Chapter 16: A Relaxing Day
Wednesday, November 26
Dawn slept until noon the next day—partly wonderful luxury, partly exhaustion, because the late flight meant they had all been up late. Still, she felt very refreshed and happy when she woke up, and was even more pleased when she remembered that she didn’t have to change out of her pajamas to go get breakfast.
Of course, she recalled once she’d started moving, she might want to after all. Her pajamas—a matching purple shirt and pair of purple pants—were rather warm for this climate. She considered the T-shirts and capri pants her mother had packed for her, then shook her head and went downstairs. She’d decide after she’d gotten some food in her.
Her grandmothers both lived in the same neighborhood, but not together; they got along fairly well, but they were only related via their children’s marriage, after all. They were staying with Dawn’s Grandmom, her dad and aunt’s mother, because her house was bigger—and also her granny had a “gentleman friend” who lived with her, and things could just get awkward.
By the time Dawn got downstairs to the kitchen, it already smelled like Thanksgiving. Her grandmother had the baking well underway. Dawn took a deep breath and grinned. “Hi, Grandmom! Is that pumpkin pie I smell?”
“Not for breakfast,” her grandmother said, turning from the bowl she was stirring and wagging a finger at Dawn. “That’s for dessert tomorrow.”
“I know,” Dawn sighed, then walked up to her grandmother to give her a hug. “Sorry I wasn’t up earlier. I can start helping as soon as I’ve eaten something. And gotten dressed in real clothes.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. I already sent your parents out of the house so they won’t be underfoot. I’d rather have the kitchen to myself.” As she spoke, she walked around Dawn and put on a pair of oven mitts, then opened the oven. A delicious, cinnamon-sugar smell wafted out from it, followed quickly by a tray of cinnamon rolls. “Now this is breakfast. I was just keeping them warm for you.”
Dawn was so happy she didn’t know what to say. So she just gave her grandmother a kiss on her cheek, grabbed a plate and a fork, and helped herself to some cinnamon rolls.
After she was so full it bordered on unpleasant, she went back upstairs to shower and get dressed, then came back to the kitchen and put on an apron over her grandmother’s protests. She might have homework to do over the long weekend, but there was no reason she had to start on that until Sunday. For now she was going to spend time with her grandmother, who she usually didn’t get to see more than once a year.
Despite the air conditioning in the house—and the fact that it was November—the Florida warmth and the constantly-heated oven kept the kitchen so hot that Dawn was sweating after an hour, and had to keep wiping her face. She toyed with the idea of using some wind magic to cool herself off. Maybe she could control the air currents in such a way that the oven’s heat stayed close in… A glance at the gas stove, though, told her that doing magic around it was probably a bad idea. She could create a breeze, but she didn’t think it would be a good idea to try something she’d never done before when there was such a risk of fire.
Her grandmother did eventually insist that she go outside and get some sun, though, so she headed to the pool. This gated community, where both her grandparents lived, was designed for grandparents and their grandchildren, and boasted a playground, tennis courts, and a swimming pool with full amenities. There were some grandparents and kids there today, but they were all little kids in the wading pool, so Dawn had the big pool all to herself.
She wasn’t that much of a swimmer, but she could try out some water magic while she paddled around. At first she just tried sensing the water, like she’d done with air in class, and she could tell how much of it was chlorine. Then she created a little pure water under the surface. It was just enough to raise the water level—no one who wasn’t paying attention would be able to tell the difference—but it lowered the chlorine percentage a little.
Dawn swam a few laps, wondering if Troy and Link were bothered by chlorine in water, and whether it mattered if they were in human form or Djanaea form. That made her think of all her other friends and wonder what they were doing on their Thanksgiving break. She only hoped they were having as much fun as she was.