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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2073844
Forand has a conversation with Orain and Kainda on the way to their new stepmothers house.

Moving in with Our New Stepmother

     A projectile hitting Forand in the back of his head forced it forward a little. “I told you two to stop fighting.”

     “Orain started it.” Kainda said as she punched her thirteen- year-old brother in his arm.

     “No, I didn’t.” Orain responded after back handing his ten-year-old sister Kainda in her chest. “Kainda did.”

     “I don’t care who started it,” said Forand. “We are on our way over to your new stepmother’s house, and I don’t want you two fighting when we get there.”

     “Why do we have to move into her house?” Orain asked.

     “Because her house is bigger than ours,” answered Forand. “She has been living in there all alone since her first Lover died in that watercraft accident six years ago.”

     “I didn’t know Viale used to be Wed,” said Kainda. “There’s a lot we don’t know about Viale isn’t there.”

     “You have only been involved with her for about a year,” said Orain. “Don’t tell me you had to become One?”

     No one said anything for several minutes. Kainda and Orain sat in the back of the family hovercraft looking out the windows at the scenery that swishes by.

     “Of Course not.” Forand finally said. “We became One because I love her.”

     “What did Orain mean by that?” Kainda asked.

     “I’m glad you are still young enough for you not to know what Orain is talking about.” Forand said with a big smile on his face that his children couldn’t see. “You are one of the reasons why we did Wed though.”

     Kainda looked over at Orain with a wondering look on her face. Orain just shrugged. She faced her father sitting in front of her again. “What does that mean?”

     “Your mother died of The Unspoken Female Disease when you were barely two, and for the next six years I devoted myself to you two and my work.” Forand took a breath before he continued. “Vaile acted the same way after her Love died.”

     “You didn’t answer my question.” Kainda looked at Orain. “Did he?”

     “I’m getting to that,” said Forand. “This is just my way of doing it.”

     “He’s talking about involvement,” Orain blurted out. “He just doesn’t know how to tell his ten-year-old daughter about it.”

     “Is that what you are trying to tell me father?” Kainda asked.

     “I’m not talking about involvement exactly,” replied Forand. “I am leading up to it though.”

     After waiting for a response from Kainda or Orain Forand continued. “A couple of years ago I started getting involved again, and I got involved with several – before I started seeing Vaile.”

     “Actually, I tried to get involved with her three years before that when she first started working at BorDan’s Buildings.” Forand continued after a few seconds. “It took her another two years before she started getting involved again.”

     “So you really started getting involved about three years ago,” said Orain. Kainda tried to say it, or something similar, first but Orain beat her to it.

     “No I didn’t,” Forand quickly said. “If she had said yes then I probably would have, but when she turned me down saying she wasn’t ready to get involved with anyone again I realized I wasn’t either.”

     “Was it love the first time you saw her?” Orain asked.

     “It was for me,” said Forand. “For her it took another couple of years to get over her grieving, but that didn’t stop me from trying though.”

     “At first I didn’t like you getting involved with her – or anyone,” said Orain. “Neither did Kainda.”

     Kainda stepped in. “Then we realized you weren’t doing it because you didn’t love our mother.”

     “You never let a day go by without reminding us of our real mother,” Orain continued. “Even after you started getting involved again you didn’t.”

     “I am still a little bit worried about her,” said Kainda. “So is Orain.”

     “What are you worried about?” Forand asked.

     “I’m not as worried about it as Kainda is, but I am a little worried though.” Orain sighed. “You did become One after only a year of involvement.”

     “That’s not what I’m worried about,” Kainda said quickly. “She is our stepmother now.”

     “We talked about this before I asked her to become One,” replied Forand. “If you felt like this why did you agree with it.”

     “Because we knew you would want to do it anyway,” Orain said. “I know we had to agree to it before you could be One with her, or anyone, but we knew how you felt about her.”

     “I couldn’t let you do that,” Kainda jumped in again. “It was me, not Orain, that was against it.”

     “Why do you feel like that?” Forand asked. “I thought you two liked, and got along with, Vaile.

     “We do,” said Kainda. “I’m just worried about her being my stepmother.”

     “I don’t understand,” said Forand. “Why do you feel that way about her?”

     “You have heard about how evil stepmothers can be,” said Kainda. “Aren’t all stepmothers like that?”

     Forand had another big smile on his face. “I don’t think she’s like that, but if she turns out to be I will kick her out of our lives so hard, and fast, she’s going to hit the nearest moon above us.”

     No one said anything else for the next couple of miles. That got broken when they turned into a long driveway and stopped in front of a large house. As they got out of the family hovercraft Orain said, “This house is three times bigger than our old house.”

     “Evil stepmother or not I think I am going to like it here,” said Kainda. She and Orain started walking toward Vaile who was headed toward them.

     “Welcome to your new house,” said Vaile. Vaile put both arms around, one for each one, Orain and Kainda and led them up the steps to their new house.

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