Secret Supers, Micro Story
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Copyright © 2016 Aurora Springer
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Estelle placed the bowl of cranberry relish on the dining table and stepped back to admire her handiwork. She had chosen the green tablecloth to match the Christmas tree by the window and arranged five place settings. The red cloth napkins were folded into neat triangles beside the best silverware and the special china plates decorated with green leaves and tiny yellow flowers. All prepared for their holiday feast. She glanced out the window, hoping to see Toby arrive.
A white pigeon flopped onto the windowsill, folded its speckled wings and cooed, “They’re here!”
Shaking her finger at the bird, Estelle sent the mental warning, “Don’t let anyone see you, Rockette. You’re supposed to be asleep in the cage in my bedroom.”
“Boring!” Rockette snorted. “I’m going to tease Growler. He hates me perching on his head when he has to keep still.”
Seconds later, Toby appeared. Instead of riding his motorcycle up the driveway, he strolled in from the street with a package in one hand. His long dark hair was tied back neatly and the black leather jacket emphasized the breadth of his shoulders.
Estelle ran to open the front door and tugged him inside. “Hi Toby!” He slipped his free arm around her and she leaned into his embrace. Peering over his shoulder at the street, she asked, “Where’s your motorcycle?”
“Parked round the corner.” Running his fingers down the cascade of her blonde hair, he pressed a sedate kiss on her cheek and whispered in her ear, “Hidden under the bushes so the cat can stretch his legs.”
“Do come in, Mr. Ryan,” her mom called from the kitchen.
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Wright.” Toby was invariably polite to her parents. He unzipped his jacket, took two strides to the door and stared around the busy kitchen. Bowls of vegetables, plates of bread and a large turkey lay on the countertops. The fragrant odor of roast turkey mingled with cinnamon and honey in the warm air. “Your food smells delicious,” he drawled, holding out a bottle wrapped in red paper. Even standing at the door, his bulky figure and dark clothes made the kitchen seem smaller.
Mom stood by the oven, looking hot and bothered with an apron covering her holiday dress. She brushed her hair off her face, leaving a streak of flour on her forehead. “I’m so sorry for the mess. We’re not quite ready yet.”
Nearer the door, Dad held a carving knife and long fork over a platter containing a large turkey. He looked up and smiled at their visitor. “Hello, Toby. Make yourself at home. Help yourself to a beer.” He waved the knife at the fridge.
“Thanks, Mr. Wright. I’ll wait for dinner.” Toby offered him the bag. “I brought a bottle of wine.”
Granny waved from her station at the stove, where she was fixing her special brandy sauce. “Ah, my favorite young man!”
Toby grinned. “You’re looking real pretty, Mrs. Livingstone.”
“Oh shucks! You’re a real sexy charmer, but you don’t fool me.” Shaking the mixing spoon at him, she chuckled and urged, “Drag Estelle under the mistletoe and give her a big smooch.”
Estelle flushed bright pink.
Clearly scandalized, Mom glared daggers at her coarse-mouthed mother.
Matching the old woman’s style, Toby drawled, “You’ll be the next, Mrs. Livingstone.” He squeezed Estelle’s hand.
Wiping her hands on her apron, Mom said, “Please excuse us for five minutes. Estelle can look after you while I pull the pies out of the oven.”
Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Estelle said, “Sure, Mom.” She slipped her hand under Toby’s elbow and led him across the hall. “Come and look at our Christmas tree.”
They stepped into the dining room and stood, admiring the spruce tree by the window. The ceiling high tree was decorated in spirals of silver tinsel and glittering white ornaments. Lights sparkled around the branches and a silver star capped the top.
“Beautiful, Star!” Toby said, wrapping his arm around her waist. With no one else in hearing range, he could call her by his special name. Her family had no idea she was the famous Super Starrella with the flying horse.
Now they were alone, she murmured, “I found a little gift for you.” She gave him a small package wrapped in gold paper.
He tore off the wrapping and pulled out a tiny china cat, a black cat with red crystal eyes, sitting with its tail curled round its legs. “Growler!”
“It’s not giving away your secret,” she said. “With your cat tattoo, everyone knows you like cats.”
“Yep! Real cute. Like you,” he drawled. He ruffled her hair and handed her a small box “Got you a gift too, Star.”
She opened the box and pulled out a silver chain with a star pendant of iridescent metal. “It’s beautiful! Thank you, Toby.” She looped the chain over her index finger and let the star twist and shimmer in the lamplight.
“Ain’t fancy. Just reminded me of you.” He touched the metal star. “Give it a flame. Not too hot.”
Cupping her hand around the star, she created a tiny yellow flame. The pearly sheen brightened until the star shone bright silver. “Wow! A heat sensor!” She giggled and bowed her head so he could fasten the chain around her neck.
“Who needs mistletoe?” he murmured, tilting up her chin and kissing her lips.
Standing on tiptoes, she hooked her hands around his neck and their kiss deepened. Five blissful minutes in his embrace to begin the holiday festivities.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you would like to read more about Estelle and Toby, their adventures are described in the Secret Supers Series. Book 1, Super Starrella is available at Amazon.
Teen superhero, Starrella, and her flying horse combat vicious killers in Atalanta, a sunnier, southern Gotham City.
Super Starrella, Book 1
Starrella Falls, Book 2
Gargoyle Hunt, Book 3