Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Overlord Legacy - Chapter Thirty-Seven - Approved
Amaranth pauses, wondering what her son has to say right now. She'd wanted to go in early today and get some low-level police work done before taking on a couple of cases, and she already has a couple of chores to do around the house first. She'd been too tired yesterday to clean up the dishes and now they smell something awful. Not to mention there's also laundry to be done and the toy room needs to be picked up.
Amaranth: "...Oh yeah?"
Soren: "Yeah. I mean, I don't know what it's like to be in love. I haven't had that happen yet. But I...I really can't imagine having to pick between you and a girl I loved. You're the best mom in the world, and I know it'd be hard to get married to someone that you didn't approve of. But I...I really hope Gator's family approves, mom. I know how you feel about him."
Amaranth smiles at Soren, trying to prevent her eyes from welling up with tears. Finally, Soren understands. Gator will be so happy to know that Soren approves of him. Heck, SHE'S happy to know Soren approves of him. Soren smiles back, then they give each other an awkward hug. Soren's not really the cuddly type, but he makes an effort.
Amaranth: "So, Soren...how was your prom last night? I think I was asleep by the time you came in."
Amaranth: "Mm. You think something might be there?"
Soren: "I don't know, mom. Right now I've got school to worry about. I think if I push hard enough, I can be valedictorian. That would be pretty awesome."
Soren: "I don't know, you're pretty busy."
Tobie: "Sniff sniff....eww! It smells horrible down here!"
Amaranth: "Perhaps you and Severin should clean up after yourselves sometimes. Those are your ice cream cartons there."
Severin (from upstairs): "Yo, Hot Pants. My toe jam built up again."
Soren: "You know, I think you have a medical condition, Severin."
Amaranth had been heading off to work. She's in high demand now with people's cases, so they get piled up over time. However, Gator had called her and asked her to come over to the tavern. His voice seemed to quiver a bit, although she wasn't sure if it was from excitement or nervousness. Maybe both. He'd told her his mother was there too and she'd wanted to see her.
Her stomach twisting, Amaranth slowly gets out of the car and heads into the tavern. She hopes this doesn't turn out bad. What if Gator's mom hates her even more after nearly getting her son in legal trouble? What if some sort of confrontation happens? Amaranth is really starting to not like this tavern.
Fortunately her nerves get eased a little bit when she spots a familiar face, one that brings her peace nearly every time she sees it.
Delia: "I know! The little fairy's been kicking a lot in there. Phantom and I are just ready for it to come out now!"
Amaranth: "Well, you look like you're ready. How does Eva feel about having a new baby sibling?"
Delia: "She's excited. She's almost all grown up herself!"
Then Amaranth sees her favorite werewolf behind the bar. Forgetting to glance around and see if Erika Wolff is watching, Amaranth automatically grabs Gator into a tight hug.
Amaranth: "Well, I can afford a day off every once in a while. Any day I get to see you is a good day anyway."
Gator: "I know. I feel like with our awkward work schedules we don't get to see each other as often as I'd like. But I'm thankful for today."
Then Amaranth remembers particularly why Gator had called her. Glancing around, she doesn't see Erika Wolff anywhere, but assuredly she's around here somewhere. Perhaps she should've been a little more careful before throwing her arms around Gator. He didn't seem to mind too much, so Amaranth guesses Erika wasn't around to see it.
Amaranth: "Oh...okay. I hope I'm..."
Gator: "...not in trouble?"
Amaranth: "Yeah. I mean, I DID almost get you arrested."
Gator: "Yeah, she gave me a growling for that one."
Amaranth then glances over and seeks Erika gathering at the foosball table. Delia and some stranger is already over there. Looks like they're about to get a game started. Gator looks, then glances back at Amaranth, his facial expression reading, "Well, are you going to go over and talk to her?"
Reluctantly (and trying to calm her quivering stomach), Amaranth walks over to the foosball table. Delia takes the side with the stranger...leaving Amaranth to play on Erika's team. Oh boy.
Delia: "Oh, don't underestimate me just because I'm pregnant! I can kick foosball tail. Just ask Phantom."
Amaranth: "I bet Phantom lets you win."
Delia: "Ohhh! Trash-talking, eh, Amaranth?"
Erika: "Trash-talking? Pah. That's nothing."
Amaranth certainly knows that's true.
Erika: "It's Erika, young pup. 'Mrs. Wolff' makes me feel old."
Delia: "I doubt you'll ever be old, Erika. Not as long as you're a werewolf. Man, you're good at this."
As good as Delia is, Amaranth and Erika win a staggering victory. Erika Wolff is just as fierce at foosball as she is at anything else. Gator's told Amaranth that his mom is still his boss in the sports career. That's quite a woman.
Gator shows up a little later, gently and quickly rubbing Amaranth's lower back. Amaranth gives him a small smirk at his fast attempt to get a little touch in. Then she gets scared out of her wits when she turns back around and sees Erika staring right at her.
Amaranth: "Oh! Thanks...I think?"
Delia: "I think you and I should pair up next time and see if we can't both beat her. You're insane at foosball, Erika!"
Gator: "At least you didn't break the game this time."
Erika: "I don't break the game every time."
Gator: "You gnawed off one of the little soccer player's heads one time, mom."
Erika: "You swallowed the freaking ball one time."
Gator: "That was on accident. You definitely bit off the head on purpose."
Gator: "Only if you're fine with me never playing soccer again, like that poor foosball soccer player whose life you ended."
Erika: "I can still wrestle you and keep you on the ground, Gator. You're a young pup, but I can still put you in line when I need to."
Amaranth: "Oh my..."
Amaranth's not sure what to think of this exchange. Now is not the time for Gator to start getting on his mom's bad side! But then she sees Gator and Erika grin at each other and realize they've been joking the entire time. Stupid werewolf humor.
Then to Amaranth's surprise, Erika turns back to her.
Amaranth: "...I'm not pregnant, if that's what you mean."
Erika: "Good. Care to celebrate a victory drink with me?"
Amaranth: "Oh! Sure!"
Still a bit nervous and confused, Amaranth follows Erika to the bar. They mix up some drinks and Amaranth starts to take a sip when she notices mold floating in the bottom of her glass.
Erika: "I don't think that blender has been either."
Amaranth: "I think I'll just...set this down over here."
Erika: "Here, this one over here's cleaner."
But she can see how frail Erika is becoming. She knows she can't stay in the sports profession very long with those tiny little bones. If anything, Erika probably needs Gator more than anything now. Can Amaranth really expect her to let him go now?
Erika: "So how are things between you and my son?"
Amaranth swallows, not knowing how to answer. Erika looks away from the window and back into Amaranth's eyes. She's the same hard Erika she's always been. What's she trying to do?
Amaranth: "It's...it's good. It's...always been good."
Erika: "How's the little wolf?"
Amaranth: "The little wolf?"
Erika: "I know you and Gator have a child together."
Amaranth: "Oh...yes. Severin is good. He's a mischievous little guy."
Erika: "Hmm. I hope to see him one day."
Amaranth: "Oh, I'm sure we can arrange that. I'm sure he'd be happy to meet you."
Erika: "....I want to hear the truth. Tell me straight, Amaranth. Tell me the truth about how you feel about my son. What do you want with him?"
Amaranth tries not to look away, even as Erika's eyes are boring into her. She has to be honest with her. She can't hold back now.
Tears well up in Amaranth's eyes. Stupid tears. The last thing she needs is to be completely weak right now. But somehow she doubts she'd ever be able to tell Erika the truth without choking up. Erika simply looks out the window again. Amaranth almost can't stand the tension. She doesn't even know what's going on.
After many painful torturous moments, Erika finally speaks again.
Amaranth: "Yes...very long."
Erika: "And I assume you want to be with him for a much longer time."
Amaranth: "That's true too."
Erika: "And I know he feels the same for you...lovesick puppy if there ever was one."
Amaranth: "Heh. That could describe me perfectly, if I were a pup, I mean..."
Erika: "Well. I suppose you'd want to be getting married at some point."
Amaranth's heart skips a beat. More like three beats, actually.
Erika: "Well...I suppose you'd better hurry up then. I don't have forever."
Erika: "I admit to...being concerned about you. You're an Overlord and you've made plenty of mistakes in your lifetime, and I'm not one to shy away from saying that. But my son's a good boy, and I know he has a good head on his shoulders. And if he's trusted you for this long, that's saying something. For an Overlord...you're actually a sweet young lady. And if you make Gator happy, then...I'm happy too. You have my blessing."
And suddenly Amaranth's world explodes into fireworks and rainbows. Erika, for the first time perhaps, smiles at Amaranth. Amaranth just can't believe her ears. Trying to contain her enthusiasm so as not to break Erika's bones, she wraps her future mother-in-law in a hug. Erika gently (and awkwardly) hugs her back, stiffly patting Amaranth's back as they pull away. Amaranth tries her hardest to contain herself. She glances across the way and notices Gator glancing back at her. Amaranth smiles. Gator smiles back, his face showing a bit of confusion as to what's going on. Amaranth shakes her head.
He'll know soon enough.
In the meantime, Amaranth sits herself down to a celebratory meal fit for a princess...a princess with her lover's mom's approval finally.
Meanwhile, evening comes. Soren is stuck babysitting the "twins," as is typical. He's pretty excited tonight though. Severin made the mistake of asking him to tell them a ghost story. And Soren knows quite a few.
Tobie: "Oh no! What's going to happen to them?"
Severin: "Why would anyone do something that stupid?"
Soren: "And they wandered along the old, forsaken path...and there on the ground...was a detailed, written plan on an old piece of paper. A plan...for world domination."
Severin: "Alright, now it's starting to get good."
Tobie: "World domination? By who?"
Soren: "The world, by tomorrow, was going to be completely thrown into chaos and ruled by a ruthless bloodthirsty murderer. And this ruthless bloody murderer had one more distinction..."
Severin: "Says you!"
Soren: "Its favorite flavor of werewolf was toe jam."
Severin: "This story sucks more and more as it goes along."
Tobie: "Boy. The monster would eat you first, Severin!"
Severin: "I don't approve of this story."
Severin: "There's plenty of places for my tinkle to run though. I'll have you know you're mopping the floor. And washing my shorts."
Tobie: "Whoa. Did you really tinkle on yourself, Severin?"
Severin: "I'm sure urine's good for cleaning hardwood floors."
Amaranth: "Soren? What are you doing?"
Tobie: "Hey mom! Severin tinkled on the floor!"
Severin: "I can throw up too, if you'd like. It's still within the realm of possibility. So is diarrhea."
Amaranth: "Go clean yourself up, Severin. It's about time for you two to get ready for bed anyway."
Tobie: "Ready for bed?! But...I don't want to go to bed after that story...what if there are werewolf-eating monsters under the bed? What if they eat humans too?"
Soren: "Well, under beds is where those monsters tend to lurk..."
Tobie: "Y-you have the bottom bunk, Sev. W-what if the monster grabs at you?"
Severin: "I certainly hope poop stains are easy to scrub out of carpet then."
Amaranth: "Get ready for bed, boys. You can turn on the lights, and then I'll come read a bedtime story."
Tobie: "But not a scary bedtime story!"
Severin: "Can you read Little Red Riding Hood, only this time the wolf eats everybody and that's the end of the story?"
Soren: "It was fun while it lasted. I'll go grab the mop."
Perhaps as punishment the next afternoon, Amaranth tells Soren to take Tobie and Severin to the local playground. Soren can only imagine how many things Severin will break while he's there, but he reluctantly agrees. After somehow managing to round up the boys, he starts to head outside with them.
Severin: "I did. I'm sure that monster came out last night though. There was pee in my bed and it assuredly wasn't mine."
Soren: "I'm sure it wasn't, Severin. I'm sure it wasn't."
Severin: "Urine's probably good for bed sheets too."
Tobie: "So how long do we get to stay at the playground, Soren? Six hours?"
Soren: "Meh, probably not six. But we'll probably be there for a while."
Severin: "I claim the slide first."
Tobie: "Nuh uh! You're just saying that because I said I wanted the slide first!"
Severin: "Well, I'm saying it now. I get the slide first."
Soren: "Severin, don't be a jerk."
Tobie: "I said I wanted the slide first!"
Severin: "Well, then, you're gonna have to beat me to it."
Soren: "Whoa, Severin, slow down! Stop! Severin! Stop running!"
Severin: "I know where the playground is. It's okay."
Soren: "No! Severin, stop running! Don't run into the--!!"
Every horrific nightmare Soren's ever had pales in comparison to the next three seconds. Severin, eyes solely focused on the playground slide across the street, darts into the road without bothering to look. But when a horn loudly blares and tires shrilly screech, he freezes. Soren can't reach him in time. Not before the car does.
Tobie screams. Soren's heart stops. Severin slides off the hood and hits the ground.
At the window of the castle, Amaranth faints.
Author's notes: I noticed this delightful interaction I'd never seen before - Amaranth could "Ask For Son's Hand" with Erika Wolff. Quite unexpected (especially considering I'd send Amaranth to the tavern without realizing the Wolffs were there). So I tried it out. Such wonderful results. But Amaranth and Gator aren't officially engaged...yet...
And yes, an unexpected and rather tragic ending. Happened when I stopped to take the picture and noticed a car coming right as Severin was running across the street. I know it's a bit unexpected. For anyone who fears, please do keep in mind that Severin is the only one eligible to be my heir, so he can't die. But...I'll leave it at that.
I just bought Seasons today. So not the next chapter, but the chapter following should incorporate the seasons. :)