Vox and Celeste, at the tender age of eight, sit at a folding table on their front lawn. A piece of poster board is taped to the table that reads “Lemonade $1” in washable marker. Ardan is trimming the hedges around the house. A young couple take their cups of lemonade from the kids and hand over a few bills.
Celeste– Thank you! Please tell your friends.
Young Man– Thank you.
The young couple turns to leave.
Vox– Will you?
Young Man (turning around)- What?
Vox– Will you tell your friends?
Young Man– Oh, sure.
Celeste– Say it.
Young Man– Huh?
Vox– Say, “I’ll tell my friends.”
Celeste– It’s pretty simple, just say it.
Young Man– I’ll tell my friends.
The twins beam.
Celeste– Thank you!
The young couple leaves and a Stormguard soldier carrying an axe strolls over to the table.
Stormguard– Hey, one lemonade please.
Vox and Celeste stare at her in baleful silence.
Stormguard– Can I have a lemonade?
Celeste (full of venom)- I don’t know, can you?
The twins high five without looking. Twin stuff.
Stormguard– Okay, never mind.
The Stormguard turns to leave. Vox hops up from his seat and quickly slides in front of her.
Vox– Wait, I thought you wanted a lemonade.
Stormguard– No thanks.
Vox– Is our customer service not up to your standards?
Celeste– Should we have saluted first?
Vox– Or called you, “Your Majesty”?
Celeste– Should we be bowing?
Vox prostrates himself on the ground before her. Celeste throws her body over the table.
Vox– Oh benevolent Stormguard soldier, please grace us with your dollar.
Celeste– We humbly request your patronage.
Stormguard (getting frustrated)- Alright that’s enough, leave me alone.
Vox– Please buy a cup. We milked the lemons ourselves.
Celeste– Our sweat and blood went into this to making it suitable for your righteous taste buds.
Stormguard– Stop it!
Vox peers up at her from the ground.
Vox– You seem mad, wanna fight?
Celeste– Yea, let’s fight!
Ardan comes rushing over and scoops Vox off the ground in one swift motion. Depositing him back in his seat, he places one firm hand on each child’s shoulder and holds them in place.
Ardan– Sorry about that. (He notices she’s a Stormguard. He stiffens briefly, and then tries to relax) Kids, right?
Stormguard (looking Ardan up and down)- No problem Mr…
Stormguard– Mika. Nice to meet you.
Mika reaches out to shake Ardan’s hand. He stares at it, Vox and Celeste both glare up at him. Hastily shaking her hand, he returns his grip to the kids, their bodies starting to squirm.
Ardan– Right, so, sorry again. Have a nice day.
Mika– After all that I don’t get any lemonade?
Ardan– Oh, sure. Kids, give the nice soldier some lemonade.
Mika– Can’t you serve me, Mr. Ardan?
Mika leans on her axe, cocking one hip out to the side. The kids make low growling noises and the lemonade stand begins to glow and hum. Mika doesn’t notice.
Ardan (moving fast)- Okay, one lemonade, great. (Shoving it into her hand) There you go, bye now.
Mika– But I haven’t paid.
Ardan– It’s on the house.
Mika– Oh, well thank you. (She takes a sip) Mmmmm it’s delicious. Did you make it?
Ardan– Nope, all the kids.
Mika (to the twins)- You make good lemonade.
Vox– You should try our knuckle sandwich.
Twin high five. You wouldn’t understand.
Mika (Laughing)- Oh, aren’t they just a hoot. Keep you busy?
Ardan (struggling to keep them seated)- Very much so.
Mika– And there’s no Mrs. Ardan?
The table positively shines and the hum starts to sound like a low-flying jet.
Ardan (Sweating and blinking something fierce)- ….No.
Mika– Very interesting.
Mika leans forward over the lemonade stand, which promptly explodes in a flash of light and sound that tosses the neighbor’s mailbox onto their roof and shatters most of the windows on the block. The Stormguard stares stupefied, pieces of table in her hair.
Ardan– I’m sorry, they have allergies.
Mika (Stunned)- Huh.
Ardan– In fact, I better get their medicine or they’ll swell up like a couple of lemons themselves. C’mon kids.
Ardan lifts the twins up under his arms and starts running toward the house.
Vox– We’re going to kill you!
Celeste– Tell your friends!