I don't have a title yet, nor a title for the series itself, but work is proceeding on the next installment of the adventures of Ai. I'll wait until next week to start posting, given the holidays and all, although I do have a chapters worth done now. It's fun writing from Ai's point of view, getting into her head. Like a child, sort of. Given it will be a week, here's a bit of what I have so far, which naturally may change several times before hitting the inter webs:
Ai danced into the bedroom.
She was happy. As happy as she had ever been in her life, which now she considered to be about nine days long. The idea of days, let alone time, was new. Everything was new! That made her happy. Having friends made her happy. Having family made her happy. Happy made her happy!
Spinning across the floor, she stopped in front of the full sized mirror against the wall of Betty's bedroom. Betty, as her sister, obviously wouldn't mind that Ai was there. They were family! Family was also new, and different from Friends. Bill had made sure Ai knew, and understood, the difference. Family were those around you who you liked, but didn't feed you. Only Ai's friends, Bill and Julie, fed her. She wasn't to ask for food from anyone else. That was disappointing, but she understood. Feeding Ai was rather special, and intimate. Only special and close people SHOULD feed Ai. Maybe Cindi would be her friend soon...
The sound of a car door slamming broke into her contemplation of love. There... should not be a car door slamming. Bus came first, with Bill and Betty and Julie and Jenny, THEN car doors, first with Mom then later Dad. There should be no car door! Jumping up, Ai ran to the bedroom window and looked out over the front lawn.
There was a red car in the driveway.
The family had no red car.
There was a stranger!
What were the rules? Bill had given her rules. Things to do in time of danger.
1. Look and see where the stranger was.
Ai looked and saw the head of a woman walking past the front of the house, towards the front door. No!
2. Decide which hiding place was the easiest to go to without being seen, and go there.
She couldn't get to any! Ai couldn't go across the street to Julie's house, as the stranger was there! She couldn't go to the basement, or even flee the house to the shelter as the front door was right at the bottom of the stairs and there was a big window there! She was trapped!
The doorbell rang...