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Eliza: Chapter Eighteen: Strange Days and a Brand New Night

July 31, 2009

When Miss Emmy returned later that day for the party, Eliza could tell she hadn’t uncovered much in her research, except possibly even more questions without answers.  The look on her face spoke volumes.  So much had happened already, but it seemed the oddities weren’t over yet.  As Eliza and Emmy stood talking on the sidewalk, a young man walked past.

18.01

Except he certainly wasn’t your ordinary teenager.

“That boy…” said Emmy.

“I know,” said Eliza.

18.02

“He’s green!” The two women said this simultaneously, and stood looking at each other, trying to figure out how a person could turn their own skin green.

“I don’t understand,” said Eliza.

“Nor do I, dear,” said Emmy. “There have been rumors of little green men living in Strangetown for several years now, but I’ve never actually seen one!”

“…until now,” said Eliza.

“Until now.”

“What’s going on, Emmy?” said Eliza.

“I don’t know, dear, I don’t know. But, the coincidences are stacking up…and you know I don’t believe in coincidence. It appears your curse, and perhaps much more, is tied up in this woman.”

“Bella Goth,” said Eliza.

“Yes,” said Emmy. “How is Darryl?”

18.03

“He’s…different,” said Eliza hesitantly. “Distracted, you know, like he’s a million miles away. He’s not the same, Emmy.”

“Keep your eyes on him,” said Emmy. “I know it will be hard, but you can’t trust him right now. Not until we know what’s going on here.”

“Well, whatever it is, it will have to wait,” said Eliza, glancing at the house. “Maria’s ready for us.”

18.04

The two women put bright smiles on thier faces to cover any worry that might show and walked over to where Maria stood waiting. As the group watched, Maria took her spin into the next phase of life — from child to teen.  Maria was growing into a beautiful young woman, like all of the DiPotere women before her. She was good at everything — school, athletics, art. In so many ways, Maria would make the perfect heir to my legacy, thought Eliza as she watched her youngest daughter transition.

18.05

Once all of the hugs and congratulations were done, it was Mirabella who spoke up.

18.06

“This is a great day,” she began. “On this day, my baby sister is on her way to womanhood. And for my gift, I have decided to show you, Maria, all of the secrets I have learned on being a teen. We will begin with your make-over.”

Eliza and Emmy looked at each other and smiled as Maria squealed with excitement. The DiPotere girls ran into the house, and Darryl went off to work, leaving Eliza and Emmy alone to discuss the day’s events.

The two women soaked in Eliza’s hot tub and stared at the flat white sky of Strangetown.

Photobucket

“You know,” said Eliza. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how white the sky is here.”

“It wasn’t always,” said Emmy. “It used to be blue, I hear, and the grass was greener than…”

“Grass?” said Eliza. “There’s no grass in Strangetown…not one single blade for all I’ve seen.”

“I know, but the old-timers said it used to be a beautiful place, and no one knows what happened.”

18.07

Just then, the girls emerged from the DiPotere house. Maria stood shyly behind her proud and doting sister. “May I present to you…My beautiful sister Maria!”

Mirabella had done a wonderful job, and the women agreed Maria couldn’t have looked more lovely. As Eliza stood watching the two girls together, she suddenly knew who would be heir to the DiPotere Legacy.  She turned to Emmy and whispered, “It is Mirabella. She is the one.”

Emmy smiled. Eliza had finally chosen. “It is decided, then,” she said.

17.09

As the women turned back toward the girls, their mouths fell open.  Night was approaching, but unlike any other night the women had experienced in Strangetown, tonight a dark blue was seeping through the sky.

“What is everyone looking at?” said Maria. “I know I smell bad, but I haven’t had time for a shower today!”

“It’s not that,” said Emmy. “Turn around.”

17.10

Maria stood in stunned silence. “The sky is blue!”

“So it would seem,” said Eliza.

The women stood staring at the great blue sky above their heads for a long time. It was Maria who broke the silence. “I have got to shower.”

Everyone laughed, and as Maria left for the house, Eliza took a moment to tell Mirabella she had named her the heir.

17.11

“Oh Mom! Thank you! I was so afraid you would pick Maria. She’s so good at everything.”

“Not everything,” said Eliza. “Tonight I saw you take care of your family…I realized how important this family is to you. That is what the heir needs, and what Maria lacks — total dedication to family.”

17.12

“I’ll make you proud, Mom, I promise,” said Mirabella.  There were more hugs all around, and then Mirabella said her goodnight, leaving the two elder women alone in their thoughts, staring at the blue sky of Strangetown. For Eliza, the moment was bittersweet. Somehow, in choosing an heir, she had triggered a chain of events that changed the very atmosphere of Strangetown. This was big…the curse, Bella. Bigger than she’d ever dreamed, and she’d just selected the daughter who would be destined to battle for the DiPotere family. Destined…or doomed.

17.13

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One Comment leave one →
  1. pieridae permalink*
    July 31, 2009 11:09 pm

    For anyone who’s curious…The sky went blue because I had downloaded a new driver for my laptop’s video card – one that could properly support the sky. It just happened to be good timing for the story. 😉

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