The Serpent: Part 1

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Chapter 3

June 25, 2012

8:51 A.M.

“What color do you want?” Sam asked as he looked through the girls’ bow drawer.

“Pink!” Madelyn shouted.

“Alright then.”

Sam smiled and grabbed a pink bow out of the drawer. He then placed it in Madelyn’s hair.

“Do I look like a princess?” Madelyn asked.

“Of course you do, Sweetheart,” Sam replied with a smile. “You always do.”

A beautiful smile spread out across Madelyn’s face. Sam kissed her on the cheek.

Sam stood up to his full height and sighed in relaxation. Victoria and Madelyn both began to happily run around the room and twirl their matching white dresses. Sam couldn’t help but get a warm feeling in his chest as he watched them.

Sam took a look at the Hello Kitty clock on the girls’ wall. It was nearing nine. He had spent over an hour getting the girls bathed and dressed for the photo shoot. As tiring as the hour had been, it had all been worth it. The girls were as fresh and clean as they could possibly get and their beautiful curly brown hair was perfectly brushed. Victoria and Madelyn were beyond ready to give some adorable smiles for the camera.

At that moment, Sam decided to take a look in the mirror to make sure that he was ready himself. He had put on one of his best suits and had straightened his hair as best as possible. Even then, he wasn’t sure if he felt ready. Like any other photo session or video recording, Sam was having a very hard time deciding if he looked perfect enough.

As Sam began eyeing his mustache in the mirror very closely, he heard the doorbell ring. Sam grunted.

Why now? Sam though irritably as he began to walk to out of the girls’ room. Why right now?

“Daddy, can we have ice cream?” Victoria asked, clutching the bottom of Sam’s suit coat.

“Yeah, I want ice cream!” Madelyn shouted, clutching Sam’s coat as well.

“Not right now, girls,” Sam said. “Wait until we’re finished taking pictures.”

“Please, Daddy!”

“No, I don’t want you getting ice cream all over your pretty dresses.”

Ignoring Victoria and Madelyn’s whining, Sam left the room and walked down to the front entryway. As he walked down the stairs, he looked around to make sure everything was as neat as possible.

Sam walked up to the front door and opened it to see the grinning face of Alan Stanford.

“Sam!” Alan shouted. “How ya’ doing’ man?”

“Doing great, Alan,” Sam said. “I’m actually pretty busy right now. Can you come back late-”

“Nice job last Friday! You did a spectacular job! I wish I had gotten the chance to see you, but I couldn’t even find you after the show. I guess you took off early?”

“Yeah, I really wasn’t in the mood for dealing with fans that night. And honestly, I’m not sure if I will be for a while. Now if you don’t mind, I really need to-”

“You on your way to a wedding or something? Why you looking so sharp this morning?”

“A photo shoot for People. They’re gonna’ be here in about thirty minutes, so I really need to finish getting ready. So Alan, can you please-”

At that moment, Sam felt something clutching him. He looked down to see Victoria and Madelyn wrapped around his legs and looking up at him with little faces that said: “Can we please have ice cream? Can we please have ice cream?”

Alan chuckled. “I guess somebody’s a little clingy right now.”

“Yeah,” Sam said. “Alan, I seriously need to finish getting ready. Can you please come back later?”

“What are you so worried about? You look great. You’re gonna’ look awesome on the front cover!”

“I don’t want another news report going on about how awful my hair was. I need to look as best as I possibly can.”

“That was over eight months ago, Sam. You don’t need to keep stressing out about it. Also, those people are a bunch of morons. Your hair looked great that day. I’d like to see their faces printed on a magazine and see just how good looking their hair is!”

“Alan, can I please, please, please finish getting ready. I’m on a serious time limit right now. I’m not kidding. Please.”

“Okay, okay. I’ll leave you alone. But first I just wanted to give you a little something.”

Alan handed Sam a small book. Sam took a look at it. It was titled “A Night In Los Angeles.”

“It’s Carmen’s newest book,” Alan said. “This is her special copy for you.”

“Oh,” Sam said, looking at the back cover of the book. “Thanks.”

“Look on the inside of the front cover.”

Sam flipped open the front cover and noticed something written in Carmen’s handwriting. It said: “You did amazing on Friday, Sam! Great job! I love your new album! Life In Mystery is one of my favorite songs of all time!”

Sam smiled and closed the book.

“Tell Carmen I said thanks,” he said.

“I will,” Alan said. “Good luck at the photo shoot, Sam. If anybody has anything to say about how you look, I’ll be sure to give them some of my two cents.”

“You do that.”

“One more thing, the girls look absolutely gorgeous. Nice job.”

“Thanks Alan.”

“You’re welcome. I’ll see you later, Sam.”

“See you later.”

After that, Alan was finally gone.

Sam turned around to walk back upstairs, but had a difficult time doing so due to Victoria and Madelyn still clinging to his legs.

“Girls, I already told you that you can’t have any ice cream right now,” Sam said as he drug his legs along the floor. “Wait until after we’re done taking pictures.”

“Can we have a cookie?” Victoria asked.

“Yeah, I want a cookie!” Madelyn shouted.

Sam sighed.

“Okay, sure,” he said. “You can each have one cookie. But just one.”

“Yeah!” Victoria and Madelyn shouted.

Thankfully, one cookie was enough to keep the girls satisfied for the moment and they returned to running and twirling around the house. Sam smiled and walked back upstairs.

As he passed by his desk at the top of the stairs, he set down Carmen’s book on top of it. He could hardly wait to see what Carmen had come up with this time.

As Sam set the book down, he suddenly noticed a stack of papers lying on the desk. Although he didn’t think anybody from People were planning on taking pictures of his house, he refused to take any chances. Especially not after “TMZ” began to flash in his mind.

Can’t leave those there, he thought.

Sam grabbed the papers off the desk, but just as he was about to walk upstairs, he noticed an old People magazine that had Robbie Larson’s face on the front cover. The words: “His Two-Year Cancer Battle” were printed at the top.

A giant lump suddenly formed in Sam’s throat. He really hoped he could keep a smile on his face for the photo shoot.

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