Two Sides, One Coin

(Today’s snippet from Swim, Swan, Swim is inspired by the One-Minute Writer and the Daily Prompt.)

Kai Addison stared at the latest postcard from her brother, conflicting emotions a perfect fit to the playful fighting between two of her children outside.

She chose to teach her children at home, all of the topics that were deemed ‘unnecessary’ in school – music, art, physical education (dodge ball included!), and penmanship. She missed her own school days when there was time for the non-tested topics and plenty of time for play. Now…

And where was Tennyson? This time in Rome, fixing his Italian as broken as the Coliseum; helping students strengthen their English better than the Leaning Tower. It wouldn’t be long before he probably wandered on to some place new.

Kai Addison taught to offer her children the stars. Their uncle seemed fit to travel just as far.

Their love of language, of words, kept them together. For that, she knew she hadn’t lost her brother. Yet.

Wednesday – Amos’ Wisdom

Amos

Amos

“What made you think no one saw you,” Amos said. He rolled another cigarette without looking up at his visitors.

“Who said we were anywhere to be seen,” Kai countered.

“Sounding like a politician. I hate politicians. Fine, lie to me if you think you can. A guilty conscious will never let you shake it free.”

Tennyson slipped his fingers into his pocket, tucking the money further down. He was too close for them to fail, for him to fail her. Only one more trip, one more sale…

Finally, Amos turned his back to them, “You going to open up or what?”

“No,” Kai said.

Tennyson knew what he meant, going to the front of the store, flipping the sign in the window.

Friday Ficlet

???????????????????????????????

It’s amazing what happens when one sets a timer before bed to just write. No web wandering, book borrowing, game gathering, LO lulling – just writing. Granted, “Write or Die” helped…

“You look downright ragged,” Kai Addison said, gesturing to her boys to take their uncle’s bags. “What, did you forget to get a decent sleeper car like you promised? Settled for a broken chair?”

He rubbed his eyes. “Given the scenery, who could sleep? The ride through Portland was spectacular. We could all go sometime. Not that far of a journey really. Takes you right along the coast in some spots, too.”

“And what reason would we have to go to Portland? Not the Rose Festival; Lucas’ allergies. Not basketball. No one wins like the Sonics did. And not baseball.”

“Oh, I don’t know. There is a lot to do there, Sis. The library, the arts. That one band you like has a show coming up in a few weeks.”

“Probably sold out,” she told him.

“Actually, yeah.” He made a sorrowful face, one she immediately interpreted to mean the opposite.

“What did you do Tenny?” She buckled Madison into the car seat even as the youngster insisted she could do it herself. The boys knew better than to fight for the seat behind their uncle, each child thankfully grabbing their chosen reading material before strapping in.

“Tenny,” she asked again.

“Played the lotto.” He leaned against the window, hair in his face, looking as though he might fall asleep as soon as Kai turned the engine. “Played the lotto and won. What do you say, Kai? Wanna go see ‘em? We could catch up with Lydia and the kids can have their fun and-.”

“Garcia? The first girlfriend you said wasn’t a girlfriend? She’s married. You’ll die at the hands of her husband. Didn’t she marry a football player?”

“Lydia? With a football player? Don’t be stupid! She’s smart, a genius. She married a music major.”

“A music major that would give you a proper tuning, I’m sure!” While Kai didn’t care what time Tenny came in, she regretted the fact that construction projects, not rush hour, would slow their way home away from the city. “I don’t know. Lucas might have to work that weekend, whichever weekend it is and-.”

Tenny yawned. “At least ask him first. Maybe we’ll be lucky and it will be a proper holiday for you guys. You became a more problematic workaholic than I first imagined. What happened to you?”

“Family,” she said. She smiled, seeing her three children engrossed in their words. It was as if they were a small bee’s nest, waiting, humming, before exploding with the rapid fire questions that always came about whenever their favorite uncle came home.

Wednesday Mischief

So, what happens when one finally gets to escape to an evening at Writers’ Cafe when sleep would have been logical?

A word war that involves the challenge of including the words “pizza” and “soar.”

Tennyson hummed as he stuffed things into his backpack, including the script needed for the read through in the park. He loved ‘Wordy Wednesdays.’ The hours alternated between one-act plays- right now J.M. Barrie, and various poems from Wordsworth, Longfellow and the Bard.

He didn’t mind the times when someone brought in a piece from one of the foreign language classes. Granted, his ability to speak without stumbling in some of them irritated him. Kai was fluent in tongues he never believed he would ever master. Then again, he was great with gibberish.

Tennyson continued getting dressed, trying to straighten his tie in the mirror as he sang. “If the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s a-,”

“Migraine,” Kai hollered out from down the hall, their code word for ‘shut-up’ or ‘warning.’  If their parents were home, one of them would have reprimanded the teens for yelling, but they left to go east of mountains for the day hour ago. She stood in his doorway in no time, hair pulled back in a ponytail, backpack on her shoulder already. “Honestly, when Mrs. O. said let your voice soar, I don’t think that’s what she meant. Oh, no. A tie? Tenny, Tenny, Tenny…don’t tell me you fell in love again? Which witch should I be ready to-?”

He sighed. “I’m not aiming to be a Casanova or the heartbreak kid, Kai.” He turned to her for a quick inspection.

“You’re just trying to make up your mind on who to ask to the dance?” She shook her head, indicating the tie was wrong. “Keep it up, Mom and Dad will have gray hair before we start junior year.”

“Who says they don’t already? Cover for me?” He held up the two remaining choices, not surprised when Kai indicated the blue.

She set her bag down and readied the tie so he could just slip it over his head. “From the folks? Only if you work double-shift at the shop on Saturday for me.”

“Deal.”

Kai Addison

Kai Addison Takei

Kai Addison Takei

Keeping secrets to stay strong
Active, focused all day long
Imagination – the double-edged sword

Afraid, angry, annoyed
Determined to keep whole held
Destined, dancing around the void.
Instinct, intuition, intrusion, indecision
Sometimes gets the best of her
Only now she will emerge, remain the victor
Now detoured.