My siblings and I entered a poorly maintained dance hall that Friday after the return of Robert Michael’s voice and sat comfortable at a table. I advised my sisters to observe the other surrounding tables and the actions of the other mortal girls in order to mimic them and blend. I refused to stoop to the mortal level for anything, which passed me off as less than arrogant.
Liza and Cylia giggled and carried on taking in juvenile jargon along the way. Such vocabulary--“Groovy”, “Hip”, “Far Out, Baby”--is sad. I had never uttered such words and phrases in my life in my normal vocabulary. Soon the music as introduced by a young girl not much older than seventeen years.
“Hey you groovy cats and chicks,” she announced in charisma and the grace of her surroundings--obviously, not her true self. “Put your hands together for the busiest boys ever to play our stage: Davy, Micky, Mike, and Peter! You know ‘em! You love ‘em! The Monkees!”
Monkeys, I thought to myself. Primitive, wild, uncontrollable; is that not the perfect name for such boys? Then we saw the spelling on their bass drum and I began to cackle. The noise of my laugh was drowned out by the primitive applause of the children in the room. The primates could not spell! What a riot! I could not contain myself and covered my face and giggled in my palm. My siblings looked to me concerned. I could not look up. The spelling, the name, the boys--it was too good.
“Miriam, they’re staring,” Cylia whispered. “Perhaps you should hold it in.”
“What is so humorous, dear?” Liza asked.
“Forgive me,” I laughed, waving my hand to the band but diverting my eyes. “Forgive me. I was just remembering something amusing. Please-Please continue.”
“Well, OK then,” the simpleton Robert Michael replied confounded. “Maybe after the gig you can tell it to us.”
“Perhaps just for you, dear,” I answered tantalizingly. “But please, I was rude. Continue.”
The performance continued without a hitch on my part. I rarely felt embarrassed for being rude; tonight was no exception. I caught Cylia glaring at the stage, cursing under her breath and behind her eyes. Liza was catching the foul notes being played and sung--her specialty. I also caught her crack her devilish smile toward George Michael who, the buffoon that he was, smiled vacantly in return. I observed young Robert Michael particularly closely. He turned to every young girl in the room. He sang to the souls of every girl the lyrics of passion that could make me wretch. When he finally turned his neck in our direction, I could see what Cylia had observed.
Cylia, as I had surmised from the beginning, was wrong in her judgement. Poor Cylia despised this boy so dearly and yet she misunderstood. He was not laughing at her at all. He saw everyone like this. He was predicting her actions, as he was mine. He was thinking I would indeed join him to explain my actions. How premature. How droll. How wrong he was.
I then observed how he watched Cylia. Laughter indeed. He was calling “cute”, not evil or premature. He was wishing her luck. I saw Cylia as she sneered. She misunderstood again. I tapped her on the shoulder and explained briefly to look closer. I watched as her expression fell in shame after seeing her fault. I consoled her.
“Your means were true,” I said softly. “Mistakes are made many times over.”
“But my punishment,” she said with sorrow. “No one deserves the torture of the robbery of essence if they did nothing wrong.”
“You will learn in time, dear,” I explained, “it matters not. They are damned for life for being human. And there is no long term damage.”
“But I still despise him for deceiving me.”
Liza interjected, “Perhaps we can use him as the test subject for the scarf.”
“Killing yet another Michael,” Cylia added in a sinister tone.
“And there are two Michaels to torture,” Liza continued. “I want the care-free one.”
“I get Robert Michael,” Cylia chimed.
It was then that I felt a presence mysterious for the setting. I drew my attention from the stage and began examining the room. Slowly I stood to walk about. My siblings were busy discussing their means of torture and did not recognize my absence. I walked between dancers passed tables closely, following my senses. It strengthened as I walked closer and closer to the corner. I observed a youn one secluded in the corner table. She hid her face. I scrutinized into her expression. I could not believe what I saw. I saw fear, hope, and love but in no ways a human would. The presence I surmised was not human. I walked closer approaching he table ever so bluntly. The lamp turned on by my glare. I caught the girl’s heart jump as her entire body followed it. Diana!
“So,” I sneered pounding the table the table with my clenched fists, “I knew you were up to tricky. You traitor. You should be tortured and punished for this.”
“Miriam,” she stuttered, binding herself to the wall.
“We did not come all this to give *you* a means of betrayal and rebellion, Diana. I have seen you drool like a dog over that boy’s cursed foul noes. You are as useless as these humans are and just as rude. Just as insolent. Have I not taught you anything? Leave my sight, foolish one.”
“You do not own me,” she sneered.
“No, I am protecting you.”
“I am *going* to save Robert Michael from Cylia’s stupidity--“
“Mistake!” I blasted. “It was a mistake! And you call *me* hypocritical.”
“You will not murder his soul on my time.”
“Do not pretend to know what you are doing, Diana, because you are wrong. And do not claim the time for this is my time and I order you to get away from him now.”
She huffed once before fading home. My poor blind sister. I was not to blame for her handicap; I merely brought it to her attention. And though I may have despised her mind and actions of which she was forced to accomplish because of her handicap, a part of me prayed she could see what I was doing for her and how much I loved her, because I did wholeheartedly.
After the boys’ less than adequate performance of their instruments, I inquired as to whether we should retreat or remain longer. Either way, my work was finished. Cylia desired conference with Robert Michael to subtly express her means and apologize. Liza decided to take the opportunity to practice her spell on her victim, George Michael, and so we let her be. I decided to accompany Cylia with her meeting. Cylia, though evil at heart, was cursed with guilt and thus needed to make amends. I forbade myself to apologize to a human--a hackneyed statement throughout this story--however Cylia’s own father had past down his poor trait to her and there was nothing to be done unfortunately. So I directed her to the boys only to act as protector and not supporter as she said “Hello” in her own way. Poor deluded Robert Michael seemed confused but gracious. Inside, I could see him accept her frail apology--surprising since most would not--and let her be.
But it was then he caught me in sight and grinned childishly. I simply humored the lad and smiled escorting Cylia away when he called to me.
“Excuse me,” said the boy deserting his other band members for the moment. I turned, masking my scowl with a polite smirk.
“Yes?” I replied, stepping before Cylia placing her to my back.
“I was just curious,” he began. I could feel his heart beating rapidly and smell his nerves in the air. “What was it you were laughing at before our set. It seemed kinda funny.”
“Oh, nothing you would find interesting,” I answered. “In fact, you may find it disparaging. Nothing you should bother with.”
“Oh,” he replied simply. “Well, I don’t think I’ve seen you around before. Where’re you from?”
Small talk; a mockery of the temptress. “Oh Nowhere. I am merely out to catch the scenery for once. I am a curmudgeon according to my sisters.” I turned to Cylia. “Right dear?”
“Never leaves her room with a smile,” the young one replied with innocence. That’s my girl.
“You’re mother must be one blessed woman to have such pretty girls,” the yokel commented with a smile to hide his nervous heart.
Cylia blushed--a trait our adoring Jesinia taught well--and I merely smiled semi-politely. “You are sweet,” I said with false civility, “but we must be going. It is getting late.”
“C’mon and join us a bit,” he offered.
“No, I’m Mike,” he replied graciously. He extended his hand. “And you are?”
“My name’s Mir,” I replied taking his hand, resisting the temptation of digging my long course nails into his palm. “Pleased to meet you.” As I released his average grip, I turned to Cylia and pulled her forward. “This is my sister Cylia. I assume you two have met?”
“Yeah, I’ve seen her before,” the boy replied. “You’re one groovy dresser, Cylia.”
“Thanks,” she answered in a timid manor, but I could sense she still wanted to get this boy somehow. It was refreshing to know I was not the only one being tortured during this ordeal.
“So, won’t you come and talk to us please?” Robert Michael continued. “Just say hello.”
“Miriam…” Cylia whispered uncomfortably.
“No really, we must be off. Perhaps another time,” I offered. I quickly scanned the room catching Liza leading George Michael back into the room through the back door by the had, a satisfying smile on her face. “Oh look,” I said, directing myself to Cylia beguiling her from Robert Michael. “Dear Liza has found a new interest.” I turned back to Robert Michael. “Liza is our third sister. We are a large family and quite close. I promised my eldest assistance in the cleaning as well. Mustn’t keep her, you know.”
“Cleaning at 10:30 at night?” he asked confused.
“You have energy to play and the others have energy to dance,” I said. “Can we not use our energy for cleaning?”
“Whatever floats your boat,” the boy replied with a lame chuckle. “But hey, we’re playing the Cassandra next Friday. Maybe you can come?”
“Why sir, are you trying to tempt me?” I asked with a mischievous smirk.
“Well…” He tried to answer but his timid heart stood in the way.
“Tell me Cylia,” I addressed my sister. “Will you be occupied next Friday?”
“Why not ask Cassandra to join you? She would find it a lark to attend a party at a venue that shares her name,” my sister declined subtly.
Then, the haunting sense swept over me once again. I could feel my sister shiver as it hit her too. We turned to the door; there stood Liza’s twin, evil and angry. She had changed attire but not intent. I vacated my presence with Robert Michael then and stormed to the girl leaving Cylia in the boy’s presence alone. Diana awaited our meeting.
“What brings you?” I demanded. “You passed me twice, young wart…”
“I am not afraid of you,” she sneered. “Annalisa sent me away for my foul attitude with her and you are no match.”
“I can break your weak neck with the wink of my eye. You stupid fool. Can you *not* see the danger I am saving you from?”
“Seize your false heart,” she retorted. “I know what I want to do. Do not try to thwart it or I--“
“You’ll what?” I interjected. “You can do nothing to me and you know it. You risk your very skin with this confrontation, dear.”
“The lesson is over. Take Cylia and Liza home, *dear*.”
I glared, burning her inner soul before retreating to retrieve Cylia. The mere image and thought of Diana filled me with such frustration I could not contain it. The feeling escaped through my pace as I approached Cylia once again. The poor young one, she was so flustered with standing with Robert Michael. I gathered her and apologized for my rude actions.
“Please forgive me,” I said with all intents to Cylia but so not to arouse unnecessary suspicion, I made it appear to be addressed to the boy. “We must be on our way. Come Cylia.” I turned us both away from Robert Michael and we marched out the door but not before halting for my final words to my rebellious sibling: “You’ve been warned.” I then pushed Cylia ahead of me and we both faded back into our hall. Liza, of course, remained behind and I knew she would not be soar.
“Miriam,” Cylia began timidly and confused, “why did you leave me alone with that beast?”
“Please forgive me, dear. I had to attend to more important business,” I replied in a temperamental tone. “Diana crashed the dance twice.” Then something flashed into my head and I grabbed Cylia by the shoulders and turned her to me. “Promise me you will not use the scarf without me. Promise me.”
“You’re hurting me,” she winced.
“I’m sorry,” I said releasing her shoulders. “But you have to promise me you will not so much as touch that scarf without me, understand?”
“I-I will try, Mir.”
But I knew trying would not be enough for this poor girl. It was then the truth hit me for the first time and I could sense it was all down hill from there on. The fates had won and all I could do was try as well.
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