October Fright 2023 Spawn of a Lesser Imp Part III

Oct 12, 2023

The fun continues on the 2023 October Frights Blog Hop!

Thanks for joining me on Part III, start here if you missed Part I or Part II.

Check out everyone else on the tour: https://afstewart.ca/october-frights-blog-hop-participants/

Try out the featured books: https://afstewart.ca/october-frights-book-fair/

And try the giveaways: https://storyoriginapp.com/to/fPAZCcZ

On to Part III!

“Wake up.” Draven felt his sister’s warm breath carried by her cold, shrill tone. “What do you mean giving dumbass a paper on Ponzi for his Junior thesis? Do you know how much crap I got for having that kind of idiot in the family?”

“Back off Meg.” He sat up in the bed. “He got exactly what he asked for. I even warned him it was well below where he should be academically, if not an accurate representation of where he belongs.”
“You should have pushed back harder. Do you have any idea how this reflects on the family? On me? I’m graduating in the Spring. The only big hurdle I have left is Honeypot tech.”
“I’d have thought cameras on your wares would be quite comfortable for you, considering your extensive online portfolio.”
She shoved him down on the bed, clutching his throat in her cherry red acrylic tipped claws. “Fix this. The festival this weekend will be the first time our family mixes in at a Company function. I need this to go well to have a shot at the internship.”
“Remove yourself, sister.” Draven lay calmly. Her assaults could be triggered by anything from the wrong lipstick in her kit to a bit of lint on her hem. He’d grown used to, and tired of the tantrums. “Or you may find your career hopes peak with being some low grade hench’s knocked up wench.”
Her hand trembled, and withdrew. “Do something. This affects you as much as it does me.”
It was his eighth full day in the Company school system. Along with all the usual classes, the Company wanted to make sure people would have some basic skills before being thrown into the world. Nothing was a challenge, so during Blockchain Blackmail Systems class, he found Bren’s paper and project proposal.
As expected, his brother did little more than file of the serial numbers and slap his name on it. He replaced the file, updated the student notes, and erased his tracks. As far as anyone would know, his brother submitted the requested updates to Mister Hanson.
Hopefully it would be sufficient to impress everyone by the festivities Saturday that his brother wasn’t so far behind.
The curse of the middle child. Alas.
Walking home from school, he received the not all unexpected text from his mother. As he had been so kind to assist Mister Delano, Miss Mallory asked if I would be so kind as to do the same. She ended it with a double heart emoji.
For most, that would be a parent’s endearing love, and gratitude for being such a thoughtful child. In this case, it meant you made your bed, and to lie in it. She’d told me not to poke around, but who can resist such lovely flowers? Plus getting to set up a few surprises for the weekend party. If the price to be paid was tolerating lord helmet-hair for a few hours, so be it. She’d been curious to see in our domain. I would gain access to hers.
I dropped off my school backpack, and swapped for my other as I swung through the house. Mother peeked out of the office door and winked at me. A little love note for her favorite child.
Then again, look at my competition.
Making his way down the street, Delano waved, seeing Draven’s destination.
Mallory opened the front door as he approached. “Took you long enough.”
“How unfortunate that proper education delayed me.” Draven shrugged. “My apologies. How may I be of service?
“Come in, but be careful. My mastiffs are quite protective. This is Garmr.” She placed her hand on the head of a large reddish dog to her left, and then her other on a massive black hound on her other side. “And this is Freybug. Be cautious, they are not friendly to strangers.”
“How would you know that?”
Draven stretched out his hands for the dogs to sniff, immediately receiving affectionate licks. “They are quite intelligent, when raised properly.”
Mallory’s left nostril flared. “It appears they have taken to you. Well, if you would assist me, we only have two days before the festivities. Follow me to the garage.”
Turning down a hallway, following her past a den and through a large immaculate kitchen, she opened a door leading down stairs into a three car garage. Her sedan was nearest the door, the rest of the garage filled with standing trellis’, boxes of flowers, lights, and assorted decor.
Mallory stuck out her hand with a binder. “Here are the instructions for each display. I trust since you’re receiving the Company’s finest education, you can read?”
Draven took the manual. “I should be able to handle it.”
“Thank you for your assistance. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Mallory pivoted on her heel and turned. “Come boys.”
The dogs lay on the garage floor.
“I guess you have company. I’ll retrieve them in a few moments once they decide you’re no longer a threat.”
“I’ll be fine.” Draven lay the manual open on a box. So simple, even his brother could do it. She’d need a little extra.
The pair of hounds expectantly sat on their haunches, looking at him.
“I suppose this is what you smell.” Draven reached into his backpack, offering each of them a handful of snacks. “Good boys.”