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 Family Living and Dead (Both Parts of Two)

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TerishD


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PostSubject: Family Living and Dead (Both Parts of Two)   April 3rd 2012, 4:10 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Three: Part One
Family Living and Dead

The Setup
I saw the car stop. Being near a college campus, silly activities were not unusual. While seeing females suddenly get out was not strange, it was a view that I had to stop my lawnmower to watch.

“Larry!”

The girl screamed that while getting out of the car. The other girls outside the vehicle waved to me before getting back in. I stepped away from the lawnmower as the one that screamed ran to me.

Cindy was a very attractive lady. She was shorter than me, but not by enough that I intimidated her. Her brown hair had been styled and makeup had been applied to improve the appearance of her blue eyes, but I felt she would be quite attractive even if caught plain.

A male voice sounded from the house, “Who do you have there, Larry?”

I broke from the kiss and embrace to make the introduction. “Albert, this is Cindy. Cindy, this is my older brother, Albert.”

My mother had been told, but Albert’s statement indicated that he had not. “Another Cindy?”

“Well, it’s really Chiandria.”

The young lady moved up to shake hands, although he pulled her for a hug, before she spoke. “I have heard of the other Cindy.”

“Yes, it was rough on Larry. Still, he is doing better than any of us.” My brother then broke his eyes upon the young lady to say to me, “This one is a lot better looking.”

I moved to put Cindy back in my arms while saying, “Well, it is the personality that counts. Still, I have been enjoying my time with her.” I then decided to go ahead and finish a conversation that had not yet happened. “What did you decide?”

Albert replied, “You are going to have to hire me, bro. That wall is just too unsafe, so you better not do it alone. I agree that it will then force you to upgrade some things to bring your house to code, but if you plan on selling this place you will need to do it.”

Cindy looked to me to ask, “You own this house?”

“Yes,” I answered, “although I really just bought the property. The house itself was close to being condemned, although I have worked on it.”

Albert replied, “He basically just cleaned it and sprayed a layer of paint over the wood. Still, it is managing to provide him a dry place to sleep during a storm.”

I added, “Still, my mother is coming this weekend, so I felt a need to try and fix it up just a little more.”

Cindy asked, “Your mother? Not Mrs. Lorshein?”

“No, my mother, and father, and maybe a sister.”

Albert said, “Yeah, we need another one of us to get some college education. I thus hope that Betty does come.”

Cindy asked, “Betty?”

I answered, “Younger sister. I have an older sister, Debbie, but she is married and pregnant. I thus don’t expect her.”

Larry added, “That’s it. Two boys and two girls. The two oldest made mistakes, but our younger two seem to have learned. Larry is a good catch.” He looked her over, and I felt noticed her accent, which caused him to ask, “Where are you from?”

I spoke for the lady, “Germany. She is a foreign exchange student. She was supposed to be here for just a few weeks, but is now trying to get her education fixed to here.

Cindy cheerfully added, “I have told my parents about Larry, about the university, and my wanting to stay here.”

Albert said, “German engineering. Cannot beat it. I tried to get Larry to go that way when he was shopping for a car.”

Cindy actually smiled at the statement. I thus smiled as well, then directed the lady to the house. My brother had not lied. I had basically taken a dilapidated construction, cleaned it, covered all the walls with a heavy coat of paint, then called it home. If the building had been an ancient rotted dwelling, what I did would not have helped. The house however had just been mistreated by previous college dweebs with the basic structure still solid. It thus just needed some tender loving care, which I actually did as I had the time. Cindy did not complain about what she saw of the building, but of my lack of decorating.

Albert gave me an appraisal for what it would cost to have him and some of his construction friends come and do the work we both felt that the house needed. Albert did not have his own company, but he was doing what he could to head in that direction. His parole officer supported the man’s efforts to completely put his life on the straight and narrow. What my family and I however knew was that it was through his construction pals that Albert faced the temptations that originally drove him on the path to destruction. If I would have accepted the appraisal, it would have been solely to check up on who showed up to help my brother make some extra cash.

“Albert, I have a whole campus of helping hands for only the cost of a keg of beer.”

Cindy moved her body against mine as she said, “A keg. We could have a party.”

“After the work gets done,” I replied, although I did kiss her to assure that she maintained her mood. “Sorry, Albert, but I am not rich enough that I don’t have to watch my expenses.”

His face did not show a smile, but I could tell that he did like the idea as he said, “College girls – yeah, I might show up with some friends anyway.”

Albert really did show signs of trying to stay straight, so I was willing to help him. “I will call your parole officer, and even invite him over.”

“He’s married, bro.”

“It’s Doug, Albert.”

We both knew the parole officer. He was a classmate of Albert, and had dated our older sister. He now lived a block down from our parents. The man had been a computer geek, although not as smart as most in that category. He had gone into the military, then came out to be a cop. He now had a stable, if thankless, job with a wife and all the headaches of a normal life. I felt that the man needed a break from his routine, so would let him check up on my brother while watching and drinking what he could.

Albert replied, “All right, bro. Fine with me. Let me know.”

“If I do it quick, we both know that it won’t be done right. Let me see who I can get and how I believe it best to get it done. Let’s say, not this weekend, but next?”

“I believe that I have a job, but we can call it early on the weekend, so let me know.”

“Will do.”

Albert and I shook hands, which was enough for both of us. He stayed and spoke with Cindy for a time. After watching him drive off, we then moved into the house to see what the both of us would decide to do for ourselves.

She got a phone call, which sounded like her friends asking her what she was doing with me. I decided to make my own phone call. While I considered the man a friend, I called on business.

Doug said, “That is not good, Larry. When your brother tries to avoid me, he is usually up to something.”

I let the man know that I would not rat on Albert. I grew up with him, and had numerous memories of the two of us sneaking out to do things on our own. They were not things that would get us into any serious trouble. Thus, while I agreed that Albert could be working on his own plans, I did not conclude that he was falling back into an illegal lifestyle.

Doug listened, then replied, “You have an obligation to keep me informed, Larry.”

“I just did that, Doug. I however do not have an obligation to accept your conclusions.”

“No. You’re right. Okay. Thanks, Larry. Keep me informed.”

As I closed the call, I saw Cindy looking at me through a doorway. I saw her close her phone as I approached, which told me a lot. I believe she however saw my expression drop as my eyes moved to a window, as her words upon approaching had a tone of disappointment.

“Business?”

I pointed to a car pulling into my driveway as I replied, “No, but that is.” Cindy let me share a short kiss with her before I said, “That is one problem of being with me, business.”

“My parents will like that. Oh, that is Doctor Jackson.”

“Call him Professor.”

While moving to the doorway of my house I grabbed a basketball and threw it to him upon stepping outside. Professor Nathan did look like a basketball player, but did not claim to like the game and was no good at ball handling. I would throw him a ball however claiming that he needed to stay true to his black heritage.

The ball did not even hit the goal, but at least he threw it before saying, “Expect another check, Larry, but also expect questions.” I saw his eyes study the young lady, then he said, “Chiandria Serkovorga?”

Yes, he had her in one of his classes, so I informed him of how to connect on a more personal level. “Cindy, Professor.”

“Cindy? Isn’t that…”

“Yes.” No, I did not want to go there, so moved the conversation along. “Now, how did things go in Oak Ridge?”

“Good, which is bad. The experiments are going as expected, so we can be assured a continue of funding. People are however going to be looking closer, and I suspect that someone will be able to see certain things.”

“Mrs. Lorshein says that we are still good. Let her lawyer get the reports and digest them with us before accepting the next check.”

Professor Nathan nodded while moving into the kitchen and getting a wine cooler. He drank beer when wanting to relax. Getting the wine cooler told me that he would be going up to his office and working on the data. Professor Nathan took more than a sip before letting me know about his plans.

“I won’t need you in the morning, but it might help if you had some data for us to discuss.”

“Sure. I don’t know exactly what Cindy and me might do, but we both have classes in the morning. I thus don’t expect too much, so I should be able to get some data. I do have something to supply an objective, and just running through certain routines would help me.”

“Good – good.” He swallowed another good bit of the bottle before saying, “It is all going to come to an end, Larry. I mean, we both knew it would. It still has been fun.”

“I agree with Mrs. Lorshein, Professor. The people that will see will want things to continue. We can thus keep on having our fun.”

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PostSubject: Part Two   April 8th 2012, 4:33 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Three: Part Two
Family Living and Dead

The Night Out
I honestly do not know what Cindy sees in me, but she seems determined to stay attached. Having a large young male population on campus, I do not know why she would choose me. I suspected that Mrs. Lorshein might be a reason, but as an elderly lady I could not believe that Cindy actually listened to her. Anyway, I let the young lady see a lot of me, and I saw a lot of her, and I have to say that I enjoyed spending time attached.

The fact that there was an official curfew worked to my advantage. After supper she mentioned needing to return to her dorm. Cindy did mention that she was glad to know that I had a house of my own, and I caught hints that she might stay on evenings when she felt certain that she would not be missed. Still, the night was still young when I took her back to her place of residence.

I returned to my house and prepared to spend a couple of hours in my superhero identity. The stunts that I pulled as the Minnow did take constant practice to assure that my body would respond properly. There was also a concern for my brother. While I knew that Doug was paid to worry, I had memories of Albert following certain paths before. I thus felt that I could spy on him while practicing my superhero stunts.

The feel of the night air had me believing that a storm would be coming. I had not checked the weather, but did not let the moisture bother me. It would affect my grip, but my gloves and the handles on my wings were both designed to assure good contact in most conditions. The fins on my wings also worked to assure a stable stance when I rode them. I thus did not let the weather bother me, but moved through the sky without any worry that anyone would see me.

Albert lived near the city. It was good in that he was close to where most work could be found. The problem was that it also put him near the life that had caused him trouble. I went through a number of routines as I headed in the direction of his apartment. Ballet Slipper did a lot more twirls when she went into action than I did, but mine were done in the air without a net. Of course, I did have my wings, but it took timing to assure that we finished our stunts before a meeting with the ground occurred. My machines had wonderful electronics controlling them, but I moved over the city toward my brother’s house assuring that they and me were in excellent condition.

Flying over one of the better neighborhoods I saw a very young child out playing. Descending to get a better view, I noticed some things did not appear right. Landing, the child began screaming as it moved to the door to bang on it.

Waiting for the parent to arrive, I noticed a splotch of blood. It looked like it had been placed by a part of a boot, then spread by the movement of the child. I stepped up to the door and looked through a window to see furniture and items scattered about, then I noticed a body on the floor. Understanding that no parent would come to the sounds of the child, I picked it up before checking the knob.

The little lad was simply too young to work the mechanism, as I easily opened the door. Minnow does not talk, but I had a screaming child in one arm. I thus went to a phone, dialed 911, then let the screaming child tell the operator all that she needed to know. I found a playpen, moved it near the phone, set the child inside, then left.

Being one of the better neighborhoods, tracking the criminals became mostly a determination of where they could have fled to. Large fences would have prevented obstacles. They could have been overcome, but I heard barks telling me that the murderers would have found larger problems by tackling the fences. I took to the air scanning the few routes that those fleeing could have easily taken.

A few men were gathered around a pickup truck that had obviously swerved into a ditch. I noticed them carrying items, such as a flat screen, that did not go with the beer cans, old tires, and other items in the bed of the vehicle. As I approached, I however saw another truck that I recognized. The driver, my brother, swerved and almost went into a ditch as I dove in front of him while waving him away.

As I saw my brother’s vehicle work to roar in another direction, I heard gunfire and felt contact beneath one shoulder. The Minnow had taken shots before, and I heard some wonder how he survived. The suit did a marvelous job of protecting my body, although I also knew to keep moving. However much pain I felt, standing still was my worst enemy. I thus commanded Pirahna to come down and move the affected shoulder, and I felt glad for my mouthpiece as it kept me from screaming while being lifted into the air.

I spun to take the fight to the men. The intent was not to do a Batman, Spiderman, or other superhero stunt and put them unconscious on the ground. Doing so would be grounds for charges against me. Mr. and Mr. Lorshein often stressed that my superhero identity was not above the law. I was not afraid of putting some hurt to the bad guys, but I did my best just to keep them focused on me until the police arrived. With shots having been fired, I trusted that someone had made calls to add to the alarm by the 911 call with the screaming child. Allowing the robbers to escape would not help in resolving who had killed the parents of the children, as well as simply allow the felons to do more mischief. As the superhero on the scene, it was my job to go into action against the men.

Simply flying around the criminals allowed me to do a number of things. It kept them contained in a specific area while I noticed number and features of whom I was up against. The passing seconds gave the police time to move toward the scene while I checked on my shoulder. My body was not truly hurt, although I suspected that a bruise would show. Finally, more bullets flew through the air depleting the number left to possibly inflict more damage to my body.

I usually fly with one of my smaller wings as well as one of my larger machines. Where power is needed, Bumble is a marvelous piece of hardware to have available. Against human threats, it can be a disaster however. Hearing distant sirens, I however called down my large wing to keep a presence on the other side of the men from me so as to prevent them from thinking that they could run.

As the police arrived, I did have to go into direct action against a couple of men. They sought to run in spite of my corralling actions, and I had to keep them from getting away. I had worked through the pain from my shoulder, so flipped, darted, and traded blows without any problem. The police quickly gained the upper hand upon coming on the scene, and I turned to the officer speaking to me to let them know that more needed to be done.

The Minnow does not talk, and most cops do not know sign language. Honestly, I used it so little that I really did not feel that I knew it well. Flashing nine fingers, then twice showing one before pointing to myself however did gain understanding. Moving my arms as if cradling a baby had the cop tell me to lead the way.

I flew off as the news crew arrived. By then there were ambulances, paramedics, child services, along with a host of police. I showed them the splotch of blood, along with the toys that had entertained the child until my arrival. There was blood on them, so the police did not need me to speak to tell them most of the facts. They were the ones that informed me to leave when the news van pulled up.

I really do not know how Mrs. Lorshein does it. I know that she does watch the news. Most of my action however does not get reported, but she manages to somehow know when then Minnow went into action. Knowing when I was in costume I guess also told her when I was not, because somehow Mrs. Lorshein managed to call when I come out of uniform. I thus nodded when I heard my phone ring, although was surprised by the excited masculine voice that came from the speaker.

“Larry! My god, bro, I could have been in big trouble.”

Yes, I knew some things, but not enough to prevent real annoyance sound in my voice. “Why aren’t you in bed, Albert? Don’t you have work tomorrow?”

“I thought that I was going pick up some easy money helping some old friends. The Minnow… bro, the Minnow suddenly flew down in front of me and waved me away. I then heard gunshots. I’m on parole, bro, so I rushed out here to Doug’s. Now we see on the news that those friends had killed someone, so I could have been in really big trouble.”

Albert was correct about potentially having been in deep trouble. Still, what surprised me was that for once he made a proper decision. I actually wanted to congratulate him, although also let him know that he had other responsibilities.

“Well, I believe that you did well in going to Doug’s. Still, make certain that you get back to work in the morning.”

“Sure. Just, bro, if you see the Minnow, tell him thanks.”

Those words truly surprised me. “Me? Why would I see the Minnow?”

“He flies with those science-fiction jet packs, so I suspect that he works with you science dudes. You have told me how you work with radiation and a need to keep things a secret, so I suspect that you really know the Minnow. No need to break any secrets, but just tell him thanks.”

“Okay, Albert. If I see the Minnow, I will tell him thanks.” I also wanted to tell him not to spread such logic around, but I held myself back.

“Good. Oh, is Cindy with you?”

“No, Albert. Call on a weekend or holiday if you expect some gossip.”

He chuckled, then we spent time discussing the young lady. The conversation ended with both of us wishing the other the best. I did spend a moment speaking to Doug and assuring that no repercussions would come to my brother. He mentioned that Albert would need to testify about his actions, but that nothing he did would put him in jeopardy of his parole. After discussing things, I then brought the conversation to a close.

The phone rang again, and this time it was Mrs. Lorshein, causing me to ask, “How do you do that? How did you know to wait until I finished speaking with my brother?”

“What about your brother, Larry?”

I gave a short description of the night. She listened. As usual, she did not have me expand on anything. Her concern was that I was all right. Mrs. Lorshein however spoke of what I had not described.

“You said that Cindy came over to visit?”

“Yes. Don’t ask me why. Still, I enjoyed her presence.”

I actually expected Mrs. Lorshein to mention having her own influence in the actions of the young lady. I had first met Cindy as a companion to the elderly lady. Mrs. Lorshein however did not speak of her manipulations, but surprised me with a question.

“You haven’t told her anything?”

“Why would I tell her anything?”

“You don’t have to keep your secret a secret, Larry.”

“No, but I don’t need to go blabbing it around either. There are secrets being kept, and right now I feel it best if the Minnow stays one of them. It sorta keeps me in the loop.”

She did not immediately reply to that, and when she spoke her voice was low. “You are probably very correct, Larry. You are doing well, so keep doing what you do. My husband would be very proud of you.”

“Thanks. Uh, Professor Nathan just came back from Oak Ridge, so I expect that I will be working with him this weekend going over data. Still, could use a break, so do you want me to see if Cindy will be up for a little visit?”

“That would be nice, Larry.”

“Good.” Just to assure that she understood something, I added, “Oh, and I have nothing against telling her, but I will let our relationship develop a little more before doing it.”

“That is wise, Larry. Good night.”

Honestly, I felt better about Albert’s phone call. Thinking about it, I however found myself considering that the one with Mrs. Lorshein was the most important one. Still, I felt that I had done enough for one day, and headed to bed.

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PostSubject: Re: Family Living and Dead (Both Parts of Two)   October 9th 2012, 8:08 pm

I like it. I really enjoyed the flow of conversation, I'm big on that in my writing. Larry does seem at times unconfident in his ablilities to have a meaningful relationship. He clearly doesn't understand Cindy's attraction to him. I do however very much appreciate his relationship with his brother. Great writing.

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PostSubject: Reply   October 9th 2012, 9:54 pm

Thanks. I really have not yet brought his family back into the story, but I do feel that the presence of family makes Larry more of a complete person.

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