Sunday, September 29, 2013

Part 2: The Strategic Leap Forward In Time

Marjorie argued with Cree that Carson was not good enough for her - she did not want her granddaughter to make the same bad choices that her son had made.

 Despite their many disputes, Cree stuck to her guns and told her Grandmother in clear terms to butt out. She was going to date Carson, she would make up her own mind, "And stop treating me like that no-good father of mine. I'm nothing like him or my deadbeat's those two freeloaders you should be picking on Gransma....not me!"

 Marjorie had to admire Cree's spunk and she thought about what she'd said. Curtis and Leonie were living a pretty comfortable life, under her roof, while she slaved away trying to reach the top of her profession. They were only interested in playing music and partying every night. They barely contributed anything to the household. And one day she told Curtis what she thought of him.

"Oh there you are still in your robe at 2pm of an afternoon...." she disdainfully commented.
"Well all this comes to an end right now."

"What's up Mum?" Curtis asked, uncertainly.
 "Time for you to get some independence son. Your sister has long moved out. You can do the same! Take this as your week's notice....and take your wife with you."
Curtis was dumbstruck.

Marjorie stuck to her guns. She was a ruthless movie director now...she was no longer going to deal with unproductive hangers on at her house - or at her job.

 Cree and Carson began to go steady and they, of course, fell deeply in love.

 Cree stayed with Luke and Marjorie and grew into a beautiful, if somewhat neurotic, young woman. It was remarkable that she was not more scarred by her parent's neglect. But she had Carson now and she knew she was happy.

On her 21st birthday Carson proposed marriage. You can tell by her reaction - it was going to be a "Yes!"

 Sadly, Marjorie would not make it to the wedding. One day, as she was leaving the studio after a particularly gruelling shoot, she felt a little strange. There was a weird tingling sensation in her arm and right side. Marjorie suffered a severe stroke and collapsed.

 She died alone outside the studio she had worked so hard to make a success.

Luke Hans had lost the love of his life. He was never the same.

The wedding went ahead anyway. It was a poignant ceremony in the very same church where Luke and Marjorie had tied the knot all those years ago. Cree noted that her father showed up, but her mother did not.

 She was used to it by now. She only had eyes for Carson Ogilvie anyway.

 Luke spent a lot of time reflecting late at night on the life he and Marjorie had made. He had some regrets of course. He would have preferred not to have been a criminal all his life. He had done his best to make it up to Marjorie and his children. He was happy with how it had all turned out, Cree was the best granddaughter.

 And soon, she and Carson had made Luke a great-grandfather. This is Liberty Ogilvie

 The apple of her father's eye.

And the sunshine of her great-grandfather's world.

Comment: Yes! I have taken a 5 month break from this random legacy challenge blog. The actual game has moved ahead a lot further than the blog. I still want to continue with the challenge, so I need to bring the blog up to speed a bit more quickly than I'd like, in order to catch up so I can continue the blog as well. So this and and the next few posts will sort of be less detailed and more like summaries of the major events to get up to date.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chapter 23: When The Grown Ups Go Away Cupid Comes To Play

 One day in the middle of Summer Curtis and Leonie decided to go on vacation.  They announced that they would not be taking Cree along and Cree was so ecstatic she jumped for joy and almost gave her mother a heart attack.

To Cree's further approval, the vacation coincided with a trip Marjorie was taking to an international film festival and Luke was going along with her as support.

 So when the taxi arrived to take her parents to the airport, Cree found herself alone and in charge of the house for the first time in her life.

She was free! She was happy! And she had plans.....

 A group of her friends from school hung out at Flying V's Diner and a couple of them had invited her down there. She decided to join them, because there was one kid in particular she hoped would be there too.

She was hanging out in front of the diner when Mercedes and Bristol called over to her, "Hey Cree, how's it going?"
"Hey guys, what's up?" said Cree.
A debate began about whether they should get a burger or go to the beach, when Cree heard another voice.

There he was. "What are you guys up to?" he asked.

Mercedes shrugged and said "Hey Carson. Do you know Cree?"
Cree gazed at Carson Ogilvie. She had seen him around town, coming home from the Sport Academy that he attended out of town where he was majoring in equestrian studies according to his mother. She had seen him leaving again when term started. Watching the Ogilvie house she had caught glimpses of him and had felt a a strong desire to get to know him. Finally she was getting to meet him.

Carson said "Hey Cree"
And Cree just stared at him open mouthed.

"Are you okay?" he asked with genuine concern.
"Ugh! Oh....yeah." Cree snapped out of her daze. Come on! Get it together Cree she yelled at herself silently.
"I'm fine thank you. Hey it looks like a great day to go to the beach ....what do y'all think?" she addressed the group as a whole. Mercedes and Bristol were non-committal.

 But Carson laughed "Excellent idea! I just love swimming....its great exercise."
Mercedes groaned and said "I need a burger first."
Cree, unable to tear her eyes away from Carson, just nodded. Exercise - this was new.
"I've just come from the Equestrian Centre where my horse is stabled, it's hot and sweaty work grooming and I could use a refreshing dip.
Horses...thought Cree, again this was new.

The others said they would follow on later after they'd had some food, so it was only Cree and Carson at the beach. Carson stripped off to his shorts and dived into the water. Cree realised she hadn't brought her swimsuit! She felt a bit silly just standing there at the edge of the water watching Carson swim. He kept yelling out comments to her and she could not take her eyes off him.

The others never even made it to the beach, not that Cree and Carson noticed. Finally it got dark and it started to rain and Cree left to go home, but by then they had arranged to get together again and have pizza - at her place!

The next evening Carson arrived at the appointed time and hugged Cree hello like they were old friends. "Glad you could come..." Cree commented as she held on for a few extra seconds just to really enjoy the feel and smell of Carson.
"Hey, I wouldn't have missed it for the world..." Carson didn't seem to mind the long clinch at all.

"I can't believe we've been neighbours for so long and have never met before this!" he said. "I think it's a terrible crime. I could have been your childhood friend." Carson chuckled.
Cree sighed and gazed into Carson's dark brown eyes, "I would have loved to have been childhood friends," she said longingly.

Carson noticed the drum kit and double base that were set up in the living room.
"Wow you and your family must be really musical, by the looks of things."
"I do love music" said Cree "but I don't play myself. Those are my Mum and Dad's. Hey let me put on a cd." she suggested.

The music had barely started playing when Cree suddenly found herself in the arms of Carson.
"Let's dance." he whispered.
Carson gazed deeply into Cree's eyes and she knew right there and then that she was falling in love. She had never felt this way before. And the way that Carson was looking at her, she had a feeling it was going to be mutual. She was feeling so relaxed and comfortable that something came over her suddenly and.....

...she found herself leaning in and kissing Carson unexpectedly on the lips. Carson had not been expecting it and although he did not pull away, Cree felt it was really awkward. She expected Carson to be annoyed.

But when she started to apologise she noticed that Carson was looking at her intently and with a twinkle in his eye and a sly smile on his lips.
"That's okay, Cree, don't apologise." he smiled. "I just wasn't expecting you to kiss me. But I'm glad you did."

Cree was relieved that the pizza was delivered just at that moment.

The two of them sat in the dining room and ate the delicious pizza while they talked. They talked about school and about horses. Cree talked about her love of art and photography. Carson confided in Cree that he dreamed of being a writer, even though he was good enough to be a professional three-day eventer.

They ate and talked. And they talked some more. It seemed like time had just stopped and they were in their own world.

Finally Carson noticed how late it had become and said "I have to go Cree. But I don't want to go without giving you something."
"What?" asked Cree enquiringly.
"Come here and I'll show you." he said.
Cree stood and went around the table, saying "What is it?"

Suddenly Carson pulled her close to him and kissed her solidly on the mouth. It was a kiss that Cree would never forget.

It was after midnight when Carson left and Cree quickly put on her pyjamas to get ready for bed. Then she heard voices and a car door banging.....

Her grandmother had come home and she had seen Carson leaving the house and walking down their driveway as she had been arriving.

When she saw Cree she was livid!

"What have you been up to young lady?" she yelled. "Can we not trust you to behave yourself even for a couple of days on your own?"

Cree was frantically trying to explain, but Marjorie's phone was ringing and she dismissed her with "I'll deal with you tomorrow.....get to bed!" It was not the perfect end to the prefect day after all.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chapter 22: Milestones, Memories and Karma

Although happy to be retired now, former cat burglar and money launderer Luke Hans Diarmid still kept himself in shape. He worked out at the gym every day. For his age he was still exceptionally fit and agile and could out run a man half his age on the treadmill.

He also kept his hand in when it came to the stealth and ninja style reflexes he had honed over the years. A part of him still missed the thrill his old profession had given him. So once a week he would put on his blacks and break into his own house, make his way into someones bedroom and silently rummage through their stuff - unseen, unheard, a black panther stalking his prey for nothing more than the pleasure of knowing he could still do it.

Luke and Marjorie had been married for 40 years. They had survived many ups and downs. They knew each other so very well and they had held on to their marriage through the good and bad times.

Luke's gift to his wife was a limited edition candy pink Ernatto Beratti. Marjorie loved it, now that she was mixing with the elite in the movie industry, it really gave her a buzz. Although she looked a little nervous clutching the wheel and peering through the windscreen and rarely got the thing out of third gear.

And of course they had to celebrate their Ruby Wedding with a family gathering. It was a very nostalgic time for both of them as they reminisced about the old days. Luke laughed about how Marjorie's mother scared the living daylight's out of him the first time he called over at their house to see Marjorie.

Cree loved that story.

Tessa was still alive and well and looking remarkably good for a great grandmother. Cree asked her if it was true that she tried to scare off her Grandpa when he came courting her Grandma.

Tessa pretended she did not remember the incident at all. "I'm sure I did not! I believe in manners and proper behaviour I'll have you know, young woman. Something I always instilled into my girls, and I led by example....." but then her dislike of the Diarmids seemed to come back to her, "but that young upstart....he was little more than an urchin. A fatherless, penniless, raggedy urchin.....with ideas above his station!"

"Did you know my other great grandma?" Cree quickly asked trying to distract Tessa off the subject of Luke. "She died before I was born, so I never knew what she was like...."

But the diversion led to more badmouthing.

"You mean the animal wrangler?" Tessa spat with distaste. "That woman was always bringing live vermin onto the property and running wild in the country....heaven knows what diseases and infestations she brought upon that house. Yes. Yes, she died on your father's wedding day - a curse if ever there was one. Well of course that's been completely apparent...."

Cree understood only too well what Tessa meant.

Cree glanced back into the living room and noted her supposedly now sober mother mixing and pouring fancy cocktails at the bar while her Dad hovered nervously in the background with a distressed look on his face.

Cree never saw her mother with a drink in her hand all day. She tried one of the cocktails herself to test for alcoholic strength and there was definitely a good slurp of liquor in the drinks. Both Cree and Curtis were watching her like hawks.

But Leonie was the picture of decorum. She prepared the food for a family dinner and had baked a large cake for the dessert that had the words "The first forty are for practice. Now the fun really starts" piped in icing on the top.

"Maybe Cree will bake us a cake and ice that on it when we reach 40 years." Leonie commented as she served the cake. Curtis nearly dropped his piece on the floor in shock. It was all he could do to keep his face straight and stifle the guffaw that threatened to escape.

As they ate, Leonie glanced towards Tara as she helped herself and continued "Maybe we should have had more children Curtis. Children are so comforting as you get into old age and having an only child, Cree might just go off and leave us you know."

Curtis could not help side-eyeing her incredulously. Was she even on this planet he wondered?

A few days later Cree and Curtis were eating some lunch together when Cree broached the subject of her mother's recent behaviour.
"Dad, do you think Mum is doing alright?" Cree asked tentatively.
Curtis was alert. "What makes you say that Cree?" he asked
"Well....she just seems a little bit odd. And doing strange mixing all those cocktails the other day. There was dozens of them all lined up. Do you think she should even be hanging around the bar?"
"Yeah I noticed that too sweet-pea. She seems to be staying sober though..." Curtis had no evidence to say otherwise, but he still felt suspicious too. "All we can do is be on the look out and make sure she's okay."

One afternoon Curtis was practising on the drums. The band was in huge demand lately and they had added some more numbers to their set. Marjorie, couldn't help getting her party on whenever Curtis was playing. She was very proud of her son's one and only talent. Curtis was giving it all he'd got enjoying his mother's dancing - the old girl could still strut her stuff.

Suddenly he looked up and there was Leonie - joining in, but she was wearing only a bikini. Curtis did a double take. Why was Leonie wearing a bikini in the middle of winter and dancing with vigour around the living room. Wasn't she supposed to be at work?

Marjorie was just so into the music she didn't seem to notice what Leonie was wearing, or care. That's a trio of party animals right there.

The next day Marjorie was trying to meet her deadline with a script about a dysfunctional family, when she heard Cree confronting Leonie in the next room. It appeared that it was all about to kick off between them and Marjorie wasn't at all surprised.

Cree had seen her mother acting weird and loitering suspiciously next to one of the living room chairs. It looked as though she was stuffing something down the back of it behind the cushion. Quietly she entered the living room and silently walked up behind her. Leonie swung around with a start.
"Cree!" she exclaimed.
"Yes mother? Sorry did I interrupt you?" Cree asked sarcastically.
"No, no....I was just..."
"Forget it mother! Don't waste your breath with the lies. Looks like your clean and sober phase is over then?"

Leonie waved her hands in Cree's direction. "Now wait a minute honey. Just hold on and calm down here, okay? Its not what you think."
"How the hell would you know what I think?" yelled Cree, "You hardly even know who I am!"
"Whoa! Hold ON Cree. You can not speak to me like that - I am your mother, after all is said and done."
Cree felt the anger rising. This woman who dared to call herself her mother had barely spent more than five minutes at a time with her as far as she could remember her whole life. She was either drunk or high or at a party or going to a party, she was either leaving or not interested or just not there, she was too busy, or too out of it much of the time and for years she had been in and out of rehab, hospitals and therapy.
"You are not my mother!" yelled Cree. "You have no right to call yourself that! I HAVE NO MOTHER LEONIE."

Cree watched as a look of horror and disbelief spread across Leonie's increasingly red face. She spluttered and choked trying to get some words out.

Then the anger took hold of Leonie and she launched a venomous verbal attack on Cree.
"You ungrateful little minx. I wished I'd never had you. You ruined my LIFE! And you can get out of my house - I don't want you here. I never want to see you again!"

"Hah! Well no change there!" replied Cree.

"And just for the record, this is not your house! You don't have a house! You bludge off my Grandma and Grandpa, so you can't throw me out. But hey, don't let me stop YOU from leaving. There's the door there....don't trip yourself up over your hidden bottles and empties on your way out, Leonie."
Cree spat her mother's name with so much pent up bitterness, that Leonie was unable to  counter attack.

This was a day of reaping what she'd been sowing for sixteen years.