Monday, March 18, 2013

Chapter 5-9: T.N.T

                The warm weather begged for the family to come out and play. Camille and Donovan decided a trip to the park would be the perfect family outing. They rounded up the kids and set out for a day out of the house.

                “Evangeline, don’t you think you’re a little too big for that,” Camille asked her daughter who had begged her daddy to carry her.
                “Never! Daddy will always carry me!”
                Camille shared a look with Donovan. They both knew that one day their little girl would not be quite so openly affectionate towards her parents though Camille doubted that she would ever cease being daddy’s little girl.

                At the park, the two newlyweds took a seat on a bench and watched as the children played together. They’d be learning new activities in their physical education class in school and, apparently, soccer was the “best thing ever”. Neither of the twins were very good at it though. The match ended tied, one to one.

                Family outings on weekends became the norm nowadays. Donovan spent most weeknights locked to his computer, furiously working away at his next article. Camille spent a lot of her nights writing up reports which was the safest and most mundane thing she could be doing at home. She still hadn’t let Donovan in on the secret of her “secret” job. Maybe she didn’t have to. Things were working out just fine as they were. Of course, weeknights were also homework nights for the kids. So it had been decided that weekends would be family time.

                One such weekend, they met up with Pearl and her family at the park across the bridge. Both Pearl and Camille felt that it was great to be able to enjoy some girl talk. The dads felt much the same way though their discussion was vastly different than their wives’ topic of conversation.

                Evangeline snuck up on Lowell who happened to be standing with the grownups.
                “Hey, Lowell, look,” she shouted! As soon as he glanced her way, she pelted him with a water balloon.
                “Evangeline Avendale! If you want to play with water balloons, go out in the open. Pearl and I don’t want to get wet.” Pearl, naturally, found the whole situation funny.

                It certainly looked like an unfair fight. Both twins ganged up on Lowell. They grinned and each other and began taunting him.
                “Bet you can’t get me wet Lowell. I bet you throw like a girl,” Evangeline teased while Emerson threw the first balloon in his friend’s direction. Lowell was surprisingly quick though and darted to the side.
                “Crap! I missed!”
                “Geez Em, watch out. If you hit mom, we’re going to get in big trouble.”

                Lowell took advantage of their brief pause and threw one right in Evangeline’s direction. It hit her right in the chest, hard enough to knock her off her feet.
                “Like a girl, huh?” Emerson couldn't help but laugh even though he knew he’d pay for it later.

                “Honey, are you coming to bed,” Donovan shouted from the top of the stairs.
                “Yeah, I’ll be up there shortly,” she answered, distracted by the research she was doing. The department had inquired a new informant who had a lot of information about illegal cloning operation that had plans to take over and dominate the world. It had seemed rather far-fetched until she started researching and finding a large number of occurrences that couldn't be coincidental. Could they?

                Suddenly she heard footsteps on the stairs behind her. How long has it been? Glancing down, she realized another hour had gone by since he’d called down to her. She didn't need Donovan peering over her shoulder and seeing too much of what she was working on. He was smart, and a journalist. Curiosity was too much a part of him and she had no doubt that he would likely figure out what was going on. If, no when, she told him about her job, it would be on her terms, not because she was cornered and had no alternative.

                Slamming the lid closed, she wiped her eyes wearily, as though she had heard him and turned to meet him.
                “Hey sweetheart, I was just on my way up.”
                “What are you working on? You seem to be pretty immersed.”
                “Just some traffic reports. Ms. Mahoney ran into the bank again today. I think they need to revoke her license. If she can’t remember which pedal is go and which is stop, she shouldn't be driving.”
                “Sounds like a news story to me.”
                “Always the reporter. How about you come join me in bed,” she offered suggestively.
                “Cam, I just worked out for an hour waiting for you. I’m pretty ripe.”
                “And I love you anyway.” She led him to the shower so they could kill two birds with one stone. She hoped he was sufficiently placated and distracted enough to stop thinking about her work.

                Donovan decided that, as the man of the house, it was his responsibility to teach Emerson how to play baseball. Emerson though wasn't too keen on the idea. Throwing water balloons was one thing. Getting hit with a hard ball if you failed to catch it was a whole other thing. What if it hit him in the face? He could lose an eye! Okay, maybe not an eye, but a tooth, for sure.

                Both of the twins, though best friends with each other, have friends at school as well. Jess Kessler is probably Emerson’s best friend. Jess spent a lot of time at the house, playing with Emerson, even doing his homework with him. Jess had one older sister but they weren't very close in age and she usually pretended that he didn't exist.

                Evangeline had just made new friends with Renata DeFiore, who had recently moved to St. Claire from Monte Vista and lived down the street. Renata was one of the prettiest girls in the class so, of course, Evangeline needed to be friends with her. They weren't quite as productive as Emerson and Jess though and spent most of their time together gossiping and sharing secrets about their classmates.

                “Mom, can I have a sleepover?” Evangeline had decided she wanted to throw a sleepover party for some of her classmates.
                “Let me talk to your father about it.”
                “But moo-oom. All the other kids in class are throwing parties.”
                “Oh, are they,” Camille asked with a hint of a smile. Evangeline was too straight forward to keep it up.
                “Well, no. But if I throw the first one, it’ll be my idea which makes me the most popular.”
                “I’ll discuss it with your father.”

                Camille and Donovan eventually decided that they would allow a sleepover, IF it was a joint sleepover. Most parents may not approve of a co-ed sleepover but when you have twins of both genders, some exceptions have to be made. They were allowed to each invite 2 friends. Evangeline had wanted her own party so she could invite more girls but this may work out in her favor. Her party would have boys and girls which would be even cooler since normally that wasn't allowed!

                Evangeline invited Renata, of course, and Genevieve Amberg who was also fairly new to town. Emerson invited Jess and Lowell. All the kids arrived in their pajamas and Camille ordered a pizza.

                “Now shoo mom!” Evangeline pushed her mother towards the stairs.
                “Eve, you know I’m the chaperon.”
                Evangeline sighed, exasperated. “Yes, I know but you can chaperon from upstairs right? It’s not cool to have you sit down here and baby us!”
                Camille agreed, amused and slightly worried about her daughter’s headstrong personality.

                Emerson and Jess ran upstairs and put on matching T-Rex costumes and stomped downstairs. Lowell quickly hurried and transformed into an astronaut who had discovered a prehistoric planet with dinosaurs. Renata, not to be left behind, put on the princess costume. What kind of planet would it be with no rulers?

                Evangeline, seeing everyone start following Emerson, quickly grabbed her pillow.
                “Pillow fight,” she declared and walloped Genevieve. The quiet blonde quickly followed suit and the two began pummeling each other. The rest of the children continued in their make-believe.

                When Evangeline had thoroughly out-pummeled, Genevieve, she flipped the lights of and gathered everyone around her. She pulled a flashlight from the drawer of the coffee table and flipped it on and shined it under her face. Even her brother, who had heard her scary stories before, seemed to be frightened by this one. The only one not impressed seemed to be Lowell who looked rather bored.

                Finally it was time for everyone to pull out their sleeping bags. The coffee table was pushed back against the couch and everyone found a spot on the floor. Evangeline discovered that Renata had the same color sleeping bag as she did! Luckily, she wasn't quite at the age where sharing the same dress or other item was an unspeakable offense. Rather, in this case, it solidified their friendship even more!

                Leisure Day quickly approached. Not only was it a celebration for the formation of SimNation but it was also the twins’ birthdays! Camille couldn't believe that her babies were practically all grown up. With everyone receiving the day off from school and work, it was quickly decided that both the day, and the birthday party, would be spent at the festival in Bradford County.

                “Mom, seriously! Do we have to take the police car everywhere,” Emerson grumbled. “It’s embarrassing riding around in a cage!”
                “I’m learning to drive as soon as I can and saving up for a car,” his sister declared.
                Donovan shared a terrified look with his wife from the front seat.
                “I saw that Dad,” Emerson shouted!

                Quickly distracted by the bright colors and appetizing smells of the festival, the embarrassment of arriving in a police car was soon forgotten. Ready to show off his practiced throwing arm, Emerson declared a water balloon war. Gingers against the world! Well, really just against his sister and dad but, whatever.

                Balloons were tossed, people were soaked, and taunts were passed back and forth between the lines. Camille and Donovan scored hits at the same time, soaking both of the kids. His practice throwing with Donovan must have paid off in the end though because he and Camille won by 20 points. That gave him twenty five tickets to trade in for something useful. What would it be?

                Donovan treated the winners, and second place winners, to snow cones.

                Man, this festival stuff was tiring. Even more so, there was still a party to attend!

                Everyone changed back into dry clothes and gathered around the cakes. It was time to blow out the birthday candles! All of their friends were there. To date, this was probably the best, and most attended, party in Avendale history.

                “So, what did you wish for,” Evangeline asked her brother as they sat at the picnic table, enjoying their cake.
                “Nuh uh,” he replied. “You know the rules. You can’t tell. If you tell it doesn’t come true.”
                “Well, I wished to be rich and famous.”
                “Ha, that means you’re going to be poor and alone, and when you die no one will even notice you are gone,” he joked poking her in the arm.

                They waved sparklers around, careful not to set each other on fire.

                Then, at the end of the night, everyone gathered around to watch the fireworks light up the sky.

                The fireworks may have been in celebration of Leisure Day and not for Evangeline and Emerson personally, but it was still their day. The bright lights and crackling of the fireworks was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Chapter 5.8                                                                                                                                                                                 Chapter 5.10

Yes, I am back and the kids have finally aged into teens. Barring any unfortunate accidents or computer 'splosions an heir vote will be up and coming shortly! There will be at least one more chapter published beforehand though since a) it's been so long since I posted that I want people to get a chance to remember the story and b) I need to solidify each of their characters a bit more.

I'm so, so glad to be back though. I can't even express how happy it feels to be playing my game and writing again!