Chapter 5 – January 6N

The pencil-thin moustache above Teddy Jasper’s lip twitched slightly as he stepped past Rune, their conversation clearly ended. Mr. Jacobs called the team members over to him, said it was time for them to take their seats in the auditorium. But before The Bird began walking with them, she felt her mother’s hand on her shoulder.

A moment later the two were alone with Teddy Jasper in the center of the lobby. The Bird watched her mother’s face, staring intently on the auditorium door, waiting for it to close behind her friends.

What’s wrong, The Bird asked. She heard the soft sound of the door settling into its stationary position in the doorway. Her mother, dressed as Gertrude, waved a hand to her left, towards Teddy. “Sandy, I’d like you to meet — ”

“Oh, I’ve already met your daughter!” Teddy stepped toward The Bird, leaned down, his pencil-thin moustache looking like an underline to his nose. “I believe she likes to be called The Bird.”

Yes, said The Bird. Teddy says you’re in business together.

Janet Wernick closed her eyes, then opened them, smiling. “Teddy is an — agent. Talent agent.”

The Bird groaned, remembering all the previous agents her mother had employed. She didn’t remember their names, only the promises they broke, the hopes they frustrated.

She didn’t remember — the slender teen shook her head, then asked her mother why she was telling her this.

Teddy Jasper leaned down again. “It’s just — we’ll be seeing a lot of each other.” He looked back at Janet. “I hope.” Janet Wernick smiled weakly.

The Bird told her mother that she needed to speak to her. Her mother shook her head. “What — ”

Now. Alone.


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