Guardian of Humanity

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Chapter 4

Sunday morning at the Campbell house had a routine to it. Lenaya AKA mom was up early Sunday mornings. This was her “me” time. She did not care to sleep in and ruin her routine. She was a successful florist owning really the most reputable shop in three counties so there was not a wedding or a funeral that she did not attend. She was a control freak so she insisted on handling most all details herself and only counted on assistants to help her set up events and on some of the day to day activities of the shop. Dad AKA as Shane owned a repair shop. He worked on everything from lawn mowers to big rigs, there was not an engine he could not fix. He even kept up with the times staying current with all the computerized technology, a grease monkey he was not. However he did work six days a week, and loved to attempt to sleep in on Sunday.

Lenaya believed the family needed to attend church together, regardless of how much Shane and Andrea happened to protest the process. Which was substantial protesting, from thermometers held against a light bulb, to puke noises in the bathrooms they were both guilty of attempting to get out of church.

Would this particular Sunday be any different? Of course not. Lenaya had to hit Shane with three pillows to roust him from the bed. For Andrea, she just tossed a can of frozen juice into her bed. It followed her no matter how she attempted to escape it, her only recourse was to exit the bed.

Lyle once again had made his way to the guest room. Andrea giggled to herself as she made her way into the room, mom would have a fit if she realized the animals that were using the guest bed. First night a chimp and today, she opened the door to find a very condescending looking Persian Cat looking at her from the bed.

“You are lucky it was me. What would you of done if one of my parents had opened the door?”

“Oh Andrea ye of little faith. I knew it was you I am your messenger I know when you are near.” Lyle examines a paw with mock interest. “Besides, if it had been your parents how could they resist such a beautiful house companion as this.” Lyle put on a cheesy smile.

“Lyle, cats do not smile.”

“Really? Well they should. Anyways why are they still here? We have our training to continue.”

“Training will have to wait I have to go to church with my parents.”

“Church? Oh gads I did not realize it is Sunday. Oh well I will just come with you.”

“You are going to church with me? And how do you think you are going to get into the church they frown on cats, chimps, raccoons, and most defiantly fire breathing dragons.”

“Well yes a Fire Breathing Dragon would be a bit of an over kill for church. I will go small something that will fit in your purse.”

“I don’t do mice Lyle. I don’t care if the mouse is you, a mouse Lyle will not be hiding in my purse at church. I am taking a shower and properly dosing myself with caffeine prior to walking into my church with my new messenger.” Andrea left Lyle to decide what creature was best suited for church.

Andrea went to her room and found a suitable outfit. She went with some black pants and a pretty blue and purple shirt a hint of color to compliment her strange violet eyes. On to the shower she went. Not a girl to waste time in the bathroom in the shower, out, wash face, limited make-up, pony tail for the mane, and down the stairs for more important things, coffee.

Andrea was pouring her coffee when Shane walked into the kitchen, still dressed in sweats, obviously not as motivated as Andrea was to go to church. Shame on him.

“So dad, what she do to you? I got the frozen juice treatment.”

“Pillows, nearly knocked me into next month with them.”

“Sorry, think I would take pillows over frozen juice though.”

He scooted into the coffee area giving Andrea the heave hoe out of his way. He poured his coffee added some creamer and looked at Andrea through blood shot blue eyes.

“Yeah, she only did the juice thing that one time to me. Very expensive frozen juice, it makes a nice hole in the window.”

“I remember that, it was classic.” Andrea smiled as she moved over to look in the fridge. What to take up to Lyle? Its not like they had any cat food, he was just going to have to change to something that liked fruit. Andrea made herself a bowl of cereal and snagged a couple of banana’s and an apple. She was making her way past her dad when he noticed the pile of fruit and jumbo cereal bowl.

“Jeez girl what are you doing? You have a ton of food there.”

“Its a new diet dad. If you eat a real big breakfast then you won’t be as hungry the rest of the day.”

“Oh, well I guess that makes sense. What makes no sense is you dieting, you are not fat.”

“I am just testing it out I wanted to know if it works.” Andrea yelled over her shoulder as she made her way up the stairs. As she passed her mom’s home office her mom was peering out at her.

“Andrea I better not find those banana peels thrown in your room next week.”

“You won’t I promise.” Under her breath she added Lyle does not waste food when he is in chimp form he eats everything peel and all. No mess to clean up

Andrea dumped her hoard of food in her room and then went to the Lyle suite to get him for breakfast. She could not believe what she saw, Lyle had shifted into a the cutest little primate ever, he could ride in her purse any day.

“Lyle you are adorable, so much better then a mouse. What are you?”

“Really Andrea? Know your worlds animals I am a Marmoset, a primate highly intelligent and ready for breakfast.” Lyle said as he crawled onto Andrea’s shoulder. “Onward Demigod this messenger is starved.”

Andrea peered out into the hall, the coast was clear, she stepped out and there was her dad coming up the stairs. Lyle dashed under her pony tail just in time.

“Hi honey mom has brow beat me into the shower, I didn’t even get to finish my coffee!”

“That is cruel dad just horrible, but you do sorta stink so you better hurrrreee into the shower.” Lyle lost his grip for a second and was hanging on by a few hairs of her pony tail.

Shane raised an eyebrow. “Problem?”

“No just my pony tail is a little tighter then I thought, I better get into my room and fix it.” Andrea reached her door knob, Lyle ducked under her mass of curls and she made a hasty retreat into her room.

“Oh my god Lyle did you leave any hair attached back there.”

“Sorry Andrea, I slipped, not entirely used to this form yet, remember I am this wee creature just for you. Now feed me please!”

Lyle saw the pile of fruit on her desk and made a beeline for the bananas. Andrea walked over and set down at the desk to eat her cereal. The two new friends enjoyed their breakfast together without any more near misses. After breakfast Andrea went to the bathroom and brushed her teeth then she ran down stairs put her dishes in the sink and grabbed her purse. Her mom heard her on the stairs.

“Your dad and I are ready to go we need to leave in like two minutes you are ready aren’t you?”

“Yes mom I will be right back just running up to my room for a second.” Back up to her room she dashed. Once in her room she held her purse open for Lyle to climb in she had a hobo bag so he fit very comfortably. She ran to the linen closet and got a wash cloth and set it in her purse. Lyle used it to fashion a very comfortable cushion.

“Ready Andrea, now take me to church and lets learn about the humans god.”

“God is god Lyle it is all the same to me. I have always thought that no matter what name god is called its still going to the same place.”

“ I agree, I just happen to be friends with the deity so I find it amusing to see how the realms perceive them.”

“Whatever, just please be a good marmoset and do not pee in my purse.” Andrea patted Lyle on the head and headed off down the stairs to catch up with her parents.

The ride to church was uneventful. They took the king cab truck Andrea sat in the back seat and played games on her cell while she could, church was a cell free zone. She peeked in at Lyle from time to time to find him kicking back on his make shift bed, looking at her id and other purse products. Andrea blushed to herself, thank god she had no tampons in her purse at the moment she would not of liked talking with Lyle about those.

Andrea looked up and noticed they were pulling up to church. Her dad found a spot in the back of the lot and backed the big truck in, the only way to park the big four wheel drive.

“Everybody ready for this?” He said as he pulled the keys and stepped out of the truck. “Wonder what is in store for us today at the hands of the reverend.” He walked along side Andrea elbowing her in the ribs jostling her bag about. He noticed the Hobo bag. He made an attempt to peer inside. “You got a pillow in that thing its big enough I think you could haul a folding cot in there?” Andrea scooted out of his range as her bag bounced around, poor Lyle he was getting one heck of a ride.

“No dad I don’t jeez. It is called a Hobo bag and it is a fashionable purse, keep up with the times.”

“Whatever. All I needed to know was if there was something in there I could commandeer for the service to rest my tired head on during the sermon.” He was laughing however mom did not find the two of them particularly funny.

“If you two cannot behave in church today there will be no lunch after church we will be going strait home.” She shook her head, “I feel like I am attending church with two three year olds, instead of a grown man and a teenage daughter.” She walked off and left them to their own devices, they realized they had pushed her as far as was wise and fell into step behind her as they headed to the church.

As they entered the building, Andrea took a chance and peeked into her bag. Lyle looked up at her a little dazed looking, and shook his little primate fist at her. He whispered “My god Andrea, I have experienced less turbulence crossing through the gates of the Rheims then I just did in this blasted contraption. I thought I would be safe in here!”

“Sorry Lyle, now shhh we are going into church, I will be very careful with you.”

“I hope so, I do break you know.”

Andrea found her parents and slid into the pew and sat by her dad. They elbowed each other throughout the service making sure neither one fell asleep during the service. The service was about forgiving and not holding grudges. Andrea had that down to a science. So many people have teased her for her unruly hair or less then graceful ways over the years if she held grudges she would be a very angry person all the time. She just did not have the energy to stay mad at them all. Besides, she knew her hair was out of control and she most defiantly was not very coordinated so they had a point. As the service ended and people began to make their way up the aisle and out the back of the church Andrea attempted to leave her pew caught her foot on the end of and face planted in the aisle of the church. Thankfully the aisle was carpeted, but still it was going to leave a mark. Not to mention Lyle, and his purse hiding spot was just flung three feet away when she attempted to catch herself as she fell. Many around her were laughing at her act of grace, Andrea managed to grab her purse and get to her feet without much further attention being paid to her. But the damage was done.

“Are you alright?” Her mom asked.

“Never better ma, never better.” Andrea said as she dusted off her palms on her clothes and made her way with the crowd to the back of the church. As soon as she could she snuck a peek at Lyle.

“Lyle, please tell me you are okay.”

“I am okay. Amazed as to how you have managed not to die thus far in your human form with your propensity to falling down as much as you do. Your training will take care of this human trait in no time and soon you will no longer be so clumsy.”

“I am not sure even your training will cure my ability to humiliate myself falling over my feet.” Andrea gave Lyle a weak smile as she closed her purse and made her way to the truck.

From church to Bo’s Diner for lunch, every Sunday Lenaya managed to get Shane and Andrea up that was the tradition. Bo’s was a diner completely suck in the 70‘s. Either that or the retro deco was fantastic, however considering the grease stains and the walls that virtually cried out for fresh paint the popular opinion was Bo’s had never redecorated since 1979. Most days Shane and Andrea had French Dips but today Andrea switched it up and got a chef salad and a side of fruit. She had her purse strategically placed so she could drop fruit and veggies to Lyle, he would eat some and pack the rest in her purse for later. She had no idea he was packing some away, but she would find out the next time she reached for her wallet.

Andrea had finished eating and was heading for the rest room. As she made her way across the room she walked past a booth with four of the obnoxious football players sitting at it. One of them threw out his foot as she passed tripping her.

“Don’t trip grace.” He said as she hit his foot.

Andrea felt her ankle catch on his foot but instead of falling flat she caught herself and did not trip at all. She had done it she had not fallen down. Was it her demigod powers? Dumb luck? Who knew, who cared? She was still standing. She looked down at the idiot jock.

“Did you say something?”

“Ah no why would I talk to you.”

“Absolutely no idea.” she rolled her eyes and walked on to the rest room. Once in the rest room she checked for other people then opened her purse.

“Did you notice that?”

“Notice what?”

“I did not go flying, Bobby Durham tripped me. Anyone would of fallen, but I did not. It was like I walked right through his ankle and did not notice him at all.”

“Not surprised you cannot be falling down all the time and be ready for the demon’s. Your natural coordination, which for all these years has eluded you for some reason, has developed even beyond human levels, and quickly might I add. Not two hours ago even I was a vicim of your unnatural ability to fall flat.” Lyle said as he munched on a grape. “How much longer until we can get back to training? This has been a fine break, and interesting look into human customs, but I am quit over it now and would really like to work.”

“We are about done here then it is home and the rest of the day is ours to work out until dark then I have to get to work on home work, still in high school remember?”

“Ah yes and tomorrow will be even more time wasted as we must go to school and learn facts that matter not to a guardian. All you need to know I can teach you.”

“ I am sure my calculous teacher would argue with you.”

“Hah, we will see.”

Andrea washed her hands and made her way back to her table. She noticed Bobby and the others were gone when she came out of the restrooms. No great loss there, one less opportunity for them to make rude comments in her direction.

“You two ready to go? I want to take a little hike do some research for a biology paper when I get home.”

“Andrea the studious one. Wait who are you and what have you done with the real Andrea?” Shane said as he looked around in a mock attempt to find the real Andrea.

“Dad I have always taken my grades seriously, really you are being a dork?”

“Maybe, but you have never been particularly interested in a nature hike.”

“I still am not a hiker, I just want a great grade in bio for my transcripts.”

“Ah now that sounds more like it. Lenaya come on we cannot keep the biologist from her studies.”

“Oh no we can’t. If I had known you wanted to study plants you could have worked a few shifts at the shop. You would of seen more flowers then you ever wanted to see in your whole life.”

“Biology and cut flowers for funerals are not the same thing exactly. Unless of course you are changing the molecular structure of a flower to increase color, or length of bloom time.” Andrea tossed over her shoulder as she exited Bo’s with her parents behind her.

The drive home Andrea played with her phone and Lyle caught a quick nap. Perhaps a little too much lunch was consumed? Once home Andrea went to her room, her dad went to his work shop and mom went to her home office. Andrea grabbed a change of clothes and ducked into the bathroom. It was weird having Lyle around she was always having to change in the bathroom, animal form or not he still spoke which made him too human to change in front of. Andrea quickly changed into sweat pants t shirt and a hoody.

Andrea looked at her reflection in the mirror. Demi god huh? She held up her hand and thought about fire, a under control little candle like flame she quickly added to her thought and flames flickered to life from her finger tips. Very cool. She added the thought of a warm summer breeze, just enough to feel on your skin the flames began to dance in the wind. She looked back at her reflection her eyes were glowing an amazing purple blue color as the power coursed from her. Not too shabby she thought as she willed the elements to rest. She opened the bathroom door training was needed, she wanted to know more about how to control her powers.

She walked into her bedroom. “Lyle you ready lets get some work done, with school next week we will not have lots of time for working on my control and I need to have total control, I cannot accidentally blow up a house or something.”

“Do not worry Andrea, you are learning fast it has only been two days and look at what you just did in the bathroom.”

“How did you know?”

“I can sense your powers as they ebb and flow around us. You are learning how to call them and control what you have manifested. Now we are going to see what your offensive powers might be.”

“Thats cool so you can find me even if I was missing. Thats kind of nice if a demon gets me or something I will know at least you will know where to look. Lets go Lyle we are going hiking remember for bio.”

“Ah yes the woods, this should be fun.” Lyle said as he scampered up her arm and made himself comfortable in her hood.

“Hold still you are tickling me and no hair pulling this time.” Andrea jigged about the room a bit as Lyle made himself at home in her hood.

“I will be able to hold still when you stop moving around so much! Young padawan!”

“Okay I got it, you got it?” Andrea said as she froze in place.

“I got it now lets get going.”

Andrea grabbed a fanny pack threw her wallet, cell phone, and chap stick in and careened down the stairs. She yelled goodbye to her mom grabbed her car keys and headed to the car. She got in and headed off down the drive way. Once away from the house she stopped. Lyle scrambled down her arm and changed into his familiar raccoon form and belted in the seat next to her with one of his cheesy grins.

“Okay its like five minutes to a state park with it being fall we should have the place to ourselves.”

“That would be good cause this could get interesting.” Lyle said with a laugh.

“Oh great. When you laugh like that I have learned it usually means trouble.”

Andrea said as she drove down the road. As promised they were at the park, in minutes and the lot was deserted. She parked the car, locked it and walked to the trail head with Lyle ambling along beside her. They followed the trail about ten minutes in before Lyle decided to speak.

“I think this area should do fine for your first lesson.” The trail had opened into a wide area with less dense forest around them. “Lets begin with your concentration exercises.” Crouching Tiger Lyle took over from there as he lead Andrea in her martial arts warm up.

After forty five minutes of work, sweat was pouring off Andrea and she shed her hoody to cool off. “Lyle I am thinking, I am warmed up.”

Lyle glanced at her as he stood on one paw and repeatedly kicked the other in the air like a karate master. “Perhaps you are.” He said as he finished his kicks. “Now see the boulder over there by the fir tree?”

“Yes”

“I want you to think about your energy, your aura if you want to call it. Aim it at the rock. You might want to use your hands to like throw it at it perhaps.”

Andrea went into a wind up like a LA Dodgers pitcher and threw her pretend ball at the rock, nothing happened. She tried a softball pitch, still nothing.

“Okay whatever you are doing right now is not the channel your power needs. Dig deep Andrea feel your power and send it at the rock.”

“What the hell Lyle what does it look like I have been doing? I am throwing power like a pro and nothing is happening.” Andrea throws her hands up in frustration and flicks her fingers, only not at the rock, brilliant purple sparkles shoot from her fingers and impact a tree stump. Needless to say the tree stump, would never be the same again. Great for kindling not so much for anything else.

“Oh my god what just happened.”

“You found your channel, but you lost your concentration and blew up the wrong thing. You have to control this power like no other! Frustration cannot rule it. As you can see it is a great power.”

Andrea took a deep breath and re-centered herself, she even did a few of her warm up exercises to make sure she was not out of focus in any way. She looked at the boulder, lifted her hands up in front of her and flicked her fingers. Purple fairy dust like light shot from her hands and the boulder was as good as gravel. Andrea looked to Lyle. “How was that?”

“Well done. Now concentrate and learn your control. You must be in control before you need the powers. In battle you cannot take a time out for a yoga moment.”

“I understand, I just get so frustrated I have the fate of the whole world on my shoulders and a biology test next week.”

“Exercise is good for stress. Grab your sweatshirt, we are going to run, as we run I will call out items I want you to destroy, it will be good for you physically and we can work on control.”

“I hate running, I have never been good at it, I fall a lot.”

“Not any more you don’t.”

“Point. Very good point.”

“Now lets move.”

The messenger and the demigod spent the next hour running through the forest over logs, under branches, even jumping rocks all the while Lyle would yell out branch on right, stump on left, and with the flick of her fingers Andrea was able to blast them all. Her control was growing, her powers were growing, and her confidence was growing.


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