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Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
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And Fernando Makes 3 Part 10 Prelude to a Visitation

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

So finally made it to part 10, woopty-doo! In this part Levi cleans his room while Katrina gets ready for a visit from an old friend. Thrilling stuff to be sure!

There was any number of ways that Levi would have preferred to waste a sunny Sunday afternoon than to be stuck indoors cleaning his bedroom.  As much as he hated to admit it, Fernando had not been too far wrong with his Munster’s Prop analogy. It was a mess and a half and three quarters, to say the least, though he preferred to think of it as “well lived in.”

Where to start was the tricky thing. Should he sort out the conglobation of model airplanes, toy-soldiers, action figures, pens, pencils, cars, vans, puzzles, comics and assorted bits and bobs, half of which he had no idea what they were meant to be? Or perhaps have a go at reorganising his closet and rearrange some of the creased apparel that lay in a heap upon the floor? Maybe even tend to the bookcase and writing desk? Everywhere he looked he saw mess.

Levi gazed longingly out the window at the cloudless blue sky and sighed heavily. He could hear shrilling children, splashing about in his next door neighbour’s new swimming pool and the gabble of an excited gathering. The aroma of a barbecue teased his nostrils. A barbecue he would have been attending if Fernando had not pressured Katrina into declining the invitation. Apparently housework was more important.

He drew another sigh then returned to his unmade bed and hauled a green plastic toy-box out from under it. He stared at its contents; trying to formulate some sort of plan in which he could somehow fit in more of the clutter. He tried to restack a few items but it was hopeless.

Esau had once told him “The secret to organising a big mess is never to look on the job as a whole, lest it overwhelms you and you end putting it off for another day. Group-it instead and do one thing at a time. Pick something up at random and place it back where it should belong. Next find similar items among the mess and place them with the first one you have put back. Keep doing that until all the items are back where they belong.

“Your next task will be to find some other item and other similar items and place them where they belong. Keep at this process and try not to get side-tracked. At first you will feel you are getting nowhere but after a while you will be able to see the results and the job will not seem so overwhelming.”

“Why don’t you just start from scratch,” suggested VOR “Put it all in one big pile and group-it back into a tidy mess. It’s not like you’ve got anything else to do today.”

“Cram the mess into the draws, give the shelves a basic tidy, dust the desk, make the bed and call it a day,” advised VOM.

“Na, Fernando says it’s gotta be done properly,” retorted Levi “he's gunna get Mum to inspect the room once I’ve finished and I'll end up having to do it again if it’s not up to standard.”

“Fernando? You’re actually taking orders from Fernando?” scoffed VOM.

“That, or answer to Mum.”  

Levi picked up the toy box and let its contents spill onto the floor, then gathered all the other toy related items he could find in the room; except those which he played with the most or were too big to fit in the aforementioned box. Those he left on the lower shelves below his train posters. He then crouched down and started sifting through the items, sorting them into three separate piles, according to size, and was just about to start placing them back in the box when the door inched open and Katrina entered.

“What in the blistering blue blazers do you think you’re doing?” she scolded, scowling at the pile of toys at his feet. “You should be almost finished by now, not making more mess.”  

“You never mentioned anything about there being a time limit for cleaning my room,” he retorted, slightly taken back at the extent of her fury. “I thought I had all day to do it.”

“All day? What gave you that crazy idea? I want you finished by three o’clock  at the latest.”

“Three o’clock? Why what’s happening at three?”

“Petra and her new partner are dropping by for afternoon tea at around three thirty. She is also bringing along her young cousin Curtis. I want you to help out with entertaining and making them feel welcome?”

“I’ll do my best, but it takes time to clean a room up to you and Fernando’s standard; unless you’ll both settle for a “rough as guts” job.”

Katrina mumbled something under her breath then gave a disgruntled sigh before pacing over to his clothing cabinet.  She crouched slightly and rummaged through the chest of drawers at the bottom of the cabinet, starting from the top draw and working her way down.

“Looking for something?” asked Levi, placing more of the toys back in the box in a more hasty fashion.

“Here it is,” announced Katrina, retrieving an old worn leather belt with a broken buckle, which he doubted would still fit his expanding waste-line. She slowly straightened and folded the belt in half. "I want you finished by three o'clock, no excuses."

"I'll try but..."

“Petra was a bridesmaid when your daddy and I got married, and she also helped us out of some financial difficulties, so she’s an important guest and I want you to be on your best behaviour. If you do anything to embarrass me infront of her your backside is going to wish it was never born!”

"Would you like me to roll out the red carpet for them as well" retorted Levi without thinking.

"Don't get smart!" she growled, whipping the belt hard against the edge of the bed.

“Sorry Mum.“ sobbed Levi

“And you’re not to breathe a word about Fernando…they wouldn’t understand."

“I won’t mention him…honest.”

“See to it that you don’t.”  

Levi flinched as she threw the belt at him and then stormed out of the bedroom; slamming the door in behind her. He drew a heavy sigh and waited until his legs had ceased trembling before continuing the big clean up.


“Looks heaps better, sweetie” commented Katina, inspecting his room forty five minutes later. She had spruced herself up and was now attired in a black silken dress and bejewelled like a debutant. “I am truly sorry about the way I acted before. I don’t know what came over me. I had no right to yell and threaten you like that. Will you ever forgive me?”

“We all need to let off a bit of steam from time to time,” replied Levi. He had dressed into what he referred to as his smart casual outfit - a blue/grey two tone jersey, grey sweat top and a pair of black jeans. Musing birefly over Katrina's apology, he concluded that it wasn’t so much as what had overcome her but more a matter of what the beverages that had gone into her. “You wouldn’t really give me the strap … would you?”

“Of course I wouldn’t…but I would still appreciate it if you behaved yourself and not mentioned anything about Fernando.”

“I’ll be as good as Goldilocks and keep my gob shut.”

“I hope so sweetheart,” she laughed, ruffling his hair affectionately “For all our sakes. Come on, let’s make ready for the invasion.”


Part Eleven The Way the Apple Crumbles

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Next: Cataclysm Prolouge and Chapter One