Believing is Seeing

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Chapter 13

Dinner and a Movie

“Trouble making? Well, I don’t expect to hear anything more about that, you understand?!”

“Yes, sir.” I said, careful not to sound sulky. Sulkiness was a one way ticket to grounding, and I just got off that.

Dad gave me a significant glare before returning to his menu.

It was a pretty nice place, with sit down dining and a selection of wines, and the sign before we came in had said Danello’s. I assume Danello is a name in the management.

My little walk around town earlier today had come up with a little window shopping and a few restaurants I had never heard of but want to try, but other than that there really hadn’t been anything. I found the mall. It was closed for repair. Apparently the snowstorm awhile back had messed up some of the electrical system and no one caught it until a fire got set off. I don’t believe anyone was hurt.

Italian cuisine was a big thing here, I noticed as I looked at my own menu. There were a few French dishes too. And lots of American.

I steered away from the French dishes. I don’t think I’m brave enough to try a dish from a restaurant I’ve never eaten at when I have no idea what the dish is. Maybe next time.

The Italian dishes I did know, though. Shrimp Primavera was my main choice.

Oooh…Fish. Boston ogled happily.

Probably should get the large plate.

“Can I take your order?” A bright young brunette waitress popped up at my father’s elbow, startling us all.

“Yes,” Dad folded his menu importantly. “I will have—” he said a French name that I’m absolutely sure he butchered and that I promptly forgot how to pronounce, but the girl was totally unfazed. Mom ordered a Linguini and I ordered my Primavera.

She was gone when we ordered our drinks, and Mom started fiddling with her napkin, uncomfortable with the silence at our table.

“So how is your work, darling?”

“Horrible! Some quack from some village came to the office and told my supervisor that that site, you know, the one we were at before we lived here? He came and told my supervisor that we had disturbed some sort of powerful seal and we would be plagued with death.”

“That’s horrible!” Mom’s hand flew up to her chin and she looked aghast. I started listening a little more closely.

“Not really, apparently this fellow was…what did the old Poe Obsessor call it? ‘Chasing the Dragon’.”

“What does that mean?” Mom asked.

“He was on drugs, Mum.” I informed her.

Dad shot me a quick look. “Yes. Well, anyway, apparently this fool was so bad in that way that they had to cart him off to the hospital. I heard this all third hand, of course, but we’ve been having a devil of a time trying to get any workers from that area. Now we’ll have to get people from out of country to help out, and that will be very expensive, and if we have to get second rate scientists, we may never be able to learn all that old ruin has to offer. At least that’s what the sales pitch is. Personally I don’t think anything useful will come from that rock pile.”

I beg pardon?!

My hand jerked a little reflexively, but I stopped myself from reaching my hand up to touch the marble choker.

“Then why spend the resources, if there seems to be nothing to gain?” Mom questioned.

“Apparently one of the senior scientists thinks that there was great religious significance in this particular temple. Apparently, the team that this particular scientist was leading found some stones telling about the end of death being locked away in it. Trash really. Everyone agrees the Fountain of Youth is a fable.” His face brightened when our food was brought out. “Ahh! Smells fantastic, I’m starving!”

I thanked the waitress after she placed a plate of wonderful smelling Primavera in front of me. She flashed me a grin and left.

I poked the dish a little, thinking over what Dad just said. A few interesting points I would have to ask Boston about later. I started eating after Dad and Mom had started in on their respective dishes.

Almost ten minutes later, the dish had been picked clean by Boston and I, though he ate most of my shrimp. But I did get a lot of the noodles, so I guess I can’t complain.

Except that he ate almost ALL of my shrimp.

“Honey you shouldn’t bolt your food down.” Mom said disapprovingly.

“I was hungry, and it was good.” And I was being helped by a floating cat.

Reasonably, I did not add that last part.

“That’s no excuse. You eat too much and you’ll lose your lovely figure and make yourself very sick.”

“I don’t exactly have a figure Mom.” I said, feeling the tips of my ears turn red.

“Yes you do. How many boys talk to you at school? Do you have a boyfriend yet? When are you going to bring him over for dinner?”

I almost asked her if she would cook, but stopped myself. If I knew, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

“I don’t have a boyfriend, Mom.”

She sniffed. “It’s just because you’re shy. Don’t worry, you’ll find the perfect man.”

This has to be embarrassing for you. Boston said with a cackle in his voice.

I made a mental note to beat his golden furred backside.

“I’m sure I will Mom.” Yes, you’ve totally inspired me. You know what? I think I’m going to go run out of this restaurant in pursuit of the perfect man. He doesn’t know I’m chasing him yet, but as soon as I find him, he’ll be hard pressed not to notice.

“But what about school? Have you made many friends?”

Off on subject and back onto one that has been visited many times.

“I met a girl at school today.” Dad snorted loudly, which I took as ‘girls in Saturday School do not make good friends’ but considering my past luck with girls my age, I can only keep going up from here. “She likes horror movies and horror novels.”

“And what was she in for?” Mom asked, trying to keep our conversation going while she finished her Linguini.

“Disrupting her class for acting like a vampire.”

Dad choked on the drink he was sipping. “You aren’t actually friends with her, are you?”

“No, more like acquaintances.” I said, drinking my water.

Dad looked more at ease with that, but still miffed that I considered her an acquaintance.

“Anyone else?” Mom persisted, dabbing her mouth with a napkin.

“A guy named Leo, another guy named Tracey, and a girl named Joey, but Tracey and Joey went on this little fieldtrip thing with their youth group and won’t be back in town for another week.”

“And Leo?”

“He’s a senior that helped me put out the eggs.”

“Ah. Well, you’ll have to make sure that list grows, we don’t plan on moving anywhere soon, so you should have all the time in the world to spend with your friends.” Mom said a little more benevolently than I’m used to. I would have suspected something, but I wrote it off as shock attributed to seeing Dad again.

“You ever get a boyfriend, I would like to meet the young man.” Dad informed me.

Yeah, Mom’s home cooked meal and a meeting with Dad? I’ll be lucky if he tells one of his friends we’ve broken up before he books it for a coastal retreat

“Okay.” I said, careful to sound completely neutral.

“Check please.” Dad said to the waitress as she passed by. “I know you will sweetheart, you’ve never kept anything from us before, not like some other ungrateful spawn.”

I quickly drank the rest of the water.

All of the movies at the Triple Majestic(the number one theatre in town) were totally uninteresting. That’s putting it nicely. Putting it truthfully, I’d have to say that I knew they stunk without even watching them. I’ve seen the previews, and I think I’d have a better time watching a bad bug movie with Nikki.

My parents thought basically the same thing, though there was a time when they teetered on watching the sappy romance movie, but fortunately they thought it was too deep for me, so they decided to rent a movie instead. I have to say I’m glad, because I’ve read the novel that the movie was based on, and it was a snorer.

This is pathetic in itself considering my constant affliction.

So we were messing around, trying to find a good movie, well, I was messing around, I’m not all that sure what my parents do in situations like these, and I found myself wandering down the comedy aisles. Some I had heard of, others I had never seen before. Some looked pretty lewd, and I stayed away from those as a general rule.

Actually, I found myself picking up animal movies and detective movies. I looked at the backs, looking for one that my parents may pick up. I was on The Pink Panther before Mom caught me and dragged me away to help her decide on three movies.

I am almost positive we are allowed to check out more than one, but she doesn’t seem to care. One movie will do it, I guess.

First movie was this romantic English comedy that looked vaguely interesting the way that a wandering cat will look vaguely interesting when seen from your window when you have nothing to do.

Second was an Action Adventure that I had to check my mother to make sure it was actually her standing there. Normally she won’t even look at the stuff, but I guess every once in awhile…

The last was a drama, about a woman with an embroidered shirt. At least, that’s what I got from her pained expression on the front cover. On the back it told about how she fell in love, lost her love in tragic accident, etcetera, etcetera.

I put my vote in for the Action, but it was obvious the first one would win out.

When we left, romantic comedy in tow, Mom was hanging off Dad’s arm and he opened the door for her and I opened my own door and got in. We drove off a few minutes later and went cruising home.

I think the Action one would have been better for our developing minds. Boston muttered. Maybe I should have voted. Then we could have a tiebreaker!

I really didn’t think that would work.

I leaned my head on the cool glass of the window and stared out at the passing streets. We were just passing the mall, which still had the large ‘CLOSED’ signs over it.

“I hope no one was hurt in the fire.” Mom said conversationally.

“I’m sure you would have heard reports, darling.” Dad kept his eyes on the road.

The streets were really dark, and I could barely see anything except the porch lights that had been left on.

I was being lulled to sleep when Mom just suddenly started screaming.

“EDWIN! LOOK OVER THERE! LOOK!”

“What?!” Dad jerked his head over. “There’s nothing there!”

“There was! There were these…things in that person’s yard!” She said, looking behind to look out the rearview window.

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I saw them! Go back!”

Dad put the car in reverse and drove backwards until Mom told him to stop. We looked into the yard to see…

Absolutely nothing.

“Are you all right, Patricia?”

“I swear I saw…I must just be tired. I saw that poster at the theatre and the light was playing tricks on me. That must be it. I’m sorry, darling.”

“Quite alright, Patricia, in this part of the town with these trees,” He gestured to the large bent over oaks, “I’ve seen a few things too. Let’s go home and watch a movie and forget about monsters in yards, shall we?”

“Alright.” Mom settled back into her seat.

I kept looking out into the darkness, wondering if I couldn’t get a glimpse of what she saw. But Dad was right. In the yard where Mum had seen her creature, there was an old willow that was floating side to side, making it look as if snakes were weaving in the wind. More than likely, that was what she saw.

We soon left it behind as the car moved forward again, a little faster than usual. Before long we were home, sitting in the living room and watching the movie that wasn’t as bad as what I thought it would be.

But it still wasn’t all that great either.

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