3.01 – Lyra Isn’t Subtle

Tea time. It was her favourite time of day, along with coffee time, food time (as often as possible) and the ever important bar-o’clock.

Leo? Want some tea?

03.01 SS01

“What type?”

It would be much easier to practice her telepathy with a willing assistant, but she had a twin instead. She rolled her eyes.Β Alas, that was the hand the world had dealt her.

“Green.”

“Sure, sounds good. Leave it on the counter for me?”

The sound of chopping drew her over to the kitchen side of the room. Was that oregano she could smell?

03.01 SS02

“What’s for lunch?” “Ly, it’s 9’o’clock.” “And?”

She watched him work, fascinated. No wonder he needed so many different spices – the man was an artist. A food artist, which was, in her opinion, the best type. Her mouth began to water. Leo shooed her away, flapping a hand at her as she leant over his shoulder.

“I don’t want you drooling on the tomatoes.”

Rude.

03.01 SS03Stopping to pour herself a cup of tea, she plonked herself down on the living room sofa.

 

03.01 SS04

It was a strange little room, even by their standards. The white walls were covered in posters and hangings, knick-knacks strewn about and dotted among the plants and candles. A magazine rack nestled against the sofa, and she picked one at random, flicking through the pages as she sipped.

It was the latest issue of The Unexplored – a magazine dedicated to bizarre events. She liked the ghost sections the most. Stories of hauntings and possessions that made her skin crawl. Of course, most of them were fake, but that was half the fun.

She and Leo sometimes read the UFO articles together. She was getting really good at her ‘Midnight Zone’ narrator impressions. Were the stories insulting? Sometimes, yeah. That was why they did it, really – if they made fun of it together, then it didn’t hurt as much.

She read the vampire section alone. That bit was hers.

~~*~~

Leo tapped the saucepan with the spoon, trying to get the last few strands of spaghetti onto the plate. He had to do it quietly if he wanted it to get to the fridge in one piece – his sister was like a shark sometimes, but instead of blood in the water it was food on the air. He could practically hear the theme music now.

DUH-nah, DUH-nah…

“Rude!”

03.01 SS05

A telepathic shark. No-one was safe. He picked up the plate and covered it before placing it in the fridge.

“I thought you were meant to be practicing your shielding.”

“I am! You were just really loud. I mean, come on, I can’t not notice when you’re yelling in my brain-ear.”

“Brain-ear?”

“Shut up.”

He grinned, grabbing a cup of tea. It was still warm – not scalding, the way Lyra liked it, but nice and hot. An old black-and-white movie was playing on the screen, but the sofa was empty.

03.01 SS06

“Thought I’d get started on the wall.”

03.01 SS07

“Sounds good.”

03.01 SS08

A wall they can change whenever they want – perfect for these two!

~~*~~

Lyr sat down on her bed bouncing on the mattress. It was lovely and soft – not as luxurious as the one she’d had back at her dads’ house, but it was a lot more spacious. She didn’t have to share it, either! She could ‘starfish’ on the bed at night and no-one would be any the wiser thanks to her own, personal lock.

That had been part of the deal. The ground floor was the communal area – the kitchen, computers and living room were all shared. Leo had the top floor. At the moment it was only a bedroom and a bathroom, but there was plenty of space for expansion. Currently, she had an en-suite on the ground floor, but when they had a bit more money, she would move into the basement. The basement that didn’t exist yet, but she was already looking forward to. She could picture it already.

03.01 SS09

Her time on Sixam had affected her more than she’d realised. Underground felt natural to her. All the water and soil and roots had made the rooms feel alive.

Maybe it was a side effect of her improved control, but ever since she’d started looking after her little sapling she’d been able to hear voices whispering in her ears. She knew that the big cherry-blossom tree in the park had an itch on one of it’s branches where a passing magpie had pecked it. She didn’t know what to do with that information, but she had it.

 

On the plus side, it was much easier to look after plants when they could just tell her what they needed. Most plants could only speak in single words or images, which kept thing simple. Her tree was an exception – just this morning it had yelled at her for poking it. She was so proud.

03.01 SS10

“I swear I unpacked those postcards…”

~~*~~

If anyone had told her that she’d enjoy studying one day, she probably would have laughed at them. Ok, she definitely would have.

03.01 SS11

Yes, it was hard work. Yes, it was repetitive and slow, but it was interesting. Maybe she’d just never felt that way about any of her subjects at school, but every time she managed to complete an exercise in her coursebook she felt a rush of accomplishment. This was real information with real-life applications. It wasn’t learning for the sake of some certificate or another. If she could do this, it would open up a whole new world.

03.01 SS12

She could actually understand some of the people on the TV, now. Not all the words, but enough to catch the meaning. It didn’t matter that they were children’s shows, or that her books were basically preschool level – she was getting better.

Of course, that didn’t mean she didn’t get frustrated sometimes.

03.01 SS13

“Argh!” She rubbed out the word again. How many ways were there to spell ‘write’ wrong, anyway?

“Need a drink?”

Lyra looked up from the page, grinning when she saw her brother. “Really, Leo, wine already?”

03.01 SS14

“It’s non-alcoholic.”

“Booooooooo.”

He laughed, reaching under the bar. “So, do you want one?”

“Absolutely.”

03.01 SS15

It’s a lovely photo. Leo and Lyra argued about it, but eventually Leo won. It was a fun day out, even though it ended badly. Remember the good, Ly. Remember the smiles.

03.01 SS16

Even non-alcoholic beverages can help the brain relax.

03.01 SS18

Food as a reward works every time. Also, Leo loves his diary. He calls it a journal, but we all know what it really is.

~~*~~

Lyra breached the surface, water pouring down her body as she stretched towards the sun. She shook the droplets from her head, which was far less satisfying now she was bald. She still missed her hair.

03.01 SS19

One of the things she loved about her new home was the location. She was still confined to a small area, true, but this area had the park in it. It wasn’t much, but it made her world more interesting. People-watching was an underrated hobby.

03.01 SS20

“I’m going to go and play chess.” “You don’t know how.” “I know, but maybe someone will sit with me today. They can’t stay away forever, right?”

03.01 SS21

Looking approachable is important.

Lyra sighed. Two hours, and not one conversation. She looked over at Leo. He’d been playing ‘Don’t wake the Llama’ by himself for the last hour. She’d thought one of the boys by the pool had been about to join her brother, but the others had pulled him back.

She wasn’t sure which was worse – the hostility or the fear.

03.01 SS22

“Excuse me, young lady, have you seen my sister? We were supposed to meet here.”

Lyra looked up. An old lady with kind, vacant eyes smiled at her. “We’re going to a ball, you see. All the handsome men will be there.”

“I don’t know. What does your sister look like?”

“She’s about my height, lovely brown eyes and long, blonde hair – just like mine. Her hair is straight, though.”

Lyra looked at the lady. Her grey hair was short and and straight, and she certainly wasn’t dressed for a ball. She gently brushed the surface of the other woman’s mind, and her mouth formed an ‘o’ of understanding.

“I haven’t seen her, I’m sorry. You look lovely. I’m sure all the boys will be lining up to dance with you.”

Her eyes lit up as she smiled. “Do you really think so?”

“I do.”

“Mrs Daughtry? Eleanor?”

Otis was running towards them, his look of relief visible even from this distance.

“My, my. You’re a handsome one, aren’t you. Are you going to the ball, too? You’ll have to change soon – it starts in an hour.”

He stopped next to them, slightly out of breath. “The ball isn’t today, Eleanor.”

03.01 SS23

“Oh dear. Did I get the day wrong? I was so looking forward to it.”

“It’s ok. No harm done. Lets get you home.”

“Are you offering to escort me? I shouldn’t say yes, really. Not without a chaperone.”

“I promise I’ll get you back safely.” He put an arm out, and the old lady rested her hand on it. It was like something from one of the stories Lyra had loved as a little girl. Otis smiled at her, and she smiled back. Will you be here when I get back, he mouthed, tilting his head.

Lyra nodded.

She sat down on the bench and watched as they disappeared from sight. She’d never experienced something like that before – a mind so clear and confused at the same time. Would the lady even remember this tomorrow?

~~*~~

“Thanks for that.”

Lyra jolted awake. “Mmmfrgle?”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you. Was I gone that long?”

She wiped at her mouth, wincing. She’d been drooling – hardly attractive. “Please tell me I wasn’t snoring.”

“No snoring, I promise.”

03.01 SS24

Otis sat down next to her. She could feel warmth emanating from him, and she suppressed a shiver as she realised just how cold she was in comparison. That’d teach her to fall asleep outside without her clothes on.

“Did you get Mrs Daughtry home safely?” she asked, wondering if he’d notice if she shifted closer. It wasn’t fair of him to keep all the heat to himself.

“I did. I was so scared when I realised she was missing – I mean, I’m just a volunteer but I’m pretty sure they’d fire me if I lost a resident. I hope she didn’t bother you.”

“I thought she was really sweet.”

Otis smiled at her. “She is. A lot of her memories are good, so she’s almost always happy.”

“Is her sister at the home, too?”

He shook his head. “Her sister died ten years ago.”

“Ah…”

They sat in silence. It wasn’t the comfortable silence they’d had in their teens – there was tension in it. She shivered, clasping her hands in her lap. It was getting colder.

“I’m glad you’re still here.”

Lyra looked up. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

03.01 SS26

“You could have decided to go back to your planet.”

“This is my planet. I was born here.”

“I meant-”

“I know what you meant. Still, I can’t ‘go back’ to somewhere I’ve never lived.”

03.01 SS25

Well, Leo’s found some potatoes. I think he’s doing well for himself!

“I’m sorry. I’m not very good at this.” Otis sighed, fiddling with the bottom of his sweater.

Lyra grimaced. No duh. “Don’t worry. It’s late – words are hard.”

03.01 SS27

“You look really nice today,” he said. He seemed to be getting warmer, if that was possible. Maybe she could ask to borrow his sweater – if he kept heating up he wouldn’t need it anymore.

“Thanks. I call this the ‘bald lady forgets to bring dry clothes to the pool’ look – you’ll be seeing it in all the celebrity magazines next year.”

He laughed. “They won’t pull it off as well as you, I’m sure.”

She looked at him. “Ok, am I reading this wrong or are you flirting with me? I’m not awake enough to be sure.”

His eyes widened. Maybe she’d been too forward. Subtlety had never been her strong point.

“It’s ok if you aren’t – I just want to make sure I know what’s going on.”

“Well, er… yes. I was. Is that ok?”

03.01 SS28

Lyra grinned. “Yeah, I think so.”

~~*~~

03.01 SS29

Protective brother mode: ENGAGED. Go home, Leo.

03.01 SS30

Ah yes, the undecorated part of the top floor. Lovely.

03.01 SS31

Maybe staring at some art will help.

03.01 SS32

Nope, it didn’t. Good thing we unpacked the punching bag!

03.01 SS33

Goodnight, Mr Grumpy-bones.

~~*~~

Well, that had been unexpected. She’d had quite the crush on Otis as a teen, but he’d never shown any signs of being interested. Either that or she’d been really oblivious, which was just as likely.

03.01 SS34

Her crush had faded over the yearsΒ  – he’d liked Ellie, and she wasn’t the sort to pine after things that she had no chance of getting. Still, she’d felt happy when he’d admitted to flirting. Those old feelings were still there, she was sure of it.

03.01 SS35

Look at the tree! It’s growing nicely ❀ She hasn’t killed the poor thing yet.

03.01 SS36

Yes, those are Momo’s old clothes. She found them in storage and decided that she liked them. The stomping boots have a new owner!

03.01 SS37

Dancing wasn’t the escape it used to be, but that was ok. She wasn’t who she used to be, either.

03.01 SS38

She curled up under the covers of her bed, smiling as she snuggled down into the pillow. Life was good.


A/N – So, the new generation has begun! It always takes a few chapters to get into the voice of a new heir, but I hope this was fun to read. She’s very different to Lor, so it’s a bit of a change πŸ™‚

 

12 thoughts on “3.01 – Lyra Isn’t Subtle

  1. She is a LOT different from Lor but that’s what makes it fun! I love her so far and do we have a love connection starting with Otis and Lor – Lotis perhaps. That’s a good ship name!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lotis is a good name! =p As for romance, I really don’t know. It’s up to those two – plus at the moment Otis seems more into her than she is to him. We’ll have to see how it goes! I’m really glad you love her! She’s a very fun person to write πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Chef Leo, mmm. πŸ˜€ He’s doing so well in the kitchen! Lyra’s a lucky girl. And she’s doing so well in her lessons! Being able to understand plants – whoa. I’m so glad she’s enjoying her classes so much! It’s wonderful when you love what you’re studying.

    Lyra and Otis did a good job with Mrs Daughtry. It’s not easy to take care of elderly people, there’s so much gentleness and patience and responsibility involved.

    Ooh, flirts! I like how direct Lyra was with him. Crossing my fingers for the both of them! Otis is a real sweetheart, and I think he’ll treat Lyra really well. Oh, Leo. She’ll be fine.

    Lyra sounds like she’s settling in really well. I’m so glad she’s so content and happy. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leo loves to cook – having a glutton as a sister is actually a dream come true for him XD She’ll always try his recipes.
      Ly’s admission test is coming up soon, so she’s really working hard. Fingers crossed she’ll pass and be able to enroll! ❀
      She and Otis dealt with her well – it's never easy, but they were kind to her.
      Lyra… well, to quote the title, she isn't subtle =p If she wants to know something, she'll ask! I think Otis is lovely, but at the mo it seems a little one sided (whereas it was one-sided the other way when she was a teen). Who knows what'll happen πŸ™‚
      The park adds so much freedom for her – she's very content ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bonding over food is always the best way, I think. πŸ™‚

        Oh I’m sure she will! She’s improved tremendously in her studies since the beginning, and she’s really understanding and putting her all into what she’s being taught. I wish her all the best! πŸ™‚

        They did such a good job. And time will tell to see how things develop between the both of them! No pressure at all. πŸ™‚

        She’s so at peace! I’m so happy for her, especially considering how unhappy and lost she was previously.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the new house, it fits them both very well – I adore Leo as cook and am a big fan of Lyra living underground in the future. It’s a very believable wish considering where she’s going to school at the moment. Also, yay for understanding plants – I wish I could say the same about me – and my poor plants might wish the same

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like it! I’m really happy with how it turned out πŸ™‚ I would have built Ly a basement straight away, but it would have gone far too overbudget. She’ll get there in the end, though!
      Of all the people to understand plants, it was Ly, the plantkiller =p Maybe her dads will un-ban her from their garden now!

      Like

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