Chapter 1: Glimps Thy Past


Published on

Chapter 1 section 2 of Tideal Waves

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Chapter 1: Glimps Thy Past

  1. 1. Tidal Waves<br />Chapter 1:<br />Glimpse Thy Past<br />Talaie Production Studios presents Tidal WavesChapter 1: Glimpse Thy PastPhotos by TalaieEdited with GIMP 2 and Corel Painter Essentials 3Story by TalaieProof Editor: SeleneCorvinCreated with PowerPoint Hosted by SlideShare<br />
  2. 2. It was a dark night in the French countryside.<br />
  3. 3. Fingers followed words engraved in foul parchment. Deep laughter echoes in the small attic space, “This will do nicely.<br />
  4. 4. “I call upon the four winds;<br />North’s cold blast,<br />South’s warm breeze,<br />East’s land gathered gust,<br />West’s sea drench zephyr,<br />“Lend me your eyes,<br />Seeing beyond deep <br />Into the future and the past.<br />Lend me you ears,<br />Hearing into the depths <br />To whispers of bygone years<br />And the refrains of time yet to come.<br /> <br />“Yes. Show me,” the room is filled with a whooshing rush of wind.<br />
  5. 5. The speaker is too caught up in her fervor of the images flashing around her, to notice the eyes peering from the glow of the candles in the corner of the room.<br />A little girl peering into a bush. A man stands next to her, ‘They’re talking to me, Daddy.’ ‘Okay, Demi.’<br />
  6. 6. The same man sits at a small table with an older man. The older man is speaking, ‘… she should begin training.’ The first man’s words can’t be heard, but a look of horror appears on his face.<br />“He wants to take her away from me?” Kiara talks to the image, “Why?”<br />
  7. 7. The little girl appears again, she seems to be a little older and a bit taller. The image, it is very fuzzy. She is playing on a beach with a young boy, he seems to be about her age. <br />“What is this? Is she still alive?”<br />‘Do you think the faye will live in our castle?’ the little girl asks. ‘Sis, you’re silly, the faye aren’t real,’ the boy tells her. ‘But Dad said he saw a little one once,’ the little girl argues. The boy responds, &apos;I think he made that up, just like our bedtime stories.’<br />“I must get her back.”<br />
  8. 8. The wind changes, “What was that?”<br /> <br />The wind sounds like a deep, disembodied voice, “Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaa.” It calls out again, “Kiara, use the little one. He can’t take her away.” The spell pages flip, “This way.”<br />
  9. 9. The eyes in the candle flicker with rage as dark hands suddenly appear as they reach to encompass a group of islands. A new voice is heard as the wind slows, “No!” The book Kiara is looking at closes itself. <br /> <br />The wind speeds up again and the deep voice returns, “Yes, use the child.”<br />“Of course,” she says looking at the book. The wind continues to blow as Kiara reads. The images continue to appear, but Kiaradosn’tpay them any heed. <br /> <br />The wind laughs.<br />
  10. 10. Kiara falls to the floor, the images fade away, and the wind stops. Kiara stands up and walks to her cauldron.<br />
  11. 11. “Hume is a fool if he thinks I’ll believe that this was not his doing. Demi. Is. Mine. And no one else’s.”<br />The eyes fade from the flame.<br /> <br />************<br />
  12. 12. Buckler wakes up as the early morning birds sound through the open arch way, as the smell of sea salt and fresh flowers wafts in. Next to him is a beautiful woman, she stirs, “Mmm, how long have you been awake?”<br /> <br />“Not long,” he replies, “Did you sleep well?”<br /> <br />“I always sleep well when you are here, Willford.”<br />
  13. 13. “It didn’t sound like it last night,” he replied concerned.<br /> <br />“It was nothing.” <br /> <br />He snuggles closer, “Ahh, but it didn’t really sound like it was nothing.<br />
  14. 14. ”Don’t worry, I can handle it,” she said pulling away and stepping out of bed.<br /> <br />“Cerridwen, don’t you be giving me that.”<br />
  15. 15. Cerridwen stepped behind a screen, “How long have you known me,” she asked in mock anger.<br /> <br />“Most of my life,” Buckler answered as he leaned into her for a kiss.<br /> <br />*******<br />
  16. 16. Kiara sits in a child’s bedroom taking to herself, “You’re my daughter Demeter,” she cocks her head to one side listening intently.<br />
  17. 17. “I lost you that night, didn’t I, or should I say, you were taken from me that night. <br />
  18. 18. “The flowers talked to you. Your father believed you. He was going to take you away from me. That other man was going to help him take you away from me. But, fate took you instead. Hume still hopes to find you. He comes in here often when he thinks no one will notice.<br />
  19. 19. “The Voice has spoken to me. It’s said that I must use Clara. Gibson may have broken away from me but he’s going to help me get you back, and together with Clara we will be a family again. Hume doesn’t understand. But a Romoni never leaves the family…”<br />
  20. 20. The door to the room opens, Julien walks in, Kiara looks up at him, “Isn’t that right Cousin?”<br /> <br />“For the family,” he agrees, as he cautiously approaches, &quot;Dinner is served.”<br />
  21. 21. They both leave the room.<br />
  22. 22.
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
  25. 25. ***********<br />“Today is the day,” Kiara says leaning down to pick up Clara. “You’ll never leave me will you?”<br /> <br />“Mommy silly,” Clara says, “Clara, love mommy.”<br /> <br />“I love you too, my little angel.”<br />
  26. 26. Kiara takes Clara to the nursery.<br /> <br />“Diaper changing time,” she changes Clara’s diaper.<br /> <br />“Would Clara like to see a magical trick?”<br /> <br />“Kay.”<br />
  27. 27. “You sit right here.” She puts Clara down, and pulls out her wand. She quietly whispers the incantation.<br />
  28. 28. “Mommy humming.”<br /> <br />There’s a bright light that starts at the tip of the wand and radiates outward to fill the room.<br />
  29. 29. “Who’s mommy’s best girl ever?” she asks as she begins to tickle Clara.<br /> <br />“Clara,” the toddler giggles.<br /> <br />“You’ll never leave mommy, now will you?”<br /> <br />Clara just laughs some more.<br /> <br />*************<br />
  30. 30. The sun pours in through Stormy’s window as she sits up from bed. Dorian called, “Breakfast. Come on you sleepy heads.”<br /> <br />“Too early,” Stormy complained as she walked to her bedroom door.<br />
  31. 31. In the kitchen Dorian prepared pancakes. Occasionally he would look back towards the hall, to where Thane was playing in his bouncy chair. <br />
  32. 32. Three sleepy teens dragged their feet into the kitchen, while Seth seemed far too well rested and bounded into his chair. <br />
  33. 33. Angel read the paper, “Today’s weather calls for Sunshine.”<br />
  34. 34. “You have an appointment with Morgana?” Dorian asked severing.<br /> <br />Angel nodded. <br />
  35. 35. “That means,” Dorian said placing a dish on the table, “You three need to take care of your younger brothers, I have to stay late tonight.”<br /> <br />“You guys,” Angel pointed to the teens, “make sure Seth does his homework.”<br />
  36. 36. Stormy looked up from her plate, “I wanted to go to Ms. Lilith’s house after school.”<br /> <br />Angel thought back to the party, “Stormy you don’t need to rush into anything.”<br /> <br />“Mommy, I just wanted to thank her for the really cool earrings she gave me.”<br />
  37. 37. Dorian looked at Angel and then spoke to Stormy, “Don’t take up too much of her time,” glanced towards the boys, “So that means you two need to be home on time.”<br /> <br />“Now eat your food,” Angel said, “the school bus will be here soon.”<br /> <br />*********<br />
  38. 38. Ding Dong!<br />
  39. 39. Lilith answered her door, “Stormy, it’s nice to see you,” she motioned for her to come inside.<br /> <br />“Thank you. Sorry I haven’t been by to see you sooner,” Stormy entered the house, “School has been really busy, especially with The Annual All Hollow’s Eve Carnival,” she explained.<br />“You don’t have to apologize,” Lilith said, “I remember how things where my senior year, I never thought we would finish in time.”<br />“Really? My class is going to do a haunted tea house, what did your class do?”<br />
  40. 40. “A tea house; It was quite a few years ago, but I’ll never forget the look on Miss Jalowitz’s face when Dorian served her tea dressed as a girl.”<br /> <br />“What?”<br /> <br />“We thought to spice things up a by reversing genders, most of the kids wore their brothers or sisters clothing. Miss J. had never been so surprised; she couldn’t get over how good Dorian looked wearing his aunt’s wedding dress. Then there was the fact that his aunt made sure Dorian could perform the tea ceremony, even in his sleep. It was probably because of that, that we were able to raise quite a bit for the school.”<br />
  41. 41. “Wow, I just hope we can surprise Miss J. this year, nothing seems to surprise her.”<br /> <br />“It does take a bit,” Lilith laughed, “Now, I’m sure you didn’t come here to talk about the All Hollow’s Eve Carnival.”<br /> <br />“Yeah,” Stormy looked at the ground, “I wanted to thank you for the lovely earrings that you gave me for my birthday. And to ask you about some of the other things you mentioned that night.”<br />“What was it you wanted to know?”<br />“Mom told me that you’re like one of the most special people in all the village. And, that the reason you glow has something to do with your being special.”<br />
  42. 42. “Your mom is partially right. I am special but, then your mom is pretty special too.”<br /> <br />Stormy looked confused.<br /> <br />“Your mom helps women during their pregnancy and delivery. She makes sure that both mother and baby stay healthy, and to minimize any risks. But if the patient began having problems, and your mom decided that she needed to have doctors there, she would call for them. Why, if I wanted to have a baby, I would still have to go to your mom for checkups, and she would help me with the delivery.” Stormy still looked a bit confused.<br />
  43. 43. “Another example could be, if Captain Irvine wanted to know what the weather conditions would be for several days, he would ask my husband. <br /> <br />“Or, perhaps if someone should want to communicate with the Gods, they might come to me. Or if they wanted me to interpret what they believe is a message sent from the gods, it would be because I’ve been trained to decipher the nuances of their vision.”<br />
  44. 44. “But then you are special,” Stormy said.<br /> <br />“No, this is what I was trained for, just as my husband was trained as the witch doctor and your mom was trained as the midwife.”<br />
  45. 45. “I never really thought that what my mom does is all that special. I mean you glow, my mom is just a normal person.”<br /> <br />“Just because I glow, that doesn’t make me anymore special than anyone else, but that’s because everyone has the power to glow. Have you ever seen anyone glow?”<br />
  46. 46. Stormy had to think for a bit, “My mom seems to glow yellow when she helps the women of the village with their pregnancies. And sometimes dad glows pink, especially when he tells stories,” Stormy paused for a bit, “Ms. Ottomans, one of the teachers at the school, has a black glow about her nearly all the time. I’ve … Um… I’ve also seen little creatures, almost like really tiny people and they glow all different colors.” Stormy paused, a little embarrassed.<br /> <br />‘Hmm,’ Lilith thought, ‘now that’s interesting.’ Lilith asked, “And don’t people glow on their birthdays?”<br /> <br />Stormy nodded and thought about Seth’s birthday and remember the lights on her own, “So, at special times people glow,” she then asked, “Is it because of your training that you seem to glow all the time?”<br />
  47. 47. “I don’t really glow all the time,” Lilith answered.<br /> <br />“Okay so why are you glowing now?”<br /> <br />“Most people only see the glow when it is very strong, not when it is weak, but a special person can see even the smallest amount of glow.” Especially, those that are destined for something more.<br />
  48. 48. Stormy listened to Lilith’s answer in the same way many teenagers pay attention in school, a total lapse of comprehension . “How come, at my party, my mom kept telling you to leave me alone?”<br /> <br />Lilith laughed to herself and smiled, ‘I should have expected nothing less. She is still a teenager; she still lives in her own little universe most of the time. But maybe this is just the time to tell her.’ Looking Stormy in the eyes, “There are some of the village elders who believe that you were sent to us for a special purpose. Your parents have always tried to give you a normal family life.”<br />
  49. 49. The sun began to set as they talked<br />“But, Miss Lilith, what can I do that even you can’t do?” Stormy asked softly.<br /> <br />“Right now, not much. I have no way of gauging your abilities.” Lilith paused, “With some tests we could find out.”<br /> <br />“And then what?” Stormy asked, speaking more to herself than Lilith, “I’ve always thought that there was something different about me. Sometimes I see things and hear things that no one else does.”<br />
  50. 50. “Stormy there is nothing wrong with you, it is those abilities that you speak of that make you special, not different. And, it is those abilities that will help you with your destiny.” And perhaps it is those abilities that will work to protect us all.<br /> <br />Stormy began to sob, “And how can I do that?”<br />“First we should see how strong your abilities are. Then teach you to shape and mold them to your fullest potential . . . <br />
  51. 51. Lilith took a breath to continue, but it was no longer her voice that came out, it sounded as if it came from a great distance, almost dream like. <br />“You must found a legacy. One that must endure for a least generations ten. A lineage, that must be traceable in blood back to you.”<br />Lilith staggered and collapsed into a nearby chair.<br />
  52. 52. Stormy was more concerned with Lilith’s condition than where that voice had come from, but still she drew near cautiously, “Miss Lilith are you alright?”<br /> <br />“I’m fine,” Lilith said as she sat up, “What happened?’<br /> <br />“I glad that your alright,” Stormy did her best to explain what had happened, “A voice spoke through you, almost like it belonged in a dream. It told me that I must start a legacy. A family, that must endure for at least ten generations, and my descendents must be able to trace themselves directly back to me.”<br />
  53. 53. “Thank you for trying to help me.” Lilith said adjusting herself. “Do you have any questions?”<br /> <br />“You mean about… my… my destiny? It seems like it’s not at all that important, but if that is what the gods want of me then it must be really important in the end. I thought it would have been something different… like take over for you, or commune with nature all the time.”<br />Lilith asks, “Would you want to?”<br />“I don’t know…, right now I think I’d just like to enjoy my teenage years, have fun with my friends and get ready for college.” Stormy giggled<br /> <br />Lilith chuckled, “I can understand that. Would you like to join me for tea?” <br /> <br />“No thank you Miss Lilith, I should really be getting home, Nev and Ulrich aren’t the best at taking care of little Thane. They make funny faces when they have to change his diapers.”<br /> <br />“Alright, perhaps I’ll see you at the carnival.”<br />
  54. 54. After Lilith had a cup of restorative tea, she went into the work room that she shared with Scott, she walked over to a pearly white sphere standing on a pedestal in the corner of the room, she gazed into the sphere, “I could have done without the added help Goddess, there is so much more that she needs to know and learn if she is to accomplish what needs to be done.”<br /> <br />There was no change in the sphere, not that Lilith ever expected one.<br /> <br />***********<br />
  55. 55. Meanwhile at Angel’s office, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly, she had just escorted old Mrs. Crumplebottom out of her office. She had to very gently make the old woman understand that she wasn’t pregnant in spite of the recent weight gain and nausea. Angel felt sorry for her, this was the third time in as many months that Mrs. Crumplebottom had been to her. Angel believed that perhaps another professional needed to look into this situation.<br /> <br />The bell on the door jingled, signaling Angel’s next appointment had arrived, “I’ll be right out,” she called from her office.<br />
  56. 56. She took another moment to clear her thoughts of Mrs. Crupplebottom and got up to greet her next patient, “Morganna, sorry to keep you waiting.”<br /> <br />“No worries, Seth was quite willing to tell me all about his day.”<br />
  57. 57. “That boy seems to have a motor for a mouth, “Why don’t you follow me to the exam room.” She led Morganna behind a screen. “Take a seat,” once they were both seated, “How are you feeling?”<br /> <br />“Well this little guy has been kicking up a storm, he never stops. Ofa… there he goes again. Trying to get any sleep is near imposable.”<br />
  58. 58. “I’ve been there,” Angel said with a laugh, “Let have a look shall we. How is your appetite?”<br /> <br />“I’m hungry during the weirdest hours, but I’m just sooo tired, it seems as if even if I want to eat, I can’t stay awake long enough. Irvine’s had to nudge me awake on more than one occasion. You’d think I’d invented a new eating style, with the number of times I’ve nearly fallen asleep in my food.”<br /> <br />Angel smiled, “Overall, everything looks fine. I wouldn’t worry too much about when you want to eat. You could try eating smaller portions, healthy, light snacks that you eat frequently during the day. And you should get as much rest as you can. I notice that your legs are a bit swollen, when you rest, I want you to make sure you put your legs up.”<br />“Okay,” Morganna began to get up, “How did you manage it with twins? I’ve just got Dolph right now, and he is such a handful.”<br />
  59. 59. “Well, they were my firstborns and I was quite a bit younger then. When the boys got a little older they had each other to play with. But that’s not always true in some families, sometimes they’ll be playmates and friends, but not always. Then again, no matter what, you still need to have eyes in the back of your head.”<br />“Yeah, I’m finding that out, now that Dolph is starting to crawl all over the place, he likes to play in the bathroom.”<br />“And as they get older, they keeping trying to test you, trying to see how much they can push the envelope on your ground rules.”<br /> <br />Morganna smiled, “So, I’ve got some adventure to look forward to.”<br /> <br />
  60. 60. “It won’t be too much longer. I’d like to see you next week, unless something happens and you think you need to see me sooner, or if you should start having contractions.” <br />“Thanks Angel,” Morganna said as she was getting ready to leave.<br /> <br />“Where’s Irvine, isn’t he picking you up?” Angel asked.<br /> <br />“No, he’s got a charter, for some reason he’s not catching as much fish as he was before, he doesn’t know why. I figured I’d walk.”<br /> <br />
  61. 61. “I’ll drive you home, you’re my last patient of the day and I’d like you to get your legs elevated as soon as possible. Beside I need to run an errand out your way.”<br />“Angel that’s really nice of you, but what about your family?”<br /> <br />“I saw Stormy go into the house a little while ago, so everything’ll be fine till I get back.”<br /> <br />Morganna laughed, “Alright you twisted my arm, you’re such a mother hen.”<br /> <br />**********<br />
  62. 62. The weeks ticked away bringing the date of the carnival closer. The teens all seemed be piling into Angel’s house, for a chance to hang out.<br /> <br />“This is going to be the best carnival ever,” Joanne said excitedly.<br /> <br />“I can’t believe they’re letting us hold it outside,” Stormy replied, “Miss J, said I could even be the geisha.”<br /> <br />“But you just can’t wear that face paint. I mean your way to dark for that.”<br /> <br />“Joanne, some days you are so blunt.”<br /> <br />“It’s a gift. Now, watch me as I totally tell off Alvin.”<br /> <br />Stormy just rolled her eyes.<br />
  63. 63. Joanne walked up to Alvin, as Neville watched pretending to be more interested in his dad’s new print.<br /> <br />“Alvin,” Joanne said, “those cloths are so last decade.”<br /> <br />“Pul-ease,” Alvin yawned, “Joanne your a walking ad for sun screen.”<br /> <br />“Ha, ha, ha,” Neville gasped.<br /> <br />“What is so funny,” Joanne growled.<br /> <br />“Could you all just shut up,” Maddie said, “that show Mr. Worthington asked us to watch is on.”<br /> <br />All the teens sat down around the TV, their disputes not entirely forgotten.<br />
  64. 64. It was a week before the Carnival. Angel was in the kitchen with Thane.<br /> <br />“Who’s my big boy?” she asked playing with Thane and tossing him into the air.<br /> <br />“Me is,” Thane cheered.”<br /> <br />“That’s right. Tomorrow’s your birthday and you’re going to be an even bigger boy. But tonight your brother, Seth, gets to be a teen.” Angel brought Thane upstairs and put him down for a nap, then came back down to eat lunch with Dorian.<br />
  65. 65. At three o’clock on the nose, Seth came rushing into the house.<br /> <br />“Mommy, I got the permission slip you asked for.”<br /> <br />“Thank you, Seth.”<br /> <br />“How come I got to be a teen?” Seth asked after he gave the slip to Angel.<br />
  66. 66. “Are you upset because you won’t get to finish your class project?” Angel questioned.<br /> <br />“Kind of.”<br /> <br />“Well, I’m sure you’ll still have fun participating in the Bake Off.”<br /> <br />Seth gave Angel a big smile.<br /> <br />“Now go get cleaned up, your party will start in a little while.”<br />
  67. 67. Ulrich was in the study with Maddie, “Hey, are you going to stay for Seth’s party?”<br /> <br />“I wouldn’t miss it for the world, besides he’ll be in my class, and I thought I could talk to him tonight so he wouldn’t feel out of place when he goes to school tomorrow.”<br />
  68. 68. Most of the teens stayed for the party, so they could welcome Seth into a new phase of his life, along with a number of his parent’s friends. <br />
  69. 69. Once the candles had been blown out Seth found himself looking more like a hockey fan that the nerd that he was, “Mom can I change?”<br /> <br />“Well we can go shopping to get you something tomorrow or you could wear some of Ulrich’s stuff?”<br /> <br />“I’ll wait. On with the party.”<br />
  70. 70. The party went on well into the night.<br />
  71. 71. The next morning Angel was eating a piece of leftover cake.<br /> <br />“Mommy,” Stormy asked with a pout, “Can me and the boys go shopping, we need to pick up stuff for the carnival?”<br /> <br />“Only if you get back before Thane’s birthday. Oh, and could you also pick up some groceries.”<br /> <br />“Thanks, Mommy,” Stormy kissed Angel and ran to get her coat.<br />
  72. 72. Once they arrived at the shopping plaza Ulrich delegated who was going to be doing what.<br />“Me and Stormy are going to get the costumes for school. Nev, you and Seth can handle the decorations and supplies for the bake off.”<br /> <br />“And, mom,” Stormy added, “wants us to bring home groceries.”<br />
  73. 73. Stormy and Ulrich were looking at the clothes on the racks, “Are you sure we’re going to find our outfits for the tea house?” Stormy questioned.<br /> <br />“You’ll never know till you look and try something on,” Ulrich stated.<br />
  74. 74. What do you think of this?”<br /> <br />“Too ‘Purple Rain’ meets French maid.”<br /> <br />“I was thinking too tavern wench meets Wicca, now that I see it on me.”<br /> <br />“Ha, ha. Try something else then.”<br /> <br />“You need to find something too you know, the boys need costumes too.”<br />
  75. 75. “Okay what about this,” Ulrich stepped out of the changing booth.<br /> <br />“It reminds me of the poem, ‘To the Dark Tower Childe Roland Came’, it’s not Asian themed.”<br /> <br />“Eh, yeah.”<br />
  76. 76. Meanwhile at the market, “Alright, Fudge pops,” Neville said gleefully. <br />
  77. 77. After finding some costumes they could agree on, Ulrich walked over to the Tech store’s magazine rack. “Lets see, which of these magazines do we need for our assignments. Okay here’s ‘Plant Sim weekly’ and ‘Popular Mechanics’ for science class; ‘Finances’ for math class. Ooo, ‘Bunny Sims’,” Ulrich just ogled at the scantily clad sim.<br />
  78. 78. Once the shopping was taken care of, “Mom I brought groceries,” Neville, thought to announce their arrival in true male teen fashion.<br /> <br />“Put the groceries away, please; I’m changing Thane’s diaper.”<br />
  79. 79. The family gathered in the kitchen, Angel held Thane in her arms while getting ready to blow out the candles.<br /> <br />“Aalll yeah!”<br /> <br />“Go for it.”<br />
  80. 80. “Time to make a wish Thane,” Angel said leaning in.<br /> <br />“Make sure you don’t tell,” the boys yelled.<br />
  81. 81. As quick as a flash, Thane jumped, waving his arms in the air and a big smile on his face, “Mommy, can I bake with you now?”<br /> <br />************<br />
  82. 82. The day for the Carnival had finally arrived, the kids were all excited.<br /> <br />The hall where the dancing was taking place, was in full swing.<br /> <br />
  83. 83. “So what do you call this dance?” Irvine asked joining the kids already there.<br /> <br />“The Halloween Twist,” Seraphine explained as she swung her arms from side to side. “Want to join?”<br /> <br />“Okay.”<br />
  84. 84. A sultry voice sang:<br /> <br />Flail your arms from side to side,<br />And shake your rump.<br />Now, bend those knees.<br />You’re doing the Halloweeeeeeeeeeen<br />
  85. 85. The voice cackled a bit before rolling into the next verse:<br /> <br />Don’t miss a step or you’ll collide.<br />Hear the music go thump,<br />You’re doing the Halloween (Twist)<br />Flail your arms from side to side,<br />And shake your rump<br />Now, bend those knees.<br />You’re doing the Halloweeeeeeeeeeeen (Twist).<br />
  86. 86. In another room, the first round eliminations for The Bake Off were getting started.<br /> <br />“I’m so nervous,” Samantha explained, “I’ve never participated in a Bake Off before.”<br />
  87. 87. “You never said that your mom was going to be in the Bake Off,” Neville complained to David.<br /> <br />“Sorry, man.”<br />
  88. 88. …………………….<br />
  89. 89. ……………………..<br />
  90. 90. The judge turned towards the audience as she announced the results, “In fourth place is Marie Smith with her ‘Crepes Flambé.’ In third place we have Neville Snork with his ‘Triple Cheese Mac-tacular.’ In second place we have David Ottomans with his ‘Grilled Cheese, Surprise!’ And our winner in first place winner, with ‘Asian Pear Pork Chops,’ Samantha Ottomans. Congratulations everyone.”<br />
  91. 91. “Ooot, I won,” Samantha squeaked in disbelief.<br />
  92. 92. Unfortunately, the Haunted Tea House wasn’t doing as well.<br /> <br />“I can’t believe Miss J. wouldn’t let us use the fog machine,” Sharla pouted as she poured tea.<br /> <br />“I’m sure everything will be fine,” Stormy tried to reassure her.<br />
  93. 93. “Sharla, May I join you?” Seth asked.<br /> <br />“Sure.”<br /> <br />“I really like your costume.”<br />
  94. 94. “Yours is nice too. Are you and Ulrich going as boy band members?”<br /> <br />“No way, I’m ‘Rockula’ and he’s Prince, that guy who sang ‘Party like its 1999’.”<br /> <br />“Who’s ‘Rockula’?”<br /> <br />“Told you no one would get it,” Ulrich laughed as he jammed on air guitar.<br /> <br />“It’s a movie about a vampire who becomes a rock star to win some girl’s heart.”<br />
  95. 95. As the carnival wore down some of the families scrambled to get their pictures taken by the professional photographer.<br />
  96. 96. “This was the best day ever,” Sharla hugged her mother.<br /> <br />**********************************<br />
  97. 97. Far away, across the oceans wide, one little girl was getting readied for her birthday party.<br /> <br />“Come on Clara, let’s put on your party clothes.” Kiara paused, turned her head and then she shouted down the stairs, “Hume stop playing the blasted piano and set up the cake.”<br />
  98. 98. “What is forever wrong with her?” Hume mumbled as he did he was told.<br />
  99. 99. “Okay little girl it’s time to make your birthday wish.”<br /> <br />“Clara wish for…” burp! “Clara have gas.”<br />
  100. 100. “Clara,” Kiara groaned as she leaned in so Clara could get ready to blow the candles out, after Kiara put her down.<br />
  101. 101. “Ooo, I so love this outfit,” Clara said.<br />
  102. 102. Hume gave a little smile, and whispered, “She be mine alright,” then louder for all to hear, “You look great, sweetie.”<br />
  103. 103. “Hume, she cannot keep that outfit. A Romoni never wears something that moth worn.”<br /> <br />“Aw, I can’t even play in it.”<br /> <br />“No, you may not.”<br />
  104. 104. Fall passed into winter.<br /> <br />“It’s snowing, it’s snowing!” Clara called early one morning.<br />
  105. 105. Later that day:<br /> <br />“This is going to be the best snowman ever,” Clare smashed more snow into the body.<br /> <br />“Just to make sure, we’ll put your father’s best silk scarf on it,” Kiara stated.<br />“Do you think Daddy will mind?”<br />“We just won’t tell him.”<br />“Oh, okay,” Clara mumbles, not really comfortable with the idea.<br />
  106. 106. “Ah, mommy, why does he look so evil?”<br /> <br />“Evil is… because I think it looks great this way.”<br />**********<br />
  107. 107. “Uncle Julien,” Clara had cornered him after lunch,” Mom says that the Romoni’s have all the best of things; but we don’t have a maid or a butler like some of the other kids at school. So, how can we have all the best of things?”<br /> <br />“Your father does not want to have a maid or a butler here; he believes that to clean and cook for one’s self builds character.”<br /> <br />“But, all dad does is play video games all day?”<br /> <br />
  108. 108. “To one so young as yourself it would appear that way.” He paused for a moment, “Let me ask you something Clara.”<br /> <br />She nodded.<br /> <br />“Why the sudden interest in the family’s well being?”<br /> <br />“Teacher mentioned that we were going to have to do a report on our family history next semester. I was hoping you’d help me with it?”<br /> <br />“I see. Wouldn’t you rather have your parents tell you about their families?” Julien asked as he began to clear the table.<br />“I haven’t had a chance to ask Dad yet, and Mom’s been kind of weird lately.”<br />“Well, your mother has a lot on her mind lately. In the meantime, I’ll gather the information you’ll need.”<br />“Thank you, Uncle Julien.”<br />
  109. 109. The following day while Clara was at school and Hume was at work, Julien spoke with Kiara over breakfast, “Cousin, Clara has been asking some very interesting questions.”<br /> <br />“What, dear cousin, would that be?”<br />
  110. 110. “She interested in the family history,” Julien explained.<br /> <br />“She is a Romoni through and through, heritage is very important.”<br />
  111. 111. “It’s not that deeply rooted; she simply needs to do a school report on the family history. She is too young to understand how proud a heritage she has flowing in her veins.”<br />Kiara stated, “Ahhh, but this is the perfect opportunity for her to learn of that heritage…”<br />
  112. 112. “…and you are the perfect person to provide that information.”<br />“Wait. What? Aren’t you going to tell her about the family history? You’re her mother, Kiara.”<br />“I know darling, but I’m just so busy with the family winery, you know how long I’ve been planning for this Festival Celebration, and we have high hopes that the new vines will produce an excellent variety. And there’s still so much more to do, since we’re expanding the Tasting portion of the Festival. I decided to include a luncheon to promote some of our vintages. I can not just stop in the middle of all these preparations right now, you know how I want to be in charge of each and every detail.”<br />“I know how important the winery is to you. How you’ve turned it around since you’ve taken over the management of it.” Julien sighs, “I thought perhaps you would prefer to have the time to bond with Clara.”<br />“I will, very soon, don’t worry about it.” <br />
  113. 113. Kiara turned her attention back to her breakfast, practically ignoring him.<br />“Yes, I’ll help Clara with her report,” Julien states as he turns back to his own breakfast.<br />
  114. 114. A few days had passed since Clara had spoken with Julien, “Uncle Julien my report on my family history is due by the end of the week, would you please help me with it?”<br /> <br />“Sure, just let me get cleaned up first, okay?”<br />“Thank you Uncle Julien.”<br />“Find a comfortable spot, I’ll be right back.”<br />
  115. 115. When Julien came down he found Clara was sitting in the study.<br /> <br />Julien stood, feeling quite comfortable wearing his favorite suit, he began his narration of the family’s history, “Clara, our family has a unique and diverse past. Your mother’s family has been connected to this land for several generations.<br />
  116. 116. “After your grandfather Nelson graduated from college, he decided to travel through Europe. He was touring the wine country here in France; and when he came south he was fascinated with the countryside. He decided to buy some property near here.” <br />Julien paused as he thought back, “My mother used to tell me that Nelson had thought that he had been in love before, that is, until he met your grandmother Nadine. He was touring our family’s vineyards at the time, when he spotted a young lady who he thought was another tourist, he struck up a conversation with her.<br />
  117. 117. “Before they knew it, they were becoming very good friends, they continued to see one another, but your grandmother never let on that it was her family’s vineyard where they met. <br />“You see Nadine’s father believed that all the men who tried dating your grandmother, were only after her fortune and not her. So you see Nadine chose not to tell Nelson who she was in order to determine if his feelings were genuine.”<br />Clara shyly asked, “Uncle Julien, is that why my mom keeps talking about having the best of things, and why I can only bring over certain kids from school?”<br />“Well, your mother, did spend a lot of time visiting Nadine’s parents before they passed away, so it is possible that they influenced her.” <br />
  118. 118. Julien resumed his narrative of the family’s history, “Nadine’s father was so surprised when Nelson asked his permission to marry her, he didn’t even know that Nadine had been dating someone. He thought Nelson was just another fortune hunter, so he refused, and he let Nelson know it too. <br />“Nelson was shocked and angry that Nadine had lied to him about who she was. He left France and returned to his family, but he could not forget her. In the meantime Nadine’s father had tried to arrange things with a neighboring landowner’s son. But, Nadine refused him, and any others that her father brought around. <br />“Unknown to anyone, Nadine’s father decided to have Nelson investigated since he truly believed that Nelson was a fortune hunter; but also because he couldn’t understand Nadine’s behavior. After some time the investigator‘s report arrived, it showed that Nelson’s family was prominent and rather well off. Nadine’s father felt somewhat guilty for not trusting in Nadine’s judgment. <br />
  119. 119. “Nelson returned some months later to take care of some business. He met Nadine in the village one day, they spoke briefly. But, Nelson could not forget about Nadine, nor she him. Soon they were seeing more and more of each other. It wasn’t long before word reached Nadine’s father, but this time he decided to trust in Nadine’s judgment.<br />“When Nelson proposed this time, Nadine’s father didn’t object and they were married soon after.<br />
  120. 120. Your grandparents had two children, a boy named Jean-Paul, who was already a teenager when your mother was born.”<br /> <br />Clara interrupted a bit loudly, “But your name is not Jean-Paul, you’re my Uncle Julien?”<br /> <br />“Yes, you are correct. I am actually your cousin, my mother was Nelson’s youngest sister. But, once I came her to live, it was thought that it would be easier for you to consider me as an honorary uncle.”<br />“But what happened to Jean-Paul?” <br />“Well since Jean-Paul was so much older than your mother, he started to take over the family business, and was traveling overseas; he caught a cold before returning and before we knew it he had a very bad flu, the doctors could do nothing to help him, he didn’t last much longer.”<br /> <br />“Were mommy’s parents sad?”<br />
  121. 121. “Yes, they were, but they still had your mother to dote on.”<br />“What does ‘dote’ mean?”<br />“It means to bestow excessive affection. And, because your mother was now an only child she was quite spoiled. But she did have a few cousins, some she only saw occasionally. <br />“Now, I’ve already told you that my mother, Mary was Nelson’s youngest sister, but he also had younger brother, Elliot and another sister, Elise. Their parents were Justis Romani and Darcie Barrows.<br />
  122. 122. “My mother used to tell me stories about her parents when I was younger. Nelson would tell her about their grandparents farm in Riverblossom Hills; how he learned how to milk a cow and ride the tractor with his grandfather during planting season.”<br />“Can I learn to milk a cow?” Clara asks<br />“We’ll see.”<br />Julien pauses, as he returns to his train of thought, “Mother’s father, Justis, was the eldest son, and when it was decided that the Company was going to expand their business interests, they looked to Veronaville. They chose Justis and his wife Darcie to oversee the expansion. <br />“But, Justis wasn’t entirely happy about the move, you see, he had been considering a run for political office in Riverblossom Hills, so having to oversee the expansion was putting a crimp in his plans. Justiswas fortunate, because of Darcie’s astute business instincts concerning Veronaville, they were able to gain a foothold there.” <br />
  123. 123. “Justis, with Darcie’s help, was able to get the Company’s new branch office running quite efficiently sooner than Company expectations, and within a few years they had exceeded the Company’s estimates. <br />“Around this time there were several changes happening within the Company, and the business world itself. Many of the elders who had been in charge had passed away, and newer, younger men were in control. At the same time, there were some women who had become pioneers in the business world by rising to positions of power. Because of all of these changes, Justis felt that now was the time when Darcie should be recognized for all of her accomplishments and abilities. <br />“This led to Darcie taking over the day to day operations, and at long last, Justis could now pursue that long sought after career in politics.<br />
  124. 124. Clara, “You said Justis was the eldest son, was there another kid?”<br />“Yes, Justis had a younger brother, Nicodemus, he was the baby of the family.”<br />“What happened to him?”<br />“I remember receiving a letter from my mother when I was in my senior year at college, she was letting me know that the mercantile Company was looking for family members to recruit for various branch offices. Her brother, Elliot had taken over the Veronaville branch after Justis and Darcie retired. But Elliot was being asked to look into an incident at the Strangetown branch office, that was where the Company sent Nicodemus once they determined that he was ready.”<br />“What happened?” <br />“Nobody really knows, Nicodemus had been in charge of the Strangetown branch for several years. My mother mentioned that he had met a nice girl, he was suppose to get engaged, but one day he just disappeared without a trace. Elliot spoke with authorities, but nothing ever really came of it. The authorities suggested that Nicodemus probably had a case of cold feet and decided to disappear. Elliot even tried other avenues of investigation, but each was a dead end, Nicodemus was never found. <br />
  125. 125. “Justisand Nicodemus’ parents were GianRomoni and Joan d‘Épices-Dulay. Gian’sfamily were very prosperous merchants, but it was Gian who laid the foundations to turn that business into the mercantile Company that the family now runs. <br />“There is not a lot that is know about Joan’s family, except that they were also merchants. It was while Joan’s parents were on a buying trip to England that Joan came into their lives.”<br />“’…came into their lives,’ that’s a funny was of saying they had a baby Uncle Julien.”<br />“Well, yes it would, if Joan was a baby, but you see Joan was already a toddler when she met her new parents, they adopted her.”<br />“Adopted?” <br />
  126. 126. “Yes, Joan’s parents were Faxon and Vignette Dulay. They were an older couple, and Vignette feared that she might never have children of her own. When suddenly they had an opportunity to adopt. Vignette knew the moment she met Joan that she belonged with them, and Vignette persuaded Faxonto include Joan into their family.” <br />
  127. 127. Gian’s parents were Lorenzo and Noel Romoni. I’ve already told you that Lorenzo’s family were prosperous merchants and it was from them that our mercantile Company arose. But Noel’s family were not merchants, they were of the nobility, Noel was a younger daughter of an aristocrat. <br />You see, Lorenzo and Noel had an arranged marriage, a business contract. Noel’s father was impoverished and he used his daughter’s marriage to a wealthy family to get out of debt.”<br />“That’s…that’s… horrible, what about love?”<br />“Like many arranged marriages of that time, Lorenzo and Noel barely knew one another. They had a duty to their families. But they were fortunate, and in time their affections grew towards each other and they were happy.”<br />
  128. 128. Clara looked up from her notes which were lying on the floor, “I’m glad they were happy. Gee, Uncle Julien, our family moves around a lot, I hope we’ve not going to move?”<br /> <br />“I’m pretty sure we’re not going to move anywhere.”<br /> <br />“Thank you for helping me Uncle Julien.”<br />“You’re welcome; now why don’t you get ready for bed.” <br />
  129. 129. As Clara was adjusting her pillow she thought back to the stories her Uncle Julien told her about her mother’s family. There was a lot of information. But, right now her report was so one sided. She needed to talk to her dad, she needed him to tell her about his family. <br />
  130. 130. Clara thought that perhaps she could corner her father over a game of chess, “Dad, will you please, please, a million times please, tell me about your family history?”<br /> <br />“Honey, there isn’t much to tell.” Hume said selecting a piece.<br />
  131. 131. “But, my teacher says the way a person views their family, helps to give them the ideals that they hold dear and teach to others. You have some strong ideals about building character,” Clara pushed.<br /> <br />Hume thought for a moment, Perhaps I’ve kept some of my past a little too much to myself, … if Clara is to know… <br />“Sweetie, there’s really not much to tell. I don’t know who my real parents were. You see, I was adopted.”<br />
  132. 132. “Adopted?”<br /> <br />“I was raised by an salty, old sailor by the name of Captain Buckler. He found me on his doorstep one evening.” Hume chuckled, “And boy, was he shocked.”<br /> <br />“Why, was he shocked?” Clara asked.<br /> <br />“Wouldn’t you be surprised to find baby on your door step.”<br /> <br />“I guess,” Clara shrugged.<br />
  133. 133. “Now, there were some people in the village who didn’t think the captain was fit to be raising a child.”<br /> <br />“What did they do?”<br /> <br />“They tried to have me taken away. That made the Captain very mad. He might not have been expecting to become a father, but he decided he was going to prove to those people that he could raise me. That he could be just as good a parent as the other families, if not better.”<br />
  134. 134. “So, you weren’t taken away?”<br /> <br />“Not for lack of trying. You see there was this one woman in the village, who went around to all of the islands trying to find another family to take me in. There was this young couple who had wanted to take me, and they almost did. But the women’s mother was sick and they had to take care of her, so they couldn’t take care of a little baby too.”<br />
  135. 135. Clara asked, “But that lady who asked all the families, how come she didn’t take you herself?”<br /> <br />“I don’t know.” Hume paused as he thought how to explain his upbringing, “Have you ever heard of the old saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’?”<br /> <br />“No”<br /> <br />“Well, there are places with very small towns, and they’re called villages. And usually in these villages everybody knows everybody else, and they know almost everything about their neighbors. This means that the people are closer, and that they’d help each other out, whether it was with each other’s kids or tasks. So even though it was the Captain who became my parent, it was the whole village who helped raise me.<br />
  136. 136. “Let me give you an example, if I had gone to a friend’s house after school, lots of times their mother’s would ask me to stay for supper, it was just their way of helping Captain Buckler out.”<br /> <br />“Didn’t the Captain feed you?”<br /> <br />Hume laughed, “Of course he did, but sometimes he had to work late. He’d get home, after my supper time.”<br /> <br />“Why didn’t he hire a nanny?”<br />
  137. 137. “Baby girl, there weren’t any nannies, at least not like the ones that the kids in your school have. Most of the families on the islands were very poor. And even if they could afford to hire somebody to take care of their kids, there wasn’t a person on the island whose job it was to just taking care of other people. Everybody took care of their own. Remember that couple who would have adopted me, but they couldn’t because the woman had to take care of her mother.”<br /> <br />Clara nodded.<br /> <br />“That is why everyone in the village helped each other out.”<br /> <br />“Oh, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ But we’re not poor, how come you didn’t hire a nanny to take care of me?”<br />
  138. 138. “No, we’re not. We don’t have a nanny because your mother didn’t want her little girl being raised by strangers. So, instead you have your mother, me and your Uncle Julien.”<br /> <br />“So, where’s your dad now?”<br /> <br />“He’s still on the island.” <br /> <br />“Can we go see him?” Clara said clapping.<br /> <br />“I don’t know, he lives far away, you can only get there by boat.”<br /> <br />“Ohh, that sounds like a lot of fun. Please can we go see him?”<br /> <br />“I don’t know honey, your mother…”<br />
  139. 139. Kiara, who was walking down the hall, heard all of this, “No! No we are not going on any trip, especially not if it involves a boat.”<br /> <br />“But,” Clara pouts, “why? Why can’t we? We’ve never gone anywhere.”<br /> <br />“I said no!” Kiara shouts.<br /> <br />
  140. 140. “Kiara,” Hume tries using a soothing voice, “Clara was just asking a question. You don’t need to shout at her.”<br /> <br />“I’m sorry Clara,” Kiara responds, her voice less severe, “Perhaps we could all use a vacation. What do you think about a mountain ski trip?” Clara is silent, but Kiara continues on as if she heard an affirmative response, “You’re so right honey, we should turn it into a holiday vacation.”<br /> <br />“Sweetie,” Hume turns to Clara, “Why don’t you go play for a bit?”<br />
  141. 141. Clara walks to her room, “This is so not fair,” she closes the door to her room before anyone hears her.<br />
  142. 142. As soon as Kiara is sure that Clara is gone, she turns to Hume and explodes from the anger and fear, “How dare you even think about taking my child away from me. Haven’t you taken them away from me already?”<br /> <br />“What are you talking about? I didn’t take any of our children away from you. Gibson was an adult when he made his own choices. Demeter was lost a sea, and if I could have I, I would have saved her. You know all of this.”<br />
  143. 143. “Then why didn’t you?”<br /> <br />“Kiara we have talked about this. I wasn’t going to let you drown. And by the time I got you to safety I lost sight of her.”<br /> <br />Kiara’s eyes begin to well up, “You’ve told me, but that doesn’t make my pain go away, it doesn’t stop hurting. It just…”<br />
  144. 144. “Come here,” He hugs her.<br /> <br />“Boats… Water…”<br />
  145. 145. “Why don’t you go lay down,” Hume leads her towards the bedroom.<br /> <br />“Yes, maybe I should.”<br />
  146. 146. Clara peaks her head out of her bed room door and sees that her dad is alone, “Dad why did mom shout at you? Why does she hate boats?”<br /> <br />Hume doesn’t answer.<br /> <br />“What did she mean when she said you were trying to take her child away, and that you already did?”<br /> <br />Hume motions to Clara to follow him.<br />
  147. 147. “Clara please sit down. It’s time you were told about your older brother and sister.”<br />“What? Dad I don’t understand,” Clara asked confused.<br /> <br />“Let me explain. I met your mother while we were both attending college. At the time, I was also interning at a gaming company to help me pay my way through college. <br />“When I met your mother, she took my breath away, she was so beautiful, we began dating. But before long I decided to start courting her, because I wanted her to know my intentions. <br />“The problem was timing, between classes and work, graduation, working full time at the gaming company . . . <br />“Anyway, I was eventually able to court your mother properly. I proposed and she turned me down. But I felt that we belonged together, so I tried my damnedest to convince her. She finally agreed, I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was. We were married in a lovely service about a year later.<br />
  148. 148. “Dad, why don’t we have your last name, you know, Buckler?”<br />“Well, it was really important to your mother that we take her last name, I wanted to make her happy. And since I was adopted, it didn’t really seem to matter what my last name was going to be.” <br />Hume paused thinking back to that far away past. “We were so young. We had our whole lives ahead of us. It was so blissful then. Your mother was working in the family’s winery, and I continued to work at the gaming company. Before we knew it we were going to have out first baby, your brother Gibson. He was born in the middle of July, on Bastille Day. <br />
  149. 149. “Your mother took time off, away from the winery. She doted on Gibson, she wanted to be there for each of his milestones. After Gibson started school, your mother returned to the winery part-time. <br />“Around that time, I began work on a new project,” Hume sighed and shook his head, “I’m not very proud of myself, of my actions during that time of my life. I became so distracted that I didn’t pay much attention to either your mother or Gibson.”<br />“So, why didn’t you pay attention to them?”<br />“I always thought that I’d find the time, that things would quiet down and we’d be a family again. But one thing led to another, there was one project after another, time passed. <br />“And before I knew it Gibson was a senior in high school and applying to college. He graduated at the top of his class, and that fall he went away to college. <br />“Your mother seemed lost, she had already gone back to the winery full time, but it didn’t satisfy her.<br />
  150. 150. “That Christmas we decided to take a family vacation. We went to your mother’s favorite ski resort. Everything seemed to be going great, until Gibson mentioned that he had changed his major from economics to medicine. But, as her only child, your mother had planned for Gibson to take over from her at the family winery.”<br /> <br />Clara, “But didn’t mommy have cousins she could have given the winery to, if she needed to?”<br /> <br />“Yes, but your mother felt that the winery was part of her heritage and that Gibson should have abided by her wishes. Do you understand, did your Uncle Julien explain to you about the Romoni family pride?”<br />
  151. 151. Clara nodded.<br /> <br />“Let me explain to you why your brother chose to study medicine. Gibson was always happiest when he was helping other people. When he was in high school he would volunteer at the local animal shelter or local hospital after school. Your mother turned a blind eye to your brother’s volunteer work, but whenever Gibson had a school vacation Kiara expected him to work at the winery along side her.” <br />“Will I have to work at the winery too?”<br />“Knowing your mother, probably.”<br />
  152. 152. “Now to get back to that vacation. Gibson and Kiara argued for a very long time. And then they just stopped talking to one another. Because of all the animosity we ended the vacation early. <br />“Gibson went back to college, but he rarely called home and only came home once to visit. Because when he did, Kiara would keep at him, trying to convince him that he was making the wrong choices. After a while Gibson just stopped calling and he never came home again.” <br />“What did you do? Did you think Gibson was wrong?”<br />“I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t really do anything. And no, I didn’t think Gibson was wrong to follow his heart. I knew about his volunteer work. I didn’t tell your mother, because while he worked there it made him happy. I guess, I had hoped that eventually your mother would see Gibson as an adult, capable of making his own choices.<br /> <br />“Once he graduated, he went off to join the staff of some remote hospital in a town that nobody had ever heard of. Every now and then he’d send a letter or we’d get a phone call from him.<br />
  153. 153. “But time did not change your mother’s opinions. She blamed me for Gibson’s actions, because I thought that he should follow his heart. <br />“We grew apart, barely speaking to one another. But I still loved Kiara, and I wanted to work things out. I thought perhaps if we took some time away from everything. If we went away, maybe we could find our way back to each other. <br />“We went to the Orient where we stayed in a little village. I figured if there were less distractions it would be better for us. I wanted a quiet, relaxing vacation. We visited a few sites, and we even found a wonderful shrine tucked away in the woods, where an old priest lived, he told us an ancient fable. It seemed that after a bit your mother began to unwind. It was like we had gone back in time to our early days together.<br /> <br />“Soon after we returned from our trip, we found out your mother was expecting again. We were overjoyed. Kiara chose to cut back on her hours at the winery. She even decided to hire your Uncle Julien to help out. <br />“Your sister Demeter was born at the beginning of the new year.<br />
  154. 154. “I tried to maintain a relationship with Gibson, either I’d call him or he would call us. I had let him know about Demeter, he was surprised, and happy for us. A few years had passed. Gibson was now on staff at an actual hospital, instead of bouncing from one remote clinic to another. Anyway he decided to invite us to visit, and I jumped at the chance to see him again.<br />“Kiara had seemed to have mellowed since Demeter was born. I had thought that perhaps she and Gibson might be able to get past his decision to be a doctor. And at the time she even seemed happy to be going to see him.<br />“I had thought we could turn the trip into an extended family vacation, seeing new sites, traveling at a leisurely pace, we went by boat. <br />
  155. 155. “Gibson met us at the dock. But, he was unfortunately called away almost as soon as we arrived. Gibson was pretty busy, but we were able to go to dinner one night. It seemed as if all the old animosities were forgotten. Kiara was civil, she seemed to have realized that he was happy with his life choices.<br />“Gibson called frequently, he ended up covering for a colleague. We weren’t able to get together as often. <br />“Then one day he called to tell us that there was an emergency on one of the nearby islands, and he didn’t know how long before he’d be back. He wished us a safe journey, and told me he’d call soon.<br />
  156. 156. “In the meantime Kiara and Demeter did lots of girlie things together, they shopped, your mother likes shopping. <br />“We went to the beach, made sandcastles, played in the waves…We had a wonderful time, but soon it was time to leave.<br />
  157. 157. “It was while we were heading home that a storm suddenly struck. The ship’s captain ordered us into our life preservers and lifeboats. But before we could get to the lifeboats a rogue wave hit us on the side. Demeter was thrown overboard, your mother was knocked unconscious and was in the water. I had to get your mother into the lifeboat. As I was struggling with that, Demeter was being swept farther away. Demeter was gone from sight before I could get to her. I tried searching for her but the waves were pretty big, and the lifeboat with your mother in it was pulling away. I was tired…” Hume sigh as he wiped near his eye. “I don’t know how long before we were found…there was no trace of Demeter”<br />“How old was Demeter?” Clara asked excited and saddened.<br /> <br />“She was five. She would have started school after the trip.”<br />“Do you have picture of her? I’ve never seen anyone in pictures that I didn’t know around the house.”<br />
  158. 158. “I’ve got only this one,” said Hume as he pulled out a blurred photo from his desk drawer, “It was taken at the playground at the hotel.”<br />“She has red hair, just like me. She looks a lot like you, dad.”<br /> <br />“Yes she does, and you look more like your mom.”<br />“She looks happy.”<br />
  159. 159. “Yes, Demi was a happy child.”<br />“What happened after you got home?”<br />“Well, that bump to your mother’s head caused her to not remember things. It’s what is called amnesia. She had forgotten about Demeter and Gibson, and the doctors didn’t know if she would ever remember things. <br />“But, we had a nice surprise, we found out that we were going to have another baby.”<br />“Me, right?” Clara asked excitedly.<br />“Yes, you,” Hume responded with a big smile on his face. <br />“Now its time for you to get ready for supper. Did you get your homework done?”<br /> <br />“Aw!” <br />
  160. 160. “You’ve got school in the morning.”<br /> <br />Clara began to leave the office.<br /> <br />“Um, Clara I don’t think you should mention any of this to your mother. I’d rather she didn’t get all upset again.”<br />“Okay.”<br /> <br />*****************************<br />
  161. 161. Angel took a moment to relax, she decided to lay on the beach and catch a few rays while Thane played in the sand, he was building another sandcastle. ‘Darn it, I’ve got to go to the bathroom again, I’ll be glad when this pregnancy is over. Oh well, it’s time to start dinner anyway.’ <br />“Thane, it’s almost dinner time, did you finish your homework?” He mumbles something in response. “Thane…”<br />“Okay.”<br />
  162. 162. The kids had some of their friends over, they were talking about school as they finished eating some snacks.<br /> <br />“Calista, what did you get on the math exam?” Ulrich asked.<br /> <br />“I blew it as usual. I hope Miss O. won’t keep me back again this year.”<br /> <br />Ulrich groaned and made a face that said, ‘I’m screwed.’<br />“I could tutor you Cali,” Shannon said.<br /> <br />“Really.”<br />
  163. 163. “How do you do it, Shannon?” Stormy asked.<br /> <br />“Do what?”<br /> <br />“Find the time to work after school and still manage keep you grades up; and now you’re going to tutor Cali.”<br />
  164. 164. “Work allows me to apply what I learn in school in a practical manner. I think about what I learned in class, and sometimes I can use it while I work. And sometimes things that happen at work I can use to understand some things that we’re doing in class.”<br />“I think,” Dorian said, “Shannon has found an interesting way to study.”<br />
  165. 165. Shannon sheepishly looked over at Ulrich, “I could tutor you too.”<br /> <br />“I’m… No… I’m… I’m…”<br /> <br />“I think,” Dorian interceded, “what my jumbled mouth son is trying to say Shannon is that he doesn’t need any math help.”<br /> <br />Ulrich gave his a dad a smile that said thanks.<br /> <br />*************<br />
  166. 166. One night when Dorian came home from work, he saw Stormy as she stood with her friends as they were getting ready to leave. <br /> <br />He walked towards her, “Stormy could I have a word with you?”<br /> <br />“Sure dad.”<br /> <br />“Baby girl, you haven’t been yourself lately, what’s up?”<br />
  167. 167. “Well, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since I talked to Miss Lilith. I feel like there is more that I could, or should be doing.”<br /> <br />“Baby girl, you don’t ever need to feel like that, if there is something more that you want to do with your life, then go ahead and do it.” Dorian paused for a moment and thought, “Does this have something to do with the Council, particularly since the Faye have joined?”<br /> <br />“Ahh,” she stammered, “Yeah, I’m sorry about that, I didn’t think you would notice. It was just that,… after I talked to Miss Lilith , I thought maybe I could find some answers in there.”<br />
  168. 168. “What were you looking for?”<br />“I’ve always had this feeling that there is something different about me. I know that I’m not like everybody else. I’ve begun to wonder if maybe I might be of the Faye. I was hoping that there might have been something in the notes about me.”<br />“We don’t know. We don’t know where you came from. But that didn’t matter to us, we fell in love with you just the same as our other kids.” <br />Dorian pauses debating on whether or not he should make a suggestion, “Would you like to meet one of the Faye?”<br />“Yes, I would, thank you.” Stormy pauses, uncertain how to continue, “It’s just that I feel that there is still more that I could be doing?”<br />“Follow me.”<br />
  169. 169. Dorian mused as they walked towards the back of the house, “You remind me so much of a boy from my childhood. He confided in me from time to time about how he felt out of place, and that he thought he ought to be doing more.”<br />“What happened to him?”<br />“I don’t know, he left the island many years ago, and since that day, the Council has been in an uproar.”<br /> <br />“Why should they care that somebody left the island? What was he, special?”<br /> <br />“I think he was.”<br /> <br />Stormy didn’t speak.<br /> <br />“Would you like to hear a story? It was told to me when I was young.” <br />
  170. 170. “Why don’t you get comfortable before I begin.”<br />“Dad I’m not some little girl anymore.”<br /> <br />“I think you’ll find this story very interesting.” They sat down in the enclosed patio.<br /> <br />“Our story begins during the ‘Golden Age of Piracy,’ which begins sometime in the 1690’s…<br />
  171. 171. “There was once an old pirate, called Bishop the Red, he was the captain of the ship ‘Sea Serpent,’ a master of the waters within his domain. Now Captain Bishop was a bit of an oddity as far as pirates went, you see, he wasn’t ruthless and bloodthirsty like many of the pirates of the era. He preferred being able to acquire his treasure with little or no loss of life. But don’t think that Captain Bishop was a coward because he wasn’t, if he and his needed defending, he was quick with a sword and quite skilled with its use.<br /> “On one of Bishop’s excursions, at the edge of his domain, a ship was spotted on approach from the horizon. Once it got closer Bishop ordered the flag raised. The intruder opened fire, as the two ships came along side of each other, Bishop ordered his crew to board the attacker. The battle was fierce. Both ships fired their cannon, and both ships took a lot of damage. Bishop’s cannon disabled the attacker, and she started to go down. Bishop took the wheel as the crew made sail. The ‘Sea Serpent’ was limping and many of her crew were injured or dead, they were in need of repairs and Bishop set course.<br />
  172. 172. “When Bishop’s first mate, Faymore, reported the ship’s damage, Bishop had him take the wheel. You see, Bishop had been hit during the fighting, he went in search of the surgeon. But with so many injured, the surgeon had his hands full. Bishop spoke to many of those injured, he praised their bravery in defending the ship and repelling the invader. But, Bishop didn’t think he was severely wounded, so he decided to patch himself up.<br />“It took them a couple of days to reach land, and it soon became apparent that Bishop’s wound was festering. He believed his only hope was to make landfall. Bishop chose an island where a tribe of mystics lived. Now, normally he would never had gone there, the natives didn’t really welcome outsiders with open arms, but Bishop chose it because it was the closest. <br />
  173. 173. “They laid anchor. Because Bishop was unsure of what kind of reception they might receive, he ordered the crew to remain onboard and to continue to make repairs. <br />“Bishop decided that he and his first mate would be the one’s to go ashore to seek the native’s aide. He believed that the smaller the shore party the less likely they were to incur the native’s wrath, he also hoped to befriend these natives.<br />
  174. 174. “They rowed to shore, Bishop giving Faymore some last minute instructions, should things not go as hoped. <br />“They proceeded inland, looking for signs of habitation. They walked for some time, and at times it seemed as if they were going in circles. <br />“Eventually they found a path through the trees, they followed it. Soon, there was the sound of water, and as they got closer they could see a waterfall.<br />
  175. 175. “At the base of the waterfall was a pool. Both men walked forward to drink some of the water. It wasn’t until they were at the water’s edge that they saw the woman clad only in flowers and her long blond hair.<br />“Suddenly a burst of light emanated from the center of the woman, radiating outward. It encompassed both men as it flowed past. Faymore hollered out and Bishop collapsed to the ground, falling hard, he rolled in agony and blacked out.<br />
  176. 176. “As the wave of light rolled outward from the island and continued beyond, it was believed that it engulfed the ‘Sea Serpent,’ sending her crew into a panic. Fearing the worst they decided to make sail and beat a hasty retreat. There was never any sign of the ‘Sea Serpent’ after that day. <br />
  177. 177. “What happened to Captain Bishop and first mate Faymore?” Stormy asked.<br /> <br />Dorian’s eyes twinkled with anticipation, “Ahh, well it seems that Captain Bishop had a guardian angel watching over him that day… <br />
  178. 178. “Captain Bishop came to, nearby the pool of water. As his vision cleared, he found himself staring into the face of a beautiful, blond haired woman, scantily clad with flowers. <br />
  179. 179. The woman was crouched over him, she appeared to be checking him over.<br /> <br />‘Who you be?’ Bishop asked.<br /> <br />‘You may call me Cerridwen,’ she replied.<br />‘Where be my first-mate?’<br /> <br />‘Who, there was no one here but you when I turned around.’<br />
  180. 180. ‘I thought Charon was coming to carry me across the river Styx.’<br />‘I healed you.’<br />‘How?’<br /> <br />‘You ask too many questions.’<br /> <br />‘You’re a strange woman.’<br />
  181. 181. “‘You’re a strange man,’ said Cerridwen as she peered intently at Bishop. <br />“There was a warmth that suddenly began in the center of Bishop’s chest. The heat increasing, to the point that he thought the fires of Hell were inside him. And then it was gone.” <br />“‘That is my gift to you, sir.’ Cerridwen said as she stood up, as did Bishop.”<br />
  182. 182. “Cerridwen began to walk away, ‘Captain, you are now the earthly guardian of my domain.’ <br />“Bishop paused in shock, he looked towards the path where Cerridwen had been, there was no sign of her.” <br />
  183. 183. “Dad, what has this story got to do with me?”<br />“Captain Bishop and any of his descendents had been given a task to protect these lands designated by Cerridwen. It is even believed that our island chain is part of those protected lands.”<br />“It sounds like you just tried to avoid my whole question.” Stormy said a little perturbed.<br /> <br />“You have spoken with Lilith?” Stormy nodded. “You know about the Prophecy?” Again she nodded. “I want you to know that I believe that you are the ‘child’ spoken of.” Stormy just stared at him for several heartbeats and then she nodded. “So the task being given to you is not so different from Captain Bishop’s.”<br /> <br />“But, how do you know that your friend’s dad didn’t just make the whole thing up?”<br />
  184. 184. “What does it matter if he embellished the story. Captain Bishop had a destiny, and so now, do you. What is it that is bothering you?”<br />“I’m worried that I won’t be prepared.”<br />“There is still plenty of time for you to acquire skills that will help you become prepared for that unknown. Stormy, you know you can come to me if you need to.” Stormy nodded. “Does this help you?”<br /> <br />“I guess,” Stormy hesitatingly agrees.<br /> <br />“Okay, it’s time for bed ‘cause we don’t want to worry your mother.” They both got up and headed upstairs.<br />
  185. 185. ________________________________________<br />Thanks for reading.<br />Our next update should be “Hello, There Neighbor.”<br />