Daddy's Little Monster

Reads: 62  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Short Cordy Story

Submitted: June 08, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 08, 2012

A A A

A A A


 

The cab driver barely paused after unloading her luggage; roughly tossing the leather bound things onto the sidewalk. He certainly didn’t bother to help her to the door. Instead, he leaped back into his car and sped off as soon as it was safe to do so without hitting the girl. Cordelia was left to stand there alone staring at a building that seemed far bigger than it ought.  
 
He was scared.  
 
At least, Cordelia imagined that he was since she felt the same thing, even if the source of their fear was most likely different. It wasn’t that buildings back in Manhattan were small so much as... familiar, old. The newness of the city made it seem like it would tower and crush her at any second and she stood out like a sore thumb.
 
She remembered her first day of school. Papa with the video camera smiling broad and big as mama straightened out her uniform and adjusted the red and yellow ribbon on her boater hat. She could even remember the taste of the cucumber sandwiches and basil cream cheese that had been packed in her lunchbox with a note saying “We’re so proud of our little girl!” written in the neat, elegant hand writing that Cordelia never could quite emulate no matter how hard she tried. There were a million steps to enter the front door of St. Joseph’s School for Girls, it seemed, and each one Cordelia turned back to look to her parents for assurance it was okay to go. 
 
Cordelia smiled for a moment before she realized what expression was on her face and then her stomach dropped. Was it all right to smile thinking about her parents? It didn’t seem all right. Tomato sandwiches with black pepper on the veranda. Murderers; innocent people sacrificed for selfish gain. Tea parties with all of her favorite dolls. Black magic and consorting with demonic forces. Even if everyone said it wasn’t her fault here she was; shoved away into some corner in New York. They couldn’t have meant it. They were scared, too.  They had every right to be.
 
“Fear is like blood in the water. It calls out the sharks.”  Cordelia could remember her father’s words clearer than the current droning in her ear. “You’ll either have to become strong like a shark or stay weak and be gobbled up whole; that’s all that is there for weak people - to be gobbled up whole. And I know that my beautiful little girl isn’t weak.”
 
* * * * *
 
Cordy unpacked what few things she had time to over the bed. A few shirts and some dresses, some shoes and skirts. Her hand lingered as it passed over the objects; her ballet shoes, her favorite doll, her first award for jumping, a picture of her parents when they were younger, a sandwich wrapped in paper for later, and a small stack of letters tied together with string. 
 
She looked to the doll; smoothing out its brown hair and fixing her own as well to match their styles with a chuckle. Isabella. She needed a place in the room.  Cordelia remembered when she’d gotten the doll; a present after her first spell.  She remembered how proud papa and mama had been when she channelled power for the first time. 
 
Mama covered her mouth and squeaked the way she did whenever Cordelia came home with a straight A. Papa smiled and pulled her onto his knee. She was like him; the supernatural accepted her claim for power and knew that it was his pretty little girl calling on it. He told her about his family, their family and lineage. About how centuries ago they had made their pacts for power and how it was a special gift that flowed through their blood. Practically like royalty, mama said. They took out photograph books and told stories of grandfather and grandmama, about uncles and aunts, about how their marriage was arranged and falling in love... all culminating with their best, greatest, most wonderful work was now a lovely young lady. 
 
Cordelia remembered trying to describe with fumbling words the sensation of casting and her parents smiling knowingly. Mama told her that when she found a boy that made her feel like when she was casting magic in the room that she should immediately take him home to meet the family. Cordelia remembered her blushing and hiding. 
 
They had a party later that week; invited some friends of the family and even a few uncles and aunts and their children. Cordelia showed off her magic and they gave her presents and her parents talked about how their little girl was growing up and mama even cried a little as she gave her pre-dinner speech. Dinner was all of her favorites; roasted duck and fresh asparagus and mother even made her famous Bakewell tart for dessert. Everyone smiled at her.  She even smiled back. She hadn’t known then, of course, hadn’t even suspected... though somehow Cordelia wondered if she should have instead of giggling when her father tweaked her nose and even teasingly complained she was too old for something like that. Why hadn’t she been angry when she found out the truth? A real hero would have been angry.
 
But, Cordelia wasn’t angry, not even now. Not at her mother or father. Not at her powers. There was just a yawning emptiness and tiredness as she sorted through old objects and memories.  There was the pictures and something she hadn’t intended stuffed into the corner of the suitcase.  A ring; silver, glinting in the light and memories flooded back and she could make out his voice as if it were right beside her again. See his stupid freckled face with the scar over his nose from when he cut himself jumping over the fence when that new horse wasn't quite as prepared for a rider as everyone said. Feel is stupid shaggy hair draped over his arm. Hear his stupid laugh.
 
Stupid, all so stupid. Mama and daddy had warned her of this exact thing - that this sort of thing would happen to her. That the world was full of sharks just waiting to sink their teeth in as soon as you let down your guard. She sniffed back tears once.  They were always right about people.  Never to be trusted; unless they were family of course - everyone would leave.  Betray.  Break out down and leave blood in the water.  
 
Cordelia turned on music but it didn’t seem to help.  She could hear his stupid laugh. She could see Lilah's stupid simpering smile when she asked for advice. The way that Hannah would giggle at Cordy's jokes. Her friends.   HER friends; the ones she chose.  She sat down on the bed and unwrapped her sandwich and tried to fight back any stinging tears that swelled with her first bite.  She should have listened; isn't this what mama always said would happen?
 
 
* * * * *
 
Mama rolled her eyes as she smiled, cutting the crusts from Cordelia watercress sandwiches as the young girl looked out the window with a sigh. 
 
“I don’t understand why I can’t play with the Evanses... Robin never has time to play anyhow.” 
 
“You’re a Cooper and a Lowell and a young lady - those boys... they are not good company for a young lady like you. Not everyone is like us with magic in their blood, and, frankly most people with magic don’t have near the magical lineage. You’re practically royalty.”  Mama was fond of reminding Cordelia of this, setting the plate with the finished sandwiches down. Usually it came as an admonishment for when Cordelia had rare moments of bratty behavior, but, today it was the beginning of an explanation. 
 
“Mo-om...” Cordelia protested.  Her mother gave that perfect laugh again and poured the lemonade.  
 
“Your father can trace his lineage back for centuries upon centuries upon centuries.  Some very important Pacts, in fact.” Those had been mentioned before though Cordelia had yet to learn what they were. Practical application and training first, father said, then esoteric history. “My family isn’t nearly quite so impressive, but, we did well for ourselves.  The Evanses history isn’t the type your father and I want you associating with.  They’re not really like us.  We’re just saving you heartache later; watching your friends betray you, grow old and die while you’re still a lovely young woman?  Tsk.”
 
Cordelia wrinkled her nose. “Isn’t everyone’s? How else could you have the Gift?”
 
The sandwiches were neatly arranged upon a serving tray and her mother poured some tea for them both.  “Oh, there are other things. Sorcerers; seers, enchanters - silly little other things.” 
 
Cordelia sat forward in her seat, eyes wide and wanting for a story. With a faux sigh of effort, her mother obliged, happy enough that the sulk her daughter had was passing along.
 
“It’s time you learned some of this anyhow. History is important. Our magic comes from a pure source. Precious few others do; they find a talisman and they steal its power or a wizard sneezed on them once twenty generations back so now they can predict cards.  You come from a line as pure and studied as any nobles.  Do you remember when we inducted you”
 
Of course Cordelia did. It had been the most wonderful, exciting, scary day that she’d ever lived. Her father and mother came into her room bearing candles and the finest robes that she’d ever seen. And they’d gotten her a pure, perfect white dress with ribbons and lace to wear.  Her friends were there - the ones her parents approved of, anyhow. Midnight made the forest as dark and silent as she’d ever seen it save for the glowing circle and the candles she moved to stand in the center of.  They spoke of the Powers of Old and their promises made and kept, gave her a strange chalice to drink from...
 
“There are others, of course, who’s power comes from other.. less pure sources. Sorcerers is the group name for them we use. They typically call on one specific little tiny power, or, get their power from something external like a magic book or a great deal of study. A few of them have lineages and can actually channel directly, but...”  Her mother waved off the idea. “Nothing you need to worry your precious little self about yet, little poppet.  Nothing you need worry about yet.”
 
Black magic.
 
It took a long while for Cordelia to even recognize there was another source. Her parents had been remarkably thorough with censoring media for her own sake. 
 
“Your father’s family carries no small weight in our community; our wedding had been planned ages before. I was really surprised, actually, that he wanted me since my family wasn’t nearly so old.  I was terribly frightened of your grandmere when I met her, I squeaked when I spoke.”
 
“You didn’t know papa when you married him?  How could you love him if you didn’t pick him...”  Cordelia squinted slightly picking up her sandwich and nibbling delicately.  Her mother shook her head and went to wipe off the counter.
 
“Love doesn’t work like that, little poppet.” Her mother’s laugh. It was beautiful. Cordelia tried to mimic it from time to time but there was some note that she could never quite match.  “Storybooks are filled with this overwhelming love that takes you over. That’s the first, easy part, meant to help give you strength. Real love takes time and work and consideration for both people. And, we both knew that we were going to have a beautiful, wonderful, perfect little girl that we’d also love very much.  And we both knew one day we’d find her a handsome, smart, young man from a family that was good enough that she could work to love and get to watch her have something special just like us.  Because in the end...”  Mother just looked beautiful.  The way she smiled, the way the sun hit her hair, the little kiss in her cheek.  “The only ones who’ll ever love you, that you can ever trust are family.  Long after everyone dies and everyone betrays you... you’ll always have your family.  Don’t ever forget, Delia.” 
 
She never did.


© Copyright 2018 Kitsuiko. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: