The concept of the Tomorrow People and the characters originally created for the Tomorrow People are the property of Roger Price. Other characters created for this work and my earlier works are my own.
Julie sat on a kitchen chair in her conservatory, with her Guild Songbird guitar on her lap. This was a small guitar that suited her petite frame. She played a few chords, then shook her head. Her muse wasn't with her today. She was distracted by the sound of rainfall on the roof of the conservatory. Very quickly, the rain got heavier, until she could hardly see as far as the bottom of the garden through the conservatory windows.
"Stewart's been on the phone" said Bob Halliday, Julie's husband. "He said he needs another two songs for the session."
Julie looked exasperated. "Another two? What does he think I do? Just magic them out of thin air?"
"Don't shoot the messenger!" said Bob. "Just look at this filthy weather! Francesca's going to get soaked!"
"Where's she gone?" asked Julie, putting her guitar down and looking through the window, just as a sheet of lightning flashed across the sky, followed a few seconds later by a rumble of thunder.
"Along the canal with Topper" said Bob. "When did you say your friend was coming?"
"Any time now" said Julie. "Just look at that sky. Three o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and we've got to have the house lights on! I just hope Francesca gets back in time." Just then, the doorbell rang. Bob went to answer the door. He opened the door to greet a petite blonde woman, standing under the canopy in front of the front door, sheltering from the torrential rain.
"Hello, I'm Carol. You must be Bob" said Carol, offering her right hand.
"Pleased to meet you at last" said Bob, inviting Carol inside. "Come in and get yourself. . ." As Carol walked into the hallway, Bob noticed Carol was completely dry, not so much as a drop of rainwater on her. "I was going to say come in and get yourself dry, but I see there's no need."
"I'm just lucky I suppose" said Carol.
"Is that you, Cally?" called Julie from the conservatory.
"Yes" replied Carol.
"Come straight through here" called Julie. Carol followed Bob through the house to the conservatory.
"Oh, I didn't realise you were busy" said Carol, noticing Julie's guitar and notepad.
"Don't bother about that" said Julie. "I don't know what's wrong with me today. Everything I do ends up sounding like Wonderwall! Come on, let's go through to the lounge." Julie and Carol went through to the lounge before Bob went into the kitchen for tea and biscuits.
"Does Bob know?" asked Carol.
"No" said Julie.
"Don't you think he should?" asked Carol.
"You never told Richard and Janice" replied Julie.
"Janice was too young and Richard would've blabbed" replied Carol. "Anyway, they know now. And my parents knew. They always knew. I wouldn't have managed without their support."
"Okay, but we'll deal with Francesca first" said Julie as Bob came in with a tray with coffee and biscuits.
"Sorry, it's only instant" said Bob. "What's that about Francesca first?"
"Oh it's nothing, Bob. Just the way she's been obsessing" said Julie.
"Oh, the woman with the brooch" said Bob. "You know, that's all she's been talking about for weeks. This woman with the brooch. That's why she's out with the dog now – looking for her. She'll be putting an ad in the local paper next!"
"And of course, you know who I think the woman with the brooch is, don't you" said Julie to Carol.
"Chandra? But she'll be back home in the States by now" said Carol.
"Who else would it be?" said Julie. "She said the brooch looked just like the one TIM made for me – the duplicate of the one you gave to Chandra."
"So what, it's only a brooch" said Bob.
"It's a bit more than that" said Carol. "So what are we going to do?"
"You tell me" said Julie. "Obviously something's started, and we need to sort it out." Just then the front door opened, and a small Jack Russell terrier ran through the house to greet his owners.
"Only me!" called Francesca. She was a pretty, eighteen-year old with long dark hair. "It's chucking it down out there. I'm absolutely wringing!"
"Francesca, can you come through please?" called Julie.
"Why, what have I done now?" asked Francesca as she entered the lounge.
"Nothing" said Julie. "This is my friend Carol."
"Hello Carol" said Francesca, shaking Carol's hand. "Oh! I got a tingle!" Francesca could sense something when she touched Carol's hand.
"Very pleased to meet you, Francesca" said Carol.
"Look, if I don't get dried and changed right now, I'll get pneumonia!" said Francesca.
"Okay, but as soon as you're ready, come straight back down. Carol's here to see you" said Julie.
"Promise" said Francesca, turning to go. "Come on, Topper" she said to the dog. Francesca and the dog disappeared down the hallway.
"Oh Julie, she's beautiful!" said Carol. "You must allow me to treat her."
"She's spoilt enough" said Bob.
"A proper daddy's girl" said Julie.