Okay. Seriously. You're probably ready to stick my head on a pole and march it around, and you haven't even read the first chapter. You're probably thinking- Why in the heck doesn't Lapulta stick to her little reviews that drive everyone nuts? I know. And I also know that I'm extremely stupid to be putting the 'first' chapter in when I'm writing the middle of the fanfic. Some great author I am right? Anyway, Read and Review. And get to the third chapter before you start slamming the hammer on my head. Please. Actually, the fifth chapter is where my writing starts taking an upward turn... Ahh well. If I signed on this site I guess I've got to pay the price.
I thought I should write this, even though Madeleine told me that I get to write part of the story later. Technically, you probably shouldn't even know I'm here. Maddie's probably going to scream at me and say that I'm 'spilling the beans' but I can't resist. She said that she couldn't possibly put her birth down in this story. And she's right. But she can, if someone else does it.
In my opinion, this is probably the most important part of the story. If Madeleine wasn't born, there would be three options. One; There would be no more world left to live on. Two; There would be no people but Cahills living in the world. And Three; All of us would of died, nothing would of happened and all you girls would still be sitting in hoopskirts.
Number one would probably be the most likely to happen if Maddie wasn't born, but she was. So maybe we shouldn't think about those things.
Madeleine, can you leave? You're driving me crazy and making me jump every time you slam your fist on the computer keyboard. It's not your fault you can't type.
I actually like to think of the hoopskirt thing as the funniest. But you probably know that already. Seriously. Can you picture that? No computers, no modern houses, no screws, no bolts, no what-ever-climbing-thingies-Tom-uses-but-I-can't-remember-the-name-for-the-life-of-me, no microwaves. Ouch. I just thought of that. No more TV dinners. Esh.
So basically, right now, I'm avoiding Madeleine, and putting this on the computer before she can read it and kill me. She's definitely going to kill me for doing this. Anyway, let's begin.
-LC (and MC & EC technically, but I'm writing this. Not them. I think I deserve to put my name in here anyway. And besides, Maddie said that she'd promote me to 'Co-author'. Then I can drive Edward crazy. I deserve to put my name on here. Don't you think? Maybe not...)
"Is it a girl or a boy?" Gideon Cahill anxiously poked his head into the room where his wife, Olivia was lying on the bed. She was holding a tiny bundle wrapped in blankets. It contained their child. Their fifth, and last. 'The last.' The midwife had told Gideon fiercely before she'd left. The last. Gideon thought resentfully. "Well?" He hoped it was a boy.
"Come and see."
Olivia pushed herself up a little, a pillow under her. She clutched the little bundle tightly to her chest, hugging it as if her life depended on it. Gideon stepped into the room and shut the door behind him. Olivia pulled back a little of the blanket so he could see. A girl. His heart sank. He had so wanted a boy. "You said it was going to be a boy!"
The woman smiled a little, not at her husband, but down at the baby. "I didn't know, I thought. Besides, she kicks hard for being a tiny one." Gideon realized that his daughter was barely a foot and a half long and only three quarters of that wide. She was a tiny thing. Won't last a second in the world. He thought, quite sadly. "You hold her." And then his daughter was placed gently in his arms. The child didn't weigh much. Not half of what Tom weighted. Gideon thought of how he'd had to keep shifting the hefty baby from one arm to the other. Not with her. I could hold her all day.
He yawned, and reminded himself that it was late. Far past the children's betimes, at least. He waited for Olivia a bit, but then found she was waiting for him. Did it really matter what his daughter looked like? She was just another girl. She probably look like Jane, or Katherine. But he did.
Gideon Cahill found a pair of liquid green eyes staring straight back at him.
He stared. The baby stared. Then he blinked. The baby blinked. Gideon raised an eyebrow in confusion and the baby tried to copy him again, frowning and trying her best to lift her eyebrows. Her Father had to laugh. He gently handed the baby back to Olivia.
"She's an odd one," Olivia laughed a little with him. "She wants everything, but she knows she can't have it. And she's only a few minutes old. Look." Carefully, Olivia unwrapped the baby and set her down on the bed. She lay on her back for a moment, staring at the ceiling, and then she rolled over. Gideon raised his eyebrows again in surprise. The baby struggled onto her hands and knees the best she could, and then proceeded to examine the quilt. She seemed fascinated with the way the triangles and squares were sewn together. Not even the bad taste of the cloth in her mouth dispersed her examining nature.
Gideon scooped her up and nestled her in the blankets again. Then something hit him. Something big. "She looks like Lucas. With the green eyes and black hair."
Olivia caught his brain wave. "Gideon no!" The small pen knife hovered in mid-air. "Gideon, she's only a child."
"My sister's watching us." Gideon shot back. "You know it, and I know it. I thought about doing it just before Lucas-" He cut out the word he was going to say. It was too painful. "The others, they have their talents, they're just one part. But if she has all of them, like Lucas did, and she keeps the other together. That's what we're aiming for. Isn't it? Besides, we've seen the others, they can't work together. Not with their talents. They have to know that losing isn't the end of the world. Lucas would of taught them that, but..."
Olivia held her breath, afraid of what her husband was going to say next. She had pulled herself to an upright position with her legs dangling over the edge of the bed.
"-But he can't. If they can all work together, then it's for the good of the world."
"She is your daughter Gideon."
"If I had, what she might have, I would of already done it. The world is at stake."
"She's only a few minutes old. Give her time."
"The younger she is, the better. You know what we have to do. All of them must work together, or all of our work will be wasted. All our lives. Everything collapses. Our work, our family, the world, all of it."
Olivia looked at the child wrapped in the blanket, green eyes staring innocently back at her Mother. It broke Olivia's heart to see them. "Alright. Because it's necessary. And because it can't be done any other way." Gideon nodded wordlessly adding his agreement to the words she said. But Olivia turned away so she wouldn't have to see the knife flash down. Or the trickle of blood that slowly leaked out over the tiny arm.
There was no evidence of what had happened, five minutes later. Both Gideon and Olivia were surprised that the child hadn't cried, but nothing could be taken for granted. Olivia carefully patched up the baby's arm and sat on the edge of the bed, holding her close.
"Should I go get Luke?" Gideon asked after finishing with the vital. "He wanted to see the baby."
"You didn't put the children to bed?" He caught a note of anger in his wife's voice. Unusual. Usually she was the calm one and his temper was always flaring.
"All of them but Luke. You know how much he was hoping for another brother."
Gideon saw the anger fade away and there was a small smile. "He can see, but it's late. Not for too long."
Gideon found his oldest son -four years old- sitting on the edge of his bed, down the hall. He's so much like Olivia. Gideon always thought when he saw him. But that night, he could see himself mirrored there quite plainly. The boy looked up at him as soon as he entered the room, an eager expression written on his face. "Is he here?"
Gideon just nodded and held the door open for him. He didn't have the heart to tell the boy that it was a she, not a he. "Now you have to be quiet," He whispered before he opened the door to his and Olivia's room. "Your Mother's tired."
Luke just nodded, his enthusiasm not waned. Then he pushed open the door himself, too impatient to wait another second. Gideon watched as the little boy raced into the room and peered into his Mother's arms. He almost wondered why he felt a stab of pain when the boy's face immediately fell. The baby was just another girl. "I thought it was going to be a boy."
Gideon didn't try to butt in. He wasn't good at comforting. That was Olivia's job. "Sometimes..." His wife whispered, hugging the bundle tighter than ever. "Little things come in small packages. We just have to find them, and open them."
There was no reply.
"Lucas looked just like her."
"I don't get it." Luke suddenly scowled at the baby. "I wanted a boy!"
"You can't always have the things you want." Olivia shot back. "And you never know. Perhaps she'll be all Lucas was."
"Never!" The little boy jumped off the bed, fist clenched tight in anger. His face was screwed up and Gideon could see he was holding back tears. "I won't be friends with her! I won't!"
"I wanted a boy!" Luke glared as hard as he could at the baby, like if doing it hard enough would make her disappear. "She's going to be just like Jane and Katherine! And she's going to scream and cry all day and feel sorry for herself! She's never going to be like Lucas!" There was a childish stamp of Luke's foot.
"How do you know?" Olivia asked softly.
"She's a girl." Luke spat. "And girls can't do anything."
"That's not true."
"Besides cry and whine and smell."
Olivia almost smiled. "That's not true either. You ought to try being her friend before you say that she isn't yours."
Luke looked hard at the bundle of blankets. His eyes were blinking fast, trying to keep away the tears. "Fine. But she's not going to be my friend. That's Lucas' job."
"It certainly is a job, isn't it?" Olivia meant it as a joke, but her son glared at her. "Perhaps though, she doesn't have to be your friend, but you can be her's. Besides, how can you say that to a person you've never looked at?" She turned down the blankets so the baby's whole head was showing. Luke couldn't resist and snuck a peek.
And he stared. The baby stared. He blinked fast to make sure a few tears didn't slide down his cheeks. The baby blinked, quite laughingly because she copied Luke's emotion exactly and she didn't have any tears that needed holding back. Luke watched her for a moment, then pulled up his hand and stuck his finger in his nose. Purposely. The baby attempted to do the same thing, which sent all three of them into gales of laughter.
"Changed your mind?"
Olivia waited for her son's reply. He didn't give one, he just watched the baby. And then slowly, almost imperceptively, a small smile slid over his face. "Can I hold her?"
His Mother nodded and passed him the bundle. Luke sat down on the edge of the bed, clutching the blankets tighter than Olivia had done. He couldn't help feeling a sense of responsibility. Not exactly responsibility, but a yoke he'd harnessed himself into, just as purposely as the baby had tried to stick her finger in her nose. She's going to learn everything. The boy swallowed hard and bent over the baby so no one could see the tear trickling down the base of his nose. And I'm going to teach her. Walking, writing, speaking. And she's going to do it better than Katie and Jane! If I'm going to have to pull her hair!
The baby's eyes looked up into his, and they met. A small smile was mirrored on their faces, almost a pact. But you've got to be my friend in return. Luke thought. My best friend. Better than Lucas. No, He corrected himself. No one will be better than Lucas. But the thought wasn't a rebellious thought, it was the truth. And it left room for exceptions.
Luke gently passed his sister back to Olivia. "Your Father and I still have to think of a name."
Luke's eyes widened, "Really? You mean-"
"What were you thinking of?"
The little boy thought for a moment. "It's night. Why not call her 'Starry'?"
Gideon laughed, but Olivia just shook her head and smiled. "Not 'Starry', but I like the 'night' idea." Getting up, she took Luke's hand in her own and carried the baby to the windowsill. The stars were shining brightly, and Olivia couldn't help but think of the constellations. "What constellations do you know?" She whispered to the boy beside her.
"There's the Big Dipper. And... the Little Dipper? Is there a bear too?"
Olivia nodded as Gideon walked up next to them. "There's the Orion, and Scorpion, and Leo the Lion. Should we call her Linnette?"
"No," It was Gideon who spoke. "She's different. I believe she deserves a name that's different too."
"I haven't heard of someone called Linnette." Luke spoke up.
"You, my boy," Gideon tousled Luke's curls. "Have not seen the world like I have."
"Well why not call her 'Barry' for the Bears?"
Olivia thought for a moment, then her eyes widened and she looked down at the baby in her arms. The baby was lying quite still, looking at the stars. Her head turned somewhat as her eyes flickered around, but otherwise, she was motionless. Olivia held her tighter. Gideon was right. She deserved a name that was unique. Just like herself. "Ursa Minor," She finally whispered. "The Little Bear. That's it."
Both boys looked at her, waiting for her explanation. "She's a little bear." Olivia whispered. "Look at her. Tiny, but with power."
"Medina." Luke tried to come up with something that sounded vaguely like Minor.
"Minora." Gideon threw out a suggestion too.
Olivia just shook her head. Names flying through her head as she tried to pick one. "Madeleine." She finally whispered. "How about that? Madeleine."
Gideon nodded. He didn't have a personal preference one way, or the other. He always called his children with their names, but he always thought of them with their different unique personalities. So Olivia had always named them. She was good at that sort of thing.
Luke nodded too. He had always thought of names if they sounded right. Madeleine just sounded like the little baby acted. Just like Thomas sounded like a large muscular person, and Katherine sounded sweet, but slightly bookish. Madeleine sounded right.
"Madeleine Elizabeth Cahill." Olivia whispered, smiling. Then she looked back up at Luke. "Alright, off to bed now."
"No buts." Olivia leaned down and squeezed his shoulder. "It's past your bedtime young man."
"I don't want to go to bed!" It was the same plea, every night, for as long as Luke had been able to talk in full sentences.
"Your Father and I are going to bed too." And it was the same reply. Spoken back to him, every night for as long as Luke had, had the question to ask.
Luke made a face. "Goodnight Mother, goodnight Father." He turned around and started out of the room, but before he left, he turned around once more. Both Gideon and Olivia saw his mouth move slightly, but they didn't hear the words he spoke. "Goodnight Maddie." And then the little boy left.
A Year and a Half Later;
"... And D is shaped like a closed horseshoe. You got that?"
Olivia watched from the doorway as her two children lay on their stomachs together, bent over a piece of paper. There was an inkwell in front of them, and Luke was holding a quill pen. The little girl next to him nodded. "I see."
"Madeleine," Olivia gently knocked on the wood. "It's time for your nap."
"Just five more minutes? Please?" The little face looked up to her Mother pleadingly, but Olivia shook her head and scooped her daughter up into her arms.
"No. If I remember correctly, you said that to me yesterday." Luke and Madeleine flushed red, embarrassed.
"But I'm having fun!" Madeleine protested.
"Just think, if you take your nap now, you'll have time to have to have fun tonight before supper."
"But if I don't have to take my nap," Madeleine pointed out, not even knowing that her big green eyes were being used full to her advantage. "I'll have more time to have fun."
"You'll be cranky." Olivia argued, carrying her out of the room.
"Father and You don't take naps, and you're not cranky."
Olivia blinked. Was this a one year old arguing with her? "But your Father and I are grownups. We don't have to take naps."
"Then I'm a grown up." Madeleine smiled at her Mother.
"You're a child still." Olivia reminded her.
"Luke and Kat-wine don't take naps. They're only four years older than me!" Although Madeleine could speak in clearer sentences than Jane and Thomas, she still couldn't pronounce Katherine's name correctly.
"Luke and Katherine are older. They're six and five years old."
"Well I've lived long enough!" Madeleine was set down on her bed in her room, and she instantly popped up and began bouncing on it. "I've lived five minutes, and five hours, and five days, and five weeks, and five months. If you times those, you get... Twenty five! Do I still have to take my nap?"
Olivia lifted her daughter up and tucked her under the quilt. "Yes."
"Alright," Olivia was mildly tired of arguing. She could hear Jane starting up a wail down the hall and she needed to go tend to her. "There are approximately thirty days in a month, and three hundred and sixty five days in a year, how many days have you been alive?"
"If I answer that, do I have to take my nap?"
"No, you don't have to." Olivia watched as the girl curled up into her quilt and stared hard at the floor. "But you can't have Luke or Katherine figure it out for you."
There was no reply.
Olivia started for the door, sighing in relief. That was done. Now, if she could only- "Five hundred and forty five."
Olivia stopped dead. "What?"
"Five hundred and forty five. I've been alive five hundred and forty five days. Do I have to take my nap?"
Olivia whirled around and knelt by her daughter's bed. "How did you do that?"
A bit of red colored Madeleine's cheeks. "I don't know. I just... knew. Do I still have to take my nap?"
The little girl pleaded with her big eyes. They were more useful than words. "No. No- That was our deal, wasn't it?" Olivia gently gathered up the little girl in her arms again. "But if you're cranky, you have to go straight to bed. Got that?"
Madeleine nodded and wrapped her rather chubby arms around her Mother's neck. Olivia set her down in front of Luke's room, still almost reeling in shock. Madeleine pushed open the door, took a few steps inside the room, and plopped down by her brother again. A small murmur of conversation started up again. Olivia glanced at the paper in front of them. It was covered in neat, evenly spaced letters. As she looked closer, the ABCs began to form words, and then phrases, and then sentences. Then Madeleine took the pen from Luke in her chubby hand, set it down on the paper, and began to write.
Olivia got down on her hands and knees, and took the paper away from her daughter. The writing was clean, and impossibly intricate. "Luke taught me how to write!" Madeleine blurted out, eyes sparking with the youthful joy of learning something new. Olivia vaguely wondered why she hadn't fainted. Katherine herself was still learning the alphabet and here was her sister, barely a year and half old, and she was writing full paragraphs in perfect penmanship!
"It's alright." Olivia gave her daughter back the sheet of paper. "Keep writing." But as she left the room, she had to steady herself against the wall. Madeleine couldn't be just an ordinary child. Everything pointed the opposite way. "She'll need it." Olivia murmured, as down the hall, Jane's rambunctious, two-year-old cries grew louder.
So there it is. You better be pretty grateful. Madeleine's going to be so mad at me... I'll bet I won't live to see the light of another day...
-LC (and MC & EC respectively, counting that this is Madeleine's story I'm putting this on, and Edward's account. But they're not here. So I think I deserve to put my name down. Don't you?)
In your opinion, I am probably the lamest author, and the craziest person to actually put the prolog in the beginning, while I'm writing the middle of the story. But heck, I couldn't resist. Besides, I came up with the idea and I had to write it down. Then I thought 'This would make a perfect intro'. And poof. Here we are, you reading my crummy story, and me, writing my crummy story for you to read. Did I just repeat myself? Anyway, before I go more insane than I already am; Thank you for reading this. I just put the ninth chapter up too. And that's the turning point of this book. But don't read it unless you've read the chapters before it. Because if you don't, it'll never make sense. And too, don't read this story unless you actually understand who Madeleine is. Because if you don't- well, I'm repeating myself. You wouldn't understand it. But if you still want to read it, that's fine by me...
"Writers are people who look beyond the stars -and can see the universe."