Sunday serialisation – A Bump in the Knight, 8.4

In Knight & Deigh, confirmed bachelor and businessman Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

On his father’s death, Hannice inherited a global business and great wealth. Then, together with Sophie, he embarked on a series of activities designed to give him some of the excitement and the freedoms that he felt he had missed out on, by being tied to his father’s business for two decades.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and found himself drifting into a relationship with her that neither had anticipated or intended, and for which neither was fully prepared.

This book follows Hannice’s new adventures as he tries to juggle business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

But all doesn’t go quite as he had planned…

A bump in the Knight is now being published here as a serial; one part each Sunday.


A Bump in the Knight. Chapter eight, part four

When Sophie returned with David on Monday afternoon, I immediately noticed a softer look about her. The steely gaze was replaced with something more… accessible. I didn’t feel that I was entirely on the losing side. Recently, I had felt not so much that I was on the losing side, more that I was the losing side.

“Good weekend?” I asked.

“Very good, thanks. David was playing with Dad a lot, leaving me free to have a heart-to-heart with Mum, and think about my situation.”

“And how are you feeling about things now? Any better?”

“A little, but—”

“Before you go any further, I’ve been talking to someone over the weekend, too.”

“Who?”

“That’s not important. What is important, is that I have some insights, some understandings that I didn’t have before.”

“Such as?”

“Such as it never occurred to me, being a man, and particularly being the sort of man I am, that you may not be getting everything you need.”

“In what respect?”

“In relation to stimulation, fulfilment, all that sort of stuff. It never occurred to me, that being stuck inside the house all day, every day, with only David for company, could be quite boring for you.”

“I wouldn’t say I was bored, more frustrated. I know that I have a lot to give, that I am more than just a mother. Not that being a mother isn’t an important job, it is. It’s possibly one of the most important jobs there is, but you can’t have an intelligent, challenging conversation with a toddler, bright as he is. But I’m also a physiotherapist, a PA, and I can turn my hand to a lot of different jobs.”

“So, let’s talk again about David’s schooling. Are you sure you are happy to have a tutor in for him? I mean, what will you do while he’s being schooled? And will he learn how to interact with other kids, if the only people he sees with any frequency are his parents and a tutor?”

“Those were exactly the things I was worried about when you proposed this, but you seemed so set on it, I didn’t want to object.”

“Point taken. I think I was rebelling against being sent away to school, and I didn’t want that for David.”

“I can understand that. Is it too late to enrol him in a local school?”

“I’ll find out. Probably a few strings I can pull, anyway. Question is, small village school or larger one in town?”

“I’d prefer the village school. It’s more intimate, and although the bigger schools have more and better facilities for older kids, and we’ll want him to have all that later, for younger ones, the village school provides a much less impersonal atmosphere.”

“Village school it is, then. Leave it with me.”

“Thank you, Hannice. I’ll be able to make friends with some of the other mums, too.”

“Or even talk to the hospital about working as a physio under their jurisdiction. I’m sure they’d appreciate someone they could have go out to patients in their homes, instead of either making the patients come into the hospital or have one of their staff go out.”

“Could I?”

“Of course. Have a chat with Lockhart. He knows both sides of the business. He might even want to take you on either in the clinic or out visiting.”

“That would make so much difference to me, Hannice. Thank you.”

I immediately got on the phone to the Head of the local school, who was a chum of mine, and asked what were my options. He said that the school was fully subscribed for the next five years at least, but that he could probably juggle something to make it possible for David to attend as soon as he is of age. I learned subsequently, that a couple who live just outside the catchment area were told that the rules were being applied more strictly, and that, as a result, their child wouldn’t be able to go to that school. They were disappointed, of course, but accepted that he would have to go to one of the schools in town. I felt awful about that, but because it was what Sophie wanted, I got over it.

Sophie, meantime, visited Dr Lockhart and got herself enrolled on the staff of the clinic, as a part-time physiotherapist. He put her on a zero-hours contract, which I generally detest because it deprives the employee of a regular, predictable income, but as it suited her needs, I got over that, too.

“What terms did he offer?” I asked when she got back. She managed to do the whole thing while David was taking his afternoon nap, which disappointed me a little, as I would have liked to have spent a bit of time with the lad.

“I only work during school hours, unless there’s an emergency, and when there’s no physio work for me, I can act as nursing auxiliary, orderly, receptionist or whatever needs doing.”

“Pay?”

“Don’t really need it, but National Living hourly rate for hours worked, plus a hundred a month retainer. I think that’s more for his benefit than mine.”

“And you’ll work for the KGT clinic?”

“No, I’ll work for Dr Lockhart.”

“Fair enough. Good result.”

I then told her what had happened with the school, and had the impression, I hope not mistakenly, that Sophie and I were friends again.

Hybrids part 102

a tale in weekly parts

(formerly Albert and Jarvis)

Albert, Jarvis, Trevor, Eos and Dawn

In episodes 1-88, Albert and Jarvis told the story of a bitek construct that had been in the lives of the Grahamson family for three generations. Appearing in the form of a shepherd's hut (Jarvis) and its elderly occupant (Albert), an earlier experiment had resulted in the birth of Aloysius, a non-manifesting human/bitek hybrid. Alice and Alex, the two children that Aloysius had fathered with his wife, Magdalen, displayed strong bitek capabilities from an early age, though Alice was significantly more precocious than her younger brother. Albert and Jarvis nurtured and enhanced these capabilities through many adventures until the point where, to prevent a global catastrophe, the two needed to act together. The action needed more power than the two possessed. To produce stonger hybrids, Alex's seed was used to produce a young in a distantly related hybrid female in another dimension, while Alice was impregnated using her own bitek components. Albert and Jarvis absented themselves from the lives of the Grahamsons to allow Alice's pregnancy to progress in a safe, normal environment.
You can see the full story so far at this link.


Episode 102

“Tomorrow?” everyone seemed to ask as though with a single voice.

“Haha. April fools,” Jarvis replied.

“So you didn’t mean tomorrow, then?” Alex asked.

“What’s April fools?” Kris asked, “Come to that, what’s tomorrow?”

Alex tried to explain. “April fools is an annual… no, that won’t work. It’s a day… nope. Erm, it’s a… It’s a linearist thing. Don’t worry about it.”

“If I may be permitted a comment,” Zak began.

“Proceed, young human,” Jarvis replied, “but choose your words with care.”

“I just wanted to point out that today isn’t the first of April.”

“Would you like me to analyse that statement for you, and point out its fallacies?” Jarvis asked.

“Leave the lad alone, Lover,” Albert said, “educate him by all means, but for goodness’ sake do it with some sensitivity.”

“Are you accusing me of being insensitive? I practically invented kid-gloves, I am the very soul of sensitivity…”

“Of course you are. Now, go on, tell him.”

“No need,” Zak piped up, “I’m quite aware that time has a different context here. Coupled with your legendary relationship with time, that basically means that you can designate any day as any date you choose. I am also fully aware that a change of date, time or place is never more than a whim away.”

Jarvis immediately burst into an impromptu and, it has to be said, a particularly un-tuneful rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

“I think we can do without that, Jarvis!” Albert snapped, “And those readers who’ve just joined in can stop, too. You know who you are… and so do we.” Turning to Zak, he continued, “Very astute, young man, and without a trace of sensitivity or even respect. You’ll go far.”

Meanwhile, the three terrans were deep in a conversation of their own. Albert looked in their direction with a wry smile. Alex and Alice heard, or rather sensed Albert in communication with Jarvis. Although they had no idea what was being said and, they thought, no prospect of ever finding out, they did notice that the terrans’ minds were suddenly open to them. Alex fired a message to Albert to let him know that he could now hear the terrans. The response surprised him. It didn’t come from Albert, but from Xander, and it said, “Yes, we can sense you, too.”

Alex nudged Alice on the elbow and nodded towards Zak.

“You know the way the dogs behaved when they were first enabled – deep in conversation?” he tight-beamed to his sister, “Just look at Zak and Zara.”

“Identical,” Alice replied, channelling Jim Trotter III as played by the late Lane Smith in the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinnie.

And identical it was. Zak and Zara were standing, facing each other, about four metres apart. Their gaze was fixed on the other’s eyes and their faces were alight with an emotion neither of them had ever felt before. Albert was beaming.

“This is exactly what we were aiming for,” Albert said to the adults present, “Zak and Zara are, by any measure you care to mention, two halves of the same whole. Not physically, you understand, but mentally and emotionally. You all saw the effect when we connected them. What they are experiencing now is completeness, wholeness; that sense so few people ever have that everything is right, in place, exactly as it should be. Marvellous. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

“I’m glad you’re happy, Albert,” Kris said, “but what will happen when we go back? How will they react to the separation?”

“That’s probably the best part of it. They won’t. This link is real and very deep. We fully expect that it will be able to span dimensions in a way that the links you enjoy can’t. And think what that means…”

“What?”

“It means that their offspring will be the most complete, the most integrated being ever to walk any planet. That child will, without question, have the power needed to prevent this world from destroying itself.”

“But at what cost?” Xander asked.

Albert’s face dropped somewhat and lost a little of its radiance. “We don’t know,” he admitted, “but does it matter? Even if the loss of a single life, however advanced and however special that life may be, is the price to be paid to ensure the continuity of all life on this planet; who would baulk at it?”

“Perhaps the parents,” Alice said.

“I’m not saying that’s definitely going to happen,” Albert said, “we don’t know that. The projected timeline you saw earlier isn’t cast in stone, but it is so much stronger than any other projections that we simply can’t see them. All I am saying is that if the cost of saving the planet is the loss of one life…”

“We get that Albert, but it will still be hard for the parents if that happens.”

“That goes without saying, but I have noticed that many grieving parents are immensely proud of the sacrifice made by their child. And that’s exactly how I would expect Zak and Zara to feel; if it comes to that…”

“Which we all hope it won’t.”

“Of course.”

A few metres away, Zak and Zara stopped looking at each other. Their expressions changed from what had every appearance of a lovers’ look to something darker, more sinister. They concentrated their gazes on Albert. For the first time in their experience, Albert’s four grandchildren saw him exhibit fear.

I Challenge You To…

This week, Esther’s challenge is to write about Favourite Foods. At last, a tasteful subject!

estherchiltonblog

This week’s challenge is to write a story, limerick or poem on the subject of:

Favourite foods

Last week’s theme was kids.You sent in some super pieces. Some are here, while you’ll find others by following the links:

Keith Channing

Be a love and pass me my slippers
Let’s sit back and breakfast on kippers
After next to no sleep
Black pudding’ll keep
But just keep it away from the nippers.

Kristian

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/13/keeping-granny-on-her-toes-a-poem/

EDC Writing

Oh no, it’s our daughter and the kids
quick behind the sofa, let’s pretend we’re not in
that damn bell, why do they ring so much
hey, careful there watch what you touch
mind you, while we’re here
what you do mean, you’d rather let the kids in!

Syncwithdeep

The most wanted counsellor
could not convince her kids
to eat breakfast.

One more:

Busy parents
stabilising the future
versus
angry kids
rebelling for…

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