(Sighh...a brief flirtation with writer's block, and we've gone 11 days update-less. Have been doing some measure of soul-searching (script-searching?), but still the results are minimal. However, common sense dictates that new paths only pop up when you continue down the old ones - let's keep finding out what shall happen to the folks over at Ghostopia.)
Before Katrina could get over the initial wave of ecstasy, Sunday was already round the corner. Still she had to slowly repeat in her mind that it was real - she would finally get to do more than playing for applause in her school and informal parties. It was intimidating, knowing that much of her regular life would be disrupted if she had to travel around the country, but there wasn't much to miss about her "regular life" anyway. She wouldn't mind a bit if her mother and herself bought a trailer and lived on the road, waking up in a new city every day, just like in the movies. And then she needn't to go to school any more, for she would have one of those private tutors. Yes, that would be really cool.
Smiling to herself in the way daydreamers do, Katrina continued scribbling down notes for I Won't Grow Up. She played out a few portions, stopped and frowned, then continued scribbling. Another round of testing, and still it didn't sound right.
Suddenly, the phone rang.
She got up. "Hello?"
"Katrina?" It was a low, grating voice - exactly the sort she was allergic to.
"Do you know who I am?"
Katrina swallowed. It didn't strike her at first, but now it did. "D-dad?"
"Of course it is, princess."
"What do you want, dad?" Her voice grew cold.
"Why that tone?" he chided. "Can't I just call to say hi?"
"I know you better than that."
He laughed, making her uncomfortable. "I always knew you had my brains. Now, is all that hoo-ha I hear about you performing for Mr. Rogers true?"
"Of course," she spat back. "I'll be joining him for a rehearsal tomorrow, and once that works out Mom and I will travel around the country performing with him. We'll be rich and famous, we'll have everything we need, and I hope you'll have a good time stuck in your office."
It felt really good to say that, so good she couldn't help smirking.
"You ungrateful girl," he continued calmly. "I don't really care about all that, because I know those are just castles in the sky. Take it from an older, wiser man, dear, you'll only get fifteen minutes."
"However, there is another reason why I must make sure you don't make it to the rehearsal tomorrow. See, I've finally managed to step up into the big leagues. My career and reputation is skyrocketing. Imagine the implications if my ex-daughter became famous and started bad-mouthing me in public."
"Ex-daughter?" Hot tears welled up in Katrina's eyes. "I hope you die, too!"
"I'm sorry dear, but that's just the way it is. Now, either we finish this the easy way or the hard way. I could easily arrange an "accident" for you and get away with it, or you just pick up the phone and tell Mr. Rogers that you're refusing his offer. What's it going to be?"
Katrina was so furious that she didn't know what to say. She slammed down the phone as hard as she could.
She sat at the piano, trying to shake it all out of her mind, but her father's words repeated themselves louder and louder. "I hate you," she wept. "Why do you always do this to us, dad?"
As her teardrops fell on the ebony keys, the phone rang again. Katrina didn't pick it up.