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  Sabre City                              Purchase Now

Book 2 of the Sabre-Toothed Cat Trilogy - Sample

 

Chapter 5

The Sabre City by James Paddock

The plan is to pick up Christi at the Lutheran church when her bus comes in, and then rush to the airport to meet Becky’s plane from Cancun. Just as we start out the door, we get a call that the buses are running about an hour late. After verbally drawing straws as to who will meet who, I lose and head for the airport.

I expect that Becky will be in a good mood after her vacation, so I don’t spend time preparing myself for her abrasiveness. While I wait I chat with Sarah’s mother, Beth.

“I talked to Sarah yesterday,” Beth says. “She said Becky didn’t have a very good time.”

Tanya and I hadn’t talked to Becky at all in the week except for the first day when she made a short, clipped call to say she arrived. We weren’t exactly sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. “Did Sarah say what happened?”

“No. I think the two of them had a fight.”

There are other parents standing around. One of them waves at something and then I see bits and pieces of overloaded backpacks through the deplaning crowd. I don’t see Becky. “Did Sarah have a good time?”

“I couldn’t tell. It was the only time I talked to her all week.”

I feel less guilty. Then I see Becky. She’s with Sarah. “Maybe the fight’s over and they’ve made up.”

“I certainly hope so,” Beth says. “She’s hard enough to live with as it is.”

“The week without Becky has been bliss.”

“You’re telling me. We’re ready for Sarah to go away to college.”

I smile at that. Okay, we do have something in common with the wealthy.

Becky approaches. “Hi, Sweetie,” I say.

“Hi.”

“I can take that if you like.”

She adjusts the lay of the strap over her shoulder and says, “I’ve got it.”

“Okay.” We silently follow the signs to baggage claim, then stand around looking bored for fifteen minutes. I study my toes until I notice that her toes are normal, not fluorescent. Odd. Several of the kids are gathered together talking expressively with a couple of parents. Before, Becky would have been a part of them. Now she stands like an outcast . . . alone, abandoned.

Just before the baggage starts dropping into the rotating bin, she says, “What color am I?”

I don’t understand the question. “White with a reasonably nice tan.”

“No . . . I mean . . . what color is my aura? I’ve heard you and Mom talking. I know you can see auras.”

“Eavesdropping.”

“I’m a kid. I can’t help it.”

I laugh, relieved. It’s a secret we thought we were keeping from the girls. “Why do you ask?”

“If you can see aura, then you can see mine. I never knew it came in different colors.”

“Tired navy.”

She pulls a small paperback book from her pack. Luggage starts sliding down the chute. She pages through the book until she finds what she’s looking for. “Navy is not a color.”

“I’ll have to beg to differ with you.”

“It’s not an aura color. This has red, green, orange, yellow, indigo, violet, magenta, lavender, crystal, blue, and a bunch of tans. No navy.”

“I’ve never studied the science of aura. I call it as I see it. Normally you’re blue.”

“Oh!” She studies the book again, flips a page.

I point. “Is that your luggage?”

She looks. “Yes. And that one over there.”

I wait until the second one comes to me, and then manhandle them both out of the crowd. “You ready?”

She’s still reading. “It says that I’m creative.”

“Especially when you’re looking for reasons to go places with your friends.”

She studies me seriously. “Yeah. I guess so?”

I feel a father/daughter bonding talk bubbling up. Don’t blow it, I say to myself. Maybe if she knows more about me, she’ll have a little respect for me. Or maybe she’ll be embarrassed to be the daughter of a weirdo.

“It says I’m physical and sexual.”

“How about we skip that part,” I suggest.

“Why?” We’ve made it only a short distance. Tired travelers are dragging themselves around us. Businessmen are bustling by. Sarah goes past without saying a word, glancing at the book in Becky’s hand. Weird! I feel the word tumble off her aura.

“What do you mean, why?” I ask Becky.

“Why do you and Mom freak out whenever the word sex comes up around me and Christi?”

“Christi and me,” I correct.

She rolls her eyes. She did that to Tanya one time and Tanya told her that if she ever did it again she’d slap her eyes right out of her head. They had both suddenly looked at me as though Tanya had just treaded on the sacred ground of my acrylic eye. I laughed and then soon we were all laughing, and the argument disappeared. “And if you don’t freak, you conveniently change the subject.”

I start laughing. I don’t know why. It just pops out.

“What’s funny about it?” she demands.

“I’m sorry. I remembered when your mother told you she’d slap the eyes out of your head.”

“Oh. Did I roll my eyes at you?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry.”

Is this my daughter? “It’s okay. It bothers your mom a lot more than it does me. It’s just that anytime I see you do it, I remember that statement and I want to laugh.”

“And change the subject.”

I stop laughing. “I guess I did. You want to talk about sex.”

“No.”

“No?”

“Why would I want to talk about sex with my dad?”

Now I’m confused.

“We were talking about my color. It says I’m physical and sexual.” She looks at the book again, and then flips back a page. “Oops! I’m sorry. Two pages stuck together. That was red. I’m not physical and sexual.”

“Thank God!”

She laughs. “It says that different shades of blue mean different things. Dark, muddy blues can mean worrying or over sensitivity. Deep blues are loneliness. Sky blue is good intuition and imagination, a survivor. That’s where the creativity is.” She looks up. “Which blue am I?”

“If I had to put a name on it, I’d say sky blue, though now you lean toward a muddy sky.”

She smiles. “I like sky blue.”

We’re now sitting outside on a bench. The book is lying on her lap. “According to this we could all see auras as babies and very young children. It’s a wider range of our visual world that very young eyes can see. For most of us, the range narrows as we grow up. It also says we can train ourselves to see it again.”

“We can?”

“How come you can see it?”

“I’ve no idea. It’s been there as long as I can remember. I thought it was something that everyone could see, until I was in high school. I mentioned it and my friends thought I was weird. Then, when I started talking about my psychic capabilities, I was ostracized.”

Becky is suddenly looking at me as though I’m wearing an extra ear on my nose. “What psychic capability?”

“Ah. . .” We’d never told the girls that either; figured it’d confuse them, maybe ostracize them as well if they were to open their mouths about it at school. I lean back on the bench. “That was a slip. I guess, though, you’re old enough to know. After all, you’ll be seventeen in a week.”

She waits, blessing me with her beautiful eyes, a pass down from her mother. I have her attention without angry words. Maybe it was time for her to know everything about her father. Did I have any choice in any case? I’d already cracked the door. There was no closing it.

“This is not to be shared with your sister. Give her a few more years.”

“Okay,” she says softly. “Is it crazier than the aura thing?”

“That all depends on what you consider crazy.”

 

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