Greta: Hello, Alyson. I’m glad you’re here. I hope I didn’t take you away from anything important.
Alyson: No, ma’am, I wasn’t busy. (She adds in a whisper) Actually, I was glad to get away from Sheila. Don’t get me wrong. She’s a wonderful person and all that. But as a teacher, she’s a monster!
Greta: A real taskmaster, huh?
Alyson: And how! Who cares about the first Far-seer way back when or how to respectfully address an elder far-seer master. Gerald and Vernon don’t have to bow, curtsy, or say ma’am or sir. (She places her hands on her hips and taps her foot on the floor.) It’s not fair. It’s just not fair!
Greta: Calm down, Alyson. You do realize that Gerald and Vernon have to go to school in their world just like you do. I believe they’re freshmen in high school.
Alyson: Oh well, I don’t know what a freshman is, but I guess it’s about the same as being an apprentice – Boring!!! (Big sigh) I’d rather be doing my firestarter training. I’m getting pretty good at it. At least I haven’t burned down any more buildings.
Greta: Any more buildings?
Alyson: Only one – my father’s barn. Boy was he mad - but it really was an accident, you know. I was cold and thought about how nice it’d be to have a little fire to warm my hands. And um, it kind of just happened. A far-seer master was visiting our farm at the time and bundled me off to the training compound here in the village. At first, I didn’t like it (her frown turns into a mischievous smile) until I met Vernon ... Oh yeah, and Gerald, too.
Greta: I think you have a crush on Vernon.
Alyson: Oh no, no, not me. But he is adorable, isn’t he? And he says cute things like, “That’s cool,” or “Uh oh, we’re in deep yogurt.” I never understood that last one, though.
Greta: I heard that you’ve spent a little time in their world.
Alyson: Yeah, it was an accident, too. You see, there was a really interesting mirror in one of the unused rooms in the training center. I knew Sheila would probably yell at me, but I just had to get a closer look at it and touch it, and well, somehow, I wound up in Gerald and Vernon’s world. That was really scary. Ohhh ... just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.
Greta: Don’t tell us what happened. We need to read Gerald and the Wee People and House on Bo-Kay Lane to find out. Right?
Instead of answering my question, Alyson peers over my shoulder and utters, “Uh oh.”
(Sheila, a master far-seer and Alyson’s long-suffering mentor walks in, stops right in front of her student, and wearily shakes her head.)
Sheila: There you are, young lady. I’ve been looking all over for you. (The agitated far-seer master continues her lecture as she quickly leads her wayward student back towards the training center.) Didn’t you know our lesson on reading weather patterns started 15 minutes ago" …
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