The Golden Horologium

Being different is not a choice, it's fate. Jetta Rowe was born to be different whether she likes it or not, and sooner or later, she will have to admit that no one can run from their destiny.

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3. Kiron, the vapidus

          It was already the end of school hours by the time Jetta Rowe was dismissed from the teachers' office. Most students feared that room and tried to avoid it as much as possible, not exactly groundlessly. After the incident, she got what she had expected - although, it could have been worse. While Mrs Paxon demanded - not so subtly - the immediate expulsion of the girl, the deputy headmaster, a certain Mr Ridge did everything he could to both hold back and remind the lady about Jetta's unique background at the same time. 

          Naturally, everyone knew about the little girl's oddity. Jetta Rowe's parents didn't have to wait until she turned 5 to inform the school because within a few days of her birth, every one of Timos's citizens had heard about the matter. Eventually, there were people who had little or no undarstanding of the situation and people who couldn't even bother to care. But in the end, the lowest amount was the number of people who understood Jetta Rowe. Since grade one, Mr Ridge had been one of these few people. 

          Finally, after a day of torture, Jetta was released with a notice in her pocket. Holding the guilty book tightly at her chest and soundlessly praying not to run into anyone, she hurried along the corridors. Unfortunately, not running into anyone was an impossible request. There were several classmates of hers waiting at the entrance of the school, each of them with a smug smile on their faces. 

          "Jetta, Jetta..." said Zona Overton, a tall, black-haired girl in a biting voice when Jetta passed by them.  

          "Jetta Rowe can't keep quiet, can she?" shouted a boy with a grin on his face after her. "She has to be in the middle all the time," he turned to laugh with the others, just as another girl appeared at the entrance.

          "Oh, shut it Drew Norton, will you? I wouldn't even speak if I were you; I wonder when will the directorate become aware of your free time activity," and without a glance back, she left the frightened-faced boy just to run after her friend. 

          "Woah, Jetta, would you please wait up?" despite the short distance, she was panting by the time she reached the other. "What did you get?" 

          Jetta reached into the pocket of her skirt and handed the scrappy piece of paper to the other. They kept trying to walk under the roofs so they wouldn't get wet because of the heavy rain. The blonde girl finished reading the notice and gave it back to Jetta. 

          "They are not going to expell you, Ridge likes you far too much for that," she gave an encouraging smile to the other. "And don't even worry about those idiots," she added as she pointed her chubby finger back towards the school. Jetta seemed to have something in mind to say, but even before she could open her mouth, she felt a small waft at her chest, followed by the usual spiral-dance appearance of her vapidus. 

          "Wasn't it the funniest day we had in weeks? We definitely need this kind of fun every day and then I would never be bored again," he was laughing as someone who had just heard the joke of the year. 

          "I didn't find it funny at the slightest," said the other girl angrily. The vapidus's face lightened up with a grin as he noticed the owner of the voice. 

          "Ah, Amelia Moran, my lovely little Jetta's only friend. Haven't you realised how much better I am than your demon friends?"

          As though they were merely waiting for a cue, Amelia's demons appeared in no time. Her vapidus, wearing a wide grin on his face, flied around Jetta's black demon as if meeting an old friend, but when he spoke, his voice held none of the fake geniality. 

          "It's nice to see a vapidus who still takes his time to make his owner's life hell, but please, leave your insults to the sissy bonums." 

          It seemed that Jetta's vapidus liked the idea of a battle of words.

          "Oh, come on, just because you are some hundred years older than me it doesn't mean that an old geezer like you-..."

          "Kiron, enough is enough!" snapped Jetta angrily, silencing her vapidus in the middle of yet another insult. Just in time, a car pulled up next to them, intermitting any further fight and almost completely drenching the two girls. Amelia was just about to open her mouth and not to hold back her opinion when she recognized the car. As a matter of fact, it could not have been difficult since only a dozen of families owned personal vehicles in Timos. The window came down and a pretty face of a woman appeared. 

          "Mom, what are you doing here?"

          "I just recognised you two from the car. Hi, Jetta!"

          "Good afternoon, Mrs Moran!"

          "Oh, please, drop the formal language. Rather get in, girls, you are going get soaking wet soon," she said with a light smile, obviously not noticing the cold atmosphere between the demons. Jetta pointed her finger behind her. 

          "Thank you very much, but I should just keep walking, I'm almost home. Have a nice day!" she nodded with a smile. Lavinia Moran rolled up the window and Amelia opened the door to get in.

          "Are you sure?"

          "Of course," Jetta kept smiling, but Amelia's face took on an expression as if she just remembered something. Her voice was merely a whisper when she spoke.

          "The reason why you slept in... Was it what I think it was?"

          Jetta nodded without either a word or a smile, then waved and turned to keep walking in her house's direction. Kiron, her vapidus, followed her without a sound for a while before letting a grin appearing on his face, as though he just remembered something nice. 

          "I still can't believe my aiming is this good," his giggles echoed in the rain. 

          "It was not funny at all. I nearly got expelled because of you," her voice didn't sound furious, it was rather a shade of disappointed. Kiron flied around Jetta before speaking. 

          "Tell me that the woman's speech was not boring as hell!"

          "It was," Jetta agreed reluctantly. "But that doesn't mean you have the right to hit her in the head. She could have lost consciousness!"

          "Oh, I didn't even hope for a good result as that," he shrugged with a laugh, then started to sing a made-up song about an evil teacher who is being thrown at by everyone. He continued to sing this all the way home, whizzing around the soaking wet girl. 

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