I hang up and watch the vlog. I see a very upset and clearly emotional me saying things I really mean but I do sound a bit like a teacher. I’m also so involved in what I’m saying that I completely fail to notice Dave, who has slinked up behind me and spotted Grandad’s wading bird calendar lying on the bench.
Dave doesn’t like birds. And she really doesn’t like ringed plovers. Even paper ones.
When she spots the ringed plover, Dave decides to lift herself up on two legs and dance hypnotically from side to side. She’s better that the “Thriller” cat and looks like she’s been trained by the world’s best choreographers. She then starts diving up and down on top of the plover, licking, head-butting it and twizzling her bum on it.
“And what about the new Grizzler?” Spencer carries right on. “The wrinkly one?”
“Yoo-hoo! I’m RIGHT here, darling!” Granny Viv booms at the top of her voice, striding down the aisle towards Spencer and his mates. “Did you miss me, sweetheart?”
EVERYONE in the hall turns to stare.
EVERY square inch of Spencer’s face turns prawn pink.
I grinned and said, “Hey don’t blame me, I’m a tourist, remember?”
“You’re a tourist, but I don’t remember ever hearing the Dutch were idiots.”
“Yeah, well, this one got herself stuck in a big foreign country with zombies running wild,” I replied.
I’m half of my father. Half of my hero. And I am half of my mother. Half soft sighs and half sharp edges. And if they can be Carmindor and Amara–then somewhere in my blood and bones I can be too. I’m the lost princess. I’m the villain of my story, and the hero. Part of my mom and part of my dad. I am a fact of the universe. The Possible and the Impossible. I am not no one. I am my parents’ daughter, and then I realize–I realize that in this universe they’re alive too. They’re alive through me. Fashioning my hands into a pistol, I point it at the ceiling, lifting my chin, raising my eyes against the blinding stage lights, and I ignite the stars.