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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium

Chapter 20 (v.1) - LUCINDA

Submitted: June 11, 2019

Reads: 23

Comments: 2

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Submitted: June 11, 2019



From the photograph on the wall, Franklin's eyes stare back at me. Eyes that shine with life, confidence, arrogance even. I need him now more than ever... a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to, to share prblems and possible solutions. As it is, we are all snapping at each other. It had been such a joyous occasion, one that had filled my heart with love and pride, then my whole world collapsed, again!

Oh, how the paparazzi have loved rubbing salt into wounds. Yes, there was the coverage of the coronation, but nothing sells papers like a royal scandal and, once again, it was the protest and the banners being waved that made headlines, in all their sordid glory... Races Rigged by Royals, Phony Princess, Dis 'Grace', Unfit to Rule, Royal Cover Up, Queen of Cheats... amongst many others. Inevitably, social media is buzzing with gossip and fake news, and television coverage is tireless.

I fully expected that all this renewed scandal, which catapulted Esme back into the centre of such public scrutiny, would set her back. Thankfully, she appears to be coping better than any of us. Bless her, she's so excited about her twelfth birthday party, that everything has paled into insignificance. It's amazing, once she had accepted her genetic heredity, nothing seems to faze her any more. She actually seems stronger and more resilient than any of us.

To be honest, it was short sighted of Eemay and Scott to think the fiasco at the athletics club would just float off into the ether... people remember a scandal, particuarly an unresolved one. Just how it could have been resolved, I have no idea, given the explosive secret that Eemay and Scott harboured. Consequently, this latest show of descent compounds the situation even further, at a time when Eemay needs public support most.

Despite efforts by police to forcibly remove them, determined protestors continue to gather on a daily basis outside the palace walls, waving their banners and pontificating loudly. Once again, I stare deep into Franklin's eyes. What are we to do? Oh how I wish you were here.

Granny, you're talking to a photograph.”

I spin round to see Esme staring at me as if I'm crazy. “Oh, is that the time, I... I didn't realise, how was school?” I ask, fully expecting a negative reply.

Yeah, good. Where's Mum?

Your Mum and Dad were asked to attend an emergency meeting with the Head of State, the Principal Minister and the Chief of Police, to discuss the continued disruption and allegations being made by those damned protestors.

Oh, that.”

Esme, have you experienced any problems at school following these latest protests? You know you can tell me, I'm always here to help you. If you're being victimised or harrassed in any way because of them, you need to tell us.”

Her dark, quizzical eyes meet mine. “No, I'm not... they're cool with it since I told them about me.”

You, you told them? Esme, what did you tell them?”

Calm down, Granny. I just told them the truth... sort of.”

My heart begins to pound, my mouth becomes dry and my legs turn to jelly... I flop down on the sofa. “Honey, you're starting to scare me. So what part of the truth did you disclose?”

She winds a curl around her finger, averts her eyes. “I'm hungry, I need to raid Roxie's fridge,” she says, heading for the door.

Esme, Stop! I asked you a question, it's important.”

She turns to face me. “Okay, they started quizzing me again, said there must be some truth in the allegations after all. I told them I would never take anything to help me win races, and to find out the reason why I can, Mum and Dad took me to the hospital for tests, which isn't a lie is it?”

I take a gulp of water from a glass on a side table. “No, honey its not. So did you tell them what the tests revealed?” I place the glass back on the table with a shaking hand.

She fastens me with her dark eyes. “I said the tests showed a rare gene in my DNA, one that pumps unusually high levels of adrenaline around my body when I'm in stressful situations, such as a race, and that's the reason I can run faster than anyone else, and why Mum and Dad removed me from the club.”

My mouth gapes in astonishment at her initiative. “Esme, you need to tell your Mum and Dad. I think you have just come up with the most plausible explanation to defuse this damaging situation once and for all. Why didn't we think of it?”

Okay can I go and get some cookies now? Nettie and Deja will be wondering where I am.


© Copyright 2019 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.


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