Eternal – Part III by TeraS

Sometimes, just sometimes, Goddess allows for a miracle. The impossible is made real; a family becomes whole. It’s in that moment when a void in the lives of two red-tails is closed by the appearance of two blue-tails and a truth is recalled. The love of one’s parents is …

Eternal – Part III
By TeraS

Auntie Simone can be so frustrating at times. It’s not that what she suggested for Dad’s birthday is a bad idea, mind you. It’s that I don’t have a clue what we could do. I’m sure that Auntie Cassie has something sorted out; Dad’s taught her something about this sort of thing before.

Rianna isn’t being a lot of help either, honestly. My strawberry-blonde sister would rather be enjoying the fruits of whatever labour is put into the creations than making them herself. Still, she does have a knack for stumbling across things from time to time and I hope this is one of those moments. Dad’s library is kind of daunting, after all.

Ignoring all of the other bookcases–and there are a lot of them, I can tell you–I make a beeline to the one that’s filled with recipe books. We both know that he has many hobbies, but cooking isn’t that. It’s an expression of his love for us, how important to him we all are.

Still, there’s so many of them to examine. Some are really old, otherwise worn and dog eared from being referenced over and over again. Others are almost new; maybe they’re things he was thinking about trying at some point. There are a lot of books that I can see from his leather chair where I’m perched, watching Rianna sitting on the floor just in front of me. She’s got that musing expression of hers, head tilted to the right, her blue tail moving slowly as she scans the titles. My younger sister makes an interesting point: “Sis, you know Dad would be fine with us just hugging him and stuff.”

I can’t really argue with that, but still I remind her: “Sure. But I think Auntie Simone would be a smidge miffed.”

There aren’t many in the Realm that Rianna gets flustered about, but the way her tail shoots straight up at the mention of our aunt’s name puts paid to that idea with her: “Yeah … But I have no idea what to do, Branwyn. We have to figure something out.”

She’s right of course. It’s been hours of us staring at books and not coming up with answers. It’s a good thing that Mom and Dad are away for the day … or Mom’s making sure that Dad doesn’t get home too early to see what we’re up to.

Scooting closer to Rianna, I peer over her shoulder as she keeps staring. The words on the spines of the books start to get a little blurry as we press on and on in the search. Giving up after a while and leaning back in dad’s chair, my eyes wander over the other bookcases and consider them. Of course, none of them have anything to do with cooking, but it’s a diversion for a moment.

Then one small, out of place, well-worn and very familiar book catches my eye. Tapping Rianna on the shoulder with the tip of my tail, I point it out to her with my hand: “Sis, could you, please?” She has this really confused expression, but nods and goes to get the book I’m interested in. Neither of us has actually ever touched it before, I recall, as Rianna carefully slips it out of place and holds it with both hands.

Mom’s told us about it. So has Dad. It’s what brought them together, it’s what made the Realm what it is. It’s also what brought us together as a family. She’s tracing the words on the cover with a finger as she wonders: “Goddess works in mysterious ways, doesn’t she?”

Sis is right, of course. So many things connected and came to pass because of a wish made real from the pages of that book she’s holding. There are other books in the Realm that are far older, far more important to the Realm as a whole, of course. But none of them hold the power that this bit of bound paper does. It isn’t just ink on pages, it’s not a bunch of words put into the universe with no expectation other than telling a story. It means something to our family that can’t be explained well enough.

Rianna has the oddest expression as she passes the book to me. In the instant that we both touch the book, memories take over. I remember the first time Mom brought us to see Dad. Not that Rianna nor I ever forgot it, just like we never forgot the first time we met Mom, the moment we became succubi, the exact second when Mom called us her daughters for the first time. You don’t forget when everything you’ve wanted for so long comes to be.

Mom explained that Dad was … right. She couldn’t explain it better than that, trying to explain that we’d understand when we met him was the best she could do. He didn’t appear, she explained, often at the college were Mom was the Student Counsellor and Rianna and I students, not having a clue how our lives would change as they did. Being alone as we were, Tera adopting us as her daughters was the result of the universe being bent by Goddess to her will. I really didn’t know what to expect from Keith, Rianna seemed to have a slightly better idea, but she wasn’t all that helpful in her explanation, either.

Still, the day came when Mom said to meet her at the old maple tree in the quad and that Keith would be there. That announcement flustered both of us, having no idea what to expect. Mom sort of gave a clue, being she appeared in her casual look, red jacket and all, when she told us. Casual it was then, Rianna going for the schoolgirl look she liked. Me? I’d sort of gotten hooked on a latex and leather look that Mom adored, saying it was perfect.

The first time we saw Keith, Tera was settled in with him at the park bench under the maple. I could tell how much they loved each other and how that love drew all of us together as a family. I remember his smile when our gazes met, the two of them getting up and offering us a hug. It felt right to be held by mom and dad. His first words mattered more than he knew: “Welcome home.”

If that was all, it would have been more than enough. If not another word was said, Rianna and I would have been fine with it, but there was more. If there was one thing we would come to know, it was Dad loved sharing. He shared his love, his time, and more without expecting anything in return. On this occasion, he shared something so very special: a red ceramic bowl with chocolate ice cream waiting for each of us.

Dad had a wistful smile: “It’s my mom’s recipe. She would have loved you both.” It was the best ice cream I’d ever had.

The memory faded away and I found myself pondering it as Rianna smiled knowingly. The answer was staring me in the face, and I wondered: “You don’t think.”

Rianna put Mom and Dad’s special book back where it belonged: “It has to be here somewhere.”

It took some time to find the book we wanted: a spiral-bound notebook with a red cover, of course, Dad’s handwriting in marker on the cover. Two words: “Mom’s Recipes.” Dozens and dozens of yellow notes sticking out at all angles with thoughts written on them in flowing cursive. Grandmom’s handwriting, to be sure. But there were four red ones we couldn’t ignore. Opening the book to the first one, Rianna smiled. Dad’s scrawling note said: ‘For Branwyn and Rianna’.

Goddess did work in mysterious ways.

“Let’s get started, Sis.”

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