No one had bothered tracking Rory Slade down when his son Madison died in the skiing accident. They hadn’t thought he’d care – that was how active he’d been in his son’s life. It wasn’t something he was proud of, being a deadbeat dad, but he didn’t know if he really could have done anything differently either. Amplifiers usually didn’t do well amongst families. If he’d stayed, he’d probably have done more harm than his absence had.
So when Madison and his wife, Clara, died while on vacation and his granddaughter, Gale, was left parentless, it was weeks before he heard. When he found out, he finished out his current contract, refused all the waiting ones, told his contacts to remove him from their call lists, and had all his belongings shipped home.
He missed the funeral by a good month and a half. It took him another two days to track down the aunt and uncle who’d taken Gale in. Sadly, it had taken no time at all to convince them that she should live with him. They just didn’t know what to do with a child like her. He knew it would only get worse as she got older. The poor little sprite was an amplifier just like her Poppy. He couldn’t leave her to the world’s tender mercies. He might be completely unsuited to raising her, but he was all she had. And before long, she was going to need him.
A more frail, sad-eyed four-year old he’d never seen. Not that he’d been around many young kids, but he knew this wasn’t normal. The last time he’d seen her, some four months previously, she’d been a typically happy, if quiet, child. Now she was more of a breeze than a gale. She hardly spoke, she was sickly, and she wore the trauma of her parents’ death almost visibly. Had she seen them die? Felt them pass from this life? Did she have that post-traumatic stress syndrome or whatever the shrinks called it? He’d have to find out. God only knew what that would do to a budding amplifier.
The aunt and uncle - Mort and Maggie or something like that – packed up a couple of woefully small bags for the chit. Surely that was wrong. Didn’t little girls have lots of frilly things and gew-gaws and stuff? Where was all the shi- er, stuff, from
’s home? The M’s sent her off with stilted hugs and more vigorous waves. She didn’t even look back. Madison
“Are you keeping me now?” Her voice was barely a breath of sound in the loud beat-up car. At least it hadn’t taken her long to decide to talk to him.
“Yep. It’s gonna be you and me, kiddo.” Then he added under his breath. “God help us both.”
He had no idea what to do with kids in general, let alone a little girl. He’d look up parenting crap on the internet. McDonald's. Kids liked that place, right? They went there for lunch on the six hour drive to his place out in the weeds of
. She seemed to like it okay. She ate the nugget things anyways, and clutched the little pink toy whatsit when they got back in the car. Other than that first question, she didn’t speak, and that was fine with him. But if they were going to live together, they had to talk sometimes. He figured it was up to him to get things started. Kentucky
“You wanna talk about your parents?” he asked after a gruff attempt at clearing his throat.
Right. Big surprise. “How about the aunt and uncle you stayed with for a bit? Were they nice?”
“They were okay. One of their kids bit me.”
“Bit you?” Kids did that to each other? How dare one of those little twits do that to this poor child? He was of half a mind to go back and beat that kid’s ass. Butt. Bottom. Or, hell, whatever you called it that wasn’t a cuss word. Heck. Dam- darnit! This not cursing thing was going to be… heck.
Huh. That urge to go defend the kid had hit him out of nowhere. It was the first protective urge he’d felt in… ages. And his amplifier’s abilities had had nothing to do with it. They were still lying complacent in his mind like a fat cat on a sunny window-seat. “Did you tell his parents?”
“Her parents. No.”
“Why not? She shouldn’t be picking on you.”
“She’s only a year old. Her teeth are coming in.”
“Oh. Was she the little one in the yellow jumper-thing with drool all over her chin?”
“Yeah. Babies drool and bite things a lot when they’re teething, Aunt Margie says.”
Margie! That was it. Not Maggie.
She was quiet for a moment, then added, “I don’t like drool.”
“Me neither.” Did this count as bonding?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Back to the Grind
Yeah, the fun vacationing part of my holidays are over. Now it's back to the new job and trying to get back on track with my writing. I've been less than stellar with that for the past few weeks. I want to get back to writing everyday and I have GOT to get back into editing some of my work that's piling up. That's what's on tap for later today.
Yesterday I was having problems coming up with the right background for a chick in a paranormal romance novella-sized work I'd like to tackle. It's been simmering in my head for a month or two now and I've gotten to the point that it's really starting to gel. I decided to try to actually write out her background from her grandfather's viewpoint. If it turns out decently, I'll post it in its entirety (prob as a short story) here on the website or if I can come up with a worthy ending, I might even enter it in a contest. The initial intent is simply to lay the groundwork for her relationship with her Poppy and make sure I can portray it and his effect on her life correctly when I go to write the work concerning her later years. There might not be a stupendous ending to it. We'll see.
Anyways, here's the start of what I wrote yesterday. Tell me what you think. Would you want to read more?