A few days after the incident in town, when the twins, Merta and Gilda, met Crimson and Ruby much discussion went on in the two households
At the farmhouse, Mamma was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. She washed the dishes, wishing for the dishwasher that she did not have, replaced them in their proper places in the old oak cupboards and wiped up the counters until they gleamed. She could not escape her German upbringing; her house was always squeaky clean.
Once the water had stopped running, she noticed a sound coming from the heating vents. The twins, Merta and Gilda were upstairs in their room doing their homework, or so she thought. The noise sounded like a blanketing of whispers. She realised the girls were upstairs, not doing homework but having a heated discussion about something she could not quite hear. It was impossible to miss the liveliness of their voices.
Oh dear, those two are going to be the death of me. Yet, a sweet smile played on her face; those daughters of hers were the sweetest little seven year olds in the world.
Trudging up the stairs, she heard the whispers become little voices as she neared their bedroom. She had told them they could each have a room of their own. But even though they constantly bickered with each other they never took her up on the offer.
“What’s going on here? Is your homework all done? Let me double check it.”
“Oh Mamma we have to tell you something.” Gilda, becoming more and more assertive each day, announced to her mother.
Merta simply nodded her head; her eyes imploring their mother to come in and talk.
“Well what is the big news now?” Mamma settled herself in the rocking chair in the corner and gazed fondly at the children on the bed.
Merta began. “Remember the other day when Uncle Michael took us to the movies in town?”
Manna nodded. Her brother was so good with the girls and the twins adored their uncle.
“Well after the movie we had to wait outside the theatre cause he was talking to some people,” Merta continued.
“And while we were standing there, he was talking so long” Gilda .interrupted,” Two little girls came up to us and asked the time. They said they were from the school outside of town. They seemed nice and we talked about our bunnies, Gertrude and Hans, remember Mamma?”
As if Mamma could forget the damn bunnies; what a disaster!
Gilda puckered up her cute little nose, and with a puzzled look on her face, asked, “Mamma what is the school they talked about?”
Merta chimed in, “They seemed nice but they looked funny. One had these really, really big eyes and the other had this funny spiky black hair sticking out every which way. They were both dressed in black too. They weren’t going to a funeral. What is the school?”
Mamma sighed. She had hoped this issue would never come up.
“Well the school they told you about is at the other side of town, on the road where there aren’t too many houses. I have just heard about it, I’ve not seen the house. I’m told it is big and dark and gloomy. No one is seen around during the day and the rumours have peoples’ tongues wagging.”
The girls watched their mother, enthralled with what she was telling them.
“They say it is a special school for special children and to my knowledge no one has ever spoken to anyone from the school until you two mentioned this to me.”
“How are they special?”
“What makes them special?”
The twins, as usual said the same thing at the same time.
“Are the children sick?
“Or in jail?”
Mamma just sighed again. May you live in interesting times, she thought; but couldn’t remember if this was a Chinese proverb or a curse. “I really don’t know anything for sure. You’re old enough to know how people who don’t know what they’re talking about will talk. Now it’s getting late so get into your pajamas,” blue for Merta, pink for Gilda, as usual, “Brush your teeth and get into bed”. The girls did as they were told and with questions swimming in their heads waited for their mother to tuck them in for the night.
As this was taking place at the farmhouse at the south end of town, a similar discussion was about to start at the old house on the north end of town.
As the teacher, not so fondly nick named Mr. Potato Head, paused at the doorway of the school room he heard a buzzing like a blanketing of whispers coming from the class. Even with his superior hearing, he could not make out who was saying what and to whom.
Stepping into the room was like a door slamming on the chatter. Usually the class was well behaved, attentive and quiet. However, he noticed a rustling and stirring of unease or nervousness from the seven year olds.
He knew better than to ask but he did anyway. The Chinese proverb that his old friend .Xiong Shi used to utter all the time came to mind He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever Teachers will be teachers
“What is all the excitement today?” The children averted their eyes, finding some deep fascination in their shoes.
The teacher knew about the fishing expedition three of the kids had dared to take and also knew that their punishment would be forthcoming He did not think that was what all the buzz was about.
Finally Stone, who was usually so quiet, spoke up. “Crimson and Ruby met two little girls from the other side of town.” He practically sputtered the sentence; he was so excited. He also looked like he was going to faint from the news. As is typical with vampires, his checks slowly blushed
The other children nodded. Crimson and Ruby quietly gazed around the room as if seeing it for the first time. Rednick’s eyebrows shot up. His surprise was impossible to miss He knew nothing about this incident. Crimson and Ruby were his best friends and they hadn’t said a word about it; very unusual for them to keep quiet. He guessed they took that Chinese proverb to heart If you don’t want anyone to know, don’t open the door.
This was news to the teacher! Those two girls, and often with the participation of Rednick who judging from his expression knew nothing about this new adventure, got into more trouble than bats fresh out of the cave.
“Crimson, Ruby, is this true?”
“Yes, Sir”, Crimson confessed. “The other night when we were walking home from the store we asked two little girls for the time. They were cute as bunnies, twins, and we did talk to them for a bit.”
The class just gasped! Why were they walking home instead of riding in the school car? More whispering started, more like a pillow slip than a blanket. Usually when errands had to be run the students got a ride to and from town. This was very strange news indeed! Of course, Rednick did know about the walking to town but obviously not about the twins.
“Well what did you talk about? What did you tell them?” The answer was very important.
Ruby just hung her head and kept quiet so Crimson replied, “We just talked about our pets and they had bunnies too once and we admired their pretty dresses, though they did not admire ours, and asked for the time since we both forgot our watches and then we continued to return to the school.”
“You told them about the school?” The teacher’s head jutted forward intently waiting for the response.
“No Sir. We just said we were from the school”
“And the little girls did not question you?”
“Well they did wonder why we were out alone at night. They had just seen a movie. I wish we could go to the movies, and were waiting for their uncle to finish talking and take them home.”
The teacher sighed loudly. They may as well cut off my head. What have these ignorant children gotten us into now…
Blogophilia 7.4 Topic: “A Blanketing of Whispers“
(Hard, 2pts): incorporate a Chinese proverb
(Easy, 1pt): mention the words “impossible to miss