I’m now editing my next Radwinter novel, provisionally entitled ‘Undertow’; as usual in these stories of Thomas Radwinter’s adventures, there are different narrative threads, but they are laid over his ordinary everyday family life. Here is a small incident which he has to deal with when he gets home:
I got home to chaos. Unusually Cassie had fallen out with her little shadow Vita and they had been fighting, yes actually fighting. Kenneil had got involved trying to pull them apart, Terri trying holding Cassie’s arm to stop her hitting her little sister, everyone was yelling and Marko standing bewildered. Eli was nowhere to be seen and there was an ominous smell of burning.
I gave a mighty shout at Cassie, who was older than Vita even though Vita was swinging mightily, her little fingers extended to scratch, and everyone stopped at my roar.
“What on earth is going on! You two girls should be ashamed or yourselves!” and I strode in, turned off the oven and scooped up Vita under one arm, grabbed Cassie’s hand. I marched them through to my study, which wasn’t an ideal place but somehow I’d automatically headed there.
Cassie was screaming at me that it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t her fault, she didn’t do it, she hated Vita, and Vita was bellowing with tearful rage. I guessed it was all over something and nothing and decided it wasn’t worth trying to sort it out because it would all be trivia, she did, no she did, no I didn’t, yes you did.
I told Cassie to sit in my chair which actually was a favourite place for the kids to sit and Cassie’s screaming reduced to an indignant rant.
“Will you be quiet, you naughty little girl!” I said really fiercely, and sat down on my desk and put Vita to sit beside me. This was equally unusually and a bit of a privilege and her bellowing subsided to an indecipherable mutter.
“Now you are going to be quiet for two whole minutes, absolutely quiet or you will be going straight to bed.”
Cassie began to object.
“Do you want to go to bed right now, Casimira?” I asked sharply. “Because if you do, then I will take you this minute!”
Vita, now enjoying not being told off, called Cassie a foo-foo. I’ve no idea what she meant but it was a dreadful insult to Casimira whose white blond curls seemed to vibrate with indignation. I lifted Vita off the table and said she was going to bed at which she cried sorry daddy sorry daddy and I said she had to apologise to Cassie. Accepting defeat, she said sorry to Cassie almost nicely.
I made them sit in silence for nearly a minute, by which time they were fed up with it all and just wanted to forget it. I spoke quietly and asked each what the matter was and it was the usual nonsense, a tiny thing which had escalated, probably because they were both tired.
I made them say sorry and kiss each other, then sat them side by side while I pretended for two more minutes to do some work, by which time there was whispering and giggling and it was all over. These two go off like rockets, and like rockets their anger soon fizzles out and all is forgotten. Kenneil is a real drama queen and would be pretend sobbing for ages. Terri and Marko are both quiet and keep many thoughts to themselves.
As I was about to let them go there was a knock on the door and Terri was calling me, and I could hear Kenneil giggling.
“Da-ad,” Terri said, and then she too was overcome with giggles.
“Come on girls, let’s see what the matter is,” I said to the terrible two.
The absence of Eli was explained by Terri who was trying hard not to give into the giggles which were convulsing Kenneil. Eli, it seems, was locked in the bathroom, somehow the catch had broken and he couldn’t get out. He had been knocking and calling but with all the kerfuffle no-one had heard him.
We all trooped through to the downstairs bathroom, ’Dad to the rescue!’ Kenneil shouted, and the five kids began chanting, ’Dad to the rescue! Dad to the rescue!’ I love my life!
Here is a link to the previous book in the series, Winterdyke – all the Radwinter novels and my other books can be found on Amazon: