A/N: I do NOT own To Kill a Mockingbird, that would be Harper Lee. If I owned it, I would have made Boo show up a lot more... not just come up in conversation, actually SHOW UP. XD
... Also, because I made up a character specifically to be a love interest for Boo (OK, not all she's there for but still), I am OFFICIALLY the biggest nerd on the planet. ;P
I hope you guys enjoy, and please tell me if anything seems out of place! 3 to my wonderful readers.
"Do you reckon he's crazy?"
Miss Maudie shook her head. "If he's not he should be by now."
Katrine, known as Kat for short, had recently adopted the last name of Raymond. She was twenty-four years of age, and she considered herself of average beauty - except for one thing. Her body curved and flowed naturally, like any woman's did, but she made sure to cover most of it with the pretty clothes she was given once she arrived at the Raymond household. She had glasses - rather thin frames (at least, when compared to the town lawyer's, they were fairly thin) - that had a tendency of sliding down her nose so that she looked over them instead of through them. She was almost constantly slipping them back up so she could see, since she was nearly blind as a bat without the lenses. She thought she was a fairly normal young woman... but when she looked in the mirror, she was reminded of how different she really was. She was reminded that she could never be truly beautiful.
Her skin was a light cocoa color, reflecting the sun as a shining ray when the two came in contact. Her mother was black, and her father was white; she was half of each. She wasn't wanted anywhere. Nobody would take her... nobody except this saint called Dolphus Raymond. He was married to a black woman, and he had adopted all the half-black half-white children in Maycomb. She had been living on the streets up until a week ago when he had taken her in. Even now, it wasn't a much better existence - not with the people in Maycomb, anyway. It seemed like everywhere she turned, somebody was glaring at her or muttering the "n" word under their breath at her.
Emerald orbs stared back at her behind lenses from the mirror in her new room. This trait just made her all the more odd. Green eyes weren't common in this part of the South. She'd inherited them from her white father, who had once lived in the North. Coupled with her skin and jet black hair, it made her more of a bizarre creature than an actual person. It probably would have been fine if she'd been white, but she wasn't. She wasn't white, and she wasn't black.
She wasn't all that sure what she was.
At the moment all she wore on her body was a pearl brassière and a pair of onyx underwear. Since she wanted to go out today, she decided she had better get dressed and head down to breakfast. Nobody - especially not those racist ones that made up about 85% of Maycomb - would desire to see her in this revealing outfit. And she doubted that her new "father" would be proud to see her coming to the table not wearing a shirt... or a skirt... or pants, or shoes.
She looked through her newly filled closet that Mr. Raymond had given her, and smiled at the things she found. He had just put her clothes into it yesterday. It consisted mostly of long- and short-sleeved blouses and jeans, but there was one beautiful, knee-length dress with no sleeves or straps, that was a color somewhere in between a cross of pink and red. She smiled when she saw that dress. She got so excited, and she could imagine herself just dancing in it. She could see it in her mind: going to a party, standing sadly against the wall, and then being swept off her feet and dancing with some handsome, kind stranger. She closed her eyes and twirled around the room, humming softly. She could see her "prince", and he was so beautiful.
... She wasn't sure, but in her fantasy, he looked white to her.
"Kat!" came Mr. Raymond's shout from the downstairs area. "Are you coming down, hon?"
She glanced at the door. "I'll be there in just a minute, Mr. Raymond!" she called back to him, as loud as she possibly could. "Just finishing my hair!" That was a lie, but she always had been a compulsive liar. Regardless, she wouldn't be more than a minute longer.
"Alright, hurry it up, little one!"
Little one. Kat rolled her eyes as she picked out a pair of dark blue jeans and a seafoam-colored blouse with three-quarter sleeves, that went down to her elbows. "I'm not little," she grumbled, pulling the jeans on. She buttoned them and stretched a bit. She looked around herself at her hips and backside, raising an eyebrow. "Are these tight...? God, already!" She sighed and drew the shirt over her head and flicked her hair out of it. She looked in the mirror, circled a few times, and shook her head. "I'm startin' to get fa-at," she said in a singsong voice, tying her dark hair back into a ponytail, where it was still fairly long. "I gotta work on that... oh, well, down the squeaky steps!"
She walked down the stairs and pushed her hair back as she went into the kitchen. Seated at the table were her eight "siblings" - three boys and five girls, not at all even, suffice to say - and her adoptive parents, Dolphus and Emma Raymond. A little shadow of doubt in the back of her mind wondered why they had adopted her too. After all, they adopted the mixed children. She was legally an adult. Twenty-four years old, that was an adult, right? She was a big girl, she should have been on sinking or swimming on her own. They shouldn't be takin' care of me, she thought with a mental sigh as she sat down at her place. They got 'nough problems with all these little ones here...
After they prayed and began eating, Kat snuck a look at her new "father". He had his typical brown paper bag with him, and she had to give a snicker in her mind. It was funny, the way all the townspeople thought he was a drunk and that he carried alcohol around in that paper bag. For the Lord's sake, didn't they ever consider that it might just be a bottle of Coke in that bag? Some of the people around here sure were ignorant. Not just some of the time, most of the time.
She snapped her head up when she heard her name, and saw that Mr. Raymond was talking to her. "Oh, yessir?"
"First of all, you don't have to call me that. Just call me Mr. Raymond." He forked another bite of pancakes into his mouth and swallowed before speaking again. "Second, did you have any plans for today?"
She shrugged, taking a swig of her orange juice. She opted not to put any syrup on her own pancakes, since it tasted sour after drinking the juice. "Why would I, si - I mean, Mr. Raymond? Not much anywhere I can really go without being called the 'n' word."
He waved a hand. "Well, there's a sort of sock hop thing going on at one of the shop in town. I figured you'd might want to go."
"No, not really." She stabbed her breakfast with her fork and held it in front of her mouth, speaking before she popped it in. "That's not my kind of thing. I like more... traditional balls and things. You know, like... like Cinderella-type parties."
"Oh, I see. So were you just going to hang around the house all day and help Emma with her cleaning?"
"Actually, I was planning on going out. Just... exploring the town. Not that I haven't seen enough of the streets already," she commented, only half-jokingly, as she played with some of the vegetables on her plate. "I've never really gotten to see some of the big, beautiful old houses up close."
"Let's go see Boo Radley's house!" one of her "sisters" piped up in excitement, throwing her hands in the air and bouncing in her seat. Kat had to dig deep to remember, but she gathered that this girl, the small 7-year-old with the brown hair that was braided constantly, was Joetta. "I bet he's there, you know! I'd love to meet him!"
Kat held back a giggle, but then realized she wasn't sure she'd seen the house that Boo Radley lived in. Hmm, come to think of it, she hadn't heard much about Boo Radley. On the streets she heard a few things - things like he had once crept up on Miss Stephanie's window and scared her, like he had once stabbed his father while scrapbooking, like he had been locked up in the courthouse for a number of years when he was younger. But she couldn't verify any of that, and she tended to just forget about things she couldn't verify. "I'd like to see his house, too, you know."
"Why don't you take your sister?" Mr. Raymond finished off his juice. "It'd give you girls a chance for some bonding."
Emma Raymond, his wife and Kat's new "mother", stood up, clearing her plate and silverware. "I think that's a mighty fine idea." She put her hands on her hips and shot a "I'm not going to say this again" look at Kat. "But I don't want the two of you goin' anywhere near the Radleys' house. That Nathan has a gun, and he will not hesitate to shoot if he sees somethin' suspicious. I don't want neither of ya comin' home with a hole in ya, either of ya." She nodded her head at Kat. "You are the oldest, I expect you to look after Joey and do not let her talk you into anything dangerous or irresponsible. You got it, Kat?"
Kat shook her head yes, and wiped her mouth. She stood up and patted Joetta on the head. "Now why don't we get a move on, kiddo? Have y'ever seen Miss Stephanie's house? It's a beaut."
Joetta pouted, handing her plate to Kat. "I've seen Miss Steph'nie's house a hundred billion times, Katty! Why can't we go and look at Boo Radley's house? I hear you can see him through the window sometimes if you stand real still and look real close!"
Kat leaned down and got close to Joetta's ear. So that nobody else could hear, she whispered to the girl, "I ain't gonna torture you with Miss Stephanie's house. If you keep quiet about it, I'll take you to the Radleys'. But don't you say no word about it."
Joetta looked like she was about to burst with excitement. But she managed to hold it in, and grinned happily. "Okay!"
Emma raised an eyebrow at Kat. "What did you just say to her?"
"... I said that if we went over to Miss Maudie's, she might have some cake and lemonade for us."
Joetta, playing along, nodded and smiled. "Yum, cake and lemonade!"
Kat smiled innocently and waved as Emma left the room, probably still not trusting her too much.
Mr. Raymond leaned over to her. "You have no intention of going to Maudie's place, do you?"
"... Sho' not."
He sighed and sat back. "Please tell me you ain't goin' to that Radley house, Kat. You know what Emma just told you."
"But Mr. Raymond, it's full of intrigue! How on Earth do you 'spect me to stay away?"
He shook his head. "Just be careful, alright? Don't go in the backyard of that place and don't you dare knock on that door, whatever else you do. You remember what Emma said - Nathan Radley has a gun, and he will shoot. And if I hear talk that you two been botherin' them folks, you girls ain't gonna be leavin' this house for the next month."
Kat nodded, taking one last gulp of her juice. "'Course, Mr. Raymond." She patted Joetta on the head. "I'd never do anythin' to put this precious l'il gift in danger."
Joetta giggled, revealing where she'd lost a tooth on the right side. "I'm a gift!"
"That you are." Kat poked the girl's forehead. "You ready to get goin', L'il Bit?"
Joetta stuck out her tongue, leaping up from her place. "Let's go, Katty, c'mon!"