Poison Ivy: 12

d-1

Daphne gives me hope. Making potions at the science table isn’t the activity I expected from an active kid, but I’ll take it. She’s doing something other than standing around, which is a nice change in this gene pool. You’ll notice Rosary doing no such thing…

d-2

Won’t even mess around at the craft table. Just sits in the chair and stares at her sister.

d-3

Look at this. Rosary! Do something!

d-4

“You know I’m not Rosary, right? Mama said you’re meant to be the smartest being in the universe; you should at least know who you’re talking to.”

Oh, don’t get sassy with me, young lady. Rosary does that enough for a whole lifetime—even an eternal one. I knew I was talking to you. I just got a little… worked up.

d-7

“At Rosary? But she seems great! She likes me, and she adores Nightshade. Look at how well they get along!”

Yeah, yeah. Rosary gets along great with her sister, little flower child that she is. But friendliness isn’t everything. You have to have some sense in your skull to be worth something.

d-8

d-9

d-10

Plus, there. Did you see that, Daphne? Nightshade is nice to everyone in this family, and Rosary provokes her! Why on earth would you provoke the evil one in the family? She’s got plenty of bad already in her; why make her want to use it on you?

d-11

“They’re just playing. And besides, there’s nothing wrong with being friendly, even if you don’t think she’s the smartest (I think she’s smart though). But don’t you want someone to be able to convert new people to your cause? Nightshade can’t do that, but Rosary can.”

Not if she decides she hates me. She thinks I’m not a good Creator; she doesn’t want me around.

Things haven’t improved with Rosary in that department. At least we didn’t get another dud in Daphne. Despite her supposedly active personality, I think she has a closet genius trait. Or maybe geek. She sure does a lot of experimenting and gaming.

d-15

Maybe I spoke too soon.

What’re you doing out here, Daphne? Don’t you want to go inside?

“Nah, I’m fine.”

d-16

But, um… why?

“Because I don’t feel like it.”

d-17

…okay.

She stayed out there for five hours. Well after her bedtime. It’s not the worst thing she could be doing.

d-18

And at least she turned toward the light in the window when it came on—I knew she hadn’t gone completely brain dead, like Rosary and Henbane already were.

d-19

You still okay out there?

“Yep!”

Alrighty then.

d-24

And there she finally went. Inside at last.

Rosary, on the other hand, was in dire straits.

d-57

Oh goodness, please get out of there. You’re exhausted, you idiot child. Please get out. Where is your mother?

d-58

Of course. On the side of the pool, egging you on.

d-60

Why are you still sitting there?? You are not meant to drown in the death pool, Rosary, that fate should not be yours! We sacrificed your father to prevent this! Why, oh why, did I choose to latch on to Daphne’s consciousness today?

d-61

She needs no help! She’s just chatting with Sergio.

d-66

Oh, thank goodness. You’re alive still. About to pass out, probably. But alive.

d-69

Nope, I was wrong. You just wet yourself, not passed out. Close enough. Go clean yourself off.

d-76

Or, you know… don’t.

Clearly, Rosary needs way more supervision than anyone else in this household. Unfortunately, I’ll never have as much hold on her as I do on her mother—her mother has a direct connection to me. I choose to inhabit the same space as Rosary, sometimes, or Daphne, as I am now. But I can only speak to them, suggest actions. Daphne and Nightshade—they follow those suggestions well. They’re smart, and loyal to me. Rosary and Henbane—not so much.

It begs the question once again—what purpose can they serve in my parish?

d-79

Truly. What purpose.

d-83

I’m at a loss.

d-104

A complete loss.

d-21

“I think you just play favorites, Creator.”

d-22

“Rosary is awesome!”

d-39

“So is Nightshade.”

d-50

“Even Beary is great!”

You get along with everyone, Daphne. Of course you think that. You even get along with the ghost of your sister’s father.

d-33

“So?”

I’m just saying, you don’t have the most discerning taste in people.

d-34

“Or maybe you’re just too discerning. The ghost of my sister’s father can possess this incense—that’s pretty cool. Rosary makes great flower crowns. Nightshade is awesome at potions. Henbane is best friends with Beary, and he introduced us. You just have to make your definition of “good” bigger than “super smart and super useful.””

…Can I get a break with these children? Either they’re dumb and obnoxious, or smart and chastising. My mom was wrong—she always said that the smart ones are harder to parent. But they’re all pretty damn difficult! Rosary’s the one that’s all angry and talks back to me, and she’s clearly not a genius. But my genius child over here is talking back too!

I think I’m going to spend some time with Juniper… now that’s a smart woman. She shows me some respect.

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