Audra let out a frustrated groan in the middle of her venting. “And another thing: why must the humans be so judgemental? A man is interested in other men? They would still be accepted wherever they went! Including women who liked women. They’re so judgemental and stupid and ignorant!"
She had been talking to her family via FaceTime on her TV for about an hour now. She didn’t remember how she got to the venting part of their conversation, but that didn’t matter. They let her vent so she wasn’t bottling it up and making things worse for herself.
“Blasted humans. Always being so judgemental,” her brother, Ladon, sympathized.
“Can’t they just be more like us? Men and Women stars are treated as equals. Some of the male humans won’t let the women lead! They think them incompetent and incapable of holding an important job.”
Her younger brother, Agent, wrinkled his nose in disgust. “Well that’s just plain dumb.”
“Right? And they have to pay to get help! To get help for people with mental illnesses is expensive! Shouldn’t help like that be free? I mean, I get that people have to earn money somehow, but taking it from families who might be barely scraping enough money to get help for a loved one? No wonder GoFundMe pages are a thing! All humans are only wrapped up in their own minds. Good thing most of them have significant others to help them out. Although half of the married couples end up getting divorced.”
“That is very sad,” Agent said with a nod, his mouth turned down in a frown and brows pressed together. “Is that why they seem like such an unhappy race? Because most - if not all - receive broken hearts?”
“I don’t know,” Audra admitted after a few moments. “Maybe? They don’t look very deep into themselves. There are few that do. Though I have seen some very happy couples. Straight couples, trans and bisexual couples, gay couples… I swear. They have terminology for everything.”
“Speaking of significant others and implied relationships… Why haven’t you found anyone yet?”
Audra could always count on Ladon to point that one out.
She heaved a sigh, fisting her hands on her hips as she looked down, shifting her weight to one leg. “In case you have forgotten, I have a condition that’s forcing me to be away from you guys?” she said through gritted teeth after a moment, looking up at him. “It’s hard enough for me right now. Even if I didn’t have this condition, I haven’t found one human being who stands out to me from the rest of their race.”
Ladon, Agent, and her other two brothers, Chester and Jeykll, huddled together, whispering loudly to themselves. Then they broke apart and looked at her.
Jeykll was the one to speak. He was the second oldest of the four of them, Ladon being the youngest and closest to her age. “Colton Danvers?”
Audra choked on nothing for a moment, her eyes widening in shock as she stared. “I’m- What? No no no. Tace!"
Chester laughed in his deep voice. He was the oldest, making Agent the second youngest of them. “Oh, come on! You were practically drooling over his yearbook photo last year.”
She felt her face redden slightly. ”I was not!"
This time, it was Agent’s turn to laugh. “You totally were! Dad even agrees with us. Right dad?” he called to someone off the screen.
Her father merely grunted a response that could’ve meant “I guess” or “whatever.”
Audra sighed, pacing and looking down. She could feel pressure building in the back of her throat. After a few moments of silence from both ends, she looked up at them, haulting in her pacing. “He’s still upset, huh?” she managed to say. Her voice was shaky and quiet. She forced a small, strained smile.
She saw sadness fill the four matching pairs of blue eyes in front of her and she had her answer. She felt anger bubbling up inside her as she clenched her fists at her sides.
Their eyes widened as they realized what was happening.
“Audra-” Chester started.
“Well, you tell him to stop accusing me of killing MOM because clearly he’s moved on and started a life with a horrible woman he expects me to replace her with! She is just a loco parentis figure!" she half-shouted, directing it at her father. “I know it was his fault she died! Just because I’m the youngest and the last kid she had, does not mean I killed her!”
She heard sputtering on the other side, and her father came into view. His black hair was messy, his blue eyes flashing with anger. “Now listen here, young lady-”
“No. You listen to me. I’m over here, suffering and meeting my death, which is only a few months away, and you have the audacity to accuse me of killing mom, when it was all your fault. Now I’m suffering from your mistake. Your screw up! Get over yourself!"
Her father opened her mouth to speak, red in the face, but before he could, a bucket of cold water was dumped on him by her brother’s.
“Dad, stop it! Do you want to spend her last few months like this? Just knock it off,” Chester nearly snapped. “She doesn’t need this.”
Audra opened her mouth to agree with him, but instead found herself coughing terribly. She raced to get a glass of water, as sometimes that helped, and was drinking it as she walked over to the couch to sit down, her legs shaking.
“Bubbles? You alright?” Ladon asked, using the nickname he’d given her. His voice was laced with concern.
She nodded, taking a deep breath. “I’m fine. Just a coughing spasm. I’ve started getting them. Not too often, though.” She took another deep breath.
“Tarts under the mat in your father’s room,” a voice whispered in her head.
“Mom wants you to know that Dad has tarts hidden in a hole under the mat in his room.”
Her father silently glared at her as he walked off the screen. Jekyll ran off to fetch the tarts.
“You still talk to mom?” Agent asked, wide-eyed. “I thought that was just a phase.”
She shrugged. “That’s what humans say about sexualities, too, but they’re not. It’s not a phase.”
Her brothers nodded.
Jekyll ran towards that, laughing giddily, his arms full of boxed up tarts.
“Bubbles was totally right! Here. Take them.” He quickly started passing them out, then shoved an entire mini fruit tart into his mouth. Or, he tried to, at least. He was laughing to hard to get it halfway in.
Everyone burst out in laughter at this.
“Oh, man, I love you guys,” Audra said after a couple minutes, wiping away tears of mirth from her eyes.
“We love you, too!” her brothers said cheerfully. “Oh! We-”
The TV went black, ending the call.
Audra shot up to her feet, looking over at the black suited man from the government in her kitchen. “Let me finish! Please! We weren’t done!”
“You can call them next week,” the man replied cooly.
She shook her head, clasping her hands in front of herself as tears started to fall down her cheeks. “No I can’t! I won’t be able to talk to them for a couple months because of the festival! It cuts off all outside communication. Please!"
The man only shook his head, heading to the door after retrieving the computer in front of him. “Guess you’ll have to wait, then. They’ll still be there. It’s not like they’re going anywhere.”
When he was gone, she ran into her bedroom, falling onto the bed, sobbing into the night as she felt the loneliness settle back in.