The Melancholies

She listened as her eldest whispered his secrets to their dog. Rabby was a good listener and she knew that her son loved that dog more than life itself. Or at least it seemed like that lately. He didn’t know that she had come home early that day as she’d left the car at the auto shop to fix a few things and taken the bus before walking the rest of the way home. Without the car in the driveway it was hard to tell whether she was home or not.

Rabby knew that she was home, but the faithful dog had stayed by the backdoor waiting for her son to come home instead of following her to her room where she’d changed out of her work clothes into more casual clothing. She’d just finished pulling on some sneakers rather than the dressy heels she’d spent the morning in when she’d heard the door open and close, the thump of Casey’s backpack hitting the floor and the quiet ‘wumf’ that Rabby always made whenever Casey buried his face in the dog’s stomach.

Normally, she would have called out a hello, letting her son know that she was home, but something had prompted her to be silent instead.

She didn’t know what Casey was telling their family dog, but she could tell that the recent events had affected him more than she had initially thought.

They’d moved recently and she’d known that he had a hard time making friends. Not because he was unlikable or anything like that, no, most of the people that had been his age had been from families that were of a more transitory nature. No matter when they moved in, they were always gone within a year of their initial move in. None of the other families had any children his age save for two and those boys were more interested in running about and causing mischief which Casey had eschewed.

Her other children, either older or younger by several years than Casey, had friends but never many. Casey had seemed fine spending time with his sisters and their friends just fine up until recently with his entrance into middle school. He no longer joined his sisters and their friends of his own initiative and instead stayed behind at times even when he was invited to join.

Casey’s siblings were worried, very worried, but sometimes things just happened like this. Their mother knew this and knew this well and could only hope and pray that her son’s melancholy would pass just as it had for other members of their family in the past.

Whatever troubles came her son’s way, she knew that Rabby would always be waiting for her son to snuggle up to him and give him the unconditional love that can only come from the heart of a loyal dog.


This was a short sequel to a post I did a while ago for Eclectic Corner #5. My post was No One Knows – Eclectic Corner #5 and it was sad, tugged at my heartstrings and a sequel was asked for, so here’s my attempt at it.

How Do You Keep Going?

Wait just a moment and don’t think,
“How is this going to work out?”
Only take a moment to breath before moving on.
 
So you’ve been here before and failed
A moment in the past doesn’t mean you will again.
You can do this, you must tell yourself.
Slap those doubts right out of your head.
 

Sometimes Terry wondered if what he was learning would sit well with his mother. He knew without a doubt that his father would have understood. Warren had died trying to take out dirtbags like the ones he was learning to fight against. But Mary…

Mary had been a stay at home mom for most of Terry’s childhood and had only started looking for work after Matt had started school. Even then, it had only been part time until his parents had separated. Once she’d been the main bread winner for herself and her boys (before Terry had thrown an epic teenager snit fit and moved in with his father) she’d taken whatever hours she could without stinting her sons on time spent with them.

Sometimes Terry really wondered just when his mom had slept. He knew she ate, because she’d eaten with the boys ever night and tried to have breakfast with them on the weekends before running in to work. His mother is made of something stronger than he is even though he’s definitely her son. He’s been keeping his grades up and still working with his new boss on not only how to run a successful business and running all kinds of errands and getting to know people in his network.

(The local police didn’t know, but a lot of their ‘anonymous’ tips were from one local business man who’s seen enough go wrong that though he doesn’t have the health to join the force or go vigilante he wants to do something to make a difference.)

Terry is always tired in between school, work, learning the ins and outs of his future job (he will be able to make a difference once he’s old enough to enter the Police Academy and he will have the contacts and the know-how in gaining those contacts), spending time with his little brother, his girlfriend and getting any kind of rest.

How is his mother able to do everything when he knows she’s still mourning his father (divorced though they may have been at Warren’s death) and certainly not sleeping through the night. She still manages to look not any worse for the wear, unless you really know her and then you can see that the only thing keeping her from cracking right through the middle (instead of all along the edges) is her love and need to care for her sons.

“Terry?”

Terry looks up from where he had been frying a few eggs real quick to see his mother enter. Her hair was already brushed and she was dressed for work.

“I thought you might enjoy something to eat instead of drinking one of your smoothie drinks on the way to work.” he answered as he pulled the toasted bagel from the toaster and carefully loaded the fried egg on it.

Mary smiled at her son and accepted the breakfast sandwich, unsurprised that there was also some strips of bacon in it, “Thank you, son. I’ll see you after school today?”

“Yeah, I have today off.” Terry called over his shoulder as he moved back towards the carton of eggs to fry up enough for a sandwich for himself and his younger brother.

“Can you make sure Matt catches the bus?” Mary asked as she gathered up her keys and wallet.

“I’ll take care of it, Mom.”

Mary turned and pressed quick kiss to her eldest’s cheek in thanks before running out the door.

Terry watched his mother climb into the car and wondered again how she kept going.


Inspired by the prompt from DungeonPrompts last Thursday.

Blood Family

“What is the point of this?” he asked, his voice low and even. “Why did you come here?”

She looked down, but did not answer, not yet.

In her arms was a small child, pale all over save for his eyes which were a crimson as dark as her freshly spilt blood. The child looked back up at his mother, quiet and assessing, recording her image into his mind as if he knew even at his young age that this would be last he’d ever see of her.

Finally, she spoke, her voice as soft as the wind on a clear night.

“I need a place, a place for my son, where he will be safe and can learn and grow.”

The man in front of her was silent as he thought over her words, understanding what she was asking.

She did not know his name, did not even know the name of the place they were in nor the name of her child. It was safer this way, safer for the child as well as the one she was leaving him with. Names were power in more ways than most humans were aware.

She would give anything, pay any price for the safety of her child and the man knew it. A part of her was worried, worried about what the man would ask for, but another part of her, a small part that had long since grown silent in her own home, knew that her son would be safe no matter what here.

The ritual she had performed to send her here for this short amount of time had made certain of it.

“Very well,” the man said, “I will take the boy and raise him as my own. I will never speak of you to him, never hint that he is anything but my own. You will not exist within his life if I am able to help it at all.”

She nodded to his terms. He understood and for that she would be forever grateful. Another of her family would be safe.

She hugged the child to her chest once more before handing him over to the man in front of her.

She disappeared without a trace, the blood that had been placed on the boy vanishing just as silently.


Written for this week’s Weekly Prompt from suzie81speaks: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/04/27/weekly-word-challenge-family/

 

Unreasonable

They accuse me of being unfair, of manipulating them into what I would have them do. All because I have spoken contrary to their wants. Of course I’m not being fair! What in this life is fair? If this life were fair, then I would still have Warren by my side, would not have watched him die and have to pretend I only mourn the loss of an estranged friend and father of my children. If this life were fair, then it is likely I would never have met Warren at all because I would have had no reason to come to this place.

If life were fair, I would not have been eternally lost to my past in order to have a future.

But life isn’t fair and we must use whatever means we have in order to help those who will come after us to survive and, hopefully someday, live. If that means that my children only see me as a manipulative, bitter woman, than that is the price that I am willing to pay for their future.

Sadly, it’s not like any of this means anything to my son. All he sees is his mother refusing to allow him to do something. It doesn’t really matter what that something is at this point, he is a teenager and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to him.


Written for…I have forgotten what I wrote this for. shrugs But it was written all the same and I will post it.

Miss You

You know the bed feels warmer, sleepin’ here alone. –Kelly Clarkson

Warren looked down the short hallway towards his son’s room.

Terry wasn’t home yet, despite the late hour, but Warren wasn’t too worried. Terry was a good kid, despite the recent problems in turning in his classwork. He knew that his son knew what was required and he also knew that his son was still upset about the split between his parents.

Warren missed his wife. Despite the legal papers stating otherwise, Mary was still his wife and he loved her and missed her. He missed holding her in his arms as they fell asleep after a long day at work. He missed breathing in the slight scent that always emanated from her no matter what she tried to cover it up with. She smelled like fire and ice but without the smokey undertones that most people would associate with those two scents mixing.

“Warren, I don’t want to smell like that! It makes me think of Al’s science lab.”

“Mary,” he’d respond, “Al’s lab doesn’t smell like that. It smells like chemical fire and acid ice. They are not the same thing.”

“That is not the point. I’m trying to smell-”

“‘Normal’? Mary, there’s nothing wrong with smelling different than the norm.”

She’d frown at him and he’d smooth a finger between her eyes and tease her about getting wrinkles there too early.

He missed being able to treat her like his wife.

The door downstairs opened.

“I’m home, Dad!”

Warren smiled.