|Freak in a Trench Coat
Author: Pluto Eats Ink PM
I used to be normal. I'm not anymore. My name is Carol Jones, and my life changed for good when me and my Dad moved the the obscure little town of Kiktehbukket. This is why I'm a freak... Dark humor/minor character death later on/yadda yadda ON HOLDRated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Supernatural - Chapters: 14 - Words: 17,936 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 03-20-13 - Published: 11-21-12 - id: 3076383
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"It's your mother," said Dad the next morning, holding the phone out to me. "She wants to talk to you."
Grandpa Johnny, on the occasion, was eating at the breakfast table, instead of in his bedroom, because he felt much better that morning and was willing to walk around and feed himself. I took the phone.
"Mom?" I said, half-disbelievingly. Mom hadn't called since Christmas six year ago. I remembered her calling while I was unwrapping a Barbie doll (I used to love those stupid things. Still do, actually), and watching as Dad held the phone a foot from his ear as Mom screamed at him for something or other. They were divorced, by the way.
"Hello, Carlie," Mom greeted me. Dad named me. They broke up right after I was born, and thanks to our lack of communication, she rarely got my name right. "How are you?"
"Fine," I said, wondering why she chose to call now of all times. "Why?"
"I heard that you and Rob moved out of California recently, and I wanted to know how you were getting on," Mom replied. Even though I heard it so infrequently, I hated Mom's voice. It was always layered with sugary-sweetness and an air of dreaminess, yet she always sounded sarcastic at the same time.
Her answer left me unsatisfied. Me and Dad had moved tons of times since she and him divorced. "I'm fine, Mom," said I. "I've made a few friends and I get to do a lot more reading."
"That's nice, Christie. What are your friends like?" What the heck? Mom had never shown any interest in my personal life before, why was she so 'how's-this-and-how's-that' now?
"A little weird," I replied. "Why?"
"I'm worried about you, Caramel!" said Mom, sounding hurt, but I could tell it was an act.
"Why should you be?" I asked. There was a slight edge of irritation in my voice.
"I'm your mother, Carol," she sighed. I was a little confused. She's never given a hoot and a half about me before now, and now she was even getting my name right? It ticked me off a little, to tell you the truth. The same question kept running through my brain: Why now, why now, why now?
"Carrie," said Mom. Whoops! Back to 'random-female-C-name' here, huh? "I... I'm really worried about you. I'm afraid I've never been a good mother to you, so... I'm visiting Kiktehbukket. We can have some good mother-daughter time!"
My mouth fell open. Looking back on it, I can't tell if, at that moment, I was shocked, horrified, excited, or all of the above.
"I've got to go, sweetie," Mom said. "Tell Rob I'll be there by tomorrow, around noon, okay? Bye-bye." The line went dead.
"Carol," said Grandpa Johnny. I cursed under my breath. Gramps was still downstairs. He was reading a book, at the table, and unfortunately, he had a wonderful view of the door I was trying to walk out of so I could go see Lilith and Ivan. "Aren't grounded still you? You go should to your room." Poor guy, he was too brain-dead because of his sickness to talk properly.
I shrugged. "I have a permission slip," I said.
"I slip permission? What form in?" replied my grandfather.
"Dad's sulking too much to care if I go out, that's what form," I said. It took a little minute for Grandpa Johnny to register what I said, but when it did, he shrugged.
"Okay. Back be by noon." And with that, I left the house.
As I walked through the sticky gray snow, I couldn't help but let my thought wander to Mom. I had seen her in person thee time in my memory.
The first one was when me and Dad still lived in an apartment in New York. Mom came over one night, either drunk on drugs. She was mad. She was yelling at Dad about getting her pregnant. I didn't understand then, but she was mad about me being born. The only reason she didn't abort me was because Dad wanted me so much. I was three years old then.
The second was my forth birthday – again, still in New York, but in an actual house – Mom came by with a small parcel for me. I had been confused. Back then, she was still 'the pretty lady with green eyes who yelled at Daddy'.
She called me 'Darla' then. How does 'Carol' turn into 'Darla'? I got mad at her for that. She stayed the whole day, and that night, I sneaked downstairs and saw her slapping Dad across the face. I ran between the two, and yelled, "Don't hit Daddy!" She left an hour or so later.
Then there was the time when I was helping a new girl and her little brother get used to life in Washington when I was nine. Her name was Hanna, and her brothers name was something Indian – Aalap or something, I can't remember. When I got home, Mom was there.
By then, I knew she was my mother. She was sitting by a window, that was open, and smoking a cigarette. "Hello, Catherine," she'd said. "Your friends? Take them away; I don't want to see them." Dad wasn't home then, so I took them to my room and apologized, explaining that she usually wasn't around. We killed the rest of the day playing Monopoly and trading dumb jokes. Hanna's brother was really funny.
So why was she being so buddy-buddy now? It made me really angry. I thought of her slapping and screaming at Dad, and being so downright rude to Hanna and her brother. And how she never even got my name right.
"Christmas Carol!" came the overly-cheerful voice I had grown used to. I jumped and yelped in shock. Ivan jumped out form behind a tree, and mimicked my petrified expression. "How happy-wappy and goody-feeling I am to see you! Come, come! Lilith has made a hat – out of paper! Paper hats, Carol! Made of paper, and glue!" He grabbed my wrist and dragged me along the sidewalk. Paper hats was a really weird thing to get excited about, but I was grateful for Ivan and his strange excitement over paper hats. It took my mind of Mom.
But as he dragged me to his 'home' (I suppose it would be called), my train of thought started going down an equally mind-numbing track. The intruder/attacker from the day before. I didn't want to run into her again, and I was sure that she would return to give us all a piece of her mind if we were all huddled together again.
Ivan seemed to have different plans than his own home, though.
"Ivan?" I said as we passed his house. "Where are we going?"
Ivan giggled. "To the circus, Christmas Carol!"