Monday, July 30, 2012

Kaleidoscope, Ch. 7

She dangled her feet lazily as she sat on the park bench, smiling as a Frisbee whizzed over her head.  A pleasant breeze teased her hair and whistled through the young trees.  Smiling, she kicked off her sandals, got up from the bench, and wiggled her toes in the verdant grass.
            She scanned the park for her parents.  After a moment, she noticed a couple by the lake, skipping stones.  The man had his left hand low on the woman’s waist, and his right hand was stretched slightly behind him as he prepared to throw another stone across the water.  She walked closer and called out, “Mommy!  Daddy!” breaking into a run before they even turned around.  She saw the man throw the stone across the lake before facing her; it sank immediately, making wide ripples.
            Then she reached the edge of the lake where her parents were standing and leaned over to catch her breath.  “Serenity, you startled me,” Hijo said warmly.  Kasumi smiled and laughed, stroking her daughter’s cheek.  Then Kasumi reached into her purse and pulled out a wooden cylindrical object, about six inches long. 
            “You left your kaleidoscope when you ran out of the car,” Kasumi said, holding the object out to the eight-year-old.  “I was pretty sure you’d want it, so I kept it for you.” 
She thanked her parents as she accepted the toy, running her fingers over the kanji on the cherry trees painted on the tube.  Then she put the kaleidoscope up to her eye and turned the top portion like Hijo had shown her, giggling as the patterns changed.
            She suddenly wanted to give her mother and father a hug, to tell them she loved them.  She looked up from the kaleidoscope, but Hijo and Kasumi were no longer standing next to her.
            They were on the lake.  Hovering over the water.
            Hijo stood behind Kasumi; his left hand was around her stomach and his right hand was around her neck.  Suddenly, he turned his head toward his daughter and winked.
            Then there was a scream and a loud snap.
            Kasumi’s body went the way of the stone Hijo had tried to skip across the lake.
            Her head hung limply from her neck.

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