sidereal – adjective
symptom – noun
1. a change in the body or mind which indicates that a disease is present
2. a change which shows that something bad exists : a sign of something bad
‘Hey Lindy. My mom said I could spend the night tonight if I did my chores before soccer practice – Missy.’
‘Cool. See you at soccer at noon – Lindy.’
Glad that Lindy text her back, Missy made a bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast. She took her bowl and the comic section of the newspaper into the dining room. She was ready for the day except for the chores she had left to do.
On the second bite, the spoon cut her tongue. Missy slammed the spoon into her bowl of oatmeal sending it to the floor.
“Clean that mess up Missy,” her mother said, passing through carrying a mop and bucket. “Oh and you have to clean your room, the litter box, dust the living room and dining room and clean the downstairs bathroom before you can stay over at Lindy’s tonight.”
“I know Mom,” Missy replied hitching her breath. Oatmeal slowly oozed over the floor. Lucky for Missy, the bowl did not break. Unlucky for Missy the dining room had carpeting and the mess was all over it If only I had eaten this in the kitchen, Missy thought.
She cleaned up the mess but it took her a good half an hour to get the oatmeal out of the carpet. With that self-made chore done, Missy hurried through the rest of her chores until she got to the dreaded one: cleaning the downstairs bathroom. She hated this chore because everyone in the house, including guests, used this bathroom the most. Her brother, Lewis, was lucky to have the upstairs bathroom to clean.
Missy grabbed a rag, squirted the toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet and scrubbed the toilet with the toilet brush. As she was cleaning under the rim, cleaner flew from the brush landing in her eye.
“OWWWW!” she hollered. Temporarily blinded, she banged into the counter top trying to find the sink and knocked the glass soap dish on the floor, shattering it.
“Are you okay?” Lewis asked from the doorway. His view was Missy hunched over the sink splashing water into her eye. She looked at him with one eye squeezed shut so tight, she appeared to have only one eye.
“There’s glass everywhere Lewis and I got toilet bowl cleaner in my eye,” Missy the one eyed pirate replied.
“Gross,” Lewis said wrinkling his nose. He swept the glass up for her. “Glass is gone, gotta go,” Lewis said as he left.
“Thanks Lewis,” Missy said gratefully. She finished the bathroom.
An hour before practice, Missy relaxed reading her favorite magazine. She was reading all about her favorite boy band crush when her Mom hollered down the stairs to her, “Missy, your room is still a disaster area and we have to leave in five minutes to get you to soccer!” Irritated that she forgot to clean her room, Missy flung the magazine aside, giving herself a paper cut in the process. She picked the magazine back up and shredded it. Shards of glossy paper flew everywhere.
“Missy, please throw every piece in the recycling bin,” her mother said standing right behind her. “We have to go.”
Reluctantly, Missy picked up every piece of paper and recycled it.
“Hi Missy!” Lindy Michaels called out when Missy walked onto the soccer field.
“Hi Lindy!” Missy replied, happy to be at soccer practice. Her mother dropped her off right at noon.
“Okay players, let’s get started with ‘Dribble Around the Cone and Pass Relay Race,” Coach Summers announced.
Missy and Lindy kicked, passed, dribbled and ran for forty-five minutes.
“Hydrate kids,” Coach called out. The players took a ten minute drink break.
After break, Missy and the rest of the team worked on kicking into the goal. Missy lined up for her shot, ran up to the ball, and just as her foot passed forward to kick, she slipped, her feet flew out from beneath her and she landed flat on her back.
Coach Summers was by her side when she opened her eyes. “What is your name?” Coach asked her.
Missy thought a second. “Missy Daniels.”
“Very good. Can you sit up?” Coach asked next checking for symptoms of broken bones.
Missy moved her arms and legs and sat up. “I’m alright. I can stand up now.” Missy stood up, catching her breath as she did so.
“Good deal Missy,” Coach said to her and then to the team, “Show’s over, Daniels is okay. Let’s get back to goal kicking.”
Embarrassed, Missy stayed behind everyone brushing the tears from her eyes. She didn’t understand what was going on with her today.
“I didn’t see your overnight bag with you when you got dropped off. Are you still staying over?” Lindy asked at the end of practice.
“Well, if I get my room clean, my Mom said she would drop me off at your house. I had a rotten morning so far.” Missy explained.
“Okay, that sounds good. Get your room cleaned fast. Mom and I rented two creepy ghost movies for tonight.” Lindy said jumping up and down.
Missy laughed. “Okay, okay. I will.”
At home, Missy ate lunch with her family. As she was excusing herself to go to her room to clean it, her dad cleared his throat. This was never a good sign.
“Hthmm. Lewis, Missy, your grandparents will be here in an hour and they have some news for us all. You both need to stay home,” he said.
Lewis and Missy both argued but lost. Missy stomped up to her room. She was shoving stuff into her closet when she heard the doorbell ring. She heard her father shuffle to the door and then “We are so excited to tell you the good news.” It was her Grandma Willie’s voice. Next, she heard Lewis clomp down the stairs.
“Missy, your grandparents are here!” her Dad hollered up to her.
When her Grandma saw her, she gave Missy a bear hug.
“Wilhelmina, you’ll crush the poor girl,” her Grandpa Joe said rescuing her from her large grandmother’s embrace.
Missy hugged her Grandpa. “What’s the big news Grandpa?” she asked.
“Well now, let’s all grab a seat and your Grandma and I will explain everything,” he said smiling.
Everyone settled in the living room. Missy’s Mom brought out lemonade and lady fingers.
Grandma Willie started out, “You know your Grandpa and I are getting pretty old and cannot do as much for ourselves as we used to.”
Missy’s Mom sighed.
Her Grandma continued, “And you know how much we love to travel. Well, we don’t have much money left.” She looked down at the floor, pausing for dramatic effect. Then she heaved her shoulders and sighed.
“Mother, what exactly are you trying to tell us? Are you and Dad in a financial situation?” her father implored.
Grandma Willie continued to sigh and stare at the floor.
“Gracious sakes, Wilhemina, tell them,” her Grandpa boomed.
Grandma Willie looked up. “We bought a motor home and want take all of you with us on a three week trip out west before school starts.”
Lewis’s eyes bulged out of his head.
Missy ran to the front window looking for a motor home. Not seeing one in front of their house or in their driveway, she ran outside where to the left, down the street, was a huge bus! Pretty quick the whole family was outside beside her.
“That is why we do not have much money left son,” her Grandpa said, chuckling pointing to the bus/motor home. “We sold our house so we could travel. Paid cash for it. We knew you had a month of vacation to use up before the end of the year and since you never take vacation, we knew your family might want to go.”
Her Dad stood there wide-eyed. Her Mom stood there her mouth agape. Lewis ran down the street.
A few hours later vacation details were laid out, plans made and they were relaxing when Missy told Grandma Willie about her bad day.
When she finished, Grandma said, “Last night was a sidereal night, Missy. The sky was ablaze with shooting stars.”
“I know Grandma, I stayed up late watching them from my bedroom window.” Missy said.
“That’s what I figured when you told me about your bad day. You and I share our love of the stars. Your father too. He would stay up hours past his bedtime on nights when the sky was busy with activity. The next day would be full of mishaps for him. He always blamed it on the stars.”
Just then Missy jumped up, “Oh no, I forgot all about Lindy and spending the night at her house tonight. She’s going to be upset.”
Grandma Willie smiled, “Just tell her it was the stars fault because last night was a sidereal night.”