Today, Artemis III turns ten. How much does Artemis II suffer? How much does Artemis III’s Butler bodyguard, Julian, suffer? Read on!
Deep crimson pools stared back at her, fire burning in their mysterious depths.
“Today, I turn ten,” she whipped round, glancing at her reflection a last time. Blood red leather trench coat, check. Waist-length ebony hair in a ponytail, check. Black leather shirt and pants, check.
Now, just for the last and most despised touch.
Colored contact lenses.
“Lies,” Artemis hissed as she put them on. Perfection was not acceptable in this world and yet imperfection was not an option. Again, the mirror portrayed her image perfectly.
Instead of the surreal being she appeared as when purely herself, she looked merely beautifully mortal. Black betrayed no emotion…unlike the fire that was herself. August 31, the day a civilization will bow down and stare in wonder.
She grabbed her sling bag. The truth shall be known today. I swear it upon myself.
Behind shades of night, the spark of fire danced.
She turned with otherworldly grace.
“What is it Julian? I refuse to tarnish my flawless record for anybody.” She flicked a stray strand of hair out of her face arrogantly.
“Please tell me you’re not running to school today,” Julian didn’t even bother correcting her on his name.
“Hm… I suppose it is rather unseemly to arrive in an everyday fashion on such a day,” she said disdainfully.
“That’s not what I meant exac-“
“…I’ll get the car.”
“Thank you Julian.”
“Last name please! If you’ve forgotten, it’s Butler,” he said.
“You’ll be the death of me one of these days.”
Artemis acknowledged this with a slight inclination of her head. She reached for her bag, as good as telling him that the conversation was over.
Julian Butler sighed and headed for the garage. On the way he thought he heard something. He dismissed it as something not worth noticing. He was wrong.
“He’s only seven years older than me, the silly. I don’t understand him… oh, never mind.” Artemis went through the performance to be in her mind. “Teacher’s day my Ra,” she huffed. She closed her eyes. Memories flooded her mind.
Cypress green eyes flickered open, dazed. They met curious crimson orbs.
“Who are you?”
“Holly,” the mouth answered.
The girl…so young…seemed to posses wisdom far beyond her years.
“Are…are you an elf?”
“Tell me. Do fairies exist?”
Fire burned in the pools of blood. Pointed fangs were exposed as the pale lips were drawn back in a smirk.
“Thank you, Holly.”
Brown eyelids covered the green eyes.
The sound of a car approaching jerked her from her thoughts. She hissed but got into it.
“We will be there in five minutes or I see no point in taking the car,” Artemis said without looking up.
Grumbling, Julian stepped on the accelerator.
(5 and a half minutes later)
Artemis walked into the hallway where she was pulled aside by the school bimbo, Tea.
“What do you think you’re doing showing up so early with your boyfriend in some shiny new expensive car?” she said.
“If you have nothing to say, don’t waste my time. Some of us have rehearsals to go to as some of us actually have a major part in the performance. Have a nice day.” She turned to go.
“Where do you think you’re going Fowl?”
A spark ignited in the dark eyes.
The brunette was sent flying and all you could see was a very rigid Artemis standing there twitching.
“Hey! Vampire queen, what did you do to the pitiful mortal?” Someone teased. The dark head turned and singled out one from the crowd.
“Shut your mouth. She got what she deserved. What you will get if you ignore the three-foot rule,” she stressed the last part. People parted even though the halls were packed to give Artemis the three-foot radius of space that she needed.
“Thank you.” She swept down the hall. They milled like water around her, not daring to penetrate the three-foot radius. They were practically climbing on top of each other to get out of her way.
“ARTEMIS! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN! THE FINAL REHEARSAL WILL START IN TWO SECONDS!”
“Take a breather, jackass. You need one. I’m here aren’t I?”
She walked into the room as calmly as she could muster.
Breathe calmly Artemis, breathe girl. Her pulse rate was rising very fast.
“ARTEMIS! ON STAGE NOW!”
There was a soft thud as the offending person slumped onto the floor. Artemis tossed her head and undid her hair.
“There goes the next contestant…” she sang softly, eyes glinting evilly.
“Now, please give a hand for our performers who worked hard to put this musical together.” That was her cue.
She pulled on her half-gloves. She walked on stage with an arrogant slant in her stride.
Cue the hair flip. She ditched the trench coat on stage. Did it matter? She was the ‘bad guy’.
A thief. A mastermind.
And she played the part perfectly.
Perfection….was now an option. For one being.
“You know, I don’t see the point of having a trench coat if you don’t wear it for longer than ten minutes.” Julian shook his head as he climbed into the driver’s seat.
“It has pockets, Julian. Pockets for sugar stashes.”
Julian’s eyes bugged. He fell out of the car trying to climb out backwards.
“Calm down. I haven’t had sugar for half a year.”
“You” Julian panted. “-and your games.”
“If you don’t drive now, I WILL show you how S-U-G-A-R spells doom again.”
Julian drove. He drove very fast.
Later at the Fowl Mansion…
Artemis knocked on her father’s study room door. “May I come in father?”
Artemis II looked into his drawer. He still had some spare…
“Yes. Just wait for me to unlock the-”
“Sorry father. I let myself in again, didn’t I?” Artemis III said. Artemis II groaned.
“Where exactly did you learn to do that again? Honestly, nothing is safe from you.”
Artemis III pretended to look hurt. “Father! How could you say such a thing! My feelings are delicate in this period of growth. Besides, you said it yourself. ‘Cute and Young does not equal Harmless’.”
“I am not going to let you go into your circular monologues again.” Artemis II retorted. “I still want to know where you learnt to open doors like that.”
Artemis opened her mouth to say something then thought better of it.
“It’s a secret Father,” she said, eyes half-closed. She had a predatory bored look; rather like a well-fed lion looking at a herd of zebra. “Do you have a meeting today?”
Artemis II turned back to the computer screen. He checked. “Any particular reason you’re asking?”
“I can’t go with you if there is.”
“Elaborate on that.” Artemis II looked suspicious.
Then the ten-year-old leaned against the wall. “I was bored so I scheduled something with a friend. I thought you might appreciate the notice. Apparently not.”
Butler looked on in amusement. “Really something, hm?”
“She’s nothing but a headache.” Artemis II said firmly.
“That’s why you’ve got ten bottles of aspirin in your drawer.”
Artemis coughed. “Yes?”
Butler took a bottle. “You printed instructions?”
Artemis sighed. “Yes.”
Butler read the label aloud.
“If Artemis knocks on the door-1
If Artemis says I’m bored-2
If Artemis asks if she can go shopping-3
If Artemis says she’s going to buy a manga or anime series-4
If Artemis tries to cook something-5
If Artemis draws something-6
If Artemis says “erm…”-7
If Artemis goes on a circular rant-8
If Artemis comes back with a ‘teacher’s note’-13
If Artemis invents something-half bottle
If Artemis goes on sugar high-whatever there is in the drawer?”
Butler shook his head as he placed the bottle on the table.
“Just shows you how much of an effect she has had on all of us, hm?”
Artemis III finished packing a small sling bag.
Holly stared at her with blank green eyes while a draconic robot the size of a printer sat on Artemis’ desk, chirruping and whirring away.
“Maybe I should have told him the truth. After all, he is one of the few genii scattered on this earth…” Artemis’ canines raked her bottom lip in frustration.
“Bad habit,” whirred the robot. Artemis stopped immediately.
“Thanks Dragracer. I really should stop doing that.” She grinned evilly.
“You lie every time you say that.” Holly commented.
Artemis III threw back her head and laughed. “Let’s go!”
Foaly was in the Section 8 headquarters busy monitoring the assignment. Things had become busy after Opal escaped from prison. He hardly got to go out each night to jog with- his thoughts were inturruped as he heard something swish behind him. He turned.
“So much paranoia in one place? What a waste of your budget.”
Foaly reared in panic. The visitor’s brown eyes gleamed in amusement. She stretched confidently.
“A bit pudgy there, pony boy. Better watch the diet.”
Foaly whinnied indignantly. Who was this person who dared enter his workspace and insult him? How did she dare, or more importantly, how did she?
“You don’t know me? Let me give you a hint. My first name starts with a vowel, the second doesn’t and my family is famous.” The female laughed and shook back glossy raven hair.
“Opal Koboi,” the centaur whispered.