Monday, April 1, 2013

Woods Random Legacy: Chapter 38 - Net Gain Zero

He found the infant one night when he came home from work.  It had been swaddled in a pink hospital blanket and laid carefully on his bed, where he would be sure to find it within minutes of arriving home.  It was sleeping soundly, and didn't even wake when James unpinned the handwritten note that had been pinned to the front of the blanket.  The writing was shaky, as if written with an unsteady hand, yet legible.

My dearest James,
I am sorry that I could not speak to you in person, but you must believe me that this way is easier.  I can not stay with you - I have known this from the day I met you.
Neither can I take this child - our daughter - with me, where I am going.  I have named her Epsilon, in accordance with the Greek name which you have already bestowed upon your first daughter.
Take care of her, James.  Keep her safe.  I fear that you may be the only one who can.
I hope, for her safety, that we never have cause to meet again, in this life or the after.  Goodbye.
Acadia Darrow

The next day was Love Day, but James's mood matched the weather.  Nobody in town would be out partying in that grey rain, which was just as well, because he didn't want to hear them.  He stared out the front window, the classical music playing in the background barely noticed as he became lost in his own thoughts.
Why had she just left?  What could have been so bad that she had to get out before he even knew she was leaving?  Whatever it was, surely he could have gotten protection for her.  But she hadn't known that he could, that was the thing.  He brushed a tear away as he wondered whether she would still be here with him, now, if he hadn't lied about his career.
How was he expected to raise another child on his own?  That was what they'd talked about, raising her together.  But if everything in the note was true, then during all of those conversations she had known that she would have to leave.
Why would she have lied awake with him for hours, late at night, discussing plans for the future if she'd known she had to leave?
Finally, the increasingly more dramatic strains of Wagner broke through James's window moping.  He whirled around to face his daughter, who immediately stopped dancing.
James: "Why are you doing this now?"
Alpha: "You said I could."
James: "I said no such thing."
Alpha: "Uh, yeah, you did.  When you came in and I was dancing, I asked if you wanted me to stop.  And you said you didn't care what I did, so I just kept doing it."
Huh.  Thinking back on it now, he did sort of remember saying that.
Alpha: "Do you want me to stop?"
James: "Could you?  It's really distracting."
Alpha: "Sure, I was almost done anyway."
She flipped the stereo off as she trotted off through the house, to do whatever it was she did all day apart from making up ridiculous dances to symphony music.  Just then, the doorbell rang, and James turned towards the sound.  Maybe she'd come back.

When he reached the front door, it wasn't to find Anne - Acadia, he corrected himself - but rather his old friend from school, Sondra Isaac-Keaton.
Sondra: "Heyyy James, I was just in the neighborhood and I thought I'd stop by and see if you wanted to come to my pa-"
She stopped and blinked, getting a good look at him for the first time.
Sondra: "Oh wow, is everything okay?  You look terrible."
James shook his head mutely and grabbed Sondra in a tight hug.
Sondra: "Woah!  Alright, it's okay.  What the hell happened to you?"
James: "She just left me, didn't even talk about it.  Just left me a note.  Who does that to someone?"
Sondra: "Wait, back up.  You have a girlfriend?"
James: "Apparently not anymore."
Sondra: "That really sucks, I'm sorry.  She broke up with you through a note?  That's even worse.  At least have the guts to talk it out face-to-face.  Wow, I don't blame you for being messed up."
James: "I just want to forget, but I can't, because I live in a madhouse."
Sondra glanced over her shoulder to the house, which seemed perfectly fine and not at all like a madhouse to her.  Shrugging the shoulder that wasn't supporting a crying man, she looked back down to him.
Sondra: "You know what you need?  A long, hot shower."
James made a muffled noncommittal noise into her shoulder.
Sondra: "No, seriously, you need that shower.  Believe me.  Let's go find your bathroom."
She got him in the stall and the water steaming, and was turning to wait for him outside when he grabbed her wrist.  She glanced back to him, raising an eyebrow as he tried to tug her closer.
James: "I want you, Sondra."
Sondra: "Hey now, it's not that I entirely object to the idea, but it just seems like a bad way of dealing with this, to me."
James: "It's the only way I can think of to forget."

~ * ~


James really needs better coping mechanisms.  It probably doesn't help that he does in fact live in a madhouse, but then again, whose fault is that?

Alpha invented the Smustle(it's my universe, she totally did, don't tell me otherwise) while listening to Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.  It was actually just generic classical music that the game was playing, but in my head it was Ride of the Valkyries, because that is much funnier.

I would also like to say, for your amusement, that I started out on this wikipedia page(wanted to make sure I had the composer right), and ended up here about 15 minutes later.  I have no idea.


  1. I do that all the time. (Start on this particular page looking for this totally specific item and 10 minutes later I'm in a completely different genre and boking up on totally useless trivia. It makes me happy to do that. Be happy. Enjoy the surf.

    Oh James. Alpha, Epsilon and will this be Delta? Or Beta? Hopefully Iota won't be considered. Sorry. Couldn't resist the bad pun. It was nice to see Alpha dancing. Love that it's supposed to be to Wagner! It does make it really funny. :D

    1. Well, Anne/Arcadia messed up the alphabetic order by picking Epsilon(which was much better of a name than Beta, so I'm glad she did), so I doubt James would try to pick up where he left off, if he even stayed with the Greek naming scheme. I'm not hearing the Iota pun, sorry. :\

  2. Welcome Epsilon!

    And yeah, James really does need better coping skills, lol. OH well, that's one way to do it.

    ~Margaret Pendragon

    1. Yeah. I do feel kind of bad for him. My original plot idea had him being much more villainous, but his story was ultimately less sad. :\

      I like Epsilon! I think each of the kids of this generation have their own thing that makes them endearing, but she might be my favorite. She's only a child in my game though(so adorable!), so I'm still open to another sibling stealing my heart.

  3. I do that think with wikipedia all the time. I look up one thing, and then there's links on words I don't understand, and in the end I'm on the other side of the internet with no idea how I got there, and having not even read that first article that I looked up...

    So... Anna was lying about her name, and abandoned James and Epsilon (was totally going to nickname her 'Eppi' but, it doesn't sound good :|). I wonder what effect that will have on everything (besides James falling back on his 'coping mechanism' and dragging someone into the shower) like, will she come back? What is she trying to protect them from? Will she be able to protect them, or will 'they' show up anyway?

    Ooh, the suspense...

    1. I'm not sure what nickname Epsilon is going to have, maybe "Epi" or "Epsi." Alpha is even harder, how do you even shorten that name? I think she might just be referred to as "Sis" haha.

      Yes, suspense! I'm not telling! :p

  4. Ok, now I'm incredibly curious as to what was going on with Anna/Acadia! Why has she left, and what does she mean about keeping Epsilon safe?

    1. You'll have to wait and find out! All will be made at least slightly less murky, if not clear, by the end of the generation.