Geraldine Fennerset (Grace and Family)

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Geraldine Fennerset (Grace and Family)

Post  Elgate on Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:27 pm

It had been a while since Grace had been home. Dohral was not the most ideal place for a lycanthropic druid.

Sometimes her feet tried to take her back to her child hood home by the docks, on the west side, sandwiched between Donnel and Chonda. She had to remind herself that her family no longer lived in that small, damp house. She still remembered the way Norben’s feet would press against head face when he was feeling mean or playful, when they shared a bed, sleeping foot to head. Joy and Hope had shared a bed, and later, Joy and the little ones.

Instead she had to remind herself to go to Mid Donnel, in one of the nicer, still practical, houses there. She paused outside the door, an odd sense of unsureness the Grace normally didn't show. It was a little past midday, so her mother should be home. She rapped her knuckles against the sturdy wood door.
Grace was a little surprised when a slim, platinum blonde woman opened the door. The half-elven woman blinked, looking up at Grace with surprise.

“Grace?” There was a lot of subtle emotion behind that question, asked in such a cultured tone. Grace tried hard to remember Norben’s elocution lessons, but living among animals made her rusty, and nowhere near as smooth and pleasant as the lilting voice that greeted her. Although the tone of pleasant surprise mixed with mild resentment gave it a strange edge.

“Joy? I would have thought you’d been at the college…”

“And I would have thought you’d be out in the wilds.” The reply was tart, quick.

Ah, so that was it. Grace supposed she should visit more often. Seeming to realise she was almost refusing her sister entry to their home, Joy stepped aside with a sigh, and Grace bowed her head in thanks as she entered the modest apartment.

“Mother might not be up to seeing you today, you should have given word ahea-” Joy was cut off as a rough, breaking voice called from down the hall.

“Joy? Joy, who’ve ye let in?”

The woman who walked haltingly into the entrance corridor looked nothing like Grace’s mother. Grace’s mother had flame red hair. Grace’s mother had bulk and fat, able to give painful smacks and warm, tight hugs. Grace’s mother wasn’t a haggard old lady, loose skinned and white haired.
How long had it been?

Only three years, surely. Last Grace saw Geraldine Fennerset was when her mother was fifty-two, too stubborn to let old age wear her down. Grace stood, face set in shock, as her mother looked her up and down and tutted.

“Strip.”

Grace blinked, “What?”

“Ye’r filthy. I won’t have ye tracking mud through my house. Leave the wild in the wilds, girl.” A haggard hand gestured to Grace’s clothes then swept to point towards another room, “Scrub yeself up. Joy, heat up some water, would ye? I’ll get the drinks.”

“What? Ma!” Grace’s protest was met with a line of tuts and ‘tsches’ from her mother, while Joy tried to smother a snicker, looking pointedly at Grace and then the room with a small tub. Grace huffed. Only her mother could make her feel like an incorrigible little girl again. Grace leaned towards Joy and muttered under her breath.

Don’t let her wash my clothes- I need them to smell as they are.
Joy raised a sceptical brow, but nodded, following after their mother. Grace made her way into the washing room. Laundry and other house hold cleaning items hung around the room, and a small tub sat in the middle- a short stool was placed in the middle. Grace took it out with gentle hands and stared at it sadly. No doubt it was to help an old woman not have to go through the effort of sitting down and getting back out of the tub, while another helped wash them down.
Joy came back quicker than Grace expected, hefting a large bucket of lightly steaming water in front of her. Grace quickly put the stool down and took the bucket with one hand. Joy had always been so slim and slender, half-elven grace giving her the look of a dancer. When Grace had been younger, she’d envied her older sisters’ beauty and dainty charms. Grace still felt clumsy, standing a foot and a half over and a good bit broader than her older sister. Although the half elf looked barely twenty-one while being thirty-five and Grace had frozen her own body at how it was at twenty-six.

Joy gestured to one of the dresses hanging to dry, “You can wear that one. I’m afraid you won’t have more water; we need the rest for drinks. I hope I didn’t heat the water too much.”

Joy paused, looking as if she wanted to say more, before nodding and leaving. Grace sighed and undressed, determined to get the mandatory scrubbing out of the way. The water was luke warm; warm enough to steam, but not warm enough to beat off the chill from damp skin. She wondered if that was a passive aggressive move from Joy. After seeing their mother, the stool, and taking into account her own lengthy absence, Grace could guess as to why Joy was feeling a little… annoyed at her.

Grace quickly dried off and struggled into the dress Joy had pointed out. It looked like one of her mother’s old dresses; a brown and yellow thing, practical and durable. It fit around Grace’s shoulders well enough, but was a bit short in the legs. Grace felt ridiculous.


Last edited by Elgate on Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Elgate
Forum Sage

Female Number of posts : 634
Age : 25
Location : Scotland
Registration date : 2011-01-31

Character sheet
Character Name: Grace Fennerset
Race: Human
Overall Level: 30

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Re: Geraldine Fennerset (Grace and Family)

Post  Elgate on Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:33 pm

Entering the kitchen-come-living-room, Grace found her mother sat at the table, a steaming cup in hand, while Joy set about making another two cups. Grace sat down and blinked as Joy set a cup in front of her.

“Four teaspoons of honey, right? You always had a sweet tooth.” Grace blinked, at Joy’s words.

“You remembered how many spoons I liked?”

Joy just shrugged daintily and sat down, sipping at her own cup. Grace remembered her being more… friendly. Shy, but friendly. Sweet. Grace drank, letting the significance of honey soothe her. She was never sure how the lycanthropic curse worked, why honey helped calm and feed the (parasitic) spirit that was merging with her own. Real bears ate so much more than honey. Real bears also never called for the persecution of evil and the dogmatic protection of nature.

“Took ye long enough to visit. Found something in the wilds more important than family? What’s been keepin’ ye interest?”

Grace blinked again, but not out of pleasant surprise. Her mother had always been understanding of Grace’s need to escape the city. Had seemed… proud even, when Grace could bring back coin, and tales, and come back smiling. She’d understood that Grace’s affliction meant the city was stressful, even risky, to be in.

“Well, I’ve found someone. A mage, named Haven. We work well together. Might start up a family.”

“At least say ye’ll marry him before ye have kids.” Grace snorted. She supposed she was technically married to Haven, as the sigils seemed more significant and permanent than a ring. But as if her mother was one to talk.

“Like you did?”

“Like I didn’t.” Her mother snorted back, harsher. “My mistakes  landed me with you lot. How many dead babes? And a boy who runs off and a daughter who’s mostly animal…”

Joy took a soft inhale of air, shocked by the words, hands still and knuckles white as the clenched around the cup she was drinking from. Grace just clenched her jaw, looked down at the grain of the table. After a moment the scrape of a chair broke the tense silence and withered, rough, hands reached out. Geraldine took Grace’s chin shakily and lifted it, till Grace was looking at her mother’s face. Grace realised she didn’t even have to look up, even while seated. She’d grown taller, and her mother stooped.

“Oh, Gracie.  Acht, love, no." Geraldine Fennerset pulled her daughter into an embrace made as tight as her weakened arms would allow. “Don’t listen to this old bitch. I’m just tired and sore. You’ve done things I only dreamed about doing. My bonnie lass, who used to beg for tales of knights and dragons… Walls could never keep ye. Ye weren’t meant to be contained, by rules, or stone or body… Something tells me the world’s taught ye, ye can’t get everything ye want- something I never managed. But don’t ye loose ye Fennerset spark.”

Grace wondered when she’d last hugged her mother properly, when she’d last been called ‘Gracie’. She burrowed her face into a bony shoulder that used to be soft with fat and muscle.

She could smell the decay and sickness inside her mother’s body, eating her away.

Grace bit back tears as she held her mother as tightly as she dared. If she started sobbing, she’d get her ear pinched, for making such a fuss. Her mother always hated being pitied.

“ I hope ye lad makes ye happy. Bring him round some time- I want to meet ‘im.” Geraldine pulled away, patting Grace’s face affectionately, if a bit haphazardly, “I’m going to go back to bed. Joy, if ye could be a dear and bring that concoction up in a bit.”

After the old working woman retired to her newly found comfort of a feather bed, Grace spoke softly.

“I didn’t know she was this ill…”

“That’s because you’re never here.” Joy shot Grace a glare over her shoulder, tone sharp, as she pulled bottles and ingredients out of various cupboards. Grace remembered when Joy was as timid as a mouse, “Even Harmony and John visit with their children. But I’m the one who’s left. I’m the one who has to watch.”

Grace hadn’t seen John’s child yet, or Harmony’s latest girl. She hadn’t spoken to either after Dorick, her nephew, had died after ‘going on an adventure like Aunty Grace’. The last time she’d even seen Harmony was when she’d returned her son to her, wrapped in a blanket, after being asked to look for him, with the hope he’d still be alive. That had been two years ago.

She used to be closer with her family.

“I try- You know I try. At least I came back.” Perhaps brining up Joy’s full siblings was not the best idea.

“Norben’s dead. He at least has an excuse not to come back.”

Grace looked wounded, despite her previous judgemental comment on her elder brother’s absence, she looked at Joy pleadingly, “Don’t say that. You don’t know that. Out of any of us, Ben is the one who wouldn’t be caught doing something as stupid as dying.”

Joy sighed, lowering the dried herbs she was holding, “Either way, he’s found a better place…” Joy looked at Grace sadly, leaf green eyes melancholic, “We used to be so close, the four of us. We’d all be running around, you trying to catch up. Ben loved you, you know. Wanted to take the role of father after ours left. I remember the pranks me and Hope used to play on you.”

“Remember that time you stole that grig from the college, and through it in my hair?”

Joy laughed, “ I couldn’t tell who was more panicked- you or the poor thing tangled in that mop you called hair!”

The room descended into awkward silence again, the relationship not quite mended. Grace nodded and stood, a silent message that she was leaving. Joy smiled sadly.

“Try to visit sooner next time, you hear?”

Grace just smiled back with a nod, before going back into the laundry room and changing. She let herself out, the sound of Joy busily brewing something  for their sickly mother coming from behind her.

Grace wasn’t sure there would be a next time for Geraldine Fennerset.
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Elgate
Forum Sage

Female Number of posts : 634
Age : 25
Location : Scotland
Registration date : 2011-01-31

Character sheet
Character Name: Grace Fennerset
Race: Human
Overall Level: 30

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