Music poured out of the windows of the house, mixed with cheers and laughter. This was seconds before the light came. The house was a light blue, with white doorframes and window sills. It was a warm family home. The toys in the yard had been picked up that afternoon, during the mad rush of preparations for the party. The kids had been washed, and there had been quite a few arguments about what exactly was going to happen.
“I don’t want that, yellow is icky!” Audrey yelled.
Sarah sighed. Of course it was icky, she thought, James likes yellow now.
Sarah had two children, a boy and a girl, with her husband Austin. Audrey had always been full of herself for the older child. She wanted James to listen to everything she had to say, and he did, but mainly because he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. She would regale him with stories of the Grown-Ups world, and explain to him why daddy wore a tie. “Because the boss likes pretty colors.” But if he ever tried to mimic her, she threw a tantrum.
Like now.
“Audrey, you have to pick something to wear. Our friends don’t want to see Tweety.”
Audrey’s face suddenly wrinkled up. Oh no, Sarah thought, not now.
“But I love Tweety!” And she did. Half of the stuff she owned was Tweety, including the underwear she now wore.
“And Tweety is yellow, isn’t he?”
Audrey looked up, “Yeah.”
“Then put this dress on and I’ll get James to change.”
She walked out of the room, glad to have averted another disaster. James would be okay with it. He was okay with everything. He was the polar opposite of his sister. She was blonde, brown eyed, bossy and very talkative. James was blue eyed, brown haired, quiet and laid back. He did what he was told, and liked to listen. They were both smart kids, but Sarah knew that James had something special inside him.
“James, honey, how about the red shirt?”
He looked up at her from his legos. He had built another castle. She was always fascinated at how much time he’d spend on these. Every time he’d finish one, he’d promptly take it apart, and start on a new one. She had helped from time to time, and she was always surprised at the intricacy. Each castle had different wings, different rooms, each with it’s purpose. His new fantasy was hidden passages. She knew that any smaller than average hall or opening was a secret passageway to escape when the ‘bad guys came.’
He picked himself up, and walked over to her raising his hands up. She lifted the shirt off of him, and replaced it with the red one, and let him get back to playing.


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