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Part 3: Summer Afternoon Chores

“Come on, will you hurry up?” said an impatient moody Leon “I've got better stuff than
wait for you to dress the whole day! Just what are you doing anyway? Don't tell me you do make up
now. Geez.”
Leon had already finished dressing himself in a daring red t-shirt and black shorts and
was now merely leaning against the wall with a tedious folded leg pressing against it added to his
raring pose.
(He wouldn't... would he?)
Brennan had already finished dressing up in his brown shorts that matched with his beige
t-shirt, and he was now carefully tying the shoe laces. His natural calm when doing so sort of
contributed to annoying his brother further, who was gazing at him from the wall that stood in front
of the bunk bed he was sitting on. He always slept on the top bed, but right then he was sitting at the
lower one. A funny fact about Leon: as incredible as it might sound, the ever so courageous and
brave Leon was afraid of only one thing, and that was heights, which was why he had always
refused to sleep in the top bed. There was no apparent reason behind such fright – it was almost an
ironic and literal confirmation of his down to earth personality, and he was often poked fun out of it,
occasionally even by his cowardly brother. Of course, Brennan wouldn't want to go far with that
much teasing – Leonard's temper would show no mercy and insult him back for each of his petty
fears and worries. Showing weakness was not an option for the latter, and his brother was very well
aware of that.
“Hey brother, let's go!” prompted Brennan, who had finally finished tying his shoe laces.
“Hmph.” replied his laconic brother, who moved towards the door of their room. Brennan
decided to ignore his momentaneous display of ill humour and followed him.
“You boys leaving to get these groceries?” asked their mum upon gazing her children pass
the corridor through the frame of the kitchen's door.
“Do we really have to?”Leon asked. He was obviously unwilling to do what he thought of
as being a boring trivial task.
“Well, you don't, but I doubt I'll have ingredients to make dinner that way!” she smiled as
she tried to comfort her son's crankiness with a caressing hand ran through his hairline.
Leon had to fight himself in order to resist conforming to his mother's affective palm, but
he had to keep his cool. Especially in front of his brother. He didn't want to end up like a mushy
wussy freak like him.
“Meh. Let's go, Bren.” and he rushed his way to the front door, exiting the house and
leaving Brennan behind whilst Cassandra handed the boy some money for their errand and the list
of the things they'd have to get.
“Your brother is so stubborn, he didn't even wait for you!” said his sighing mum.
Brennan simply shrugged and retorted “Bah. Don't mind him. He's always like this when
he's annoyed. I bet he'll be waiting for me outside. I know him; he won't just leave his friends
behind!”
His mother smiled at the sweet fraternal comment of her son; if she could, she would hug
his scrawny self with her moved eyes. It was obvious that both were clad in the same obstinacy and
sense of justice, right and wrong that was so characteristic of their dad and that Cassandra had long
ago learned to cherish. She didn't marry that man for no reason, you know?
“Come on you dim fool, stop talking nonsense in front of mum, we've got important stuff
to do.” An unexpected voice looking from the door exclaimed.
“Oh! Brother! You were listening!”
“Yes, and now I'm waiting, and you know I don't like waiting...” threat imposed in that
last sentence of Leon.
“Go son, before he gets all moody again...” reminded his mum, who prompted him to
leave with a loving light pat on his shoulders.
“You're taking ages! Come on, let's go!”
And so the two left, headed to the grocery store. It actually happened to be located right
next to the local tavern and stood just in front of their mother's bakery. Normally, Cassandra would
have sent her assistant, Lily, to get the groceries and drop them by their house; but that day was a
day off, and the Bakery was closed. Lily was very nice. She was about the same age as the twins
and she lived quite nearby, so they were practically neighbours. Brennan and Leon would usually
let her in their games - they found it pretty funny that she was the only girl willing to graze her
knees and get herself dirty with the mud that was usually involved in their adventurous plays.
About a year ago, when her mother died upon sacrificing herself to give birth to her little brother,
she knocked at the Dante's door asking for a job to help father keep the house and pay for food.
Cassandra could never refuse such a noble request, and almost instantly agreed to let her help with
the orders during the busiest time of the day at the bakery – the morning. At that time, before going
to their respective jobs, literally everyone stopped by to get a paper bag with freshly baked warm
bread inside it for their families' breakfast. Sometimes, queues would even gather and extend
outside the shop! It would then take a bit for things to calm down. Orders for bread and apple pies
had to be quickly attended to, or people would start complaining or leaving in a rush, fearing getting
late to work! What no one complained about for sure, however, was the quality of the delicate
delicacies that everyone had learned to appreciate in that town. If you asked every single person in
town, they would all agree that, despite being the only bakery in Prada, the pastries made there were
most certainly the best in the New World. The secret ingredient to such homely taste? Belike love -
put into making every single dough, every single sweet treat.
It didn't take long for the two young lads to reach the store. The two were sweating and
breathing heavily – consequence of the challenge for a race that had came from Leon...
...and as usual he hadn't won.
“Bah, no matter what, no one beats you at running! You're like an expert when it comes to
running away!” taunted the defeated brother, laughing ironically at his own smart comment.
Brennan, in his self, simply sighed, probably relieved of not having to cope with yet more
moodiness that he had anticipated coming from his non-victorious brother.
The two finally entered the store and Brennan drew the rumpled list from his pocket and
started examining it. Leon joined him to get an idea of what they would have to get.
“Cabbage, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, pumpkin, garlic, carrots, leek, arugula, cucumber,
cauliflower, sweetcorn and... eww! Onions?! Is there anything that isn't a vegetable in this list?”
Leon hated onions.
“Umm... brother. You know mum always organizes these lists in sections. That was the
Vegetable section you were looking at, see?” Bren pointed at a very beautiful handwriting that read
“vegetables” and he turned the scruffy from his pocket sheet the other way around to show him the
other sections.
“Uh. Geez, does she have to be all that organized?”
“That's mum!” his resin hued eyes smiled ostentatiously.
The two split the task of collecting the goods and set out in their errand. Brennan covered
the vegetables and fruits, whilst Leon was incumbent of carrying out the valiant mission of picking
the correct flavour of yogurts, and finding milk and things such while also paying a visit to the slim
section reserved to cereals and noodles. On the other hand, Brennan was also trusted with the
treacherous quest of finding soap, a decent conditioner, shampoo and... toilet paper. Sheesh!
Despite the occasional slow old lady with a “wow, that's really a huge butt” blocking the
way through the tight corridors with large shelves and the seldom housewife (or househusband,
heh) that was slightly more picky about the vegetables she picked (“come on, get done with it
already”) they finally managed to get through with the epic chore of grabbing all the necessary
groceries.
“Phew! Heck, wasn't that exhausting, man?” exclaimed a tired and gasping Leon.
“Tell me about it! I had to wait like... what... ten minutes to get these wretched onions!”
complained Brennan, who was not exaggerating his time estimations, “This guy took like ages to
pick about a darn ton of them, so to pass time I went to get some strawberries... and apples... and
oranges... and bananas... Well, whatever. Things on the list. Guess what! When I checked back he
was still there, picking each onion like his life depended on it”.
Okay. He was probably exaggerating now.
“What a drag...” commented Leonard, “But I bet you would be even more disgusted if
you saw an old lady do the same thing, except with cheese.”
“Eww!”
“Which reminds me... Comrade, did you get the toilet paper?” asked a playful Leon with
an authoritarian semblance.
“Sir! No Sir! I am afraid I forgot to get it! Permission to leave sir?” A salute added to his
pose and Brennan looked like a very pathetic soldier, what, holding plastics bags full of vegetables.
“I hope you are speaking the truth, soldier – that you have not used it all up on the way
here instead!”
“No way, Sir! It's because I spent ages focusing in the search of the perfect conditioner for
you that took me all this time.” justified Brennan, whilst reaching out his hand in the small
shopping basket, looking for the said bottle of conditioner. “Here you go, Sir! Completely free of
any evil silicones and sulphates. I picked it just for you, you see? Here, read the label!”
He handed Leon the bottle so that he could meet his strange request. Leon freckled an
eyebrow and started reading out loud:
“Hard—co...re Conditio...ner – appropiate.... No. Appropriate for stubborn hair...”
Brennan couldn't hide a circumspect giggle at the clueless sight of his brother. He decided
it would be better to leave and go grab the paper before his brother realised his witty joke.
“Wha---? Wait a min... stu-BBORN? STUBBORN! Are you kidding me? You wimp,
come back here!” yelled Leon, angered at the prank and shaking a furious fist at his now distant
brother.
“Uh. Let me register these things for you, will you, boy?” said a discreet voice behind
him.
“Huh?” Leon glanced behind to see who it was. The store clerk was talking to him. “Oh,
excuse me... Here.”
He started placing the bags on top of the balcony, and the clerk prompted to start
registering the goods. Shortly after, Brennan popped up along with the precious toilet paper and
placed that on the balcony too.
“That'll be eighteen IRA and eighty seven cents, if you please.” By IRA, the clerk
referred to International Rupees of Argentia, which happened to be the global currency used in the
territories under Argentian domain.
Brennan grabbed the money he had inside his pocket - a note worth twenty IRA - and
tendered it to the clerk, who was already searching for the right coins to offer as change along the
maze of small glittery compartments in his cash register.
“Oh no! How could I forget?!” cried out Leon all of a sudden.
“Hmm? What is it, Leon?” inquired Brennan sceptically.
“The handcart we were supposed to take to carry all this stuff!! We forgot it at home!” he
explained, slapping his own face.
“What?! Just how are we supposed to take all this stuff home now?” quetched his brother.
The cashier sighed.
“You guys are Cassandra's sons, aren't you?”
That question was unexpected.
“Erm... Yes. Why do you ask?” answered Leon with the returning of another question.
“Twins, hyper, constantly teasing each other. I simply figured from what people had told
me. It was pretty much a good guess, don't you think?”
Brennan whispered something unintelligible to Leon and raised a calming hand to his
shoulder in order to incentive him to hold his upcoming angered reply.
“Well, wh--”
“Don't worry guys. Just drop the bags by the storage over the door behind me and I'll take
them to your house in my van later today. I have some business to discuss with your mother either
way, so don't worry about it.” affirmed the cashier, who also happened to be the store owner.
Brennan suspired with relief when he noticed his brother had been interrupted and was
now in a calm state.
“Really? Wow! Thanks mister, that's very nice of you!” thanked that same calm Leonard.
“Don't mention it. The Dante family has already done so much for this village; it's only
fair to help you in return.”
Brennan laughed sheepishly “Thanks a lot!”
“Now go, I have other costumers to attend to. Here. Your change.”
Brennan clasped his hands on the coins that came showering it. They totalled exactly One
IRA and thirteen cents, or another way to put it would be ђ1,13.
Then the two grabbed as much of their goods as they could and placed them where they
were told to do so - at the cluttered storage behind the balcony. It took them two trips to take them
all there.
“Thanks again Sir, we'll be leaving!” said one of them
“Yeah, thank you very much!” joined the other.
“Take care, boys!” he shouted with a smile as they ran through the entrance door. “Hah,
now, these two are something... Oh! Excuse me.”
Another costumer to attend to. “How may I help you?”

“So, Leon, what are we doing next?” asked Brennan out of curiosity.
“I'm not sure... do you have anything in mind?” he replied uncertain.
“Excuse me...”
Uh? Who is that?
“Excuse me, are you Oliver's sons?” asked a strange man behind them.
“Well, aren't we gaining quite the fame nowadays, Brennan?” joked Leon, proceeding to
immediately recover a more serious tone “Ahem, why do you ask?”
“Hmm Brennan and Leon Dante? You must be them.” he affirmed with certainty.
“Are we that easy to recognize?” Leon sighed with slight playful disappointment.
“A friend of your father wishes to speak to him; it is a matter of upmost importance.
Would you two be so kind as to tell me where he is?” questioned the man with a rather disturbing
formal tone that the twins weren't really familiar with. It also didn't help towards having them trust
the stranger. The fact that he was cloaked with a suspicious grey mantle didn't inspire much
confidence either.
“And this friend is he really a friend?” Leon dared to ask with a raising eyebrow.
“Oh, forgive me! I come in the name of Ezekiel Loire, a long time friend of your father.
Surely you have heard of him?”
“Ohh! Eze, is he here? In this town?”
“Yes, he is inside the Tavern. He sent me looking for---”
Before the stranger could realise, the two had gone running inside the tavern a few steps
away from the grocery store. They literally barged in the door, startling everyone inside. People in
Prada weren't specially acquainted with agitation and disturbance, and that only made the two
already prominent personalities of the twins seem more exotic to the town, even though they had
been born in it. As soon as they had pushed their way in, everyone looked in the direction of the
noise only to sigh at the sight of the two overactive brothers. “Oh, it's just the Dante's kids.” Even
the owner, who stood lazily behind the corner, went back to relaxingly polish the beer glasses clean
as he took knowledge of the source of all that sudden racket.
“Well, well, what is this ruckus all about?”

(To be Continued on Part 4)