Abby rolled out of bed, landing on all fours on the floor beside the cot. Her red hair flopped in front of her eyes. She swept it back with her left hand and looked at her face in the mirror on the wall over the sink.
"Fresh-faced and ready to face the day," she muttered, picking up her antique silverback hairbrush and smoothing it through her shoulder-length red hair. When she set it down, she leaned toward a microphone to the side of the mirror.
"Shower, on," she commanded.
A panel on the wall beeped, and a smooth female voice replied, "Voice command recognized. Shower waterfall active. Water temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit."
"Shower door, open."
"Voice command recognized. Sliding door opening."
A silver panel of the pristine walls slid to the side as Abby slid off her ivory silk nightgown and her undergarments, hanging the nightgown on a hook to the left of the door and dropping the rest into a bin that slid out underneath of the hook. Her toes slid into the three inch deep pool that her shower waterfall flowed gracefully into. The warmth was bliss.
"Shower, off," Abby commanded, walking out of the shower room while toweling off her hair. The computer acknowledged her command, and she added another. "Wardrobe, open."
Two silver panels in the wall swung open and retracted into the wall, her clothing racks folding out of the compartment quickly and smoothly. She put on a set of pale blue lace undergarments and perused her selection of dresses, tops, and pants before settling on a tight red designer dress and translucent black tights, dressing swiftly and smoothly. For a moment, she contemplated the prospect of leaving the house without her lab coat, but, with a shrug, she flung the white garment over her shoulder.
"Voice command recognized. Wardrobe is now retracting."
A segment of gold on the pristine walls slid open to reveal her clean and perfect elevator, into which she walked confidently, red heels clicking faintly on the laboratory floor.
Unfortunately, the elevator could only be operated by buttons. She jabbed the button labeled with a G – the main floor of the house – and leaned against the back of the elevator, examining her perfect, blood-red nails until the doors slid open. Then she checked her watch. Not even seven o'clock. Perfect. Derek wouldn't even be awake yet.
She reached out with one hand and pushed aside the wall façade that hid her elevator from prying eyes, blue-green eyes seeking any sign of life around. The curtains were closed, the television off, her mother's boyfriend Mitch snoring on the couch. The redhead sighed in relief and stepped out, sliding the panel closed. Then she opened another panel, this one sliding up, and pressed a thumb to a crystal scanner.
Upon hearing the satisfying sound of her elevator closing and making its ascent to her bedroom, she smirked and headed for the kitchen, preparing the coffee pot. Then she began making breakfast.
Mitch was the first one awake, hearing the coffee pot and the sizzle of bacon on a cast-iron skillet.
"Good morning, Mitchell," Abby said as he lumbered into the kitchen, taking a seat at the counter.
"Good morning, Abby," he said. "You look more like your mother every day."
"If that is your idea of a compliment, Mitchell, I don't want one," she said.
"Abigail, what have I told you about arguing with Mitch?"
"Morning, Mom," Abby called, extracting the bacon from the pan and retrieving the carton of eggs from the refrigerator. "How did you sleep last night?"
"I slept well, dear. How did you sleep?"
"I slept perfectly," Abby replied, cracking three eggs into the pan. "How would you like them, Mom?"
"Over-easy, darling. How are you planning to handle the first day of school?"
"The way I always do. Stay inconspicuous," Abby said.
"That's good, sweetheart. Stick to your guns."
Abby stood up from her mother's bright metallic white Aston Martin Vanquish, brushing off her skirt.
"Have a good day, sweetie!"
As the woman sped away, Abby couldn't help but mutter, "Yeah, Marissa, so you can indulge with Mitchell all hours of the day." Turquoise eyes rolled as she walked up to the school, heels clicking against the cement.
"Dropped off by your mother?" called an accented voice from Abigail's left.
"Her car is great for my image as the rich girl who's far too good to socialize or be in a clique," she replied. "Good morning, Dexter."
"I don't know what is good about it," he said, turning a page in the book Abby had loaned him. It was The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum. "What attracts people to this story?"
"You'd have to ask someone who's dead, Dexter. And I won't be involved in another attempt to raise the dead. We all know how the last attempt ended."
Both redheads shuddered, remembering the late-night trip to the local cemetery, which had ended in disaster. They'd tried to raise her great-grandfather, who had been nearly sixty when he'd died, fifteen years before she was born. The stench alone had been horrible; when the corpse had begun speaking, though, his voice was little more than a raspy moan. Abby had taken it upon herself to force the mixture she'd made to end the reanimation into the body's empty eye socket.
They still hadn't told anyone it had been their fault that his grave had still been open the morning after that. They'd run from the cemetery in fear, swearing never to speak of it again.
"Out of mere curiosity, who would I have to ask?" Dexter asked, placing his homemade bookmark in the seam and tucking it into his bag.
"I don't know. Judy Garland might be a good place to start."
The boy scoffed slightly, stood, and extended a hand to her. She took it and shook it for a moment.
"How was your summer?" he asked. The seemingly-innocent question was really a form of challenge.
"Designed and built another robot, added a few dozen new voice programs to Belle's hard drive, and added a fully-designed personality to Hatta – replacing the horribly bland Sean Connery replication software. What did you do, Dexter?"
"It is none of your business," he said. "Are Marissa and Mitchell still together?"
"Of course they are. You have done nothing to separate them."
"I did plenty last year, Dexter."
"Abigail, if your first plan failed, try it again. And keep trying until you succeed," he said, punching the girl's shoulder.
Her turquoise eyes met his dark brown, and she looked away, a bright red blush overtaking her face. They had shared a classroom for the past number of years at every school they attended, and she knew he was completely uninterested in her. He preferred his science and his inventions over the prospect of a romantic relationship. It was plain in the frigid way he regarded the romantic woes of the rest of the school at lunch. He thought of all the girls as simpletons unworthy of affection, and the boys were simply a bunch of babbling baboons.
Dexter kept his eyes focused on the school doors in an effort to ignore the flush of red over Abigail's freckled ivory skin. The shade complimented her eyes, mottled as they were in shades of blue and green, with tiny flecks of gold.
He was determined to keep up the façade that he did not care for anyone, when in fact he had cared for someone for a very long time.
Abigail Morgan Bordeaux.
Nearly thirteen years of living across the street from her, he had not once seen her without some form of book in her hand. When his parents had pressured him into going to school with other kids his age – to form bonds with his peers, they had said – he had remained isolated.
That is, until she had approached him, one rainy day in September.
"Is this seat taken?" she asked, tapping the tabletop next to his lunch tray.
"It is available," he replied.
"My name's Abigail. Abigail Morgan Bordeaux," she said, extending her right hand to him. He stared at it, making no movement to accept the gesture, until she dropped her hand to her tray, picking up the pudding bowl and a spoon.
"Dexter McPhearson," he said frostily after about five minutes, his eyes slowly sliding over her face, memorizing her for future reference.
They ate in silence, until her unusual eyes found his open notebook.
She pushed her tray away and pulled the notebook to her, scanning the page with one of his mathematical equations with a finger under each line, following it perfectly. And then her eyes met his.
"I have never seen any equation more perfectly solved than this," she said. "What were you thinking when you solved it?"
Dexter's eyes widened. She was questioning him on mathematical theory. It was at this moment that he realized who her father was. Dr. Anthony Bordeaux – engineer, geneticist, mathematician, and biologist.
They sank into an easy conversation, discussing a great number of things, and Dexter found himself disappointed when the bell rang for the next class.
The school loomed ahead with its tall doors open with a sign overhead that read, Welcome, Students! Dexter shook his head slightly.
"Like it'll make the kids in this town stay in this prison, to make it seem welcoming," Abigail muttered.
Dexter cursed himself for his reaction to her voice. His heart raced at the sound, his blood heating in his veins.
Geniuses don't blush!
My first attempt at a Dexter's Laboratory story seems to be going fairly well. Don't you agree? I thought I'd get right into the good stuff straight off the bat. Most of the plot will be revealed in flashbacks, represented by multiple paragraphs of italicized writing. Any other italicized text will be either foreign languages or thought.
Please bear with me. I saw a fragment of an episode of this show in a movie a few weeks ago, and only remembered the show name about five days ago. I felt compelled to write this.
As always, much love for my readers.