May 2nd, 2016 | Published in Dragon Wars
“The park’s been vandalised,” Cass said the next morning as they prepared for school. “See, I’m right about it being dangerous.”
“What happened?” Ophelia suspected that she knew. It must be the aftermath of the fight – it’d left quite a mess after all.
“It was on the news this morning.” She nodded towards the radio playing annoying pop music in the corner of the kitchen. “It was found last night. They think some maniac used weedkiller on a whole swath of lawn and several trees.” She hesitated. “Though some people are saying it might be an emergence because the trees died at the same time as the grass.”
“Really?” Ophelia frowned. Only a bit of grass and a couple of shrubs had died, right? Could it have spread that much? She made a note to ask Silver about cleaning up.
“I think an emergence would have been noticed at the time. It was probably a disgruntled employee or something.”
“Doesn’t matter. It still proves that that place is dangerous,” Cass replied. “But I have good news as well. Soph called – Mike’s being discharged. She’s home getting him some clean clothes to change into so she’ll drop you off on her way back.”
“Oh good,” Ophelia said. “No need to rush.”
Half an hour later, the peeping of a car horn informed them Aunt Sophie had arrived and the two girls piled down the drive and into her car.
“Hi, girls,” Aunt Sophie said. “Did you have a good night?”
“Once we knew Mike was okay,” Sera replied.
“Yeah,” Ophelia said. “I’m glad he’s okay.”
“Thanks,” Aunt Sophie smiled at Ophelia in the rear view mirror. “So what’s new?”
“Well there’s a new girl in our class,” Sera said. “Apparently her father is that guy you work with.”
“What?” Aunt Sophie made a soft choking sound but recovered quickly. “Ah of course, Kira. He mentioned he brought her with him since he’s likely to be here for quite a while.”
“Why’s he here?” Ophelia said. “We don’t really have all that many emergences.”
“No, we have slightly more than average but not that many,” Aunt Sophie said softly. “And never you mind his exact reasons for being here. So what’s Kira like?”
“She’s nice and really pretty. All the boys are drooling over her. Vivienne Bradley is spitting acid.”
“That’s not good,” Aunt Sophie said. “Eric needs Alex’s support.” She lapsed into silence and didn’t speak again until they pulled up outside the school gates. “Have a good day, I’ll pick you up at home time.”
“Thanks, Aunt Sophie.” Ophelia spotted Kira making her way towards them. “Oh, there’s Kira! Hey Kira!” She waved at the other girl who grinned and waved back.
“Morning,” she said. “It’s a nice day isn’t it?”
“Yeah… shame we’re going to be in here all day.” Sera jerked her head towards the school. “This is my mother by the way.” She turned to the car where Sophie had wound down the window to say goodbye. “Mum, this is Kira â€“ the new girl I mentioned.”
“Oh yes, hello Kira.” Aunt Sophie offered her hand to Kira. “Your father talks about you a lot.”
Kira shook her hand and nodded in return. “Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Ashbourne. How’s your son? I heard he was in hospital.”
“He’s fine, thank goodness. They’re letting him out this morning, though he’ll be off school for a few days.”
“Oh, I’m glad to hear that!” Kira said and glanced at her watch. “We’d better get going.”
“Yes you had,” Aunt Sophie agreed. “Bye, girls!”