Author Topic: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty - The Word Unsaid (9/25/20)  (Read 54754 times)

Offline Deme

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What a satisfying update!  Kestral has all the boxes checked.   :)
Now I'm looking forward to seeing what Kite makes of this immortality challenge. 

I've got some stuff I'm really looking froward to!

(Sorry for the delays. Life is just so full of things, but I intend to get back to it.)
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Flower Exchange" (3/18/19)
« Reply #121 on: March 18, 2019, 04:09:32 PM »
Chapter 36: Flower Exchange

So, like, that day -- Mom’s B-day, ya dig? Course y’do -- was also kinda Flower Day. A holiday f’r sprungin’ the spring that got sproinged. Where the green’s that fresh, soft new green, an’ the flowers are buddin’ and bustin’ out like sparklers. Trip, man, but that spring! ‘Course with that spring, we got a price in rain, an’ that’s kinda inspirin… But also, like, a total drag to paint in, man. Still, modern art’s gotta have a place in it f’r rainfall; art gotta embrace the world, ‘r else it just, like, ends up one a’ them rides f’r the cynical material, dig?

So, like, Mom’s B-day started… Ah, she dropped that line on you already, dude? Well, good. Arright, so I’ll tell you ‘bout what was happenin.

But we got other fun t’ worry ‘bout on flower day, too; got these groovy little gnome-buds wanderin’ around, that kinda thing.

“I come in peace, oh spirit! Gnome. Gnome-spirit!” Ka-san’s tryin’ to make pals with ‘em, which, like, gotta wear on her nerves some when she’s done, because trip, if they don’t make a seedy mess. I did the pick-ups after, so Ka-san could just chill. She gets a big grin when she sees them happy, though. Breaks out the big faux-form voice an’ all. “Thank you for your blessings upon our house!”

When the party’s windin’ up proper, I spot somethin’ I, f’r one, been waitin on a while, man.

“Ulrike…” A course I mean Uncle Akira workin’ up the nerve f’r a real word with Ulrike. He’s got this, man. I believe. ‘Course, it aint like she’s gotta do anythin. This is just a way he gotta put out there: things’re different. He’s walked his ways, and that’s just a long road to have a thing goin’ on, dig?

“...You know I’m not here for you,” Ulrike starts by shuttin’ him down hard, but she’s holdin’ herself up like she’s got a layer a’ armor in her ink, man, like… She’s kinda afraid, what’s gonna happen if she don’t turn him down.

“I know. But I wanted to apologize. Really! Again, I mean. And…” He shuffles t’ one side. “So, I’ve been trying to do a lot of work. On myself. Take care of business, and make some changes, and live sort of...Within myself. Looking for happiness that I can give me. And… Making some clean breaks, too. With people.”

“...Oh,” she says, very soft-like. I think she’s waitin’ f’r a blow that aint comin.

“...And I wanted to know… There’s only room for you in my life. Would you take me back?”

“Oh, Akira!” She says, big an bright, holdin on t’that rose tight. And then, a beat where she gotta play it cool, dig? I see what she’s got rattlin’ around in that dome right now. “I mean, it is flower day, after all. And that’s a… A very sweet gift, Akira.”

“Thanks. And...Thank you. For offering me a chance. Even if it’s just this, I mean, I don’t want to imply… You understand, right?” He asks, sort of droppin’ tryin’ to say too much.

“I do…”

“And, it’s funny. I still do… kinda… love you, Akira.” She says, laughin’ a little at somethin’ past.

“...I love you, too,” he says, sayin’ it maybe f’r the first time without nothin’ to hide, and nothin’ held back.

“I’ll be watching you, though. Like a hawk.”


Yeah, this sorta thing’s been earned all-around, huh? Good f’r you, Uncle Akira.

Course, he aint the only one gettin’ sweet today. While Mom was fixin’ her hair, Ka-san ambushed her with something.

“A birthday gift! Part 1, honey.” Part 2, a’course, was… Ah, Mom got on that one, then? Cool, cool. Ka-san let ‘er open up the gift, which was another vamp tome for her studies, wrapped up with a flower in the ribbon.

“Oh! Great, I’ll be sure to get what I need from this,” Mom said, before turnin’ back to her. “Say, though! This is a chance for me to give you something, too, so I hope you like it.”

“Oh, honey! How pretty!”

“They didn’t sell pink ones as singles. Only bushes. Should I have given you a bush?”

“Nope-nope-nope! This is wonderful, understand? It’s sweet, thinking about that on your birthday.”

“I’m getting soft in my old age,” Mom said, with that sorta sigh that means she’s got not a drop a serious in her.

“Hush. You’ve always been soft,” Ka-san needled. “You just don’t like people to see it. You’re like a cute little hedgehog.”

“She’s uncovered my vulnerable underbelly! Oh, no!”

An with that, a guy gotta be conscientious-like an saunter away cooly, dig? ‘Sides, I’d been puzzlin’ who t’ give my own flower to… An, somehow, someone particular kept comin’ up.

Mom invited Kacie, you see, an’s not like they’re close, dig, so this was sorta just so we could hang out. Feels kinda bad, though. I got extra flowers, so I should prob’bly give ‘em to Hob an them, dig? Yeah. I should be cool an’ do somethin’ like that. Just, later.

We talk a while at the party, like, but it’s one a’ those things. I kinda wanna see what she’d think on her own, dig? Sides, Ka-san and Mom might tease us ‘bout it, and trip, man.

“Hey, wanna take a look at the garden, Kace? It’s comin’ along.”

“Sure! I don’t think I’d be able to judge, but I do want to see what you’re up to!”

“Cool, cool. This-a-way, then.”

The rain made it kinda dark enough f’r lanterns, swishin’ on overhead, castin’ faint bits a gold. An’ that’s when your man Kite started thinkin, “trip, man, but there aren’t enough flowers here,” dig? ‘Cause it looks kinda bare right now, an that aint cool. The whole scene’d be, like, 50% groovier if there were flowers all around.

“Man, I gotta get this place greened out, dig?”

“It’s a work in progress, for sure! But it’s nice, too. Did you paint the lanterns yourself?”

“Like, totally. See, I want everythin’ back here to be, like, somethin’ that lightens the soul, dig? An’ something that’s beautiful to paint an’ all, too, so I can just take my easel and trip, there’s the paintin’, dig?”

“Huh...Yeah, that’d be fun. A real artist’s garden... “ She sighs a little, an’ trip, but I’m nervous. An worried. She thinkin’ she doesn’t have somethin’ like that: not a space she wants to work on, an’ not somethin’ she wants from it… That’s what your ol’ buddy Kite was guessin. Just from, like, the way she talked before. It’s kinda little crinkle in her brow, dig? A kinda quietness to her, when she’s kinda loud the rest, dig? “...I wonder what I should do.”

“...Donno, man. Wish I did,” ‘s all I can tell her.

“I know. It’ll all work out, or something, though! Still. What sort of flowers do you want to put back here?”

“Not sure. I got an eye for some hollyhocks, maybe, and, uh… Well…” OK, might as well pick the moment. “I grew somethin’ here. Flower-wise. An, it bein’ flowerday and all that jazz, I was figgerin’ it’d be groovy to give you it.”

She smiled with all the wattage that those lanterns could wish for. It’s a smile that’s got that bright spring newborn green in it. Wish I coulda done somethin’ fancier… But then, it aint like she didn’t deserve the best I could do. Guess I didn’t do it alone, y’know, what with the soil an’ the rain an’ all. Trip, man; when you think of it like that, didn’t the flower do its own work, too? It tried hard and it bloomed far out, dig? This flower slept on through winter, came up in spring, an’ I’m glad it ended up in her hands.

“It’s so cute! Oh, that’s right! I prepared something for you, too. It’s just a little something, and it’s not like I grew it myself.”

“Trip, man, you didn’t have to.”

She gives me a look that was, like, ‘can’t you accept anyone else looking out for you?’ An I hold out my hand with a chuckle.

“Probably not. But I thought it was a good idea, so I did it. Here.”

It’s the first rose we got here, really. Pretty as a picture, those sorts of big antique roses you grow up on their own roots like it was meant to. It’s a cuttin’, but I kinda think, trip, maybe I could get it to grow here, an pay her back sometime. ‘S a good vibe, dude.

An then I spy a note she’s got on.

I love the joy you bring to my life every waking day.

I checked it again, see?

I love the joy you bring

And again.

I love

And trip, man. The jumpin’ jacks my heart pulled told me, like, everythin’. Just blew my mind wide open. An I couldn’t hide nothin, an’ I didn’t know what to do, see? Kinda still don’t. Everythin’ raced, swirlin’ around like something cosmic, just as wild as you get, ‘cuz I knew the truth. I understood everythin that’d been rattlin’ up in my dome for hours, or days, or even just from the second I saw that smile, you dig?

I dig this girl somethin’ crazy.

An I’m takin that in, just repeatin’ up in my like a bell, like, yup, them’s those feelin’s you got bustin around an everyone knew it but you, you dig? You knew it ‘fore I did, didn’t you? Should you a’ told me? Maybe it’da been too late by then, man. I donno.

An, like, what would I do differently, if I’d known ‘fore then, anyhoo? It aint like I knew what I was gonna do then. It just rattled on and on and on.

An’ when I looked up from readin’ it, she’d vamoosed.

Pop a squat an’ I’ll lay it out, my dude. See, thing is, I don’t think she needs me t’ love ‘er. She needs me to help her, dig? An she doesn’t want me to help her. An I can’t just go givin’ out hands no one’s reachin’ for, dig? But she’s hurtin, an’ that aint right. An how would I do that?

But if I helped her, then what’s that say about me? Like, do I like her ‘cause I wanna help her? Do I only care ‘bout helpin her cause I like her? Would I just be wantin’ a way to get close to her like that, an’ expect her? Force her? To owe me somethin’ f’r bein a cool cat an’ helpin her out? Aint it mondo selfish, doin’ somethin’ an hopin it turns her head?

I don’t wanna do that. I don’t wanna be that guy, dig? And I don’t want her to feel that way. I just want Kacie to be happy, that’s all, man.

Trip, man. Enough ‘bout all that jazz. It aint like it aint important -- an, kinda at the time, I figgered I’d just… Not say nothin. Ever. But there’s kinda more to say, but I think I wanna save it...

Mom just straight-up conquered the holiday gnomes stuff, with all the usual vinegar mom’s got goin.

“Yes, yes, I’m amazing, gnomes. You are wise to respect that.”

That kinda thing, dig? Course, there was, like, one other tradition, man. Just lurkin’ around, loomin closer and closer like a shark. Silent and still and, like, real cute, dude.

“...Why do I feel the icy hand of death on my neck?” The bunny didn’t peep for Uncle Akira’s question, natch. There’s nothin’ but the loomin’ silence that causes him to turn around an’ do his own jack rabbit jump. “Aaah! Oh. Hi. Yes, hello… Flower Bunny. You’re sure… A rabbit. Probably.”


“Have a happy spring.”

It nods.

“Salutations, oh spring spirit!” Magpie’s a little more into it, dig? The whole spirit a’ the thing. Kinda thing he’d be a cool dude to just, like, hang with a while, dig? Just, like, feel a vernal groove for a while. He looks like he’d hang. “Enjoy the festiviting!”

It nods.

“I was wondering! What do you do the rest of the year?”

It mimes a dance. Probably. I’m kinda guessin. The second one was probably some sort of gardenin’.

“...Ah, good. I’m glad you take the time off to enjoy yourself!” Magpie don’t miss a beat either way. Glad he had a good flower day, that’s really a fun one f’r kids an’ all.

Now, next, we sorta had to get downstairs -- we kinda wanted to wait ‘till after the party’s died down f’r Mom’s big gift. We all worked hard t’ see her happy with a hip place like that. Mom sorta always expresses her heart through spaces, dig? Like, when she really wants someone t’ be happy, she fits a spot in her life for ‘em.

When you look at it kinda like that, we thought we wanted that f’r her, too: I know how special it can be to just, like, have a place that’s just yours. An’ that says how much the people who love you want. But that’s where we get back to that heavy stuff.

‘Cause Mom tells me to sit down, let me make her a drink, an she says somethin’ else, too:

“Tell me what’s bugging you. That’s a part of this, too.”

“Trip, is it?”

“It is. The barkeep is the repository of troubles, so spill.”

“...Well… See… I… dig this girl.”

“Kacie, right? Props for figuring it out, my boy.”

I look down an’ shake my head.

“It aint that easy, see…” An’ I tell her what I told you back there, you dig? An other stuff. ‘Bout spaces, ‘bout her mom an’ her sis an’ her blazin’ certainty an’ that brittle, brittle vibe that gleams in that smile so much it breaks your heart.

Breaks my heart, really, dig?

“I see… First off, let me say. You’re being a dope. It’s not wrong to want to help someone you love. You just have to not be a jerk when saving the day like prince charming doesn’t net you true love’s first kiss.”

“A dope? Way uncool, Mom.”

“It’s true. I’m immortal, I can call anyone I want a dope. I could also call anyone I want a dope at any other time.” She shrugs an’ gives the tumbler one more shake.

“Fact is, Kite my boy, you’ve found someone who’s precious to you. So go and get her. Hold her in your life.”

“...Mom…” She means what’s best. An’ maybe this is. Maybe I’m worryin’ too much… Maybe, I should just listen to myself. “So, what d’ya think I oughta do to help? She don’t want nothin’ too direct or frettin’-like, you dig?”

“I dig.”

“Well, then. If you can’t help her, why don’t you give her a position where she can help herself? She doesn’t have a super-stable home life, right? I know how much breaking free of that can get someone ready to take on the world.” Mom grins at me. “Invite her here!”

“Aint that sorta trappin’ her?”

“People trap each other all the time. Just be up-front. I wouldn’t do that, personally, but you’d probably feel better with the disclosure,” she waves a hand. “And Miko and I would be happy to have her -- it’d put some worries to rest.”

Aint that just like Mom…

“Course, I’d need her mom’s say-so, huh? It aint like I’ve seen her around town...What then?”

“Ah, that one, I know. Clubs, kiddo. Clubs. You ask the books on any sort of person you want, and they’ll see who you can invite, right? She’s got a sister, so she might have a mom not too far off.”

...I’m gonna start askin’ ‘bout that. I’m gonna. I will… Trip, man. I think I’m just a little scared. An’ when I’m thinking that, Mom puts my drink down. It’s pretty sweet, an’ the alcohol’s less strong than I was bracin’ for.

“You’ve got this, kiddo. I’m pretty sure you can do anything. Even be prince charming.”

It aint that much. But thanks, Mom…

Guess I better dress things up f’r her, too. The flowers look pretty hood, burstin’ up to try an’ meet the lanternlight.

Somethin’ else pretty cool’s goin’ on that night.

Magpie’s clear all the hurdles of bein’ an artistic prodigy, so let’s give my bro a round of applause! I wanna see what sorta things he’s gonna do when he’s grown up, too.

Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"A Bunch'a Lionesses" (3/24/19)
« Reply #122 on: March 24, 2019, 06:05:08 PM »
Chapter 37: A Bunch'a Lionesses

So, I ring ‘er up an’ bring it up -- the movin’ in thing. I donno what to do about the other thing. Where it turns out I been diggin’ on her f’r a while an’ I just wanna smooch her an’ pet her hair an’ see the look on her face when I say she’s the grooviest chick. That thing I am kinda, like, in anti-cluesville on gettin’, dig?

“Yeah. sure. I am sooo ready to get out of this place,” is what she said. “But I don’t know what mom will think.”

“Leave it to me.” Trip, but mom wasn’t yankin’ my chain when she said the club listing’s happenin. An’ eventually, I find her.

A lady with the same last name. Puttin’ money down I aint wrong, but they don’t really look alike. ‘Course, Lily’s got her own kinda look groovin, too, so who really knows who’s got what goin’ on there, dig? But her name’s Aurora, Aurora Hidalgo.

“Hey, c’mon in!” An’ with that, the first meetin’ of the ‘Drop a line to Aurora Hidalgo’ club got into business.

“See, ‘s like this, dude… I’m kinda like a pal of your daughter’s, right? I mean, like, Kacie particular-like, not that there’s anythin’ wrong with Lily or nothin…” Man, Kite, my dude. Listen to that. I was not makin’ a great case.

“Oh, please. Of course there is. Both of those kids are a pain.” She’s shooin’ somethin’ like that. An yeah, Lily’s kinda on a loose wig, but trip, that aint no way to talk about her kids; nothin’ wrong with a loose wig if it’s gonna groove off to itself, dig? If you still can just chill an’ not scuff folks up, ‘cept the ones that need scuffin’ a little because they’re a drag, then maybe it’s somethin’ folks gotta do sometimes, flip a little. She keeps goin’, fore I can dress any of that sensible enough. I got it now, but then, I just kinda flinched. “What did I do to deserve ending up with kids like that?”

“Enough of that, though.” She eyes me like she’s got a number on me. “What do you want? With a lead-up like that, it’s gotta be something.”

“Yeahhhhh, like, that’s kinda why we’re up face to face, dig? An’ Kace an I were talkin’, an’ she was sayin’ that life’d be pretty cool if, like, she had an easier time gettin’ to school, an’ lived nearer by, dig? An we’ve sorta got a big pad…” See, thing is: I don’t think it’d really go great if I said that your kid was dyin’ to get away from you, right? She’d feel kinda down, an’, man, I don’t want this to be hard on no one, right? Maybe I just caught ‘er havin’ it rough an’ all.

“So I wanted to ask you… If Kacie could drop her bags here a while, an’ make this her pad, too.”

“Are you kidding me?” She scoffs. “She’s never cared about school. She’s never cared about anything but ways to waste her time.”

I heard that, an’ I didn’t wanna know if I had sorta the whole picture. Cuz I could see it, dig? Words like that gettin’ laid out like fences, cuttin the pen smaller an’ smaller, just the whole time choppin down anything that coulda been her thing, until there was barely nothin’ left. Just a smile that’s crackin’ the heart, an’ thinkin’ it’d all be OK ‘cuz it’s gotta be.

“Trip, man, she cares ‘bout her sis, too, doesn’t she?”

“Ohhh, sure! She cares enough to try and run away with the first dimwit who comes along.”

“Don’t think I don’t know a thing or two about teenage boys; you just want to take advantage of her while she’s at your mercy!”

“That aint it. That aint it!” But what was rattlin’ up here was: Is it? I mean, it aint like I’m on the level, but, trip, I don’t want her at my mercy! Sure, Kite’s a merciful dude an’ all that, just a matter a’ policy, but… What sorta guy wants somethin’ like that. But then, I didn’t know what I was thinkin.

“Like I’d leave my kid to a wolf like you! It’s my job to look after them, like it or not, and I do a fine job keeping those idiots in line.”

I… mighta been kinda mad she said that. About me or her or somethin, but I didn’t know -- what should I do about that? Trip, ‘s queasy bein’ really mad at someone, an’ havin’ no clue what to say. An she just kept talkin.

An’ then Ka-san’s voice rang out from the dinin’ room like a bell.

“Kite, why don’t you let us two moms talk this over? I think things are getting off on the wrong foot.”

“Hiiii! I’m Miko, one of Kite’s moms. Sorry if Kite’s maybe not putting this well,” she smiles, but it’s the smile she’s sorta got practiced for talkin’ on the cause.

“So you approve of this whole thing?” She asks, still givin’ all the side eye she’s got, bringin’ her up to, like, 6 eyes by accountin, if you’re measurin… But she’s not burstin’ a gasket.

“I do! For one, I know my boy has always been so pure of heart!”

“Most moms think that; don’t let them fool you.”

“That’s not the only reason… A kid had to stretch their wings, you know? Get out and see the world,away from the restraints of their parents. It’s something I’ve always believed!” I wonder if Mom’d encouraged me to head out. I mean, like, sounds groovy with me. Maybe in, like, another world, I coulda just kinda dandelion-seeded it, dig? Just caught a breeze an’ see where I went. … But, eh. Can’t go livin’ in another world, dig? I’m sure you got something like that, too, my dude. “And a kid like Kacie more than most, right? But oooobviously, you can’t just let kids run wild, that’s crazy!”

“That’s right. You’ve got to have a firm hand,” Aurora says, sorta easin’ herself to bein’ hit by Ka-san’s peace assault an’ into a chair.

“Aaaand, since she’s been talking about wanting to hit the road, I thought it’d be good if she landed somewhere safe for a bit! Somewhere where she’ll still do her homework and get some good meals! And be with a friend. But… Seeing you has made me a little more confident, too.”

“I’m not a bad mother!”

“...Huh, huh, yeah, of course not. That’s not what I’m saying! What I mean is, look how stressed you are!” ...I think Ka-san’s kicked the door for full politician mode now, dig? “A young single mother, with two girls… Someone like that should have some time to enjoy her time, don’t you think?”

“Well,” says Aurora, “At least someone gets it. And it’s hard to date when you’ve got kids, too. Don’t I deserve a little love?”

“Riight, riiight. And we don’t have space for two, but this could make everyone happy. It’s a win-win.” She waves a coupla’ fingers like she’s got some, I dunno, kinda a W, if, like, two finger’s a V.

“...A win-win, huh?”

“A win-win!” She repeats, sort of insistence.

“Well, if the kid says she will, sure, whatever. A kid can’t have mom looking out for her forever.”

An with that, it’s sealed. She heads on out -- an I don’t got more’n a sec b’fore a scout meetin’ -- think it might be the swan song, but mebbee my math’s, like, mondo off. But I got the time to give Ka-san a hug out the door.

“The mucho-est of gracias, Ka-san.”

“Of course. I do want you to be happy, and I’m not getting younger! I’d like to at least see you get married one day.”

“Ka-san.. Yer gettin’ my ears red.”

“Tee-hee...I just hope it’ll do some good for everyone, in the end,” she says, just a little thoughtful. I think so, Ka-san. I hope so.

We got another thing goin’ down, too. Kinda missed it, but it was...maybe, like, a little personal, too. See, it’s Uncle Akira’s birthday today… An’ he invited over someone special, course.

“This seems like a quiet affair for your elder birthday,” Ulrike tells ‘im as she walks in. An’ it is. The house’s pretty much empty, dig? But that’s kinda how he wanted it, too.

“I know. I know. I...maybe you’ll accept me, and maybe you won’t. But...  I think I’m ready to try being someone’s actual boyfriend.”

“And not their fit of desperation on your end boyfriend?” Ulrike asks, sorta needlin’ him. But it’s really done ‘im good, ‘cuz he kinda laughs.

“Right.” He waits f’r what mighta worn the hands off a clock, if you got it wound for Akira-time. “I want it to be you. And…”

“I didn’t want my birthday to go by without you in it.”

“Good. Wouldn’t want to miss my boyfriend’s birthday, either.”

Aint that just some kinda hearwarming? Well, it, like, was his birthday, so he had to get runnin’, like, with the cake an’ all.

“They were not kidding when they said that was a rough one!” Akira kinda had a rough time of it -- comp sci guy’s posture ‘n all.

“I think I went rather silver fox though, don’t you?”

“Of course you do. But, I’ve got to admit, it’s not a bad look,” Ulrike says, chucklin’ a little.

Man’s gotta be stylin’, I guess, so he gets a quick snip-snip here’nthere. Keepin’ the undercut, nice, nice, but the little bun aint quite cuttin if you’re askin him, dig?

When I hop on back, there’s someone waitin’ for me already. Standin’ at the end a’ the yard, with a mile-wide smile on her face -- just a real smile, proud as a bunch’a lionesses -- is Kacie.

“Hey! You’re home,” I say, but she pouts and socks me one in the arm. “Trip, not cool!”

“I was waiting to say that to you! That’s my line!” She laughs as she says it, an’ puts ‘er arms around me. “...Thanks, though. And you should thank me, too!’

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah. Face it, Space Prince. You lucked out.”

Man, lookin’ at, like, the wardrobe update an’ the glasses an’ the general her?

Your ol’ pal Kite can’t say she’s wrong.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline MarianT

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"A Bunch'a Lionesses" (3/24/19)
« Reply #123 on: March 24, 2019, 09:29:35 PM »
Kacie looks good, and I'm glad Kite was able to get her moved in. Also glad that Akira and Ulrike got together -- any chance of nooboos?
When the Zombies Come(Completed)--100 Nooboos Nabbed

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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"A Bunch'a Lionesses" (3/24/19)
« Reply #124 on: March 24, 2019, 10:15:58 PM »
Kacie looks good, and I'm glad Kite was able to get her moved in. Also glad that Akira and Ulrike got together -- any chance of nooboos?

I was very relieved, because I tried a lot of things in increasing confusion, ha ha.

No more at this point. Akira never really interacts with them (Poor Akira's kids, ha ha, I'm so mean to them relatively), and they rarely come up in-story, but Ulrike has about 3 kids by Akira; that house is completely full, actually: There's Maaike with Hobart and Bonnie and Brianna, and then there's Ulrike and her three boys ... I wanna say they're Jaime... I think I call him Damien once or twice but sources recently suggested to me it's actually Darien... And one of the Camrons, because for some reason Akira has three sons whose names are some form of "Camron." I believe they're all teens during this part of the story.
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Offline BallerinaHippo

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"A Bunch'a Lionesses" (3/24/19)
« Reply #125 on: March 25, 2019, 10:53:49 AM »
It's my turn to get caught up, and yay!  So many good things going on here--  from Kite finally realizing his feelings to Ketral's no-nonsense advice to Miko swooping in and saving the day.

Also, (rhetorical question) why do so many NPC's hate children?  Especially NPC's with children.

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"A Bunch'a Lionesses" (3/24/19)
« Reply #126 on: April 10, 2019, 10:05:40 PM »
It's my turn to get caught up, and yay!  So many good things going on here--  from Kite finally realizing his feelings to Ketral's no-nonsense advice to Miko swooping in and saving the day.

Also, (rhetorical question) why do so many NPC's hate children?  Especially NPC's with children.

It's been a fun sequence of events, and we're not *quite* over the finish line yet.

It's crazy, right? If I could have crafted the traits for a bad mother, I couldn't have done better than Aurora, who is just a bundle of bad traits. Mean, Hates Commitment or whatever it is, Hates Children
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Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"The Sun Came Up" (4/10/19)
« Reply #127 on: April 10, 2019, 10:08:59 PM »
Chapter 38: The Sun Came Up

Arright, so, like, Kacie moved in an’ all, right? It’s just sorta…Takes some gettin’ into the groove of, dig?

“I know you explained your deal to me, but… Uh. You didn’t tell me about the secret dinner basement.”

“...Yeah, it aint real necessary as a thing, like, but it’s kinda, like, Mom’s thing? To just, like, have it all, like, very hip an’ wow; very dramatic-like, dig? An why shouldn’t she? It’s her groove. Just, uh, don’t come down when the door’s locked, you dig?” So, there’s Kite, hopin’ that it aint too crazy f’r her an’ she’d run for the hills an’ all. Mom went for, like, kinda a dungeon vibe up in the ambrosia table, an’ that’s gotta be creepy. Hey, wait, aint my birth certificate in the museum? Trip, man, did Kacie see that? There aint any real embarrassin’ pics or nothin’, right? Just kid-me, with, like, kid-me hair.

“Because she’s doing immortality stuff?” She asks, in a tone that’s got me breathin’ a sigh of relief. “Will do, but in the meanwhile, I guess I should kick back and enjoy dinner basement.”

“Right on.”

Ka-san’s bein’ extra welcomin’, too, since it’s kinda a weird sitch an’ all.

“Right now, we’re still working out where to put your bedroom; I hope you don’t mind the uncertainty, ha ha. The floorplan’s just a little odd right now,” I overheard her sayin.

“Oh, it’s fine. I’ll be in your never-sleep club, right? I don’t need a bedroom!... Besides. Maybe, you know... Uh, is it OK to say what I’m thinking, Mrs. Avyan?”

“Just Miko’s a-OK by me! Mrs. Avyan’s kiiinda boring, and it’s the sorta thing I’d wanna save for, I dunno, an evil parallel universe me who used her political power to rule the planet. But she’d be President Avyan, Madame. President, I guess. In an infinite multiverse, I guess I could have a mirror duplicate who’s Madame President and one who’s Mrs. Avyan, but for this dimension, it’s just Miko!”

“...Do you spend a lot of time on parallel dimensions?” She edges just a little away, which aint great.

“Not a lot, but it’s fun to imagine sometimes.” When Ka-san, who’s kinda got a bunch a’ brain-crackers rattlin’ around from loadsa sci-fi and isekai stuff, says that, Kacie sorta deflates in relief, so like, mission accomplished. “Of course, Madame President has a goatee. I’m old-school like that. Anyway, like how it’s just Miko, you can say whatever you like… Buuuuutttt... ” She glances back over at my door, which, like, unfair, man. “You might want to whisper it over to me privately.”

Kacie leans over an whispers somethin’ to ‘er, red in the face. An gettin’ redder as Ka-san laughs.

“...Oh plumbobs, I can’t believe you tricked me into thinking that was a good idea! I said that to Kite’s mom!”

 “Oh, don’t worry! I’m the mom who keeps a secret!” More gigglin.

“Forbidden words!” ...What did she say, y’know, in the whisperin. You guys. Did Ka-san tell a chunk a’ story recently? What did Kacie say that made ‘er wail like that?

“Don’t worry, don’t worry. It’s all fine.Listen: are you going to put any cool decorations in whatever space we scrounge up? Do you have bands you like?”

“No, no bands, really. Mom was never a big fan of music playing, and it was just too much of a fuss to be worth it. Maybe I’ll listen to a band.”

He had us eavesdroppin. Not deliberate-like, just kinda relaxin’ with Kacie. You know, just like some kinda new usual.

“Hm, anarchic beauty. Kite, if I explained everything I’ve done as anarchic beauty, would someone believe me?” Kacie asks, overhearin’ that riff there.

“I mean, belief’s kinda a strong word, but… Like what?”

“Like, say, that time I put frogs in my elementary school teacher’s desk. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and I figured no one would catch me.” That prob’bly weren’t the only thing like that, but eh, that mighta had some kinda anarchic beauty or something, maybe.

“...Didja get caught?”

“Yes, which is why we went to high school in another district. Which, now that I think about… Led me here, so I’d call that a really good bad idea. Past me was right and totally justified,” she answers with a chain-pullin’ kinda laugh.

“...Guess she was. Thanks, Past Kacie.” I mean, I donno if it’s really cool, but things gotta funny way of turnin’. Results don’t stop at a point or nothin, the world keeps runnin’ that water under the bridge an’ downhill f’rever. And… days like this… If a normal action sorta, like, a thing that goes on f’rever because descendants an’, like, the cosmic groove of the universe… Then I think days like this, are really gonna turn f’r a while. ‘Cuz it’s gonna be with me, too.

“Hey, Kite… Why did you invite me here, anyway? Not that I mind, because I do not. But people don’t usually do stuff like that. And I’m getting to the bottom of this!”

I shrug.

“Aint it enough t’ want you to have a chance to, like, find your own groove an’ be happy.” I’m kinda a little proud I got, like, an answer I wanna put out f’r this. Got it just untangled enough. “Let you get taken care a’ f’r a change, since you were always watchin’ out for Lily...Uh. Hey,” I suddenly gotta think on that sister a’ hers. “How’d she take it an’ all?”

“The good news is, Lily’s not mad at me. I mean, she was, but then she wasn’t, once she cooled off,” She was sayin’, before she got real quiet f’r just a second.

An then: “Are you sure that’s… the only reason?”

“...Yeah. I think it’s enough, aint it? It’s a big house an’ all. We got the room.” ‘Cuz right then, I back down. I think that there aint nothin I could tell her that wouldn’t go wrong, wouldn’t be too much, wouldn’t complicate stuff. Cuz don’t everyone deserve somethin’ offered without wantin’ something back?

...Trip, man, but maybe I was just sorta scared, too. She’s kinda got that headstrong thing like Mom, dig? An’ I know that this feelin… It’s sorta, like, f’r that personal Kite that doesn’t wanna do any a’ this business ‘r live forever ‘r handle that kinda pace you need to do a foot race with the reaper, dig? It’s cool if you don’t dig. But it wouldn’t be… It wouldn’t be cool if she didn’t. So then, I think I gotta keep it under the wig.


But she wilts a little, like the night air’s just draggin’ on her, even with that bitta spring cool that dies slow out here in Windenburg. An, uh, you gotta smack Kite if he misses that kinda thing, dig?

So, I think, Kite’s gotta own up. Much as I can.

“...There is one thing else, dig?”

“…Cuz ’ if you’re gonna run around tellin’ Kite that I bring you joy, just bein’ near you… Why wouldn’t I wanna stick on you like glue? ‘Cause even if that’s everythin’ – an I’m sayin’ it not like you owe me or anythin’, if I just wanted you to owe me, that’d be, like, the beyondest of square. Nah. It’d be awful –” Trip, I was ramblin. An there’s stuff I coulda said, too, an’ I didn’t. Because this is honest, too. I mean every word. “ I don’t wanna lean on you  or hit on or ask too much…But just. Your smile’s just so cosmic. Your smile’s a sun. An that… An’ you… matter t’ me.”

An’ just like that, it’s like it aint even night no more. The sun came up. She shakes ‘er head.

“…That’s not asking anything, you… That might just be the most wonderful thing anyone’s ever said to me.” Her voice sounds all chokes. She pats my hand, an the moment stretches out so it’s fine like spiderweb an’ just as soft. I don’t know what I gotta say. But she moves just a little closer, leanin’ across our hands.

An’ just then, we feel the first drops of rain, an’ that spiderweb snaps, leavin’ us as ends in the wind. We scamble f’r our umbrellas.

“It’s raining.”
“Yeah, dude.” I can’t do it. Trip, trip, I can’t. “...It’s rainin’.”

“...I think… We should head inside, I guess.” She sounds fed up as she storms on off. Can’t blame ‘er. ...Yeah. It sure was rainin’.

Ka-san and Maggie’ve been spending some nice time together lately. It aint hard to be proud he’s doin’ good.

“And working on an aesthetic! How cute!”

“An aesthetic… Yes, yes. I like the sound of that! Okasan, I’m working on an aesthetic!” He gives a dramatic wave. “An aesthetic’s gotta have color, right? I see those simstagram pictures tagged #aesthetic. But black and white alone are boring!”

“I’m with you, of course; I’m all about color, too.”

“Color-buddies,” says Maggie, noddin’ like he’s got a good wisdom there.

“Of course, honey. Color-buddies for life!”

That aint a sorta thing that’s goin’ anywhere, I just thought, like, dude should know, man. Dig how stone-cold cute my family is! Cute city!

‘Specially before I give you the stone-cold drag: Mrs. Munch, you know, that cat up the hill? She’s playing with ghosts.

Friend of the family an’ all, so Mom went down for her urn.

I didn’t really know Gino an’ all, dig? So maybe it aint my place to talk on it; it’d be Mom’s, that’s what I’m thinkin. ‘R the old ghost himself, ‘r Mila’s ghost, too. You never really run outta time -- ‘r, if you do, it’s slow -- to say a eulogy for yourself.  Still, not like they’re chilling here; so I feel like I’ve gotta say somethin, honor someone. But, like, it’s hard to boil anyone down to just one face, just a little thing, catch all the seeds someone grew an’ put a label on it, man. Maybe even mean, But the livin’ remember the dead, too, right, an’ they’ve gotta.

I get what Mom means a little: there’s no fairness t’ someone dyin. So this might be rough, dig? There’s a lot crammin’ in, an’ there’s no space fer me t’say, but… If I had to judge for myself, from what Mom did...

I think he’da been glad. I think they both woulda been glad. That in the end, they got t’be together like that.

Mom had t’ collect herself an’ head other places, takin’ a time to try an’ meet someone she’d read some articles from… Like, if you know what she wanted, you can tell me, right, dude?

Still, he weren’t home. Which left Mom frustrated as all get-out, mumblin’ about inconveniences an’ tryin’ to do things the right way an’ all.

“For once, I didn’t use the most efficient method, like a normal person, and look where it gets me! Banging on the door to a bad apartment. Let that be a lesson to you, Kite: sieze opportunities or force them into being. None of this ‘actually drop by hoping he’s in’ business.”

Sure, sure… Uh… Well… Mom was sorta on the warpath -- maybe she was more bent outta shape ‘bout Mila an’ all, after all… ‘Cuz she called up Maximilliano when she got home.

“Maxi, you’re out,” she says, like rippin’ off a band-aid.

“What?” He stands, sorta flabbergasted -- but mostly mad. Trip, max sorry, Max. It’s gotta sting. ‘Course, I was in class, so, like, second-hand report, dig?

“The club. I need space, and I don’t need you anymore.”On the plus-side, Mom’s prob’ly thinkin’ on Kacie some, too.

“But why?”

“Oh, Max. Max. I never forgot the dollhouse.”
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Offline Deme

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Chapter 39: Paintings by Monsieur Old Dead Guy

Sos, Mom’s gettin a little hem-hem, if you dig me, on the whole aspiration dealio. Trip, OK, so your pal Kite’s been a little, like, doin’ his own thing f’r a bit. But, there’s stuff I gotta do -- so: trip to the museum time. But I decide that, an’ everyone thinks it’s cool to chill at the pad! If Kacie hadn’t agreed t’ go, I’d be off by my lone -- oh. Ohhhh. Trip, that was pretty, like, cool of ‘em, skeedadlin’. I did not puzzle this one out at the time at all, so, yeah, might get a smile outta you there.

But I really was swingin’ there to have a peep at the paintin’s, dig? These are classics, and it aint right to say you know what on art if you aint checkin’ out what other folks do. It aint, like, the classics are so special, but that, like, an artist can’t get too insular, man. War takes, an’ so ‘the war’ll feed itself’ an all that jazz. But art don’t feed itself; art’s givin, breakin off little bits of the world an holdin’ it up so you see it, framed diff’rent how you see it while you’re, like, running the rat race, man, dig? But if all you see’s your own work, then yet chewin yourself up an’ tasting yourself, an’ it falls apart. Art’s for the oneness cosmic, so you gotta be out in the world a little, seein’ it, an’ seein’ what people think of it, an’ wool-gatherin’ yer own stuff.

An it’da been, like, real cool if I’d got all that in my head when I was talkin’ to Kacie ‘bout it, dig?

“And here we have,” she says while she’s lookin at this one, “Another painting by monsieur old dead guy.”

“Awww, c’mon. They aint flashy, but you got some real artstry here.” It aint like he picked bein’ an ol’ dead guy. I’m gonna be an old livin’ guy sometime, an’ it’d suck to be shoved aside f’r it. “Now, see, I kinda dig this one--”

“Because it’s a floral print?” She laughs a little.

“‘Cuz it’s a floral print. But also, like, the colors got a little cloudish glow to ‘em, like you can’t get ‘fr pictures, ‘cuz pictures got focus. “Kinda a rich fullness sort of vibe, dig, like a flower you’d get in a dream. That’s nice. I dig that. Snaps.”

“Huh… Like a flower in a dream…Kinda silly, but...I can let myself, right?” She murmurs, grinnin’ sort a’ dreamlike. I want a dreamy kinda world to show someone, I think; I could get lost in colors snugglin’ smoothly into each other like this, you know? But when she’s sayin’ that, I get thinkin’ on somethin’ else.

On another flower from a dream.

“I’d think a flower from a dream would be a little more bright, though,” she was sayin’ when my brain, like, came down from outer space.”Maybe purple? Or a mix of colors. Something that didn’t live or die with the seasons. You’d look and there it’d be, always.”

We were on a bench. We’d been sittin. ‘Cuz I had gone from upright to not, just sorta watchin’ her. Still,

“...You think? I kinda think a seasonality’s, like, real cool, Kacie.Like, it’s in-groove with the world, an’ it’s got its ups and its downs, just like… Well, everythin’. There’s, like, time for all of it, livin’ and dyin. A time to spring an’ a time to rest. It’s the definition of groovy.”

“Hmmm… Oh! What about the tropics? Take that, Mr. Seasony Space Prince.”

“Then you go dry an’ wet.”

“Hmph. I’m a big enough woman to admit when I’m beaten.” She says, all flouncin’.

“Awww, you know Kite didn’t mean it like that! Don’t get mad!”

She laughs an’ pulls me in.

“I’m not, silly. I’m not. Now, you were pretty quiet there for a bit… How was the moon, Space Prince? Did you make it to the milky way?”

“Aint we already there?” I gotta admit, I chuckled. “It was outa sight in kinda, like, a literal way, dig?I was just scratchin’ my dome on last night.”

An’ related things.

“...Huh. Yeah. Yeah, I have something I want to say about that, too.” She gets up pretty sudden-like.

“I’ve been thinking on this since last night, but… You’re so out of it sometimes, you get that?” She’s smilin when she says it, but ol’ Kite’s alarm bells? Ring-ring-ring. “Ugh, that sounded too mean, should have edited, but you understand me so it’s fine, right?”

“...I don’t dig.” Ahhh, knew I shouldn’ta pushed it.

“I guess… What I want to say is there’s nothing wrong with asking for what you want…” An’ I nod, ‘cuz I know she’s right, I just – it’s not somethin’ I can just say fer me. I mean, not right now, I mean – you dig, right? This crazy, far-out, perfect girl… She’s hurtin. It’d be wrong a’ me to ask her f’r somethin’ like… Just watchin’ her is enough. “Here, princey. Let me show you.”

Show me –
An’ then, suddenly.

She’s plantin’ one on me. Sudden like a rainstorm, heatin’ like the sun..Almost delicate, just a little soft touch that left my lips a little red. She pulled me in closer, her hand on my back.

“Do you ‘dig it’ now, Kite? This is what I want,” she whispered.

“I can dig it.”

Trip, right answer there, ‘m I right? The kiss she planted bloomed like wildflowers, an’ I’m totally swept off my feet. It was a smokin’ sorta kiss, like, just wild. I coulda just been carried into a meadow a’ gardenias, lifted on the scent a’ her bodywash; I coulda drowned in the sense a’ her. Stronger’n I thought, too, an… I just melted in there, dig, supported by her arms, groovin with the touch a’ her hands. She held my back like it was the world, an’ I wanned to be that. I wanted the whole world to stop, an’ we could fit all that jazz in that kiss.

Trip, man. It was some kiss. Sucked the breath right outta me.

“Haaa… That was… Oh, wow. I totally went in for the tongue on the first kiss. I did! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’d defeat my point if I said I didn’t want to, just… I’m not trying to go too fast. That was OK, right?” She asks, tryin’ to catch her breath. “It’s fine,” she decided, in the voice she always uses when she don’t know what else t’ do. That way that kinda breaks my heart.

“...Course, course it will. Y’know why?” I reach out f’r an arm. “I know what I wanna ask a’ you. That cool?”

She nods, a little small at first, an then grinnin.

Peals a giggles fill the museum as I rain little kisses alon’ that soft neck. Everythin’ sparkles as she’s laughin’ in my arms. ‘R maybe that was the guy agin’ up over there, donno, man. Coulda been both. I wanna hear her laugh like that, like, forever, dude.

Nice, man… Think my head was spinnin’ a little when I stopped.

“So, this is it, right? We’re definitely boyfriend and girlfriend, none of this free love business, no just playing nice, no friends with benefits, no fake out ‘sorry, Kace, I think of you as my sister that’s why you’re living with us like a family, right?” She asks, still a little nervous, like ‘I’m cool to get a thing I want without just takin’ it, right?’ Now, I don’t really got an issue with, like, someone lovin’ many folks, but…

“Course. Like, I don’t got a lotta issue if folks are cool lovin’ whoever they want, but…I kinda wanna be a little selfish, keep a chick like you all to myself.”

“Good, because I’m not sharing while I’m alive,” she said, absolutely certain.

“Eeheeeheee! We’re dating!”

“We are!”

We both get so over the moon an’ maybe some other kinda cosmic spaces that, uh, the museum kicks us out. Trip, man, aint a couple in love an art?

We end up just chillin’ on the grounds ‘til this date, ‘cuz, like, this is totally a date, right, dude? Air’s a little nippy out there, too, an’ it seems like the perfect time t’ snuggle up.

An she says t’ me: “...I think I might be a little sorry. Just a bit, timing-wise. You were supposed to come here to look at art.”

“What cat’s sayin’ I haven’t?”

‘Ventually, we gotta head back. Homework’s waitin, an’ I’m all set, but Kacie’s still got some grades she could pull up.

An Mom’s seein’ to that with that punch’a hers.

“That’s not quite right; you’ve got to use the velocity formula for that one, first… You know... “Her eyes narrow.

“Yeah, Mom?”

“You look too happy for teenagers doing physics homework. Hmmm…” She grins. “Good job, kids. Good job.”

“...Somehow, I get the feeling that’s not the right response in this situation…” Kacie comments.

“It’s right for me, and isn’t that what really counts?” Mom answers, gettin’ a kind of admirin’ grin from Kacie in response. But… Maybe I kinda want to tell folks, like...Personally-like. Ka-san prob’ly already knew, I figgered. So, homework’s done, an’ I go to tell my right-hand man.

“Hi, Kite! How was the museum? Did they have anything cool?”

“Some. Some, kinda, you had t’ make cool. You’d prob’ly dig an art house in the city more, huh?”

“That’d be great! We should go, and I would like, at that time, to have a show! I will be fawned on!”

“Big words, man. Big words. I want an invite.”

“It will be done!”

“But, hey, can we riff in your room a tic? Got somethin’ to say.”

“So, like…” I lean on in an whisper t’ him: A girl’s got Kite! Kite’s got a girl! Somethin’ in that order!

“How wonderful! Springtime has at last sprung for my darling older brother! I’ll be rooting for you!” When he says it like that, you’d figger he’s got his way in the world waaay ahead of a guy like me.

“You got someone special in mind, Maggie?”

“I have the world in mind! And, I’ve got goals! I heard the news!”

“What news’s that?”

“You will learn soon. For now, the game is… Um… Afoot! That’s right!”

Heh heh heh. Good luck, bro.

I don’t get t’ find out on that ‘til the next day. Course, first, it was time t’ garden. It’s gotten kinda big, an school was kinda comin’ up…

So Kacie stepped up t’ help on out.

I told ‘er, “Sorry f’r the troubs… But it’s, like, mondo cool.”

“Aww, don’t worry about it,” she told me as she pulled up a weed. “It’s not that bad. Besides…”

“The view’s getting really nice.”

An it is. “Sides, there’s a pretty girl I’m wild f’r in it, and that is just some far-out knees of some far-out bees.

So, there’s Magpie, right? An’ he’s puttin’ his plan into action, like.

“Mom, I’d like to quit the scouts!”

“The scouts are useful,” is her first response. “What for?”

“The school’s getting a drama club! Can I, Mom, can I? I’ll be good and I’ll do great and you’ll get to go to shows!” He’s so stoked he starts tuggin’ at her, like he c’n just pull Mom to the drama club with him. Mom eventually just ruffles his hair. It’d be just his thing, doncha think?

“Well, I don’t know what good it will do, but go for it, kid.”


“Starting today, I am… A Thespian!”
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Offline BallerinaHippo

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Very accommodating of that random guy to age up and add sparkling ambiance to Kite and Kacie's date.  I'm glad you explained it or I would have been trying to figure out what social interaction you used.   ;D 

Magpie is as cute as ever.  I hope the Drama Club can handle him.

Offline Deme

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Very accommodating of that random guy to age up and add sparkling ambiance to Kite and Kacie's date.  I'm glad you explained it or I would have been trying to figure out what social interaction you used.   ;D 

Magpie is as cute as ever.  I hope the Drama Club can handle him.

I thought that might be called for! Once he started aging up, I immediately had to pause and try to swerve around the camera. For ambiance.

I'm really enjoying having Magpie around to write for -- he's at a reasonably fun place in my actual save, which... Uhhh... My backlog kind of got a little out of hand. Better try and do something about that!
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Offline Deme

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Chapter 40: Trustworthy Fake Rabbit a' Excellence

.So, startin’ off t’day, got some good news f’r ya!

Uncle Johnny’s been puttin’ enough moves on folks that now, it’s, like, an accomplishment! He finally got done all the serial romancin! Round a’ applause.

“Of course, no one’s ever expected enough of me, romantically, to get jealous,” he drops me that line. “And I thank all those wonderful girls for that understanding.”

That’s a guy who knows what he wants, more’r less. Power t’him.

So, I get home an’ catch Kacie starin’ at the little new addition we got here.

“Kite, why is there suddenly a ceramic rabbit in ou—Your garden?”

“Who, Stanely? It’s cool. We’re cool.” Look, he’s cool dude. Aint that a trustworthy fake rabbit a’ excellence face?

“...OK, that’s sort of more questions.”

“Donno. Teach gave ‘im to me. I figgered it’d be nice to see a happy face. Stanley outside, Ranger in, dig?” Someone’s gotta watch over the greenhouse, an’ bein kinda toys don’t mean they aint my pals. Ever dug that the real excellence’s the pals we made along the way?

“…That’s so cute. My boyriend’s so cute!” She laughs an’ buries her head in her hands.

Dude, I hope you came prepped fer sap.

Kace an’ I (gotta work out, like, a pet name or summin. Pook? ‘S like pooky, only, like, just a bit shorter.) sorta gotta make the mosta what time we got. The big Y-A’s tomorrow, an’ this’s all the time we got f’r a week.

“Kinda bums me out...Nah, that aint it. More edges me out, dig? Like, got a younger gal here an’ maybe I’m takin’ advantage a --”

“That is what I think about that, Mr. Avyan,” ‘s what she says when she stops kissin’ me. “I’ve got my act together, and, frankly, I think I’ve got a leg up on you in terms of not being taken advantage of! If I don’t stand up for you, you’ll just go lie in the flowers.”

“...It aint that bad.”

“Alright, alright. I just… Like bein’ sure, you dig?”

“I dig. It’s cute. It’ll be fine.”

“We’ll still find plenty of time together, OK? We’ll do garden work, or swing, or watch birds. You can even paint me like one of your French girls,” she giggles a little, an’ man, I do wanna paint her. Sunfall like this, glowin’ around her, air an’ sky soft as her eyes. ‘S real good.

“Trip, tha’s good… Kite don’t exactly got any French girls, though. Just you.”

“Well, I’ll have to make up the deficit, won’t I?”
“Aint nothin’ deficit ‘bout a far-out chick like you.” I wanna save that sight in a bottle; I wanna keep it f’rever an’ then some, like, when we’s all livin’ on the moon an I’m wanderin’ the moon an’ could see the springs a’ Jupiter an Mars, I wanna be able t’say: Look at this chick. Look at this moment.
“…You mean that, don’t you?”

 “’Course I do.”

“I’d be fine if you didn’t. Because I know. I’d be fine, so…” I just hold her tighter when she mumbles that.

“I mean it heart an’ soul.”

While we’re havin’ our kinda evenin’, Mom’s hatchin’ a scheme t’ fix up what she missed earlier.

“Hi, are you here for the meeting of the ‘Meet Salim Benali Club’?” Mom used the same sorta trick she told me t’do fer callin’ up Aurora.

“Uh, yeah…” Says Salim, standin’ awkward on the front porch. “Why exactly is it called that? I signed up because I was curious, but…”

“I’ll tell you! Let us call our first meeting to order. I’m sure it’d like a salad.”

“...What?” Poor dude’s never met hurricane Mom.

 “I acknowledge having met you, Salim. Can I call you Salim? Gonna do it anyway. Kestral here. Anyway, having summoned you to my home, I now disband the Meet Salim Benali club.” Mom grins an’ fires a coupla’ finger five-shooters his way.

“Ohh, you wanted to hang out. Well, I guess I’m game. I don’t get out of the apartment enough.”

“Except to foil me,” Mom mutters just low enough you gotta be tuned to her vibe t’catch. “No, nevermind that. Hanging out’s fine.” 

“So, you write, right?” She asks him.

“I wish. I think I mostly think about writing. There’s work, and the apartment always needs something, and by the time I get done all that, I’m too exhausted to work. It’s… really kind of pitiful, how much of my life I’ve wasted, wishing I just had the energy.” Poor dude. I know where Mom’s goin, but I kinda gotta wonder if it aint what he needs. Just… anythin.

“Huh...You know, it sounds like you need to get away. Dedicate yourself to your craft… Why not come stay here?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, live with us. We’ve got money for some nice, comfy chairs…” The mention a’ comfy chairs sends Salim hmm’ing all content, like riffin’ on a good meal. “No need to work, we can handle our chores well enough… Think about it. There’d be time enough for whatever you want.”

“That does sound nice… But why would you want to offer that? It doesn’t seem like I’d contribute.” He’s gotta pull himself outta fallin’ out over comfy chairs long enough t’ smell what Mom’s really about.

“Well, we’re something vaguely approaching friendsishness. I guess. But I would just want a little favor. Tiny.” Her fingers make a li’l gap. “Itty-bitty. I just need you to pump out some babies. Cute ones for preference. Mostly girls.”

“With whom?!”

“Whomever. I’ll set you up with some folks. Mostly local girls who are worried about not having anyone to pass their stuff to.”

Here’s where the dude balks. It’s, uh, kinda a big ask, Mom, you dig that, don’t you? But Mom just chilly delivers any big asks she’d ask fer.

“...Can I...think about this?”

“Sure, sure. The comfy writing chairs aren’t going anywhere.” Mom sees him off with a last twist.

That evenin’s alien night down by the docks, an’ it seems a happenin’ enough scene f’r Lily to call up her sis. An’ one way or another, we all end up goin’ down there.

Why me? Well, I’m, like, kinda there t’get shown off.

“Lily! Lily. Don’t tell mom yet, okay? But Kite and I are dating!” She’s sorta hushed, but, like, not very. I c’n hear her. Everyone can.

“What, really? Wow! Aaaaahhh, it’d be nice to have a boyfriend~” Lily squeals, the sorta erratic swingset a’ feelin’s swingin’ round to a happier glow.

“You’ll get one, one of these days. Don’t worry,” Kacie said.

“I’ll have one, and I’ll love him and hug him and call him George --”

“Will you only date a guy called George?”

“If he loves me,” she says, snappin’ outta it f’r a sec. “He’d be Ok with changing. Or she,” that’s just sorta said straight, so whatcha gonna say? Kacie just goes a-huh an grabs us a table.

“Y’think?” I ask her. “Would you be changin’ fer your Saint George, Lily my dude?”

“Of course! A rose by any other name would smell as sweet! But swear that you love me, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet! But…” She kinda pauses.  “I’m already not. So I have a head start! Besides, I can crush a fool.”

“You kiddin?” I ask. Kacie gives my arm a tug.

“She’s not.” She grinned an’ waved the talk offa that course.

Meanwhile, like, Ka-san’s still workin’ hard, gettin’ bro an I to fly straight.

“I don’t see why the drama teacher said I couldn’t improv the back half of the play. It’s not like my lines weren’t better!” Magpie, y’see, got into sorta a fuss. Not, like, somethin’ super big, he’d just kinda gone to the groove of his own drum, dig?

“Well, honey, it’s important to be polite and inform your team when you’re doing something like that, okay? You’re a party, you can’t split the party or everyone dies in a series of disasters!” K-san’s metaphor don’t seem the thing f’r this, but, trip, like I’m one t’ open my mouth on it. Maybe it’s kinda alike, but it just aint my jam t’get. Workin’ with someone’s bout anticipatin’ their needs, though, so I get that.

“So you think I should have apologized,” grumbles a this one artiste as a young kid.

“Well, yes...But I also think you should stick to your guns! Art is about improvement and collaboration! It’s good to add things sometimes, I think!” Mom fist-pumps mid dance, while the beat’s jammin’ out ‘round her.

“...Thanks, Mom. Alright! I shall try to be considerate. While I do whatever I want.”

“That’s the spirit!”

Back at out table, Lily and Kacie’ve been doin’ some catch-up f’r the coupla’ days we’ve had.

“Lily, you’ve been eating OK, right?” Kacie’s got kinda a worried tone, while Lily’s just sorta pacin’ around. “You didn’t forget, or decide putting food in your mouth is just too much work so you just laid in bed, right?”

“...Don’t worry?” Lily says, fakin’ a smile.

“That’s my line. You can’t keep doing that!” Kacie’s layin’ down the law, but that folks who worry sick an’ helpless do. So, that’s got me thinkin -- if she’s got that kinda problems, was tryin’ to help one folk at someone else’s cost? But it aint like it’s Kacie’s job. She’s a kid, too, you dig? So...I drum out f’r a second on what to do f’r helpin Lily.

“Hey, y’know, if, like, a meal’s a hassle to wrassle when life’s a drag an’ brainworms got ya bummed, what on popcorn?” It aint gonna rock the world, but if you turn one little section, trip, if that aint enough.


“Yeah. ‘S easy, quick, got a lot, kinda fillin. Like, it aint ‘xactly a meal, but if yer havin’ trouble jusy, like, havin’ a munch, then aint anythin’ you can get a W fer you? Gotta chow ‘fore you chow well.” I aint that guy, but Christian told me once -- he kinda gets that way, an’ when he does, it’s popcorn. And that’s real swell -- don’t you forget it, too. When gettin’ by is hard, every turn a’ the wheel’s worth somethin proud.

“...That’ idea! I’ll try it.” Lily nods, an’ I gotta hand it to my man Christian. Really came through for her, Dude. An’ me. “That’s a really nice idea.”

“Isn’t he a delight?” Asks Magpie, slidin’ on in. Trip, man, makin’ me red.

“He’s pretty okay! I can see why Kacie likes him.”

“Your sister’s a nice person, too.” Magpie nods, an Kacie an’ I realize we might be gettin’ kinda talked on like we aint here.

“They’re kind of odd if you don’t see them together, but they’re cute, right?” Lily gestures like she’s sellin’ us at auction ‘r summin.

“Right!” Magpie agrees.

“And if someone tries to hurt either of them, we fall on them like a pack of wolves for hurting our precious kids,” Lily says, like she aint younger’n Kacie an’ Me. ‘R like Magpie aint younger’n all a’ us. Trip, man, Magpie just eats that up, though.

“We have a pact, would-be sister-in-law!” Deal struck, they shake.

“...Don’t we get a say?” Kacie sighs against the sudden wall risen up. It aint worth it, though. Just smile an’ make chill with some good folks who love ya, girl.

Ka-san had somethin’ to chill with, too. See, she an’ Mom’ve both been workin’ on bein, like, Super Parents. An, like, Mom’s kinda issues sometimes aside, they are great ‘rents. But Ka-san was waitn on full-parent mode.

“Ah, you finally got it?” Mom asks, seein’ her lie down next t’ her with, like, such a satisfied kinda look.

“I did! I was talking to Magpie about his school troubles! Woo-hoo, what a rush!”

“Proud of us...Now a certain boy just needs to have a birthday tomorrow,” Mom says that, but she kinda, like, speaks up some? Like, I can’t age faster’n I can, you dig?

“We’ve done great,” Ka-san said, proudly layin’ her hand over Mom’s.

“Of course we have. We have myself, a couple of great kids, and you, all the way,” Mom says, slowly reachin’ to take hand in hand. Ka-san giggled.

Once we got outta our own little groups, we got t’ really enjoy some Alien Night. Even saw a couple, just chillin’ at the bar! ‘s pretty fun to see. Sure, it’d be back to, like, everything the day after -- big day then -- but it was good havin’, like, a big night out.

Still, that day, weeds were a-waitin. I got Kacie t’ help again, but my own weedin’s kinda gettin’ quicker… Those things got kinda a kickback, so you gotta, like, take it easy, dig?

Weeds done, crops watered, reward: given.
“Thanks, Kace.”

“I was glad to. But I don’t mind sneaking in a couple of last kisses.”

We aint the only one feelin’ sweet in the outdoors that day, dig?

But I’ll pretend I didn’t know nothin’ on Mom and Ka-san’s special spot. Gotta be respectful, but I figgered you already knew, dig?

But, f’r this one, one last kinda thing! Salim came ‘round, just ‘fore school got rollin. (Trip, man, couldn’t even skip my last day!)

“...I admit, I’m not really certain… I’m not the most social guy… But I’m in.”

“Fantastic! Fantastic! We’ll help you move. You won’t regret this, Salim,” Mom says, pattin’ him on the back while she showed him on in.

“...Yes. I believe that. Of course I do.”

Gotta talk t’ the ol’ guy later. Put him at ease an’ junk. But we got him set up pretty nice. Got some stuff from his old pad, got some new stuff, got him a chill attic room, dig? Peace an’ quiet.

Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"A Truth Universally Acknowledged" (4/29/19)
« Reply #132 on: April 29, 2019, 04:17:31 PM »
Chapter 41: A Truth Universally Acknowledged

Aint school days a drag? Well, this one was my last, so seeya, teach! An' there was still stuff t’ mention, at least.

To get kinda a soce-practice, Akira called up an’ ol’ gal-pal a’ his, Justine.

“I hope you two get along, and can help each other out,” Akira says. “I’m going to get up and walk away to keep myself from exploding from the awkward and-slash-or having my brain attack itself about this image.”

An’ he made like an egg and beat it. I think he means that, it aint like the importance a’ someone bein’ his ever, like, really left. But it’s somethin’ he fights, now, dig? Even if they aint actually his anymore. Habits take work, not just science, dig? So, time to just kinda chat a bit.

“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Salim, I… Think very hard about writing fairly often,” he offers, with a shrug.

“So you’re a writer?” She asks him, leavin’ an opening.

“...I think very hard about being a writer fairly often.” A good-natured, but kinda sad chuckle’s, how it was kinda relayed to me. Man, dude! Put some faith in you! But it warms her over.

“Hahaha, that’s something! I kind of get what you mean. It’s hard to act on what you want sometimes, right? But I’m sure you can do it.” Her hands reached across th’ table f’r his, but he kinda laughed nervous-like an tried to make scarce.

“Thank you! I’ve cut out a lot of things from my life, so I’m hoping to do some work.” He at least got his eyes set on, like, the thing he wants, dig? “I mainly think of myself as a poet, but I’ve sort of been wanting… I’m not getting any younger. Even if I didn’t do much with my life, I’d like a record of it.”

“That sounds interesting. I’d like to read it… But I bet you’d like to write it.” She grinned. “But Akira said you need help talking to women?”

“Well, not talking. I’m not afraid of women. But flirting, I’ve never really flirted.”

“Alright, stand up. Pretend you’re meeting me. Deliver your best line.”

“...Uhhhh…. Hi. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a pretty lady like you.”

“Ahaheehee...We can keep practicing. Let’s keep practicing.”

Part a’ that practice was gettin’ a new look. Groovy, right?

Once school got out, I had some business afore the party got started, like.

“Hey, Maggie. You know my kid’s club-type thing?”

“Yeah! I do. Are you looking for my assistance, now that you’re aging out of it?”

“That’s right. Whole thing’s yours now, so I hope you’ll rock that scene, my dude.”

“It will be rocked.” Seein’ him all puffed up an’ excited gets me grinnin’.

Kace pulls me over an’ kinda sits me down.

“There’s a movie on, and I want to see it. You’re watching.”

“Well, there’s a prophecy you can’t throw down with. Lead the way.”

The flick’s kinda not my jam, a big action flick sorta dealio. Big explosions. But, hey: you know what’s great to watch? A great chick snugglin’ you on the couch.

“You know, if this movie were about the lady scientist, it’d be ten times better.”

“Yeah, like, sorta checkin’ out the world an’ the aliens an’ all?”

“That’s right! Fighting the good fight with her field, that kind of thing. The world’s more interesting than anything else in this movie, but we waste our time.”

“Hmm, yeah. It’d be nice f’r, like, that kinda budget on somethin’ where maybe she’d show those cats, like, what she’s for. An’ you open your heart an it makes a difference, man.”

We nod, an’ when it gets to sorta the final battle, head on out.

We gotta enjoy a little somethin’ in the sun, before we get on in the high gear.

Time grinds ever onward, slippin’ faster an’ faster when it goes by. It moves on a pace that, like, we control when we think on it -- but then, we aint got no control. It carries on somewhere we can’t reach all the way, like your heart beatin’.  Only real clock there is, ‘cause time’s, just, like, an illusion of that beat, you dig?

So let’s get this party started!

“Hi, honey! Hi, Kacie!” Ka-san sits on down at the outdoor table. “I just wanted to check in. Are you nervous?”

“Ehhh…. Naaah, I’m, like, good, Ka-san. Little bummed, since I know I gotta work f’r the man.” The man, man. I wouldn’t tell Mom, but Ka-san’d just sniff it out. “But it’s cool. I got a plan.”

“Oh? Let me in on it!” Ka-san nearly bounces outta her seat.

“Probably gonna paint a while. Maybe someday I’d, like, open a shop or somethin’. If it aint too much bother, like.”

Ka-san nods along.

“I think it’ll suit you. The hours get pretty lax, too, so you’ll have more time to yourself, from what I’ve heard,” Kacie says.

And aint that a pretty picture?

“Bonnie! How are you doing?”

“I’m doing alright, dad. I’ve been thinking -- it’s still cold at night, and you’re not getting any younger. I’ve seen your sleepwear,” she says, scoldin. Uncle Johnny smiles kinda like a sheep, if you dig me.

“It’s not that bad… But why bring it up now?”

“I got you a sweater to sleep in. It’ll be warm, and you won’t be half-dressed if we come by, and that’s really important.”

“Awww, honey! If that isn’t just…”

“Oh, I walked into this,” she sighs.

“The cat’s pajama’s!” An’ the old man swans off, chucklin’.

F’r party games, cards is sorta the winner that day. You know who aint a winner?


“C’mon! Aint a birthday sim gotta have good luck?”

“No one has ever said that.” Kace tosses down a queen while she talks.

“Sorry, Kite! I remind you that I got lit on fire on my birthday!” Diya says, pickin’ up the trick.

“Trip, yer onto that! Guess Birthdays’re no-luck kinda days. Gotta put some luck into the future, like a luck-bank, maybs?

“...A luck bank. I hope I’ve got something invested,” Diya mutters t’herself.

“‘M sure you do. You got the trick, right?”

“I did!”

OK, game’s done. Cake time.

“A one, an’ a two, an’ somethin a little more!”

A cheer goes up as I’m rockin’ a new age group. Not like it’s a huge diff’rence, anyone coulda told I Love the Outdoors. Mom and Ka-san’s efforts, like, paid off big time: people’re sayin’ I got a good character, but… Trip, man. I aint real sure it’s much t’ brag on.

“You’re being too modest, Kite,” Hob says over cards, when it kinda runs that way. “I know better than anyone how hard you’ve always tried to be…” He waves a hand. “Amicably acceptable to all.”

“Alliteration. Groovy.” We fist-bump, like bros, ‘cause when your man lays down a line, that’s somethin’ to respect.

“And non-troubling. Why not take the credit and enjoy the perks?”

“Perks?” I ask him.

“Yeah,” Bonnie interjects. “For example, increased job performance. Just flinging around the word ‘responsible’ is enough.”

Huh, thought I. If that wouldn’t just get the work done faster…

“Yeah. Mom tried to work on my values…” Carla’s breath snags somethin, an’ I reach out to pat ‘er arm. Hob follows up, like, but Bonnie kinda just smirks at us softies. “Well. Anyway, but everyone always said I was incorrigible!”

“...Aren’t you the one that steals things?” Bonnie says, raisin the stakes on the game.

“Not that you can prove.”

“You know, my mom always said ‘I did a good enough job, no one’s in prison yet.’ But, come on, Mom,” I heard Mom sayin’. Trip, man, I aint really got a grip on my Granmas. It’s a thing no one’s got a word on. “You don’t go to prison as a teenager.”

“It seems a weird metric, though. Like, ‘ohhhh, as long as they follow the law, that’s all that matters.’ It’s cruel! That’s not how you tell if you did a good job as a parent at all!” A little ring a metal an’ porcelain goes out; Ka-sans cake slice got stabbed with some *force*.

“How would you evaluate that, then? I’m approaching my own Young Adulthood. I’m rather curious,” Yaritza says.

“Wellll~ First, do they know how to keep themselves safe? Do they feel okay? Did you treat them like people, not things? Can they tell if things about how you raised them were hurtful?” She flicks ‘em off on her fingers, one by one. “Things like that. Being able to be happy is important, and feeling loved by you is important, too!”

“...Huh. That’s a pretty decent list. I’ll add ‘Do they have the resources to chase their ambitions’!..Heh.” Mom grins. “I guess we did alright.”

“I think we could have done a little better in some ways, but don’t all parents?”

Huh… Yeah, I’d say they’re alright. There’s some stuff a’ Mom’s I aint too fond’a… But she did her best, an’ she does great in other ways. People aint perfect -- parents aint perfect. They’re get thumbprints on your glass, even if they’re tryin’ real hard to keep that clean… I wonder if when you grow up, like, f’r real, is when you realize that? Trip, man, when’s anyone really grown up? When’s anyone anything?

“You’re grown up when you can drink the sort of juice mom works with,” was Magpie’s first answer when we ended up chattin’ on it outside. “And when you can make your own image of yourself, fearless, against the world! Or! Or!”


“When you can drive alongside a beach road in the sunset, the rims of your wheels flashing in the golden light, in beautiful red convertible! When the wind’s in your hair, that’s when you’re an adult.”

We both consider it. I aint real sure I’m a convertible type. You sure we aint got electric? ‘R somethin you can, like, give a groovy paint job to.

“...Besides, the town aint givin’ out licenses in, like, ever.”

“It’s a state of mind, rather than a literal vehicle.” He says that… But, trip, man. If my little bro don’t look a little bummed.

Near the end a’ the party, we head on up, jam out to games. Ka-san’s still the best at this! Those aliens don’t know they’re comin’ or goin’ when she’s got buttons to press. When the party was dyin’ down, Mom came over to see me, last.

“I got you something, too… We’re on another leg now, so let’s keep our heads up, okay, Kite?”

“Got it, Mom.” Yeah, we do. This aint gonna be too hard, right?

“You’ll do great. But this! Is something my research into vampires turned up. Handy for cures… But also, it’s a flower that stays blooming the whole year. So you’ll always have something green.”

“Gee, Mom. That’s a far-out bloom we got goin’ there. It’ll be nice, gettin’ that rooted down. Seein’ what we can get rollin, poppin’ out in the winter.”

“Right, right! It gets so gloomy...And? Kite? I’m proud of you, kiddo. You might be the best thing I was ever a part of.”

“Trip, Mom… You’re gettin’ all the waters workin’.You got me all pumped up now.”

I tried doin’ a little somethin’ with my hair now. Got some new duds, that kinda thing. Not bad, huh?

Kace and Ka-san each got some new stuff, too. Diggin the hair heaps, Ka-san, an’ Kacie’s rockin’ both the looks she’s got, but, like, that’s kinda just how’s it is.

Anyhoodle, I better get rollin. There’ll be paintin’s for work an’ the museum an’ all, but… It was my birthday. So that one’s just f’r me.

Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline Deme

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Do I Need a Sliding Scale" (5/6/19)
« Reply #133 on: May 06, 2019, 05:11:22 PM »
Chapter 42: Do I Need a Sliding Scale

Someone said ‘keep a journal, it’ll help you get your thoughts together.’ They’re plenty together! They’re just kind of messed up. Everyone’s are! But I still want to work on them, where they’ll be, I don’t know, laid out here? More real. Not something I have to hide from my mom. So. How do you start a journal?

Well, my name is Kacie Hildalgo, if posterity happens to be reading this. Posterity should stop reading this, because I might just use it to talk about how I want to rub my face all over my boyfriend’s chest forever. Just FYI. It’s so frustrating! He’s right there, he’s super cute, but he’s also older than me. And that makes it ‘immoral.’ They don’t understand true love! Heee heeee heeeeee~ I get to say something like that!

Speaking of true love, I saw the absolute most cavity-inducing thing today!

Miko and Kestral (Miko said Miko’s cool. Kestral hasn’t said anything, but it’s way too early to call her ‘mom,’ even if of course her puppydog of a boy’s going to put a ring on it. Besides, she is the most agressively hip person I know, so.She’d probably want Kestral, maybe even Kes, right?) were talking during the party, and I happened to overhear. ...Does that make me a busybody? Well, it’s fine. I’m fine.

“Isn’t it wonderful? Our firstborn’s all grown up…” Miko sighed dreamily.

“I think it’ll be more wonderful when he starts finishing things,” Kestral answered. I could have given her a piece of my mind, and maybe I would have, if she hadn’t have added, sort of reflectively, “But no, he’s done great. And Magpie’ll do great… And, come to that, we crossed an aspiration off! Not bad!”

“Sure did!.. But. You know, Kestral.”

“I know many things… You wouldn’t happen to have a goal in mind?”

“I do! Our golden years are ahead of us…” She waxed.

“Some of us, anyway,” Kestral added under her breath, allowing her comment to be talked over.

“We’ve got a little more free time… Aaand, well… I always wanted to have a great romance! A love for the ages! A ton of smooches!” She pointed dramatically. “I will not be denied!”

“Hmm...Well. Who am I to deny you? I might want to save Soulmate for someone… But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the chance for all the smooches I stole when I whisked you off your feet.” With a satisfied smile, Kestral pulled Miko on in. “Sorry, Ulrike. Our best friendship has done its job. I have a real best friend to get to.”

Friendship ended with Ulrike Faust. Now Miko is her new best friend. We were all thinking it, and through what must have been a tremendous force of willlpower, Miko ended up just saying,
“Let’s enjoy some time together!”


Sweet, huh? … Would I like something like that? Well, maybe. It’s complicated. I definitely want it, I just want that to not be the only thing I want! And, long-term, it kind of would be.

For example, I wanted to make friends with Carla and Bonnie at the party, because it is impossible to make too many friends, especially when you’re living in a new neighborhood.

So I started asking them for neighborhood tips.
“Now, what you need to remember while you’re living around here --” Bonnie started off with, before she got interrupted right away.

“Someone keeps a water balloon bucket uphill, like, behind my house? It’s great, and it’s going to get hot enough to use soon!” Carla burst in with a slightly more enthusiastic report for all that.

“...That is true,” Bonnie said, a little more frustrated than I think she gets with her assortment of half-siblings. (I am not sure how I’d feel with a family that big. It’d kind of be nice, but also a lot of work. Family’s a bit of a mixed bag sometimes.)

“Thanks for the tip, though. Really! That sounds like a good spot to get away from it all.”

“It’s great,” Bonnie has to admit. “You and Kite would probably have a lot of fun.”

“Ohhh, yeah… That’d be a wonderful lover’s lookout. All alone, past the road, a firepit beside you... “ Carla sighed dreamily, and I couldn’t help but join her. Wouldn’t something like that be nice? I’ll get it one of these days.

I saw something I probably should put down. I saw Magpie in one of the fancy rooms for Kestral’s whole thing. Kite used to be a brunet as a kid, FYI. It’s so cute! But that all probably wasn’t what he was looking at. I wonder if he knows? Does he know? I don’t think so, because he said, very quietly,

“...What a foreboding room. Yes, foreboding! That’s the word for it. And puzzling, which is less cool.” This was Magpie quiet, so basically a stage whisper, low and full of feeling. “...I wonder why Mom made so many rooms such as this.”

Technically, Kite’s done with school, so he doesn’t have so much rush to get the garden done in the morning anymore. But his hours are shaky, right? So I’ll keep helping him out. I’ve got his back.

Oh, yeah. I heard something crazy that went down when I was at school. There was a woman over, Luna Vilreal? Something like that.

And she was basically just over entirely so Salim (the old guy who also lives here now for some reason because I guess we’re all just stray cats or something) could knock her up. Wow. That’s a little crazy. And I do mean entirely, because she is reported to have said,

“This doesn’t need to be romantic, I’m not looking for flowers and chocolate.”

“Right,” is what he said, which sounds to me like the flat answer of a guy too nervous to live. “Right.”

“I just want a legacy… And maybe not to live on that island all alone.”

“So come here. Let’s make it worth our while.”

Which, like, for doing something weirdly business-like, the sweetness of the objective aside (Though, well, it’s not like adoption is really a problem or not having a legacy. Love adopted kids!) is pretty steamy.

Anyway, dear journal, I skipped out of half of school today. It doesn’t really matter, right? I just decided I wanted to leave, so I left! I’ll be fine.

OK, I guess I didn’t ‘just’ decide to leave. I mean, I did. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But I really just wanted to get away from everyone. From those teachers that don’t understand you, from the hassle of doing stuff that doesn’t matter, from wasting my time doing work that won’t do me any good!

What’m I going to do now, anyway? What do I want? Who am I, really? I’m fine, of course, just… I feel sick. Like, I am of course going all-in on this relationship because I love this boy and also I want all of his attention and also I want just run my hands through his hair and have him kiss my neck until my whole neck is just an entirely different color from the rest of me. But also, and less happily, I know I am because I’m always going to do whatever’s in front of me right now. Because that’s what I’ve got. And that’s great and will hopefully result in a lot of pampering, but also, not as great in terms of being someone in the long run.

And I tried laying some of that out to Kite -- no, really, I really am trying to be open, here, and he’s a great listener, once you get used to the fact that he’s sort of tuning in from outer space. But I guess he can see stuff in the heart better out there.

But when I did, and I saw that little worried smile, I had to add one thing:

“Don’t try and fix this. You can give me advice, but… you don’t have to break your back about this.”

“That aint ‘cause you’re still spooked on lettin’ a dude in or tryin’ to get a hand, huh?” He asked me. We ended up walking from the front yard back into our own space, gradually moving into the cool shade.

“No, no,” I told him, which was maybe a bit of a lie. But it was also true. “Because it’s not your responsibility to make me someone. I want you to -- to care about me as I am.”

And that took a load off of his shoulders, and he smiled, and like it was easy as anything, he said, “Absotively posolutely, dude.”

So of course I had to steal a kiss.

“Y’could look at other folks. ‘Course, that aint always gonna help an’ all, cause you gotta run where your needle’s pointin, and not just fall to the man, you dig?”

“Of course! You don’t have to worry about that! But what sort of examples do you have in mind?”

“Well, aint we got a world full a’ cats an’ chicks an’ dudes?” He drummed his fingers on the table, until he counted it off. “‘S like that even when there’s that personal sorta you, that’s kinda livin’ somewhere where maybe you don’t always getta show that, I also think, like… Some cats get their inner eye ‘I’ when they really getta share it with someone, maybe?”

“Like, take Uncle Johnny. Chillin’ with his kids, like, as we speak. I don’t know the whole hist’ry, like. But even though he always had his dreams, he kinda… found himself when he really started carin f’r them kids, those folks he could really let inta his life.”

“He does seem to have them over a lot.” Even if I think I hear the older set and the younger set arguing about the movie, with brief, intermittent bursts of groaning at his punnery…

“An, like, Uncle Akira -- trip, man, I was there for that, too.”

“He’s with his girlfriend tonight, right?” (He was. They had a nice sleepover. She apparently thinks this house is comparatively quiet. I do not want to know the madhouse in the Haas-Faust part of the neighborhood.)

“Yeah. But, like, I think it wasn’t just, like, meetin’ Ulrike that helped. An’ I’m not gonna take much credit, neither, maaan. ‘Cause he wanted somethin’ different. He got that drive to change somethin, stop tearin’ him up, you dig?... And he got that when Ulrike an’ he had a real talk, just the two a’ them as two souls in the world.”

“But let’s flip the hand around, dude,” which, accompanied by a gesture, made me laugh. “Cause I think there’re folks who like wanderin’ with what they do, an’ that gives ‘em meanin. Taste new tastes, like, catch the tunes, see a big groovy cosmos. That kinda rad thing.”

“Like Miko, right?” She’d told me earlier she was going to start trying to refine her singing some, but I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t kind of a wall there. I’m pretty sure song lyrics aren’t acceptable, for some reason.
“Yeah. And Mom’s, like, Mom. She’s sorta a shark, dig?”

“I think so… And what about you? I mean, I know you’re worried about not getting time for yourself… But what would you call that ‘self,’ what draws you to him… I guess.” It’s a lame question, but it’s important! Kite’s the one who started talking about this.

“Aww, y’don’t wanna listen to me jab on about --”

“I do.”

He grins.

“Trip, Kite aint got a thesis… I just try an’ do what seems right, you dig?” He hesitated in that way of his, sort of staring off into a distance. “...When I’m doodlin’, ‘s like I’m tryin’ the hold somethin’, dig? Tryin’ to hold somethin’ somewhere far out, tho, like, it could just be at yer face an’ all. An I want someone to catch it through my lenses, an’ hear what I’m sayin’  in paint. That’s what.”

And I can’t answer anything to that. I don’t have anything I really want to communicate in a long-term sort of way. But it’s a lot to think about.

I’m not sure what Kite was trying to communicate in that picture he did of a bird by the feeder -- but it was beautiful. A masterpiece, even, and Kestral was all “Ohhhh, this is going on the museum! Until you can make a pricier one! Look at this bird! My son made a fine bird!”

Honestly, I think she was happier with the quality than he was!

And I just sat and thought by the fire. How do other people do this so easily?! I should be able to get a grip! I have a better one than some people, I’m not my sister, I’m the sister who has it together, but! But! I want to feel satisfied with stuff after I make a decision, and not just before. I don’t need big, take-over-the-world dreams, but I should have some!

I should have been able to not catch things too on-fire, too, but no dice. But, hey, on the other hand: I didn’t burn the chairs down, so that’s me: 1, forces of nature: 0! That’s the way it oughta be.

So, I heard something while checking out the attic, which is basically a couple of little rooms and a hallway. It’s pretty, pretty boring, all-told, which is not what I was expecting from this family’s attic. I mean, they have a secret dinner basement that looks like a medieval dungeon.They should at least contain one crazy old woman they locked up there.

It has Salim, which probably doesn’t count, and his bubble machine, which also does not count but might bring everyone a little closer to counting. It also contained Kite this time.

“I’m just not sure how I feel about all of this,” Salim was saying. “What does this say about my sense of ethics? That my body can be bought and sold for a really comfy chair?”

“Duuuude,” Kite answered. And, after a puff of bubbles that took a basically infinite length of time, added,” Bodies’re just, like, things, man. They don’t gotta have, like, the moral imperative patched on f’r whatcha do w’em.”

“Doesn’t that path merely lead to a life of libertine excess? A bottomless pit of excuses, forgiving any action, as long as it satisfies carnal desire?” He waved a hand, delivering this grand pronouncement as a poet on stage might, with the emphasis placed in deliberate ways. It’s a shame open mic night’s never catered to writers in our neck of the woods.

“Not any, man. But if it aint hurtin’ no one, aint that the thing? Like, sortin’ everythin’ on good an’ bad by what’s kinda pure and what’s kinda grody, what’s, like, hip or what’s square? Man, that’s just fallin’ f’r the trap a puttin’ ideas over people, you dig?” Kite considered the flavor of bubbles. “What matters is what you’re down for, what you’re cool with -- an’ you give someone the same chance, dig? But if you aint on for what Mom’s askin, I’ll back you. You don’t gotta follow The Man, man!”

“...I think calling Kestral ‘the man’ is a good way to get your nose broken.”

“Not a man, man. That’s a bad scene. The Man. Capital T, Capital The Man.”

Salim nodded as the distinction dawned.

“...Thank you… Thanks. I’ll hold up my end of the bargain, but… Within reason, I think.”

“Good. ‘Slong as you’re cool, dude.” Kite nodded and blew another round of bubbles, quietly watching the line rise up into the air and pop, one by one. “Man, aint they just the moon y’see at day?”

“...Perhaps so.”

I hoped writing that last part would make it make sense. It did not.


My mother. My mother. My mother.

My mother called me up to dinner at the diner today. I was not psyched.

“What do you want?”

“I just want dinner with my daughter, that’s all! You don’t have to be suspicious of your own mother!” Which means she probably wants someone to talk to about a new ex. I didn’t like the last guy anyway. Ok, ok, lay it on me.

What she wasn’t expecting was that I brought Kite. And she was now also less than thrilled.

“I wanted a nice meal to patch things up and check on my precious girl, and after all this, you decide you need to invite your sugar daddy.”

“Hey again, Ms. Hidalgo,” said Kite, because that was what she had said instead of ‘hello.’ I think that was a sarcastic one? Maybe? Maybe I can help this boy get in touch with his inner snark? I’ll count it as progress anyway.

“I understand. Young love is exciting! But you’re setting yourself up for a hard fall if you rush in too fast. You didn’t rush in, did you? Promise me that.”

“It’s. Fine. Mom… Please don’t call my boyfriend a sugar daddy. He’s a part of my life. I don’t want to exclude my family from my family, alright?”

But it’s Mom. And so this is going to be difficult.

“I’m only saying. I thought I loved your father, but when I got to really know him, I saw what a sort of man he really was. A deadbeat who left me alone and confused and burdened with a kid who’d kill my chances of finding love. And then again, even! No offense, Kacie. I know you try your best, like I have. I’m just calling it how I see it, to protect you.”

“Not. Helping. If you came out to say all of this, why didn’t you just leave me alone?” Which isn’t exactly what I said. I said it with maybe 200% more forbidden words. Maybe more than 200. Do I need a sliding scale?

“...You’re right. I’m sorry,” she said, in her making up voice. And I kind of hope she is. I mean, she did call me out there, right? “I usually leave people, not the other way around. It’s hard for me to accept… But I do want to be a part of your life. And any granchild’s, provided they disinfect first…” Which is standard for her and kids, it’s not a special layer of dislike, probably.  “I’m a little worried about it, and once I start worrying…”

“You run your mouth, I know. I forgive you for now.” Maybe this time, since I’m away from home, it’ll stick. I keep hoping that one day, she’ll approve of me. I don’t know why. I’m pretty smart, so why am I so dumb about her?

“So, uh, Ms. Hidalgo…” Kite decided to try and segue off this whole thing. His feelings must have been super hurt, but he was still sticking it out. “I don’t really, like, know your kinda gig, dig? I’m doin’ paints an’ all, but I was wonderin.”

“Well, right now I’m an assistant manager, but…” And she goes on about her long history of job-jumping. Her dot-com days. Her brief stint as a journalist. That time she worked on cars, of all things. Things settled down. It was actually nice. I decided I am not into journalism.

“Thanks for the save,” I told him at one point.

“Aw, it aint a thing.” Still, we were able to get dinner, and leave, and I was able to do something important, too.

“Kite?...I’m sorry my mom was so hostile to everything. It’s not fair to you, and I know that was sort of a disaster.” Even if he says it’s nothing, that must have hurt, and he shouldn’t have to pretend like it doesn’t. I shouldn’t have had to pretend like it didn’t. “And I might have gone overboard, too, throwing fuel on that. So I’m sorry for that.

“You didn’t, Kace. It was kinda rough, but, y’know?”

And he leans in and plants a kiss.
“Bein chill’s my bag, it don’t gotta be yours. Yer the one it really bugged… But I think you were pretty cool tonight, dig?.”

That boy.

Well, that’s all I wanted to say for now. It’s been a busy couple of days. Maybe I’ll write again sometime.
Stories In Progress:
The Avyan Immortal Dynasty

Offline MarianT

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Re: The Avyan Immortal Dynasty -"Do I Need a Sliding Scale" (5/6/19)
« Reply #134 on: May 06, 2019, 07:01:14 PM »
Look forward to hearing more from Kacie. I'm not sure I want Kite getting in touch with his inner snark -- he's so sweet, and that's rare. And Kacie's got enough snark of her own, like when she said that Kite was a great listener when you got used to the fact that he was tuning in from outer space, lol.
When the Zombies Come(Completed)--100 Nooboos Nabbed

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