Not so Fairytale.
This is a poke fun at the Fax writers, one of the Antifax duet. Part two of which is called Seasons, and isn't finished yet.
Roughly 2600 words.
I posted Five, which had MaxOmega, now known as Maega. Maega is the new Mari, which was the new FIggy.
JP owns MR. I own everything else.
The op had been a tricky one, a beloved pet cat had been run over by a car, and brought in by the distraught six-year-old owner, and her equally distraught and repentant father, who had been willing to pay any expense to get his daughter's forgiveness. I'd followed Mom's footsteps into being a vet, well, kinda. I was an assistant at the local clinic, but I was good at it, and my boss let me handle some of the small things on my own.
I was home from work, and it was late – later than I had been last night, and later still from the night before. I hoped Malia had cooked dinner, and fed the younger ones. My cooking had improved over the years, especially after Iggy had left with Gazzy to go to College, but I didn't have the patience tonight, and I was exhausted.
I opened the front door after almost slipping on the icy steps. It was supposed to snow tonight, so I might actually get to see my kids tomorrow. Snow day. I stepped into the hall, putting down my purse on the front table, and glancing at the letters I saw there was one from Angel, off around the world with boyfriend Pedro in tow.
Making my way into the kitchen, I saw Fang on the couch in front of the TV, and my oldest three doing homework on the kitchen table. I'm greeted with a chorus of 'Hi, Mom's'.
"Dinner's in the oven, Mom," says my older daughter. I brush her hair out of her face and kiss her forehead. "It's lasagna and salad."
I thank her, and she smiles up at me. "What's the homework about?" I ask them, getting the lasagna out of the oven.
"I've got Math," says Malia, "JJ's got an English essay, and Catie's got to draw a few pictures for art." I take a bite of pasta and mince and cheese – it's so much better than mine will ever be, and smile at my daughter. "And Mikey's in bed, sound asleep. They played a soccer game at school, and he's pooped."
Malia looks so much like her Grandmother Martinez, with her dark hair, but my nose and eyes. She's twelve, and so responsible for her age, but not because she's had to grow up too fast because of Erasers. She's just got a younger sister and two brothers to contend with.
JJ, on the other hand, looks just like his father, dark hair, dark eyes, olive skin. He's concentrating hard on his essay, he's not good at writing, but he's a math whiz. I'm surprised that my two oldest haven't swapped homework, they've done it before. The two of them have been as thick as thieves ever since we introduced two-day old JJ to two-year-old Malia.
Catie's a redhead, and I have no idea where that came from, since neither me, nor Fang, have any red-headed relatives. She's otherwise like me the most, same eyes, same slight wave in her hair, same build and same tan and white wings. She's seven, and picks up languages faster than I can fly.
I nod, slightly sad. "Thanks. The lasagne's absolutely gorgeous." Malia smiles with pride.
Catie bounces up and down. "I helped make it!" She says.
"Well, your obviously turning out to be a better cook than Mommy is!" I say to her, and my kids grin.
"That's not saying much." Fang welcoming me home from work with his usual brevity. He's leaning against the door, hair flopping into his face the way it did when he was fourteen. He's thirty-four now, and hasn't realised that Emo went out with Dubya.
"Yes, thanks, love," I say with sarcastic innocence," Work was good today, thanks for asking. We had two dogs, a horse, a llama and three cats come in, but only one major op. I get tomorrow off."
Catie cheers. "It's prolly gonna be a snow day tomorrow, Mom!" Catie's got an uncanny knack of knowing what the weather will be like – thankfully that's the only hint of extra special ability in my kids.
"How about we fly out to the mountains then? Mikey's just about old enough." I say, having finished my dinner. I put the plate in the dishwasher, which is thankfully only half full. Someone, probably JJ, had emptied it.
"I'm busy tomorrow." Fang grunts.
I'm curious. Fang is never busy. "Doing what?"
I shrug. "Okay, just me and the kid's will go then. If you get out of whatever you're doing early, you can catch up."
"Fine." He walks back into the lounge and the TV volume turns up. I walk over and close the door, muffling the sound somewhat. Malia rolls her eyes at me. I roll my eyes back. I'll have words with him tonight. We don't fight in front of the kids.
In all truth I don't end up talking to him. After helping the kids with homework and helping them get ready for bed, tucking them in and reading Catie a story, I drag myself into the shower, change into PJ's, really a too-big T-shirt and boxers, and fall asleep. If Fang comes up to bed, I don't wake, and he's gone when I wake up in the morning. I can't remember the last time he slept in this bed anyway.
It's about seven, and as Catie's predicted, at least half a metre of snow has fallen. I get up, throw open the window and inhale the soft, clean, cold air. None of the kids are awake yet, so I tiptoe downstairs and begin making breakfast – the one thing I'm good at. It's different, being up like this in the morning without the usual frantic rush to get lunches and breakfasts and homework. I'm enjoying it.
I flick on the radio, snow day confirmed. I sing along to the Beatles, quietly and badly. I know I can't sing, but I do anyway. Pancake batter's finished, and I'm cooking up the first batch when Mikey comes into the room, still in his trains and planes PJ's and rubbing sleep out of his eyes.
"Mommy!" he squeals and he runs over and wraps his chubby little arms around my legs.
"Hey Mikey-Bear," I say, picking him up and hugging him. "How's my big boy this morning!"
"I'm good, Mommy! 'M hungwy though." He says, looking at me with his gorgeous brown eyes. I kiss his hair lightly, and tell him that I'm making pancakes. He cheers. I give him the first pancake and sit him in his high chair, where he proceeds to make a mess and smears more around the tray than he actually eats.
My others drag themselves downstairs at the smell of pancakes and there are cheers when I confirm it's a snow day. Good for them, and slightly worrying for me – I'm going to have to keep a closer eye on Catie's predictions from now on.
I pack up something resembling a picnic, and fill up a pair of thermoses with hot chocolate. I'd love coffee, but the kids don't drink it. I won't let them, they're hyper enough without it. Most of the food consists of muesli bars and packets of chips, shop bought things because I still can't cook. The five of us will eat a lot for lunch, our food bill is astronomical – but it's no more than my and Mali can handle in the Nudge-made flightbags.
Mali and JJ help to bundle up Catie and Mikey into the specially made flight jackets that Nudge hands out for Christmas like an American version of Molly Weasley. She certainly has enough children to be – although she definitely doesn't look like the stereotype, still as thin as she was when she was thirteen. Avian-hybrid metabolisms are very useful at keeping the weight off.
We never get maroon jumpers though, or maroon jackets. Mine and Mali's are both navy blue, Mikey's is green, Catie's is red and JJ looks so much like Fang in black. All of my kids are going to be gorgeous, and I have hopes of having grandchildren before I'm too old to enjoy them.
But not too early.
The best thing about the jackets is the pockets, and I stuff a few more things into them, a half eaten packet of sweets to keep Catie's an Mikey's sugar levels up, and then we're ready.
I lock the house, and the kids are off – all four of them in the air, the older three swooping like pros and my youngest still a little wobbly on not-quite-goofy-chicken-wings. Still, he's got heart.
I take off, leaving footprints in the snow on my run up. I'm in the air, and the much smaller bodies of my kids loop around me. I can most definitely play this game, and as soon as there's a gap, I kick in the superspeed for a fraction of a second.
"No Fair!" comes the chant as the kids realise where I've gone in that split second, at least forty metres away. I hover and let them catch up, and then I turn my motley band towards the mountains and we fly. I'm content enough to hold Mikey's hand – he's very unsteady and I know I'll be carrying him by the end of the trip – and watch the others play.
The spot that we've flown out to almost every winter for the past ten years is more or less in the foothills, just above the treeline. The area is beautiful in summer and in winter, and there's a toboggan left up a tree by Nudge and her kids for outings like this – maybe we'll meet them there. The ground is steep, but not too steep, and it doesn't take too long to get there – not as long as I thought it would.
The older kids speed ahead once the landing site's in view, they all love this place as much as I do. It's quiet out here and the only thing I can hear of people is the whistle of a high altitude jet above.
JJ retrieves the toboggan from where its stored, and Mikey and I land into a flurry of snowballs. I can play this game too, and I've had infinitely more practice.
The day goes by too quickly. After settling arguments over the toboggan and taking a few rides myself, lunch, fort building, snowball fights, and snowman making, it's already getting late and I want to be back before it gets dark. Mikey's exhausted by his big day out so I surrender my now-empty pack to JJ and carry his younger brother instead.
The flight back is quiet. We're all tired and will sleep well tonight. I plan dinner, takeout pizza or McDonalds. Pizza wins, hands down. The sun begins to set as we reach town, and the house is dark. Fang's obviously not back from whatever he was going to. Which I still have to ask about.
I tell Mali that I'm going to get pizza for dinner as we all land, and they all give me grins. I know I can't cook. I don't need reminded of it all the time. She takes the sleeping boy out of my arms. I give my eldest as quick kiss on the cheek, she's a wonderful girl, and take off again. I look back to see the lights go on. JJ and Mali have it all well in hand. I'm proud of them – I've taught them to be independent from a young age, and they are.
I arrive back with dinner (four large pizzas. We'll eat them) to find the fire lit and the heaters on, all my kids in dry clothes and Mikey tucked up in a blanket on the sofa, still fast asleep. I hand over the goods and go and get changed. I'm lucky that there's still some left when I return to the kitchen.
Slowly they drift off upstairs to bed, Catie first, then Mali. I take Mikey, still in dreamland up to put him into bed, and JJ follows. I tuck him in, kiss him good night, and marvel at how wonderful they really are. I should spend more time with my precious babies, they make me feel ten years younger among other things.
I check the others, pulling another blanket over Catie and retrieving Mr Snuffles from the floor. JJ has his blankets pulled over his head, and I smile. Mali's door is closed, so I leave her be.
I'm not tired yet, so I go downstairs and make myself a well deserved coffee, and I curl up in an armchair in front of the fire. The door opens at about one in the morning. Fang stumbles into the room and flops down on the sofa. I look at him.
He freezes, and then slowly slides into a sitting position. With one hand I reach out and switch on the lamp on the coffee table in front of me. He licks his lips in the half-light.
"Max." he says evenly.
"Who is she?" I ask him.
He blinks. The calm, indifferent mask on his face slips for just a second, and I see shock. "What do you…?"
"Your belt," I say, "Your hair. There's lipstick on your collar, and my perfume doesn't smell that tacky."
"Oh." He looks resigned, and in a way he's also relieved and angry and condescending, all at once. I know Fang. I've known him for so long. I know how to read him. I just didn't expect…
"So, who is she?"
"Does it matter?" he asks.
"Not really." I tell him, and I set down my now-empty, fifth-refill mug. He jerks at the scrape of the mug on the glass. "Still," I continue, "I'd like to know who."
"No." he tells me.
I nod in acceptance. "Get out." I say to him. Calmly. Quietly. Yelling would only wake up the kids. "Get your things and get out."
"Max?" he asks me desperately. He stands up, and he's as gorgeous as ever in the flickering firelight.
I smile, a sardonic smile. "You betrayed me, Fang. I don't want you to explain."
I point to the door. Slowly he nods, arguing with me never worked well, and he drops his head – in shame, I hope. At one in the morning, Fang walks out of the door, and out of my life.
Inspired by Anastacia's Sick and Tired, the lyrics of go something like:
A little late for all the things you didn't say. I'm not sad for you.
But I'm sad for all the time I had to waste, 'cause I learned the truth.
Your heart is in a place I no longer wanna be.
I knew there'd come a day I'd set you free,
Cause I'm sick and tired of always being sick and tired
Your love isn't fair,
You live in a world where you didn't listen
And you didn't care, so I'm floating, I'm floating on air.
No warning goes, such a sad song, of broken hearts.
My dreams of fairytales and fantasies were torn apartI lost my peace of mind somewhere along the way
I knew there'd come a time you'd hear me say.
I'm sick and tired of always being sick and tired
Your love isn't fair,
You live in a world where you didn't listen
And you didn't care, so I'm floating, I'm floating on air.