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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Fiction: The Family Way Part 21 (932 words)

Since we all lived together, date night had kind of become a group affair.  For the first time in our lives, Marta and I had our own bedrooms, so Marta was good about clearing out when it got towards the end of the date, but the truth was that Bradley and I felt guilty going out and leaving Marta all evening.  Marta, who had once been the complete and utter social butterfly of the family, sitting home alone, just gave both of us chills. So, Marta came to dinner, or the movies, or whatever else it was that we were doing for the evening, and then made herself scarce as we headed home.  It was a good system for us.

After all, half the world already thought that Marta was pregnant with Bradley’s kid, what worse could happen?  Some sort of polygamist rumor? Actually, that might be fun to spread.  Maybe if I dropped a hint to Marie, it could spread around—No, it wouldn’t nice of me to use her like that.  She just makes a perfect target for that kind of thing.

It was one of those nights.  We’d gone to see the new superhero movie that Bradley was really excited about.  Group date worked to my advantage as Marta and I amused ourselves with a quiet mocking commentary.  Bradley wasn’t usually so appreciative of my mocking, but Marta got it. When we got home, Marta retreated to her room with a slightly perverted joke, a jar of pickles, a bar of chocolate, and a two liter of caffeine free Mountain Dew.

It was a Friday night, so Bradley was staying the night, which was nice in a purely selfish kind of way. It was really nice to be able to fall asleep and wake up with him.  It made it feel like this was really something, like we might actually be able to be a family.

“Do you actually want to get married?”  Bradley asked, tracing a lazy circle with his thumb on my side just under my shirt.

“What?” I laughed, tipping his chin up so he was looking me in the eye.

“Mind you, this isn’t a proper proposal.  This is testing of the waters, to decide if I’m going to plan a proper proposal.” I traced his bottom lip with my thumb and fought off the desire to kiss him.  It was time to have a discussion.  He was staying all night, there would be plenty of time for that later.

“Bradley, I don’t want you to feel like you have to marry me because my sister is pregnant.  I appreciate you wanting to move in here and help us out, but I don’t want—“

“No, no, it’s not that.”  Bradley propped himself up on his elbows and smiled down at me.  Resisting the urge to pull him down was hard, but, no, serious discussion time.  “No, Ave, I wanted to marry you since I was about six. Five?  I don’t know, we can ask my mom later.  She told me to wait until we were adults to get married, it was the way things were done.  True, I was going to wait to make sure we could survive our first years of college before bringing it up, the little boy moved my time frame up a bit. But—I want to marry you. I just don’t want you to feel pressured into it.”

It took most of my willpower not to propose to him myself right then and there. “Bradley. I would love to marry you.  But—I really don’t want to divorce you. We’re young, and our lives are about to get a lot more stressful.  We should wait.  Be responsible. At least one Andersson sister should be responsible in all this, yeah?”

Bradley gave me a sad smile, “Does it have to be you? Do you have to be the responsible Andersson?”

“Well—Marta’s already pregnant—so I think that ship has kind of sailed.”

Bradley sighed, and let himself fall to the side, hitting the pillow hard. “All right, All right.  We’ll be responsible.”

“Semi-Responsible?” I asked, biting my lip and looking at Bradley’s again.

Bradley’s hand found its spot on my hip again, grinning again.  “I can live with Semi-Responsible,” He countered.  Just as he leaned in to kiss me properly there was a banging on the door.  “Oh come on,” Bradley protested.

“Not now Marta!” I called out.  If this was just a silly craving, I was going to punch her in the stomach as soon as her baby was safely out it.

“He’s kicking!” Marta yelled through the door, “Our little boy, I can feel him kicking.”

I was out of bed in a flash, Bradley behind me.  Marta guided my hand and I felt it move, just slightly. Bradley put his hand on top of mine, and even though I knew that he couldn’t feel a thing, he looked at me, tearing up a little.  When I looked back to Marta and saw that she was crying for joy too, I knew I was a goner.  We all stood there in silence, for a moment not caring about the rumors, not caring about the complications, not caring about the stress this baby had caused or was going to cause in the coming years. The four of us, we were going to be a family.  I mean, I’d known it, but I didn’t really know it.  Not till now.

I pressed a soft kiss to the back of Bradley’s hand.  “Hey, Little Boy.  We’re going to take care of you.  Good care of you.”

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Avery and Marta

 

Fiction: Life and Death For Her (329 words)

Since he was small, David had this sinking feeling that River was going to be the death of him.  Not in a malicious ‘she’s going to kill me’ kind of way—but in he literally couldn’t say no to her ad he was going to end up doing something very dangerous kind of way.

When he was younger, he thought it would end up being something stupid like she wanted to climb a tree to see if they could get to the top, and he’d fall to his death from the upper branches. But now—here they were, living in the woods with people trying to find them and kill them not only for what they believed but for what they knew and what they had witnessed. All because he trusted River.  All because he loved River.

Granted—what he was doing now, what their lives had become, the cause they were fighting for was the right side to be on.  If he hadn’t followed River, he would have ended up doing despicable things, things that would have haunted him to his grave.  He would have ended up in these woods eventually, but River got him here sooner.  And this was a cause he would be willing to die for—but that didn’t necessarily mean he wanted to die for his cause.

But then River would come in with her half-smile half-seriousness and lay out the plan and he’d want to say “This is stupid-this is suicide. Why is it up to us to save the world?” but then he’d look at her and see her conviction and he would know for a fact that he was going to be on the front lines with her, take that charge, if only for her. Just to make her world a better place.

Since he was small, David had this sinking feeling that River was going to be the death of him.  And, to be honest, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in River's Story

 

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Fiction: Loving a Fighter (194 words)

“I still think you’re crazy, keeping her on the team.”  I protested weakly, running a gentle hand down Andre’s chest.  “She’s the twin sister of Timothy Razer.  No good can come from that.”

“I have a sinking feeling that you’re right,” Andre replied wearily, dropping a small kiss to my forehead.  “But Tristan loves her.  Tristan trusts her—and it’s my duty to follow Tristian’s lead.  I won’t break loyalty.”

“Even if it leads to your death?”  I was ashamed of myself for saying it even as I did.  I knew what his response had to be.

“Oh, Reed.”  He slid an arm down to grab my hand in a desperate, but comforting grasp.  “Reed, I swore my loyalty to Tristan. I told you from the beginning that it would have to lie with him, that loyalty had to come before my love for you.  I’m so sorry, but yes. I will follow Tristian’s lead, even to my death.”

All I could do was nod, and give his hand a little squeeze.  It hurt, but he had told me right from the beginning.  I suppose that’s what I get for falling in love with a solider.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Lydia's Stories

 

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Fiction: Quiet Moments (381 words)

Annie watched as they sat together.  It was a brief moment—a brief break in the stress that had been surrounding the three of them.  For once, for this brief moment, none of them were injured, none of them were being directly threatened, and none of them were actively working on a battle plan.  For the three of them, this was a moment where they could pretend to be normal twenty-somethings, normal friends.

She felt a comfortable weight on her shoulders and tipped her head back to smile up at her husband.  He squeezed her shoulders gently.  “You doing alright?” He asked.

“Yes. Yeah. Of course.  Just—watching.”  She made a vague gesture in the direction of the three kids—well, young adults.

“Ah,” Ross watched the three of them for a while as well, “Look at them, huh?” There was a note of pride in his voice, as David said something that made River laugh out loud.  David gave himself a little self-satisfied smile.

“Look at them,” Annie repeated, with a little less pride and a little more sympathy.

“Are you feeling a little bit bad for our girl?” Ross asked sweetly, leaning down to drop a kiss on the top of her head.

“I do, Ross, don’t you?  Don’t you wish they could have more moments like this? That River could have more moments like this? She’s had such a tough life and some really bad things are coming her way.  I do feel bad for River.”  Annie sighed and Ross sank down onto the little bench next to her.  He dropped an arm around her waist and she rested her head against his shoulder.

“She’s tough. She’s strong.  She’s been trained her whole life for this, whether she realized it or not.  She’ll do what needs to get done—she’s probably the only one who can.  She’ll get these moments where she can.  But she has a job to get done. She’s the only one who can, and she’ll do it well.”  Ross said with a bit of sternness, almost a military-like cadence.  It was what made Ross a good leader.  It was what made Ross, Ross and she loved him for it.  But—

“But—“ She offered.

“But yeah.  I do feel a little bit sorry for her.”  Ross admitted quietly.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2014 in Stories

 

Fiction: Awe (374 words)

Colin watched Mara almost unabashedly, and could only come to one conclusion.  No one knew what she and her brother got up to.  In the past two days—he’d seen a fair amount of other girls with their hair braided low over one eye.  You never would have guessed that it started with Mara. It seemed so casual an adaptation that it wasn’t sheep following the fashion of one woman, but the gentle shift of fashion.  No one would expect that it was all to cover eight stitches because Mara let her fight get a little sloppy.

He couldn’t believe it, watching Mara and Andy interact with people like nothing was going on.  Did none of their friends realize? Could no one pick up what they were doing behind the scenes? No one had a clue?

But then again—Colin had been their best friend since they were all six years old—and he didn’t have a clue what they were doing behind the scenes.  How could someone else figure it out if he couldn’t?

He’d been so lost in thought that when Mara dropped into the chair on the other side of the lunch table that he gave a little start.  “People are going to talk,” she smiled, leaning across the table to whisper.

“Talk? About what?” Colin was genuinely befuddled.

“Well—if you keep looking at me like you can’t believe I let you see me naked, people are going to assume that I actually let you see me naked.” Mara teased.

Colin sputtered for a moment in embarrassment, before deciding his best decision was to just not respond to that one and opted for the safe “How’s your head?”

“Fine. Hurts, but it will remind me to keep my guard up next time, won’t it?  Serious though, Col—“ Mara fixed him with a serious look, and he actually sat up a little straighter under her glare, “Ask to see me naked or stop staring. Dealer’s choice.”

Colin gaped at her as she stole a french fry off his plate and walked away with a swing in her step.  Now he not only had to figure out how Andy and Mara kept this a secret for so long—but also was that a joke or not?

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Family Way Part 20 (745 words)

I know there are a lot of people who wouldn’t agree with our choices, including but certainly not limited to our parents, most of Marta’s softball and soccer team, Bradley’s best friend, one very irate cousin would somehow found our new phone number to give us both his own version of the hellfire and brimstone lecture, and at least two-thirds of the Roundtable, as we found out when the motion was moved for Marta and me to step down from our positions due to “unexpected additional responsibilities that might interfere with our ability to give our positions the attention deserved.”  All in all, we probably could have fared a lot worse.

The rumors found more focus, most people starting to favor the Marta having an affair with Bradley line, in part due to the lovely soap opera sound to the boyfriend impregnating the twin, and Marie letting it slip that Bradley was moving into our apartment post-graduation to help us with the kid.

“I was trying to defend you,” Marie added weakly, setting her head down on the lunch table as someone else shouted something less than pleasant in our general direction. “I had the best of intentions.”

“Well, you know what the road to hell is paved with,” I grinned, rolling my apple across the table to Marta again.   It was hard to be mad at Marie.  She really did try, and she was one of Marta’s few friends who was sticking around.  We needed as many friends as we could get right now.

“Unwed teenage mothers?” Marta asked, taking a bite of the apple.

“Really? I thought it was their sisters who lie for them therefore not only letting them sin but adding their own sins on top?” I replied.

“Ah, Cousin Matthew,” We agreed in unison.

“Not mad?” Marie asked the floor, her forehead still resting on the edge of the table.

“Not mad,” Marta confirmed, reaching over to rub a comforting circle on Marie’s back with her free hand.  Someone yelled something across the room again that vaguely implied that Marta had made money off sleeping with my boyfriend and Marta amended her statement. “Not mad at you, Marie. Avery, what’s our number?”

“One hundred and four, only seventy-three are actually school days,”  I replied automatically.

“Only a hundred four days til graduation.”  Marta leaned back in her chair, and when she sat like that, it was easy to see where her baby bump was starting to show through her t-shirt.  Soon, she would look properly pregnant, no matter what we did. “Remind me again why we rejected the GED option?”

“Uh, we’d put in too much time at this school.  You weren’t going to pay for something you’re already getting for free.  It’s the principle of the matter. Something about putting someone in their place. I don’t remember.  I’m pretty sure I still have your pro-con list at the apartment if you want to revisit it.”

“That’s it,”  Bradley threw his half-eaten sandwich in his lunch bag as someone else a couple of tables over cat called and asked if I was open for business now that Marta was down for repairs, “I’m going to find the teacher who is supposed to be in here watching us. This is getting ridiculous.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I answered quietly, putting a hand on Bradley’s knee under the table, “Don’t show that you’re angry, Brad, it’ll just egg them on.”

“I hate them.” It came out almost like a hiss, “I hate them all. I want to do terrible things to them.”  I gave his knee a sharp squeeze, and he looked at me.  “All right. I won’t do terrible things to them.  Can I do slightly horrible things to them instead?”

“Just nothing illegal.  I think we’ll lose your parents’ support if we have to bail you out of jail.  We could really use your parents’ support in this.”   Bradley looked like he was pretty sure his parents would be on his side still if he ended up in jail for putting people in their places, but I sighed. “For me, then.  Can you not do anything for me? I don’t need the extra stress.”

“Okay,” Bradley let out a slow breath and put his hand on top of mine. “Okay, I won’t do  anything to them, but I am going to hope that karma gives him all a sharp kick in the painful parts.”

I smiled.  Who could argue with that?

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Avery and Marta

 

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Fiction: Honeymoon (99 words)

“Why didn’t we fall in love sooner?” Bette complained.  Finn leaned down to kiss her forehead as he set down the dinner plate. “I mean, this is nice isn’t it? Being in love? Being married? Being happy together?”

“It’s very nice being happy, married and together,” Finn laughed, sitting down, “But there is a flaw in your logic.”

“Oh?” Bette asked around her first bite of pasta.

“I’ve loved you for a while, Bette, It’s not the falling we needed to do faster,” Finn poured wine in their glasses and raised his in a small toast, “It’s the admitting.”

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Stories

 

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