Saturday, July 23, 2016

Chapter 48: Breaking Curfew

Cayenne eventually has her baby. It's a horrifying ordeal, though not as horrible as it once was according to ancient, forbidden texts she's uncovered in her travels. At one point, cake didn't trigger an age-up, the dead left the bodies behind, and poverty was everywhere.

The world they live in is so manufactured and perfect. Luis insists there is something fake and sinister behind the perfection... but Cayenne cannot help feeling like she'd rather be normal, and enjoy it, instead of be cursed with this burden of ensuring it is one day torn down.

That's the goal, after all... make sure the cycle doesn't start again. But what is their world, without its lies? What happens when everyone is released from the curse?

As she settles the infant girl into Lucida's old crib, she feels a crack in her resolve to find her big sister. Cayenne misses Parsley, but she and Luis still don't know how to find her. It doesn't seem fair to drag this child onto the uncertain road ahead.

Cayenne begins to sob as she recalls her own childhood, filled with all the luxuries a film star's daughter could expect. The baby's father features prominently in those memories; Chervil was always there for her, until he wasn't.

He doesn't even know about the child.

Luis tries to comfort his sister.

She straightens up and stares at him, but does not seem to see him. She lived through the loss of her parents, her home, most of her siblings, and her boyfriend... she watched her twin suffer as his psychic abilities turned their world upside down and inside out... yet now she is more sad than she has ever been. She cannot hold the feelings of hopelessness at bay anymore. "I don't know if I can do this, Loki."

There's a saying: names have power. Her brother frowns at the sound of his real name, the one their well-intentioned but silly film star father gave him. She understands why he feels negative about being named after a mythological Norse trickster involved with the end times.

"She's going to be okay," he promises.

He is genuinely pleased to meet his niece. "Hello, Ceth."

"Seth is a boy's name," Cayenne protests meekly.

"No, it starts with a C, like your name." Luis is emphatic about this point. "I like it. I like the letters."

Ceth's father also had a C-name. Cayenne tries not to tear up all over again. She hadn't given much thought to naming their child. "Okay," she sighs. "Ceth it is, then."

"Ceth is what it has always been," he corrects.

Lucida is unaware of Ceth's distant blood relation to her. The protective instinct she feels towards this helpless, noisy fleshball has come from accepting Cayenne and Luis as part of her pack regardless of their origins.

"It took her seriously forever to have this baby," Lucida remarks. "What gives, Dad?"

"Cayenne's healing abilities must have been interfering with the whole... process," Reggie theorizes.

A new baby in the nursery means Lucida finally gets to move out of it and into her own bedroom. Hopefully she'll take that creepy-ass owl painting she likes so much with her.

Izalee is stumped on how to contribute to society. When she goes to the local farmer's market to sell her surplus tomatoes, however, she realizes there is something she's been overlooking.

She registers at city hall as a self-employed agriculturalist.

These aquatic creatures are alive, yet Mech is not. He ponders his existence as he cares for them.

In total, there are six seahorses in the tank. They're shy.

Lucida and Benino's second date is at Danza, same as the first.

The feel of the second date is much different from the first, however, since Danza has attracted a crowd tonight.

Taking advantage of the classy music, Ben tries to teach Lucida to waltz. This is far more high-brow than she is used to, but she goes along with it, flattered that someone of such prissy standards even wants to give her the time of day.

And hey look, Venessa is here.

Venessa's attempts to woo Fred Taylor here go completely ignored.

Even creepier, Fred is the newlywed husband of one of the Giordano clan (namely, her cousin Maria's daughter Emily). For shame, Venessa.

After leaving Reggie, Venessa was in a relationship with the far younger Gilberto GilsCarbo, but now that Gilberto has spawned children with Ambra Ferrari, Venessa has stepped out of the way.

WTF is happening at this bar?!

Alright, that's a little better I guess.

Lucida could do a lot worse than Benino Rossi for a first boyfriend, she decides, so she asks him to go steady before some other girl inevitably can.

Benino responds positively.

Lucida shows her happiness with action.

She must be like ten times stronger than him. Luckily Ben thinks this is hot.

Poor Fred is very popular tonight. Maybe he should not have left his new wife at home with the baby. She could have helped him fend off this cougar pack.

The teens round out their night with a couple of glasses of Starry Seas.

Lucida gets... slightly buzzed?

She saunters over to Marta and orders shrimp cocktails....

...only to quickly realize it was a bad idea.

Ewwwww. They don't even have deep fried breading around them.

How can Benino eat this???

 They go upstairs for a while to chill. Lucida has never played pool before, but wants to try a trick shot she saw on TV once. It involves a gnome.

"Gnomes are jerks, you know," she says.

After then it's time to go home, because curfew.

Ben makes it home on time, but Lucida does not. Her father threatens to turn her into a toad if she breaks curfew again.

"Yeah right, Dad. You can't turn people into toads."

Etc.: Reggie rolled a wish to turn someone into a toad. So.


  1. "Lucida could do a lot worse than Benino Rossi for a first boyfriend, she decides...."
    No, Lucia, you're thinking about it the wrong way--you can do better. :D

    Seriously, tho, their date was adorable. I actually laughed so hard at Reggie turning her into a toad that I snorted. >.>

    1. Will they break up?! Will they stay together?! =O


  2. Turning your kid into a toad= quality parenting 101

    Atleast Benino isn't scared of a strong woman like Lucida, so that's probably a good thing. And the bar- guests seems to be an interesting bunch. Why change their outfits, maybe they were roleplaying or something?

    1. Haha, well, if I let my whole town wear what they aged up in, they'd be a pretty strange bunch!

  3. Awww... The "It is what it always has been" was so wonderfully phrased. Such a deeper root. It would be awesome if Ceth still grew up addicted to the bubble bar. lol. Is Ceth for realz living in the nursery or is that just story?

    Yup. Lucida/Benino 2016 trumps any other campaign out there. Besides, Lucida running the world couldn't be too bad. Excepting the owls. Does the owl still lay eggs in your friends plants?

    Toadification>Grounding. Point Reggie.

    1. Thanks! (:

      [spoiler] Ceth is for reals living in the nursery. ;) She counts as one of the next gen's kids'. [/spoiler]

      I think my buddy's owl has moved on. It was beautiful while it lasted.

  4. It IS Ceth, yay! So she's staying? That's awesome! I wonder if she'll end up with a similar personality, even if she's presumably going to be raised differently.

    1. Yup. :)

      Personally, I think nurture trumps nature when it comes to human behavior in the real world, but the characters in this blog exist in a fantasy world where there are other forces at play... if Ceth's uncle is to be believed, anyway.

  5. Please, is there and Egg Man in this timeline? What is a time line without and Egg man?
    I know you aren't a Buddhist, but the whole idea of reality being an illusion and Loki's desire to get the hell off the endless cycle of rebirth is just so...Buddhist. I love it.
    And I love Cayenne's doubts, and her wondering if the illusion is in fact better than the truth.

    1. Thanks Melissa! I'm glad you enjoy it.

      From an objective standpoint, poor Cayenne would live a mostly happy life over and over and over again for eternity if not for her twin brother and his issues.

      Fear not, there is an Egg Man in every timeline! But will be meet his buddy Ceth in this one? That's up in the air still. He'd most likely be born in Barnacle Bay around this time.

  6. Cayenne has an interesting dilemma. Is it better to uncover the truth and have your world destroyed, or just keep playing along and have a perfect life?

    Mech needs a robot fish!

    Lucida and Ben are pretty cute together. Is he going to age up soon? He was a bit older than her.

    1. Ooh, robot fish. Good idea! Maybe when he moves out, I'll stock his future home with some. (He's immortal, and I don't wanna keep him as a robo-nanny slave forever, haha.)

      Ben does indeed age up before Lucida does. (:

  7. Super late comment, but I just love the way this is playing out. At first I assumed this legacy takes place around the middle of your Barnacle Bay legacy, but it must really be thousands of years later! Fascinating, but creepy. I support Luis on his quest to break the cycle... it must be hell to have to keep remembering everything... and maybe worse for Eris, who is completely aware of all of it, although who knows what her deal is.

    1. Thank you! <3 You're correct in your observations.