Fortune’s Fancy Chapter 1 part 2 A Legacy by Nicbemused and simself Nicki Bemused with possible commentary by Other Characters
“And so that is how you use length and width to find the area.”“Oo, that makes so much sense Mama!”“Papa I don’t get it?”“Keep trying Brends, it will come.”“I got number 5. Can I go back to my painting?”“Not yet. Only two more to go, then you’ll be done.”
“Mama, I can’t wait to grow up, I want to know EVERYTHING!”“Papa, how come school is so easy for Bry? Its not fair.”“Everyone has their own talent, Brends. If you keep trying, schoolwill get easier.”“I guess. Can I call Sophie?”“Sure.”
With the older two more independent, Alex was spending more timewith baby Bastien.“And now you are all clean!”“Wee! Clean clean clean. Clean, Mama!”
She even had time to teach Bastien some nursery rhymes.“Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…”“Where lamb’s mama, Mama? Did lamb have big sister? I wantfollow Brends to chool.”
“Do milk come from mama cows? Milk is yums. Do Mama and Papa owncows like Bastien own Bunny?”“No, the farmer owns the cows Bastien, drink your milk.”“Yis Mama.”“Mama! Mama! Papa and I are dancin’! Some day I’ll dance with boys!”
“Hi Brends, Hi Brends, Hi Brends. I playin’ music!”“Mama says you should play what feels right. I like the blue keys.”“Blue keys! Yay!”“Yeah, she’s here. She’s playing with the stupid baby. Didja see Starvoyage lastnight? I though it was way cool. Hey, you wanna eat lunch at my table tomorrow? ”
“Brends, that’s so dumb. I dunno why you want to do cartwheelsanyway.”“You shouldn’t make fun of me just because you can’t to them.Jerkface.”“Am not!”“Are too!”
“I got you, you nasty robber!”“Nah-ah, you missed.”“Did not! You have to die now.”“Fine. Oh! Oh! I’m dying! I shall haunt you forever, lawman!”
“How come I always have to die and be the ghost?”“Because I’m gonna be a policeman when I grow up so I get to be one now.”“Well I’m not going to be a robber or a ghost. I don’t wanna play any more.”“Fine. Go play with the baby. I’m going to watch Starvoyage.”“Nuh-uh, Mama says it’s my turn to pick. We’re watching Movie-Teen High.”“You better not tell my friends you made me watch that.”“Like you don’t like it too.”“Do not!”“Do too! If you didn’t you’d go stargaze or something.”
“You just ignore the crazy lady and we’ll blow out the candlestogether.”“Yay! Cake!”“Happy Birthday Bastien!”
“My piece is bigger than yours, baby.”“Is not!”“Is too!”“Jerkface.”
“Mama! Mama! A policeman came to talk to us about drugs. Hesays that drugs are bad and that we shouldn’t take drugs and shouldsay no. An nen Bobby said that cathyjane was legal so it was OK andthe policeman looked mad and said no it wasn’t. What’s that?”“I think you should listen to the police man and not Bobby.”
“Brends? Bobby pushed me down at lunch today and then laughedat me and then he pushed me off the monkey bars later.”“Don’t worry, Bastien, I’ll take care of him.”
“Papa! You won’t believe what we learned in school today! We learned all aboutdue protess. Bobby said the policemen came to his house yesterday about a gun,and then Bobby went like this with his hand, but his mama wouldn’t let them inbecause of due protess. The teacher sent Bobby to the counselor an then told usthat the police have rules too and they are called due protess. Didja know that?”“I think that due process is a good thing, Brends, but it’s better not to break thelaw.
“I’m a little worried about the children’s school.”“I as well. Do you think it would be wiser to send them to private school? Perhapsuntil there are enough students to open a local public facility instead of sendingthem all the way downtown?”“I’m not sure. Brenda does have a lot of friends and I don’t want to upset her. Shehas a hard enough time in school as it is.”“Should we give it somewhat more time, then?”“I guess.” Alex sighed. She wasn’t happy with either choice.
“Hey! Watch! I can do a headstand! I am totally going to be acheerleader when I get older!”“Go Brends! Can I be a cheerleader too?”“Sure, but you’ll have to like boys.”“Ew, are you sure?”“Pretty sure.”“OK, I guess I’ll try.”
“Papa, Papa, I love you soooo much, you are the best Papa ever. Ican’t imagine having a better papa than you. I am so lucky to haveyou as my Papa.
“Brenda, did something happen in school today that you would liketo tell me about?
“Nope, Papa, nothing happened today that I would like to tell youabout. I just wanted you to know that I think you are the best Papaever and that I really love you lots.”“Brenda.”“Huh uh. Nothing. Nothing at all.”
“Bastien, do you know what happened to your sister in school today?”“Uh uh. Nope. Could you help me study for my spelling test? I got a lotwrong on the pre-test.”“After I talk to your sister.”“Sorry Brends.”“’S OK. You tried.”
“Brenda.”“Geez, Brends, just tell him. He has to sign the note from our teacher anyway.”“Bry, why don’t you tell me.”“S’not a big deal. She was playing kiss-tag and then had to go stand on the wall.”“Tattle tale. You were playing too.”“Yeah but I didn’t have to stand on the wall.”“Jerkface.”“Brenda!”
“I’m sorry Papa, I promise that I won’t ever do it again. Not ever. Never ever. Don’t be madat me. I’ll go to my room and stay there now, OK?”“Brenda, when something happens at school you have to tell either your mother or me. Itmakes us sad if you don’t tell us and I bet it makes you feel bad too.”“I’m sorry Papa, I won’t do it again. But getting in trouble makes me feel bad too.”“Do you think it would feel better to spend days worrying about your teacher calling?”“No, Papa. I understand.”“Good. Sometimes you have to think hard about what really feels right. Now go to yourroom.“Yes Papa.”
When Alex got home they discussed the incident and decided it was time to callthe headmaster of the local private school.“Ms. Destin, that was the best turkey dinner I have every had, and I eat a lot ofturkey. You should get an award for your culinary skills!”“Thank you so much, Headmaster. That’s one of the nicest things anyone has eversaid to me. Have you thought about the children yet?”“Of course they can come to our school! Your family clearly has much to offer!”
The tuition was high, but just before the term was to start, Alex waspromoted to Media Magnate, making it much more affordable.
And shortly after that, Leif was promoted as well. They weren’tallowed to discuss the exact nature of the promotion, but a towniewalking by one day told a friend of his that he’d seen Leif flying. Thefriend asked what he was on.
“Bry, how come I always have to clear everyone else’s plates. It isn’t fair, youshould help too.”“The Headmaster said I had great potential to go far. I shouldn’t have to waste itclearing up after other people.”“Hey! He said I have potential too! Mama!”“Bry, help your sister.”
With things going more smoothly at home, Alex had time to do more research atwork. She often stayed late in the evenings to research one of the importantstories she was covering for the network. Often the stories were local, butsometimes they were for out of town issues as well.
Belinda and Robert Fortune Jr. make their first appearance at theSpring Society Ball.Alex gasped. It was a recent account from the society page of her oldhometown news paper. She read the story quickly, but it was mostlyabout the charity event being hosted rather than the attendees. Shewondered how they were doing with her step-father.
“I’m disappointed in you, son. You should be first in your class, not5th.”“I’m sorry father, I’ll try harder.”“And you should be captain of the football team.”“Yes Father.”
After she came across that first picture, Alex often stayed late to tryto track her siblings through the local paper. Most of the eventsrecorded were about Robert and Bunny, but she did get a few hintsabout other things happening in the family.
She saw the announcement about Bunny having given birth toanother set of twins.“Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fortune welcome Catherine….”
“….. and Buffy Fortune to the family.”It was pretty obvious which one Robert had allowed Bunny to name.Knowing Robert, Alex figured he was probably disappointed in havingtwo more daughters.
“Well. Two more sisters. I had hoped for a son, but Bunny’s probablytoo old for more kids, so I suppose you are going to be my heir.”“I’m sorry you feel that way, Father.”“I’ll simply have to make do. Now, you need to know about yourolder sister. She’s a danger to you and to this family. Shedisappeared when she was 18, but if she ever returns…”
“Belinda, you should have been a boy.”“Whatever you need, Father, I can do it.”“Good. You need to help your brother. He’ll be my heir, of course, but he isn’t toughenough to do what needs to be done. You, on the other hand, are. You have an oldersister who could take everything I ever worked for and throw you and your brother andyour sisters out onto the street. Your real mother was a delusional witch who thought Iwas trying to kill her and so she cursed the family and legally entailed everything toAlexandra. The only way to ensure we keep it is to track down Alexandra and eliminatethe problem. Our family deserves the inheritance, not that illegitimate bastard.”
Alex continued to monitor the family from afar. She was not onlycurious about her siblings, she has an odd feeling that it wasimportant to keep an eye on Robert as well.
And eventually she read news the filled her with relief.
Robert Fortune Sr. died unexpectedly Monday evening at 6:00 PM. He is survivedby his wife, Bunny Fortune, and 5 children, Alexandra Fortune of unknownresidence (daughter of Mr. Fortune’s first wife), Robert Fortune Jr., Belinda Fortune,Catherine Fortune, and Buffy Fortune, all still living at home. He was buried todayat a private cemetary. Mrs. Fortune is expecting his 6th child, her 5th.
With such long days, Alex often came home and went directly to herbath and then to bed. The children were old enough that they didn’tnecessarily need her in the evenings and work was becoming moreand more stressful for her.
She didn’t realize that Leif would often wait to eat with her and end upeating alone. Work and the children kept Leif busy as well, though hiswork hours were much shorter. Most nights he made dinner, fed thechildren, and sent them to bed before sitting down to eat his dinner infront of the television. It seemed, as the twins approached their teenageyears, that Alex and Leif were not spending much time together any more.
Now, in all honesty I had tried to keep out of things up until this point, barringthe occasional phone call, but I was curious about the kids, one of whom wouldbe the heir, so I wandered over one day.“Hi, Brenda, I’m your mom’s friend, Ms. Bemused.”“Hi Ms. Bemused. Do you know my Papa too? He’s a police officer. He hasanother job too, but I can’t talk about it.”
“Yes, I do know your Papa too.”“Did you know we go to private school? I got in trouble for playingkiss-tag and the next day the Headmaster came over and then hetold us we had a lot of potential and now we go to private school.”
“How do you like it?”“I think it’s a pretty good school. I’m doing much better than I was before andBry has classes that ‘challenge his young mind’. Bastien seems to like it too. Weall have lots of friends and we like our teachers.”“I’m very glad to hear that. What do you like best?”“I really like my cooking class. My teacher says it’s like chemistry but tastesbetter. I like gardening some too. At least, I like being outside for gardening.”
I spoke with Bastien as well. “How do you like your new school?”“I like it lots. I have recess at the same time as Brends and I’m in acool club where we pool our allowance for baseball cards and wedivide them up between us so that we have a better chance of a fullset and get less repeats.”
Soon it was time for the twins’ next birthday. They would be turning 13 andentering the new world of teenhood.“Ready Bry?”“Lets do it!”
And with simultaneous breaths, they became teens.“Well, what do you think?”“Huh. My outfit is sexy but not really my style, and I think my hair needs an update.You?”“I can’t even… I have to change. And time for a new look too. The girls will not digthis.”“Happy Birthday guys.”
Next time in Fortune’s Fancy:Will the twins look decent?How will they take to high school?Will Bastien feel left behind or will he catch up?What is going on in the old home town?What is up with Leif and Alex?No, seriously, what’s up with them?