Kris slept fitfully that night.
Images of fiery skies and tormented faces filled her dreams.
None of which made any sense.
When Mom came to her room the next morning, she was already awake.
“I’ll have breakfast ready for you.” Was all she said.
Guess Mom was still a bit miffed at her for what she didn’t do.
What could she do?
She had to play her part in whatever this was.
Unsure of what to wear for school, she chose a pair of casual khaki pants and a hunter green turtleneck sweater.
A quick glance in the mirror hung just inside the closet door showed a mussed hair which she brushed and pulled into a ponytail.
Kris turned to the backpacks on the floor.
She obviously could not take the bag from home since it was filled with sentimental keepsakes from a past life.
As she picked up the small one, she noticed it was much heavier than she anticipated.
Parley couldn’t be that heavy.
She had no time to check and rushed out and down the stairs.
In the dining room, she sat at the table.
Mom had prepared a plate of a single large pancake and two strips of bacon.
The older woman appeared beside her and set down a glass of apple juice by Kris’ plate.
“I know you have your first track practice after school today so be sure to come straight home afterwards.” Mom said.
Kris was in the process of swallowing food when she started to gag and sputter.
“Track?” She replied hoarsely.
Mom continued as if she never heard Kris. “I will be going with your Dad to his firm’s annual banquet so we’ll be late getting home tonight. I’ll have a casserole ready for you to heat up in the oven.”
Kris barely heard the woman as the word track kept repeating in her mind.
“Your bus will be here soon.” Mom replied as she walked out of the room.
Her appetite suddenly gone, Kris pushed away from the table and went to the front door to put on her coat and boots.
Dread filled her.
She hated exercise of any form.
This has to be one of Bark or Parley’s sick jokes although they hardly fit the profile of being jokesters.
Hoisting the bag over one shoulder, she reached for the door knob.
It was going to be another one of those days.