Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chapter 2.40- Like So Many Clouds In The Sky

          “Stupid dishwasher,” thought Layla, tottering a little, still feeling a slight tingling in her veins where the electricity had coursed through moments before.
          Putting a hand on her temple, she rubbed, feeling the gritty soot there before moving the tips of her fingers to her eyebrows. Damn. Singed eyebrows was not a great way to start the day.

          Another mistake on her part. The entire week she’d been careless and clumsy, something normally unheard of for her. However, dropped dishes also hadn’t ended up nearly causing death either.
          It wasn’t like she was trying to dwell on anything. Really she was trying to function as normally as possible, but Sabria’s words came back and back again floating lazily through her thoughts like so many clouds in the sky. And when they did, she saw her own version of Sabria’s vision. The momentary shock that she could even envision it would derail whatever she was doing resulting in yet another accident.

          Finally deciding the risk to her health wasn’t worth the frustration, she did something unheard of. Something her mother would have scoffed at. An act that made her almost hate herself.
          “Hi,” Layla’s voice came out nasally and weary. “I understand you repair dishwashers?”
          She called for help.
          Rolling her eyes at the ineptitude of the secretary on the other end of the line she sincerely hoped the repairman was more competent than this or she’d still need to fix it herself.

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

          The delight in her eyes caused him to shake his head, even though he couldn’t keep the smile from his face.
          She looked like a little girl, she sounded like a little girl with her high pitched squeak of a voice, but the things she was interested in...
          “Da bad guy keel da supah guy an’ fwy away!” That had been several months ago and had had her chortling with delight for hours. Tibi had been reading her little sister a book when Mariah had interrupted, putting a chubby baby hand on the page and making up her own ending.

          “Da twucks faw off da cwiff and go boom! Den dey all die.” Layla had received that explanation after coming upon her tiny daughter playing with an elaborate set up of blocks and toy cars. Layla had tried to convince her to use the structure as a bridge instead, with survivors arriving on the other end. Mariah then decided an earthquake would wake up her mother’s game. It still ended with the same four words. ‘Then they all die.’
          Layla and Tiburcia had then left Mariah mainly to Ignacio’s attention since they had such a hard time following along.

          “-Out da caswle, da peoples dey scream,” Mariah was currently in full flow to her father. Her active imagination providing another story she was eager to impart. “And da monzder, he go ‘RRRRaaaaaaawwwwwr!’ And da peoples twying to get pwincess out a’ towah runned away. But Monzder run faster and eat da peoples fa brekkist. Yum! An’ da pwincess stay in towah wit da Monzder all time and she be happy.”
          How could he resist such cuteness? It was adorable, if not slightly disturbing, that she could come up with such tales without a tv and no male influence other than himself. And isn’t imagination a wonderful thing for any child to have?

          Leaning in toward his ear, Mariah tapped her Daddy’s chest with an insistent little palm until he leaned in as well.
          “Da monzder no eats da daddy’s,” she told him in a quieter voice. “Da monzder finks da daddy’s too pwetty fa eatsin.”
          “Oh,” Ignacio’s eyebrows rose fractionally at the flattery his little girl lavished on him. “But wha’ if the monster is still hungry?”
          “He no eats da daddy’s,” Mariah insisted with a frown showing her confusion.

          “Who hug da pwincess if da daddys be dead?” explained Mariah. “Da Monzder not mean.”
          Chuckling at the reproachful tone in her voice, Ignacio nodded. Well of course! Who would hug the princesses then?

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

          Since their marriage Ignacio was wont to come upon Layla at odd times.
          “What are you doing?”

          “Hopin’ you will catch me!”
          Layla’s back and knees ached more than ever these days. The aches and pains of her pregnancy with Mariah forgotten as she dealt with a much larger baby.
          “Ooooof!” Grunting, she struggled to catch her breath and balance. “Sweetie?” This time, her voice was strangled. “Sweetie, I can’t breathe.”

          Ignacio slid down slowly, grinning from ear to ear.
          “Honey,” there was a sharp note in her word, despite the term of endearment. “Honey, you’ve got to stop that. Okay?”
          “Ooooooh, it’s jus’ because I love you!”
          “And your love is going to kill me,” she answered quickly, not thinking.
          “I will never le’ you die,” was the answer, swift, full of confidence and swagger. The old Ignacio firing up as Layla shriveled inside, Sabria’s words again swimming around in her head. ‘Please, don't let him die.’
          The puffed out chest, the confident smile, his wink as he walked off. Finally, it hit her. What if she just talked to him? Would that be enough?

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

          It had been raining steadily for two days now. Because of the dark and overcast weather neither Ignacio or Layla had much energy, and both were getting a little stir crazy. They had talked and talked about nothing in particular and then talked about nothing again some more since Layla couldn’t bring herself to ask Ignacio about what Raul was really up to, or his mother’s visions.
          And as he stroked her hair she found herself fighting sleep. The sound of the rain hitting the roof, the warmth and security she felt, being bored out of her skull, it was relaxing. Why break the spell?

          But across from her the pictures silently beckoned her, forcing her to stay alert. Her mother’s voice in her head wondering why she’d given up fighting. Phedra telling her life was too short for such uncertainty, that she needed to seize her chance. And Galen, who had gone with the flow and who now lived a life completely out of his own control. Arden even picked out what he wore day to day laying his clothes out like a child’s because he’d never stood up, never taken the reins, had simply drifted along with the current in an attempt to never rock the boat.

          She felt a slight pressure on her palm as Ignacio gently squeezed the hand he held.
          “What are you thinkin’ about,” he asked quietly. “What’s got you so quiet today?”
          She allowed the tug of a smile to pull one corner of her mouth up momentarily. She really wasn’t eager to leave the security she currently felt behind.
          Oh, who was she kidding? She wasn’t comfortable in her mind, and she didn't really feel secure. Not really.

          “I’m just thinking about a story I heard recently,” she said. Ignacio continued to stroke her hair gently and she grew bolder knowing he didn’t know what she was talking about yet. “It was really interesting, about a boy who went on a student exchange trip and who allowed his compassion to break the law in order to help the family he stayed with.”
          Ignacio’s hand fell a little heavier on her scalp this time.
          “And while the initial outset was noble, something changed for him,” she paused, wondering just how far she should go. “Ironically, the story ends with the death of his brother as had been foretold by their mother.”

          The hand stroking her head had stopped, resting, as Layla waited for a response. Finally, she turned, accepting that he just couldn’t find the right words to say.
          “Your mother told me everything,” she said sadly. “And while I know that something that nice shouldn’t be a problem, you didn’t tell me yourself. And then, your mother says the longer this has gone on the more certain she is that it’s linked with her vision of your early death. She also says Raul and Lottie have changed recently. So, why don’t you fill in the rest of the story and tell me what’s really going on.”

          Seconds stretched as they gazed at each other. Moments silently passing made Layla feel heavier and heavier. Was she still not trustworthy enough for him to confide in her?
          “I don’ know what’s changed,” Ignacio’s voice broke into her thoughts, quietly, gently, sadly. “But I agree with Mami. Raul drives a nicer car than we do. He and his family dress very well. I believe he’s even paid the house off for my parents. When we started, I had to give him help so they could eat. If this is still charity, why is he rolling in money?”

          “If you think your mother is right about Raul, then you have to agree that whatever has changed has put you in a worse position,” there was a lump in her throat that choked her words. He’d confirmed half her mother-in-law’s story. How much more could be true? She couldn’t let that happen.
          “Not necessarily,” Ignacio immediately said. “My mother’s vision does not mean anything is concrete. It is our actions that make what she says come true. Maybe, if we do nothing, I will live to be a ripe old age. Me? I see me bouncin’ my grandchildren on my knee with you at my side.”

          “But me? I’m afraid that whatever your brother is up to will be your death,” Layla turned her head, looking at Phedra’s high school photo on the wall. “Stop whatever you’re doing with Raul. For me, please.”
          His hand flexed, dropping hers several inches before he caught it again, pinching her knuckles hard as he struggled to maintain his grip. His other hand had flown from her head in the same instance. He was frightened, his reaction had shown that. Sabria was right. This was dangerous, and he knew it.

          “He is my brother,” he tried to reason. “It won’t be that simple. And what if that is what pushes him over the edge? What if tha’s what causes my mother- we’re putting too much stock in Mami’s- It won’ come true. I’ll be fine. Raul would never hurt me.”
          The blood flow he was cutting off had her fingers tingling and Layla gently tugged her hand out of his. He still hadn’t acknowledged her request.

          Turning her eyes toward him, she begged him silently to just give in. His face crumpled a little and the hand that had held hers began to stroke the side of her face. He was stalling, he was hoping she’d relent and give in and let it drop. Blinking slowly, she took a deep breath shaking her head as slightly as she could.

          “You’re ignoring my request,” Layla felt the words leave her mouth, their heaviness weighing on her like a lead balloon. “And with what you just told me, there is reason to be frightened of Raul. People don’t have ‘edges’ to be pushed over when things are going well. Get out. Please.”

          Sighing so that he actually slid down a little, he began tracing her jaw with one finger. From chin to ear, barely touching. He traced her mouth, her eyes, her cheekbones, and back to her jawline.
          “For you,” his chest had constricted, his heart beating loudly. “For you I will do anything. I will do anything you would wish me to do that has you so concerned, so unhappy.”

          Her face remained impassive as he continued.
          “Bu’ you have to let me feel out the situation first,” said Ignacio. “You have to give me a little time to make sure that I can get out. Okay? It may take a little bit. But for you? I will do it.”

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

          Again! So sorry for the delay. But things seem to have settled down for a little while so hopefully I will be able to start updating more regularly again. Hmmm… Didn’t I say that last time? Lol.

          Anyhow, I had a funny little moment with Tibi and one of Cyrus’ daughters and Iggy I’d wanted to put in, but it just didn’t fit. Sorry. Needless to say, Tibi is still around and is doing well. Hopefully we’ll see her coming up.


  1. Ok. Wow. A lot going on here.
    Layla asked for help!!! FINALLY!!! Sure, it was only a dishwasher, but better than nothing.

    Awwwwwww!! Mariah! Sounds like 'and they all die' is her version of Autumns 'and they get a dog'. Both cute, but Mariah's is decidedly more sinister... I wonder where she gets that from? Maybe mummy's history of family members dropping dead at the worst moments? Not that she'd know about that...

    And wow. Layla did as Sabria suggested, and Iggy isn't sure he *can* get out?! That's scary! What if him getting out is what causes his untimely death? What if he's killed for trying to leave? By his own brother? That would be tragic, especially as Layla is finally growing as a person!

    Yes. So, you've *said* you'll post more regular, now to actually do it :p

    1. Lol. Yes! She called for help. And The repairwoman who came out ignored Layla's attempts to mop of the puddle of death and got zapped herself. So the dishwasher is still broken. Ha!

      Ah! I didn't notice that parallel! That's a line my nephew likes to use, actually, and I figured it was a total Mariah line also. And his stories are all somewhat similar to that as well. O_o Love JM to death. Just gotta remember to sleep with one eye open when he gets old enough.

      It would be terribly tragic. And if you didn't notice, Ignacio brought up each of those points. He's afraid that acting on his mothers vision will be the very thing that will bring it about. He'd rather sit tight and let life unfold. I'm with him.

      Of course I will! As soon as I finish the kids' Halloween costumes that is. I'm about halfway through Lou's right now and the blisters and splinters will need some time to heal before I pull the hot glue gun (or her costume) out again. So simming with bandaged hands it is! :p

  2. Aw c'mon, there's lots worse ways a day can start off than singed eyebrows!

    Her own version of Sabria's vision, eh? Yes, I imagine that would be shocking. Shocking even more than hearing Sabria's vision to begin with. What does Layla think of Sabria's vision of Iggy's death? I mean, *really* think of it. She knows Sabria has some sort of power, but how seriously does she really take it?

    LOL calling for help is probably a good idea if she's that distracted. Getting herself hurt and breaking stuff isn't going to help anything. Besides, that's how Rose's mom died. Repairs are for realz dangerous.

    Mariah already has a healthy respect of death. Or is it admiration? Seeing as how she can find a way to rain on the parade even after Layla finds a way to help the survivors. Suuuurrre Iggy, you keep right on encouraging that imagination! No TV and no other male influences, and she comes up with this stuff on her own? Houston, we haz problema. Though some apparently disturbed part of me does agree that it's adorable.

    Yes indeed, who would hug the princesses then? *sigh*

    A much larger baby, lol! So true though. Oh Iggy, that's so sweet, yet those words sent a chill down my spine, it's like he's living on borrowed time.

    Her pictures bring back strong memories of why she shouldn't sit on the information. She does need to talk to him. And that was such a perfect way to bring it up. Go Layla. Iggy obviously knows what she's talking about now. I wonder now how he'll try to get out of the situation with Raul.

    1. I'm afraid she's putting far too much belief into Sabria's capabilities and is giving them even more "power" than they ought to have. It's like a 12 year old girl putting her faith into a Ouija board because it's "Mystical" without really understanding what it is and what it does.

      Lol. Yup. And with the puddle of death right there in front of the dishwasher I wasn't about to risk it. Ha!

      Is she doing it because she understands it or is she doing it for shock value? Mariah has been brought up strangely until this point. A doting mother who suddenly disappears, then reappears changed and different? A daddy who doesn't have the heart to correct her? Perhaps she's just looking for some stability in a world that's been rocked by far too much that she doesn't understand. We'll have to let her tell you what's really going on in her head when she has the ability. ;)

      We'll just have to see!

    2. I'm not sure Mariah truly understands it, but obviously she understands it to a degree, otherwise why make up a provision to save the daddies? lol. You'd think she's had a fair amount of attention, even with all the events in her parents' lives, but she's got to feel a little abandoned sometimes, what with everything that's been going on. Layla especially hasn't had as much focus on Mariah as you might expect, though I wouldn't call her a bad mother, either. Layla's been slapped upside the head by life over and over over at this point.

      So why does Layla believe blindly? Even Sabria has explained that it's unclear, and that she has seen variable outcomes.

    3. She was saving the one person left in the house who pays attention to her wild tales. That was all that was really. Layla has made a decent effort if nothing else, but going from slathered with mommy attention to distracted distant mommy who backs off because she doesn't understand isn't something Mariah understands either.

      Layla believes with the child's belief in the unknown. At this point, it's something to grasp onto as she flails about trying to keep her head above water. Also, Layla didn't understand Sabria's explanations when they were given to her so long ago. She only said she understood so as to not appear ignorant. She kind of took the tale about the tomato plant seriously, and a bit literally, without applying it as Sabria tried to apply it.

  3. Mariah is kind of giving me the creeps here, she seems entirely too eager for everyone to die in her stories, not to mention the bad guys seem to be the ones winning and causing everyone to die...

    Ignacio has definitely confirmed something is up with his brother - the fact he's worried about pushing him "over the edge" and about being able to get out of whatever Raul's up to - I do hope he's not right about trying to get out being what causes Sabria's vision to come true.

    1. Yeah, Mariah is already marching to the beat of her own drummer isn't she? However, she's also been brought up thus far in such an incredibly unstable home that you've got to wonder where her inspiration lies.

      We'll have to see what method he comes up with for getting out of this one.

  4. I love your "kid speak". I want to send all my toddler chapters to you before publishing them so you can rephrase and add in kid speak! I love it! She's so adorable.

    I hate premonitions/prophecy. Not that it doesn't make neat storylines but I agree with Ignacio. What happens if the foreknowledge of what could happen is what causes it to happen in the first place? Sabria doesn't know what causes it, just the end result. Or things could happen like prophecy foretells but in a completely different way than it initially seems and by trying to circumvent prophecy you actually make things worse!

    That said, I don't think Iggy should be in the situation he is in as it does sound dangerous, vision aside and I do hope that he can get out without leaving a wife and daughters alone.

    1. Aw, thank you! lol. I could do that too. Ha!

      Actually, that's kind of what I want to play with here for future reasons that are Not directly connected with this story line (next generation is going to be a doozy.) The difference between reality and perception, and how our actions now can precipitate events later that are beyond our reach. And he realizes that. Growing up with it in his face all the time he quit giving it the importance his mother thought it should have with the end result that he lives his life regardless. And even Sabria has tried to impress upon Layla that nothing is concrete, that the future is in our own hands to shape as we will.

      And yes, he gave a lot away there despite himself. We'll see how it all shapes up rather quickly here.

  5. Haha, what a conundrum, what if the very thing you do in order to stop something from happening ends up being the very thing that makes that happen! Raul sounds like he's dangerous though, I'd like to say that brothers would never hurt their brother, but hey, Colin is my heir, lol :P I hope that whatever does happen, doesn't leave Layla as a widow, I'm not sure that poor girl could take one more death!

    Mariah is such a cutie! I love her imagination and inventiveness, she's going to make a wonderful writer someday! =)

    1. lol. Oh, these two have nothing on Colin for sure! ha! Colin kind of takes the cake doesn't he? ;)

      But yes, that's absolutely it. What do you do? What do you do when you don't think that's the right thing to do but someone else is determined you should do things their way? Mix family up with all of that on top of your job and it's pretty sticky. We'll see what's going to happen fairly soon I hope.

      Thank you! Her personality is a lot of fun for me to play with and I can't wait for her turn to come up. A lot of what she'll be up to should be... interesting. Ha!

  6. That is pretty much the thing with prophecy, often the thing you do to avoid it happening if exactly what makes it happen. At least, all the Greek tragedies work that way, lol.
    And in Ignacio's case, if Raul is doing something criminal, with other, bigger criminals involved, trying to pull away could actual be fatal. =(
    I hope Ignacio comes through this and Sabria's vision doesn't come to pass.

    1. Oh yes. lol. I'm borrowing heavily there aren't I? ;)

      We'll see what happens soon. I'm ironing a few details out still, but hopefully we won't have to wait too long.

  7. Yeah, so, I started saying stuff while reading, and then Ignacio said the same things. At least he's not clueless.
    Stuffed fish... Fish can get mighty odiferous, hiding the smell of other things from canines. Or, at least, that's possibly what some people would like to believe. Idk actually, but it's a thought.

    1. He's lived with it for a long long time and found the words to say what needs to be said. :)

      LOL! I like that thought! That's pretty good!

  8. Finally there have been some answers and now Iggy refuses to shed light on the small(?) part that remains. Grr! Stop playing coy, man!

    Though I have to say, as much as he annoyed me at first, I really like Iggy now and I don't want to see him get hurt. I hope his secrecy isn't going to be exactly the thing that leads to the vision coming true.,,

    1. Gotta tease those answers out as long as possible. Haha.

      *sigh. Ignacio was definitely a divisive character. Either you loved him by the end, or forever hated him. lol. I miss him.