Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Chapter 117 - What does "sorry" do?

With winter in full flow, Elenie and Ieaun had organised a big Snowflake Day party.  Whilst waiting for everyone to arrive, Rhonwyn had a bright idea and slipped whoopee cushions under several of the chairs; just to see what people's reactions would be.
Unfortunately for her, it was Bronwyn who sat on the first one, and she knew immediately who was to blame, shooting her twin a decidedly dirty look but refrained from saying anything or reacting any further.

The party went well, although several family members were absent, Ieaun's parents having sadly passed away not long before and Coryn having a prior engagement.  Several of the twin's friends from school came and everyone went away happy with their gifts.
After all the guests had left and the children had been put to bed, Elenie and Ieaun sat in the kitchen drinking some hot chocolate and discussing their children, Rhonwyn in particular.
"Have you noticed the pranks she's been pulling?  They've been mostly harmless so far, but do you think we should be taking a stronger line with her?"

"I think it's a balancing act, she needs boundaries, but if we put too many in then she's just going to rebel against them and I'm afraid we're likely to have enough trouble with her in the future as it is..."

"What do you mean by that Ieaun?  Have you seen something?"

"Snippets, she's going to be a handful whatever we do, all we can do is try and keep a balance between telling her off when her pranks get out of hand and not being so strict as to make her rebel too much."

A few days later, Dory was out about the town when she ran into Coryn.  

"Coryn, I, I didn't expect to see you here..."

"Nor I you, mother"
They stood in awkward silence for a while, neither entirely sure what to say to the other, until Dory cleared her throat.

"I'm sorry, I wish I could go back in time and undo my mistakes, but I can't and I'm sorry..."
"What does "sorry" do?    You can't go back and change anything, it's too late for that.  Saying sorry doesn't put anything right, it just brings everything back!"
"I... I... What do you want me to say?  What do you want me to do?  I know saying sorry doesn't change the past, but would you prefer I never acknowledge that I was wrong?"
Coryn was silent for a while, watching the snow fall and thinking.

"Why did you do it all?  Why did you trust him?  How could you not tell what he was doing to all of us?  How could you forget 'Leni was your daughter?  You let him put her through all that abuse - how could you let him do that to any child even having forgotten she was your own?  And grandma?  How could you let him treat her the way he did?"
"I don't know"  Dory looked down at the ground; "I look back and I can't understand how I didn't see his hand in everything, how I never realised all the times he attacked my family and even killed my love.  But at the same time I can remember how everything he told me seemed to make perfect sense, even though it couldn't...

"I remember him telling me that someone had kidnapped Elenie and left a changeling in her place and somehow I couldn't even see a child where she was - only some deformed little creature which couldn't possibly be my baby, or anyone's baby; but looking back it's like I can see two images in my memory - my baby girl and this hideous thing overlaid on top of her blocking her out..."
Dory's voice trailed off and they were both silent for a while.  Eventually Coryn shook himself visibly

"I'm going to have to think about this, but I don't know what sort of relationship we can build, even if we want to; you were so distant through most of my childhood that you're like a stranger.  Where do we even go from there?"

Back at home, the twins and Celyn had been spending their free time building snowmen in the garden.  It had been Rhonwyn's idea and she'd dragged her brother and sister outside, despite Celyn's protests about the cold.
Although she'd eventually convinced him to join them outside, he refused to build the same snowman as the twins, leaving them to build a rather creepy looking snow-reaper together.
Ieaun and Elenie were inside reading, Elenie had identified that a number of elixir recipes required fresh fish and had decided that in order to ensure their freshness she would have to start catching her own.
The following day, after school, Rhonwyn convinced the other two to go down to the fairground for some snowball fights.
Bronwyn was quite happy to, but Celyn was only convinced to stay out in the cold by Bronwyn offering to make a team with him against Rhonwyn.  
When they all got home, their parents told them that since there was no school the following day they'd be going to the winter festival as a family.  The twins were highly excited about this and at bedtime sat on their beds discussing what they wanted to do the next day.
"We need more snowball fights!  Do you think anyone else from school will be there?  We could have a massive fight!"

"We had one today, we should do something different - did you see the skating rink set up?  That looks great fun"
While Ieaun was checking that the kids were all safely tucked up in bed and the lights were out, Elenie was putting the final touches to an elixir she hoped might reverse the gold spell which had killed Ieuan and thereby reverse his ghostly state.
Having completed the elixir, she found him in the playroom, having just checked on the twins.

"I think I've got something, if I've done it right it should reverse the spell which killed you..."

As Elenie threw the elixir, they both held their breath, but apart from a flash of golden light nothing seemed to happen.  Elenie sighed in disappointment "Back to the drawing board I suppose then..."
Later, downstairs, however, Ieaun was looking at some of the ornaments in the living room and remembering the feeling of turning into gold, when his finger started to itch. 
He reached out towards a small plant on the table and was shocked when a spark of golden light leapt from his finger to the plant and turned it golden!