Week 4 part 1 is here
20+ pictures under the cut
While the two girls bonded, in their own peculiar ways, Nicodemus grudgingly accepted the presence of a younger brother.
"Ground Owl, this is Robot Rambo, Evil Lair 1 is secure."
"Whachu doing?" asked a hopeful Shep.
"Ground Owl, just go guard our clubhouse from the girls."
"But what are you doing? I want to play with the kitty."
"We're not playing, I'm training Nova to obey me."
"Yeah, well. He's a cat."
"The girls are going to get in the clubhouse!"
Shep grumbled, but he shuffled and tripped his way to the clubhouse, stopping only to feed Freeman a carrot. Once Nicodemus had finished "training" his fluffy, witch following, kitty minions he joined his younger brother in the tree house. As the two boys lay in old sleeping bags, watching the world through the little window, and listening to the creaking and crying of the sturdy old dessert tree, they both agreed that this was the best place to be. For every day for a month they fell asleep up there. Each night Nicodemus would go through the list of stars and constellations he recognized - his own big brother version of a good night story.
|Nicodemus, being unrelentingly evil.|
Dingo confronts unfinished business from her toddlerhood, determined to build up a resistance to her sister's superior knowledge of creepy flora and fauna.
"Good morning big brother."
"Stop trying to butter me up, Callie, you can't go in the treehouse."
"Ew. It's dark out there at night and there are insects and arachnids and...um. I did that homework while you were in scouts, can I help?"
Callie sat down anyway and stared at the paper until her brother let her work with him. She was careful not to touch his papers, though.
"I'm going to go outside before school."
He shuffled outside, feeling ignored, despite Callie calling after him to put on sunscreen and bug spray and to wear a hat.
|Care for a tea party?|
|You'll always be my buddy, Paddy.|
From inside the house Toni watched her younger son, a golden glow dancing behind her ribs. She felt so much love for her children she wanted to cry, even if she didn't really understand them. Toni wasn't one of those mothers that had a cuddly wonderful kiss and hug happy relationship with her kids. But still, as she watched lone Shep throw a tea party for his bear, she was convinced that he'd make a wonderful father one day. What girl (or boy, Toni didn't like to assume) wouldn't love her sweet Shep?
Squaring her shoulders against the day, she emerged from the hot-house. "Kids! I love you, but get out! Go to school! Go! Adios!"
Laughing, the crew headed to the bus. Nicodemus paused to talk to his mother, "Mom, we all have A's."
"I'm really proud of all of you."
"We're ready to be teenagers. Can we invite friends to the party tomorrow?"
"Yes, yes, of course." Toni was already going over a mental list of sing-a-grams and auditions that needed attending to throughout today. It wasn't until later that she wondered what she'd agreed to. But with so much else to focus on she didn't worry too much. Alfred, her calm and patient husband, didn't seem worried. So she made up her mind to worry when he did, which was basically never.
Well, except when he was.
|while digging for a lead for a newspaper article|
|But why are there no TVs at scenic locations? Why? This concerns me!|
|Toni got a gig at the Totally Weird Death Trap Sculpture Park.|
And so, with a blatant disregard for the generally linear passage of time, the kids became teenagers.
Pooky stopped by, and she emitted a mighty HOOOOONK.
"My sister has eyebrows! Together, we will be the queens of everything and rule the school! We're the cutest!"
"Wait, I sense a disturbance. There's something adorable behind us, isn't there?"
"I wished to never have to worry about eyebrow mites."