica pricked herself with the pin from her cross stitch and she dropped the cloth on the ground and joined her friends to run for cover.

Author Note: Thank you for staying with the story. I hope what you’ve read so far has piqued your curiosity. Because I skipped a couple weekends (sorry about that) I’ll post an update to the story on Wednesday

Until then,

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