Story: A New Life
Movie: Riddler's Moon
Rating: K+ May change to T… but no higher.
Characters: Victoria/George, Elias
Disclaimer: Belongs to UPN (and the concept writers, directors etcetera)
Summary: Victoria and Elias work to adjust to a new way of life as well as work to save their farm from foreclosure.
In a dimly lit Indiana field, a small women was kneeling. The sun was nearly gone and the long shadows from five stone pillars danced over her. They were set in a circle, dug down to the bedrock, a task that had taken them an entire day, even with the help of most of the Fremont neighbors and their heavy machinery. She looked up at the sun before her, not quite touching the edge of the world. It was beautiful, and had been eclipsed by the moon not 4 hours ago. The light glistened on her tears as she closed her eyes and smiled in the basking glow. She rarely cried, rarely allowed any of her emotions to play out in the open, but she was alone now.
Victoria Riddler had spent her entire adult life as a single mother, abandoned by a husband not ready to face the challenges of a disabled child. She never saw it as a struggle as had Mr. Riddler, but he had tried to convince her to hire help, or send him to a home for the disabled. Her precious child, Elias, was born with a serious form of spina bifeda, but she vowed to do it herself. She would not send her only child away, especially after the struggle to not lose him during her pregnancy. So he left, and she didn't begrudge him that, but she was lonely for a long time before fully accepting it.
She still knelt, reflecting on her son's long and difficult childhood and transition into the teenage world. He spent most of his time at home, on their farm tending to the cows or when the harvests had been good he'd help with that. He attended school sometimes, but other times she kept him home and helped him with homework he needed to catch up on. His friends were her friends. People she'd known and grown up with had come to pal around with Elias when their work was done, but rarely did he hang around with peers. He never complained though, never saw himself as disabled and she was grateful for his positive attitude. She shared in that attitude, but the past few days had been difficult. She'd been served foreclosure papers by the sheriff who was a friend of hers making it harder, and it had come with a notarized cease and desist order. If they weren't out in two weeks, they'd be forced to leave. But that's not what had Victoria alone in a darkening field.
Her son was walking. She didn't know why, or how, but he was okay. It scared her. It happened in the middle of the eclipse and when she looked down at him, he wasn't there, his wheelchair at the bottom of the deep ditch where the stones were. The dust was so thick she couldn't see his body. As she felt her heart stop and an absolute panic attack coming at her she saw him, standing, taking a careful shaky step. It was almost like the calves she'd delivered on the farm, their first steps pained and difficult, but they're quick to catch on. She had to fight her way out of George Brenner's arms after he grabbed her to keep her from collapsing. She ran… faster than she ever remembered… right into her son's arms. He was taller than her and she laughed as she looked into his eyes before wrapping him in her arms again.
When the dust had faded and the neighbors had gathered at the edges of the ditch, they were cheering, an uproarious sound she was sure Indianapolis city could hear all of their 170 miles away. It felt good for everyone to care so much about Elias. She had questions she was sure he could answer, but she decided at long last to have faith in those answers without knowing them.
She got slowly to her feet, weak from having been in that position for quite a bit. As she walked down from her place in the north field she could see George's truck still in her driveway and could make out his and Elias' shapes on the deck.
"You alright, Victoria?" His voice was deep with worry, something she liked hearing, no one was ever worried about her. She was the strong one.
"Yes, fine." She nodded as she walked the ramp onto the deck. She gave both of them a soft smile. "Just thinking."
"You're entitled." George had a country drawl to everything he said, all that time living on a busted boat on a cheap piece of property would do that to anyone. "We made lemonade." He crossed his arms and stood proudly while Elias' laughter broke in.
"I'll take a glass." She grinned back.
Elias leaned against the table for support while he poured the lemonade with his other hand. "Gonna take a bit of time to get used to this."
"Yes it is." She agreed, kissing him on the cheek as she took the glass. "Honestly I didn't think you'd be a hair taller than me."
"I'm proud of it." He smirked and ducked as she swatted at him with her free hand.
"I'm sure you are!" She let collapse onto the old wooden bench under the window and held the glass to her lips, not really drinking it.
"Are you sure you're okay, Mom?" Elias eased down next to her and put his arm around her shoulder.
She looked sideways at him over the glass. "Yes. I'm just glad you are."
His dark eyes looked down as the worry he caused her sank in. "I just knew what I had to do."
"I'm glad you did, in the long run, but you really didn't know what the outcome would be… if you were dead I -" She decided to leave it there before she let herself turn to scold him like a three year old. He was no child. Even at just sixteen he was more a man than anyone she'd ever known. "Nevermind, Elias." She placed her hand atop the one on her shoulder as she leaned against him.
George had positioned himself across from them against the deck support, his back against the tall rail. He smiled at them both as they all remained silent, the wind blowing through the trees.
That silence was interrupted by the sound of rubber tires on gravel and dirt and headlights could be seen coming around the bend to the south.
"Who could that be this late?" George mumbled more to himself than Victoria and Elias.
She stood, letting her hand fall to her side. Setting her glass down she slipped inside to check the dates on the papers from the bank. "If it's Morley he has no right here, George."
"Yes ma'am." He leaned his forearms on the rail as he squinted to identify the vehicle. "It's nicer than his."
Elias was standing now next to George as he cocked his head to the side. "It's Doc's car."
"She here from Bloomington?" Victoria returned to the deck as the car pulled alongside George's truck. "That's an hour and a half at best, and she's only been here once."
George stared at Victoria. "You're a woman of a lot of words tonight."
She smirked at him before returning her attention to the tall blonde leaving the vehicle. "Doctor Newton… what brings you way out here tonight?"
"Young Mr. Riddler." The British accent was out of place in the dust bowl Midwest and the long floral skirt and ruffled white blouse added to the contrast.
"Word travel fast from Fremont?" George asked laughing.
"When it's this miraculous. I spent last summer convincing this boy he wasn't going to walk. Now he's got to convince me why he is."
"That deserve a house call, Doc?" Elias grinned as he leaned over and hugged her. "I can't tell you why."
"None of us can." Victoria added softly. "Frankly I don't care why."
"You have no reason to. However, this is beyond miraculous, this is impossible. And yet, here is Elias, standing… standing in front of me. I had to come here and see this."
Elias was still grinning as he offered Dr. Newton a glass of lemonade.
The still stunned woman took it graciously before turning her attention to Victoria. "Was there any indication at all that he was getting better? I mean, I just ran multiple tests and cat scans two days ago and there was no difference in his spine or brain function."
"No." The answer was simple and it was the only one Victoria had. "No, he just did."
"Can we leave it at that?" Elias looked from his mother to Dr. Newton, pleading with his eyes to be respected.
"I don't see where we have a choice but to. However, I do want to see you for a full exam and tests to make sure this isn't … temporary."
Those last words felt like a punch in the stomach, but Victoria didn't show her reaction as she watched them all talk amongst themselves. They didn't know she wasn't hearing any of it. She loved that her son was walking, in fact the very sight of him walking erased any thought of a potential relapse. She found herself gripping George's arm and he looked at her with concern.
"What is it?" He took her hand and stared into her eyes.
"What?" She looked down and released his arm before smiling weakly. "Tired I guess. It's been a long day."
She noticed no one else seemed concerned with this notion of "temporary" so she pushed it away. If it happened, she would have to accept it. What else could she do?
Dr. Newton only stayed for a little while, long enough to convince herself the rumors were true. They waved goodbye and retired to the house as she pulled away.
She found herself tucking her son into bed, something she hadn't done in a long time, but it felt right. He was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, but she staying with him for a little while before slipping to her room where she prayed a long prayer of thanks. She was a woman of faith, she had to be, but this was mind boggling. Only faith could be taken with this.
*New chapter soon. Please review. ;) this movie is loaded onto YouTube if anyone is interested and it releases at Walmart in a DVD special two-pack on June 15th 2010.