The summer was busy and laid back and eventful and quiet, all at once. For one thing, we managed to furnish the house. Chloe and I lurked around all the auctions and yard sales we could find. We managed to score a really nice sectional sofa for sale at a furniture store and a complete set of dining chairs at a garage sale. Chloe also grabbed a cracked flat screen off the curb and fixed it up.
I got a job as a stage hand at the old Wilsonoff Theatre. They needed a guy to move lights and sets around, and it was money every week. So I took it. Chloe’d gotten into free-lance programming and started working with some game developers down at the Business Towers.
Our paychecks weren’t much, but it was money coming in regularly. It helped buy a decent microwave and some other fancy kitchen appliances that Donovan deemed “absolutely essential”. And Chloe’s coffee pot. We both made good friends with that thing.
But while me and Chloe worked, our siblings weren’t slacking off. Donovan did some cooking for an elderly neighbor (and by neighbor I mean on the other side of the hill) and she paid him for it, while the girls took to crafting. Lucy and Shaye, I expected. Shaye knew knots better than anyone, and Lucy’d got really good at sewing. She did most of the pillow cases and cushions scattered all over the house with scraps of fabric she got downtown. You know, that stuff that’s too small to be sold at full price, but still in usable condition. Shaye put together the hanging chairs and Lucy threw a slab of wood and some cushions on each. It wasn’t a bad setup.
What surprised me was Medea pulling that glass and wood dining table out of the garage one evening. When asked about it she’d blushed, glared and yelled something about pulling her weight. I had to say, it was a damn good job. She getting pretty handy. By the end of the summer, she had a matching coffee table in there as well.
With the main floor decently furnished and actually enjoyable, we spent a lot of summer nights in there. After a day’s studying, crafting and working, we’d all pile onto the couch and watch movies checked out from the library. It became a regular thing.
As for our school-bound siblings, Chloe cracked down on them. Hard. After all, they’d missed a good four years of schooling and had to make it up unless they wanted to fall behind the rest of their age group. Study parties at that nice table became a thing too.
Donovan took to everything Chloe laid down, and Lucy was happy to work, but Shaye and Medea…they had to be bartered with. Shaye was turning 18 soon. Without a high school education. I’d given her her options. Either endure more school, or get her GED. She’d opted to take the GED. That meant more work than the twins and Donovan had to deal with. But if Shaye finished her work, she got to spend the rest of the day outside in the garden she’d gotten going. Chloe’d also sweetened the deal by promising her a dog if she got high marks on her GED exam this coming September.
But Chloe eventually came complaining to me about Medea. She was worried that Medea would get stuck in middle school, despite being 16 years old. But Medea wouldn’t do the work. She’d get frustrated, stomp out of the house and get dragged home at 2 am by the cops. I bought her a car with my next paycheck.
If Medea worked, she got to work on the car. If she finished the car, it was hers. It did the trick. After all, she had to pay attention to what Chloe talked about if she wanted to know how all those parts worked together to make an engine that ran well.
Chloe’s schedule was chaotic, at best. Sometimes she worked only weekends and went in at 4 pm. Other days she had to jump on the bus at 6 am for several days in a row. But, somehow, she found time to convert a section of the basement into her own little lair. I don’t know how or with what money. But she did.
Occasionally, she threw pretty awesome contraptions up out of there. Most of it was just weird gizmos that were quickly sold down at the second hand shop. Other things were just upgrades to the appliances around the house. Donovan seemed to know what she was talking about, so I just left them to it. But other things…other things were downright useful! Like the teleporter. I don’t know how it worked or how she built it or a lot of other things about it, but it worked damn well. No more making that god awful commute to work!
Not just for commuting, we all got used to using the teleporter. To work, to the park, for groceries. And Chloe eventually hooked to up to our phones, so we could just zap right back home too! Of course, we had to remember to pop up in back alleys and such. After all, we were trying to keep a low profile in town.
So far, no one seemed to recognize us, not even the name Mayfield. What shocked me was Shaye wandering about and no one recognized her! She was the spitting image of Aunt Ellie. Still, the obscurity was a relief. We could live out our lives in peace and quiet.
Mid-summer, Chloe and I actually had the same day off. So I dragged everyone down to the Summer Festival. If we hadn’t been recognized yet, I figured it was safe to indulge a little.
I hadn’t been to a Summer Festival in ages. I felt like a little kid again! There were face painting booths and snow cones and that stupid photo booth! We all indulged a little that day. Just let loose and let everything fall aside.
Chloe actually skated a bit. After all the time that’d passed, I’d actually forgotten how good she was. She tried teaching Shaye. It didn’t work out well. At some point, someone started a water balloon fight. I think it was Donovan, but I can’t be sure.
We ate snow cones and hot dogs, played tag, tried to catch butterflies. It was great. We even took one of those stupid family photos Dad always liked. Later that evening, Chloe hung it up in prime spot in the living room.
All of us had our own little project that summer. Donovan was running through an entire cookbook, aiming to make everything in it.
Shaye was working on getting a good garden and orchard going and get more into making her own nectar.
Medea had her martial arts and car. Sometimes she didn’t even work on the car. She just sat in it and grinned.
Lucy’d mastered photography back in France and was working on developing her painting technique. From time to time, she’d try to talk me into buying her something for sculpting next.
Chloe wanted to build a robot. With artificial intelligence. Hell, if anyone could do it, it’d be Chloe.
And me, well, I was gathering courage. Towards the very end of summer, I gave myself a pep talk, psyched myself up and went down to Her house. I was greeted by Her mother.
“Uh, hi Dr. Bunch.” I waved awkwardly. “It’s, uh, me. Thomas Thompson.”
Betch’a can’t guess who she is! XD
Chloe’s proving harder to match up. I’m thinking of using the online dating thing to match her up with someone. Or maybe someone from the future? Don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll take her out to the park soon.
Thanks for reading! ^_^