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Manuel was having a hard time creating his second vamp. She only needed to live a dozen pages but she had to be good- sultry and mystical, she was the character who would create his hero’s first obstacle. And it needed to be splendid because that was going to be the root event of the entire book. He already had the perfect set up. All he needed was the perfect girl.

Diaz watched his father crumble yet another ball of paper and and throw at an invisible target at the opposite wall. Diaz giggled, just as he had done after each misdirected shot- seventeen till now. He didn’t understand what daddy was doing, all he cared was to see him frown funnily over and over again, and mutter inaudible ramblings and write furiously and throw the paper away again. Diaz would later collect all that paper and straighten it out, and keep it in daddy’s desk again. Daddy had taught him never to waste paper. As the eighteenth cannonball striked the wall, Diaz giggled louder and rolled over on the floor.

Lea lost the grip on her pen when Diaz laughed again. She had been tense all evening. She was often lost so deep in thought that she would zap back to reality with such a jerk that she felt disorientated and dizzy when she did. Lea knew the things troubling her were serious. She was not doing well in school. In fact, she wasn’t doing good in anything but writing, but then that had been her natural flair. Having an author for a father has it’s benefits.

Diaz was troubling her. She was having a hard time concentrating on the lesson anyway and Diaz’ sudden bursts and gasps and giggles were pinching her more so. Lea had noticed that daddy wasn’t disturbed by Diaz. It made her even more determined to focus better. She was doing an assignment on Figures of Speech. It was, honestly, very lousy. Lea could use whatever figure of speech required in her writing, she just couldn’t work with the technicals…
“Irony, Metaphor, Simile, Hyperbole…” Lea was reading the list again.

Diaz laughed again. This time it was a high pitched squeal because daddy had hit the paper ball right on top of the fan and there it lay, resting on top of a blade.

Manuel saw his flicked ball and smiled at his son. He motioned Diaz to turn the fan on so that the ball may drop. Diaz ran for the switch and when the fan moved, the ball dropped down and landed on Lea’s head.

Diaz rolled on the floor, clutching his sides. Lea frowned at him and threw the ball amidst daddy’s pile. Manuel got back to writing.

‘He was walking along the pavement, stepping into each pool he passed, but not caring. He had too much on his mind.’

Lea read the example given in her text. ‘It’s ironic that she posted a video of how futile Facebook was on Facebook and is sitting there tracking Likes.’ Lea didn’t understand that. What was the difference between irony and mockery? She would have asked daddy but he was obviously very busy.

Manuel was still writing.

‘He thought about her. How she had picked him up easily, at the bar. How he had shown no resistance. How he had been wishing she leave her phone number. How he had liked it, he had really liked it, when she did.”

Diaz had been waiting for too long. He was getting impatient. Daddy had got an idea at last. How boring. Diaz picked up a paper ball from the mounting heaps, and tossed it in the air. He tried to catch it on the tip of his nose but it fell off. He played with more balls… dropped some… rolled some far across the room… and he kept playing till the entire room was littered with crunched papers. But the game was really off when one ball went and hit Lea in the face.

“A large dog called Tiny is an- OWWW!” shrieked Lea, as she caught the ball in her eye.

It was war.

“Diazzzzz! What do you think you are doing hitting people with paper balls in their faces when they are doing their work and minding their business!!!” Diaz stood still. Manuel looked up. He didn’t want a fight now.

“You don’t suppose any one has anything to do, do they?! Just because you can sit around and do nothing and laugh and play doesn’t mean everyone can! Have you ever thought about studying?! Or letting others? Of course not! You are just a lazy boy, who knows nothing! And here I have to sit and learn the most useless of things like Simile and Irony and what not-”

Diaz smiled, all of a sudden.

Lea stopped, shocked. Then she burst out- “WHAT?”

Diaz giggled. “I-run-eeee?” He giggled more.

Lea looked on, quiet. Was he really giggling? Manuel was just as silent.

“Iruneeeeiiii! What a funny name daddy!” Diaz giggled.

Manuel looked at his son. Irony. I-run-eee. Ironie. Ironee. Irounie? No… Ironee… yes, he could make her Russian probably. Or just tacky. Yes… she would be his own personal joke. His hero’s joke! Her own joke! And then, the name he would laugh at and call his own would turn out so alien and the joke… it would be on him… yes… his second vamp… Ironee.

But was it a winner name?

Diaz danced. “Ironeeeeeee….. Ohh Ironeeee….. funny name! Ironeeee!”

It was. Manuel could make it as sultry as he wanted, even as much as Hell. She could be so much. So powerful. So evil.

Manuel threw up his arms in joy. “Yes!” he shouted and scrawled his pen across the blank sheets with a maddening rage.

Diaz joined in his father’s elation, and did a little jig to a tune that comprised majorly of variations of Ironee’s name.

Lea looked on, awestruck.

What irony, she thought.

Her eyes widened. Irony! I know irony!

The brother she had been scolding had come to her poor father’s rescue, and he knew nothing what so ever of writing! Ad he had explained Irony to her!

Figures Of Speech 101. Surprise. Specially when you have a darling brother.



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