Friday, June 5, 2015

Potter, Orb's Year 945-948



 Orb's Year 945
Gia Potter pulled the omelets from the fire and began setting the table.  She didn't need to call out as the smell wafted through the house.  Already she heard the heavy steps of children rushing downstairs.
"This looks delicious!" Elle said, climbing onto her chair.  "Do we hafta wait for everyone?"

"Of course!" Gia gently admonished her young sister-in-law.  

Ella groaned, "That's gonna take forever!"
Within minutes, everyone else had gathered at the breakfast table to share the morning meal and Elle was finally allowed to dig in.

***
 
Benji joined his parents at the potter's wheel, creating vases and plates as his mother started a tea set and his father started an amphorae.  Adam promised to show Benji how to make the large pots soon.  Whenever he tried, the clay collapsed in on itself, never maintaining it's shape.
While the rest of the family worked on the pottery, Gia spent the morning cleaning and tending to the home.  She liked everything to look clean and neat!

***

Daisy headed inside slowly after classes.  She felt as though she was going through life in a haze.  She'd seen it with her own eyes... Garth was married...
She hurried into the bathroom to hide her tears.  She didn't want anyone to pity her more than they already did.  She wiped the moisture from her eyes and sniffled.  It had all been a silly girl's dream.
But what was she going to do now?

 ***

"How did you know that Benji was the one for you?" she asked, sitting down and watching as her sister-in-law begin dinner. 

Gia glanced over her shoulder towards the unhappy teen.  Her heart broke for the pain she knew Daisy had to be feeling.  "I'm not sure. I just knew," she answered honestly.  "And the longer we were together, the more right it felt."
"What if you couldn't be with him? Do you think you'd be happy with someone else?" Daisy asked, averting her eyes and trying not to cry.

Gia turned around with the serving platter. "Oh, Daisy. You're young yet! You'll meet someone else!"

Daisy's cheeks pinkened.

"Now, go collect the family for dinner while I set the table," Gia added.
Gia frowned at the end of the table.  Where were the girls?  "Daisy, did you get your sisters for dinner?"

Daisy worried her bottom lip.  "No, I couldn't find them," she admitted.  "Do we have to wait for them?"

 "Well where in the world are they?" Caitlyn asked with surprise.  "They didn't ask permission to go out!"

Daisy shrugged.  The girls were probably up to no good, once again.
 Gia glanced towards her mother-in-law.  "Perhaps we should begin without them.  Sleeping on an empty stomach should teach them to keep to home."

Caitlyn nodded and dinner commenced.

***

The girls were having too much fun to worry about eating.  They'd snuck down to the Taveryn's Kitchen to enjoy a good time.  Elle had been hoping to meet a few boys that they could date, but no such luck!
The only boys they'd met was their cousin, Eddie Baker, playing on the fiddle like his father; their second cousin, Hansel Cook, and Wren Dalton, an older boy that Daisy loathed!

Disappointed, they finally decided to head home.
"Shh..." Elle said worriedly. 

Ella rolled her eyes. "Nobody's up! You don't have to be that quiet!"

Elle glanced at the house.  "Do you think they knew we're gone."

"Probably not! How would they know?" Ella said confidently.
 They opened the door and gulped.
 "Mama!" Ella said smoothly.  "You're up late tonight!"
Caitlyn crossed her arms and glared at the girls.  "That's because two of my daughters stayed out late.  Where have you been?" she demanded.

Elle tried to talk her way out of trouble, but it was no use.
 "Grounded?" they echoed with discontent.

***

"Good morning to you, too," Gia said cheerfully when a sullen-faced Ella approached the table.

"Morning," Ella mumbled.  She couldn't believe she hadn't been able to get them out of trouble.  Papa always said she could talk her way out of anything!

"I suppose you're extremely hungry this morning!" Gia continued, emphasizing the fact that their mother had sent them off to bed with no dinner last night.

Ella's stomach grumbled loudly.
Daisy slipped into the seat beside her twin sisters.
"You guys really upset mama last night," Daisy said quietly.  "What were you thinking?" She paused.  "Ella? Are you even listening to me?" she asked, frustration lacing her tone.
 "I think Gia's having her baby!" she said, leaping from her seat. "Blessed Orb!"

Daisy's head swiveled around and her jaw dropped open.  "Oh my!"
 Gia held newborn daughter, Flower Potter, in her arms tenderly.
"Aw," the girls cried from all around her. "She's beautiful!"

"Look how tiny she is!" Ella added.

"Can I hold her?" Caitlyn asked, reaching for her first granddaughter with tears in her eyes.  

Orb's Year 946
"What would you have me do, Caitlyn?" Adam asked with some frustration.  "I have to arrange for her to go somewhere! You know that she cannot stay here forever!"
"But, she's just a baby!" Caitlyn argued.  She wasn't ready for her daughters to begin leaving the house.

Adam sighed wearily.  It had been hard enough on Caitlyn to watch her grown sons leave the nest, he knew it would be hard on her to watch her young daughters leave.

"They're not babies anymore, Caitlyn," he said as he reached across and patted her hand.  "Daisy will be an adult soon enough.  She hasn't expressed an interest in marriage.  I think it would do her good to work in one of the noble households until she decides what she wants to do."

"And Elle and Ella?" Caitlyn pressed. "When the time comes will we send them away, too?"

Adam squeezed his wife's hand. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Let's just focus on Daisy right now..."

***

Daisy took a seat at the table with her parents, anxious that she would be given bad news.  The solemn looks on their faces did not bode well.

Papa squeezed her mama's hand and turned to face her.  "You have always been a bright spot in our lives, Daisy," he said, his voice suspiciously tight.  He cleared his throat. "But there are few options for a Papa to make sure his daughter is cared for."

Caitlyn cut in, "Is there a boy you fancy that you would like to marry?" she asked. "Perhaps that Wren boy?"
Daisy paled and shook her head miserably.  They were going to send her away, just like they'd sent Carey and Casey away.

Caitlyn's face fell, distraught that her daughter might not ever realize the love that she had known.

"Becoming a servant is not a life sentence," Adam began.  "Why, even the King granted Gia permission to leave his service to marry our Benji!" he added proudly.  "Perhaps in time, you might meet that special someone.  But in the meantime, you'll be well cared for!"

"I..." A million protests went through Daisy's mind.  That she had fallen in love with someone, but that he would never return her love.  That she didn't want to be a servant.  That she wanted to stay with her family!  A tear slipped down her cheek.  "If you think it best, Papa," she said out loud unhappily.  "May I be excused?"

***

Daisy's unhappiness weighed heavily on Caitlyn's heart.  She knew her time was growing more limited every day.  The look on Daisy's face when she agreed to Adam's wishes had broken her heart.  She wished she'd told Daisy that the infatuation she had with Garth Farmer could not compare to the love she felt with a husband she loved or the children she held in her arms.  She worried that Daisy's blind belief that Garth was her only true love would set her up to live a lonely life...
But there was no time to tell her...

Rest in Peace Caitlyn (Taveryn) Potter, Orbs' Years (907-946)

***

Caitlyn's passing was hard on everyone.  Gia rocked little Flower in her arms and watched her husband frantically working on the potter's wheel.  There was a time when both Adam and Caitlyn would be working by his side, but now Benji alone fulfilled the orders.

"How are you doing?" she asked.

Benji stopped and stretched his sore muscles.  "There are so many orders to fill and not enough time to do it," he said tiredly.  "And I still haven't mastered the amphorae.  Only Papa can do it quite right."
Gia glanced over at the mangled mess on the potter's wheel.  "Maybe if you tried..." she started to suggest.
Benji shook his head. "It's no use. I've tried everything. I don't think I can do all this on my own, Gia," he said unhappily.

Gia touched her husband's arm. "We'll get through it," she promised softly.  "Have you tried to talk to your father today?"

Benji shook his head. "He won't come out. I even told him that tonight was the wake."

***

 Benji dashed a tear from his eye as he greeted friends and family that arrived to pay their respects. 

"Are you okay?" Garth asked, feeling guilty for sending a quick prayer of thanksgiving to the Blessed Orb for his own parents' health.  He couldn't imagine the pain that Benji was feeling right now.

Benji nodded, embarrassed that Garth had seen him tear up.  "I still miss her," he said gruffly.

Garth nodded and headed inside as Benji turned to greet his brothers.
He saw little Daisy and approached her for a hug.  "I'm so sorry to hear..." he started to tell her, then watched in amazement as she covered her ears and tried to block his greeting out.

With tears in her eyes, she shook her head frantically and hurried away from him. 

His cousin, Gia, came up behind him, laying her hand on his sleeve.  "She misses her mother. She'll be okay."

Garth glanced across the room where Daisy had run and wondered when his old friend had begun to act so strangely...

***

The guests had all long gone, but Daisy still felt so... so... angry!  Her whole life had been turned upside down.  It wasn't fair!

"It's not fair!" She picked up her mother's urn and yelled at it, "Cursed Orb! It's not fair!  You're not supposed to be gone!  You're not!"
"I hate you for leaving me!" she railed, lifting the urn into the air and sending it crashing to the floor.
 Shattering into a million pieces...
 "Oh Cursed Orb... Oh Cursed Orb... What have I done?" she whispered, burying her face in her hands and sobbing.  "I'm so sorry Mama..."
"What was that noise?" Adam asked, coming from the bathroom.  He glanced down at the broken urn and felt his temper explode.
"What did you do?!" he screamed.  "Get out! Get out of my house!"
 Daisy turned and fled, sobbing into her hands as she rushed from the house. 

 Orb's Year 947
Benji rocked Flower in his arms as Gia made their bed.  She glanced up at him.  "Have you spoken to Daisy?"

Benji nodded. "She won't come home.  She says that Gypsy Grotto is her home now."

Gia sighed heavily.  "She's never going to be happy there!" she said.  

"At least Casey is there to keep his eye on her," Benji added.

Gia scoffed with disbelief.
Benji cuddled Flower to his chest, closing his eyes as the sadness washed over him.  "I'll never send you away, Flower," he promised her.
Gia finished making the bed and took Flower from him.  "Go talk to your father," she told him.  "He needs to apologize."

Now it was Benji's turn to scoff.  "He'll never do it."

 ***

 Gia rocked Flower in her arms. "Let's hope this time Grandpa actually listens," she said sadly.

 ***

Benji knocked softly on his father's door.  

"Come in!" Adam called from within.  
Benji walked into his father's room and stopped short, saddened to see him looking so pale and weak.  "How are you feeling?" he asked his father amiably.

"How do you think I'm feeling?" Adam retorted.

"You need to talk to..." Benji tried again to bring up the subject of Daisy with his father.

But, as usual, Adam shook his head and refused to cooperate.  "I don't need to talk to anyone!" he croaked.  "And tell Flower to stop all that noise out there! A man should be able to die in peace!"

 ***

As the year went on, it became more and more clear that Adam wasn't going to follow his wife to an early grave. 
Slowly, Gia was able to coax him into joining the family for meals and to spend time with his granddaughter.

He still yearned to be with his departed wife, reminding everyone that he couldn't wait to join her.
It was only a matter of time until his wish came true...

Rest in Peace Adam Potter, Orbs' Years (905-947)


Benji wept when he found his father, but hoped that he would be happier now that he was with Mama.

***

 The cycle of life waxes and wanes.  Not long after Adam's passing, Gia went into labor.
She held her newborn daughter, Ginger Potter, in her arms.
"Come and see your sister," she told Flower, leaning down so that the two sisters could meet.

"Baby!" Flower said, stabbing a finger towards the babies eye.

Gia gentled protected Ginger, showing Flower how to stroke her little sister's soft skin.  "Gently," Gia told her.  "Gently."

 ***

"Girls! Breakfast!" Gia called from downstairs.

"Is it agreed?" Ella asked her sister determinedly. 

"Agreed," Elle said.

"Good!" Ella said as the two girls hopped off their beds. "Let's go tell Benji!"
They hurried down to join the morning meal.  "Good morning," Gia said as the twins took their seats.
Elle turned to face her brother and her sister-in-law.  "We don't want to go into service," she said without preamble. 

Ella nodded, "That's right. Just because we haven't found a mate doesn't mean that you should ship us off! We could help you with the pottery!" she said eagerly.
"Girls! Where is this coming from?" Benji asked in shock.

Elle shrugged, "Papa sent Carey and Casey off, and then he sent Daisy away, too."

Ella frowned, "Well, Daisy was different because she broke Mama's urn."

Elle shook her head, "But, he was going to send her away to be a servant somewhere before that!"
"Girls, no one is going to get sent away! Really! The things you worry about! You should be worrying about your studies! I notice that both of you are too busy playing to do your schoolwork!" Gia admonished as she took Flower to the nursery to put her to sleep.

Ella dropped her head, "Sorry, Gia," she said bashfully.

Elle grinned towards Gia's back with an entirely different reaction, "Promise?" she asked eagerly.

 ***

Benji headed off in the afternoon to Marchant Wares to sell the pottery he'd made.  It was a good deal less than last year, but he'd been the only one working.

Perhaps Elle and Ella could be of more help...
 Darius Marchant crossed his arms. "I'd commissioned twenty of each," he said with disappointment.  "Only five amphorae? Those are my best sellers!"
Benji nervously handed Darius the pottery.  "I'll do better next year, Sir.  With my parents' passing..."

Darius waved his hand in a sign of dismissal, "I'm sorry for your loss.  I suppose I'll have to make due.  But next time, I want thirty of each or I'll be forced to look for another potter!"

Benji nodded in agreement, signing the contract with Darius.  


Orb's Year 948
 She walked towards the front door, bracelets jangling happily.
 "Who's at the door?" Elle asked as she walked with Ginger towards the nursery. 

"I don't know, I'll check," Benji said, setting his pottery aside and heading to the door.
 His face lit up.
 "DAISY!" he pulled his little sister into his arms for a welcoming hug.

***

 "...And you wouldn't believe it! He drank too much and fell over asleep before he hit the ground. Oh, you should've seen it! We were all laughing so hard!" Daisy said, telling a story about her adventures at the Gypsy Grotto.

"Are you really going to leave?" Elle asked eagerly.  "It sounds like heaven there!"

Daisy laughed. "Well, everyone's got to grow up sometime, right?"
Garth watched Daisy as she spoke.  She seemed different somehow now.  She laughed more easily.  She seemed to move more gracefully.
"Would you stop staring?" his wife whispered to him, glaring at him.

"What?" Garth protested, "I'm not staring!"

"You are!" she hissed. "It's embarrassing!"
"There's my little Flower!" Carey said, walking in with his twin brother, joined by a few of his friends from the Grotto.

Daisy's eyes lit up.  "Oh! There he is now!" she said happily, leaping from her chair and hurrying across the room.
Garth frowned as he watched Daisy launch herself into the red-head's arms, giggling and laughing.   He couldn't believe the way she was acting!  She shouldn't be so free with her favors!  He glared, fully prepared to pull Casey's friend aside to let him know that Daisy had friends.

 ***

Daisy slipped into the nursery and lifted Ginger from the crib, resting her cheek against her niece's soft head.  A tear leaked from her eye.  She would never have this...
"Do you have a moment?" someone asked from the doorway, catching Daisy off-guard.
 She laid Ginger back in the crib and quickly wiped away any traces of tears before turning around.
 "What is it?" she asked, surprised that Lydia had followed her into the nursery.
"Everyone knows you mooned over my husband.  When you were young, frankly it was embarrassing. But now? It's pathetic!" Lydia hissed.  "We are happily married!"
 "Lydia, I don't know what you're talking about. I've left all that in the past," Daisy said calmly.

"Yes, we all noticed how you flirted with all the men in the grotto! Just keep away from my husband!" Lydia hissed angrily before storming from the room.

***

"Why would you even think of leaving?" Elle asked.  "It sounds like so much fun - dancing and signing and laughing!"
Daisy laughed.  "It is a lot of fun.  And after I left here, the gypsies took me into their family and took care of me. I was devastated!  It took me a long time to come to terms with my guilt and unhappiness."

"So why are you leaving?" Elle pressed.  She just didn't understand.

 Daisy smiled a little sadly.  "I can't play forever," she told her sister.  "Gaius said that his Uncle Dresden and cousin Holden are in need of someone to care for their home."

"But! Gaius is your true love! And you're going to leave him to become a servant?!"

Daisy laughed again.  "Oh sweetie, Gaius isn't my true love!  He doesn't belong to me and I do not belong to him!"  She paused and then dropped a bombshell, "Besides, there's no such thing as true love!" she said dismissively.  Love hurts too much.

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