Jester had seen the light clearly, but so shortly that it had been impossible for him to know where had it come from. One thing he knew for sure though, was that Pipoh had found Majorette’s substitute. That much power could only mean the reactivation of the baton and it was unfortunate… even more; it was a big mishap for his plans, but he wasn’t going to give up.
He tried to locate the zone and spent some tiring hours looking for that pipsqueak or any clues he could find of the baton. He had no luck.
The moon had long passed its zenith when he surrendered to fatigue and decided to take a rest someplace safe, away from the curiosity of humans; even if he practically looked like one of them in a different outfit. The tree he chose was big, strong and full of leaves to hide its silhouette, although the branch wasn’t that comfortable.
When the sun arose again, he had to deal with a backache, but recovered fast. Time wasn’t on his side now and he had none to waste.
However, some minutes later after beginning his quest again, the bad mood caught him. He was tired and mad. Stopping on the top of a wide building surrounded by a kind of park, he had to admit it…
“It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. And I could spend weeks to find him again!”
He took his fingers to the bridge of his nose, closing the eyes to appease his nerves, and sighed. “If only I could…”
“Hey, four-eyed! What ya doin’ out the library? Ya lost?” The voice caught his attention for a minute and he saw a small group of humans. Three were together, yelling at the fourth one, who seemed to be in a hurry to leave the place. The blondie who looked like the leader of the trio, yelled again. “Right, beat it ‘fore I start punching ya’gly face!” And so, his subordinates laughed. “What a loser!”
Jester looked at the kid they were mocking: black hair, glasses and the kind of eyes that showed intelligence, but not daring enough to be respected. No doubt he had been bullied for long now.
Jester thought about the stupidity of humans and their way to pretend, not to show their weaknesses. That kid was probably better than those three imbeciles, but it was no use trying to confront a group of troglodytes who worshipped their strength more than their brains. And that was the short story of human nature: the bullies and the bullied.
“Oh well…” The wizard turned away from that scene and got ready to take off again. “Nothing to see here, better keep searching.” And he left that place, not noticing that a group of majorettes in sport clothes were practicing their next performance, not far away.
“Ok, girls. Ready? Here I go! Hop!”
Bibiana spun his baton —the one she used to practice —and threw it over her head, up high in the air, while repeating the steps she had learnt. After some swirls and an acrobatical split, the baton finally fell down and she caught it in a graceful pose, rewarded with the applause of her teammates and friends.
“Bravo!” “You’re the best, BB!”
“Thanks.” Bibiana bowed in a theatrical reverence and approached the group that was lying on the grass, next to the football pitch. Four girls that were quite different from each other.
First, there was Margaux Bosch, Bibiana’s best friend ever since kindergarten and someone we already knew. Short auburn hair, brown eyes, middle-sized… quite tempered sometimes but down-to-Earth most of it.
Then, there was Pooja Mishra, a half-indian girl; olive skin, long chocolate-color hair —and when I say long, I mean VERY long — hazel eyes, quite tall and really pretty. Also a very good dancer.
Next to her, we had Rita Moreno, the type of person you’d never want as an enemy but more as an ally. Dark skin, pitch-black frizzy hair, big ebony eyes and plump, but with the strength of a boxer’s well-taught daughter, which made her an effective bully repellent.
And last, but not least, there was Cho Shimizu. She was the cutest of them all and also the youngest. Japanese born here, pale skin, long black straight hair, almond dark eyes and a smile with the power of a thousand rainbows. She was kind and energetic, which a contagious aura of positivism and innocence that made others want to take care of her, just like a little sister.
And she was the one to praise her friend the most.
“You definitely are a baton mistress!”
“Ha ha, no way!” Bibiana was pleased by her words but, deep inside, she couldn’t help but think about the irony in that. If only you knew… she thought, remembering her incredible encounter with Pipoh the day before.
At first, she couldn’t believe it... Well, she did believe in the existence of other realities and stuff. You never know enough about this universe… but magical creatures crossing a simple bridge to OUR world to escape from a powerful villain? That only happens in fictional stories! How could it be real...?
But it was; as impossible as it seemed.
And after calming down a bit, the pixie had asked her for help and told her a crazy story about a magician called Jester that had killed the previous guardian of the baton she was supposed to protect. In fact, he had even made her take an oath without noticing it and now was caught with a promise she had to fulfill.
All in all, It sounded pretty scary but, technically, using a type of spell, she could also get magic powers like those of the heroines in cartoons, so it was lucky having something to defend herself in the process. However, Bibiana wasn’t stupid. This wasn’t a fairy tail where you know that the main character is gonna end up beating the bad guy and rise with the glory. It was REAL LIFE and dangerous, so she had to be carefull, specially when having no clue about what would happen from now on.
The thing is, though, Pipoh wasn’t there when she had woken up that morning. Everything could have been a dream or hallucination if it wasn’t for a little detail…
“Oh, BB, I hadn’t seen that bracelet before. It’s new?”
Right! The bracelet! The night before, Pipoh had turned the baton into a jewel so I could wear it without arousing suspicion. Not that I wanted to show it to anyone anyway but, to be fair, it did look pretty.
I smiled gently at Mar while thinking about an excuse.
“Yeah, it’s… a present… from my dad.”
“Neat! You gotta tell me where he bought it so I can get one myself” she insisted, taking my wrist to take a closer look.
“Sure, I’ll... ask him”. Of course, I lied, hoping that she would forget about it sooner or later. However, we were hopefully distracted by Rita’s voice once more.
“Eugh… there he goes.” We turned our heads in the same direction she was looking and saw Alexander, heading to the building’s back door at fast pace. “That guy is such a freak” she continued. “I wouldn’t give a dime for him.”
I could have said something in his defense, but Pooja was faster.
“Alex? Well…to be honest, I think he’s cute”.
“WHAT?!” Rita screamed blue murder as if she had gone insane. “OMG, Ja! Have you lost it? How can you like that idiot?”
“I just said he’s cute, Rita. It’s not a sin”.
“Oh… I get it”. The drama queen stroke a pose representing deep concern. “You’re so desperate to find true love instead of giving up to an arranged marriage that you could run away with the first incompetent to cross your path. That’s sooooo sad…”
“How many times do I have to tell you?! My life is NOT a Bollywood movie!”
I watched them both argue and couldn’t help to find it kind of funny, but I also took pity on Pooja. I knew how much of a pain Rita could be when dealing with a disagreement. Not to mention that our indian friend was tired of telling people that cinema and real life are not the same… usually without success. But I have to admit I did like the movies after all; specially the musical scenes.
“Hey, BB, did I show you my baby brother yet?” Cho got up from the grass and took me out of my thoughts.
“Oh, it’s true I haven’t seen him”.
“I have a photo on my phone. Here.” She approached the screen to me and I saw the cutest little thing. “He’s two weeks old. Isn’t he cute, my otouto?”
“He’s adorable, Cho.” I smiled at her and saw she was really pleased and proud of her baby brother.
“You’re still here, girls?” Agatha Arbeit, our Senior and captain of the team, interrupted our chit-chat with her strict, yet caring, bearing. Her golden hair and figure, according to a kind personality that always tried to bring out the best in ourselves, recreated the “big sister” that most of us would like to have. I admired her a lot.
“The bell’s gonna ring soon. Hurry up and go change yourselves.” She continued.
“Aie aie, captain.” Mar and I replied at the same time, as the pirates in a ship. It was a kind of joke we had with her but Agatha never took it in a bad way.
“Don’t forget that we have to practice again tomorrow after class!” She added when we were leaving.
“Copy that! Bye Cho!” I said.
“Bye guys! See you later!” Our little friend stayed by the captain and we girls left them behind to go get a quick shower before the beginning of the lessons. And it felt great, although… little I knew back then that something was about to happen with Cho’s little brother… something that would become my first step as Majorette, the new Guardian of the Baton.
It hadn’t taken long for Jester to get to the other side of the bridge that divided the city. The view was quite impressing, but he didn’t care at all about all those human buildings and landscape. He wasn’t there to go sightseeing and he was becoming more and more impatient. What to do to find Pipoh and the damn baton? WHAT?
Suddenly, a weird cry reached his ears and he turned around to try finding its source. It sounded like the whine of an animal or… a baby?
He put his head down to see at the other side of the roof tiles and spotted a window. Inside, there was, indeed, a baby. He seemed to be sleeping, but his movements denoted some trouble.
“He must be having a nightmare...” Abruptly, Jester’s brain clicked like lightning and he realized he had the best idea. “A nightmare!” He smiled and went backwards so he could reach his diabolo.
“Maybe... I don’t need to find Pipoh after all…”