Memories: Plans Mislaid... ((Story))




((I'm taking a trial on Virtue server, but whether I stay or not, I don't enjoy these games unless I'm writing something for my characters. So this is a scene for Eldrath's childhood, showing one of the first manifestations of her abilities. Hope you enjoy reading it, comments are always welcome.))


Gloria finished filling the stainless sink, hot water making the suds foam up high like clouds. The dropped the stack of breakfast dishes in with a clunk and a muffled crash of cutlery, then she began to scrub the grime from them, sloshing the water about. She could hear her children, Eldrath and Renald, talking in the front room of the flat as she worked. They were watching Sesame Street, she knew from the sound of Elmo's voice guiding them along. Gloria had been surprised to discover that many of her favorites from when she was a child had left Sesame Street. She wondered where they'd gone? Gotten better jobs out of town? Her lip curled in a smile at the thought of muppets moving up the corporate ladder... or maybe a crime syndicate. Maybe that was what out of work muppets did, turned to a desperate life of drug addiction or prostitution.

Dark, Gloria, she thought to herself, nice and dark. Chuckling, she began to rinse and stack the cleaned plates in the dish drain. She made a face at the orange scale that crusted the rubberized base of it. She would replace it that afternoon, she decided. After Bill woke up, she would make him watch the kids and go out to get that and the groceries. He should have been awake hours ago. All he seemed to want to do was sleep anymore. He'd put on about twenty pounds in the five years they'd been married, all in a tire around his middle. Gloria thought it was very likely depression, but Bill wouldn't hear of talking to a shrink. He was such a typical male sometimes, unwilling to admit he needed help. It had gotten bad enough to cause big fights of late. Gloria frowned, scrutinizing the tines of a fork and picking bits of egg from them with her fingernail.

Reny's angry wail derailed her unpleasant train of thoughts. Gloria dropped the fork back into the water, swearing under her breath. Her daughter, Eldrath's, joy at having a little brother had lasted just about as long as it had taken Reny to begin walking and laying claim to the whole of the apartment. Elde's toys were now Renald's toys, and his toys were his toys as well... not Elde's. Elde had responded in kind and territorial dominance battles had begun to punctuate Gloria's daily life. Her daughter being the eldest, Elde could enforce her decisions through sheer strength. Reny had learned early on, however, that being noisy enough would generally bring allies to his cause. He used this tactic with the single minded unconscious selfishness that only a young child can muster.

When Gloria arrived in the living room she discovered Elde sitting as farthest from she could get from Reny in his walker. The boy was screaming his head off, hands outstretched ,furious tears streaking his face as he clawed the air trying to get at Elde on her perch. In her arms, hugged protectively to her chest was a ragged doll, Reny's latest annexed piece of property from the queendom of his elder sister. Elde met her mother's scowling gaze with a look that was half defiance and half fear. She squeezed the doll tighter.

“He took it from my bed!” Eldrath whined as Gloria approached her.

“Elde,” Gloria spoke sternly but not unkindly. “I thought you gave that to him last week, remember?”

“But he's ruining it, Mom! Look he tore it!” The little girl held up the torn doll for her mother's inspection. White stuffing peeked from under the little raggedy man's shoulders and leaked out in white entrails of cotton from his torn groin. Gloria held out her hand for the doll and, reluctantly, Eldrath reached up and handed the toy over. Remy had stopped his screaming but he still held out his hands for the doll, dancing from side to side in the walker threatening to let loose with another conniption. Gloria sighed, feeling much older than her 25 years and very alone. Bitterness crept up in her throat like bile as she looked down into the doll's button eyes. She dropped out of her junior year of college for this? Gloria wondered to herself, incredulous. She'd given up a carrerr to be married to a man who was barely here, playing referee between a pair of children who seemed to vacillate between bosom buddies and mortal enemies several times a day. She'd been in the honors college for god's sake! So why had she screwed things up so badly.

“No, Remy,” she said her voice hard, “it's broken, Mommy has to fix it.” Remy bawled and just for a moment, Gloria considered tossing him from the fourth floor window. She had a crystal clear image of him tumbling end over end, wailing as he fell until he smashed like a melon on the parking lot asphalt. Gloria shuddered with horror at herself. The boy's cries pulsed in her head like an ice pick. He just went on and on. She covered her ears, trying to blot it out. “Remy, shut up!” Gloria growled, but the lack of compassion in her tone just pushed her son to new heights of complaint.

“Can't you shut that kid up!” Bill's voice boomed from the bedroom. Gloria spun, biting back a harsh retort. On the couch, Elde watched, her eyes wide. She looked at her brother for a long moment and as if someone had thrown a switch... he stopped crying and fell asleep. “Thank god!” said Bill's angry voice from the bedroom. No doubt he would doze right back off. Gloria covered her mouth, stifling a sob. She didn't hear Eldrath get up, wasn't aware of her until she felt her daughter's tiny fingers take hold of her own. Gloria looked down with eyes streaked by running mascara.

“I'm sorry, Mommy,” Eldrath said, petting her mother's hand. “He can have it, don't cry. I'm sorry.” Gloria wiped her face with the back of her hand, ashamed of herself. She squeezed Eldrath's hand in a reassuring way she didn't feel and then she walked back into the kitchen to finish the dishes.