As promised, the latest instalment of ‘Achromatic’. The final piece of Chapter 1, thank goodness.
The visual location research has been quite difficult for this story, I must admit. The one thing that keeps gnawing at me is that the locations are not described very vividly, especially the Lodge. I guess that comes with only having a postcard to work with =\
Oh well, work with what you have available to you =)
– Î –
AM November 6, 1962
Cedar Mountain Lodge, Cody, Wyoming
“Lavender! Amethyst! Get out here this instant!”
A petulant voice returned the summons. “I don’t answer to that name, just as you don’t answer to us calling you Glenn.”
Wrapped in a warm bath robe, Glenn Belleview turned an exasperated glare to her husband, who was fully suited and busily perfecting the tilt of his hat in the bathroom mirror. “Charlie, will you do something? I’m sure the people will not notice if your hat is one degree off centre.”
Charles gave her an amused look. “Yes they will, and you know to call her Amy.”
“It’s a beautiful name. Their great-grandmother bore it proudly.”
“That was almost a century ago, and tradition is not in fashion these days. Everything is being questioned, even when it doesn’t need to be.”
A slightly different voice issued from behind the dark wooden door. “Mom! These colours look terrible on us. Our friends would die from laughter.”
Glenn rolled her eyes. “Save your flair for melodrama for the drama club, Lavender. You friends are back in Houston, so there is no chance they will be able to mock you.”
“Aren’t we going back for Christmas with the family?”
Charles turned towards the yellow door. “No, honey. Mister Donnell has made it perfectly clear that he wants the operations in Cody and its surrounding areas thoroughly analyzed before the weather gets worse.”
The muffled sound of the girls conversing could be heard.
“I thought you girls wanted to see a white Christmas.”
The angst returned to the teenage voice. “In New York City, Dad; the shopping’s better.”
Their father looked to Glenn, shaking his head. “You can trust those two to ignore the social problems going on in NYC; the shift away from industry, the race riots, not to mention the gang wars. I wish they’d think of others more often.”
Glenn shrugged. “We’ve got the next six months to a year here. Hopefully living in a smaller community will open their eyes.” She looked to her watch. “Hurry up girls! It’s already quarter past eight. Just because the school is across the road, it doesn’t mean you can waltz in at the last possible second.”
The door-handle turned, and the girls stepped out in their Cody High School uniforms. Neither Amy nor Lavender looked comfortable in the yellow and gold garb, wearing their leather trenchcoats and gloves over the school jumper. The pair stood there with sulky looks on their faces.
Amy looked to her dad, her grey eyes brimming with vitriol. “You could have at least found a place in the United States that wasn’t trying to freeze us, Dad.”
Charles laughed. “This sort of cold never hurt anyone. It lets you know you’re alive.”
“What I wouldn’t give to be back in Texas. The weather is perfect this time of the year, not this lead-in to hypothermia.”
Glenn quieted her daughter with a stern look. “We are here for the next half a year or so, so make the best of it. I agree with your father deciding to move you out of Houston for a time. You both spend all your time in big cities, even when we’re travelling. This way, you can get an exposure to a more rural lifestyle.”
Lavender took up her sister’s complaint. “We don’t care about how the locals of a nowhere town live!”
“We’ve brought both of you girls up better than this. Your father being able to afford the best of everything for you does not give either of you the right to look down on others. Consider yourself blessed to have what others do not.”
The girls looked at each other, the indignant expressions plastered to their faces.
Charles addressed them. “The high school looked just fine to me. What problem do you have with it?”
Amy spoke. “We have no friends, and already the others are looking at us funny. They considered us a pair of obnoxious upstarts before we even said a word.”
“And you think your behaviour so far this morning is going to change that?”
The young ladies considered each other again, taking in their father’s words.
“Listen to me, you two. You will go that high school, and you will play nice. Do that, and I am sure there will be someone you get along with. Going in there with your noses held high will only make their sentiments towards you worse.”
The girls answered in unison. “Yes Dad.”
Their father nodded in satisfaction. “And just remember that others have it worse than you. Mister Donnell wants this new television station ready by spring, so the workers building the thing will be working outside in the cold. While you are sitting comfortably in your classrooms, spare a thought for them.”
Lavender piped up. “But you said that they were brought in from Alaska to do the job. This would probably be to them what a fine day in Houston would be to us. Why feel sorry for them? And they are likely being paid very well for it.”
“Point taken. Now, enough arguing. Grab your lunches, and head on off to school.” He looked to his watch. “The bell will be going in five minutes.”
The pair ran to the kitchen, picking their paper bags and placing them into their schoolbags. They both gave their parents a kiss on the cheek before opening the front door, letting in a brisk chill as they did so. They hesitated a moment before following each other out.
Charles looked to his wife. “Girls will be girls. You can only tell them so much, and leave it to them to figure out the rest.”
Glenn walked over to hug him. “Let’s hope they do.”
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Chapter 2 starts next week. Hooray! Can start getting into the guts of the story =D