AN: Special thanks to Loren for this post, she was the one who I bounced ideas off and she okayed me for one of my favourite scenes in this post. If you guess which it was I’ll give you brownie points and an e-cookie. Loren, you’re the best friend a girl could ask for. I should tell you that more often. Considering that I have very long left until Eloise was left alone with the children, I decided to get in some much needed teaching time. David still needed to learn to walk, and Paisley was assigned to Potty training Jonathan while Eloise aged everyone up. “Oh sure. Give the girlfriend the nicest job. Dump me with the dumps why don’t you?” I shake my head. Paisley’s just kidding, because she knows I’m taking her out of the country for a couple of weeks while Eloise has to stay at home and babysit. I walk downstairs after training the toddlers and see everyone for the last time before we leave.
Demi grew up into a lovely YA with a love of hats. She wants to work with animals and is becoming a horse trainer. I packed the last of the things I would be needing on my time away and went to sit in the lounge. Paisley was just finishing up all her plans with the babysitters and whatnot and the taxi was on it’s way over. Eloise entered the room and tears were prickling her eyes. She sits down by me and I press a kiss to her lips. “I’ll miss you. You know that right? And we can Skype every night.” She nods sadly, and kisses me back. There’s a small cough from behind me and I look over my shoulder. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything.” says Paisley. I shake my head and lean back from Eloise. “The taxi’s here. I saw it from the window upstairs.” As if on queue there is a beep from outside as a car horn toots it’s familiar tone. Eloise walks me to the door as the first glimpse of dawn crosses over the mountains behind us. I catch a glimpse of the taxi driver staring at Eloise, Paisley and I closely. Prodding Eloise in the side, I gesture to the cabbie, and she catches on. Paisley, noticing what we’re up to decides to join in. I pull Eloise into a kiss while Paisley watches, then when I let Ellie go, Paisley swoops in and encases my lips in her own. If I didn’t know better I’d say she liked me, but we’d been in drama class together, I knew she was acting. But I do know enough that Eloise is either trying her hardest not to pee from laughter, or really, REALLY turned on by this. I assume the second. Or I’d like to. We make our way to the taxi together and Paisley and I get in, I can’t help but notice the uncomfortable looks from the driver as we do so. The rest of the journey to the airport is spent alternating between teasing the driver about the follies of manhood (pun DEFINITELY intended) and convincing him further that Paisley, Eloise and myself are one giant massive blob of lesbian fun. I am mean. Later- the plane“Did you see that guy’s face? It was priceless!” I giggle. Paisley sighs and I realise that is the fifth time I said that. I bite my tongue. Flying makes me nervous, when I get nervous, I giggle. It’s annoying, but less so than people who puke. It’s at least a twelve hour flight, so I’m all set to plug my I-pod in, sit back, and let the sweet tunes of anything from AC-DC to Walking on sunshine from Katrina and the Waves. But my entire plan went to pot when I discovered that none other than Iron Man 2 was being played as the in flight entertainment, so I abandoned that in favour of Robert Downey Junior. I fall asleep at some point in the journey, and only wake up when I feel Paisley’s head land on my shoulder. she had finally given in to exhaustion. I let her sleep for a while before I lean forwards and grab my bottle of water. Quietly, I slip my hands into the liquid and then flick some onto her face. She flinches and then slowly wakes up. “Hey. We’ll be landing soon. And then I can show you my home country.” Paisley smiles tiredly and I giggle. EVEN later- England
“Welcome to the English countryside.” I saw, gesturing with my non-driving arm to the fields and trees around us. Paisley takes a deep breath of air, but then comes back coughing and spluttering, I turn and raise an eyebrow to her. “Swallowed a bug.” she manages to choke out. The next thing I remember we’re crashing into a tree stump on the road. Neither of us are hurt, but the car won’t start. There’s a house just over the road and we head on over there to ask for help.
A girl with red-blonde hair opens the door distractedly, still laughing at a joke told by someone else in the house. She smiles at me and says, in the classic Northern way, “Whaddya want?”
“Our car crashed, and we kinda need to fix it.” I say. Almost un-noticeably I slip into a more British voice, testament to my upbringing here. The blonde girl nods and leans back, “Want to come in while we call for the AA?” she steps back and into the house, I slip in behind her, and Paisley follows me, sticking close behind. She prods me in the back and whispers in my ear, “Skye, what if they chop us up and cook us in a large pot made of our bones?”
I shake my head. She’s been asking questions like that since we landed at Gatwick. And that was 3 days ago. We step into the kitchen of the house and I marvel at it’s size. The house looked so small from the front. The girl sits us down at the table in there, and the dark haired one from earlier steps out of the shadows. The girl walks over to her friend and whispers something in her ear. I only get the odd word, most noticeably, Skye, creator and how the hell is that possible? After both girls are done, they turn back to us at the table and begin to speak. “Okay, you’re never gonna believe this, but I’m gonna say it. Skye, I’m your creator, Sarah. I pull the strings. Mostly.I never told you to come to England. That was you. It’s what I get for leaving free will on. This is my room-mate Loren. She’s a close friend.”
My eyebrows raise at the close friend comment, are they a couple? They seemed close on the doorstep, almost holding hands, but not quite. “Are you guys…” I gesture to them both and my ‘creator'’s’ eyes open in shock.
“NO! No, no, no, no, no! We aren’t. I mean, we’re not. I mean, I’m saving myself for the Phantom. Or Loki, whichever comes first. Possibly Sherlock Holmes.” Well that explains a lot. I think. My love of those characters was not mine at all, but somehow a written version of this creator woman’s. I feel only halfway real. Sarah is going on to talk about how this isn’t actually her, and she’s not actually in the game, this is her representation, Simself apparently. I’ll never be able to watch The Matrix after this. And then Loren (who is by far the stranger of the two) is talking about her friend Electra. She’s also doing the challenge and is the first to do it in Britain. Wow. “I’d love to meet her.” I find myself saying, much to Paisley’s chagrin. Loren offers to take us around and get us out of the house and we gladly accept. I’m always up for something new, and the crazy people-eating British folk are scaring Paisley, she is, after all invading their homes. On the way out of the room we meet the girls’ roommates. Felony and Silas. They seem nice enough, albeit a tad… indie for my tastes but each to their own. Paisley and I spend most of the rest of our week with Electra, who has really taken a shine to both of us. She tends to find ways to insult Paisley’s americanosity by using English words like ‘nappy’ and ‘codswallop’ and ‘crumpet’.
(NOTE: If you would like to read in more detail about Skye’s England Adventures, please visit either the post I will do later to fill in the gaps, or Electa’s 100 Baby Challenge Blog)
On the flight home, I single handedly manage to conduct most of our flight in a hummed concert of Phantom Of The Opera, which greatly annoyed Paisley, since she had forgotten that I knew the entire score. Which I do. I’ve seen it enough times to know it all. Electra almost passes out from giddiness, and I have to remind her not to drop baby Sarah on the floor, because that would be greatly painful for the child and not bode well for my concert. We arrive at Cherwood not long after 8 at night, and I get Eloise to come pick up Paisley and I. Electra is getting a taxi to the nearest hotel and we’re dropping Paisley off.
I slip into bed that night exhausted and jet lagged from the flight and fall asleep almost immediately. It’s nice sleeping with Eloise again for the first time in a while. The whole bed smells of her and I breathe in deeply as I fall asleep. A few days later and I am finally feeling coherent enough to think and put two sentences together. I decide to spend the day with my kids. First, the family sculpts. Or rather, I sculpt and a few of them model. I must say that I’m a pretty good sculptor, so it’s not too long before all those are finished and Luke and Leia are asking me to teach them to drive so they can grow up and move out. Apparently Leia’s boyfriend has his birthday tomorrow, and it’s vital she be there. Luke just likes cake, a man after my own heart. And to top it off, he’s had an invitation to join Calista’s challenge, which he gladly jumps at. I await my beauteous grandchildren with joy.
Of course, now that Luke and Leia are gone, and Jonnie and David have straight A’s (how do these kids do it?) they want to age up and experience the joys of teenhood as well.
I’m just looking forward to having some non-female teenagers in the house. Jonathan had really gotten into
Chemistry recently, and he spends lots of time making up different solutions and testing them out for their effects. David’s hobby is the one I would have expected the more confident Jonathan to have, he’s a real flirt and he loves talking to people. Any people. I’m thinking he’d be good in politics, but it remains to be seen. With everyone aged up now I realise that I have a real shortage of new children here today. This problem is remedied by a quick visit from one man named Alizarin Crimson. He rings my doorbell and stands on the doorstep. He appears to be very nervous about it as he sees me watching him from the window and then turns to leave. I open the door before he has chance to and greet him. “Mr Crimson, right?” he nods and I invite him inside. He meets Eloise and she approves him, before we wordlessly leave her. I take him outside to the hot-tub where we do our business and quickly hear a lullaby. I usher him out of the door, and he tries to press a kiss to my cheek, “Hold up there mister. We said no kissing and I’m already in a relationship.” Almost completely unaffected (or so it seems) by the rejection, he walks off. It’s a complete turnabout from his previous shy self. I return to the house and sit down on the sofa to watch the rest of whatever film it is she’s watching. “You know, after that fiasco, we’ll have to take every precaution in making sure you know just who you belong to.”Later that night Eloise lives up to her threat, there’s no doubting the fact that we belong to one another and that is unlikely to change. However, my fun filled life of excitement really takes it’s toll on me, and I fall asleep quickly that night. I don’t realise just how long I sleep for until I’m woken by David proclaiming that it was “High time I got my butt out of bed and wreaking terror on the streets because, quite frankly it was time I woke up and took him to the pool already.” I woke up blearily, squinting in the bright morning light. It was nice to sleep in and not have to worry about toddlers screaming. Eventually we pack everything away and make our way to the pool. David charges ahead of us and stops at the edge, shouting, “FOR NARNIA!” like Narnia is having a swim meet of interdimensional proportions. Jonathan opts for the marginally more amusing, “I’m the hero that Gotham needs.” though, that leaves me more confused than the last one.
Only days later (as is expected for pregnancy) I give birth to babies 55 and 56, Sif and Thor Everard.
And also for kicks, the zoomed out version of the above picture.
We walked into the small bar and the residents, only challenge mothers and a couple of other people (as far as I could tell) cheered a massive, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" my jaw dropped as I saw just how many people were there, other than the expected challenge mothers were a few others, people I hadn't really spoken to face to face before. I made a list and here it is:
Abigail Bell (A new mother)
Paisley Parker (no surprises there)
I was most surprised to see Dawn and Christy there, I mean people had heard of them. Not that people hadn't heard of the other people, it's just more people know about them than say... Chloe. Who'd just started. (And she was off to a flying start may I add.) First of all came gifts, and I had explicitly told everyone not to get me anything, but they did anyway, which was probably Paisley's doing. Now not to say that I was negative about free things from my friends. Never look a gift challenge-mother in the mouth I always say. There was a few gifts, so I'm going to make ANOTHER list so I don't forget anyone.
Chloe- A set of Sherlock posters.
I swear the girl just met me and she knows me like I know my way around Stark Tower. (Long, long story)
Calista- A new Sci-Fi novel by my favourite author.
Laura- A black notebook. Leather. absolutely divine.
Alina- A hand painted picture of the challenge mothers.
Becks- A Taser pen. Which I tested on the barman who was eyeing Eloise up.
Natalie and Abigail- A necklace.
Christy- a book on yoga with an accompanying DVD. ('It helps me relax' was the explanation.)
Paisley wouldn't tell me her gift.
Dawn- A nice hat. I like hats.
And so concluded the gift giving. That over, and with the barman still unconscious on the floor, we set about getting drinks. Paisley being the only one with any mixology skill took it upon herself to bear the heavy, alcoholic burden. Natalie was first one to start acting drunk. She got up onto a table and started dancing. And when the perverts in the corner whistled, I could have sworn she was about to remove all her clothes and do Gods-Know-What.
Dawn and Christy sat in a corner quietly chatting over a couple of glasses of wine, and as the night wore on they started to get more and more giggly. Eloise and I, along with Paisley, spent most of the night dancing together. The men in the other corner quickly got over their fear of the taser pen and quickly set to work flirting with everyone. Quite literally, EVERYONE.
At some point in the night, Paisley, Eloise and me returned home to a night of well deserved... stuff. I sit down at the desk, being utterly bored and decide to look up Johnlock fanfics on the internet, but I end up just reading Frostiron because I can't work computers after 3 shots of tequila. I believe I may have booked a holiday for two to Yorkshire in England too, but that might have been the Apple-tinis talking. After that we fall asleep in a variety of places, as we commonly do when intoxicated.
The next morning I woke up and heard a meow by my ear. I turn to see what it is and lo and behold, there is a cat by my ankle. I frown, how did a cat get in? Then, I distantly remember calling Calista and Laura and telling them to drop off the cats at my house. And they did. Wow. They're adorable. The larger one has paler colours and I assume it to be Isis. (Is it Isis? I forgot her name.) The smaller one is much more bright, and this must be Glowy's baby. He has no name, so I sit there for a while thinking, but no answer comes. In the end I decide to get up. Food which wasn't made in a deep fryer calls to me. I open the fridge and get out the ingredients for breakfast and begin throwing them in a pan.
The smaller kitty has since woken up everyone in the house and now they're waiting for breakfast sat around the table. They're discussing the cats, and out of nowhere I have an epic name breakthrough. "Lets ask my blog viewers. They can suggest names for him and vote, like you do." and so it is decided and we finish breakfast in peace. It isn't long afterwards before I am throwing up and I attribute it to the hangover. Or at least, I hope it's the hangover. I log onto my email after eating and puking and there's a mail from a travel company. I open it, thinking it will be an advertisement and it's the confirmation of my booking. I booked a holiday for two to York some time last night, and now if I cancel it I'll lose my deposit. And I was never one to turn down a holiday. I leave the room and talk to Paisley. "Hey, I booked a holiday to England last night some time for two."
Paisley looks at me. Eloise says, "I'm not coming. I hate England. Take Paisley." I nod. "Take care of the kids?"
Looks like I'm going on holiday tomorrow.
I am sorry for the short and crapness of this post, I just wanted to get it out. I hate this challenge with all my heart, but sometimes I have a good storyline and it redeems itself. And I have great idea coming up to hopefully make it fabulous. But I have no idea how it's going to play out.