Friday, April 5, 2013

Chapter 2.4-Shards of Porcelain

Please click * HERE * for background music for this chapter. Really. I did that this time. Shocking, I know. Just do it. It sets the mood and you'll make me happy. Happy darn it! It's a happy chapter!

          How is he here? How did he get here? Where has he been? How did he find me? How had he been? Where is Olivia? Why did he leave? Why didn’t he ever contact us? Does Mom know where he is? Does Phedra? Her questions all unspoken as Layla fought to find her voice. Fought to believe her own eyes. It was him. Him. Cyrus. Standing in her kitchen after all these years. 


          Her limbs weighed a hundred pounds apiece. She took a single slow step, then another, through the thickest air she’d ever known. Her breath was still caught, and for some reason her stomach was in her throat fighting for space with her heart which had leapt there too.


          Closing the physical gap between them did nothing to stop her questions from chasing each others tails in her brain. And still, she couldn’t tear her eyes off of the miracle that had appeared in her kitchen.

          Staring at him, drinking in his appearance, following the line of his jaw, wondering where the overlarge nose went, finding the same flecks of hazel in his eyes that had used to be there, Layla’s foremost thought slowly became how strange it was to see him wearing clothes she’d never seen him wearing before. Not that his face had matured, or that he was taller, more muscular. Just how odd his clothes looked on him.

She blinked rapid fire, scared to miss a moment. Scared he might disappear again. Her fingertips tingled with longing to touch him, to make certain that he was really there. But her arms wouldn't rise, she was too afraid that he would dissolve into a mist if she reached out for him.

          “Well, Ma’am? I’m sure sorry. I thought I’d entered the home of my baby sister. Seems I’ve got the wrong house. I apologize.”


          “There is no apology from you,” Layla whispered, not trusting her voice, shaking her head a little. “Where have you been?”

          If she thought she was fighting back a flood of tears, it was nothing to how Cyrus looked. His jaw working, Adams apple bobbing, it seemed he was struggling just as much as she was.

          “I’ve been with you for a lot longer than you’ll ever know,” he choked out, his voice low as well, a sad crooked smile twisting his lips. “I’ve missed you, Laydee. And Fay, and Galen. I’ve missed you every day, thought about you every day. Wished to see you all. Every day.”


          “Do-Do you know,” Layla’s voice faltered even as she whispered. “Do you know how badly we hurt? How hard it was? On all of us? Your leaving? Daddy-”

          The Daddy who had surrounded her with the ghosts of his past steps ever since her arrival here suddenly flooded her mind and clogged her throat. The memories of his laughing, his jokes, and pranks. Memories of her Daddy when his love of fishing was still strong. Feeling his pride in all four of the kids he raised, his strong arms around her making her feel safe and loved. Hearing his deep, soothing voice. She could almost smell his scent, the scent of woody cologne and soap, his presence seemed so strong in the room as she looked at the boy he loved like a son.

          “It broke him. For a long time we were all broken. But Daddy?” Stopping to regain herself again, Layla shook her head. “We loved you so much, Cyrus. And you left. And we all broke; we were all broken. And the family almost completely collapsed,” Layla paused as Cyrus toed the shards of porcelain mixed with pasta on the floor, frowning heavily, making the mess worse. “Daddy is still not the same. He’ll never be fixed. He’s never moved on. He loves you too much.”

          “I’m sorry, Layla.”


          Sniffing, wiping his tears with his large square thumbs, he raised his head slightly.

          “And I’ll never be able to apologize enough, or go back and fix Buck. But I’m here now,” again, his voice faltered, he closed his eyes, and he shook his head as Layla had done so much. Then he pushed his shoulders back, squaring them, head up, firm, strong. “I’m here now.”

          “And I’m so glad!” Layla sobbed and flung her arms around Cyrus, her brother.


          Pulling her closer, Cyrus patted his little sister's back, grinning at finding just how much he had been missed, at how good it felt to see her. His tears falling into her hair as hers soaked his jacket.

Trying to offer some comfort through the relief he felt that she had welcomed him back so easily, he shushed her gently without really meaning it. It had been too long since he’d had a hug from her. Too long since he’d seen any of his siblings. Too late for many, many things. But at least it wasn’t too late for a reunion.

          “You’re here! You’re here! You’re okay! You’re Alive! You’re here! Oh, Cyrus you’re here!” Layla sobbed, repeating her refrain over and over, as though saying it would make it all the more real.


          Once she had finally calmed down enough to release him, trying to wipe her snot and tears off of his shoulder and only making a bigger mess, Layla stood back, grinning from ear to ear laughing slightly in her joy, bouncing on the balls of her feet.

          “Looks like you’ve got a coffee maker,” Cyrus said. “Are you actually grown up enough now to drink that stuff?”

          She nodded and bustled about trying to make coffee, clean up the remains of her dinner from the floor, as well as the pot she’d made it in, all without taking her eyes off of her long lost brother now standing in her kitchen.

          Her heart thrilled, singing, soaring. He was here. Cyrus was here!

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 

That’s enough for now. I know it’s very short, but it’s a little heavy, so we’ll save his story for another chapter.

Also, I really hope you listened to Olaruf Arnalds' beautiful and haunting "Fyrsta" as you read. I dithered between "Lynn's Theme" and "Alice Enters" and "This Place is a Shelter" (really seriously almost did that one but it's just too short) and "Agust" and about 5 others by him as well on exactly which song to use but kept coming back to this one. And really, this chapter was written for this song in the end. Take a peek at some of his other stuff too if you're unfamiliar with him. His work is absolutely brilliant and amazing. And kudos to Misty for using soundtracks in her story- Ouroboros Legacy -in the first place. She's the only reason I did the muzak for this. But it really helps set a mood, imho.

Oh, one more thing. Yay! :D


  1. Awww, that was a lovely chapter :) I can't wait to fid out what's happened to Cyrus between him running away and now

  2. "That’s enough for now." NO IT ****ING WELL WASN'T!!!
    *exasperated sigh* You should be called 'cloudy', not 'sunny'. Hmph.

    But, yay! Cyrus is here, and he's beautiful, and he's happy to see her, and... hang on... Has he been stalking her?!
    “I’ve been with you for a lot longer than you’ll ever know,” - explain.

    Oh, but where *is* Olivia? I'd completely forgotton about her!
    And, as if Cyrus didn't even offer to buy her dinner! He saw what he did to her dinner! Some brother!

    1. In his thoughts darling. Basically he was saying he regretted leaving them all. He's missed them. lol.

      He had her make coffee instead. That' my usual morning meal. 2 mugs of joe. It's all you need. ;)

    2. You do know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?
      And, caffine is really bad for you.

      I seeeee. That makes more sense. I imagined him following her around the world! LOL!
      And, surely Phedra must be near by? Otherwise how would Cyrus know where she was?

      (Has Phedra had that baby yet?! You said ou'd send pics, and I just remembered. That was like, 4 years ago!!)

    3. Yes, I know. Caffeine is my worst enemy, especially with my aortic valve/artery threatening to esplode every other week. My Cardiologist would love to hear that someone else thinks it's awful. Ha! He really focuses on that each visit. "How much coffee, Mrs. XXX?" "None." "Really?" *hopefully. "Dr. Weathers, we've known each other how long now?" "Damn you." "Love you too, Doc."

  3. You have some 'splainin' to do! Not nice to leave us hanging! It's really great to see Cy again. Where's he been? What's he up to? What's he doing in Appaloosa Plains? And what happened to his girlfriend? He's right though, you can't fix the past, but you can make the present count.

    I forgot to ask you about the music when you mentioned it the other night--it really *is* beautiful, and perfect for this chapter. Imma have to check out more.

    So is Cyrus going to be sticking around? If so, it'll be interesting to see how he reacts to his baby sister having men in her life now =D

    1. I love Olafur Arnalds' stuff. His Living Room Songs album is soooo soothing and calming. I use it sometimes at dinner parties for background music. By the end of those evenings all the couples are sweet and the kids are calm and everyone grins like they're kind of high. lol.

      He answers questions, er, he gives some answers ;) *next* time. haha.

  4. I'm glad we get to see Cyrus again. Hoping to hear more from Cyrus next time, lol.
    Talking about Buck being broken made me sad. =(
    I miss Buck.

    1. I miss Buck in the story too, and I'm all scared to go in game right now because of Buck. I'd had to move Helen and Buck with Porter along with Layla (genetics k'know- We're not going to see them, we're supposed to pretend they're still in Riverview, which they are in one save.) But I got the notification that Buck is not long for the world, then Layla 'inherited' a bunch of rotting food from him. I turned his aging off hoping that will stop it, but I really don't want to test it just yet. I'm not ready for him to go.

  5. It's good to see Cyrus, and I can't wait to read his story.

    Poor Buck. :( And I hear you about the aging---just went through that myself. It is so hard to let the little pixels go!

    1. I love pickin' on Cyrus. I loved picking on Buck even more. I shall never, ever, let Buck go. He will live forever in the Riverview save, where I can go and visit and keep him warm and happy. He can't die damn it! Screw Helen, Long Live Buck!

  6. Not long enough! I need so much more! I can't wait for the next chapter. Cyrus has some 'splaining to do!

    1. Next chapter will be out later today. ;) It's longer too! lol

  7. Happy Cyrus has shown his face again. Dang it, asimlesparkle said what I was gonna say!