Family is Family (Vignette)

Senkyou's Weyr
Sail is pinned up above the bed, the bed is made with a sea blue quilt. A dresser and set of drawers sits on one wall, a trunk sits in front of a mirror that is jagged, no frame and looks to be a large piece of broken glass. Two windows remain open most days, curtains also made of sail, hang in front of them. To one side is a kitchen area, small and very compact. Not far from that is a sink and shower, no soaking bath just a shower and a set of towels.
A Skybroom frame is painted a unique shade of brown, almost matching the hide of Dulacth. Long curtains cover windows on both sides of the dragon couch, the curtains at first glance look like beads but a further examination would show tiny rocks having been threaded together by fishing wire. Small and larges rocks lay all over the place, all colors shapes and sizes can be found. The couch in the middle of the weyr is large enough for a bronze at full growth, and scattered with those "Special" must have rocks that Dulacth sleeps with like teddy bears.

*Family is Family by Kacey Musgraves*
"Can't live with or without 'em, you might talk about 'em
But if someone else does, well, then you'll knock 'em out 'cause
When it's all said and done, they're the only ones that you got
Family is family, in church or in prison
You get what you get, and you don't get to pick 'em
They might smoke like chimneys, but give you their kidneys
Yeah, friends come in handy, but family is family"

There's something to be said for family, people who feel obliged to be around you even when you might not want to be around you. Those moments are when you most need them. For the most part, family has been everything to Evangeline. Her family with Evance, the people who helped her braid her hair and kissed her boo-boos. The loving smell of food wafting from the front window of the holding, the feeling of her mother's hands guiding her through stitches on her first outfit. The scent of her sibling's clean bodies next to her in a shared bed, the feeling of having a baby sibling on her hip at just 10 turns old. There is something to be said about knowing who you are. The future might as well have been carved in stone, the future did not include any of her current life or choices. That future was sucked into the ground. So here we are, in a Weyr on the opposite side of the planet. In a weyr filled with a different kind of family.

Senkyou is a few months shy of her 80th turn, the slender, wiry young woman she once was has been transformed by time into the small menacing old lady she is now. Her hands show signs of arthritis, knuckles turned, and gnarled enough that she can barely zip or button her riding clothes anymore. The sharp young face has wrinkled, muscles have atrophied with the inevitability of time. Brown hair has turned grey, her hearing is not what it once was and what could be a cataract has stolen the sight in one of her eyes. Despite getting older, the brownrider still gets around though old knees and hips refuse to move as smoothly as they once did. 55 turns in Xanadu Weyr, and against all of her wishes, she has built a life here. A family of four children by three different bronzeriders has become a unit all its own. All of them bound together by their abrasive and crass matriarch. This is the house Dulacth built, a house as solid as the rocks that litter the weyr. The broken family of 5 has become a rowdy family of 18 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and a baker's dozen worth of inlaws, some in good standing with the household, and some that only get mentioned when drinking or cursing. From one came 27 different people, all with their own lives but all returning to the rocky weyr like a ship to shore. The weyr located off the forest on the ground at Xanadu has always been home. It is here, in the house that Dulacth built that we find the family of Evangeline the day after Leirith's flight resulting in R'hyn being named Weyrleader.

Dinner is on the stove, the dirty blonde, wiry, middle-aged woman that is Zoniya is standing in the small kitchen, cursing the size of it as she always does. Senkyou's youngest daughter is chattering mindlessly at her mother while spooning her secret chili recipe into her youngest son's mouth. Oddis laughs and nods, scuttling around his mother with impunity. Oddisa lays on the couch, the petite blonde girl of 14 turns is talking a mile a minute to Senkyou who sits in a glider chair forced upon her by her children. Senk is nodding along absently to the girl's story. Odd' ish sits on the other end of the sofa, the 45 turns old tall blonde haired bluerider waits for dinner to be ready, one hand catching Oddisa's foot whenever it gets too close to kicking his thigh. Each time he grabs her, she squeals and kicks him, a ritual as old as the girl herself.
The front door opens, and Onyxia pushes Evangeline through it like she could be herding cattle. The 20 turns old, slender, spiky brown-haired bluerider walks with a swagger most people identify as masculine. Unlady like is putting it mildly. Onyxia waves to the waiting diners and flops down on the last spot on the sofa. "Big upset, huh!" She says as she slaps herself down on the couch.
"Weyr's been upset 'fore, I suspected he wouldn' las'" Senkyou pipes up, shaking her head exhaustingly at her granddaughter, "Yu young folk don't know wha' it's like to jus' have one Weyrleader for a decade, this place change's hands like marks at the track an' the dragons are ruder than ever." Her voice is filled with distaste, she wants everyone off her lawn, and their taste in music is HORRIBLE. YOUTHS.

This routine is new for Evangeline, coming into Nana's with the rest of the family. For a few moments, she stands in the doorway utterly lost, not sure where she belongs in the current company. Ambling into the kitchen, she gives a shy wave to Zoniya, she sets herself to rinsing the dishes. Zoniya reaches an arm around Evi's waist, pulling the teen tight against her chest and laying a kiss upon the crown of her head. "Lil bit, nice to have you home." She whispers into the girl's ashy blonde hair. A spoonful of chili is offered to Evi, and she wrinkles her nose and shakes her head in refusal. Zoniya, for her part, doesn't force it, one hand remains on her nieces back while the other stirs the pot.

Onyxia smiles back at her cousin and nudges her father's arm "I found the pup wanderin' stark naked las' night. Almost had herself drug off by a big blonde man, prolly ruined all her fun." The smirk on the girl's face mixed with impish humor is enough to get her punched. Odd' ish doesn't quite hit his mouthy eldest child, but he does shove her into the arm of the sofa, giving her a look that reads shut-up-dear-Faranath. For what it's worth, she has probably seen that look a lot, and she smiles on, her voice at least carries less humor. "Saved her I did, Weyrlingmasters ain't worth the egg that hatched' um." A steady nod of her head, but the shit-eating grin is back on her lips. Oddisa giggles and rolls her eyes at her sister before continuing her story, even though it's obvious she is not being listened to. She started telling this tale, and she will finish it. If there was some way, Evangeline could tunnel herself into the floor and dig herself to the other side of Pern. She'd of already done it. Instead, she stands staring at her skirt hem, hips swaying slightly as a way to release the pent up anxiety triggered by her misadventure. Senkyou, sensing her granddaughter's upheaval, calls out.

"You know there ain't nothin' to be shamed of 'round here. We all done things that made are ears burn in the morning' bit bit. You won' be the first and damn sure you won' be the las,' wait half a turn see the folks heavy with child." Senkyou advises, her voice steady and secure with a hint of mischief that is easily concealed by her age. Zoniya wraps her arms around Evangeline's waist and pulls her close against her body, the mother in her responding quickly to the distress of her niece. Both of Zoniya's arms cross over the girl's chest, and Evangeline could not escape if she wished. Not that she wants to, the loving embrace by someone who obviously cares deeply for her hits the spot. The spot that she didn't recognize until now was less of a spot and more of a trench where she had kept the love she received from her family. Turning back to the food, Zoniya has one more taste and announces to the weyr.

"Alright, soups on y'all come get it while it's hot. Made some bread too, littles first." Announcing this, she fills a bowl retrieved from the counter, drops a slice of brown marbled bread into it, and presses it into the hands of Oddis. The next dish is passed to Evangeline, "Take this one to Odi for me bitty, she's talkin' Nana's ears off an' I'd hate to interrupt her." For all the dry drawl in her tone, there's no shortage of affection for her youngest daughter. It's in moments like this that Evangeline feels whole again. Standing next to her aunt and cousin with bowls of food. Handing the bowl to Oddisa, the teen sits down across from Senk and takes a bite; for a second, the shame eats at her. Evi's eyes unfocus, her spoon halfway to her mouth is placed in the bowl, and her appetite is destroyed by her immoral actions. The distress is not missed by the old woman, standing up with a crack of her joints she shuffles over to behind the tattered girl, leaning down she presses her lips to her ear.

"Yu know little one, yu can stay here if yu like. Ditch those barracks an' hang out with me an 'lacth for a while. I'd love yur company. We'd love to keep yu here as long as yu want. "Running her hands through the messy locks, of her fragile granddaughter, she looks out at her family and smiles. "Yu know, all these people are here because I got drunk an' met yur grandfather, if I'd of been more like you there'd of been no you." The words might have been meant to be profound, but they come out playful. Evangeline shakes her head, the smile she forces on her face is followed with a small bump of her nose into her Nana's neck, she breathes in the smell of herbs and sun that exude off the cornerstone of this family. The woman who gave her four expensive cats buys all her fabric and has given her a place she can safely call home again. With a small, resigned sigh, she whispers.

"I don't want them to think I'm a coward, Nana, but I can't face them knowing what happened." A small rock of her body back and forth, stress crippling her once more. "I could use more time with you, and I'm sure none of them will miss me. I'll be a big help, I promise." The desperation in her quiet tenor is mingled with an apology, an apology for the disrepute she feels she has thrust upon her family. A grandmother always knows what to do, so Senkyou simply presses her face into the top of Evangeline's head and says.

"Lil bit, yu couldn't embarrass any of us more than Ony does every time she tries karaoke at the Wherry, yu are always welcome here. Anyone says flip 'bout wat happened yur to bring them to us. Yur ours now bit bit, we are keepin' yu." Old tired arms wrap around the girl's neck and shoulders, another kiss landing on her cheek before Senk moves to get her own bowl of chili.

Not all big moments require grand action, or adventure. Some of the biggest revelations in life come from those around us. Time passes as Evangeline looks out upon her family, maybe staying with Nana wasn't going to cure what happened with Stefyr and Khavro. Perhaps a dragon wasn't going to fill the hole left in her chest by the abandonment of her mother. None of life's big problems would be solved by a bowl of chili, chatty obnoxious cousins, or a loving aunt. That doesn't mean it wasn't a start, and for a brief moment in time, she was alone, but she was alone with a family all her own again. For now, that needs to be enough

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License