HISTORICAL FICTION By Michael G. Malaghan

Chapter 139

Kenta and Haru returned home to find the entire family gathered there. Unable to face the crowd, Haru headed for the stairway. “I need a bath,” she said, scurrying up the steps. A ball of calico fur bounced up the stairs in pursuit.

Kenta put on his best happy face and described the movie in animated detail, holding his siblings’ attention. Afterwards, he casually said to Tommy, “Let’s check the fruit trees and pick what’s ripe.”

“You could have just broadcasted ‘I need to talk to you in private.’ Everyone knows Dad inspects the trees every morning,” said Tommy as they left the house.

“OK, Sherlock, I do have a problem. Teiko.”

“How so, little brother? Have you fallen under the spell of those . . .” Tommy fluttered his eyelashes with great exaggeration, “. . . luminous doe eyes?”

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