Ryman Legacy Chapter 13D


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Ryman Legacy Chapter 13D

  1. 1. The Ryman Legacy<br />Chapter 13D <br />Kids<br />By Mzyra<br />
  2. 2. Another night at the Ryman household…<br />
  3. 3. Where it seemed that every night was a birthday night, this time of Anna and Lydia as they became children.<br />
  4. 4. The girls became even further from identical as they grew, and they always demonstrated different tastes, but they were also happy to be – and show everyone else that they were – twins, styling their hair the same way, and picking similar outfits, but in their own favourite colours.<br />
  5. 5. It wasn’t just a night for birthdays, however, as Liv went into labour when she got home, and soon gave birth to twins – first a girl called Madison, then a boy called Miguel, both with green eyes and their father’s skin tone, but Madison had inherited Rodney’s brown hair, while Miguel inherited black from his mother (originating from her great-grandmother).<br />~~~~~<br />
  6. 6. Lydia was mesmerised. “Schooooooool…”<br />“What about it?” Anna blinked.<br />“Isn’t it exciting?!”<br />“Um, scary maybe.”<br />“But we get teachers who tell us things!”<br />“And are strict and won’t let us play all the time…?”<br />
  7. 7. “I see your little sister’s just like you then, Huey?” Brawly smirked.<br />“There’s nothing wrong with liking to learn. And who’s this?”<br />“This is my cousin Rich: it’s his first day too.”<br />“Cool. He can hang out with the twins. I expect Elliot won’t want little girls hanging around with us anyway.”<br />“If you can drag him away from the teenage girls for a moment…”<br />
  8. 8. Rich wasn’t the only friend Anna and Lydia made that morning; there was another set of twin girls in their class too: Victoria and Meg McCarthy. In fact, by the end of the day, they had more friends than their older brother did, for all that their cousin Elliot claimed they ruled the school. <br />
  9. 9. Meanwhile it was life as usual at home, with the parents and grandparents looking after Stern, and then helping the girls with their homework when they got home again. <br />
  10. 10. And the day, as every other, ended with birthdays.<br />Dwayne became a child at home with a small family party (and got a tickle attack for abandoning the way of the fauxhawk)…<br />
  11. 11. Before he and Liv headed over to the Rymans’ for Stern’s.<br />It was quickly established after Stern’s transition that his vision was far from perfect, so he was fitted with some special toddler glasses that he loved - when he wasn’t try to pull them off and eat them.<br />
  12. 12. “It’s so not fair. Grandpa shouldn’t be able to give me detention – he’s not a teacher!”<br />“Your Dad is though, and he probably would have done if Juan hadn’t,” Brawly replied, timing each word with a hit to the punching bag.<br />“But what do they expect me to do? I told the girl I’d meet her at 10:30; I couldn’t just leave after half an hour, regardless of what time my curfew is.”<br />“I think the point is that you arrange to meet her early enough that you have enough time before the curfew,” Huey sighed.<br />“What, like 8pm? And look like a child? Please…”<br />
  13. 13. “Hey guys, can I be part of your gang?”<br />The other boys stared at Dwayne and Huey and Brawly looked at each other.<br />Elliot was less thoughtful. “What? No. Buzz off, kid.”<br />“Elliot…” Huey frowned at him.<br />
  14. 14. “I’m not a kid! Or… well, I’m not that much younger than Huey!” Dwayne protested.<br />“Yeah, and he’s young enough as it is. And he’s - I dunno - clever and stuff.”<br />“Which is why you never listen to me,” Huey muttered.<br />“I could be clever! My family says I’m clever!”<br />“Well they would say they that,” Elliot rolled his eyes.<br />
  15. 15. “What’s going on down here?” Juan asked as he arrived in the garage.<br />“They won’t let me join their gang!” Dwayne pouted up at him.<br />“Elliot won’t let him join our gang,” Huey quickly corrected as they scrambled to their feet.<br />“Traitor,” Elliot muttered and crossed his arms, ready for another lecture.<br />
  16. 16. Juan looked down at Dwayne, feeling a little torn himself.<br />Yes, he was Mia’s grandchild and thereby also Juan’s responsibility, but he was also predominantly both Seth and Rodney’s, and being raised more by them than by Mia. It was entirely possible, both by nature and by nurture, that he could wind up like either – or both – of them. And Jalowitz would not be at all happy if he were to discover that his grandchild, who bore his last name, was being effectively mentored by Juan, as the others were. <br />He could get into serious trouble with little pay-off.<br />
  17. 17. Eh, any chance to stop that is good enough, he figured, and Rodney Jalowitz can go straight to hell.<br />“If Dwayne wants to join in he can, Elliot, and you’re going to be nice to him.” Dwayne’s face lit up at Juan’s words, while Elliot rolled his eyes sullenly and muttered something about everyone else getting their own goddamn grandparents.<br />“Can I have a go on the punching bag?” Dwayne asked brightly.<br />~~~~~<br />
  18. 18. Apparently the children both families had were not yet sufficient, however, as both Tina and Liv turned out to be pregnant yet again. It had almost stopped being surprising for the grandparents at all. <br />
  19. 19. While for the children it was finally the weekend, bringing a fair depth of snow with it when they woke up.<br />“Oh wow, he looks perfect, Lyd!”<br />“Yeah, if I can just get this stick to stop falling down… There, done!”<br />
  20. 20. “I prefer my snowman.” <br />“Your snowman looks creepy, Huey,” Anna frowned.<br />“And where did you get a pitchfork and flame-y top-hat from?” Lydia added. <br />“Wouldn’t you like to know?”<br />“I think ours is better,” Anna whispered to her twin.<br />“Definitely.”<br />
  21. 21. And then they found something else to do.<br />“You guys are such copy-cats.”<br />“Can’t hear you over the snow!” Lydia insisted.<br />“And our angels are gonna be much more angelic than yours!” Anna added.<br />
  22. 22. But they had to come in out of the cold sooner or later, and then they found different things to do. Anna, for one, wanted to learn how to bake, and Grandma Mia was more than happy to oblige with a home-cooked berry pie.<br />“Mmmmmm, that smells amazing…”<br />“I should hope so; I’ve been cooking for my family since I was a teenager. It’d be a shame to only discover now that I haven’t been any good at it.”<br />
  23. 23. “Grandma? Is there any such thing as a pie with cheese in it?”<br />“Erm, not that I’ve ever cooked, why?”<br />“I just think pie would taste better with cheese,” she shrugged.<br />“Well usually pies tend to have either fruit or meats and gravy…”<br />“So does wanting to put cheese in a pie make me weird?”<br />
  24. 24. “You know, your uncle Lyle and aunt Roxanne are pretty big on cheese. And then there was my grandfather – your great-great-grandfather Birch: all he ever wanted to eat was grilled cheese sandwiches! He was a fairly famous chef and he’d put cheese in anything – even chocolates! I never saw the appeal myself, but…!”<br />“Wow, really? So I’m like him?”<br />“A bit, yes. Maybe if you practise your cooking you’ll be able to do what he did and cook what you like!”<br />“Wow! Thanks Grandma!”<br />
  25. 25. Anna wasted no time with her culinary attempts.<br />“So if I add a cup of milk… and stir in some sugar… and grated cheese… and then bake for 20 minutes…”<br />
  26. 26. “…Fiddlesticks.”<br />But she quickly realised that she actually knew next to nothing about cooking…<br />
  27. 27. And swiftly buried herself in old family cookbooks instead, especially any that looked like maybe they might have been used and adapted by great-great-grandpa Birch.<br />
  28. 28. Meanwhile Lydia had followed Huey to the chessboard to learn how to play.<br />Huey wasn’t exactly renowned for his regard for the rules of chess, however…<br />
  29. 29. But Lydia wasn’t stupid either.<br />“Why do I care if there’s a-? Hey, wait! You’re cheating! You’re not allowed to cheat!”<br />“…Everyone else lets me?”<br />“But you’re meant to be teaching me how to play! I’m not going to know the rules if you keep breaking them! Be a proper big brother!”<br />“This is being a proper-” he started to insist, before giving up at the look on her face. “Oh, alright, alright…!”<br />
  30. 30. And they weren’t the only working hard on their skills – if Stern wasn’t being taught to walk, talk or use the potty, he was having fun with the blocks, clapping his hands and beaming out from behind his glasses.<br />
  31. 31. And again there were a number of birthdays that night, but none of them in the Ryman house; everyone went to Lyle’s to see Vivian become a teenager and Huey went with Elliot to see Brawly become a teenager too.<br />It was also Madison and Miguel’s birthday at Liv’s, but she wasn’t up to holding a party with the pregnancy and the twins to deal with, so Mia simply received the report afterwards about how cute they both were.<br />
  32. 32. Sunday was supposed to be a family day, and it at least started as such, Don’t Wake the Llama giving Jose a chance to actually spend some time with his children without them running off in several different directions at once…<br />
  33. 33. And it was good for a while, but it was pretty clear that there were other people they’d rather be playing with, so, after Jose ‘accidentally’ knocked the whole tower over, the kids were allowed to invite who they liked, and all the cousins of child age and above (Liv being too tired to bring the twins to meet Stern).<br />
  34. 34. There was certainly an influx of more girls and pink than the household was used to, which congregated around the Llama table…<br />
  35. 35. But there wasn’t enough space for everyone there, so Anna and Rich went for a more complicated game, even as Anna had no idea how to play it, but Rich was happy to teach her what he knew. And he didn’t even cheat, unlike some people…<br />
  36. 36. And all the other boys took their usual place in the garage, Elliot taking the opportunity to train as they hung out. Despite Elliot’s initial resistance, Dwayne was fitting in relatively well…<br />
  37. 37. ‘Relatively’ being the operative word.<br />“Hey guys, how come we always hang out here?”<br />“The garage?” Huey blinked.<br />“No, I mean at your house.”<br />
  38. 38. “Mine and Elliot’s houses aren’t really big enough to be hanging around in,” Brawly explained. “And this place has a punching bag. And their Grandpa Juan.”<br />“My house is big too. Bigger than this, I think.”<br />“This house not good enough for you, Jalowitz?” Elliot asked dangerously between hits.<br />
  39. 39. “I didn’t say that…”<br />“Then what were you saying?” Elliot insisted.<br />“Well, it’s just… we have a garage and like a basement if you want one, but we also have a swimming pool, and a hot tub, and a widescreen TV, and a poker table, and a band room and a bowling alley…”<br />
  40. 40. Elliot stopped then. “Seriously?”<br />“Yeah.”<br />“Okay guys, one day we may have to go to Dwayne’s house. If only to check that he’s not lying.”<br />“You might want to wait until my little brother and sister have grown up: our house may be huge, but when they scream you can hear it almost anywhere.”<br />
  41. 41. And after all their friends had left, there was even time for the kids to fit in some more skilling before bedtime.<br />
  42. 42. It was probably lucky they were fast asleep before their mother went into labour for the fourth time, Jose awakened by the noise, and Mia coming running from where she’d been waiting in happy expectation.<br />
  43. 43. The baby produced after a little while of pushing was a little girl – again with Jose’s father Zack’s black hair and Jose’s dark blue eyes – who they named Jaclyn Ryman.<br />
  44. 44. As soon as it reached a reasonable hour Mia was on the phone to check up on the other expected grandchild.<br />“Hello?”<br />She was stopped dead for a second at that voice on the other end of the phone. “Could I speak to Liv please?” she forced.<br />“Errr… Liv’s not exactly able to come to the phone at the moment…”<br />And it was only natural for her blood to run cold when she was told that her child was ‘not exactly able to come to the phone’ by a known murderer. “Oh?”<br />
  45. 45. “Yeah, the labour’s left her completely shattered – she’s still asleep.”<br />“Oh. The baby?”<br />“Babies. More specifically: triplets.” The remnants of shock and apprehension were still evident in his voice. “Two boys and a girl: Eddie, Abigail and Trick.”<br />“Right. Could I… Should I come over?”<br />“Liv should be okay, but it looks unlikely that she’ll really be up for guests. And we can probably manage the babies. And toddlers…” he didn’t sound entirely confident of that.<br />“Okay. Maybe another day…” And she hung up.<br />
  46. 46. Maybe she should have gone over, if only to help, but Mia struggled to stomach the idea of spending an afternoon in the company of the man who murdered half her loved ones, and they could surely afford a nanny or two if they needed one, right? <br />She certainly hoped so, but it wasn’t assuaging her guilt.<br />But before Mia could even walk away from the phone, it started to ring again.<br />
  47. 47. “Hello?” she said cautiously, half-expecting it to be Seth again.<br />But it was a female voice. “Aunt Mia?”<br />She only had two nieces and extremely rarely heard from either, so guessed from the tone. “Isabel?”<br />“Yes. Erm, I’m just calling around to let everyone know: Dad died last night.”<br />The shock came quickly. “Calvin…? I’m- I’m so sorry.”<br />“Yeah, well… Excuse me, I have other people to call and tell.” And she hung up.<br />
  48. 48. Juan saw the look on her face as he passed by. “What’s going on?”<br />“Er… Liv’s had triplets.”<br />“Oh. Wow.”<br />“And Calvin’s dead.”<br />“Oh. I’m so sorry…”<br />“Yeah,” she tried, but her voice finally broke as tears came.<br />
  49. 49. Luckily Mia’s being up all night with the excitement and reality of the new babies meant that Juan was able to comfort her into taking a nap so she could face the news better.<br />“Grandpa Juan? Why’s Grandma so upset?” Huey questioned gently.<br />“Her older brother died last night,” he said grimly. Anna and Lydia looked at Huey in alarm. “No, no: your Great-Uncle Calvin was very old. When people reach a certain age… their body starts to run down. It was a natural and peaceful death, it’s just upsetting for their loved ones.”<br />“Is Grandma very old?” Anna asked quietly.<br />“No, sweetheart. Not yet.”<br />
  50. 50. Juan was luckily saved from more difficult questions by the beeping of the school bus making the children leave.<br />He looked down at Mia anxiously. How much older had Calvin been than her? Maybe four ahead? Might that be all the time he had left with her? Possibly a bit more, possibly less…!<br />He sighed. What was he going to do…?<br />~~~~~<br />
  51. 51. Mia wasn’t the only one upset about Calvin Ryman-Verse’s death.<br />“I’m sorry, dude,” Elliot attempted with as much sympathy as he had probably ever mustered. <br />“I’m fine,” Brawly insisted for what was probably the tenth time since the event.<br />“You lost your granddad: it’s okay not to be fine,” Huey pointed out gently.<br />“Yeah, I know, but I am,” he snapped, temper much shorter than usual. Elliot, Huey and Dwayne just exchanged helpless looks behind his back.<br />
  52. 52. Anna wasn’t certain what to say either when she came across Rich looking sad. She’d never lost anyone before.<br />“At least you’ve still got your parents, right?” she tried desperately.<br />“Not really. I don’t have a Dad. Grandpa Calvin was like my Dad.”<br />“I thought everyone had to have a Dad,” she frowned.<br />
  53. 53. “I never met him. He used to live in Simfield but moved away, like lots of people did, before Mum could even tell him she was pregnant with me.”<br />“I’m sorry.” <br />“Mum says I don’t need a Dad because I have her. And I do have uncle James and uncle Wally… But I don’t think it’s the same. And everyone just seems to leave somehow.”<br />“I won’t leave,” she offered gently. “I’m gonna live in Simfield forever. So we can be best friends until we’re really, really, really ‘very old’.”<br />
  54. 54. “Really?” Rich asked hopefully and she nodded brightly. “I think I’d like that.”<br />“Best friends forever!”<br />~~~~~<br />
  55. 55. Things had calmed down a bit by the evening. Mia was naturally still upset, and Lyle, Jose and Liv were sad to have lost their (secretly favourite) uncle, but it was sufficient for there to be a double birthday party at the Ryman house for Huey to finally join Elliot and Brawly as a teen and Stern to become a child. <br />
  56. 56. Stern looked to be an interesting mix of his parents facially, while Huey hadn’t changed much, except for his hair getting longer and longer. Elliot was struggling to decide whether it was cool and rebellious or girly, and settled for remarking on both. Huey just laughed at him and went to play with his little brother.<br />
  57. 57. The party was pretty typical and a fair amount of fun, especially hanging out with his friends, but Huey also looked forward to some quiet time when everyone else had gone to bed, especially now he was able to stay up later.<br />The stars were certainly a lot clearer later in the night.<br />
  58. 58. “…What the…?”<br />
  59. 59. ~~~<br />
  60. 60. Huey woke up some time later on the sofa, surrounded by some very stressed parents and grandparents. And apparently his mother was pregnant again. Huh.<br />“Wha’s going on?” he murmured as he pushed himself up.<br />“You tell us – you were abducted by aliens!” Jose exclaimed anxiously.<br />“Oh. Yeah. That.”<br />
  61. 61. “What do you remember?” Juan asked curiously.<br />“Erm, a bright light, and being pulled upwards and then… nothing. Until I woke up just now.”<br />“You don’t remember what they did with you…?” Mia was looking very anxious.<br />“No,” he frowned for a second before brightening. “Except that it was awesome! I kind of want it to happen again…”<br />Mia and Jose in particular looked horrified. “No!”<br />“It is possible that they have some kind of mind-altering technology that’s making you think it was good. I really don’t think you should try and get abducted again,” Juan reasoned.<br />
  62. 62. “Yeah, I guess. And since I can’t remember anything it’s not like I even learnt much from it…” He yawned widely. “Can I go to bed now? I’m still really tired.”<br />“You have school in a couple of hours,” Tina pointed out. And he realised she was pregnant. Again. <br />“I can’t even get a day off on grounds of being abducted by aliens?!”<br />“That’ll teach you not to try and get abducted again. And your school day only goes on until 1pm: you’ll be back in bed in no time,” Jose told him. <br />~~~~~<br />
  63. 63. By lunchtime the news of Huey’s abduction had somehow spread all the way across the school. Not everyone believed it, but Huey didn’t care much what other people thought: being abducted by aliens had been cool, and he really just wanted to get back to bed.<br />
  64. 64. One person really wasn’t going to just let it lie, however.<br />“You were abducted by aliens?”<br />“Yeah,” he shrugged.<br />“You.”<br />“Yeah.”<br />“Why?”<br />
  65. 65. Huey shrugged. “I don’t know. I was out stargazing, they must have noticed me or something.”<br />“And you think I’m not out stargazing every. Freaking. Night?” Hideki hissed under his breath.<br />“No?” he guessed blandly.<br />“What do you remember?” he demanded.<br />“Nothing. A bright light and being pulled upwards and then nothing until my family woke me up on the sofa after carrying me back inside.”<br />“You’re lying.”<br />
  66. 66. Huey shrugged tiredly again. “I’m not. You can believe what you like, but that’s all I’m ever going to be able to tell you.”<br />“Why would they take you?”<br />“I. Don’t. Know. Get over it, dude.” And he started to walk away.<br />
  67. 67. But Hideki snapped, slamming Huey against the lockers and, despite not being that well-built, lifting him off the ground by his shirt in his rage.<br />“I am tired of this bullshit! The aliens are around, they took you for some reason and you are going to tell me every single thing you know or I’m going to-”<br />
  68. 68. Hideki never finished that sentence.<br />“Get your freakish green hands off my cousin, Tang!”<br />
  69. 69. And the floodgate of mutual hatred and repressed violence was opened. It was a while before anyone managed to close it again.<br />~~~~~<br />
  70. 70. “Self-defence! Or friend-defence at least; he had Huey right up against the lockers! Everyone saw!” Elliot exclaimed excitedly in explanation.<br />“You still got in trouble. And you could try to look less pleased about it, Elliot,” Juan frowned.<br />“I actually don’t think I can. I kicked his ass! I haven’t been this happy since Robin let me-! Uh… sit next to her in class. Yeah, that.”<br />
  71. 71. “I’m still not convinced I shouldn’t be punishing you somehow.”<br />“Well it’s not even like you can anymore; leaving for university after this! That’s basically being an adult.”<br />“Still on your parents’ dime; not really an adult.”<br />Elliot couldn’t think of a comeback to that, so pretended to be too distracted by Jaclyn’s birthday.<br />
  72. 72. Most of the family (who were of child age or above) were there for the party, but Liv and Dwayne were conspicuously absent, having to age up 5 children in one night (and Liv being the only adult home) and thereby not having a party.<br />Jaclyn didn’t mind in any case, growing up to be just as shy as her older siblings, and looking like a good mix of her parents.<br />~~~~~<br />
  73. 73. “I can’t believe you’re leaving for university already,” Brawly frowned.<br />“Yeah… It’s not easy being friends with a bunch of kids like you lot.” <br />“I think he meant that you’re surely much too immature to be living on your own,” Huey suggested sardonically.<br />Elliot stuck his tongue out at him. “But anyway, don’t worry: I’ll have set us up well by the time either of you show up.”<br />“Please don’t. I dread to think what people will assume we’re like going by your example.”<br />
  74. 74. Elliot ignored Huey’s jibes, lost in his own imagination. “Yeah, it’s going to be awesome: all those college girls, far away from protective parents, loaded up on drink and bubbles… It’s going to be actual heaven on earth. I’ll try to leave some for you two though, if I can help it.”<br />“Thanks,” Brawly replied sarcastically.<br />
  75. 75. “You do realise that, in order to stay for the full four years, there is a minimum grade requirement, right?” Huey frowned.<br />Elliot waved a hand dismissively.<br />“And I can’t help you while I’m still at school. And I won’t help you if you’re not trying.”<br />“Nah, I’m going to major in drama anyway. Hoping to be the only straight guy there, in amongst all those attractive dramatic girls…”<br />“I think you’ve been watching too many films, dude,” Brawly sighed.<br />
  76. 76. “Yeah, well, whatever. We’ll just see. Now, if you’ll excuse me boys, I’m off to become a real man. Tease little Dwayne about having a bedtime for me.”<br />“Tease him yourself,” Huey frowned. “No, wait – don’t.”<br />“Enjoy your homework and detentions and curfews and everything – I’m going to go and be free. Oh, and if Tang gives you any trouble, kick his ass twice as hard for me.”<br />
  77. 77. “This is going to be so freaking awesome.”<br />~~~~~<br />
  78. 78. Juan sighed and sat down on the sofa, emotionally exhausted.<br />His first grandchild was already gone to university… Another had been abducted by aliens… Six were being raised by a murderer… And there was at least onemore on the way… And it was only a matter of time before he might lose Mia forever… <br />There was so much going on, and yet so little time. He just wanted a little while to sit quietly without anything happening.<br />And then the phone rang. He should have seen that coming.<br />
  79. 79. “Hello?” he asked tiredly.<br />“Harris,” came Rodney’s voice down the phone.<br />Juan made a noise of disgust: he didn’t care enough to disguise his hatred right now. “What do you want, Jalowitz?”<br />“I don’t have time for your crap, Harris; it’s not about what I want, it’s about Liv.”<br />~~~~~ End of Chapter 13D~~~~~<br />