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Coming Home

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126Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 29th August 2015, 11:05



The summer holidays were over, and it was exactly what Lorelai had been dreading. She’d lose two of her boys at once. Well, in her eyes she felt like she was losing them. Henry, her baby, would start school, which was hard to imagine because Henry would always remain her baby, but the worst was Dan leaving for university. It was unfair. She’d only got to be his mother for two years, she only got to have him around for two years. She felt robbed. Other mothers had eighteen years with their sons before they would go to university. She only had two. And even though it had only been two years, it felt like Dan had always been her son. He was just as much of a son to her as her biological children Edward and Henry. Dan was her boy, and nobody could take that away from her. Not even that damn university that tried to take him away!
On the day they would drive to Chelmsford, one of the many campuses the university was located, and the city Dan would be living for the next years, Lorelai still seemed to be in denial while Dan was experiencing a mixture of excitement and sadness. He had just gained a wonderful family and already had to let go off them so quickly, but at the same time he had worked so hard in school and was incredibly grateful for this opportunity. He would work towards becoming a teacher. He had greatest respect for Mr Liam, Mrs Jo and Mr James, they were sort of his role models, and he really wanted to be like them once he had received the proper education. His Mutti was so proud of him, especially since he was the one who had given the speech at graduation, but he also knew that she had a much harder time letting him go than she cared to admit. He would also miss Ricky, whom he was looking up to as well. Ricky had been there for him from day one, and he also admired how someone so quiet and shy as Ricky, and who also came from a very poor background, managed to become a professor at one of the best universities in the world. Dan would definitely stay in contact with him and give him updates. He owed so much to him, Ricky had no idea.

While they had breakfast, John and Henry kept talking excitedly with Dan, but Lorelai and Edward sat quietly at the table, staring at their food without touching it.

“You will be so smart when you go to university!” Henry exclaimed. “And you need to find a new boyfriend!”

Dan tried not to blush.

“There are so many boys at university, I bet you will like it there!”


“Maybe you’ll have a husband soon.”

That made John and Dan laugh.

“Oh, I always love to think of my time at university,” John said with a smile. “It’s the best time of your life, trust me. There’s no doubt in my mind that you will love it there.”

Dan nodded but his eyes moved back to Lorelai and Edward, who looked like they were attending a funeral.
“And it’s only two hours away from Oxford,” Dan said quickly. “So that means I can visit all the time.”

“Yes, you have to!” Henry only knew one volume: loud! Every time he said something it was more shouting than anything else.

“He will be busy,” Edward mumbled.

“Sorry?” Dan turned towards his brother.

The little boy pressed his lips together. “When you are at university you won’t have time anymore.”

“Oh, Edward…” Dan shook his head. “Of course I’ll be busy now and then, but nothing will keep me away from visiting my family. I promise.”

Edward didn’t seem very convinced. He was generally a very serious boy who tended to think more negatively than Henry, the eternal optimist. Edward was too realistic for his own good, and he had never really been a ‘child’ to begin with. He acted too grown up, which worried his family at times.
Dan smiled encouragingly at his little brother. “You, and Henry, and Dad and Mutti are the most important thing in my life. You are more important than my education-“

“Don’t say that, Dan,” John said. “You worked so hard to achieve this.”

“I know, but it’s true. You and Mutti…,” he glanced over to Lorelai, who was still staring at her plate, “you saved my life. I think that fact is a lot more important than any education in the world. And of course I’ll do my best to succeed and I am extremely fortunate that I’ll be able to attend university, but I am even more fortunate to have you, all of you, as my family.”

That was too much for Lorelai. She got up and stormed out of the dining room. Everyone looked a little surprised but then John cleared his throat, regarding Dan with a kind smile.
“Well, my boy,” he said, “she just loves you too damn much. I’m nearly jealous.”

127Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 13th September 2015, 17:46

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

All four Von Gruensee boys let Lorelai hide in the parental bedroom. Minutes before they had to leave, Dan knocked at the bedroom door. “Mutti? May I come in?” He asked in nearly flawless German. Lorelai didn’t object, but she looked rather sad while she was sitting in the armchair at the window.

“Mutti? I am sorry I had to grow up.”

“It is not just that Dan.” Lorelai whispered. “I am scared… scared that you get hurt… that somebody breaks your heart or worse your face… that you take on too much and forget to enjoy being a student… that you forget us…”
Dan wrapped his arms around Lorelai. “I could never forget you. Never, ever! And I promise I come back to do the spring clean every year.”

Lorelai chuckled. “You read too much.”

“I can’t help it I had to read Peter Pan to Henry all summer over and over.” Dan laughed.

Lorelai looked at her oldest son. “Why did the Lord wait so long for me to find you?”

“I don’t know, but He showed me the way here it just took a long time. Mutti just because I go to university and I said that it just doesn’t feel right to go to an elite university as Oxford doesn’t mean that you lose me. We will talk on the phone and write letters and I visit. I said that before and I will say it again. I will come home at least once a month. I have to come home, or I will believe you were just a wonderful dream. I am going to miss you so much that I can’t put it into words. When he started beating me, I thought I am going to die. I think he left me there to die slowly bleeding out and somehow I managed to get to Ricky… an angel from heaven and this angel brought me here. He could have taken me to so many places but he chose here. I spoke to Ricky and he said it was him that suggested for me to come here. Missis Jo suggested for me to become a boarding student and the Children’s Hope Foundation would adopt me, there was also the thought that I could go and live in Neverland but then I never really belong there, but Ricky thought the right place for me was here. He didn’t know why but when I was broken, he saw me whole here and Three Lakes. And he was right. This is my home and it always will be.” Dan was still holding Lorelai. “Please Mutti I need you to stand behind me. I can’t do this if you hate me doing it.”

Lorelai looked at her son for a while. “I am standing behind you, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying. Waterfall Downs Academy is this safe haven, I just worry that you got too outgoing and meet the wrong people that don’t understand the true meaning of love. There are still so many people out there, which think it is wrong when a man loves another man.”

“Don’t worry. I know I have to be careful, but the times are changing people all over the world protest to love and not to hate.”

“You are too smart for your own good.” Lorelai laughed and hugged her son. “Come on lets go I can’t let my son be late to arrive at university, and don’t worry I got you everything you need.”

Dan grinned nervous. “Now I’m worried that I look like a spoilt brat in front of new people.” Lorelai shook her head.
Lorelai had insisted that Dan’s small car was on a trailer and the family was driving together. The closer they came to Chelmsford the more nervous Dan got.

“What if they don’t like me?” Dan whispered.

Edward looked at him for a while. “If they don’t like you then they are stupid. They should be glad to be your friend in the first place.”

Everyone looked at the little boy no one expected such a sudden outburst of confidence and determination from him. Dan wrapped his arm around Edward. “I know right?”

Henry laughed. “Of course they will all love Dan and then they want to go to bed with him and then they make babies and get married and live happily ever after and have every Easter an orgy.”

“Where in three devil’s name did you hear that Henry?” John laughed nervous.

“Jill’s husband Fi told us. He said they duck, but I’m not sure how you can duck. I mean how can you duck? I don’t think Dan is quaking like ducks. That is just weird. And what is an orgy? Is that like chocolate or the carp we eat? Can we have an orgy next Easter?”

Edward was starring around Dan at Henry. “Just why would you repeat anything this man says? Mutti says he has a foul mouth.”

“But I think ducking and orgy sounds like fun.” Henry argued but Edward shook his head. “A foul mouth.”

“Yeah Henry I have to agree with Edward, I don’t think you should repeat what he says.” Dan said. “I know I am for sure not interested in an orgy.”

“So what is an orgy then?” Henry urged Dan.

“It is a group activity like… rugby but for grownups.” Dan tried.

“Fine, so when I am grownup I will have an orgy, a really big one in the mud like a good match of rugby.” Henry nodded when he suddenly jumped up and hung half out of the window. “We are here! Look at this! Danny, Danny your school. Oh look so many pretty men. I’m sure they like going to bed with you.”

“Henry!” Lorelai turned around with sparkling eyes.

“I’m sorry.” Henry sat back down and looked guilty at his knees.

“You better be, but you are right we are here. This is your hall. Let’s register you.” Lorelai tried really hard not to break down but she also knew how much this meant to Dan that she was here it would break his heart if Lorelai were not here. As much as Dan seemed to be excited about his start at university, just as nervous he was. It scared him to start university, to leave home, to leave his brothers, he was scared they would forget him, they would stop needing him. What if the family he loved so much was glad that he was gone and they finally felt free of him, again?

“Oh look there are loads of other boys living on this floor.” Henry got all excited as they walked onto Dan’s floor. The hall had four floors. On the ground floor where common rooms such a TV room, a sitting room and some small study rooms on the first floor were some offices  and also some boys bedrooms, the third had just boys bedrooms and then the fourth floor was the girls floor. It was locked from the outside so that no boy could get up. Dan was living on the third floor at the south corner not far from the bathroom.

“Henry stop this.” Dan hissed angry. Lorelai was inspecting every detail of the house and the floor, she would make an exact plan of the house and made sure that Dan knew all exits, all hazards and he knew where people could break in.

“Dan please remember you manners.” Lorelai said calmly.

“Sorry. Henry stop this, please.”

“Thanks here we are room 312. Dan do you want to unlock it yourself?” John handed his oldest son the key. John was emotional but he knew how important this was for Dan, and John was just very proud how far his son got. He loved to call Dan his son.

Dan’s hand was shaking so hard he couldn’t put the key in hole. “Let me help.” Edward whispered, took Dan’s hand and guided it to unlock the door. Dan’s room had two windows since he was at the corner, a nice sized wardrobe, a book shelf and some more other shelves, a desk and a nice armchair. It was sparse but it was all rather new furniture and roomy enough.

“This is nice. I like that I have two windows and I get all my clothes in the wardrobe.” Dan stepped in the room and opened both windows.

“I got you a new mattress I will not let you sleep on a used mattress. The delivery should be here any minute. I also got you a small single hob so in case you miss a meal in the dining hall you can still eat more than just a sandwich. Ah there we go.” Lorelai greeted the two men carrying the new mattress. Dan sighed he would be marked as the rich boy… but when he poked out of his room he noticed that all other thirty-nine rooms got deliveries similar to his. I guess we all are rich boys in this house. I knew Mutti would book me into the most expensive hall. Dan chuckled to himself and let the men fill the room with his boxes.

“Mutti there is an introduction meeting I hoped I could attend. I made you a plan of things you could do.”

“Oh we are fine here setting up your room.” Lorelai was busy unpacking the bed linen, for a moment he felt bad leaving her doing all the work but she looked the happiest she had in days. Dan nodded and went to the stairs when sudden small steps made him turn around.

“Edward, is everything alright?” Dan kneeled down to have a better look at his little brother.

“Yes everything is alright. I was wondering, I mean I know I am too young but maybe I could come along? I… I would like to spend some more time with you.”

Dan thought about it for a moment and then pulled Edward in a tight hug. “Did you ask Mutti?”

“She said it is alright with her if I don’t bother you. I really don’t want to bother you. I can just go back to Mutti and sort your books in alphabetical order.”

“I would like it very much if you come along. Come on I don’t want to be late.” Dan took Edward’s hand and together they went to one of the lecture buildings. Edward was very shy and he preferred sitting on Dan’s lap while a professor spoke about the time at university. Dan was listening and took some notes. Not long after all fresher’s went into the big foyer and had some tea and biscuits.

“Is this your son, young man?” An older lady with blonde hair asked Dan, who was holding Edward’s hand nearly too tight to be bearable for the young boy.

“No he is my little brother, Edward and I am Daniel von Gruensee.” Dan introduced himself and his little brother to the lady.

“Daniel von Gruensee? That is a surprise. I am Professor Davids, your supervisor. We have an appointment tomorrow morning at ten, do not be late I hate people that are late.” Professor Davids smiled curious at Dan.

“Yes I know. And I will be there on time. Edward is a little bit sad, well we all are. I am adopted and will miss my family very much.”

“Adopted, I see. So you are a chosen child. So Edward will you go to university too?”

“But I am not old enough.” Edward whispered shy.

“In a few years you will be.”

“That is true and then I will go and study music.” Edward whispered. “Maybe in London, not too far from home though.”

“Music, that is nice. Are you learning an instrument?”

Now Edward chuckled. “One? I am playing by now about eighteen. I just started to learn the play the oboe. But my favourite is the piano. The great Graham Hart is teaching me.” Edward was glowing with pride that such a well-known pianist as Graham Hart was teaching him.

“Graham Hart? I didn’t know he gives music lessons.” Professor Davids looked interested at Edward.

“I think I should explain that Professor. Graham Hart is the father of our uncle, well he is sort of our uncle. His wife and our Mutti are cousins but it feels more like sisters.” Dan tried to explain.

Professor Davids smiled. “I see. We will talk about this by a good cup of tea and some cake. But for now go and mingle and make some friends.”

“Thank you, I will see you tomorrow Professor.” Dan smiled at the older lady when he took Edwards hand and went back to meet some students, some of them living in his house so he would see them again in the morning at breakfast.

“Come on Edward lets go and meet Mutti, Dad and Henry for dinner.” Dan held on tightly to his little brother’s hand, he was worried that he would lose Edward in this crowd.

“Dan could we go to the loo first, please?” Edward looked shy at his brother. “Did you mind me being here?”

“No I loved it, come on I think the loo is over here. I gonna miss you so much and I will miss doing everyday things with you. But we will write. I will send you every week a letter of what I am doing and you gonna write me everything thats happing at home.” Dan led Edward into the toilet and was not surprised by Edward’s question.

“Can you watch the door I don’t want to lock the cube?”

“Not a problem.”

It didn’t take them long to get back to the hall and to find Dan’s room fully unpacked. And John took his family for a nice meal out.

“Dan isn’t it? It’s Charles, we just met at the introduction event and I am living down the corridor.” Charles smiled when he came to the table to take the orders. Dan grinned at Charles, clearly interested.

“Yes it is. This is my family. Are you going to have breakfast in the dining hall?”

“Yes, let’s go together and check out what is on the menu for us.” Charles laughed and winked.

“Sounds good.” Dan grinned back. Henry was watching his brother.

“Do you like boys?” He blurred out. Everyone looked at the little boy, and Charles actually looked scared. “It’s okay Danny likes them too. If you hurt him I gonna cut you.”

“Okay Henry that is enough!” Lorelai said strict. “Let’s order.”

128Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 27th September 2015, 18:18



It was early September but luckily the summer had decided to return for a few days, making it seem like autumn was still far away. Even Ricky, who normally wore at least ten layers of clothes, only wore a shirt and cardigan today, no warm jacket needed. He was babysitting the twins today, as Jo and Liam were extremely busy with their ‘Welcome back to Waterfall Downs Academy’-Week, where all the new students got tours around the campus, and the teachers, staff and parents met up and chatted. Ricky had Jane and Jill for the day and would return them in the early evening.
Right now they were on a little outing in Oxford because he had to run a few errands in town. Jill was super excited but Jane was a bit more timid, that’s why she held on to Ricky’s hand tightly, not letting him go for a second. Ricky also had to make sure not to lose Jill, so he was holding her with his other hand, and it sure was difficult because Jill pulled him like a 5-month old, hyper puppy.

“Sweetie, slow down a bit, okay?”

“Did you see the hat shop, Auntie Ricky?” Jill kept pulling his arm. “Those hats look silly!”

“I know.”

“Can we go in there?” She pointed at the drugstore.

“What do you want in the drugstore, Jill?”

“I don’t know,” she giggled. “I just want to go inside.”

“Well, as a matter of fact I need to go there as well. I need some new body lotion.”

“Me too!”

“Do you even know what that is, Jill?” Ricky laughed.

The little girl shook her head. “But I still want it!”

“Okay, okay.” Ricky turned to Jane and smiled gently at her. “Are you alright, darling? Do you want anything to drink? Do you need to use the bathroom?”

She shook her head. “No, thank you, Auntie Ricky. And I’m fine, don’t worry.”

“Good, just double-checking. You seem a bit nervous.”

“She’s always nervous when we go somewhere, especially when there are people,” her sister explained matter-of-factly.

“You don’t need to be nervous, Jane,” Ricky replied calmly. “I’ll take care of you.”

She just stared at him for a moment but then nodded. She trusted Auntie Ricky, and she knew she would be okay as long as she kept holding his hand.
As they entered the drugstore Ricky had a hard time holding Jill back from running through the aisles. She was almost as excited as if she had entered a toy store. Ricky had to smirk. How easily Jill was entertained. Just going to a simple drugstore made her happy.
While Ricky and Jane walked towards the soaps, Jill let go off his hand to look around.

“Don’t run off, Jill,” he reminded her.

“I’m just looking.” She blinked innocently at him. Man, she had her father’s eyes! Looking so innocently with those blue eyes when in fact there was a little cheeky devil hiding behind them.

“You can, but don’t open anything, and stay close.”

“Okay!” The drugstore wasn’t very big so she couldn’t get lost and Ricky could still keep an eye on her if he was looking over the shelves. Of course Jane didn’t leave Ricky’s side.
Jill was exploring the aisles of the shop as if she were in the garden of Waterfall Downs. She got down on her knees and crawled to the next aisle, pretending she was a dangerous tiger or lioness – she liked both, she and Henry often played Lion and Tiger- when she suddenly noticed something familiar.
A mark.
Someone was standing there in same aisle, only she didn’t look up, she only looked at the mark on the ankle of that person. She knew that mark very well. It had to be…

“Fi?!” Jill looked up, expecting to see her beloved Fi - but then her smile vanished. There was a tall man stocking up shelves, and he knew that man too, only that man was certainly not her husband Fi. She couldn’t remember what his name was but he had scared her once in Waterfall Downs. He was an evil man and had grabbed her arm until it hurt. And then Fi had come to her rescue and saved her.
The evil man had noticed her and looked very displeased when he saw that little ginger brat.

“What the fuck are you doing here? Did the zoo let out the monkeys now?”

Jill, who normally was never at loss for words, looked at him and then back at the strange mark on his ankle. It looked exactly like Fi’s, she was so sure about this.

“Hey, get up! You can’t just stay there on the floor!” he growled at her.

“Jill?” Ricky appeared behind her, holding his breath when he saw Sebastian. Apparently he was working here now. Great, now Ricky couldn’t go into the drugstore anymore- and he needed the drugstore! He needed all his creams and lotions and soaps! But he certainly didn’t want to run into Sebastian every time.
“Jill, come here,” Ricky said quickly, holding his hand out for her.

Sebastian was careful around Ricky these days. He’d got beaten up twice by that damn Jackson guy, once because of Ricky and once because of this stupid little brat that was on the floor, staring at him right now. Still, he couldn’t resist making a comment whenever he saw Ricky. There was something about this boy that provoked him every time, even when Ricky wasn’t saying anything, and still, Ricky was really getting to him. He always had, even back in secondary school.
“All alone?” Sebastian let out a dry laugh. “Did your maniac boyfriend dump your sorry ass?”

Ricky bit his lip and tried to ignore him. He remembered too well how it felt being shoved into the wall by Sebastian almost every single day, or being locked up in the toilet stalls or thrown into the garbage containers behind the school. Even though Ricky had never said or done anything in school to offend him, Sebastian was always out for him.

“Jill, please.” Ricky’s voice sounded stern, and the little girl finally got up and walked to him.

“Auntie Ricky, Auntie Ricky!” she hissed, pulling his hand. “He has Fi’s scar!”

“Sorry?” Ricky didn’t understand her at first.

“That man,” she said in a low voice. “He has Fi’s scar!”

“What are you talking about?” Ricky was looking in Sebastian’s direction, obviously scanning his face for the scar Jill was referring to but she shook her head.

“At his ankle,” she explained. “He has the same scar as Fi!”

Ricky couldn’t hide the shock in his face but then he cleared his throat. Surely Jill must be mistaken. She was just a three-year old, of course wasn’t –
Oh God. She was right.
Ricky’s eyes fell on the other boy’s ankle. He hadn’t seen it before, or at least not that he could recall. There, on his ankle, right at the very same spot that Alfie had his birthmark, Sebastian had the exact same mark.
The mark of the Jackson curse.
After that one conversation he had with Colin months ago in the café, when the older man had told him about the Jackson curse, Ricky had been reading everything about this ‘curse’, and in a few articles he found not only the mentioning of that mark but also pictures of it. Only one of Jackson blood, a male Jackson heir, the ones who carried the curse, were marked by it. Always at the same spot, on the ankle. And that mark always looked the same. Sebastian’s mark was identical to Alfie’s, there was no doubt about it. Even little Jill had noticed it.
That must mean…
Ricky looked up at Sebastian, growing paler by the second. He remembered how, back in school, Sebastian was often teased by older boys because he didn’t have a father. Not even Sebastian knew who his father was, and he often had to listen to older boys calling his mother a tramp. Ricky always felt sorry for him, no matter how much he tortured him, he always felt a certain pity for Sebastian, who grew up in a broken home, never knowing who his father was.
He carried the Jackson mark…His father was a Jackson.
Sebastian, the boy who had made school insufferable at times, who had tormented him through all of his school days, that same boy could possibly be related to Alfie. In fact, there was a great chance that Alfie’s father, Lord Broderick Jackson, was also Sebastian’s father.
That meant Alfie and Sebastian were…brothers.

“Oh God…” Ricky didn’t realise he was saying that out loud, and now everyone was looking at him.

“What the fuck is your problem?” Sebastian asked coldly.

Ricky’s eyes wandered up, from the mark right to Sebastian’s eyes. The Jackson eyes… Why had he never seen it before? Why had he never noticed the similarities between Sebastian and Alfie? It was so clear now. Those two were definitely related.
Ricky’s heart had stopped beating for a second. The boy he loved so much was related to the boy who had made his life a living hell during his school times.
No…no, let it all be a stupid coincidence! He was just imaging it! Yes, Sebastian couldn’t be a…
Yes, he could. He could be a Jackson. In fact, it fit perfectly. He fit perfectly into that family.
Sebastian was not just a bully like Victor Gray. No, there was always something clever about him too, something cunning.
Cunning. The thing the Jacksons were infamous for. Jacksons were not just bullies, they were cunning too, some extremely smart on top of that. Sebastian had always been more than a simple bully. Now even if Sebastian didn’t possess Alfie’s intelligence, both of them had that same cunning glimmer in their eyes…
Ricky started to feel sick.

“Stop checking me out, you disgusting fag!” Sebastian’s voice pulled him back into the present.

Ricky looked one last time at him, then he quickly turned around, holding both girls tightly. “Let’s get out of here, girls.”

“Auntie Ricky?” Jane asked as they walked out of the shop without buying anything. “Are you okay?”

“I…I am…” He was so bad at lying. He was trembling. “I think I…ehm…need to sit down for a moment. I’m a little woozy.”
They sat down on a bench, and Ricky quickly handed the girls their sandwiches so that they had something that would distract them. However, Jane was still watching him closely.

“He is a bad man, isn’t he?”

Ricky took a deep breath and forced a smile. “Don’t worry about him, Jane. Let’s just enjoy the sunny day, okay?”

“I told you,” Jill said while munching her sandwich, “he has Fi’s scar…”

129Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 9th October 2015, 23:21

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

“What in Saint Patrick’s name is this?” Liam said following the odd jingle coming closer up the long driveway of Waterfall Downs Academy. Usually the gate was closed and locked. Visitors had to ring the intercom and then it was connected to kitchen’s telephone. Normally someone from the kitchen staff then came to tell them that a visitor was coming. Liam came out of his lab he had just finished with his last class of the day.

“Liam it is here!” Jo yelled as excited as all the other children around her are.

“DAAADDYYYYY! He is here!” Jill yelled and ran outside clutching something in her hand, dragging her poor sisters along.

“Okay, Jo I love you but why is everyone crazy? What did I miss?” Liam took his excited wife’s hand. Jo looked shy at Liam.

“Well I made this arrangement and I know I should have talked to you but it is nothing bad and it cost us close to nothing. I promise.” Jo looked innocently with her doe eyes at Liam.

“Fine how can I resist those eyes?” Liam grinned and kissed her. “So what is this?”

“Come on I’ll show you.” Jo grinned and dragged her husband along to the front entrance of Waterfall Downs Academy. And there it was all pupils along with their two twins lined up in front of a ice cream van. “As a little girl I once saw one in town but I was with mother and she was so disgusted by the idea of me eating anything from a filthy place like this. I never stopped dreaming of an ice cream van coming once a week to Waterfall Downs, but it never came. Last week I saw one in town again and I had a long conversation about the sanitary procedures. And I think the idea of having once a week the ice cream van here and the pupils buy under supervision ice cream and we now they all get one and not unlimited amounts.” Jo said getting in line for ice cream herself.

Liam grinned at his wife. “Are you trying to convince me or the parents?”

“You don’t think I’m crazy?”

“Totally, but I love you anyway. So once a week you all go crazy because of a man in a van?”

“Yes!” Jo grinned. “One double soft whippy with chocolate sauce and a flake, please.”

Liam laughed kissed his wife and looked around the pupils that hadn’t enough cash got help from the ones that had. Funny how a bit of ice cream taught the pupils a lesson in caring for each other.

One day you will leave this school and go out into a world that can be scary at times. We at Waterfall Downs Academy think that young women and men should have eager minds, kind hearts, and a will to help. You should have a good understanding of many things, and a willingness to accept responsibility and show yourselves to be loved and trusted. You will be able to learn at Waterfall Downs Academy all these things —if you want to. You all are very smart and you will win scholarships and pass exams excellently. However, we do not count those as our successes; nevertheless these are good things to achieve. Our successes are those of you who learn to be good-hearted and kind, sensible and trustable, good, sound people the world can count on. Those who cannot learn these things in the years they are here are our failures and it hurts us so much more to know that we failed you to teach you to become a good person.

Liam loved watching his wife give this speech to the new pupils in the dining hall. Not just the teachers were eavesdropping at the doors all old pupils were too. Not one wanted to miss out to hear it again, and she was right. Jo had done it she had created a school in which academically success was not at the first interest. And Liam say it right here all pupils and staff having ice cream.

“Daddy! Sarah forgot her money inside I bought her an ice cream.” Jill beamed proudly. “Look!” Jill pointed with her little ice cream covered finger at her favourite pupil in school. “Do you think she likes it?”

“I think she does, but do you remember when we spoke about pointing at people?” Liam crouched down and licked at the side of his daughter’s ice cream. “That side was running away.” He quicly said before she could protest.

“Oh good that you got it we don’t want to make a mess.” Jill still grinned at her father the mess was already done. Liam was very sure that Jill wore more of her ice cream that she had eaten. Jane offered her dad a lick of her ice cream -something the little girl had troubles with sharing food but she did it knowing it was the right thing to do-.

“I’ve got you one as well.” Jo grinned at Liam as she handed him the ice cream. “So you think this is alright as weekly activity?”

“Totally!” Liam laughed and followed his wife inside. Waterfall Downs Academy was in so many ways an unusual school but in so many ways the perfect school.

8.25 - 8.30         Registration and Assembly
8.50                  Lessons 1, 2 & 3
10.35 - 11.00      Bun Break
11.00                 Lessons 4 & 5
12.10                 Lunchtime
1.00 - 1.35         Quiet time, reading, form time
1.40                  Registration in classrooms
2.50 - 4.15         Lessons 6 & 7
Henry had his third day in primary school year 1, his third day he was out of the house until afternoon. Edward was in year two, and often finished school at 4.15 not like his brother who finished an hour earlier. Both boys took the bus home. Lorelai always encouraged the boys to be independent. Dan was away in Chelmsford, he wasn’t coming home that weekend because he just started and wanted to stay over the weekend, which made sense to everyone. Well everyone than Lorelai, she saw her beloved boys leave and even though she was proud of them, she was not ready for them to be that independent.  

“John? Have you seen Charlie?” Lorelai went in the living room.

“No. Actually I’m not sure when I last seen him.” John looked at his wife, he was concerned to see his strong wife so… broken. He didn’t like seeing his Lory like this. Lorelai sighed dramatically and left the house to find Charlie. It was unusual for Charlie not to come right away. He was such a well-trained dog, a true spy but he didn’t come. After a while of searching Lorelai got John to help. It took them a long time not after dinnertime Lorelai was still out when John had found him. It was odd, Charlie hated John and he didn’t let John touch him but here he was letting John pick him up. Charlie was shivering and seemed dehydrated and not himself at all. “Fuck.” John was a gentleman and for him to swear meant something. John hurried home; the stud farm had their own personal veterinarian. “I’m sorry but I don’t think there is much we can do John. Where is Lorelai she should be here with him?”

“She is still out looking for him.” John mumbled. He looked confused at Charlie, the dog that hated him was tightly snuggled against his side. The vet left the two, he had given Charlie an injection against pain but there was nothing she could for him. John watched the dogs chest rise and lower and rise and lower. Over and over again but it seemed to slow down, he seemed to slip away. Suddenly Charlie looked up right into John’s eyes, nudged his side made a gruffly sound and lay his head down. A last breath, a last climb, a last moment of life before Charlie left the house. John had no idea what to do now, Lorelai’s best friend had died and she wasn’t there and he knew that would eat her up.

“John? You found him? Where is he? How is he?” Lorelai went in the room and saw her dog lying in her husband’s arms, dead. “No! No! NO!” Lorelai yelled, picked up her dog shaking him demanding him to open his eyes again. John got up, wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly. He knew he couldn’t make her loss any less tragic but he could be there for her, as Charlie asked him to. “They are all leaving and I can’t protect them anymore. They are all gone! And now Charlie too.”

“Our boys are not gone, they are growing up and you know that and Charlie died the way he lived, protecting you. He told me so, in his last moment he chose me to do his job now, he died in my arms, I never thought he would accept me but he did and he chose ma and now I need to pick you up. Let me pick you up. Talk to me. The boys are in bed, lets wash Charlie a last time, wrap him in his blanket and then tomorrow before school we give him a burial.”

“I want Dan to be here.” Lorelai whispered.

“Alright, I will call him tomorrow morning and ask him to come home this weekend.” John whispered. He felt Lorelai nod into his chest. It took them a while to wash Charlie, to dry him, and to wrap him into the softest blanket and the vet came to take him into a safe place until the burial. John was worried how quiet she was. They were in bed and Lorelai was just lying there in his arm. “You are not running off now are you?”

“I did not come back for Charlie. If you remember he hated me.”

“Answer the question.”

“I will not run off. Lory talk to me. What is this about?”

“Dan is at university, he got beaten up from the man that was supposed to protect him how can we protect him now? Edward is in year two and he is so busy with school and his music classes. He is so ambitious and I worry that he forgets to be a child. And then Henry he is in year one and he might not love school as much for learning but he loves being at school for his friends and I am scared that they don’t need me anymore and what I then supposed to do? I was an amazing spy and I settle to be a mother and wife and breed excellent horses but the one thing that gives me pleasure the most are my sons to see them grow, but if I let them grow too much they will outgrow me and see that I am nothing.”

“You my darling are not nothing. You are this strong woman that loves her sons so much that she is teaching them to live so well and independent that they can stand on they own two feet in the worst storm humanly possible to think of and if everything fails they know that you are there right behind them. Ready to patch them up and send them back out because you know they can.”

Lorelai held on tightly  to her husband. “Just promise me that you don’t leave me.”

“I left you once and I hurt you so much on that day I didn’t show up. I will never ever hurt you like that again! I love you so much that I turned my live around and look at it now I have a good live I love our live! I will not leave you or forsake you, in sickness and in health I will be by your side until the day we day. Jo once said something I actually like. She said it is mean to die for someone because when you are dead you go to heaven and no one is unhappy in heaven, its heaven the real sacrifice is to let the person you love die first. Because that way that person is happy while you are grieving on earth. Charlie is with your mother and your brother Edward in heaven, playing on a field telling them what a wonderful person you are and they will take him in their arms and will thank him that he made sure I was the man that deserved to call you my wife.”

Lorelai was so calm she finally had stopped crying. “We have to call Jo and Liam, I want them to be there.”

Now it was John who nodded. “I will call them tomorrow. We will give him a wonderful farewell from this world.”

“Liam? Charlie died.” John said too early for Jo to be awake even though it was a school day. John had already called Dan who said he would be coming home on Friday afternoon and now it was the O’Dohertys. “Lory would like to have a burial this Saturday. I don’t think he had suffered. He had an inject with pain killer and seemed peaceful when he died in my arms.”

130Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 27th October 2015, 22:07



Liam was unusually quiet that morning, and Jo could tell that something was up the moment she opened her eyes. He sat next to her on the bed and clasped her hand.

“What is it?” She grew pale.

“John just called…” Liam bit his lip. “Charlie died.”

“Oh no…” Jo squeezed his hand tightly. “That’s so sad. He was such a wonderful dog.”

“Tell me about it,” Liam mumbled.

“You really liked him.” His wife smiled sadly at him. “And he loved you, it was always cute to watch how he followed you around.”

“I mean, it had to happen eventually. He was ancient in human years, and in dog years for that matter, but he was…it just…it really…”

“I know,” Jo said gently and kissed him on the forehead.

“It feels like I just met him yesterday.” Liam sighed. “I know he was just a dog but…but at the same time he was sort of family. I know it sounds stupid-“

“It doesn’t sound stupid.” She pulled him into a hug and kissed him again. “Let me fix you a nice breakfast.”

“I’m not very hungry.”

“I know how that feels, but regardless, you need to eat something, Liam. You still have the whole day ahead of you. How about French toast? I know you normally can’t resist.”

Liam smiled weakly. “Okay.”

When they left the bedroom he was greeted by Jane, who was already awake and looking forward to her time with Daddy, as she did every morning. Since Jane and Liam were the early birds, they often prepared breakfast and waited for Mummy and Jill to wake up – or had to wake them up themselves, if the two ladies were still not committed to get up.

“Daddy!” She stretched out her little arms, something she had always done when she wanted to be lifted up by her dad, and even now she still wanted to be carried around by him as much as possible. Even though Liam was always happy to see his girls, this morning he was indescribably thankful for them; all three of them.

“Princess.” He lifted her up and kissed her on the top of her head.

“Oh, Mummy is up.” Jane was a bit surprised to see her mother up this early in the morning.

“Yes, Munchkin.”

“Daddy, what is wrong?” Jane noticed that her dad seemed a bit sad. Liam exchanged a brief glance with Jo, not sure how to explain this to Jane. He was too honest sometimes and didn’t know how to bring the news to the girls, so Jo jumped in.

“Jane, darling, we have a bit of sad news.”

“Sad news?”

“You know that Lorelai’s Charlie was a very, very old dog…,” she started carefully.

The little girl tilted he head, watching her mum with her big blue eyes. “Is he gone?”

Liam and Jo were equally surprised by how quickly Jane caught up.

“Well, yes, darling,” Jo said carefully. “When dogs get very old like Charlie was, they go to a place called Dog Heaven.” She quickly glanced into Liam’s direction, signalling him to please not say anything like ‘there is no such thing’, which he normally did. Luckily Liam remained quiet and looked over Jane’s head to the hallway. There wasn’t any sound from Jill’s room, she still seemed to be asleep.
“Anyway,” Jo continued. “Charlie had a very long, adventurous, fantastic life, but it was time for him to go, and Dog Heaven is a beautiful place where all the great dogs go, and from there he will watch us and protect other dogs like Teddy.”

Jane looked at her quietly for a moment, then nodded. “He was a very, very good dog. I will miss him.”

“Oh yes, he was, so he will have a wonderful spot in Dog Heaven.”

The little girl turned her head back to her dad now. “Daddy, you’re sad.”

He forced a smile. “I just miss him, Princess. But your mum is right, he will be fine in Dog Heaven.”

Jo was surprised that he was able to bring himself to say ‘Dog Heaven’ but he did, and he seemed a bit calmer now. She squeezed his shoulder gently, kissed both him and Jane on the cheek, then walked into the kitchen to prepare breakfast for her family.

131Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 3rd November 2015, 17:12

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

Saturday came far too quickly, Lorelai had not left her office until they all gather in the little garden behind the main house. It shocked Liam and everyone to see her, no makeup, the hair just plainly hanging over her shoulders and no heels just a simple pair of boots.

“Daddy Tante Lor looks… so sad.” Jill whispered. Jo had bought them black ribbons for their hair and dressed them in their simple white dresses, while she was wearing her black dress and Liam wore a nice pair of black trousers and a white shirt everything was rather informal. Liam nodded and picked up Jill.

“She is because her best friend died.”

“Daddy tell us the story again, please.” Jill whispered.

“I will in a little bit alright?” Liam whispered back. “Mina. I am so sorry for your loss.”

Lorelai nodded and pulled Liam and Jill -who was still on Liam’s arm- and held him tightly. “He really loved you Liam. He did.”

“I loved him too.”

Everyone said something nice about Charlie while Lorelai was holding her friend wrapped in his favourite blanket. She was quietly crying until it was time to lower him into the ground. Jane had been quietly holding her mother’s hand. “Mommy? May I say something?”

Lorelai looked up at Jane.

“Oh course munchkin, you remember why we are here?” Jo said calmly.

“Yes I do.” Jane let go of her mother’s hand, stepped to Lorelai and took her aunt’s hand. “Today is the day we mourn our dear friend Charlie. He was the royal companion of Tante. He knew lots of tricks and earlier this week God called him to come home to him. We are so sad that he is gone but heaven is the most wonderful place so we don’t need to be sad that he is gone we just need to be sad that he is not with us anymore.” Jane said with a surprisingly strong voice, he sister went over and pulled her in a tight hug before she turned around and said. “Charlie went to heaven, because Oma Lauren, Grandmother Cathy and Onkel Edward were so alone that God called Charlie to be with them. They are now sitting together and cheer him up because he misses us still so much. They are good people, they will take good care of him until one day we are all united again.”

Lorelai was crying loudly while the two little girls were helping her to lower the small dog into his grave. “It is alright now Tante Lor, Charlie is in heaven with God and very good people he is happy miss you dearly but happy.” Jill said and hugged Lorelai.

“I am sure he is and he will tell m brother and Mutti everything about us.”

Jill giggled. “He doesn’t need to they already know. They watch Heaven TV.” Jill said smiling at Lorelai.

A little bit later at the gathering to celebrate the passing of Charlie Von Gruensee the most royal dog and companion of Lorelai. “The house is empty without you Dan, and this professor of yours I don’t like her.”

Dan chuckled and wrapped his arms around Lorelai. “Professor Davids is a very good teacher and you are not alone. Edward and Henry are just in primary school and I will be home every second weekend.”

“I know but it is not the same and now with Charlie.”

“Mutti, I know Charlie cannot be replaced but one day you will meet a little one and you will know that Charlie send him to you.” Dan was giving her a glass of water. “You don’t look well and I don’t mean because if the lack of makeup and the different way to dress.”

“I don’t like the house so empty.” Lorelai said. “And there better not anyone hurt you.”

“No there is not.” Dan kissed her on the cheek. “Drink the water.”

“Fuechschen.” Lorelai hugged Liam.

“I will miss Charlie, he was an amazing dog.” Liam said. “You looked tired.”

“That puts it nicely.” Lorelai chuckled. “You have quite some daughters there. You alright with them talking about your mum?”

“It would have made me crazy a few years ago but I like that even though they never met her she is so vividly in their heads.” Liam said calmly.

“It is good that you talk about her, even when they are gone you need to talk about them so that they are gone but not forgotten.” Lorelai hugged him tightly. “If just everyone knew that.”

132Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 30th November 2015, 15:06



Scotty stared long and hard at the phone until he finally picked it up and dialled the number he had written down on a little piece of paper. He got that number from Marge, which was sad because he didn’t even know his own sister’s phone number anymore. To be fair, he hadn’t spoken to her in nineteen years, and so he didn’t even know if she still had the same number. Marge had stayed in contact with Hannah, Scotty’s youngest sister, who was now 64 years old – and Scotty was sure she wasn’t even close to retiring anytime soon. Hannah had worked towards being a journalist her whole life, even against all odds, since she grew up in a time where women had little chance of getting proper jobs, especially when they came from poor background. Hannah, however, just like her brother had defied the odds, and followed her goal. Meanwhile Scotty’s other sisters Judy and Penny became the typical housewives and mothers. They had both married young, had children, and that was it. He barely had contact with them before Arthur’s death, Hannah was the only family member he remained close to through all his life until Arthur died and Scotty disappeared.
She must hate him, that’s for sure. He left her, just like he left everyone else. And that wasn’t just it. He never contacted her. He never wrote her and let her know he was okay. And when he returned to Oxford after all these years he still hadn’t contacted her, until Marge literally made him. He had to jump over his shadow, he knew that, and he missed his sister so much but he was also scared of her, because Hannah could be merciless once someone hurt her.

He took a deep breath while listening to the beeping sound.

“Who is this?” a young female voice answered. “I was just in the middle of eating.”

“Um…sorry…eh…is Hannah there?” He started to get nervous.

“Depends on who’s asking.”

“Ehm, who are you?” Scotty knew that Hannah’s daughter Scotia, his goddaughter, had moved in with her after Scotia separated from her husband (Marge had given him all the updates) but that voice sounded too young to be Scotia’s.

“It’s May.”


“Yeah. What do you want from my grandmother? Are you a stalker?”

“Oh…May! Scotia’s kid…Yeah, Marge told me…um…I’m…I’m not a stalker. I’m her brother actually.”

It grew silent on the other side of the phone. “Her brother, huh?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“So you’re the moron who just left for almost two decades and never called or wrote letters even though Gran still has so many pictures of you standing around here like you bloody died! It’s like a damn shrine in here.”


“And now you’re calling, after all this time?”

“Ehm…how old are you?”

“Fifteen. Why? You’ve got a problem with that?”

“May, who is this?” a voice shouted in the background. “I’ve told you a thousand times not to be so rude on the phone.”

“It’s your brother.”

Then a weird rustling sound.

“Hannah?” Scotty felt his heart racing. “How are –“

“Burn in hell!” She banged the phone so loudly down on the hook that Scotty actually flinched on the other side.

“That didn’t go so well,” Scotty remarked dryly. The same moment the phone rang again, and he almost jumped up. He was actually scared to answer it.
“Yes…?” he asked nervously.

“You better be home and have the tea ready!”


She banged down the phone again. Scotty needed a moment to snap back into presence, then he quickly got up and prepared the tea, because it sounded like a serious threat and he knew not to mess with Hannah.
About twenty minutes later the doorbell rang. In that time he had managed to clean up everything that was lying around, set the living room table for tea, and even cut a few flowers from the garden and placed them in a vase onto the table as well.
God, he was nervous, even though it was just his sister. Well, after that phone call everyone had to a right to be nervous, and besides, Hannah was incredibly feisty.
He carefully opened the door and there she was, his baby sister, still looking the same, with her dark blonde hair that had now grey streaks in them, nicely braided, and her brown eyes still as curious and watchful as ever.
A smile crossed his face but before he got to say anything she smacked him.
“You’re an arsehole!”

“Ow.” He pressed his hand onto his burning cheek. Man, that woman could hit! “Nice to see you too, sis.”
Hannah bit her lip, ready to throw more insults at him but then she became someone she hadn’t been for a very long time…Scotty’s baby sister.
“I hate you,” she said, wrapping her arms around him like she used to when she was younger and burying her face into his shoulder. “You stupid ass.” She cried into his shirt, releasing so many emotions at once.

“I missed you too, little mouse.”  He planted a kiss on her head. She still smelled the same she did when she was little; a mixture of paper, ink and a touch of cinnamon. He couldn’t really explain where the cinnamon smell came from but Hannah had always smelled like that.

They spent the entire afternoon talking and catching up on everything. Hannah told him everything that happened since he went away, about Scotia getting married and having a daughter, but then getting separated from her husband and the two moving in with Hannah, and also about Hannah’s husband Jacob, who had died a few years ago. It was hard for Hannah since she had cared a lot about him and he had been nothing but kind to her. Scotty remembered Jacob- whom Hannah called Jack-very well, and he was a great man. He was (what a surprise) a lot like Arthur in some ways, very quiet, reserved, smart and incredibly kind, and he fit perfectly to wild, loud, cocky Hannah.  Even though Hannah would always have this undying crush on Arthur, she at least found someone she loved and who loved her. A few months after Jacob’s death, Scotia got separated from her husband and that’s when they decided that Scotia and May would move in with Hannah who had plenty of room in her house now. Scotty didn’t even want to imagine how crazy it was in Hannah’s house, since Scotia was just like her mum, a firecracker, and from the sounds of it, May certainly took after her mother and grandmother as well. Pure madness under one roof.
Hannah asked about Scotty’s time abroad but her brother didn’t completely open up about it. Not because he didn’t want to share it with her but they were memories of the sad kind, nothing he proudly wanted to share, but he told Hannah about the time he’s been back in Oxford, his re-union with Colin and Marge, and the new friends he had won.  

“About that,” Hannah said, raising her eyebrow at him. “What did I hear about you and a certain Ricky Butcher…?”


“It has come to my attention that you’ve grown quite fond of Alfie’s little boy toy.”

“First of all, I didn’t ‘grow fond of him’, we just hang out. He doesn’t have many people to talk to and we like each other’s company…”


“And secondly, he’s not Alfie’s boy toy. He’s way too good for that. He’s…he’s a very special…um…young man. He’s nobody’s toy.”

Hannah smirked. “You’re blushing.”

“I’m not.”

“You totally are. And no worries, I know all about Ricky. I know that he’s the first one who got Alfie to commit to a relationship, even though Alfie’s definition of a relationship is very different from Ricky’s.”

“Yeah, you can say that,” Scotty grumbled. It bothered him immensely how little Alfie respected Ricky. “Anyway, there is nothing going on between us. That’s just silly. He could be my grandson.”

“Yeah, yeah…” Hannah grinned. “I just know what kind of person Ricky is.”

“And what kind is that?”

“The kind you like.”

“Oh, shut up!”

She laughed. “I just like teasing you.”

“Yeah, I’m aware of that.”

“So…” Hannah cleared her throat. “What do you think about young Lord Jackson? Must have been a shock when you came back and saw him so…well, grown up, to say the least.”

“I don’t really want to talk about him.”

“I knew you’d say that,” she remarked. “I knew if you’d come back, you’d get the shock of a lifetime, seeing him so changed.”

“Well…” Scotty shrugged his shoulders. “We all change, I guess.” He wanted to change the subject because talking about Alfie only upset him. It made him realise how much he failed Arthur every single time he saw what had become of Alfie.
“So, May…she’s something, heh?”

“Well, she takes after you, actually,” Hannah laughed. “She’s the spitting image of you.”

“She’s a girl.”

“She looks like you, just in female form. I swear Scotty, she could be your daughter! When you see her you know what I mean. And when she talks it sounds like my dear brother is talking to me.”


“Oh yes.” Hannah nodded. “I’d say you ‘ll visit me in the next days. Scotia wants to see her godfather again, and trust me, you definitely want to meet May…”

133Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 22nd December 2015, 19:49

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

“Are you coming?” Frida was standing in James’s doorframe.

Both of them lived in the teacher’s house of Waterfall Downs Academy. It was the old servants’ house converted into small apartments; each apartment had a tiny kitchen in a closet in the small living room area, its two doors were the pantry. In the same room behind a screen was the bedroom, the only separate room was the small bathroom. It was small but cosy. On the ground floor of the house was a large dining kitchen that covered most of the floor, with wonderful couches, a fireplace, a large dining table and another WC. On each floor was another bathroom with a tub. This house was more than a house of servants, even a hundred years ago. It all was modernised when Jo and Liam turned Waterfall Downs into a school but the general floor plan stayed the same. The house always had been more than this house, this roof over the heads of the servants; it was and is a community. Each servant and now teacher and staff member that preferred staying close WDA got a its own apartment for privacy but had the community rooms for company. Jo always worried that the staff felt trapped in the house but everyone loved the house, the family they were.

“I am coming.” James grinned as he took his satchel and put his arm around Frida to lead her out to his tiny car. “Sarah is so excited she said the girl’s lacrosse team is the best they ever had been.”

“Do you ever leave the children behind?” Frida laughed not that she was any different. She came like James from a large family, she missed her family dearly but she loved her job. She was many years ago in London on vacation when she saw the advertisement about a new school opening. She was intrigued called and had a lovely conversation with Lady Josephine Williams, the heiress of the Williams estate. But more the school made Frida turn her vacation into a permanent stay and even though she missed them dearly she loved every minute of her life at Waterfall Downs Academy.

“No never. I love every one of them. I got a good letter from Dan he said he loves university, his advisor is a brilliant Lady Professor, it is hard to believe that he is the shy boy from a few years ago.” James laughed as he opened the car door for her.

“Tack. I spoke to my mamma, she said she sent a parcel with goodies. I hope she sent some chocolate.” Frida smiled.
James chuckled, he played with one of her locks that had fallen out of her braid. “That is normally me always thinking about food. I was thinking we could get fish and chip on the way into town.”

“Sounds good to me.” Frida pushed the loose lock back into her braid and checked that it was just a lock and not her whole braid falling down.

“How do you do this, to have time in the morning to braid your hair every day so lovely?” James asked gentle.

“I’m not sleeping until five minutes before breakfast.” Frida laughed.

“Hey neither do I, I run at 6AM.” James tried to defend himself. “And then I sleep again after I showered.”

Both laugh loudly while James drove into town.

“Thanks you look nice too underneath all of this.” Frida teased him. Whenever she spoke to her family she told them that she loved England because she truly loved her work and the friends she made and James was her best friend, even when growing up her best friends were close but James is so much more. He is her home.

“Hey you just point and everything of me.”

“Well what can I say, you did look better when I met you. I might even call you handsome back then.”

“Tack älskling.[url=#_ftn1][1][/url]”

”Your Swedish is getting better, at least something positive.”

James loved to spend time with Frida, he missed his sisters so much in fact he missed his family so much but somehow work and she made it okay to be away from them, to have found a home in Oxford.

“You know as an art teacher I love this… shirt but as a woman. I mean come on this are pineapples on a flamingo.” Frida laughed they had reached the cinema; James had gotten the sweets while she got the tickets.

“You don’t like it?” James looked past the popcorn, drinks and pick n’ mix.

“Not like? How can I say his nicely? Oh yes it hurts my eyes.” Frida took the pick n’ mix from him. “And thanks for these, don’t expect me to share any. Oh you got lickerish, I love you.”

James gave her one of the drink cups and led her into the screen. “You know I always wonder in which screen Jo’s water broke.”

“Ew James! You are gross.”

“Nah just a boy.”

“Hey pretty girl wanna sit with me and not this dwarf? I can be your prince, Snow-white.” A large not so friendly princelike guy called over.

“No thanks I prefer my men friendly and a gentlemen not a shouting cattle men.” Frida said loudly back and sat next to James.

“You know if you’d rather sit with him, I don’t mind.” James offered.

“Why is your hot date coming?”

“No she is already here.”

“Then I sit right where I am.” Frida said and leaned against her best friend.

“Liam did you notice that Frida and James get very close?” Jo mumbled, she was snuggled into Liam’s arm as they watched TV.

“Well they are working together, I guess they are close?” Liam said he was reading a book Jo didn’t even understand the title.

Jo laughed and shook her head. “You are so smart but so blind sometimes.”

“What?” Liam looked up at his wife.

“Nothing.” Jo laughed and kissed him. “Nothing my dear, you will one day see. I’m telling you there is more to it.”

Liam looked confused at his wife. “I don’t get it of course they are close they are friends and colleagues, they live in the same house. What do you mean there is more?”

Liam’s confused and clueless face throw his wife in a laughter fit, Jo was laughing so hard it made her cry.

“Mommy? I dreamed there was no cupcakes anymore anywhere on the world.” Jill showed up in the doorframe.

“Come here Munchkin, I hope you mean the ones to eat and not yourself.” Jo wrapped her arms around the little nodding ginger girl. Her hair was sticking out into every direction and she had the imprint of her pillow on her cheek.

“Don’t worry Cupcake there are still cupcakes in the world.” Liam smiled and brushed some of his daughters hair out of her eyes.

“Can we make some?”

“Not tonight. Maybe tomorrow. You can stay here for a little bit and then you go back to bed alright?” Jo whispered holding her daughter that she couldn’t see the TV they were watching a crime movie and she didn’t want her to see the victim.

“Can daddy carry me? He is so strong it’s like flying.” Jill whispered already falling back asleep.

“Sure, but no more stories you go right to bed.” Liam kissed Jo on top of her head while his hand was resting on Jill back, he truly wished he could always fix her problems that easily but he knew one day daddy carrying her back to bed was not enough anymore.

“I love you.” Jill said sleepy.

“I love you too.” Her parents answered her back.

[url=#_ftnref1][1][/url] Thanks darling.

134Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 3rd January 2016, 17:39



Ricky had a long day at university and since it was autumn and started to get dark quite early, it felt like late at night when he came home. He wanted nothing more but to light candles, soak in a nice hot bath and read a bit. He didn’t know if Alfie would be home or not. These days Alfie just left without saying where, just like he did in the old days. He often came home at three or four in the morning, which always woke Ricky up, and Ricky missed the nights when he could fall asleep next to Alfie. Most of the times Alfie was either not at home at night or when he was at home he was completely unapproachable.
Just like this evening. Ricky got home and found Alfie on the couch, so still that it almost seemed like he was frozen. The whole flat was dark except the tiny lamp he had switched on and he had a book on his lap but his eyes stared into empty space. He was completely absent all the time, which worried Ricky. Of course he had noticed that Alfie was mostly in a bad mood, and often quite rude, also to him, but what concerned Ricky the most was Alfie’s absence even though he was right there with him. His mind was somewhere else, all the time, and Ricky couldn’t reach him anymore. And Alfie barely paid attention to him. He also barely showed the little gestures that Ricky loved so much; the brief kisses on his forehead, gently pulling him to his chest when they were sitting on the couch… Alfie barely did this anymore. Ricky felt like there was an invisible wall between them, indestructible and harsh. Only Alfie didn’t seem to care… That was probably what Ricky worried the most. Not Alfie’s rudeness or his bad moods, but indifference. He was actually scared of Alfie’s indifference.

“Hey…” Ricky tried to put on a smile when he got home and even though Alfie was looking up to him he seemed absent again. His face was completely blank and Ricky couldn’t tell what mood he was in now, but he didn’t seem happy. Ricky actually couldn’t remember the last time Alfie seemed ‘happy’. Alfie had generally never been anyone who displayed happy emotions, he might occasionally laugh when he saw someone falling down the stairs or walk into a lamppost, but he wasn’t like Liam or James who showed ‘normal human emotions’ on a daily basis. But these days he seemed absent of any emotions except the occasional anger, which was something he could never really get rid of. Ricky had noticed how easily Alfie grew angry. Yes, Alfie had always had an issue with his temper but the past months it definitely got worse. The tiniest things could change his mood drastically for the rest of the day, and then he would just storm off and wouldn’t come back until four in the morning while Ricky spent all night alone in bed, worrying about him.

Ricky hung up his coat and took off his shoes because he knew that one spot of dirt on the carpet would get Alfie really mad again, and Ricky just couldn’t deal with that tonight.
“Did you have a nice day?” he asked carefully.

Alfie grumbled something that Ricky didn’t understand, but the younger man tried to remain friendly.
“I thought I’d cook a chicken dinner tonight, if that’s okay?”

Alfie focused on his book.

“Is that okay for you?”

“I’m not hungry.”

Ricky sighed. “Did you eat anything today?”

“I don’t see how that is any of your business.”

He bit his lip. “Sorry that I asked.” He knew that Alfie hadn’t eaten anything all day. Instead he just chucked down one drink after the next, just like the old days… Again.
Ricky walked to the table next to the couch to pick up the whisky glass when Alfie grabbed his wrist harshly.

“I’m not done with that yet,” he hissed, not looking up to Ricky.

“Alfie, you need to eat something. You can’t just live off alcohol all day.”

“Says who?”

Ricky pulled his arm away and shook his head. “Fine. I’ll have a bath now.”
There were times when Ricky wasn’t able to have a bath alone because Alfie just joined him literally every single time but these days Ricky could be in the bathtub for three hours and Alfie wouldn’t even peak in.
Indifference. One word that seemed so harmless but was quite literally Ricky’s worst nightmare.
Ricky tried to relax while he had his bath but he felt this horrible lump in his throat that felt like two massive hands strangling him. He just didn’t understand why Alfie was acting so weirdly for months, why he couldn’t show anymore that he cared… Ricky couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this lonely. He sometimes just wanted to pick up the phone and call Jo but she was so busy with her work and her own family that he didn’t want to bother her. He wanted to call his mum but he didn’t want to worry her. He often called Scotty when he needed to feel less lonely but he was always worried that it got too much if he called him every day. It looked needy and pathetic, and he hated the thought of being a burden to Scotty, too.
His thoughts suddenly drifted to Sebastian, and he almost felt guilty thinking of him but he remembered how, when he was a young boy, often saw that it was actually Sebastian who was lonely, not him. Ricky never had friends in school but he had loving parents and the neighbours all liked him. Sebastian, however, really had nobody. Ricky didn’t know how his situation was these days but back in school Sebastian’s ‘friends’ only spent time with him because they were bullies too, and bullies kind of stuck together like glue, but it had nothing to do with friendship. And then Sebastian would go home and would find his mother drunk again, while his father was only one of the worst people in the country…which nobody knew. Ricky had kept his discovery to himself since a few weeks now but every time he saw Alfie he felt like it would burst out of him.
After Ricky was done with his bath, he got dressed again, dried his hair and went downstairs where Alfie was still sitting at the exact same spot. Ricky took a deep breath and sat down next to him, smiling at him.

“I have a day off next Friday, so I’ll have a long weekend,” he said. “What do you think of going on a little trip? We could go to Brighton, or Cornwall, or…or Bath…” He tried not to blush. “We haven’t been there in a while.”

Alfie’s eyes were still on the book. “Why?”


“Why do we need to go anywhere?”

“Um…I just thought it would be nice,” Ricky replied. “We used to do those little trips quite a lot. You know, just a little change of scenery…”

“It’s perfectly fine here,” Alfie grumbled. “I don’t need to go where all the dumb tourists go and then waste three days having to endure conversations that lower my IQ just by being in the same room with those retards.”

Ricky bit his lip. “It was just a suggestion,” he mumbled. “And we don’t have to go to those tourist places, we could go somewhere else. I could use a little getaway, and I think you could use one, too.”

Alfie finally looked up, his eyes so cold that Ricky had the urge to look away. That was the other thing Ricky missed so desperately; that sweet, gentle way Alfie used to look at him…
“Do I look like I need holidays?”

Ricky didn’t reply.

“I don’t.” He reached for his whisky glass.

“Okay,” the younger boy whispered and got up. “It was just an idea.”
He walked into the kitchen to get something to eat but he realised that he wasn’t hungry at all. And there was something else inside him that made him restless.
“Alfie…” Ricky came back into the living room. “I’ll go to my parents. I promised my mum to visit her last week but I didn’t, so I think I’ll drop by now.”

He was still reading.

“Did you hear what I said?”

“Do I look like I’m deaf?”

“Well, is it okay if I stay at my mum’s tonight?”

“You’re old enough to decide that on your own.”

Ricky felt the lump in his throat again. “See you tomorrow,” he said, grabbed his coat and car keys and left. He hadn’t been honest to Alfie. Well, at least not completely. He did plan to stay at his parents’ house for the night but only because he needed to drive to that neighbourhood to pay someone else a brief visit.
This shabby part of the city was certainly something Ricky didn’t miss, and as he stopped in front of the ugly grey house he suddenly felt like he was 10 again, on Christmas Eve, trying to help another boy who was always alone on Christmas Eve, a boy who had always been horrible to him, but Ricky knew that this horrible boy was also horribly lonely.
His heart raced heavy against his chest as he knocked on the door. He wasn’t actually sure what he would say, but now that he found out that Sebastian was Alfie’s brother, many things made sense. Having Jackson genes shouldn’t justify why someone was a bully, but Ricky believed in a lot of things, and Ricky did believe in curses. The sons born to that family, sons like Alfie and Sebastian, were the victims of something far darker than they would care to admit, and while Alfie, stubborn as he was, refused to let anyone help him even though he did have people around him who loved him, Sebastian, on the other hand, didn’t have anyone who remotely cared about him.
The door swung open and Ricky almost expected Sebastian’s drunk mess of a mother to stand in front of him but it was in fact Sebastian himself who looked like he had seen a ghost when he locked eyes with Ricky.  

“What…what the fuck…?!” He glanced from Ricky over his head to check if nobody else was there, nobody like Ricky’s crazy boyfriend who would beat the shit out of him.

“I’m sorry I just came here,” Ricky said carefully, his heart still racing. “I thought…um…you and I…we never really got to talk…well, you were quite busy making my life a living hell but I’m not mad at you for that. I don’t know what made you hate me so much, and if I’ve ever done anything to offend you then I’m sorry, I just hope that one day you and I run into each other without you wanting to throw me in a dumpster.” He took a deep breath, not even noticing the way Sebastian was staring at him. “I’m sure we will cross paths in the future over and over again. I mean, my parents live just five minutes away from your house, and it’s easy to run into each other in town, so I…I just hope that one day it will be okay. I’m not saying we should be friends, I would never expect you to even remotely care, but I just want you to know that I…I don’t hate you. I never have. Hate is a horrible thing and I could not possibly feel such a thing towards you just because you were mean to me all through school. I know you had it hard as well, so I would never-“

“Shut up.”


Sebastian took a deep breath. “You need to shut up.”

Ricky looked confused. “Look, I wasn’t trying to get you upset, I just wanted to-“


Ricky’s eyes widened. Sebastian had never asked him for anything. Ricky noticed that he looked awfully pale.
“Are you alright?” He sounded worried and had no idea that this made it worse for the other boy.

“Just piss off already!”

Ricky looked sad. It seemed like there was no point in talking to him after all…
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. He was about to turn away when he was suddenly pushed against the wall of the house, and Ricky was sure Sebastian would threaten him again like he used to in school, but as he grabbed Ricky’s wrists and pressed them against the wall with a similar kind of strength that Alfie often displayed, he also pressed his lips on Ricky’s. Ricky was so shocked that he forgot to breathe, but the harshness of Sebastian’s lips started to grow into a proper, real kiss. A hungry one, yes, but not a forceful one anymore. And for the split of a second Ricky closed his eyes, because for that brief moment he finally felt less alone. And even worse…Sebastian’s way of kissing felt awfully familiar, awfully much like Alfie’s, which made Ricky feel more comfortable than he should feel in that particular situation.
As he opened his eyes again, the other boy pulled so quickly away from him as if Ricky was poisonous. Sebastian looked more freaked out than Ricky.

“Fuck!!!” he shouted, and before Ricky had the chance to say anything he stormed into the house and shut the door so loudly that the other boy flinched.
Ricky was still leaning against the wall, his heartbeat uncontrollable. He needed a moment to catch his breath. Now it really made sense why Sebastian had always been out for him, even though Ricky had never done anything. But what disturbed him even more than that was the fact that he didn’t hate it. He didn’t hate the kiss. Maybe because it had felt so much like Alfie kissing him, or maybe because he was so lonely that being kissed made him feel better about it…he didn’t know why exactly, he just knew he didn’t hate it.
And he hated that he didn’t hate to be kissed by Alfie’s brother.

135Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 17th January 2016, 17:24



„Okay, we’re leaving in ten minutes.“ Ricky walked down the stairs, buttoning up his shirt. He peaked into the living room where Alfie was reading. “Alfie?”
No reaction.
“Are you purposely ignoring me or are you actually getting old and your hearing is going bad?”

That made him look up. “Going where?”


“Where are we going?”

Ricky sighed. “I mentioned to you early this week that my mum invited us over today.”

“Not in the mood.”

“Seriously? Alfie, please! When was the last time I made you go anywhere with me? It’s been ages that you’ve been at my parents’ house, and my father won’t even be at home, so it’s just my mum.”

“And I’m sure she doesn’t care if I come along or not.”

Ricky rolled his eyes. “Well, she invited us, and she especially wants to see you again.”

Alfie’s face was blank.

“Please, Alfie, I’m begging you. This is really important to me, please. It won’t be more than two hours, it’s just for lunch.”

“Fantastic. My afternoons look like those of an old hag now.” He put the book aside and got up. “Fine. Let’s get this over with.”

Ricky bit his lip. “Thanks,” he mumbled, getting his scarf. “And don’t even think about calling your driver, we’ll take my car. We’re not showing up in a Rolls Royce in front of my parents’ house.”

“Yeah, but instead I get claustrophobia in that car of yours.”

Ricky rolled his eyes once more and ignored him for the quiet drive. As he reached this poor part of the town he was immediately taken back to the evening a few days ago, when Sebastian kissed him. That was certainly something Ricky couldn’t just forget and at the same time he wished he could talk to him, because he was sure that Sebastian really needed someone to talk to. He was going through a lot right now, and Ricky knew only too well how it felt to come to terms with that, only the difference was that he always had people who loved him, which was something Sebastian didn’t have. On the other hand he was worried he would bother him if he showed up there again.
Ricky had almost passed his parents’ house because he was so lost in thoughts.

“Better tie your car to the fence,” Alfie grumbled as they got out. “Don’t want thugs to steal it…”

Ricky shot him an annoyed look. “I happen to know all of these neighbours, and they might not have much money but they aren’t criminals, okay? I did not grow up between drug addicts and gun shots.”

“You sure?” Alfie didn’t even bother hiding the sarcasm in his voice.

Ricky decided to ignore him once more as he knocked on the door.

“I don’t get why your parents still live in this dump.”


“You’re here!” Emily opened the door and pulled her son into a tight embrace. She hugged Alfie as well, although very carefully, out of respect. “It’s so nice seeing you, Alfred…ehm, Alfie.” She smiled friendly at him but a frown settled on her forehead, and Ricky knew that look in her eyes only too well. It was that overly maternal, ‘I’m very concerned about you’-Emily look as she took a closer glance at her son’s boyfriend. “Have you lost weight?”


“You do look quite pale, Alfie. Are you ill?”

“Nope,” was his only answer.

“I don’t know... I remember you very healthy looking,” Emily said.

Ricky didn’t want to explain to her that Alfie looked that way because his diet these days mainly consisted of cigarettes and alcohol, so he quickly changed the subject and tried to distract her from scrutinising Alfie too intensely with her all-knowing mother eyes.

“The food looks great, Mum,” Ricky said as they sat down at the table.

“Thanks, darling.” Her focus was an Alfie though. “So how are you doing, Alfie?”

“Fine.” Alfie didn’t even bother showing any effort of getting involved in a conversation, and he successfully ignored Ricky’s warning glance.

“Very busy with work these days?” Emily remained friendly, regardless of Alfie’s attitude. “I read the other day that more and more people send their manuscripts to publishing houses. Is that true?”

There wasn’t any expression on Alfie’s face. “I wouldn’t know.”

Ricky tried really hard not to say something to him. He took a deep breath and asked his mum something about their neighbours, to distract her from Alfie’s obvious grumpiness.
Alfie picked at his food like a 3-year old who didn’t want to eat spinach. Ricky knew that Alfie always liked what Emily cooked, so that wasn’t an excuse.
Ricky did most of the talking during lunch, simply because he didn’t want his mum to notice in what kind of mood Alfie was.
After lunch she told the boys to sit down on the couches, she would bring them tea and coffee, but Ricky helped her cleaning up the dishes while Alfie made his way to the couch. Before he sat down, however, his glance fell onto the calendar that hung on the wall. He looked completely frozen when Ricky returned.

“Today is the 10th?” His voice was so quiet, Ricky could barely hear him.



“Is something wrong?” Ricky asked worried, his eyes following him to the calendar. “Did you have something to do today?”

Alfie shook his head and sat down on the armchair, looking pale.

“There you go.” Emily handed him a cup of coffee- she knew Alfie preferred coffee to tea, but she and Ricky were having very sweet tea with milk, as always.

“Alfie, what’s wrong?” Ricky asked carefully. “Did you have something planned on the 10th?”

He didn’t reply, he seemed completely absent.

“Oh, the 10th is always a special day,” Emily said, a gentle smile on her face. “I always call it Ricky’s second birthday.”
Alfie looked up at her, clearly irritated.

“Mum, Alfie doesn’t need to-“

“Oh, of course he should know. I can’t believe you haven’t told him, Ricky.”

Her son glanced awkwardly to Alfie, who looked tense.

“After all, it’s the day you almost died- but then came back to us.”


“See, when Ricky was a little boy, he got really sick,” Emily explained, her eyes on Alfie now. “He had pneumonia and was so ill that the doctor prepared Thomas and me to say goodbye to our little boy… Of course I couldn’t, I was so heartbroken and couldn’t bear the thought of losing my only child but his condition didn’t get better, in only got worse. He was just so little and weak…” She sighed quietly, smiling briefly at her grown, healthy son. “And I would have given my life to save his, but we all know that’s not how it works. I prayed, oh, I prayed night and day and barely slept but it just wouldn’t get better… until that one day…that very special day that I will always treasure in my heart. The day my little boy came back to us.” She looked like she was close to tears. She was certainly the emotional type, just like her son. “It was the early morning of the 10th, and just the night before I tried to come to terms with the fact that he wouldn’t live for much longer… it was just…God, just thinking about it…Anyway…it was in the morning when I heard a weak knock on the door, so I jumped up and there was Ricky, so small and weak, but he was there, on his feet. Of course he still looked ill but it was the first day in weeks that he was actually standing up again, and he said ‘Mummy, I’m thirsty.’ And I just hugged him and didn’t want to let him go, and after that he did get better. Of course he was still incredibly weak but he slowly recovered. The doctors told me it was a miracle my boy survived, but I always believed in miracles. My little boy was a miracle, right there…” Her kind smile wouldn’t leave her face the entire time she told the story. “And do you remember what you told me, Ricky?”

Ricky blushed. “Well, Alfie doesn’t care-“

“Oh, nonsense! It’s lovely,” she said, turning her head to Alfie. “He said he felt like someone hugged him that day while he was in bed, someone hugged him tightly, and he suddenly stopped freezing and instead felt warm and safe.”

Her son cleared his throat. “Well, I was eight years old, and ill, so I could have imagined a lot of things…” He knew how little Alfie believed in ‘these things’, and how much he would tease him for believing in them. And still, Ricky remembered it like yesterday, the feeling of…light. It was like light itself had pulled him into an embrace that day, and when he woke up, his heart was no longer heavy.

“So yes, in my eyes that day is like a second birthday,” Emily continued. “The day we almost lost you, but you survived, against all odds. That was on this very day, nineteen years ago…”

“Nineteen years?” Alfie repeated, his first words in ages.

“Yes, October 10th, 1955.”

A long silence settled in the room, then Alfie got up so abruptly that the other two startled.
“I need to go,” he said coldly.

Emily frowned. “Is something the matter?”

“I…Whatever! I just need to go.”

“Alfie!” Ricky jumped up but Alfie was already out the door, getting out a cigarette.

Ricky turned to his mother who looked confused. “I’m so sorry, Mum. Don’t take it personally, but Alfie is…he’s not himself these days…”
Or maybe he is exactly himself…, he thought bitter.

“Don’t worry, darling.” She touched his cheek gently. “I could see it.”

“Yeah, he is really moody and-“

She shook her head. “No, he is sad.”


“I saw it in his eyes the moment I looked closer at him,” she said quietly. “I don’t know what it is, but that boy is incredibly sad.”


“Just look after him, okay?” She planted a kiss on his head. “Those Jackson men have a history of sadness in their family, and most of them break apart eventually…”

Ricky was sometimes surprised how much his mum knew. She was never the most academically gifted person and seemed like a simple housewife, but she did know a lot more than people gave her credit for.
He hugged her and thanked her again, then he left the house, finding Alfie smoking next to the car.

“I hope you’re proud of yourself,” he mumbled. “I know you treat me like shit sometimes, but I never thought you’d be like that to my mum.”
They sat in silence during the drive home, and the moment they got into the flat, Alfie went to the bar. Ricky didn’t even bother following him and trying to make up, he was still too upset and he didn’t want to be the only one constantly apologising for something he didn’t do.
Ricky was about to go upstairs to draw himself a bath and lock himself away for the rest of the day when the main door behind him unlocked and James walked in as if he was owning the place, slamming the door loudly behind him. He, Jo and Liam were the only ones with spare keys to the flat.
“Oh, hi James, what are you-“

“Hi, Ricky,” he said briefly, glancing over the other boy’s hand. “Where is he?”

“Alfie? He’s in the bar-“ He couldn’t finish his sentence because James already turned away and walked directly to the bar.

“You have exactly an hour, asshole.” James crossed his arms, shooting Alfie an impatient look.

Alfie took a sip of his whiskey, not looking like he was going to move anytime soon. “Do they ever award people for the worst taste in clothing?” he asked dryly. “If they do, well, you would be the winner by far-”

“Shut up and get your damn jacket!” James interrupted him. “The cemetery closes in an hour.”

Alfie stared into his whiskey glass.

“Well, they probably keep it open longer, like they always do on the 10th, since they know how many people come to honour the greatest man they have ever met.”

“It is unusually cold for this time of the year, isn’t it?” Alfie took another sip. “There might even be snow soon.”

James just looked at him, speechless. “You’re not coming, are you?”

Alfie’s silence was an answer itself.

“Fuck you, Alfred.” James turned away from him but before he left the room he looked at him one last time. “I hope when you die, nobody ever comes to visit your grave.” He walked towards the door but then stopped when he noticed Ricky still standing at the same spot. “Do you want to come along? I know you never met Arthur but I’m sure-“

“Oh God, today is the day he…”


Ricky’s eyes fell on Alfie, who had his face turned away from them. For a moment Ricky wanted to stay and keep Alfie company but he knew Alfie would only push him away and be incredibly mean to him, so he changed his mind. “Of course I’m coming. I just…ehm…I don’t have any flowers…”

“Don’t worry about that,” James chuckled briefly. “There are so many flowers, candles and cards that nobody knows where to put them anymore. You’ll see, it’s incredibly beautiful…”

“Okay.” Ricky smiled and grabbed his coat. He looked one last time in Alfie’s direction, then he followed James, the words of his mother echoing through his head again.
Those Jackson men have a history of sadness in their family, and most of them break apart eventually…

136Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 23rd January 2016, 21:18

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

John was worried he had seen his wife sad before, he saw her hurt when he didn’t show up the first time at the altar. The years after he saw her again he saw how much she was in pain, but nothing came close to this. Lorelai got up at four and was out all day, she tried to be there when her sons came home from school but often she wasn’t. Most of the time she came home late at night. She was out with the horses and most of the time she was well moping. The last time she mourned like this was when her mother passed away. Jo watched her from the distance, saw her when she rides her stallion or when she took the girls for a riding class. Jo worried, she worried a lot about her cousin but she didn’t know how to fix it.

Lorelai was sitting on one of the horses, it was a mare and a good one. Her new owner would pick up the pretty brown mare the next week. Lorelai had been training her and it was a good horse. Lorelai was out on one if the fields looking over the fields, the sun was setting and it was getting dark. She had an appointment at the vet clinic, she had to pick up dewormer and also he vaccination. The mare neighed and it brought Lorelai back into the present, she let out a short whistle and then she went quiet realising that he wasn’t there. Her best friend Charlie wasn’t there anymore. The darkness that started to surround her suddenly seemed to consume her. Her tears blinded her and it was the mare that found it’s way safely along the path. Charlie was always there when something happened and now she needed him the most but that was the reason he wasn’t there. How do you grief your best friend’s death? Normally when you grief your best friend is there to help you through it, but what if the grief is because your best friend has died? Who is there then?

“Daddy is Mutti coming home today?” Henry looked at his father with expecting eyes. John looked at his sons, and then at the empty place at the table. It was a rule in the house to be home for dinner, but since Charlie died Lorelai preferred to be everywhere but at home.

“I don’t know buddy. I think she is busy at work.” John answered back.

“Dad I think I’m not hungry can I please go to bed?” Edward looked at his father, Edward never talked about his feelings and even now he didn’t say what he thought. To see his Mutti’s chair empty broke his heart, Edward understood that his Mutti was grieving but he didn’t understand what he did wrong. His blue eyes were a darker shade and John knew he wanted to go to his room to cry and compose until he fell asleep.

“Yes you may.” John sighed. “Go on Henry you can watch some TV.” Neither of his sons were very hungry so where was the point in forcing them to eat?

Lorelai looked through the kitchen window and for a moment she wanted to go inside, but she looked down at her feed and the empty space made her not to go in. “I know what you want me to do Charlie but I can’t. I can’t go on without you. I just can’t, I don’t know how to go on without you.”

Lorelai drove in silence to the vet. It was closing time but the vet clinic was expecting her. “Hello anybody here?”
No one answered, but something in the corner of her eye made her jump. “Who are you?” Lorelai smiled one of those rare smiles she nowadays only saved for animals but not for humans anymore. Lorelai picked up the tiny puppy and looked at him… her. Lorelai noticed right away that it was a girl. She sat down next to the water bowl and dipped her finger in just and offered it to the puppy.

“That is the first time this puppy looks remotely happy and is drinking bravely.” The vet said calmly. “She was meant to stay over the weekend at the nurse’s but her child got the chickenpox.”

Lorelai looked up at the vet. “I’m sorry to hear that. Is my order ready?” She put the dog on the floor and walked away. The little girl puppy sat down and her head hung down. All spark she had was gone.

“Yes. It’s just here. She hasn’t drunk in a week. She is just about six weeks old. If she is not drinking soon she won’t make it.”

“That’s live.” Lorelai said took her things and walked to the door, a gentle sigh from the puppy was all you could hear in the room. It was a sigh you expect before someone gives up. Lorelai looked up and saw her own reflection in the glass of the door, her eyes  fell back on the spot Charlie used to stand. However, there in the distance was this tiny girl. Lorelai knew she was a jack but not a pure one, there was a touch of Chihuahua. “I can take her for the weekend. Just the weekend.”
The vet nearly grinned from ear to ear but hid it quickly. “Just the weekend.”

Lorelai walked back picked up the little girl and walked out of the clinic. “Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. But my heart belongs to another one, he left me. He left. And I can’t love another dog.” The puppy was a skinny but beautiful, mainly black with a small white line on her chest. She was sitting on the passenger seat, her head slightly tilted, listening attentively to Lorelai. “You can stay but I bring you back Monday.”

“What is this?” John asked it was late when Lorelai walked in with this tiny puppy following her not even for a second looking at John. The puppy was fully fixated on Lorelai.

“The vet said she needs to drink and the nurse that was meant to look after her can’t. The puppy will stay till Monday.” Lorelai said. “Don’t!” Lorelai pushed the puppy away from Charlie’s bed that was still standing in the kitchen and every other room. John looked at Lorelai but let her handle the puppy. It was late and he wanted to get to bed. Lorelai took one of the boxes, put some milk in a bowl and go a blanket. The puppy would stay in there for the night. “Stay here.”

Lorelai left the dog in her office in the box and went to bed herself.

It didn’t take long until Lorelai heard the distance crying of the puppy. She sighed and hid her head under the pillow. John looked at his wife, shook his head and went downstairs. The puppy didn’t seem as excited as she would have been to see Lorelai but she was still glad that she wasn’t alone. He stayed with her a while in silent. “You know she doesn’t mean anything bad but she loved Charlie so much. She doesn’t know yet that she can love another dog. That she needs another dog.” The puppy looked at him and licked John’s chin. “You are a cute.”

John chuckled. John picked up the small pillow Charlie used to lie on in the office. And that when the little puppy got excited, like really. “Oh you like this?” The puppy started rubbing herself against the pillow looking at John as if she tried to tell him something, but John didn’t understand what. He was not the animal person in the house. He put the pillow away and put the puppy back in the box.

Lorelai hid so John wouldn’t see her. The puppy was barely alone when she started crying again. Lorelai looked at the large picture of Charlie. He was in his prime time and now she had this tiny puppy in a box. “What am I supposed to do with her Charlie?” Of course the picture didn’t answer her, but the puppy did. She looked down at the puppy her eyes on Lorelai waiting. Waiting to be told what to do. The puppy nodded towards the picture. Suddenly it hit Lorelai. “You sly dog! How dare you to send me this tiny girl. I’m a boys girl and you send me a girl, a tiny girl!” Lorelai looked at the picture one last time, picked up the pillow and the puppy and curled up with her on the chair. “I can’t believe a tiny girl. I’m telling you now you better toughen up none of this crying at night.” Lorelai said calmly petting the tiny puppy in her arms. “You got to be strong Bailey, you might be tiny but you can’t let the others see you as needy or weak.”

“Daddy? Mutti is asleep in her office.” Edward said walking into his parents’ bedroom after knocking.

“She is?”

“Yes on the chair and she is holding something.” Edward said calmly.

“She is?” John starred at his son, but he starred even more when his wife came in followed by the little black puppy. The puppy seemed different, she seemed more confident and in a way she seemed to have grown five foot over night.

“There is fresh buns.” Lorelai said. “I wanted to let you know Bailey is going to stay anyone having any objections, there is the door. Bailey come here, listen this is your place where you wait while we eat, no begging. Here chew on this carrot.” Lorelai looked stern at the puppy and Bailey looked back, tilting her head again and without anyone expecting it she nearly nodded took the carrot and started playing with it staying nicely in the small basket. “I will go to the store and order her some coats she is too small and skinny to be warm in this weather. And boys remember you don’t feed her ever anything!”

“Ja Mutti.” Edward and Henry said, Henry was still half asleep at the table while Edward for the first time in months finished his mueslie bowl.

“What made you change your mind?” John hugged his wife later from behind in the office.

“You. She showed her Charlie’s pillow and she responded to it as if she knew him. You made her see that she is at the right house, the house she was meant to be. She is smaller than Charlie, I have to see how she reacts to the horses she maybe has to stay in here-“

“I think as long as you are with her she would fight a tiger.” John kissed his wife. “Look at her she is completely ready to jump wherever you go. If I wouldn’t know it any better I would swear she is Charlie’s daughter.”

“Maybe.” Lorelai  looked at the little dog in the basket, half asleep but as soon she would see her new master rush out she would be right behind her. Nothing was stopping Bailey from being with her human, nothing.

137Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 30th April 2016, 20:49

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

Alfie was sitting in the flat, Ricky was at university and he didn’t know what to do with himself. He just thought about getting this one special bottle of whiskey he saved when the telephone rang. “Who the fuck is bothering me now? Just fuck off!” But even though Alfie was more than annoyed he answered the telephone.

“What the fuck do you want?” He barked.

“Heathcliff is that you? Oh my Heathcliff.” Nana murmured in the phone. She was sitting in the post office telephone box of Fowey. “I haven’t heard from you in so long. Have you got the books I send you?”

Alfie really didn’t want to, and he didn’t understand why but a small smile appeared on his face. His entire family was well awful and there were those peasants that… were not and more. He loved them, no that is ridiculous he didn’t love people and still here he was sitting down smiling because this old confused hag of Ricky’s grandmother called him.

“Yes Nana it is me. Are you sitting in this hideous tiny telephone box at the post office?” Alfie snarled, he remembered her showing them the telephone box like a magnificent painting in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

“Yes I am.”

“I told you I would pay for you to get a telephone into your house.”

“Oh I will let you do no such thing; this devil’s trap of machinery will not come into my house.”
Alfie laughed he knew how she felt when he looked at all the weird devil’s trap machinery Ricky got into the house. “I see. So how is it going, my old hag?”

“Ethel is sleeping with the reverend that whore, I wanted to climb that tree. He is such a handsome young man and only sixty.”

“What a cunt, sixty huh. Nana you are taking them younger and younger. Next you want the choir boys.”

Nana laughed in her lovely creepy old lady voice. “Heathcliff. I’ve got a new book for you, here let me read this paragraph. It gets my juices flowing all the time. He felt so dirty but he was so lustful and needed to touch him. Just once he wanted to hold his cock, just once he wanted to rub him so hard until he came right into his hand, he wanted to feel him push his cock deep into his arse. Just once did he want him say Sir in a completely different way not as respectful but full of passion. He wanted him to fuck him so hard that he could meet his maker. Oh Heathcliff I want to get fuck that I know I’ve done it all and can meet the Lord.”

Fuck, my old hag you done it again you got me hard! “I am sure you will have that. I mean you said Mr Nana was a good fuck.”

“Oh yes Mr Nana was the most amazing fuck you can imagine. His cock had the size of a good sized butternut squash. I was sore for days afterwards but the orgasms he gave me were not from this world. How is my Ricky, is he enjoying school? Is the big boy still bullying him? I think someone has to seriously kick this boy, maybe a good fuck up his arse will stop him.”

Alfie laughed. “Yeah I bet he would like that.” A part of him wished he had seen Mr Nana naked. He sure sounds like a looker. The thought of Sebastian isn’t as good though. “So Nana this book you read to me, will you get me a copy?”

“Of course Heathcliff. You can read it to Ricky, I’m sure he will enjoy this. I think you should read it to him naked cuddled up so you can feel each other better.”

Alfie sighed. “Nana I think I got to go. I don’t want you to pay all your retirement on this phone call next time let me pay the call.”

“I will do that. I got to go now I picked up my new toy, you would like it. Nine inch. Alfie? I love you, you know that right?” Nana chuckled and hung up she didn’t wait for him to reply. Alfie sighed again when he went into his bar unsure what to drink. This was so irritating, why did it make him always feel so… good when Nana phone or Emily for that matter of fact even Thomas, they all made him feel good and…

“Fuck!” Alfie got up and didn’t even bother to use a glass he just drank straight from the bottle. “This is shit!”

138Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 7th June 2016, 19:28



It was finally time. After he had met up with his sister Hannah again, so many years, decades, after they’d last seen each other, Scotty was now standing in front of Hannah’s small, red-brick townhouse to meet her again, and also the remaining ladies of her family. Behind the dark green door lived three very loud, very energetic and very stubborn ladies, three generations. After Hannah’s husband Jack had passed away a few years ago, her only daughter Scotia moved back in, together with her only daughter, May. Scotia had been divorced around the time her father died, so she decided that living alone for both her mother and herself was not an option, so Scotia packed all her bags, grabbed her little daughter and moved out of the house she still shared with her ex-husband, right back to her mother Hannah.
And Hannah loved it. Even though each one of them was loud and hectic and a bit on the chaotic side, they couldn’t imagine life without the other one. Hannah’s granddaughter May had grown into a 15-year old sassy teenager, who was very much a tomboy with good grades in school but constantly got into trouble because she was quite the hothead, just like Scotia had been, and Hannah, and most importantly; ‘Uncle Scotty’.
In fact, May, who had never met Scotty, took a lot after him. Her grandmother always said that looking at May, she felt like looking at her brother Scotty. May could have been his daughter, that’s how similar they were. And Scotty had yet to discover how much May also resembled him in terms of looks…
He had yet to discover a lot…

Scotty knocked on the door and waited. It took a moment until it was opened, and instead of seeing his sister or niece or the teenage girl May, he had to look all the way up to a person he knew very well.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Scotty asked when Colin opened the door, already stuffing his face with the famous Chadwick blueberry scones.

“I was invited.” Colin grinned cheeky.

“By who?”

“Your sister.”

Scotty rolled his eyes. “Typical.”

“Hey, I was really happy to be invited! I haven’t seen Hannah in ages.”

“You just wanted the scones,” Scotty replied dryly.

“Well, they’re a bonus.” Colin grinned and made room for his friend to come in. “Wait until you see May…”

“You’ve met her already?”

“Indeed I have.”

“I only spoke with her on the phone once,” he said. “She sounded pretty scary.”

Colin laughed. “Oh, you will like her. She reminds me so much of someone…”


“Uncle Scotty!” Scotia appeared in the hallway, followed by Hannah. Scotia hadn’t changed much, her dark-blonde hair, now starting to show a few strands of grey in between, was still a wild mop on her head, and her eyes had the same kind of mischievous twinkle they always had. She worked for the police and was therefore very busy, and a pretty tough cookie, which was also one of the reasons her marriage with her husband hadn’t worked out. He hadn’t been able to handle a bossy firecracker like Scotia. Hannah’s husband Jack was very different, though. Yes, her first and biggest love would always be Arthur Jackson, but she had picked a man who was quite similar in terms of his gentle personality and quiet kindness. Jack had always treated Hannah with a lot of kindness and let her be who she wanted to be. He admired her strength and intelligence, and she appreciated that about him. And, of course, since Hannah had a type, her Jack was quite handsome, blonde-haired and blue-eyed, with a certain elegance about him, just the way she liked it. She definitely had a type when it came to men…

“Scotia!” Scotty smiled widely at her, and she was about to hug him when she slapped him teasingly.

“That’s for running off and abandoning us for almost two decades, you selfish bastard!”

“I’m sorry, I-“

“Yeah, you better be.” She gave him one hard look, then she hugged him. “Idiot.”

“I missed you too, sweetheart,” he replied, chuckling.

“Hold on a sec…” Scotia turned towards the wooden steps that led upstairs. “May! You better move your lazy butt down here, we’re about to have lunch!” She turned back to Scotty and took a deep breath. “Teenagers!”

He looked surprised. “So that’s how you guys are talking in this house?” He exchanged a glance with his sister, who shrugged her shoulders innocently. Colin kept having this massive grin on his face; he was clearly amused about all of this.

“Let’s go and eat!” Hannah said, waving the two men into the living room. Scotty heard Scotia yell up the stairs one more time, then his niece followed them into the bright, cosy living room, which was painted in a warm yellow and decorated nicely.

“That smells really good, sis,” he said as he sat down next to Colin at the table. “I didn’t know you can actually cook.”

Hannah arched her eyebrows. “Do you really think I cooked?”

“Um, so Scotia cooked?” He glanced at his niece, who broke out into laughter.

“Yeah, right!”

“Okay, so, who cooked?”

“That place at the end of my street. They make traditional food, so roast beef, vegetables and that kind of stuff. You can actually order food from there and I just had to pick it up,” Hannah said matter-of-factly.

“How very non-traditional of you,” her brother replied.

“Well, we’re a non-traditional family.”

Colin took a sip of his drink. “I’ll say.”

That moment a girl entered the room. The first thing Scotty noticed was her height. She was pretty short, maybe 5’1 or 5’2, but not taller than that. Her face, which was completely covered with freckles, almost identically to his, was framed by wild, dark hair, almost identically to his, too. Her eyes were the same dark brown he and Hannah had. She literally looked like a female version of Scotty, when he was young. That was crazy! Everything about her, the way she walked, the way she acted…and especially the way she looked…Scotty felt like staring at his reflection, only as a girl! This was so damn irritating!
Everyone watched him as he watched May taking a seat across from him. The grin on Colin’s face grew even bigger, and so did Hannah’s.

“So…,” Scotty said after he finally got his speech back, “you’re the famous May, I assume?”

The girl looked at him with the same kind of attitude that Scotty always had when he was young.
“So, you’re the guy who just ran off?”

“Excuse me?”

“Gran always got into shitty moods whenever your name was mentioned.”

“May!” Scotia shot her a warning look, but her daughter just shrugged her shoulders.

“I’m right, am I not?” She glanced back at Scotty. “Man, it’s your fault I got all those damn freckles.”

“Um…sorry?” Scotty clearly didn’t know how to talk to this sassy teenage girl, who, shockingly, was too damn much like him.  

“Yeah, too late now.” She tilted her head, scrutinising him for a moment. “You still look good for an old dude, though.”

That was the first and would probably the only nice thing May said to him.

“Thanks, I guess.”

“Whatever.” She turned to her mother. “Gabriella is coming.”

Scotia sighed. “Could you tell me that a bit earlier the next time?”

“No worries, we have enough food for everyone,” Hannah said.

“Who’s Gabriella?” Scotty asked.

“My girlfriend,” Scotia replied flatly.

“Your…” Scotty couldn’t hide the surprise in his voice. “Your girl...friend…?”

“What? You’ve got a problem with that?”

“No, no, of course not!” He cleared his throat. “I…I’m just…um…it’s good to see how open everyone is about…eh…this.”

The teenager eyed him warily. “Why shouldn’t they?”


“It’s the 70s, dude. You know?”

“Yeah...” Scotty’s eyes met with Colin, who certainly seemed to have the time of his life right now. “It really is different to the times I grew up…”

“No shit.”

“May…” Scotia said strictly. “Watch your attitude, young lady.

God, Scotty thought. This is one crazy deja-vu! I’ve heard exactly the same kind of things from my mother…

That same moment they heard someone on the door, so May jumped up and ran into the hallway. Colin started to laugh for no apparent reason.

“What’s up with you now?” Scotty looked confused at him.

“Oh, nothing.”

“It’s not nothing! Why are you laughing like an idiot?”

“You’ll see…”

And Scotty did see…
May came back into the living room, followed by a girl much taller than her.

“What the…?!” Scotty’s jaw dropped the second he saw that girl. “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Hannah and Colin couldn’t hold it in any longer, they just burst out laughing while Scotty stared at the two teenage girls in front of him.
Scotia’s girlfriend was so breathtakingly beautiful, she could have seriously been a model or a ballerina or a god-damn princess! She was tall, very slim, had a fine, pale face that looked like porcelain, and stunning blue eyes. Her very long hair that framed her pretty face perfectly was naturally blonde and slightly wavy, curling right at the tips.
If Arthur Jackson would have been a girl, that’s what he would have looked like.
And next to this graceful, elegant, stunning, gorgeous young lady was short, freckled, sassy May, the female version of Scotty.

“Hello,” Gabriella said politely, definitely having that posh upper-class accent that Scotty knew too well from Arthur. God, she even sounded like him!
“I’m very sorry for the intrusion, I hope it’s not too inconvenient for you.”

“Oh, nonsense, Gabriella!” Hannah greeted her with a warm smile. “You know you’re always welcome in this house.”

“Thank you.” She smiled gently, then her eyes met with Scotty who still stared at her in disbelief. “And you must be Hannah’s older brother Scotty? It is remarkable how much May resembles you!”

Scotty finally dragged his eyes away from her and looked directly at Colin and Hannah.
“You did this, right?”

“Did what?”

“You hired actresses. These two are actresses, right? Come on, you guys! Who came up with that idea? You are joking, right? You hired actresses!”

Colin looked like he was close to tears from all the laughing, and Hannah had to take a deep breath because she also had the greatest difficulties to act normal.
Gabriella seemed a bit confused why everyone was laughing so much but she sat down next to May, the polite smile still resting on her lips.

“You have to excuse us, sweetheart,” Hannah said, turning her head towards the pretty girl. “Me, Colin and Scotty are just taking a trip down memory lane and catching up on stuff.”

“Oh, that is quite alright.”

Scotty just shook his head, still completely bewildered and unable to cope right now. God, that girl was the spitting image of Arthur, how could that even be? How could there be this girl, this breathtakingly beautiful girl, sitting across from him and sounding so much like Arthur?  
And next to her May, who was the spitting image of Scotty. And sure as hell talked like him, too…

Scotty glanced at Colin again, shaking his head over and over again.
“You’re messing with me,” he mumbled. “You’re all just messing with me here, right?”

But Colin and Hannah just smiled and shrugged their shoulders.

“There are some things that just can’t be explained,” Colin said, reaching for another blueberry scone.

Last edited by MissAusten on 25th July 2016, 18:01; edited 1 time in total

139Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 28th June 2016, 21:25

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

James had packed his little car and just strapped the two car seats into the back seat. He was all set for a day with two lovely little girls and an older gentleman he pretty much saw as a grandfather.

“Okay James I have packed a few spare clothes for both girls, also the girls stuffed toys and some other supplies. I tried not to overdo it, it’s just a day and they are back for bedtime.” Jo smiled shy at James when she handed him the rather large bag. “The twins are with Liam they wanted him to help them get dressed.”

James smiled at Jo and pulled her in a tight hug, any other man would make Jo feel uncomfortable and awkward because he was hugging her. She knew Liam was quickly jealous and James was very flirty but since James worked at Waterfall Downs Academy, he became a brother to Jo. He was still flirty but not even Liam minded when James hugged Jo tightly after he told her that she is gorgeous. “You and Liam are hopefully doing something nice without the children.”

“Yes we are going out I have a whole day for us planned. I also packed a few things to eat for Jane in case she gets difficult.”

“Jo listen Jane is fine and so will be Jill, she told me yesterday that she wanted to play outside nevertheless the weather. So I packed her lacrosse stick and we have a football and Scotty prepared a little seat that she will be warm even if she doesn’t want to play with us.” James looked at Jo for a while. “Jo are you alright? You seem off.”

Jo smiled uncertain. “Mother is getting a little bit nervous this time of the year again. I think because she can’t go outside that much. I’m just worried about her.”

“And?” James saw that Jo had another thought.

“I had this argument with one of the pupil’s parents, they are rather unhappy with some things for a while now and I try to fix things but they seem not to be willing to help me find a compromise. It is hard on me. I’m not sleeping that well.”

“Jo if you need me to do something tell me! Don’t try to carry burdens like this by yourself.” James looked concerned at Jo.

Jo sighed. “Yes I know. Liam is now with me on the ball and we are having an appointment with them next week. This day out will help me to calm down a little bit. I think I just feel very how much Dan helped me with the twins. It is an adjustment and Betty is again helping more.”

“Well in that is the case, every Thursday afternoon the headmasters of the school I work for gave me off and I know that the twins are not in nursery so I will make that my day with the girls from now on.” James grinned and kissed Jo on the cheek. “It will be good for them to be around a real Scotsman.”

Jo laughed and nodded. “I’m sorry I just have an off week.”

“MUMMY! Look Daddy helped me with my hair, isn’t it pretty?” Jill screamed from several yards away. Jo looked closely and noticed that Jill’s hair was tied with freezer bag ties.

“That is quite interesting.” Jo answer and hugged her younger daughter, Jane’s hand was twitching wanting to straighten her sisters hair.

“It wasn’t my idea she brought them to me, she liked the colours.” Liam said grinning as he pulled his wife into his arms.

James laughed loudly. “I think you look stunning Jill, very disco. Jane you just look lovely, like a little Scottish princess.”

Jane blushed while she hugged her mum and dad, Jill was already climbing in the car seat and shouted. “Daddy! I need you tug me in!”

“Jill we talked about this, we don’t need to yell like this.” Liam said while Jo lifted Jane in the car seat.

“Sowwy. I forgot.” Jill grinned. “I hope James and Scoddy have loads of games to play.”

“I am sure they do, remember what we talked about? You have to listen to James and Scotty and behave.”

“I know and I promise you that I will try my very best.” Jill scratched her head which got her hair tangled even more.

“Mummy, what if James and Uncle Scotty have only food that touches?” Jane whispered. Jo looked at her three year old daughter’s little troubled face.

“I am sure it will be fine. Scotty and James know how to look after you and you promised to try.” Jo whispered back. Jane nodded and snuggled her Duckling close.

“Okay girls are you ready for a day of fun?” James said looking in the review mirror while he drove off.

“It’s a little bit messy.” Jane whispered, and to be fair James car was not new car clean. Jill leaned out of her child seat and took Jane’s hand.

“It’s alright, Mummy says a little mess adds character. Not sure what it means but she says it’s good.”

Jane looked at her for a moment and then nodded. “You drive nicely.”

James laughed and took a deep breath, he was never scared to look after the O’Doherty twins but he did know that Jill was well never tired and Jane had her little issues and he wanted them both to have a good time.

“About time you are late. I made cookies.” Scotty grinned widely wearing the apron Jill bought for him last time she went into town with her mummy -pink with purple flowers and yellow ruffles- he wore it with pride.

“SCODDY!” Jill screamed and struggled against her seatbelt. “Quick! Jamesy you gotta let me out. I gotta see Scoddy!” James just lifted Jane out of the seat, not surprisingly she dozed off.

“Scotty do you might getting the little Monster out?” James whispered. Scotty nodded and opened the door for Jill.

“SCODDY! I have waited for a century here where have you been?” Jill looked with her serious face at her friend Scotty. Scotty had to bite his tongue or he would have burst out into laughter.

“I am very sorry I made you wait, come on I need someone to check the cookies I’m not sure if they are good. Hannah gave me a magazine and it had this American cookies recipe, chocolate chip and peanut butter they seem a bit gooey though.”

“That sounds interesting, let me have a try can I have a glass milk with it?” Jill was carrying her small backpack, her kangaroo and her most treasured possession her lacrosse stick. “I know it’s cold and raining but can we play lacrosse after we had those cookies?” Jill walked into Scotty’s house as if she owned it herself.

“We’ll see. Come inside it is cold.” Scotty grinned widely, he liked his house but he loved it when it was full with people especially those he cared for. He loved his house -now at least twenty years ago it killed him- but he loved it even more with Jill shouted of the top of her lungs from the kitchen. “These are really good biscuits Scoddy! Can I have a milk?”

How did she get that fast into the kitchen? She just walked in through the front door. Scotty thought as he followed her.

“Jill don’t shout so loud Jane is sleeping.” James said laughing he got her a glass of milk alongside a coffee for himself and Scotty.

“It’s okay Uncle Jamesy, Janey can sleep through anything I shout. It calms her down. She’d be scared if I am quiet now. Here have a biscuit they are not bad, I think you should add a pinch of salt that brings the chocolate flavour more out.” Jill was dunking the cookie into her milk, of course she let it soak too long and it broke off.
“Whoopsy daisy, Scoddy do you have a fishing rod? I got to angel my biscuit.”

“No but I can offer you a spoon.” Scotty looked amused at Jill. “Here this will work like a net.”

“Oh good thinking, James can we have a race?”

“No it started raining but…” James blue eyes sparkled mischievous at Scotty.

“Oh dear what do you have in mind?” Scotty looked worried at James now, because suddenly the toddler girl’s ideas didn’t sound so bad anymore.

“A fort, in the living room, a blanket fort.”

Scotty laughed loudly, he had built plenty of forts with Marge and later with little Alfie and James.  “Okay, I’ll get the blankets and the pillows, James you are responsible for supplies, Jill your job is to look after Jane, she is our Princess in the fort.” Scotty grinned now just as excited as he hurried off. Jane was sleeping watched by her sister for nearly half an hour when she opened her eyes she saw something beautiful. “Jilley, what is this?”

“Oh our Princess she has awoken by our love, she has awoken. Look Janey we got a Ford.”

Both men laughed, “It’s a fort with a t. Not a Ford with a d.”

“That’s what I said. It’s a Ford. Look we have snacks, I’ll saved you cheese cubes and crackers and they don’t touch.” Jill grinned eating a cold sausage herself. “Come on we are reading books in our Ford, look it has a little oven, we are close to the fire place it’s nice toasty in here. Come we can get grilled like sausages and Jamesy reads to us. I’ve made you a crown.” Jill held up a self made crown of coloured paper, it clearly looked artistic but rather messy though it was pretty. Scotty had bought some pearls and feather for the girls to tinker with. Half of the feathers got stuck to Jill -she looked like a plucked chicken- while she had glued them on the crown. Scotty expected Jane to deny wearing it but she smiled sleepy took the crown and put it on her head, still holding her Duckling tightly.

“This is nice, it’s like camping, like in the books but in the clean inside.” She smiled and took the cheese and crackers from Jill. “What are you reading?”

Five Run Away Together it’s the famous five they run away together, it’s good. Maybe we run away soon too.”

“Why? I love mummy and daddy.”

“Yeah. Maybe we take them along? We need Mummy to make us food and Daddy to tell us stuff.”

“And to protect us, our Daddy keeps us safe.” Jane explained to the men.

James smiled, “That is true your daddy is very good in keeping you safe. You are safe in the fort too.”

Jane nodded and ate another cheese cube, she even took slice of orange without bothering to pick the white pits off. Scotty was glad how relaxed the little girl was.

“Uncle Scotty I got to go for little girls.” Jane whispered, this time he was prepared.

“When you go in the bathroom there is a small potty for you and a stool so that you can reach the sink. I got new soap for you too it smells of honey.” Scotty looked at Jane for a while and then she nodded.

“I leave Duckling here, she doesn’t like bathrooms. It’s dirty there.” Jane said wisely and then left. Jill was already making more art pieces.

“She will be alright, won’t she?” Scotty whispered.

“Oh yes, she is very good going to toilet. Jill what are you making there?”

“I make tiras for you two.”

“Uh, do you mean tiaras?” James asked.

“Yes those. The crown for princes.”

“Jill those are not for princes but for a princess.”

“That’s what I said.”

James chuckled this was a battle he would not win. “I admit defeat we will wear the tiaras, sorry Scotty. Let’s just hope we won’t have to wear a dress to match them.”

“Don’t be silly you are my bishops.”

“What?!” Scotty looked confused, but James knew that Liam had started to teach the girls chess.

“A battle strategy.” James laughed.

Jane came back. “I washed my hands three times.”

“Good girl, now come here, can you help me with this sceptre for you. What pearls do you want to have on them?” James asked Jane before she could get into too much detail of her obsession of cleanliness.

“I like those ones, they are green. Can I make a crown for Mummy and one for Daddy?”


Scotty picked up the book again and read aloud. He remembered a different place when he read to a little girl and once the girl wasn’t little anymore to two little boys; one of them sitting now here in this fort in his living room, while the other was so scared to be abandonment again so he rather pushed the one he loved violently away. Scotty shook his head, he had to trust his little Squirrel that she was right and it would all turn out okay in due time. For now he enjoyed the company of those two lovely ginger girls and a young man he knew for so long.

“Scoddy! I love you!” Jill said smiling, it made her sister look up. “Me too. I like this cheese, it’s nice.”

Mental note always have white cheddar in the house for Jane! Scotty looked at the girls. “I love you too. Did I ever tell you the story when I met this little Scottish boy for the very first time when he was just a wee lad?”

Now he had the full attentions of the two gingers, James grinned he loved to hear those stories just as much. He loved to hear the stories of a man he loved as much as he loved his own grandfather.

140Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 5th September 2016, 17:31



It had been a while since the future Duke of Oxford stepped into one of the most haunted mansions in the country. Whitehaven Manor was not haunted in terms of ghosts – though there certainly were many people who believed in their existence and the fact that the souls of the horrible Jackson men of the past were still haunting the rooms of Whitehaven. But to most people it was haunted by a curse. And nobody tried to deny that. Even the most rational thinking politicians in the House of Lords always felt uncomfortable if they had to spend too much time in Whitehaven Manor.
Alfie wasn’t scared of the house he grew up in. He hated it, sure, but he wasn’t scared. As little boy he had his moments where he pulled the blanket over his head and waited desperately for the night to turn into day. But as he grew older there was no fear left in him. Only loathing. Loathing of the place that used to be his ‘home’, loathing of the person who was born into this place, born to be the heir. He hated everything about this place and its history; him included.

The maids looked fearful at him as he made his way to the grand salon. They looked at him the same way they looked at his father, and Alfie was aware of that. People always did, and always would be comparing him to the Duke of Oxford, one of the most unlikeable people in the country. Alfie knew he was smarter than his father, by far. He was superior to him in terms of intellect and cunningness. And yet everyone always thought he was so much like Lord Broderick, so Alfie started to believe it eventually. And as much as he hated being comparted to his father while growing up, he couldn’t care anymore these days. He really didn’t care. He felt hollow inside, so empty that it didn’t even bother him when people said he would turn out just like his father. He felt nothing.

Alfie wouldn’t have gone to Whitehaven Manor if it wasn’t necessary. He avoided the place like the pest – or anything lower-class. However, every couple of years an official portrait of the whole Jackson family was shot, for the history books and newspapers. Sure, he could have blown the whole thing off, like he did everything else related to his family, but he knew that his grandmother would keep nagging him for so long that she would probably show up in his flat eventually, still waiting for him to come to that damn photograph appointment. He wanted this woman to stay out of his life, but at the same time he knew how damn persistent she was so he decided to just get it over with.

The first family member he walked into was his sister. Even though she was married and carried a double name for a while now, Cecilia was still technically considered a Jackson, but nobody gave a damn about her and her brats. She popped out one kid after the next, but they were all girls. A boy could be remotely interesting but all she produced were hideous little beasty girls, just like their mother.

“You got fat,” Alfie greeted his sister flatly.

“I am with child, you imbecile.”



Alfie rolled his eyes. “Jesus. You’ve got nothing better to do?”

“Look who’s talking,” she replied cynically. “The biggest whore in the country.”

“Screw yourself.”

“Isn’t that what you’re doing all day if you don’t get your hands on filthy little boys?” She grinned, revealing her large horse teeth. “You caught any disease yet?”

“Besides being related to you?”

“Fuck you, Alfred.”

The door of the grand salon was opened and Lady Charlotte shot her children an impatient look.
“What are you two doing here?”

“Catching up with my darling sister, Mother.” A fake smiled appeared on his face.

Lady Charlotte scrunched her nose. “You reek of alcohol, Alfred. And you look terrible.”

“Thanks, Mummy.”

She looked very displeased, then shook her head. “Go in now, the photographer is waiting.”

Alfie imagined a thousand places he’d rather be right now but he had to remind himself that this would be over soon, and then he’d have his peace for a while.

“The prodigal son returns.” Broderick arched his eyebrows when Cecilia and Alfie walked into the grand salon.

“Father,” was all Alfie said. He couldn’t be bothered having a proper conversation with this man. It was a waste of time.
Alfie’s grandmother stood close to the photographer, commenting on the man’s apparent lack of brain as he tried to make a few last adjustments. The poor guy was actually so terrified of being in a room with the whole Jackson family that his hands kept shaking.

“Do tell, did your mother drink a whole bucket of bleach while she was pregnant with you? Or were you just born naturally simple-minded?“

“I…I’m sorry, Miss-“

“Miss?” Eleanor repeated. “Do I look like a Miss to you? Where are we? America?”

“Hell,” Alfie said dryly as he showed up next to his grandmother and the photographer. “We’re in hell.”

The older woman turned to face her grandson. She was so tiny next to him, so frail. Though her looks were deceiving. That woman was anything but fragile. Alfie could tell that she had initially meant to say something rude to him at first but when she took a closer look at him, at his unusually pale face, the sunken cheeks, the dark shadows under his eyes, a different emotion flickered in her eyes. Just for a brief moment, a split second, she almost looked concerned, but he didn’t see that.

“You’re still wasting your life, it seems,” she said without any emotion in her voice. Her face was blank, too.

“You’re still not dead, it seems,” he remarked. “I shouldn’t be surprised though. Evil always lives the longest.”

“I guess you will grow very old then.” Eleanor pursed her lips while she scrutinised her grandson. God, he looked bad. She was good at hiding her feelings, so she wouldn’t show how shocked she was when she saw him. He was a proper mess. He actually looked sick.
“Did you get rid off your little lower-class slave? Is that why you look like utter garbage?” she asked sharply.

Alfie felt how he was growing tense. “I wouldn’t bring him up if I were you, Grandmother,” he hissed.

“Or what? Are you going to hit me?” Eleanor looked directly at him. “Do you think I can’t handle you? Don’t be a fool, Alfred. You are a little spoiled boy trapped in a grown man’s body.”

“It is not hard to see why your husband couldn’t stand being alone with you,” Alfie said with a cold tone to his voice. “He rather spent every day with a five-year old kid than one minute with you. I wonder why…”

Eleanor didn’t reply. Her face remained completely blank, which, in Alfie’s eyes, just looked like she didn’t care. He misunderstood her stone-face for being indifferent when in fact it was her way of hiding what was really in her heart. Alfie didn’t even think of her having a heart. Of course she didn’t. Lady Eleanor Jackson never had a heart.

“Well, things have certainly changed,” his grandmother said quietly. “If he’d see you now, see what has become of you, he wouldn’t want to spend one minute with you either.”

Alfie was not as good in holding back his emotions as his grandmother was. Frustration was written all over his face.
“I wish you would have died twenty years ago.”

“You’re not the only one…”

Alfie couldn’t hide the sudden surprise at her words, even though he didn’t want to show it. He just stared at her but she didn’t look at him. Instead, she turned her head towards the photographer.
“Are you going to finish in this life or do I need to haunt you in the afterlife?”

“No, of course not, Miss…Ma’am…Your Grace, Lady…” the photographer stuttered.

Eleanor rolled her eyes. “Peasant!” She faced the rest of the family. “For God’s sake, Broderick, haven’t I taught you to stand straight? And Cecilia, you need to suck your stomach in. Nobody wants to see…that on a portrait.” She raised her eyebrow at the sight of Cecilia’s pregnant belly.

“I can’t suck in my stomach, I-“

“Just do it!” Eleanor took a deep breath. “I’m surrounded by idiots…” she muttered.

Alfie still watched her. It actually freaked him out when he realised that she sometimes sounded just like him. Or worse, he sounded like her…

141Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 16th September 2016, 17:38

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

Dan loved University, he was living in the student hall of residence, having meals with his friends, studied hard and came home at least once a month if not twice. It was nearly Christmas break, he was not going home begin of December because he would be home for two weeks during breaks. This would be the longest time away from home five weeks.

“Hey Dan! Are you coming out with us tonight?” Another boy called from across the dining hall.

“You bet. But I told you that my brother’s are calling me so I can’t go before eight.” Dan called back.

“I come over with some food.” The boy waved and followed the crowed out of the hall while Dan went in. Sometimes he looked around and wondered how he could have such a large group of friends. Everyone on his floor was his friend and the floor above the girls’ floor they all loved him he had two girls he hung out with the most Sandra and Theresa. He knew that they knew he was gay and they didn’t care. But then the girls at the university were very different girls, it was only a small number of girls and they were less flimsy and more open.

“Sandra got us seats at the window, come on Dan.” Theresa pointed towards Sandra at the window, it was raining heavily but all three of them had finished classes for the day and were happy pending the rest of the afternoon in their hall. They would be studying but that always meant they also had fun.

“My Mutti sent me a parcel with some goodies, we can have those for dessert.” Dan said smiling. He looked at his two best friends he had the suspicion that the girls were more than friends but he didn’t ask them and they didn’t say anything.

“I hope it wasn’t her that made them.” Theresa laughed just as she sat down next to Sandra, the girls smiled at each.

“No she said Missis Jo made some biscuits and the other things are shop bought.” Dan grinned and tucked into his shepherds’ pie. “Steve said we should go to the club tonight but my brothers are going to call tonight.”

“I love when those two call, Henry is hilarious and Edward is just adorable. Can we join you?” Sandra grinned, at Dan.

“Okay but if either of them needs me you have to leave.” Dan grinned when he saw the boy he liked, he was living on the top floor in the small apartments, every room consisted of two rooms a living room with a kitchenette, a bedroom and a small private bathroom. Dan didn’t know his name but he knew he was an engineer or studied to be one.

“Stop undressing him with your eyes.” Theresa grinned.

Dan blushed. “I am not.”

Both girls laughed. “Right.”

Dan rolled his eyes, because they were right. He did think about the sexy engineer, he was tall and strong and just very manly, in a way Dan knew that this other boy was not at all like him but here he was picturing the other when he was getting any action at all. Dan was a little bit more careful, but man he really wanted to tap that student.
After lunch the three went upstairs to Dan’s room, funnily the rules did not forbid the girls to be in the boys’ rooms but not the other way. So for him and his girls his bedroom became their living room. He had a record player, snacks and drinks, he even had a small hot plate to make hot water for tea. For a while they truly were studying each of them working on an essay, once in a while one of them asked if a paragraph sounded alright, a synonym for a word or just some encouragement.

“Urgh, I can’t do this anymore! This rain is depressing me and so is this subject. Why do I study psychology again?” Theresa groaned loudly and through her book into the corner. She was in her second year of psychology. Sandra went over and pulled the other girl into a hug.

“Because you want to help people.”

“Screw them! Start drinking.” Of course did Theresa not mean that, but her essay was rather difficult. Dan watched the girls for a moment… he knew that they were sharing a room as most girls did but he suddenly wondered if there was more. His two best friends seemed comfortable in each other’s arms. When suddenly the loud ringing of the phone made them all jump up. “Hello Dan Von Gruensee speaking.”


Dan had to hold the receiver quite far from his ear to protect his hearing. However, even though he was yelled at on the phone a wide grin crossed his face. For a second he thought about what Sandra and Theresa would say but the he shook his head slightly, who cared this was more important.

“HENNERS!” He screamed back.

“I miss you when are you coming home? I got chickens, Mutti says I have to make sure the fox is not getting them. They poop eggs that we have for breakfast!” Henry was still speaking loudly.

“Chickens that is incredible so when I come home I can have a cooked egg from your chickens every day? I’ll be coming home soon for two weeks.”

“Yes, you can have poop eggs. It’s about time Advent Sunday is not the same without you. I needs someone to play Operations with, Jane is too much of a doctor when she is visiting, Edward says is too much gore and dad… he is just not as silly as you.”

Dan laughed. “I play it with you every day while I’m home for Christmas.” He caught a glimpse of the girls they were polite and still smiled gentle. He took a sheet of paper and wrote. ‘Do you like, like each other?’
Both girls went pale and neither said anything, he gave them time and continued his phone call.

“Wait so Jack put a frog in the chalk box which was meant to jump out when your teacher opened it but for it was dead? Oh Henry. I think the chalk dust in the box dehydrated the frog.”

“What is dehidat?”

“Dehydrated, means a frog that lives in a pond dried out.”

“Oh. So I killed the frong.” Henry suddenly sounded so distressed.

“Well I think it was an accident. You didn’t know better. Next time don’t get a pond frog but a garden frog and put it in the desk of the teacher. Did you get the magic chalk?”

“Okay I will do that. Yes we rubbed it on Mrs Watson’s chair. She always wears a white skirt and the brown stain was so funny.” Henry giggled, glad that the death of the frog was an accident. “Are you playing any tricks on your teachers?”

“No they are all very strict and we are scared to get in trouble. But beginning of the week we played a trick on the lunch ladies. We pretended that one of us was chocking on a chip and they hurried to help him and when they slapped him on the back he pretended to through up cherry juice. Everyone thought he was bleeding. Until he was laughing so hard he had to stop pretending to choke or he would have chocked for real. The lunch ladies are good old sports, once they gave him a mop and a bucket they were laughing at well.”

“Oh I gonna try that once. We never play tricks in lunch break.”

“Now that you had some weeks of school what are your favourite subjects?”

“I love PE and lunch. I’m really good in lunch.”

Dan laughed loudly, the two girls were sitting quite far apart from each other now. ’I think you two are wonderful together’ again pale and shocked faces.

“Dan, Edward wants to talk to you. I love you to the moon and back and around the sun and to my chicken pen. Learn everything quickly I need you back home! Bye!”

Dan had not even a chance to reply when he heard to receiver drop on the floor and a quiet Edward say something to Henry, a Henry that probably was running off. “Hello, Dan is that you?”

“Hello Edward yes it is.”

Silence on the other end.

“Remember when I moved in with you and you gave me a picture of Beethoven because he makes nice music so he must be nice to look at?” Dan smiled he knew that Edward was never sure he liked telephones, you didn’t see the other end, who it really was.

“Yes, and you said you will keep it forever. I miss you so much. I don’t like being the big brother. Henry needs so much guidance but I am still just a little by I don’t know how to help him to become a good man.” Edward sighed deeply.

“I know. I’m here if you need me. I got your letter and I replied right away so you should have received my letter today or will receive it tomorrow. I answered some of your questions and worries in there. How are your lessons with Graham going?”

“Very well, but last week he said that we will not call them lessons anymore. He said he couldn’t teach me anything anymore. So we still meet every week when he is in Oxford or London and we play together. He made sure I got good new teachers. I like them. They are strict and a little stern but they understand that I sometimes can’t make music until I wrote the song down that is playing in my head.”

“That is so great. Does that mean when he is in London that you take the train?”

“Yes, I am very scared to do that. Most of the time Mutti puts me on the train in Oxford and Graham is right there to pick me up. I love when he takes me to the Royal Albert Hall and I can play with the orchestra.”

“One day you will always play there and give great concerts and I am so proud to have seen you grown in your music.”

Edward was quiet, but Dan heard him breathing. He knew that his little brother was struggling to see his own talent. “Edward, I love you.”

It calmed the little boy down. “I love you too and I love that you follow your dream to become a teacher. I wish you could be my teacher. I am so proud of you. I hope one day I am a man like you or dad.”

“One day Edward when the time is right you will be the best man you can be and you will realise that that is enough.”


“Dan? It’s me.”

“Hello Dad.” A smiled appeared on Dan’s face, he loved John and he loved John even more when John became his dad.

“Are you good?”

“Yes. Busy but good.”

“I think you embarrassed Edward, or gave him another musical idea. I am never sure with him. Lory is dealing with a small incident with the horses. Well rather one of the stable boys, apparently he was aggressive towards a horse and you know how she hates that. I don’t want to cut you short but I just came home and there seems to be no signs of dinner anywhere and I am sure Henry still needs to do his homework. So stay safe and healthy and we speak next week more detailed or when you are coming home in a few weeks. I love you son!”

“Yes we speak soon. I love you too dad.” Yes it was uncommon for a son and father to say out loud what they felt but before Dan had left he and John talked a long time and Dan said that it always hurt him that his biological parents never said any positive feelings and since then father and son never parted without saying that they loved each other. Even when they rowed they still said they loved each other to make sure the other one knows it’s the opinion they disagree with not the person.

Dan hung up and looked at the girls. “I know you are scared, I’ve been there. I know you feel weird, I’ve been there but what you feel is wonderful. If you just look closely you see that it is written all over you, the two of you are each others counterpart and that is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Don’t walk away from love because it is difficult but fight for it. Enjoy it. Develop it and mostly treasure it. You don’t know when it might suddenly be taken from you.”

“I… We… I need to think.” Sandra got up and half ran out of the room.

“Did I stare to obviously at her body?”

“No, it were the moment of nothingness when I saw you love her. When you watched her eyes shine when she looked at the rain roll down a window. When she came suddenly in a room and she managed to get you a lemon sherbet, when she knew how you like your tea. When you felt alone and she was there. The moments of true love and not lust. The beautiful moments that will keep a love going until old age.”

“I can see why you want to be an English teacher. You have a way for words.” Theresa looked sad away. “She is gone I am sure she is asking to change rooms right this moment.”
Dan wanted to reject but it was not his voice that made her look up. “Actually I was wondering if you would like a cup of tea and we talk, alone. No offence Dan.”

“None taken, I think that is the right way to go. I am here for you if you need me.”

Theresa looked at Dan, collected all their books and followed Sandra. The girls would talk for a long while, and Dan was sure it would be a while until the two girls would come to terms to be more then best friends, to be more then sisters by choice but actually be lovers. Companions for live. He prayed that they would make it, that they had the strength to go this step. Even though he got invited to go out with his friends to the homosexual bar but he decided against it. He got out his idea box, a box in which he collected all his notes and thoughts about ideas. He didn’t know if he really was gifted -if he weren’t he would not have been able to go to Waterfall Downs Academy for Gifted Youngsters- but he knew he enjoyed writing and one day he would like to write books. Well there was one book he truly dreamed to write, a guide book how to establish your own sexual identity and come to term with being homosexual. Instead of going out he was working on this ideas seeing them develop and he loved it.

“… Sometimes you look in the mirror and ask yourself who is looking back, people will quickly offer you an answer but who really looks back at you is a mystery until you are ready to accept that this person is always changing, always moving like the waves at a beach. Never the same but always there. Nobody stands still, everyone moves, but never the same way. People are snowflakes and the beauty in every single one is undeniable…”

142Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 6th December 2016, 21:49



It was early December, and while Ricky would normally get into Christmas spirit and decorate the whole flat and listen to Christmas songs and bake Christmas cookies, this year, for the very first time, he was not in the mood. Definitely not because he had suddenly woken up one day and turned into Scrooge or the Grinch. Christmas was still his favourite holiday, but with each passing day Alfie was distancing himself more and more from him, and Ricky couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this utterly alone.
It was Friday evening and he had been in the kitchen for the last hour to cook a nice meal for him and Alfie. He waited, and Alfie didn’t come. After waiting for him for two hours, Ricky finally retreated to the living room and turned on the TV. He was so frustrated and exhausted that he eventually fell asleep on the couch, but was awoken when Alfie came a few minutes past midnight.

“Why the hell are you still awake?” Alfie asked when Ricky walked out of the living room into the hallway.

“I waited for you.” Ricky could smell the booze from the distance. Alfie had turned into a proper alcoholic again, he was just as bad as he was when he first met him. Actually, he was probably worse. At least in their early years, despite Alfie being insensitive and drinking and smoking a lot, he still wanted to touch Ricky – all the time. He didn’t get enough of him, and now he barely even looked at him. Ricky felt like he had done or said something that pushed Alfie away or maybe he was simply no longer attracted to him. That was a horrible thought but it could be very true. Ricky wasn’t the twenty-year old boy Alfie met all those years ago. He was getting older too, and Alfie was surrounded by all those first and second year students running around in Oxford, those 18-year old boys, barely legal, and all so very young. Ricky was not like them anymore. In fact, he was their professor. And it didn’t matter that everyone still thought he was one of the students, he knew he was getting older and with each year probably less attractive to Alfie.
But apart from that Ricky knew Alfie well enough that there was more going on than just that. The getting older and being less attractive part was just what he worried about, but he knew that there was a lot going on behind Alfie’s cold exterior, so much he bottled up inside of him, so much he refused to talk about.

“Why did you wait?” Alfie took off his coat and dropped it on the floor, then made his way to the kitchen.

“We talked about that.” Ricky tried to sound calm, he didn’t want to let on how fed up he was. “I told you I’d make dinner for us tonight, and then we just wanted to have a quiet evening at home.” He collected the coat from the floor and hung it up on the coatrack.

“Quiet evening?” Alfie repeated sarcastically. “How old are we? Eighty?”

“Alfie, I was really counting on you being here tonight.”

“Couldn’t have missed that lame ass dance competition on tv tonight, hm?”

Ricky bit his lip. “I’m going to bed now, I’m tired.”

“Don’t be pissed at me just because I’m not sitting around at home like an old hag, knitting fucking socks.”

“Whatever, Alfie.”

The older boy turned to look at Ricky now, narrowing his eyes. “What now? You think you’re so much better than me, don’t you?”

Ricky sighed. “I don’t know what you’re getting at. It’s late, I’m tired, and I just want to go to bed. I had a long week, and I just wanted to spend a nice evening with you for once. I’m sorry that didn’t fit into your precious drinking time.”

“You think you’re so much better than everyone,” Alfie grumbled. “Just because you’re the fucking pope who feeds fucking orphans and is like Goddamn motherfucking Jesus, you think you’re so much better, don’t you?”

“You’re drunk,” Ricky mumbled. “I think you should go to bed now as well, and drink some water.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” He stepped closer, and Ricky immediately took a step back. Just a year ago he could have never imagined that one day he would be scared that Alfie was capable of hurting him. He never thought he’d be scared of him… “You’re not a holy fucking saint.”

Ricky frowned. “Why are you saying this? I never claimed to be-“

“Not everyone needs to take in stupid wretched beggars, okay? I don’t need to feed the fucking orphans!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Ricky said, trying to sound as calm as possible but Alfie’s irrational behaviour made him nervous. “I never took in anyone, and neither have I fed any orphans. Why are you-“

“Not everyone can be you!” Alfie’s voice grew harsher and Ricky tried so hard not to show how terrified he was. “Fucking saint! I’m not like you and you know it! I’ll never be like you! Everyone’s always looking at me and wonder why the fuck I’m nothing like you. Why the fuck I don’t go out there and feed the damn brats and the peasants and the hookers. Why not? Why not?! Because I’m not the fucking saint that you are, so leave me the fuck alone! You knew I would never be anything like you!”

Ricky didn’t move. He didn’t even blink. It felt like he was facing a wild animal and every tiny movement could be his death.
“Alfie…” he said very gently, his heart racing in his chest, “this isn’t about me, is it?”

Alfie just looked at him. For a brief moment he seemed confused, like he didn’t even know where he was and what he was doing here in the first place. Then he snapped out of it and his bewilderment was replaced by anger.
Lucky for Ricky he didn’t let it out on him anymore. He looked at him one last time, as if Ricky was the one responsible for making him feel like crap, then he stormed off and went straight upstairs.
Ricky went to his own bedroom instead. He had been sleeping there since weeks, and he always locked the door behind him.

143Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 27th December 2016, 17:31

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

Christmas 1974 was approaching faster every day and Marge Adams was a very busy. She was the Matron of Garden Eden Home for Hurt Girls and the Founder of Neverland Home for Hurt Boys and at this time of the year, she was busy making sure that the children would have a magical time. Despite the busy time, she did not forget a promise she gave someone a very long time ago, she promised a man to help look after a boys heart… but the boy he hid his heart after the tragedy. Marge got a key not surprisingly George was a special man his last name was Adams, when he was a boy he grew up at the Little Hero Orphanage and in a way he was her brother. They both were wardens of the state in the care of Mr Adams.

Marge took out the key as she did the past months so many times and let herself in. “What a mess, Alfie get up!”

“What the fuck do you think you are doing? I told you before stop breaking into my house!” Alfie snapped at the older Lady rather rude and aggressive.

“And I told you before I will come whenever you need me, and today is one of those days again. Ricky is not here?”

“Fuck off!” Alfie shouted but Marge did not even blink. She tidied around him, picked up empty whiskey bottles, dusted and cleaned, always happily chatting about her girls, the boys of Neverland and Waterfall Downs.

“Why the fuck are you here? Just piss off.”

Marge smiled gentle at him, those beautiful blue eyes looked straight into his soul. “Because you are hurting  and the only way for you to deal with it is lash out at the ones you love. No matter how much you lash out at me, I will not go anywhere. I know the day will come when you need me and I will be here and pick you up.” Marge was smart enough not to say that she had promised his Grandfather.

“I don’t need you, you old hag!” Alfie yelled, everyone else would be scared but not Marge. Marge worked with children that got sexually abused and most of them react at some point with anger and threat, and Alfie was just another little boy that got hurt. So she just smiled very gentle and nearly hidden and nodded. She put the basket with food on the table and sat down in a corner with her knitting. For a while both of them were quiet not saying a word, Alfie refused to touch any of the food she brought him while she was there but he also didn’t drink he just read one of his complicated books he liked so much, although he was just pretending to read. Marge knew how the boy looked when he read and even though Alfie did turn from time to time a page he was not reading the book.
It was dark when Marge finally put her knitting away and got up. “I will be going now Alfie. I want you to know that I am here if you need me. I’ll be visit soon and I’ll expect to see you at the Christmas Eve Celebration. You need to make some good memories.”

“Oh just fuck of back to your little whores.” Alfie snarled.

Marge did not reply as she smiled at Alfie before she let herself out of the flat. It was a cold December day and the air smelled of snow but the weak winter sun was shining its brightest. “He is lost Papa. He needs your help, help him to see, help him to find his heart. I am here to catch him but I think only you can make him fall. We will all help him to get up but only can help him to fall.” Marge sighed. “I miss you.”

This time of the year… actually any time of the year was not easy. Every day she missed the man that saved her life that saved the life of so many poor souls in Oxford, her brothers and sisters, the Adams children.

Meanwhile on the other side of Oxford

“Mommy, mommy is it Christmas yet?” Jill called loudly into the classroom. The entire class laughed and at other schools that would not have been the case but at Waterfall Downs Academy, life was different.

“Jill, Munchkin I am teaching.” Jo smiled gentle at her youngest daughter.

“Oh sorry.” Jill mumbled, sat down at a table in the classroom and looked expectantly at her mother.

“Okay as I was saying. What do you think Dickens meant with this?”

The class continued it was fast and went deep into ways most English classes did not go. Jo’s pupils were of all ages. As every class in Waterfall Downs Academy a class was not set on a school year but across them pupils that were interested in the topic signed up for the class in different levels. In a way it made teaching a lot more interesting and the pupils loved it, they learned that knowledge and cleverness means nothing if you do not share it.

“Okay so that is the lesson nearly finished, don’t forget this afternoon we are baking Christmas biscuits. Jill you asked if it is Christmas yet, no not yet.” Jo smiled at her daughter. “Did you like the lesson?”

“Oh yes Mommy that Dicky lad is he a brother of Grumpy Uncle?”

Now Jo and some pupils started laughing. “No I don’t think Charles Dickens and Dick are related but good job for recognising the similarity between their names.”

“I like the Dicky lad, he writes good stories. My favourite is a Christmas Carol it reminds us what is important in life. That Tiny Tim lives.”

It was odd, Jill was so young and in her innocent and naïve mind she hit the nail on the head despite her not understanding how he would life but she was right. The bell rang and everyone packed their things away and went for lunch. Jill went to take her Mom’s hand. “So how much longer do we have to wait? I made you presents one for you and Daddy, Granddad and Grandmother, Jamesy, and Grumpy Uncle and Fi and Auntie Ricky, Daideo and Auntie Ellen and Janey! And I have a card for every pupil in the school.”

“That is very kind of you, so very kind. I am very proud of you Jill for doing this. But you have to wait a little bit longer. Now why are you already home, I thought you are in nursery?”

“I was, but I told them Janey and I have to go home for a very important event, they called your office but you didn’t answer so I said it is better to call Auntie Ellen she will pick us up. And then I came to look for you. So it’s just lunch time?”
Jo laughed and looked loving at her daughter. “You are one special girl. Yes it is just lunch time. This afternoon is the big Christmas biscuit baking even Tante Lorelai comes over.”

“HOORAY!” Jill shouted and ran off.

“Let me guess she got out of nursery and forgot about the baking.” James laughed as he wrapped his arm around Jo.

“Yes she did. This girl is really something. I should check where Jane is.”

“Oh don’t worry she is around somewhere.” James laughed. “Your daughters are sure something, Jill sees herself as if she owns WDA.”

Not it was Jo that laughed. “Yes I know though I do not see her become a teacher one day, Jane maybe but not Jill.”
Jo saw Liam sitting at their usual table with both their daughters. Jill was talking none stop while Liam was making a clean sandwich for Jane. It was tomato soup and sandwiches for lunch and bakewell slices and tea for dessert. The food in Waterfall Downs Academy was simple, always very good but it wasn’t fancy anymore as it used to be. Jo smiled adoring at her family and waved. Liam got knocked in the face by Jill who suddenly waved back. Liam looked up and grinned at his wife. It was funny any other man holding Jo like James did would turn Liam into the green rage monster, but James. James was like a brother to the both of them. Eve when he hugged or oh gosh even gave her a kiss on the cheek Liam was calm and never jealous.

“Hey Handsome.” Jo greeted her husband with a kiss and a big smile to her daughters.

“I gonna sit over there make sure the boys are behaving, I took off them the new Playboy, I will talk with them about the value of every person.” James chuckled, threw a charming smile at Frida who was sitting between the boys.

“I just wish he would admit what he is feeling.” Jo mumbled as she sat down across from Liam. “How were your classes this morning? There are a few things we got to look at later.”

Lime leaned forward and kissed his wife. “My classes were good, we build electromagnets. We are trying to build an electromagnetic train, just a small one but it is quite a project…” Liam chuckled, he saw that he had lost Jo about the moment he mentioned electromagnets. “Anything I got to worry about?”

“Oh no just the usual at this time the travel plans for the boarding pupils. Most of them use the bus we booked I know it leaves late but all parents and pupils want to wake up on Christmas Day at home. The bus leaves WDA at midnight on Christmas Eve, so they can all attended the Christmas Eve Celebrations and then leave. Only some leave before the celebration they will go by train.”

“Ellen knows who leaves when and will check that they are packed?” Liam asked while he cut Jill’s sandwich into half.

“Yes. James will also help. And this afternoon we have the big Christmas biscuits baking to give them away.” Jo put another carrot stick on Jane’s plate.

Liam nodded and laughed. “I did remember. My physic class made plans how they can make rather unusual shapes. We do it here in the dining hall right?”

“Yes I thought that would be easiest. The good prepared the ingredients that the pupils can work in groups of eight at one table.”

“Do you two ever stop working, you are having lunch and still talk school.” Ellen laughed at sat down next to Jo. Gracie was now attending a school outside of Oxford for special needs as hers and she loved it. “I organised pupils to look after the twins so that you can enjoy the baking yourself. Also Liam your Dad asked if he could spend the weekend with the twins.”

“Of course he doesn’t have to ask. I’d love a weekend alone with my wife.” Liam grinned cheeky.

“Liam!” Jo chuckled nervous despite her liking of spending the weekend alone with her husband.

“What? I love the girls but I also love spending time alone with you.” Liam grinned still looking like a young teenager.

“Professor? I know we have the baking this afternoon, but I have a problem with my physic presentation. I am stuck. Well sort of I can’t get it to be within the time limit I am ten minutes over.” Sarah looked distressed at Liam, she was head-girl and took school very serious. Her strengths were in science and sports -she was also games captain-.

“I will help you after lunch if that is alright.” Liam looked sober and with his teacher look at Sarah.

“Yes thank you. I did not mean to interrupt your time with your family.” Sarah looked worried at Jo and the twins.

“Oh Sarah you know that we life to be teachers and lunch is not such a special time. Come sit with us.” Jo smiled and pointed at the empty chair next to her.

Lunch in Waterfall Downs Academy was a loud and busy time, not that there weren’t any rules and manners but as many meal times it was the time when friends of different ages got together and talked about their days, thoughts and worries. Jo was sitting smiling in this whirlwind time, she loved it and she knew that another Williams woman would love to see this picture. She looked up in the middle of the large hall was a large fireplace and above was a large portrait, not many of the old portraits had stayed when Waterfall Downs became a school but this did. A young woman with flaming red hair blowing in the wind, dressed in her Scottish dress holding her horse in the grounds of Waterfall Downs. Countess  Josephine Williams the First, Lady Jo the Caring as another little girl named her. Both Jos loved to see the house filled with children, filled with laughter and love. Jo smiled at the portrait of her beloved Grandmother and listened to the story of Sarah’s family that had issues with their Christmas decoration that got used as nesting place for some cheeky weasels during summer.
Jo always thought she had to leave Waterfall Downs maybe even Oxford to find this happiness but she actually found it right here with the ghost of the former Willimas’ walking the halls.

144Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 2nd October 2017, 19:52

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

Jo was doing an extra course on modern feminism books so Liam was watching the girls. It was snowing outside the window but neither of his twins minded staying inside.

“Daddy?” Jill said loudly, she had been lying on the rug in front of the lit fireplace with a pile of picture books.

“Yes Jill.” Liam grinned he was marking physics papers. Jane was sitting next to him marking... papers herself.

“We will have tea right?”

“Yes of course. There is a chicken hot pot in the oven.” Liam had a really hard time not to burst out laughing, Jill always made the most hilarious faces when she thought of serious thoughts.

Jill nodded. “Alright then. Do you think we can eat soon? My tummy is talking and my eyes are going all wonky because I am so hungry. Maybe if tea is not ready we could start with dessert?”

Now Liam couldn’t hold his laughter back anymore. “No we will not have pudding before tea, I know you saw that we will have sticky toffee pudding for dessert. I think we could set the table while we wait.”

Jill sighed with the dramatic flair of a three year old. “I guess.”

“I would like to help Daddy.” Jane whispered, a lot less dramatic than her sister. But before she got up, she brushed down her dress, made sure every corner of her paper was exactly on top of each other, and then she started to sort her pens... Liam watched her and he saw the trouble she had when she couldn’t decide if she should sort them after colour, length or thickness. He knew Jo would already had interrupted the little girl in this special way Jo could interrupt her and would have said something to soothe her, sometimes the right thing to say came to his mind but not always.

“That’s enough Janey!” Jill took her sisters hand and pulled her away.


“No time for tea and the pens can wait. They don’t deserve that much time of yours they are just pens.” Jill was determined and looked stern at her older sister while she held her hand ever so gentle. It felt like an eternity until Jane nodded and went with her sister, casting just a quick look back at the messy pens. Liam sighed he was glad that Jill had inherited her mother’s ability to stop Jane’s obsession.

“Daddy?” Jill had napkins and the cutlery in her hands.

“Yes Jill?” Liam checked the hotpot in the oven. It seemed ready so he turned off the oven, he knew that Jane would have trouble with the hotpot everything in one.

“Can we visit Fi later?” Jill placed the napkins next to each plate half lying on the table as she did so. She wasn’t sure how to place the cutlery so she made up her own order. Jane went after her and sorted the fork, knife and spoon into the proper order. Liam looked at his younger daughter her pony tail looked like a big mess while Jane’s was perfectly straight. He knew Jill and even Jane loved visiting Alfie.

“No Cupcake, not at the moment Uncle Alfie isn’t… well.” Liam started but didn’t know how to explain to his daughter that he felt his best friend was losing his mind and was a proper dick.

“Yeah I know he is heartbroken, he tries not to feel. Moron you always feel and when you stuff your feelings into a box at some point the box will explode like fireworks just not pretty it will be a ginormous mess.” Jill looked at her father with her funny serious all knowing face.

Liam stared at his youngest daughter for several seconds actually kind of shocked.

“Is it because Auntie Ricky, Jane and me found this big boy he has the same sign on his foot? Auntie knew the big boy from centuries ago when he was in school. I think that made Fi sad but he doesn’t know about the big boy. It is weird. I think he misses the old man he was like his Daideo.”

Now Liam proper stared at his daughter, he had no idea what she was talking about. “Um okay yes something like that.” He placed the chicken hotpot on the table. “Come on let’s eat. Mommy made this with a lot of love for us even though she was very busy today. So I need you to eat some of it okay?” He didn’t want to look at Jane.

“Jane will like this it’s all the things she likes. Chicken, carrots that have the colour of our hair, potatoes, peas and sauce and then the crust. All good things.” Jill looked stern at Jane who looked for a while at her mess on her plate, when she looked up at her sister the older twin picked up her fork and started eating. Liam hoped that this would really work. He had to talk to Jo next time he was alone with them for dinner he had to make something Jane would easily eat, like fish and chips or something.

“Okay so Jane you have the first bath and then Jill, and then we will watch an episode of cartoons before we read a story. How does that sound?” Liam was putting the dishes in their new dishwasher, he loved the new machine. Jill did a funny little toddler dance while Jane nodded solemly.

“Oh Daddy can we pray? I got to pray for Fi so he is better soon.” Jill asked still wriggling her little bottom in her crazy little dance.

Liam looked a little uncomfortable but smiled. “Sure.”


Jane was bathed within thirteen minutes including washing her hair. Liam wrapped her up in her ducky pyjama and dressing gown. He didn’t worried leaving his older daughter in the living room while he gave Jill a bath. Jane was reading her book while Teddy watched her.

“Daddy. Do you like my dance?” Jill was standing in the bathroom butt naked doing her little dance again. Liam laughed thinking it looked more like a seizure.

“Sure it looks lovely I think you should wear like a little hulla outfit when you do it? Come on, jump in the tub.” Liam wanted to lift up his daughter but she pushed him away.

“Daddy I am a big girl I can climb in the tub myself.” She had her funny serious face again, and even though when he was kind of hurt seeing his daughter climb/slip into the tub that the bubble bath swashed over the rim flooding half the bathroom.

“Yes that worked really well makes mopping the bathroom so much easier.” Liam laughed placing a spare towel on the floor.

“Okay so first getting clean and then you can have some play-“ Jill dived under the water again and came up holding out her hand for shampoo. “-time.”

“Quick Daddy or the bubbles will have melted.” Jill said desperate. Liam put some liquid soap on her hand and she started rubbing her body all over while he put some shampoo on her head.

“Jill you gonna fall if you wriggle like that.” Liam laughed.

“Well I got to wriggle makes the washing better. I can’t miss the bubbles. I got to make a beard and boobies like Tante Lorelai.” Jill giggled as she let herself fall down into the water to wash of the soap before she went diving again shaking her head  under water looking like she had another seizure. “All clean can I play?”

Liam laughed watching his youngest daughter having a bath was quite a show. No one was able to be washed and shampooed and rinsed within about 37 seconds. “Yes you may, here are your toys.”

Jill was making a beard and boobies out of foam shaking her little bottom again for her little funny dance while having a rubber shark and Barbie in her hands kissing singing a song that went somehow like. “Wonky, wonky, Fifififififi oh sexy baby gonna dance wonky wonky oh yeah yeah yeah… Daddy sing with me!”

“Oh um Jill I am not sure I don’t know this song. I think you should sing it to me.” Liam chuckled. He let Jill play for fifteen minutes and then wrapped her into her big towel. He carried her into the living room, it was nice warm here and her PJ’s were warming in front of the fire. Jane blushed when her father came in the room she was kneeling at the coffee table in front of a picture frame.

“What are you doing Jane?” Liam asked cheerful and curious.

“I’m sorry Daddy. I was talking to Mamó Catherine.” Jane whispered.

Liam stopped for a moment in dressing Jill and then smiled. “That is nice of you, are you telling her of your day?”

Jane nodded still shy.

“I am sure she’d like that. Come on lets watch an episode of Tom and Jerry, she often joined me when I was little.” Liam whispered. Jill climbed on the couch in her green pyjamas and Liam lifted Jane on the couch, Teddy followed and curled up at the foot end. Liam turned the picture frame that his girls still saw his mother’s face but well that it also sort of faced the TV. He did think it was a bit weird but the smile his girls had on their faces seeing Mamó Catherine watch with them Tom and Jerry.
Jane fell asleep on the couch but Jill was still wide awake. “And Daddy then Sarah said I catched the ball really good and she said if I work really hard and practice running I can be really good. I’ll wait here while you bring Janey to bed. I got to talk to Mamó. Important Irish business to talk about. We are going to Ireland next year Mommy said we would.” Jill actually shooed him away, he was chuckling as he carried his older twin into her bed.

“Daddy?” Jane whispered as she pulled Ducky close into her arm and Liam tucked her in tightly.

“It’s alright Princess, just go back to sleep.” Liam kissed Jane and the cheek. When he turned around he saw Jill in the doorway. When she saw her dad look at her she ran away quickly. Liam saw that something was up. He followed  her in her nursery.

“Hey Cupcake, are you alright?” He whispered.

“Daddy? Why is Janey Princess and I am just a cupcake?” Jill whispered looking sad and embarrassed.

“Just a cupcake? Just. A. Cupcake? Jill you are not just any cupcake you are my Cupcake! And I love cupcakes they are the best cakes in the whole wide world. Don’t get me wrong cake is great in general but cupcakes mean you can eat loads of different flavours. Sure they don’t wear a crown or fancy dresses but everyone loves cupcakes. Just a Cupcake, really Jill I thought you knew how special your nickname is.” Liam pulled Jill into a tight hug. “Just a Cupcake.”

“I don’t know I just knew I’m just a cake and Jane is a princess.” Jill whispered it made sense in her little head.

“Oh Jill, did you think that I love you less then Jane?”


“You and Jane are my most favourite little girls! Not one more than the other I love you both the same and I love how different you are.”

“Okay.” Jill whispered. “Daddy do you mind to pray with me?”

“Oh, um, sure. Why don’t you start?”

“Sure. So God can you give Mamó a hug from us, we miss her. Please let Mommy have a nice time in her course, and let her some home safely soon. Let Daddy finish his Physicy Essays he looks so stressed and let Janey have a good night sleep and help her with her little problem. I hope Grandmother feels better soon and please help Fi, he is really hurt and needs you to guide him. Amen.”

“And please make sure Jill sees how much she is loved and how proud we are of her.” Liam added. It made Jill smile and he felt like a prayer answered. “It’s time for you to go to sleep my Cupcake.”

“Okay. Can I have billions of kisses before I sleep?” Jill giggled as Liam started kissing his daughter over and over until she was hiding under her duvet. “Daddy stop, I’m ready for sleep now.”

Liam laughed kissed her one more time. “Sleep well my darling girl.”

“Night Daddy.” Jill mumbled falling asleep while Liam closed her nursery door. “Just a Cupcake.

He shook his head but decided he would make sure that he would pay a bit more attention to Jill.

145Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 23rd January 2018, 20:53



Jo was just marking some essays for her English class in her classroom when she heard a knock on the door.
“Come in!” she said, her eyes still on the paper in front of her.

“Are you very busy, Jo?”

She immediately looked up when she recognised Ricky’s voice. He looked a little nervous, almost as if he was one of the students who had been caught doing mischief.
“I know you’re really busy at the moment, with the new term starting after Christmas and everything but –“

“I always have time for you, Ricky, you know that.” She smiled warmly at him and put her pen aside. “Come in.”

He seemed to hesitate for a moment but then closed the door behind him and sat down on one of the chairs. His best friend let out a chuckle.
“You look like one of my students.”

He smiled shyly. “So you think I could still pass for a school boy?”

“Oh, certainly. We have A-level students looking way older than you. “ She cleared her throat. “No offence.”

“None taken,” he mumbled. “It’s good to know that I don’t look too old yet. Alfie wouldn’t like that…”

Jo immediately saw that brief glimmer of sadness reflected in his eyes when he mentioned Alfie’s name. “Are you okay, Ricky?” she asked carefully.

He bit his lip. “I…I need to tell you something.”

She grew worried. “Did something happen?”


“With Alfie?”

“Indirectly.” Ricky ran his fingers through his hair, which showed how nervous he was because he normally wouldn’t mess up his hair like that. “Ehm…well…hypothetically speaking….and I really mean hypothetically…” He looked at Jo who tried to follow. “So, hypothetically…”

“Hypothetically…,” she repeated.

“If you had this friend-“

“A hypothetical friend?”

“Yes, exactly. So you have this hypothetical friend who…well, they never had it easy in school because there was always this…this other boy who was very mean to them and took his anger out on them for no apparent reason and…well, so that hypothetical friend knew this boy for all their life and that boy was never once nice to them but then that hypothetical friend stopped by his house-“

“The bully’s house?”

“Yes, exactly. So they stopped by because in a way hypothetical friend did feel sorry because they knew that the boy had no one, not even his mother because she was a drunk, and it was Christmas and hypothetical friend wanted to bury the hatches but then…ehm…hypothetical friend stopped by and the boy opened the door and he freaked out and he eventually…he…” Ricky paused, lowering his glance. He just couldn’t look into Jo’s eyes while he was telling her all of this.
“He kissed him, ehm, them.”

“Wait, what?” Jo frowned. “The mean boy kissed hypothetical friend?”

“Yes. Yes, he did.”

“Oh my Lord, Sebastian kissed you?!” Jo didn’t need that long to catch on. She had inherited her grandmother’s ability to read people after all.

Ricky looked up, shocked. “No! Of course not. I…ehm…yes…he did….”

Jo covered her mouth in shock. “No way.”

Ricky pressed his lips together. “Yes…”

“I can’t believe it.”

“I couldn’t believe it either. I mean, there were plenty of kids who picked on me but nobody was as bad as Sebastian who would just never let go…”

“Maybe that’s it,” Jo muttered. “Maybe he had always liked you but he hated that fact, maybe he was ashamed of his own thoughts and feelings and that’s why he took it out on you. That must be the reason why he never stopped taunting you, Ricky. He liked you…”

Ricky opened his mouth, almost blasting out the other secret that Jo didn’t know of. The fact that Alfie and Sebastian were half-brothers. But then he decided against it. Alfie had to hear about this first…but certainly not anytime soon, while he was in that horrible mood…
“You can’t tell anyone, Jo,” Ricky urged. “Not even Liam. I know you tell him everything but this has to stay between us. You know how Liam gets…he would tell Alfie because he has a hard time keeping secrets from his friends. And if Alfie were to ever find out about Sebastian kissing me, he…he almost killed him once. He would do it again, and this time he would make sure Sebastian wouldn’t survive this.”

Jo listened attentively. She wasn’t happy about the idea of keeping a secret from Liam but she could understand why Ricky had to open up to her. It must have been eating him up inside.

“Alfie is…he is not himself lately,” Ricky whispered.

Jo nodded. “I have noticed. In fact, we all have. Even Liam, who can be a little blind when it comes to these things.”

“He is just filled with…with so much anger and resentment. I sometimes look at him, look at his face and I hardly recognise him. His eyes…they have changed. I know it sounds silly because in theory eyes can’t change but –“

“They are not the same,” Jo said calmly. “I have noticed that as well, and you are right. There is something different about them. His eyes always reminded Daddy of his best friend, Alfie’s grandfather…Daddy always said how glad he was that even though Alfie was by no means the little boy that Arthur would remember, at least he still had his eyes…but I don’t think those are Arthur Jackson’s eyes anymore. At first I thought they are like Alfie’s father’s but they still look different to Broderick’s. They are…”

“Empty,” Ricky said. “If they are not filled with anger, they are empty.”

Jo took a deep breath. “Ricky, if you ever need to stay with us, you know that-“

He shook his head. “I can’t leave him, Jo. I can’t just give up on him when he’s clearly suffering.”

“But you need to think about your own safety and your own happiness as well.”

Ricky smiled weakly. “He needs me. Now more than ever.”


“Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. I…I honestly don’t know what to do about this whole Sebastian situation. I can try to avoid him but I keep running into him, it’s almost like fate. He doesn’t follow me, neither do I follow him and we still end up crossing paths.”

“Well…” Jo said, folding her hands on the table. “Maybe Alfie isn’t the only person who needs help right now…”

146Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 15th March 2018, 20:11

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

The weather was getting warmer; they had celebrated St Patrick’s Day with a large Irish meal and the Easter Egg hunt and loads of games. And of course the pupils, teachers, staff and family celebrated the birthday of Headmaster Liam O’Doherty, most pupils nowadays called him Professor inspired by Professor Bhaer from the Little Women series after all they felt a lot like they  were going to Plumfield though a lot more challenging. A school that was not like any other in Britain.
The Easter holidays had started, most pupils had gone home just very few upper sixth formers stayed to study, extensively in the libraries throughout the city. Jo had gone with some pupils to the Bodleian Library for research and Liam was watching the twin. Jane and Jill were nearly four years old, a fact Jill like to point out whenever she can.

Liam and his two favourite little red heads were in London, they had checked on Grumpy Uncle.
“Daddy? Explain something to me. Why is Grumpy Uncle all alone and when we visit him he looks at you a lot.” Jill was sucking on a red liquorish stick holding Liam’s tightly as they walked down the road they were on the way to the National History Museum. Liam smirked he loved that Jill was not scared to ask questions or rather demand answers.

Wait… What?!  “What do you mean he is looking at me? Of course he is my friends. And he… he is working for like a special police so he works a lot and doesn’t have time to make loads of friends.”

Jane giggled it amused her to watch her beloved father being unaware of his surroundings. Jill shook her head making her two pigtails fly wildly. “No he looks at you, like Fi looks at Auntie Ricky sometimes.”

WHAT? No you are mistaken, he just… Dick well I think he is glad when he looks at me he is reminded how much I talked while we shared that flat.” Liam felt uncomfortable talking with his two very observative little girls.

“If you say so Daddy. I think Grumpy Uncle likes men like Fi. Maybe Grumpy Uncle needs to have a boyfriend. I will talk to Tante Lor I am sure she can help me get a boy for Grumpy Uncle.”

“Let’s talk about the museum. What do you think you will see in the museum?” Liam shuddered at the thought that Dick is… that he could… No.

“I wanna see a dinisour. A real big one! With long teeth and sharp claws.” Jill was bouncing up and down.

“Jilly it is not dinisour, it is dinosaur.” Jane corrected her sister.

“Yes I know they have a big roar.” Jill growled loudly.

Liam laughed. “Well I am glad to tell you that there are a few fossils of dinosaurs, I think there is-”

“What is a fossil?” Jill looked curious at her dad. “Is that some kind of tea?”

“No.” Liam laughed. “It is not a tea it is...” He looked down at his daughter, how could he explain a fossil to his little daughter? “Do you remember the special rocks we found at the beach when we were in Brighton?”

“Oh the stones that were in a long forgotten past animals and plants?” Jill nodded. “Did they change by magic, maybe medusa looked at them?”

“There is no such thing as magic and neither did medusa ever exist.” Liam said trying very hard not to sound too harsh or condescending after all his daughter was not yet four years old.

“There is loads of magic in the world, leprechauns, Jesus and the Jackson curse. That is real everyone knows it, oh and the devil Grandmother hates the devil. Sometimes when she is ill because she didn’t poop for like a week of maybe even two she believes you are the devil. That’s when her nurse says she has to rest but I know that her nurse is making her eat thousand oranges so that she can have a proper poop. I poop every day without oranges.”

Liam stared blank at his daughter sometimes Jill’s logic was in a way above his, or beyond? He was not sure which one. “Right just stay away from your Grandmother when she talks about the devil. Here we go. I want you to stay close to me, you don’t have to hold my hand but you have to stay close and you are not allowed to touch anything unless I say that. Understood?”

“But Daddy sometimes something really pretty I just have to touch.” Jill was bouncing like a rubber ball. She was so excited to see all the pretty things and her Daddy explain it all to her.

“DADDY! It is him! It is Dippy! Look! Look!” Jill was screaming in excitement looking at the huge dinosaur skeleton.

“It is not real you know that? And it is not a dippy, it is a Diplodocus carnegii, right Daddy?” Jane was excited too but she was calmer, holding Liam’s hand.

“No it is a replica, the original skeleton is in Pittsburgh, America. Beautiful pronunciation of the Latin Jane.” Liam smiled at his older daughter.

“Look Janey there is the tri cepty dinisour.” Jill took Jane’s hand and pulled her right in front of the triceratops.

“Isn’t he majestic? Oooh! It has a baby, it’s a mommy tri cepty dinisour.” Jill was squealing in delight trying to pet the baby triceratops.

“Jill we look with our eyes not our hands.” Liam said calmly, knowing that Jill would pull her hand away.

“Sorry Daddy. It is just so darling, look at the wee one. Did it have sisters?”

“Usually they had several offspring.” Liam explained. He had been with several pupils groups in the museum but being with his two favourite girls was very special. He was glad that even his wild girl enjoyed looking and the exhibitions. They wandered from room to room, Jane asking rather smart questions while Jill’s were a bit odder.
It was warm enough to have lunch outside; Liam bought two portions of fish and chips as they walked through Kensington Garden. This time it was Jane that was rather excited. “Daddy, were is he?”

“Just around the next corner and there he is.”

“PETER!” Two little red head squeal. Liam laughed, he was carrying their lunch but he also had his camera. He was taking several lovely photos of his little girls. So many years ago, Jo had said no to him right here at this place, he understood now why but it still hurt.

“Yep, this is the place Peter Pan met Tinker Bell. Let’s sit down and have lunch.” Liam sat down next to Jane, Jill was on her other side of her sister’s side.

“I wish Peter would visit us, we could go to Neverland.” Jill looked dreamy at the Peter Pan statue.

“I would miss you so much if you went with Peter and you would forget us.” Liam opened the fish and chips for the girls, flattening the newspaper in which it was wrapped.

“Do you have red sauce?” Jill asked already digging in picking bits off the fish. Jane was eyeing it suspiciously. “Janey! This is a good British meal, dig in!” Jill picked up a chip and half pushed it into Jane’s mouth. Liam wanted to protest but Jane nodded and started eating. He opened the little pot of ketchup and put it down for his daughters and then he started eating himself. It was a warm day and all three O’Doherty welcomed the rest on the bench.

“Daddy? Where are we gonna go next?” Jill was happily munching her fish and chips with quite a bit of tomato sauce. A jingle rung through Kensington Garden, making Jill look up very excited.

“I thought we could go to Buckingham Palace or on a bus tour through London, Jill are you listening?” Liam sounded a little bit annoyed that his daughter did not listen to him after she was the one asking a question. He wasn’t used to that kind of behaviour his pupils usually hung at his lips.

“Kind of. What is that music? Daddy can we go and look it tingles in my tummy. I think there is something going on.” Jill mumbled with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. The little girl already slipped off the bench, turning here and there to find where the bell chime came from.

“Young lady we are not just wandering off, as if you are hearing the flute of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Jill if you wait for me and Jane we can all follow those bells.” Liam said slightly sternly but not angry but concerned that Jill would run off.
He thought Jill had listened so he did not worry to turn around and put their lunch wrappings in the bin but he underestimated his youngest daughter. Who was no were to be seen, Jane was pulling at his trousers.

“Daddy, Jilley did her cheeky grin and ran off. Do you think there really is a Pied Piper?” Jane whispered taking Liam’s hand.
Liam sighed deeply and picked up Jane kissing her on the cheek. “Let’s chase our cheeky little monkey shall we?” He quickly walked out of the little area where Peter Pan was and saw his red head in the not too far distance. Jane was resting her head against his shoulder not really sleeping but definitely having a touch of nap around her. She just started to stop having a nap at lunchtime, at least most days.

“Jillian Saoirse O’Doherty who do you think you are that you run away like that after I told you to wait?” Liam said this time actually angry.

Jill looked at her dad with admiration but also fear. She knew that Liam didn’t like it when she ran off or didn’t listen. He was never a harsh dad but he just like Jo expected the twins to behave in a certain way and even though they were not yet 4 years old, they knew the rules. Jill was looking at the ground.

“I am sorry Daddy, but look they make new faces for people.” Jill whispered.

“Yes I see that, but what did I ask you to do?” Liam was crouching next to Jill, while he was still holding Jane.

“You said we can go but I have to wait so that we can go together.” Jill mumbled ashamed of herself. “Do you still love me?”

“No.” Liam let the shock sink in, not just in Jill but also in Jane. “I do not love what you have done, but I will never stop loving you!”

Both little girls sighed, glad that their daddy did could never stop loving them.

“I am sorry Daddy. I was just so excited.” Jill dared to look up for the first time at Liam.

“So what would you like to have on your face?” Liam smiled.

 “I wanna be a tiger!” Jill growled with a giggle. Liam laughed and nodded.

“What do you wanna be Jane?”

“Do I have to be something? It is going to be sticky.” Jane whispered.

“Of course Janey! It will be good. Maybe you can be like an owl?” Jill grinned at her sister.

Jane nodded, “Not an owl maybe a butterfly.”

“That sounds like a plan.” Liam stood up and took his twins’ hands. Jill was barely able to sit still while the artist painted her face to look like a tiger. Jane on the other hand was sitting very still mumbling that it need to be symmetrical, butterflies are symmetrical. Liam took several photos of his little girls.

“Look Daddy I am a tiger, grrrr.” Jill was running around him like a little crazy Springer spaniel.

“I can see that. Come on my little tiger and my beautiful butterfly, let us go on the bus tour that way you can see loads of lovely places in London. We can mark the ones you like on the map and next time we visit them.”

Liam wasn’t surprised when Jane fell asleep in the seat next to him, while Jill was clued to the window squealing in delight. He took more photos of his girls. He was worried about their safety in London, but to see how much they absorbed all the information and wonders of London.
They left London in the late afternoon, before they would bored the train Liam took the girls to the toilet.

“Oh look Daddy, a man with a Schniedelwutz.” Jill shouted loudly pointed at another man at urinal, well having a pee.

“Jill! Stop staring at that. Get in here.” Liam pushed -with an apologetic look at the other man- his daughter in the cubical. “Don’t touch anything, don’t look anywhere and just go to the toilet.

“Daddy the girl’s toilets are cleaner than this, it smells funny in here.” Jane whispered. She looked uncomfortable.

“Yeah well we can wash your hands afterwards with loads of soap.” Liam was stressed, he didn’t like taking his girls to public toilets. He was sure the man Jill had pointed at was a pervert trying to see his not four-year-old daughter with her knickers down.

“Daddy? Cad a dhéanann fir nuair a bhíonn piobair acu? Cén áit a dtéann a Schniedelwutz?[url=#_ftn1][1][/url]” Jill asked bluntly, though smart enough in her broken Irish.

“Stop thinking about this!” Liam seemed to be close to a nervous breakdown. “Come on wash your hands our train lives soon.”

Jane was washing her hands as if she planned to perform surgery, while Jill just quickly watered hands.
Liam was incredible glad when he was sitting in the train knowing Jo would be waiting at the train station for them.  It was a great day but it was also a long day.

“Thank you Daddy for showing us the world today.” This time it was not just Jane that dozed off but also Jill that fell asleep on his lap. Liam smiled as he leaned his head against the window and closed his eyes himself. Just for a moment.

[url=#_ftnref1][1][/url] What do men when they have a poop? Where does their Schniedelwutz go?

147Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 15th March 2019, 18:44

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

The sun was shining, I could tell that the light came through my curtains and it must have been morning, I heard the birdies singing outside.

“Not yet, just five more minutes.” I mumbled as I turned around and hugged my kangaroo tightly. There were noises in the kitchen, not a surprise my sister and Daddy like getting up early when like the cock -I giggled cock is a naughty word- crows. I heard my room door open and somebody sat down next to me on my bed… it was daddy he always smelled funny of stuff that made my nose tickle. He brushed my hair out of my face and gently kissed my cheek.

“Cupcake breakfast is ready, there are warm bread rolls and hot chocolate.” My daddy whispered lovingly in my ear.

“But Daddy.” I replied in a perfect Irish accent. “Me so sleepy.”

Daddy chuckled slightly, others might be offended by me speaking with an accent that wasn’t my usual one. He was rather impressed how well it sounded, I knew. “I even fried some sausages.”

“I am on my way then, give me a minute or maybe two… darling.” I turned around and looked with my big blue eyes at him, he was the most amazing man… for sure the smartest I just loved too many men. Scoddy was the coolest old gent, Granddad was the most Scottish lad, James was the strongest, Grumpy Uncle was the funniest and there was Dan of course just becoming a man but the most mesmerizing one was and will always be Fi. My daddy smiled at me, my hair was so messy it would take a while to brush it, my eyes barely open but I already looked curious at the world.

“Breakfast?” Daddy asked gentle, pulling my duvet off me. I was warm -sleepy warm- and smelled of sleep and dreams.  I accepted his hands and climbed on his arms.

Daddy is so strong, he just lifts me like magic. I smiled into his should, still holding on to my Kangaroo and leaned my head against his strong shoulder. Sleep has not left me yet, it was a school day and so early. I liked school, not as much as my twin sister but enough. Break and lunch were the best times, maths was nice too and reading though it was rather hard to learn to read but I like the idea to be able to read any book I could find, I had a big baking recipe book I found with her Mommy in town I really wanted to read that.    

“Daddy? Mommy said she would be there in a few minutes.” My sister was fully dressed, awake and washed I did not see it but knew her teeth were brushed too.

“I see, can you dish a plate up for you sister and I get Mommy.” Daddy put the sleepy me on the bench, while my sister was getting my plate of breakfast and definitely chatted away but I was too sleepy to catch any of it. Daddy went to get Mommy. Life was perfect. My sister took a long time to place the bread roll on a plate and then there was the issue of the sausages… there were bits in them small dark bits clearly herbs and spices but they were so messy, I watched my sister for a moment until I slipped off the bench. This time I left her Kangaroo behind when I quickly walked to her, my bare feet tapping on the kitchen tiles.

“I… just… it’s so messy.” My sister whispered, sounding slightly frantic.

“I know.” I looked at her, took the plate out of her hand, and placed it back on the kitchen counter and then I pulled my sister into a very tight hug. “It’s okay Janey! We need a bit of messy in our life and you know that.”

Janey - you will never call her that, only I am allowed to call my sister that- was at first reluctant but then fell deep into my embrace. “I haven’t even buttered your roll yet Jilley.”

“That’s okay I just put my sausages in it and then I don’t need butter. Lovely greasy sausages!” I took the plate pattered back to the table while I started eating my sausages on the way. I giggled when Mommy who just joined them in the kitchen took the other half of my sausage out of my hand.  Mommy’s hair was really messy and she smelled of sleep and vanilla.

“Too early.” Mommy mumbled as she helped me back on the bench next to Kangaroo.

“Tell me about it.” I said extravagantly.  We two sleepy heads were sitting on the bench together and sharing a plate.

“If I wouldn’t know any better I would think the two of you party every night together.”

“Sure Liam my four year old daughter and I party in Soho every night.” said Mommy in this funny voice she used it sometimes when she rolled her eyes at Daddy.

I looked from Mommy to Daddy, he was grinning. “What is a Soho?” I asked clinging to my cup of hot chocolate like Mommy was to her cup of coffee.

“I take you there in like fifteen years… juice?” Mommy offered me her glass of orange juice. I nodded with an exhausted flair.

“Do I have to go to school today? I am so fatigued. I didn’t sleep well. The moon was shining in my eyes.” I held my hand against my forehead just as I saw Grandmother do it when she said that the devil was talking to her.

“Well you said you want to see the stars watch you at night, a fact I tried to explain to you that stars cannot watch you.” Daddy answered as he gave me a yogurt.

“But Daddy! When the sky sparkles at me I got to smile back at it.” I giggled.  Daddy shook his head but he didn’t look like he was going to give me a speech about the sky. I was not yet in the mood for a sky speech. Breakfast didn’t last forever, sadly. I like those times together.

“Go get dressed Munchkins, time to go to school.” Mommy smiled at us girls, Janey smiled happy and quickly helped me off the bench, Janey was always worried I might fall and get dirty. Janey loves going to school. Janey and I walked into our rooms.  I moaned but went to get dressed.

“MOMMY?” I yelled, as I was pulling my pinafore dress over my head, so far I was just wearing one sock and no knickers.
Mommy walked into my room. “Jill sweetheart we spoke about this didn’t we? You are not the carnival barker if you need to ask me something you get dressed first, with knickers please, and then you can come and find me to ask whatever you need.”

I looked with those big blue eyes at my mommy. “I am sorry, I just had a really good idea.”  I looked a little sad at floor.
“I understand that, you are my excitable firecracker Munchkin and I love you for it.” Mommy handed me my knickers. “But please remember not to shout across the flat.”

“I promise I will try to remember. Can I ask you something?” I was hobbling to put on my second sock. Mommy smiled, she is a good mommy and desperately wanted to help but she let the me do it on my own.

“Sure go ahead.” Mommy took two hair ribbons and let me climb on her lap.

“So I was thinking can we bake today after school?” My newest habit was talking very much with my hands, so far it was as if I was trying to swim without any sense of knowing how to while I was talking. Mommy bit her lip for a moment. I was not sure why she did that Mommy sometimes did it when I say something.

“I will think about it. Anything you would like to make?” Daddy was right brushing my hair was a tough job. Mommy was brushing thoroughly and I was sitting there patiently until Mommy braided two braids one on each side.

“I would like to make lemon treacle tarts.” I said opening my big baking book, I was just learning to read but I knew most recipes titles by heart. “And maybe we can make some vanilla cream sauce to go with it.”

Mommy looked at me for a while before she smiled. “If you do all your homework and I do all my marking then we can bake a cake. Does that sound fair?”

I sighed deeply. “I guess. I will have science homework. Janey already did hers, can I copy hers?”
I knew straight away that Mommy would not let me, but it was worth asking. “I can do it myself. It is just a poster on weather and seasons. I was just joking when I said I’d copy Janey’s.” I quickly said before Mommy would think I am a failure and not as good as Janey.

“That is I think a very good idea. Because what if Jane’s has mistakes in it?”

I looked at Mommy for a very long time, I shook my head in disbelieve. “Mommy!? We are talking about smarty-pants Janey O’Doherty you and I know she is perfect and never does anything wrong. Just ask Daddy.” Mommy wrapped her arms around me, I did sound rather sarcastic and nearly bitter.

“You know that daddy loves you very much just as much as he loves Jane. He just doesn’t know how to show it sometimes.” She tried to make me believe, but I knew better.

“Because he is scared that I go to heaven to be with Maimeó[url=#_ftn1][1][/url]. I love her but I have so much to do here on earth, that’s why I tell her every night about my day and then when I am like really old you know like at least a hundred thirty seven and a quarter then I go and join her. He doesn’t have to be scared, I just love my Dadaí[url=#_ftn2][2][/url] so very much!”

Mommy kissed me, her wise little daughter. “Do you remember my Nana Jo?” I nodded excited, I loved the stories my Mommy told me of past times. “Your Nana Jo was a very wise woman, she was very modern thinking. But she… she really saw people she saw their souls and you my sweet Jill do that too. You don’t understand it yet but you are very special. You see people and that is a gift, don’t let anyone else tell you differently.”

I turned around and hugged my Mommy tightly. “I know. I have special powers, they are God-given and only He can take them. Don’t worry I love Dadaí and he loves me but he got hurt so much when Maimeó was taken from him. I just wished he had Daideó back then to help him. I will make him a cupcake filled with love.” I kissed Mommy and then run off with my school bag and cardie.      

“DADAÍ, JANEY are we going or what? My peeps are waiting for me!” I shouted as Mommy heard me opening the front door. Teddy was barking and speeding along the corridor to warn the big humans that one of human puppy was trying to escape.
“JILLIAN SAOIRSE CATHERINE O’DOHERTY what do you think you are doing?” Daddy yelled after me, his youngest daughter as he ran after me. Not surprisingly I was already halfway down the stairs. I could hear Mommy laughing when Liam ran past her.
“Not funny Jo, really not funny she always does this on the days it is my turn to drive them to school.” Daddy yelled at Mommy as he ran after me followed by Jane trying to keep up with Daddy and me. I was downstairs by the time Daddy caught up with me. Slowpokes.

“I thought you never reach me, come on I got to get to school my peeps are awaiting my arrival.” I said in a desperate way. Daddy took a deep breath I could see by the way he looked at me that he planned a long talk with me. However, he decided against it. Thank the heavens for the merci they showed me.

“Let’s just go.” Daddy said flat… I did not stop telling Daddy and Jane what I would do in school today, it was a busy day of reading, maths and spelling I also had story lesson and lunch and break… and I had to do messy play and… and… and. By the time Daddy had waved us girls off, I could see he was glad for a quiet drive back to Waterfall Downs Academy. I kissed my big sister on the cheek.

“If anyone gives you trouble or you need me you know where to find me. See you later my sweet Janey. I got to go.” And off I ran. My first stop was to the canteen to get my milk and a buttered slice of bread because you never say no to a buttered slice of bread. “My peeps!” I called out when I saw a few girls hang out by the water fountain, our usual hang out spot.
“Jelly Baby!” The girls screamed as they ran over to me. For the next seven hours, those three girls would do everything together unless a teacher separated them, which happened in most lessons. My peeps and I are very chatty and very noisy, but that is just the way we are. I checked on Janey at least once every lesson and between lessons and during break and lunch. I had to make sure she was okay and not having one of her episodes or worse anyone was mean to her…

“MOMMY! Oh thank the heavens you are here.” Jill ran to her mother and jumped into her arms, it was a long day and at the end of if Mommy was waiting by the gate for us.

“Where else would I be Munchkin?”Mommy smiled as she hugged me tightly. It was a bit weird when she smelled me, she always did that maybe to check if I wasn’t stinking but she was always smiling.

“I am not sure, Daddy could have taken you to the moon.” I giggled, taking the apple slices from her as we three girls went to the car. Not surprisingly Jane fell asleep in the car while I was wide awake planning the tart we would bake. “Mommy Fi’s brother is working in that shop there. I went in with Janey and Auntie Ricky. Auntie Ricky was really shocked, Fi punched the shit out of him.”

Mommy looked at me as if I said I am seeing the old gent’s bottom right there in the street. “You did what? Who did you see? Alfie doesn’t have a brother he has a sister, she is married and has a few children.”

“Uhu, I am not wrong. There is a brother. You said it this morning, I see people and I saw him. I don’t have homework. I did the poster in lunch with my peeps.”

Mommy was still looking at me weirdly but I know what I saw, I know I am right.

“I think you are mixing up something Munchkin.” Mommy looked at me, I put on my most determined face on. I knew I am right.

“Can we bake the tart?”

“Yes.” I knew that mommy wanted to discuss the brother issue, but I would not budge sometimes I was so sure of something but I wasn’t right. I am right now. He is his brother, they clearly had the same eyes.

“Can I bring a piece to Jamsey? He likes my baking.” I said as Mommy parked the car and lifted Janey out of her seat.

“Yes. Can you pick up Jane’s school bag?” Mommy was carrying Janey upstairs, in school boys were laughing about Janey ones because she sleeps so much. I always wondered if they were right. Did Janey sleep too much?
Janey would continue her nap, while Mommy and I did some magic in the kitchen. I like this, Daddy was in his office working, Janey woke up in the end and was reading (she can of course read already, not like me) to us while Mommy and I baked this wonderful tart with homemade vanilla custard sauce...

“JAMSEY!” I was standing at the hockey match yelling. Some of the girls were giggling and Jamesy was grinning too but he came over.

“Silly-Jilly I am coaching… ooooh what is that?” Jamesy knelt down next to me already starting to eat.

“I made lemon treacle tart with vanilla custard sauce.”

“Wait you made this? No way.”

“If you don’t believe me I take it away.” I looked strict at him.

“Whoa!” He grabbed me around the waist and pulled me back closer to continue eating. He made me giggle so hard. “I totally believe you. Silly-Jilly if you start selling those and you need a tester, I try anything you make!”

“Can I play hockey with you?” I looked at the big girls, they looked like they were having fun.

“No today, next time okay?” Jamesy kissed me on the cheek. “If you want me to eat anything else I am your man!”

“I will think about it. See you later alligator.” I hoped off, I still had reading to do and tidy my room and then there was dinner and bath time. Sometimes I wondered how I managed all this in a day.

“Daddy? Did you like the tart?” I was sitting in the bathtub, it was a long time ago that Jane and I bathed together I splashed too much. Right now Daddy and I were blowing foam at each other.

“It was lovely, close your eyes I got to rinse your hair.” Daddy was really careful rinsing my hair, I liked that. He is a really good daddy.

“I think it was a little dry. I got to think about this. Dadaí, is breá liom tú le mo chroí go léir agus beidh mé i gcónaí![url=#_ftn3][3][/url]” My eyes were still closed and I knew Daddy was glad about that.

“That sounded very good, beautiful pronunciation, Cupcake.” He brushed the water off my face. “You can open your eyes now.”

“I am ready to go to bed now.”

“Thank the universe for that. Come on then. Tomorrow will be another day full of adventures.”

“Yeah, Jamesy said I can play hockey with the girls tomorrow and the boys are training football tomorrow. I want to try this reading thing again. It cannot be that hard. I will not sleep until I can read tomorrow.”  I was yawning as Daddy snuggled me into my bed, Kangaroo and I safe and warm in my bed.

“No star gazing tonight I gonna close the curtains proper.” Daddy said as he pulled my curtains shut.

“I guess it is best.” I closed my eyes…

Liam knew that Jill was asleep before he even left the room. She was peaceful, slightly moving her lips. Jo was wrapping her arms around Liam in the hallway.

“We are really lucky. Thank you Liam for giving me this wonderful life.”

Liam grinned and kissed her. “Wanna make love on the couch?”

Jo giggled and followed her husband.

[url=#_ftnref1][1][/url] Mam-o
[url=#_ftnref2][2][/url] Dah-dee
[url=#_ftnref3][3][/url]Daddy, I love you with all my heart and I always will!

148Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 9th September 2019, 19:20



Alfie didn’t know what time it was. He barely knew what time it was these days. He barely even knew what day it was. He didn’t care. He would get up sometime at noon, he’d leave in the afternoon, before Ricky came back from work, and wouldn’t get home until late at night, or, very often, early morning. Ricky was asleep by then, and he would get up to go to work when Alfie was asleep. He’s not seen much of Ricky these days. It suited him. He didn’t feel like talking to him, or having to be interrogated by him. He just wanted to be left alone. Ricky slept in the guest room these days, and that suited him too. He didn’t need to be considerate, he didn’t need to sneak around. Sometimes Ricky came home from work and left straight after. Alfie didn’t know where he was going. He assumed to Waterfall Downs or his parents. He still made him food and put it in the fridge, but it seemed that he had finally giving up on forcing conversations all the time. This, too, suited Alfie. He hadn’t touched Ricky in a while either. With Ricky, everything needed to be gentle and careful. Alfie just couldn’t do it. He couldn’t bring himself to be considerate anymore, it was exhausting. He found plenty of release, but not with Ricky. There were enough boys out there that didn’t want him to be gentle, and that really suited him. He hadn’t been with men in a while, as he knew it would hurt Ricky. Now he didn’t care. There was no consideration left in his body, no patience for this crap. Ricky was a big boy, he just had to get over it. It’s not like he wanted to get married to any of these people he shagged. They didn’t mean anything to him.
Most times he spent in the club these days. There were plenty of eager guys, he always had a choice. It didn’t even bother him that the majority of them were from his own background, some he’s even known from childhood and school times. He was still the king among the princes, just like it had always been. During the day and afternoon older men hung out at the club to have a few drinks and smoke cigars, but they eventually left and that’s when their sons ‘came out to play’. They went to the backrooms, away from curious crowds and gossip, a place to themselves. Here, the young ones hung out. Some were married by now and had kids, but didn’t want to give up their bachelor lifestyle. Some simply didn’t want to grow up. And some were still quite young, either in their last year of school or first year of university. Those were the ones Alfie preferred. They ate out of his hands and were willing to do anything. They were not his former classmates who complained about their stupid wives, they were the young and wild ones who fought each other to get his attention. In this place he didn’t have to be considerate, and he liked that.
Alfie had lost count on how many drinks he’s had since he arrived at the club. It didn’t really matter anyway. Ricky was no longer the alcohol-police who told him off. He just let him be.
There were about seven more guys in the room, involved in a heated discussion that he couldn’t give a damn about. He didn’t want to come here to talk about politics after all. He got up and left the room, walking down a dark hallway, towards the toilets. On the other side of the hallway was the main salon, where all the old guys were having their smokes and drinks. He was about to open the door to the toilets when he spotted his father walking into the salon. Alfie wanted to disappear into the bathroom without his father noticing him, but he wasn’t quick enough. Broderick locked eyes with his son, and an insincere smile appeared on his face.
“What a surprise,” Broderick said. “The prodigal son of mine. I thought you’re dead or something. Been a while since we’ve last seen you.”

Alfie didn’t move. He could just turn around and go to the backroom but his father would most likely follow him, and he definitely didn’t want that.

“Sit with me.” Broderick’s cold eyes remained on him while a member of staff quickly took his black coat and hung it up, and another one pulled out a chair for him. “Come here!” His tone got harsher. Alfie was normally not one to obey, but he just couldn’t be bothered to cause a scene. He took a deep breath and walked into the salon, noticing a few gazes fixing on him. It was a rare sight, the Duke and his son together in public. A chair was pulled out for him too, but he didn’t sit down.

“You look like shit,” Broderick remarked as he lit a cigar. He held up another one towards Alfie, but he didn’t take it. “Sit down, Alfred.”

Alfie hated being watched by everyone. He realised that the longer he was standing around, the longer people would keep staring at him, so for once he did what his father said. The waiter appeared next to him, asking for their order, and before Alfie had the chance to get a word in his father already ordered white wine – most likely on purpose. Alfie hated white wine.
Broderick leaned back in his seat and scrutinised him with a condescending smirk. “You do look more dead than alive. Nobody’s taking care of you anymore, hm?”

“I don’t need anyone to take care of me,” Alfie said coolly.  

Broderick arched his eyebrows. “Oh right. I forgot. You are just so damn independent, aren’t you? With my father’s money, especially.”
It had always bothered Broderick immensely that Alfie had inherited most of Arthur’s money. Broderick felt that it was his right to get that money, he was the son after all, and yet he had only gotten a fraction, the legal portion, and his then 9-year old son became heir to Arthur’s millions. Of course Broderick had enough money, simply by being a Jackson and all the properties and money they owned to begin with, but he felt that he was robbed off his father’s money, and Alfie certainly liked to rub that in his face. On top of that lots of Arthur’s money had gone to some ridiculous charities, which was an absolute waste as Broderick would rather see those beggars and filthy children die of starvation and on the streets to finally be rid of them, and a large part of the inheritance had also ended up in his mother’s hands, and that old hag never let him see a penny of it.
“So what are you up to these days?” Broderick took a sip of his drink. “It’s not like you have to work for your money.”

“Well, did you ever have to work for it?” Alfie replied grimly.

Broderick chose to ignore that remark. “Your mother complains that you never show up. No idea why. We’re all better off that way, really.” He kept his eyes on Alfie the entire time, even when the waiter showed up next to their table again. He just waved him off. A small, cruel smile played around Broderick’s lips. “Although, you and your mother seemed quite…close when you were younger.”

Alfie felt his pulse racing. He wanted to grab his father’s head and bash it into the table. He generally had problems controlling his temper, but this right now was worse.

“To be fair, I never paid much attention to her,” Broderick continued. “I suppose that’s why she was quite glad to have you instead.”

Alfie had the hardest time restraining himself from choking this man. He didn’t want to let him know that he was getting to him, though.
“What is it that you want, father?” Alfie tried to sound calm but he failed.

“I just wanted to catch up with my son.” Broderick still smiled. “Such a lovely coincidence that we ran into each other, isn’t it?”

“Lovely,” Alfie muttered between gritted teeth.

“I hope you’re not still wasting time with people who drag your reputation down. I mean, not that there’s much more to drag down, but still…” Broderick lit his second cigar. “I don’t care if people talk shit about you, but ultimately you’re making the rest of your family look bad.”

Alfie let out a dry laugh.

“I don’t see what’s so amusing.” Broderick’s sly grin began to vanish.

“You seriously worry that I’m making you all look bad?” Alfie shook his head. “Fuck me, that’s hilarious! Everyone in the family is making us all look like shit. Mother is a joke, seriously. She only ever has migraines and complains. Cecilia can’t stop getting knocked up, giving birth to the worst brats I’ve ever seen in my life and she barely knows how to spell her own daughters’ names. Grandmother terrifies the shit out of everyone since, like, the 1600s, and refuses to die, like, ever, and you…I don’t even know where to begin…”

“I’d be very careful if I were you, Alfred,” Broderick hissed.

“Or what? You’re just going to lock me into that dark room in the basement, like mother did? Do you really think I’m scared of your threats, old man?”

A large vein appeared on Broderick’s forehead. Now he seemed to be the one restraining himself from lashing out.
“I wish my father would have just taken you, like he wanted to,” he muttered. “He would have done us all a massive favour.”

Alfie froze. “What?”

“He would have done me a bloody favour!”

“What did you say about him taking me?”

Broderick put down the cigar and crossed his arms. He had finally caught Alfie off-guard. “Oh right, you didn’t know…”

“Didn’t know what?”

“Poor old dad,” he said sarcastically. “Had enough of all of us. Was going to give up his bloody title and everything. And for what? To run off with this horribly spoilt brat of a grandson.”

“What are you saying?” Alfie felt the blood rushing to his head.

“It was all planned. I mean, we didn’t know about it, Charlotte and I. The suitcases were packed and everything. I guess he wanted to take off when we least expected it. Had a suitcase packed for you as well. I mean, it came to no surprise, since he has often threatened to just take you away, which, in hindsight, is ridiculous, since that would be kidnapping, but my father didn’t always make sense…” Broderick crossed one leg over the other, his cold eyes firmly fixed on his son. “And then this fool gets a heart attack. Literally the day before he was going to leave with you. Isn’t it funny how life pans out sometimes? If he hadn’t died the day before, you’d be living God knows where, and my father would probably still be alive, and you two would have had your happily ever after, and in the end your mother and I would have been better off, too. But no… fate had to get in the way. One day, son. It was literally one day.” Broderick shook his head. “Dear, old fate had struck once again, it seems that way.”

Alfie held his breath. He stared into the empty space behind his father, not even looking up when Broderick rose from his seat.
“Anyway…” Broderick’s voice sounded far away, barely reaching Alfie. “I have better thing to do than wasting my evening putting up with disgraceful people.”
Alfie still didn’t react, even after his father was gone and the waiter asked him if he needed anything else.
One day… His father’s words echoed through his head over and over again.
One day.

149Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 17th November 2019, 14:13

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

“Grandfather!” Jill screamed of the top of her lungs as she lunged herself at Colin from the stairs several steps up.

“Whoa Jill! I think you are told not to do that are you not?” Colin held his little granddaughter tightly.

“Maybe, it might be quite possible that Mummy and Daddy have mentioned it once or twice in the passing these past couple of years.” Jill had a way with words. She was looking with those blue eyes at her grandfather lovingly. “You know Grandfather, Uncle Scoddy told me stories of you. He said you and him were sliding down the banister of the grand staircase. As soon I am big enough to climb up on it I will have a go of doing that too.”

“Scotty has a big mouth.” Colin grinned, he would mention to Jo and Liam what their youngest daughter planned. “Tell me where is your Daddy?”

“He is in his lab. However, the red light is on. He is building something dangerous. I am not allowed in, but I have to tell him something. I made sweet corn muffins; luckily, I forgot the sugar so they are kinda nice. Mummy said she would serve them tonight with our dinner as dumplings. We will have lamb and vegeitablily, I like lambs on the field. Mummy said sometimes we got to eat them because that is why we keep them.”

“That is right. I am sure your muffins will be a delight.”

“Of course they are. Nevertheless, Grandfather I cannot stand here and chat with you the day away. I got things to do. Send my love to Grandmother; tell her eating the white bits in the oranges makes your poop slither out a lot better. I always eat it and I poop fantasticly twice a day.” Jill kissed Colin on the cheek and then she wriggled so much that Colin had to let her down or she would have fallen. As soon as her feet touched the ground, she ran off busy with the life of a four year old. Colin laughed he shook his head disbelieving. Sometimes he wondered how his daughter and Liam managed a school full of highly intelligent children and their twins. In both ways, Jill and Jane were a handful. 
He made his way to Liam’s lab; it used to be one of the basement storage rooms. He loved Waterfall Downs, he loved it when he grew up in it. Sure it was quiet but he never disliked his home, it was still quiet when for so long it was just him and Elizabeth and then his beloved wife got ill. When his little Jo was born, he hoped it would all get better. However, Elizabeth was completely against the Williams tradition of letting the heir play with the servant’s children. Elizabeth felt that it was beneath them, to let peasants play with their daughter. However, not until his beloved little princess married so young and opened up a school of her dreams while she got twins herself.

Colin smiled he knew that his mother would love Waterfall Downs now. If she would still be alive, she would refuse to do anything than sit in the common room and spend time with all the children. She always dreamed of filling the house with children. He used the intercom of the lab. “Liam? It is me Colin.”

It took some time until Liam opened the door. “Colin. I totally forgot that you said you would be coming. Come in I just have to finish the gadget. It is quite safe for you to come in. I am sure you enjoy it. I just got to lock the door because of the pupils and Jill.” Liam led Colin down into his lab and he was right Colin loved being down here.

“Liam, do you realise that I never have been in your laboratory? This is quite extraordinary. What are you building?” Colin was looking a lot younger, like a child in a candy store. Liam chuckled. “I know if you had been in here before I am not sure I would ever get you to leave. I am building a device that should hide you from radar.”

“That is possible?” Colin looked curious at Liam.

“Actually yeah, they are just radio waves and my device will divert them but at the same time replace the diversion behind the person or object so that it appears for a radar system that there is no object interfering with the radio waves.”

“Incredible.” Colin stepped closer to Liam without realising it. “I haven’t told Jo yet but Elizabeth had a setback, she is in Switzerland right now. She started to find her medication makes her not be herself… Her doctors suggested electro shock therapy now… I’ve seen those a long time ago it ruined the life of the patients but I cannot say it helped them.”

Liam nodded. “Did you agree to the treatment for her?”

“No. I could not yet bring myself to sign the paperwork, but I guess I have to. It could help her couldn’t it?” Colin looked at his son-in-law.

“I am not 100% certain but yes I think so.”

“If it would be Jo, would you agree to the treatment?” Colin threw Liam with this question. Jo had a few rough moments, moments when she was on medication to help her cope with severe situations and traumas.

“I don’t know. I would ask what her father would suggest.”

“And he would tell you that you are doing a wonderful job to look after his daughter, you do not need my permission to decide on a treatment for Jo.”

“No I do not, but I would hope my father-in-law would help me. I know we not always included you, after the twins were born I tried to keep you away but I now know that Jo would have liked you more around. She said so, and I certainly didn’t always the right thing for her during that time.” A shadow fell over Liam’s face. He hated to remember the way he acted. Colin watched him for a while.

“I know you had a hard time deal with the situation just as well.”

“Oh you have no idea.”

“Actually, Jo mentioned that once you were… not very nice to her.” Colin whispered carefully… “I know the feeling. A very long time ago before Jo was born I… we had lost another child not long before and I was rather frustrated. Elizabeth refused to consider adoption but she also insisted on sleeping in separate rooms. I… not my finest hour so I actually understand you very well.” Colin sighed deeply.

“Wait! Jo told you?” Liam was looking slightly pale.

“Did you hear what I said? That I understand you because I acted even worse.” Colin looked at Liam. “In short I basically told Elizabeth to get her act together and let me get her pregnant… my actions…”
Liam was very quiet for a while, just working on his device. “I never did it again and I never would.” He really didn’t want to talk about this but he realised just how similar Colin and he were, but also how hard it must have been for Colin. Always alone with Elizabeth dreaming of children…

“I know. I think even before she told me I knew something happened because you changed. You were never the superior husband kind of type, but afterwards Jo became your equal partners. I was proud seeing that, I wondered what caused it and never would I have guessed it..”

“You were? I was an ass.” Liam said disgusted of himself.

“Liam we are all just human. We do mistakes and the best person learns from it. I think I will agree to the treatment for Elizabeth. I know I cannot get the girl back I fell in love with but maybe I can help the woman she became.” Colin said now not just watching Liam anymore he was actively helping him.

“I should have never done this mistake. You know you warned me of this test.”
Colin started laughing. “I remember that moment. That was also the night you punched Victor, and you sadly had to meet Elizabeth during one of her very bad times. Did I ever apologise for that talk I gave you?”

Liam shook his head, but smiled. He would talk to Jo about her telling her father about him mistreating her. He knew that Jo was talking more about things to people she trusted but telling her father a man he respected so much was too far. “I will take some pointers from the talk in a few years when boys come knocking on my door to date my daughters. I would never let them date when they are just 16, or let them move out. I might let them consider it when they are about 35. I do worry that it will not be easy with Jill she is interested in boys for about 4 years now.”

“It was the only way I could shield Jo from seeing her mother… lose her mind. Liam, Jill is just 4 years old.”
Liam nodded understanding. “Tell me about it. And she has a thing for bad boys.” Liam moaned dramatically. “Okay so this should be finished. I will send it to the test lab in London. I am sorry this took me so long. So are you ready to work on that car of yours?”

“You bet.” Colin grinned excited. Colin and Liam drove to Waterfall Cottage, they were working for a while on the car in silent.

“Liam I would have never thought I would work on a car with my son-in-law. I know you found your father and you are close but I want you to know that if you ever need me I will always help you. I told you that years ago, but I mean it. You mean the world to me. I am not sure you know but my family had a habit of unofficially adopting new member to our family. Marge Adams lived here for over a year, and Scotty was kicked out of his family when he went to university. He had become a brother to me long before that and when he moved in I think my mother was more than happy to fill the house. She would have liked for Marge to stay but…”

“Garden Eden was the better option for her.” Liam finished. “I had no idea though. However adopting me would that not make Jo my sister?” Liam grinned cheeky.

Colin laughed. “Yeah that’s why you stay my son-in-law. However, you do understand what I am saying. Right?”

“I do. Yes.” For a while the two were working on the engine of the car. “I would have not expected you the father of my wife to be… to really you know.”

Colin grinned. “I knew a man that struggled like you to voice what they feel. I like you too Liam.”

Liam looked awkwardly away.

“Did Alfie ever tell you about his grandfather, Arthur?” Colin asked getting covered engine grease he didn’t even mind.

“No he never mentioned him but I know he was important to him. Jo mentioned him.”

Colin smiled. “Jo loved Arthur, when she was little we often went to his house. She was quite smitten by Alfie she called him her dictionary. He knew so much. I think that is why she was so crushed that he didn’t help her more during her dissertation. He had changed so much. The loss changed all of us in ways no one expected. I also lost my father not long after Arthur… I think never really grieved my father because having just lost Arthur… I just felt so numb, everything in my life was going wrong and I know why Scotty left. I think I would have left too, if I didn’t have my Jo and Mama to take care of, to cheer me up. It took Jo a while to understand that Arthur was not just on a holiday. She often asked to go and see him and Scotty and Arthur’s house… I didn’t know how to explain death to her.”

Colin looked at the car they were working on. “We drove to Brighton in this car once, Scotty, Marge, Arthur and me… It was a different time.”

Liam was thinking of his mother, thinking of how different his life was. Living in Oxford and working with children he found out how much Arthur Jackson did for so many of them. Liam knows that his life would have looked so different if his mother would not have died but Arthur… Alfie’s life would have looked different, so different.

“I am sorry I made this rather a sad meeting. This is the real curse we are all struck by it, old age. I see you and Jo and the beginning of your live wondering for how long I will be a part of it. It is getting quite late. I can drive you back to Waterfall Downs.”

Liam took a moment to answer before he looked up. Sometimes he was a klutz understanding feelings but he knew that Colin would be alone and lonely if he would just leave now.  “Why don’t you come to dinner? The girls would love if you spend the evening with us. You can even stay over. With Elizabeth away… you shouldn’t be all alone.”

Colin smiled, he patted Liam’s shoulder smudging oil all over him. “You are a really good man! I would love to join you for dinner. You missed Jill earlier she made some sweet corn muffins and she was rather disappointed that you were busy.”

Liam laughed. “Tell me about it. Jill never stops talking. Actually, I am not sure you staying over is safe. Jill might be too excited and won’t let you sleep.”

“She is quite a handful. Come on let’s go I am looking forward to lovely meal.”

“MUMMY! I am done but there is no toilet paper, I made a poop!” Jill shouted from the bathroom.

“Jilly, we don’t shout like this. And don’t talk about what you did in the bathroom.” Jane said rather loud back from her nursery.   

“Just give me a minute I am getting the lamb out of the oven.” Jo shouted back from the kitchen.  Liam was slightly surprised to see James standing in the hall of his flat. He put his finger on his lips to signal the two new comers to stay quiet.

“But Mummy, I got to look if the beans from breakfast came out! It is important I got to know if I poop faster than Henry!” Jill shouted from the bathroom.

James was laughing quietly, this was insane but just like his home back in Scotland. It was quite a show, Colin and Liam joined in the silent laughter.

“Oh, Grandfather, daddy… James.” The last word was just a very quiet whisper. Jane went even a little pale seeing the three men in the hallway and realising that those three men she loved so dearly had heard her scream like a crazy person.

“Oh never mind Mummy, I’m pooping again! The toilet paper can wait.” Jill screamed and Jane blushed deeply red.

James grinned and swooped her off the floor. “How is my little Irish Princess? Did you know that we are all coming for dinner?”

Jane shook her head.

“Well we smelled your mummy’s cooking and we just had to come.” James kissed the little girl on the cheek.

“Oh, Papa, James I had no idea you would be coming.” Jo looked down at herself she was just wearing a pair of leggings and one of Liam’s comic jumper his Huey, Dewey, and Louie. “I am not dressed for guests.”

“Jo, darling you look just fine to receive your family.” Colin smiled and let Liam kiss his wife, for a brief second he thought he saw panic in Jo’s eyes. Liam held her close and whispered for no one else to hear. “Tá tú breá.1

The panic vanished as quickly as it could have escalated, but Jo smiled shy and brushed some lose hair out of her face. “I’m sorry I had a quick shower not long ago, sorry my hair is still wet. But dinner is ready. Jane why don’t you go and get two more table settings.”

Jane smiled shy, Jo worried that the surprise visit would cause Jane to shut down, to refuse eating, to have one of her OCD episodes.

“Mummy? What is going on out there, please somebody help me wipe my bum. Oh please don’t leave me hanging here!” Jill shouted from the bathroom.
Liam laughed and quickly went in the bathroom.

“DADDY!” Jill grinned as she wriggled on the loo spreading her arms wide for Liam to hug her.

“Jill we talked about this shouting.” Liam laughed as he kissed his youngest daughter.

“I know but something is going down in the hallway and I am not included, quick can you help me wipe my bum. I need toilet paper but I cannot reach the shelf.” Jill was basically bouncing on the loo. “Who is out there anyway?”

“Your Grandfather and James will join us for dinner.”

“WHAT!!!???? Quick, quick. I got to go and greet the peeps.” Liam had barely a moment to hand his daughter the toilet roll and then she ran off her knickers and tights not even proper up.

“Grandfather, twice in one day and you are staying for dinner? Is Grandmother coming too? I am sure we got oranges to help her poop. I just had a massive poop. Oh no I forgot to check for beans! Bugger.”

“Jill language.” Jo was a lot calmer now, James was helping to put everything on the kitchen table while Colin helped Jane to make sure all the plates where in the perfect place.

“This looks lovely Jo. No Jill, Grandmother is… she went for a little retreat to Switzerland.” Colin look worried at his daughter. Jo looked up as she was serving dinner.

“Is she…”

“She just needs some time.” Colin answered quickly he would later explain the details; Jo nodded not wanting to concern the twins with such a grown up topic.

“Mummy, the lamb is touching the carrots.” Jane whispered, Jo was about to move the carrots when Jill took over.

“Janey! We all need a little chaos in life, let me help you.” Jill took the fork she already had in her mouth before and stirred everything together on her sisters plate. Jane went pale first, then slightly green and then she started scream from the top of her lungs.

“NO! NO! NO! JILLIAN what have you DONE?” Jane was shaking pushing Jill very rough away from her side. The little girl looked slightly hysterical. She tried to separate her food with her hands, which just made her scream more realising her hands were dirty now. Liam saw outbursts of Jane but this was the worst. Neither James nor Colin knew what to do. Jo picked up her older daughter and held her tightly not caring that the jumper got covered in food. Jill was the first to speak again.

“Nobody loves me or ever has!” She shouted and pushed her way out of the kitchen. Jo was whispering sweet words into Jane’s ear to calm her daughter down. She looked at Liam urging him with her eyes to follow Jill but…

“I will go and see to Jill if I may. I knew once a girl that felt very unloved.” Colin got up and followed his wild granddaughter. She was hiding in Jo’s study under the desk, hugging her knees and kangaroo. Colin sat down at the other side of the desk to give her as much space as possible.

“Go away Grandfather, I know you don’t love me.” Jill said gloomy.

Colin didn’t say anything, he just waited. It seemed like forever before he pushed over a piece of paper. He drew a big heart on it.

“You just say that because you have to.” Jill mumbled back.

He just drew another heart on another piece of paper. Jill looked at those two hearts for a while.

“You wanted to help Jane and it went wrong, sometimes Jill our best intentions go wrong… Your Grandmother is not feeling well, and then she acts…”


“Yes. I try to help her… but I am not sure how I tried so much…” Colin looked into the distance when suddenly Jill was climbing on his lap.

“I am sure once Grandmother has a humongous poop she will be less crazy… I just want Janey to be happy. I often make things messy and she is okay.”

“And sometimes she will not be. Jill I wish you could stay forever four years old. Life of a four year old is one of the best times in life anything seems possible. Growing up is not easy and not always pretty and there will be times everything will go wrong, but and that is a very important but your family, your mummy and daddy and Jane will never stop loving you they can’t they are bound to you forever. I promise you that.”

“Will you pinky swear?”

“I will! Come on let’s finish dinner, I was really looking forward to your sweet corn muffins.” Colin picked up the little girl and together they went back in the kitchen. Jane was snuggled on Jo’s arms looking like she was nearly asleep, Jo’s once clean hair was covered in mash potatoes. Liam got up and smiled warmly at Jill.

“Cupcake! I am so glad you came back. Jane is very sorry, she had a rough day in school.” Liam took Jill from Colin and sat down with her on his lap back at the table. “Also these sweet corn muffins are incredible; maybe we should start selling them. We could become rich.”

Jill shrugged her shoulders but she started eating dinner. James and Colin did small talk they would be leaving soon but the O’Dohertys were concentrating on the two little girls. Neither of the guests stayed long after the dinner, and neither of them felt offended by the brief goodbyes.

It was very late when a pair of little bare feet pattered through the hallway into the nursery of her sister. “Jilly? Are you asleep?”

“You don’t need to be nice to me, I know you hate me because I am messy and dirty.”

Jane sighed deeply but snuggled into her sister’s bed. “I can never hate you, but… one of the big children in school was mean and… I wet my knickers. I didn’t have any spare and had to keep those on. I couldn’t tell anyone in school.”

Jill turned around to face her sister. “I had a spare in my bag. Who was mean to you? I gonna kick them so hard that they won’t poop until Christmas next year.” Jill wrapped her arms around her sister. Jane nodded and leaned into the embrace holding her Duckling very tight. It was a long day for Jane but she was now safely in her sister’s arms. “You can tell me anything Janey, always and forever will I be your sister. I try to be a little less messy.”

Jane didn’t say anything she just held on to Jill, breathing in slowly knowing the scent of her sister so well. Jill was already planning to get Henry and their gang together to revenge Jane, no one, absolutely no one was allowed to mess with their favourite siblings. Ever!

1 You are fine.

150Coming Home - Page 6 Empty Re: Coming Home 17th April 2020, 17:09

Ariel Buttercup

Ariel Buttercup

“Henry come on, it is time to get up if you want breakfast.” John called from the bottom of the stairs it was the third time he was calling for his youngest son. Henry rolled over onto his left side deeply moaning.

“I am not ready to face the day.” Henry mumbled and then stopped himself. “… this day… Heilige Entengrütze!” Henry jumped out of bed and looked at his calendar he made it himself, the boxes were wonky and there it was the day with the star. “TODAY IS THE DAY!!!” Henry shouted from the top of his lungs. Bailey ran barking in just as loudly.

“Was bist du den hier am rumschreien? Bailey glaubt du hast nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank.“ Lorelai looked at her son. She snip her finger and Bailey stopped barking and sat down looking expecting at her mistress.

“Sorry Mutti.” Henry said grinning in perfect German. “I just forgot what day it is. I got to go and get the poop eggs from my chickens. I bet they pooped loads. They often poop in fear when the fox is around and I got a feeling that the fox was there tonight. You better be hungry for poop eggs.” Henry shouted still in his PJs as her an down the stairs. He jumped in his wellies in the mudroom and was out the door before anyone could have stopped him.

“ENTENGRRÜTZE it is cold. I better get some more hay around the chicken house.” The little boy was not wearing his coat, so the snowy winter weather was biting his little body. “Don’t worry Schniedelwutz we will be inside very soon. Hang strong, hang strong.”

Henry opened the chicken coop and made sure he closed the door tightly behind him. He didn’t want to chase his chickens before school in PJs… again. “Good morning Ladies, and my cock. Now who of you pooped me an egg or two? Janice, Patti, Beverly, Kelly, Margaux, Brigitte, Marilyn and Twiggy, my gorgeous ladies any pooping done?  Henry the eighth, how is it hanging? Everything free swinging?” Henry moved slowly through the chicken house and collected the eggs from his ladies. He was rather proud of his English Court as he called it.

“Bailey stop barking at me and my chickens.” Henry said sounding annoyed as he came out of the chicken house and Bailey was standing outside the fence. The little dog was wearing her pink long sleeved woollen coat Coming Home - Page 6 Web-pi10 that said Boss Dog on the back. Coming Home - Page 6 24331310

“Henry you will catch your death out here.” Lorelai said shaking her head at her youngest. A snip of her finger and Bailey ran right next to Lorelai. The dog was not even a year old barely a few months and she adored her mistress and she clearly adopted what Lorelai had told her. Bailey had no idea that she was tiny. She weight barely 4lbs, the vet said she was the smallest dog she had seen in a long time but Bailey believed she was the same size and Der Keizer, Lorelai’s large Hanoverian stallion.

“Ich bin in wenigen Augenblicken drinnen. Ich musste unsere Frühstückskackeier holen. Nun meine Damen, Schwanz glückliches kacken und spannen. Mutti ich weiß nicht, ob ich die Stallknaben sehe, aber ich brauche mehr Heu ums Haus, damit der Königshof warm und geröstet bleibt, damit die Damen weiter Eier kacken können und Henry der Achte weiter spannen kann.“ Henry said quickly as he was dancing as much as he could without any of his eggs falling out of the basket.
Lorelai stared at her son, this was so weird and hilarious at the same time.

“Schnell Mutti, mein Schniedelwutz fällt gleich ab!”

“Yes, yes I get them to place more hay around the house. Now go inside. I expect my egg to be soft boiled. You know I like to dip my soldiers in the yolk.” Lorelai answered back in German and Henry hurried off.

“Daddy? Mutti wants her egg to be soft boiled. There are enough poop eggs for all of us, even for barky Bailey. She barks so much. Whenever I am doing anything she just barks.” Henry said as he placed the egg basket on the kitchen counter.

“It is because you are loud and twitchy, you never stand still and…” Edward tried to explain but his little brother already had run out of the kitchen, kind of proofing his point.
Henry ran into his room and went straight to the wardrobe he opened the door and looked at the large poster, a list with a rising sun at the top.

“Okay, it is morning. So I got the poop eggs, what’s next…” He ran his finger along the sentence, shook his head and looked at the picture at the end. 
Coming Home - Page 6 113-1110 
”Okay teeth brushing aaaand…”

He looked at the second picture ignoring the sentence again. 
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“… ash my face. Got it. I nearly remember it this morning.”

Henry ran off in the boys’ bathroom brushed his teeth, he used the hourglass despite hating to have to do for soooo long. Washed his face with a splash of water and then ran back in his room, his face still dripping wet.

“Okay what’s next…” He ran his finger along the third instruction, again not even trying to read the sentence. Henry hated reading. He said it was too hard. He was glad that his best friend Jill liked reading, she was learning it since a while now so she read for him whenever she could.

Coming Home - Page 6 638a9a10

“Oh, duh. Getting dressed of course can’t go to school in my Pjs.” Henry looked down at himself and then turned around realising that he was still wearing his willies, and left visible footprints. “Whoopsey!” Henry grinned and quickly hid his willies under his pillow and put on his school uniform. When Jane will see him she will go all twitchy, he was so untidily dressed as he walked in the kitchen.

“Here I am!”

John rolled his eyes. “Yes we can see that. Also thanks for making me mop the kitchen floor where are your willies?”

Henry grinned innocently. “I have no idea… I mean in the mudroom where they belong. The footprints aren’t mine.” Henry sat at the kitchen table and picked up his cup of warm honey milk and fresh baked German wholemeal bun. He had a knife and well more or less hacked the bun apart. Took cold meats and cheese and piled it between the two halves. “Are the poop eggs cooked yet?”

“Why do you keep calling them poop eggs? They are just eggs. Uncle Liam explained that a bird has one opening and it is not faeces when the eggs come out.” Edward said quietly. Edward always spoke quietly. “Is Graham picking me up today after school?”

“Have you see the eggs? They are dirty there is clearly poop on them they are poop eggs, Uncle Liam has no idea about animals.” Henry said with his mouth full.

“Henry!” Lorelai said strict despite the fact that she just walked back into the kitchen, her own willies and coat and Bailey’s coat were tidy in the mudroom. Bailey walked over to her warm breakfast and started eating not missing the opportunity to bark at Henry again.

“No Edward, Graham won’t pick you up today. He apologised and promised to spend the day with you after Christmas, there is also a concert he would like to take you to in Manchester. If you would like to go you may do that it would mean you stay overnight with Graham in a hotel in Manchester.”

Edward nodded without a word acknowledging the change of plans and conforming that he would like to go, all with one small nod. Lorelai smiled warmly at her middle son and took a sip of her strong coffee, about the fourth cup she had since she was awake. She always got up at 4:30AM. Running a stud farm and riding school was hard work and took a lot of dedication. Henry looked admiring at his Mutti, she was the most amazing woman in the whole wide world, so much more than Wonder Woman.
John gave everyone a fresh boiled egg and sat down himself. Meal times in the Von Grünsee household were very import. You needed a good excuse to miss either breakfast or dinner. Lunch was just a small thing, but the other meals!

“John are you taking the boys with you into town?” Lorelai spoke English with her husband and accepted that the boys spoke with either other English but as soon as they wanted her to participate in the conversation they needed to speak German and they never not did it. Most children visiting the house picked up enough German to know what they said even though when they never spoke German themselves, like Jill and Jane and some other kids from school. John was fluent in German but he refused to ever speak it.

“Yes. We are leaving in 25 minutes. I want to leave a bit earlier because of the snow. But you will have to take the bus back home today.” John said with a mysterious twinkle in his eyes.
Edward again nodded he didn’t like having to take the bus, usually most other children weren’t very kind to him.

“It’s alright Edward. If anyone bothers you I make them bugger themselves.” Henry said heated, enjoying his egg loudly.

“Henry!” Lorelai looked strict at her youngest son, Bailey quickly throwing in a bark too.

“Mutti I got to make sure they aren’t mean to him. It is even worse when Jane and Jill are on the bus with us. Jill and I are so busy making them all to bugger themselves. They are really mean.” Henry said so heated. Lorelai understood her son, she knew how mean children could be to the ones that were different but she also didn’t want to encourage violence.

“Find a way that does not get you in trouble. Use your words. Jill is good with those.” Lorelai said, only receiving an eye rolling from the youngest Von Grünsee member.

It didn’t take long and John left with the boys for school. Lorelai sighed a moment of relief. She loved her men -big and little- dearly but she also loved when they left for the day and she could sit in her office on the big armchair with a fresh cup of strong coffee and Bailey on her lap, chewing a oxtail or a hair cow ear. When it was just the two of them. Peace and quiet.

“I am rather sad that I will miss my art and English lessons for the Carole service.” Edward said looking at his small planner.

“Don’t worry your teacher’s planned that you will miss those lessons.” John said with a smile. He knew how important school was for Edward. He often missed already lessons for his music.

“I am glad I am missing reading and spelling and story time. I hate those lessons. I hope we won’t miss break those. And hopefully I can sit with Jill in the church, though she likes church. She always tells me to sit still in church. But the benches are always so hard and uncomfy and all the singing of weird words. Oh Entengrütze I forgot my lunch.” Now Henry looked even more distressed than Edward did. John chuckled. “Have you forgotten that you are having Christmas dinner in school today?”

“Oh thank the pooping gods. Yes I did forget that! I am so glad. I love a good dinner and a Christmas dinner is extra special. Do you know that the dinner ladies are really charming? Gladys, always gives me extra potatoes and gravy and less vegetables. She is such a doll.” Henry chuckled now to himself. He liked lunch a lot and he liked it even more when he had a hot dinner. “They let us sit with the reception class. So Jill and I can sit together, she has all her peeps sitting with her. And you can sit with Jane.” Henry said. Edward nodded. He knew that Jane would have a special plate that would keep her food apart and she would have a small bowl for the gravy and the cranberry sauce. He would help her to get her food all nicely separated, he would even carry anything that wouldn’t fit on her tray.

“Dad come on stop the car the school gate is right there, we can walk the last bit.” Henry yelled as he got ready to jump out of the moving car.

“Alright, alright. Have a lovely day boys and behave Henry.”

“Always!” Henry shouted as he ran through the snow towards the school, Edward waved at his father as he drove off. He would walk a little slower. Henry was basking in the attention of his friends, he waved to Jill who just walked onto the yard and quickly went to registration. He knew he had just moments left before he would be late.
Jane and Edward greeted each other a lot more polite and quietly, they could easily be part of a Jane Austen novel, as they walked together to the corridor their classes were.

As expected it was hard for Henry to sit still during the church service, but he was sitting with Jill and with Edward and Jane on a bench. Edward had asked very politely his class teacher if he could sit with his brother and younger cousins and he promised he would make sure Henry would not disturb the service too much. A smart move and the teacher allowed it. They were sitting at the aisle, right in the back. Partly in case one of the teachers had to take out Henry or Jill out -they didn’t know yet how much the little girl liked going to church, she loved the singing and the butterflies in her tummy and she was good in praying she and God had a great connection, because God loved peeps just like she did- and the other reason because in the back you had the best audio without reflection and echo. Edward liked that. It was a surprise that the other three children made sure that Henry was behaving...

“Gladys, my doll. I hope you will have an amazing Christmas. So dinner.”

“I already got your plate ready, your brother is already sitting down and so do your cousins, Jane’s was as difficult as ever but no food is touching. Jill on the other hand already said she would very much like seconds. Now take your plate and off you go you little charmer. And a Merry Christmas to you too.”

“I knew it you are a doll.” Henry grinned when he saw his extra potatoes and gravy and less vegetables. He sat down next to Jane. “Yours looks nice Jane.” Henry smiled warmly at his favourite tidy little girl.

“Thanks. Yours…” Jane’s hand was twitching slightly. “You got less vegetables, Mummy says they are important.”

“Oh yeah I got a deal with the dinner ladies. I got more potatoes though, they are a vegetable aren’t they?” Henry grinned cheeky at her. Jane smiled a little back at him.

“No not really. You got gravy on your chin.” She said and wiped his chin. “Also your tie is a mess and I think your shirt is buttoned up wrong.”

“Sorry. Let me fix it.” He took off his tie, which Jane took gladly and tied it perfectly for him while Henry still eating buttoned his shirt correctly. When he put his tie back on Jane sorted his collar.

“There now you are as handsome as your daddy.” Jane smiled and wiped some mash potatoes of his cheek.

“Thanks.” Henry grinned and kissed her on the cheek back. Jane blushed deeply and quickly stuffed some food on her mouth, ignoring that it was Brussels sprouts and roast potatoes.

“Your welcome. Are you gonna come out after we ate and have a snowball fight?” He grinned cheeky at her.

“No I think I rather go to the library. But be careful, I don’t want you to fall.” She said. Of course did she love her wild cousin. She might prefer Edward but she still loved Henry just as much. “I am sure Jilly will join can you look after her?” Jane sounded worried.

“Of course, I make sure she is in my team.” Henry quickly finished his Christmas dinner and dessert ran outside to join the fight. He found Jane and after he hugged her tightly, they created a team and the fight got intense. They would have two more hours after lunch. Henry looked just as messy as he did before lunch when he went into his classroom for afternoon registration...

“Finally school is over. I got to get Edward to sit with him on the bus.” Henry sighed a deeply as the last bell rang. He hurried to his beg through his coat on and stood next to Edward in the corridor, waving at the twins who would also take the bus home. “Are you ready?”

“Yes.” Edward whispered.

“I don’t like the bus, it smells odd in there and the seats are always sticky.” Jane whispered to Edward, he nodded and took her small hand.

“Where is Jill?” Henry asked looking through the crowd.

“Oh she said she is going to get us the good seats on the bus. Whatever that means.” Jane said slightly louder to Henry so he could hear her. Henry took all gentleman like her small satchel and walked on her other side out of the school making sure no one would push her.

“HENRY! EDWARD! JANEY you got to come quick!” Jill came back to them without her own satchel screaming and bouncing in the snow. “This is so incredible!”

The youngest of the four managed to push them all towards the school gate and grinned from one ear to the other.

“DAAAAAANNNN!” Henry screamed of the top of his lungs.

“HENNERS!” Dan screamed back as he let the little boy jump into his arms. “Man you have grown. So I thought I leave uni early and come and pick you up. I saw the snow last night and called Dad and he said it would be an amazing idea. So here I am. Hi Edward, Jane.” Dan grinned at the others. Jill had seen him before when she had hurried to the bus and realise they would have amazing seats in Dan’s car.

“I can’t believe you are already here! I had plans to hide in your closet and then come out of the closet and scare the poop out of you. Maybe it would have been a poop egg. Just like my ladies.” Henry still said so loud. Edward helped Jill into the middle back seat and put her seatbelt on as he climbed in after her.

“Jane let me help you.” Henry said loudly as he offered his hand for her to hold on to as she climbed on the passenger seat.

“Thank you Henry.” Jane smiled, she even managed to ignore that his hand was slightly sticky and covered in paint stains.

“Henry get in and let’s drop off the young ladies and then we go home. And you can show me your royal chicken court, and anything else.” Dan laughed watching his little brother charm Jane’s socks off.

“I got so much to show you and tell you and we got so much to do. You missed the first snow and the first advent and Nikolaus and-“

“Henners! Breath!” Dan laughed as he looked around the car checking that all little ones were safely in the car and then started the engine. “Okay off we go. Sorry for driving a bit slower, but it is so snowy and as soon as we leave Oxford city it gets even worse. So tell me about your day. Edward, you first.”

“We went to the carol service-“

“The teachers let us all sit together!” Henry shouted interrupting his big brother. “And we had Christmas dinner and I had less vegetables and more potatoes are potatoes vegetables?”

Dan laughed and shook his head.

“No I don’t think potatoes are vegetables, we will ask Mutti. Jane did you enjoy the carol service?”

Jane nodded. “Gabriel’s halo wasn’t even and Mary help the baby Jesus wrong I believe even Baby Jesus would have… died. She shook him to hard. But she was just a little girl so I guess she still has time to learn.”
Without trying to be, Jane was hilarious and Dan grinned. The ride home was one heck of a party. With four children under 8 years it was mean to be funny. They were all giggling when Dan stopped the car outside of the front door of Waterfall Downs Academy. They would later come back for the swinging Christmas Party. The annual Christmas Eve Party got moved to the last day of term party so that all children could go home the day after. A lot of day pupils stayed overnight in camp beds in their friends’ rooms if their parents weren’t attending or they wanted a seat on the bus that drove some home. Liam was standing on the steps watching sternly as Dan stopped the car.

“You should have let Edward sit on the passenger seat. Jane is too small to sit there.” Liam said a little gruff.

Dan blushed, but it was Henry that answered first. “I thought the most lady-like princess should have the most comfortable seat, and Edward was watching Jill to make sure she was sitting properly.”
Liam looked now stern at Henry.

“I was very safe Daddy.” Jane chirped as she took Liam’s hand and Henry gave her, her school satchel. Henry kissed her on the cheek.

“I promise I will look handsome tonight. I will have a red tie and I ask my dad to make sure it is really straight. What kind of knot do you like the most?”

“I like the Windsor knot, Grandfather showed me a picture of Great-Grandfather and he always wore the Windsor knot.” Jane smiled.

“I will ask my dad how to knot that one. Not sure. Maybe Dan knows how to do it, he might have learned it in his fancy big boys school.”

Jill hugged Henry tightly. “I will see you tonight. I got a new dress and a hair ribbon two actually. Scoddy will braid my hair, Grandfather said he is really good in doing that. He once nearly braided his hair. Maybe we can braid James’ hair at the party. What do you think?”

“Love the plan.” Henry grinned. “There will be food right?”

“Are you kidding me? Of course!” Jill laughed. She leaned closer one more time. “And we can check if we are big enough to slide down the grand staircase.”

“YEAH!” Henry whispered back.

“Hey Henners, time to go home. Mutti will wonder where we are.” Dan called. “See you tonight Professor.” Dan smiled at Liam. Even when his old teacher and headmaster was strict and concerned about his daughters’ safety it would never changed how much Liam meant to him. He was the one that saw Dan’s potential when he visited his old school. That day changed everything, Dan was actually quite sure if he hadn’t met Liam O’Doherty that day and asked if he wanted to take a test to see if he fits the criteria for a different school, he would be dead today. He would not celebrate Christmas in 1975. He would be dead. He wasn’t sure if his stepfather would have beat him to dead or if Dan in the end would have taken his own life to escape. So he would never forget what Liam did for him.

“I’m sorry Professor, next time I make sure Edward sits in the passage seat. I promise.” Dan smiled apologetic at Liam and his old headteacher nodded grateful.

“Off we go!” Henry yelled from the back seat. Dan grinned and drove off. He loved being home. Sure being a student living in halls and you know exploring the world was amazing but this -Dan looked in the review mirror and looked at Waterfall Downs Academy- and he looked ahead towards Three Lakes Stud Farm. He loved his home so very much.

“Henners how is Mutti’s new dog?”

“She is always barking at me.”

“Because you are loud and always moving.” Edward explained.

“Well yeah but she should be used to it by now. Anyway she is always barking and has no idea that she is tiny, like really tiny.” Henry showed Bailey’s size, the Jackawawa seemed to have turned into a either a small guinea pig or large gerbil. Dan laughed. His laugh froze in his throat as he saw Mutti waiting outside the main building, and next to her the small dog again in her pink coat. She was so small that Dan understood why she was wearing a coat the snow reached her stomach.

“I told you we are taking an awful long time.” Dan stopped the car and Henry jumped out.

“Mutti! Wir musten doch die O’Doherty Damen zu Hause absetzen. Und Dan ist sehr achtsam gefahren. Schule wr klasse, ich wünschte wir würden jeden Tag einen Gottesdiesnt haben. Wie geht es meinen Damen?“ Henry dropped his school bag and ran to his chicken coop. “Hello Ladies and my Cock. Any more poop eggs? You seem to like the fresh hay. I will put you to bed later hang tight and let it hanging Henry the Eighth.”

Henry grinned and ran inside, ignoring the barking of Bailey. Lorelai knew that Bailey actually had no problem with her youngest son, she was just concerned because he was so wild that he would get hurt so the little dog decided to alert her mistress to his location at all times. Bailey actually loved him the most, he was fun to play with. Lorelai was hugging Dan tightly, her Dan.

“You are too skinny, you lost weight.” She mumbled not letting go of him.

“MUTTI!? Is there ANY food in the house?” Henry yelled from the open kitchen door. Not like it was below zero and the heating was on in the kitchen.

“HENRY! Mach die Tür zu! Hast du Säcke vor der Tür?” Lorelai yelled back, right into Dan’s ear. Dan just held his Mutti tighter and chuckled, this was home all the madness. Oh and yeah in the background Edward was already playing the alp horn. Some thought Pippi Longstockings house was insane? They have not been at Three Lake Stud Farm. It is a madhouse, but his madhouse and he loved every corner of it.

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