Chapter 1: Inside Out
Freddy, a black-headed, skinny man with a vest, Audrey, a pixie-cut, blonde-haired woman wearing a yellow T-shirt and a blue skirt, and Riley, a girl with blonde hair, blue blouse, and red jeans were walking back from the store when they saw Jack's yellow car passing by.
"What do you guys think of Jack?" Audrey asked. "He seems like a nice guy."
"Yeah. Except with him in town, Derek's even scarier." Freddy looked nervous.
"Hilary really likes him." Added Riley. "He's all she talks about."
Audrey saw the car parked a distance away. She eyed Jack, wanting to know more about him. "Come on, let's go meet him!" She took them by the hands and headed in his direction.
"Do we have to?" Freddy said, unsure. "You know I get nervous around strangers."
Jack turned around to see a family heading towards him. Audrey shook his hand in excitement.
"Hello, I'm Audrey Madison! This is my husband, Freddy, and my beloved, smart daughter, Riley! Say Hi."
"Uh, hello." Freddy said nervously. "I'm sorry, sir. My wife tends to get excited."
Jack looked at them with a little smile. "It's okay, it's happened to me many times. Nice to meet you guys."
"Hi, Jack." Riley greeted him. "I've heard so much about you from Hilary."
"Oh yeah. She really likes you."
Audrey looked at Jack "How long you been in Pixfare?"
"About a week." Jack answered. "Well, I'm mostly here because of Hilary."
"We go to Ms. Richard's class together!" Riley said, excited. All of a sudden, she saw her running.
Hilary soon caught up to them "Hi, Riley!"
"Hi, Hilary." The two girls hugged. "I'm so excited for the weekend!"
Jack looked at Riley with a half-smile. "I wish I had a true friend like her."
Freddy looked at Jack sadly. "Riley was diagnosed with autism when she was 2 years old."
"But, hey. It's not all bad. We love our girl." Audrey tried to brighten the mood. "She's smart, talented, and friendly."
"She's lucky to have such good parents." Jack looked sad as he thought about his past. "You see, for as long as I can remember, I've been in the foster system until I was 15 years old. Then I ran away to live on my own. I don't remember my parents because I was just a baby when they abandoned me.."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." Audrey put a hand on Jack's shoulder. "Hey, you know. You might find them again someday."
"That's what Hilary tells me." Jack glanced at Hilary.
"You should trust her." She whispered to Jack. "She's Joy."
Jack rolled his eyes. "And let me guess, he's Fear," he pointed at Freddy. "and they're both her emotions" he pointed at Riley. "from the Inside Out story, but they just don't remember who they are?"
"Exactly." Hilary nodded.
Jack sighed, holding a hand to his head. The family looked at them, slightly confused. "Sorry. She's got this crazy idea that everyone's a character from her storybook."
Audrey looked at Jack with an understanding look. "Yeah, my daughter said that a lot too. Anyways, we're going to Ellen's Diner this Friday for dinner, I was wondering if we can invite you if you're ok with you at 6 PM?"
Jack realized that it was Wednesday and he hadn't been invited by a family before since he came to town.
"That's nice of you, but I wouldn't want to impose."
"Oh, it's no problem at all. We'd love to have you." She insisted. "Besides, the kids can hang out, and you can meet some of the other people in town. Ellen and Michelle are very nice."
Jack thought for a moment, considering her invitation. "Alright. I guess I could join you."
Audrey waved goodbye to Jack as the family headed back to their house. "Bye, Jack, see you at Ellen's this Friday at 6 PM!"
"Ok! See you then! Bye!"
Hilary looked excited. "This is great. As you get to know them, it could help you to break the curse."
"Hilary, it's just an invitation to dinner with new friends." Jack said, slightly annoyed.
"But we can eventually reunite Riley with her real parents, and bring the Emotions back together."
Audrey, Freddy, and Riley got back to their 4-Bedroom, 3-Bathroom 2-story house, Audrey put drown her purse when she read the clock in their hallway saying 4:12 PM. Meanwhile, Freddy and Riley helped out with the groceries.
Audrey came to the kitchen. "Okay, after you're done putting away the groceries, you need to get washed up for dinner, We're having tacos."
Riley was so excited because they have tacos for dinner once a month.
"Hey, Audrey. Do you think it was a good idea inviting Jack?" Freddy asked, unsure. "If Derek sees him in public with us, he'll be mad."
"Yeah, Mom. He's pretty scary." Added Riley.
"Oh, come on." She scoffed. "I'm not scared of Derek, and I don't think Jack is either. Besides, you can't let him control what you do." "So Mom, Dad, can we please invite Aunt Nadia for Dinner this Friday?" Riley asked as she put away some canned food in the kitchen cabinets. "Jack would love to meet her."
"You're right. He would love to meet your Aunt." Audrey agreed. "We can call her after Dinner. I think this will help Jack feel more welcome in town."
Freddy looked unsure. "Do we have to invite her? Nadia always teases me and calls me 'scaredy-cat."
"Come on, she's only kidding. Besides, she's family."
"Ok." He sighed, giving in.
"Ok, now you get washed up." said Audrey.
Freddy and Riley went upstairs to wash their hands. While Audrey making the finishing touches on the tacos, she suddenly felt a pain in her head and saw herself as an emotion and falling to the memory dump. In a flash, she woke up in shock realize she already finished the tacos. "What a weird imagination." She said to herself. "Guys, Dinnertime!"
Riley and Freddy came down and sat at the table. They noticed Audrey had a troubled expression and a hand to her head.
"Honey, are you ok?" Freddy looked concerned. "You have a headache?"
"Huh? Oh, it's nothing. I'm fine."
"You sure, Mom?" Riley asked.
"Yeah. Don't worry." She assured them.
After dinner, Freddy decided to call Nadia. Luckily, she was free on Friday.
In Riley's room, she was video chatting with Hilary on her laptop. "My mom was having a strange headache at dinner. She was mumbling about Emotions and the Memory Dump. I think that she's recalling her memories about being my emotions, along with my Dad, Aunt, and Principal Lewis."
"Really?" Hilary was intrigued. "Did your mom talk about it?"
"No. She just dismissed it like a normal headache."
"Has she had these before?"
Riley thought for a moment. "I don't think so. Not until Jack came to town."
Hilary perked up. "This is good. It means the curse is starting to weaken. We can talk about it on Friday."
Meanwhile, Audrey took her headache medication, changed in her yellow and blue knee-length nightgown, and sat on their bed. The alarm clock on the nightstand read 8:30 pm when Freddy came in his purple PJs. He looked at Audrey, feeling a bit worried. "Honey, you know you can tell me anything." He placed his hand to her shoulder. "What caused your headache earlier?"
Audrey sighed and told him. "I'm not sure. I was making the tacos when I suddenly felt a vision of me with yellowish skin falling off a cliff, and the colors pink and purple... it might just be my imagination."
Freddy considered her words for a moment. "I'll admit, it does sound strange. Maybe you were just daydreaming, or could've been something from a dream."
"No, it didn't feel like a dream." Audrey shook her head. "It felt like... a memory. I know it sounds crazy."
"You're not crazy." Freddy kissed Audrey's forehead. "You're the most beautiful person I've ever met. We have a great home, amazing jobs, and a smart daughter."
Audrey felt a bit better. "You're right" she then kissed Freddy on the lips. "It was just a daydream. Anyway, tomorrow's Thursday, we should get to sleep."
"Ok. Night, honey." Audrey smiled.
His words helped a little, but a part of her still couldn't shake the feeling. Maybe she would feel better after a good night's sleep. Audrey turned off the light and they laid down to go sleep.
In Riley's room, she watched as the clock read 8:56 PM, and went to her queen-size bed, turned off the lights, then went to sleep, while holding a Bing-Bong push from her mother which was wrapped with the page of Riley and her real parents that Hilary had given her.
Chapter 2: Mixed Emotions
Mindy, a chubby bespectacled woman with shoulder-length dark hair and blue eyes, was sitting in the waiting room of Dr. Cutter's office. Later entered a couple of familiar men. Freddy, she saw him a couple of times before, but this time he bought his wife, Audrey with him. There was also Lewis, a short redheaded man.
She suddenly saw Hilary sitting down with her. "Oh. I'm sorry if I'm in your way." Mindy began to stand up.
"No, it's ok." Hilary stopped her. She then did a double-take, recognizing the woman. "Hey, I know you."
"Hi, Hilary!" Audrey interrupted.
"Hi, Mrs. Madison," said Hilary with excitement. "This is Mindy, she's a college student."
Mindy looked in shyness. "Umm...Hi... I'm Mindy." She put her hand out to shake Audrey's hand.
"Oh, hello. I’m Audrey." She shook her hand. "This is my husband, Freddy."
Hilary tried to stifle a laugh at the thought of Fear being married to Joy.
Mindy and Freddy both shyly greeted each other.
'This is good.' Hilary thought to herself. 'Riley's Emotions are getting back together.'
"Why are you here, Mrs. Madison?" Hilary asked, confused.
"Well, I'm just here for my appointment because of last night." said Audrey, looking a bit shy.
"WHAT'S TAKING YOU SO LONG?!" Lewis angrily slammed the door open after waiting for too long.
Felix Cutter jumped when the door was slammed open. "Lewis, what have I told you about controlling your temper?"
"Well, we've been waiting outside for a while!"
Hilary stepped in between them. "Principal Lewis, calm down. We each have to wait our turn."
"Fine... I'll wait" Lewis mumbled angrily and sat next to Freddy, who was scared by him. Hilary felt like the Emotions were about to starting remembering each other soon.
2 minutes later, Dr. Cutter called Hilary to his office. 4 minutes later, Freddy was up. 5 minutes later, Lewis. 2 minutes later, Mindy, and then finally it was Audrey's turn.
She went in and sat on the couch.
"So... Is this you're first time here?" Felix asked.
"Yes. I was hoping you could help me." She began to explain. "See, for a while now I've been having these strange headaches. And then I get these visions of a different version of myself in someplace I've never seen, with strange creatures. What's weird is that they almost feel like memories."
Felix was writing on paper. "I think you might just be hallucinating."
"But I don't know what's causing it. I don't have any illnesses, and I do anything bad." Audrey tried for a different answer. "This only started happening recently."
"I think you just have Charles Bonnet syndrome," said Felix. "It's a common condition among people who've lost their sight. It causes people who have lost a lot of vision to see things that aren't really there."
Audrey began to understand it a bit.
"Well, now that you mention it. I do wear glasses when I read, but other than that, my sight is just fine." She hated to think that she could be going crazy.
Audrey felt another flash of her emotion self almost falling while trying to reach Headquarters on Goofball Island. Then she came back to reality and began taking deep breaths.
"Audrey, are you alright?" Felix asked, concerned. "Was that another one of the visions you've been having?"
"Yeah," Audrey answered. "It's was me walking a solid tube like a tightrope." She looked like she's healing. "And then it was breaking apart. It's like it happened yesterday."
"That does sound unusual." Felix had to admit. "When did you first start experiencing these flashes?"
"Yesterday," Audrey answered. "My family and I were headed home from the store, and then we met Jack and Hilary on the street, and we talked for a while."
"Then what happened next?" Felix asked, trying to get more information.
"So, then later we got home. I was in the middle of making dinner when I suddenly felt a pain in my head followed by a flash."
Audrey felt like she needed some medication. "Do you have any recommendations for illusions?"
Felix thought for a moment. He wrote on a slip of paper and handed it to her. "Here are some medications should help you."
Soon, Audrey went to the Pharmacy, shopping for the medications on her list. She saw a familiar face on the other side of the aisle. "Hi, Jack!" She greeted him and came over.
Jack greeted Audrey with a smile. "Hi, Audrey. How was the appointment with Dr. Cutter?"
"Oh, it went well." She explained. "I saw that Hilary was there, too. Now I'm just picking up some medications he suggested for me."
"What were your hallucinations about?" He asked as he glanced at Audrey's paper for medication.
"One was of me with yellowish skin falling off a cliff, with some kind of pink and purple creature. Another was me walking along a solid tube like a tightrope." She lightly shook her head. "I know it probably sounds crazy."
Jack realized this was from one of the chapters of Hillary's book, but he played along. "Yeah, those are some crazy dreams"
"But the thing is, they don't feel like dreams. It's almost like they're memories." Audrey put a hand to her forehead. "I'm probably losing my mind."
After getting the medication, Audrey said goodbye to Jack and went home.
The clock read 4:56 PM, and Riley was probably doing her homework. Audrey went to the bedroom and took the medication. She then changed into her yellow tank top and blue shorts. Then she went downstairs and glanced at her wedding photo with Freddy in his purple tuxedo and Audrey in her yellow wedding grown.
Freddy soon came in. "Hi, honey." He hugged her and kissed her on the cheek. "You feeling better? How'd your appointment go?"
Audrey did a half-smile. "It was good, and I just took my medication." She could smell food coming from the kitchen.
"Well, that's good." Freddy smiled, a hand on her shoulder. "I'm making some Spaghetti for dinner."
Riley came downstairs after washing her hands and already finished her homework. She served herself a bowl of Spaghetti "Hey Mom, is it ok if I eat in my room?"
"But honey, you know that we always eat together." Audrey replied, surprised by her daughter's request. "Is something wrong?" She and Freddy had already served themselves and sat at the table.
"Fine." Riley answered and joined them at the table. "So, Mom, how was the appointment with Dr. Cutter?"
"Oh. It went just fine." Audrey didn't want to say something that might make her daughter worry.
Later after dinner, Audrey went to their bedroom and saw on her nightstand was a page from Hilary's storybook. It had a picture of Joy and Bing-Bong in the Memory dump.
Audrey looked at the page, curiously. The Joy character did look a little bit like her. Her eyes widened when she saw Bing Bong. That was the same pink and purple creature from her visions.
Freddy walked into the room. "Hey, hon." Audrey quickly hid the page in the drawer on the nightstand.
"Oh. Hey honey. You startled me." She looked up at him with a smile.
"I'm sorry. Everything ok?"
Audrey passionately kissed Freddy "Everything's going great." Luckily, the page was still in the drawer.
"Well, that's great." He smiled and kissed her back.
Meanwhile, Riley was reading Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, when she looked at the drawing of young her and Bing-Bong. Then she looked a the photo on the wall of her and Hilary from the previous summer.
Sitting on the nightstand, her phone began to vibrate. She picked it up to see there was a text from Hilary.
Hey, Riley. Saw your parents with the other Emotions today.
Has your mom had any other visions?
Riley texted back.
Yeah another one, but this time it was her walking on a solid tube like a tightrope
Luckily before Mom and Dad got back, I put one of your pages you give me from lunch in my parents' room before they noticed!
Hilary messaged her back.
That's when she and Sadness tried to cross Goofball Island
Good thinking! Hopefully, that'll help her remember who she is
Riley texted her back.
Also, tomorrow's Friday!!! Yes!! So excited for us to talk about our plans to break the cruse, but we might plan this at the diner, in the bathroom, just to be safe.
Hilary messaged back.
Yay!! Yeah, me too! Good idea. We can't risk my dad finding out what we're up to
Riley texted her back again.
I got a plan. You tell your dad that you're staying at my place for this weekend for a sleepover, (so he doesn't know that we are going to the diner) I'll tell my parents to pick you up after school, sounds good?
Hilary soon replied back.
Yeah! That's perfect! That way, he won't be suspicious. Besides, I really want more time with Jack.
Riley replied her back again
I agree. Our plan is going into motion. If your father calls you that you're not at my house, you say that we're walking around town and that you're coming home on Sunday afternoon, so he will never know what we're up to.
Hilary answered back.
Ok. I'll try that. The last thing I want is for him to come looking me, and to get in trouble
Riley answered back.
Yeah, he's so scary, like a monster. Better keep the phone with you at all times, if not (or if your Dad finds our conversation) make sure to clear up our conversation, to make sure
Tell me about it. It's not easy living with Syndrome. I'm so glad I brought Jack here
Hilary messaged back.
I always have my phone with me. Trust me, I've covered my tracks many times
I'm so glad
Glad our secret conversation is safe
Then she looked at the clock reading 7:50 PM.
Hilary messaged back.
Me too. The less he knows, the better
Better take a shower
Hilary replied back.
5 minutes later, Riley was already done in the shower. She brushed her teeth and then put on her PJs, which tonight's is Red nightshirt which says "I'm a believer" on the front, Pink Sweatpants, and purple socks. Then she sat on her bed and checked her phone. The time read 7:58 PM, and then she texted Hilary.
Hi, I'm back
While she waited, Hilary took out her Pixar storybook and read some more of the stories. Soon, she heard her phone vibrate. She saw Riley's message and answered back.
Riley answered back.
How's your dad? Did he agree to let you stay at my place for the weekend, and that my parents are gonna pick you up after school?
Hilary messaged her back.
Same as always. I was kinda afraid he'd say no, or figure out what we're up to. But, yeah, he actually said I can go
Riley messaged her back.
Phew. That was close. So... how's your Mom? Anyways, I'm reading Anne Frank. What are you doing right now?
I know. Otherwise, it would have ruined our whole plan.
Hilary was surprised and a little sad by Riley's question, but she replied.
I don't know. I never met my mom.
Oh, really? Sounds cool. I'm just reading from my storybook.
Riley looked at her clock, which read 8:36 PM and messaged her back.
I should go now, as my father says "too much time in tech could ruin your eyes." Plus I'm gonna put the extra page from your book under my Dad's pillow before he gets out of the bathroom, anyways, Night!
Hilary replied back.
Sounds kinda like my dad.
Great! If we can get them both to remember, even better!
Ok. C U 2morrow
Riley replied back.
Ok. C U 2morrow too! Bye
Riley turned off her phone. She then snuck into her parents' bedroom and quickly placed the page which showed Fear, Disgust, and Anger trying to stop the mind controller from turning gray, as Freddy was humming. She quickly went back to her room before she was seen.
"That was close." She sighed, relieved. "I really hope this works."
Riley suddenly heard a knock on her door, rushed to her bed, and quickly picked up her Anne Frank novel. When the door opened, it was her mom.
"Hey, honey." Audrey entered the room. "Just checking in. What are you doing."
"Oh, not much," Riley said, trying to sound casual. "Just reading."
Audrey sat down on the bed. "That's good."
"Hey, Mom, I was wondering if you could pick Hilary up after school and invite her to our house for the weekend?" Riley asked.
"Of course." Audrey nodded, smiling. "We'd love to have her over. She's such a nice girl."
"Thanks, Mom." Riley hugged her mother. "You're the best!" She noticed the clock read 8:36 PM.
"So are you, hon." Audrey hugged her daughter and kissed her forehead. "You should be getting to bed soon."
"Ok, Mom." Riley smiled and kissed her mother on the cheek. "Night, Mom."
"Night, sweetie." Audrey stood up and left the room, closing the door behind her.
Riley sighed in relief that she was safe. She began reading some more of her book for about 20 minutes until she went to sleep.
Meanwhile, Audrey took off her robe revealing a blue pajama shirt, and yellow shorts and sat on the bed. She saw Freddy reading The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickinson and kissed his cheek.
Freddy smiled and blushed, turning to face Audrey. He put his book down and kissed her back.
Audrey blushed happily. "We're so happy to have a wonderful life in Pixfare, right, Honey?"
Freddy blushed, then began cuddling and kissing her, until he suddenly felt a flash in his head, seeing himself being scared on dream duty, and then flashed back to reality.
"Honey, are you okay?" Audrey tried to calm him down, noticing he looked a little freaked out. She recognized the look from when she first had a vision.
Freddy finally calmed down. "I think I'm fine now." He then went to sleep along with Audrey.
Meanwhile with Riley was asleep in her room.
Hilary looked at the tower clock, which read 9:05 PM. She smiled, knowing that it meant that her plan was working.
Chapter 3: Sleepover
3 days ago
Nadia, a slender woman with shoulder-length dark hair, long dark eyelashes, and green eyes was doing a facial mask when her iPhone rang.
She saw that it was her brother calling, and answered the phone. "Hey, Fred."
"Hey, sis. We're having dinner with Jack and Hilary at Ellen's on Friday, and I-I was wondering if you'd like to join us?"
"Of course, my big brother!" She answered, excited. "I'd love to come with you. After all, I have nothing to do after last week's shoe designs at school. I'll be ready at 3 PM."
"Oh, that's great." Freddy smiled. "I know Riley will be excited to have you with us."
It was finally Friday, non-uniform day at school. The clock struck 1 PM and the students ran out of the building, excited for the weekend. Among of them were Hilary and Riley, who have been friends since 1st grade.
"Finally!" Hilary cried. "I thought the weekend would never come."
"I know, right? Seems like it took forever." Riley agreed. "I'm so excited about our plans tonight."
They heard a honk, then they turned and saw Riley's parents drive up in their purple minivan. "Hi, Sweetie!" Audrey called.
"Hi, Mom!" Riley called back. The girls came closer to the van.
"Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Madison." Hilary greeted them with a smile.
"Hey, Hilary." Audrey greeted back. "You ready for your sleepover? Did you get your stuff ready at home?"
"I sure am." Hilary answered, excited. "I've been looking forward to this for days. Yeah, I got all my stuff packed last night."
"Make sure you get your stuff from your house." Freddy said to Hilary.
Audrey looked at her daughter with an excited look. "Come on, girls, let's go."
"I will." Hilary replied. "They're just waiting for me in my room." The girls happily climbed into the car.
Meanwhile, at the Madison mansion, Nadia was finishing up her makeup and put on her favorite green outfit. She then took the elevator to the ground floor, and grabbed the keys to her car that her parents gave her for her high school graduation.
She took out her cell phone and dialed a number. "Hey, bro. I just left the house, and I'm heading to the Diner. I'll meet you guys there."
Jack sat in the Diner, waiting for Hilary and Riley's family to come when Michelle came over with a menu.
"Thank you." He smiled as he took it, and then she walked away.
He began browsing the menu when he heard the door open.
"Hi, Jack!" Hilary said in excitement as she entered, along with Riley, Audrey, and Freddy.
"Hey, kid." Jack stood up to greet them. He shook hands with the two adults. "Hi. Nice to see you guys again."
Suddenly, the door slammed open revealing Nadia in a fabulous introduction. "Hello, everyone! The richest girl in Pixfare is here!"
Mixed reactions came from the other people seated in the Diner.
"Who's the diva?" Jack asked, surprised.
Freddy rolled his eyes. "My sister, Nadia. She thinks she's all that."
Nadia's mood turned to lust when she saw Jack. "Well, hello, handsome." She said as she lifted Jack's chin with her finger. "My name's Nadia Anderson Madison. It's so lovely to meet you."
"Uh, nice to meet you too." Jack looked at her awkwardly. He turned his head away.
Hilary and Riley looked disgusted.
They seated at their table and began to look over the menus.
"So, what would you guys recommend?" Jack asked.
Michelle soon came over to the table. "Hello. Can start you guys with some drinks?"
"I'll have just water." Said Freddy.
"Me too." Said Audrey.
"I'll have some red wine." Said Nadia.
"Me and Hilary would have some ice-cold lemonade, please."
Michelle thanked them, and brought the drinks out a little later.
"Here you go. Now, are you guys ready to order?"
"Sure." said Jack. "I'll have spaghetti with parmesan, and a strawberry cupcake."
Freddy said. "I'll have a salad."
Nadia said. "I'll have the chicken special, no onions or broccoli, and more spinach."
Audrey said. "I'll have two slices of pepperoni pizza."
Riley said. "I'll have a cheeseburger, only lettuce and tomatoes, and french fries."
Hillary said. "I'll have a sloppy joe, small fries, and a salad, but no tomatoes or onions please."
Michelle finished writing down all of their orders. "Alright. Coming right up." She headed back to the kitchen.
"So, Freddy and Audrey. How did you guys first meet?" Jack asked.
Audrey was about to answer but thought for a moment. "Actually, I don't remember."
"Me neither," Freddy added. "I know that we've known each other a long time."
Nadia looked at Freddy. "You accidentally dropped your library books on the day you met your wife in middle school."
"I did?" Freddy looked unsure for a minute. "Oh, yeah. That's right. Thanks for reminding me."
Nadia rolled her eyes, slightly annoyed. "Anyways. When Freddy and Audrey were 15, they got to a little accident at a party. 3 weeks later, Audrey found out she was having Riley."
"Wow." Jack looked surprised. "I know what that's like. I had a similar thing with Hilary's mom when we were teenagers."
"When Mom and Dad found out 4 months later," Naida continued. "they had an arranged marriage as a punishment. Of course, that's been a family tradition for generations." That made Freddy embarrassed.
"Must've been tough." Jack felt a little sorry for them. He never married Hilary's mother.
"You do realize these are just their cursed memories." Hilary whispered to Jack.
"Hilary, not nice." Jack scolded her. "Sorry about that."
"It's ok. We understand." Audrey assured him.
Michelle soon came with their food.
"Here you go, guys." They each thanked her as she set the plates in front of them. "Enjoy your meals." She then walked away.
After dinner, they said goodbye and left. Audrey, Freddy, Riley, and Hilary went home.
Soon, they entered the house and the girls went upstairs.
Meanwhile, Nadia returned home, took a shower, brushed her teeth, then put on her silk sparkly leg-length nightgown with her hair in a bun, and her white face mask on, and laid on her big, round, green bed, and began to text Jack on her phone.
After Jack returned to the apartment, he told Laura Reed all about his dinner with Riley's family. He then heard his phone buzzing and saw a message from Nadia.
Uh, hi, Nadia
Nadia texted back.
I like to say I'm sorry about the entrance thing at the Diner. I thought of myself as a famous star, which my parents had said all my life. I wanted to be a normal person, but my Dad wasn't into my opinion. So here I am, studying to become a Fashionista.
Jack messaged her back.
It's ok. I wasn't upset about it.
Oh, really? You could still try to be a normal person. If you don't want to do fashion, you don't have to.
Thanks Jack, you're the best. But I'm still studying fashion, and I'm an intern at Ivana's Fashion Boutique. It's just a few blocks from Ellen's. Maybe I can hang out with you next week?
Jack replied back.
Sure. I guess that would be ok. Just don't try to hit on me.
As Nadia was about to respond, she suddenly felt a flash in her mind. Seeing herself as an emotion, and many memory spheres spinning out of control. Then she snapped back to reality.
'What just happened?' She wondered to herself, holding her forehead. 'That was weird. Freddy was there, too.'
Jack quickly texted Nadia back.
Nadia, R U alright? What's wrong?
Then Nadia remembered that she was in the middle of a conversation. She picked up her phone and typed.
Sorry. Yeah, I'm ok. It's just that I had this weird vision of myself.
What kind of vision did you have?
She messaged back.
It was me and Freddy in some room, and these different colored spheres were spinning all around, out of control. I know it sounds weird.
Jack realized the same thing happened to Freddy and Audrey. He tried to keep it calm as possible and texted her back.
Yeah, it sounds weird. Just like Freddie and Andrey.
Nadia was surprised to hear that it wasn't just her who had been having them.
What? They had the same weird flashes too?
Well, Audrey had two visons. One from Wednesday when she's falling from a cliff, then yesterday she was on a solid tube like a tightrope. Freddy had one yesterday about him being scared by some clown on a screen.
'That's my brother. The scaredy-cat.' Nadia thought to herself. Although, their visions seemed just as weird as hers.
Those sound strange, too. It's like it just came out of nowhere and hit me.
Jack texted back.
Well, hope you feel better. We'll talk about it next week.
Thanks. I'll see you then.
Nadia turned off her phone. The clock on the nightstand read 8:54 PM. She then turned on her relaxing music to forget about her flash and went to sleep.
Up in her room, Riley and Hilary were in their PJs. Hilary wore a turquoise blue nightgown, blue socks, fluffy brown bear slippers, and her hair in a braided ponytail. Riley in her purple and green star pattern pajamas, black socks, fluffy purple bunny slippers, with her hair down. They were checking the Pixar Storybook.
"I think so far, our plan is working." Riley said.
"Yeah." Hilary nodded. "The best part is that my dad's completely clueless."
"Yeah. If he finds out this, you'll be so grounded for 3 weeks." Riley agreed as she found a movie to watch.
"Don't remind me." Hilary almost shuddered at the thought. "He keeps me on a tight leash as it is."
"Why would he put you on a tight leash?" Riley asked.
"I think it's because he doesn't like me spending time with Jack. But he's always been strict with me."
"I agree." Riley laid down three DVDs and Blu-rays. "Now, which movie should we watch. I thought this might keep your mind off of your father."
Hilary looked at the choices, trying to decide. "How about... this one." She pointed to Book of Life.
"Sure thing, mi amiga." said Riley as she placed the disc in the DVD player. "I'll get the snacks."
"Ok. I won't start it yet." Hilary said as Riley stepped away. She then picked up her book and turned to one of the stories.
As Riley was about to get the snacks, she spotted her mother getting a glass of water.
"Hey, Mom." She greeted her.
Audrey turned to face her daughter. "Oh, hi honey. How's it going?"
"Oh, I'm just getting some snacks for me and Hilary to watch a movie in my room." said Riley as she got the popcorn ready. "Wanna help me pick out a snack?"
"Ooh, that sounds fun. Sure, I'd love to." Audrey went over to the pantry and took out a bag of potato chips. "How about some chips?"
"Sure, Mom." Then Riley grabbed a party bowl and plates for the snacks. "We might need some healthy snacks."
"Yes. Good idea." Audrey opened the fridge and took out some fruit. "Here you go."
'Thanks, Mom." Riley started cutting the apple and oranges to slices, then put them in the bowl. "Now the vegetables."
"You're a good girl, hon." Audrey touched Riley's cheek, smiling. She then cut up some celery and carrot sticks and put them in another bowl.
"Now finally the drinks." Riley said.
Audrey placed three sodas on the counter. "Which one? Cherry, Grape, or Diet?"
"I'll take the Cherry one." Riley pointed to the red soda bottle.
Audrey poured the Cherry Soda into two cups, along with two bottles of water. "And done." She then helped Riley take the snacks to the room.
Hilary turned away from her book when she heard footsteps. She saw Riley and Audrey enter the room with a few bowls. "Hey, you're back."
Hilary was amazed at the food they brought. "Thanks, Riley." she said as she grabbed the bowl of carrots. "And thanks, Mrs. Madison."
"You're welcome." Audrey put the bowls and cups down. "Have fun, girls." She smiled as she left the room.
"So Hilary, what did you read while I was in the kitchen?" Riley asked.
"I was reading some of the Coco story. It's one of my favorites."
"Oh, awesome. Let just hope Ms. Cordwain remembers her past." Riley got excited then they started watching the movie and eating snacks.
Meanwhile, Jack was at the kitchen counter, having Mac n' Cheese for a midnight snack when Laura Reed came in her red and yellow pattern pajamas.
"Hey. What are you doing up?" He looked up at her, curiously.
"I just came for a midnight snack" said Laura Reed as she got some apple slices, and then sat next to Jack. "So, how was your texting with this Nadia?"
"It was interesting." He admitted. "She seems like a nice girl. She wants to hang out with me next week."
Laura Reed looked curious. "What did she look like? What did she say about?"
"Well, she's got dark hair, green eyes, and pink makeup." Jack described. "Rich girl studying fashion, but says she wants to be a normal person."
Laura Reed nodded since she knew Nadia. "Well, she came from a rich family. Her parents treated her as spoiled as they could because of her gender." she explained. "So, what else did she say?"
"Wow. No wonder she wants to be normal." Now Jack understood. "She did have a strange vision of herself, just like Freddy and Audrey had ones of them."
Laura Reed was shocked as she ate the 5th slice. "So it's just a hallucination." She said while getting some water. "And what did Nadia's vision have?"
"I guess so. Not sure what could've caused it, though." Jack shrugged. "It was something about spheres spinning out of control."
Laura Reed took a sip of water. "Wow, what a weird imagination she had." She said as she finished her apple slices. "Maybe she needs some rest."
"Yeah, I know." Jack nodded, cleaning his plate. "I sure hope she'll be able to for next week."
In their room, Freddy saw a page under his pillow of him, Nadia, and principal Lewis stopping the mind console from turning gray.
'This is just like that flash I had the other day.' Freddy thought to himself. 'I don't understand. How could this be possible?'
Freddy quickly hid the pages in the nightstand. He straightened up his purple shirt and pants and grabbed the book a handmaid's tale by Margaret Atwood when Audrey came into the room wearing a sexy, dark yellow nightgown, with a romantic expression.
"Oh, hey, honey." Freddy tried to act casual. "Wow, you, uh, look great."
Audrey jumped onto the bed and kissed him on the lips. "Reminds me of our honeymoon." she said passionately.
Freddy couldn't help but smile. "Uh, yeah. Kinda. We just didn't have Riley yet."
"That's from when I was pregnant with Riley." Audrey said with a lovely expression, but then she noticed the page on Freddy's bedside table and looked at it.
"Oh yeah. That's right." He then noticed her attention turned to the page he was looking at earlier.
"What's that?" She asked.
Freddy looked at the page. "Well, it's like a memory. I had purple-ish skin and was scared by a big clown."
Audrey's eyes widened in surprise. "I had something like that. Two actually. In one, I had yellowish skin and was falling off a cliff, with a pink and purple creature. Another was me walking along a solid tube like a tightrope."
Freddy had a feeling that they've known each other for years but figured it was just his stomach growling. "Guess I'm just hungry. I'm going to the kitchen to get some leftovers from dinner."
"Oh. Alright." Audrey looked slightly disappointed, hoping that they would try to figure out what was causing these visions. "A late-night snack does sound good."
As the movie played, Riley and Hilary were eating and drinking while discussing it.
"I just love the part where La Muerte was mad Xarbara for cheating!" Said Riley as she munched on carrots.
"Yeah, me too." Hilary agreed. "Well, he deserved it after what he did. I also like that Maria's tough and sticks up herself. "
"Me too." Riley agreed as she ate the last of the potato chips. "I hate the part where Maria died from a snake."
"I didn't expect that. But that was brave of her to take the bite for him." Hilary took a sip of her soda.
"Well, at least Manolo reunited with his mother in the Land of the Remembered." said Riley as she eating some celery. "But did Maria remind you of someone?"
"True." Hilary nodded. Although the scene made her a little sad, never knowing her own mother. "His other dead relatives were kinda funny." She thought for a moment. "Well, kinda. But she's not quite as tough."
"Alright." Riley said as she drank half of the water bottle. "Does Manolo remind you of someone else?"
"Yes! Well, actually, two somebodies." Hilary's face lit up. "I liked him. I think he was a much better choice for Maria."
When it was over, it was 8:53 PM. The girls put the movie away and were now playing Monopoly.
"I'm glad that I have you for a friend," Hilary mentioned. "Everyone at school thinks I'm weird."
"I know." Riley said she drink the bottle of water "I'll always be here no matter what."
"Thanks." Hilary smiled. "Even after the curse is broken, and you go back to being your old self again?"
"We'll just see about that" Riley began to tickle Hilary's sides.
"Hey! Cut it out!" Hilary tried to say, but couldn't stop laughing.
Meanwhile, Jack looked out the window of his room. Kneeling beside his bed, in his blue T-shirt and red sweatpants, he prayed, "Dear God, if you can hear me, I hope that someday I'll find my family. I like it here in Pixfare, I'm glad to have met Hilary, and Laura Reed's been really nice letting me stay with her. But I need to know my real parents. Please help me find them. Amen."
"Hey, Jack." Laura Reed came in with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly DVD in her hands "I just couldn't sleep, so I decided to watch a movie. Wanna join?"
"Oh. Uh, sure." Jack replied, slightly surprised. He rose onto his feet. "I wasn't sleepy anyway."
In a house across the street of Riley's, a young boy was playing his guitar when he noticed a page covered with Marigold petals sitting on the window. He picked it up and noticed it was from the Coco story. Looking at the skeleton characters, he felt as though he had seen them before.
On Wednesday, a 12 year old, tan skinned boy with black messy hair and brown eyes, was finishing up his schoolwork on the history of Mexican Cinema when his music teacher, Mr. Ben Cruise came in.
"Hola, Señor Cruise."
"Ah. Buenos días, muchacho." He greeted the boy. "How are you doing today? Ready for music class this afternoon?"
Michael hugged Ben in excitement. "Yes, I am!" The boy said as he already had his guitar. "I'm ready for class!"
"Wonderful!" He put his arm around the boy's shoulder. "You know, you're one of my best and favorite students."
"I am." the boy said as he saw the clock read 7:50 AM, and the first bell rang at 8 AM. He needed to get to his first period, which was history. "I gotta go. see you 6th period."
"Adios, chamaco, see you later." said Ben waving as he's headed off to the class.
Luckily the history class wasn't far away from music class. He slowly opened the door when he heard a voice.
"Michael "Marco" Andrews Hernandez." He turned around to see his history teacher, Ms. Edison, a slender, fair skinned, blonde-haired, and blue eyed woman. "You're here early." she smiled
"Oh...hey, Ms. Edison. How are you doing this morning?" Said Michel, waving.
"I'm doing good, thank you. How are you today?" She noticed the instrument on his back. "I see you have your guitar."
"Yes, Ms. Edison." said Michael with a exciteful expression. "It's in the case for Mr. Cruise's class this afternoon."
"That's great. I've heard you play several times before. You're really quite talented." She touched his shoulder.
Ms. Edison heard the door opening, revealing a 14-year-old skinny girl with small waistline, fair skin, circular head, pink lips, long straight blue-black hair covering half of her face, and blue-violet eyes walking to class fixing up her school uniform "Morning, Ms. Edison." the girl greeted her.
"Oh, good morning, Susan." She turned to face the girl. "How are you doing, today?"
"Just in a rush to get here." Susan said as she fixed her skirt. "I had to drop off my little brother, Barry at the elementary school. Oh hey, Michael."
"Well, it's good that you made it on time." She smiled and patted her on the back.
"Hi, Susan." Michael greeted her with a slight smile.
"Also, I just finished my homework on Mexican Cinema." said Michael as he handed his paperwork to Ms. Edison.
"That's great, Michael." Ms. Edison looked over the papers, impressed. "You're always such a good student."
"I got my too" Susan said holding her paperwork very shy.
"Oh, no need to be shy, Susan." Ms. Edison took the papers. "Good job. You two go take your seats." She said to the two tweens. "Class will start in 4 minutes."
"Yes, ma'am." The two nodded and joined the other classmates. Michael sat in the second row, while Susan retreated to the back row.
All the other students came into the classroom and took their desks. "Good Morning, Buenos dias, and Bonjour, students" Ms. Edison said with a welcome smile.
The kids all looked at her and answered back in their native languages.
"Now today, we're finishing up our lesson on Mexican Cinema for our Pop quiz this Friday." Ms. Edison said as she wrote on the chalkboard CONTINUING WITH MEXICAN CINEMA "So take out your textbooks and turn to pg. 32, where we left off."
The class all opened their books.
"The Golden Age of Mexican cinema was a period in the history of the Cinema of Mexico between 1933 and 1964," Ms. Edison lectured. "When the Mexican film industry reached high levels of success and gained recognition internationally. It soon became the center of commercial films in Latin America."
Soon after class was over, the kids grabbed thier supplies, and began to leave the classroom "...and remember to study for our Pop quiz Friday." Ms. Edison said as the students left. In the hallway, everyone moved in and out of the various classrooms.
During lunchtime, Michael was eating a bean burrito, carrots, apple slices, and a carton of milk, when he saw Susan.
She walked over to an empty table and set her lunch tray down. He stood up, grabbed his lunch, and came over to her.
"Hi Susan. Do you mind if I join you?"
"Sure." She agreed. "I would have mine". Michael then sat next to her. she's having a spaghetti and meatballs, red apple, corn, and apple juice for lunch.
Susan looked down at her food, not sure of what to say.
"So, what did you think of Ms. Edison's class today?" Michael asked, trying to make small talk.
"It's fine" Susan said sadly and ate her lunch. Michael placed his hand on her shoulder. "You're ok, amiga?"
"Yeah, I'm ok."
"You don't talk much, do you?"
"I just have depression after my parents died in a car crash." Susan confessed as she sipped her apple juice. "So I'm the one with responsible for paying the bills, taking turns doing the choices, taking care of my little brother, Barry, working part time to support everything, and going to school. History and Gothic literature help keep my mind off my past."
"Oh. I'm sorry." Michael felt sorry for her. He couldn't imagine what that must be like."I didn't mean to pry."
"It's okay" Susan smiled a little after eating half of her spaghetti. "I understand. Thanks for comforting, mi amigo."
"No problemo." Michael smiled. "After what you've been through, I thought you could really use an amigo right now."
"You're the best, amigo." Susan smile a little at him again. "You're the best."
Michael smiled, touched. "You're pretty cool yourself, amiga."
"You can come over to my house after school with your brother, if you want." Michael suggested.
"Oh. Uh, no one's ever invited me over before. But I guess I could." She looked unsure. "I don't know. He and I don't really get along."
"It's fine. I understand." Michael said with a understanding look. "I'll walk you after class."
"I'd like that. Thanks." She looked at him, slightly smiling.
After lunch, they went their separate ways. Susan was in literature class, and Michael was ready for music class at 2:30 PM. He was always early 10 minutes before class started. "Buenos Tardes, Señor Cruise." Michael greeted him while he took his seat.
Ben turned around and smiled at seeing Michael already seated. "Ah. Good to see you coming in early again, nino."
"Yes, Senor Curise." Michael said excited. "I'm ready for the lesson today!"
More students began to enter the classroom. They took their seats and brought out their instruments.
"Good Afternoon, and Buenos Tardes, students!" Been said with a exciteful expression.
The students all responded back, preparing for the day's lesson.
Towards the end of class, Ben announced that tomorrow there would a quiz about Mozart. When the bell rang, everyone headed out into the hallway. Outside, Michael saw Susan sitting on a bench, reading "The Tell-Tale Heart by Eger Allan Poe" while waiting.
"Hey, Susan." Michael greeted her as he came over.
She looked up from her book. "Oh, hey Michael."
"Ready to go?" Michael held out his hand to her.
"Sure." Susan said as she put the book in her dark purple backpack. She took his hand and stood up.
They walked to the Elementary School where Barry, a slender, 10 year old with blonde hair, blue eyes, and light freckles came up to her.
"Hey, Susan. I just came from track practice." He noticed Michael standing beside her. "Ooh. Who's the boy?"
"This is Michael." Susan as she looked embarrassed. "We know each other from school, and we're going to his house."
"Ooh. Susie's got a boyfriend." Barry teased.
"Shut up, Barry!" Susan grabbed Barry's hand. "He's only a friend, now stop it, please!" Michael looked extremely confused.
"Ok. Ok." Barry agreed to back down.
Susan turned to Michael. "I'm really sorry about that. My brother can't mind his own business."
"It's okay" Michael looked at Susan with a understanding look. "I understand."
Soon they walked for almost a hour till they made it to Michael's house.
Susan stopped before they entered the doorway. "Are you sure your parents are gonna be okay with me visiting?" She asked hesitant.
"It'll be fine." Michael knocked at the door. "My family is really caring.", the door open, was his father, Edward, a tan skinned man, with a mustache with a welcoming smile.
"Welcome home, mijo." He leaned down and hugged Michael. He then noticed Susan standing beside him. "I see you made a new amiga."
"Si, This is Susan, and her brother, Barry" Michael smiled showing his one dimple. "I know Susan at school!"
"That's wonderful. Its nice to meet you both." Edward shook their hands. "Come on inside." He gestured for them to enter the house.
Susan and Barry were amazed at Michael's house. It had Mexican decor and many rooms in separate houses inside. Michael found his mother, Lucy, a tan skinned woman with brown eyes and a loose ponytail, making the chilaquiles for dinner.
"Hola, Mama" Michael greeted her.
"Hola, mijo." Lucy turned to see her son approach her, and kissed him on the cheek. "How was your day at school?"
"It's great. We learned about Mozart." Michael answered excitingly. "Oh, and this is Susan and Barry. I know Susan at school."
"That's nice." She smiled, and then noticed the other two kids. "Hello. Nice to meet you. It's great to see that Michael's made friends."
"Very nice to meet you." Barry said with a lustful inspection to Lucy. "That name's Barry."
"Brother!" Susan scolded at her brother. "She's an adult."
"Yeah. A pretty adult." Barry looked at her, trying to put on a flirty grin. Susan facepalmed in annoyance. Lucy smiled and patted Barry's head. "Aren't you adorable."
Someone hit Barry's head with a sandal. "Ow!" Barry said rubbing his head.
Maria, a short obese old woman with tan skin, gray hair with white streaks, and brown eyes. "That's not nice to say to a married woman."
"Oh, now, Maria. He's just a kid. I'm sure he didn't anything." Lucy tried to calm her down.
"Sorry about my grandmother." Michael said to Barry. "She can be pretty strict. We'll work on our homework before dinner."
Michael soon led the other two kids up to his room. They took out their books and started their homework. Barry sat off to the side, playing games on his phone with his headphones on.
"What year did Maria Felix start in her first film?" Michael asked Susan as part of their study.
Susan thought for a few minutes. "It was sometime in the 40s. I wanna say 1942."
"Correct." Michael said as he picked another flash card. "What year did the first Selena song came out?"
"Oh, uh..." Susan tried to think. "I know this one. I wanna say... 1985."
"You're right." Michael took the final flash card "Now the 12th and final one. What year did Jorge Negrete do his first movie?"
Susan's face perked up. "That's an easy one. It was in 1953."
As Michael was about to put the flash cards away, he suddenly felt a flash of him falling off a building in the Land of the Dead. He then snapped back to reality and almost fell to the floor, but Susan caught him.
"Michael, are you ok? What happened?" Susan asked, concerned as she helped him sit down.
Michael groaned as he rubbed his head. "What if I give you my number so I can text you on what's wrong."
But as Michael put his hand on Susan's shoulder, she had a flash of her own about the Incredibles fighting the Omnidroid. She then flashed back to reality and grabbed Michael's shirt.
"Whoa, whoa. You okay, amiga?" Michael asked, holding her steady.
"How about I text you. You just give it to me and I'll tell you." Susan stands back up again
"Kids, Dinner!" Edward called.
"Coming, Papa!" Michael answered back.
"Sure, we can do that." Susan agreed. "Are you gonna tell your parents about what happened?"
"I'll tell them we just had homework." Michael whispered to Susan. "I can text you on what I did in my vision."
"Ok." She whispered back. "Sure. And I can tell you about what happened in mine."
After dinner was finished, there was a knock at the door.
"I'll get it" said Lucy, and she opened the opened the door to reveal Ivanna, a short slender woman with fair skin, short black hair, and brown eyes with her arms crossed "Good evening, madam."
"Oh my goodness. Ms. Nagasaki." Lucy was surprised to see the town's famous fashion designer at their house. "What a surprise. May I help you?"
"We'll I'm here to pick my niece and nephew." Ivana Nagasaki said. She approached Susan and Barry and give them each a kiss.
"Hey, Auntie Ivana." Susan said in embarrassment.
"Where you two kids good for Michael's family?"
"Yes." They both answered at same time.
"Well, it's time's to go home. It's 6 PM already. So say goodbye to your new friend." Ivana said sarcastically.
Michael and Susan exchanged phone numbers, but all three kids said goodbye to everyone. The brother and sister soon left with Ivana.
When they got home, both the kids went to their rooms, took a shower, and put on their pajamas. Susan wore a dark purple nightgown and black knee socks, and Barry in his dinosaur pattern pajamas. Susan sat on her bed and instead of texting Michael, he decide to video chat him on her phone.
In his room, Michael had gotten ready for bed, when he heard his phone ringing. He saw that it was a video chat with Susan and answered it.
"Remember the flash I had before dinner?" Said Susan as she laid on her pillow. "Well, it was me getting hit by some robot in the city. And yours?"
"That sounds scary." Michael looked surprised. "In mine, I was surrounded by skeletons and one threw me off a building."
"Oh my gosh." Susan looked frightened. "Looks we've both had strange flashes. It must be like a memory. Anyway, what kind of pajamas are you wearing tonight?"
"Yeah, I guess so." Michael agreed. "It did kinda feel like a memory. It felt so real. Oh, I'm wearing red and white matching pajamas with a guitar on the shirt."
"So cool!" Susan said in excitement. "BTW, I'm wearing my dark purple knee length nightgown and my black knee socks, like it?"
"Thanks." Michael smiled, and then noticed her nightgown. "Yeah. It looks nice."
Susan looked at her alarm clock, which read 8:54 PM. "It's getting late. We should go get some sleep. Night."
"Oh, ok." Michael nodded in agreement. "Night. Talk to you again tomorrow?"
"Sure, night Susan said tiredly. "Night" said Michael said, then they turned off their phones and went to sleep.
Present day (2 days later)
Michael sat in his room, playing his guitar when he saw a page sitting on the window with marigold petals scattered around it.
He put the guitar down and went to look at the page. He picked it up and looked at it, curiously.
As he looked at the picture, it's was some skeleton ancestors at the sunrise spectacular. He looked shocked and immediately video chatted Susan.
Susan was reading one of her favorite Gothic stories, when she heard her phone ring. She picked it up and answered it. "Hey, Michael. What's up?"
Michael showed the page to Susan. "This is from the flash I had the other day!"
All of a sudden, Susan saw a page on her desk and grabbed it. She was shocked to see a picture of her and the Omnidroid.
"Look what I just found." She showed him her page. "It's just like the flash that I had. Something weird is going on."
"I agree." Michael nodded. "These feel like memories of a previous life!"
"A previous life? Like that reincarnation stuff?" Susan looked doubtful. "I'm not sure if I believe in that."
"We'll I'm just guessing." Michael nodded. "We might keep that a secret."
"Michael, time for bed." said Edward while holding Michael's baby sister, Mina, with a ponytail in her hair and wearing a pink onesie. "And said goodnight to your sister."
"Yeah, I think we should. Be right back." Michael put down the phone, and came over to his father and sister. "Goodnight, Mina." He kissed her on the cheek.
"Well, night." Susan then turned off her phone, and then saw her brother, Barry scared and frightened and out of bed.
"Barry, what is it?" She asked, concerned. "Did you have a nightmare?"
"Yes." Barry started to cry. "It's was you and I falling out of a plane into the ocean with Ms. Richards. Then I woke up. So I snuck into your bedroom to see if I could sleep with you tonight."
Even though Susan thought he was too old for this, she hugged him. "Ok. I guess you can stay with me for the night."
"Yes!" Barry said quietly as he crawled on Susan's bed and hugged her. "Night, sissy." He said as he yawned on her chest.
"Night, little bro." She smiled and soon fell asleep.
Michael put away the page in a drawer, and laid down trying to think about his flash while he slept.
In the shoe shop, Ms. Cordwain was making boots with her 'R' signature on the sole. As she looked at her family photo, she wondered that she'd ever see them again.
Michael is Miguel, and he still lives with his family
Ms. Edison is Bo Peep
Barry and Susan are Dash and Violet,
Ivanna Nagasaki is Edna Mode,
After the diner closed at around 6:30 PM, Michelle was in her room, dressed in her medium green dress and green high-heeled boots. She put pillows under the covers of her bed to make sure her mother didn't know she' was gone. She looked through the window and carefully jumped out safely onto the ground. Then she saw a short, lanky young man a year younger than her, with blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin, large ears, and a long thin nose in his blue sports car.
"Hey, Marty." She waved quietly.
"Hey, Michelle." He waved back. "You look beautiful. Are you ready for a great night out?"
"You bet I am." Michelle got into Marty's car, and they drove to the new night club. While driving, Michelle put lipstick on using the sun visor mirror. "So, how's your parents? Did they know you snuck out?" She asked.
"They're doing good." His voice was thick with a Scottish brogue. "Of course not. They were already asleep."
"My Mum won't found out that I'm gone this time, because I put many pillows under the covers of my bed," Michelle said as she applied some black mascara and green eyeshadow.
"I did that too. It fools them every time." He said proudly. "They'll never know we were gone."
"I agree," Michelle said as she saw the purple Neon Lights reading Ferguson's Archery & Club flash on and off. "We're here."
"Great." He stopped the car and turned off the engine. "Let's go have some fun."
Before they went inside, they went to the check out corner that checked everything
"Ha, there's my favorite couple." said Peter, a tall, slightly overweight, muscular man, with fair skin, curly red hair, thick eyebrows, mustache and beard, and blue eyes "How's life?!"
"Things are going good," Marty replied.
"Me too," Michelle added. "It would be better if my mother let me have my freedom."
"Well, it's all clear," said Peter as he give them their VIPs passes. "As the owner, I say you have a great night. Remember, this place closes at 11 PM. So you need to leave at 8 PM, so you won't get in trouble." His Scottish accent appeared.
"Thank you." The two smiled and nodded in agreement. They were about to enter when Michelle noticed something.
"I didn't know you had an accent."
"Must have been from my wee Irish grandparents." Peter shrugged. "Now, go now." His English accent returned to his voice.
Michelle still thought that was strange. She had never heard Peter speak with a brogue before.
"Ok. Thanks." The two entered through the doors and into the club.
When they finished dancing, they went to the bar and drank some water. Then they went to the archery area of the club to play shots and archery.
"Yes!" Michelle said as she shot the first arrow. "You're turn, love."
"Alright." Marty picked up the bow and arrow. He aimed at the bullseye but struggled to hold onto the bow. "Huh?" Marty looked at the food as the arrow hit a perfect shot.
"Good job, love!" Said Michelle, clapping her hands.
"Huh? Oh!" He saw the arrow had hit the bullseye. "Thanks, love." He smiled, though he wasn't exactly sure how that happened.
After several shots and arrows, it was already 8 PM and they decided to leave the club early and go to the lake.
"My, this is so nice to get some French after a whole two hours at the club," Michelle said as she sat by a tree, taking off her shoes.
"It sure is." Marty smiled and sat down beside her.
Michelle dipped her feet into the water. "Come on. Dip your feet in the lake. It feels nice and cool." She said as she took off her make-up.
Marty took his shoes off and dipped his feet into the water. "You're right. This does feel good."
Before Michelle could say anything, she suddenly felt a flash of her sixteen-year-old self escaping from a bear in fear. She snapped back to reality and started taking deep breaths.
"Michelle!" Marty put his arms around her, trying to keep her calm. "What's wrong? Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Michelle said as she rubbed her head. "It was a teenage me running away from some bear in Scotland."
"A bear?" He looked confused. "You had a bad encounter with a bear when you were younger?"
"I don't know," Michelle said mumbling. "It feels like a memory coming back again."
"You must have blocked it out." He suggested. "And then maybe something triggered it."
"Yeah, thanks." Michelle understood and then looked at her phone, which read 8:30 PM. She realized that in a half an hour, her mother was gonna check on her in her room. "Hurry! Drive me back home before my mom finds out!!" She showed her clock to Marty and he realized at the exact same time, his parents were going to check on him too.
Marty quickly put on his shoes. "You got it! I gotta get home too before my parents wake up!"
They drove fast and quietly back to Ellen's Bed and Breakfast.
"Bye, Babe," Michelle said, kissing Marty's cheek in a fearful expression. "Night, and hurry!" She whispered.
"Night, love. You better hurry, too." He nodded and then drove off.
Michelle grabbed a bow and arrow and quickly climbed the window back into her room. She then changed to her green T-Shirt and blue shorts, and quickly and quietly put her dress and shoes in her closet and closed it. She climbed back to bed and picked up "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain" book from her nightstand and pretended to read.
Her mother knocked on the door while wearing her dark green robe.
"Michelle?" Ellen opened the door and stepped in the room. "Just checking on you. Oh, you're still awake. "
Michelle tried to act natural while reading her book. "Um, I'm just reading before bed."
"Well, alright." Ellen came over and kissed her forehead. "Just don't stay up too late."
"Sure Mum," Michelle said, still reading the book.
As Ellen was about to open the door, she felt a flash in her head of burning a bow in a fireplace. She then flashed back to reality with a gasp.
"Mum, are you ok?" Michelle asked, looking up from her book.
"It's fine," Ellen said, trying to calm down. "It's just a headache. Now, night dear." She said as she left the room.
"Oh, ok. Night, Mum." Michelle went back to her book.
Meanwhile, Marty quietly tiptoed upstairs past his parents, then into his room. He sighed in relief. "Phew, that's was close." He suddenly heard footsteps and quickly changed into his pajamas and climbed into bed.
The door opened to reveal an old short man with white hair, green eyes, and a long thin nose. "Young man," he said as he crossed his arms "Did you sneak out?"
"No, Dad. Of course not." He tried to act casual. "Why would you think that?"
"All alright. I'll let it pass this time." His dad sighed "But I'm watching you."
"Yes, Dad," Marty replied, trying to hide his annoyed expression.
As his dad walked out of the room, he sighed in relief. 'That was a close one.' He thought to himself. 'I hope Michelle didn't get busted, either.'
Ellen took off her robe to reveal her dark green leg-length nightgown and then sat on her bed while rubbing her forehead.
That flash she had was so strange. She didn't know what could've caused it. It wasn't like anything she had felt before.
"I really need my headache medication," Ellen said as she went to the bathroom and took her medicine.
"That should help." She hoped that would stop her headache. She didn't want to worry Michelle with whatever was happening.
Ellen looked at herself in the mirror. "Was it a memory?" Then she saw herself in 10th-century clothing.
This was getting weird. She didn't remember ever wearing clothes like that. Maybe it was from a memory that she forgot about.
Ellen then snapped out of it, realizing it was just a hallucination. She went to bed to try to get some sleep.
Knowing she had work the next day, Michelle turned off the lights and began to fall asleep.
Marty looked at the sky and began to imagine what Michelle was thinking about. After the strange way she was acting earlier at the lake, he hoped that she was ok.
A page suddenly appeared on the bed. Marty picked it up and saw it was a picture of him, warring against the other kingdoms. He looked at the page, confused. It was almost like something out of a history book.
Both Hillary and Riley saw the book before going to bed. They were surprised to see that some of the pages were missing.
"Uh, Hilary. Did you tear out any pages from the other stories?" Riley asked.
"I don't know," Hilary answered. "They must have flown out to different places in town."
"Oh boy." Riley looked nervous. "What are the people gonna think if they found them?"
"Well, let's just forget about that and let's get some sleep.," said Hilary, yawning. "I bet they'll find their memories as soon as they found the pages."
"Ok. Yeah, I guess you're right." Riley agreed. "I sure hope that they will."
They went to sleep.
Peter looked at the page, which showed him battling with a bear, with a curious look. "Where could this have come from?" He wondered. "I don't remember fighting a bear."
But all of a sudden, a bear came out of nowhere and attacked him.
Peter is King Fergus
Marty and his dad are Lord and Wee Dingwall
On a beautiful Saturday morning, Jessica, a slender, fair-skinned woman with pink lips, red hair, auburn eyebrows, and green eyes woke up yawning. She looked at her clock which read 4:13 AM and then checked her phone for any messages. She saw some from her work partner, Jim.
How R U this morning?
Jessica yawned harder as she texted.
I'm a bit tired, just woke up. You?
Jim replied back.
I'm fine. Just couldn't sleep.
Jessica replied back.
What happened in your sleep? Anything wrong? Why didn't you get some sleep last night?
Jim messaged her back.
It's nothing. Just had some weird dream.
Jessica texted back.
What dream did you have?
I was running from a dog, but then I was in some house, surrounded by these strange-looking toys.
Jessica looked surprised and replied back.
I had a dream similar to that. It was me in a suitcase, but I'm on a plane about to take off, but then I saw you.
Jim messaged her.
Really? Sounds like it must have been scary.
Jessica replied back.
Well, since we both had weird dreams and didn't get a good night's rest, maybe Larry and the others will take over the store while we take the day off?
Jim messaged her.
That'd be nice. But I don't think the boss would agree to that.
Jessica messaged him.
I'll give it a try. BRB
Jim replied back.
Good. I'm gonna try too.
Meanwhile, at Sunset Toy Store's office, Lynn a large man, with magenta hair, big nose, thick dark magenta eyebrows, and light brown eyes was doing paperwork when he heard the phone ringing. He noticed it was from Jim, and put him on speaker.
"Well, hello there, Jim." He answered. "What are you doing calling so early?"
Jim yawned. "I just didn't get enough sleep last night, plus it's Saturday. So, is it okay for me and Jessica to take two days off of work, please?"
"Oh, that's a shame." He thought for a moment. "Well, you two take the day to rest up, and come in the day after."
"Thanks, Mr. Lynn," said Jim. "Have a nice weekend."
"No problem. You too, boy." He then hung up the phone.
Jim finally slept till 9 AM, while Jessica slept till 8 am. When her alarm went off, she took a shower, and then put on her white polo shirt, blue jeans, and put her hair in a braided ponytail.
She went into the kitchen and dining room, and so herself some corn flakes with banana slices and blueberries and poured a glass of orange juice. She picked up her phone to check her email from Sunset Toy Store.
There was a message from her boss requesting that she come in for her normal work shift the next day.
Jessica emailed him back that she might go to work tomorrow if she doesn't have the chance.
He emailed her back, telling her what he told Jim on the phone. He was letting them take the day to rest but to come in the next day.
She went back to eating her corn flakes when she got a text message from Brianna Edison.
Hey, girl :) How R U doing?
Jessica message her back.
How did U sleep last night?
Pretty ok. Was looking over papers for my class. U?
Just eating some breakfast. What papers do you have from class?
The usual stuff. Essays, tests, reports, that kind of thing.
Jessica immediately replied back.
How are your students? What dreams did you have last night? What are you working on?
They're doing fine. Just grading some quizzes from last week.
I actually did have this dream that I was kidnapped, and Jim was trying to save me. It was so weird.
It's really weird. Who kidnapped you? And what Jim trying to save you from?
I know, right?
A pig in a hat, surrounded by soldiers. It wanted to kill me with either a shark or monkeys.
I had a similar dream of me as a toy in a suitcase and on a plane. But then Jim rescued me.
Right away, Brianna answered.
No way! I was toy-sized in my dream too!
Right away, Jessica answered.
Yes, way! It feels like we knew each other from another life.
Yeah, it kinda does. But it sounds crazy to think that we were probably toys once.
I agree. Just forget about that dream, it's my day off.
That's nice. Do you have any plans for the day?
IDK? I'll think about it.
Oh, ok. Since it's the weekend, I'm just gonna relax today.
How's your favorite student? And what quiz are you grading?
Brianna replied back.
You mean Susan? She's doing well. We had a quiz on Mexican Cinema, and they all did pretty good.
Jessica replied back.
That's amazing, girl! Gonna go now, gonna finish breakfast.
Yeah! Ok, talk to you later. Enjoy :)
At 9 AM Jim took a shower, brushed his teeth, then put on his yellow and white T-shirt, blue pants, and his brown loafers, he grabbed himself a granola bar from the kitchen, then begin to text Larry.
Hey. Why aren't you and Jessica at work today?
I just didn't get enough sleep, so I decided to take the day off.
Well, aren't you lucky
Larry replied sarcastically.
You get to do nothing while the rest of us are stuck here
It's just a day off, I just had a weird dream last night about me running from a dog.
Really? I had a dream like that a few nights ago, too. And you were there.
Yes! And what dream did you have? What was it like?
You and I were running through a house from a dog, and then it chased through a busy street.
Wow, it looked like us as toys. It's like we already knew each other from another life.
You're saying that in another life we were once toys? That's crazy.
I'm just guessing! Jessica had a similar dream, but she was in a suitcase on an airplane, and then I saved her.
Well, crazy things often happen in dreams. Doesn't always mean that it's true.
I agree. And I think you should look at yourself because some teens are stealing.
What? Not on my watch!
Larry put his phone down and went to go stop the shoplifters.
Jim chuckled and he texted a goodbye and good luck and then went to watch some TV.
Meanwhile, Jessica was cleaning her room when she found a page.
She looked at it curiously. It showed a picture of her, Jim, and an old man dressed like cowboys, with a horse.
Jessica was shocked at the page "It's almost like the dream I had last night!"
This was getting a little weird. Jessica was a bit of a country girl, but she hadn't ridden a horse in years. Maybe it was just a coincidence.
Meanwhile, Brianna was dressed in her blue blouse, white leggings, and black slip-ons, instead of a teacher uniform which are blue and white blouses and shirts, black, white, and blue skirts, pants, and leggings, and black, white, and turquoise shoes. She's was eating some eggs for breakfast.
She couldn't stop thinking about the dream from last night. This one was different from other dreams that she had before, and it felt so real.
She then looked at the three-headed sheep statue on top of the counter and sipped her milk in confusion.
'Is that one of mine?' She wondered to herself. Her house did have several porcelain pieces, but she had never seen that one. Maybe she bought it years ago but then forgot.
Brianna put the sheep on the top shelf of her bookcase, then went back to eating her breakfast. Afterward, she decided to call her other friend, Laura Reed.
Laura Reed sat in her living room when her phone rang. She picked it up and answered it. "Hey, Brianna. What's up?"
"Hey, Laura Reed," said Brianna with a cheerful look. "How are you this lovely morning?"
"I'm doing well." She replied, smiling. "How are you?"
"Well I'm doing good," said Brianna as she put it on while she checked her quizzes. "I just had a crazy dream last night of me getting saved from sharks and monkeys from Jim. What drink do you have last night? How did you sleep?"
"Wow. That does sound strange." Laura Reed looked surprised. "I slept ok, but I had a dream that Clark and I were married and Susan and Barry were our kids."
"Oh God!" said Brianna as she finished her quizzes "It must be crazy. How's your new roommate?"
"Yeah, I know. I don't know where that came from. Oh, Jack? He's doing fine."
"These feel like memories," said Brianna as she finished putting her papers in her bag. "How did you and Jack meet? How did he move to your apartment?"
"I met him when he first came to town. He and Derek were looking for Hilary." She explained. "I offered Jack to stay with me after I found him living in his car."
"My gosh," said Brianna with a questionable look. "Why did he'd sleep in his car? I heard about him in the newspaper."
"He couldn't stay at the inn anymore. It's a long story. Oh, you did?"
"I do," Brianna said while she dusted her China dolls. "I always follow the Pixfare newspaper, do you?"
"Sometimes." Laura Reed replied while playing with a rubber band ball. "But I'm still getting to know him."
"Well, good to know," Brianna replied as she put away her cleaning supplies. "Gonna go now. Bye."
"Alright. Talk to you later." Laura Reed smiled and then hung up.
Jack came in eating cereal for breakfast. "Who were you talking to on the phone?" He asked with a questionable look. "Who's 'Brianna'?
She looked up at him. "Oh, she's a friend of mine. She's also a teacher, at the middle school."
"Ok," Jack said as he washed his plate. "What does she look like? How long have you guys been friends? How long has she been at the middle school?" He asked.
"Well, she's got blonde hair and blue eyes." She thought for a moment. "Um... I'm not sure. We've both been teaching for as long as I can remember."
"Alright, It's fine," Jack said, going to get dressed. "Hilary said that Brianna is Bo Peep, like from that nursery rhyme."
"Really?" She looked at him, surprised. "But she doesn't have any sheep. That book must be getting to her."
"She's really obsessed with that book," Jack said as he straightened his red shirt. "What gave you the idea to give her the book? How old was she when she got the book?"
"Yes, she is." She agreed, nodding. "Well, one day, I saw that she was sad and I wanted to cheer her up. I gave it to her so she could see that things can get better, and to believe in a happy ending."
"That makes sense," said Jack as he sat down on the couch. "I loved the movie we watched last night."
"Me too." She smiled. "It was nice to do something together."
Meanwhile, at Sunset Toy Store, Larry was having a lunch break. He had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, almonds, and a water bottle. He was mumbling about those shoplifters when he saw Angela, a tan-skinned, skinny bespectacled woman with black hair in a bun, and both eyes reading a book. "Hola, Ms. Hernandez."
She looked up from her book when he greeted her. "Hola, Senor Aldrin." She slightly smiled.
Larry kissed her right hand and arm. "My oh my, Mi Señorita Hernandez. You look absolutely lovely today."
"Oh. Gracias." She replied, flattered.
Larry then put on a floating grin. "How are you on this lovely afternoon?"
"I'm doing well." Angela smiled. "How are you? I hope I'm not interrupting work."
"Well, I'm on lunch break." Larry turned back to normal. "So, how's your family and Michael?"
"He's fine. Everyone's doing well. Same as usual."
Larry finished his lunch and looked at Angela's book, which was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. "Oh, my coworker Jessica loved that story!" He said with a curious look.
"Really?" Her face lit up. "Oh, it's such a great, romantic story." She held the book to her chest.
"Hey!" Lynn slammed the door open. "Lunchtime over! Back to work!"
"Yes, sir. Of course. Right away." Larry said nervously. "Sorry, Angela. I gotta get back to my job."
"Alright, bye." Angela waved sarcastically. "I'll call you if I can."
Larry waved back as he began to leave. "Bye. I hope I get to see you again."
Angela went home and saw Natalie, a 13-year-old bespectacled girl with and ponytail, and pink lip gloss, getting a snack from the kitchen. "Hola, Natalie," Angela said, heading towards the kitchen.
Natalie looked up at her and smiled. "Hola, Tia Angela."
"Hola, Mija." She said as she got some water and tangerine slices. She saw that Natalie was holding frozen gansito and a Mandarina flavored Jarritos in her hands.
"Try not to eat too many snacks," Angela said firmly. "Or you'll spoil your dinner."
"Ok, Tia," said Natalie as she took it to her room. "I won't."
"Good. Because you know how your Abuelita gets when you don't eat your food." Natalie looking shocked. "Ok, I'll eat at the table," she said as she sat down on the table, her Abuelita doesn't want anyone from the lack of food or they've starve, to her, she doesn't want to end up having anorexia nervosa "Glad you reminded me". She said as she sipped her drink.
"No problem." Angela smiled, knowing how tough her sister can be.
Angela sat down with her snack as well with a curious look. "Are you hiding something?" She said as she ate the second slice.
"What? No, I'm not hiding anything." Natalie looked at her, surprised. "Why would you think that?"
"Ok, ok. Just wondering." Angla said as she ate the last slice of the tangerine when she fell a flash of seeing Michael being thrown offstage in the land of the dead in her skeletal form. She then flashed back to reality, leaning on the kitchen counter.
"Tia! Are you okay?" Natalie asked, concerned.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Angela said while rubbing her head and getting her back off the counter. "I just need to rest."
Suddenly, Natalie felt a memory flash in her head of Abuela smashing Miguel's guitar. She flashed back to reality and grabbed Angela's blue blouse.
"What is it, Mija?" Angela turned around, surprised. "What's the matter?"
"I don't know," said Natalie as she stood up and fixed her glasses. "It was me seeing Abuela breaking Michael's wooden guitar to pieces and then he ran away."
Angela put her arm on Natalie's shoulder. "That's ridiculous, you know your Abuela would never do such a thing.
"I know," Natalie said while fixing up her shirt. "It almost feels like a memory. Michael told me about his flash on Wednesday when he saw himself falling off a building."
"Michael had a strange flash, too? Why didn't he tell us?" Angela asked, knowing that Maria didn't like secrets in the family.
"Before I know you might have that same flash as him," Natalie said while fixing up her shorts. "It's was you in skeleton form. Just please, keep this a secret."
"Me as a skeleton?" Angela looked confused. "Oh, you kids and your wild imaginations. Alright, but your Abuela doesn't like keeping secrets from the family."
Later around 3 PM, Jessica was sipping peppermint tea and eating some lemon cookies when she received a call from Nadia.
"Hey, Nadia." She answered her phone. "How are ya?"
"I'm fine," Nadia said as she ate some cheese and crackers with her ginger tea. "I just had this dream last night about me and some people trying to stop some console from turning gray."
"That sure sounds strange. I had a weird dream, too. I was toy-sized trapped in a suitcase, and my boyfriend came to rescue me."
"Well, I was small with greenish skin and hair with sparkles all over," Nadia said with a curious look she crunched on the cracker. "It's almost real, like a memory."
"My goodness." Jessica looked surprised. "I know. That's how I felt about my dream, too."
"It's like Hilary's story, but it's real," Naida said as she sipped her ginger tea. "It like I'm Disgust from her Inside Out story, and you're Jessie from the Toy Story story from her book."
"Yeah, you're right." Jessica bit one of her cookies. "I was actually talking about this with one of my friends. It's almost like memories from another life."
"I agree," Naida said as she chewed a piece of cheese. "I feel like Hilary may be right about them and us."
"Yeah, maybe." Jessica agreed. "But it still sounds kinda crazy."
"Let's not think about our weird dreams and talk about something else, like food," Naida said happily as she changed the subject. "I'm having some cheese and crackers and some Ginger tea for a snack? What's yours?"
"Yeah, good idea." Jessica nodded. "That sounds good. I'm having some peppermint tea and lemon cookies."
"Sounds yummy," Nadia said as she sipped the last of her ginger tea. "My tea is homemade and the cheese are conquerors of from the store. Did you make the peppermint tea and lemon cookies by yourself or get them at the store?"
"Wow, that's cool. Actually, I got them both from the store."
Laura Reed was making some chicken when she heard a knock at the door. She rinsed her hands and went to go answer the door.
Audrey came to her door in her red coat and Red hat.
"Hi, Audrey," she said cheerfully.
"Hey, Laura Reed." She greeted her with a smile. "How are you?"
"I'm just here to visit you." Andrey began to sniff the air. "And is that chicken?"
Laura Reed glanced back at the stove. "Yeah. I'm making some for dinner tonight."
"Well," Audrey said as she sat on the couch. "I wanna talk to you about my dream last night."
"Oh?" Laura Reed sat beside her. "Was it like a nightmare or something?"
"Well, It was tiny me again," Audrey said. "Me and Mindy, who had blue skin and blue hair, running with the same pink and purple creature, and running away from a humongous clown all the way to some movie studio. Then I woke up at only 3:57 AM this morning." She said as she rubbed her head. "It's felt so real like I've know Mindy for a long time."
"Wow, that sure sounds scary." Laura Reed looked surprised. "Well, a lot of strange things can happen in dreams."
"It's more than a dream," Audrey said. "It's more like a memory. So what dream or nightmare did you have last night?"
Laura Reed thought for a moment. "I did have this weird dream about me and Clark. We were wearing these strange costumes and masks. Almost like we were superheroes."
Audrey looked at her with a curious look. "It looks like my daughter and Hilary are talking about Joy from the Inside Out story, and you as Helen from the Incredibles story," Audrey said as she stood up.
"Yeah, I guess so. Jack did tell me that Hilary thinks that I'm Elastigirl."
"I agree. I guess I need to go. Bye." Audrey said as she reached the door.
"Aww, already?" Laura Reed looked disappointed. "You just got here."
"Just came for a quick chat, that's all," Audrey explained as she closed the door.
"Oh, ok." She stood up from the couch. "I guess I'll see you later then."
Hilary and Riley were watching the Star vs the Forces of Evil reruns in the family room and discussing the plots while reading the Pixar storybook.
"Well, Michael is this close to finding out he's Miguel," Hilary said as she munched on some sour cream and onion chips.
"He is?" Riley looked amazed, taking some chips. "That's great. Did he find one of the pages from his story?"
"I'm just guessing," Hilary said as she drank half of her water. "It's when Miguel was thrown by De la Cruz at Sunrise spectacular."
Riley's eyes widened a little. "Really? Maybe he's starting to remember who he really is."
"It's just a guess," Hilary said a curious look. "And the one with The Incredibles fighting the Omnidroid was sent to Susan's house"
Riley had a thought. "Maybe this could mean that the curse is starting to weaken."
Hilary looked at the part with Miguel and the dead and living family on Dia la Los Muertos at the end of the story. "I just hope. I mean, it takes some time."
"Yeah, I know." Riley nodded. "That's ok. It's not like we're in a hurry or anything."
At the Nakisaki mansion, Susan went to the kitchen to Susan on dinner, when she saw Lucas de Lafayette, a blue-headed, blue-eyed man
"Bonjour, Lucas." She greeted him. "Um, is dinner ready yet?"
"It's ready." He said, handing out a plate to her. "Your favorite dish, Japanese sushi, a yummy half of my famous baguette, a sweet miniature size Chocolate molten lava cake for dessert, and your black lemonade. I can take it up to your room if you like. I'll set up your table on your bed."
"Wow. That looks amazing." Susan looked excited. "I would, but my aunt always makes us all eat together."
"Well, between you and me, I'll tell her that you're not joining her for dinner." He handed Susan her plate and drink. "I know you felt scared after your little dream last night"
"Oh, ok." Susan took the plate and glass. "Yeah, I did. How did you know about that?"
"Well, I noticed your mood this morning of that dream you had about you and Barry in the jungle. I'm just guessing." Lucas said. "I myself had a weird dream last night of me being a rat in some giant kitchen in France."
"Oh. Yeah, it was kinda scary." She had to admit that it was pretty obvious. Her eyes widened. "Wow. That is weird."
"I agree," Lucas said. "Now, get up to your room."
"Ok, ok." Susan headed up the stairs, plate in her hand.
After Susan, Barry ran to the kitchen to get dinner.
"Hey, Barry! No running in the kitchen!" Said Lucas, grabbing Barry's arm.
"Hey! Let go." Barry tried to break from his grip. "I'm just practicing for track."
"Alright, alright." Lucas gave Barry his plate "Here's your dinosaur chicken nuggets, Granny Smith apple slices, baby carrots, French vanilla ice cream for dessert, and a tall glass of ice-cold milk as you asked."
"Yay! Thanks." Barry shouted, snatching the plate and glass away.
At the Hernandezes household, the family was having some chicken tamales for dinner. Some were quiet, including Michael.
"Michael, what dream did you have last night that made you woke up at 4 AM this morning? Asked Lucy as she unwrapped her tamales.
Michael looked nervous as everyone turned their attention to him. "Oh, uh, it was about me and these two skeletons. Then one of them threw me into this big hole."
"I had one this afternoon" Angla grabbed their attention. "I saw Michael being dropped off a high building by some buff skeleton man." She said as she ate her 2nd tamale. "Anyone else got some weird dream like this like this one?"
"That's like the other dream I had," Michael replied. "I was thrown off a building by a skeleton in a white mariachi suit. What's even weirder is that he looked kinda like my music teacher."
"I'd got a vision like that," Natalie spoke up. "It was Abuela smashing Michael's wooden white guitar, then he ran off."
Michael and Maria both gasped.
"Abuela, how could you do that? You know how much I love playing music."
"I'd never do such a thing like that!" Maria was about to grab a wooden spoon, but suddenly felt a flash of her smashing the guitar and snapped back to reality, almost falling down.
"Mama!" Edward gasped. He and the other adults quickly stood up and helped her back into her chair. "Mama, are you alright?"
"I don't know." Maria exhaustingly said as she rubbed her head. "It felt so real. It's the same as Natalie's vision."
"Just take it easy, Maria." Lucy touched her shoulder. "It was probably just your imagination."
"Umm... Me and Michael should eat our dinner in our rooms and leave you adults alone." Natalie said she picked up her plate and drink.
"Ok, Natalie. Please don't leave crumbs all over the floor." said Lucy as she helped Maria to her room.
"Don't worry, Mama. We won't." Michael promised. He and Natalie headed to their rooms, carrying their plates.
Laura Reed had already made dinner and now eating it. "...And then she left so quickly." she told Jack.
"Did she at least have a reason why?" He asked.
"I don't know. Maybe she wanted a quick chat and that's it, weird right?" Laura Reed said taking another bite of the chicken.
"Yeah, I guess so." Jack slightly nodded. "Instead of coming over, why not just call?"
"No idea," Laura Reed said.
Meanwhile, Michael and Natalie were talking in Michael's room eating their dinner.
"So Hilary might be right about us being characters from her storybook." Michael said as he drank his milk.
"But it still sounds kinda crazy." Natalie took a bite of her food. "The adults aren't gonna believe it."
"We might keep that a secret" Michael said concerned as he ate the last bites of the tamale "We don't wanna freak them out just like Abuela did."
"Yeah, you're right." Natalie agreed. "Besides, we don't really know if it's actually true or not."
"These flashes felt so real, like memories." Michael replied as he put his plate away and showed the page from Friday to Natalie. "This looks similar to my nightmares and hallucinations."
"Ok. I see what you mean." Natalie looked at the page. "But even if we were, don't you think we'd remember?"
Maria was on her bed wearing a pink fabric nightgown, and her hair down to her back, still thinking about her flash.
"Hey, Mama." Her daughter, Gabriella, a woman with a messy bun, purple lip gloss, and pink eye shadow came in with her plate. "Here's your leftovers from dinner."
"Gracias, Mija." Maria looked up at her and took the plate, smiling. "Maybe I'll feel better after I eat."
Gabriella sat on the bed. "What happened to you at dinner? What did you hallucinate about?" She asked as she placed her food on the nightstand.
"I had this awful vision that I smashed Michael's guitar, and he was so upset that he ran away," Maria explained.
Gabriella begin to pat on her mother's shoulder. "It's just some dream. Was it real?"
"I-I don't know." Maria tried to keep her voice steady. "It almost felt real."
Brianna was eating baked potatoes, spaghetti and meatballs, and some milk for dinner went a page flew to her table. She looked at it, and it was her seeing Woody getting kidnapped.
She still couldn't wrap her head around the idea of being a toy. Though the character in the picture did kinda look like her. The idea still felt ridiculous.
Jessica put on her beige nightshirt saying "Country Girl" in the front in red rope writing, blue sport shorts, her red hair in two braided pigtails and headed to her bed. She started video chatting Jim, even though it was 6:59 PM and already had her snack and dinner "Hi, Jim."
Jim was in the middle of dinner when his phone started ringing. He picked it up and saw it was Jessica calling. "Hey, Jess." He answered.
"How are you doing this evening? I'm in my PJs." Jessica said while she got herself a glass of water. "Just had dinner! What are you eating for dinner?"
"I'm doing good." He then noticed her nightgown. "Oh, it looks nice on you. I'm having some leftover pizza."
Jessica blushed. "Aww, thanks Babe." then she got excited. "Yummy, that's awesome! What kind of PJs are you wearing?"
Jim smiled. "Yeah, it is." He finished one of the slices. "I'm wearing my favorite western pajamas. The ones with horses and cowboys."
"Awesome," Jessica replied as she showed the page from that morning to Jim. "I found this page from this morning while I was cleaning my room."
"Oh, really? Hey, that picture kinda looks like us." He noticed, looking at the page.
"It's us as toys." Jessica said she's sipped her water. "It must be from some memory that we forgot."
Jim looked confused for a moment. "Really? 'Cause I don't remember being a toy."
"I agree." she said as she finished her glass "This is very weird."
Michael and Natalie finished their dinner, took a shower, brushed their teeth, then put on they're PJs. Michael's in his mariachi pattern pajamas, and Natalie in her blue nightgown, they went to their rooms.
Natalie was reading 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' by JK Rowling, went Angela came in in her light blue bathrobe with the twins 5-year-olds, Jimmy and Juan, cubby boys with messy hair and in their star pattern pajamas.
"Hola, sister." Jimmy said as he sat on her bed along with Angela.
"Hey, boys." Natalie put down her book and greeted her little brothers.
Juan sat on his aunt's lap feeling concern. "Why Abuela fell at dinner?" He asked.
Angela thought of a way to explain it so he would understand. "Oh, she just saw something that scared her. But she should be ok now."
Natalie looked at her brothers and aunt in both nervousness and concern. "Yeah, don't worry too much. She'll be fine." She lied so she doesn't want to hurt their feelings. "You boys might can sleep with me just for tonight if you like."
"Yay!" The twins cheered and climbed into Natalie's bed.
"Then, goodnight." Angela said as she left the room, then she saw her 46-year-old older twins brothers, Henry and Joaquin, with slick back black hair, brown eyes, wearing their same pattern red and white striped pajamas
"Hola, hermanita." Joaquin said while getting some water.
"Hola, hermanos." Angela greeted them. "I just said goodnight to Natalie and the boys."
"We saw what happened at dinner." Henry replied and he got himself some crackers for a midnight snack.
"Looks at Maria's having some problems." Joaquin said while he took a sip of his water.
"There's no problems." Angela corrected him. "She said that she had a strange vision. That's all."
"Right, sorry" both Henry and Joaquin said in unison as they crunched on the crackers.
"I mean since Jack came to town..." Henry replied.
"...some of our neighbors had visions of weird places in weird bodies." said Joaquin, feeling concerned as he sipped his water.
Angela considered their words for a moment. "You know, you're right. This never happened before he came along."
Jack was gazing at the stars out the window, imagining what life could have been if he had a family. He imagined laughter and cheerfulness all his life until Laura Reed came in.
He snapped out of his thoughts and turned to face her. "Huh? Oh, hey."
She sat on the couch. "What are you thinking about, Jack?" She asked.
"Oh, I was wondering what my life would've been like if I had a real family." He replied.
Laura looked at Jack in shock. "My gosh." She said as she got some water. "Why did you wish for a family? How many foster families have you had? And did you have any friends before?"
"Because I practically grew up in the foster system." He explained. It was hard for Jack to talk about his past. "I've only had maybe one or two. I haven't really had any friends either."
Angela went to her room and took off her robe, revealing a purple nightgown, pink sweats, red socks, and let her hair down to her back. She was brushing her hair when she saw her skeletal self in the mirror, wearing a dress, and a leather brown apron.
She gasped and stepped back in shock, rubbing her eyes, hoping the image would go away.
When she opened her eyes, it was back to normal. She checked all over her body to see if it still had flesh, and was relieved. She looked at her clock which read 8:19 PM and thought she might finish her book.
"Must've just been my imagination." She thought to herself. She picked up the book she had left on the nightstand, hoping to ease her mind.
Ivanna was at the shop, making some dresses when she saw a page of her and baby Jack-Jack.
Jessica is Jessie
Jim is Woody
Larry is Buzz Lightyear
Lynn is Lotso
Lucas de Lafayette is Remy
The Hernandezes are the Riveras:
Angela is Victoria
Natalie is Rosa
Maria is Elena
Edward is Enrique
Lucy is Luisa
Gabriella is Gloria
Henry and Joaquin are Oscar and Felipe
Ray parked his car outside Sarah's house. "Thanks for driving me home, Ray. I'm gonna let my dad give you another chance." She said as she came out of the car and gave her hand.
"No problem, Sarah." He smiled and then took her hand, stepping out of the car. "Thanks. I still don't get why he doesn't like me."
Sarah knocked on the door and Paul opened it in his robe in shock and worry. "Sarah, you almost missed your curfew." He then noticed Ray. "R-R-Ray?!"
"Hi, Mr. Hudson." Ray smiled nervously. "Nice to see you again."
"I'm sorry, Daddy." Sarah apologized. "We went for a drive."
Paul sighed "Fine, I'll let it pass this time, but promise you come by curfew next time," he said. "Ray, I've felt so bad about what I did in the past. I forgive you. Please stay if you want."
"I will, Daddy," Sarah promised.
Ray was surprised by the man's apology. "Oh, uh, thank you." He smiled. "Yes, I would love to stay."
They went inside and up to the guestroom, where they saw a beautiful bouquet of flowers on top of the bed.
"Wow, they're beautiful!" Sarah's face lit up with a smile. "Ray, you shouldn't have."
Paul looked at the family scrapbook and looked at the pictures of his daughter over the years, including her prom and high school graduation photos, when he saw the page sitting in his window.
He went over to the window and picked up the page. He looked at it curiously. It had a picture of a couple of cars with eyes.
He looked confused, knowing that he looked like he was like that in a while.
He still didn't understand. Where could the page have come from? Why was it on his window? It looked like it belonged in some storybook.
In the house next door, Mildred, an old woman was reading the newspaper. Marco, a buff-up 31-year-old military man was doing some push-ups. Rick, a 19-year-old hippie was meditating when they heard a voice.
"Hey guys," said Lindsey, a blue-eyed, black woman called. "You better see this on the news in the family room."
The three stopped what they were doing and entered the next room.
"Like, what's happening, Lindsey?" Rick asked.
"Look what I've found," Lindsey said holding a page.
"That just looks like a page from a book." Marco looked unimpressed.
Mildred looked at the page, putting her glasses, seeing it was a page with the Radiator Springs cars. "Hey, I rode that model T car back in my day. In the summer of 1920 when I was a teenager. Just wonderful times with your grandpa." She gladly remembered.
Marco slightly rolled his eyes. "Here we go again. We've heard these stories a million times."
"Calm down, brother" Rick trying calming his brother drown. "Clear your mind."
"Hmph! You and your hippie nonsense."
When morning came, Sarah woke up with messy hair and wearing her blue nightgown. She saw that her alarm clock read 7:10 AM, and then noticed on her bedside was Ray sleeping so peacefully after they break up and she smiled as she opened the silky red currants "Wakey, wakey, love." She whispered as she gently put her arm around his shoulder.
Ray slowly began to wake up at her touch. "Hey, hon." He looked at her and smiled.
Sarah blushed at his shirtless smooth, hairless, work-up body, only wearing his red and yellow boxers. "Sleep well, honey?" She said, hiding her lovely face.
"I slept ok." He sat up. "But I had this weird dream that I was driving with a talking tow truck."
"Really?" Sarah said as she sat up next to him. "I had that similar dream as cars that we're driving together in some Californian town," she said as she grabbed her hair.
"Yeah. I don't know where that came from." He looked confused. "That sounds kinda nice. But we were the cars?"
"I guess. This has been happening since Jack came to Pixfare." She was rubbing her head.
"I'm glad that he came to town." He smiled. "He actually saved my racing career."
"Not to mention got us back together." Sarah kissed Ray on the lips.
He let himself melt into her kiss.
Soon, he got out of bed and began to get dressed.
Sarah was dressed in her white blouse, blue leggings, and her black slip-ons, while Ray was dressed in his yellow T-Shirt, gray jeans, and red sneakers. They headed downstairs and saw some heart-shaped strawberry pancakes on the kitchen counter with a note from Paul.
Went to work. Made breakfast. Will be back soon.
The two sat down to eat.
Meanwhile, the Van Buren family was eating some eggs, bacon, blueberry pancakes, oatmeals, fruit and vegetable salads, porridges, cereals, hashbrowns, orange juices, and milk for breakfast while still wearing their pajamas.
"Hey, any of you have this weird dream last night?" Rick said as he ate half of his sunny side up egg. "Mine was that I'm in some kind of 1960s van."
"No surprise," Marco grumbled.
"Actually," Lindsey spoke up. "I did have this dream that I was driving down a road in a town with neon lights."
"That's amazing," Mildred said as she ate her oatmeal. "I had a dream where I was the same model T car while I met your grandfather in some town in the golden years."
"Aww, that sounds kinda sweet." Lindsey smiled.
At the Nagasaki Mansion, two Italian brothers, Lorenzo, with blonde hair, and brown eyes and Leonardo, with blue hair and brown eyes, woke up in the servants quarters.
"Hey, wake up brother!" Lorenzo said, trying to wake up Leonardo while rushing.
Leonardo woke up with a yawn. "Buongiorno, fratello." He said, looking at his brother.
"It's already 8 AM. I'm gonna get dressed for breakfast." Lorenzo said as he went to the servants' bathroom. "So hurry up before we're late!" He was in a rush this morning because they had overslept.
"8:00? Perché non l'hai detto?" Leonardo was now wide awake. He also rushed to get dressed. Leonardo switched to his English "There I'm ready!" As he put on his chef uniform. "Come on, let's cook for the family and us for breakfast," he said as he headed towards the kitchen.
Ivanna, Barry, and Susan soon came downstairs, taking in the smell of the food as it was being prepared.
They saw a beautiful Italian breakfast. "Here's today's breakfast!" both Leonardo and Lorenzo said in unison, and Lucas prepared lunches for school.
"Yeah! Looks good." Barry cheered as he, Ivanna, and Susan each served themselves.
After breakfast, everyone had gotten their lunches and headed off to the limo.
"Have a nice Monday," Lucas said, waving along with the other staff.
The kids waved back as they got into the limo, and it soon drove off.
The staff and servants went to the headquarters for their own breakfast. Lorenzo got himself a bowl of Cheerios and some milk, while Leonardo got apple pancakes and some orange juice.
"Finally, we got breakfast," Leonardo said as he sat down.
"Yeah. I was getting pretty hungry myself." Lorenzo sat beside him. "I had this weird dream last night that we owned a tire shop, and we were cars in some Californian town." He said, drinking his milk.
"Really?" Leonardo took a bite. "I had a dream like that too, but we were a racecar's pit crew."
"Looks like our dreams took all night." said Lorenzo said as he ate half of the cereal.
"Yeah." Leonardo nodded. "The thing is, I've never had a dream like that before."
Ray and Sarah were on the couch watching "Coraline" on TV while discussing the plots.
"Wow. No wonder doesn't like their new house." Sarah commented.
"I agree." Ray said as he took a bite of the apple slices "Mel should've called a real estate agent or an exterminator to see if the house was okay before they've moved to Oregon."
"Yup. It's like they don't care." She agreed, nodding. "Uh oh. She's going through the door. My gosh, Coraline's going to the other world." Sarah looked scared as she drank her water. "She's going to the other world."
"It's ok, Sarah." He touched her shoulder, trying to calm her. "The other world looks much brighter than hers."
Sarah sighed. "You're right." She remembered when they first watched that movie on their first date. "It reminds me of our first date."
"Oh, yeah. That's right." He smiled. "We saw this same movie."
"I'm glad that Jack brought us back together." Sarah said as she chewed on some spearmint gum.
"Me too." Ray put his arm around her and kissed her cheek.
Jack was napping on the couch when Laura Reed saw him and gently woke him up.
"Hey, Jack. Time to get up." She gently shook his shoulders.
Jack mumbled as he got up. "What time is it?"
She looked over at the clock. "It's 9 am."
"Man, guess I overslept," Jack said as he rubbed his head. "I had this weird dream of me as a baby being carried to a door."
"It's ok. There's some breakfast leftovers." She pointed toward the kitchen. "Really? Sounds like something Hilary would say."
"I really need some medication," Jack said as he stood up from the couch. "Do you have any?"
"Oh, sure." She went into the bathroom and then came back with a small bottle. "Here you go."
Jack took the medication and drink his water "I feel much better"
At Pixfare High School, Tiana and Milla, identical twins with red hair in pigtails, and blue eyes were at their lockers getting their supplies for their next classes, when they saw James Jackson, a tall brown-haired, brown-eyed teen.
"Hey, James!" Both the girls said as they got their textbooks in lovesickness.
James stopped when he heard the twins talking to him. "Oh. Hey, girls. What's up?"
"How are you doing today?" Tiana said. "We had some weird dream of us as tiny cars watching a race."
"I'm fine. How about you two?" He looked at them slightly awkward. "Wow, that sounds... interesting."
Milla got her history textbook. "It almost felt real, like real-life memories."
"So, what did you dream last night?" Tiana asked James.
James thought for a minute. "Actually, I did have one that I was a kid playing with toys."
"My gosh!" The twins said. Then the bell rang, meaning it was time for their classes to start.
"I gotta get to class. I'll see you girls later." James began to walk down the hallway.
The twins went to their engineering class when they saw their teacher, Ms. Camilla Rogers, a woman with medium blonde hair, and brown eyes, in her yellow shirt, blue skirt, brown stockings, and her black flats.
"Alright, class," Camilla said while writing on the whiteboard. "I hope you guys had a nice weekend because we're now continuing our history and ideas of electrical engineering. Open your textbooks and go back for page 27."
The class took out their textbooks as Camilla began teaching the day's lesson.
"The first practical application of electricity was the telegraph, invented by Samuel Morse in 1837." Camilla lectured to the class. "40 years later, with the invention of the telephone, came the need for electrical engineers."
"What's next?" Said the twins as they took notes.
"The telephone, along with Edison's incandescent lamp and first central generating plant," she continued. "created a large demand for people trained to work with electricity."
After class, both the girls went to lunch. Tiana got herself a cheeseburger, banana, broccoli, and a carton of milk. Milla got herself a peanut butter and banana sandwich, a red apple, baby carrots, and a box of organic orange juice when they saw James outside the cafeteria.
"Hey, James." They both greeted him as they came over with their food.
Milla looked at James's lunch, which was a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese, a banana, yellow apple, spinach, and a bottle of Vitamin Water. "Is it ok if we sat next to you?"
"Yeah, sure. Go ahead." He nodded, gesturing to the empty seats.
"So how's your family?" Tiana asked as she sipped her milk. "And when did you have that dream about you being a kid with old dolls?" Milla said as she crunched on her apple.
"My mom and sister are doing good." He answered, biting his pizza. "Oh, that was a couple of nights ago."
"Did you meet Jack yet?" Tiana asked as she took a bite of her cheeseburger.
"I heard that he's been in a lot of foster homes," Milla said as she sipped her juice.
He thought for a minute. "No, I don't think I have. But I've read about him in the paper."
"So, how's toy-making class?" Tiana asked as she sipped her milk.
"And how's life?" Milla asked as she munched on the baby carrots.
"It's going well. Except for this guy, Eric. He's mean and tries to ruin my toys." He replied, slightly annoyed. "Fine. Same as always. How about you two?"
The bell starting ringing, meaning it was time for the last period.
"See you guys after class." James picked up his empty tray and left.
Ray and Sarah were watching half of the movie while continuing their discussion.
"If Mal didn't realize what Coraline really gone through, the family could've picked their things quickly and moved back to Michigan," Sarah complained as she drank the water.
"I'm not so sure about that." Ray disagreed. "Sometimes moving isn't that simple. Especially when it's for a job."
"I mean that Mal could've gotten another job in Michigan and move back there." Sarah agreed. "But I agree with your opinion."
"I see what you mean. But I'm sure they must have their reasons."
Then there was a knock at the door.
"Who could that be? I'll be right back." Ray stood up and went to answer the door.
Ray opened the door to reveal Matt with his suitcase and boxes "Hey ya, mate."
"Hey, Matt." Ray greeted him with a smile. "What brings you here?"
"I thought after I helped you with ya car, I thought I might move in with you guys," Matt said cheerfully as he walked to the house.
"I really do appreciate all your help. But why do you want to move in here?" He wondered. "Is something wrong with where you live?"
"I thought I might return the favor by moving in," Matt said. "Your house is almost a mile away to my shop, and my small apartment just got evicted for some reason."
"Oh, that's too bad." Ray looked a little sorry for him. He nodded. "Sure, you can stay here. I think Sarah will be ok with it."
"Oh, I already know." Sarah hushed at Ray in the hallway. "I just paused the movie so I could listen to your conversation. Of course, you can stay. We have 5 guest rooms. I'll show you to your guestroom upstairs."
"Gee, thanks, Sarah. You guys are the best." Matt picked up his stuff and followed her up the stairs.
Sarah took Matt to the biggest room on the 3rd floor. Inside were plain, worn-out brown walls, a medium-size window, and a clean wood floor. "We'll get the cleaning supplies, bed things, paint, and some supplies for the room from the store," Sarah said. "You can come too, Matt. You can pick any bedroom furniture you like, as long it fits your personality and this room."
Matt looked around the room. "That's nice of you, Sarah. But I really don't need much. I like to keep it simple."
"It's ok," Sarah said, getting her purse. "We can do that too."
"I hope I won't be a burden to you guys." He sounded a little unsure.
"Don't worry." Sarah put her purse. "I just saw your moving truck with your stuff from your old apartment arriving at the house." she pointed at the truck.
"Yeah, I told them to come here." He also saw the truck. "I'll make sure it doesn't take too long to bring everything inside."
After setting up Matt's room, he immediately started unpacking his things. "Thanks for letting me stay with you guys. I will love to get along." Matt said to Sarah as he made his bed.
"Its no problem at all." Sarah smiled. "Just make yourself at home. We hope you'll like it here."
After school, Camilla went home to her apartment. She began to grade the class essays on electric engineering when she suddenly saw a page on her coffee table.
She put down the papers and picked up the page, looking at it curiously. It showed a picture of a yellow car racing with a red car.
She looked at the yellow car. It had the same eyes as her. Not only that, but the red car had the same eyes as Ray. Like she knew him before.
Or maybe it was just a coincidence. She shrugged and put the page down on the table, going back to grading the papers.
Both Lorenzo and Leonardo were getting into their uniforms when Lucas, along with his older brother, Charlie, an obese brown-haired, brown-eyed man, came to check on them. "Hey, I've heard about you guys' dreams this morning." Charlie said.
"Yeah, just a couple of weird car dreams." Lorenzo explained. "Almost made us oversleep."
"It was us owning some tire shop in California, and being a pit crew for a racecar." Leonardo added. "What did you guys dream about last night?" He asked Lucas and Charlie.
"I had one where I was a rat, running through a restaurant kitchen." Lucas replied.
"Alright. So Charlie, what did you dream last night?" He asked Charlie.
"I had one where I was a rat, too. With a bunch of other rats. And there was this old lady, shooting and chasing after us."
"My gosh!" Leonardo gasped in shock. "It seems that since Jack came to town, we've got strange memories."
"Jack? You think that he's what's causing these weird dreams?" Charlie looked confused.
Paul came home, fixing up his uniform when he went to the kitchen to see a delicious dinner on the table. Consisting of steak, salad, and freshly baked blueberry pie with a note from Ray.
The note said that he and Sarah had gone out. They had already eaten dinner and saved him some leftovers.
Paul looked proud of himself for having a great family when he saw Matt getting some pie and milk "Hey ya, Paul"
Paul looked slightly surprised. "Oh. Hi, Matt. I didn't expect to see you here."
"Well, I decided to return the favor of fixing Ray's car by moving in." Matt said as he sat down on the table. "So, what do you work for?"
"I see." Paul took off his coat and hung it up. "I'm actually a doctor. I work at the hospital."
"Well, I had this weird dream of me as a tow truck and was in some spy plane with some cars," Matt said as he ate his pie. "What did you dream last night?"
"Wow. That's some dream." Paul joined him at the table with his food. "I had one where I was racing on a dirt road, but then crashed."
"I guess our lives weren't so weird before Jack came into our town." Matt said as he washed his plate. "It felt like we knew each other from some other life."
"I'll admit, he's quite an unusual young man. Things do seem to be changing with him around."
Ray and Sarah were at the Pixfare movie theater watching "Gone with the Wind" when they saw Mason, a young man with curly red hair, freckles, and brown eyes, and Bella, a slender beautiful woman, with short brown hair, violet eyes, and fair skin, who had come to check on them.
"Hey. My girlfriend and I got off work at Ellen's early." Mason said.
"That's cool. Hey, you guys want to see the movie with us?" Ray invited them.
"Sure thing," Bella said as they take their seats with their buttered popcorn, chocolate mint candy, and red and blue slushies "What kind of foods did you get?" She said with her French accent on.
"We got popcorn too," Sarah replied. "Plus a couple of sodas, and some chocolate candies."
"That's cool!" Mason said as he took the popcorn and watch the film
After the movie, it was 6 PM. They said goodbye to each other. The French couple went back to their clean penthouse and sat on the couch with their shoes off.
"Finally, home." Mason said as he lay on the couch pillow "What a fun evening."
"Yeah." Bella nodded. She glanced at Mason and chuckled. "Looks like you're ready for bed."
Bella noticed his gray T-Shirt saying "Paris is life" in gold glitter with an Eiffel Tower on the front, fluffy red baggy sweat pants, and gray socks. She also noticed the smell of Lavender in his hair. "And I guess you already took a shower." She said while she put her clothes in the laundry.
"Yeah. After working all day, I didn't want to smell like the diner." He answered.
"So as I," Bella said as she put on her pink and yellow two-piece PJs. "I mean, that diner smells gross. But Ellen had some crazy dream of her turning to a bear."
"Tell me about it. It's like they never clean that place." He agreed. "Oh, yeah. I heard about that."
"I had that weird dream of me being in Paris and on my motorbike," Bella said as she sat on the couch, picking a movie. "What's in your dream, L'amour?"
"That sounds like a great dream. I had one that I was a fancy kitchen, but I was cooking with a rat."
"It seems since this 'Jack' came to our town three weeks ago," she said as she put on 'Ralph breaks the internet' disc to the DVD player. "Everything is starting to change."
Mason thought about her words for a moment. "You know what, you're right. Until now, we've never had dreams like that."
Meanwhile, at the Van Buren house, they were getting ready for bed when another page sat on Mildred's bed.
She found the page and picked it up, looking at it curiously. "Another one? Where are these coming from?"
James was wearing his red T-shirt, blue sweatpants, and brownish-red socks to bed when he heard a scream coming from across the hall to his sister's bedroom. "I'm coming!"
He rushed to his 12-year-old sister, Melody, a slender, fair-skinned girl with shoulder-length curly blonde hair, blue eyes, and wearing her pink flower nightgown, looking a page.
"Melody, are you alright?" Asked Laurie, a slender woman with brown hair, thin eyebrows, blue eyes, rosy cheeks, pink lips, and wearing her dark blue nightshirt, and green sports shorts, as she came into her room.
"Mom, I found this. It just appeared out of nowhere." She showed them the page. "The people in this picture look like us."
Laurie looked at the page in shock. It was a page of the family at the high school graduation. "This can't be."
"You're right, Mom." James got a look at the page. "I'm still in school. I haven't even graduated yet."
Eric was sitting at Ms. Princeton's class, thinking about what he did, when Carmen Princeton, a purple-headed, black-eyed woman came in.
"Well, looks like it's the longest after school detention you got after you wrecked the toys they were making." she said as she sipped her coffee.
He leaned back against the chair, with his arms crossed. "Hey, give me a break. I was just having a little fun."
"Don't give me that attitude, young man," she said as she sat on her desk and ate her pumpkin pie. "It's your fault that you ended up in detention, and spit that Tripledent watermelon gum out of your mouth to the trash!"
"Yes, ma'am." He rolled his eyes, spit his gum into a wrapper, and tossed it in the trash can.
"My gosh!" Carmen said with a disappointed look. "You cause so much trouble in my toy-making class, bullied a bunch of freshmen, and cheated on your English class, what's leaving no choice but to send you to the office and give you a 5-week-after-school detention. Your parents are very disappointed in you and ground you until you the detentions are done, and take your feet off of the desk!"
Eric put his feet on the floor, annoyed. He was about to speak when he had a flash of toys coming alive. He gasped as he flashed back to reality.
"Holy Moses!" Carmen immediately got off on her desk and quickly ran over him. "Are you alright?!"
"They were after me." He still looked freaked out. "All these toys. They were alive! One of them was talking, and they tried to attack me!"
Tiana and Milla laid on their beds, wearing matching red and green nightgowns, black knee-length socks, and sleeping mask with the name is written on top. Milla was reading her teen magazine weekly, and Tiana was watching some teen videos on YouTube when they saw a page sitting on one of the nightstands.
"Hey, Milla, did you leave this page here?" Tiana asked as she picked it up and looked at it. She looked in shock to see the girls that look like them with McQueen. "Wait a minute. Look at this." She showed her sister the page. "Don't the eyes on these characters look familiar?"
"It's from our dream," Milla said, shocked. "Just like what Hilary told us before Jack arrived."
"Yeah, you're right." Tiana looked at it closer. "I thought it was just some weird car dream."
James sat with his sister trying to comfort her. "There, there, Melody. It's going to be ok."
"Your brother's right, honey." Laurie put her arms around her daughter. "There's nothing to be afraid of."
Melody looked at her brother and mother, wiping her tears. "You're right, guys." she signed "Maybe a bit of rest will help me get better. It's almost 9 pm anyways."
"Good idea." Laurie agreed. "Things will be better after a good night's sleep."
Ray and Sarah were getting ready for bed. Ray was in his red T-shirt, yellow sweatpants, and black socks. Sarah was wearing her light blue nightshirt, dark blue sports shorts, and her green ankle-length socks when she heard Matt screaming in the guestroom.
Sarah rushed upstairs and into the room. "Matt, are you ok? What's wrong?"
"I saw myself as a tow truck again, but this time I just running with some British car and everything was exploding," Matt said, standing up from his desk and rubbing his head.
Sarah sighed in relief. "It's ok, Matt. You were probably just dreaming again."
Derek sat at his office desk, looking over the profiles he kept of everybody in town. He chuckled sinisterly.
Mildred is Lizzie
Marco is Sarge
Rick is Filmore
Lindsey is Flo
Lorenzo is Luigi
Leonardo is Guido
Tiana and Milla are Tia and Mia
Camilla Rogers is Cruz Ramirez
James is Andy
Melody is Molly
Laurie is Mrs. Davis
Charlie is Emile
Mason is Linguini
Bella is Colette
Carmen Princeton is Dolly
Chapter 8: House of Memories
This takes place after the chapter 'Ants Fight Back'.
And thanks to my co-writer Vanessafangirl13 for suggesting this chapter's title
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Felix woke up in his bed, and still thinking about last night and saw that time was 7 AM and decided to take the day off work and just relax. He was wearing his ant pattern pajamas, when he saw his roommate, Halbert, a chubby, blue-eyed man, who was still in his green PJs, getting some leftover apple pie.
"Oh, morning, friend," he said with a German accent. "I thought you go to work at 7 as always."
"Morning, Halbert." Felix turned to face him. "Normally I do, but I'm just gonna take it easy today. I can't stop thinking about last night."
"Really?" Halbert asked. "What happened last night? Wasn't about the town again?"
"Didn't you hear? A huge sinkhole appeared just outside town." Felix explained. "Hilary and I got stuck down there, and then Jack saved us."
"Oh, right." He saw a piece of metal in Felix's pajama shirt pocket as he got himself some milk. "Did you find this robot from the hole?"
Felix looked confused for a moment, but then glanced at his pocket. "Oh, that's just a piece of metal I found. I didn't see any robot."
"Right," Halbert said as he took a bite of his pie. "I had this dream where I was a fat caterpillar, What did you dream about last night?"
Felix looked at him like he wasn't surprised. "I had one where I was an ant, and then there was a swarm of grasshoppers."
Ivanna was in her shop, making the clothes when she saw one of her employees, Rose, a skinny woman with long slicked-back hair, and sapphire eyes enter. "Morning, Ms. Nagasaki."
"Ah, good morning, Rose." She greeted her with a smile. "How are you doing today?"
"Felt a bit tired, but well rested," Rosie said leaning on the counter. "I just had this weird dream last night of me as a spider, and being attacked by some grasshoppers, and in a circus. What happened in your dream last night?"
Ivanna looked surprised. "Sounds like quite a strange dream. Mine was about a bunch of superheroes."
Rose looked at her curiously. "What Clark among them?"
"Actually, yes. He was there." Ivanna felt as if she had read her mind. "He asked me to patch his suit." "Morning, Ivanna," Nadia said walking in the shop. "Hey, Rose, my bestie!"
"Hey, Nadia!" Rose greeted her, excitedly. "How are you?"
"We were just talking about our dreams." Rose explained. "I had a dream when I was a spider, and Ivanna was a superhero designer. What did you dream last night?" She asked.
"Wow. Those sound interesting." She looked amazed. "I had one where I was in some girl's mind and she had to eat broccoli. "
"Oh really?" Rose said. "Was that girl your young niece Riley?"
Nadia thought for a moment. "Actually, the dad in the dream did call her 'Riley'."
"And what did this man look like?" Ivanna asked.
"Well, he had dark brown hair, light skin, a mustache, and brown eyes." Nadia described.
"Well, who were the others in the mind?" Rose questioned, "Let me guess, your sister-in-law, Audrey, you're big brother, Frederick, that depressing college student, Mindy, and principal Lewis from the elementary school?"
Nadia was about to answer, but then stopped. "Actually, yes. You must be psychic."
"Guess I am," Rose said. "So we better get to work on the dresses for the customers."
"That's right, girls." Ivanna clapped her hands. "Time to get to work and open the shop."
At the Pixfare hockey rink, the owners, Luke, a slender, fair-skinned man with dark brown hair and mustache, and brown eyes, and Jenny, a slender, fair-skinned woman with a long ponytailed brown hair, brown eyes, and red-framed glasses, were eating breakfast when Luke read the newspaper saying "Jack Becomes New Town Deputy" on the cover.
"Looks like this man got the job with the mayor's wife, huh, sweetie?"
"Yeah, I guess so." She noticed the paper's headline. "Although I'm not sure that Derek will be happy about this."
"What happened in your dream last night, honey?" Luke asked Jenny.
"It was about us moving to a new house with our daughter." She replied.
"You mean Audrey and Freddy's child, Riley?" He asked.
"Now that you mention it. She did look a lot like Riley."
"I know you wanted a child in all the years we've been married," Luke said sadly. "But we have to accept our job. After all, we see Riley in our rink some days and talk to her a lot, as if she's our own."
"Yeah, I have." She also looked a little sad, and then nodded. "Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm glad that we get to see her a lot. Sometimes I even imagine that she's our child."
Felix put on his blue polo shirt, black jeans, green loafers, and his glasses on. Halbert was in his yellow and green shirt, red pants, and some German shoes, and sat on the couch drinking green tea, and watching there old childhood movie "Robots" on the DVD player.
"Man, Rodney had his plan all figured out." Felix said as he sipped some tea. "I know." Halbert agreed. "That little bot of his was working perfectly."
"This movie was my inspirational becoming a psychologist." Felix recalled his memory when they were children "That Fender guy reminds me of when we used to prank on the old ladies lawn"
"Oh really? I didn't know that. Yeah, he is pretty funny. It's hard to imagine you as a prankster."
"Too bad. Like Rodney, I was already focused on my studies" Felix said. "Those pranks were funny when we were 5."
"I remember you always were a good student. Yeah, they were. Then we had to grow up."
"I have to admit," Felix said happily. "Hilary did said that our memories are 'cursed memories', but she's like Cappy, who was always a great skilled woman."
"I agree." Halbert nodded. "She's pretty brave and smart for a girl her age. What do you mean 'cursed memories'?"
"Well, she said that we're under a curse, and her father replace our 'original memories' with fake ones" Felix explained.
"You believe that?" Halbert chuckled. "Sometimes kids have the wildest imaginations."
At Ivana's Fashion Boutique, Natalie came in "Buenos Dias, Señorita Nagasaki. Hola Nadia, and hey Rose. I'm here!" Natalie sometimes snuck out to her favorite boutique shop to try on some dresses and any new clothing she can find and buy.
"Hi, Natalie!" Rose and Nadia both greeted her, excitedly.
"How are you doing today?" Ivanna asked.
"I'm just wondering if you can measure my size, and make the perfect outfit for me," Natalie said excitedly "Because I'm going to Michael's performance of the play Carmen!"
"Oh, I would love to!" Ivanna gave a wide smile. "That sounds like fun. Carmen's one of my favorites."
"We'll all go to the dressing room and get started," Nadia said as she hold Natalie's hand to the dressing room along with Rose "You get the measuring tape, Ms. Nagasaki," Rose said as she followed the two girls to the room.
Ivanna grabbed the measuring tape from her office and entered the dressing room. "Now just hold still." She instructed Natalie as she began to measure her and wrote down each size. Nadia got two pieces of silk. "So... which color you want to pick? Green or Red?"
Natalie looked at the two pieces, thinking. "Hmm, I like this red one."
"Sure thing, " Naida said. " Which shade of red you want? Indian Red or Crimson Red?"
This one was a tougher decision. "Let's see. I pick... the crimson."
"So what did you dream about last night?" Rose asked Natalie as she measured her legs.
"I was at this party where I was playing the violin, and Michael was singing and playing guitar," Natalie explained. "Our family was there too."
"Was your older brother, Albert, there too? What did he play?" Nadia questioned as she found the part for the tips.
"And what ghost did you see?" Rose asked as she measures Natalie's arms.
"Yes. He was playing the accordion. How did you know that?" Natalie looked at her confused. "Ghosts? I didn't see any ghosts." "I'm just guessing." Rose said. "I'm just joking."
"Well, in that case," Nadia said as she found three strings. "Which tip will you like your dress to be? Gold, Silver, or Bronze?"
"Oh." This one was an even tougher choice. They each looked pretty against the red. "Let's do silver."
"Great choice." Nadia said. "Now for the sleeves." said Rose as she picks the right color and shade of fabric. "Pagoda sleeve, Bracelet sleeve, or cap sleeve?"
"Hmm. I like the cap sleeves. That pagoda one looks too hot."
"Cap it is." Nadia said as she gets to coth. "Do you want the Pink or the Purple?"
"I want pink. It's one of my favorite colors." Natalie pointed to her color choice.
"Good." Naida said. "Which shade of pink would you like? Ruby Pink, Hot Pink, Rose Pink, or Magenta Pink?"
"Wow, so many choices. Um... I pick the rose pink."
"Great choice." Naida said happily as she got the clothes ready. "Alright gals, let's get started!" She announced.
"Finally." Natalie sighed, glad that she was done having to make hard choices.
1 hour later, the girls were adding the finishing touches on the dress.
"And add on tons of sparkly diamonds all over." Nadia announced as Rose added the tips on the sleeves and dress.
"Oh, no, that's ok. I don't need any diamonds." Natalie politely refused. "I don't want to distract anyone from the performance."
"We understand." Ivanna said finishing the V shape on the back of the dress with the silver tips. "We're almost done."
"Thanks for doing this, guys." Natalie smiled. "I sure hope my family will like it."
"Ok, it's done" Rose announced. "You can open your eyes in front of our big mirror now."
Natalie opened her eyes and gasped at seeing the dress. "Wow! It's beautiful! I love it!" "You can turn around to see the rest of the dress, Niña," Ivanna said as she put away her supplies and sewing machine.
Natalie turned around and did a little twirl. "You guys did a great job. It's perfect."
"Now, that'll be 32 American dollars or in Mexican 45 pesos," Nadia said as she reached out her hand.
"It's ok. My parents taught me about American money." Natalie reached into her purse and gave Ivanna the right amount of dollars.
"Gracias, Mija," Ivanna said as she put the dress in the big paper-thin green bag with the shop's logo on it "Have a nice day!"
"Thanks. You guys, too!" Natalie took the bag and left the shop.
After that, Evelyn arrived. "Hey gals. Just taking the day off work to check if the dress I requested was done already."
"Hi, Evelyn." Nadia and Rose both greeted.
"Ah, yes, Evelyn. I just finished your dress last week," added Ivanna.
"I'll find it," Nadia said she looked for the dress. "So what did you dream about last night, gal?" She questioned.
"I dreamt that I was a robot on a spaceship, with a bunch of other robots," Evelyn explained. "I don't know where that came from."
"And what happened in that dream?" Rose questioned.
"They were chasing me all over the ship. And I had this little plant in a shoe."
"And was Walter with you?" Rose said. Luckily it's a small town, so everyone knew each other.
"No, I don't think so. But there was this other robot with me. It had goggle eyes and a cube-shaped body." "Well, here's your dress," Nadia announced, holding Evelyn's requested dress. A medium-length sheath white dress, with light blue tips, and a black layer on the bottom. "The dress of your dreams."
Evelyn's face lit up and she smiled at seeing the dress. "Oh my goodness! It's beautiful! It turned out better than I thought it would."
"You're welcome." Nadia said "It'll be $12.99 please," she said as she reached her hand for the money.
Evelyn reached into her purse, pulled out her wallet, and handed Nadia the money.
"Thank you," Nadia said as she gave her the same bag with the dress. "Have a good day."
"You too. Bye." Evelyn took the bag and left the store.
At Pixfare University, Mindy was reading 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part: 1' when she saw her roommate, Sam, a skinny, light brown-haired, dark-eyed men, coming in.
"Hey." She greeted him, glancing up from her book.
"Just wanted to check you, plus our classes just closed and canceled due to an outrage today," Sam said as he sat on this bed. "It was also lucky because I had this weird dream of me as some stick insect in a circus!" He cheerfully said as he got his iPhone "What did you dream last night?"
"Really? What was the outrage about?" She wondered, putting her book down. "Wow. In mine, it was me and Audrey in a maze with some pink elephant creature."
"My gosh," he said. "What happened in your dream? What does that maze looked like?" "We were trying to get to someplace called Headquarters." She explained. "It had shelves full of colored orbs."
"Jeez," Sam said. "Maybe a Twilight movie might get your mind off of that dream," he said as he had the Twilight: Eclipse DVD in his hands
"Well, that's why I'm reading this. But thanks anyway."
Meanwhile, Felix and Halbert saw the clock read 11 AM and got some chicken subs for lunch, when Patty and Danielle came to visit. "Hey, Felix!" Danielle waved her tiny hand.
"Hey, Dani!" Felix waved back. "Hi, Patty."
"We're just here for a visit," Patty said as she sat on the couch. "Your house looks wonderful."
"Thanks. You guys want to have lunch with us?" Felix offered.
"Sure thing," Patty said cheerfully.
"Yay, chicken sandwiches!" Danielle said, even at five years old, she had a love for anything that automatically became her favorite.
Felix went into the kitchen and cut his sandwich into thirds, giving a piece to both girls.
"So girls," Halbert said as he took a bite of his sub. "I had this dream where I was a fat caterpillar. What did you girls dream about last night?"
"Cool," Danielle replied. "I had a dream that I was an ant and these grasshoppers tried to catch me. It was scary."
"So what was in your dream, Patty?" Felix asked as he sipped his water.
"I was an ant, too. But I was part of what looked like a circus trick for an audience of grasshoppers."
"Interesting," Felix said as he ate the last of the sandwich. "Just a couple of weeks ago, Audrey had that same problem, but she was tiny and in someone's mind. I secretly think about Hilary's book and about us as characters from her book."
"Really?" Patty looked intrigued. "Seems like a lot of us are having strange dreams lately." "We never had dreams like these before Jack came to our town," Halbert said, eating his final half of the sandwich. "It's only been 3 weeks since then."
"Not only that," added Felix. "But also the clock tower started moving again the day after he decided to stay here."
"And people started aging too." Danielle chimed in. "Glad that clock is moving because I'm so excited for Hilary and Jack." She had an obsession with Hilary's story.
"Yeah, it's good that they like spending time together." Felix nodded, smiling. "Hilary does seem happier with him around."
Natalie saw her clock read 2 PM, and her calendar showing it was Wednesday, September 6th, and Michael's performance is on the 8th this Friday at 5:30 PM. She was checking her list on her perfect outfit for his performance then heard a knock from her door then she quickly hid the list under the bed. "Come in."
Michael opened the door, holding his guitar in his other hand. "Hey, Natalie. Wanna play some music with me?"
"Sure thing," Natalie said she grabbed her violin, happily. "We'll ask Tia Angela, my brothers Albert, Jimmy, and Juan to play with us."
"Cool!" Micheal smiled, excited. "It's even more fun when we all play together."
Albert, an overweight black-haired, brown-eyed man, was finishing his homework, and his father Diego, an obese brown-haired, brown-eyed man was reading the newspaper in the dining room, when Michael and Natalie came in.
"Hey, Albert, do you wanna play music with us?" Michael asked. "Sure thing, guys," Albert said, getting his accordion.
"I'll ask your Tío Henry and Tío Joaquin too join you with their trumpets."
"That'd be great, Papa." Natalie smiled. "Thanks."
When Rose got home, it was only 2:14 PM. She changed out of her work uniform which was a red Polo shirt with a name tag and brown khaki pants. She was gonna get her phone when she saw a page sitting on her bed and decided to take a look. She picked up the page, which showed a picture of a group of bugs. Rose wondered where the page could've come from.
Rose then saw her spider like-self in her vanity mirror and then walked back to the walls.
"That was weird." She thought to herself. "How could a spider have gotten in here?"
Nadia put on her green T-Shirt and purple sports shorts when she stood in front of her mirror and saw her greenish self from her dreams.
She gasped in shock and backed away from the mirror. "Wow. Those dreams must be messing with my head."
Michael, Natalie, and the rest of the family finished their 5-minute music performance
"Bravo" Edward said clapping his hands
"That's amazing!" Lucy said happily
Mina squealed excitedly in her highchair and clapped.
Diego clapped his hands in cheerfulness and did a grito.
"Love it!" Gabriella cheered and clapped with a cheerful smile. "What a great performance!" Angela, Henry, Joaquin, and the kids took a bow as their audience applauded.
"Well, you can put your instruments away," Maria said from the kitchen, cooking. "Because the lemon and Tajin Carne Asada lunch is almost done!" She announced. "Bring the drinks and napkins."
"Sounds great, Abuela." Natalie put away her violin.
"Yeah, I'm getting hungry." Added Michael.
Ivanna went home to check her identity identification before coming in. "Name?" A female computer said.
"Ivanna de Lafayette Nagasaki" she replied.
"Identification verified." The computer responded.
The door opens to reveal her beautiful indoor mansion, then when to the surveillance room.
"Check on Susan and Barry," she said.
Two of the screens showed images of both of the kids in their rooms. Susan was doing her homework on the Nazi era in Germany, and Barry was at his desk doing his homework on the muscle body from PE.
She pressed the button. "Ask the kids for some snacks" she requested.
"Barry, Susan, would you kids like some snacks? " the computer voice asked in both rooms.
"I'll have some cheese and crackers and some water" Susan said
"I'll have some red apple slices, baby carrots, and some milk" Barry
"Requests acknowledged." The computer responded and brought their orders to Ivanna.
Ivanna then put the request to the kitchen. The snacks were then prepared and sent up to the respective rooms.
"Thanks," both Susan and Barry said.
"You're welcome," Lucas replied and then headed back down to the kitchen.
Nadia was having some leftover chicken pizza for lunch when she saw a page sitting on her table. She picked it up and looked at it, curiously. There was a picture that showed the same characters she saw in her dream. Naida couldn't keep that dream of her tiny self out of her head. It was crazy to think that maybe in another life she was someone's emotion.
The Hernandezes are having a great lunch and talking about their dreams. "...and this skinny skeleton man was with me at some concert with some skeletons," Michael said. "Anyone else?" He said he ate a bite of the chicken.
"I dreamt I was a skeleton," Angela spoke up. "You, Henry and Joaquin were there, too. We were in some kind of office and saw Ms. Cordwain beating up a computer."
"Awesome!" Michael said drinking some water. "Natalie, what did you dream last night?" He asked.
"I had one where you, Albert and I were playing together with the whole family." She answered.
"Alright" Michael agreed "Abuela?"
"I dreamt that you and I were at this large ofrenda," Maria explained. "and I was explaining the importance of family and putting up the photos."
"Well, it's about our ethnicity," Natalie said, drinking some coke. "I mean we don't have a large ofrenda."
"Papa?" Michael asked his father. "what happened in your dream?"
"Well, mine was more like a nightmare," Edward replied. "You ran away and we searched everywhere, but couldn't find you."
"That's horrible!" Angela said in shock.
"What happened in your dream, Mama?" Michael asked.
"The same thing happened in mine." Lucy started getting emotional. "I've never been so scared."
"Cálmese Lucy, Cálmese." Edward tried to comfort his wife.
"Tío Henry, Tío Joaquin, do you have any dreams?" Natalie asked.
"Yes. We actually had the same dream." Henry started.
"That we snuck into some big show" Joaquin continued. "with a bunch of Frida Khalo look-alikes."
"My gosh!" Michael said shocked. "Albert? What was in your dream?"
"I was polishing shoes, and one of them got stuck in the ceiling." He explained. "Then it fell and hit me on the head."
Milla cooed, waiting for some food.
"Oh, are you hungry too, Mija?" Lucy faced her daughter's high chair. "Ok." She stood up to get her a bottle.
"Ok," Michael said taking a last bite of his lunch. "Tío Diego? What dream did you have?"
"I was in a plaza with Mama and Natalie. Then we found you with a mariachi, and Mama got mad and him."
"I don't remember seeing any mariachi," Michael said in suspicion, putting away his plate. "It seems that everybody has had these strange dreams since Jack came to town."
"You know what, you're right." Angela thought about it. "There have been a few changes since he got here."
Natalie decided to go to Ms. Cordwain to try some shoes. "Bye guys." she trying to make up a lie and excuse to get out of here. "Just going for a walk."
"Don't stay out too late, Mija" Diego warned her. "And be careful crossing the streets."
"I will, Papa" Natalie then left the house.
Ms. Cordwain was making some boots when she saw Natalie coming in the shop.
"Buenas Tardes, Señorita Cordwain."
The older woman looked at her visitor in surprise. 'Rosa, Mija!' She wanted to say but didn't. "Buenas Tardes, Natalie. How can I help you?" "I just wanted you to help me measure and design the shoes for Michael's performance of Carmen at school this Friday." Natalie said.
"Why, I'd be happy to. Come, have a seat." Ms. Cordwain gestured to the stool and then grabbed her measuring tape.
"I had this weird dream last night about me, Michael, and my brother, Albert playing with our family," Natalie said. "What happened in your dream last night?" she questioned.
"That sounds nice." Ms. Cordwain began to measure the girl's foot. "I dreamt that I was flying through a city on a colorful jaguar." She explained, keeping her cover.
"Oh, so cool," Natalie said. "You were a skeleton in a purple dress and black high heel boots," she said.
"Actually, yes." She looked at her, surprised. "How did you know that?"
"Just guessing," Natalie said.
Ms. Cordwain was finding the right type of shoes to design "Which sho do you want? Flats, Sandals, Wedges, Mules, or Court shoes?"
"I think I'll go with the flats. They're more comfortable." Natalie chose.
"Great choice." Ms. Cordwain said as she was finding some construction paper and fabric for the shoes. "Which type of flats do you like? Ballet flats, Moccasins, work flats, or nude flats?"
"Hmm," Natalie tried to decide. "I pick the ballet flats."
"Good idea." Ms. Cordwain said. "Do you want with ankle straps or no straps?"
"Let's go without the straps." "Alright then," Ms. Cordwain said as she was finding some texture. "Do you want the texture to be Leather, Cotton, Rubber, or Foam?"
"I think leather would be best."
"Sure thing," Cordwain said happily as she was finding leather "Which one? Patent leather, Shell cordovan, Calfskin, or Kangaroo leather?"
"Wow, so many choices." Natalie didn't really know much about the type of leather. "Uh, I'm not sure. Whichever material is the best one."
"Patent Leather it is," Cordwain said. "What color would you like? Black, pink, purple, or brown?"
"I choose pink." Natalie decided. "That'll go with my red dress."
"Sure thing," Cordwain said happily. "Where did you get that red dress? And do you want a bow on your shoes or not?"
"Oh, I got it from Ivana's Fashion Boutique," Natalie replied. "Nah, I think they're fine without bows."
"Alright. Let's get started."
"Awesome!" Natalie smiled. "I know my family's gonna love my new shoes."
6 minutes later, Ms. Cordwain was making the finishing touches on the shoes when Michael came in.
"So this is where you snuck out to?" He said.
Both women turned and gasped at seeing the boy.
"Michael! How did you find me?" Natalie asked. "I just came here for my shoes," Michael explained. "But then I followed my Xolo dog, Manolo." Beside him was a Xolo dog with his red collar and leash.
'Of course, that dog is here too.' Ms. Cordwain thought to herself. "What kind of shoes would you like, Michael?" "Um...my shoes?" Natalie said pointing to the half-finished shoes.
"I can sit here and wait," Michael said as he sat on the stool next to Natalie and Manolo sat on the floor.
"Yes, of course. I'm sorry." Ms. Cordwain went back to working on Natalie's shoes.
1 Minute Later
"...and Ta-Da!" Ms. Cordwain announced. "Take a look, Rosa- I mean Natalie," she said trying to cover up.
"Wow!" Natalie stood up in amazement. "They look so cool. Gracias."
"De nada." Ms. Cordwain excitedly said "You're turn, Michael, and Natalie That'll be $52"
Natalie reached into her purse and gave her the money.
Ms. Cordwain took the money then put the shoes in a brown shoebox with the shop's logo on the top "Here your shoes, Mjia. Now go sit down while you wait for your Primo." she said. "Michael, your turn."
Natalie did as she was told and sat by Manolo. There was something about the woman that reminded Natalie of her Abuela, but she didn't know what.
Michael sat on the stool. "So which kinds of shoes do you like?" Ms. Cordwain questioned. "Loafers, Boots, Oxford shoes, Blüchers, or Brogue shoes?"
Michael thought for a moment and then decided. "I'd like a pair of boots."
"Great choice." Ms. Crowind said. "Do you want Foam, Kangaroo skin, Brown or Black leather?"
"I like the brown leather." Michael chose.
"Alright then. Let's get started on your shoes." Ms. Cordwain said getting the supplies.
"Yay!" Michael cried, excitedly.
It had been 8 minutes, and Ms. Cordwain was making the finishing touches on Michael's shoes.
Natalie looked at her thinking that she knew her from before, and noticed she called her 'Rosa'. 'Where have I heard that name before?'
"...and Done!" Ms. Cordwain announced. "Look at the shoes, Miguel - I mean Michael!" She said.
"Wow, those look amazing!" Michael smiled, but then looked at her confused. "Did you just call me 'Miguel'?"
"Sorry, Chico." Ms. Cordwain apologized. 'Oops, gotta keep a low profile, or Derek would find out.' she thought. "I'll get the shoes ready to go! It'll be $93 por favor."
"It's ok." Michael let it go and took out his wallet. 'Probably just a mistake. It happens.' He thought.
Then the shoes were packed and ready to go. "Here you go. Have a nice afternoon, Niños."
Michael paid for the shoes and then took the box. "Gracias. You too." He took Manolo by the leash and left the store with Natalie.
Andrew was looking at the family album when Riley came in. "Hey, Mom. Just wondering if you know how's everything." Riley said.
"Oh, hi honey." Audrey turned to face her. "Everythings fine. Just looking at some old pictures."
"Well, awesome." Riley joined her Mother on the table. "Oh, I remember this one, what a crazy time" she pointed at the picture of to 6-year-old girls a-bit dirty on the 1st day of school, one was blonde with pigtails, and wearing pink overalls, and the other girl was brown-haired with a Ponytail, and a purple dress. "That's when Hilary and I met."
Flashback: September 12th, 2013
The van pulled out of the driveway. "Alright, Riley." 21-year-old Audrey announced to six-year-old Riley as they arrived at the elementary school. "Your first day of 1st grade."
Riley looked out the window, nervous. "Do I have to, Mommy? I won't know anybody there."
"Aww don't worry, Honey," Audrey said getting out of the car along with 21-year-old Freddy "You're gonna make some new friends," she said.
"You want us to walk you to Ms. Richards' class?" Freddy asked.
Riley nodded, not wanting to get lost in such a big place.
Finally, they reached Ms. Richards' class and saw her. "Welcome, Riley. I'm Ms. Richards, I'm gonna be your teacher." She bent down to Riley's eye level. "Say hi, honey." Audrey nudged Riley, who tried to hide behind her leg. "Hi." Riley shyly greeted her teacher. "Well, you can sit next to Hilary." Ms. Richards said bringing the girl to her desk next so six-year-old Hilary. "I'll make sure to make you feel welcome, even for an autistic person" she then had a welcoming smile. "Thanks." Riley smiled and sat at the desk. Ms. Richards patted her back and headed back to her own desk. Riley's parents and the teacher were discussing the rules, restrictions, their understandings of Riley and the class for 2 minutes, then they were ready to leave
"Bye, Honey, see you after school, we might go to Ellen's for dinner to celebrate," Audrey said happily
"Yay! Bye Mommy, bye, Daddy." Riley waved to them.
Riley then turned to the brown-haired, brown-eyed girl reading 'Cinderella'. "Hey, Cinderella is one of my favorites too!" She pointed at the book.
Hilary looked up at the blonde girl beside her. "Really? It's a great story, isn't it?"
"Umm... Thanks" the brown-haired girl said, "I'm Hilary." She said shyly taking out her right hand
"I'm Riley." She shook the other girl's hand.
"Alright Class" Ms. Richards "Welcome to 1st grade, Let us introduce ourselves, I'm Ms. Laura Reed Richards"
"Hi, Ms. Richards." The class said all together.
"Now, students" Ms. Richards smiled. "Let's introduce ourselves."
Hilary spoke up and everyone turned to face her. "My name's Hilary." "Ah... the Mayor's kid." Ms. Richards said.
"I'm Riley Sanders Madison," Riley said "I've had autism spectrum disorder since I was 2 years old. I'm somewhere in the middle."
"Thank you for sharing that with us, Riley." Ms. Richards slightly nodded with a smile.
"Now class, for our first day of school" Laura Reed said happily while writing on the whiteboard. "We can do a worksheet about ourselves. I'll get the copies from the office." She began to head for the door. "I'll be right back, so I want everyone to behave." She opened the door and went out into the hall.
"So Hilary, what's your favorite food? Mine is Pizza." Riley questioned looking at her own Beauty and the Beast book
"I like pizza too." Hilary glanced at Riley's book.
Riley was about to ask another question when someone threw a piece of clay at her hair.
"Hahaha, autistic kid!" the bully said.
"Hey, leave Riley alone!" Hilary said angrily and she threw a piece of clay at the bully.
"CLAY FIGHT!!" The kids said.
"Oh, my gosh!" Ms. Richards entered the classroom with the papers, shocked to see the kids throwing clay at each other. "Everybody, stop!!"
"Well, that bully threw a piece of clay to Riley, and called her autistic kid," Hilary explained. "He made her sad."
"Is that so?" Laura Reed turned to face the bully, arms crossed. "That was not very nice. I told you to behave."
"I'm sorry." the bully said sadly. "I'm in trouble, am I? That means the principal's office?"
"I'm afraid so." Laura Reed nodded and spoke in a firm voice. "We do not start fights, throw things, or call each other names."
"Ok, kids" Laura Reed sighed softly before turning to the bully. "You get clean up, while I take Lola to the principal's office."
"Yes, Ms. Richards." The kids agreed and then began to clean up the classroom.
"And as for you, Lola" Laura Reed looked at Lola angrily. "We're going to Principal Lewis's office."
As they left, the class was just about finished cleaning the room.
"Hilary, thanks for sticking up for me." Riley slightly smiled.
"You're welcome, Riley" they both laughed.
End of Flashback
Riley glanced back to the photo. "I'm glad Hilary helped and stood up for me," she told her mom.
"See, your dad and I knew that you would make a friend." Audrey smiled and touched Riley's shoulder.
"Come on, Mom" Riley laughed. "You met her after school ended when I asked her for a playdate."
"Oh, yeah, that's right. Silly me." Audrey giggled. "I remember how excited you were."
Felix was fixing dinner when he saw a page of some ants he had seen in his dream.
Halbert is Heimlich the caterpillar
Rose is Rosie the black widow spider
Sam is Slim the stick bug
Luke and Jenny ar Riley Anderson's parents
Manolo is Dante
Albert is Abel
Diego is Berto
Chapter 9: The Talent Show
This chapter is set after 'Escaping Nomanisan'
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The town started lots of rumors about Andrea's disappearance.
"I'd heard that Andrea died from food poisoning," Michael said suspiciously to Susan.
"Really?" She looked unsure. "Don't you think these rumors are getting out of control."
"I mean last night. Andrea just quit without a clue," Michael said.
"Well, she probably had her reasons." Susan shrugged. "Maybe she found another job."
"...Or maybe she was killed in a car crash and the cameras were down by the time of a death" He suggested.
Susan looked slightly shocked. "Oh no. What if this ends up in the newspaper?"
"Guess all those rumors ended up in the newspaper," Michael said holding the newspaper reading EX-DEPUTY, AND MAYOR'S WIFE OF PIXFARE, QUITS UNEXPECTEDLY on the headline with a picture of young Andrea and the family.
"I guess so." Susan looked at the paper. "I wonder if either Jack will be sheriff now, or someone else will."
"He MIGHT be sheriff," Michael said "this had been the 23rd time this week"
"That's true." She nodded. "And he has been pretty good at his deputy job."
"Let's just forget about that," Michael said hopefully "It's Friday, and tonight's the school talent show. I'm going to perform a guitar version of Carmen" he said, "What's your performance or talents for the talent show?"
"That sounds cool." Susan gave a little smile. "Oh. I don't really think I have any talents."
"Come on, Amiga," Michael said to Susan. "You're good at literature, so you might play the most famous scene from one of your favorite stories and act it out."
Susan thought about his suggestion for a moment. "Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. I could do some poetry from Edgar Allan Poe."
"¡Gran elección, amiga!" Michael said excitedly, he was always excited for talent shows and performances because of the music. "That's a great choice. You know, it's never too late to sign up, in fact, it's the school's last chance to sign up before tonight!"
"Thanks. You're right." Susan started feeling more confident. She stood up. "In fact, I'm gonna go sign up right now."
At Pixfare Elementary, Ms. Richards' class was talking about the Andrea rumors.
"Looks like you made your foster mom remember who she is," Riley suggested as she looked for her textbook.
"I guess I did." Hilary agreed. "Actually, I just showed her what happened in the story. Andrea told me that she started to remember after she kissed Jack."
"Looks like step one of finding Pixar memories is done," Riley said getting her notebook. It had a list of the steps for bringing back people's memories and defeating Syndrome. "Who knows who Jack will go to next." she sounded unsure.
"Yeah. Our plan is off to a good start." Hilary nodded, glancing at the notebook. "Well, I'm hoping that since he lives with Ms. Richards, maybe she'll remember."
"Quick, get the textbooks!" Barry warned the class. "Ms. Richards is coming in 2 minutes. I repeat we need to get the books before she gets here!"
The class quickly hurried to their seats. Riley put away her notebook and Hilary hid her storybook. Everyone took out their textbooks just as the door opened.
"Hey, Guys." Audrey came to the classroom. "Your regular teacher had gone under the weather and had to stay in bed today, so I'm your substitute teacher this Friday!!"
Riley looked shocked when she saw her mother enter the room. "My mom is gonna be our teacher today?" She whispered, nervously.
"Yes, daughter" Audrey said happily to Riley. "It's Mrs. Madison Sanders to the class, sweetie."
Using her book, Riley covered her face in embarrassment and slid into her chair.
"Alright, according to your teacher's request" Audrey looked at the paper of requests from the teacher. "We're gonna watch the movie 'Rio', and I'll get the popcorn and water at the office."
Riley sat up and sighed in relief. "Good, a movie. At least it'll be an easy day in class today."
"Even on a Friday," Hilary whispered excitedly. "Now when the movie plays, we get my storybook and cover it up with the textbook so she's doesn't notice what we're up to."
"Great idea." Riley smiled, whispering back. "But let's try not to make it too obvious."
Meanwhile, Laura Reed was home in bed, wearing her green nightgown, sneezing, and coughing. Jack came in holding a breakfast tray with her chicken noodle soup, orange juice, her liquid coffee, medicine, and a glass of water.
"Sorry about your fever," he said.
"It's ok. Thank you." She took the tray and set it in her lap. "I sure hope my class is gonna be ok with their sub. AHH-COO!" Laura Reed sneezed into a tissue. "My fever was 100° degrees today."
Jack brought over a glass of orange juice and set it beside the water. "Here you go. Drinking lots of fluids will help cool you down."
"Thanks, Jack." Laura Reed said sickly with a sore throat. "How's the deputy sheriff job?"
"It's going well." He sat in a chair beside the bed. "Though not much has been happening lately."
"Not since Andrea left?" Lurra Reed questioned as she ate the soup.
"Nah, just non-emergency stuff." He shrugged. "But Derek is still not happy about her quitting."
"The newspaper just came in this morning." Laura Reed said, giving Jack the newspaper.
He took the paper and read the headline. "Wow. News really travels fast in this town."
"It looks like Olga had heard about everything in Pixfare," she said as she took her medicine.
"Yeah. Or most likely she even heard it from Derek himself." Jack commented. "Just wondering." Laura Reed said as she sipped her water. "When's your birthdate?" She asked.
"It's October 3rd," Jack replied. "Why do you ask?"
"I'm just asking," She said
At Pixfare Middle School, both Susan and Michael were in the hallway, chatting.
"... care the plague it was the beating of his Hideous Heart." Susan said practicing dramatically.
"Wow. That was amazing." Michael applauded smiling.
"Thanks, Michael," Susan said putting the scrap in her backpack. "I just had this dream about me with Barry in some cave last night." She signed.
"Oh really?" Michael looked intrigued. "We're you guys hiking in the woods?"
"Well, it was on some island, but then a rocket was about to come through and we made it out alive," Susan explained. "What happened in your dream last night?" She asked.
"Wow. That sounds exciting." Michael looked surprised. "I dreamt that I was stuck in a sinkhole with a skeleton man."
"Really?" Susan said suspiciously. "What did that skeleton man looked like?"
"Well, he had black hair and a goatee, magenta eyes, and a gold tooth." Michael described.
"And what did he wear?" Susan asked.
Michael thought for a moment. "He was wearing a straw hat, a torn-up indigo jacket with one sleeve, a red tie, suspenders, and torn-up light brown pants. He was also barefoot."
"Hey, guys" Natalie came down the hallway to Susan and Michael. "What's going on?"
"Hey, prima." Michael turned to face her. "We were just talking about our dreams from last night."
"Really? What happened in your dreams?" Natalie questioned. "and second, but are you guys' talents?"
"My brother and I were in some island cave." Susan began.
"I was stuck in a sinkhole with a skeleton man," Michael added.
"OMG, that's so crazy!" Natalie was surprised.
"What happened in your dream, Cousin?" Michael asked.
"I dreamt that you were playing guitar and singing to this really old woman in a wheelchair," Natalie explained. "Our whole family was watching."
"¡Dios Mio! Me too!" Michael was shocked "I felt like we know this grandmother before."
"Yeah, I kinda felt that too." Natalie agreed. "The dream almost made me cry."
"BTW, Susan, I heard you just signed up for the talent show tonight," Natalie said, "I thought that after school, I'll take you to the best Fashion Boutique in all of Pixfare!"
"Yeah. I'm gonna recite some poetry." Susan nodded. "Oh. Thanks, but you don't have to do that."
"I know your adopted aunt works there." Natalie said, "We can keep the goth look, and the boutique has them too!" She explained.
"It does?" Susan very rarely went to Ivanna's Boutique. "Well, a Goth outfit would go with my theme. Ok, sure."
"Yeah. After all, it's Friday!" Michael said excitedly "I'm so excited for the weekend!"
"I know! Me too!" The girls both agreed, also excited.
"Besides, the talent show it's coming up tonight!" Michael said as he put his textbooks in his locker. "I'm wearing my red mariachi suit for my performance."
"I know. I can't wait." Susan smiled. "Cool. I bet that'll go great with your guitar."
"I can't wait for tonight!" Natalie replied. "Our family is gonna love watching you perform."
While the class was watching half the movie, it was around 9, and Riley and Hilary were secretly looking at the checkbook and a plan.
"Thank goodness no one sees us working on the plan" Riley whispered as she wrote something down to checkbook.
"I know." Hilary agreed. "The last thing I want is to get caught and have my dad find out what we're doing."
"Yeah, and we would be grounded and never see each other again," Riley replied, whispering as she finished writing and turned the page in Hilary's book to the Inside Out story.
"Tell me about it." Hilary looked worried. "That's why I hope to try to break the curse as soon as possible."
"Yeah, that sooner or later, I can reunited with Luke and Jenny, my REAL parents," Riley said pointing to the page where Riley and the family were having fun on the ice rink.
"I'm sure they'll love to have you back." Hilary smiled, also looking at the page. "So would your Emotions."
"I've seen them many times in my hockey practice," Riley said.
"Maybe that will help them remember you and themselves," Hilary said hopefully.
Flashback, 3 weeks ago, September 30th
Hilary got to the bus station with Riley on the walkie-talkie. "Operation returning Pixar memories is a go," she said to Riley while she was under the covers Whispering so she doesn't wake her up these days.
"Got Ms. Richards' credit card?" Riley whispered.
"Yeah, it's safe in my pocket." Hilary nodded. "I'm gonna find my real dad and bring him to Pixfare."
"Got the book?" Riley questioned, "I mean it's still 1:13 in the afternoon, and the clock hadn't changed since the 90s."
"Of course. It's here in my backpack." Hilary assured her. "Yeah, I know. Don't worry. Things are gonna change when my real dad comes to town."
The bus soon arrived at the station. "Next stop, Boston, Massachusetts," the bus driver said "Everyone on the bus!"
"The bus just got here," Hilary said as she boarded with several other people. "I'm getting on and then I'll be on my way."
"I mean there's a long way, like only 15 miles." Riley complained. "or 3 miles from Maine to Massachusetts."
"I know it's pretty far," Hilary replied. "but it's worth it to get our plan working."
A few hours later, Hillary was reading the PIXAR book. She was at the page where Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl were hugging their kids and claim Jack-Jack away from Syndrome.
"That's a good book?" An old lady asked.
"This..." Hilary glanced up at her. "It's more than just a book."
The old woman chuckled as the bus pulled over to the Boston bus station.
Hilary got off the bus. "Hey, Riley. I made it to Boston." She said into her talkie. "Yes, you made it," Riley said excitedly while whispering. "Now you need to find a..."
"TAXI!!" Hailey called and she spotted a Yellow Cab.
The cab stopped and the driver rolled down the window.
"Uh, do you take credit cards?" She asked, holding up the one from her pocket.
"Where to, kid?"
"47 Main Street, Mrs. Walls apartments, 95527, please?" Hilary said.
"You got it." The driver nodded and then drove off. Halfway through, Hilary looked at the buildings in excitement. "I know our plan will work, Riley," She said to the walkie-talkie "Boston is wonderful just like I imagined!"
"I wish I could be there to see it," Riley replied. "You're lucky you get to leave town."
"It's because it's blocked from the citizens," Hilary said, knowing that the border happened close her entire life except for her father, and then her. "Guess is a miracle to be able to cross the town border."
"Yeah, it must be. Maybe after the curse breaks, the rest of us will be able to cross too." Riley said hopefully.
The text then stopped. "Here you go kid." the taxi driver said.
"Thanks." Hilary paid the driver and stepped out of the cab.
"Can you please send me a picture with your phone?" Riley asked.
"Sure." Hilary already took several pictures. She sent a few to Riley.
"Awesome" Riley saw pictures of the Boston Harbor, the Stadium, the historical landmarks, the restaurants, and finally made it to the 4-feet apartment complex "You made it!" She said.
"Yeah! Ok, here I go." Hilary took a deep breath and entered the building.
"Well, Good Luck," Riley said as Hilary went to the office.
"Can I help you?" A skinny, black middle-aged Mrs. Walls said.
"Yes, I'm here to see Jack Swan," Hilary told the older woman. "Is he here?"
"3rd floor, apartment number 205." Mrs. Walls answered, "Do you want to take the stairs or the elevator?" She questioned.
"I think I'm gonna take the elevator," Hilary replied. It would be easier than going up 3 flights of stairs.
"Thank goodness she doesn't notice that you're young," Riley said.
"I know, right." Hilary headed to the elevator. "I thought she was gonna ask where my parents are. That would've ruined the plan."
End of flashback
"...And met Jack, and you know the rest." Hailey said, whispering. Riley snapped back to reality remembering that moment. "He's really come a long way since when he first came here."
"I agree," Riley said, "We're near the end of the movie."
"We'd better put these away." Hilary put her storybook in her backpack. "We can continue this later."
At the hospital, Freddy was at the security cameras when he saw a tan-skinned man, with messy black hair and a goatee shaking in the ICU. "Uh oh." Freddy started to panic. "Attention all units! We have a situation in the ICU! Repeat, situation in the ICU!" He frantically said into the PA system.
Doctor Hudson, Doctor Whale, and the nurses rushed to the ICU to pin him down and to check what was up.
"What's happening?" One of the nurses asked.
"There's a slight fluctuation in his brain activity." Dr. Whale looked at the monitor.
The heart monitor was beeping fast. "Nurse Rainbow," Doctor Hudson said to one of the nurses, Kristen Rainbow, a light blue-headed woman while pinning down his right arm. "Get Henry and Joaquin to calm this patient down!! ASAP!!"
"I'm on it!" Kristen rushed over to the phone and dialed the number for the Hernandez house.
Henry and Joaquin were making and experimenting with instruments when the phone rang.
After fighting each other to reach the phone, Henry answered it. "Hola, Hernandez residence. Henry speaking."
"It's Kristen calling from the hospital!" Kristen said being scared at the phone "You need to get to the hospital ASAP!! Gael is having a dysfunctioning brain activity!! Hurry!!
"We'll be right there!" Henry hung up the phone and the two hurried into their car.
When they've arrived, they were already wearing their scrubs and ran quickly to the ICU.
"This is like when Clark escaped from the hospital." Henry said, huffing and puffing.
"Yeah." Joaquin agreed, also out of breath. "Hopefully this patient won't be going anywhere."
"¡Oye!" Both of the twins burst into the ICU trying to catch their breath.
"We came here—" Henry said.
"—as soon as we could!!" Joaquin finished.
"Thank goodness you guys made it. We found him shaking." One of the nurses gestured to the patient.
Henry gets Gael's left leg from the bed. "Joaquin, get the IVs now!"
Joaquin hurried to the supply closet and soon came back with several IV bags.
"Put it in the skin in 3...2...1!!" Kristen said, but before she put tube in, a glow came through his body between skeleton form and human form. Everyone stood still, looking stunned.
"What was that? What just happened?" One of the nurses asked.
Henry and Joaquin looked at each other as if they had seen that glow before.
"We better put the IV in," Henry said concerned that he knew this man before.
The twins washed their hands and then put on sterile gloves. Then they prepared an IV and inserted it into the man's arm.
"Thank goodness that glow is gone," Kristen said as she saw Gael now still.
"I've noticed these bones before," Henry said worried.
"So have I," Joaquin added. "Like in a dream. At least he stopped shaking."
Natalie and Susan were in literature class with Mr. Daniel Jonathan, a short, overweight man, olive-skinned, brown-haired, light-brown-eyed man working on "The Romantic Era of literature."
"My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now." He recited dramatically while reading from Pride and Prejudice.
"So boring and stupid," one student said as she threw a piece of paper with gum to him.
"Excuse me! We do not disrespect such classic literature." Daniel looked angrily at the trouble-making student.
"Yeah! Like a book where a stereotypical teenager got forced and pressured to marry an adult man," the girl said putting her feet on the seak. "Why won't you marry me and your 'literature class' right away," she said as she chewed another piece of gum.
"This is not your house. Feet off the desk, and no chewing gum in my class." He ordered, getting angrier.
"Whatever, Daniel," she said, putting her feet down and the gum under the desk. "So what?! You get sent to literature school or stereotyped schools for teachers like you!" The kids looked shocked including the teacher. That was the last straw.
"That's it! To the principal's office! Now!" Daniel pointed to the door, furious.
"Why won't you escort me like I'm some obedient girl, with you acting like a gentleman of olden days," the girl said.
"Well, since you don't want to cooperate, I will have to take you there myself." He argued, taking her by the hand and starting to leave the room.
"Gosh, this girl had really crossed the line," Natalie said in shock as she got her notes.
"Tell me about it." Susan agreed. "She'll probably get detention, or worse."
"At least it's Friday," Natalie said, "let's focus on something else like the talent show."
"Good idea." Susan nodded. "I'm kinda both excited and nervous about it."
At 1 PM, all the schools were out, and both Riley and Hilary were actually but then saw Rebecca, an 11-year-old slender girl with curly red hair, a yellow headband, blue-gray eyes, and green framed glasses reading a pamphlet to Pixfare Middle School.
"Hi, Rebecca." Both girls came over to greet her.
"How are you doing?" Hilary asked. "We watched 'RIO' in class and Mrs. Madison was our substitute teacher."
"I'm fine," Rebecca replied. "Lucky you. That never happens in my class."
"Not since Jack arrived in town weeks ago," Hilary said as she reached for the newspaper. "It's in the news."
"Yeah, I heard about that." Rebecca saw the headline. "I bet he did something to Andrea so that he could take her job."
"Maybe... making her get a new job and identity away from this town." Riley lied. "I see you got the pamphlet for Pixfare Middle School."
"Yeah. That way I know more about the place when it's our turn to go there." Rebecca explained.
"Hope I see you at hockey practice." Riley said grabbing her things.
"And I need to get back to my Dad's," Hillary added.
"Of course I'll see you there, Riley." Rebecca smiled. "See you later, Hilary."
At the Hospital, Freddy was packing his stuff. He turned off the lights of the cameras and saw the purple minivan pull up to the driveway. "Hey Girls" he waved.
"Hey, Dad" Riley waved.
"Hey, honey." Audrey stopped the car and Freddy climbed in. They kissed. "How was your day?"
"Well, I saw on the security camera at the hospital" Freddy explained "that Geal began to shake. I called the doctors and nurses to the ICU, then one of the nurses called Henry and Joaquin to ICU immediately. Before they put the IV bags in, he began to glow yellow between his skeleton and his flesh, but luckily they managed to get it just in time. Henry and Joaquin felt like they knew the patient before."
"My goodness!" Audrey looked shocked. "It's a good thing you saw that. Really? Do you think that maybe they could be relatives or friends of his?"
"I don't know," Freddy said trying to change the subject. "Riley, how was school? Ready for Hockey practice?"
"It was great. Mom was the sub for our class today." Riley explained. "Of course. I'm always ready for hockey."
At the Pixfare Hockey rink, Luke and Jenny were getting the games and teams ready when Riley and the family came in.
"Mr. and Mrs. Bukowski!" Riley waved excitedly while holding her hockey duffle bag.
Luke and Jenny turned at the sound to see Riley waving at them.
"Hi, Riley!" Jenny smiled and waved back.
"I'm ready for practice!" Riley said.
"Wonderful!" Jenny said, excited. "You're just in time. We were just getting ready to start."
"I'll be in the locker room," Riley said.
"Hurry back so we can get started," Luke replied.
Both Natalie and Susan made it to the Boutique. "Hey, girls" Natalie waved to the employees.
"Hey, Natalie." Rose and Nadia both greeted her.
"Look what I've brought." She introduced Susan to the others.
"Hey, I'm Ivana's adopted niece," Susan said shyly.
"Oh, you must be Susan." Rose reached out her hand. "Nice to meet you."
"I'm here for my goth look for the talent show," Susan explained.
"Ooh. That sounds like fun." Rose looked excited. "Sure, we can help with your look."
Natalie, Nadia, and Rose took Susan to the dressing room.
"So, how long will your dress be?" Rose asked, measuring her body. "long, medium, or short?"
"I think I want it to be medium," Susan replied.
"Great choice," Natalie said as she got the darker shades "which shade of purple do you want? Eggplant, Violet, Wine, Grape, Sangria, or Plum?"
"Hmm," Susan looked at the different shades. "I like the Eggplant one."
"Good idea!" Rose said getting the sewing machine and supplies.
"We might add 3 layers on the bottom of the dress" Nadia suggested as she getting another layer from the red section "Which one? Mahogany, Blood, Wine, Jam, Scarlet, Crimson, or Current?"
This was a harder decision for Susan. "I pick...the Scarlet."
"Scarlet It is!" Nadia said as she finds the second layer "Which brown layer would you want? Chocolate, Umber, Cinnamon, or Brunette?" she asked. "Hmm." Susan tried to choose. "Let's go with Brunette."
"Sure thing," Nadia said as she found the last layer. "Which one, Charcoal, Black, Jet Black, Raven, Ink, Midnight, or Ebony?"
"Well, they all kinda look the same. Let's do Black." Susan decided.
"Black it is," Nadia said as she got some needles and thread "Do you want your tips to be Gold, Silver, or Bronze?"
"I think I wanna go with the Silver." Susan chose.
"Great choice," Nadia said measuring her arms.
"What sleeve do you want?" Rose asked "Kimono sleeves, Off-shoulder sleeves, Butterfly Sleeves, Puffed up sleeves, Cap sleeves, Angel Sleeves, or Half Sleeves?"
"Wow. So many to pick from." Susan looked surprised. "I think the puffy sleeves would go with my theme."
"Great choice," Rose said, "Let's get started!!"
"Yes!" Susan said excitedly.
21 minutes later they were doing the finishing touches on the dress "... And we're finished" Rose announced.
Susan gasped when she saw herself in the mirror. She moved side to side, checking out the dress. "Wow! It's amazing!"
"I'll call your aunt about it," Rose said as she gets her phone "And that dress costs $100," Nadia said.
"Oh boy." Susan looked nervous. "I didn't know they were so expensive."
"Just kidding, It's free for you," Nadia said getting the bag.
"Oh." Susan sighed in relief. "Thanks a lot for the dress."
"Bye, Susan" Nadia waved.
"Bye, girls." Susan waved back as she left the store.
Freddy and Audrey cheered for Riley on the ice rink in her blue hockey uniform.
"You go, Girl!" Audrey yelled with a cheerfully smile.
"Mom, I'm trying to concentrate!" Riley called to her mother.
"What are you concerned about, Riley?" Freddy asked his daughter.
"I can't focus on playing with you two yelling." Riley answered.
"Alright, I'll be quiet," Audrey said.
"Thanks." Riley smiled and went back to practice.
When practice was over, it was already 2 PM.
"Alright," Luke called the team. "We only had two weeks before our first tournament against the Boston Red Socks. Thanks for practicing with us."
"Next week" Jenny continued "We'll start our tournament, and on Saturday, we will go to Ellen's to celebrate, if we win, on three, PIXFARE BEARS!" She cheered.
The team cheered, excited. They put their hands in the middle. "PIXFARE BEARS!" They shouted all together.
The team members retreated to the locker rooms and get changed into their normal clothes.
"You did great today!" Rebecca excitedly told Riley.
"Thanks." Riley smiled. "So did you."
Rebecca put on her red glasses, green t-shirt, grey jeans, white socks, and blue sneakers. Riley put on her purple blouse, yellow and red striped leggings, blue socks, and her pink slip-on shoes.
"I love your outfit today!" Riley complemented Erica and she put her hair in a ponytail.
"Oh, this? Thanks." Rebecca smiled. "I like yours too."
"Oh, thanks." Riley said blushing "I've picked it from my closet."
"Yeah, I do the same thing with my clothes." Rebecca agreed.
As both Rebecca and Riley came out of the rink, they saw the purple mini-van in the distance, honking.
"Come on, Riley!" Audrey said on the wheel "Let's go! We're having pepperoni pizza! Your favorite!"
Riley said goodbye to Rebecca and climbed into the car. "Yay! Hockey and pizza!" She said excited.
At the Hernandezes household, the family was getting ready for the talent show. Michael was in his Red Mariachi uniform with golden tips. Natalie put on her red dress and pink shoes.
She was now in her room doing her hair with Angela, who was wearing her long, wavy, navy blue dress, brown high-heeled boots, and also fixing her hair.
"Should I have my hair curly or straight?" Natalie asked, searching for the type of hairstyle in the magazine.
"I like it straight, but maybe it would look good with a few curls," Angela suggested.
"Great idea, Tia Angela!" Natalie said as she got the straightener and curling iron. "We might add some marigolds and a headband."
"Those would look good on you too." Angela agreed.
5 minutes later, they already finished their hair and added a few marigold clip-ons on Natalie's hair, and next to it the finishing piece, a red headband with both marigolds on both sides "...And done!" Angela announced.
"Wow! I love it! Gracias, Tia." Natalie smiled and hugged Angela.
"Da Nada, Niña." Angela smiled as she brushed her hair down, then put on her gray silk medium gloves. "He's on at 5 o'clock for his performance at the school's talent show." Michael was actually on at 5 o'clock after the 4:30 show. "We'd better get to the van before the others get here," she said as she grabbed her purse.
"You're right. We don't want to be late for the show and miss him play." Natalie agreed.
Lucy was making her hair into a bun, in her rose pink dress, and green high heels, while Edward was in his red tuxedo was dressing Mina to her purple dress and red shoes, when someone came in.
"Hey Edward," said Edward's father, Theodore, a man with white hair, and a mustache, and wearing his red collar shirt, black pants, and blue boots, coming in. "We're waiting for you, and Natalie and Angela got in the van before us."
"Yes, we'll be right there, Papa." Edward then turned to Lucy. "We'd better get going, dear. The others are starting to get in the van."
Henry and Joaquin, dressed in their matching white shirt and brown pants with their names written on the back, were teaching Juan and Jimmy, who were wearing yellow and green tuxedos, how to toe their shoes.
"...And that's how you do it!" Henry said as he finished the loop of his black shoes.
The younger twins playfully pulled on the laces of their shoes, trying to understand the lesson.
"You did great," Joaquin said proudly. "As you know, practice makes perfect!"
The door opened to reveal Maria, who was wearing her red and purple dress, and her hair in a braided ponytail, and Gabriella, with her braided pigtails with yellow ribbons in her hair, and wearing a purple medium dress "Come on, boys!" Maria said happily with her arms opened.
The toddler twins ran right into Maria's arms.
"We're coming." Henry and Joaquin said in unison, heading to the door.
Albert was dressed in his silver shirt, brown jeans, and red sneakers. He combed his hair when Diego, who was wearing his pink shirt, blue jeans, and brown leather loafers, came in.
"Are you done, yet?" He questioned. "We need to get to the middle school soon."
"Just about ready." Albert took one last glance in the mirror. "Ok, I'm coming." He turned and left the room.
At the Nakisaki mansion, Susan was doing her hair. She decided to do her hair up in a bun with a purple and black headband. She looked in the mirror thinking she had this type of hairstyle before, then Ivanna came in her red and gold dress, and red and gold shoes with Barry, who had a black and yellow tuxedo with his hair slicked back.
"Come on, Susan!" Barry said.
"We need to get to the limo for your talent show," Ivanna said, excited since she heard that Susan was finally getting a talent of her own.
"I'm coming, Aunt Ivanna. Just finishing fixing my hair." She turned to face them. "I'm kinda nervous about this. I've never been on stage before."
"Don't worry too much, Darling." Ivanna said as she came to her room and did Susan's hair. "You'll do great at your poetry talent." she said.
Susan took a breath to try to calm herself. "Yeah, you're right. Ok, I think I'm ready."
"Well, Come on!" Barry said excitedly "Let's get to the limo."
The three walked out of the room, headed downstairs, and came outside to where the limo was waiting for them.
At the middle school auditorium, everyone was practicing to perform before the show started. Daniel came in with a clipboard. "Already everybody!"
"Yeah!" The contestants cheered, turning their attention to him.
"Well, we many talents here tonight," Daniel announced, looking at the board. "Since it's only 4:00 PM, our opening act will be... Melody and her dancing on the 'Swan Lake.'"
"Oh my gosh, I'm up first." Melody gasped. After hearing a few 'break a leg's from the others, she stepped onto the stage. The music started and she began her ballet number.
In the hallway, Jack was checking out the middle school when he saw a pamphlet reading 'Pixfare Middle School's 42nd talent show.'
He had never been in or seen a talent show before. Curious, Jack found where the auditorium was and entered, seeing that the show had already started.
He then read the pamphlet on the wall.
'Pixfare Middle School talent showtimes:
3:30 - Welcoming Announcements
4 PM - Opening act: Melody Jackson and her Swan Lake dance
4:30 - First Act - Eric and his Rock-'n'-roll cover of 'Hamilton's My Shot'
5 PM - Michael Hernandez Spanish guitar version of Carmen
5:30 - Susan and her poetic performance of The Tell-Tale Heart
6 PM - Margaret and her dancing and scientific discoveries with chemicals
6:30 - Break time
7 PM - A special surprise (If someone can make it!)
'Wow, they got talented kids here.' Jack thought to himself. He found an empty seat in the audience and quietly sat down to watch the show.
Several minutes later, she finished her performance she took a bow. The audience erupted with applause. Laurie and James stood up and cheered.
After her, Michael came out on stage. "Hola everyone" he introduced himself. "For my talent, I'm gonna do the Spanish guitar version of the famous play 'Carmen'. Enjoy."
From their seats in the audience, the Hernandez family looked excited. Edward and Lucy began recording with a video camera.
A few minutes later Michael was finished with a guitar and took a bow. The audience applauded. The family stood up and cheered.
"That's my boy!" Edward shouted.
Afterward, Susan came up with the lights off for a dazzling and terrifying effect, and Susan began to read the important parts of The Tell-Tale Heart.
The audience was so absorbed by her performance and watched in total silence.
"That's amazing!" Jack stood up from his chair and clapped his hands. The rest of the audience also began to applaud.
Up next was Margaret, a slender 14-year-old girl with blue eyes, fair skin, strawberry blonde hair in a ponytail, and braces. She got her kit and dancing tools and begin multitasking at the same time an almost made an explosion.
The audience looked at her shocked, but they still applauded.
As Daniel went onstage and was about to speak about the surprise, he suddenly saw Jack sitting in the second row. "Is that Jack from Boston?!" He said shocked and surprised with the microphone still on.
Jack's eyes widened as everyone in the audience turned to face him. He didn't mean to attract attention. He just wanted to see the show.
"What happened with former Sheriff Andrea?" Edward asked.
"How's Boston?" Lucy asked.
"Why are you so skinny?" Maria and Theodore questioned.
Jack just wanted to teleport out, but he couldn't risk revealing his powers. He didn't realize he was like a celebrity to these people. He turned to face the Hernandez family. "I haven't heard from her since she quit her job. Boston was fine, it got lonely. I've always been like this." He answered their questions.
Then Laurie and James came up with big expressions.
"Why did Andrea quit her job?" Laurie asked.
"How long have you been in town?" James asked.
"She couldn't stand working for Derek anymore." Jack turned to them. "I've only been here for a few weeks."
"Well, that's a surprise!" Daniel said. "I heard a lot about you and I got a talent show and a surprise guest, which is you, show up, read the rest of the pamphlet!"
"I just came here to watch the show." Jack tried to explain. "I'm not anything special. Don't let me delay the rest of the acts." He then read that half of the pamphlet.
7 PM - A special surprise (If someone can make it!) Jack the new Sheriff of Pixfare
Jack looked completely speechless. He never thought of himself as special before. "You don't have to do this. Really, I'm just another person in town."
"You mean Hilary?" Natalie replied with a questionable look "I've heard so much about you in the newspapers." Then some news reporters and cameras went flashing to get a glimpse of Pixfare's first stranger.
'Wow, this town really doesn't get any visitors.' Jack thought to himself. He tried to back away from the paparazzi, not used to being the center of attention.
Jack ran out of the auditorium and teleported back to the apartment. Luckily, Laura Reed was already asleep. He sighed in relief and went to his room, leaning against the door. "Man, a new guy comes to town and suddenly he's a celebrity."
Daniel went back to his penthouse, feeling a bit exhausted from the talent show when he saw Kristen and Carmen sitting on the couch, reading some poetry.
"Hey, you're back." Kristen looked up and saw him. "How did the talent show go?"
"Good." Daniel said as he sat down.
"What was going on at that talent show?" Carmen asked
"Things were going like normal, but then I spotted Jack in the audience," Daniel explained. "Everyone got excited and started asking him questions. News reporters even showed up with cameras."
"Looks like this 'Jack Swan' became the first visitor and stranger in our town and became sheriff." Carmen said.
"I'll get some hamburger helper and french fries, with some drinks," Kristen said, going to the kitchen to grab them some dinner.
"Apparently so." Daniel nodded in agreement. He looked over at Kristen in the kitchen. "Good idea. I'm getting hungry."
Olga was working on the newspaper in her office, smirking, knowing that the town finally knew who Jack was.
Thanks to my co-writer Vanessafangirl13 for the idea of naming Hector's counterpart after his voice actor.
Margaret is Kari
Theodore is Papa Franco
Daniel is Mr. Pricklepants
Kristen is Trixie
Rebecca is Meg
Carmen is Dolly
Chapter 10: Dia de los Muertos
Michael woke up in his bedroom, with a ray of sunlight, he was wearing his Red and Blue PJs, and white socks, and was woken up by his dog licking his face from his bed.
"Buenos días, Manolo." He greeted the dog, laughing. "Ok, boy, ok. I'm awake, I'm up."
Michael then looked at his alarm clock, which read 6:30 AM. Lucky he woke up early before anyone. He then got out of bed and put on his white slippers and saw his calendar read November 2nd, meaning his favorite day to celebrate his Mexican heritage, Dia de los Muertos.
He looked at his guitar case, wanting to practice for tonight. Maybe even try to write a new song, but it was still too early. The family was still asleep and he didn't want to wake them.
Michael then got out his phone and checked on anything happening in Pixfare. He got a Video chat call from Susan. He answered her call and appeared on her screen. "Hola, Susan."
"Hey, Michael." Susan said yawning a bit, she was wearing her cuffed purple and black short sleeved pajamas, gray socks, and her hair in a messy bun, with a half-smile. "Happy Day of the Dead." she was recently excited for the holiday of Mexico, but was really excited that school was cancelled for a week due to an explosion at the science lab.
"Gracias. I'm really looking forward to tonight." He said, smiling.
"I just woke up from my nice slumber," Susan said as she sat on her bed, "Luckily today Ivanna got to work early."
"That's good. So, what do you have planned for today?" He asked. "My parents have sent invitations for Día de los Muertos to the entire neighborhood." Michael whispered as he sat down with his red songbook.
Susan had to think for a moment, but then she got it. "Oh, you mean Day of the Dead. That sounds like fun."
Jack woke up in his white undershirt and brownish-red sweatpants. He checked his phone while eating some scrambled eggs for breakfast when he saw an email from the Hernandez family and opened it:
Dear, Jack and Laura Reed, we invite you to our (Dia de los Muertos) Day of the Dead celebration at the hacienda to celebrate. The party will start at 5 PM to 10 PM. It's a time to celebrate the ones we lost over the years, tell the stories of our families, have delicious traditional foods from Mexican heritage, offendas, dancing, Mexican artwork, and music from our beloved famila. We wish you there, and the dress code is traditional and dancing Mexican clothing. Have a great day.
From the Hernandez Family (La Familia Hernandez)
Jack looked curious as he read the email. "A party for dead people? Hmm." He didn't really know much about other cultures. Then again, he had never been invited to a party before. He replied to the email, saying that he was interested in going.
Laura Reed came in the kitchen in her red nightgown, got some bacon and eggs when she received the email from the Hernandez family on her phone.
"Hey, Jack. Look at this." She came over to him and showed him the email. "The Hernandezes just invited us to their Day of the Dead party."
"Yeah, I saw." Jack said. "I've never been invited to a party in my life, and I've never heard of the Day of the Dead."
"It's a Mexican holiday when people honor their family members that have passed away." She explained. "The family does it every year. They say that spirits actually come back and visit the living.”
“Wow," Jack said surprised. "I might go in my white shirt and black pants if they're ok".
"Oh, I'm sure that will be just fine." She assured him.
The Madisons were eating some sunny-side eggs, bacon, and milk for breakfast while in their nightwear. Audrey was in her yellow Jersey fabricated plain pajamas. Freddy was in his lavender colored PJs, and Riley in her red and purple collared neck silk pajamas, when Audrey got the news.
"We're going to the Hernandezes for ¡La Fiesta del Día de Los Muertos! at 5 PM tonight!" She happily announced.
"Wow, that sounds like fun!" Riley said, excitedly.
"We'll go to Ivanna's Fashion Boutique after lunch for us girls." Audrey said happily as she ate half of the egg.
"Cool, we'll get to see Aunt Nadia." Riley took a bite of bacon. "I wonder if she'd like to go to their party too."
Nadia, Rose, and the other employees were making traditional Mexican dresses, due to the customers' invitations to the Hernandez's Party.
"Gosh, looks like some people are excited for the Day of the Dead." Nadia said while she sewed some strings.
"Yeah, I know." Rosie agreed, adding on flower patterns. "This is the most business we've had in a long time."
"Looks like since Jack came to town," Nadia said putting the dresses in the bag. "The business has been booming with many customers in town wanting to try on the clothing."
"I'll say." Rosie agreed. "People used to just walk right past the store before he came here."
"Only our neighbors and friends came here," Nadia said happily, getting another silk for another dress. "But now there are many more people. We're growing fast."
"Yes, and we can't keep those people waiting." Ivanna entered and clapped her hands. "Come on, girls. These dresses aren't going to make themselves."
"Got them all ready." Naida said with her 50 orders for the customer requested outfits with their names on the bags. Some were from online, but most were from the check-out aisle. "I've already got many of their orders from 4 this morning and the others from 5 AM."
"Well done, Nadia." Ivanna applauded. "Now all we have to do is get all these deliveries out."
"I got it!" One employee said getting all the bags "I got a GPS and everything!"
"Excellent! Let's get going!" Ivanna ordered.
After breakfast, the Tienda de Música Hernández, have been open for business for making musical instruments. Edward was on building the instrument, Lucy was on the wood, Diego's on designing the instruments, and the rest of the family switched stations to make different kinds of instruments.
"I'm so excited for Día de Muertos!" Edward said excitedly while getting the wood.
"Me too!" The others replied.
"I hope everyone we invited will be able to come." Michael said hopefully.
"We did send them through email, which will help." Gabriella said while getting the sewing machine. "Today, some people wanted some guitars and accordions for next week."
"Alright! That means more musicians to play with!" Michael looked excited.
"Gonna check on Natalie, Juan, Jimmy, and Manolo." Michael said walking out of the workshop. "And can leave you adults alone. Abuela and Abuelo are making Pan de Los Muertos, tamales, and many more for tonight."
"Alright, mijo. Just don't sneak any of the food to the dog." Lucy joked.
Michelle was making the orders when Ellen came with a big announcement.
"This morning I received the email from the Hernandez Family, and the party starts at 5 PM tonight! So we're closing the diner early today!!" She said to the employees.
The employees all cheered.
"I'd rather go to a party than work, anyway." Michelle said under her breath.
"I got that email this morning," Mason said excitingly.
"Me too." The others added, also excited.
"I'm getting myself a dress at Ivana's Fashion Boutique after work," Bella said. "And Michelle can come with me too."
"Good. She could use a dress that actually covers herself." Ellen commented.
"Mom!" Michelle shouted.
"Don't worry, Michelle" Bella whispered to Michelle's ear. "I'll make sure your mother doesn't notice the dress. I heard she'll be in her room paying the bills after work."
"Yeah, she normally does. Thanks a lot, Bella." Michelle whispered back.
Susan took a shower and put on her dark purple boxy top, black leggings capris, and her pink silp-ons. She decided to do bangs in her hair that begin showing both of her eyes. She went downstairs to have some breakfast, what she saw some breakfast buffet with a note from Ivanna.
Had to get to work early, requested this breakfast made for you kids
Love Auntie Ivanna
Susan filled her plate with Japanese scrambled eggs, Swiss chocolate and almonds, a Brazilian banana, and some exotic Canadian milk. Barry came in with his red t-shirt, blue shorts, and green socks, running and saw a beautiful buffet and reads the note.
"Wow! This is for us? Sweet!" He said, excited and started to pile food onto his plate. He then sat down at the table.
"I'm so excited for the Day of the Dead!" Susan said excited, as she ate half of the egg.
"Me too." Barry poured syrup on his pancakes. "Best part is that we get to stay up really late."
"Oh really?" Susan questioned Barry as she drank her milk "Why did you stay up all night?"
"Hey, I was working on a skull mask I was gonna wear." He answered.
"First of all, there's also face painting of that" Susan argued "And second, skulls are called calaveras for the holidays."
"Ok, fine. I'll do it that way." Barry sighed, annoyed.
"But, it's fine with the skull mask" Susan said "I can help you paint it after breakfast."
"Great, thanks." He said, smiling.
Natalie was telling her dream to Juan and Jimmy, and Albert was playing with Manolo when Michael came in.
"Hey, guys. The adults are all busy making food and instruments for tonight." He told them.
"Primo!" Juan and Jimmy said running to hug their cousin.
"Natalie was telling us about her crazy dream where she was in a shoe shop." Juan said.
Michael laughed as he hugged them. "Really? She told me all about it, too. Reminds me of a dream when I walked past them as a ghost." Michael said. "Manolo was here too, but I called him Dante for some reason like I know that name before, like my name was Miguel." Michael claimed "What happened in your dream, Albert?" He sat on Natalie's bed.
"I had one where Papa and I were looking around town for you." Albert explained. "We fell asleep, but he woke up seeing you run past us."
"Juan and Jimmy?" Michael questioned "What happened in your guys' dreams" he wanted to make sure that the toddler twins did have the same dreams as they did.
"We were playing with petals," Juan started.
"Then Tia Lucy showed us to make a path." Jimmy continued.
"Alright" Michael said, sighing in relief. "How's my Manolo?" He said as Manolo went to lick his face. "Ok, ok. Good boy." Michael laughed and scratched behind the dog's ears. "Look what I got." Michael handed Manolo a marranito, a pig-shaped ginger cookie.
Manolo perked up and stuck his tongue out, wagging his tail.
"Sit" Michael said "Roll over. Here you go." The dog obeyed and then caught the treat in his mouth.
"No wonder you'd be able to sneak that cookie without the family knowing." Natalie said while picking up Jimmy. "You're a great sneaker."
"Yeah, thanks, I know." Michael looked smug. "I've had a lot of practice."
Hilary was reading the Coco story when she heard a knock at her door. She quickly put her book under a couple of pillows, and pulled out her Day of the Dead book and pretended to read, when the door opened.
Derek entered her room. "Hilary?" He noticed the book in her hands. "I see you're brushing up for the party tonight."
"Yep," Hilary said, trying to act casual. "I hope that the dress I ordered from Ivanna's Fashion Boutique arrives soon."
"I'm sure that it will." He said. "And I know you'll look pretty in it."
"I'm so excited for The Hernandezes Fiesta!" Hilary said, excitedly.
He managed a smile. "That's great. And it's a good chance to learn about another culture's traditions."
"Yep. Can you get out of my room, please?" Hailey said.
He was slightly stunned by her words, but then softened. "Alright, I'll let you keep reading." He walked out of the room.
Hilary then sighed in relief. "That was close." she said quietly. She put her Day of the Dead book aside and went back to reading her storybook.
Melody was in her room reading her Mexican Revolution book when she got a video chat with Riley and Hilary.
"Hey, girls." Melody greeted them. "You two excited for the Hernandezes party tonight?"
"Yes." Hilary said with her book.
"Sí." Riley said, laying on her bed. "I'm just glad we're going to Michael's house!"
"Yeah. I bet he's gonna play his guitar. He's really good." Melody smiled. Now Melody was part of Hilary's plan.
"Not to mention, that's he's Miguel!" Hillary said.
"And his Tia Angela, Tío Joaquin, and Henry are the dead ancestors Victoria, Oscar, and Felipe." Riley said.
"I hope that Ms. Cordwain will able to go," Hilary added. "After all, she's Imelda."
"And Maria and Theodore are actually Elena and Franco." Melody said.
"Too bad that none of them remember who they really are." Hilary looked disappointed.
Flashback: Last week
Melody was sitting at her desk, looking at her Queen Victoria novel, when she saw Hilary and Riley looking at some book, like the one the other night when a page of a graduation photo came to her room. She went up to them, wanting to talk. "Umm... Hey." she mumbled. "Can I sit here?"
"Hi" Hilary and Riley both greeted, looking up at her. "Yeah, sure." They nodded, smiling.
"Just the other night, I saw this page of my older brother at a graduation ceremony." Melody confessed and she showed the page from the other night "I've felt like I was there before."
Hilary and Riley looked at each other, surprised. "That's because you have been there before." Hilary replied.
"What are you talking about?" Melody asked, confused.
"You just don't remember it. Neither do your brother or your mom." Hilary explained.
Melody suddenly felt flashes of her as a baby, and then to growing up, and seeing Andy to college. Every single memory made her shocked and she gasped. "I remember now." she whispered and cried.
"Riley, it's working!" Hilary whispered excitedly to her.
"I'm Molly!" Melody hugged the girls. "Thank you so much!"
"You're welcome." Hilary smiled as she and Riley hugged her back.
"Can I join you, girls?" Melody said excitedly. "I'll be your best girl!"
"Of course, you can." Hilary nodded. "We can use all the help we can get."
"I'm glad you girls helped return my memories," Melody said looking back at the day she remembered her past.
"No problem." Riley smiled.
"It's all part of our plan." Hilary added.
"I'm glad to be your friend." Melody said grabbing her book. "I'm reading about the Mexican Revolution! You girls?"
"So are we." Riley smiled. "I'm researching about Day of the Dead."
"I was reading the Coco story in my book." Hilary added.
"Hilary, which part of the Coco story you on now?" Melody questioned. "And Riley?"
"I'm at the part where they sing in the music competition." Hilary replied.
"I'm just so excited for tonight!" Melody said excitedly. "What did you girls eat for breakfast this morning?" she questioned. "I had chocolate chip and peanut butter waffles, and milk for breakfast this morning!"
"That sounds so good! I wish my dad let me eat stuff like that." Hilary said, slightly jealous. "I had bacon and eggs."
"Sounds good." Riley said.
"What did you eat for breakfast, Riley?" Melody asked.
"My parents made sunny-side eggs, bacon, and milk." Riley answered.
"Yummy." Hailey seemed jealous. "Too bad I don't have a happy family like you guys."
"Hey, at least you found your real dad," Riley noted. "And you do seem happy when you're with Jack."
At the Hernandez household, Michael was looking at a mini ofrenda with their favorite Mexican stars, artists, musicians, and telenovela stars that died years before, with their favorite food, drinks, items, and everything.
"I just had a dream the other night, and you were there, Frida Kahlo, but in a skeletal version." Michael said while looking at the Frida Kahlo picture.
"Are you talking to a dead artist's picture?" Natalie asked, passing by. "You know she won't answer back."
"Not unlike the time when you were 8 and you kissed both the El Cento and Selena Quintanilla pics." Michael said with a smirk, knowing that his older cousin had crushes with both dead and living people since she was 8.
Natalie looked shocked that he remembered that. "Hey. That was just a phase. I eventually grew out of it."
"And the time you were in your room kissing a Michael Jackson body pillow." Michael said as he pulled a photo of her kissing the body pillow in bed, wearing her purple and black striped two-piece pajama, green socks, and a braided ponytail. It was taken on June 17th, after her 12th birthday.
Natalie snatched the photo out of his hand. "Never tell anyone about that." She said angrily.
"Alright, Alright." Michael said. "I won't."
"Good." Natalie calmed down. "Look, it's Dia de Muertos. We shouldn't fight."
"I agree" Michael said.
Then they heard their grandparents call them from the kitchen. "Niños, help was with the pan de Muertos!" Maria said with the dough.
"Coming, Abuela!" They both answered and came into the kitchen.
"Hey, Mum." Michelle said, getting her purse. "I'm taking a walk."
Ellen turned to face her. "Alright, but don't be gone too long. We have to get ready for the party tonight."
"Ok, bye." Michelle said she walked out the door and saw her boyfriend and Bella, then walked to Ivanna's Fashion Boutique.
"Hi guys." Nadia and Rose both greeted the three as they entered the shop.
"We're here for the clothing for tonight." Bella said. "Michelle can go first."
"Alright. Be right back." Nadia went into the back and then came out with a bag holding Michelle's dress. "Here you go."
Michelle took a look at it and was surprised. It was a green-turquoise-red long Mexican embroidered dress complete it they are like flowers all over the bottom. "It's beautiful." Michelle said. "It's Bella's turn!"
"I'll get it." Rose went into the back and then came out with bags for both Bella and Marty. "Here are your outfits."
Bella was amazed to see her dress. It was embroidered with a purple, red, pink, and orange patterned ball gown with flowers all over the dress. "So beautiful! I can't wait till my Mason sees this!" Bella said surprised "How much for the clothes?"
"Glad you like it." Rose smiled. "They're $95."
"Here you go" Bella handed her the right amount.
"Thank you." Rose took the money. "I'm sure he's gonna love it on you."
Susan and Barry were making the finishing touches to his mask.
"...And add a bit of blue dots on the bottom of eye sockets" His skull mask was made to a great one with a red fire on the forehead, yellow lightings on both cheekbones, a scale-like painted pink on the chin, and blue dots above the eye sockets.
"Thanks for helping me with my mask, Susan." Barry said with a smile. "I can't wait to wear it tonight."
As Susan was about to say something, she suddenly started flying into the air, she was shocked.
"Susan, what's happening?" Barry asked. "How are you doing that?"
"I don't know!" Susan said, still scared. She almost fell to the ground, but was saved by her bean bag. 'Where did I learn that skill before?' She thought.
"Well, whatever you did, that was so cool." Barry looked excited.
Albert was audio reading some Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz poems on his laptop when he got a video chat from Mindy and Sam.
"Hey, amigos." He greeted them, answering the call. "How are you?"
"We're good, babe." Mindy said shyly, wearing her blue blouse with her bare-right shoulder showing, and her black bra.
"I'm just so excited for the party." Sam said happily.
"So are we." Albert replied. "The family's been so busy with the preparations."
"I can't wait for you to see my black and red dress from Ivanna's" Mindy said, knowing that her boyfriend loved to see her in beautiful dresses.
"I'm sure it's gonna look lovely on you, mi amor." Albert smiled.
"Aww... thanks." Mindy blushed. "I just had this weird dream where I was in some headquarters and trying to put an orb, but then Audrey stopped me." she said. "What was yours?"
"I had a dream where my dad and I were looking for Michael." Albert explained. "We fell asleep, and then Michael ran past us."
"Looks like our dreams are getting weird and weirder each night." Sam said, concerned.
"What happened in your dream, amigo?" Albert asked Sam.
"It was really weird. I dreamt I was a stick bug in a circus with a bunch of other bugs." Sam replied.
"We can go on to other topics." Albert said, trying to cover up. "I'm listening to some English audio version of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz poems on my laptop! You?"
"I was reading my Twilight Breaking Dawn book." Mindy answered.
"I was just relaxing, watching TV." Added Sam.
"Awesome!" Albert said. "What are you watching on TV, Sam?" He asked
"Oh, you know. A little of everything." Sam answered.
In the kitchen, Maria, Theodore, Natalie, and Michael were making each for the tamales, Menudo soup, Pan de Muertos, and some atole.
"My dream was about me in a workshop," Natalie said to her grandmother as she put the bread in the oven
"Oh, really?" Maria asked, intrigued. "What kind of workshop? What were you making?"
"It was for shoes." Natalie said while getting the flour for the next bread "But there was a rule in the dream, no music."
"Shoes and no music? Sounds like Ms. Cordwain's shop." Michael joked.
"Mine too." Maria said as she got the tamale wraps.
"You three are there as well," Natalie said, as she got the chicken for the tamales.
"What do you think is causing these weird dreams?" Michael wondered as he mixed the atole.
"Maybe because of Jack coming to our town a month ago." Theodore said, as he cooked the cheddar quesadillas. "Kind of like when your grandmother and I emigrated from the Wars going on in Mexico and to the United States for better opportunity when we were in our teens."
"Yeah, I guess he has kinda had an effect on the town and all of us." Michael agreed.
"I better get the Pan de Los Muertos from the oven before they're overcooked." Natalie said as she got the oven mitts
"Be careful, Mija." Maria warned Natalie as she opened the oven. "The pan is very hot."
When the shop closed, it was already 1 hour before the party. Maria opened the two large green gates announcing, "Día de Los Muertos has begun!" She said.
The rest of the family was in the yard, preparing for the party. Hanging Papel Picado, sweeping, and making a path of marigold petals. Jimmy and Juan scattered a bunch of marigold petals all over the floor when Lucy came along and correct them.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no!" Lucy said. "Like this." She made a path from the ofrenda to the front gate. "We have to make a clear path. If not, the spirits could get lost."
Michael, Natalie, Albert, Angela, Henry and Joaquin, all wore their red and purple makes mariachi outfits with silver and golden tips.
Natalie was doing her makeup "Do I pick my strawberry fruity lip gloss or my red matte lipstick?" Natalie questioned her aunt, who was doing her hair.
"It's your choice, Mija," Angela replied. "But I think the red matches your outfit."
"Alright, Tia Angela" Natalie said as she put on her lipstick.
Henry was fixing Michael's tie. "You ready for tonight?" Joaquin questioned as he combed his mustache.
"Oh, yeah!" Michael said, excited. "I've been looking forward to this for days. I've been practicing my guitar."
Susan was dressed in her red, indigo, and black quinceañera dress, with her shoulders bare. Her Calavera makeup had a broken black heart on her forehead, two dark violet feathers on her cheekbones, crimson red rose petals on top of her eye sockets and gray dots on the bottom. Ivanna was making Susan's hair into a braided ponytail.
"I'm so excited for tonight!" Susan said, excitedly
"Me too. I know we're going to have a great time." Ivanna finished the braid and stepped back to look at Susan. "You look fabulous, Darling."
"Oh, thanks" Susan blushed, then one of the servants came to the door "The limo will be waiting for you." he said. "I'll make sure Barry doesn't run off again."
"We'll be right down." Ivanna replied and the servant left. "Let's get going before your brother leaves without us." They soon headed down the stairs.
When Jack and Laura Reed arrived, they were the first person to get them for the party start, Then Jack read the sign 'Hernandez'' and it's slogan 'Familia de Músicos desde 1949' "Well, this must be the place." Jack said, curiously.
"Yeah, and it looks like we're early." Laura Reed said, looking around. "I think you'll like them. They're pretty nice people."
Jack was dressed in his white polo shirt, black jeans, and his brownish-red loafers, and Laura Reed was wearing her green long dress and matching high-heels. Jack knocked on the door, the Hernandez family answered the door and looked at him in surprise.
"Jack! We're so glad you guys could make it." Maria greeted them, smiling. "Please, come on in." She gestured for them to enter.
As the car parked, Derek, who was wearing his red and yellow suit, and matching shoes, and Hilary, who wore her off-shoulder, long-sleeved red and purple embroidered blouse, medium green skirt, and white ballet flats, and her hair in a neatly braided ponytail with a clip-on Marigold, got out of it.
"We're here" Derek announced.
Hilary was excited about the party. Hopefully, it'll help Michael and his family remember who they are. She noticed Jack's car parked nearby. "Yay. Jack's here, too." She smiled.
Riley and family made it and parked the minivan. "I'm so excited, Mom!" Riley said excitedly. She wore her off-shoulder, short-sleeved yellow and green embroidered blouse, medium purple skirt, and pink ballet flats, and her hair down, complete with her daisy headband.
"Me too! This is gonna be fun!" Audrey was also excited. She was also dressed up with Calavera makeup painted on her face.
"I can't believe this is the first time in years that we're invited by the Hernandez family since forever." Freddy said nervously.
"Yeah." Audrey agreed. "Well, it's about time something fun happened around here."
Nadia's car pulled over, and got out a revealed her off-shoulder, medium sleeved green and violet embroidered blouse, medium-dark red skirt, and yellow high-heeled boots, and her hair in a neatly braided bun, and also wearing Calavera makeup.
She noticed the purple minivan and smiled. "Looks like my family's already here."
"Hi, Aunt Nadia!" Riley carefully hugged her without messing her makeup. "What a beautiful Calavera you have!" Riley noticed her aunt's Calavera, which had green circles on her top brow that shrunk to little pink dots under her eye sockets, streaks of gold on her cheeks, green lipstick, and a red heart on her forehead.
"Hey, Riley." Nadia hugged her back. "Thanks. Wow, you look beautiful too."
"Oh, thanks" Riley blushed. "I'm so excited for the party!"
"Me too." Nadia agreed. "Also, I can't resist a chance to dress up."
Mindy and Sam's van was parked and they came out. Mindy saw Albert waving "Mi amor". She ran over him and kissed him. "Hey, babe. I'm glad to see you. I hope I'm not late."
"Nope, You two are an hour early." Albert explained. "May I escort you to the hacienda?" He said with a funny expression, holding out his left arm
"Oh, good." Mindy looked relieved. "Why, of course." She smiled, hooking her arm around his.
The limo pulled over the driveway and they all came out. Susan then saw Michael in his mariachi suit.
"Hi, Susan!" He waved.
"Hi, Michael!" She waved back and came over to him. "Wow, you look great."
"You all must be hungry from the trip" Maria said "But I'll get you enough tamales for your stomachs."
"Mama, I think maybe our guests would rather start with an appetizer." Edward stepped in.
"Alright, Mijo." Maria grumbled and she headed to the kitchen.
"Alright, the party will start in a less then hour, so come in to watch Familia and our Hacienda." Lucy stepped in and announced carrying Mina.
Everyone followed Lucy into the house.
A car soon pulled up. Ms. Cordwain stepped out and stared at the house with a smile.
'This is the place' She thought. She wore her off shoulder purple, indigo, and violet embroidered dress, and black high-heeled boots, and her hair in a neatly braided bun, and also wearing a calavera. She then opened the big green gate. 'I'm home' she thought again, hoping to have a warm welcome.
"Ms. Cordwain." Maria came out to greet her. "Glad you could make it. Please, come in and join us."
Ms. Cordwain then saw some chicken tamales appetizers "I'm a bit hungry" she said.
"Wonderful!" Maria smiled and began to pile tamales onto a plate.
"Umm... Garcias" Ms. Cordwain ate 2 tamales and was ready to see the ofrenda "Muchas gracias for the tamales, but can I see the ofenda room?"
"Oh, yes. I'll show you where it is." Maria led her to the room with the ofrenda.
Ms. Cordwain was amazed at a medium offenda, with many famous faces from Mexico and Beyond Spanish speaking countries, then looked at the Frida Kahlo picture. It brought back the memory of when she and the family dressed up like Frida. She wanted to say that she had met her, but had to keep her cover. "It's very nice."
"You must like Frida Kahlo, eh?" Maria questioned. "She was one of my favorite female artist when I young." She said.
"Uh, yeah." Ms. Cordwain snapped out of her thoughts. "Oh, really? She was quite an interesting person."
The minivan pulled over. Melody, James, and their mother stepped out. They were all dressed up and wearing their makeup.
"We're here." Laurie announced. "Glad we made it just in time before the party starts."
"Looks like other people made it here, too." Melody said, noticing the other parked cars.
"Yes, Melody." James said. "Let's just hope we don't miss the performance."
The three of them soon joined the other guests inside.
"Hey, Girls!" Rebecca came in also dressed up in a red and green dress, and wearing makeup, waving to Riley, Hilary, and Melody.
"Hey, Rebecca!" The girls shouted, waving back.
"Wow, you look great." Riley smiled at seeing her outfit.
"Awww, gracias." Rebecca blushed. "I got it from Ivanna's."
"So did we." Melody, Riley, and Hilary said at the same time.
Ms. Cordwain left the ofrenda room and saw Angela coming out, stretching her arms, and fixing her glasses.
'Oh, Victoria, mi nieta!' She thought, fighting the urge to hug her. "Hola, Angela." She greeted her, trying to hide her emotions.
"Hey, Ms. Cordwain" Angela said, then walked over and shook her hand.
"How are you? Are you enjoying the party?" She asked, shaking Angela's hand.
"We're gonna start our starting performance in a few minutes." Angela said. "Feel free to watch it if you like." She said she had got her violin.
Ms. Cordwain wasn't sure what to say. She had lived without music for so many years. "Thank you. I would love to watch." She accepted.
A few minutes later, everyone began to watch as Michael began performing.
'As the stars shine brightly like a diamond on her necklace (Mientras las estrellas brillan como un diamante en su collar)'
Michael sang the first verse and he strummed the guitar in a soft and tendo tune.
Everyone happily gathered around to watch the boy's performance.
"It seems that I've seen a person with a aura of bright orange. (Parece que he visto a una persona con un aura de color naranja brillante.)" Michael sung the second verse as Natalie and Angela started playing their violins.
All of the Hernandez adults proudly watched as the three performed.
"My life started as a life renewed to a song, and we all sing all" Michael sung the 3rd and forth verses, as Juan and Jimmy started their maracas.
Strange as it may seem, Ms. Cordwain was actually enjoying the performance. 'Perhaps I was wrong to ban music. It makes my family so happy.' She thought to herself.
"To my family's incarnation to the beauty of my song, our love will leave on forever, in my proud heart (Para la encarnación de mi familia a la belleza de mi canción, nuestro amor se irá para siempre, en mi corazón orgulloso)" Michael sung again in a fast turn as Henry and Joaquin toot on their trumpets.
Several of the guests began clapping along to the music, while others started dancing.
"I will grow to my love forevermore, oh I will grow so our love for each other will live on forever, In every minute of my proud heart (Creceré para mi amor para siempre, oh, creceré para que nuestro amor mutuo viva para siempre, En cada minuto de mi corazón orgulloso)" Michael begin to walk around while playing the guitar.
'He really does take after his tatarabuelo.' Ms. Cordwain thought, smiling with emotion as she watched Michael. Her smile faded. 'If only he were here to see this.'
"To my family's incarnation to the beauty of my song, our love will leave on forever, in my proud heart (Para la encarnación de mi familia a la belleza de mi canción, nuestro amor se irá para siempre, en mi corazón orgulloso)" Michael sung again 3 times in a finishing tune as his father and uncle Diego lifted him up and ended it with a grito.
His family and all the guests began to applaud and cheer.
Jim, who was in his white and yellow pollo shirt, black jeans, brown loafers, and his calavera and Jessica, who was wearing her red, yellow, and white embroidered dress, brownish-red high-heeled boots, and also wearing a calavera, had finished their dance. "Glad those online how to tango classes on YouTube finally paid off." Jessica said, happily.
"Yeah." Jim agreed. "I wasn't sure if we were gonna be able to pull it off, but I guess we did."
"Too bad Larry can't come because he's sick" Jessica said "If he was here and saw us dancing, he will get jealous."
"Yeah, he would." Jim nodded. "But then he and I would start arguing, and that would ruin the party."
"It's time to eat!" Maria announced from the kitchen "Hope you have your appetite on!"
"Great. I'm getting hungry." A few of the guests said in response.
Maria and Theodore put the plates of food and drinks to the party guests.
"...And since you look like a twig, have three of my famous beef tamales!" Maria said as she put a pile of tamales into Jack's plate.
"Uh...thank you." Jack replied, not used to being treated like this. But he didn't want to sound rude and refuse.
Michael took a bowl of heavy menudo, two mozzarella quesadillas, and some coke, and sat next to Susan, Barry, Hailey, and Riley in the kids/tweens table next to the adults table.
"Hey, Hilary!" Michael said.
"Hi, Michael." Hilary greeted him. "Your performance was awesome."
"It's amazing!" Riley added "You must have got that talent from your relatives, huh?" she said, while eating her atole, one chicken tamale, a banana empanada, and a glass of milk.
"Gracias." Michael smiled. "Yeah, I do. My tia Angela, tios Henry and Joaquin are also musicians."
"How long had your famila been making instrumental music?" Melody questioned as she ate her two sweet tamales, menudo, pan de muertos, and champurrado. "How old were your grandparents when they migrated to the United States from Mexico?"
"Abuelo said that they came here when they were teenagers." Michael answered. "The music shop has been in the family since around 1949."
"So how did your grandparents migrate to the United States? And why?" Barry questioned as he ate his cheddar quesadillas, three chicken tamales, atole, strawberry empanada, pan de Muertos, and a tall glass of milk. "Me and Susan's parents died in a car crash."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." Michael said sadly. Riley and Hilary looked at each other, since only they knew the truth. "There was a war going on, and my grandparents wanted a better chance. So they came here."
"What's your favorite part of Día de los Muertos?" Susan questioned Michael as she ate her three chicken tamales, chocolate empanada, pan de muturos, mixed cheese quesadilla, and some apple juice.
Michael thought for a minute. "I'd say my favorite part is the music. Playing together with my family is so much fun."
"I agree." Hailey said as she sipped her milk. "What dream did you had last night?" She asked.
"I dreamt that I was running through a graveyard, and there were all these glowing orange skeletons." Michael explained.
Riley, Hilary, and Melody looked at each other in surprise. "Those strange dreams started several of weeks ago. Where I lived in Mexico, met some strange skeletons, and sung to a really elderly grandmother in a wheelchair." Michael explained.
"Aww, that sounds so sweet. I'll bet she enjoyed hearing you sing." Erica smiled.
Michael then got the page from weeks ago and showed it to his friends. "This is the page from several weeks ago." Michael said, "It was me with a skeleton on stage."
"Do you know that skeleton, Michael?" Hilary asked, hoping that maybe he began to remember.
"In the first one, a couple of weeks ago, it was me being thrown off stage by a man in a mariachi suit." Michael explained "then recently I did have the memory of me being stuck in a sinkhole with a skinny skeleton man. I felt like I knew them before."
"That's because you do know them." Hilary replied. "Those were two skeletons you met in the Land of the Dead."
Michael suddenly felt flashing in his head and we're returning it with claiming all the memories from the living to the dead and living, then flashing some to reality and take deep breaths. "I...I remember now." Michael clearly realized, whispering. "My name WAS Miguel Rivera, and I brought music back to my family."
"Michael, are you feeling okay?" Susan asked, concerned.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Michael said, trying to keep his cover. "Can we have a private chat with you, your brother, Barry, Hilary, and Riley?"
"Uh, sure." They agreed, not really sure what was going on.
"Hilary, gracias for bringing back my memories." Michael said, whispering. "So you girls are behind this?" Michael questioned Hilary, Riley, and Melody.
"You're welcome." Hilary smiled. "Well, it was just me at first. They joined in soon after."
Susan and Barry suddenly felt from every scene in The Incredibles 1 and 2. From defeating Syndrome's Army, to fighting against Evelyn's team, to protecting themselves from the purple mist of the curse, then snapped backed reality.
"I think it's working. They're starting to remember." Hilary said to Riley and Melody.
"We remember now." Susan said, rubbing her head. "Are names are Violet and Dash Parr, and we saved our family years ago."
"Yes!" Hilary smiled and high fived with Riley and Melody. "Our plan is working."
"So, is it okay if me, Barry, and Susan and join your group in secret?" Michael questioned. "I wanna know the rest of the plan."
"Sure, of course you can." Hilary nodded. "But you'll have to be careful. Derek can't know you guys are awake." She warned them. "This is our secret."
"No te preocupes." Michael said. "I'm good at keeping secrets and a great sneak out person, and I can have my dog with me, only!"
"That's great. Can we also trust you two?" Riley asked Susan and Barry.
"Sure thing." Susan said. "I'm the master of sneaking out, I can easily go at night without tripping on security."
"And I ran faster too, easy." Barry added.
"Awesome. Welcome to the team, guys." Riley smiled.
"So what should we name our team?" Michael suggested "I mean every team needs a name? How about...'The Pixfare memory solvers' or 'Los buscadores de historias' or any name that you're comfortable with."
"Well, when I first told Jack about my plan, I called it Operation Cobra." Hilary explained. "It’s a code name to throw Syndrome off the trail."
"¡Gran idea, mi amiga!" Michael said. "We better get back to eating before it gets cold!"
The kids returned to the table and went back to eating their meals. Luckily, the food was still warm.
After dinner, they decided that do a tour of the ofendea room.
"Please come see our ofendea room. Come look at the photos of the dead people and leave offerings if you like." Maria announced.
The guests soon began visiting the ofrenda room in small groups. Several of them left a few offerings.
Ms. Cordwain put a pair of high heels next to Frida's picture. "A little thank you gift. I hope you enjoy them." She whispered to the photo.
Audrey put her handmade chicken to Selena Quintanilla's photo.
"You think she would like that, Mom?" Riley asked.
"She will, Sweetie." Audrey patted. her daughter's head.
"So these people are gonna come back?" Freddy asked nervously. "I'm scared of ghosts."
Hilary put a skull mask next to Maria Felix's photo. "Here you go!"
Jack came over to Hilary and put an arm around her shoulder, slightly smiling.
Michelle and Marty were putting their sweet bread on El Cento's photo.
"This is an interesting experience, being a part of another culture's traditions." Michelle said.
Finally, it was time to go home. Lucy was in charge of bringing the gift bags to the party guests.
"Alright, everyone. I hope you all enjoyed the party. Thank you to those who left offerings. I have gifts for each of you."
Michael, Susan, Barry, Hilary, and Riley exchanged phone numbers and head out to the cars.
"Adiós guys!" Michael waved at them.
"Bye, Michael!" They waved back.
"See you at school!" Added Susan.
Hilary looked out the car window, then looked at the book. There was a photo of her and her friends shortly after Michael discovered who he was.
Chapter 11: Pilot
Pixarverse - Past
At the Parr residence, everyone was celebrating superheroes now being legal. They were having a good time when the doors suddenly banged open. Everyone turned and gasped to see Syndrome standing with a smug expression.
“Sorry I’m late.” He crossed the room, approaching the Incredibles.
“It’s Syndrome. He’s alive!” One of the guests cried.
Other supers tried to stop him, but he moved them out of the way with his zero-point energy. “What? No invite for a fellow super?”
Elastigirl used her stretching powers and grabbed her children. "He's not a super! He's nothing more than a villain!"
Mr. Incredible stood in front of her and the kids, facing Syndrome. “You’re wasting your time. You’ve already lost. And we won’t let you ruin this party.”
"Oh, I haven't come here to ruin anything. On the contrary," Syndrome said. "I've come to give you a gift."
“We want nothing from you.” Elastigirl firmly refused, shaking her head.
"But you will have it." Syndrome said, not accepting her refusal. "My gift to you is this happy, happy day. For tomorrow, my real work begins. You may have become legal again, but soon, everything you love, everything all of you love, will be taken from you. Forever. And out of your suffering will rise my victory. I will destroy your happiness if it’s the last thing I do." He turned and headed to the door.
“Hey!” Mr. Incredible called after him. He lunged at Syndrome, but he flew away with his rocket boots. The guests nervously talked amongst themselves, and the Incredibles held onto each other.
A week later, Violet was in her room. She got on her laptop and got a video chat from Miguel.
“Hey, Miguel.” She answered the call. “How are you?”
"I heard about what happened at the party a week ago." Miguel said, rubbing the back of his head. "It was on the interdimensional news."
“I don’t get it. How could Syndrome be alive?” Violet wondered, confused. “My family and I saw him get sucked into the jet's turbine and then it exploded.”
"Well, because he made a deal with a devil!" Héctor's spirit came and interrupted the chat. "Oh Chamaco, is that the chica you were talking about?" He pointed at Violet in the video camera.
“Si, Papa Héctor.” Miguel nodded. “This is my friend from America, Violet.”
"My gosh, Syndrome made a deal with a devil to make him alive?" Violet questioned, then turn confusion at a non-existing ghost. "Umm... Hola? We’ve known each other online for 5 months since I've found his account on WORLDBUDDY.COM." She slightly remembered the day she found the account when she first got on the website.
“Hola. It’s nice to meet you, nina.” Héctor tipped his straw hat and smiled at the screen.
"How's the weather in Oaxaca, Mexico?" Violet questioned. "It's summer vacation, and it's a bit hot."
“It’s pretty hot here, too.” Miguel replied. “Abuelita has us open every window in the house, and in the workshop.”
"Well, I'm using the air conditioner in my room." Violet said, confidently. "We moved to this house a few months ago and I already fell in love in this place and this room!"
“That sounds great.” Miguel smiled. “Not many houses here have air conditioning. How’s your family doing?”
"A bit worried about last week at the celebration." Violet then begin to get worried. "How did your parents react when they found out on the multi-dimensional news?"
“They were pretty shocked when they saw it on TV. But my sister and twin cousins were too young to understand.” Miguel started to laugh. “Abuelita looked like she wanted to threaten that Syndrome with her chancla.”
"And your older cousins?" Violet questioned again "And 'Héctor' how did your dead relatives react when they heard the news?" She then questioned Héctor.
“Abel just thought it was cool to watch superheroes.” Miguel did a slight eye roll. “But Rosa was just as shocked as the rest of us.”
“We were shocked that a skeleton had managed to come back to life.” Héctor replied. “Imelda practically threatened him with her boot.”
"I heard my parents' argument about Syndrome's plan and how he came back to life." She said. "Dash was scared about that!"
“I don’t blame him.” Miguel agreed. “Even my mama got a little scared.”
In the nursery, Helen looked at Jack-Jack, who was sleeping in his crib, worried.
Soon, Bob came in. "What's wrong?" He asked, whispering.
“I can’t stop thinking about what he said.” She whispered back. “I haven’t had a restful night since last week.”
“Helen, I can't keep having this conversation. You have to let it go. That's what he wants, to get in your head. But they're only words. He can't hurt us."
“He almost kidnapped Jack-Jack to make him his sidekick.” She glanced at the crib. “We both know what he’s capable of.”
"What can I do to ease your mind?" Bob asked as they left the nursery.
Helen wasn’t sure how to answer, but then she got an idea. “Let me talk to her.”
"Her?" Bob realized who she was thinking of. "You don't mean--"
"I do." Helen answered.
He could tell she was serious. “No, no, no. It’s too dangerous.” He shook his head, nervously.
"She sees the future." Helen said.
“There’s a reason she’s locked up.” He tried to talk her out of it.
"Can you promise me that our kids will be safe?" She convinced him. "Can you guarantee it? Because she can."
“Alright. For our kids.” Bob agreed, knowing they had no choice.
At Merida's Castle, a guard led Helen and Bob through a tunnel to the prison cells in the dungeon.
"When we reach the cell, stay out of the light, and whatever you do, do not let her know your name." The guard said. "If she knows your name, she will have power over you. Witch! I have a question for you.” He called to the prisoner.
The witch stepped out from the shadows. “No, you don't. They do. Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. You insult me. Step into the light.” They stepped closer. “Ah. That's much better.”
"We've come to ask you about the--" Bob tried to ask.
“Yes, yes! I know why you’re here." the Witch interrupted. "You want to know about Syndrome’s threat.”
“Tell us what you know!” Helen demanded.
"Ooh! Tense, aren't we?" The Witch said. "Fear not, for I can ease your mind, but it's gonna cost you something in return."
“No. This is a waste of time.” Bob started to leave.
“What do you want?” Helen asked, stepping closer to the cell.
"Oh... the name of your youngest child?" The wish answered her question.
“Absolutely not.” Bob refused.
“Deal.” Helen agreed. “What do you know?”
"Ah.” She chuckled. “Syndrome has created a powerful curse, and it's coming." The Witch predicted. "Soon you'll all be in a prison, just like me, only worse, for your prison, all of our prisons will be time, for time will stop, and we will be trapped someplace horrible, where everything we hold dear, everything we love will be ripped from us, while we suffer for all eternity, while Syndrome celebrates, victorious at last! No more happy endings."
The couple looked horrified. “What can we do?” Helen asked.
“We can’t do anything.” The Witch replied.
"That little thing." The Witch reached her hand through the bars, pointing at Jack-Jack. "That little baby you’re carrying in your arms."
Bob slapped her hand away. “Next time, I rip your arm off.”
"Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk." The Witch said. "The infant is our only hope." She then turned to Helen. "Get the child to safety. Get the child to safety, and on his…" the Witch closed her eyes to concentrate. "…twenty-eighth birthday, the child will return. The child will find you, and the final battle will begin!” She laughed insanely.
“That's it. I’ve heard enough. We’re leaving.” Bob turned and started to leave with Helen.
"Hey! No!" The Witch shouted in anger. "We made a deal! I want his name! We had a deal! I. Need. His. Name! I want his name!"
The couple stopped. Helen looked hesitant for a moment. She turned to face the cell. “Jack-Jack. His name’s Jack-Jack.” They began to leave again.
2 weeks later, several Pixar characters were gathered around a table at the Parr house.
"I say, we fight!" Bob said as he slammed his fist on the table.
“Fighting is a bad idea.” Flik protested, standing on the table. “Giving in to one’s dark side never accomplishes anything.”
"And how many battles has a clear conscience won?" Bob said. "We need to take Syndrome out before he can inflict his curse."
“Can we even trust the Witch?” Woody asked.
“I’ve sent other supers around the world.” Bob told them. “The people are abuzz with Syndrome’s plan. This is going to happen unless we do something.”
"There's no point." Helen said. "The future is written."
“No. I don’t believe that.” Bob shook his head. “Good can’t just lose.”
“Maybe it can.”
"No." Bob disagreed. "Not as long as we have each other." He paced back and forth "If you believe her about the curse, then you must believe her about our child. He will be the savior." Everyone suddenly turned to see several of the monsters enter, carrying a door. “What’s this?”
"Our only hope of saving that child." Celia said and she bought some more wood.
“A door? Our fate rests on a door?” Potato Head looked doubtful. “Let’s get back to the fighting thing.”
"The door is enchanted. If fashioned into a vessel, it can ward off any curse." Mike said.
"Riveras, can you build the final touches?" Sully asked the Rivera family.
“Me and mi familia, we can do it.” Elena said, confidently. “That shouldn't be too much of a stretch from shoemaking.”
"This will work. We all must have faith. There is, however, a catch." Imelda said, with her hands on her hips. "The enchantment is indeed powerful, but all power has its limits, and this door can protect only one."
Helen and Bob shared a concerned look.
In the other part of the room, all of the kids overheard the adults’ conversation.
"I'm very worried about Jack-Jack" Dash said to the other kids and teens.
“Me too.” Violet agreed. “Also about Mom and Dad. They’re really freaked out by this.”
"I couldn't believe both my living and dead family members have come, since a couple months ago when I first introduced my dead relatives to them." Miguel claimed, plucking on his guitar.
"No way! You met a bunch of ghosts? Cool!" Dash looked excited.
"Not as cool as me running away from San Francisco, California to Minnesota." Riley claim, worried who she rubbing her neck.
"Or being tricked by a witch that turned my Mum into a bear." Merida said, being worried as well as she cleaned her sword and bow and arrow.
"Wow, you guys are so lucky." Molly said. "Nothing exciting happened to me."
Jack-Jack cooed at Socorro while playing with dolls. "Glad our youngest sibling doesn't know anything about the conversation." Violet said in relief.
"Yeah, I don't think my sister understands it either." Miguel added.
Kari looked jealous at their friends' misadventures. "Too bad I wasn't there. I was babysitting our baby brother." she said to Violet. "Then all these weird things started happening. I tried calling your mom, but she never answered."
4 months later, the Riveras and the Monsters were finishing the door.
"Are you guys sure this is going to work?" Julio asked nervously.
"This is for our safety and the family." Luisa said as she painted the door.
"She's right." Elena added. "And we all know that nothing's more important than family."
Miguel and Héctor sat on the bench, feeling worried. "What if Syndrome takes away our family and we never see each other again, Papá Héctor?" Miguel asked, with his leg shaking.
"Calmese, chamaco." Héctor put an arm around Miguel. "Even if he does, it won't be forever. The Savior will come and save us all."
In Riley's head, the Emotions began to get worried about the curse.
"What if we we're gone, and Riley would be an emo and be emotionless?" Fear said, pacing back and forth, shaking.
"This is bad." Sadness whined. "She could also her friends, and Mom and Dad!"
"Like, it can cause all of us gone for good!" Disgust added.
"Look, I know we're all concerned." Joy spoke up. "But the Parr's youngest son is gonna save us."
"Like if Fear couldn't sleep talk about the nightmares on the party a few months ago then!" Anger was about to punch Fear when Joy stepped in.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Anger, this isn't gonna solve anything. We've gotten out of bad situations before, and we'll do it again."
Nemo and his father had heard the news.
"Umm, Dad, what happens when the curse succeeds." Nemo asked.
"Um... I... I guess it means we'll be separated again." Marlin explained in fear.
"We might." Dory said, also scared.
Marlin held Nemo close to him. "No, I can't lose you again." "And we can't lose you again, Dory." Jenny said to Dory.
"Why is the curse coming to us?" Nemo asked. "We didn't do anything wrong."
Outside the Parr's house, the guards from Castle DunBroch, Merida, the toys, the bugs, the other supers, Imelda, and Pepita were guarding the house.
"Keep a sharp eye out, troops." Buzz ordered, aiming his laser. "The curse could strike at moment."
"I just hope no one breaks in." Karen said.
"If anyone does, they're going to have to go through us." Imelda replied.
"You guys have to eye out on Syndrome and his buddies!" Merida said with her bow and arrow, also wearing armor.
"Aye, Princess!" The guards agreed, saluting.
"Alright Kevin, make sure they don't break in." Russell said to Kevin.
Kevin nodded and squawked in response.
In the villain's lair, all the Pixar villains returned to plot revenge.
"I like to think Señor De la Curz for reviving me from the dead." Syndrome said, as he fixing his costume "I know you wanted revenge on the family that took your fame away."
"Si. I want them all to pay." Ernesto nodded. "Especially my former best friend and his little brat of a grandson." He snarled.
"And mother" Syndrome angrily stared at the woman "You failed to destroy supers, and gone to jail."
"Hey, it wasn't my fault." Evelyn argued. "It was Elastigirl and those kids of hers."
"And have any of you been betrayed or mistreated?" Syndrome asked Lotso, Pete, and the others.
"I was abandoned by my owner." Lotso replied. "Also, that Sheriff and his friends ruined my reign over Sunnyside."
"Well, what are we waiting for?!" Syndrome said. "To the Villains Revenge Revolution!" He raised a glass of mimosa to the other villains.
The others also raised their glasses and cheered.
Back at the Parr residence, Helen was holding Jack-Jack, feeling worried. "I don't wanna do this." She said.
"It’s the only way." Bob assured her. "Jack-Jack will go in there, and he’ll be safe from the curse."
"She said it would be on his twenty-eighth birthday." Helen remembered.
"What’s twenty-eight years when you have eternal love? I have faith." Bob touched her shoulder. "Besides, he's got powers. He’ll save us."
All of a sudden, the Earth began to shake and the kids ran over to them. "Mom, Dad!" Violet said, scared.
Helen stretched her arm and pulled Dash and Violet close to her. "Brace yourselves!"
"Everybody, Wake up!" Imelda, Merida, and Woody woke the others up.
They saw a dark smoke in the distance. It rapidly covered the land and progressed towards the house.
"The curse! It’s here!" Woody frantically shouted.
From the high-tech plane, Syndrome was taking a glass of wine, looking out the window. "Soon revenge will be ours." He said to the photo of Maggie.
Sulley entered the room with the Parrs. "The door's ready."
"Bob, take Jack-Jack to the door." Helen ordered.
"Are you out of your mind?" Bob said, shaking his head as Helen handed him Jack-Jack.
"No, it’s the only way." She kept Dash and Violet close to her. "You have to save him."
"No no n-n-n-n-no." Bob refused. "You don't know what you're saying."
"Yes, I do." Helen argued. "We have to believe that he’ll come back for us. We have to give him his best chance."
Helen then kissed Jack-Jack's forehead "Goodbye, Jack-Jack" she whispered to the baby.
Violet and Dash each hugged their little brother, saying goodbye.
Bob then rushed out of the room, carrying Jack-Jack. He fended off two of Syndrome's guards, and entered where the finished door was.
Kevin then got to the door where Jack-Jack was being placed in.
"Find us." Bob whispered to Jack-Jack one more time and gave him a kiss in the forehead.
He closed the door just as two more guards entered the room. As they fight, one knocked him out. The guards broke open the door, but discovered it was empty and the baby was gone.
Héctor was on the ground in pain after being defeated by the army "Please hang on, Papá Héctor!" Miguel cried.
"I'm not sure I can, Miguel." Héctor said softly. His bones hadn't fully recovered from being forgotten.
"Shh, Papá." Mamá Coco said calming her father, even though it's only been half a year since the last Día de Muertos.
"What's gonna happen to him when the curse hits us?" Miguel asked, scared.
Helen and the kids looked over at Bob in shock and ran over him.
He began to wake up, groaning and touched his head. "Are you guys okay?" He asked when he saw them.
"Yeah, Dad." Violet said.
"We're alive." Dash added.
"Don't even bother." Syndrome soon entered the room. "In a few moments, you won’t remember you were a family."
"Why did you do this?" Helen asked.
"Because this is my happy ending." Syndrome then addressed the guards. "The child?"
"Gone." One of the guards answered. "It was in the door, and then it was gone. It's nowhere to be found."
"Where is he?" Syndrome turned back to the family.
"He got away." Helen realized that the door worked. "You're going to lose. We know that now. Good will always win."
"We'll see about that." Syndrome smirked and began to laugh.
A whole mess of cloud came over the house. The ceiling cracked, and the air began to darken and swirl. They found themselves in the middle of a vortex of dark magic.
"Where are we going?" Violet asked in shock.
"Somewhere horrible." The windows shattered and the Curse flooded inside the room. "Absolutely horrible. A place where the only happy ending will be mine."
The glass shattered more, plunging them into darkness as they were whisked away.
Chapter 12: Bundle of Joy
April 16th, 2006, 5:24 AM
Audrey usually woke up to the sound of the alarm clock or her husband sleep talking, or nightmares, but the sound of her unborn child in her stomach kicking for a good morning. "Morning, sweetheart." Audrey said groggily, as she rubbed her stomach. She was wearing her yellow nightgown, and her hair was a mess. “You’ve already woke me up early several nights in a row.” She whispered, not wanting to wake Freddy.
Since Audrey was on maternity leave from the hospital, her husband took over the security cameras every day. She was looking at Freddy, who was wearing his purple tank top, and indigo pajamas pants, was waking up.
“Audrey, are you okay? He looked up at her and yawned.
"Yeah, honey." Audrey said, rubbing her 8-month pregnant stomach. "Looks like our child was extremely excited for us." She said. knowing that being a teen mom can be a bit hard, even when she and her husband have been married for almost three months now.
“Are you sure we’ll be able to do this, Audrey?” Freddie asked, nervously. “We’re only 15.”
"Calm down, honey." Audrey whispered to Freddy as she rubbed her swollen stomach. “It’s gonna be fine. There’s always a way to turn things around.”
“I hope so. But what do we know about raising a child?” Freddy had been a nervous wreck since the moment he found out.
"Oh, Freddy." Audrey rolled her eyes, knowing that she read a lot of subjects for Freddy over the years, including sex education, even at a young age, knew how to take care of a child, but in her own way. "We read a lot of books about parenting and I think we would do great!"
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” He was still scared but felt a little better. “Now let’s go back to sleep, ok?”
"Aww, come on. It's morning, not only it's Sunday and the sun is shining this morning." Audrey said. "But our child got up a bit early for breakfast."
“So did we.” He yawned. “I think breakfast can wait a couple more hours.”
The two then when back to sleep until 7:27 AM, then took a shower, and got dressed. Audrey wore her yellow and indigo dress, and purple sandals. Freddy got his purple polo shirt, lilac jeans, and violet loafers.
"What do you and the baby want for breakfast?" Freddy asked his wife as he headed to the kitchen and put on his white apron.
Audrey felt her stomach growl. “I think it wants pancakes, with some cheese and bacon.”
"Alright." Freddy said. "Do you want something to drink?"
“Yeah, I’ll get myself some orange juice.” She replied.
"Alright, Audrey." Freddy said, then started making breakfast.
Audrey poured herself a glass of orange juice and sat at the breakfast table.
"Here you go, love." Freddy said, putting her requested breakfast on the table, then sat down to his own breakfast of hotcakes and some almond milk.
“Thanks, honey.” Audrey smiled and gave him a kiss.
After breakfast, they went to the doctor for a check-up. Audrey laid down as the doctor examined her stomach, and listened with his stethoscope.
"How is it, Doctor Hughson?" Freddy asked "Something wrong with the baby?"
The doctor wrote on a paper in a file folder. “Oh, no. Nothing’s wrong. Don’t worry. Both Audrey and the baby are perfectly healthy.” He assured Freddy.
"Phew, that's fine." Freddy sighed in relief. "I'm just glad the baby's alright."
Audrey chuckled. “Honey, you always worry too much, especially during a checkup.”
After the check-up, they went home and started doing the baby's room. They painted a beautiful light lavender on the walls.
Audrey had an idea. “Hmm, I think maybe a few stars on the wall would look great.”
"Great idea" Freddy accepted it.
Audrey began to paint some bright yellow stars on the walls.
Soon, they took a break when Audrey suddenly felt a contraction.
“Oh! Uh oh!” She hunched over slightly and clutched her stomach.
"Are you ok, Audrey" Freddy then rushed to her.
She nodded. “Yeah, it’s just-- Ow! Ow! -- contraction.”
Then Audrey's water began breaking, making a puddle to the paper toweled floor.
“Uh oh!” She turned to him, worried. “Honey, my water just broke. I think that means the baby's coming.”
"WHATTT?!?!" Freddy said, shaking his head "But the baby's is it's due for another month and a half!"
“Maybe we should -- Ow! Ow! – see the doctor.” Audrey suggested.
"I need to call an ambulance!" Freddy then rushed two to another room and called 911.
The ambulance soon arrived and took Audrey to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Nadia was reading some fashion magazines. Even though she was nine, she was so excited to be an aunt, when her parents call her into their room in a hurry.
"Mom, Dad, what is it? What's going on?" She asked.
"The hospital called!" said Rebecca, a slim middle-aged brown-hair brown-eyed woman said. "Freddy's wife's water broke!"
"What does that mean?" At her young age, Nadia didn't really understand where babies came from.
"It's mean the stork's bring the baby early." said Rebecca's husband, Marcus, a skinny man, with a few white streaks, and green eyes. "We better hurry to the hospital!"
"It is? Yay!" Nadia cheered, and then the three of them hurried into the car.
At the maternity ward, Audrey was in lots of pain and a mess, with Freddy in scrubs, with several nurses and doctors come to help her.
"It's okay, honey." Freddy tried to calm her. "Just keep breathing. You're doing fine."
"Alright, Mrs. Madison." Dr. Whale said. "Just be ready to take deep breaths."
Audrey nodded and began taking quick, deep breaths.
"Ow, ow! This really hurts." She started to cry. Several hours later, at 3:30 PM. "Ok, Madam, just one last push." One of the nurses said. Audrey nodded and pushed one more time, screaming. A soft, little cry came from the baby. "It's a girl!" Doctor Hudson said as the nurses cleaned her and cut the umbilical cord. Audrey laid back, exhausted and managed a smile. "You did good" Freddy said, kissing Audrey's forehead. A nurse came over to them with a bundle. "Congratulations, you two have a healthy baby girl." She handed the baby to Audrey. Audrey held her in her arms, her baby girl was bundled up in a red and turquoise blanket, with her name 'Riley' on it, and her white beanie, she was already asleep. Audrey smiled and started crying tears of joy. "Your alright, Audrey?" Freddy asked, not wanting to wake the baby. "Yeah, I'm fine." She sniffled. "I'm just so happy." Riley heard the sound of her parents' voices and slowly opened her eyes. "Hello, Riley." Audrey greeted her daughter, smiling. "Oh, look at you." Freddy said softly. "Aren't you a little bundle of joy?" Riley gurgled and wiggled happily. The Madisons soon came to the ward. "Hey, sis." Freddy said whispering. "Hey, Freddy." Nadia then noticed the baby. "Is that her?" "That's your new niece, Riley Sanders Madison." Freddy introduced his little sister. Nadia came closer and smiled. "Aww, she's so cute." "I already breastfed her, so here you go." Audrey said, carefully placing the baby in Nadia's arms. Nadia tried to hold the baby as best she could. "Wow. Hi, Riley." Marcas and Rebecca looked at their granddaughter. "Guess I was wrong about threatening you to be a brave man." Marcus said, knowing throughout the years he tried to make his own son a man. "She has your blue eyes, Audrey." said Rebecca. "I can't wait to play dress-up with her." Nadia said, excited. -- 1 year later, September Audrey, and Freddy, now 16, were carrying their sleeping one-year-old daughter home when they saw Derek carrying a brown-haired, brown-eyed infant girl. "Hi, Mr. Mayor." Audrey greeted him with a smile. "Hey, Audrey" Derek said, carrying a little infant in his arm. "This is Hilary, she's three weeks old." "Oh my goodness. She's adorable." Audrey cooed over the baby. "That's a pretty name." "Well, I adopted her three days ago" Derek explained. "That's great." Audrey said. "Having a baby is amazing, isn't it?" "I guess." Derek said. "Well, good luck with your new daughter." Audrey said as she and Freddy soon began to leave. -- Another year later, Audrey and Freddy were waiting for Doctor Cutter's appointment, due to the fact that Riley didn't even speak her first word, or didn't give Grandma and Grandpa a hug, and she'd acted very strangely. Audrey and Freddy did read many books about symptoms of mental disorders that develop very early in life. "Riley's gonna be autistic." Audrey said, shaking her left leg, and looking at two-year-old Riley, who was looking at the ceiling. "I hope that we'll be able to help her get through this." Freddy looked worried. Felix opened the door " Mr. and Mrs. Madison?" Audrey picked up Riley and she and Freddy began to enter his office. "So what brings you here in my office?" Felix asked. "Well, we've noticed some strange behavior in Riley." Audrey explained. "We've done some research and we think she might be autistic." "Well, we might test her behavior." Felix said, concerned. He got an Autism test sheet and started asking the parents questions. "How's her behavior?" "She hasn't talked yet." Freddy explained, nervously. "She won't hug my parents, doesn't make eye contact, and sometimes she flaps her hands." "She also freaks out whenever I vacuum." Audrey added. Felix nodded his head and he wrote it down. "Did she play with any of her toys?" "She does." Audrey nodded. "But most of the time, she lines them up." "Alright." Felix continued to write it down. "How's her appetite? Did she try any food?" "Riley's pretty picky about what she eats." Freddy replied. "We can't get her to eat broccoli." "Why did she do that?" Felix questioned. "We're not sure." Freddy shrugged. "We've tried everything, but she still won't eat it." "As we said, she hasn't really talked yet." Audrey replied. "If she wants something, she just makes noises." "Any human connections with others?" He questioned once more. Audrey shook her head. "Her daycare teacher said that Riley is always by herself and won't play with the other kids." "How does she sleep at night?" He questioned. "Pretty well," Freddy replied. "But sometimes it's hard to get her to fall asleep." "And why she had a hard time sleeping at night?" Felix asked again. "We're not exactly sure." Audrey answered. "Although, lullabies and bedtime stories do help most of the time." "How did this kind of behavior start?" Felix asked. "We first noticed it when she was about a year old." Audrey replied. "Alright, you might be right." Felix said. "Riley has Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD." "Is there anything we can do to help her?" Freddy asked, worried. "Well, there some speech therapies from me." Felix explained. "Make sure you set up a routine. It helps her feel more relaxed, so as repetitive movements like rocking or snapping, and special interest." "We'll give that a try. Thank you, Doctor." Audrey said, nodding.
At home, Audrey was teaching Riley how to speak.
"Say Cat." Audrey said as she showed Riley the cat flashcard.
"Ca." Riley tried to say. "Caaa."
"C-A-T" Audrey said, spelling the word out to Riley.
"C-A-T" Riley slowly repeated.
"Great job." Audrey said, getting another flashcard "Mom."
"M-mo-om." Riley tried to repeat the word.
"Good." Audrey got the next flashcard. "Apple."
"Abble." Riley said as best she could.
"You're good." Audrey said. "One more time A-P-P-L-E."
"A-P- um, P...-L...-E" Riley tried to spell it back.
"Good girl." Audrey got one more flashcard. "Dad."
"D-da-ad." Riley tried to repeat.
"Great job, sweetie." Audrey said as she put away the flashcards away.
Riley giggled and began clapping her hands.
Audrey smiled at their daughter then picked her up "Now, Daddy's making you something special for Lunch."
"Yay!" Riley cheered.
4 years later... September 12th, 2013 Audrey and Freddy, now 21, were waiting in the minivan for Riley, now six, to get off from Elementary School. "I just hope she's alright." Freddy said, knowing that Riley already can talk. "I'm sure she'll be just fine." Audrey assured him. "She has a great teacher."
The bell rang at 2 PM, everyone started to get out of the school. They saw Riley, who was talking to a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl a year younger than her.
"Aww, Riley already has a friend." Audrey said looking at the window.
"That's great." Freddy also noticed the two girls. "I was afraid she wasn't going to make any friends."
Audrey pulled down the car window. "Hi, Sweetie!" She said, cheerfully. "Who's your new friend?" She questioned.
"Hi, Mommy. Hi, Daddy!" Riley came over to her parents. 'This is Hilary." "It's nice to meet you, Hailey!" Audrey said. "Nice to meet you, too, Ma'am." Riley answered back. ------ Another 4 years later At the Pixfare Cemetery, the family was having a funeral of Rebecca and Marcus Madison, after dying in a heatstroke. Everyone was wearing black and purple for the occasion, and everyone started having saying nice things about them. The first was Nadia, now 18 and an official high school graduate, to speak about them. "Hi everyone. Thank you all for coming here today to help us say goodbye to Mom and Dad." She began her speech. "They had a great marriage and were always happy." After Nadia's speech, it was Freddy's turn. "I can't believe my parents died. But they forced me into marriage at only 15 years old." Freddy said, trying to hold some tears and not being an emotional wreck. Audrey came over to her husband and put her arms around him. "It's ok, honey." Audrey led Freddy to his seat, and then went up for her speech about her parents-in-law. "Rebecca and Marcus were really nice people. True, they forced us to marry, but they also helped us take care of Riley." Up next was Riley. "Uh, I really loved Grandma and Grandpa." She fidgeted, looking away from the other guests. "They used to play with me as a little kid." After Riley's speech, it was Doctor Cutter's turn. "Like Audrey said, Rebecca and Marcus Madison were nice people. They loved their children and their granddaughter." When Felix stepped off the stage, Derek came next. "I’m sorry for your loss, Madison family." He put on his best professional act. "I imagine this must be hard for you." ---- Present-day Audrey was reading the family album in her bed when Freddy came in. "Hey, honey." He noticed the album in her hands. "Looking at the old pictures?"
"Yep." Audrey said. "I took one every single day of her life and saw our baby girl grew up. Feels like she grew up so fast, doesn't it?" She smiled.
"Yeah, she does." Freddy then looked at the photo of Riley's birth. "It seems like it was just yesterday she was that small." Freddy smiled at the picture
Susan looked at the afternoon sky out her window, wondering if she would ever see her family again.
Chapter 13: Father's Love
This chapter takes place after Swim Down
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Martin just got back home to his 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom house on the Eastside of Pixfare, while carrying his son, Alex, and all of their stuff. "Welcome home, Son." Martin whispered to his son, who opened his eyes.
“Wow.” Alex looked around, amazed. It was a lot different from where he lived before. “This place looks cool.”
"Look, it’s late." Martin said. "We can go to the store tomorrow for your new bedroom." He remembered shortly after he adopted him, and wanted to give him the empty, big room next to his and his girlfriend, Diana's master room.
“Thanks.” Alex replied, remembering his manners. “Yeah, I am kinda tired.”
"Then let's get you settled on the couch." Martin said, getting his son ready for bed.
“Ok.” Alex placed his stuff by the couch and sat down.
Martin picked himself a two-piece orange and white striped pajamas, and Alex his oversized t-shirt.
"I might take you clothes shopping tomorrow, too." Martin said, knowing that his son didn't have any new clothing since Elizabeth died. "I'll introduce you to Diana in the morning."
“Ok, but I might need some help cause of my little arm.” Alex said, feeling self-conscious. “Is she gonna like me?”
"Sure thing." Martin said with a half-smile, picked him up and tucked him in. "She'll love you."
“Thanks.” Alex said with a yawn.
"Night, Alex" Martin said, then kissed him on the forehead.
“Night…Dad.” The boy smiled.
Martin walked up to the master bedroom, and saw his girlfriend, Diana, a skinny woman with blue hair with yellow tips and highlights, and magenta eyes, and was wearing her nightgown.
"Hey, baby, why didn't you come back tonight?" Diana questioned, yawning. Martin then explained everything to her. “You took in Alex? But I thought you didn’t want him. What made you change your mind?” She wondered.
"I thought since after some thought" He explained. "So I decided to come back because he's my son."
“That was a great thing you did.” She smiled.
"Look, we can go shopping with Alex tomorrow." Martin said, yawning. "Night, Honey." He then kissed girlfriend on the forehead.
“That’s a good idea. It’ll make him feel at home.” She slightly blushed. “Goodnight, hon.”
The next morning, it was only 7:41 AM, and Martin was making eggs, bacon, and some fish-shaped chocolate chip pancakes. Alex woke up to the smell of food. He got out of bed and came downstairs. “Morning.” He greeted Martin.
"Have you brushed your teeth in one of the 2 bathrooms?" Martin questioned his son as he finished making breakfast.
“Oops, not yet.” Alex went back upstairs to brush, and then came back down.
"Here you go." He gave him his grilled eggs, two pieces of bacon, 3 stacks of pancakes with maple syrup, and milk. Soon Diana woke up, yawning and went to the kitchen for breakfast "Morning, babe." She said kissing Martin on the cheek.
“Morning, honey.” He smiled and kissed her back. “Diana, I’d like you to meet my son, Alex.” He gestured to the boy.
"Oh hi, I'm Diana!" She said, happily as she shook his left hand. Then noticed his short right arm "What happened to your arm?"
“Nice to meet you, ma’am.” Alex shook her hand. “Oh, this? I’ve always had it.”
"Oh my, great breakfast!" Diana said. "I'll get us some coffee, and by us, I mean you and me, Martin."
“Thanks, honey.” Martin said, taking a bite of eggs.
After breakfast, they got dressed, got to the car, and went to the shop for making Alex's room.
“So, what kind of stuff are we gonna get?” Alex asked. "Let's go to the bed aisle first!" He said, excitedly for his new room and bathroom.
As they browsed the bed aisle, Alex found bedding with a fish theme. “I like this one.”
"Great choice." Diana took the requested shell-shaped, fish-themed bedframe. "How about we add some mattresses for the bed?"
“Actually, Diana, the room is already furnished.” Martin replied.
"Right, sorry, I suffer from short-term memory loss." Diana said.
“You mean you always forget stuff?” Alex asked, curious.
"Sometimes." Martin answered. "Do you want anything else from the bed aisle?"
Alex glanced around the aisle again. “Nah, I think that’s it.”
"Alright" said Martin, knowing that he already got all the stuff from the store needed for his new room, what's next is the bathroom "We need something for your new bathroom." He said, "Let's go to the bathroom aisle."
They soon went to the bathroom aisle and picked the necessary items and a few ocean-themed decorations.
"Anything else from the store?" Diana asked Alex.
“Hmm,” Alex took another look around. “I don’t think so.”
"Now we need you new clothes, socks, shoes, and other things for your new bedroom, and some stuff for school." Martin said to Alex
“Aww, do we have to go clothes shopping?” Alex whined. “That’s boring.”
"You can get new clothes for you." Diana said. "You’ve worn the same outfit for a few years after your mother's death."
“I know. That’s ‘cause it makes me think about her.” Alex explained.
"You'll always have her in your heart." Martin said.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Alex agreed.
"Well, then let's go to the clothes aisle." Diana said.
Soon, they went over to the kids’ part of the clothes section and picked out some new outfits.
“Thanks a lot, Dad. You too, Diana.” Alex said.
After they got home, they started decorating and creating Alex's room and bathroom.
“These are some great choices you picked out, son.” Martin said, proud.
"Thanks, Dad!" Alex said excitedly.
Diana soon came in and saw the room. “Wow, this looks great.”
"Thanks." Martin said. "Now the bathroom."
They began decorating and loading supplies into the bathroom. Alex got the clothes from the store and hung them up in the closet.
“You need some help with those?” Martin asked, remembering his little arm.
"Sure" Alex answered
Martin helped Alex put away the clothes where he couldn’t reach.
"Looks like it's done." Diana said as she finished every part of clothing organized in chronological order, and names place on each of them to know where they are.
“I know you’re gonna like living here.” Martin put his arm around Alex.
"Yep, Dad!" Alex said. "How's the bathroom?"
“It’s all set and ready for you, son.” Martin replied.
"You're still planning on getting us to the doctor's?" Diana said.
“Do you really think I need to?” He asked.
"We need to see what to do with Alex's arm, and pick up my medication for my short-term memory loss." Diana said. She always has short term memory loss since childhood, even in adulthood when she teaches at marine biology at Pixfare University.
“Oh, yeah. That’s right.” Martin suddenly remembered.
At the doctor's office, Doctor Whale was testing and examining Alex's arm, while Doctor Hudson was doing the same thing with Diana. Martin was in the waiting room, reading his parenting magazine.
“I hope Alex is going to be okay.” Martin thought, worried. He hoped that even with his little arm, Alex could be like the other kids.
"Mr. Brooks?" Dr. Hudson called out. "We need to talk about her recent report of Ms. Diana Samson."
Martin stood up and came over. “What’s wrong? Is Diana ok?”
Dr. Hudson told Martin about the testing, examination, and how Diana’s short-term memory loss has been progressing.
“Oh no. So, you’re saying she might get worse?” Martin asked, scared.
"It might." Dr. Hudson replied. "Here's some new medication and recommendation for her short-term memory loss" he handed him a piece of paper.
“Thank you, Doctor.” Martin took the paper.
Martin and Diana then got to the waiting room and sat down. A few minutes later, Dr. Whale called Martin.
“How’s Alex?” Martin asked worried as he and Diana stood up.
Dr. Whale explained everything to Martin and Diana.
“Oh, my goodness.” Diana looked shocked.
“Is there any way we can help him?” Martin asked, concerned.
Dr. Whale began talking about recommendations about his arm and giving him some help on any basic needs.
Martin nodded in agreement. “Thanks a lot, Doctor.”
When they got home, everybody came out and shouted “Surprise!” with a banner saying 'Welcome "back" to the family, Alex!'
For a moment, Alex was speechless. “Wow. Uh, thanks, everyone.” He said, smiling.
"Hey, Alex!" One of his friends and parents said, waving to him.
“Hey!” Alex waved back with his good arm.
"We thought we might make a huge celebration of you being now part of the family." Diana's parents said, who had the same looks as their daughter, but Clements had a bit of a bald spot and Joanna had shoulder-length hair, a few wrinkles. Both were doctors who knew a lot about mental disorders, but they still loved their daughter no matter what.
“Really? Wow!” Alex said, excited. After being an orphan for so long, it was great to have a family.
"Are you two married yet?" Clements asked his daughter.
Martin and Diana looked at each other, surprised. “No, Dad, we’re not.” Diana answered.
"Honey, she's right, take it easy." Joana said. "You can't always rush things."
“Thank you, Mom.” Diana said, relieved and glanced at her dad.
The party went on for a couple of hours. Alex soon noticed Hilary and approached her. “Hi, Hilary”
"Hey, Alex!" Hilary waved, with Riley, Melody, Michael, Susan, and Barry.
"What are you guys doing here?" Alex questioned.
“We wanted to be here to celebrate you and your dad finding each other.” Hilary explained.
"Well... thanks." Alex said. "You guys wanna see my new room?"
“Sure!” The kids said all together.
The rest of the kids went upstairs to Alex's new bedroom and they were amazed.
“Wow! This looks great.” Riley smiled.
The kids and Alex began talking about other things, and then Hilary gave Alex a page from her storybook.
“What’s this for?” Alex asked, confused.
"Just open it." Hailey said.
Alex opened it and saw a page with two orange and white clownfish in the ocean. He still looked confused. Alex started having a flash from getting captured by a scuba diver, to getting carried in a bucket by Becky, to holding each other from the purple mist.
“Alex, are you ok?” Melody asked, concerned.
"I was clownfish named Nemo!" Alex said. "Is it ok if I join your group? Diana got me my own laptop and smartphone."
“Of course you can.” Hilary nodded. “The more on our team, the better.”
The kids started talking about the plan.
“But if Jack is the one to break the curse, what can we do?” Alex wondered.
"We'll see." Hailey said.
Meanwhile, with the adults downstairs, they were talking about how they got Alex into the family.
“I’ll bet it must be great to have your son back, doesn’t it?” Audrey asked Martin.
"Yep. As a teen, me and Elizabeth wanted to have children, but then according to the adoption records, she was a week pregnant when her parents left her and didn't tell me about Alex, till Jack came along." Martin slightly remembered.
“Oh dear.” Audrey felt a little sorry for him. “Well, I think she’d be proud of you for taking Alex in.”
"Yeah, maybe next week, I'll visit her grave at the town cemetery." Martin said, then turned to Jack "Thanks for bringing my son back to my life."
“No problem. I couldn’t let him end up in the foster care system.” Jack smiled.
In Alex's room, the kids began exchanging phone numbers, and started naming the chat room ‘Operation Cobra for kids only!’ And made it a private chat room.
"Which color should the chatroom be?" Hilary questioned.
Speaking at the same time, the other kids gave their suggested color choices.
"How about you click all the colors in two stripes!" Michael suggested. "and our speech bubbles the type of writing styles and our favorite colors?"
“That’s a great idea.” Melody replied, and the others agreed.
Then Riley and Hillary started making a list of the times and locations they can talk about the plan in private, and the others helped.
“Now remember, none of the adults can know about all this.” Hilary advised. “Especially my dad.”
The group agreed, nodding their heads.
“So, what’s the next part of the plan?” Alex wondered.
Hailey explained the next plan for the mission.
The others nodded in agreement.
After a couple of hours passed, it was already 4 PM, and everybody was ready to leave.
“Thanks for coming, everyone.” Martin told the guests. “I hope you had a good time.”
"And the three of us need to clean ourselves." Diana said. "And help Alex with his bath."
“Do I really need a bath?” Alex whined.
"Yeah, because you haven't had one since your mom died." Martin said, know about his hygiene.
“Ok.” Alex gave in, seeing that he had no choice.
After a bath, Alex felt clean in his new orange and white striped PJs. "You're right, Dad" Alex said. "I've felt so refreshed."
“See, I knew you would.” Martin smiled and touched his shoulder.
"You wanna help me with the routine." Alex said.
“Of course. I’d love to.” Martin replied, touched.
After they set up a routine schedule for school days, weekends, weekdays, holidays, and rules for the house to pin on the walls next to his bedside, he agreed with the rules.
“You’re such a good, kid.” Martin said, proud.
"Well, it looks like, it's almost bedtime for him." Diana said. "It's 8:30 PM."
“That’s right.” Martin agreed. “Especially when you have school.”
"Alright, Dad." Alex said, as he tried to get himself climb to the bed.
“Here, let me help you.” Martin helped Alex get into bed and tucked him in.
"Do I have school tomorrow or not?" Alex said, wondering if he's right about the calendar being Friday or not.
Martin looked at the calendar and saw the date. “I guess not. Looks like today is Friday.”
"Thanks, Dad." Alex said. "And thanks for the books you got me."
“No problem, son.” Martin said, smiling.
As the door closed, Alex quickly and quietly got his new smartphone, got under the covers, went to chat group named "Operation Cobra Kids", and began texting a 'Hi', with normal, orange-colored font.
The other kids began to sign into the chatroom and message ‘Hi’s back.
How are you liking your new room, Alex?
He texted back.
It's Awesome! BTW how did you guys manage to sneak chat without anyone knowing?
I don’t have to sneak around with my parents.
Me neither. Mine are glad that I have friends.
Alex then texted back again
I'm so excited for Saturday tomorrow!
The others replied with ‘Me too’s and ‘So am I’s.
Alex then replied.
I'm just glad to have a comfortable place to live
That’s great :) I’m glad that Jack brought you and your dad together.
Martin looked at the picture of him and Elizabeth in their junior year, with a half-smile. “I wish you were here, Liz. Alex is a great kid. We both miss you.”
"What are you looking at?" Diana asked, coming in with her pills and water, and in her silky blue leg-length nightgown, and messy bun.
Martin turned to face her. “Oh, hey, hon. It’s just an old picture of me and Elizabeth from high school.”
"Well, well, well," Diana said, knowing about his past. "Is this Liz?" She pointed at teenage Elizabeth in the picture, who had shoulder-length orange hair with white tips, and blue eyes. She also wore a bright orange tank top, white capris shorts, grey socks, and yellow tennis shoes, and was smiling, showing her colorful braces.
“Yeah.” He turned back to the picture. “Alex just reminds me so much of her. He really does look like her, doesn’t he?”
"Well, she is." Diana said "This weekend, should we ask the Hernandez Family to help us make a 'dead alter' for Liz?"
“I think that would be nice.” He nodded, smiling. “That way she can come visit us each year. We'll talk to Alex about it tomorrow." Martin said, then kissed Diana on the lips, passionately.
Diana blushed, smiling. “I’m sure he’ll like the idea, too. He can always look at it and remember her.”
In Alex's room, he turned off his phone and began to fall asleep while holding his teddy bear his mother give him years before, fixed by his father, and wrapped up with the same page Hilary give him.
Diana is Dory
Clements and Joanna are Dory's parents, Charlie and Jenny
Chapter 14: Sleepover 2: Remember Me
Thanks to my co-writer Vanessafan13 for suggesting the title
Hilary woke up, yawning, got out of bed, and went into the bathroom to get ready as usual. She took out her phone, read the time was 6:57 AM, a couple hours before school started, and then saw an email popped up. She opened it and saw it was from Susan and Barry
Dear Hilary Brodie, we invite you to our first Boys-vs-Girls sleepover/slumber party this Friday (When Ivanna's out on her night shift.) It's starts on Friday, November 24th, 2017, at 1 PM after school. Teens and tweens only! Make sure to bring some snacks and everything sleepover-related!
Have a great day! Susan and Barry de Lafayette Nagasaki
Hilary’s face lit up in excitement. She had sleepovers with Riley before, but it wasn’t like this. Before she could reply to the invite, Hilary knew she had to ask for permission. She just hoped that her dad would allow her to go.
Hilary brushed your teeth, put on her school uniform, and went downstairs for breakfast. Luckily today was Friday, so that was her chance to ask her father for permission. She saw Derek sitting at the table, with breakfast already made. “Morning, Dad. Can I ask you something?”
"Sure thing, Hilary." Derek said. "What is it?"
“Well, Susan’s having a sleepover and she invited me.” She explained. “Is it ok if I go?”
"Sure thing." Derek said
“Great! Thanks.” She smiled and served herself some breakfast.
At the Saunders residence, the family was having some hot cakes for breakfast.
"Hey, Mom and Dad. Can I go to Susan's for a sleepover?" Riley asked. "I just got the email this morning."
“Of course you can, honey.” Audrey replied. “That sounds like fun.”
At the Hernandezes complex, the whole family was having some chilaquiles for breakfast
"Mamá, Papá, everyone?" Michael questioned. "Can Prima Natalie and I go to Susan and Barry's house for the Boy versus Girls sleepover after school? We saw the email this morning."
The adults looked at each other for a moment. “Sure you can.” Lucy agreed.
“As long as you two can get along, and no teasing each other.” Diego added.
"We will." Michael and Natalie said in unison.
“Good. You two have fun.” Lucy smiled.
At the Jackson house, Melody ate her toast and eggs for breakfast.
"Can I please go to Susan's place after school?" Melody asked.
“Sure, honey. What are you guys gonna do?” Laurie asked.
"We're having a sleepover!" Melody said showing her mother and brother the email she got this morning
“Oh, wow. That sounds like fun.” Laurie smiled, seeing the invite.
At the Brooks residence, Alex was eating his breakfast with Diana and his father.
"Can I go to Barry's house for a sleepover?" He asked, showing the email from this morning
“Ooh, a sleepover! Those are fun.” Diana said, excited.
“I suppose so.” Martin looked unsure. “Will you be okay without us?”
"I'll be fine, Dad!" Alex said, confidently. "I've learned to take of myself when my Mom died."
“Ok, you’re right. Have a good time.” Martin smiled.
Susan and Barry got some toast and quickly tiptoed past Ivanna, who was getting some dresses ready.
"We're heading to the bus stop now. See you after school!" Barry said.
“Hold it, you two.” Ivanna said, making them stop. She turned to face them. “You kids have your homework?”
"Yep! It's done" Susan said. "We need to go now, so bye!" They went out the door.
“Alright. Have a good day!” Ivanna waved to them as they left.
"Phew, that was close." Susan said. "Our very first time we use the buses to school."
“Yeah, tell me about it.” Barry agreed. “I thought we were gonna get busted.”
"Yeah." Susan said. "Glad we sent those sleepover invitations by email."
“I hope that our friends will be able to come.” Barry said hopefully.
Susan and Barry then saw all of the kids at the bus stop.
“Hey, guys!” Barry greeted the others as they approached them.
"Hey, Barry!" Hilary said, happily waving her hand. "I just got your email this morning!"
“So did we.” The other kids said all together.
"Glad our group is gonna have their first sleepover." Michael said.
“Yeah. I’m also glad that our parents are letting us go.” Added Melody.
"I'm so excited about the sleepover, Susan!" Natalie said.
“Me too!” Riley said with a big smile.
The bus for the Elementary school pulled over.
"That's us!" Barry said. “See you guys after school!” Barry waved as he, Hilary, and Riley boarded the bus.
A minute later, the middle school's bus came.
“There’s our ride.” Michael said. “Let’s go.”
Meanwhile at Pixfare University, everyone got to Marine Biology 101. The students were talking, when Diana came in with her teacher outfit, which is a blue blouse, yellow leggings, and black flats. "Morning, Class."
“Good morning, Miss Samson.” The class said in unison, giving her their attention.
"Today's lesson will be about Echolocation, so take out your textbooks and turn to page 251." She instructed.
The class opened their books. Diana wrote on the board, beginning the lesson.
"Now let's start the lesson." Diana said. “Echolocation is a biological sonar used by several animal species. Animals emit calls out to the environment and listen to the echoes of those calls that return from various objects near them.” She lectured. “They use these echoes to locate and identify the objects. It’s used for navigation, foraging, and hunting in various environments.”
The class started taking notes.
“Echolocating animals include mammals such as bats, whales, and dolphins.” She continued.
At Pixfare Elementary, Hilary, Melody, Barry, and Riley were talking among themselves, when they heard footsteps coming in the distance.
“Good morning, kids.” Laura Reed greeted them as she came over. “How are you today?”
"Morning, Ms. Richards!" The kids said
"I thought since it's the last Friday of November, we're watching 'Free Birds' today while I grade this month's paperwork." She announced.
“Yay!” The kids cheered, excited.
At Pixfare Middle School, Michael and Natalie were chatting about the sleepover, when they heard Mr. Cruise's footsteps.
"EVERYBODY QUICKLY!!! GET YOUR CLASS STUFF READY!!!" one of the students said.
Michael and Natalie quickly got their stuff and went to class.
Then, Ben came with a welcoming smile. "Morning, Niños." He said
“Good morning.” The class said altogether, except for Michael who looked at him with a scowl on his face.
"What's wrong, Michael?" Ben questioned Michael
Michael snapped out of his gaze. “Oh, nothing. Just other things on my mind.” He said, trying to keep his cover.
"Okay, then." Ben said. "Alright, since it's Friday, we are watching 'Mamma Mia' movie!" He announced
“Yay!” The kids cheered, excited.
"Michael?" Natalie asked, whispering. "You usually said good morning to Mr. Cruise. What's been on your mind recently?"
“I know, but I couldn’t help it.” Michael whispered back. “I can’t be happy to see the guy who ruined our family”
"But he never did anything bad to our family." Natalie argued.
“Yes, he did.” Michael argued back. “He murdered Papa Héctor, stole his songs, and tried to kill me twice.”
Natalie raised her brow, noticing that her cousin had been acting strange since the Day of the Dead. "Who's Héctor? And I don't recall you being killed twice." She said, suspiciously
Michael was about to speak but realized that Natalie must still be cursed. That was why she didn’t believe him. “Never mind. That was just from a weird dream I had.”
At the Hernandez’s complex, the family was making the instruments.
"Did you guys notice Michael's behavior since Día de Muertos?" Edward said, concerned, polishing the violin.
“Actually, yes.” Angela replied. “He almost looked like he was surprised to see me, Henry, and Joaquin.”
"It must be from Jack." Lucy said. "I mean, it's been a month since he came to town."
“What do you think Jack could’ve done?” Albert asked. “He seems pretty cool.”
At the Pixfare Aquarium, Martin was giving a tour to the kindergarteners. He led the group to a large tank filled with different types of fish swimming around several coral reef.
One of the kindergarteners snuck out in the group and was about to steal a dolphin plushie from the gift shop nearby when she got caught.
“Excuse me, Martin.” A security guard brought the child back to the group. “Is this one of yours? I caught her trying to steal from the gift shop.”
"Yes." Martin looked at her in anger.
"She's part of the kindergarten group." Her teacher said. "Felicia, let's go to the school bus while I call your parents!"
“I’m sorry.” Felicia looked like she was gonna cry. “I just wanted a dolphin toy.”
The teacher looked suspicious. "Did you have your pocket money from your parents?"
Felicia dug into her pockets. “They only give me lunch money.”
The Teacher sighed "Ok, but next time, ask me if you want to go to the gift shop."
“Ok. I won’t do it again.” Felicia agreed.
"Good." The teacher said. “Now let’s get back to the tour” The teacher then brought her back to the group.
At the Pixfare Elementary, the movie was half-way done. Hilary and Riley were whispering about the plot throughout the movie.
“I think that Reggie kinda likes Jenny.” Riley noticed.
"I agree." Hilary said. "Even though they lived in different timeline."
“I wonder if he’s gonna stay with her, or go back to his time.” Riley questioned.
When school was over, it was 1 PM, and everybody was out, and the kids walked home, while some took the bus.
“Time to go to the sleepover!” Riley said, excited.
Riley started packing her things for the sleepover, including her phone, PJs, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and comb, a change of clothes, some of her DVDs and Blu-rays, her Bing-Bong plush, her books and magazines, her earplugs, and chargers in her purple and yellow 7-pouch duffle bag, when the limo arrived, honking.
"Riley, your ride's here!" Audrey called from downstairs.
“Coming!” She called back. Riley finished packing and then came downstairs.
"Bye Mom, Bye Dad!" Riley waved to her parents.
“Bye, honey! Have fun!” Audrey and Freddy waved back.
At Hilary's place, she started packing her things for the sleepover, including her phone, PJs, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and comb, a change of clothes, some of her DVDs, her earplugs, chargers, her notebook, and her storybook in her blue and pink 5-pouch duffle bag, when the limo arrived, honking "Hilary, the limo's here!" Derek called from downstairs
“I’ll be right there!” Hilary finished packing and then hurried downstairs.
"You better behave at the sleepover." Derek told Hilary.
“I will.” Hilary promised.
At the Hernandez complex, Michael started packing his things for the sleepover, including his phone, PJs, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and comb, a change of clothes, some of his DVDs, his Mexican games, his headphones, chargers, and his guitar in his red and blue 4-pouch mariachi-hat shaped duffle bag and gray guitar case.
A honk was soon heard from outside.
“Michael, come on.” Natalie knocked on his door. “The limo’s here to pick us up.”
"¡Viene prima!" Michael finished packing and then hurried out.
“Have fun, you two!” Lucy waved to them as they left.
At the Brooks household, Alex got everything he needed in his backpack, including his phone. "I'm ready to go, Dad!"
"You forgot something." Martin said.
“Really?” Alex checked in his backpack. “I don’t think I did.”
"It's there." Martin tickled his son on his body
“Hey!” Alex laughed. “Dad, stop that.”
The limo honked. "Come on!" The chauffeur called out.
“That must be my ride. Bye, Dad.” Alex got his backpack and headed out.
"Bye, Alex." Martin said.
"Call or text us when you get there!" Diana called, waving.
“I will!” Alex called back, waving.
At the Nakisaki mansion, Barry and Susan were creating and decorating different sides for boys and girls, along with the servants and painters in the guestroom they're using.
Ivanna soon came by and saw the room. “Wow! This is looking amazing.”
"Yeah." Susan said hanging the pink and purple Christmas lights on the wall in the girls’ section.
“I can’t wait for our friends to see this.” Barry was helping paint the boys’ section.
"I agree!" Susan said getting the number of beds for the girls' section
Ivanna checked the time. “Well, I believe your friends should arriving real soon,”
"I know." Barry said, putting the game consoles for the TV set.
“There. I think we’re just about ready.” Susan finished setting up the board games.
"I guess so." Barry finished off the beds for the guests
The limo soon pulled up to the mansion. The kids stepped out and went to ring the doorbell.
Ivanna checked the cameras and pressed the button for the computer voice.
“Barry, Susan, your guests have arrived.” the computer voice said.
"Let them in." Susan requested.
"Request acknowledged." The computer responded, opening the front door, and the kids entered.
The kids were amazed at the mansion.
One of the servants came in. "Allow me to put your bags in the sleepover room, and on the named beds." they said.
“Thanks.” The kids replied as they handed the servant their bags.
The kids went upstairs, and opened the sleepover room, and were amazed at the huge size.
“Hey guys, you made it!” Barry greeted them, excitedly.
"Gracias, Barry." Michael said.
“This room looks amazing.” Melody said, looking around.
"Luckily the beds are color-coded, carved in different writing styles to match your personalities, and shapes of your most favorite thing to do." Susan said.
“Wow, this is so cool.” Alex looked at the different colored beds.
"The fish-shaped, sea-themed bed is Alex's." Barry said as the bags had already been put on the assigned beds.
“I like this one.” Riley noticed the bed with her bag. “It’s so colorful.”
"Well, have fun." Ivanna waved "I'll be back at the boutique."
“Thanks, Aunt Ivanna.” Barry and Susan waved back as she left.
Everybody started unpacking their things.
“Now just make yourselves at home.” Susan said.
Then everybody started changing into their PJs.
“So, what do you guys wanna do first?” Barry asked.
"How about we write our suggestions, games, and activities on a piece of paper, and pick it randomly from a different type of hat for each?" Susan suggested, getting three hats, the red baseball cap for games, the green tall hat for ideas, and a purple Ascot cap for activities.
“Great idea.” The others agreed. They wrote down their ideas on three slips of paper and put one in each hat.
"The first activity will be...." Susan picked up a paper slip, with Melody's handwriting "Truth or Dare!" She announced.
“Cool!” The others cried, excited.
“Who’s gonna go first?” Riley asked.
"I say Truth to Natalie." Michael said. "What is your most embarrassing moment of your life?" He said
“Hey!” Natalie gave him an angry look. “You’re doing that on purpose.”
Ben had a meeting with Derek and told him everything from the day. "...and Michael didn't say good morning to me like he does every other school day."
“But you’re his favorite teacher in his favorite class.” Derek looked confused. “Did he have a reason why he didn’t?”
"Not since Día de Muertos." Ben said. "I just don't know why he did it?"
Derek thought back to that night. He did see Michael talking with Hilary, and they have been hanging out since then. She must have shown him that book of hers, and it could be returning his memories. “It’s probably just a phase. I’m sure that soon he’ll be back to normal.”
“I guess you’re right.”
“Of course I am.” Derek assured. As long as he was in charge of the town, he would stop at nothing to keep the curse from breaking.
The kids had finished 'Truth or Dare', and now they were finding another activity to do.
"Alright, our next activity is..." Susan picked out another paper slip. "Movie time!"
"Yes!" The kids cheered, as they got their Blu-rays and DVDs from their bags.
They laid out the different choices on the floor. Alex's DVDs were fish-themed animated films. Susan's DVDs were Gothic, for her age. Barry's DVDs were about superheroes. Michael's DVDs were musicals. Melody’s DVDs were about toys. “Which one should we watch first?” Alex asked, excited.
"How about Hilary's first?" Susan said. "What movie you want us to watch first?"
“Ok. But these are my favorite movies, I couldn’t pick one.” Hilary pointed to her choices. “Why don’t you guys help me decide?”
"How about 'Mulan'?" Michael suggested pointing out at one of Hilary's Blu-rays.
“Great idea!” The others said excitedly.
"You guys got some snacks or should I get some from the kitchen?" Susan questioned.
The kids started taking out snacks from their bags.
“I brought some goldfish crackers.” Alex said.
“I have some sodas, potato chips, and apple slices.” Riley added.
"Michael, Hilary, Melody, Rebecca, and Natalie?" Susan questioned "What kinds of snacks that you got?"
“I got some hot, buttery popcorn.” Melody took out a large bag.
Susan pressed on the button, and a servant drone appeared. "Michael Hernandez, what kind of snack and drink would you like?" The Drone asked in a male computerized voice.
Michael looked shocked for a moment. “Uh, I’ll have some popcorn and soda.” He answered.
"Hilary? What do you want for your movie snacks?" another drone came over and asked her.
“I’d like some cookies and hot cocoa with cinnamon, please.” Hilary requested.
Another drone came over to Natalie. "Ms. Hernandez, what snack would you want?" The female voice said
“Uh, some soda and potato chips, please.” She replied, also surprised by the machine.
"And Rebecca, what snack would you want?" The last drone asked.
“Oh, uh, I’d like some chocolate candies, please.” Rebecca answered.
"Request acknowledged." The drones then left, went to the kitchen and bought them their requested snacks and drinks.
“Wow! Those things are so cool.” Riley said, impressed.
"Thanks." Susan said. "Now let's start the movie."
"Yay!" The kids cheered, as Susan put the disc in and hit the play button.
Throughout the movie, they were discussing about the plot while eating and drinking.
"Looks like every man fell for Mulan's disguise." Melody said, eating the bag of popcorn.
“Well, you can’t blame them.” Rebecca snacked on her candies. “It is convincing.”
"I'm just guessing." Melody argued.
“Hey, hey girls. There’s no need to argue.” Riley spoke up. “We’re here to have fun.”
"She's right." Natalie said "Let's just watch the movie."
“Yeah, ok. I’m sorry.” Melody calmed down.
After the movie ended, they put it away. "The next movie time will be later." Susan said. "Now let's see which of the hats we'll do next?"
“Let’s do the red one for games.” Barry suggested.
"Good idea." Susan said, searching for something from the red hat. She then pulled out a slip of paper. “Hey, how about Twister?”
"Great idea!" Hilary said.
Barry and Susan laid out the Twister mat, and then the kids all took off their shoes.
A couple minutes later, the kids were having some fun. "Right foot green." Hilary said. She extended her right leg, trying to reach for a green spot.
As Riley was about to go next, Natalie suddenly felt a flash from Michael running away from the family, to the curse coming through them, then flashed back to reality, then collapsed, along with the other kids.
"Ow, my hips!" Rebecca said.
“Is everyone okay?” Susan asked, trying to sit up.
"You're ok, Prima?" Michael said, worried and ran over to her. "Wanna talk somewhere private?"
“I think so.” Natalie said, rubbing her head. “Yeah, good idea.” She nodded.
"Susan, can Natalie and I have go somewhere private, please?" Michael asked.
“Ok, but hurry back.” Susan nodded as she and the others got back on their feet.
They went outside the room and Michael put his hands on Natalie's shoulders. "Natalie, what happened just now?" He asked, still feeling worried.
“It was like all these flashes suddenly hit me, and then--” She looked at Michael and gasped. “Miguel, it’s you!” She hugged him.
"Rosa!" Michael then hugged Natalie back. "Oh, I thought I’d never see you again."
“Neither did I.” She replied, getting emotional.
"For 28 years, you were here this whole time!" Michael said, wiping his tears.
“Yeah.” She sniffled. “I can’t believe that you’ve been here all along too.”
"I gotta tell Hilary about this!" Michael said, excited.
He and Natalie came back into the room.
“Hey, are you guys okay?” Hilary asked.
Michael begin explaining everything to the kids, except Rebecca.
“You’re awake, too? Awesome!” Barry said eagerly.
"Yep" Natalie said, excited. "What was your plan, Hillary?" She questioned.
Hilary then explained everything to Natalie about their plans.
“Wow. It is alright for me to join in your group, then we can read your storybook?" Natalie asked.
“We’d be glad to have you join us.” Hilary smiled. “But you have to keep it a secret.”
"Sure thing!" Natalie said "Can I also join your chat group? I wanna know when Michael or Miguel will be chatting."
“Of course you can.” Hilary nodded.
“Hey, you just wanna spy on me!” Michael gave Natalie a look.
"It's just a joke, Miguel." Natalie said, rolling her eyes "I can exchange my phone number."
“Sure. And here’s mine.” Hilary wrote down her phone number and gave it to Natalie.
Natalie got her phone and added herself to the chat group.
“Welcome to Operation Cobra.” Hilary smiled and shook Natalie’s hand.
"Now let's go back to the game!" Susan announced.
“So who’s gonna go first?” Barry asked.
After minutes of Twister, they put the game away. "Now for activities!" Susan said, getting another slip of paper "Karaoke!"
"Cool!" The kids cheered. Michael looked especially excited.
"Michael v.s Natalie on 'No Matter Where You Are' from the Book of Life!" Susan said.
“Awesome!” Michael cried and went to get his guitar.
Natalie turned on the karaoke machine and began to sing the first verse
"I will stay by you,
Even when I fall" she sang into the microphone.
“I will be the rock, that holds you up
and lifts you high so you stand tall” Michael joined in
Natalie turned on the karaoke machine and begin to sing the second verse—
"I won't let you go"
Michael then turn it to a duet— "No one can take your place."
The other kids were enjoying watching their performance.
Natalie begin to sing the 3rd verse —
"A couple fights & lonely nights,
Don't make it right to let it go to waste
“I won't let you fall
I won't let you go” They sang at the same time
"No matter where you are
No matter where you are, I'll be there." Michael sung the part
“No matter where you are
No matter where you are, I'll be there” Natalie sang
"You go, girl!" Hailey cheered.
“Thanks!” Natalie smiled.
“No matter where you are
No matter where you are, I'll be there” Michael sang again
“I will hold on to
Everything we've got” Natalie sang the next part.
"A quitter, a regretter, and forgetter is
Everything I'm not." Michael sang the next one, strumming his guitar to the same note
“I'll take care of you
and love you just because” Natalie sang
"You and I are better than forever
Nothing can stop us" Michael sang again
“I won't let you fall
I won't let you go
No matter where you are
No matter where you are, I'll be there
No matter where you are
No matter where you are, I'll be there” They sang together
"We can be the generation
Who learns how to love.” Michael sang.
“Mistakes & empty promises
Will never be enough” Natalie sang.
"To tear apart the giant hearts
That beat inside us now." They sang again.
“Let's conquer the percentages
and rise above the crowd” Michael sang.
"And I won't let you fall
I won't let you go." They sang together once more.
“No matter where you are
No matter where you are, I'll be there” The song soon ended.
The kids cheered. Michael and Natalie took a bow.
"Now which hat should we choose next?" Barry said
“Let’s do the green one.” Riley suggested.
Then Susan begin picking randomly from the green hat. She picked out a paper slip. “Uh oh. Who’s up for a pillow fight?”
"We are!" The kids said, getting their pillows.
Susan picked up her pillow. “Ready? Let’s go!”
The kids had so much fun pillow fighting.
Melody ducked as Riley’s pillow came at her. “Missed me!”
Barry ran towards Michael, but Michael slid past him just in time. "Ha, ha, ¡te lo perdiste!" Michael said "That's means you missed!"
Alex was getting a little tired. He put his pillow back on his bed and sat down.
"Looks likes Alex's down." Susan said "I think we'll finish the pillow fight. You girls want to pick something from the activities hat?" She said, getting the purple hat.
“You guys don’t have to stop because of me.” Alex said. “I just have a bad arm.”
"I'm just kidding." Susan said.
“You guys can keep pillow fighting if you want.” Alex said.
The kids continued pillow fighting until the girls won.
“Ha! Girls win!” Riley shouted, raising her pillow in the air.
"Now let's do activities next!" Susan said. She grabbed the purple hat and picked out a slip of paper. “Time for another movie.”
"Yes!" The kids said, getting back to their DVDs and Blu-rays.
“So what are we gonna watch this time?” Alex wondered.
"Let's watch 'The Book of Life' on Blu-ray!" Riley said
“Alright!” The other kids cheered.
"Then let's start the movie!" Michael said. "I love everything about musicals, and about cultura mexicana!"
“Yeah, that’s an awesome movie!” Natalie agreed. “And it has Dia de Muertos.”
The movie started to play.
“Whoa! A secret entrance in the wall. Cool!” Alex looked amazed.
"I agree" Michael said "¡Mira, la entrada tiene forma de calavera!"
“Hey, that place reminds me of our town back home.” Natalie said to Michael.
"You mean in your story?" Hilary said. "Santa Cecilia?"
“Yeah.” Michael nodded. “And the Land of the Dead had a place for the Remembered and the Forgotten too.”
Hillary smile warmly, knowing that Natalie and Michael's memories returned.
Michael tried to enjoy the movie, but the characters made him think of his family.
"The characters in the movie look like your family?" Hilary asked, quietly to Michael and Natalie.
“They act like them too.” Michael replied. “At first, my family didn’t approve of me being a musician either.”
"But now they do!" Natalie said "Even with our counterparts."
"Yeah, and it's great. I just wish that Papa Héctor and Mama Coco were here too." Michael looked a little sad.
"Don't worry, Michael." Natalie said, cheering him up. "Oh, look, The family's heading to La Muerte's castle!"
“Wow! That place looks cool!” Melody looked amazed.
"¡Y mira toda la comida!" Natalie pointed. "Just like the ones back home!"
“Si!” Michael agreed. “Especially with how much food Abuelita would always make.”
Angela was reading 'Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451' when a folded page flew in her window, covered in marigolds and roses.
“What was that?” She put down her book and picked up the page, opening it to see a picture of skeletons. “Where did this come from?”
Then she turned around to her vanity mirror showing her skeleton self again, this time with someone holding her shoulder.
Angela screamed at the sight of her reflection, dropping the page. “Who’s there?!” She looked around, frantically.
She rubbed her eyes, and put on her glasses to make sure. Angela sighed relieved that there wasn’t anyone there. “I must be imagining things again.” She said, touching her head.
At the shoe shop, a gray cat came in, with a page in her mouth and was greeted by Ms. Cordwain.
“Hola, gatita. What you got there?” She knelt down and took the page from the cat’s mouth.
The cat meowed and went for a nap. Ms. Cordwain smiled and shook her head. "Just like Pepita used to do."
Chapter 15: Christmas
Merry late Christmas
Everybody in Pixfare was getting preparing for the holidays. Christmas Eve, some people gave out to charities, some baked, and traditional music was playing throughout the town. They couldn't believe this was the first Christmas in years.
Derek, however, wasn't so excited for the festivities. To him, it only meant that the curse was getting weaker.
Hilary, one the other hand, was so excited for the holidays. For the first time in the town's history, not only was the school was closed for two weeks until January 8th, another reason was that now Jack was in town, everyone can finally follow the holidays. "I can't wait until Christmas." Hilary told her friends in their chatroom. "I'm so glad that I can spend it with my real dad. What do you guys have planned?"
The kids started talking one at a time about their Christmas traditions and even about family.
"My mama and Abuelita have been busy cooking and baking." Michael said.
"That's cool" Hilary laughed.
"Not just that, but this year, Ivanna is hosting a Christmas party this year, for the first time in 28 years!" Susan said, excitedly.
The other kids replied with excited "Wow's" and "Cool's".
At their apartment, Jack looked at the window and Laura Reed was decorating the Christmas tree in the living room.
'Guess this is my first Christmas in this town.' Jack thought.
"I think you'll like spending Christmas here." She told him. "I got an email that Ivanna's throwing a party." "Me too." Jack said. "I never saw a town so festive for the holidays."
She then realized something. "To be honest, me neither. I can't remember the last time we had Christmas here."
At the Sanders household, the family was decorating the entire house.
"The holidays are here! Very, very exciting!" Audrey said, putting up garlands.
"Yeah, honey. I agree." Freddy said, hanging up the Christmas tree. "I can't wait for Ivanna's party." Riley said.
At the Hernandezes complex, the family was getting ready for both Christmas and Los Posadas.
The kids helped hang decorations and the adults put up the tree. "I'm so excited for Navidad and Los Posadas!" Natalie said as she was getting the Christmas lights.
"Me too." Michael agreed. "It almost feels like we're back home again."
"That's ideal for you niños. Las Posadas and Christmas is a wonderful idea!" Lucy said, baking some conchas, rellenos de chocolate y vanilla, along with Maria, Theodore, Edward, Albert, Gabriella, Diego, Henry, Joaquin, and Angela.
Michael smelled the pastries baking and came into the kitchen. "Mmmm, those smell great!"
Juan and Jimmy were playing dolls with Mina.
"Looks like you guys are having fun." Natalie watched them, smiling.
At the Madison Mansion, the servants and maids were getting ready for the holidays. Nadia was preparing for the holidays herself.
She helped decorate the walls and staircases with wreaths and garlands.
"You're such a great help, Nadia." One of the maids said. "We never got help from your parents."
"No problem." Nadia said with a smile. "I like decorating. It's pretty fun."
At the house, Evelyn and Clark were making the decorations for the holidays.
"This might be your first Christmas since you came home, Clark." Evelyn said, putting up with Christmas tree.
"Yeah, I think it is." He agreed. "It's great to see everyone so festive."
At Ellen's Diner, everyone was loving the Christmas menus, Michelle and Ellen were impressed.
"Wow, Mom. Looks like our holiday menu is a big hit." Michelle smiled.
"Yes, Michelle, it is." Ellen said.
"We should bring some of our food to Ivanna's Christmas party." Michelle suggested.
------- At the Hudson household, Paul, Sarah, Ray, and Matt were preparing for Christmas.
“Isn’t this great? All of us being together for the holidays.” Ray said, smiling.
"I agree, Ray." Sarah said, decorating the tree.
“Me too.” Matt agreed. “Say, y’all planning on goin’ to the Christmas shindig?”
"Well, we just received invitations for Ivanna's Christmas party." Paul said.
"We’ve never been to Ivanna's before." Sarah added.
“That’s true. Looks like things are still changing around here.” Ray said. “
Ivanna, the kids, and the servants were busy getting the mansion ready for the holidays.
"I'm so excited for Christmas!" Barry said, excitedly as he put the Christmas lights on the tree.
“Me too. Especially for the party.” Susan agreed, hanging the stockings.
"I'm glad Ivanna's finally throwing a party on Christmas Eve." Barry said, getting the treats for the guests.
“Yeah.” Susan nodded. “I hope that Mom and Dad will be able to come.”
"But we have to keep a low profile." Barry said.
“Oh yeah. That’s right.” Susan looked a little disappointed.
In the servants’ quarters, Lorenzo, Leonardo, Lucas, and Charlie were making their own traditional Christmas dishes from their countries.
“I sure hope the family will like our food,” Lucas said confidently.
"Not only our foods." Leonardo said. "But some guests are bringing their own foods too?" Lorenzo added
“Cool. I can’t wait to have some of their food too.” Charlie said excited.
At the Brooks residence, Martin, Diana, and Alex were decorating the entire house for the holidays
“This is great. Our first Christmas together.” Martin said with a smile.
"I agree, Dad!" Alex said.
“Me too.” Added Diana. “I can’t remember the last time we did this.”
"And it's the first time we've gone to Ivanna's for a party." Martin said.
“We’re going to a party? Ooh, that sounds like fun!” Diana said excited.
"We just got the email this morning." Martin said.
“Maybe I’ll get to see my friends there.” Alex hoped.
At the Jackson household, James, Melody, and their mother were making the house more festive and cooking some dishes.
“You think the people at the party will like our food?” Melody asked.
"We'll wait and see." Laurie answered.
James then had a strange feeling. “I don't know why, but something about the three of us at Christmas seems familiar.”
"Why do you ask?" Laurie questioned her son.
“I don’t know. Just a feeling.” James shrugged. “Maybe it’s just my imagination.”
'His memories are returning to him.' Melody thought.
“Never mind. It’s probably nothing.” James shook his head, dropping the subject.
At Rose's house, she was decorating the house for the holidays while humming 'Deck the Halls' in her head. Soon she went to get the batch of cookies from the oven that she planned to take to the party.
Daniel, Kristen, and Carmen were taking turns cooking, cleaning, and decorating the entire house for the holidays.
“This Christmas is gonna be great, guys.” Kristen said smiling.
"I agree, Krist." Carmen said, cleaning the fireplace.
“Me too.” Daniel agreed. “I also can’t wait for Ivanna’s big party.”
"Us too!" Kristen agreed as well.
"We never got invited to any of Ivanna's parties before in my life." Carmen said.
Daniel then thought of something. “Yeah, come to think of it, we’ve never had any parties in town.”
"...and my memories returned, and you were named 'Dante' back home." Michael chatted with Manolo.
The dog barked and looked at him, slightly confused. Manolo felt a strong flash seeing himself with Miguel, to whimpering and cuddling his owner in the purple mist, then snapped back to reality. He looked at Michael and started barking excitedly, wagging his tail and licking him on the cheek.
"Aww, Dante!" Michael laughed. "¡Es un milagro de navidad!"
Manolo smiled at the boy with his tongue sticking out.
Jessica was decorating her house for the holidays, when a slender, brown horse, with dark brown mare and tail, dark brown hooves and a light brown saddle, and a pink nose, opposed her. She screamed and backed away, startled. “A horse? How did a horse get in here?”
Jessica then saw a note from Jim, a blue collar, a present box wrapped with a purple bow from 'Kelly', a folded page with a yellow bow, and an invitation from Ivanna.
After trying to decide which one to look at first, Jessica picked up the invitation and read it. “A Christmas party? That sounds like fun.”
Jessica then saw the collar that read 'Bullseye' on the silver chain. She looked at it curiously. Why would someone that to send her? She didn’t even have a pet.
She looked at the note from Jim, and read it. He had gotten her horse. “Oh, Jim, you shouldn’t have.” Jessica said, smiling. As a country girl, she always loved horses.
At the shoe shop, Ms. Cordwain was making her shop more festive with Christmas decorations, and some of her traditions back home. She always enjoyed the holidays, but she felt a little sad, knowing that it wouldn’t be the same since her family was still cursed.
She could imagine that her family would be still with her in the curse but then went to the kitchen for the baking. As the food was being prepared, she got an idea of taking some to the Christmas party where she hoped to see her family.
Then she went to her room where the dress was laying on her bed. The dress she made was a green and red dress, with a white off-shoulder blouse top with golden tips all over, a beautiful fluffy, purple mold with a mistletoe on top, with a pair of eloquent, black leather high heel boots with golden tips. It was a perfect outfit for Christmas. She only wished that her husband and daughter could be there to spend the holidays with her.
At the Van Buren household, they were getting ready for the holidays as well.
"Like, this Christmas is gonna be awesome, man." Rick said, hanging decorations.
"We didn't have this in years." Mildred wondered.
"I know." Lindsey agreed. "It's great to have something fun happening in this town."
Several hours passed, and everyone was getting ready for the party. Even Ms. Cordwain, who was in her Christmas dress and heels and was now at her vanity mirror picking out the right hairdos.
"Which one should I go with, Pepita?" She asked the cat, "Braided bun with a red ribbon or just down with a golden roses wreath?"
The cat meowed in response, picked up the red ribbon in its mouth, and brought it to her.
"Sounds good, girl." Ms. Cordwain said, taking the red ribbon from the cat's mouth and petted her.
Pepita purred and rubbed against her hand, enjoying the attention.
Ms. Cordwain put her hair up in a braided bun with the red ribbon, then looked in the mirror, looking amazed. It had been years since she last danced, and knowing her white streaks hadn't changed a thing since the curse. Her thoughts just made her miss Hector even more. They had made up and gotten back together, and now she lost him again.
The Hernandezes were getting ready for the party.
"I'm so excited for tonight." Michael smiled as he finished getting dressed.
"I know, right?!" Natalie agreed, putting on her gold hoop earrings, along with Manolo, who was admiring himself with his red and green striped collar.
"Looking muy guapo, aren't you, boy?" Michael smiled, scratching Manolo behind the ears.
"Come on, everybody!" Maria said, holding the food and pastries.
"Are you dressed yet? We need to get to the party soon." Edward added, holding the presents.
"We're coming!" The kids answered as they came down dressed in their best clothes. The other adults soon followed after them.
The Sanders were getting ready, and Freddy was fixing his tie.
"Audrey, can you give me a hand with this, please?" He asked.
"Sure, hon!" Audrey said, then finished the tie "...and, finished."
"Thanks, honey." Freddy smiled. "Riley, are you ready?"
"Almost!" Riley shouted, and was finishing her ponytail, complete with a red rose on the left. "Done!"
"Wow, honey, you look great." Audrey smiled.
Hilary was preparing herself for the party and quickly placed her storybook in her bag in case of emergency.
"Hilary, are you ready yet?" Her dad called from downstairs.
"Coming!" Hilary rushed down the stairs, she was beautiful, her dress was medium length red and white.
"You look pretty." He said with a slight smile.
Nadia was getting ready for the party. She put on green eyeshadow, red lipstick, and wore a green sparkly dress.
The limo was honking from outside.
"I'll be right there!" She replied. Nadia soon came outside with the servants carrying the food and presents.
At the Van Buren household, everybody was getting prepared.
"Come on, guys! We don't want to be late!" Lindsey said, wrapping the food to go.
"We're coming, gal." Marco said. "Just helping Mom with the dress."
"Thank you, my boy." Mildred smiled. "Guess this old model ain't what it used to be."
Rose was getting prepared and ready for the party as well. She finished her hair and makeup and then brought her food and gifts out to the car.
At the Hudson household, everyone was getting ready. Sarah wore a navy blue dress with a gold poinsettia brooch. Ray wore his red tuxedo. Paul wore a white shirt, dark blue pants, and black loafers.
"Come on, kids. Let's get going." He called them while getting the presents.
"We're coming!" Ray said fixing his tie.
"Be right there!" Matt called, wearing his simple brown shirt, green jeans, and black sneakers.
"Wow. You guys look great." Sarah said, standing by the door.
After the Diner was closed, Ellen and her daughter were at home getting ready.
Ellen wore a long green dress with gold jewelry.
Michelle was putting on her turquoise medium length dress, beige stockings, and her red high-heeled boots, and was doing her hair and makeup. "Michelle, are you ready yet?" Ellen asked standing by the door.
"Almost." Michelle answered, putting her hair in a ponytail, then started putting on makeup.
"Try not to take too long. We don't want to be late." Ellen went downstairs.
"K, Mum." Michelle said, putting on her green lipstick. "Done!"
Michelle then came down and helped Ellen load the gifts and food into the car.
At the Brooks household, Diana, Martin, and Alex were getting ready.
Diana put on a blue and yellow dress with yellow heels. She then fixed her hair and makeup.
Martin, who was wearing his orange and white tuxedo, and was helping Alex get ready.
"I can't wait to get to the party, Dad." Alex said, excited.
"I know, Alex." Martin agreed, getting Alex his new Christmas outfit.
"A party? We're going to a party?!" Diana was also excited.
"Yes, Diana, you just said that already." Martin reminded.
"I did? Oh, yeah, that's right." She said, touching her head.
"And done." Martin announced, finishing Alex's tie.
"Thanks, Dad." Alex smiled.
At the Jackson residence, James, Melody, and Lurie were getting ready.
"You ready yet, kids? Time to go." Laurie announced.
"Coming!" Melody came in her beautiful silky pink grown, and James in his red and white tuxedo.
"Oh, you two look great." Laurie smiled.
At the Nagasaki mansion, everybody was getting prepared and ready for the party.
"Alright, come on everyone. Our guests are on their way." Ivanna ordered.
"Almost done!" Susan said, getting her hair done.
Barry came down, wearing a red tux. "I'm ready, Aunt Ivanna."
Susan already came out in a dark magenta dress, with an indigo ribbon and bow on her waist, and her hair was in an elegant bun, with violet and lilac flowers all over her hair, and she was already shining through the hallway.
"Wow. You guys both look fabulous." Ivanna smiled.
"Umm, thank you." Susan said, blushing.
"When are our friends gonna be here?" Barry asked.
"Just wait for them, Dash." Susan whispered to him.
Ivanna glanced at the clock. "They should be here real soon."
The cars then parked all over the mansion in parking spots. Soon the doorbell rang.
"Come in." The computer voice said.
The guests looked amazed as the front door opened automatically.
"Welcome to the party." Ivanna said. "The presents will go under the tree, and the food will be at the food table."
Everyone agreed and did as she instructed.
"Wow, Susan." Michael said, blushing and stood still. "Y-you look maravilloso tonight." He noticed her outfit.
"Really? Thanks, Michael." She smiled, also blushing. "You look nice too."
"Hey, guys!" Hilary waved at the kids.
"Hi, Hilary!" They waved back to her.
"I'm so excited for the party!" Hilary said.
"We're glad that you guys could make it." Susan smiled.
"Thanks." Alex said.
"It's great to see everyone all together for the holidays." Natalie commented.
Jack and Laura Reed came to the party.
"Wow." Jack looked around, surprised. "Ivanna really went all out."
"Jack! You came!" Hilary said, running to him for a big hug. "Merry Christmas!"
"Hey, Hil." Jack smiled and went to hug her. "Thanks, you too."
"You kids can go up to the kids' room until dinner." One of the servants said.
"Ok." The kids agreed and then headed upstairs.
They made it to Susan's room, and begin sharing stories on their winter traditions back home.
"Barry and I used to love to play in the snow every year." Susan explained.
"Then what happened after that?" Natalie questioned.
"We usually have a snowball fight." Susan continued.
"Which he/she cheats at!" She and Barry said at the same time.
"This is my first Christmas with my family." Alex said.
"This is my first one too." Hilary added. "Wanna check out on my storybook?" She asked as she got her storybook. "And don't wanna ruin my dress."
"Ok!" The other kids agreed, nodding.
Meanwhile downstairs, the adults were chatting about the holidays.
"This is a pretty cool party." Jack said.
"You never have been to a party before?" Audrey asked.
"Not one like this." Jack shook his head.
"Well, darling," Ivanna said. "You look like someone I've known before."
"Really?" Jack turned to look at her. "I don't think we've met before."
"Nevermind" Ivanna said.
Jack shrugged and went back to mingle with the other guests.
Laura Reed was talking to Brianna and Lucy about Jack.
"It's great to see him fitting in with everyone." Laura Reed said, feeling proud.
"I know. I mean the rumors of him are sometimes suspicious ever since he came here." Brianna claimed.
"But after you get to know him, you see that the rumors aren't true." Laura Reed said.
"I heard that." Jack said, getting some pork tamales, and some Christmas chocolate pudding. "So this is Brianna?" He asked.
The women were surprised to see Jack standing near them.
"Yes, I am." Brianna nodded. "Nice to meet you, Jack." She shook his hand.
"Nice to meet you, too." Jack smiled, shaking her hand.
In Susan's room, Hilary was reading along the Christmas special page of Coco in her storybook.
The other kids enjoyed listening to the story, especially Michael and Natalie.
"This story reminds me of our family's traditions back home." Natalie said, smiling warmly, remembering the Christmas before the cruse. "I've missed them soon much."
"Me too." Michael agreed, nodding. "But at least our family's still together."
Ms. Cordwain put of each three presents for each of the Hernandez family.
"I hope you like these, mi familia." She said softly to herself.
"Hey, Ms. Cordwain." Lucy came over to her "What a lovely and festive dress you have on." She complemented.
"Oh, hi Lucy." She turned to face her. "Gracias. Yours is quite lovely, too."
"Well, gracias to you too." Lucy said, blushing. "Have you noticed anything about Michael when he walked by to your shop?"
Ms. Cordwain thought for a moment. "I've noticed that he's made some friends. I've also seen him out playing with his dog and his guitar."
"I'm glad he had some friends." Lucy said, smiling a little. "But when he saw Angela, Henry, or Joaquin, he called them 'Tía Victoria, Tío Oscar, and Tío Felipe.' So has Natalie. I've overheard them in secret." She explained.
Ms. Cordwain's eyes widened and she froze in shock. 'That means Miguel and Rosa are awake too.' She thought to herself. "Oh, I'm sure it's just a game that they're playing." She said, trying to keep her cover. "I thought the same." Lucy said. "They even think of you as 'Mama Imelda'."
'Because I am, Luisa.' She wanted to say, but she knew Lucy wouldn't believe her. "Well, in a way, they do feel like family to me."
"I agree." Lucy agreed.
"Talking to Ms. Cordwain?" Edward came in.
Lucy turned to face him. "Oh, hi honey. Yeah, we were talking about Michael and Natalie."
"I've even heard you calling her 'Mama Imelda' just now." Edward said.
"I was saying that that's who Michael and Natalie seem to think Ms. Cordwain is." Lucy explained.
"Well, you're in luck, because I once saw Michael thinking of my mother and father as 'Elena y Franco" for some reason." Edward said.
"The kids certainly have an overactive imagination." Lucy said.
"It'll pass." Ms. Cordwain advised.
"I hope so." Lucy and Edward looked at each other. "We don't want them to get too carried away."
Dinner was ready starting, and the parents and kids were seated at the same table. The large dining room table was decorated with a holiday-themed centerpiece, name cards at each plate, and a few candles and poinsettia flowers. Michael got himself some of Maria's chicken tamales, Ellen's meat, Diana's vegetarian salad, a little of Lorenzo and Leonardo's spaghetti and meatballs, and some of Ivanna's exotic Californian almond milk, and sat to his seat.
Everyone else went over to the food table in small groups, served themselves, and then sat down.
"I'm so glad it's the holidays." Michael said.
"Me too." Natalie agreed, nodding.
"What did you get from the food selection?" Michael questioned Natalie.
"I wanted to try one of everything," She pointed to her plate.
"That's amazing!" Hilary said.
"Yeah. Our Abuela always makes us have a full plate." Natalie explained.
After dinner, it was time to dance with their partners, and Ms. Cordwain decided to dance by herself.
Seeing everyone dancing in pairs made her feel sad again. 'I wish you could be here for the holidays, mi amor.' She thought to herself.
Ms. Cordwain then joined in, picking up her dress and twisted and twirled, laughing happily, making her shoes growing marigold petals, and imagine yourself as a young woman, dancing with her husband.
Michael and Natalie watched her in amazement.
"Mama Imelda can dance?" Natalie also looked shocked.
"Si." Michael answered. "She danced while singing 'La Llorona' at the De la Curz sunrise spectacular." He explained.
"Really?" Natalie couldn't believe it. "But I always thought she hated music. She started the ban."
Michael began to explain to Natalie about Imelda's past and her years of dancing and singing, and why she didn't tell her family about it.
Natalie was just amazed, listening to him. It was much different from the story they grew up hearing.
"Looks likes we are getting close to breaking the cruse." Michael hopefully said.
"I hope so." Natalie agreed.
After dancing, they all went to the tree for the gift-giving.
"Alright, everyone." Ivanna said, getting their attention. "It's time to hand out presents. Who would like to go first?"
"Me first." Hilary said. "I got one for Jack." She got a rectangular red box with a gray ribbon and bow on it, and a card reading: 'To Jack, From Hilary.'
"Aw, thanks, kid." Jack smiled. She handed him the present and he began to open it. He was surprised at a mug reading 'Hilary's best hero'. Jack looked at her, feeling both speechless and touched. He gave Hilary a big hug.
Ms. Cordwain was warm-hearted at the moment, then looked at the Hernandez Family. "These presents are from me." She said.
She handed them out to each member of the family, and they began opening the gifts. They were amazed by the presents they've got.
Michael's gift was a pair of black leather loafers. Natalie's were a beautiful, sparkling purple, calfskin flats with bows on them. Angela got huarache sandals with yellow and blue colors. Edward's were a great pair of brown kangaroo-skinned boots. Lucy got a pair of closed-toed, blue and orange Huaraches. Albert's were a perfect green and red sneakers with colorful painted silver laces. Gabriella's were a beautiful gold and black high heels with golden and silver tips. Diego's was a gray and black pair of sandals and loafers. Juan and Jimmy each got matching red and green cars sneakers. Mina's were a beautiful sparkling purple pair of baby boots. Maria's was a pair of beautiful, open pink and blue Huaraches. Henry's and Joaquin's were matching pairs of boots with pockets in them to store everything.
"Wow!" The kids cried.
"These are all wonderful." Lucy smiled.
"Si. Muchas gracias." Added Maria.
"Oh, de nada." Ms. Cordwain smiled, remembering their faces after all those years. For a moment, it felt as though she had her family back.
"Ms. Cordwain!" Michael said, trying to keep his cover. "I got a present for you!" He got out a medium size purple box, with an indigo ribbon and bow, with a card.
She tried to control her emotions and keep her cover as he handed her the present. "That's very nice of you, Michael."
Ms. Cordwain was curious she opened the present and was amazed by a beautiful music box, it was very golden with violet and red tips, she open it and so the mirror along with a dancing couple doing a waltz: a man was tan-skinned, with brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a black and indigo mariachi suit and hat, and the woman was fair-skinned, had long curly black hair, and blue eyes, and was wearing a beautiful, long, off shoulder, and sparkling violet and brown dress, and it was playing 'Proud Corazon' in a lullaby version.
She felt her eyes tearing up and stared at Michael, speechless. She put the box down and wrapped her arms around him in a big hug. "Gracias, Miguelito." She whispered.
After the gift-giving, it was time for another adult conversation, but Ms. Cordwain decided to talk with Michael and Natalie in one of the private rooms.
"Mi niños, I thought we'd never saw each other again. Thank goodness we found each other again." She said, giving Michael and Natalie a hug.
"So did I, Mama Imelda. I really missed you." Michael replied, hugging her back. "I can't believe you've been awake the whole time."
Jack looked curiously at the family, thinking he MIGHT have known them before.