TG Universes & Series:
"This is fan fiction for the Whateley Academy series. It may or may not match the timeline, characters, and continuity, but since it's fan fiction, who cares? To see the canon Whateley Stories, check out Whateley Academy at (http://whateleyacademy.net)"
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the Author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
“Mom?” Kelly was startled to find Marie sitting on Kelly’s bed as Kelly entered back into her bedroom from the bathroom she shared with her sister, “What are… is something wrong?”
“No honey, nothing is wrong,” Marie smiled over at the girl wrapped in the towel. Holding out a shopping bag toward Kelly, “I just wanted to give you this before you got dressed for school.”
“What’s this?” Kelly looked at the shopping bag in Marie’s hands.
“New bras honey.”
“But, I already have plenty of them,” Kelly was confused.
“These are a little different,” Marie pulled one out of the shopping bag. Pulling one of the cups in view Marie showed Kelly it was made with a pocket inside the cup.
“What’s that for?” Kelly’s look of confusion increased.
Reaching into the bottom of the shopping bag, Marie produced a small plain white box, “It’s for these,” handing Kelly the small box.
Kelly opened the box, upturning the box into her free hand. Two round clear silicon disks fell out into her hand. “What are these…” Kelly’s mouth fell open, her eyes went wide while her face turned three shades of red when she realized what the two disks were, “I, I don’t…”
Reaching out, Marie took Kelly by the hands and pulled her into a hug, “Honey it’s okay, lots of teen girls stuff their bras.”
“But, But I never wanted to.” Kelly stammered, “They, Lisa, wanted me and Sarah.”
“I understand, really I do!” Marie consoled the girl in her arms, “Now that you’ve done it, you’re afraid if you stop people will notice.” Kelly nodded. “You’ll find these are a lot more comfortable than a handful of toilet paper, they will look more natural and stay in place better honey.”
“How, how did you know I was, um you know?” Kelly’s eyes fell to the floor.
“The same way I knew Kay did it and then when Sarah started doing it, Marie chuckled. Kelly looked up at Marie questioningly. “And I suspect we’ll have yet another sudden increase in the use of toilet paper in this house when Anne gets a few years older.” Marie gave Kelly a squeeze before standing up, “Now get dressed and come have some breakfast before you have to leave for school.” Marie stated as she left the room, closing the door behind her.
Kelly was walking toward the cafeteria with Lisa after leaving Mr. Butler’s science class together. After taking a corner in the hallway Lisa suddenly stopped and pulled Kelly with her against the wall. A moment later Pete came around the corner, his eyes going wide, startled at the sight of the two girls there.
Lisa pushed Kelly behind her, “Why are you following us Pete? I promise you I can kick you a hell of a lot harder than she did!”
Pete’s one good arm went up holding out his hand in a gesture to stop Lisa, his other arm in a cast that he had returned to school with after the fight, “I swear I’m not, I only want to talk with Kelly.”
“Then talk,” Lisa folded her arms across her chest, keeping herself between Pete and Kelly.
“I, I wanted to say I was sorry,” Pete knelt down allowing his back pack to slide off his shoulder. Sitting it on the tiled floor he opened it and pulled out a plastic container, “I made these for Kelly.”
Lisa snatched the container from his outstretched hand, “What’s this?”
“Cookies, I made them.” Pete stood while slinging the backpack back over his shoulder one handed.
Pulling open the sealed lid Lisa peered inside the container, “Trying to poison us?”
Pete actually looked hurt at the accusation. Reaching over he stuck his hand in the container coming out with a cookie that he started eating, “See! Would I eat one if they were?”
Kelly had moved around Lisa enough so that she could see the container, reached over and pulled a cookie from it. Watching Pete as she brought the cookie up to her nose, “Wow, they do smell great.”
“My mom says you can’t apologize to a woman without chocolate, Pete smiled.
Kelly took a bite of the cookie in her hand. “Mmmm, this is good,” while still chewing the cooking in her mouth.
Lisa took a cookie out and tried one for herself, “Holy crap Pete, this is like the best chocolate cookie I have ever had.” Looking up at the boy, “You made these?”
Pete nodded, “Worked on that recipe for almost a year before I got it right. Although I could only do it when my dad was away,” Pete looked down to avoid the two girls’ eyes, “He wouldn’t let me bake, said that it was not something real men do.”
“So what happened, I mean how come you can bake now,” Kelly asked.
Pete continued to look down at the floor, “After my dad did this,” Pete held up his broken arm, “mom called the cops. She changed the locks and everything, said he will never be allowed in the house again.”
“He broke your arm?” Lisa’s eyes wide with shock.
“Why?” Kelly’s face displayed the same level of shock.
“When he found out I was beaten up by a girl, he got really mad.”
Kelly stepped forward and gave the large boy a hug, “Apology accepted and thank you for the cookies, they are delicious.”
“Pete looked up from the floor to Kelly and smiled, “Thanks.”
“Now let’s all go get some lunch,” Kelly hooked her arm inside of Pete’s and led them on toward the cafeteria.
The shrill of the whistle Mrs. Williams wore on a lanyard around her neck filled the gym, all the girl’s stopped and turned to the slender blond woman standing a few feet from the side line, one grabbing the ball as it sailed over the volleyball net toward her.
“Alright girls, hit the showers!” The girl’s coach’s voice carried distinctly across the entire gymnasium. The girls all began filing toward the side door that led the girl’s locker room. “Kelly, I’d like a word with you please,” Mrs. Williams called out before Kelly could take more than a few steps toward the locker room.
Kelly turned and began walking toward the teacher, glancing back over her shoulder at all the girls shuffling out of the gym except for Sarah who had begun walking over. “Sarah, showers.” Mrs. Williams said loud enough to be heard by the approaching Sarah, “Your sister will be along in a few minutes.”
Sarah opened her mouth to argue, but the stern look from Mrs. Williams stopper her before she began. Looking over to Kelly, “I’ll wait for you in the locker room.” Before turning and heading there herself.
Mrs. Williams waited until Kelly stopped in front of where she stood, “Care to explain why you’ve been sandbagging in my class?”
“Sandbagging?” Kelly gave the best look of confusion she could muster.
“Yes Miss Kontos, Sandbagging.” Mrs. Williams stated, “Your clumsy act, and yes I can tell it’s an act, does not cut it in this class.”
“But I’m —”
Mrs. Williams held her hand up stopping Kelly, “Do you really want to dig that hole deeper?” Kelly shook her head. “Look I am sure you think you have a very good reason, but you are over doing it. To anyone that pays attention, it’s obvious that it’s an act. If you insist on hiding your,” Mrs. Williams cleared her throat, “athletic abilities, you need to be more subtle. Tripping over your own feet, while good for a laugh, is not something you normally do now is it?”
“No ma’am,” Kelly looked down to the gym floor blushing.
Mrs. Williams reached over gently pulling Kelly’s chin up so she could see her face, “Look I know it’s difficult to fit in, especially for our kind, but what you’ve been doing will only make you stand out.”
“Okay hit the shower.” Mrs. Williams smiled, “Oh and Kelly if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m always here.”
Walking toward the locker room thinking about what Mrs. Williams had said to her, Kelly took a sharp breath as it dawned on her that the teacher has said, ‘our kind’. Kelly’s thoughts were racing as she continued to walk to the locker room, She can’t be, she looks too normal. Mutant’s eyes are never normal? But what if she wears contacts like I do? No, that can’t be right because mine had to be special to cover the real color, would regular colored contacts hide her eyes if they didn’t glow in the dark like mine? Even then how could she know about me, I’ve made sure not to do anything to give anyone the idea that I’m different?
All thoughts were driven out of Kelly’s mind as she entered the locker room and found herself ambushed by no less than four girls including her sister, “Are you okay? What did she say? Are you in trouble?”
The barrage of questions from the girls kept coming as Kelly tried to get over to her locker. “She told me that she could tell I was clowning around, and that I had to stop,” Kelly gave them an answer she hoped would curb their curiosity.
The bell rang while Kelly was still getting dressed, although this failed to put a rush on her as it was the last class of the day for them. The halls were mostly clear, most students rushing out of the building before Kelly, Sarah and Rose came out of the locker room. Walking out the main doors they found Both Lisa and Pete sitting on the steps talking.
“Hey guys what ya doing sitting there?” Sarah piped cheerfully at them.
Turning to see the three girls coming down the steps Lisa grinned, “Waiting on you guys!”
Kelly looked over at Pete and giggled, “You know you’re going to ruin your reputation if you keep hanging out with us.”
“Good, I never wanted that reputation.”
Sarah, Rose and Lisa chatted constantly as they walked down the sidewalk, both Pete and Kelly remained mostly silent, only speaking enough to acknowledge questions shot at them. Near three quarters of the way down the block Pete spoke, “This is my house,” pointing at the single story ranch, “See you guys tomorrow,” before walking up the drive and into the front door.
“Wow I walk by here every day and never knew Pete lived there.” Sarah said.
Kelly shrugged her shoulders, “Don’t look at me, this is only my seconds week of school here.”
“I knew,” Rose shrugged her shoulders.
“Yea Miss observant!” Lisa giggled. Sarah stuck her tongue out at Lisa.
Rose was the next to part ways with the group, heading off down a side street to their right as they continued toward home. Finally at the end of that street, they turned left and walked down until they were in front of Sarah and Kelly’s house, “You coming in?” Kelly asked.
“No, Mom and Dad said there was some place we had to go when I got home today. “ Lisa replied, “Maybe tomorrow.”
“Alright,” Sarah smiled as she and Kelly walked down the drive way toward their house.
They found the garage door open with Michael’s pickup truck backed partially into it. Walking past his truck they spotted two wooden crates both had been opened, was partially filled with straw, the other had a white fluted column that put Kelly in mind of the large columns built at many of the ancient Greek temples. This one was about three feet long and a foot wide, resting in a bed of straw. Putting her hand under it at one end she tested its weight and found that it was not as heavy as it appeared, Must be hollow? Kelly thought before picking it up and out the crate and carrying it into the house.
Once inside the house Kelly raised her voice, “Dad where you guys at?”
“In the family room,” She heard his reply. “We’re finally setting up those statues your grandfather sent back with us.”
Kelly came in though the arched entrance of the room, “What statues?” Kelly noticed both men were staring at the column she held on her shoulder one handed, “Oh I figured I would bring this in with me, Where do you want it?”
Jake regained his composure, while Michael continued to stare. “Sit it down on the other side of the fireplace Kelly.”
Walking past them she did as he asks before looking back at Michael strangely, “Do I have something on my face or something?”
Michael stood there shaking his head, before finally speaking, “Do you know how heavy that was?”
Kelly shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know, a hundred pounds?”
“Try more like three hundred.” Michael stated.
“Yea right,” Kelly grinned, thinking he was trying to pull one over on her.
“He’s is telling the truth,” Jake intervened, “Even if he wasn’t, a hundred pounds is still more than an average eighty pound girl can lift and three hundred pounds should be impossible. It took the two of us to bring in the first one.”
“It, it didn’t feel that heavy?” Kelly quavered.
Jake looked at both Michael and Kelly for a few moments, “Michael I want you to take Kelly out back and play around with the weights,” Looking at Kelly, “I believe we have discovered your change came with a few more abilities that we first thought. You need to relearn what the weight of things feel like now so that you don’t accidentally show everyone you have super strength.” Kelly nodded and went with Michael out the sliding glass doors of the room that exited onto the covered rear patio.
“I have an idea,” Michael said as she pulled the sliding door shut behind them, “sit down on the weight bench.”
Kelly went over and sat down, “Okay so what’s your idea?”
“I’ll hand you a couple different weights while you have your eyes closed, you tell me what weight it feels like I gave you.”
Kelly sighed then closed her eyes, “Okay let’s give this a try.”
“Kelly!” Kelly opened her eyes to see their mother standing on the patio just outside the door that led into the kitchen. Hands on both hips and an obvious look of displeasure on her face. “You’re wearing a skirt!”
Looking down at her lap Kelly realized that with both legs on either side of the weight bench, the pleated skirt was drawn tight against her thighs, giving her mother a great view of her panties. Scooting forward on the bench Kelly closed her knees together. “Sorry mom, I wasn’t thinking.” Kelly looked back up at her mother with a cheesy smile.
“If you and Michael are going to play around with the weights, go put on something else.”
“Yes ma’am.” Kelly jumped up from the weight bench blushing bright red as she ran over to enter the house through the sliding doors on the family room.
Kelly appeared back on the patio nearly fifteen minutes later wearing a purple tee shirt and pink leggings. The front of the shirt bore a graphic of a pink pony with a darker pink long curly tail and mane that had the caption written around the picture, ‘Daddy I want a pony.’ Kelly also wore a matching pair of pink canvas tennis shoes covering purple ankle socks. Michael failed to cover the chuckle that escaped when he saw how she was dressed.
“Oh yea laugh it up. I would have been back out ten minutes ago if the fashion police hadn’t caught me!” Kelly giggled.
Would you believe she was going to wear a yellow top with those leggings?” Sarah slid the glass door shut as she stepped out behind Kelly.
“We’re only working out who cares?” Michael looked over at Sarah.
“That’s what I kept saying!” Kelly pleaded.
“It was making my eyes bleed!” Sarah quipped. “What if someone had saw you? Do you have any idea how embarrassing that would be?”
Michael shrugged his shoulders, “You ready Kelly?” Kelly nodded. “Okay I got to thinking while I sat out here waiting and I think what you should do it just start picking up the various weights. Since you can read what each weighs it will get you used to how the different weights feel now, so you don’t go picking up something in front of a bunch of people that it took three strong men to carry.”
Kelly began picking up the individual weights, while holding up the fifty pound weight she looked over where Michael and Sarah sat, “Wow you guys were right, this doesn’t feel anywhere near what I remember fifty pounds weighing.” Laying the weight back down one handed, Sarah could you pick some of these up while I watch?”
Sarah gaped at Kelly’s request, “Why?”
“So I can tell what it looks like when someone my size does it.”
An evil smirk crossed Sarah’s face, “Sure, Now pay close attention because this is how a girl lifts something heavy.” Sarah clasped both hands together in a very feminine manner, looking down at her hands as she brought them up to her chest almost as if to pray. Raising her head just enough so that she could look up at Michael with the largest puppy dog eyes she could muster, “Michael, would you please pick up that big heavy round thing for me?” batting her eyelashes at him. All three rolled with laughter.
At the hospital in effort to help both Kelly and his facility, Dr. Peters had woven an elaborate scheme to cover up the truth behind Kelly’s metamorphosis. The only problem he faced was what to do with nurse Merks. After Kelly’s manifestation in the devisor burn tank, Linda Merks had been very outspoken with her views on mutants. He needed Miss Merks to fade out of sight, but firing her would only fuel her hatred of mutants and the chance that she would go to the media was too great. What he needed was the proverbial carrot on a stick, something she wanted badly enough that giving it to her would ensure her silence.
Bringing up Nurse Merks records on his computer, Dr. Peters began going through them once again, this time with an eye on where the woman’s interested lay hoping to find that carrot. Thirty minutes later while going over her records for the fourth time a thin smile slowly spread across the doctor’s face. Picking up the phone from its cradle Dr. Peters scrolled though the phones computerized index of numbers until he found the one he was looking for and hit the call button.
“Hello?” Dr. Peters heard the accent of an oriental man on the other end.
“Henry?” Dr. Peters asked, “This is Carl. Carl Peters.”
“Hi Carl, long time no see and all that,” excitement of hearing from an old colleague evident in his voice, “How are things in Atlanta?”
Dr. Peters sighed, “Actually I got a bit of a situation here, but I have an idea that could be beneficial to all parties involved. Are you still as short handed out there?”
Henry laughed, “There is never enough hours in the day as you know so well. So does this have anything to do with your burn center being on national television a few weeks ago?”
“You could say that was the spark that lit the fire.”
Realizing his friend was intentionally being cryptic, “You know the Braves are playing their home field tonight.”
Knowing Henry’s love of baseball, “I’ll get us tickets soon as I’m off the phone.”
“I expect warm beer and cold hot dogs too!”
“Of course,” Dr. Peters chuckled, “The game would not be the same without those.”
“Give me a couple hours to make the travel arrangements,” Henry sounded excited.
The short oriental man pulled the wrapping away and took a large bite out of the hot dog contained within, “Mmmm ambrosia!” he mumbled, relishing the taste of the lukewarm braves dog. Dr. Peters chuckled, looking over at his friend who had five more hot dogs in their unopened wrapper in his lap. Henry reached down by his feet to grab the clear plastic cup full of amber liquid. Bringing the cup to his lips, Henry washed down the hot dog, and then turned to his friend, “Carl I believe I can help with both issues you face.”
“Of course,” Henry grinned, “I think Miss Merks would make an excellent addition to our staff, and I believe once she becomes acquainted with the special problems of many of our patients, her misconceptions will fade.”
“That was my thoughts too, but you mentioned a second issue?”
“Oh yes,” Henry grinned, his mouth half full of another bite of hot dog, “You don’t have a body.” Taking another bite of the hot dog in his hand, “I know you were probably thinking of using a cadaver but that could be tricky, since there would still be a missing body and of course if the body was ever exhumed and the DNA tested it would not match.”
“Exhumed?” Dr. Peters peered over at his friend in disbelief.
Frowning at his friend, “You’d be shocked at what some of those three letter agencies will do.”
“Okay but how will we get it all the way out here?”
“Same way I got here so fast,” Henry grinned, “and it will only cost you the price of a couple Chicago deep dish pizzas.”
Dr. Peters thought back to the young man that had appeared in his office with Henry, “Must be nice to have a teleporter on staff.”
Henry laughed, “He’s not staff, he’s a student with a soft spot for Chicago style pizza.”
“I probably don’t want to know.”
“Couldn’t tell you if you did. It’s the rules,” Henry unwrapped another hot dog.
Helen Smiled when she saw Jake and Marie walk into the church, followed by their children. Jake was dressed in a military uniform while Marie was wearing a tea length black dress. Helen’s smiled faded and was replaced by a look of confusion when she spotted Anne following behind her parents holding hands with Sarah and another girl that looked very similar to Sarah. All three wearing dresses that appeared to be smaller versions of the same dress Marie wore. Helen had to do a double take to make sure she wasn’t hallucinating, the other girl could easily pass for Sarah’s twin. Helen reached her hand out to Marie as they came up.
Marie leaned down giving Helen a hug, “Are you okay?”
“She looks like Sarah.” Helen quietly spoke, “Who is she?”
Marie looked over where Kelly was sitting down in the front pew along with the rest of the family, “She’s my niece.”
Helen pulled back enough so she could look at Marie, “Niece? But you said you were an only child?” Helen’s eyes grew wide when she realized what Marie meant. While Marie did not have any siblings, she had always introduced Kelly as her younger brother. “Kelly?” Helen’s lower lip began quivering while her eyes became watery, glancing over at the girl, tears were also running down the young girls cheeks as she looked over at both Helen and Marie.
Marie nodded, “Her name is Kelly.”
“He, he never told me,” Helen tried gallantly to hold back the tears.
“He never told us either,” Marie explained. “Apparently Kelly and my father found out a few years ago. Jake and I didn’t know until you both were hurt.”
“I would really like to get to know her,” Helen smiled past Marie at the girl.
“You’ll have plenty of time for that,” Marie smiled at Helen, “she is living with us now, Jake and I adopted her.” Marie could see the priest walking out to the podium, “I think they are ready to start, I should go sit down.” Marie nodded then went to take her seat so the priest could begin.
The priest motioned for Jake once he concluded his service. Jake stood at the podium and gave a long and very eloquent eulogy, although Kelly thought that he really embellished the stories he told about her, or her old life before her change. The cold stare Marie gave him when he mentioned that Kelly could also juggle, stopped that story from being told. The mention of that had all their children with the exception of Anne trying their best to hold back the giggled and laughter the memory brought them. Anne being only a toddler when it happened was looking around at her siblings trying to understand what was so funny.
After Jake finished and sat down, people began lining up to walk past the casket that had an American flag covering it. Since this was a closed casket ceremony a large picture of Kelly sat upon a three legged stand. The line of people walked past the casket and picture, many of them kissing the frame or kissing their fingers then touching the frame or the picture its self.
Those that came in military uniform stopped in front of the casket at attention and gave a crisp salute to their fallen comrade before proceeding on. The number that came in uniform surprised Helen, there must have been close to thirty men and women each one’s left breast laden with medals and ribbons. Helen had no idea what any of that meant but it did look very impressive.
Kelly recognized many of the faces in uniform, some surprising her that they came to her funeral. There was even a retired Admiral that Kelly could have sworn hated her guts back in the day. Every shit job that came down from command, Admiral Potts seemed to always assign to Kelly. It was like the man got off on tormenting Kelly.
Kelly watched as the admiral stepped over to where Helen sat in her wheelchair, gave Helen a salute then took Helen’s hand and shook it, “Your husband was one of the finest men I ever had under my command!” He stated loud and proudly.
Completely stunned at his words, Kelly gasped, “What!” before covering her mouth and shrinking back into the pew between her sisters. Peeking out around her sister, Kelly could see both Helen and the admiral talking and looking toward Kelly although with the noise of others talking in the room she could not hear what they were saying. Kelly tried her best to become as small as possible where she sat, her eyes locked on the floor in front of her. Two highly polished black shoes entered her field of vision, stopping in front of her before preforming a perfect military turn to point directly at Kelly. Please don’t let it be the admiral! Please not the admiral! Kelly thought to herself, the one man that saw through me like no other. He’ll know it’s me! Slowly Kelly looked up, gulping as she met the admiral’s gaze.
“If Mrs. Lekka had not told me who you were, I would have guessed it easily enough,” Admiral Potts smiled down at Kelly. “The expression on your face reminds me of the way he would look when I’d catch him pulling one of his pranks.” The admiral went down on one knee so he was eye level with Kelly, “Your father loved his pranks, but when it came time to get serious, he was like having three of the best sailors I could ever ask for all rolled up into one. He did not know the word quit. He was like the son I never had.”
Reaching up to his collar, he unpinned the four stars that denoted his rank as Admiral then handed it to Kelly. “I want you to have this to remember how much your father meant to me, you cannot imagine how much I own him.” Reaching into his inside breast pocket he withdrew a business card that he also handed to Kelly, “If you ever need anything, I can be reached at one of those numbers.”
“Tha, thank you,” Kelly all but whispered as tears began streaming down her face, unable to control the flood of emotions that came with her new body.
“If you don’t remember anything else about your father, remember your father was a hero,” smiling at Kelly the Admiral stood and walked away.
Kelly felt an arm wrap around her back pulling her into a hug. “Are you okay?” Sarah whispered into her ear. Unable to speak Kelly nodded.
Kelly sat in the very back of the large Ford along with Sarah and Anne. The funeral director had placed their SUV third in line, directly behind the car that Helen and her parents were in behind the large black Chevrolet Suburban that carried the casket. The ride to the cemetery reminded Kelly of a military convoy. Once the lead vehicle, in this case the hearse, went through a light all the vehicles following it continued through the intersection regardless of the traffic lights.
Getting out of the side door of the large SUV Kelly saw that Helen’s father was struggling to get the wheelchair she needed out of the trunk. Before Kelly could take a step forward two men jogged over and began assisting him. While every man that was not in a military uniform was dressed in a black suit, Kelly sensed these two were different. Something about them shouted three letter agencies to Kelly, but which one? Kelly watched the two carefully as they helped Helen out of the car and into her wheelchair. Noticing the left side of their jackets was cut larger, Kelly knew only one reason to have a suit jacket cut like that. Quickly going over to Jake, Kelly pulled his sleeve to get his attention, then as he leaned down to her she whispered, “Spooks with Helen.”
Jake casually glanced over at the two men, one pushing Helen’s wheelchair while the other walked close behind with her parents, the telltale bulge of their shoulder holsters apparent to his trained eye. Looking back to Kelly, “I seriously doubt that anyone would try something here, not with this much of the old team here.” Jake began walking toward the grave then stopped and turned back around to quietly say to Kelly, “If anything does happen, you do not blow your cover! Do you read me?”
“Yes daaaaaad,” Kelly grinned while dragging out the word, hoping she could keep that promise.
Sarah walked up and threaded her arm inside of Kelly’s arm, grinning up at their father, “Us girls got to stick together, right sis?” Jake shook his head and sighed at the sight of the two young girls walking arm in arm together ahead of him.
Looking around trying to spot any more people that looked out of place as she walked with her family to the grave site, Kelly saw three more loitering around at a couple other graves in the distance, one pair about fifty yards to their north hovering over a grave while the third was leaning against a tree close to one hundred yards to their east at the edge of the cemetery, casually smoking a cigarette.
Up ahead at the grave site, they had set up an awning with folding chairs lined up underneath to give the family and friends a place to sit out of the sun. Near the center of the front row two chairs had been intentionally left out to provide room for Helen’s wheelchair, where the man pushing Helen’s wheelchair maneuvered her into before walking out from under the awning to stand with his partner off to the side. Knowing that if these guys did try anything, the closer she was to Helen, the better Kelly’s chances were to intervene without giving her powers away. Figuring that if anything did happen all she would have to do is stall the two men long enough for the two dozen or so team members to react.
Helen was twisting around looking back as people began milling in toward the grave site. Spotting Sarah and Kelly she began waving to get their attention then motioning them to come over. “Kelly right? Your mother named you after him?” Kelly nodded as Helen looked over her and Sarah. “It’s amazing how much you two look alike, I bet you get asked all the time if you are twins.”
Kelly nodded shyly while Sarah giggled, “We pulled that one Kelly’s first day of school.”
“Yea, now no one believes that we are not, thanks to Sarah and her friends.” Kelly blushed.
“Please sit with me Kelly,” Helen patted the chair beside her, “You too Sarah, please.” Kelly sat beside Helen while Sarah took the chair next to Kelly. Reaching over and taking Kelly hand, “I want you to think of me as family too,” Kelly nodded while Helen looked deep into her eyes. “After all I am your step mom,” Helen smiled.
“And the envy of all the other girls in her school, to have a step mom so beautiful.” They heard from behind them.
“Mr. Papangelou you made it!” Helen said as she turned to see who was speaking.
“Grandpa!” Sarah grinned.
“Um, papou?” Kelly sounded confused as she watched Marie, Marie’s father and the rest of the family take seats behind them.
“So I see your keeping my little hellion out of her normal mischief?” Mr. Papangelou grinned.
“You can’t mean this angel here?” Helen smiled over at Kelly.
“Angel? You’re mistaking horns for a halo my dear.” Mr. Papangelou chuckled then looked over at Marie, “And you got her to wear a dress!”
“I wear dresses and skirts!” Kelly began blushing soon as she realized she was arguing with one of the few people that knew the truth about her, then added quietly, “I, I have to for school.”
Helen tightened her grip on Kelly’s hand, “Don’t let your grandfather tease you, you look very pretty in that dress sweetie.” This caused Kelly’s face to turn a deeper shade of red. “I just cannot get over how much you and Sarah resemble each other and with no true blood relation.”
“Oh they are blood relatives,” Mr. Papangelou gave Helen a knowing look, “Cousins to be exact.”
“But I thought Kelly, I mean my Kelly was not your son?” Helen looked over at Mr. Papangelou.
“He was very much the son I never had although he was my sister’s son.” Mr. Papangelou explained. Kelly gasped.
Marie looked at her father the astonishment clear in her face, “Kelly was my cousin?” Mr. Papangelou nodded.
The pall bearers had begun to move the casket from the hearse to the burial plot so everyone turned to pay attention to the funeral. Sitting the casket on the framework that would lower it into the grave, the uniformed men all took a crisp step back and saluted the casket before turning and walking off to one side. The priest came up to stand at the head of the casket and said a few more words then had everyone join him in prayer.
Feeling Helen’s grip tighten on her own hand Kelly glanced over to find Helen crying quietly during the prayer. Kelly wanted so badly to tell her that her husband was not gone, that she was still here. But as much as she wanted to, Kelly knew that telling Helen would only cause more heartache for the woman she loved. How, now in the body of a twelve year old girl, could she even begin to remain Helen’s husband. Not only was Kelly now the same sex, she was a minor. With these thoughts running through her mind, the tears began flowing down Kelly’s own cheeks.
When the priest had finished two marines in full dress blues stepped over to the casket, removed the flag draped over it and methodically began folding it into the standard triangle fold. Admiral Potts waked up just as they were completing the flag folding ceremony, took the flag as it was handed to him while returning their salute. Turning to another naval officer that had quickly followed the admiral, the admiral placed the flag gently on top of a small wooden box that measured about eighteen inches long, twelve inches wide and maybe 4 inches thick, that the other officer was holding out. Taking the box and flag from the other officer, the admiral walked over to Helen to give both to her. Thanking Helen for her husband’s service to our country, he gave Helen a salute, then did an about face and walked over to the casket.
Taking something off his jacket’s left breast, he placed the small item on the casket then used his palm to slam down against the item. As he was doing this most of the men wearing navy uniforms had lined up beside the admiral. As the admiral moved away another took his place, removed the golden trident insignia from his uniform and pinned it in the same fashion into the lid of the casket.
Helen looked over to see Kelly now sobbing heavily, tears pouring down her face. Looking around trying to understand what was happening, Helen felt a hand on her shoulder. Turning around to see Jake getting up out of his chair, “What’s going on?”
“It’s a tradition,” Jake said as he rose out of the chair he was sitting in, “a show of respect and brotherhood.” Jake then stepped over to take his place in line.
Helen was watching Jake as he made his way back behind the front row of chair back to his seat, when the sharp crack of rifles firing caused her to jump almost spilling the folded flag and the wooden box out of her lap. Turning quickly toward the direction of the sound she saw the seven marines in full dress blues line up pointing rifles upward at an angle fire two more volleys of shots before they lowered the rifles turned sharply and marched away toward the paved road that wound through the cemetery.
As the casket began lowering into the grave people began moving, some leaving toward their cars while others came over to once again offer their sympathies to Helen and to Jake and Marie’s family.
Kelly tried to keep an eye on the two unidentified men through the crowd of people that had begun to gather around her and Helen. Helen had yet to let go of Kelly’s hand and was now introducing Kelly as her husband’s daughter, which made it impossible for Kelly to get away from the crowd of well-wishers. When Kelly noticed they were following Mr. Papangelou toward the rows of parked cars, her mind raced through a list of possible motives the two could have with assassination and kidnapping rising immediately to the top of that list. “I need to go say goodbye to my grandfather.” Kelly’s plea was ignored by the large crowd of adults that surrounded her, too busy in their own conversations to realize the small girl had spoken.
Do not blow your cover! Jake’s words echoed in Kelly’s mind. My cover is not worth a man’s life! Kelly fought with her thoughts, ready to jump to his side. Ready to use her teleport ability, Kelly spotted three Navy uniforms walking up to the two men, casually stopping the two men as two more Navy uniforms approached the two from their right flank. Kelly relaxed, giggling to herself knowing that Jake must have quietly passed the word on to the other members of the team when he was up pinning his trident to the casket, Dad, you slick son of a… Kelly startled herself, When did I start thinking of him as dad?
Knowing that neither his wife, nor anyone would have time for any cooking after the funeral, Jake had arranged for a local restaurant they frequented to cater a buffet style late lunch, early dinner at their home. As usual with Jake he never took half measures, The tables the caterers brought were filled with Greek Salad, Dakos, Tzatziki sauces, fried squid, Florina peppers, Kolokythoanthoi, stacks of pita bread, Tiropita, Artichokes with olive oil, Fashoulakia, gyro meat, moussaka, several types of souvlaki, along several trays of baklava, bougatsa and diples for dessert.
Kelly caught a glimpse of the work going on to set up the buffet tables as she rushed up to her room to change into clothing she was more comfortable in. This turned out to be what was quickly turning into her favorite pair of cargo pants which before her change, she would not be caught dead in in the bright pinks and reds of the colorful feminine camouflage pattern, but something about the bright pattern called to her now.
Pulling a tank top on that matched the cargo pants Kelly grabbed a brush and began pulling her hair into the high pony she normally wore it in, when she saw how noticeable the black bra she had worn under the dress she wore to the funeral stood out though the top.
With a long sigh, she pulled her top back off over her head and changed her bra to one of the beige ones Marie had bought for her before pulling the top back on and continuing with her long hair. Finally having all her hair secured with an elastic, Kelly sat down and slipped on white ankle socks and a pair of pastel pink tennis shoes.
Standing in front of the mirror of her vanity, Kelly looked herself over once to make sure Marie would not have her going back upstairs to correct her clothing choices, as she had done so often in the past few weeks. Kelly thought everything looked up to par. Grinning at the camouflage ball cap that hug on the corner of the mirror’s frame, Kelly quickly put it on, pulling her pony tail though the hole in the back before bending the sides of the caps bill down to exaggerate the bills normal curve.
Kelly had a lot on her mind after the funeral, and could understand why her mother had forced her to attend. Looking at her reflection once again in the mirror Kelly thought, I’m not him anymore, that part of me is gone. This is what I am now and will be for the rest of my life.
Kelly’s plans of quickly grabbing some food then hiding from the well-wishers were smashed almost immediately. Halfway down the stairs she saw that their living room was filled with people. At the bottom of the stairs she turned going into the family room as fast as she could without gaining anyone’s attention only to almost run straight into Helen’s wheelchair.
“There’s my little agrio!” Mr. Papangelou chuckled as Kelly quickly stopped before running over the top of Helen.
“Hello again Kelly,” Helen turned away from the statuette she was examining.
“Hi, Um Mrs. Lekka,” Kelly forced a smile.
“Have you looked at these statuettes your grandfather sent you?” Helen began looking at the statuette again.
“Not really,” Kelly looked casually over at the one Helen was examining, seeing a woman in what looked like leather armor holding a short sword, “Why?”
Helen looked back to Kelly, “For one, to be made over a thousand years before Christ with the detail they have is amazing. Look closely at the face of this one.”
Kelly walked over to get a closer look at the face of the statuette, “You’re right it almost looks real.”
“Especially when the girl it resembles is standing so close to it,” Helen chuckled.
“What!” Kelly turned quickly to Helen, “That, that’s impossible!”
“Not really sweetie,” Helen reached out to grab one of Kelly’s hands, “Look at how closely you and Sarah resemble each other. Your looks come from your genetics, the statue was probably modeled after one of your distant ancestors.”
“So who is she supposed to be?” Kelly leaned closer to the statue, feeling a strange tingle in her finger tips when she reached up with her hand to trace her fingers across the statuettes face.
“According to the legend,” Mr. Papangelou stated, “She is one of the daughters of Moerae. It is said that she and her sisters controlled the destiny of both gods and man.”
“Like one of the three fates?” Kelly looked over at Mr. Papangelou.
“One of the fates… Yes,” Mr. Papangelou answered, “but there were many more than the three named in literature. This one was called Telikos.”
Kelly’s stomach, not forgetting why she had tried to slip through the house pass the well-wishers, chose that moment to complain loudly. “Um sorry,” Kelly’s face turned slightly red, “I was on my way to grab something to eat.”
“Go get yourself something to eat,” Mr. Papangelou chuckled, “History will not change, there is plenty of time for you to learn of it.”
Walking over to the sliding door, Kelly heard Helen, “You seem to know more about ancient history than what I have seen in books.”
“I have quite the library on these things,” Mr. Papangelou smiled, “passed down through the generations by my family.”
“I would love to see that one day,” Helen’s eyes lit up.
Kelly stepped through the door and slid it shut behind her, unable to hear more of their conversation.
Kelly sat eating the second of the gyros she had made for herself at the large buffet laid out in their back yard, her feet dangling off the side of the of the large sailboat. Kelly’s love of the Mediterranean sandwich had not dwindled with her change. Pita bread piled with gyro meat, topped with onions and tomatoes smothered in Tzatziki sauce, a mixture of yogurt, minced cucumbers and spices. The sun was low to the west, just beginning to disappear behind the top of the houses.
A shadow fell across Kelly as she sat there. Turning her head she saw Marie walking carefully toward her on the boat, her low heels held in one had while she held the safety cable that kept anyone from falling overboard in her other. “Hi mom,” Kelly smiled as Marie made her way over to Kelly sitting down beside her and letting her feet dangle over the side like Kelly had.
“Are you okay honey?” Marie looked concerned.
“Yea,” Kelly sighed, placing the gyro down on the paper plate beside her, “I just needed a place to sit and eat without everyone telling me how good of a man my father was or how much I look like Sarah.”
“You don’t sound like that is all,” Marie reached around Kelly’s shoulder pulling her into a hug.
“Yea, I guess going to my own funeral was pretty weird.”
“I’m sorry that I made you go,” Marie consoled the young girl, “it was necessary. The rest of the world thinks you are his daughter, it’s expected for you to be there. This also gives you some closure on that part of your life too.” Marie gently pulled Kelly’s chin up so they were looking in each other’s eyes. “No matter how much you and I may want it, we cannot change what happened. Kelly Michael Lekka is dead.”
“The king is dead, long live the kin… um queen,” Kelly deadpanned.
“Wouldn’t that be princess?” Marie chuckled.
Kelly sighed heavily, “I could use a stiff drink.” Seeing Marie’s stern but motherly gaze, “See that’s another thing,” Waving both hand at her own body, “Not only did this crap turn me into a girl, it made me a kid! I can’t have a drink, hell I can’t even drive a car now.”
“Honey you have been giving a gift that most never get!”
“How can you call being turned into a twelve year old girl a gift!”
“You’ve been given a second chance,” Marie all but whispered, “You can do things you never got the chance to do before.”
“Well for one young lady, you are going to finish high school this time around.” Marie stated, “Then we’ll discuss which college you will be attending.”
Kelly snapped her head up looking at Marie with her eyes wide, “College?”
“Of course college,” Marie grinned at Kelly, “I seem to remember someone giving a big speech to both Michael and Kay about the need for college.”
“I, I don’t know what to do,” Kelly sobbed, “I feel like my whole like has been turned upside down.”
Marie hugged Kelly tighter, “Things will work out honey. Now let’s head into the house, it’s been a long trying day and we all could use a good night’s rest.”
Reaching over with both hands, Kelly folded the sides of the paper plate in over the half eaten gyro then rolled the sides up encasing the sandwich inside the paper plate like a burrito before standing up with it.
Walking back toward the house Kelly saw that all the food had been removed from the folding tables in the backyard. Entering the house though the kitchen she found Jake, Kay, Sarah and Michael all working at putting the last of the food away. Helen and her parents were there, as was Marie’s father.
“Oh look who finally showed up now that all the work is done,” Sarah grinned at Kelly.
“Sarah!” Marie glared.
Sarah giggled a she stepped over and gave Kelly a quick hug, “Mom she knows I’m just joking.”
Kelly nodded reaching across the counter to grab a toothpick that she inserted into the paper plate to hold its shape wrapped around the sandwich inside. Helen noticed the unusual way the girl had saved the sandwich, “Where did you learn how to do that?”
“How to do what?” Kelly stopped, turning toward Helen.
“The paper plate,” Helen motioned to the one Kelly held, “Your father used to do the same thing.”
“I, I don’t remember,” Kelly tried to think of an explanation, “I might have seen him do it when he was visiting in Greece? I’m not sure.”
Sitting in front of the vanity in her room brushing her hair, Kelly glanced up at her reflection. Even the bright multi-hued orange and red of her eyes or the beautiful sapphire blue night dress she wore could not mask the sadness held within her eyes. My life is over, Kelly thought, Why did this have to happen to me? I’m not a god damned girl! Lowering her head Kelly began quietly sobbing.
Kelly thought of the serenity prayer, something that Marie had quoted often over the years and even more so after Kelly changed, ‘God Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
Kelly’s left hand slowly pushed the night dress down between her legs to feel the lack of male equipment, cementing the fact in her mind that she was lying to herself. Looking up again at her reflection, Kelly whispered, “I am a girl. I cannot change that.” Resolving herself to be stoic Kelly continued to brush her hair. Working on the long tresses she had, a nightly process, that sometimes took more than an hour, of brushing then braiding it so would not tangle while she slept, it dawned on Kelly that this was one of those things she could change. Reaching into the top right drawer of the vanity Kelly dug around until she found and pulled out a pair of scissors. Gathering her hair up in her left hand behind her head, Kelly reached back with the scissors in her right hand and began cutting.
Bringing the long severed pony tail around, Kelly dropped the mass of hair into the waste paper basket beside her vanity. Looking at her reflection once again, turning her head to one side then the other, she thought, This still looks like a girl’s haircut. Noticing how the sides of her hair came down to a point below her chin then angled up toward the back of her head where it was only a few inches long in what looked like a very rough pixie cut. Reaching back, Kelly took care of the loose strands of hair that she missed until she was satisfied that she had taken care of the long and annoying hair.
Her reflection smiled back at her in the mirror, No more spending hours a day taking care of long hair! Shaking her head from one side to the other, Kelly watched her now much shorter hair flap around in the mirror. When she stopped the hair fell back in place easily, This will be so much easier to take care of now!
Kelly heard a soft knock at her bedroom door, she turned just in time to see it start to open. Kelly realized immediately who it had to be. Michael and Dad would never enter without hearing that it was alright to do so. Anne never knocked, neither did Sarah most of the time, but she would have come through the bathroom as it was closer and Kay was busy studying. Crap mom’s going to freak out when she sees my hair!
“I thought I would see how you were… Oh my god what happened to your hair!” Marie shouted after sticking her head through the opening. Throwing the door wide Marie rushed over to Kelly’s side, “What happened?” Her voice sounding frantic.
Kelly gulped, knowing Marie would be furious no matter what she said, although she thought the truth was her only option. Kelly had never made a habit of lying to Marie before and would not start now, “I cut it off!” Pointing to the mass of hair in the waste basket.
“YOU WHAT!” Marie yelled. “Why on earth would you do that?”
Looking up where her mother stood, “It took me an hour every night to braid it before bed and even longer than that to wash and dry it. Every time I turn around I have to do something with my hair, it felt like my life revolved around my damn hair!”
“You know my thoughts on that, and as much as you liked long hair on women you have no place to talk!” Marie’s voice was still very loud.
“That was before I found out what a pain in the ass it is to take care of!” Kelly yelled right back.
“You’re grounded until I tell you different young lady!”
“I’m not a kid!” Kelly yelled, standing up to face Marie, “You can’t treat me like one!”
“Then stop acting like one!” Marie shouted.
“Arrrgggh!” Kelly screamed then disappeared in a cloud of red smoke.
“KELLY!” Marie screamed. Turning around Marie went to leave the room but was stopped by her husband, Jake, blocking the doorway.
Placing his hands gently on her shoulders, “What’s with the yelling?”
“Kelly,” Marie looked up at Jake, “She cut her hair off, just look!” Marie turned pointing to the now empty waste basket. “What the…” Marie walked over and picked up the waste basket then turned to Jake with a puzzled look on her face, “It was all right here.” Sitting the basket back down on the floor, “I’ve got to find her!” Marie tried pushing her way past Jake.
“Whoa, slow down,” Jake held Marie from leaving the room, “Kelly is fine, we both know where she went.”
“I need to go to her, she needs me!” Marie struggled to get past him.
“It’s been a long and stressful day for both of you,” Jake stated, “What you both need is some time to think and a good night’s rest.”
“But she’s so small and all alone.”
“You’re forgetting super human strength and ability to teleport. I would be more worried about what she would do to someone that did try something with her.” Jake chuckled, “And she’s only in the backyard. She’ll be fine sleeping on the boat tonight. Come to bed.”
Marie allowed Jake to lead her to their bedroom, but instead of getting into bed, Marie pulled a chair over to the window that looked out over their backyard, opened the window then sat watching the sailboat. Marie could see a light was on inside the boat through the side windows of the cabin. Close to thirty minutes later Marie, still watching from her chair, saw a small figure in a night gown slip across the yard onto the boat, open the hatch that led below deck then close the hatch behind her. Even in the dim light of the moon Marie could easily identify the figure as Sarah. Marie quietly got up and started toward the door.
“Where’re you going?” Jake had always been a light sleeper, normally attributing it to his days in the military as being forced to sleep with one eye open as he called it.
“Sarah just went out to the boat.”
“Figured she would,” Jake quietly chuckled, “Since Kelly’s change those two have become almost inseparable. Now come to bed, you need some sleep.”
Sarah walked down the short steps to find Kelly sitting at the table staring at a half empty bottle of Metaxa sitting on the table in front of her. From the streaks down her cheeks it was easy to tell Kelly had been crying, “Hey sis.”
Kelly did not take her eyes off the bottle, “Hey.”
Walking over, Sarah sat down beside Kelly, “What ya doing?”
“Just sitting here.”
“Planning on drinking that?” Sarah motioned toward the bottle on the table.
“Not anymore,” Kelly shook her head.
“Good, the last thing you want is to be puking your guts out.”
“I, I was going to get drunk, but I can’t.” Kelly tried to explain, “Drank that much already but nothing.”
“You drank half a bottle of dad’s brandy and you’re not drunk?”
Kelly nodded, “Cut my hair too and it came back.”
“Is that what you and mom were fighting about?” Sarah wrapped her arm around Kelly’s back, placing her hand on Kelly’s shoulder giving Kelly a gentle squeeze.
Kelly sighed, “Yea, she walked in right after I cut it.”
Sarah leaned back so she could see Kelly’s long hair behind her, “Doesn’t look like you cut much of it?”
Raising her hand up to her ear, Kelly held it straight against her head, “I cut it up to here, but after I jumped out here it was back, like I didn’t cut it at all.”
“Your hair grew back that fast?”
“No,” Kelly looked at her sister wide eyed, “It was just back like it was before. Watch,” Kelly got up and went over to open a drawer by the stove, retrieving a knife she cut a good two foot long section out of her hair that she handed to Sarah.
“Oh my god you didn’t just do that!”
“Watch,” Kelly disappeared in a cloud of red smoke, Sarah looked down at the locks of hair she held as they also disappeared in a cloud of red. Kelly reappeared by the steps that lead above desk, her hair looked as if she never cut it.
“That, that is so AWESOME!” Sarah giggled, “Now I am really jealous of your hair!”
“What?” Kelly’s jaw dropped.
“And I think I know what kind of mutant you are too!” Sarah grinned, “You’re an exemplar, you have one of those templates the teacher told us about. This is so cool, my sister’s an exemplar!”
“I’m a what?”
“Exemplar,” Sarah explained, “you have super strength, you have one of those template thingies and you’re beautiful.”
“I look like you,” Kelly reminded her.
“Exactly,” Sarah giggled, “The most beautiful girl you know. You really are my twin!”
Kelly looked down at her smaller chest, “Not quite.”
“They say when you change like that you change into the person your subconscious focuses on. You must have focused on a slightly younger me.” Sarah giggled while getting up and going over to Kelly, “Now come on let’s get your hair braided and jump in bed.” Taking Kelly by the hand she led them into the forward cabin.
Kelly found herself standing on a small rocky plateau that appeared to be one hundred feet or more above the flat barren valley below. The sun low on the horizon casting long shadows across the arid landscape. A few feet away in front and to the right her dream twin stood. Kelly noticed they both were dressed in identical long flowing white dresses, both had a thick leather strap crossing between their breasts that wound around their body ending at their waist that was tied off cinching the material of the dress close to their bodies visibly causing their breasts and hips to be more noticeably feminine.
To Kelly’s left she saw a wooden stand holding a single sword. The wood of the stand looked dark as night and very old. Kelly could also see what looked like highly intricate carvings in the sides of the stand. The sword it held was familiar to Kelly, closely resembling the long knife he had carried for so many years, although the blade was a bit longer with the handle of a dark black material Kelly still recognized it, if nothing else due to the strangely glowing blade. It was the same sword the woman had given him in the first of these weird dreams.
“That is Krisi,” Kelly’s dream twin spoke as Kelly was looking at the weapon.
Kelly looked past her dream twin, spotting what appeared to be a large battle taking place using archaic swords and spears far off in the distance, “What is this place?”
The dream twin smiled, “This place has been called many things over the years, but we call it sanctuary.”
“Sanctuary?” Kelly pointed over toward the ongoing battle, “In the middle of a war zone!”
The dream twin waved her hand in disregard of the raging battle, “There is always some battle or some war going on somewhere. None dare approach Krisi, they fear the blade.” Looking toward the far off battle, “They call Krisi the blade of nightmares. Those that touch it find their inner demons, their evils unleashed upon themselves, Their worst nightmares become real, a soul can be driven mad by this.”
Remembering the statuettes, “So are you the one in the statue, Telikos?”
“Telikos?” Kelly’s twin laughed, “I was the youngest so I guess you could say that is what I was, but it was not my name.”
“Who, what are you?”
“We are the same, two parts of the whole, we are Kelly Moira.”
“No,” Kelly as getting frustrated at the answers, “I mean before you were part of me, before I was turned into a girl.”
“We were dying.”
“Both of us?” Kelly questioned if whatever her twin is was also dying.
“Yes, Kelly and Moira were both dying,” Kelly’s dream twin answered, “We merged together to save the young one. Something kept us from separating after we were done, The only way either of us could survive was to join completely.”
“Okay, so why make us a girl?” Kelly begged for an answer.
“Your body was hurt badly, beyond my ability to weave back together.” Kelly’s dream twin lowered her head, “It was the only way.”
“Thank you for saving us,” somehow Kelly knew this was the truth, she could feel it in her soul.
“We both sacrificed much to survive,” Kelly’s twin spoke then raised her head to look at Kelly, “but together we will become more than we were before, this I know will come in time.”
Marie’s temper flared when she spotted the half empty bottle of brandy on the table inside the boat’s cabin. How dare she drink that at her age! Marie took a deep breath trying to calm herself, I’m here to make up with her, not fight. Anyways the hangover she’ll have today will be punishment enough. Sitting the carafe of coffee she had carried out with her on the table she walked toward the open forward cabin door where Sarah and Kelly lay sleeping.
Marie stood in the doorway for a moment looking at her two sleeping daughters. Sarah lay with her arm across Kelly, snuggled up against Kelly back. Both girls’ hair in identical long braids. What the… Kelly’s hair grew back over night? Marie gasped, “Your hair!” which woke both girls.
Kelly turned her head to see Marie standing in the doorway, “Mom, I, I’m sorry.”
“Your hair, it grew back!” Marie smiled.
Sarah rolled over onto her back, “Umm, morning mom?”
“Your hair, but you cut it last night,” the surprise evident in Marie’s voice.
“Um yea,” Kelly blushed, “apparently I can’t cut it. Sarah thinks I have this image thing that puts me back to what it says I should look like.”
Sarah yawned, “Her hair is supposed to be long so it goes back to being long no matter what she does.”
Marie walked around to the side of the bed, knelt down and hugged Kelly tight, “I’m so sorry I lost my temper last night. I was just so shocked when I walked in.”
“It’s okay mom,” Kelly returned the hug, “It was stupid of me to do it in the first place. Yesterday was just so… so crazy.”
“It was for all of us honey,” Marie let go of Kelly and stood up, “Now why don’t you roll out of bed and come have a cup of coffee with your mother.”
“What?” Kelly’s eyes opened wide.
Marie looked down at the twelve year old girl, “What you said last night, you were right.” Marie sighed, “You may look like a little girl but you’re not, not really.” Marie’s eyes lowered toward the floor.
Kelly could see the sadness written across Marie’s face as she swung her legs off the bed and stood beside her. Wrapping her arms around Marie, “I love you mom.”
“You can’t believe how happy it makes me to hear you say that. You know I love you too.”
Sarah climbed out of bed from the other side, “Hey do I get to have coffee too?”
“NO!” Kelly quipped.
“Yes,” Marie grinned. “It’s only fair.”
Sarah stuck her tongue out at Kelly causing both girls to giggle.
Following their mother out into the main cabin, Sarah slid in behind the table while Kelly produced three mugs from a cupboard above the small sink. Sitting down at the table, Marie poured each one a cup of the steaming liquid. Kelly raised her mug up in both hands, holding it under her nose. With her eyes closed she savored the aroma. A small moan escaped her lips after taking a sip from her mug.
“God sis, you drinking that or having sex with it?” Sarah saw their mother glare at her from the corner of her eye, “Not that I have done anything like that. That’s gross, I mean to think of a boy putting his, eww…”
Marie saw the complete look of disgust that came across Kelly’s face, “I think we got the visual Sarah.” Marie picked up the bottle of brandy from the table, “While we are on the subject of do’s and don’ts, What is this doing out?” Marie looked across the table at Kelly.
Kelly looked down at her mug of coffee, “I drank it, I wanted to get drunk.”
“Got a hangover this morning honey?” Marie’s smile had a bit of evil retribution to it.
“No and don’t worry I will never do it again.” Kelly confessed, “Not like it would do any good, I can’t get drunk now.”
“Well I’m glad you are not going to take up drinking, but what do you mean you can’t get drunk?”
“Just that,” Kelly looked up from her mug, “I drank half that bottle and nothing, not even a buzz. So why waste expensive liquor when it doesn’t do anything to me.”
“Alcohol doesn’t affect you?” Marie sounded unconvinced.
“Yea mom,” Sarah put in, “It’s part of being an exemplar. Things like that don’t have any effect on them.”
Turing her attention to Sarah, “You didn’t have any did you?”
“No,” Kelly quickly answered, “And she never asked. Sarah was more worried that it would make me sick.”
“Good,” Marie sat the bottle down, “Since I have both of you here and no one to interrupt us, I think we should discuss one other item that you girls should be aware of.”
“Oh god here it comes!” Sarah groaned.
“What?” Kelly looked over at her sister.
Raising her hands up from the table Sarah made air quotes with her fingers, “The talk.”
“I think I learned this about the same time you did mom,” Kelly stated.
“Not from this perspective young lady.” Marie raised her eyebrows opening her eyes wide at the same time letting her mouth fall open in a mock display of shock in Kelly’s direction. “Are you interested in boys yet?” Marie continued looking at Kelly.
“Not even Mark Stein?” Sarah giggled.
“He makes your heart go pitter patter, not mine!” Kelly countered.
“Girls,” Marie stopped them before they could say more, “It’s okay to think of boys that way,” Looking over at Sarah, “just don’t act on any impulses you may have without talking to me first alright?”
Both girls nodded.
What I want to know is how you feel about boys, “Marie looked back toward Kelly.
“I, I don’t really feel anything.” Kelly began, “I like how some of the boys at school treat me, but I’m not interested in more than being their friend.”
“What about girls?” Marie continued, “How do you feel about them now?”
“Ewww,” Sarah grimaced.
“I don’t think of girls that way!” Kelly glared over at Sarah before looking back at Marie, “Not anymore, I guess I never realized it, but it’s like when I was a guy seeing another guy in the locker room did nothing, now it’s the same with girls.”
“So I’m guessing you will eventually start looking at boys differently too.” Marie stated as Sarah grinned evilly over at Kelly. Marie continued, “So this is a good time for,” Marie held up her hands and make air quotes like Sarah had done earlier, “The talk.”
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