Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Woods Random Legacy: Chapter 51 - Accomplishments

That night, Epsilon dreamed again.  This time she was alone in the library.
Epsilon: "Shadow?  Gregory?  Anyone?"
Gregory: "Down here!"
She stepped to the banister and peered over.  Well, that was unexpected.  She knew this place had a downstairs, but hadn't it been empty?
She hurried down one of the twin staircases and took a seat at the far end of the table.
Epsilon: "Was this table always down here?"
Gregory: "No.  It wasn't here until we needed it, and then it was.  Remember, this is a place of dreams."
Epsilon: "So I can dream whatever I want in here?"
Gregory: "Yes, and no.  No, you can't dream whatever you want.  At least not now.  I've heard stories of those who can manipulate their dream realms at will, but that's more than any but the most talented can aspire to.  Rather, your subconscious determines what manifests."
Epsilon: "This entire place is made from my subconscious?"
Gregory: "Yes.  Clearly, you seek knowledge.  This is common for many witches and wizards, libraries of some sort are almost always present in dream realms.  This table...well, my best guess would be that you wanted to have a serious discussion.  You need a place for that, and the aisles between bookshelves aren't the most suited to the task."
Epsilon nodded.
Epsilon: "It's true, I do want to talk.  I made my wand, like you said, and...I felt it.  The magic."
Gregory smiled broadly, leaning forward approvingly.
Gregory: "That's excellent!  So, you believe me now?  That this is true?"
Epsilon nodded.
Epsilon: "Yes.  Part of me rejects all of it, says it can't be true.  But I've seen it with my own eyes.  How could it be a lie?  Magic is real."
Gregory: "It is.  Given your circumstances, if you were younger, I would provide what instruction I could.  But at your be honest, I'm at a loss.  I was brought to you for a reason, but I'm not entirely certain what that reason is."
Epsilon: "You can't teach me how to use my magic?"
Gregory: "Well, that's the thing.  The older you get, the less...intuitive, let's say...magic is to you.  It's simply harder to learn to channel the power at your age, compared to if you were instructed as a child.  That's not to say that you can't be a witch, but your potential will be limited."
Epsilon sat in silence, thinking.
Epsilon: "So you're stronger, as a child?  I'm only asking because, once, I think I might have turned my hair white."
Gregory: "Manifestations of magic as a young child are common, even to that extent.  If you were feeling particularly anxious..."
Epsilon: "I was.  I wanted nothing more than to have normal hair, but I made it even more alien, if that's possible."
Gregory: "Usually, transmutation requires only focus and attention, but it is easy to err if you are young and untrained.  I'm sure that you could reverse whatever you did, as a child."
Epsilon: "Really?"
She hadn't realized how much she really cared until she knew it was possible to reverse what she'd done.  She didn't want her original hair back, but to be brunette, blonde, or even black-haired?  She couldn't hope to salvage her life here in Sunset Valley, but if she moved away after school...she could be normal.  In appearance, at least.  She'd give anything for that chance.
Gregory: "Yes.  In fact, I think you should try it.  As your earliest identified manifestation, it might be a good starting point to focus your powers.  As you cast without a wand the first time, I don't believe a focus will be necessary.  Simply stand before a mirror, and will, with all your might, your appearance to be different.  Recall the sensation you felt when you channeled through your wand, and let the magic flow through you."
Epsilon: "You really think I can do it?"
Gregory: "I know you can do it.  After all, you've done it once before."
Epsilon awoke, dressing herself, and went to find breakfast.
Epsilon: "Morning, Omi."
Omicron: "Hey, Epsi.  How's it going?"
Epsilon: "I was promoted to Epitaph Writer last night.  I guess I get to be creative now."
Omicron: "That's cool.  So, do you want to work at the graveyard forever?"
Epsilon: "No, of course not!  I want to be a doctor, one day.  That's why I work there, so I can save up for university."
Omicron: "A doctor, really? It's supposed to be hard to pass those exams, but if anyone can do it, Epsi, you can.  You're the smartest person I know."
Epsilon: "You really think so?  Thanks."
A bit pink from the compliment, she quickly changed the topic.
Epsilon: "Do you know what you want to do with your life?"
Omicron: "I'm not really sure yet, at least about the details.  All I know is that I want to change the world, make it better.  There's so much that's just messed up, you know?"
Epsilon: "Yeah, definitely.  That's a good thing to work towards, and I think you're suited for it, Omi."

After breakfast, Omicron was headed out the door to enjoy the rare sunny day when he was intercepted.
James: "You, boy.  I need to talk to you."
Sighing, he resigned himself to yet another one of those conversations before turning to face his father.
James: "What are you doing?"
Omicron: "I was going outside."
James snorted derisively.
James: "That's your plan for the weekend?  Going outside?  What's wrong with you?  You have no goals, no direction."
Omicron replied quietly.
Omicron: "I do have goals."
James waved his hand dismissively.
James: "None worth pursuing.  I'm getting older, you know.  I look at you, and I think to myself, 'This is the boy who will carry on the family name after I'm gone?'  The more I watch you, the more I begin to realize that I'm probably never going to have grandchildren.  The Woods family will end here, I'm sure of it."
Omicron: "What are you talking about?  Al's pregnant."
James: "I said the Woods family, not the whatever-she-is family.  She doesn't count."
At the tone of voice James used, something within the normally-quiet and nice-to-a-fault boy snapped, his eyes narrowing as he frowned at his father.
Omicron: "How can you talk about your own daughter that way?  What's wrong with you?"
James: "Excuse me?"
Omicron: "You heard me.  I try really, really hard to see the good in people, and I always can, eventually, but there must be something wrong with you.  Because I can't, no matter how hard I try.  Sorry."
He held the glare through the entire denouncement, even as he reflexively apologized at the end, but it quickly dissolved as James's face twisted into a matching expression and he stepped towards the boy.
James: "You dare to talk about what's wrong with me?  How about what's wrong with you?  I feed you, and clothe you, and you treat me with this lack of respect?"
Omicron cringed away, but James didn't get any closer.
James: "Go outside.  I don't want to look at you right now."
Omicron went.

Some weeks later, Alpha found herself in her dream world again.  This time she appeared downstairs, on top of a soft rug, and she sat, pulling her legs up and burying her face in them.  Nothing was working.  No matter how hard she tried, her hair wouldn't change from the stubborn white that it had adopted all those years ago.  She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't hear Gregory come up behind her.
Gregory: "Epsilon?  What's the matter?"
She turned to look at him, wiping the tears from her cheeks.
Epsilon: "What does it look like the matter is?"
Gregory: "Don't get discouraged.  As I told you, it won't be easy.  You have to know that you can do it, if you doubt yourself then you've just created a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Epsilon nodded and got to her feet, feeling ashamed for sitting on the floor crying like a child.  It couldn't accomplish anything, and he was right - doubting herself wasn't helping.  She just needed to believe.
Epsilon: "Thanks.  Things have just been stressful around the house, and-well, you know, don't you."
He chuckled at that, nodding, and she couldn't help but join in a bit.
Gregory: "Just keep trying.  I know you can do it."
Epsilon nodded and accepted the hug her mentor offered.  She'd try again, and it would work.  Eventually.
When she woke up, she got ready before facing the mirror, taking a deep breath.  Closing her eyes, she focused on the intended changes, holding them in her mind as she'd been instructed to, and believing them to be true with all her might.
As she stepped out of the bathroom, she nearly tripped over Shadow.  Glancing down to the cat, she spoke to him quietly.
Epsilon: "How'd you know it would work this time?"
The cat gave no response, and she followed him into the living room, where the tension was palpable.  James and Omicron hadn't argued since the incident a few weeks back, but the anger and resentment had evolved into a cold war of sorts between the two.
Omicron: "Did you dye your hair, Epsi?"
Epsilon: "Something like that, yeah.  Do you like it?"
Omicron: "It looks good."
The curt response wasn't anything to do with her, she knew that.  It was because of James, sitting at the chess board behind her.  Epsilon settled back against the cushions of the sofa as she counted the days until both herself and Omicron could leave home as legal adults.  It couldn't come soon enough.

~ * ~

Woo Epsi!  That's a pretty bold hair color(wait until you see it in better lighting next chapter), compared to what she's had in the past - I think she might have overdone it just a bit.  It's pretty, though.

And so the two teens declare their paths in life.  Who should the heir be?  The magical scientist doctor, or the optimist who wants to change the world through means that have yet to be determined?  I already know, but you don't! *teases* ;)

James and Omicron fight all the time.  I never see how they get started, I just turn the camera around and James is slapping Omicron in the face.  It's awful. :( This is why you don't let good and evil sims live together in the same house.

I think I'm outgrowing the script-style dialogue I've been using.  I don't usually write that way when I write fiction, but I adopted it in the early chapters because it made sense then, as I was mostly using dialogue as a caption of sorts.  Now, though, long conversations just look silly.  I haven't decided yet, but I might be switching to natural dialogue next chapter.  Don't get weirded out and leave.


  1. If you change dialog, I will totally leave you.
    NOT, lol, why would we leave?! :|

    Gah! You and your heir teasing!

    James and Omicrom make me sad :( How could he be mean to his own flesh and blood? His only male heir?

    Woo! Well done Epsilon! Now she knows she can do it, who knows how many more spells she'll decide to do? James should watch his back...

    1. I love tormenting you guys by not telling you who's going to be the heir, it's so much fun. ;)

      James and Omicron make me sad too. James is turning into a lonely, bitter old man. :(

      Her magical talents are going to be pretty difficult to unlock, since she's starting so late in life. But I'll definitely explore that a bit, before her story is done.

  2. Yeah, I'm with Gemma, a stylistic change isn't going to drive anyone away. Do what is right for your story. =D

    I love Epsi's dream sequences with Shadow Cat. He's a very helpful familiar.

    James is such a jerk! But you knew that, lol. I'm glad Omi stands up to him. I hope he doesn't internalize his father's rejection too much.

    I'm glad Epsi's hair spell was successful. That will be a boost to her confidence.

    1. He really is helpful! I forget who it was who was all suspicious of him in the comments, but srsly, not all of my characters are sinister. Some are there to help! ;)

      James is a complete jerk. The worst part is, Omicron actually feels bad about what happened. He's so nice that yelling at someone, even if they deserved it, made him feel absolutely awful. And James is socially smart enough to know that, and use it to his advantage. Those two really hate each other.

      Yes it will be! I'm glad that she worked it out, with good timing too(since she'll be moving on to adult life soon).

  3. James makes me so cross sometimes! I'm glad Omicron told him what he thought of him, cos that comment about Alpha was utterly out of order.

    I do adore Epsilon's dreams with Shadow/Gregory, I'm hoping to see lots more of those and I'm glad she managed to change her hair colour :)

    1. James is an ass. :( Omicron feels bad about yelling, because that kid's way too nice, but James absolutely deserved it. No need to trash talk the kid who pretty much raised her siblings while he was off popping out more babies.

      There won't be any dreams next chapter, but there's at least two more planned before the heir(whoever it may be) moves on.