Trials: Part Twenty Eight

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Arte laid back on her bed and sighed. This was definitely not how she was expecting this to go. She went to Jude for help finding Ash, and now she’s on house arrest, and helping Jude clear his name. She’s also about to start training an actual child on how to use superpowers, in order to send her to fight someone, because they were all on house arrest. She was amazed that Jude was not only on board with this plan, but that he came up with it.

Jude said that she had to be the one to actually train Zoey, because it seemed more believable for her to go over to Zoey’s regularly than for him. She told Daniels that she’d be tutoring her, and he seemed to buy it. He gave her approval to go over every day for a couple of hours.

She wondered if she was ever gonna find Ashley. At this rate, it didn’t seem like it. Even if Paul came back to help, it wasn’t like she could actually leave the house. How was she supposed to find her if she was on house arrest? She wondered if it was a mistake to even come here, but stopped herself. It was too late for worrying about it now. She was here, and this was her circumstance. She could deal with it, or not, and she needed to deal with it.

She heard a knock on her door and opened it. It was Jude, and he had a notebook in his hand.

“Good luck tutoring!” He smiled, and handed her the notebook.

She skimmed the first page, and saw Jude had left her a to do list. He wanted her to make a couple of phone calls. One as soon as she got there, and some others after. She looked at the first name and number, and Arte’s heart skipped a beat. She was finally going to be able to talk to Paul, and make some progress on finding Ash. A thought popped to mind. Why hadn’t they just called him to begin with? He had to have a reason, but still. She shook her head, she didn’t have time for this right now. “Well. I guess I’d better get going.”

“Yeah, it’s about that time.” He moved out of the doorway. “See you!”

Arte made her way over to Zoey’s house, and knocked on the door. After a few moments, Mr. Rodriguez answered.

“Arte, come on in! It’s good to see you.”

Arte smiled and entered the foyer. She was surprised to see him so happy about this. Actually, she was surprised that he was even partly on board with this idea.

“Zoey isn’t here yet, but please make yourself at home.” He led her into the den, and sat in an armchair across from her.

“Sorry, but do you mind if I ask how you’re okay with Zoey doing superhero stuff?”

“Oh, yeah. That probably sounds a little strange.” He nodded. “Well, I hold a philosophy that once a kid is of the age that they want to do something, they’re just going to do it. You can either be with them and make sure they’re staying safe, or they’ll sneak around you and get hurt. I’ve known for a while about her powers, but I was waiting for her to tell me. I’m just glad she’ll get some proper training before she gets hurt. As far as danger goes, when I was 14 I was working in a factory where people died on the job every week.”

“Wow. I wish I had parents with that philosophy…” Arte recalled the time that she was literally thrown out of the house for getting a short haircut. Her dad picked her up, and tossed her out the door. She came back to reality and remembered what Jude had said. “Oh, would you mind if I made a call? They probably have our phone bugged, so we’re trying to keep this low-key.”

“Sure, the phone’s in the kitchen.” He pointed in the direction of the kitchen.

Arte went to the phone, and pulled out the notebook. She took a deep breath and punched in the number. It rang for a moment, and someone picked up.

“Hello?” A man replied. It sounded like he was somewhere in public, she could hear people talking in the background.

“Hi, is this…” She looked down at the notebook again, “Paul Darbyshire?”

“That’s me. Who’s this?”

“Hi, I’m Arte, I’m friends with-”

“Arte with the short hair and undercut, living in a room with my keyboard and computer?”

Arte stammered for a moment. She wondered if Paul had the place bugged, or if he was just that good. “Yeah? How did you know that?”

“That’s a long story. Which thing are you calling about?”

“Um…” Arte paused for a moment. “Well, my friend, she’s gone missing, and-”

“Yeah, your girlfriend? With the brown hair?”

“Yes?” Arte’s heart was racing again. If he knew who she was, he had to have seen her.

“Is that the only thing you’re calling about?”

“Well, no. There’s also this problem. Jude and I are on house arrest basically, and there’s an impostor super running around. There’s this girl in the house next door-”

“Hispanic, young teen, salt powers?”

Arte scoffed, who was this guy? How did he know everything? “I’m sorry, but the interrupting is kinda obnoxious.”

“Sorry. I have to be careful what I tell you, and I don’t want to waste time. Let’s see…” He paused for a moment and sipped something. “Alright, your girlfriend is fine. Well, she’s not fine, but there’s nothing you can do about that yet, and she’s fine enough.”

“Wait, what?” Arte’s heart felt like it was about to explode. “You know where she is?”

“No, but I will. Anyways, you did just say interrupting was obnoxious. Use the salt girl, she’ll be fine. Send her to the mall this Saturday. She doesn’t even really need training for this. Is that all? I need to get going soon.”

“Wait, I have so many questions!” Arte couldn’t just let this guy hang up.

“Look, if I tell you anything else, then things won’t go right for you, and I won’t get falafel. You also forget that you’re basically a stranger to me. Bye”

The phone clicked off, and Arte stared down in disbelief. What the hell was his problem? What did he mean she didn’t need training?

“Dad, I’m home!” Zoey called from the foyer.

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I have my new stuff up and running now. WordPress has changed its editor too, so I’m also learning that. Please let me know if anything is off about this, or any of my other posts. I think I’ve worked out a new system, but can’t quite be sure. Anyways, hope you enjoyed!

(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)

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