Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday Fiction for February 27th, 2009

Friday Fiction this week is hosted at Beth’s Laughing at the Days. Beth posts delightful poetry, so be sure to visit her page for her latest wonderful submission, and for Mr. Linky to lead you to other terrific Friday Fiction.

Based on the reactions to last week’s story, I decided to write another installment for this week. This part offers a little different perspective on the events of last week, so without further ado, I hope you enjoy this week’s submission.

The Chase, Pt. II
By Rick Higginson

Rebecca crawled up the gentle slope to Eva’s Pool, and took a position next to the elder mermaid. Looking out over the Family Room, she made herself comfortable and said, “You wanted to talk to me, Eva?”

Eva nodded, but didn’t divert her attention from the various activities below. “I assume you’ve heard about the arrangement between Elizabeth and Richard?”

She giggled. “I’ve known for years that he’s been infatuated with her. I’m surprised he finally told her.”

“Are you okay with it? I don’t want anything going on that could create animosities among the Pod.”

“Why wouldn’t I be okay with it? I mean, other than the fact that Elizabeth is almost as fast in the water as you and Marta are, so Richard has just slightly better chances of catching her as I have of waking up someday looking like a fashion model, it’s fine.”

“Mmm hmm; so you don’t have a problem with the man that Dr. Marcel had planned for you, being interested in someone else?”

Rebecca snorted. “Dr. Marcel was good at many things, but not so much at any kind of romantic planning. I love Richard; I always have, but not that way.”

“You understand this may mean that there will never be a man for you in the Pod, don’t you?”

“Eva, you of all people should remember the decision that was made when Dr. Marcel disappeared, and we accepted that he might not come back.”

“We weren’t going to bring children into the life we had to lead,” Eva said. “Things are different now.”

“Things may be, but we’re not. None of the men in the Pod have what I consider an essential trait in a husband or mate or whatever we might call them.”

“What’s that?”

“Legs; Eva, if I can’t have a man with legs instead of a dolphin tail, then I’m fine with never having a man at all. It doesn’t matter that we’re told our children won’t inherit the modifications Dr. Marcel gave us; if I’m going to have children, I want them to have more of a life than this.”

“You’ve thought this through, then?”

“Look at the television right now, Eva. Yeah, it’s a dumb comedy, but the kids in that show are doing some kind of play or production, and their parents are in the audience, watching. Maybe our children could be those kids, but we could never be those parents.” She watched until the commercial break. “I can never be that kind of mother, but if I’m ever going to have children, then it has to be with someone who can be that kind of father.”

Eva watched the program in silence for a few minutes. “You know, it’s rather sad when we envy sit-com characters.”

“It’d be sadder still if we decided to act like them.”

“True; if this were a sit-com, you would be plotting ways to sabotage Elizabeth and Richard.”

“Sabotage?” She laughed. “I told Richard if he wants someone to help him work out and get faster, I’d be happy to do whatever I can.”

“You know, I believe you would.”

The Pod carried on their activities about the room. Some watched the television show, others rested away from the water and read books; still more than a few chased and played in the pool. Daniel and Suzanne teased about for a while, before disappearing through the tunnel for one of the old chambers where they could be alone.

Before long, Joshua Cardan would arrive with the large cart from the kitchen, bringing the dinner prepared by the former Navy cook he’d hired a few months earlier. Their meals had improved dramatically with the addition of the trained professional, and it was all but guaranteed everyone would be back in time for the food. It was just one more of the ongoing changes their lives had seen in the previous two years.

“The day may come,” Eva finally said. “When you’ll have the chance to make those choices. I’m glad to hear you’ve already put a lot of thought into them. I trust you’ll respect if other members of the Pod reach different decisions?”

“Have I ever given you a reason to think I’d try and tell anyone else what to do around here?”

“No, you’ve always been one of the quieter members of the Pod. I think Gretchen got all the assertiveness in your family.”

“What about you, Eva? What would you decide?”

“I don’t think much about it, Rebecca. I don’t believe it will ever be an option for me, and I’d rather not dwell on what I can’t have. I prefer to find my happiness in seeing the members of my Pod being happy.”

“I guess that’s where I’m at, too. Richard and I grew up together, and I’ve never seen him act so alive as he has since Elizabeth gave him some hope. I’m happy for him, and if he ever manages to catch her, I think I’ll be just as ecstatic as he will be.” She scooted towards the spillway leading back to the main pool. “I think I’ll go shower off before dinner, if we’re done.”

“Go on; we can always talk more later, if I think of anything else.”

Rebecca slid down the spillway and swam beneath the surface towards one of the two bathrooms. I’ll be fine if there’s never a man in my life, she thought.

It would be nice, though, if someone wanted to chase me.


Yvonne Blake said...

The comment about envying sit-com characters cracked me up! I know people like that!

Joanne Sher said...

Great details - and I love learning more about these characters. Delightful, Rick.

Catrina Bradley said...

This "sequel" is awesome! What a great job filling in the reader on the past without being overly obvious. A reader would have no problem following the story and getting into the plot without having read any of your other pod books or stories. I love the characters, each one has depth and is unique.

Patty Wysong said...

Once again, I missed an installment, but you worked it such that I wasn't lost. I love your characters!

Teresa Lee Rainey . . . said...

Your characters are so easy to get to know and enjoy. I did go back and read last weeks and thoroughly enjoyed both.

Sara Harricharan said...

oooh, I love this. I kinda felt a little sorry for her, but I think she'll be fine. I loved the last line though, that was a hoot!

Dee Yoder said...

Now, I just think there MAY be a man in her life--in the future...hmmm? Love this, Rick, and I thoroughly enjoy going back to the Pod to see what they're up to.

BethL said...

You are amazing, being able to come at your story with multi-faceted views. Wow! I had to smile at the "man with legs instead of a dolphin tale" :) And I think there's a whole message in this "it's rather sad when we envy sit-com characters." Okay… you can't end it there!

Anonymous said...

Rick, you are a wonderful writer. I love how your writing flows in a comfortable fashion, and your no nonsense dialog hits close to home.