Thursday, June 9, 2011

In the Garden


At the sound of the voice, Rita stood up quickly and spun on her heels, her heart beating with recognition. He stood by her fence, partially obscured by the large plants.

Jimmy looked at her through the branches, his large gray eyes making his face appear so small. She was by his side before he could say any more.

"Jimmy! What're you doing here? Where's your mother?"

He looked up at Rita and then down at the ground, his small hand resting on the railing. Rita had to kneel to look into his face, and when he glanced back up at her, his own little face was angry. "I ran away."

He was so small for his age, and so careful and cautious. Rita leaned back on her heels slightly. It was their day to visit the village, so Vivian had to be nearby. In her own way, she would be worried, but Rita was more concerned for Jimmy first.

She reached out her hand for him, encouraging him to follow her through the fence and into the garden. "Well, I'm glad you stopped by because I have something for you."

His face opened again, the eyes widening. "For me?"

Rita smiled, blinking her tears back. "I saw it and thought of you."

He slid through the fence and took her offered hand. The two of them walked together into the back door of the bar. Frank didn't exactly approve of Rita's friendship with Vivian or her concern for Jimmy. It didn't stop her, and he knew it. But she wasn't about to start a fight with him. They would be quick. Just a quick stop, and then Rita would take Jimmy off to find Vivian, hopefully happier than when he appeared.

Upstairs, in the living quarters, Rita had Jimmy wait while she dug the small gift from its hiding place. She pressed it into his hands then stepped back to watch him.

Jimmy held it in both his hands, one finger spinning the wheel. He looked up at her, his eyes large and shiny. "What is it?"

Of course he wouldn't know what one was-- very few were still in use. But nothing said boy's toy more than a small car. "It's something from when I was a kid. People used to use them to get from place to place." She gently showed him how it rolled along the ground.

Jimmy watched it, then gave it a try himself before giving a small laugh that Rita wished she could hold onto forever. She grabbed onto the sound of it, repeating it over and over in her mind until she would burn the memory in. Rita was determined to never lose this moment.

"I can keep it?" He held it in both of his hands, his eyes so wide he looked absolutely shocked.

"Of course. It's a gift from me to you."

Jimmy smiled again, all trace of the angry boy he had been ten minutes before, completely gone. "Wow!" He sat down on the ground and held the toy car in the air to look at it closely.

Rita let him for a few minutes. They had to go find his mother. She knew that. But each moment of joy from him was an extra layer she could add to the memory. If they could only stay there all afternoon.

The door opened and Frank walked in with a deep frown. Before Rita could think of what to say in her defense, Vivian walked into the room.

"Oh god, Jimmy. Don't ever do that to me again!"

The boy jumped up, his face twisted with anger. He hopped away from her, glaring at her with the toy car still clutched in his hand. "No, I wanna stay here. I don't wanna go with you."

Frank crossed his arms, his eyes on Rita. She wanted to defend Jimmy and fight to keep him, but she knew it was impossible. The village wouldn't allow Jimmy to stay. He was the son of the second in command of the tribe. No one would want to get involved and risk the wrath of the tribe, especially such a large and dangerous man.

Vivian faced her. "What did you do? What did you say to him to make him act like this?"

Rita took a step back, her hands in the air. "Me?" Jimmy stepped back, closer to Rita, and slid the toy car into his back pocket. "I didn't tell him anything. Maybe you should try asking him why he would say such things."

Jimmy was still angry. Rita had never seen him this way before. He stayed between the two woman and faced his mother. His tiny shoulders trembled with all the venom contained inside his body. At the sight of him, Frank's arms uncrossed.

Rita knelt down, putting her hands on Jimmy's shaking shoulders. His eyes were on the ground, his tiny mouth turned down. Rita tried to calm him with a smile, but she knew she failed. She didn't know what to say to any of them.

Jimmy caught her eye. He still looked angry though the shaking had stopped. He reached over and hugged her tightly, whispering in her ear, "I love you." She patted him on his back, rubbing between his shoulder blades. The words were stuck, not even in her throat. They were words that weren't fully formed yet in her head. She loved him too as if he were her son and letting him go with Vivian was impossible. There was no way Rita would be able to encourage him to go.

Tears stuck on her lashes. Jimmy pulled back and mumbled to his mother. "I'll go now."

Vivian snatched for his arm, but he moved quickly, twisting his hand away from her. He stepped away first, leading the way out the door and down the stairs. Vivian gave one last glare back at Rita before following after him.

She was drained. Her body shook. Frank didn't speak. He shook his head and shut the door to head back down to the bar.

Next Chapter -->


  1. I'm really excited to see where you're going with this. :D

  2. Yeppy, update!. Very interested to see where this is going to tons of questions whirling in my head already.

  3. Aww, poor little Jimmy. I wonder how he would have turned out if he had stayed with Rita and Frank. Not that anyone would have let him, but I guess that was kind of the point. Anyway, poor kid :(

    Curious to see where you go from here. Glad that Ruin is back :)

  4. I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw there was an update! Yay!

    So many questions already. Did Jimmy have good reason to be angry at Vivian or was he just being a little kid? What is the relationship between Vivian and Rita like? Rita describes them as friends but Vivian sure didn't seem too pleased to find Jimmy with her. And Frank! I guess that's Pat's dad? Really looking forward to reading more about this.

    I love reading little tidbits about this world. Of course they wouldn't have many cars! That makes sense.

  5. Hey Cheezy! Hopefully you'll all find this as interesting as I do. But then I am so easily amused.

    Speechless, I think Jimmy sort of does that, lol. That's why I had to take this strange little step down memory lane.

    Van, aw, I wonder. Man, he would've been a completely different man I think. Maybe.

    Thanks, Van!

    Carla, so many good questions! Hopefully answers will be hinted out if not explained outright. Yes, Frank is Pat's dad. We'll see him a bit more next update and next story even.

    Thanks, Carla!

  6. I was surprised and delighted to see an update from you!

    This is so sad. Why is Vivian so freaking jealous? Why is Rita afraid to let Jimmy go with his mother (other than she doesn't want to see him grow up in that tribe)? Why is Jimmy so antagonistic toward Vivian? Small children can throw tantrums and find almost anybody more appealing that an unsympathetic Mom, but Rita's reaction seems to imply that is not what's happening.

    As always, beautifully done!

  7. Sweet, so glad to see you started writing again :)

  8. we get to see some of the family turmoil that Jimmy faced. I wonder what happened, and why Vivian would blame Rita for Jimmy's anger. I can understand why Frank would be uneasy about Rita's friendship with Jimmy, but it had to be hard to let him go back to such an unhappy, unsafe environment.

  9. Hey, S.B.! True, I probably shouldn't have, but I really couldn't wait on this one! I love Jimmy, and Jimmy + Rita are such a pair.

    Yes, exactly. Vivian comes across as jealous. You've got the situation down exactly from what's given. Rita is concerned for a reason, and Jimmy's tantrum is more than just about his mother, though she's a big part of it.

    Thank you!

    Thanks, Poida. I'm just updating again though. I'm always writing. XD

    Rachel, I think Vivian has her own issues. She must be in denial. I'm sure it was impossible for Rita to let him go back. She couldn't even suggest it, and if she had a choice, I'm sure she would have tried to keep him.

    Thanks for reading. :)

  10. Knowing who Jimmy is, it surprises me a little that he doesn't use his powers unless he hasn't come into them yet? Vivian is walking a dangerous line if he has.

    Rita clearly knows something that would cause her to consider keeping Jimmy. It is obvious they are very close, that there is a bond. I love their relationship.

  11. He is very young here. Vivian is walking a dangerous line, but she doesn't know it yet. None of them know it yet...

    Rita and Jimmy are an interesting pair in my head. There is a strong bond between the two of them.

    Thanks for reading, Gayl!