The Cereal Scene

This is from the beginning of Chapter 3: Puzzle. Because every one knows that the danger of your cereal getting soggy is MUCH more important than figuring out your destiny.

Sitting in the kitchen later that evening, Juliet’s mind was reeling. She didn’t dare ask Elena what all of that was about – the only thing she could get out of her mother, who was sitting dejectedly on the couch, was that she’d decided not to cook dinner and that Juliet was on her own. Juliet shook her head slowly as she poured a bowl of cereal for dinner.

            Many of the words Hayle had shouted wrenched odd feelings deep in Juliet’s heart: Gabriel, Eldias, wanderlust, and most importantly, Ayephim. That last word had thrown strange images into view, the last memory of her father in a different sense – the shadow behind the purple light was not the same build as her father, and another piece had come to mind, which was black leather.

            Juliet started as the phone rang, spilling milk across the table. Grabbing a pile of napkins in one hand and the phone in the other, she answered as she mopped up the mess.

            “Hello, Montgomery residence.”

            “Juliet?” questioned an unwelcome familiar voice.

            It took Juliet a moment to calm down before speaking. “How did you get this number?”

            “It’s called a phone book.”

            “What do you want?”

            “I want to talk. Is that so bad?” Nigel asked.

            Juliet sat down heavily in the kitchen chair, dropping the soggy napkins before hanging her head in her hand. “No, I suppose not.”

            “Look, about what happened earlier today…”

            “Just forget about it, won’t you? It’s no big deal. My life is full of things like that. Don’t cry over spilled milk.” She smiled bitterly as she stared at the mass of wet napkin on the table.

            “I can’t. Especially when you say things like that, Juls.”

            “I hate that nickname.”

            “Too bad,” said Nigel smoothly. “That’s my name for you, so get over it.”

            She sighed. “If you want to talk, then get to the talking. My cereal is slowly becoming food for my trashcan.”

            “Cereal?” he questioned skeptically.

            “Do you frown upon my dinner preferences?”

            There was a quiet laugh from over the phone. “No, of course not. If you want to go eat, I can call back later.”

            “Why not hang up, let me eat, and not call back at all?”

            “I can’t, Juls. It’s too important. When you tell me that your life is full of ‘things like that’, by which I assume circumstances that you can’t make sense of, I want to help you.”

            “How on earth could you help me?”

            Nigel was quiet for a moment, and then, “You were right. Earlier, I mean. I haven’t figured you out.”

            Juliet said nothing.

            “But I want to,” he continued. “The things you’ve said, your paper, the way you react when I try to figure you out – you’re running away from yourself, Juliet. Stop running and let me help you figure this out. I want to help you.”

            “That’s great and all, but I have more pressing matters on my hands right now.”


            “Soggy cereal.”

            And with that, Juliet hung up the phone. She slammed the cordless receiver down on the table and stirred her cereal, fuming. Shoving her chair back, Juliet got up again and dumped the entire bowl in the sink.

            “I’m going to bed,” she called to her mother before slumping up the stairs.

The End

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