Posted: 2017-12-07 19:52
When I woke at dawn, Johnny was a few feet away from me on the floor, snoring heavily. The girls were all still asleep in the bed. Nothing had happened. But what if? And even drunk, how could I have made that move with the children sleeping in the room? In a life full of bad acts, that move is the act I’m most ashamed of, even though it didn’t go any further than a gesture, even though my brother, the convicted felon, stopped me cold and saved me from myself.
At the train station, and all during the week of my first visit to Savannah, Johnny and I spent long minutes staring into each other’s eyes. I was under a spell of fascination with the resemblance I’d been missing my whole life as an adopted person, and although I looked like all of my siblings in some way, the resemblance was strongest between Johnny and me. He was the sort of man who wouldn’t look away from another person’s gaze probably, I thought, a habit picked up in prison, where to look away meant weakness. I was 89 then, and he was six years than me. I wanted to be literally in touch, as if separating from him physically would tear off a piece of my skin.
The ringing of the bell interrupted his chance to reply. As one, and along with everyone else in the cafeteria, they rose from their seats and filed towards the doors. The arenas were in the west wing, an area opposite from the classrooms so that the noise wouldn''t interfere with lectures. It was surrounded by changing rooms as well, though most arrived in uniform and only changed if they were called up. Personally, that felt a little inefficient, but Jaune had a suspicion Miss Goodwitch did it to avoid any accidents from the audience.
Finally, it was time to box. Things got off to a slow start, the fighters sizing one another up, exchanging punches and maneuvering for position. Bettina was not only green, but also a plodder, moving at his opponent straight ahead, punching from a low crouch. He pressed Fox into the ropes. Fox countered, throwing rights and lefts, catching Bettina with a thundering blow to the head, opening a cut above Bettina’s left eye.
Oh my… well, Nora Valkyrie was certainly a very healthy woman. There could be no doubting that figure. Cinder had written the word `insane` on the image, but that was likely just her being her usual self. This Nora girl was fairly cute, and that smile – while a little overly friendly – was very pretty nonetheless. I approve. It would be nice to have some children with her energy around here.
Current research leans toward the conclusion that pedophilia is hardwired, a sexual preference like heterosexuality or homosexuality that emerges in adolescence and is pretty much exclusive to men. But only about fifty percent of the men who molest children are actually pedophiles the other fifty percent are men with histories of violence or personality disorders. Those men tend to molest family members. I wondered which category my brother fell into, and whether it mattered.
My uncle’s redheaded wife was the person in our family who most often told it like it was. When Johnny was released, and it looked like he would make it to the fifth beach-house reunion, she took me aside to tell me to watch him around children, and to explain why her husband – my uncle – didn’t want to be around my brother. When their daughter was three years old, they’d left her in then fourteen-year-old Johnny’s care and had come home to him with his pants down, his penis in the little girl’s mouth, and him saying “Just suck on it like it’s a bottle.”
Cinder ran a hand through her hair and let out a pleased sigh. There was nothing quite like a chance to put someone in their place, especially when they tried so hard to climb out. It also felt good to use her powers for a change. She''d planned to avoid those in case someone recognised her, but so far, her plans hadn''t required her to do so, giving her free access to all of her abilities. That would make things easier moving forwards.
Yeah, because the parasite got his jollies from watching humans beat each other up for fun. Jaune refrained from getting into the argument, though. Being half-Grimm did a lot of things for him, but immunity to tiredness wasn''t one of them. It was a Monday too, which only made the whole thing suck the worse. Their last weekend hadn''t exactly been a relaxing one, what with the docks, Torchwick, burning warehouses and such.
In the eighth, Bettina came alive, charging ahead and striking with three consecutive shots to the jaw. Fox countered with a left to the body, then just missed with a wild right and nearly tumbled to the canvass in the process. Bettina saw his opening. He struck with a big left hook, sending Fox down for a nine-count. Back on his feet, Fox was wobbly and Bettina continued punching unceasingly until the bell. Fox held on, barely, and stumbled to his corner. The Beacon faithful roared with approval, eager for more of the same in the ninth round.
“Hypnosis can be a tremendous help to an athlete, but you use it in training, not combat,” he later told the Miami News. “I’d drill into his subconscious mind that he was going to retain the knowledge he would pick up in the gym, that he would have good reflexes, that he would be able to absorb punishment, that he was going to win. In a wakeful state he now had greater confidence. It was the power of suggestion at work.”
Oh wait, there was another. Cinder drew it out and inspected the figure. Well… in a school full of such bountiful beauties, it was almost inevitable some would fail to measure up. Her breasts were rather flat, her figure slight. The pyjamas she wore did little to hide it, and with her being crushed against the Nora girl''s side, the different was only exacerbated. She was still beautiful in her own way. A fine jaw line, smooth features, a mysterious expression. Not to mention that hair, those eyes…
Prior to the ninth round Fox’s trainers worked feverishly to patch him up. But as soon as the bell rang, Bettina had him against the ropes and was pounding away. Here was Tiger Jack Fox, who according to Red Smith “could hit like the wrecker’s big iron ball.” Tiger Jack Fox, a savvy veteran of more than 655 fights, getting sleighed by a farm boy. Pummeled by a plodder. How could it be? Was it as simple as Bettina absorbing his manager’s words? You will n ot quail…he will not hurt you… . attack , attack, attack…And you shall…
Psychologists will say we repeat our families’ pathologies because we try, as adults, to rebuild the patterns we know. I’d always been attracted to reckless men like my brothers, even though I didn’t grow up with men like that. Once I met my brothers, I decided my desire was simpler and deeper than trying to replicate a childhood pattern it was blood calling to blood. For the next few years, Johnny and I communicated through letters while he was locked up. I learned, partly through his letters from prison, and partly through what others told me, that he’d been institutionalized at seven years old and given shock treatments and anti-psychotic medications. He’d been sexually abused by staff at that institution, and later in juvenile offender facilities and foster homes, where he was called “hyperactive.”
Bettina bounced back to take the second and third rounds, pacing the action. In the fourth, Fox connected with a vicious right hand that staggered Bettina. The belt looked like it was within Fox’s reach. Fox attacked with a flurry of punches, while Bettina looked to crowd him, bullying Fox into the ropes to stem the onslaught. It was toe-to-toe action in the fifth, with Bettina getting the better of it with short, stiff combinations to the head. He won the sixth round as well. In the seventh the two fighters banged heads, then Fox went in for the kill, landing a solid left, but just missed with a right uppercut. Bettina’s face was red and his left eye was cut. The seventh ended with a flurry, bringing the crowd to its feet.
When asked where he first learned the power of hypnotism, Jimmy would take his listeners on a journey back to verdant Italy, where he lived an idyllic childhood eating figs and and olives, until the day he met a 669-year-old mystic named Manero. The two traveled across the sea to Albania, to a cave lit by an olive-oil lamp, where Manero spent nine years imparting the secrets of hypnotism.
It took a second to take in the real world. She was in bed, in her dorm, arms wrapped around Mr Tentacles, the stuffed toy she''d won. One of his aforementioned limbs was trapped between her legs, and she glared at it in the dark as though it were all its fault. Stupid thing. Blake stretched her arms, and a part of her mind imagined she could still feel them pinned above her. The thought sent pleasant tingling all the way down her body. Thinking about an enemy like that… well, she''d always had a thing for dangerous men.
Oh, it was like a pretty little mini-me. How adorable. The girl wore an angry expression, and was berating his son in the image, and while that would have normally left her angry, the faintly bemused expression on her little Grimmling''s face instead made it seem adorable. Cinder always did say he would need someone to keep him in line, and if the children inherited some of this Weiss girl''s confidence? Well, that couldn''t be a bad thing. The eyes were a bonus. She loved Nicky''s dark blue, like the deep ocean, but this girl had eyes of a clear sky, and that was beautiful in its own right.
Riding that train for twenty hours, I swung wildly between worries and hopes about what life inside a new family would mean to me. My mother had been fifteen when I was born, and just three months later she married the man who would be the father of the rest of her children, a daughter and five sons. I’d been adopted as an infant by a family up North. My siblings grew up with my mother and their father. This would be my first time meeting them. Would they be so different from me that I’d be repelled? Or would I snap into place with them? I’d learned a little about them all from letters and phone calls. It sounded like most of my five brothers were a lot like my clients. Unlike some defense lawyers I knew, I liked my clients – and I liked the no-frills, no-bullshit, blue-collar culture of people who were poor and struggling. I liked rule-breakers.
Just to answer a question I''m sure I''ll get. Cinder used her red dress and her fire powers because unlike canon, she was never called in to support Roman. As such, her identity remains a mystery and she doesn''t need to hide her abilities from Glynda. I know some might say `but Qrow saw her` it''s worth remembering that he only saw her using her Grimm parasite at the end when the battle was done.