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This story sequels two others that I’ve previously written- ‘Dad’s the Man’ and ‘My Other Mother’. While these previous stories can stand alone and apart from each other, they are nevertheless related and both make up the groundwork for ‘Sera’. If you haven’t read both ‘Dad’s the Man’ and ‘My Other Mother’, ‘Sera’ won’t make much sense and you probably won’t enjoy this much.
I’d come to hate the grocery store.
Little Parker was four months old then and, as much of a blessing as he was in our house, he’d changed things. He was now the center of attention, not me, and that was something I could have dealt with if I didn’t feel so ‘dealt with’. It’s hard to explain, but pitching in and adjusting to such a change was one thing; not getting the freedom and respect that’s supposed to come along with that responsibility was quite another.
My name is Kathleen Hale. My daddy calls me ‘kitten’, although he doesn’t as often these days. I have mousy, blech brown hair because it doesn’t matter anymore and, at age twenty-one, I’m in very good shape. I live with Daddy and Mummy, who is really my aunt, and my adopted sister Gina, the mother of my father’s son, Parker. I can never have babies like Gina because Daddy is also my man. I have two little kitties, Ms. Lulu and Mr. Toodles. I spend a lot of time with them in the evening while in my basement laboratory, sipping a little vodka, maybe a little wine as I’m surfing the net or working at something.
So there I was, in the stupidmarket for Gina once again. It wasn’t just that I had to be there instead of doing something useful, but also my latent aversion to the asshole carts. At just over five feet tall, those big giant things they have now make me look like a munchkin, and somebody even already made a joke about it, offering me one of the ‘shopper in training’ carts for the kiddies. I could have killed him right then and there.
The lineup had been depressingly long, but I was almost to the cashier with only one frumpy, useless old cow stuck in front of me, when something completely unexpected happened.
A rather funny looking little man with a rapidly retreating hairline approached from the direction of the bakery section. He wore a suit and the hair he had left was slicked back, the horn rimmed glasses on his face making him look strangely professional. He held what looked like a pamphlet, a fancy seeming thing of teal and, with an uninvolved, businesslike grin, he passed it to me.
I took it out of surprise more than anything, looking down to see my name written across the front in silver script. When I looked up again, he’d already made it halfway to the doors, his nondescript back quickly mixing with the crowd of exiting, grocery laden shoppers, and it’s not like I was about to abandon my place in line at that point, was I?
People who’d noticed were looking at me, just as curious about the teal coloured leaving as I was. I opened it and was further intrigued, if a bit disappointed. In the same silver script was an address, date and time, nothing more. The address was in Montreal, the time being three pm, two weeks and two days hence.
I don’t usually carry a purse, so I held onto it, slipping it into a bag between two boxes of cereal so it wouldn’t get bent on the way home. Stopping at the liquor store, I was still distracted, not even irritated as I usually was when they asked me for my ID.
In my half worn out work jeans and pink T-shirt, I walked across the parking lot with my liter of vodka in a large paper bag, inserted key to the trunk of the Trans Am to add my little evening treat to its contents. On impulse, I removed the invitation from the bag I’d put it in before closing the trunk, studying it in the car for a few minutes before I left the parking lot.
Two days later, two weeks left to keep the invitation. I had it hidden in a rat-rod magazine under my bench, but would often take it out to look at it, soon picking at my nails in agitation over the possibility of driving all the way across the country to… what? Sheila? Who else?
Later on, the invitation hidden away again, I was staring at the text in a chat room with a half empty glass of vodka, not really paying attention to the conversation when Gina’s soft knock alerted me to her presence outside my laboratory.
I took another sip of the drink and hid the glass behind one of my speakers, calling afterward, “Come in.”
“How’s things in the laboratory of doom? Any super weapons yet?”
She was trying to keep things light, but I could see concern in her eyes.
“It’s really not a super weapon economy right now.”
She smiled widely at this reply and stepped closer, running her fingers through my hair to speak in a softer voice.
“Is everything okay?”
“No, really. Is everything okay?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” I asked, barely able to act the part.
“Well, you’ve been different lately.”
“In what way?”
“Quieter, youporn porno especially in the last couple days. Kind of distant. Is there something on your mind you’d like to talk about? You know you can always talk to me, right?”
I looked at her, the beautiful brunette that I loved so dearly, and remembered the old days, the days when we both danced and things were different. I don’t know why, but I reached under my desk and removed the rat-rod mag, quickly found the invitation within and handed it to Gina.
She looked it over, then looked at me with a slightly puzzled expression, asking, “What’s this?”
“Somebody handed it to me in the supermarket the other day.”
“I don’t know, he was a stranger.”
“Didn’t he say anything?”
“No, he just kinda smiled, handed it to me and walked away without a word.”
She looked it over again, her eyes resting inside the cover where the address and date were. She was looking at the silver script, but I could tell she was thinking and I was pretty sure I knew what she was thinking about. She finally looked at me, closing the invitation and absently waving it in the air as she spoke slowly, looking at me very seriously.
“Slutty… there’s only one person…”
“Sheila,” she agreed, nodding and still looking back very seriously. “You want to go, don’t you?”
” … I think so. Yes.”
This irritated me, but I said nothing, only looked down at the floor as I compressed my lips a bit, listening to her begin.
“Baby, this is… Have you thought about this? For one thing, we don’t know this is from Sheila. You could be walking into anything and, even if it is from Sheila, that could end up being a whole different nightmare for all of us; you know what trouble she is from everything Mum and Dad told you. I thought you’d put all this behind you.”
“Well… until the other day, I had. What can I say?”
“Wh-? Kat… Concerning yourself with her has never been anything but bad for you. Can you imagine what actually meeting her would be like for you? My god, what if she wanted to come back and-“
“Isn’t this my decision?” I interrupted quietly, still looking at the floor.
“You’re just not listening. How can this be your decision alone if the outcome could affect us all in ways we have no way of knowing? Even if you did go, I’d have to go with you. Mum couldn’t and Dad sure as hell couldn’t, could he?”
“Why would anybody have to come with me?”
“Because, kat, we couldn’t let you drive off across the country on your own, could we? That would be like letting a… a…”
“Letting a child do it, Gina?”
“That’s not what I mean.”
“It’s what you were going to say.”
“No, it isn’t! Look, you know you’re special and precious, we’ve talked about this and it’s why you don’t dance anymore, it’s why… Please don’t look at me like that?”
“Oh my god,” she sighed, shaking her head and adding, “Kat, god-dammit, I told you that I’d have to go with you!”
“So, what if you do? We might have fun. You could look at it as a vaca-“
“I have a four month old baby, kat! I can’t be gallivanting across the country with you!”
“So, leave him with Daddy and Mummy, he’ll be alright.”
” … Do you even care about what I’m trying to tell you?”
“Fine!” I said, snatching the invitation from her hand, more than a little irritated with her now. “Don’t come, but I’m going anyway!”
“We’ll see about that once I tell Dad!”
“I’ll tell Daddy! It’s my business and I’ll tell him in my own way!”
“It’s all our business and I know all about your ‘way’!”
“What in hell is that supposed to mean!?” I almost shouted.
“I mean that way you have that makes it so important for all our sakes that you stay the hell away from your mother!”
“And what way is that!?”
“You know what way I mean!”
Something in me changed. It’s odd to think back on how fast I found myself off that stool and right on top of her, staring angrily right up into her startled eyes.
“I’m getting tired of being told what I can and can’t do. I’m getting tired of a lot of things. Right now, I’m tired of you and I think you should get out.”
After a brief, confused hesitation, she backed uncertainly away and quietly exited my sight. I retrieved my drink, took a sip while glancing at the fancy invitation again and sat back down to scowl at the door before suddenly whipping the glass at it in a sudden rage.
Our conversation was just a little forced most of the way across the country, despite how we’d made up after our little incident in my laboratory. We used her Vette because she refused to ride all that way in my ‘buckboard’, however I found that I really could have made it without her. Of course, that didn’t mean I wasn’t glad she’d come, a point I brought up in a rented motel room on the outskirts of Montreal.
“I’m still glad we used my car, but my back is still zenci porno sore,” she confided as she got into bed with an allowed smile.
“Nothing a nice massage won’t fix. Lemme on, smutty.”
I got up in bed, straddling her bum in my white see-through, hanging nightie, pushing her short, red silk one way up so I could give her a bit of a work over.
“Uhh… Oh, slutty, you’re so good at that.”
“Uh huh. You have to lick miffy when I’m done, though.”
“Ahh, she laughed. “I’ve always loved poor little miffy.”
“(giggle) ‘poor little miffy’?”
“Oh, yes. I’ve taken great interest in watching your daddy pound miffy senseless.”
“You’re a very smutty woman.”
” … I’m glad you came. I mean it, I’m really glad you’re here to… to be with me. You know.”
“And I know I told you this before, but I really appreciate what you’re sacrificing to be here, and I promise we won’t be gone long.”
“I know. I just hope you don’t see me as someone who’s keeping tabs on you. I really am here as your friend, someone you can trust and not just your sister. I’d never let you come out here alone under any circumstances, I love and cherish you way too much for that.”
“I know, and I made it a point not to… exploit that.”
“I know you did.”
“I love you, sweetie pie.”
” … ‘Sweetie pie’?”
“Sure. You’re my sweetie pie,” I assured with a smile as I massaged under her arms to her relaxed chuckle.
“Well, I love you, too. And you know, if we get the chance, we really should check out the city, do some shopping.”
“Nervous about tomorrow?”
“Very. It’s all pretty…”
“Well, yeah. I mean, some guy hands me this invitation and… It’s gotta be Sheila.”
“She knows I exist, where to find me… Besides, I don’t know of anyone else it could be.”
“I keep thinking it’s somebody who’s hacked your computer or something.”
“If it were, I’d be the last person they’d want to see.”
“Maybe not after they see all those pics of Dad’s cum on your face.”
“Oh. I get it. But, we’re telling the Montreal cops who we are and where we’re going. Whoever it is must know we could do that, so…”
“Ohhh, that feels good… Yeah, right there… Alright, slutty, let’s say it is her. What could she possibly want?”
“To get to know me?”
“I know,” I nodded, “that’s the first thing you’d think, but from what we know about her, it somehow doesn’t feel right, does it?”
“No. Maybe she wants to come back. To Dad, I mean.”
“That can’t happen. I want you to know right now that I realize that and I’d never allow it. It’s easy to get wrapped up in this vision of her after all I’ve been told, but she’s still a stupid whore.”
“I’m happy to hear that, but what would you ask her if you had the chance?”
“Good question. I guess… I’d ask why it was so hard for her. Why she gave in, surrendered to her horny. I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever really had any specific questions I’d want to ask her since Mummy and Daddy have already answered the ones I had. I think I’d just be interested in meeting her.”
“To compare yourself?”
“Maybe. Maybe just to see if she’s at least sorry. All I know is that I couldn’t not go, not with it in mind that it’s probably her.”
“I understand that, you know.”
“Yeah. And I understand how you feel about it, given everything we’ve always heard about her. God only knows what we’ll find.”
“That’s right,” Gina agreed. “Twenty-one years is a long time. Who knows what she’s like today?”
“See, there’s that too. I keep thinking of her as how she would have been back then.”
“Well- mmmm –if it is her, we’ll find out tomorrow.”
I woke to the expected knock, completely alert before Mum got off the bed, watching the dance of her movements while the things she’d imparted to me the night before stunned me afresh. I closed my eyes again and relaxed my head on the pillow, trying to sweep it all out of my mind as she coaxed me up with a bright demeanor.
“Come on, sweetie pie, that’s room service and it’s time to blow this popsicle stand.”
I didn’t reply, my back turned to her as I remembered the Driscoll family next door. She answered the knock and began to speak.
“Yes, thanks, we’ll be out in a few- (pause) -Ex- excuse me!” she called.
I turned over and saw her standing in the hall just outside the opened door, calling after someone while holding what looked like pamphlets in her hand. She took a quick look around and stepped inside, closing the door after her to take a closer inspection of the pamphlets as I got off the bed.
“What’s this?” I asked as she opened first one, then the other, passing me the second one and reopening the other.
“They look like invitations. They’re both the same, other than our names.”
She was right. I inspected the silver script on the xhamster porno teal card that wrote out my name before opening it to read an address in Montreal with a time and date, that being three pm, four days from then. I looked and, sure enough, her address and time were the same.
“What the hell?” I asked, perplexed by this even beyond my reawakening awareness as to what kind of person I was dealing with in my other mother, the beautiful multiple murderer.
“Nobody even knows we’re here,” I said, looking at her with the same wonder and confusion that I saw in her face.
“Mum, I don’t just mean here in this city. How would anybody know we were here? In this motel?”
” … We’re being watched.”
“At least we have been up to this point. But, if it was somebody who meant us harm, they had their chance. Instead, we have… invitations.”
“One could assume they want to hurt us once they get us there?” she asked with a suspicious snicker.
“I guess. Um. I’d like to leave here, Mum. Like, right now.”
“Loud and clear, sweetie pie. Let’s get our stuff.”
“I knew it,” she remarked just over ten minutes later when we were making time down the highway in the Caprice. “For a while there, I almost had myself convinced that I really was just being paranoid, but I knew we were being watched.”
“Alright,” I said, nervously rubbing my eyes before pulling out to pass an RV. “Who could it be? Who would it be?”
“Nothing to do with what happened back home.”
“No,” I agreed, feeling my gut tighten as I vaguely wondered at how she murdered my father. “Not the RCMP’s style. Any connection to Cunningham?”
She looked at me a bit funny, but replied, “No. Nobody would care. The money was his and he was an agent. He had no friends, not even the pigs. Besides, if he did have friends, they wouldn’t pass me an invitation, they’d have passed me a few bullets.”
My gut roiled at this as we cruised along, the RV a fading memory in the rearview mirror with clear, sunny sailing ahead. It didn’t help me to feel any better.
“If Mum had some agent out there, I’d have known it when I killed her,” she mused, propping her arm on the open windowsill. “It’s definitely not connected with what happened at the underground club, and there’s nothing else that I can think of… I don’t know. It’s like you said, nobody should have known we even went to Saint John, let alone that motel. Nobody in that city even knew us before we got there.”
“So, they were watching us before we even left Vancouver? You didn’t even decide where we were going until the last second.”
“I don’t know. I suppose. I mean, an investigator would have had one hell of a time tracking us unless he was actually on the train with us from Vancouver. Jeez, we were only in town for a couple weeks. No way could anybody have found us this fast unless we were being watched.”
“So… that means the RCMP investigators,” I tried to reason. “Right? Because who else would be watching us around that time?”
“Well, nobody else would have reason, hon, but it still doesn’t smell like the pigs. I mean, look at these invitations.”
“Then we’re missing something.”
“And someone,” Mum added.
“Right. So, umm. Okay, maybe until we think of what or who we’re dealing with, our first question might be where we’re going right now.”
She didn’t reply or move right away, in fact it must have been almost a full minute before she picked up the map, unfolded it and took a look.
“Stay on the TransCanada. We’d be passing through Montreal anyway.”
“So… we’re going?”
“We have time to decide, but what do you think right now?”
“Whoever it is, they obviously know us. We may or may not know them, but they must know that we’d have no idea who this is from. If they do know us and if they’ve been watching us that closely, they’d know these invitations would put us into a tailspin.”
“Right, sweetie pie, that’s a good angle. Furthermore, it’s reasonable to assume that they think we’ll accept because they didn’t even try to draw us with the promise of having won a boat or something. That’s the kind of thing the pigs do.”
“You’re right. So, who would know our situation and expect us to accept that invitation even though, if anything, we’ve every reason to ignore it?”
” … Somebody whose motivations are pure. Someone who, him or herself, has nothing to hide, therefore naturally assuming that we’ll come in good faith.”
“I see what you’re saying,” I thoughtfully replied. “Yeah, that’s… that makes sense. But, who would that be?”
“I haven’t a clue. For a minute, I was thinking Sheila, but she doesn’t fit our little impromptu profile, does she?”
“Not from what you’ve told me about her. And that profile has me leaning towards going.”
“Yeah. Me too, but like I say, we have time to decide.”
“How much time?”
“About nine or ten hours to Montreal. That leaves plenty of time for a drive by or two. Maybe a chance to look into things beforehand.”
“Hmm. I doubt we’ll see much.”
“Why’s that, hon?”
“I don’t know.”
After a short pause, during which time she carefully regarded me, she said, “You know we can’t stop drinking now. Right?”
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