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Jude sat in the kitchen with Deven and Ashley. It was already Friday, and Arte said Zoey had’t made any noteworthy improvement after the first day. He had faith in Paul, and if Paul said Zoey could take him, he trusted him. However, that still didn’t mean he didn’t want someone there to provide backup. He was doubtful that Daniels would approve all three of them to go, but he figured he could get at least one of them there. Paul had also been remarkably unspecific when he said to go to ‘the mall’ on Saturday. He wasn’t sure what mall, or when Saturday to be there.
Deven seemed to be eager to get out of the house. He said something about wanting to go to a gardening store to get some new seeds.
Jude’s phone began to buzz. Arte and Deven both went silent, and Jude picked up the phone.
“Yeah, this is Daniels. Why do all three of you need to be at the mall tomorrow?”
“Well, Zoey, the neighbor girl, has a big test today, and we wanted to take her out to celebrate.”
“Alright, but isn’t Arte the one tutoring her?”
“Well, yeah, but-”
“So wouldn’t it make more sense for her to take her out?”
“Well, I mean, we all know her though, so-”
“Alright. It sounds to me like you just want an excuse to get out of the house. I’ll approve Arte for tomorrow, but that’s it. I don’t want you or Deven to be out while the impostor is still at large.”
“Come on, it’s been like a week and a half-”
“That’s my final decision. Goodbye Jude.” Daniels hung up without another word.
Jude lowered the phone and sighed. While this was about what he was expecting, it was still getting to him to be stuck in the house so much. He wondered if Daniels would ease up or double down after they caught the impostor.
“Well, that didn’t exactly sound like good news. What’d he say?” Arte asked.
“It was about what I expected. He only approved you, Arte.”
“No!” Deven shouted and slammed his fist on the counter, leaving a dent.
Arte jumped back, and Jude stood up. He needed to defuse this quick.
“Hey, Deven, I know you’re upset, but-” Jude started
“No! She always gets to leave! She’s left every day! It’s not fair!” Deven was panting now, and swatting at the air.
“Deven, you have to understand-” Jude edged closer, and narrowly dodged a swing of Deven’s arm.
“No! I want to leave! I hate this house!”
“I know…” Jude edged closer again, and Deven watched cautiously. “But I’ll be stuck here with you, we could-”
“No!” Deven swung his arms wildly, and Jude went flying into a cabinet, knocking it off the wall and sending plates flying.
Jude looked up, and saw Arte standing over him. She looked panicked. He stood up and dusted himself off. He was surprised at how little that hurt. He figured it was most likely shock, because that had to have at least broken a rib. He gave Arte a firm pat on the shoulder, and as comforting of a look as he could.
“No! I want to go!” Deven shouted.
Jude had an idea. After the last incident with Deven during the house raid, he realized that he was going to need to be prepared to deal with super powered tantrums and meltdowns, so he did some research.
He went to the fridge, and ignored Deven’s shouting. He pulled out a box of leftover pizza that he had ordered a couple of days ago, and put two pieces in the microwave.
“What are you doing?” Deven was still panting, but had stopped hitting things.
Jude grabbed a plate that was still in tact from the wreckage of the cabinet, and pulled the pizza from the microwave. He moved the plate over to the island, picked a piece up, and began eating.
Deven approached, and looked down at the pizza.
“Do you want some?” Jude asked as casually as he could. His heart was racing, but this was the best plan he could muster.
Deven thought for a moment and then nodded.
“Alright.” Jude slid the plate over to Deven, and ate his own slice.
After a couple of minutes, Deven and Jude had both finished their pizza. Jude looked to Deven, and saw that he had calmed down considerably.
“Alright, tomorrow, you and I will order a fresh pizza, and have a movie day.”
“I know you wanted to go to the mall too, but after Arte takes care of this with Zoey, we’ll be able to leave the house again, okay?”
Deven nodded again.
Jude was aware that he very well could be wrong about that statement, but he wasn’t sure how long he could keep this up. Deven was getting just as stir-crazy as him, and something was gonna have to change. After this, Daniels would just have to understand.
Jude was about to start cleaning up the wreckage of the cabinet, but heard the doorbell. He went to the door and saw a man with a package. He opened the door and smiled.
“Hey, delivery from Mr. Smith.” The man handed off the package. “Also, he mentioned that you had noticed some bugs around the house. I’m really an exterminator,” he winked, ”And he wanted me to take the package with me. More efficient I guess. Now a bad time?”
Jude looked behind him, and shrugged. “About as good of a time as any.”
“Alright, I’ll run out to my car real quick, and me and my coworker will take care of it. Those bugs won’t know what hit ‘em.” He winked again, and ran back out to the car.
Jude sat the package on a table, and opened it. Inside was a some kind of white uniform. It looked similar to his Dayspring uniform, but it was smaller, and had some kind of armor on parts of it.
“Thank you, Mr. Smith.” He muttered, before replacing it in the box. “Arte, Zoey’s present is here!” He called into the house.
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(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)
Apologies for last week’s post being delayed. They rearranged the scheduling calendar on the wordpress site, so I’ve pressed the wrong day a few times! This one’s definitely good on my end, so hopefully it’s posted Friday at noon.
Hope you enjoyed. I don’t do the after-post bits every time, but things are starting to ramp up, so if you’re just joining us and debating on whether it’s worth it to read the backlog, trust me, it is! Have a great weekend.