"Clarissa!" Val screamed in a rage, not hearing her own cry. Some punk had grabbed her sister, her sister, right off the street! The purple dragon tattoo wound up the side of his arm, and Val's eyes narrowed in hate. "Give her back!" She screeched, and flew at him. There was many things that could define her: She had three sisters, two with limiting disabilities, she herself was deaf, she was named after a lovey dovey holiday, and the worst thing you could ever do was harm one of her sisters. The one thing that really defined her though? She had a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Slamming into the assailant with a flying sidekick, she switched into a high knife block, snapping the punk dragon's head back with an 'O' of surprise. Grabbing her sister's arm, she gently tugged Clarissa away from the purple dragon, and then turned glaring at the angry dragon. Twisting into a turning round house, she pushed him back, slammed him again with a front kick, then back kick, before drop kicking him and kicking him in the no-no area.
"Valentine?" Clarissa's high voice called carefully, but then the brunette shook her head. Her sister couldn't hear her unless she saw her lips move.
"Stay away from my sister you idiot, she's blind." Val growled out, kicking him again and causing the punk to groan. She turned back towards her sister, taking her by the arm and hurrying away from the alley.
"Valentine? What happened, who was that? Did you hurt him?" Clarissa asked worriedly, her glossy blue eyes staring forward blankly. Val nodded grudgingly in reply.
"It's fine, it's nothing." Val replied shortly. "Just some purple dragon punk, I taught him his lesson though."
"Oh no! You didn't-didn't fight him did you?" Clarissa asked shocked, her head snapping in her sister's direction.
"It's fine, I'm fine, you're fine, we're all fine." Val repeated, and waited to watch her sister's reply. Being deaf could be so annoying. She had to always focus on the other person's lips, had to always be concentrating.
"All right, if you say so." Clarissa finally said, gripping her sister's arm tighter.
Clarissa was blind, and had been since birth. She was fine with it, but sometimes it could be so frustrating. Clarissa was an independent girl, she hated having to rely on someone all the time. Val knew it for a fact, and even having to have help to walk could be a torture. Clarissa had a walking stick, a German Shepard named Marcah, and three sisters to help, but at times like this it could be hard. The purple dragon had grabbed and snapped her cane, Marcah was at the vet today, and our other sisters Melody and Zee were at home.
"Let's get home, alright?" Val finally said, watching as the sun started to set. It was such a pretty day, she thought sadly, I wish Clare could see this. Her blind sister was staring ahead calmly, her blue eyes slowly losing their vibrancy as time continued. High above them, a turtle was following on the rooftop. If Val could've heard, she would've heard his footsteps above them, but since she couldn't she was oblivious to the fact. Her sister, on the other hand, not so much.
"Valentine?" Clarissa spoke up, but when her sister didn't respond she tapped her sister carefully.
"What?" The other sister snapped.
"I think we're being followed. I hear steps, it's the same rhythm so I know it's the same person, and they keep following. It's not behind us, more like to the side." She said quickly, a trace of unease creeping into her voice.
"We're on the street, Clare, of course you're hearing people. I doubt we're being followed." Valentine replied in a self assured way that only a black belt can have, but she cast a quick glance around herself in wary suspicion.
"Of course, I'm being silly." Clarissa laughed nervously, glad her sister couldn't hear the fear come out as she spoke.
"Up a step, be careful of the turtle-"
"I know my own home, V." Clarissa sighed. "I've memorized it, remember? We've lived here since we were, what, three? You can let go now." She said gently, and walked up to the front door without help. The blind leading the deaf. Val thought with a laugh, and watched her sister open the door and walk straight in. "We're home!" Clarissa called out, and since she wasn't facing Valentine Clarissa knew her sister didn't know she'd spoken.
"We're home, Mom." Val called out, and Clarissa sighed.
"Oh hey honeys." Their mom replied, coming to hug them. As she spoke she also signed, making Val's life a little easier. "How was your walk? Why do you look dirty, Vallie?"
"I had some trouble on the way back. Some punk guy, no big deal." Val signed, nodding her head towards Clare.
"Ah." Mama signed with a resigned sigh. "Dinner's ready, we're having chicken and pasta. Wash up and meet at the table, okay?" She said/signed smiling.
"Kay mama." Clarissa replied, and walked towards the bathroom.
"Mm, I love chicken." Val signed grinning.
"Don't I know." Mama signed, shaking her head with a silent laugh. "Go wash up, and tell Zee to set the table. Melody's somewhere, see if you can find her?"
"Course Mama." She signed back with a nod. "Mel's probably listening to music...no, there's no music is there?" She deducted from her mom's miniscule expression in response to the word music. "So she's reading, right? What's she reading for this time? Business or pleasure?" She signed with an amused grin. Melody was a read-a-holic, a music fanatic, and a dancer prodigy. She was also mute.
"I believe so, go get the girls please." Mama signed smiling, pushing her daughter toward the girls' bedrooms. Tapping on Zee's door, she signed it was time for dinner, making the raven haired beauty within sigh and roll her eyes as she ignored the call to dinner to finish painting her toenails.
Of all the Aldrin girls, only Zee was 'perfect'. She had no disabilities, none what-so-ever. Zee could hear, speak, see, and do whatever. She was also a fashionista and a perfectionist, so mornings were always a nightmare when Zee hogged one of the bathrooms. Zee also had the biggest disadvantages. The second eldest sister, she had to learn everything her sisters did. Zee could read brail, sign, speak, and had to dress Clarissa every morning, otherwise, in her own words, 'the blind idiot would dress, like, so horribly'. Mean words on their own, but Zee's ruby red lips always quirked in a smile when she spoke of Clare. Moving on, Val interrupted Melody from Crime and Punishment, a book required for school.
"Mel, dinner time." She signed, and Melody smiled putting the book down.
"What are we having?" Melody signed back, walking beside her sister.
"Chicken and pasta, yum." Val signed, taking her seat at the table. The table was big, as in this-is-one-huge-family-huge. Besides four daughters, their mother Rose Mary Aldrin had also given birth to four sons, all thankfully away on a camping trip with their dad. You could say eight kids was impossible, but not so much in our Catholic family. Both parents had grown up in big families, and the tradition had carried on.
"Have you heard from the boys?" Melody signed sitting down, observing the six empty chairs.
"Nah, they're still out doing guy stuff. Why couldn't I go, Mama?" Val signed huffing.
"Because," Mama spoke/signed. "you are a girl and this was a boys outing."
"What is Val saying?" Clarissa asked frustrated. Since the conversation had been in sign language, the blind girl had no idea what was going on.
"She was wondering why she couldn't go on the trip with the boys. You know Valentine, she loves to get down and dirty."
"Mom, never say that again, okay?" Zee shuddered, placing a bowl of pasta in the center of the table, and laying down plates of chicken in front of each girl.
"Oh, am I embarrassing you?" Mama grinned, making her voice sound mock sincere.
"Don't go there." Zee warned sitting down.
"Who wants to pray?" Mama spoke up, looking at each of her daughters in turn.
"I will." Clarissa spoke up. "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this wonderful meal You have provided us. May it nourish our bodies and give us sustenance, and may we continue to walk in Your ways. Oh Holy Mother, grace us with your presence the rest of the day, and give us strength and peace as we continue forward. Guide us on Your path, oh Father, and show us how to live for You. Amen."
"Let's eat!" Mama smiled, and cut her chicken into pieces. A crash shook the house, and Val immediately was on her feet as purple dragons stormed the house. "Girls! Run, hurry!" Mama shouted out, already on the defensive as a purple dragon ran at her.
"Mama!" Val shouted, taking on a dragon.
"No V, get the girls out! Protect them!" Mama ordered, and Val reluctantly agreed grabbing Clarissa's arm.
"What's happening? What's going on?" Clarissa shrieked, and heard the sound of glass crashing all around her.
"Don't you dare mess up my pedi!" Zee screamed, and Melody's mouth formed an 'O' of shock.
"Come on!" Val shouted, and fought her way out of the house with sisters in tow.
"What about Mama?" Clarissa demanded, but Val was so focused she didn't notice her sister's mouth move. Clarissa reached out for her sister, but the blind girl was simply groping in darkness.
"V!" Zee demanded, running ahead of the deaf girl to repeat Clare's question.
"She said get out, we got out." Val replied gruffly, forcing the sisters out into the next neighborhood. They had gotten away from the dragons, or the purple dragons hadn't followed them...what could the dragons want with their mom? Val wondered in grim shock. A bang rocketed over the neighborhood, and their home was engulfed in flames.
"My nail polish!" Zee cried.
"What? What was that?" Clare cried, and Melody just looked towards the fireball in fear.
"We need to hide." Val finally decided. She headed towards a man hole cover, jumping in.
"Excuse me? I am not getting in that." Zee said, her face wrinkling in disgust.
"Get down here. Help Clare, Mel." Val instructed, not hearing (or seeing, really) Zee's words.
"You so owe me one, V. Why couldn't we just hide out with fri- EEK!" Zee screamed as she was caught around the middle and pulled away from the hole. Clare stood rooted to the spot in confusion as Melody ran at the attacker, but was thrown roughly back with the help of a bat. The dragon raced away with Zee screaming the whole way. Melody got back up slowly, with Clare calling out desperately.
"Zee? Zee?" Clare called out. "Melody, where's Zee? Show me your hands!" Slowly Melody explained in sign language as Val got back out of the hole to fight, but the dragon and Zee were gone.
"Oh no..." Val whispered. Looking at her two sisters in shock. "Get in the hole, we have to hide."
"Now, Clare! We don't have time, we have to hide!"
"But the sewer? Really?"
"No one will follow us, we'll be safe." Val replied firmly, but that wasn't the only reason. Mama said she had a friend down there...
"Valentine..." Clarissa trailed off, and then allowed herself to be helped into the sewers. Val stood guard as Melody went down, then followed herself. She didn't know what was happening, but it was obvious she was going to need help. Big time.