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The Day the World Stopped Spinning (Chapter 2)

(2 weeks prior)

Violet awoke that morning to the cool breeze trickling through the window of her room in her family’s houseboat. The gentle rocking of her home seemed to gently awaken her the way a mother whispers to wake up a sleeping child. She got up and stretched her arms high above her head and then brought them down to rest in her lap. The shimmering scales along her arms shone with a silver twinkle this morning, expressing her calm, and she smiled. It was the first morning in a while where she felt completely relaxed waking up.

She walked down to her father cooking breakfast.

“Good morning!” Her dad said to her. His arms and the scales around his temple were a more vibrant gold this morning, a clear sign of his joy and elation.

She smiled in return as he came over and kissed her gently on the forehead. Their houseboat was modest with a room for her and a room for her parents down below. On the above deck, there was a door that led to their kitchenette and their small dining room that doubled as a living room. The table was to the right of the main room with a wrap-around sofa on one side and two chairs on the opposite side. When they decided to transform the room into a living room, they folded up the chairs and unscrewed the table to put it in their small closet. The wrap-around sofa faced a small tv on the opposite wall above the stove.

Their dishes were crafted out of smashed shells that Violet’s mother used to create plates, cups, and bowls. She was incredibly creative and used paints to decorate the walls both inside and outside of their houseboat. Color was everywhere. It was on the walls, on their table, in their rooms, and all along the outside of the boat. Mostly, she used blues and greens, but she would add yellow, orange, and purple to accent the calming hues of the sea. She never used red. Red was a color that Violet and the Inber people never used. They were very superstitious people, and they feared that using the color red would somehow bring back the unrelenting reign of the Ignis, even though it had been over a century since that happened.

Her father was cooking eggs that were brought over by Eurus, their neighbor. He was a Ventus, and lived in a cottage up the hill from their houseboat. He had wild chickens that roamed his land, and he would bring their eggs to Violet and her family almost weekly. Before Eurus moved in, her family rarely ate eggs, but now Violet couldn’t imagine a life without them.

As she was diving into her breakfast, her mother walked down. Her mother’s pastel blue-colored hair seemed to float behind her as it cascaded down her back. She had tied it into a loose braid and fasted small clips to tie extra pieces into it. Violet smiled to herself, realizing she had done her hair the exact same way. So I am turning into my mother more and more each day… she thought with a mix of comic horror and pleased satisfaction. She twirled the end of her pastel purple hair around her finger and felt the soft strands bend between her index finger and thumb. Though not as long as her mother’s, Violet’s hair was definitely getting there. They named her Violet due to the purple color of her hair, a highly unusual trait for their kind, but one that her maternal great, great grandmother possessed. Violet’s mother was so taken with the puff of purple hair on baby Violet’s head that she felt Violet essentially named herself.

At that moment, Violet’s best friend Celestine walked into their kitchen and smiled brightly at the family. Celestine had waist-length, dark curly hair that always seemed to be in movement. It always appeared as if glistening in the sunlight, even at night, and it was always draped around her. She had big brown eyes with long dark lashes that could send the wind in any direction if she blinked slowly and with enough concentration. The smattering of large gems, almost like freckles, that framed her temples shone blue to express her excitement. She had similar ones down her arms and back, as all of her people did. 

“Good morning, CC!” Violet’s father said brightly. He poured her a cup of strong coffee and nodded towards where Violet was sitting. As he did this, Violet’s mother walked over to embrace Celestine in a warm hug.

“Good morning, sweetheart,” she said kindly.

“Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Hinsen. Thank you!” Celestine said, taking the cup of coffee with two hands. Her morning walk to Violet’s boathouse had a brisk chill to it and the heat radiating from the cerulean mug warmed her fingers. She breathed in the deep aroma of the coffee before she walked over to sit next to Violet on the couch side of the table.

“How does it feel?” CC asked with genuine interest. “To have your rotation of power finally come?”

“It feels quite nice actually,” Mrs. Hinsen said serenely. At that moment, Violet’s father turned on the music and grabbed his wife’s hand to start dancing with her. The scales around their temples were a very vibrant gold and blue mixture, showcasing their elation.

Violet’s temple scales blushed a dull green color at her parents as CC laughed next to her, shoving her a little bit.

“Your parents are disgustingly cute,” she said.

“I will choose to ignore that,” Violet’s dad said over his shoulder to the two girls. He twirled Violet’s mother and then spun away to grab her plate of food for her and another plate for Celestine.

“CC, did your sister want to join us this morning?” Mrs. Hinsen asked.

“She stayed behind to help my mom this morning. But thank you, Mrs. Hinsen, for asking about her.”

“Well, she is always welcome for breakfast. I do also owe your mother a call now that you mention it.” Violet’s mother looked in deep thought.

“She would love to hear from you,” CC said. “Do you think the phone lines will be reinstalled?” She asked cautiously.

“Oh, yes!” Mrs. Hinsen said, elated. “It was the first item on the agenda this morning. The meeting was very productive, and we intend to open the schools first thing tomorrow.”

Both girls yelped in delight at the news. Violet reached under the table to grab Celestine’s hand in her excitement, and Celestine pretended not to notice the heat vibrate up her arm and flutter in her chest. It all of a sudden got slightly harder for her to breathe.

Violet jumped up to hug her mom, a hug her mother happily accepted.

“I don’t know why you girls are so surprised,” she said laughing slightly. “We did this all the last time it was our turn.”

“Honey,” Mr. Hinsen said. “That was almost 12 years ago. The girls were only 4 then.”

“Yes, that’s true, Alden, but the Ventus basically do the same thing and their reign was only four years ago. You remember how your people ruled, CC.” Mrs. Hinsen smiled kindly at CC.

“I know, but you never know!” Violet said exasperated. “Anything can change! People can change, you truly never know, mom.” Violet said, bouncing around her kitchen to refill her coffee. She swayed her hips to the music and started to sing when she turned around and saw Eurus standing there smiling at her. She almost dropped her coffee mug.

“Uh, hi!” Violet said brightly, trying not to choke on the sip of hot coffee she just took.

“Eurus!” Violet’s father exclaimed. “So glad to have you here! Come in, come in. The ladies here gobbled up the eggs you brought over this morning.”

“Glad to hear it,” Eurus said proudly. He saw CC and went over to give her a hug. “How is your family?” He asked kindly, letting go of his embrace. Eurus was twice the size of both CC and Violet. He also had dark curly hair that sat wildly atop his head. His dark eyes were flaked with gold in the center that resembled the eyes of an owl. He was proud of those eyes, he felt connected to his powers every time he saw his eyes in a mirror. He had little wrinkles around his eyes every time he smiled, and they seemed to make the gems on his face dance.

“Everyone is good,” CC said, smiling softly. “They would really love to see you.”

“And I, them,” Eurus said calmly. “I am finally feeling settled, so it feels like a great time for a visit.”

Eurus took a cup of coffee from Violet’s father and asked the question that everyone asks when the rotation of power shifts.

“So, how did it go with Everett this morning? Was he given any trouble?” 

Recommended1 Simily SnapPublished in Adventure, All Stories, Coming of Age, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)

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