Author: Araina Richardson PM
Once upon a time, a girl named Geraldine ran off to San Francisco with her "prince" and lost everything. Now, years later and bitter, Geraldine discovers just how deep her prince's betrayal ran, and she steals his child. Now the child, Anne, is a teenager and the past catches up to Geraldine and Anne in the form of a tall, mysterious man and his two children.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Supernatural/Horror - Chapters: 20 - Words: 67,398 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 05-02-13 - Published: 06-24-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3035656
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
June 21, 1967
The moon is full outside Geraldine's window, shining in through the dusty panes of glass and casting the entire bedroom into sharp, ghostly shades of grey and white. It's after 11 PM, but Geraldine is far from asleep as she bustles about her room and stuffs clothes into a backpack. She's seventeen and ready to take on the world as a full-fledged adult.
San Francisco is calling and she's leaving. San Francisco. It's where everything seems to be happening, and Geraldine wants to be a part of it. Now if only her thumping heartbeat doesn't wake up everyone in the house – everyone who doesn't know she's leaving. She's already written her good-bye letter, folded it neatly and placed it on her pillow. Mom will find it tomorrow morning when she comes to gripe at Geraldine for being a lazy, no-good sleepyhead and really, would it kill her to be up before 10 AM?
She brushes a lock of flat-ironed blonde hair behind her shoulder and looks around nervously. There's so much she's leaving her. Toys. Memories. Souvenirs. Once she and Matthew get settled she can send for the rest of her things. Her parents wouldn't be so heartless as to not send it, she hopes. She bites her lower lip until it's red, and only stops when she hears the sound of tapping against her windowpane. Her heart seems to stutter as she races to the window and looks out. He's there. Geraldine smiles at him through the glass as a wave of relief washes over her. Finally. He grins back at her and splays a hand against the glass. Geraldine presses her face there, sighing. This is the last step. Like the glass, all barriers are falling away and now she can be with Matthew forever, no matter that he's twenty-two and her parents hate that they love each other.
Matthew taps the glass once more, and then beckons to his motorcycle as if it's a chariot, and Geraldine chokes on her laughter. Have to be quiet, she reminds herself. Her parents and older sister are sleeping, and her plans will be ruined should they waken. She fights with the backpack to get it to close and the zipper looks like it's about to burst, but Geraldine ignores it and slings it over her shoulder. She exits her room and shuts the door softly behind her.
Janice is very obviously Geraldine's sister. They share the same green eyes, tip-tilted nose and cinnamon sprinkling of freckles on their cheeks. Perhaps Janice's nose is a little bigger, a little less pixie-ish; perhaps her eyes are just a little closer together; her hair a dark gold where Geraldine's is fair, but they're still sisters. And now said sister is standing in the hallway, leaning against the wall in a pair of cut-off denim shorts and a sleeveless top made of crocheted daisies sewn together. Her arms are crossed over her chest and her legs are crossed at the ankles, and it's a casual, if determined pose.
"Going somewhere, little sis?"
Geraldine freezes in front of her with her incriminating backpack hitched on one shoulder, looking up with large eyes, because Janice is not only older, but taller, too. Desperately she tries to come up with an answer, but all that escapes is a squeak.
"So that's a yes, then."
Geraldine's eyes widen even further. This is it. Mission aborted. The dream dying before it even gets off the ground. Her shoulders slump, her gaze sinking to the floor and to Janice's bare feet.
"You going with Matthew? Where?"
Geraldine isn't sure she should say. What if Dad comes after her? Mom will certainly want him to, never mind that Geraldine will be 18 in September and just graduated high school.
"Look, 'Dine, if you don't tell me where than I swear I will wake up Mom and Dad this very minute and blow your plans to hell and back."
"Okay, okay," Geraldine says in a near whisper. "San Francisco."
Janice actually looks sad. She takes a deep breath and smiles.
"At least let me walk you out, okay?"
Together, working together for the first time Geraldine can remember since she was ten and Janice was fourteen, they sneak out of the house, furtively opening and closing the door to avoid any tell-tale squeaks. Once outside Geraldine breaks into a run, the soft pads of her moccasins kicking up little puffs of dust in the dirt. She throws herself into Matthew's arms, the only thing holding her back from kissing him senseless being Janice, who still standing on the porch. Once Geraldine and Matthew have had their moment, she walks over to them both.
"Hi Jan," Matthew says, his voice uncertain. She nods at him, her eyes narrow.
"Matt. I swear to God you'd better take care of her or so help me-"
"Jan!" Geraldine hisses, barely above a whisper.
"Whoa, whoa, I promise I'll take care of her. Nothing bad will happen, I swear." Matthew's holding up his hands almost like Janice has a gun pointed at him.
"Okay. Okay, I believe you," Janice says. On impulse she scoops Geraldine into a hug, and Geraldine hugs her back. Sure, they've fought more than most siblings usually do, but this is a good-bye, and who know if they'll ever see each other again? Geraldine fights back a lump in her throat and the sudden wetness that springs to her eyes and pulls away from the hug. Exchanging conspiratory looks, Geraldine and Matthew start to push the motorcycle down the lane.
"Wait!" Janice runs after them. She plucks a wildflower from the side of the road and tucks it behind Geraldine's ear. Geraldine manages a watery smile.
"What's this for?" she asks her sister.
"Oh you know, the song, 'Going to San Francisco'. It's a flower . . . in your hair." She laughs a little. Geraldine hugs her again.
"I'll write you know. I promise I will."
She turns away from Janice and starts pushing the motorbike again. Once they're a good way from the house, Matthew starts the ignition and Geraldine climbs on behind him. As they ride away, Geraldine can't resist letting a cry of unbridled joy (or is it terror?) escape her lips, and then she's laughing and laughing and hanging on for dear life. It's 1967, the Summer of Love, the sky is the limit, and the world had better be ready for her.
"Good luck, 'Dine," Janice whispers from the shadows by the side of the road. "I'll miss you."
Authors Note: Feedback is welcome! Especially if you find any typos (I hate typos). I'm also pretty bad about using "their" instead of "they're" and so forth.