“You’re sure it was them?”
“I saw the chart, it was them.” Julie insisted.
Heather sat down and sighed, “Alright, we’ll have to make an appointment.”
Bill looked from one sister to the other, waiting for more useful information.
“Can you go this time?” Julie gave her a sister a pleading look.
“I’m sorry, I’ve got to be the last resort. Maybe this time they’ll cooperate and it’ll be done quickly.”
“It won’t though! They always take forever until you show up, so you should just go.”
“That’s not how it works. Anyways I can’t make an appointment till Monday so we can still go to the movies and hang out.”
“Yeah but we’re gonna have him tagging along.” Julie looked at Bill, “No offense man.”
“Noooonneeee taaaa-” Bill continued the arduous task of replying as Julie rolled her eyes and turned back to her sister.
“You better help me with any paperwork, I have enough homework already without adding more forms on top of it.”
“I’ll deal with the paperwork. It’s late though, you should get to bed.” Heather stood up and walked around the table to kiss her sister on the forehead and muss her hair. Julie batted her hand away even though she was smiling a little and headed upstairs.
“Niiiiiiihhhhhhttttt.” Bill waved at her.
“Night, Billy-boy, try to work on condensing your words a little.” Julie called as she disappeared upstairs.
“We won’t be able to hear you if you practice in the living room, so feel free to make use of the night.”
“Goodnight, Mr. Esler.” Heather gave him another warm smile and retreated upstairs herself.
When Heather came downstairs early the next morning he was seated in the living room, staring out the window and practicing his t’s.
“Are you making much progress, Mr. Esler?”
“Some, thank you.” He looked pleased with himself.
“Oh that’s much better. Have you practiced interacting at all?”
“A little.” He made one of the curtains by the window ruffle.
“Well that’s not too bad at all. Once we get this mess sorted out you should slide right back into your body no problem.”
“Will I remember dis?” He grimaced to himself, “This?”
“That’s hard to say, Mr. Esler, but most likely no. You’ll wake up with a weird sense of confusion, but your brain will probably just assume a bad dream and a couple of hectic days that ‘disappeared’.” Heather started a small pot of water for oatmeal and sat at the table, “I can’t recall ever having a soul remember an experience like this if they got put back all proper.”
“This happens offen?”
“No, thank goodness. Though you seem to have been caught up in a recruitment drive on accident, so we’ll probably spot a few more lost souls before they’re done.” Heather caught his look of confusion and sighed, “Long story short, the woman my sister spotted belongs to an organization that recruits people with supernatural gifts for freelance work. Every time they do a recruitment drive it tends to muck with the natural flow of an area due to increased supernatural presence. Most likely whoever they were trying to recruit is overloading and you just… got caught in the tides and washed out of your body. They’ll have to identify the recruit and get them quieted down before we can put you right.”
“How screwed am I?”
“About as screwed as her oatmeal if she doesn’t pay attention.” Julie said, hopping halfway down the stairs. Heather gasped and jumped up to turn the heat down as her oatmeal nearly boiled over.
“You are not screwed, we just have to make an appointment and be a squeaky wheel.”
“We’re still going to the movies today, right?” Julie grabbed a slice of bread from the bag on the counter and bit down on it, tying the bag shut again carefully, “You promised.”
“Yes we are going to the movies. Unfortunately we’ll need you to come with, Mr. Esler. We’re responsible for you since Julie spotted you first and if something happened…” Heather trailed off and made herself a bowl of oatmeal.
“What could happen?” Bill asked.
“Nothing you need to worry about, Billy-boy, we’re keeping an eye on you.” Julie reached for the bread bag again and Heather frowned.
“Please tell me you’re going to eat something better than bread for breakfast.”
“I like bread, and it’s better than that slop you’re eating.”
“It’s not slop, it’s a healthy breakfast.”
“It’s not slop, it’s a healthy blah-blah.” Julie made a face at her sister, “I’m fully capable of picking food to eat, you don’t need to mother me.”
“At least have some juice.”
“Yes Ma’am.” Julie hopped out of her chair and grabbed a glass from one of the cupboards. She dug around in the fridge for a bottle of red juice and poured half a glass, chugging it in front of Heather, who doing her best to ignore the display, “Is her majesty pleased?”
“You are being exceptionally sassy today.” Heather replied finally, having finished her breakfast, “Keep it up and I’ll put that ice cream off until next week.”
“Hey you promised!”
“I promised you ice cream, not when or where. Now help me clean up and we’ll figure out what we’re going to see.”
Julie glared at her a bit but helped tidy up the few dishes and grabbed the newspaper from outside to find showtimes. They sat on the floor in the living room discussing the options while Bill hovered nearby uneasily.