003: Part 5

by CM Towns

   Around 7 in the morning Jessie, Sally, Reed, Araminta and even Michie were up for some light exercising. They started with some stretching before jumping jacks, a few push ups and sits ups and then out for a jog around Jessie and Sally’s neighborhood of Green Meadows in Harbor City. Araminta and Michie kept up as much as they could but ended up being left behind and their jog turned into a walk. They talked about movies, music, Jessie and Sally. Michie regaled Araminta with stories of Jessie’s various school and after school fights and the twos convention visits. She spoke of Sally’s adjustment to human life in California and how shes changed in the few years she’s known her. When they finally finished they were greeted with food by Sally who had went straight to cooking a light breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast plus what cereal they had in the house.
   Araminta had very much enjoyed the stay at the James household. She went clothes shopping at outlet stores with Jessie, her mom and sister. She visited museums with Sally and Jessie. Played miniature golf with Jessie’s dad and Reed. Then there was the trip to Disneyland. Araminta had never been before and enjoyed every moment of it. As did Reed. Araminta had never seen him go that long without playing a video game before. During the trip she got to spend time with Michie at the local mall and Mari shared photos of a young, and very cute, Jessie.
   After breakfast Araminta took a shower, got on some clothes and joined the girls, and Reed, in the living room. They had some episode of Rocko’s Modern Life on while they were talking.
   “What are the chances, right? Big night for my band-big jail break last night in Kirby. It’s a scheme to undermine me,” Jessie said. She was seated at one end with Reed in the middle and Michie on the other end. Sally was in the recliner in front of the window with her tablet in hand and Araminta took the nearby reading chair-pulling it over.

   “Victory said not to worry about it. Worse comes to worse I’ll stay behind and provide assistance,” Sally said.
   “Whats this about a jailbreak?” asked Araminta.
   “There was prison break in Kirby. Some of Kid Victory’s rogues are out,” detailed Sally.
   “Does he need us?”
   “Not as of now.”
   “So does this mean the show’s been canceled?”
   “Hell no. I’ve made every performance by my band and I’m not going to miss this one. Good thing I was able to get the organizers to put us on early in the competition,” Jessie said.
   “How were you able to do that?”
   “Does this mean the rest of us are going to hang out here?” Reed questioned.
   “You two can go. With your abilities you can make it here quickly if you need to,” Sally replied.
   “I definitely want to check out Jessie’s band,” Araminta said.
   “They are so good live,” Michie said.
   “Morning girls. Reed,” said Jessie’s mother Mari as she entered the living room in shorts and a loose shirt. She took a seat on the couch arm and continued, “Ready for Jessie’s big shot tonight.”
   There was agreement. Mari says, “Hopefully she’ll get up there in a nice skirt or dress and look flawless.”
   “What if I want to wear pants?” asked Jessie.
   “You can wear pants Jessica but really you’d look classy in a skirt or dress.”
   “Why are you out here? Dad kick you out of the bed for nagging him?”
   “Dad isn’t here right now,” she responded.
   “Your dad left for a work emergency late last night. I was up playing games still,” Reed said.
   “Yes he did,” Mari said but Jessie shook her head knowing what that meant.
   “You don’t have any work emergencies to get to this morning?” asked Jessie.
   Mari gave Jessie a stern look. Araminta had gotten to know Jessie’s mom a bit in the last couple weeks. She worked part time as an alternative model for a few years before she started to work on the business side setting up shoots and hiring girls. She even did a little photography herself now. Mari was the kind of woman who knew she looked good and liked attention.
   Mari gave Araminta a history of her tattoos. Her first was the Maleficent tattoo on her left bicep. Her second the spiral heart and lyrics from a Marilyn Manson album on her right forearm. Third was the Tura Satana tattoo on her right bicep. After she started getting model work she had her back tattoo done which was a spine and wings. Mari also had KICK THE HORNETS NEST written on her chest, a reference to the last of Millennium Trilogy. Eventually Jessie’s dad, Diego, did her tats including the spider on her neck, garter-belt with gun on right leg, and the in progress Evil Queen tattoo on her left forearm.
   “Isn’t Mr. James a tattoo artist?” Araminta asked.
   “Also works as a stock supervisor,” Sally said.
   “That’s right. You said your dad didn’t do any of your pieces, right?” Araminta inquired.
   “No but he did do Sally’s tattoo,” Jessie said.
   “You have a tattoo!?” exclaimed Araminta in surprise.
   “Yes. On my back. Majokko family crest,” she said.
   “You are full of surprises,” Araminta said.
   “She sure is,” Jessie agreed.
   “Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo?” Michie asked Araminta.
   “No. I don’t really think that’s my thing.”
   “I’ve thought about it but I would not know what to get. I wouldn’t just want something random,” Michie said.
   “I’d get Samus from Metroid. Or something Super Mario related. Ooooooh-Final Fantasy,” Reed said. His mind raced with possibilities.
   “What about something outside video games?” asked Michie.
   “There is nothing outside video games.”
   Some of the girls exchanged stunned looks.
   “Jessie’s dad has some cool stuff,” Reed added.
   “A lot of stuff. Got Eddie from Iron Maiden along with some other metal images from Danzig and Misfits to Slayer and others for his right sleeve. Vampirella plus movie monsters and zombie chicks on the left. Cthulu on his back,” Jessie explained.
   “Plus Jessica’s name over his heart,” Mari said.
   “I’m his favorite lady in this family,” Jessie said looking up at her mom who just smiled at her before flicking her cheek. Araminta got a little uncomfortable with that exchange but the others seemed not to care.
   “So are you going to get more tattoos, Jessie?” asked Araminta.
   “I want to do a sleeve with a Wonder Woman theme. Got the center piece of course but got to find some cool images of her baddies plus probably use stars or her symbol too. I’m thinking of some other possible tattoos in the future but tats are a identifier. Hard to keep secret alter egos if people recognizes your ink,” explained Jessie.
   “Not that that’s going to stop you,” Michie said.
   “Of course not. I like tattoos and want more.”<br<
   “How abut piercings, Araminta? We can take you out to get pierced,” Mari offered.
   “That might be cool. How many piercing do you have?” Araminta asked.
   “You Jessie?” Araminta inquired.
   “One in each ear and I don’t wear jewelry,” answered Jessie.
   “Not true. She has those thumb rings, her Ace of Clubs ring from Michie, and the occasional necklace,” Mari stated.
   “I’d love to get more piercings but my dad would flip out,” Michie cut in.
   “Your dad flips out too much,” Jessie said.
   The door opened and Jessie dad walked in. He said hi to them and went over to his wife who pushed him away. He whispered something and then she accepted his kiss.
   Diego was a very cool person Araminta thought. Laid back, liked joking, and she watched one night as him and Jessie played their guitars and sang songs in the backyard. Diego and Jessie got along greatly and it was obvious she took more after her father than mother.
   Diego said, “So I heard some shit went down with your partner.”
   “They told us not to worry,” said Sally.
   “Good to hear. I’m gonna grab some food and then we need to go out and get the rental. After that get your bandmates and hit Hollywood,” Diego said.
   “Sounds like a plan,” Jessie said.
   “You taking care of the others, right?” Diego asked his wife.
   “Of course. We’ll head out in a little while that way we can get some sight seeing in, get some food, and get some of the kids pierced,” Mari said.
   “Try to remember they’re teens, okay?” Diego said and got a punch in his arm.
   “Okay, time to pick out Jessie’s outfit. Come on girls,” Mari said standing up, grabbed Jessie by the ear and pulled her up.
   “I don’t need help dressing. I’m not three!” protested Jessie as most the women headed to the garage.
   Reed looked to Sally and then to the others leaving. “Finally they’re gone. Time to play some video games. You want to lose at Tekken again?” Reed taunted Jessie’s dad.
   “I got things to do,” was his response.
   “… Start the game up punk. You’re going down this time.”