2.12 The Aging Process

September 19, 2010 § 9 Comments

With Cora’s birthday approaching, she felt a sense of déjà-vu. When she was Charles’s age, all of the birthdays in her family were lined up. For three solid days, the family celebrated. Now, there would be five birthdays over the course of seven days, and Cora’s was first.

Sitting at the top of the guest list for Cora’s party was her twin sister, Rayna. Other close family and friends were invited, but Cora was looking forward to seeing her sister and celebrating their birthday together. Rayna didn’t keep in contact much, and when she arrived, she told Cora that she had already celebrated her birthday the week before with her family. The girls had been drifting apart since they were young children, but this was like the period at the end of the sentence. Cora and Rayna were sisters in blood and flesh, but not in heart and mind.

Soon, it was time to blow out the candles, and the results were unwelcome. All throughout her life, Cora had thought that her unique face shape was horrifying. Only when she had become a young adult and things had sorted themselves out could Cora bear to sometimes tie her hair back. But as a middle aged woman, the emotional hardships she had faced became evident in clear, hard wrinkles in her skin. 

Not only did Cora look older, but she felt older. She was the mother of three children, and she was pretty high up in her career ladder. She was not a young woman anymore, and her look wasn’t complimenting her new features. Cora decided to get a bit of a makeover, and decided on a more mature look. She didn’t want to be an old woman who still tried to appear younger.

The next up in the birthday line-up was Charles. His parents were a little bit sad to see their adorable, responsible young son grow older, but they couldn’t wait to see how he would grow up. Charles invited his closest friends to celebrate with him; the boy was quite popular amongst his peers, and he simply could not invite all of his friends to celebrate. Soon, Charles stepped up to blow out the candles, with his five closest friends celebrating with him. Everybody was amazed with teenaged Charles’s appearance. Demarcus Harden, his best friend, was a little envious, as his genes weren’t the greatest. Latasha Bachelor and Krista Ursine (a special friend of Charles’s, since their grandmothers had been best friends) quickly ran their fingers through their hair, trying to make themselves look prettier.

Nobody was really surprised that Charles developed the Charismatic trait. He was likable and handsome, and when Bryce visited early the next morning and spoke with Charles, his ghostly eyes glowed with pride.

Monte’s birthday was next, and Cora and Brant were excited for the wrong reasons. They could not wait for their younger son to grow up and be able to fend for himself. Monte’s toddlerhood seemed to have lasted  an eternity, and Cora blamed Monte a bit for her new, deep wrinkles. The celebration was kept low-key again; Monte was sort of the family’s dark secret. They didn’t want the town to know about their problem child.

The first thing the family noticed when Monte became a child was that he still didn’t have much hair. Cora wasn’t sure whether this was because she had been stressed when she was pregnant with him, or because everything about Monte screamed special, or both. The second thing the family noticed was as soon as Monte finished his cake, he went and sat in front of the television. After spending most of his time in front of the television as a toddler, Monte developed the Couch Potato trait. When Cora and Brant went to bed at 11, they told Monte to be in bed by 11:30. But when Brant woke up at 5 AM to go to the washroom, he found Monte was still watching the television. Brant sent the young insomniac to bed at that time, but as soon as he went downstairs Monte got up and continued to watch his shows. He was almost late for school because he ‘needed’ to see how a show ended.

The next to have a birthday was Brant. While the children were eager to grow up, and Cora just accepted it, Brant did not want to become an elder. His oldest was a teenager, but his youngest was still a toddler for another day. He refused to have a party, and even a cake. That morning he had fished, he enjoyed a lovely little lunch with Cora, and played catch with Charles and Monte until Monte went inside. Before dinnertime, he held Madeleine close. He was old enough to be her grandfather, but her blue eyes, his blue eyes, protested. He kissed her on the forehead, praying that he would live longer than his parents and grandparents had, just to see his daughter grow up.

That evening, Brant sat in the Green Room, alone. He was reading, and waiting for the dreaded transition. As it got closer to midnight, he could no longer focus on his book, and began thinking. He was likely to die before Madeleine became a young adult, and it made him a little angry. But who’s fault was it? He hadn’t felt any romantic feelings towards any girl until his young friend came home from France as a stunning young adult. He was a little bit older than Cora, but it wasn’t his fault. Was it her parents’ fault, then, for not having their daughters earlier? Or his, for deciding to have two more children after Malcolm was a teen? Minutes away from midnight, Brant began to feel the sensation of aging. As he became an elder, he decided that if there was anyone to be angry with, it was life and fate. Life was unfair, and fate would do what it pleased.

The next morning, the family celebrated the last birthday. Cora brought the giggling young heiress up to her cake and helped her blow out her candles. Things were a bit rushed, as the boys had to catch the bus after, and Cora had to go to work, but when Monte came to the dining room Cora was glad that they had decided to do the party privately, at home. The insane boy had deemed it appropriate to come to the table in just his swimsuit and goggles. Madeleine blew out her candles regardless, and became a gorgeous little girl with the Unlucky trait.

Since she had just became a child, she didn’t have to go to school that day. She watched Monte and Charles run to the bus, and then explored the house on her own two feet. After finding her redecorated room, she found a little child’s oven in the kitchen. Sometimes, when she was younger, Cora would sit her on the kitchen counter while she cooked dinner, and Madeleine had always watched with fascination. Now, she had her own little oven to make food with. Her first three batches of vanilla muffins came out flawless, and since her brothers were at school, mother at work, and father out fishing, Madeleine decided to take her muffins to the park and see if anyone thought they were any good, and maybe meet some of the townsfolk.

2.11 That Special Girl

September 12, 2010 § 2 Comments

On the first night of Cora’s third pregnancy, she felt a strange compulsion to go visit her mother’s grave. She had been getting ready to go to bed, when something told her to go to her parents’ resting place. Cora carefully approached the small gravesite, bracing herself for the emotions that were likely to surface. But when she saw her mother’s smiling ghost, she was calm. Cora and Evelyn talked into the early morning, and Evelyn promised her daughter that the house would soon see the special little girl that everyone was eagerly waiting for.

For the most part, Cora’s pregnancy went smoothly and quietly. Brant made sure to stay home the whole time, and the family always engaged in  leisurely activities. Cora didn’t want to stress out the next heiress, if in fact she was carrying a girl. No one had seen Evelyn since she visited Cora in the early, early morning, but one morning, young Charles woke up and felt the same compulsion as his mother had not too long before. In the pre-dawn light, Charles went into the back yard and discovered his grandfather’s ghost. Bryce had decided to visit the Hallovins, and meet the grandson who’s birth he had barely missed. Charles and Bryce met under strange circumstances, but soon the two were playing tag together under the rising sun. When daylight signaled Bryce to return to the Netherworld, Charles felt a little bit of sadness. He could tell that he and his grandfather could have had a wonderful relationship, but Bryce was only permitted to visit early certain mornings.

One night, Cora woke up with the extreme abdominal pain that she was all too familiar with. Baby number three was ready and eager to be born. Cora and Brant took a taxi to the hospital, and a teenager down the street came to watch over Charles and Monte. The birth was quick and easy, and Cora and Brant returned home with baby Madeleine just before sunrise. Madeleine was born Excitable and Clumsy, but she was the most beautiful baby girl that they had ever seen. See had the trademark pale skin, and her dark eyes held hints of blue. When Cora went to put her new daughter in bed, she found that Evelyn was in the Green Room, reading. Cora went to show her mother the next heiress, and Evelyn’s smiling, glowing eyes seemed to say “I told you so”.

Time in the Hallovin household went quickly, and soon it was the young heiress’s birthday. Like with her brothers, Madeleine’s birthday was kept low-key, and only the family celebrated. As a toddler, Brant’s face was showing strongly in her’s, down to the eye colour. The first blue eyed Hallovin, and the first with Landgraab hair with Hallovin streaks. Neither family had seen such a unique blend of genetics, but both were pleased and anxious to see what she would look like when she was older.

Cora and Brant could finally relax. With their unique daughter, the legacy finally had an heiress, and the parents could become old without fear of this legacy dying out.

2.10 Mad House

September 6, 2010 § 2 Comments

On the outside, the 15 Summer Court Hill seemed like a normal home. The house itself was dark, the fenced-in yard oddly flat and bare, and there appeared to be a small graveyard in the back corner, but other than that, the Hallovin home was quite normal. But on the inside, it was a mad house. As soon as the front door opened, Monte’s tortured wails could be heard, along with the pacing of two parents desperately trying to calm him. It was only when Cora finally gave up, passed her son to his father, and passed out in their room down the hall did Monte, and the rest of the household, seem to be at peace.

Soon, Charles’s birthday was upon the family. Though thoroughly exhausted, Cora and Brant phoned a few family members and friends and invited them to the park, to celebrate Charles stepping into true childhood. With red balloons scattered throughout the park and loved ones cheering them on, Charles blew out the two candles with Cora’s help. It was then decided that if Brant had been born a Hallovin, he would have looked just like Charles. Charles received the Athletic trait, and after getting his hair cut like his father’s, the two went fishing together. Charles was only able to catch a few minnows, but as a gift and a test of responsibility, he was allowed to keep one in a bowl in his room, if he made sure to feed it every night before bed. He was very happy with this gift, and eagerly fed his fish twice daily.

Since Charles was now old enough to go out and about with his father, whom he idolized, he was always looking for his father’s attention. But since Monte would only stay calm in Brant’s arms, the family had a problem. Fortunately, shortly after Charles became a child, Monte became a toddler, and the family found it easier to raise him. Monte’s room was filled with toys, books, and even a small television was placed in his room out of desperation. This worked very well, and both parents could relax until Monte started elementary school.

Since Brant’s burden of keeping two young boys entertained was lifted a bit, he found that he had more free time to himself. While Charles was at school, he would spend quality time with Cora. He knew about the legacy that her mother had started, and knew that a girl was needed to carry on the family name. But the more they thought about it, the more they wanted a girl, just to dote on and dress in cute outfits.

On weekends, Charles would beg his father to take him with him on his fishing trips. Brant found it hard to say no to the little boy that looked almost just like him, only with his loving wife’s pale skin tone and dark eyes. Brant took Charles to the park every Saturday evening, and father and son fished and talked for hours. Charles loved spending time with his father and idol, telling him about his day at school and seeing him catch wonderful, giant fish, and Brant loved spending time with his little Hallovin clone, and seeing the fascination and awe in his eyes whenever he reeled in a salmon or trout.

With Monte entertained in his room, and Brant and Charles bonding, Cora returned to painting and sculpting. She was still on maternity leave, and she spent this quiet time tucked away in the studio, letting her emotions flow onto canvas or into clay. It was then that Cora discovered that she was expecting for a third time. Just as things in this loud, stressful house had calmed down, Cora became pregnant again. She hoped with all of her being that this time she would have a girl, because she was nearing full adulthood, and did not want to be a grandmother and still trying to raise an heiress. Brant was nearing elderhood, and Cora didn’t want her children to lose their father when they were young.

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