Tuesday, April 16, 2013

“At this rate, the Bride will get there before us!”

(Excerpt of Sororate Chapter Four)


31st August 2231


“B…!”  My husband bellowed from downstairs. “It’s10.45 AM, this thing starts in fifteen minutes!”

As usual, Declan was dressed and ready and waiting downstairs; whereas I rushed about our bedroom half dressed and undecided on what shoes or even a coat to wear, with my formal outfit.

“At this rate, the Bride will get there before us!”  I heard him complain.

I tossed aside my black, high-heeled boots then my black, strappy, high-heeled sandals and even my black, high-heeled ‘Mary-Jane’ style shoes.  None of these were right!  Nothing would go with my red silk, cocktail dress I was wearing.  Oh why oh why, do I only have black shoes in my wardrobe? 

“Don’t make me come up there and get you.”  He threatened.

Knowing my domineering, European Werewolf for a mate, he would.  I started to panic as I went through my shoe collection.  From past experience, Declan would grab me whether I was ready or not.  Next, I heard his heavy jog up the stairs… oh oh.

He walked into the bedroom to catch me bent over in my short dress and black stockings, as I was rifling through my wardrobe.  His eyes widened as he looked me over, appreciative of the way my legs were on display.  I thought he looked good in his black suit and light blue, pressed shirt, which brought out his bright blue eyes. 

However, when his mouth opened to berate, I beat him to the punch.

“I can’t find the right shoes to wear with this dress!”  I snapped.  “So don’t start!”

Coolly, Declan walked over and picked up my black, strappy high-heels from the floor which I had discarded earlier.  Then he pulled me over to the side of our bed and sat me down, before sitting beside.  When he proceeded to put the shoes on my feet, I objected.

“Not THESE ones!”

“Yep these ones.”

“But they’re sandals so they don’t go with stockings!”

“They’re strappy so they’ll go with the cocktail dress.”  He put down my left foot and picked up my right to put the second on.

“I don’t think so…” I started to argue, “…I want to change out of this dress.”

“Don’t even think about it!”

“But a dress isn’t practical, especially not a cocktail dress.  Maybe I should wear my black, pin-striped pants suit?”

Declan ignored my fretting and as soon as he finished, he grabbed my black, woollen coat which was lying beside the others.  He raised me to my feet as he simultaneously placed the warm garment about my shoulders.  The next thing I knew, I found myself being traipsed down the stairs by my bossy husband.

“But – but – but what about my purse?”  I halted half way down.

“I’ve got it.”  He held it up in the air.

“But – but – but I didn’t put on any perfume!”  I tried to pull back.

“You don’t need any!”  Declan snapped back.  “Besides, with your pheromones I don’t need anymore trouble.”

“I HAVE to wear perfume if I’m all dressed and made up!”

When I attempted to turn around and go back, Declan bent over picked me up over his left shoulder!

“NOT AGAIN!”  I complained.  “Put me down!  Put me down right now!”

He ignored my shouting as he carried me out the front door. 

Casually, he closed and locked it behind, before he carried his wife down the porch steps to his pick up truck.  He pointed his remote key at the vehicle to release the central locking and didn’t put me down again until he lowered me onto the passenger’s seat.  Angrily, I shot him a glare which he also ignored, whilst he walked around the vehicle and opened the door for the driver’s side.

He saw I was still seething as he sat down and did up his seatbelt.  So as he pressed in the ignition code to start the engine, he barked out; “you’re one of the prettiest girls in the tribe thanks to your youthfulness and pheromones.  So stop acting so insecure every frickin’ time you have to dress up to go out!”

“Bite me!”

“I wish.”  He muttered as he reversed out of the driveway.

We drove down the hill and turned left at the first intersection.  Instead of driving into the community centre, he turned towards the Holy Grounds which were situated in the quiet, glassy glade beside the river which flowed through our tribal lands.  He pulled up into the first available car space he saw, before he turned off the engine. 

My husband was quick to jump out, walk around the truck and open my door to pull me out.  I was reluctant to be seen with how self-conscious I felt.  Walking hand-in-hand, he used his other which was holding the remote to reset the central locking.  We joined the crowd as everyone had come today to witness Maia and Forrest’s Joining Ceremony.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

“He thought Werewolves were sexist, archaic, primitive beasts.”

(Excerpt of Sororate Chapter Two)


When the male Werewolves began to think up a roster over the next month, I lost the last of my already short patience and broke away.  To look like I wasn’t sulking, I returned to the seat beside Sharon as if I were returning to a previous conversation.  The women smiled and then recommenced their discussion about the escalating cost of childcare centres, for those who juggled part time work and young children.

Frickin’ hell, I wasn’t enjoying this Wake.  I had either male chauvinism or baby talk to bounce between.  Not that I blamed the women, for those that were mated to a male Lokoti Werewolf; children were an inevitable part of that marriage.  I just felt left out, since I was the only woman in the room let alone the tribe whose union to a virile supernatural species didn’t produce ‘rug rats’.

In the past, my Calculator Vincent who had been a doctor, examined me for ‘non-specific ovarian failure’.  He ran multiple tests to ascertain I didn’t have tubal disease or endometriosis nor did I have ovulation disorder.  But for some reason things just didn’t add up, my eggs refused to be fertilized nor could they embed themselves in my uterus.  Vincent diagnosed that my differences as a Circulator had unusually affected my biology and it was as if my reproductive system was also in temporal flux.  That day I learned my status as the Last Circulator was responsible for truly making me the last on the line. 

“Excuse me,” I stood up a second time, “I just have to check on something outside.”

The women were starting to look a little disgruntled at my comings and goings and truly, I didn’t mean to be rude.  My head ducked shyly as I slipped out of the room via the front door when I found refuge on the veranda steps.  There I sat, looking up into the changing sky.

It was nearing 10 PM and the sun was only starting to set, thanks to Alaska’s extended daylight during summer.  But in the dusk, I caught one or two stars peak through.  The darker it turned with the onset of evening, the more stars emerged.

“Hallo Mum and Dad.  Man, I miss you guys.”  I sighed sadly at the celestial objects, as if they were my loved ones.  I felt my eyes sting and I continued talking under my breath.  “Mum, I miss how you fought for equal rights for women with the pack.  Dad, I miss how you would talk quietly with Grandfather on your verdict but you’d always hear us out if someone had a different point of view.  I also miss not talking about academic work with you guys or Circulate stuff.  There’s no-one to laugh over time travel stories anymore.”

Then I turned quiet as I looked out at the garden in the twilight.  The Riverclaw as well as the Wisetail families copied off Declan and I, by doing up their gardens after we did up ours.  They used different plants though and made them unique in their own way.  I loved looking on the gardens in summer, at how the flowers bloomed for an extended time or the smell of freshly cut grass.  I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply through my nose and out of my mouth, as I inhaled the change of smell produced as it went from day to night.

At that moment, I was disturbed by the sound of the front door opening and closing, as Declan came to sit beside.  He was carrying two glasses of orange flavoured Fanta and he passed me one.  Then he too looked up into the sky.

“Are you missing your parents and grandparents?”  He guessed.

I nodded whilst staring at the neatly kept lawn, “And my Calculator.”

“Who, Vincent?”  My husband screwed up his face in distaste.  “I don’t know how you or anyone would miss that guy.  He had a permanent chip on his shoulder and especially a grudge about our kind.”

This made me smile, “He thought Werewolves were sexist, archaic, primitive beasts.”

“And because we still won’t let you patrol, it reminded you of that?”  He raised his eyebrows unimpressed.  “Oh yeah, we’re real bastards for trying to keep the existence of a female Lokoti Werewolf a secret.  We’re real Neanderthals for trying to protect our female, when there are male Werewolves out there who’ve tried to kidnap and claim her for their own purposes.”

“It’s not just that.”  I sighed out.  “There’s no-one to talk to about Circulate business anymore.”

“Hang on, I thought Vincent programmed the Circulate Mainframe to act as your Calculator instead?”

“Yes he did and it does a very good job.  It sends me via email, notifications I should be aware of within Hodge Endeavor or even in the timeline.  But…”  I faltered as my eyes briefly met his before they skipped away again, “…I don’t have anyone to talk to about time travel anymore.”

“What am I, a Neanderthal bastard who’s so stupid that you can’t even communicate with anymore?”  He riled up.  “You can frickin’ talk to me!”

“Oh OK.”  I put on a sarcastically cheerful tone.  “Declan, I’m thinking of visiting Ancient Egypt and taking some photos of the statues of Isis in the temples in Thebes and Memphis.  Now which season do you recommend I should visit in to avoid mosquitoes; or in which Kingdom should I go, New or Middle?”

“Say what?”  He blinked dumbfounded.  “I thought you had a frickin’ smart computer to think of these things for you!”

“I do have a computer for a Calculator to answer my questions but it can’t say to me, ‘oh B, I was in the New Kingdom last week.  It was the time of year when the flooded Nile had receded and I saw this temple with amazing statues which you would absolutely love!’”

“What do you mean, the Nile was flooded?  B, I don’t think it’s a smart idea to visit flooded destinations.”

“The Nile is supposed to flood, Declan!  The floodwaters leave silt which helps crops grow!”

“Well if you already know all of this, why do you need to go there to look at frickin’ statues?”

“Because it helps with my academic work!”  I rolled my eyes.  “My papers generate interest, because my work isn’t just guessing what life used to be like; I provide proof of what it really was like because I’ve seen it with my own two eyes!”

My papers ensured casual employment of guest lectures in the academic field where I was known as Dr. Bianca Riverclaw, which was my mother’s maiden name.  I’d been Dr. Bianca Sabre for forty years and then Dr. Bianca Wisetail for another forty.  I had to start all over again because my other two identities are supposed to have either retired or ‘carked’ it by now.

Since Declan’s always worked at the Garage on Lokoti Tribal Lands he didn’t have to worry about assumed identities.  In fact, if a person ever suggested to him to pretend to be somebody else, he would figuratively bite your head off!   My husband had a low tolerance for anything superficial and calls it as it is, much to my amusement and our tribe’s.  The only time he humours subterfuge is hiding his European Werewolf nature from outsiders. 

“So do you sign at the bottom of your work, ‘written by the Last Circulator, the woman who’s actually been there’?”  He rolled his eyes back.  “If you do, I think we should be more worried of people finding out you’re a Circulator let alone a Werewolf.”

Exasperated, I started to bang my head against the wooden veranda railing.  Declan growled under his breath and instead of putting out his arm to merely stop me, I found myself in a headlock!

“Hey, let go!” I complained.

“Nah, I don’t think so.”  He said coolly.  “You stuffy, snobby, time traveller for a cheat, University Professor.”

So I bit into his side, which made him cry out and loosen his hold.  We were both half laughing and half snarling, as Declan tried to grab onto his wife and I kept swatting his hands away.  Our drinks sat half drunk and forgotten about.

“Right that’s it!”  He growled and his eyes momentarily glowed green when he bent over and lifted me up, onto his shoulder.

“Hey!  Declan, put me down!”  I squealed louder in laughter.

“Nope, I’m dragging you back to my cave Mrs. Neanderthal!”  He stood up and walked away from the steps.

I grabbed hold of his hair and pulled hard, which tipped his head backwards and made him lose his balance.  Together, we tumbled onto the front lawn, with me landing on top.  But then we paused, as our senses told us we weren’t alone.

We looked up to see Stone with his wife and son, as well as Jake and his wife and baby, standing on the veranda in their dignified black clothes; staring at their immature elders who were wrestling in theirs.

“Let me guess, ‘pack business’?”  Sharon raised her eyebrows.