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BRRL Gen 9: Part One


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BRRL Gen 9: Part One

  1. 1.
  2. 2. I could never say that I grew up like any other girl. I had two mommies, an unconventional daddy, and more siblings than most have in their age group.<br />
  3. 3. But what we lacked in normality, we made up for with love. My parents loved each other and us; and we, as siblings loved each other and them, too.<br />
  4. 4. Of all of them, though, it was my twin sister, Astraea, that I loved most. I know I shouldn’t say that, but it was true. As sisters, we shared a womb. As friends, we shared no less than a soul.<br />
  5. 5. “Like to a double cherry, seeming parted, yet an union in partition.”<br />
  6. 6. But it all went terribly wrong. I lost everything. Elves, zombies, everything that could tore my soul away from my flesh. Astraea… I…<br />
  7. 7. “Why can’t I see her ?! Why won’t she talk to me?”<br />“Some people just don’t come back, sweetie. I’m so sorry.”<br />
  8. 8. I have always had the ability to see beyond the veil. A vast swath of souls stood before me like a buffet, but the one morsel I wanted for myself was snatched away by some harpy imitating a greater good.<br />
  9. 9. I didn’t want the gift anymore. Not if it couldn’t get Astraea back.<br />
  10. 10. So, I told them to go away.<br />
  11. 11. We set out on the road, me and my two surviving siblings.<br />
  12. 12. Ma’or and Seren tried. I will not say that they didn’t, but they had not lost what I had lost as completely as I had. <br />
  13. 13. My spirit was in purgatory from my flesh. Joy could not make smiles nor could sorrow tears.<br />
  14. 14. It was an unbearable nothing.<br />
  15. 15. I started hoarding money. When we each took five from the kitty for lunch, I only used two and pocketed the rest. It was not easy to lie to my siblings, but I did it anyway.<br />
  16. 16. Over time, that money became enough to leave on my own.<br />
  17. 17. It took me all of a week to make my decision.<br />
  18. 18. I left a note. I’m sure it broke their hearts.<br />
  19. 19. I drove through every town with a cheap motel. Sometimes I’d stop for a day or a month, but I wasn’t ending up in any of those places. You can’t go unnoticed in towns and the closest I could come to Astraea was being invisible.<br />
  20. 20. So, I kept driving until I got to the one place that I could disappear.<br />
  21. 21. I took a few days to settle in. No. That’s a lie. No one “settles in” to Sim City in a few days. A few lifetimes maybe…I don’t know.<br />
  22. 22. I guess the best phrase is to say that I stopped flitting about like a squirrel on the highway. I stopped looking up at the buildings. I became a part of the faceless masses. <br />In the city, you don’t see anybody and nobody sees you.<br />
  23. 23. I changed my hair, letting my locks flow over my pointed ears. There was no need advertising my state as a “half-breed” amongst the others in the city.<br />It felt weird at first, as though I was slowly losing bits and pieces of who I was just by changing my face. But , then again, losing your face is the first step to becoming invisible.<br />
  24. 24. I worked where I could find it, specifically schlepping food and drinks at a local bar. Midnight Flows, a karaoke bar, was where I spent most of my time<br />
  25. 25. . Sometimes, I’d even sing myself. It reminded me of my mother.<br />
  26. 26. When I’d stayed long enough for the motel to become impractical, I found an apartment in a meager part of town. Unfortunately, the apartment ended up costing more than I could pay. I had to find a day job.<br />
  27. 27. “Come on, Miss Doran. I can’t just let you stay here for free.”<br />“Will you take my car for a month’s rent? I need this. Please.”<br />
  28. 28. I remember his eyes. He’d seen a lot. He had no reason to help me.<br />
  29. 29. But he did anyway.<br />“How bout you just put it on the line as collateral? Pay me at the end of this month when you find something.”<br />
  30. 30. “Thank you. I can’t thank you enough.”<br />“I gotta daughter your age living out near Sierra Plains. Maybe I help you, karma helps her a little.”<br />
  31. 31. It took a couple of weeks before anything decent turned up and it turned up in an unlikely place. Angelica. One of my neighbors.<br />I tried my damnedest to avoid contact, but she spotted me early and recognized me as the only of our neighbors who was not pregnant with tons of kids, old, or a teenager. Eventually, I had to give in and spend time with her.<br />
  32. 32. It should also be said that she insisted upon high-fiving entirely too much. Granted, that also kind of endeared her to me more.<br />“Hey, girlfriend! What’s the what?! I gots the goods. I was talking to my supervisor today and there’s a position available. Make with the sittage and we shall discuss.”<br />
  33. 33. “I’m not in architecture or construction, Michelle.”<br />“Well, good thing the position’s not for either of those. My friend works downtown and his firm needs someone in titles.”<br />
  34. 34. “Titles?”<br />“Yeah, titles. You know, making sure deeds and stuff are all kosher. It’s basically data entry and research. Low level, but decent pay. You cut?”<br />
  35. 35. “Cut?”<br />“Out. Cut out for it?”<br />
  36. 36. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m cut.”<br />
  37. 37. “Now, this is where your desk is. You have internet access for work only. You should know that we don’t use any blockers because of research, so be careful where you go and what you do…”<br />Chapter 2<br />
  38. 38. You see, when you’re building a new home or buying up land or buildings, you have to get the history of that land to make sure that the project’s on the up and up. <br />
  39. 39. Like this one guy wanted to buy this house with a view of Arbordale, but, as it turned out, it wasn‘t that simple. When the land was bought, the border markers were a creek bed and an oak tree. As the creek’s shape changed, the border got muddled. The house was built on two properties meaning the guy had to purchase two lots with the house.<br />
  40. 40. The job wasn’t glamorous, but it was stable. Looking at all those properties helped me to get to know thte city and I still had the Flows for a night gig. It was just fine for me.<br />
  41. 41. As the weeks wore on, I met a lot of people working in titles. Homebuyers, construction workers, lawyers, and such all came to me to find out what the next step would be in making some person’s dream a reality. <br />
  42. 42. My most frequent visitor, however, was the architect whose family owned the firm.<br /> <br />“Mr. Garrett, I have the Desiderata house history nearly completed, but the family estate of the original owner is out of town and won’t be back for a week-”<br />
  43. 43. “For the love of God, Roxanna, I really hate being called Mr. Garrett. It makes me feel like I should be running a boarding school with Jo and Tootie. Ulric’s fine.”<br />
  44. 44. Ulric Garrett was the youngest of four Garretts, but managed to be put in charge of the design department of Beowulf Buildings, Inc., a construction company with its fingers in many pies across the region.<br />
  45. 45. He was also a hoverer.<br /> <br />“Roxanna, you should take a lunch break…”<br /> <br />“Are you coming to the company picnic, Roxanna?”<br /> <br />“There’s a cold going around here. Be sure to use sanitizer…”<br /> <br />“Do you have dinner plans tonight, Roxanna?”<br />
  46. 46. “What?”<br /> <br />“Dinner plans? Do you have them?” Ulric responded with a definitive lack of nervousness.<br />
  47. 47. “I was probably going to eat Cheerios and watch the finale of Squeaky Clean.”<br /> <br />“You watch SC?”<br /> <br />“A couple of episodes here and there. I mostly want to find out if those two guys are actually getting together or if all the slashiness is just in everybody’s head.”<br />
  48. 48. It startled me when Ulric laughed. I never really thought of myself as funny (that was always Astraea‘s gig), but there he was, chuckling a deep gruff laugh.<br />
  49. 49. “You were asking about dinner.”<br /> <br />Ulric paused, “Yes, I made plans to go out tonight and my friend backed out. I didn’t know if you’d want to take his spot at dinner.”<br />
  50. 50. I shook my head “no”, which caused Ulric’s face to fall a bit. “It’s not-I’ll come the next time. I’m just really tired tonight. Thanks, though.”<br />I felt myself wince. I didn’t really want to go the next time or any time. I just wanted to leave work and go straight to the one place where I could be alone while completely surrounded by other people.<br />
  51. 51. Midnight Flows.<br />
  52. 52. I could stay there all night, and often did. The atmosphere was dark and smoky. The drinks were strong and the people…<br /> <br />Oh, the people…<br />
  53. 53. You could see the desperation. Men would walk up to me with their overused lines engulfed in the cheap scent of drug store cologne. <br />I’d usually walk away.<br />
  54. 54. You could see the kind of woman by what they wore.<br />Most left little to the imagination.<br />
  55. 55. I felt great comfort there. I suppose the phrase is true that says-what is it?<br />
  56. 56. OH! Misery loves company.<br />
  57. 57. “Alright guys, we have Lady Roxy coming up next with “City” by Sarah Bareilles…”<br />
  58. 58. There’s a harvest each Saturday night<br />At the bars filled with perfume and hitchin’ a ride<br />
  59. 59. A place you could stand for one night<br />
  60. 60. And get gone<br />
  61. 61. And it’s clear this conversation<br />Ain’t doing a thing<br />Cause these boys only listen to me when I sing<br />And I don’t feel like singing tonight<br />Oh, the same song…<br />
  62. 62. Here in these deep city lightsGirl could get lost tonightI'm finding every reason to be goneNothing here to hold on to<br />
  63. 63. Could I hold you?<br />
  64. 64. The situation's always the sameYou got your wolves in their clothes whispering Hollywood's nameStealing gold from the silver they seeBut it's not me<br />
  65. 65. Here in these deep city lightsGirl could get lost tonightI'm finding every reason to be goneThere's nothing here to hold on toCould I hold you?<br />
  66. 66. Calling out somebody save me I feel like I’m fading away<br />
  67. 67. Calling out somebody save me I feel like I’m fading<br />
  68. 68. In these deep city lightsGirl could get lost tonightI'm finding every reason to be goneThere's nothing here to hold on to<br />
  69. 69. Could I hold on to…<br />
  70. 70. Could I hold on to…<br />“Hey!! Wait!”<br />
  71. 71. …you?<br />“You shouldn’t walk to your car alone.”<br />
  72. 72. “Great.” I mumbled under my breath before feigning a cheery disposition. “I wasn’t walking to my car. I was walking to my apartment.”<br />
  73. 73. “Ha . Ha. Listen, I don’t care if you lied about your plans tonight-”<br /> <br />“I didn’t! I watched SC before I came her-”<br /> <br />“-but this city’s dangerous at night and a single woman like you doesn’t need to be walking alone.”<br />
  74. 74. “I’ll be fine. Got that whole 21st Century thing working for me.” I replied annoyed. “But thank you.”<br />
  75. 75. I turned to walk away, but Ulric’s voice followed.<br /> <br />“I’m going to Red’s Diner. Get me some late night breakfast. Would you like to join? No pressure.”<br />
  76. 76.
  77. 77. “So, there we were, covered head-to-toe in mud and Mom just shaking her head with a plateful of cookies.”<br />C H A P T E R T H R E E<br />
  78. 78. “You have so many siblings. Angelica said there were only four of you. Your mom must have been pregnant more than she wasn’t.”<br />
  79. 79. Ulric smiled, “Well, they weren’t all ‘hers’ per se. Mom and Dad had a soft spot for strays. We ended up ‘adopting’ a bunch of kids into our family. Troubled youths, folks who had it rough. It’s important to take care of those around you.”<br />
  80. 80. He reached for my hand, “especially when you can see they’re suffering.”<br />
  81. 81. “I should go.”<br /> <br />Ulric snatched his hand back, “I’m not- I’m not trying to call you out. I just worry about you. You’re always alone, spending all those hours in a lonely cubicle-”<br />
  82. 82. “So you want to adopt me?!”<br />
  83. 83. “No. The city’s a tough place. It can be lonely amongst the masses. ..”<br />
  84. 84. “I just want you to know that you don’t have to be alone.”<br />“It doesn’t matter , Ulric. I’m alone no matter who stands beside me. People are just a façade to singularity.”<br />I admit, in that moment, I was fighting back more than a few tears. Ulric was struck dumb and we both sat there unable to speak. It was a lot to admit something like that to myself, but I suppose it might have been worse to hear someone tell you that your company was just an other facet of being alone.<br />
  85. 85. But Ulric managed to find words. And they managed to be the right ones.<br />“If you’re alone whether or not someone’s there, then it shouldn’t matter to you if we spend more time together. What are you doing tomorrow?”<br />“Watching TV.”<br />
  86. 86. “Good. I’ll be at your house at noon.”<br />
  87. 87. After that night, Ulric continued to make it so my “alone” time was surrounded by people. Over time, I felt myself going on more outings with him. <br />
  88. 88. Angelicawas almost always there, too, so it wasn’t like a date, thank God. Granted, I could tell Angelica was keeping something from me.<br />
  89. 89.  “There’s no way you’re making that shot, Ric!”<br />One night, she couldn’t hold back her thoughts any longer.<br />“He likes you, you know.”<br />
  90. 90. “I’m not unaware.”<br /> <br />Angelica smiled, “I just wanted to make sure you knew.”<br />
  91. 91. “Yes, I know. And I know that expression. Astr-my sister used to have it when I’d talked about guys I liked. I’m not going to hurt him, so you won‘t have to kill me. What’s his deal, anyway? How do you know him?”<br />
  92. 92. Ang’sface melted into a bittersweet expression, “My brother was having a tough time, going through a lot of changes. He was manic one minute, curled up in a ball the next. Out late some nights, waking up God knows where. My parents couldn’t control the situation so they kicked him out. That’s when Ulric showed up. He was like a brother to Eric, got him on the right track. I owe everything to him for getting my brother back.”<br />
  93. 93. “He‘s a good guy, Roxanna. He‘s worth letting down some of those walls.”<br />“Here I thought I was doing that just by leaving my apartment.”<br /> <br />“At least give him a chance.”<br />
  94. 94. …<br />
  95. 95. “So, Ulric…”<br /> <br />“There is no way you’re distracting me from this shot, Roxanna.”<br />
  96. 96. “Would you like to go out on a date this weekend?”<br />
  97. 97. He missed the shot. I don’t think it mattered.<br />
  98. 98. He showed up right on time and dressed nicely. I expected that we would be going to Londoste or some such place.<br />C H A P T E R F O U R<br />
  99. 99. I was wrong by a long shot.<br />
  100. 100. He took me to a park just west of the Flows. I didn’t expect there would be such a place in the city. Greenery, flowers, a babbling creek, it was all so serene in the middle of a place that lacked serenity.<br /> <br />“This place is beautiful.”<br />
  101. 101. “Yeah, it’s where my parents got engaged.” Ulric clearly saw my eyes widen. “Oh god, no. That wasn’t- I’m not crazy.”<br />
  102. 102. I laughed in spite of myself, “That remains to be seen.”<br />
  103. 103. He smiled. Ulric had a broad smile, the kind that lights up a room. I hadn’t noticed that before. He was positively radiant.<br /> <br />“You know,” he said, “other than being a place to have awkward dates, this park also has some historical significance.”<br />
  104. 104. “There was a major battle here during the Crusade for Simmolution.” I said matter-of-factly.<br />
  105. 105. Ulric raised an eyebrow, “Really, are you sure?”<br />
  106. 106. “Pretty sure.”<br />
  107. 107. “God, you’re beautiful when you smile.”<br />
  108. 108. He leaned in for a second. I was quite certain that he was about to kiss me, something that I completely didn’t want. And then suddenly, at the very last moment, I did.<br />
  109. 109. I wanted to kiss this guy. I was excited almost, giddy. I closed my eyes awaiting the press of his lips to mine…<br />
  110. 110. …before he shifted his weight and rolled to his back to look up at the stars. Nope, no kiss. I felt like an idiot. <br />
  111. 111. I winced, hoping he couldn’t see my disappointment before lying down beside him.<br />
  112. 112. “You could see more of them where I’m from.” I whispered quietly, trying not to let too many memories creep in.<br />“A couple of times a year, I take off and go to Three Lakes. The stars are unbelievable there.”<br />
  113. 113. We laid there and watched the stars for a short time. There wasn’t much to say and that was fine for me. I needed to not feel like I had to talk and Ulric seemed to respect that. I shivered as a breeze rushed over us. <br />
  114. 114. Ulric curled up beside me, wrapping me in his warm arms.<br />“Cold blooded?”<br />
  115. 115. I smiled, “My mum says it’s just the opposite. Part-aliens tend to run a little hotter than regular people. Makes us more susceptible to the cold.”<br />
  116. 116. …<br />
  117. 117. “Soooooo…I suppose I should take you back home…”<br />
  118. 118. We stumbled up the stairs and towards the door of my apartment. Hell, if his apartment had been closer, we’d have stumbled to there.<br />
  119. 119. I felt his hands squeeze my skin as he explored the parts of me that weren’t pressed to him. I had just slipped my key into the lock when I felt him push away.<br />
  120. 120. “Wait,” he said, panting quick breaths. “I-I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we should wait.”<br />
  121. 121. I’m fairly certain that my jaw hit the ground. I managed to pick it up in time to ask, “But, don’t you want-“<br />
  122. 122. “I’m fairly certain you can tell what I want,” came his response followed by a guttural sigh. <br />
  123. 123. “But I have a tendency to go all on instinct and I’ve screwed up a lot of relationships that way. I don’t want to rush this, Roxanna.”<br />He bit the inside of his mouth and his teeth chattered as though someone had doused him with ice water.<br />
  124. 124. I caressed his face and neck and gave him a gentle kiss, nodding assent to his request.<br />
  125. 125. “Alright, no sex. Not yet. It’s getting cold out. Why don’t we go inside and have some hot cocoa?”<br />
  126. 126. Ulricpulled me into his arms with a glint of mischief in his eyes, “Okay, but just cocoa.”<br />
  127. 127. …<br />CHAPTER FOUR<br />
  128. 128.
  129. 129. …<br />
  130. 130. “At least we waited until after the cocoa.”<br />
  131. 131. Ulric shook his head with a feigned sense of guilt, “I have no self-control. Is it wrong that I’m really glad I have no self control?”<br />“I’m fairly satisfied with it.”<br />“What time is it?”<br />
  132. 132. I looked at the beside clock, “Quarter to four.”<br />Ulric groaned, “We’ve been in bed for over twelve hours?! God, I’m really trying to not be giddy about this. I should feel guilty. I should prostrate myself before-”<br />“You should kiss me again.”<br />
  133. 133. “Well, there’s that.” As he leaned in, a buzzing was heard from the pocket of his pants strewn somewhere on the floor. He rolled from the bed, tossing the jeans on haphazardly as he ran to the next room.<br />
  134. 134. I know that it’s technically considered rude to eavesdrop, but….<br />“Yes. Yes, I know. I’ll be there. Soon. Yes, I know how many hours until- Love you, Mom.” <br />
  135. 135. He came back into the room like a kid who got caught stealing cookies, “I gotta go.”<br />“No?” I tried hopefully<br />
  136. 136. “Nice try. I meet with my family once a month. Just family’s allowed. Otherwise, I’d totally ask you to come.”<br />
  137. 137. “So, I guess the next time I’ll see you is tomorrow…at work.”<br />
  138. 138. Ulric’s lips grew into a broad, infectious smile, “Where it won’t be awkward at all because everyone was pulling for us from the start.”<br />“No, they weren’t.”<br />
  139. 139. “Even if they weren’t, they’ll say they were. There are benefits to being the boss’s son, you know.” He leaned in for one last kiss. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”<br />
  140. 140. The kiss lingered for a few seconds before Ulric dashed out the door. I found myself smiling for no reason whatsoever the rest of that day.<br />
  141. 141. In fact, I don’t think my smile ended until a file plopped onto my desk the next day.<br />
  142. 142. It was a new title for me to research complete in old paper that looked like the edges had been chewed by a restless puppy…<br />
  143. 143. End Part One<br />
  144. 144. See, she is happy sometimes!! I really hope that you guys enjoyed the first part of Gen 9’s BRRL!! Roxanna is a handful and I’m loving every minute of playing her.<br />The next chapter should be out fairly soon as I’m already halfway through writing it!! Until then, keep on simming!!<br />