I’m surrounded by cattails. They jog the memory of the egret, tall and reed-thin. Something not quite reight about those spindly legs, the curved beak tucked to its breast, the eyes like beads of volcanic glass.
I turn slightly, and it’s there: tall, dark egret shape, the head cocked in study of me. I jolt, flashes of thought (egret – Mumbler – run) slamming through me, but my feet are rooted, and I nearly fall.
“Okay, um, when I was a kid, I was really smart.”
Spider tried not to raise her eyebrow. Sometimes the left on just raised involuntarily when people said things like I’m really smart. “So that’s your thing? Being really smart?”
“She was really smart,” Britta said.
Meredith nodded. “Thanks, Britta.”
The soles of her sneakers shredded under the pressure of her feet as she pushed off. She took one step, and then another, walking right out of her ruined shoes as she dragged the woman along with her. Then Helen heard a thump, a gasp and she pitched forward violently as she was released.
The month of June I’d spent tackling the basics. That one blinking eye kept me motivated, even though it took me another week of dedicated tinkering before I made any more progress: a twitching paw.
I’d been so excited about that, I took mom out for ice cream in the park (she was getting critically worried about my levels of vitamin D at that point; I was spending so much time in the basement).
“All right, all right. We can’t get too dressed up because we’ll look like we’re trying too hard. But we don’t want to dress down because then we’ll blend into the background…”
“And no one wants that.”
“Exactly, no one wants that. So, I think the answer is obvious: miniskirts.”
“Faith, that’s your answer to everything.”
She walked to a table beside the smeared window. It was heaped with yellow-paged books. Dust obscured the titles. With the tip of one finger she prodded through the pile. A few volumes lower down the stack still had clean covers. Treatises on gardening from two centuries back. Some leather-bound pads that looked like journals. Culpeper’s Complete Herbal and a General Historie of Plantes by Gerard.
Say something, I urge myself. Talk to her.
After all, when will I ever get the chance to talk to Ruby Rivera again? It’s not every day you get locked inside a prop room with your all-time favorite celebrity! Maybe if I strike up a conversation and act normal, she’ll see I’m not just some strange hiccuping/crying crazy girl and we’ll become friends! Maybe even best friends!
Friday’s Page 69 ~ The Time-Traveling Fashionista: On Board The Titanic.
“Ester is my aunt,” said Klaus, stowing their luggage as he talked. “I’m taking her on a special holiday. She’s always wanted to cross Europe by train. We spent some time in Paris first and we’ll spend some time in Istanbul at the other end.” He beamed. “It’s wonderful. Slight mix-up with the tickets – we were meant to be in a private car- but otherwise it’s all going brilliantly.”