Cyber Carnality- Chapter 8- Jace

Posted: May 9, 2014 in Creative Writing, Novel, Science Fiction
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The rain had left the garden wet and muddy. There was a satisfying sucking sound every time Jace lifted is foot out of the muck, his rubber boot threatening to slip off is foot and stay lodged in the ground with every step. Even the earth under the apple trees where he was currently walking was this wonderful muddy texture.

When he had been a boy Jace had love to play in the garden after a rain storm like this. He often returned to the house looking like a swamp monster, sending his mother into a fit as he trailed the dirt in through the kitchen and living room into the bathroom to try to clean off before she noticed him. A couple of times his mother had stopped him at the door grabbed the garden hose and sprayed him down before he was allowed to enter the home. A look that was an intense mix of joy, frustration and love had always plastered his mother’s face at these times. She would lecture him about how he shouldn’t get into such trouble but burst out laughing the next instant when he playfully sprayed the water directly into Jace’s face and he returned fire by splashing the water pooling at his feet up at her. If only things were still that simple.

These days Jace still found comfort in being in the garden after the rain. But at his age he could no longer return to the home covered head to toe in mud. He had to satisfy his craving with a walk through the mud, picking apples for breakfast as he went. With every sucking sound of his foot falls the urge to run, jump and roll in the mud seared. His inner child daring him to give in, but the adult in him told the child no, and kept walking.

When he returned to the house he slipped off his boots at the back door, he knew better than to track dirt into his mother’s home these days, and entered into the kitchen. He placed the basket of apples on the counter and washed his hands in the kitchen sink. Once Jace had cleaned his hands he then started rinsing off and chopping up the apples.

Behind him he heard the click of the coffee maker, timed to start brewing a pot at this time every morning. Not long after the click of the coffee pot the rest of the house started to wake up.

The blinds on the windows started to roll up, letting in the early morning light. The shuffle of feet could be heard from upstairs as his mother and father got out of bed and headed to the shower. The sound of cars was heard in the driveway as the staff who didn’t live on site started to arrive to complete their duties for the day.

Good morning Jace” Molly’s voice floated into Jace’s head as he heard the back door through which he had entered earlier. Jace turned to face the cook who was more of a mother to him then his own mother had ever been.

Good morning Molly.” Jace walked over to embrace the now aging women in front of him. Molly was plump, with red cheeks and long curly hair. Crow’s feet and laugh lines were settling into her once smooth face. Her hair, which had once been a rich brown when Jace was a boy, was greying. Jace was always a little shocked by Molly’s appearance. In his mind’s eye she would always be the 30 something mother figure that had taught him how to tell which fruits were ready to pick and showed him how to bake a cake from scratch. Her appearance was another reminder that he was no longer that young boy.

What are we making this morning?” Molly asked gesturing at the apples Jace was slicing and reaching for a couple of coffee cups.

Mom’s favourite. Last night didn’t go as she would have liked. So I’m trying to ease the blow a little. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it through breakfast alive this way” Jace was half joking and half painfully serious in this statement. His mother had discovered that he left the party for a time. Not only that but the date he had been intended for was responsible for some outburst which his mother was confident would not have happened had Jace been talking to her when he should have been. Due to this little incident his parents were being frowned upon by their peers. This moment shouldn’t have happened. It was just as much their fault for inviting the girl as it was her fault for forgetting her manours. Or at least that’s the way society saw it.

Molly didn’t ask for details. She tended to disagree with the way in which these parties were run but would never say so blatantly. Instead of continuing the conversation she asked “What can I do to help?” and got to work on the sauce which Jace was requesting.

His mother’s favourite breakfast food, especially at this time of year, consisted of waffles, made from scratch with a hot apple cinnamon sauce drizzled over them. Molly’s sauce had always been better than the one Jace could make so he was happy to have her help, anything to appease his mother while he still could.

The two of them set into a comfortable and familiar rhythm. After all they had been sharing the kitchen since he was a young boy. This was one of the only ways which Jace had to relax, this and the garden where he escaped. Jace finished cutting up the apples and moved to pull out and heat up the waffle iron. Molly poured their coffees and chatted to him about everything from the weather to movie she had heard was worth viewing. Anything but the party last night, anything to keep her calm.

Once the iron was heating up Jace grabbed a bowl, eggs, milk, flour, salt, sugar and baking soda and started on the waffle mix. The sound of the shower stopped coming from upstairs. It would be about 30 minutes before his mom was dressed and came down. He should be right on time with breakfast. He mixed the batter letting his mind wander, half listening to Molly’s rambling while he worked.

Jace let his mind wander to thoughts about the girl who had caused the outburst the night before. His mother may be embarrassed by the whole situation, but she had found a better match for him then she knew. Part of Jace wished he had talked to her the night before. But if that had happened, his plan may have failed. If he was seen to be happy with her, even if they had not made a commitment, the dead line for the quota may have been extended, especially with their families’ standing in society. It was better that he had assumed, based on her appearance alone, that she was just another society girl looking to take her place on step higher up the ladder. He found himself hoping that her parents didn’t find a “suitable” partner for her, but stopped himself before his thoughts wandered any future. Even thinking of these things was dangerous. If he let his feelings slip to his parents he knew they would have him set up with her sooner than he could blink.

He removed the first of the waffles from the iron and tried to move his thoughts to something anything else, but there was something about Sophia’s image he couldn’t let go of. Molly’s voice came back into his thoughts “I think I hear your mother coming down. Do you want to prepare her coffee or should I?

I’ll grab it.” Jace replied. Pulling another set of waffles off the iron and starting another batch before he moved for the cup.

Good morning Mother,” Jace thought as he heard her foot steps in the hall. “I hope you slept well.” He turned to hand her the coffee and direct her towards the kitchen table, which was off to the side in a sunroom of sorts. The double French doors which allowed it to be closed off from the main kitchen area currently stood open, making it feel like one large room. “Breakfast will be ready in a moment if our want to have a seat.”

A faint smile crossed her lips for a millisecond, “Not as well as I would have liked” she replied as she took the coffee from Jace’s hand and headed over to the table. “When did you wake up this morning?

Around 6:30.” Jace lied. In reality he had jerked awake from a terrifying dream around five AM. A dream in which the world seemed to be collapsing in on itself, a dream that didn’t feel like it was his. It felt as though he was watching someone else’s fear. It was an odd sensation, one he had gone out to the garden to shake. The feeling was still haunting the back of his mind though, the same way Sophia’s image was still floating back there. He knew is mother would frown on him getting any less than 4 hours of sleep though. So he kept that fact to himself. “Would you like anything other than coffee to drink? Orange juice? Water?

The coffee is fine for now dear. What’s for breakfast?” His mother asked more out of a need to make polite conversation than a need for an answer to the question. The smell of the apple sauce and site of the waffle iron was more than enough of an answer.

Your favourite,” Jace replied as he peeled the last round of waffles off the iron. “I figured we could all use a pick me up after last night. I know you were hoping for a different result

Molly started pouring the sauce over the waffles. The smell of caramelized sugar, butter and apples was all but intoxicating.

Thank you dear.” Mother replied as Jace and Molly approached the table with the plates.

Will Mr. Archer be joining us this morning?” Molly asked before returning to the kitchen to clean up and put a third plate together if necessary.

The sounds of heavy footsteps coming down the hall towards the kitchen was answer enough for Molly, she hurried back to the counter top, put together another plate and poured another coffee. She set it on the table as Jace’s father took his seat. Without another word Molly returned to the kitchen closing the French doors behind her. Anyone with eyes could see that Jace’s father was less than pleased this morning, Molly was not one to be caught in the cross fire.

Good morning Father” Jace said. “I hope you slept well.

There was no reply as his father picked up his coffee cup and took a sip before starting on the waffles without a word. He did lock eyes with Jace for one terrifying moment. If looks could kill this one would have.

His father had piercing blue eyes, the kind of blue where every time you looked at them you felt as though you were about to fall into the ocean during an electric storm. The kind of eyes that you would swear could see through you right into your soul. Jace had been told many times that he had is father’s eyes, but he doubted that he could ever make anyone feel the way his father did when his gaze feel on them. Nor would he want to. In that moment Jace knew that regardless of the outcome with his mother he would be dead to his father. He had failed in his father’s eyes.

Isn’t the food lovely dear? Jace picked the apples himself this morning I bet. Didn’t you Jace?” Jace nodding, his father said nothing. At least not to Jace. Jace’s mother’s face told a different story. The link allowed for a whole new version of the silent treatment. If you didn’t want someone to hear you they never would. Based on the look on his mother’s face it was plan that Jace’s father was not happy with him. His father was most likely telling his mother about how they should disown him now so the day itself would be easier on them, on her.

After a silent exchange between the two of them Jace’s father stood up and stormed out. Leaving his Mother with eyes starting to water. Only then did Jace dare to say anything.

Mother?” he thought reaching over to touch her hand. She snatched it away.

Why do you insist on doing this to us?

If I could be happy and make you happy at the same time I could mother. But I can’t. This isn’t a world I want to live in.” Jace replied.

Tears were now following freely and silently down his mother’s face. She refused to make eye contact with him, or take the tissue he offered her. “If this is your choice, make it now. Go, tell them you are not going to make quota, don’t prolong this more than you have to. No one is forcing you to stay. If you aren’t even going to try to live in our world we don’t want you in it any longer.

Mother!” Jace replied, wounded. “I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m trying to do what’s best for the world.”

It’s not what’s best for my world” she replied. His mother stood up abruptly. “I want you gone by the end of the day. I love you, but I can’t have the heart ache of seeing you every day any longer.” She moved to leave.

“Mother wait!” Jace replied allowed, catching her arm. It pained him to see her like this. This wasn’t what he wanted. This reaction was never his intention.

“Go Jace” She replied. Allowing her voice and her sighs to become audible. “I know this is what you feel you need to do. It doesn’t make it any easier for me to let you go.” She pulled him in for one last embrace and kissed him softly on the cheek. “Remember, I will always love you. But I can’t watch them take you away, destroy your things. Leave now. Leave while it’s your choice. Take yourself from me so I don’t have to watch them take you.”

“I will mother,” Jace replied tears coming to his eyes now. “I’m sorry there wasn’t another way.”

I’m sorry too.” She returned to silence, regained her composure, shook his embrace off her and left.

Molly re-entered the room, took one look at Jace and took his mother’s place in his arms. She let Jace cry in her arms, comforting him. When his sobs started to slow “Come” Molly said, “Let me help you pack your things. You are making the right choice for you. That’s all you can do. I will take care of them for you. No harm will come to your mother. You have my word” When she spoke aloud her voice carried an Italian accent which wasn’t present in her thoughts. Though tones changed in the link depending on who was talking to you. Accents and language barriers were translated out of the conversation. Everyone was ‘unique’ but no one was different.

“You promise me that? You promise you’ll watch over them?” Jace replied.

Molly just nodded in reply, and together they headed to his bedroom to pack his things away and prepare him for the trip it would make later that day to make his choice official.


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