October 30, 2012 by Lyn
Friday, October 24, 2003
“Come on, kids. Time to go visit Mama Arna.”
Jaya checked her make-up in the mirror and checked the stack of luggage for every last emergency item, checked her shoes to be sure they looked nice and the kids to be sure all four of them were still dressed, ready, and please, please, still sleepy.
She checked to be sure she’d e-mailed the nanny and told her they’d be out of town, checked her shirt to be sure it didn’t have baby vomit on it, and gathered the kids before they started waking again.
When she’d left Addergoole, Jamian, always more comfortable male, had planned on enrolling in college that way. However, he’d found quickly that a boy in his early twenties with four children under school age in tow got far too much attention, most of it negative. A girl the same age, while she merited attention, normally wouldn’t be hassled by the authorities about it.
So, at least until Arna graduated and he could point at a female figure in the kids’ lives, girl it was. Tya and Mags had been more than willing to give make-up tips, and Shiva liked to give “being a tomboy” tips. Phelen, much to Jaya’s surprise, had the best child-rearing advice, and Manira, great advice on being Daeva.
It was early in the morning – still night, really – so the kids were at their most pliant. She got all of them buckled in, got the music playing something soothing to all five of them, and had been on the road for an hour before Dominique began to stir.
They had had debates, not just she and Arna, but she and DJ, Maureen, Manira, most of the mothers in the Village, over her years as a parent in Addergoole, about the ethics of using Workings on your children, and which were all right and which weren’t. In the end, Jaya was pretty sure they all went by the same ruler – they did what they had to, when things were tough, and tried to never get carried away.
Tonight, she murmured a very quiet Working to put Dominique back to sleep, making sure it was a pleasant, restful nap without nightmares. They’d be more pleasant for “Mama Arna” if they’d gotten a full night of sleep, and the car ride would go quicker without squirming children everywhere.
The college Jamian-Jaya had enrolled in was a little over four hours away from Addergoole – further than was comfortable, which meant he’d remember to give Arna room to grow without him, but close enough that when something came up, he could stop in. This time, it had been a note from Regine and Professor VanderLinden.
We are experiencing some difficulties in the school; if you were planning on visiting Arnbjörg in the near future, your particular expertise would be appreciated. We would, of course, compensate you for your time.
Director Regine Avonmorea
Professor Mike VanderLinden
Compensate him for his time. She glanced at the kids in the rear-view mirror. They’d compensated him for the kids, too, and he’d asked, when Regine was showing him the bank accounts set up in his names, if Ty had gotten checks as well.
Regine hadn’t wanted to answer that. Then again, Regine had appeared displeased when Jamian took custody of both twins.
Regine could, as far as Jamian was concerned, bite his ass. But the rest of the students – Arna especially, but it wasn’t like he didn’t have friends and cy’ree-mates there, after four years, sometimes the same people – if Regine was “experiencing difficulties,” it was probably causing trouble for his friends, too.
Besides, he was never going to turn down an excuse to visit Arna . Their kids needed to know both their moms.
Jaya murmured another Working as they came close to the wards surrounding the Addergoole complex. The kids were still small enough that they shouldn’t feel the wards, but Carey could be obnoxiously precocious in those things. Jaya blamed Ty. Then again, in the back of her mind, Jaya blamed Ty whenever anything went wrong with the kids.
She braced herself as the wards pushed over her, waiting until they acknowledged her. She wondered what it felt like to strangers, how it managed not to get more attention from Nedetakaei.
In terms of security, Jaya thought Regine probably, mostly, might know what she was doing. Except the occasional Dragon and Council member and such, of course.
Regine met her at the gate to the Village. That, Jaya hadn’t been expecting. “Jaya, jæ’Twist in the Horn. And… your children. I am glad you could make it.”
“Me, too. The kids do better when they see their Mom Arna at least once a month.” She paused, but she wasn’t going to ask Regine what she really wanted to know. “We’ll stay in the cottage, if that’s okay? And you said you had something you needed my help with?”
“Yes. How is your Idu Working doing for you?”
“I’ve been practicing,” she admitted. “People don’t expect Idu combined with Frodleikr. It’s a nice way to pick out where other fae are.”
“That is very clever,” she allowed. “I would like to use your skills with… that Word.
“…why?” Jaya didn’t even bother not trying to sound suspicious. Either Regine would notice or she wouldn’t, and either way, it was unlikely to change what she did.
“Well.” Jaya could swear she felt the slightest resonance of discomfort in Regine’s aura. “There is a bit of a problem. In order to explain fully, I will need an oath of secrery.”
“You need my help, and you need me to promise secrecy?” Jaya sighed. This wasn’t, she reminded herself, the headmistress of her school anymore. She wasn’t a Student anymore. “What can you tell me before I swear to anything?”
“Well.” Now she knew that she wasn’t imagining the discomfort. “When we began this school, including the test-run before the First Cohort, we had two more instructors than we have now. And there are Workings they laid on parts of the school, Workings that I believe are breaking.”
Jaya stared at her, until it became clear that Regine was done talking, and afterwards. The Director, she realized, knew how to spin a cliffhanger.
This outtake was written in response to DM’s donation and request for a scene involving Jamian.
For every $5US donated, I will write 300 words on the character or situation of your choice. In addition, every donation will bring you to a small snippet of story – a new snippet every Wednesday!