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Evanesce

Discussion in 'Creative Writing & Arts' started by ItsADuckStupid, May 21, 2003.

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  1. ItsADuckStupid

    ItsADuckStupid Ensign

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Title: Evanesce
    Author: Duck
    Rating: PG for now... unsure of later
    Disclaimer: I own Michael Vartan, JJ Abrams, Disney World, The title Smutty Ducky, and Gregory Smith. I'm also residing in a mental institution.
    Summary: She thought she lost everything. What she finds, however, is much more.
    A/N: This is a little thingy my abusive angst muse Gerty beat me into writing. Thanks to neumy for listening to me and helping Gerty be named. More soon, hopefully. (Remember, things arent always as they appear!)


    Prologue
    You always told me to be strong, to hold on tight to whatever I had and never let it go. You were all I had, all I needed, so I held on as tight as I could. It's almost funny, the best advice you ever gave was the one thing I couldn't do. I let you slip through my arms into that horrible room, and you never came out. I didn't hold on tight enough. Not nearly enough.

    You taught me everything I know, showed me everything I love, and you loved me. I could tell from the start how much you loved me by the way your eyes would light up when I spoke. I had friends, but you were my best. My confidant, the one who kept every secret, no matter how stupid.

    I always knew there was a secret you kept from me, a mystery buried deep in your past. Now I'll never know, because you're gone, flying away to a place you deserve to be. I know you will be happy because you will be with her.

    So, while you are in a happy place, I remain here, depressed and cold. Because without you I am alone. Without you, I am nothing.

    Loving Father
    Rest In Peace
    Michael A. Craig

    Those words are forever inscribed into my memory, because I will never see them again.
     
  2. bluheart13

    bluheart13 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    okay. you've got me. who is this Michael Craig??? well very good start.
     
  3. Sunfire_77

    Sunfire_77 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Location:
    Right where I am sitten
    very touching.
     
  4. ItsADuckStupid

    ItsADuckStupid Ensign

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Typical. Cloudy skies, gray all around, just like a movie. Perfect weather to visit a graveyard. Although, if the weather was reflecting what's going through me right now, the sky would be a dark red and the earth in utter chaos.

    Daises adorned the simple headstone, set there by a young girl who looked at the words inscribed with large soulful eyes. They were an exact replica of her father’s, a green so bright they often took stranger’s breath away. The rest of her features, however, reflected her mother so much Michael never needed pictures around him.

    The girl had turned fifteen a few months before, a few weeks before Michael Craig died of cardiac arrest. No foul play was suspected, but Michael was healthier than most men his age. He had been an avid hockey player, which was what drew his daughter to the ice before the age of four. Hockey, however, was not her reason for gliding on the smooth ice. Michael let her watch the figure skaters practice, and the little girl was enchanted by the grace of their moments, blades catching light as they spun.

    The girl now clutched at the silver skate charm on her necklace, a birthday present from her boyfriend of six months. Her heart was torn apart, split for the second time by the realization that her parent was no longer alive. It hurt less the first time and she knew why. She couldn’t remember her mother because she had died on the girl’s first birthday, and it took her six years to give up the pretense her mother would return. This time the girl was well aware of the reality of the situation, was reminded every second that she was utterly alone.

    The daisies placed next to the headstone were a tribute to her mother, since she had been cremated and scattered over the ocean. Daisies were her favorite and Michael bought them for his daughter every year.

    Tracing the words softly, the girl let out a shaky breath and sent her thoughts out, wishing her father was there to comfort her. A voice to her left made her spine straighten, and she turned quickly to view the speaker.

    “Kate Craig?”

    Who the hell are you? Kate’s eyes narrowed in the direction of the hefty man facing her. He had a gray demeanor that reflected the sky and weather. His hand reached into his pocket as he approached, giving Kate the slightest apprehension. An envelope immerged from the inside of his overcoat, and he looked at her solemnly as he spoke. “Your father asked me to give you this if something ever happened to him. It explains everything.”

    Kate took the small white envelope and tucked it into her back pocket. The man turned to leave, but Kate seized his arm. “What did he need to explain? I know he loved me, and that’s all that mattered.” Her eyes became glassy as she realized what he had said. “He knew something would happen?” Releasing the man slowly, she backed away until her legs bumped the headstone. Kate slid down until she was sitting above her father’s coffin, back resting on the cool marble. I don’t believe it. “He knew.”

    The man came toward her shaking his head. “No Kate. He didn’t know. He just didn’t want to leave you with a life of lies.” With that, he backed away and walked slowly from the green grass of the cemetery, leaving Kate to suffocate by the questions that choked her.

    A few minutes later a young man approached, looking sad and thoughtful. He touched Kate gently on the shoulder. “Kate, I had to say it, but we have to go. Your plane leaves in two hours.”

    She looked up, the tears threatening to spill over the barrier she was trying so hard to build. She took his hand and pulled herself up. Their hands remained clasped together tightly because he could see the losing battle she was fighting. He stopped and looked her in the eye. “You don’t always have to be so strong you know.”

    Kate threw her arms around his neck as the tears streamed down her cheeks. “Oh Chris, I don’t want to leave. This is my home.” I belong in Texas. Not Wisconsin.

    Smiling a sad smile as he rubbed her back, Chris tried his best to soothe her. “It won’t be so bad. You’re moving to a place named Watertown. How bad can it possibly be?”

    “Horrible.”

    “You don’t know that.”

    Kate pulled away and crossed her arms over her chest. “You and Dad won’t be there. That’s all I need to know.”

    Chris took a step closer, a serious expression clouding his face. “You have to be open-minded or you’ll drive yourself crazy. And I’m not visiting if you end up in the loony bin. Promise me that you’ll look for the good things.”

    She shifted her feet. “Ok.” Taking her hand again, Chris led her out of the cemetery. Kate took one last glance back to her father’s grave, and let one last tear slide as she watched the daisies flutter in the breeze.

    ***

    The woman at the check in counter eyed Kate suspiciously, asking her twice if her parents dropped her off. Yes, lady, I’m a freaking runaway. Call the police. She chose the blunt response and told her the truth; that her parents were dead. The woman shut up after that, only saying to Kate as she left, “Have a nice day!”

    Kate and Chris sat outside the gate holding hands and not speaking. All too soon her plane was boarding and the tears were once again sliding down her face. Wrapping her in a tight embrace, Chris kissed her hair and rubbed soothing circles on her lower back. He looked into her eyes to memorize the hue of green before kissing her. Then came the hardest part, letting each other go.

    Kate walked slowly through the line, slowly down the boarding ramp, and slowly to her seat. My legs feel full of lead. The government had been nice enough to give her a window seat, and as she settled down she felt the envelope in her back pocket. Standing up awkwardly she pulled it out, sat back down, and smoothed the rumpled edges.

    Inside was a letter, and judging from the musk and over all feel, Kate figured it had been written a long time ago. The writing was familiar oh god I know that writing, and she recognized it as her father’s.

    Dear Kate,

    If you're reading this, it means I've either disappeared, or I'm not alive. I trust Eric Weiss with my life, so I know this letter will get to you safely. There is something I was planning on telling you when you were older and better able to understand, but if you're reading this, then that means we're not there to protect you anymore.

    Sweetheart, your mother did not die of natural causes, and as much as I would like to protect you from the truth, I can't.

    She was murdered.

    The job your mother had was dangerous, and created many enemies. I wasn't able to save her, but what I can do is save you.

    I was not born Michael Craig, and you were not born Kate Craig. My name was Michael Vaughn until 10 minutes ago, when I signed the papers putting you and myself in the witness protection program

    You are Emily Brigitte Vaughn, named after two women your mother and I loved. You have to take care of yourself, be strong and stay alert. And if I didn't make it to your sweet sixteen or prom of any of the special moments that you remember your whole life, I want you to know that I will always be watching, and I hope you keep me close to your heart. You don't know how much I regret that your mother and I can't be there to watch you grow. We love you so much.

    Love you forever,
    Dad


    “Excuse me Miss, would you like a pillow?” The flight attendant’s voice startled Kate out of the comatose state she had been in. Unable to work her vocal cords, all she could manage was a slight shake of the head.

    The captain’s voice came in on the speaker, jarring Kate again. What’s with the loud voices? “We’re ready to begin taxi down the runway. This is a nonstop flight from San Antonio International to Milwaukee International. The estimated flight time is four hours, and I hope you enjoy your flight with American Airlines.”

    Kate was still in shock, and spent the whole four hours rereading the letter, not really believing that those were her father’s words, My name is Emily? and wondering about her mother’s job, What the hell could have been so dangerous?

    Scenarios flew through her mind, each more laughable than the previous. She was in such a state of shock that the four hours passed without her knowledge. Only once the captain announced that they were getting reading for landing did she notice the time.

    Kate had been on few planes in her lifetime, but one thing her father always told her to do was to wait for the other passengers to exit first. So she waited as the entire plane shuffled along the narrow isle, bumping each other with their carry ons and sneezing into the back of another person’s jacket.

    I hope you keep me close to your heart was the sentence that repeated itself in Kate’s mind, and she groped for the picture she always kept tucked in the waistband of her jeans. It was the only family picture she owned, with her mother and father beaming over the bundle of blankets holding her. This is the closest I can get Dad.

    Tucking it back in, Kate grabbed her backpack and followed the last of the passengers out of the plane. The boarding ramp was stuffy and it was hard to breathe, so Kate hurried out quickly, not noticing the family waiting with her name on a card.

    She sat down on a metal and leather chair, glancing around for her foster family. Not seeing anyone, she pulled out her ice skate charm and fiddled with it, her stomach clenching. I’m all alone

    The family didn’t see her exit, but the little boy turned around and saw Kate, and pulled on his father’s jacket. They all walked towards her, and Kate only looked up when she heard a startlingly familiar voice.

    “Kate Craig?”

    Glancing into the features of the woman that would be her foster mother, Kate held back a gasp. It was like looking in a mirror, except the woman’s eyes were a rich brown, not piercing green.

    Mom?
     
  5. bluheart13

    bluheart13 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    whoa..............that was awesome Duck ( is it okay if i call you Duck???) well that was really good. Is it Sydney or is it someone else??????
     
  6. Claz

    Claz Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    awwwwww that was so touching. write more, i like where ur goin with this :D
     
  7. ItsADuckStupid

    ItsADuckStupid Ensign

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Chapter 2

    I don't remember her at all, besides the few memories Dad was able to plant into my head. There were no pictures of her around our house, because he said all I needed to do was put in brown contacts and look in the mirror. There is only one picture he ever gave me, of the three of us, and I have it with me always. Even with her head bent and features darkened, she still looks like the woman in front of me.

    Kate’s expression was one shock and amazement, which she shook off with a small shake of her head. Mom’s dead, Kate. She died a long time ago. She looked up into the concerned eyes of the woman who resembled her mother. “Yes. I’m Kate Craig.”

    The woman smiled gently and offered her hand. “I don’t know how much they told you, but I’m Cindy Cross.” She motioned to the man and child beside her as Kate took her hand and stood up. “This is my husband John and our son, Wesley.”

    Kate smiled at them as Cindy put her arm around Kate’s shoulder. “Welcome to Wisconsin.” She guided Kate to the baggage claim with John and Wesley trailing behind. As much as she tried to ignore it, there was a familiar ness to Cindy’s features and voice. You’re just looking for her. Cindy isn’t like Mom at all.

    There was an awkward silence as they waited for her luggage to come down the carousel, but no questions seemed appropriate. Have you always been Cindy Cross? Were you ever Sydney Craig? Finally Wesley walked closer to Kate and looked at her curiously. She turned her attention to him and smiled thinly, hoping he wouldn’t just stare.

    He obviously took that as an invitation to talk. “How old are you?” he asked shyly, unsure if she would answer him.

    Kate’s smile became genuine; she always loved little kids, and estimated Wesley to be nine or ten. “I’m fifteen. What about you?”

    Shyness stripped away, a set of dimples appeared with his smile. “I’m nine, and I’ll be ten on February 24th. When’s your birthday?” As he spoke he moved closer and Kate could see he inherited his mother’s eyes.

    Thinking back to her birthday over two months ago, she was reminded of a happier time. It caused her eyes to shine as she replied, “October 1st.” She pulled the necklace out from underneath her shirt. “I got this from my friend.” Wesley took a step closer to examine the charm. A light shone in his eyes.

    “You play hockey?”

    She could perceive the longing in his voice and answered quietly, “No, I ice-skate. Do you play?”

    Looking down at his hands and sighing, he spoke sadly, “No, Dad won’t let me because he thinks it’s too dangerous.”

    The carousel started moving then, causing both Wesley and Kate to jump. Cindy and John had been listening with hopeful thoughts, happy that Kate was perceptive to Wesley’s adorable charm.

    John found a break in the crowd where he and Kate could stand to find her two large overstuffed suitcases. All of her belongings were crammed in there. Not all. Not Dad’s skates, not his hockey stick, not his favorite tree. Not our grandfather clock that we took pride in. It’s all gone now.

    As John strained to carry both, Wesley took her slender hand and navigated her through Milwaukee International. He’s been here a lot. Cindy pulled up the rear, and took one of the suitcases when John stumbled for the third time.

    Avoiding the blowing snow and weaving through parking structures, she was pulled to an old gray Astrovan in which Wesley climbed into and buckled himself. Kate followed reluctantly when Cindy told her not to worry about the suitcases. As they thumped into the back, Kate went into a sort of trance. Wesley’s questions had distracted her for a few moments, but now she was back to comparing Cindy to her mother. Her faint memories that she wasn’t even sure were real and the picture in which her mother’s face was slightly obscured was not enough to convince Kate, but enough to create a spark of suspicion.

    The suspicions were circling around in her mind for nearly an hour, until Cindy jolted her back to reality. “That school right there is the school you’ll be attending. Home of the Mighty Goslings.” Cindy chuckled as she thought of the mascot. “Never thought ducklings could be mighty, but there you go.” Her lips curled up as images of ducklings in armor stampeded across her mind. I’m going to be a duckling. Chris will get a kick out of that. Cindy pointed at a small building to the side of the road. “That’s Mullins, the best ice cream stand in Wisconsin. We go there at least once a week. They’re famous for their peppermint ice cream.” A dead looking street came into view. Shops lined the sidewalks, but there were no shoppers milling about. “That’s Main Street. You can tell how many people live here just by looking down that street.” Even with stretching her neck, she could only count five or so people. This place has fifteen people. I’m going to die from isolation.

    John took up the tour guide as well, pointing to an old restaurant that badly needed a paint job. “That’s the Ponderosa. We don’t go there often, but Wesley likes it, so we go sometimes.” Cindy stuck out her tongue as a way of rating it. “Cindy doesn’t like it.”

    A wider smile replaced the thin one on her face. “I guess not.” Craning her neck to see farther along the street, she could see a Shop-Ko and a Walgreens. Finally, something familiar. The rest of the town seemed small and quaint in the softly falling snow. Snow was a rarity in San Antonio; there was usually ice and sleet, and then floods, but not much snow. Flooding at least three times a year.

    Pressing her hand against the frigid window, Kate marveled in the flurry of white. Snow fascinated her, although she preferred to be inside while it fell. Being an ice skater she was used to the cold, but still liked the feel of a cozy fire and a warm quilt.

    The house they stopped at was large and pretty and painted white by the snow, but Kate couldn’t help comparing it to her beautiful home in Texas. She and Michael had worked hard to keep it in good condition, and it hurt leaving it behind. Once inside the garage, Kate unbuckled herself slowly, dreading the moment she would be inside her new room. It had been surreal up until then, but seeing a room committed to her would cement her into this messed up world without parents.

    Wesley couldn’t sense her reluctance, and he had taken to her immensely, so he nearly pushed her out of the van and grabbed her hand excitedly. She was led through a large kitchen, up stairs, and into her room. Not mine. John and Cindy followed with her bags, and they set them by the door slowly. Surveying the room with an open mind, Kate liked what she saw. The walls were painted a light green with white trim around the door and windows. It was spacious, with enough room for a queen size bed and dresser complete with mirror.

    John shooed Wesley out by saying, “Let’s let Kate get settled.” Turning, he added, “Call us if you need anything.” All three left her alone, and she turned to the two over large suitcases. Clothes were easy, but she was dreading the personal things that would make her cry. Unfortunately, she’d packed the fragile items between clothing so they wouldn’t break, so as she placed her jeans in a drawer, she saw the antique picture frame holding a picture of her and her father at a figure skating competition, her holding the gold medal and him beaming down at her. No more skating for me, Dad. There isn’t a skating rink in Watertown, Wisconsin.

    Placing the frame on the dresser, she ran her finger over the glass delicately. The frame had been her mother’s, a Christmas gift from her father, and he had presented it to her two Christmases ago. She cherished it, polishing the silver frequently and lovingly. Once she finished one of the suitcases, she let it fall to the floor with a loud thunk, causing Wesley to come and investigate.

    “Need any help?” He watched as she struggled to get the other bag onto the bed, and pushed it from underneath. Smiling as she unlocked it, she nodded to the bed for him to sit.

    “I don’t need help, but I could use someone to talk to.” The lock tossed aside, she unzipped the hanging bag and proceeded to remove clothing and place it in the closet. Wesley took things out, carefully avoiding the area that contained her more unmentionable items, and placed them neatly on the bed. Curiosity sparked, he held up a man’s battered watch and asked, “Kate, why do you have a watch that doesn’t work?”

    She moved to the bed and took the watch between her palms. It was another one of those items that would spark the tears, but she felt the desire to tell the story to someone who didn’t know her family. “My grandfather died when my dad was a little boy, but before he did, he gave him this watch. It was his, but he wanted my dad to have it. He told my dad that he could set his heart by this watch. It stopped on the day my dad met my mom, which is also my birthday. Dad wore it every day. I guess it was a way he could keep Mom and Grandpa close to him.” Kate rubbed it gently and closed her eyes. “I made sure I kept it, because now I can keep them with me too.”

    Wesley’s eyes had become large as she told the story, and now touched Kate’s arm softly. “Do you miss them a lot?”

    Nodding her head sadly, she held back the tears. “Although I don’t remember her, I still get these moments when I think she’s watching me.” She remembered the moment of shock at the airport. “Sometimes the feeling is so strong I expect to turn around and see her.” Cindy’s face flashed across her mind, and Kate did everything she could to deny her instinct.

    Listening behind the half open door, Cindy felt the faint traces of a memory. In her mind she scrambled towards it, but the more she tried the farther it went. It broke her heart, hearing Kate’s sad tale, but it also sparked something inside her. It was gone in an instant, and she knew it was nothing. John came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. She leaned into his embrace and he whispered softly, “Are you alright? Kate’s been through a lot, but some of the kids we’ve had have been through worse.”

    Cindy nodded silently, and continued listening to Kate unpacking. They had moved on from the watch story and now Wesley was asking about her ice-skating. They backed away and went downstairs to cook dinner.

    ***

    Dinner was a little awkward, but Wesley chatted up Kate, telling her all about the baseball team he was going to be on during the spring and what position he played. Cindy viewed the scene with amusement, because her son was usually shy around a new foster kid. Kate however, was drinking in every second because she had always wanted a little sibling. Wesley fascinated her, and with every question she asked he liked her more. Usually the kids that lived with them were sullen and moody, not talkative like Kate.

    The only one not completely enjoying the meal was John. He had been the one that convinced Cindy to become foster parents, being a foster child himself. Wesley was a little over two when they made the decision, so he had grown up with different brothers and sisters. He had learned quickly not to become too attached because they always left, and John was concerned to see that his son was falling in love with Kate Craig.

    Since she was shooed off when she attempted to clean up, Kate retired to bed when Wesley did, which was right after dinner. The school said she didn’t have to start school until the second semester started, which was after winter break, so she had a few weeks before facing her peers. Being the avid reader that she was, Kate fully intended to find a library and check half the place out. With her limited packing space, she had only been able to squeeze her favorites in, so she wanted to find that comfort zone with the ones she’d had to abandon. At least I got To Kill A Mockingbird. I would die without Scout, Jem, and Atticus.

    Sneaking the cell phone out of her backpack, she called Chris, needing to hear a familiar voice. She held her breath as the phone rang three times, and sighed in relief when he finally picked up.

    “Hello?”

    “Chris? It’s Kate.”

    “Hey Kate. Keeping that open mind we talked about?” he asked seriously. She had to smile.

    “Yea, it’s not so bad. There’s a little boy here that’s really cute. I feel really welcome, but I’m incredibly homesick. It was hard unpacking my life here, but I did it without crying.”

    She heard him sigh. “You don’t have to be so strong.”

    “I know, but I was able to do it. This is going to sound really strange, but I need you to hear me out, ok?” He gave his consent and she continued. “When I first saw my foster mom, I could have sworn she was my mom. They look exactly alike Chris, it scares me. I thought it was just my overactive imagination, but I looked again before I went to bed and the resemblance still stunned me.”

    “Kate, this is going to sound incredibly mean, but your mom is dead. You need to stop comparing them, because I know you’ll end up saying something to her, and then she’ll think you’re insane and send you to someone else. And from what I’ve heard, the place can’t be half bad.”

    The tears she held back since that afternoon came sliding down, and she sniffed with a sad smile. “You’re right, as always. Hey, I’ve got to go, but I’ll call you tomorrow, ok? Say hi to all my friends, please?” I hope I find friends here.

    Hearing him smile through the phone, he said goodbye. “Miss you.”

    “Miss you too,” she whispered as she pressed the end button. She could hear Cindy and John coming up the stairs, and for some reason didn’t want them to know she needed to hear Chris’s voice.

    Her pajamas were in the bottom drawer, and she bent down to get her comfort jammies, flannel pants and a hockey t-shirt of her dad’s. Once she changed and climbed into the large bed, I had a twin at home, she pulled at the covers restlessly. The hours passed slowly, and sleep was nowhere near her. Where the hell is that sandman? Finally she was able to drift into a light doze, and woke up screaming.

    Mom, shot down by a sniper. Dad, poisoned by arsenic. Grandpa, stabbed by a phantom. Blood, everywhere…oh god. Is that my blood? “Emily!” they scream. “Emily, run! Save yourself!” they plead with me. My feet are frozen, because I am not Emily. I am Kate, but they don’t know that.


    Cindy and John heard her desperate screaming, and ran into her room. Kate was sitting up; breathing hard and tears were streaming down her face. Cindy wrapped her arms around her shaking body and held her close, murmuring soft whispers. Kate quieted, still crying and holding on to Cindy for dear life. She began to sing a soft lullaby, and Kate was soothed back into sleep, still in Cindy’s arms.

    Slumber my darling, thy mother is near
    Guarding thy dreams from all terror and fear.
    Sunlight has past and the twilight has gone,
    Slumber my darling, the night's coming on.


    Wesley ran into Kate’s room, his sleep disrupted by her cries. He saw John standing back, watching Cindy sing softly to Kate. “Dad? Is Kate ok?”

    John turned to look at him with sad eyes and responded, “No, she’s not Wes. But she will be, we’ll make her ok. Now go back to bed.” He guided his son out of the room and tucked him back into bed.

    I walk into a room and I see my mother, rocking a baby to sleep. She sings a song and I am instantly comforted, even though it is not me she is rocking. “Emily,” she coos and then sings, “Slumber my darling, the birds are at rest, Wandering dews by the flowers are caressed, Slumber my darling, I'll wrap thee up warm, And pray that the angels shield thee from harm.” The baby is sleeping, warm and safe, and I find myself drowsy. I lean over my mother, and she looks at me with wide eyes. “Emily?” No, I shake my head. I am Kate. She caresses my cheek and whispers, “My darling.”
     
  8. aliasjgfanaticmv

    aliasjgfanaticmv Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2003
    Location:
    shouldn't matter to you where I live
    Wow....this is a great story...wonderful...really...wow...I can't wait to read more!!
     
  9. Sydney Look Alike

    Sydney Look Alike Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Cool! I kind of know where you are going with this one but am still semi confused! Post more soon Please!!!!
     
  10. Alias Obsessed 47

    Alias Obsessed 47 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    o mi gash! that was GREAT! can u please pm me when u have posted more? that would be great!

    thanx a bunch,
    muffin
     
  11. Crawstinium

    Crawstinium Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    ahhhh this is so great that it made me so depressed and im practically gonna cry and oh geez ahhhhhhhhh nooooooooo please nooo please bring them all back to life? :D pleaseeee? wow this is really good tho. great job
     
  12. xdancer

    xdancer Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Oh my goodness! I love this fic. I started reading it in another archve, can't remember which one. Anyway it's intriguing! I hope you add more soon.
     
  13. bluheart13

    bluheart13 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this is very good. i hope you post more soon Duck
     
  14. Alias Obsessed 47

    Alias Obsessed 47 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    post more! can you pm when you have posted more? please and thanks!

    -muffin
     
  15. Vaughn'sGirl

    Vaughn'sGirl Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Duck,
    Can you pm me when you update? I love your story , it is fanatastic!- please?
     
  16. xdancer

    xdancer Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I forgot to ask before- can you PM me when you get another part up. I can't wait to read the rest of it.
     
  17. ItsADuckStupid

    ItsADuckStupid Ensign

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Dad always had these horrible nightmares that would cause him to shake and cry until the sun rose and cast light through his window. When I was little and came to investigate the noise, he'd let me crawl into bed with him and snuggle under the covers, keeping me warm and safe. As I got older and the nightmares didn't cease, I'd watch him battle his demons until he was jerked back into consciousness and then I'd simply hold his hand until he managed to fall back asleep. Before he died he confessed that my mere presence was so soothing that he didn't notice the transfer from nightmare to quiet sleep. I reasoned it was because I looked so much like my mother, which was the cause of his nightmares. Dad was lucky. He had a miniature Mom. I have no one.

    Crust rimmed her eyes, cracking as she opened them in the soft morning light. Warmth surrounded her, warmth she had never before felt. It was the embrace of a mother, and Kate reveled in it. Cindy's arms were comforting and healing, just what she needed. The song that lingered in her mind still seemed familiar, one she heard as a baby perhaps. One Mom sang to me.

    Cindy had woken a while ago, disturbed by the night's events. The song that she sang to calm Kate was something she didn't recognize, couldn't remember learning. There were a lot of things she couldn't remember, her entire childhood, adolescence, her parents, but she had learned to deal with it. Her aunt had helped her through it, and then John once she met him. Now her aunt was dead and she didn't have any one to turn to for answers. Feeling Kate shift in her arms, she smiled down on the disoriented teenager.

    "Good morning. Feel any better?"

    Thoughts and images from the night before bombarded her in waves, and all she could do was shake her head. Gently squeezing her, Cindy tried to relieve some of the pain, take away the memories, and finally Kate managed to choke out, “I’ve never had a nightmare like that before.” Only Dad had those kinds of nightmares.

    Urging Kate to continue she rubbed soothing circles on her arms. “What happened?”

    Not letting the tears escape by sniffing she only replied, “I saw them both die.”

    At a loss for words, Cindy could only wonder at the connection she felt with Kate at that moment. Even though she had cared for countless children, none of them entered her heart the way this broken hearted girl had. Pain emanated from her and its all Cindy could do not to stay and hold her until all the fear and hurt went away.

    Silence fell over and they stayed in their position for a few minutes, until the grandfather clock downstairs chimed and Cindy remembered that Wesley needed to go to school. Slowly she untangled herself from Kate, and slid off the bed. Before she left the room, she turned around and asked her, “Would you like to come to the library with me today? I couldn’t help but notice how tattered your copy of To Kill A Mockingbird is, a symbol of an avid reader. I’m a librarian, I know.”

    The bed was so comforting and she was still so disoriented that Kate almost wanted to say no. Seeing her indecision, Cindy quickly added, “After I take Wesley to school, though, so if you do want to go, just be ready to leave in about an hour.” With that she left, taking all the comfort and security with her down the hall. I’ve only felt that safe with Dad.

    To her surprise, it was actually easy to get out of bed and stumble to the shower after she reminded herself that her dad wouldn’t want her sitting in bed in all day doing nothing. He was always ready to go somewhere and do something, not one of those dads that sat on the couch and drank beer all day. In fact, the only time he ever really watched TV was for the hockey games. Besides that, he would always drag Kate outside to do yard work or go skating with him.

    Looking outside to the still falling snow, she sighed wistfully. No yard work here, besides shoveling snow. She polished the picture frame carefully, a daily ritual that she hadn’t skipped a day since she got it. Quickly checking to see if her family picture was tucked snugly against her body and tugging her charm out of her sweater, she left the room. My bedroom.

    Cindy was waiting for her in the kitchen, nursing a steaming cup of tea and gazing outside. Almost loathe interrupting her, Kate tip toed across the wooden floorboards until she reached the marble island and poured herself a cup of tea. Smiling at her arrival Cindy spoke, “Today is Wesley’s last day before Winter Break. He wanted to stay home and show you around, but I told him that you wouldn’t see much with all this snow. Then again, that boy is always trying to get out of going to school.”

    The tea still burned her tongue after blowing on it for a while, but Kate continued to sip it anyway. The physical pain was almost a relief after the emotional turmoil she’d been through in past twenty-four hours, and although she would never cut herself, the accident was welcome.

    The library was empty which wasn’t surprising considering the schools were still in session, and she reveled in the silent solitude. Running her fingers lightly over the dusted volumes, Kate recognized titles from her father’s collection that was sold off with the rest of their belongings. Wuthering Heights…Dad always said that was Mom’s favorite. Her hand pulled it off involuntarily, and she spent the next few hours familiarizing herself with Catherine and Heathcliff until someone bumped into her chair and broke the novel’s spell.

    Books were splayed across the floor in front of her, and she bent down to help the girl scrambling to gather them back into her arms. She wore her black hair in braided pigtails, and her smile took over her whole face. “Thanks,” she said breathlessly as Kate piled another book into her arms.

    “No problem.” First contact of someone other than her foster family. Someone from Watertown that looked to be her age, and no words came to her mind to continue the conversation. Luckily, the girl seemed to notice her hesitation, and smiled even wider.

    “Hi, I’m Hannah. I know I haven’t seen you in Watertown, because I know everyone here. Are you living with John and Cindy?” The words came out rushed, and Kate couldn’t help but return the smile.

    “I’m Kate. Kate Craig. And yea, I’m living with John and Cindy.” Kate couldn’t help but notice the way Hannah never seemed to be still, bouncing on the balls of her feet and popping some gum noisily.

    Hannah stuck out her hand to shake Kate’s and the books fell on her feet. They both laughed at the clumsy gesture and this time they put the books on a nearby table. The titles didn’t stand out to Kate, so she opened a book cover to investigate further. “The Witches of Eileann? You like Fantasy books?”

    Smacking her gum, Hannah picked up another book. “Yea! I love Fantasy… magic, witches, quests, different gods and dragons… fantasy just has so much, you know? I mean, the classics are great, The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books of all time, but magic takes you somewhere people can only dream about.”

    Gently shutting the book Kate thought about her own preferences. Classic literature was something she read a lot, but she wasn’t sure she had a favorite genre. One thing Kate loved about reading was her ability to tell if she would like a book by the third chapter. She always knew that if it didn’t appeal to her by then, it never would. Dad said Mom was like that too.

    Silence was something that Hannah obviously didn’t like, because she kept chattering. It didn’t bother Kate at all, she was finally interacting with someone her own age, and it felt wonderfully refreshing.

    “So where are you from? I hear an accent…wait…don’t tell me. It’s not Arkansas, cause the twang isn’t right. My cousins from Louisiana, and you don’t sound a bit like her. Texas or Oklahoma?”

    “Texas. You’re pretty good at that.”

    Hannah sighed dreamily. “I love languages, and I have since I was little. Good thing my parents caught on, cause I got tutors for four different languages by the time I was five.”

    This caught Kate’s interest. Languages intrigued her, but her dad had insisted she only take Spanish. Now she figured it had something to do with her mystery heritage. “What’s your favorite?”

    “French, it’s difficult, but it sounds wonderful”

    “Really? Because I wanted to take French, but my dad said Spanish would help me more, so I took it.”

    Hannah gave her an extremely odd look, and she couldn’t help but wonder if she’d said something wrong. Eyes wide with curiosity, Hannah leaned in towards Kate. “How’d you know what I said?”

    Taken back, she replied, “You said French was difficult, but it sounds great. Why are you so shocked that I know English?”

    Her mouth was open now, and Hannah pulled carelessly on a pigtail. “I said it in French.”

    Shock flooded every part of Kate’s body. How the hell do I know French? How the hell did I not know I knew it? Her eyes unfocused as she realized all the times her dad’s voice seemed to change, and it would take on an almost melodious pitch. It had done that as long as she could remember. Did Dad speak it? And if he did, why didn’t he tell me?

    “Hey, are you ok?” Hannah’s hand waving in front of her face brought her back to reality, and Kate struggled with her thoughts. To think that she had known French her whole life and not known that she’d known it was mind blowing, and it was proof that her Dad hid things from her. The name Vaughn sounded French in her mind, but at that moment O’Brien would have sounded French.

    Shaking her head, she responded slowly, “Yea, I’m fine. It’s weird, I understood that, but I’ve never taken French.”

    Hannah dismissed it with a wave of her hand. “French is a lot like Spanish in some ways. Maybe it’s something you heard somewhere. Who knows? So are you starting school after winter break? It would make sense, cause that’s when second semester starts, but maybe you want to get to know the place a little.” Again, her words were running together, but Kate was able to follow quite easily.

    “Yea, I’m starting after break. Does it always snow this much?”

    Taking a glance out a window, Hannah shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. “Sometimes. It’s normal for this time a year. Februarys a ***** though, cause everything gets covered with ice, which is like, five times worse than snow.” She glanced at the watch on her wrist. “Oh man. My mom’s going to kill me. I said I’d take five minutes, I’ve been in here fifteen.” Grabbing her books, she yelled, “Nice to meet you Kate! See you at school!” over her shoulder as she practically ran outside.

    After Hannah’s departure, the library was too quiet, and her mind began to wander over to her dad’s letter. Taking out the picture of her family, she looked at it with a thousand questions. Is Mom’s name really Sydney? Who would do this to my family?

    ***

    The next week went excruciatingly slow, even though Wesley was home. She spent the days getting to know him and the whole Cross routine, which was obvious to her within two days. John would get up at five thirty, shower, and Cindy would have his coffee ready by six thirty. When she got up, breakfast was waiting, which was usually about eight thirty. Wesley always joined them at nine, and John was always gone before she rolled out of bed.

    From what Kate saw, Cindy was completely happy with the domesticity, and John never seemed to be the sixties father type. He and Wesley were extremely close, and they would spend the evenings going through boxes of old baseball cards. She and Cindy formed a bond that was unexplainable to either, but they both spent at least an hour a day talking about books, which Kate found utterly refreshing, considering that none of her friends shared her love for them.

    One particular night Kate fell asleep on her copy of The Catcher in the Rye, and she was woken by a soft voice whispering her name. Raising her head from the pillow her arms created, her fuzzy morning vision saw her mother crouching down by her desk and lightly touching her arm. “Mom?’ she whispered sleepily, and once she rubbed her eyes, she realized that it was Cindy, and not her mom.

    “Kate, wake up. We’re going somewhere.” Complying slowly, eyes blinking in the morning light, she rose from the desk. It was luck that she had fallen asleep fully clothed, because if Cindy requested that she dress, Kate would have needed a nice long shower and some tea. Obviously Cindy knew her pretty well, she handed her a steaming mug as they made their way to the car.

    Sipping it slowly, knowing how hot Cindy always made it, she barely noticed that Wesley had joined them, and they were taking a different route when they normally traveled. Cindy had thought ahead and piled jackets inside the van, as well as gloves and a couple beanies. If Kate had been alert, she would have wondered why they needed it, but in her sleepy state she waved it off.

    They stopped twenty minutes later in front of a gleaming white building, and they all bundled up before venturing outside the heated van. Wesley took her hand excitedly, and practically dragged her through the door. The air inside was only a little warmer than outside, and Kate’s eyes widened as she realized where they were.

    Walking slowly over to the glass, she pressed her hand up against it as she watched a lone skater figure eight across the ice. Her heart pumped loudly, and she felt the urge to pull on her skates and scratch the hell out of the ice.

    Cindy and Wesley came up behind her, and Cindy placed something heavy against her. Kate looked down at her old figure skates, worn from use but still pretty new. Her eyes instantly filled up as she took them and held them to her body.

    Unable to contain his excitement, Wesley blurted, “We found you a coach so you can practice!” Her eyes snapped to Cindy to confirm this, and when she nodded, Kate could only open her mouth in shock. She had expected to never skate again, or never as a sport. Putting on the skates in a near daze, her fingers trembled over the laces.

    The woman doing figure eights came off the ice to embrace Cindy warmly, and she approached Kate with a smile. “I’m Olivia Johnson. If things work out right, I may be your coach.” Her handshake was warm, but firm, which gave Kate the impression that she was nice, but strict. “I know you don’t have appropriate practice clothes, but can I see what you can do without them?”

    So, before Kate was even really aware of it, she was on the ice warming up. Her heart felt a tug as she remembered her dads warm up, one he did before every practice without fail. The ice welcomed her, and for the first time, she felt right at home.

    Cindy and Wesley found some creaky bleachers and sat down with care to watch Kate’s skill. Just warming up she looked professional, her face lit with a huge smile. A large machine caught the boy’s eye, and he pointed it out to his mother.

    “Hey Mom, what’s that?”

    Cindy smiled at his curiosity. “That’s a zamboni. They smooth out the ice so skaters don’t trip over the holes their skates make.” Her breath caught in her throat as a conversation filled her head.

    “I love the zamboni”

    “The zambonis your favorite part?”

    “No, coming home with you after the game is my favorite part.”


    Wesley watched in concern as she gasped, and touched her army gently. “Mom, are you ok?”

    Eyes wide with fear, all she could do was nod.
     
  18. xdancer

    xdancer Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This is wonderful! She is Sydney. OK, I'm not kidding, this is my favorite fanfic that I've ever read. I can't wait to see the rest unfold.
     
  19. ItsADuckStupid

    ItsADuckStupid Ensign

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Chapter 4

    ‘You know, the past week here hasn’t been that bad. I mean, I finally have a mother, a little brother, a new coach, and I’ve still got a number of my books. I could have ended up with a lot worse, and I’m grateful. And through all of that, there’s still this horrible ache that I can’t keep pushing away. Sooner or later, I’m going to have to figure out how to live without Dad. Because right now, it’s all a show.’

    Still on her high from skating for the first time in weeks, Kate could barely sit still in the car as they drove home. If she tried to sit still, her leg would start shaking, or her fingers tapping, and after a few minutes she just gave up entirely. Wesley noticed her energy, but couldn’t join her. He was still worried about his mom, because even though she’d assured him that she was fine, he couldn’t help noticing how pale she had become.

    The voices kept repeating themselves in her head, and it was all Cindy could do not to scream. She was sure it was a memory, something from her past, but nothing else was coming. Hoping the radio might tune them out, she turned it up louder.

    Today I may not have a thing at all
    Except for just a dream or two
    But I've got lots of plans for tomorrow
    And all my tomorrows belong to you’


    She had been staring out the window, her fingers tapping on the glass, but now Kate sat up ramrod straight and stared at the radio helplessly. ‘ Not this song. Anything but this song’. For an hour, she had managed to forget everything, her parents, Texas, Chris, everything that she missed. Now, with Frank Sinatra’s help, it all came back.

    Cindy was also bothered by the song and felt a warm tingly feeling from her stomach spread to her fingertips. The song was comforting and familiar, she knew that much, but she had no idea why. A bouquet of lilies appeared in her mind’s eye for a split second, and then disappeared, leaving her extremely confused and agitated.

    The radio made the only noise throughout the whole trip, and Kate struggled not to let the tears forming behind her eyes fall. If there was one song that her father could listen to over and over again, it was All My Tomorrows. When she was little, he’d sweep her off her feet and they’d dance. Even when she was older, if they were alone, he’d pull her from wherever she was sitting and they’d waltz slowly in time with Frank. He had told her only a few months ago that this was the first song he and her mother had ever danced to as husband and wife.

    Cindy was irritable and cranky when they arrived at home, and noticing this, Wesley, took Kate’s hand and asked her to help him down in the basement. Once down there, he glanced around secretively before leading her to large trunk. Inside was a mass of pictures and a very cute homemade photo album.

    “This is my Christmas present to Mom. We could make it from the both of us, if you want, “ he smiled shyly, looking down at his feet. “You could find out about us, too. Cause I realized yesterday that you don’t know much about us, and you’ve told me all about your dad.” Pausing for a moment, he added, “Maybe you’ll feel more part of the family.”

    Pulling out the album with a sad smile, she saw the wedding picture and nearly dropped it. Hands shaky and nearly crying, Kate nodded without a word. Noticing her changed expression, Wesley titled his head to peer into her face. “Kate, are you ok?”

    A single tear coursed its way down her cheek, and she closed her eyes as the tune filled her head once more.

    ‘Today I may not have a thing at all
    Except for just a dream or two
    But I've got lots of plans for tomorrow
    And all my tomorrows belong to you’


    “No Wesley, I’m not ok.” He had never truly realized how badly she missed her parents, but now it came to him as he watched the tears slide down her cheeks. Doing the only thing he could think of, he wrapped his small arms around her waist and tried to offer support. She clung to him like a lifeline, and she had never been more grateful for his presence.

    Sniffing, she released him and kissed the top of his head. Whispering a soft, “Thank you,” she examined the photo album once again. The art around the edges was impressive for a nine year-old. “This is really good.”

    He blushed, and took it from her gently. “Thanks. Mom keeps all her pictures down here. I asked Dad if I could take them, and he said it was all right. If you don’t want to, it’s ok. I just thought you might want to.”

    “Yea, Wesley, I do want to help. What can I do?” His face lit up and he began to explain eagerly.

    Meanwhile, Cindy was upstairs picking up laundry, still unnerved by the conversation she heard at the skating rink. It kept replaying, and she couldn’t identify the voice for the life of her. Stopping briefly in Kate’s room, she glanced around before her eyes came to a stop at the picture frame. She had never really looked at it before, just passed over it, but now it was practically screaming at her. Dropping the basket, she walked over and touched the silver gently. It was so familiar-
    ‘What? No, you didn't.
    I don't know. I was in this store, you know, um... this little antique place.
    What were you doing in an antique store?
    I don't know. Whatever. Um, look, if you don't like it just... don't tell me.’


    Hand shaking, it was all she could do not to knock over the frame. She practically ran out the door with the basket, not stopping until she reached her bedroom. Closing the door, she sank down at the foot of her bed and held her head between her hands.

    ***

    Wesley and Kate spent a few hours in the basement, and they were both beaming when they emerged. They found a lot to talk about, and both felt closer as a result. Lunch was ready, and Kate couldn’t help noticing the dark circles under Cindy’s eyes as they ate. She was hardly speaking, staring off into space until Kate or Wesley asked her a question, at which she snapped back to the present and asked them to repeat the question.

    John noticed too, when he came home, that Cindy wasn’t feeling well. In fact, he practically pushed her into the bathtub, knowing she could relax. Cindy didn’t want to be left alone, however, so she made it quick. New phrases were coming from nowhere; just looking at the oven forced one. ‘You have an oven you know. We can reheat.’

    She had spent the past 14 years in the dark, and now little beams of light were coming from somewhere. She only wished she could turn on the light. But…even then, she wasn’t sure she wanted to remember. The voice, the deep one that sent shivers down her spine, was not John’s, and that scared her. The thought that she had loved someone (she could tell it was love by the way she felt when she heard the voice) before him, and probably left him unknowingly haunted her. Not that she’d leave her husband and child, but she didn’t want the guilt.

    Pulling her robe around her, she combed out her hair and sat down on the closed toilet seat. She closed her eyes as his voice repeated over and over, “You have an oven you know. We can reheat.”

    Shaking her head determinedly, she did her best to ignore it. “I can’t change anything,” she said firmly to the mirror. With that, she turned and strode quickly from the bathroom.

    Kate was writing a letter to Chris when she heard a knock on the door. Cindy came in; dressed in her pajamas, wet hair drawn away from her face. Signing the letter quickly, she folded it and sealed it in the envelope. She had written about Cindy and her stormy feelings extensively, and didn’t want her to read it.

    Getting up, she smiled at Cindy and started polishing her silver frame. The smile was fake, however, because she was aching so badly inside. The skating had helped her push it away, and even helping Wesley diminished the pain, but now it was back full force.

    Kate ran her finger over the silver, and Cindy had to shake the voices from her head once again. They were becoming louder and once she even felt a presence. John was starting to get a little worried, and that was the last thing she wanted. They had given up the thought of her recovering her memory a long time ago, and she wasn’t about to bring up the possibility only to be disappointed.

    Noting Kate’s pensive mood, she sat down at the desk chair and looked at her meaningfully. “Want to talk about it?”

    Kate’s eyes widened for a second before she shook her head and began polishing the frame. After a moments pause she closed her eyes and straightened her spine decisively. “Yea, actually. If I don’t I think I’ll explode.”

    That caught Cindy’s attention, and she motioned for Kate to continue. She began to pace, arms wrapped tightly around her torso for support. “I found out things after my dad died…things about my mom and how she died. I was only a year old, so I don’t remember her at all, but she haunted Dad. He never so much as looked at another woman, let alone date one. He’d dream of her, and more often than not, dream of her dying. I never knew why that bothered him so much until after, and now I can’t ask him the things I need to know.” She paused, as if searching for words, and then continued slowly, “I also found out something else, something that makes me question who I am. In my dreams, they call out for someone else. It’s like I’m two people, and I can’t figure out who is the real me.”

    Cindy was shocked, mainly because that was exactly how she felt. Inside her mind there was the person that knew everything about her, what her parents were like, her childhood, her favorite color, the first person she ever slept with, but she had been lost. Everything Cindy knew was something she’d built in the last fourteen years, after the accident. Memories had been lost, until something recently started bringing them back.

    Even then, she only had a few conversations and one or two images, but no faces. No names either. Her aunt had taken her away to Wisconsin once they realized her memory was not returning. Aunt had said it was so she could start over, but Cindy had gotten the feeling that they were running. She hadn’t been in Watertown long before she met John, and he introduced her to all his friends. They were married in under a year, and he never pressured her to remember.

    Kate sat down on the bed with a look of despair. “There are so many questions, but no answers.” Her face crumpled as she pulled her knees to her chest and began to cry. “Why’d he die and leave me so alone?”

    Cindy joined her on the bed and wrapped her arms around her shuddering form. Kate allowed her to get closer, and they began rocking slowly. Smoothing her hair from her forehead, Cindy whispered, “You know, you and I have a lot in common.” Surprise lined Kate’s face, but she didn’t speak. Continuing, Cindy said, “I lost my memory fourteen years ago, and I tried everything to get it back. After awhile, I just didn’t need it anymore. I have a family that I love very much, and I don’t need anything else.”

    “You don’t wonder what you were like? I mean, do you even remember what your favorite color was?”

    “No, I had to find a new one. Everything I have now is something I’ve built. But I’m so happy, and although remembering everything won’t change that, I don’t need it.”

    Kate pulled away. “Well, I remember everything. And as much as it hurts to think about it, it would hurt more if I didn’t. I can’t forget Dad. I just can’t.”

    Cindy looked hurt as Kate began to pace in front of her. “I’m not saying you should forget. I’m saying you shouldn’t worry about what you don’t know. You are Kate. You just have to realize it.”

    “Before, I had someone. Now, I don’t. I have to become a different person. I guess that makes me three people then.” Kate was nearly fuming, unsure of what sparked her anger. Cindy sensed this, and said no more. Finally Cindy got up and left, leaving Kate in her anger.

    After a few minutes of silent tears, Kate lay down, and tried to sleep. She didn’t.
     
  20. xdancer

    xdancer Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I really adore this fic! You are an excellent writer. The plot is excellent and so is the style. Please update soon.
     

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