((An evolution, if you will, of something dated.))
. . . . . “Hoi, brother.” A lanky shadow fell across me, blocking the warm shaft of afternoon sun I'd been basking in. I cracked an eye open and focused on my twin. We were not identical, but quite similar, sharing the same warm brown eyes, thin and broad builds, large hands, and wooly hair. Theo let his curls grow long, tying them back in a puffy mass which resembled the belly of an ewe – while I kept my own too short to be springy. One of his curls dangled near his left ear, and I knew that was the one he tugged on when he was paying attention to something else.
. . . . . It was mid-afternoon. The grass beneath me was spry and the tree at my back sturdy and happy. I blinked a few times and looked to my right. While I'd been napping, the painter had packed up her easel and departed.
. . . . . For several hours here in the park, I'd watched her practice her art, sketches of passersby turning into quick, colorful paintings. The last had been an exotic, dusky couple stopping at at sweets vendor along the walk. The petite, dark-haired woman bought a rosewater confection and the towering man behind her took it from her upraised hand, removing two bites which he appeared to relish before sharing the morsel with his lady. The artist had been halfway through something beautiful in deep reds and warm golds when I'd fallen asleep here in the sunshine.
. . . . . Now here was Theo interrupting my basking.
. . . . . “What,” I groused flatly, closing my eyes again and trying to wave him out of the warmth.
. . . . . The leather of those damnable too-tight pants he insisted on wearing creaked as he crouched by my side – blessedly out of my sun now. “Get up,” he hissed, “I need you to take my bag home for me.”
. . . . . “You take it home for you.”
. . . . . “I can't.” He drew out the last vowel into at least four extra syllables.
. . . . . “Why not?” I did the same.
. . . . . I felt my hair ruffle and smelled cheese – a blown-out breath of exasperation. “Because I don't want to haul it to Master Vincenzo's.”
. . . . . “Wouldn't you want to take your work to your master?”
. . . . . His knuckles connected with my shoulder, jostling me from the tree. I felt momentarily bereft. “Because he invited me to dinner.”
. . . . . That finally convinced me to stop lolling in the grass. “What.”
. . . . . “Master Vincenzo,” my little brother said slowly as if speaking to a dim-witted child, “invited me to his home. For dinner.”
. . . . . “Oh ho!” I cackled like a bold hen. Or was that old biddy? Eh, details. “Aren't you going to go home and change first?”
. . . . . “Cha-... OH!” Theo threw his hands up in the air and rose so fast my head spun with the motion. “I should change!”
. . . . . I scooped the skin of water next to me off the grass and wobbled my way upright. “Take your bag back home with...” He was already fifty yards away. “You.” I sighed and picked up his satchel.