Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
(A/N This is shorter than my other chapters. I though that this would be a good stopping place. I would suggest reading my previous chapter to understand what is going on. Oh, P.S. my collage English teacher really liked my work. And I was terrified to show her because of my chacters illness/ 'speical power' and some other things. Enjoy the story.)
Willow advanced towards Elise with a steaming cup of latte. To Willow’s amazement, she put her hands in front of her.
”No,no,Villow. I can’t have zat!” Hissed Elise like a threatened swan. As her words spat, Willow flinched, her eyes batting in shock. Her face tingled for a second with indignation. Did she do something wrong?
Willow should have known better! She should have remembered!
But she didn’t.
Elise’s voice was like dust as she was sincerely apologetic. Inside herself as a mother, naturally, she felt remorseful for snapping at the young volunteer--she knew that she was just being kind and hospitable.
When Elise was angered, her words would hiss--which was common among Avyals. Sometimes when Elise was expressing her concerns to her husband, her voice would start out calm, then grow into a hiss as she became lively and animated the more vexed she became. Often times, Elise’s sharp tone would cause her husband, Gift, to be even more submissive, only speaking calmly when he had something to say. Naturally, Gift had a calm, quiet, and non-quarrelsome personality. However, the pair usually worked everything out rationally.
“ I have a intolerance to lactose,” she said. In general, Avyal’s had a genetic predisposition to gastric illnesses that just happen to ran rampant through their gene pool.
Once again, Willow should have remembered, but she didn’t-she wanted to slap herself in the head as if her hand was a fly swatter. Willow’s coffee bean colored hair brushed the mother Avyal’s neck as she whisked around to witness a wide, stocky, black feathered Avyal lumber towards her with steps that could if caused an earthquake. A large, black duffel bag was hoisted over his shoulder.
The feature that stuck out to Willow the most was the his body shape. His body shape was like that of a penguin or puffin. It was almost comical, maybe even a bit embarrassing, compared to his wife. He was definitely wide-but not in an unhealthy obese way. Elise, had seen a few other Avyal’s with this body type- she just blamed it on genetics.
Overall, his almost rotund body appeared very masculine and intimidating-but his soft face, and medium purple eyes that glittered with kindness and love would extinguish anyone's doubts that he was wasn’t a good-hearted man.
Elise sprang up out of her set, and made a bee-line for him. She gave him a single peck on each cheek- a customary european greeting.
Her husband,Gift,lumbered over to a set next to his wife, as he did sunlight colored his feathers a deep purple. He was dressed in a black suit. Aesthetically, his shoulders were more broad and angular from the internal shoulder pads (even Elise’s dress had shoulder pads-but they were tiny. It was part of a fad called ‘power dressing.’) On his head was a cap that had the appearance of an upside down bucket, the cap sprouting a tassal in the center. Animal prints-Cheetah spots- decorated the fabric.
Gift bought the cap while he was in Africa, shortly when he moved into the city from where he grew up in rural Zambia with his close-knit family, after his 19th birthday. He moved out of his village, partially because he was considered an adult, and partially because his parents always stressed the importance and value of education. He was also bored with the monotone farming lifestyle. He moved to the seaside, with a collage in mind. After receiving a higher education, he relocated to Europe, as he he worked in ‘Species Resources’ in a predominately jewish hospital.●will readers get this? I am talking about a hospital that has a ‘foundation’ in a certain religion.● His duties consisted of managing employees, payroll, hiring and firing, and, in general, overseeing the hospital's activities. The job paid a generous annual wage-which was what he needed to support his wife and ill child.
On Giftes suit was a pin-just like his wife’s- except that the religious symbol was not a cross, but a star- the Star of David. Like his wife, he, too, was proud of his religion. ●Should I keep this? Am I offending anyone? I don’t want to offend anyone? He is proud of his religion, and nothing more.●
Silently, because Elise (and Gift) didn’t want to talk about food while Phe was unconscious, but was still aware, she dipped her head into the bag. Both didn’t want to openly talk about food because they knew that this would upset Phe.
“Bagels and Lox” she mouthed, “ From Kenny and Ziggy's”. Gift nodded. Kenny and Ziggy's was a Jewish-style delicatessen that was close to the Hospital District. The restaurant was known for severing traditional Jewish food-Bagels and Loxs, potato pancakes smothered inch-high with applesauce and sour cream, cream cheese filled Blintzes, sweet kugel, pierogi, and much more. The restaurant served generous, ‘American-sized’ portions. The food was a bit pricy- the meats, cheese, and desserts being of high exceptional quality.
The Bagel and Lox’s had all the fixing- smoked salmon, and an inch high slather of cream cheese, capers and onions. This was Gift’s favorite thing at Kenny and Ziggy's, which he seldom when to.
Before he took a bite, his wife simi dissected the sandwich, tore of a sliver of salmon, smashed it into some cream cheese, and laid it on Phe’s black tongue. Phe’s mother and father both felt guilty eating in front of Phe, especially when it was food that Phe’s stomach couldn't tolerate-which was most foods. However, salmon was a tolerable food for Phe. The cream cheese, however, was not. But a tiny slather of cream cheese wasn’t going to hurt her.
The fish and cream cheese tasted like how Phe would've expected it to taste- the smooth, sharp, smoked taste of salmon, paired with the strong, creamy taste of cream cheese. All of this without the bagle. Ees like Rackalet, Check spelling thought Phe in her joyful way as the food being was dissolved in her mouth. As the enzymes broke it down, the food turned mush as flavor leached from it.
As Willow offered the man some espresso with sagure, Elise made a remark,” Dey should choose something more appropriate. Stupid, mindless, cartoons!”
She was talking about the scrubs that Phe was dressed in.
Willow took offence to that comment, and she knew that Phe did, too, although she couldn't verbal defend her interest. Both teenagers enjoyed cartoon’s.” I like Cartoons,” Willow softly said, “I like Utopia movies even though i’m seventeen…..But,” Willow added with more up-beat voice as she smiled,” they should make scrubs with, MTV stars, or phonograms, or, double-decker-psychedelic tour busses, or rock and roll legends Woodstock, or Rubix Cube’s- you know, things that teenager’s like.”
“ Yes,” said Elise in agreeance, as she turned towards, Gift. “Something like zat-something zat teenagers like.”
“Yes,” said her husband with a laugh. His accent originated from the continent of Africa, not Europe like his wife and daughter. His soft accent elongated the vowels making them more prominent. However, his voice was deep and charismatic.“Something that teenage girls like-like boys.” He smiled softly.
Elise, his wife, had vastly different thoughts. Her giant blue eyes pierced her husband’s purple eyes like x-ray vision, her voice was low and quick, prodding, ” She’s too young to date! You know zat!”
Gift was only being realistic. At Phe’s age, she should be stealing boy’s hearts like swiping candy from a toddler. Unfortunately, Phe didn’t have that luxury.
Phe had never had that luxury. She would've if she could keep attending school- which she couldn't- because of her illness. She lacked the freedom that other healthy boys and girls got to take for granted-to go outside unattended, to go to movies, to parks, to museums-anywhere that they desired. They got to mingle with friends as long as they wanted. Never once did they have to worry about things such as where the nearest W.C. (water closet)- the bathroom, was.
“ Dearest.” Gift began, with a smile. “ She’s old enough to date! I don’t see why not,” he said with a an upward gesture of his palms. “ I want her to date a nice, handsome boy, get married, and have an egg or too. After all-,” he said, still wearing his smile,” My daughter deserves a man like that!. He must respect her and treat her right, and she must do the same, which I know she will. “ His eyes widened upon turning towards his wife. “ And you, dearest, deserve a handsome, kind-hearted, man like me. “ Gift’s lips pushed against hers. As he pulled away, his chest tingled and his smile was watery. It was as if they’d never been married. His romaric expression was still like the first time that they met. Elise met him in the hospital. ● will explain more later as to why they both love each other● To him, his wife like the foundation of a house. They're bond was like a symbiotic relationship. She supported Gif in numerous ways, and Gift couldn’t live without her.
Elise was about to rebuttal with her husband about how she didn’t feel that Phe was old enough to date, and how ill she was.-- Her mouth opened and closed upon seeing pink-hued cheeks that belonged to the teenager who faced them.
Gift spoke,” What? Haven’t you've ever seen a couple kiss before?”
Willow’s eyes were on the ground. Her reply was like dust, “ N-no. I-I've never been kissed before, outside of my fr-” no, mother, mother, Terry.” Her whole face blushed as if her face had been washed. She didn’t know why she almost said ‘friend’. That was awkward and unexpected. You don’t kiss friends.
If Willow’s presents hadn't halted the couple's thoughts, forcing them to fade away, than they would have broken out into an argument. Normally, when they argued, which mostly revolved around Phe-and sometimes other mundane adult duties, or anything else-it would always be in German.
Gift and Elise approached the art of parenting in different ways. Gift was more lenient and casual, while Elise was controlling and strict. Despite this, both were kind, and reasonable in their reign above Phe.
As Willow was making herself a latte, Gift decided to unzip the duffel bag. Inside were musical instruments: a guitar, a ukulele, and drums.
As Phe’s ears head the sound of the zipper, and the hollow, soft thud of instruments being placed on the ground, she knew what was going on. She’d known from the moment when her mother announced that they were going to sing ‘Edelweiss’ from The Sound of Music, the song was about the white, star-shaped, flower that grew in the Alps that bordered, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The song was not the country's national anthem.
As Gift unpacked, Phe hoped and prayed that one of the instruments was not an accordion. Although Phe understood that the accordion was part of the Germanic culture, she couldn't stand the sound! Phe’s ears always cringed, the tuffs prickling when she heard the unmelodious instrument. She never understood how or why her father owned one in the first place.
“ Here, you play. You're better than me,” said Gift. The slight twinge form the hollow instrument- the guitar- elicited an air of tranquility as Phe’s lips stretched into simi-smile as she knew what was going to follow. Of the musical instruments that her family owned the guitar was her favorite.
During this time, not much was going on, and Willow used this time to make herself coffee-a latte. Willow always made lattes, they were the only coffee beverage that she would drink because the espresso flavor was not as bold and bitter on her palate.
Elise’s fingers moved across the guitar's strings in a way that reminded Willow of the locomotion of spiders as she began picking at the strings, warming up.
As Elise sang her voice was lulling, the lyrics sung so gently that the words hissed from her. A tranquil air washed over everyone.
●Yes, I understand that this is not my own and that I will have ask for permission to use it.●
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow
May you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless my homeland forever
Willow wiped away the wet track of tears that were underneath her tear ducts. The teenager sniffled while smiling.
“….it’s just-” Willow began, as her chin began to quiver as fresh tears rolled down her face, “ It’s just so sweet. Y-you care about Phe and love her so much. You-you sing to her….” then she added,” it’s s-stupid th-that i’m cr-crying over a s-song about a-a f-flower.”
“Honey,” said Elise gentaly, her voice as delicut as Edelweiss or a Bluebonnet. “ Don’t ever say dats ees stupid to cry. Crying ees healthy, you know. Eet means zat you have a heart, zat you care. Eet’s healthy to cry. I’m a grown vomen, but I cry sometimes, so does vy husband. Dare ees no shame in eet.”
And still, Elise’s smile was perpetual as she, for the second time today, cleaned Willows eyes and face, although she didn’t have too. Elise enjoyed it. It was a motherly, nurturing, gesture.
Her eyes then went to the stack of comics.
“Hmm. Vot issue should ve read today, Miss Phe?” The question was rhetorical, sense Phe couldn't reply. She knew that Phe wasn’t picky when she read outloud. Phe’s only stipulation was that her mother used her ‘narrator’ voice as she acted the voices of the characters. Her mother enjoyed it, and so did Phe. It was definitely fun, and, when Phe was unconscious, it enabled Phe to paint a very vivid picture in her head easier. Phe never would admit to anyone that she enjoyed being read to during times like thease- even with alternate voices- and at the age of fourteen. To Phe, when she was read to, the whole thing reminded her of those radio programs that were the equivalent of tv, only without the picture.
As Elise scanned through the magazine stack she was muttered to herself….” Hmm, How about issue 43.” Elise asked Gift if he was willing to do some voice acting for a character or two, to Elise’s surprise, he politely declined the offer. The storytelling was up to Elise- and, to Willow, much to her delight. Willow was going to act as the characters while Elise was going to be the narrator-which also involved describing the artwork. As Elise caught Phe up on the story, she used a cadence that was appropriate for a teenager-her narrator voice wasn’t juvenile. As she spoke, her voice smiled, as it typically did with Avyral’s
“ In ze last issue, issue 42, Bird and Raccoon vere both miniaturized and vere forced to tread vater in a fish tank vhile fish vere under then, nibbling. Dey vere saved by a kind laboratory employee and re-sized again…” Elise took a deep breath. Then she she begun her narration in her storytelling voice,” Ze two superheroes escaped, now back in ze heart of ze city and away from Dr.K. dey vere safe-for a little bit….”
Willow and Phe’s mother read a few issues, there voices bright and lively. They knew that Phe was gracus, she always was, although she couldn’t express it. And they were more than happy to read to her, especially Willow, with her being a fan of the comics.
The reading gnawed at time, so much time that Willow could tell that the women’s blue hands were locked onto the pages-her hands were cramping from reading so long.
Willow gave a soft,”Oh”, as Elise gave a gentle remark about the time.“Eet’s almost 12:30,” Willow knew that she would be in danger of missing lunch, and she definitely didn’t want to do that. The teenager gathered the cart and was gone. Before she left she gave the coupe a hug, and said bye to Phe, as casual as if they had hung out- which they have before.
Elise and Gift left the room as the nurse- a new, kind, nurse came in a while later. Within a few minutes of observing her, they were satisfied enough to leave the room. As she unhooked the I.V. line that contained the opide, she made small-talk, although one-sided, with Phe. Even as Phe started to wake up in half an hour, and started whimpering- a reaction to the drug- she reassured Phe, telling her that she was safe. That she was okay. Her voice was gentle, reassuring, as she spoke to Phe no different than if she was conscious. As if she didn’t have a gastric disorder.
The women's actions were gentle as she placed Phe in a wheelchair, her formula dangled from an I.V. pole. ● Can I.V. poles be attached to wheelchairs? What about detaching them? Is this possible?● Phe’s intestinal pain had passed when no one was in the room. Phe was out of pain, therefore, she could be moved safely while stable momentarily without exacerbating her symptoms.
“ Vot happened?” Asked Phe quietly, as she was now just disoriented, the drowsiness having worn off.
The nurse wasn’t even surprised. Most patients could hear under the effects of the powerful medicine, but they couldn’t remember, according to the hospital staff.
Phe could hear, but she couldn’t remember much.
As the nurse told her of the her parents visit, as well as her friend, she frowned. She missed everything, mainly Willow. She’d always look forward to visits with the teenager, which was seldom because of classes on the interwebs- schooling - that Willow and Brianna were both enrolled in.
“May I please have vy?- Ooh, thank you, miss,” said Phe, the joyful edge to her voice was returning, as her copper-rimmed glasses as well as her Walkmen was handed to her.
Inside was a tape, although she didn’t know which one, she wanted it to be The Sound of Music, but she wasn’t going to cry over spilt milk if the tape was something other than The Sound of Music--or any other musical, like Grease, which she enjoyed as well. Either way, music was music to Phe.
The headphones were in the axially. The square shaped button with the right arrow- the play button- was raised, just waiting for her feathery finger to press it. She was ready to be let the music take her away!
The button was pushed until it clicked, as it would stay depressed until the machine received another command-like eject- for instance. The tape begun to spin.
The mystery of what tape was in, and what genre of music it contained was about be solved.
The song Come And Get Your Love by Redbone begun playing. Instantly, the lyrics and male singers voices was all that was heard--everything else was forget, that fact that not too long ago she was in pain, even the fact that she was in a wheelchair, and where she was going was forgot as the music surrounded the world.
Phe was so consumed and lost in the music that she sang out loud, as she mimicked the male artist’s voice exactly. Despite her voice temporarily sounding masculine she sang softly, her voice wavering in pitch as she sang because she couldn’t her herself.
Phe was completely lost to our world, and was in one that was surrounded by music. She was lost all the way to her gastric doctor.