The pounding of the door and clank of the latch securing the door ushered in the darkness that somehow amplified the sound of the events on the other side of the door.
Damien’s voice broke the tension. “Posse of misfit country kids two. Weird stalker dudes one. We’re still winning.”
“When did they get the one?” Peter was ready for an argument.
Without missing a beat, Damien said, “When they got all of us to step into 1915.”
Eugene’s matter of fact voice joined the conversation. “Technically, that was your fault.”
A misty green glow began in the middle of the room and spread like a mist. With the light, they were able to see Andrea snickering in the middle of the mist and the boy’s mouths forming perfect circles.
Oblivious of their reactions Andrea repeated what she found so funny. “Posse of misfit country kids.” A yellow tint joined the green and illuminated the small room where they sat. “That’s the best description of us I’ve ever heard.”
Angelica didn’t know if it was the light, or if the stress had finally got to her. Whatever it was she found herself tickled along with Andrea. One by their expressions changed from awed to amused.
Eugene threw his arm over Damien’s shoulder. “For the record. I’m glad you made us get off the bus. We will never forget this time in our lives.”
“Really?” The relief softened Damien’s rugged stance.
“Yeah. But I’m still going to give you a hard time for as long as we live.” Eugene smirked.
“I can dish it out. So I’m good with getting it back.” Damien threw his arm around Eugene’s shoulder.
A swirl of color sparkled through the mist changing it from a greenish yellow to a soft mauve. “Since we’re living one of those touching moments of truth, does anyone feel comfortable mentioning Andrea has turned into a human glow stick?” All heads turned in the direction of Peter who was pressed up against a wall in a poor attempt to avoid being touched by the light.
The color slowly dimmed until they were once again enveloped in the darkness. “Good job!” Damien scolded. “You went and offended the fairy.”
A sadness overtook Angelica. Normally she used logic to keep her feeling on an even keel. However, the sadness was so strong, Angelica found herself succumbing to it. She sniffed back her tears. “Haven’t you learned anything since we’ve been here. It’s an act of poor taste to point out other people’s differences.”
However, if they considered Peter’s actions before this adventure that is exactly what he did. He was the one who asked the teacher if she was pregnant when she wore a dress that made her look a little bigger than the day prior. One year they had a student named Michael Mason. He was personable, smart and the kids loved having him in the class. It took less than a week for him to fit in with the group of friends—some of which had known each other since the nursery school at their church. When he was at a desk, to the person passing by, Michael was like the other eleven children in the class. The differences came out at recess. Michael had to wear braces on his legs. No matter how hard he tried to keep up with the boys, he always trailed the group. In an effort to try and be fair, Peter pointed out the obvious. “Michael is never going to be able to keep up with us. Either we need to choose a different game, or some of us have to slow down.”
Angelica’s face still burned with embarrassment at the memory. It was the beginning of her observance of the dance of communication. A crestfallen Michael avoided the boys at recess. Damien and Brian shunned Peter or stated rude comments. A confused Peter didn’t understand how a statement of concern was capable of causing so much conflict. “Why are you being jerks?” Except he used a more colorful word than jerks. “I was only saying what anybody with two eyes saw.”
“It’s the way you said it,” Brian held his hands in the air in frustration.
Their teacher reading Brian’s body language intervened and helped guide the boys through to the resolution. In the end, after mumbling about trying to do something nice getting him in trouble, Peter promised to try and be more mindful of his words. The other boys committed to taking the needs of the entire group into consideration before choosing an activity.
“Why am I always getting in trouble for stating the obvious? A problem can’t be fixed unless you address it.”
Marjorie spoke up.“Are you saying Andrea being a fixable problem?”
Peter began his defense. “For the record, I didn’t know she was a fairy. And in the movies, people who glow in the dark have been around some radioactive materials.”
A red glow pulsed in the middle of the room and moved in Peter’s direction. Andrea’s voice held an even vibrato tone. “If you don’t shut up, I’ll show you radioactive materials.”
Boom! Boom! Boom! The door rattled from the knocking. Guessing from the color change in the room, it was enough to calm Andrea. The sound of everyone catching their breath followed by silence amplified the atmosphere of anticipation.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Dan said, “It sounds like someone is knocking on the door. You kids stay put.”
“What if it’s those two guys?” Demetrius whispered.
A bright light from the outside world temporarily blinded them.
A familiar voice made it easier for Angelica to endure the glare. “I hope you weren’t having an early Selene is gone celebration.”
Author Note: Finally we know what Angelica can do! I hope the student that asked me to create her will be pleased. If you can, leave me a note to let me know what you think of the story so far.
Until the next post…this Saturday
Categories: Strangers in a Strange Land