The Ryman Legacy Chapter 6A The plot is for spares… By Mzyra
A small child in a formal dress can mean only one thing… Sara Jayapalan: “Grrr… Why do I have to wear a dress, anyway? Jeans are formal enough for a wedding…” It is nice that one member of generation 2 could make it to our first generationheiress’s wedding though.
All of the daylight-friendly members of generation 2 made it, even Terry who snuck out for a few hours. And Sara, like everyone else, automatically likes him. Although Terry is the only one paying any attention to the wedding itself… Carla: “So Sean, how’s your marriage going? Opal not cheating on you? Are you certain? Are you sure you don’t want a divorce anyway? You do remember when she rejected you, right?” Sean: “Mum, I love Opal and we have no problems together or with the twins. Back off.” Marina: *Terry looks happy, but I wonder if that’s genuine…*
But Nicola and Alvin are focused only on each other. And their future family, as soon as it can arrive…
But they make do with the family they already have for now*, strange as it generally is. *Yes, Alvin is swooning over Carla – she’s secondary romance and really, like every man is attracted to her. It’s quite annoying.
Nicola turns out to be a cake-shover – life is too short for caring about getting cake in your face. If Alvin weren’t so in love he’d probably disagree…
Other people aren’t so interested in cake – more so in having some fun in their lives for once…
N: “Where’s Mum gone?” S: “Probably making your room all romantic so you can give her grandchildren quicker…” M: “Hey, I’ve got at least one in here, how many does she need?!” B: “Do any of your kids show an interest in grilled cheese, kids?” M: “No…” S: “Nope, some of us have normal kids Dad, dream on…” A: “There are worse aspirations to have… I hope we don’t get any romance children, not sure how to deal with them…” N: “Ah, we’ll be fine, Al…”
Yes, Nicola and Alvin are a very cute and happy* couple indeed. * [And just a little bit boring…]
The balance of the house may now be equally split between men and women, yet somehow the girls manage to still dominate the arena, especially in conversation. N: “I was thinking about the holidays coming up, Al, do you know what you want?” A: “I’m not sure, I’ve been busy keeping an eye out for a job in science-” N: “I saw the nicest shoes out in Cold Issue with a decent size heel, you know, high enough to make me look taller and slimmer, but not so high that they’ll be impractical when the kids arrive-” C: “You should have seen the size of the diamonds on this necklace, Marina, they’d look gorgeous on you-”
But largely there wasn’t that much conversation, more reading generally; Alvin prepared for when he could finally get that job in Science and Nicola prepared for having and raising children. Birch and Carla were always around somewhere, enjoying their golden years together while waiting to become live-in grandparents…
Elsewhere babies had already been born and Tom had quickly become the centre of Terry’s increasingly small world. Obviously Tom was too little to show much affection or long term attachment, but Terry still felt gratified whenever he saw the baby’s tiny smile.
Soon the smile would have to get bigger though and Terry would just have to hope it would continue and Tom not turn out like his mother or father…
Who were always too ‘busy’ to pay him the slightest bit of attention. There was more than one reason Terry wouldn’t go into their crypt…
Tom did seem to remember and like Terry from what he could remember as a baby. Terry vaguely wondered whether Tom would even recognise his actual parents… Maybe that was a good thing, though.
But Terry could see the family resemblance in Tom’s face – nearly all Count Christian, except for the eye colour, which was Kimmy’s, but now her eyes were red… Terry could almost believe they were his, or at least they originated in their mother, Carla, and she was nice, if a little inattentive. There was hope.
Back at the main house Nicola was pregnant and showing. B: “How’s my little grandchild in there? Who’s going to love grilled cheese? Are you going to? I think you should! It’s the best food ever!” N: “Dad, I don’t think it can hear your exact words or understand them…” B: “Nonsense! It’s never too early to try and impart things to your offspring! And think of the nutritional benefits of having your child live off of grilled cheese sandwiches!” N: “I try not to…”
Nicola tried to get more of a balanced and healthy diet to her unborn child and just hoped it was appreciated. She just wished Alvin had more time to spend on her and the baby…
And maybe that she didn’t get so tired all the time. And didn’t get mashed potato in her eye. It was just as well this was not a cry for attention, because sadly it still didn’t work – Alvin was fully absorbed in his science books.
Nicola wasn’t neglected though, Marina still came around now and then and they got to discuss the major thing they had in common at that moment in time, with the added bonus that, with 3 kids already, Marina had a great deal of experience in the area. N: “I can’t believe it – it’s so exciting!” M: “Yeah, I love my kids… But they are hard work, Nicky, don’t wish for them all too soon…” N: “Mmm, I don’t really want Sean’s luck with being and having twins…” M: “One child at a time is definitely the way to go.”
N: “I’m not really sure what to do about toys and stuff though – we never really had any as children, did we?” M: “Besides that toy oven? Not really. But you still got more than I ever did!” N: “We still have the oven in the lounge… But what do you get a baby or toddler for the holidays?” M: “Frankly? Anything that they can’t hurt themselves with or swallow… A box, keys, tin foil… Seriously, very easily amused. Don’t worry about it, sis, at that age they won’t remember a thing anyway. I’m more worried about what to get Sara, Seth and Brendan – they’ll be old enough to care and moan on about it…”
N: “Mum...? You know when you were pregnant and raising us and stuff? How did you get Dad to pay us any attention?” C: “… Did I? He barely spent any time with Marina when she was little – too busy working. He probably spent more time with you because he had to work less than before.” N: “So it’s hopeless until Alvin gets to the top of science?!” C: “No two husband will be the same, Nicky, and Alvin’s not obsessed with grilled cheese, he may want to spend time with the kids as well as working. But if you and/or the kids want attention from him, try to find a way to join in.” N: “Hmm…”
And Nicola did just that. N: “Hey Alvin, do you mind if I play some chess with you?” A: “Um, no, go ahead. Probably helps to be playing against somebody else who thinks differently to me anyway…” N: “I just think it’s a shame that we don’t spend much time together with all this skilling all the time…” A: “I know Nicky, I feel the same way, but the more I do now the more time I’ll have when the kids are born and can remember things.” N: “Okay then, but you’ll have to be working very hard, the first kid’s coming soon!”
It was probably better when Alvin was skilling though… A: “I’m so sorry! I don’t know how this happened!” C: “Just hope that the fire-fighters will be here soon!” N: “Mum, Alvin…? I feel weird…”
Luckily the firewoman did come quickly, but it might have been helpful if they’d brought a midwife… C: “Thank gosh that’s over with…” A: “I’m really sorry…” N: “AAAAAAAHHH! This really hurts! A little help here?!”
But a little baby boy was born before the firewoman had even left. Baby Calvin* turned out to have exactly his father’s colouring (although the light blue eyes could also have been from Birch) and everybody spent a great deal of time cooing over him, then realised that they all really needed showers. * [You wouldn’t believe how long it took me before I realised Calvin was C + Alvin. Seriously, I’d thought of Calvin Klein, Calvin Harris and Calvinism before the thought even crossed my mind…]
It was finally time to re-designate the old bedrooms, which hadn’t changed since Nicola’s brothers and sisters had left, some still with pictures. Calvin was put in Sean’s old room, which still had a picture he’d left on the wall when he’d left for university to stop their mum and dad missing him. On reflection, Nicola felt that Sean would be a good and successful role model for little Calvin*. *[ Since Nicola had no idea that Sean’s actually a master criminal…]
Speaking of Sean: despite fears after his own experience of being a twin, his twin daughters actually got on very well, despite their major differences both physically and in personality.
May had turned out to be somewhat of a tomboy, messy and playful, while Tiana was a very girly-girl with a heart of gold, but somehow their twin bond overcame the variation in interests.
Naturally, being the kind of parents and people they were, one of the first things Sean and Opal did was to get their precious daughters into private school. They were easily successful on their first attempt, despite Opal and May’s eating habits. Whether Headmaster Jitsumaksol could see beyond such trivialities to the promising students beneath, or whether he knew how many minions Sean and Opal had between them - that could easily have him ‘sorted’ - was debatable, but it didn’t really matter so long as the girls got in.
Over at Marina and Nery’s the kids were growing fast. Third child Brendan was yet another child born with Marina’s black hair and Nery’s brown eyes, though he was obviously different from his elder sister and brother.
Second child Seth had become an… interesting… child. Although he was also by far the most outgoing person in the entire family, including spouses. And he and Sara weren’t so bad, it could be considered…
But Marina’s determination not to give birth to another Kimmy (or Kimmys…) may only have been supported by nurture because nature was definitely against her, though there was no logical reason as to why. Speaking of Kimmy..
Over at the Mamuyac household time was also passing swiftly. Terry hadn’t been allowed out since Nicola’s wedding, so spent all of his time looking after and teaching little Tom, who seemed to adore him in return and was considerably well behaved for a child of his age, playing quietly while Terry managed to get whatever sleep he could on the sofa.
But Tom had gotten hold of the idea that up the steep and windy stairs were his parents and he often made fruitless attempts to try to get up there. Terry felt bad for Tom, but both his logic and his fear told him that taking Tom up there was not a good idea. When Kimmy and Christian wanted to see Tom they would, and they wouldn’t be happy if anybody tried to force them to do so before they felt like it. Terry didn’t want to be on the end of that anger and definitely didn’t want Tom to be there either.
Some would have celebrated the coming of Winter and snow, but Terry didn’t. Besides making the house colder than it already was, it also meant the nights were getting longer – more time when Kimmy and Christian would be awake. He – thankfully – hadn’t seen them about for a while, but with more time on their hands, they might decide to check up on him and Tom and he was certain they wouldn’t be happy, regardless of how things were.
Terry still wrote in his old diary – one day it would serve as a reminder of what he could survive and give him confidence. One day he’d get out of this place – perhaps taking Tom with him – and he’d go and find his old almost-girlfriend Elizabeth or someone and start a family of his own. And if ever he felt down or scared, worried about proposing or something, he’d only have to look back at his diary and know that he was strong enough to overcome anything else life threw at him.
But he still had to survive now, and, as he feared, the vampires had more time to get involved. They had come downstairs just as Terry was intending to get some sleep and, as expected, didn’t like what they saw. K: “Have you seen the state of this place?! You haven’t washed the dishes properly, the fridge is completely disorganised, the counters need scrubbing, the whole place needs dusting and you should be hoovering the floor-!” Terry grumbled “I thought I was your babysitter, not your maid-” K: “You’re living in our house, eating our food, sleeping on our sofa, stealing our heating-!”
It was then Terry, with his nine nice points, suffering from something verging on sleep-deprivation and anxiety about Tom being right there in the middle of everything, snapped. T: “Heat?! Ha! It’s freezing in here, though you monsters are so cold hearted and cold blooded you probably can’t even tell! And as for taking your food, sofa and ‘heat’ – I’m also looking after your son! Your child, who you’ve never paid any attention to! Your child who probably doesn’t know who you are! You, who are probably the worst mother ever!” Given another moment to calm down and think about it, he would have known it was wrong to go against the nice points.
Cold as steel, Count Christian interrupted “Could I just chip in here?” When Terry turned to face him instead, the punch came so quick and powerfully that Terry couldn’t immediately even react to the pain, never mind defend himself. Tom didn’t know what was going on or who the grey people were, but he knew something was bad and he was scared. “Unca Tewwy…?”
A second later the impact was felt as Terry had all the air knocked out of his lungs and hunched over in pain and panic. CC: “ You will never insult my wife like that ever again or the consequences for you will be dire. Do you understand?” Terry didn’t answer, seething with hatred and pain. Unimpressed, Count Christian additionally kneed Terry in the face “Do you understand?!” “Yes.” Terry choked out, trying to breathe and fight the pain in his nose and chest. Tom really didn’t like this. “Unca Tewwy…”
When Terry had recovered a little Kimmy resumed, caressing his cheek gently - making the hate in Terry burn more: “You see little brother, we’re all family here really. And if you don’t want to be left out, out in the dark and the cold, you just have to play your part… Now what would a little brother say to his big sister, hmm?” He grit his teeth – he knew what she wanted him to say, but the mere idea of saying it felt like being hit in the gut again. But Christian was glowering at him from nearby and the emotional pain might be better than the real thing. “I love you, Kimmy…” “There we go, doesn’t that feel better? That nice, warm feeling you get inside? Now… Clean up this dump or we won’t bother to restock the fridge.”
When the vampires had returned to their crypt, Terry stood up, still burning with anger and shame, then realised Tom was still there. “Unca Tewwy?” Tom had almost the exact same face as Christian. Terry could see the face of his tormentor, there at his mercy. Their only child and the only power Terry could ever wield against them. The only revenge he could ever exert… “Unca Tewwy…?”
It was a ridiculous thought that Terry was shocked had ever crossed his mind. Probably the only reason Tom wasn’t suffering as much as Terry was was because he was too small to bother with and none of this was his fault – he didn’t ask to be born to evil parents.Terry was all he really had and he was just as scared as he was. “Tewwy, want song!” Terry struggled to think of an appropriate song that wouldn’t upset Tom. Only one sprang to mind and so Terry wryly sang with a sigh: “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands, if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…” Tom loved it and was laughing again in no time.
And soon it was his birthday again. It was just as well Terry had learnt how to fake a smile – he was always worried that each new change might trigger off some kind of abuse towards Tom; maybe this time the change would be big enough…
Their birthdays happened to coincide, though Terry had completely forgotten about his own with everything going on. There was no party and, probably luckily, no sign of Kimmy or Christian. He wished he could see Marina, Sean, Nicky and Liz again, just a friendly face for once – but Tom was there and, he supposed, he was lucky to even have him.
Terry even decided to read Tom a book as a birthday treat. “And then they all lived happily ever after. The End.” “Uncle Terry… Do you think that really happens to people? Happy endings and stuff?” “Um, sometimes I’m sure it does, though sometimes it doesn’t…” “But evil witches don’t exist in real life anyway, do they?” “Err, not as such, no…” “… I prefer the Buffy the Vampire Slayer book.” “You know what? So do I. We’ll read that one next time, huh?”
~~~End of 6A~~~ Will Tom and Terry have a happy ending? Will Tom twist to become like his parents? Will Kimmy die like the Witch in the Wizard of Oz after having water chucked in her face? *Imagines happily* Will the main house become interesting?! Find out soon…