Calliope Njo: Action and Consequence

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Action and Consequence

Calliope Njo

I opened my mirror to be sure everything was perfect, not that I ever had anything to worry about. I was born perfect. Anyway, I had to check out the rumor that new people were arriving. In my territory. How dare they? Didn’t they know they needed my permission? I could kill the principal for allowing this. No matter, I’d get to that later.

Oh, that must be them. Both were rather tall. Maybe even taller than me, which, of course, was impossible. Hairstyle was loose and layered, which was so yesterday. They wore a black and white pinstriped shirt dress with Greek sandals. Only I could pull off that look. How dare they copy me?

An old lady was with them when they walked away from the Administration Building. So the rumor must be true. That might pose a threat to my existence.

Why should I even worry? Although I still needed to inspect them. Since they didn’t pass, they needed to be eliminated on a permanent basis. Yes, it had to be so. Yes, indeed.

I slept through the entire morning as usual and didn’t miss a thing. With a few well-placed brainiacs in the room, I had it under control. The teachers never knew. Even if they did, there was nothing they could do about it. My parents supplied them with the funds they needed for whatever they needed. If I got expelled, there goes their funding and it would be their fault and not mine.

The sweet Little Miss Princess over there. Too golden-haired, too short, and too popular. Why did she have to be here? She would ruin everything. With her around, my brilliant plan to get rid of the newcomers would fail. I. Never. Fail.

The last three-day holiday was right around the corner. A perfect opportunity to get rid of them. Somebody always died for one reason or another. They would be the ones to appear on the morning news. Three teens drowned to death in big and bold black letters. I would get so much attention for eliminating them. Everybody would be so thankful.

On my way out the door the next morning, mother dearest called me. She too needed to die, but that would be much later. After graduation sounded good.

Mother approached me. “Oh, Estelle dear. I will be there to pick you up. I will bring along with me a change of clothes so you can change in the car. There is a very important woman I need to meet. Yes, I expect you to be there. Do not keep me waiting.”

“But Mother. Not even a little?” I pouted. Someone is important if I said they were important.

“Do you expect me to believe this act about you being sweet and innocent?” She laughed. “You have privileges only because your father insists on it. In case a plan emerges into your rodent sized head about getting rid of us, always remember, your father and I are ten steps ahead of you. Three o’clock at the front gates. If you’re late, there will be consequences. Understood?”

“But Mommy…” I pouted again. She had to fall at some point.

She walked up to me, standing face to face. “Am I understood?”

“Fine. Three o’clock then. Ta ta, Mother dearest.” You will be eliminated earlier than planned. You are the one with the rodent-sized brain.

She turned around and left.

I went to school and continued to sleep until lunch. There was a quiz in that boring class that talked about nonexistent people. What was it? Some sort of history or something. The brainiacs took care of that for me. I expected to get an A average for graduation. Nothing less would do.

The real competition would be God himself. Oh, and Little Miss Angel came into the cafeteria at last. I needed to stretch my legs. She stepped over them.

One of the old lady watchers came to me. “You really shouldn’t do that. You could trip someone. On purpose or not really doesn’t matter.” The hag left.

The bell rang, and I had other classes to sleep through.

The last bell rang, and Mother Dearest was supposed to pick me up. I would tell her that—

“Let’s go,” Mother said. “Now.”

I turned around and stood there. She would not tell me what to do. I didn’t need to follow the rules. They were below me. I needed to inspect my nails.

She left me alone. Perfect. On my way to find out what that waste of oxygen was up to, one of our minions picked me up.

Once I was put down, I had something to say. “You will be eliminated, you old hag.”

“Is that all? I thought you would be more original by now. You’ve been saying the same thing for years. One grows rather bored with hearing the same thing time after time. Get in the car.”

Of course, I didn’t move unless I needed to. The next thing I knew, she pushed me into the car. I picked up the phone to dial… what was that number again? It started with a nine or something.

“In case you didn’t know, the number would be to your father. Get dressed. We don’t have a lot of time.”

“I refuse to follow you.”

“I suggest you do get dressed.”

“Mother, you are the one that needs a miracle. I have always been positively perfect.”

“You do need a miracle if you expect to graduate this year. You really can’t get any lower than straight Fs. So yes, you need to get dressed. This would be your last chance.”

“I think you’re confused with somebody else. I am so intelligent. They don’t have a score any more perfect than an A. Are you really getting that old?”

“Are you really that stupid? I get daily reports about your performance. All of them tell the same thing. The only reason you’re still enrolled is because it isn’t the last day yet. Then you will find out what your destiny holds. I really do suggest you put those pants on.”

How could she know? Nobody was supposed to know. I’ll blow up the entire school for defying their leader.

We continued up the road alongside a river. That wouldn’t be the one that led to Mirror Lake, would it? What a perfect spot. This trip might turn out to be worthwhile after all.

The minion helped Mother out of the car, but not me. Too bad the minion left before I could get rid of the nuisance.

“Arabella, thank you for meeting me,” Mother said, as she left me.

“These are my twin daughters, Seren and Vesper. Girls, why don’t you stay here and socialize while we talk. Be back in one hour.”

“All right,” one of them said. “Meggie will be here too.”

“Fine. Fine,” Arabella said. “Just be back in one hour.”

The adults walked away, which left me with these two. I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to end my misery. The green rocks and clear rushing water would provide the perfect area to make it all seem like an accident.

That couldn’t be her. That was Meggie. The sweet Little Miss Princess who I’ve been trying to get rid of. That was her? Well, then all my dreams and wishes would come true.

“Sorry. So sorry.” She came closer. “Vesper and Seren.” She hugged them both. “It’s been a while since we spent any time together. It’s good we’ll be in the same school again. How’ve you been?”

I tuned out the rest of the conversation. It was so stupid. Why would I even bother?

I went over to the board with the layout of the property on it. Up the hill was where it should be done. No body has ever been recovered.

Maybe if I pretended to trip, I could push all of them into the water. They would drown and die. I would be happy. That plan was so brilliant. It couldn’t be more brilliant.

“You know what would be fantastic,” I said, as I tried not to throw up. “What would be so super fantastic would be a picture by the water here.”

“Yeah. OK.” Meggie walked over. “We could take a selfie and exchange it.”

I made sure to get in the middle. I had enough arm’s length to pull all of them in. We got by the water’s edge and I pulled them in. I grabbed onto a branch at the last minute so I wouldn’t fall in. I thought my luck ran out when the patrol came by.

Of course, they would only bring validity to my story. “Oh, you have to help us. You have to. They’ll drown.”

One of them got on the radio and said a bunch of things to someone else. A man in uniform turned toward me. “Don’t worry. We’ll get them at the bottom. It’s calm now. It doesn’t really flow like it does at the beginning of spring. They’ll be OK. They may be a little cold, though.”

“Oh. Thank you. Thank you for your help.” It was a beautiful plan to get rid of them. Why couldn’t they die?

About that time, that old woman and Mother came back. “The ranger came to get us,” Arabella said. “The girls are expert swimmers, so this wouldn’t have been a problem for them.”

Mother walked to me step by step with a smile on her face. “It is lucky for you they did not die as you had planned.”

I looked at her, shocked she knew.

“Did you really think I wouldn’t know? Now I know you’re stupid.” She walked away.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Maybe if I pretended to faint. I smiled when I heard someone call for help.

Someone put something under my nose. Ew. Get that away from me. The only thing I should smell is the most expensive perfume made for me. “What—”

“You can open your eyes now,” Mother said. “Everybody’s gone. Get up and get in the car. That is, unless you want to walk all the way. The choice is yours.” Mother walked away from me. I hated it. I should be able to wish everybody was gone. Why couldn’t people die? Nobody else was as superior as me.

I got in the car all right. Mother sat there playing with her device. She turned it off and turned towards me. “Your plan to drown the girls failed. All of them survived. Next time you plan to drown someone, double-check a few facts first. They were trained in water rescue.”

It didn’t matter.

“Right now, however, we will meet your father at his office. From there, we will meet with the girls again. However, I can’t guarantee how well you will be received. Especially after what you pulled.”

They better have what I demand. The food must be of the most excellent quality. I deserve nothing less.

We parked underground with everybody else. Did I look like everybody else?

“Get out of the car or you will be pulled out of the car. It won’t be me that would be embarrassed.”

Hmph. As if. I raised my nose at her and got out of the car. I turned my back on her.

I heard her walk away. From me. How dare she? She was my minion. She was supposed to ask me for permission. Grrr. How rude.

“Charles pushed the elevator button already, Estelle. You better run.”

I stood there and waited. When those doors close, I could go back home and find someone to eliminate those three.

The elevator doors opened, they stepped inside, and the doors closed.

Perfect. I turned around and left the building. Wait. Why are the gates closed? They were not supposed to be closed.

I walked up to the guard and knocked on his window.

“Yeah?” He turned towards me. “What do you need?”

“Can’t you see I need to leave?”

He laughed. “This entry is for automobiles only. The entry and exit for people would be back in the direction you came. Turn right and follow the exit signs.”

“Why do I have to walk all the way back? Can’t you see me? Didn’t I tell you I need to leave? Are you that stupid?”

He raised his eyebrow at me. Too bad I didn’t have any of my minions to eliminate him.

“I only work here, ma’am. I cannot let you go through this gate. Those are the rules. I’m only here until a new unit gets installed in a couple of days. Then everything will be electronic. In the meantime, turn around and walk all the way until you get to the exit sign. Big, huge red letters. Can’t miss it. Follow the arrow to turn right. You will come to a door. Open the door and you can walk through. OK?”

I turned my back on him. He was the one that was rude. I had to walk all the way back from where I came. Why doesn’t anyone know how important I am? Why is it I had to follow the rules?

“It’s about time,” Mother said as she leaned against the wall. “You better move before your father gets down here. He hasn’t had a good morning.”

I stood so close I could see all that trashy makeup she insisted on wearing. “Why is it I have to follow the rules when I don’t believe I have to?”

The elevator door dinged and out stepped Father. He grabbed my arm and pulled me inside. When the elevator stopped, the doors opened, and he pulled me all the way into his office.

My hired brainiacs stood in the office along with those other girls I tried to drown. All of them looked at me.

Meggie stepped forward. “In case you don’t recognize anyone here, my name is Megan van Middleburg. Only a select group of people can call me Meggie. These four people here are the ones you copy from. You will hear from them later. Vesper and Seren are newcomers whom you also pulled into the water along with myself. Their mother is also the head of the school board committee. Lucky for you, we know how to swim, use our brains, and therefore could rescue ourselves from the river.”

A bald old man in a cheap gray suit stepped out. “I’m Mr. van Middleburg. Your school principal. We were supposed to meet first thing in the morn. I thought it best to confront the one who tried to hurt these girls. I am also here to inform you that you will not be graduating this year. As a matter of fact, we have expelled you. What that means is you can no longer attend Angel’s Academy for Girls. The board and I feel your actions are inexcusable. Your parents and I have discussed this at length. They will talk it over with you when we are done here.” He turned his head. “Come along, Meggie. It’s time for us to go.”

Megan stepped out and walked by the old man. They left the office. The other girls stood there and crossed their arms over their chests.

Father turned towards all of them. “Girls, could you do me a favor? I’ll call you later to confront Estelle about what she’s done. Meanwhile, the three of us need to talk. OK?”

The Newcomers and the Brainiacs left the office. They closed the door so it wouldn’t make a sound. Ha! The only thing that mattered was that everybody that didn’t matter left. It. Was. About Damn. Time. “Now that—”

Mother grabbed my shoulders and pushed me into a chair. “Sit there.” She turned around towards Father. “Now, do you see how she is?”

“I am sorry, sweetheart. She was my daughter and this old man wanted to believe. Forgive me this?” He held out his arms.

“Oh. All right. We’ll have plenty of time to talk about this. Is the doctor ready?”

“Wait, a minute. What—” I stood.

“You will sit down and keep your trap shut. Do you hear me?” I couldn’t believe Father yelled at me. How dare he?

“I don’t have to do what anybody says. I’m leaving.” I stood up from the chair.

Mother got in front of me. “You leave? Fine. You get in trouble? We won’t bail you out. You turn homeless? Oh well. Did I forget anything? Oh yeah, if you get sick, there might be a free clinic that might have a qualified doctor.”

“Rules are for everybody else, not me.” I stomped my foot. “I don’t have to do what anybody else says. If something goes wrong, it’s all your fault and not mine.”

“You will stop screaming,” Father said. “And Dr. Osbert is waiting.” He came towards me and stood on the other side of me. “Eins. Zwei. Drei.” He nodded.

“Hup,” Mother said, as they picked me up. I tried to kick them but it didn’t work. They handed me off to their minion.

“Charles, would you take her down to Dr. Osbert for us, please?” Mother asked. “We would appreciate it.”

“Of course,” he said, as he bowed. He picked me up and put me over his shoulder. He laughed. “You think you can hurt me? My nephew kicks harder than you. And he’s three. Oh, and thanks for massaging my back.” He kept laughing.

Someone parked a small white thing with four wheels in front of the elevator. The minion put me inside. “Here she is, doctor. She’s all yours.”

“Thank you. I will take care of her from here.” The door closed.

I screamed and kicked him.

“We will go somewhere to work out why you feel the way you do.”

“This is kidnapping.”

“You can scream all you like. I don’t mind. Your parents signed you over to me already. So I suggest you sit back and enjoy the ride.”

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