Welcome to generation four, part eight of the Wrongway legacy!Last time, we saw Maddie scare her younger brother and sister, Lance and Leda,by telling them a story about the family antagonist, The song Maddies father wrotefor her, Madeline, became so popular Maddie was sick of hearing it. Tinasbirthday party took place, at which a boy tried to be nice to her, before placing ahand on her hip. She punched him and left the party. At the same time, Robin andAustin were heading to bed together just as Lavender and Mark broke up. Hex feltthe resulting powershift, while Lee met his twins boyfriend, Gary. Lee got aphonecall from Maddie, and arranged to pick her up – she had run into the citywhile fleeing from Tinas party. Elsewhere, Lance comforted Leda over theirparents separating, while Hex arrived in time to comfort Lavender. Maddie andLee, meanwhile, drove past an abandoned radio station, giving Maddie the idea tostart a pirate radio station...If its not familiar, I recommend looking back. :)
Hex opened his eyes, woken by a nightmare. The terrifying images ofthe future disappeared from view, but were still printed on his memory.Lavender looked down at him.“You had another nightmare,” She told him.“Its always the same one,” Hex replied, quietly, “I still wasnt aging.And then Henry was old. His kids got old. Everyone got old and died,except me.”“But youre not even on elixir anymore. I dont understand why yourenot aging like the rest of us,” Lavender touched his face, gently.
“Maybe I took it for too long in the first place,” Hex sighed, “I guess Illjust be this age forever.”Lavender paused, watching him for a moment, “There are upsides tothat. No wrinkles. No grey hairs.”“But that doesnt outweigh what I lose when I live forever,” Hex argued,in a calm voice..“Im prepared to start taking elixir, if you want company, for eternity,”Lavender said, as she laid down next to Hex, “But you keep telling meto stop saying that.”
“With good reason,” Hex smiled, “You might decide that I am not whatyou want in life. That theres some other guy who is just better thanme.”Hex pulled her closer, and Lavender reached a hand out, “Alright. Oneday at a time, then.”“Perfect,” Hex said, as he closed his eyes, ready to try sleeping again. ***
“So then Dylan said she punched him and walked out,” Gabriellaconcluded, with a slight frown.“Why would she do that?” Tina asked, “Why would she just walk out?Were her best friends and she left without a word.”Sharla shrugged, “Shes been acting weird lately.”Gabriella scowled, “Abandoning your friends is more that a little weird,Sharla.”
I cant wait to tell the others about the radio station! Theyll be soexcited... Maddie thought, cheerfully, as she wandered up the corridortowards her friends.Then she caught sight of their expressions, Oh man, Tinas upset. Iwonder whats going on this time.
“Hey guys, Ive got great news!” Maddie called, as she approached herfriends. Three sets of eyes focused on her.Maddie swallowed, feeling uneasy, “Is everything okay?”
“Does it look okay?” Sharla snarled back, folding her arms. Maddieraised an eyebrow.“Let me guess,” Gabriella said, “You have no idea whats going on here.”“True,” Maddie replied, coolly.“You walked out of Tinas party after punching the guy she likes in thejaw,” Sharla explained, “Sound familiar?”“Thats what this is about?” Maddie rolled her eyes, “Get over it. Jeez.”
Tina stood up, and stared straight at Maddie, “You punch someoneand walk out, and now you want to pretend that it was a normalreaction to do that?”Maddie shrugged, “Im really not seeing a problem here.”“That is the problem,” Gabriella remarked, “You have anger issues,and you cant even see it.”“We dont want anything to do with you until you control your temper,”Sharla explained. Maddie looked at Tina, desperately.
“Tina?” She pleaded, “Youre my best friend. You cant leave me.”Tina shook her head, “Maddie, you left us. Friday night, in a blind rage.You made this choice,”“Dont say that,” Maddie replied, urgently, as her friends turned theirbacks on her, and wandered away. Maddie threw her books to the floorand started walking down the corridor in the opposite direction.
“Fine!” She yelled, “I dont need you, anyway! I dont need ANYONE!”Gabriella and Sharla frowned, shaking their heads. Tina, however,watched her best friend leave, worried about her more now than before. ***
The Shadow Queen drew her sword, stood over the crumpled body ofthe last warrior, raised her blade and...“And what?” Rose asked herself, mind going blank, “What is theShadow Queen about to do?”
“Should the last warrior even be in this chapter?” Rose rolled her eyes,and collapsed the document temporarily, “I need a break. I cant thinkstraight.”Behind her, the door opened.
“Mama! Mama!” Cried a toddler, crawling along the floorboards to hismothers desk. Rose looked over her shoulder briefly.“Zeke, how did you get up here?” She asked him, with a smile.Zeke sat up and clapped his hands, “I climb!”The door opened again, and Sullivan entered, looking stressed andout of breath.
“Rose, I am sorry he got in here,” Sullivan apologised, “I know youdont like to be disturbed when youre writing.”“Its fine,” Rose smiled, “Im stuck anyway. I might call Will and ask forhis help. Anyway, how about we take our Prince of Chaos out to thepark for a bit?”“Sounds like a plan,” Sullivan smiled, looking down at his son.
“Zeke Prince!” He announced, cheerfully, before crawling for the door,both of his parents following him. ***
By night fall, Maddies mood had sunk into depression, as she detailedthe events of the day to Lee. He hadnt spoken for a while, merely saton his bed and listened carefully while she told him the story.“They didnt even show up to martial arts tonight. Its like they dontwant to know me anymore.”Lee didnt look up, or try to offer any sympathy. He wasnt sure what tosay, so he kept his eyes on his knees.Maddie looked up with him, “You think theyre right, dont you?”
Lee didnt want to admit it, “I do think you have a temper, Maddie.”He knew teenagers were supposed to be reckless and stupid, fromexperience as well as stories, but he was sure punching a guy at aparty in the face wasnt normal teenage behaviour.In a small voice, Lee added, “Im worried its my fault. I taught you tochannel your rage into your martial arts.”
“I dont blame you,” Maddie said, leaning against the bed and lookingup at him. Lee couldnt help but smile.“You dont?”“No. You didnt tell me to punch a guy and walk out. You didnt tell methat fighting would always be the answer,” Maddie sighed.
Maddie continued, quietly, “I dont know how to fix it.”“I dont know, either,” Lee admitted, watching her, “but well find a way.” ***
The following morning, Robin and Austin gathered in the kitchen,smiling as Robin cradled her new baby bump.“Are you happier now?” Austin asked, grinning. Truth was, he wasdelighted he was able to get Robin pregnant.Robin didnt answer him – she just grinned.
Hex and Lavender stood smiling, opposite the beaming couple.“Im sorry to hear about Mark,” Robin said, “but Im so excited aboutbeing a mother!”“Dont worry about it,” Lavender smiled, “I understand yourexcitement.”And it was the truth. Even though Mark originally leaving hurt andupset her, Lavender was slowly getting over the end of her marriage.Hex had helped a lot, simply by just being there.
As Robin and Austin cooed over their bump, Lavender looked up atHex.“Its nice to see them so happy, isnt it?” Lavender said.“I wouldnt change the way things are now.” Hex replied, smiling. ***
“So youll be a pirate?” Lance asked, “Thats so cool!”“A radio pirate, Lance, not any other kind of pirate,” Maddie told him,firmly. Since losing her friends to her temper, Maddie had spent a lotmore time with her much younger cousins.“It sounds awesome,” Ophelia commented, “like something Daddywould have done just because he could.”Leda bit her lip, “Its against the rules.”
“Dont worry, Leda,” Lance said, “were not going to be there.”“Yes we are!” Ophelia decided, “If Maddie gets to break the rules, Iwant in.”Lance opened his mouth to reply, something to stop Leda frompanicking over it, when he saw someone across the playground.“Whos that?” He questioned.
“Her?” Ophelia said, raising an eyebrow, “Thats Gold Wheeler. Shesa distant cousin or something. Shes in my art class.”“She looks lonely,” Lance commented. He wasnt lying – for somereason, Gold was sitting all by herself.“So go talk to her,” Ophelia replied, dismissively, turning her attentionback to Maddie, “tell me more about the radio station idea.”
Lance went over to the girl, startling her from her train of thought. Sheclimbed to her feet and offered a smile.“Hi,” She said, in a pleasant tone.“Hi,” Lance waved a little, “Im Lance. You arent with anyone wouldyou like to play?”The girl considered this for a moment, “No.”
“Why not?” Lance demanded, “Im more awesome than these otherguys playing here.”Gold laughed, “I cant stay here, my Daddys coming to pick me upsoon.”“Oh,” Lance frowned.“But we can play for a little while, if you want,” she offered.
“That would be great!” Lance cried, cheerfully, “Why did you changeyour mind?”“You seemed really upset when I said no,” Gold replied, truthfully.Lance blushed a little, even though he was convinced he was nevershy and never embarrassed. That was more of a Leda thing.
Lance and Gold started planning out a game to play, choosing rolesand pretending they were in a magical land, while Leda wandered upbehind them, optimistic.Shed heard her twin mention princesses, and wondered if there wasroom in the game for her.Neither Gold nor Lance noticed she was there, and the pair of themran off, lost in their game.
“Of course hes not going to want to play with me all the time,” Ledatold herself.With a sigh, she turned around, and headed back to Maddie andOphelia, to join a conversation she wasnt interested in. ***
To anyone driving past, the Wheeler family home looked like anincredibly normal place to live, filled with a happy and normal family.A grandfather, gardening with his granddaughter, while his wife anddaughter relaxed in the shade of the house.Of course, there was more to the family than appearances. Hex knewthat.
“Why did you wait so long to tell me I was going to be a grandfather?”Hex asked, quietly. The pair of them were separate from the rest of thefamily, trying to be civil.Henry had never acknowledged Hex to be his father, but he was tryinghis best, “How do I explain that to Gold? That her grandfather is thesame age as her father, and always will be?”“I understand why it would be difficult to talk about it.”“You have no idea,” Henry rolled his eyes, “shes already worriedabout her grandmother.”
“Thats another reason why Im here...” Hex shifted, uncomfortably,“how is Elizabeth?”Henry raised an eyebrow, “Really? My mother-in-law is dying at afaster rate than most of the people in this desert, and you want toknow how she is?”“Henry, dont get difficult with me,” Hex squared his shoulders, taking adeep breath, “I cant fix Elizabeths declining health.”“I know,” Henry replied, placing a hand on his forehead, “Im sorry. Ijust...I hate seeing Meadow and Gold so worried.”
Hex looked over at Elizabeth, who was resting peacefully in thesunshine. She didnt look any weaker than the other elders in Mirage,but Hex knew there was more than met the eye.“Do you mind if I talk to her?” Hex questioned, in a small voice.“Go ahead,” Henry replied, folding his arms, “I can trust you to benice.”
“Hey Daddy, who was that man you were talking to?” Gold Wheelerasked her father, as he wandered over to help with the gardening.Henry watched Hex as he took a seat next to Elizabeth beforeanswering his daughter, “Gold, thats your grandfather Hex.”Gold frowned as she stared over her shoulder at the stranger, “But ifhes my Grandpa...why isnt he old?”
Over by the desk chairs, Elizabeth was smiling, “Hex, lets save time.Im fine, or as fine as I can be. I have no regrets and no, I dont wantyou to search for a cure.”“Well that saves me time,” Hex looked up at the sky, “is there anythingI can do for you?”“Just make sure my family is safe,” Elizabeth requested, calmly, “makesure Gold doesnt get involved with Ralph. Thats my main worry rightnow.”
“Hell be back soon,” Hex said, bitterly, “but Im not going to let him getat the kids.”Elizabeth watched Gold enjoying the sunshine, “I hope theyre allsmart enough to stay away from him.”“Ill get them taught,” Hex replied, looking at his granddaughter, “wellmake sure they all know exactly what they will be up against.”
“Thank you, Hex. Not just for keeping my family safe, but keeping allof the families here safe.” Elizabeth murmured.“Its more than just a job,” Hex told her, “do you think I shouldintroduce myself to her?”Elizabeth smiled, “Yes. She needs to know exactly who her family is.”
Hex wandered over to the little girl playing in the garden, “You must beGold.”“Daddy says youre my granddaddy. Why arent you old?” Gold asked,bluntly. He smiled – kids knew nothing about subtly.“Its a really long and complicated story, one I will tell you soon,” Hexsaid, pleasantly, “so tell me something about you, Gold.”
“I love singing, painting, dressing up...” Gold looked up at Hex, “Didyou like dressing up when you were my age?”Hex gave her an amused smile, “Sure.”Gold look delighted, and continued to chat to Hex, telling him anythingand everything that popped into her head. Hex was pleased that hisgranddaughter was an intelligent and bold young lady. ***
Lee and Maddie stood in the old radio station, which they had slowlyredecorated for Maddies pirate-radio.“Im going to tell you one last time,” Lee said, carefully, “this could getyou into a LOT of trouble.”“I dont care,” Maddie replied, dismissively, “if theres no risk, its notworth doing.”
Maddie wandered over to the microphone she had set up earlier thatday, and tapped it, experimentally.“I talk into this once Ive set up all the tech stuff, right?”Lee nodded, and Maddie gave a delighted grin, before adjusting theheight of the microphone.
“You have no idea how much of a risk this is, do you?” Lee asked,quietly, as he moved closer to the microphone.Maddie frowned at him. She hadnt expected Lee to turn into aresponsible adult about the situation.
“I dont care,” Maddie said, grinning, “with a radio show I can makesure there is at least one radio-wave that isnt playing Madeline. AndIll have something I can finally call my own.”Lee continued to give Maddie a disapproving look, “Punching an over-friendly guy at a party is one thing, Maddie, but breaking the law andnot even thinking about the consequences is another.“When did you lose your ability to have fun?” Maddie asked him. Leenarrowed his eyes.
“Besides,” she said, with a smirk, “Im not making you stay here.”Lee gritted his teeth, “You know what? Fine.”
“You must love being on your own, Maddie, because you know exactlyhow to push people away from you,” Lee snapped, he turned on hisheel and started to walk out.“Lee-”“No. You dont need me anymore.”
Maddie watched him go, and heard the door slam behind him. Sheknew he would be outside, trying to calm himself down, but she didntdare go talk to him.“How do I keep pushing people away?” She asked herself, in theuncomfortable loneliness of the empty radio station. ***
At the Wrongway home, Lance and Leda were hanging out in theirbedroom on the night of their birthday.“What are you painting?” Lance asked. When Leda didnt respond, hefrowned a little, “Are you ignoring me?”“Yes.” Leda said, simply.“Liar, you just spoke to me,” Lance paused, “what did I do wrong?”Leda put down her paintbrush, carefully.
“Why would you want to talk to me when you have new friends to hangout with?” Leda demanded, raising an eyebrow.“Leda, youre my twin, well always talk. Right? Friends arent forever,twins are,” Lance shrugged, “I bet youll have tons of new friends whenwere teenagers, anyway.”Leda smiled a little, “Do you think being a teenager is going to becool?”
“Were awesome now,” Lance grinned, “were only going to get moreawesome from here!”He pulled his twin into a hug, the pair of them smiling.“I love you, Lance. Youre the best twin ever.”
When Maddie didnt show up at home in time for cake, Lavender wasa little worried, but couldnt really keep the twins waiting any longer.“Make a wish, you two,” Lavender smiled, watching her youngest tworeach forward for their cakes.
“How cool is this?” Leda asked, grinning at her twin. She had growninto a beautiful young lady of the family aspiration.“Its amazing!” Lance agreed, “Were going to be the coolest teenagersat the high school tomorrow.”
“I wish Maddie was here to celebrate with us,” Leda admitted, “wherecould she have gone, anyway?”Lance shrugged, “Teenage stuff. Im sure well be just as busy.”“I hope so,” Leda grinned, “I think we need more cake.” ***
Hex was worried, “Lavender just phoned, do you know where Maddieis?”“Nope,” Lee replied, sourly, concentrating on his book.“You know why the curfew for the kids is in place, right?” Hex asked,as Lee shook his head, “because Ralph is coming back soon.”Lee looked up, surprised.
“I dont know when exactly, but I do know that it took the power of twoheiresses to banish him and Ariel,” Hex said, “and its going to takethat kind of power to bring him back.”
“Are you saying Maddie is the heir?” Lee questioned, quietly.“Its a possibility,” Hex shrugged, “were at the point where fate ischoosing the heirs, not the parents. Ralph and Ariel are going to returnwhen there are two heirs to take over.”“So when might that be?”
“I dont know,” Hex replied, “but I want Maddie to get home safely,while I check in on Robin and Austin.”“Ill go out and look for Maddie,” Lee offered. Hex smiled, and the pairof them got ready to go out. ***
Elsewhere in Mirage, Robin was going into labour.“Austin!” She yelled, “Where are you?!”“Im coming, sweetheart!”
Austin arrived at the foot of the stairs, “Okay, we both need to staycalm.”Robin frowned a little, preparing to snap at him, when her sarcasticremark was replaced with a scream and their child came into theworld.
“Austin, weve got a beautiful baby girl,” Robin smiled, “come and seeher!”“Our little Fiona!” Austin grinned, using the name the couple hadpicked out a few days before.
“Shes got my hair colour,” Austin said, proudly. Neither of themnoticed a figure appearing in their kitchen.“Well,” interrupted a voice, “youve got quite a welcome for me.”
Both Robin and Austin looked up in surprise to find Ariel standing inthe room with them. ***
Maddie had stayed at the radio station when Lee left, but she hadntdone anything productive. Unless sitting in the corner, full of worry andguilt was considered to be productive.Maybe theres something wrong with me. I couldnt be close with myDad, or my best friends, or even Lee, now...
The light snapped on.“Lee?” Maddie called out, hopefully, voice croaky after being neglectedfor a few hours.Maddie climbed to her feet, and called out again, “Lee?”
Maddie was about to call out Lees name for a third time, when anyvoice she possessed disappeared in surprise.Staring blankly at the figure in front of her, Maddies jaw dropped.Eventually, she gasped, “Youre not here! Youre not real!”
“I can assure you, I am more than just a story.” ***
Thats it for this time! And because of the mean cliffhanger, have acheerful picture of Hex juggling :PThanks for reading!