Monday, November 24, 2008

Beatrice, Part 4

I was going to write a proper entry, but I'm still pretty tired from The Weekend of Awesome, so you'll just have to live with more fictional babbling about time-traveling dinosaurs. Also, I didn't edit this and really have no idea what it says. Sorrrrrrryyyyyyyyyy!

[Part 1, Part 2, Part 3]

The pair continued down the sidewalk, skipping around adults in their path. Beatrice hoped Bill could keep up. She also hoped he wouldn't get angry and leave her here by herself. Although, she supposed she wasn't technically by herself, since she was with Georgina and soon to be with Georgina's brother, but still. She didn't fancy being left in the future without any money or a place to stay. She didn't really think Bill would leave her alone here, but he had threatened before. It was so easy to get him cross with her. Even she didn't know how she did it on such a regular basis. Luckily, it was fairly easy to calm him down. Usually it just took some Earl Grey tea and a couple of biscuits.

"Oh, there's my brother!" shouted Georgina, as they approached a bright pink building. "Bernard! Bernard, over here!"

She ran toward the building, waving her arms wildly and tripping over her own feet. A small boy of about six was walking carefully down the giant steps in front of the building, clutching the handrail for dear life. He held a small, green lunchbox in one hand and his backpack appeared to be almost as big as he was. His skinny legs stuck out from his knee-length shorts and his white button-down shirt hung almost as long. His eyebrows were narrowed in concentration as he watched the number of steps left decrease, and when he got to the bottom, he heaved a sigh of relief and readjusted his backpack. He finally looked up and glimpsed his sister, running haphazardly toward him, and his face broke into a huge smile.

"Georgina!" he yelled, and ran toward her, also tripping over his own feet. "I'm so glad you're here." Beatrice and Bill brought up the rear and when they'd gotten to the reuniting siblings, Bernard gave them (ok, just Beatrice) a quizzical look. "Who are you?"

"Bernard, this is Beatrice, Beatrice, this is Bernard," said Georgina.

"What is she doing here?" Bernard asked Georgina.

"Bernard, don't be rude," she answered.

"Hey, Bernie!" shouted Beatrice. She grabbed his hand and shook with such might that the poor boy almost toppled over. "Nice to meet you."

"Likewise," said Bernard. "But my name is Bernard."

"Oh, but that's so stuffy," said Beatrice. "Bernie suits you much better." Bernard scowled at Beatrice and turned back to Georgina.

"Georgina. Guess what we did at school today?" said Bernard.

"What's that?" asked Georgina.

"We got to write our own stories!" he shouted, pulling out a wad of papers from his bag.

"Oh, my!" cried Georgina. "Whatever did you write about?"

"Time travel!" shouted Bernard, and Beatrice thought she heard an audible dinosaur gulp from behind her.

"Time travel again?" asked Georgina. She scrunched up her face and bit her lip. "What's with you and time travel?"

"Oh, Georgie," said Bernard. He tapped his foot and readjusted his bookbag again. "You KNOW I'm inventing a time machine."

"Oh, of COURSE, how silly of me to forget." Georgina reached out a slim hand and tussled Bernard's mop of dirty blond hair. He swatted her hand away and crossed his arms defiantly, scowling at his sister. She tickled him in one armpit and before he squirmed away, Beatrice saw one side of his mouth reach up for a smile. Georgina must have noticed it too, because she lunged after Bernard and started tickling him even more. He started laughing and fell back against the step railing, trying to fight off his sister's long arms, to no avail.

"Geor --," he gasped. "Georgina, STOP IT." His face was red with laughter. He looked almost angry, but anyone looking in his eyes could tell he was having a good time.

"OK, OK," said Georgina. "But don't be such a sourpuss."

"I am not a sourpuss," said Bernard. "I just get cross sometimes."

"Sourpuss."

"Puke brain!" Bernard shouted, and started running down the sidewalk.

"Oh, now you've done it," shouted Georgina, and took off after him. Bernard put his whole body into the run, stretching his skinny legs and pumping his arms vigorously. His backpack lifted in the air with each step he took, then slammed back down on his lower back. He grasped one of the straps with one hand and the other arm started pumping even harder. His shoelaces, untied, flopped against the sidewalk as each shoe slapped the ground. Beatrice was afraid he was going to trip over his runaway shoelaces, but her fear lifted when she realized he was running so fast he actually appeared to be floating above the ground. She'd never seen anyone run so fast, or so gracefully.

Until she looked at Georgina, and she realized that Georgina seemed to be putting no effort into her running. Her willowy arms barely moved from their crooked position at her sides, and her long legs ate up the sidewalk. Her auburn hair floated behind her like a cape and if Beatrice was completely honest with herself, Georgina did resemble a bit of a superhero. Faster than a speeding bullet, indeed.

"Perhaps you want to catch up," whispered Bill from her. Bill nudged her with his snout (she thought) and she took off. She wasn't nearly as fast, or as graceful, as Bernard and Georgina, but she caught up with them once they stopped for breath. Actually, they weren't breathing that hard for having just run full-out for so long. She couldn't help but be a bit jealous of their superior running skills, but she was fairly certain they didn't have their own time-traveling dinosaur.

"You guys are so fast!" said Beatrice, once she'd caught her breath. "I'm glad you stopped, I'd have never caught up."

"Yeah, you're pretty slow," said Bernard.

"Bernard!" scolded Georgina. "Don't be rude to our new friend."

"YOUR new friend," Bernard muttered. Georgina shook her head and smiled.

"He's a bit grumpy because we haven't had our snacks yet," she explained. "Would you like to come over? And we can go to the London Eye after tea?" Beatrice frowned. Bill was not going to be happy, but she couldn't discuss this with him at the moment, and her new friends would think it odd if she decided not to go with them.

"Sure, I'd love to," said Beatrice. She felt Bill stomp the ground behind her. She knew he wasn't angry that she was going to tea, but that he wouldn't be able to partake in the biscuits they'd probably be eating. She thought that was probably a good thing. He'd been getting a little chunky on his nearly-all-biscuit diet, so chunky that his vest didn't button and every time they time-traveled, she was afraid he wouldn't be able to work up the momentum.

"Do you live far from here?" asked Beatrice. It wasn't that she didn't want to go to tea with her new friends, but she was worried that they wouldn't have time to go to the London Eye before she and Bill had to go back home. If she wasn't home by supper, her parents would worry. They were going out tonight, of course, but they thought it important that she eat at the same time each day, even though they rarely ate with her.

"Not far," said Georgina. She motioned toward a grove of trees. "We live just beyond that park up there."

"Of course, if you don't have time to come over, we understand," said Bernard. "We'll be sad, but we'll get over it."

"Bernard!" shouted Georgina. "Stop being such a little butthead."

"I'm not!" Bernard glared up at his sister. "But why do you always invite random strangers over to our house? You know mum and dad don't like it."

"Well, mum and dad aren't home, now are they?" Georgina crossed her arms. "Please be nice."

"Are you sure it's alright for me to come over?" asked Beatrice. "Your parents won't be angry?"

"Oh, don't worry," said Georgina. "They're out of town. Our nanny is the only one home right now and she doesn't mind visitors. She loves them, actually."

"Great!" Beatrice smiled. "Shall we go, then? I hope we have time for the London Eye, still."

"Oh, we do," said Beatrice. "Don't you worry about that."

The trio (and an invisible Bill) began walking at a casual pace. The wind was blowing gently and Beatrice pulled her long hair back into a ponytail, fastening it all together with the hair tie she always had on her wrist for just such occasions. Her hair was always in her face and it drove her mother bonkers. She often threatened to cut it all off, but Beatrice got her to relent and let her hair stay long by crying about how she didn't want to look like a boy. Her mother never had the energy to argue with her for long.

Soon Bernard tired of their casual pace and picked up speed. This time Georgina, instead of running after him to catch up, hung back with Beatrice. Beatrice was glad, because (and she would never admit this to Bill) time travel tired her quite a bit more than she'd like. She always intended to stay awake for days and days on their time traveling trips, but she tired after just a few hours. She was happy to be taking a break at Georgina's, even if it meant eating up precious London Eye time.

"I don't know why he always insists on running everywhere," said Georgina. "He always gets so tired afterward. I swear, if we'd let him to go bed right after school, he would go willingly."

"That's so funny . . . Georgina?" Beatrice began.

"Yes, Beatrice?"

"Why weren't you in school today? You picked Bernard up from school, but why weren't you already there?" Beatrice asked.

"Well, why weren't you in school, Beatrice?" Georgina asked. Beatrice gulped. She had no good answer for this, not even knowing the name of the schools here in the future, or what time they released students.

"I asked you first," said Beatrice.

"OK, fine. The reason I wasn't in school was because I needed to meet you on your way into town," she said.

"But . . . you didn't even know me before I met you this afternoon," said Beatrice.

"Oh, Beatrice. My nanny told me you were coming," she said.

"But how could she possibly know that?" asked Beatrice.

"Because she's Bill's sister."

Beatrice stopped right there in the middle of the sidewalk. Bill bumped into her and she almost fell over, but she regained her footing. She was ready to run the opposite direction and she could tell Bill was, too.

"Calm down, Beatrice, it's not a big deal. Tell Bill not to uninvisible himself yet, though . . . don't want to cause a scene here in the middle of the street," said Georgina.

"Hang on a second!" shouted Beatrice. "I have some questions, you know."

"I know you do, Beatrice, but they'll have to wait until we get to my house," said Georgina. "Betty is waiting and she gets very cross when we're late. Especially since she knows you and Bill are on the way."

"What if Bill doesn't want to see Betty? Did you ever think of that?" asked Beatrice.

"I do want to see Betty," said Bill from behind her. It was always strange to hear a voice come from nowhere, no matter how many times she heard it. "It's been so long."

"Hello, Bill," said Georgina. "Nice to meet you sort of."

"Likewise, dear," said Bill, and Beatrice just bet he was bowing. "Shall we get moving? Your charming little brother must be there already."

"Good idea," said Georgina. "Let's get going."

3 comments:

Tam said...

OH NO JENNIE!! You must KILL HER!! Speaking of killer, man do I heart their new CD.

Jennie! said...

No way, I love her! I'm OK with him dating her.

Tam said...

I love her too, mostly from The Devil Wears Prada.