Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1.2 Unexpected

Late one night after a week or so in her new home, Jennie woke late in the night to a violent wave of nausea. She was gripped by a sudden fear as she hugged the toilet bowl. She'd never been sick like this. Earlier that day she'd been experimenting with new herbal combinations. Had she found one that shouldn't be mixed? She tried to keep calm and crawled back into bed. First thing in the morning, she'd talk to Mae. As an earth witch, Mae would surely have some idea what was wrong with her.

Mae pulled open her front door and studied Jennie's frantic face. It was a little early for a social call. "Jennie? What's wrong?" The girl was a little pale. "Come on in." Mae settled her friend onto her comfy couch and examined her. Her face broke out in a small smile. "Well, Jennie. This is unexpected."

Jennie stood, looking a little confused. "What is it?"

Mae stood as well and rested her hand on her friend's belly, a bright grin on her face. "It seems there's a little seedling in there." She saw Jennie's blank look and laughed. "Honey, you're pregnant."

Jennie's smile was nervous and a little strained. "Really?"

Mae caught the strain in her voice and her smile softened. There's a story here. Sit down. I'll get us each a pint of ice cream and you can tell me all about it. It'll help." The pair curled up on the couch and Jennie told her of her time in University and of Derrik who captured her heart, wrapped it around his fingers and then shattered it. Mae let her rest her head on her shoulder and petted her hair gently. "You're not alone, Jennie. You have an entire community who'll take care of you and help you through this. I promise you. We're all here. We look after our own."


Jennie got her morning sickness (can it be called morning sickness when it's pretty much constant?) under control with the help of some tea blend recipes from Mae. She was pretty lucky actually. With the nausea under control her first trimester was going rather well. There wasn't much pain to speak of, yet, and she could still continue with work. The community was doing a good job making sure she was well loved. Mae called often and often visited. Even her boss, Sullivan Woodward, started to reach out to her. 

He invited her out to a movie and after challenged her to a shoot out at the basketball court behind the school. Jennie beat him 2-1. Not too bad for a pregnant woman. Ever the generous loser, he paid for dinner at the bistro. Curled up in bed that night, Jennie had a small suspicion that he had let her win.

Soon enough, she got so big that work thought it was best to give her some time off. "Don't worry." Sullivan said, reading the unhappiness on her face. "You'll be back before you notice. You need some time for yourself right now. I'm not going to have half the women in the town coming down on my head because I let you work till you went into labor."

With so much free time on her hands, Jennie didnt know what to do with herself. She looked at the blank walls in her living room and grinned. It was time to break out the spray-paint.

Sadly Mae didn't approve much of that particular activity for a woman whose due date was a week or so away. After a gentle scolding about being a responsible parent, she dragged her friend off to the town rec center. Maybe some arcade games would turn this young witch's mind back to babies.

Well if she was here she might as well win a toy for the baby. A toy rabbit was always a sure bet.

Or not....

After a nice soup and salad lunch, Mae turned to Jennie. "You studied Fine Arts, right? Can you sketch a picture of me? I think there's still plenty of light." She grinned. "I'll pose for you and everything." 

 The pair moved themselves out of the line of foot-traffic and Mae struck a dramatic pose. Jennie sank to the ground in a flood of giggles and pulled out her sketchbook. It was only a quick rough sketch. Jennie didn't want Mae holding that pose any longer than necessary. A few people were already starting to stare.

"Well? What do you think?" Jennie asked, displaying her finished sketch with a smile.

"Oh its amazing!" Mae said, overjoyed. She then sat a hand on her hip and gave her friend a look. "You didn't use the pose at all."

Jennie giggled. "Oh course not. I have standards. It was funny though."


It was 2 am. Why was she up at 2 am?

Oh, oh crap. That's why. She clutched her belly as another contraction ripped through her. It was time alright. She'd better call Mae to give her a ride to the hospital. No way she could bike there like this.

After many hours of labor, the squirmy little Devin came into the world. But he had a surprise with him. He wasnt alone.

Next came cuddly little Elsie. Last of all was the very unexpected surprise that was Lori. Triplets. She was a single mother with triplets. Jennie didn't need to have any precog abilities to know there would be many sleepless nights in her future.

Somehow in the whirlwind of feeding, dipper changes and cuddles, she must have managed to find some sleep. She had survived for the triplets' birthday.

  She was planning to throw a party but a combination of exhaustion combined with no party guests being available made it quiet family affair. Or as quiet as it could be with three babies. All three of her little ones looked so much like her. It stole her breath, watching them gather round the little play table that had been a birthday gift from Sullivan.

 Her little boy was the only one to have any of his father in him. His green eyes were the only thing of him to pass onto any of her babies she could see. Devin was a handful. Not even able to walk yet he was always finding ways outside. He was a fast little bugger too.It was quite a task to catch him when he didnt want to be caught. Jennie somewhat dreaded the trouble he'd start getting into once he could walk.

Her girls were identical, each a little duplicate of her. She was not ashamed to admit that she kept their hair styled a little differently so she could more easily tell them apart. Both her girls seemed to be really wary of strangers or large crowds of people. Elsie was a little sweetheart, always willing to share her toys. Her Lori.... Lori was different. She seemed so withdrawn compared to her siblings and very sensitive. Any time Devin or Elsie got upset, little Lori would be cuddling her teddy for comfort. It worried Jennie a little, but there wasn't much she could do. Maybe her baby girl would grow out of it as she grew older.

Being a mother to three active toddlers was a trial. She took her naps whenever she could get them. Lori spent most of her time trapped in the play pen teaching herself to talk. There was still much Jennie would have to teach her but her youngest was pretty clever to learn some all on her own.

Elsie was often seen zooming around the house in the walker. The girl could barely stand on her own, but give her something to stabilize her and she was a world explorer. 

Devin was the first to show any signs of power. Somehow he managed to make most of his toys vanish. The always came back but each time they disappeared in a puff of smoke her boy's eyes grew wide. But not once did he cry. Mae laughed the first time she saw a vanishing toy. "Your little witchlings are growing so fast." she grinned at Jennie's worried look. "Dont worry. Most witchlings grow out of teleporting by the time they're children."

It took an entire plate of cookies to bribe Mae into watching the terrible threesome for a while.  She's gotten a commsion for a mural and she was not going to pass up an offer for money for anything in the world. three toddlers was expensive. Plus she missed playing with spraypaint. And if  she could do it legally, all the better.

That should make the park nice for a while. If the rain doesn't wash it away first. 

A week after the triplet's birthday, Jennie had an unexpected visitor show up in her back yard while she was painting in the dim light of early night, her babies already tucked into bed. Sullivan. He grinned at her as he strolled over. "I saw you out here as I was out taking a walk. I thought I'd come see how you're doing." he looked her over, still grinning. "I'm surprised you're still up. Shouldn't you be catching sleep whenever you can?"

Jennie giggled. "I'm sure I should. But I felt the need to paint. I've always been a little impulsive."

Sullivan chuckled a little. "I like a woman who's not afraid to act on her impulses." Jennie wasn't sure if it was the tone of his voice, the words themselves or his soft chuckle that made her insides tremble. She swooned a little and closed her eyes. She felt his hand on her cheek, turning her face back towards him. Her eyes opened again and met his. They stared into each other for a moment in silence. The Jennie acted on her own impulse as well as the look in his dark eyes. She passed the distance between them and kissed him softly, nothing more than a light touch of lips.

Sullivan's lips were soft and warm. He kissed her back and pulled her closer against him. Something inside her fluttered a little and Jennie stepped out of his embrace. No. She would not do this again. She was a mom now, not a stupid undergrad crushing on an upperclassmen. Sullivan watched her, a small hint of concern in his eyes.

Jennie let out the breath she didnt know she'd been holding in a deep sigh. "Sullivan.... you're my boss. We cant do this." She crossed her arms over her chest. "And I thought you were married?"

 Sullivan sighed a little and waved his hand. "I was.....but things got complicated. We're divorced now." He looked a little pained. "We married right out of high school. But people change. We both changed. it was a mutual thing. We both agreed it was best for both of us." He sighed a little. "As for being your boss....I wouldn't treat you any differently at work. I swear. And the town wont think anything of it. It is a small town. It happens..." He meet her eyes. "Just think about it, ok? I wont pressure you. If you dont want anything to happen, nothing will." Sulivan brought her hand to his lips and kissed it gently before leaving Jennie to her swirling thoughts and emotions.


So this took me longer than I wanted. And if the writing style switches halfway through, please try to ignore it. I stopped halfway and didnt get back to it for a week and by then I lost the main story thread for a while. Also writing about babies is hard. Oh and for reference, my main inspiration for this story is The Modern Witch series by Debora Geary. I found the series while trying to think of a story and got hooked. So of course it's shaped much of my world.

Also. Of course I had to get triplets. Twin's I could've lived with. but no. It had to be triplets. At least I got one boy out of it. No idea why they turned out like clones of their mom. If not for Devin's eyes I'd wonder if something glitched, but those are definitely his dad's eyes. I guess we'll see how many generations it takes to kill Jennie's genetics. 

Two outatkes that I wanted to share.

Lori. Lori, Lori, Lori.... I cant stop taking pics of her. i know she and Elsie are identical but Lori just has so much more expression then her big sister.

The two family gnomes Jennie brought back from Uni. They always hang out as a pair. Thankfully, so far they've stayed outside out of the way.

That's all for now. I'm going to try to update once a week from now one. I hope I can stick with that goal. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

1.1 Welcome to Witch Central

Jennie Rivers was an artist. She could create magic with paint - any kind of paint, the conventional mediums as well as spray paint.  Jennie was also a witch. It was a secret she kept to herself. As she came from a mostly non-witch family, this was second nature to her. Her magic had bloomed in her early teen years with very little fanfare. She was no elemental witch. She couldn't even ride a broom - you needed air magic for that. So there wasn't much magic for her to hide. She was a kitchen witch, a witch who uses herbs to add various effects to their meals, with a minor talent for conjuring apples. Her college dorm-mates just assumed she was a skilled cook- and failed to notice the magically appearing apples.

The hiding came to an abrupt end one day while she was sending an email to her professor, asking a question about their latest project. Suddenly her screen flickered and she was in a chat room.....odd.

Mae: Welcome to Witch's Chat!

Jennie: Witch's chat? How'd I get here? And how'd you know I'm a witch? 

Mae: ^^ Easy. I coded a spell to find witches and draw them into chat. A good way to connect, dont you think?

Jennie: Hang on a sec. Code? What're you talking about?

Mae: I'm a spellcoder ^^. I combine magic with some computer code. It really makes online shopping so much easier. I'm also a bit of an earth witch. 

Jennie: I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but why are you searching out other witches?

Mae: Networking. There's so many witches out there who have no access to a witching community. My goal is to reach out to those witches and let them know there's places to go where they'd be welcome if they so chose. How about you? 

Jennie: I've never been part of a witching community. I didn't know they existed. My great aunt taught me what little magic i have, but I've never met another witch.

Mae: Well honey, you know one now! ^^ Where are you currently?

Jennie: University. I graduate in two days.

Mae: Any plans after? You could always relocate here to Neverglade. What degree are you earning,if I may ask?

Jennie: Fine Arts. I've been planning to become an Art Appraiser. 

Mae: Really? Well we could always use one here! So many witches create pretty things. And who better to determine their value than a witch? Would you consider it? Moving here?

Jennie: I could...but most of my savings went to Uni. I wouldnt be able to afford a place.

Mae: Hm... I'm sure a few people around here have a place they could rent out to you. I could check. So you'll consider it if I can find you a place? You'll be welcome here.

Jennie: Um... sure. Ok, why not?

Mae: Great! I'll let you know. Blessed be.


Jennie graduated her class with high honors. She also received a job offer for an art appraiser in Neverglade. Apparently the "witching community" really wanted her. The written offer also came with a set of keys and a note from Mae. Apparently she had found a home for her after all. Not one to turn down a job or the offer for a roof over her head, Jennie took the offer and hopped on a bus with her small suitcase full of belongings to Neverglade.

  It was a modest little house. It even had two bedrooms. Well, she could always turn one into a small studio. She didnt have much money for furniture but she had enough to get by for a while. With hope, she would be able to afford more soon.

After settling in, Jennie received a text from Mae to meet her at the community gardens. After spending around an hour biking around the town, Jennie found the gardens. She was surprised she'd missed it. The garden was lovely, and filled with every plant a kitchen witch could ever need. It was a dream.

Mae spotted her as she walked out of the arboretum and waved her over. "Hi! You must be Jennie. Welcome to Witch Central!" The pair spent hours talking about plants and herbs. Jennie couldn't help but smile as she left with a basket full of fresh produce and herbs. Witch Central was already feeling like home.