Angelina stirred awake, hungry, disoriented, and sore from sleeping on the floor. She kind of had to use the bathroom, but she didn’t feel like dealing with the makeshift outhouse situation Mrs. Sharma had constructed behind the house. She’d used it once in the middle of the night, and it had been a little scary.
She wasn’t sure how long she’d been asleep, but almost everyone else was still sleeping. Only Sam was awake, sitting on a stool in the kitchen, playing with the little magnets he carried around.
“Hey,” he whispered. “Finally, someone else is up.”
“Hi,” she said. “How did you sleep?”
“Bad,” he said. “You?”
“Bad. Horrible. Terrible.”
She slid into the stool beside him, stepping carefully over a sleeping Lachlan and placing her backpack in her lap.
“Yeah,” he said.
Her stomach rumbled, and she remembered how hungry she was. She reached into her bag’s front pocket and pulled out some of the wine grapes from the Sentiero Angelica. She popped a handful into her mouth, trying not to gag at the bitter taste.
“Do I want to know what you’re eating?” said Sam.
“Some really disgusting grapes I found.” She reached in and pulled out another handful. “Want some?”
“Why would I want them if they’re disgusting?” said Sam.
“Maybe you’re really hungry. I am. Why do you think I’m eating disgusting grapes?”
Sam put down his magnets and reached into a tote bag that was hanging off the back of his chair. He reached first with his right hand, then reconsidered, twisting around to reach in with his left hand and pulling out two bags of potato chips.
“I have something slightly better than disgusting grapes,” he said. “I present to you… stale chips.”
He dropped one of the bags in front of her, and she tore it open, stuffing a handful into her mouth. Sam hadn’t been kidding about the chips being stale, but they got the bitter grape taste out of her mouth and sated some of her hunger.
She picked up a few of the grapes she’d offered to Sam and dropped them one by one onto Lachlan. Most of them rolled off him, but a few of them came to rest on his chest. He still didn’t wake up.
Sam looked down at Lachlan with an amused smile, picking up another grape and dropping it onto him.
“Someone’s a heavy sleeper,” he said.
Angelina stifled a laugh.
She wiped the chip grease from her hands onto her nightgown, then unwrapped the scarf she’d borrowed from Chelsea from her head and checked her reflection in the well-polished countertop, looking at her hair, which was twisted along the side of her head and secured into two tiny buns in the back.
The counter wasn’t a perfect mirror, but from what she could tell, her hair hadn’t suffered too badly despite the lack of her usual hair products. Mrs. Sharma had a sizeable stash of hair stuff, but none of it was really intended for Angelina’s hair type. She’d tried to replicate her usual routine as best as she could, but she was nervous about what would happen if she let her hair down. She decided she’d be better off leaving it up.
She rolled the scarf into a ball and tossing it towards where Chelsea was sleeping. It unballed and fell straight down onto Lachlan’s face. He made a grumbling sound, but didn’t wake up.
“Dang it,” she said. “I wanted her to wake up and have the scarf just be there. And then she’d be like ‘oh, cool, my scarf!'”
Sam put down his magnets. got out of his chair and picked up the scarf.
“You were aiming for Chelsea, right?” He tied the scarf into a knot and tossed it. It landed an inch from Chelsea’s head. “Bullseye.”
“Nice throw,” she said.
“Thanks,” he said. “I really didn’t think I was gonna make that throw. I don’t exactly have the best aim, especially with my left hand. At least, I didn’t used to. Not until… you know.”
“If you’re gonna throw something like a scarf or cloth, it helps to tie it in a knot, though. It reduces the surface area and makes it more aerodynamic.”
“That’s what I was trying to do when I rolled it up into a ball. It came undone though,” she said. “Should I write down your good aim?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, for the experiment.”
“I didn’t think we were still doing that,” said Sam, “since Mrs. Sharma explained everything.”
“She didn’t really explain everything, though,” said Angelina. “We know there’s something weird with our DNA, but we don’t know what exactly. Or why this is happening to us. Or why you and Mrs. Sharma have powers and me and Jen don’t really.”
“Hm. That’s a good point.” Sam picked up another grape, dropping it onto Lachlan. “I guess we’ll have to bring that up once our friend here is awake.”
Angelina dropped another grape.
“I wonder how many of these we can drop on him before that happens.”