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09.07.99 1:35 a.m.

"Love is what you've been through with somebody."

 - James Thurber 

Created on 7/17/01 from a letter written to a random person.
First, I must tell you that Kate's parents are very bureaucratic. Getting a straight answer out of them or getting them to actually express what they are feeling is a lengthy process.
Rather than an entry, I will script for you an example. It's best that way.
So, here goes:

John- Kate's Father
Linda- Kate's Mother
Xen- ME!
Kate- Um... Kate!

(Yes, all of this is important) The room is set up, a little below ground level. There is a sofa against the wall, a round wooden coffee table in front of it. To either side of the sofa, there are lamps on end tables. In front of the end table is a TV, usually tuned to Cartoon Network. In the right far corner, there is a desk with a chair in front of it. To the left, there is a half bath. To the left, far corner is the only door to the rest of the house.

XEN: I've to go to the bathroom, Kate. I'll be right back.

KATE is sitting on the sofa when her parents enter. JOHN sits near the desk and LINDA situated herself on the coffee table (this is actually what her parents have done several times. Always when I am in the bathroom). JOHN will say little for most of this, but you get the feeling he has coached LINDA on what she says. They say nothing until XEN gets out of the bathroom.

LINDA (like she is about to discuss insurance with me): Sit down, [XEN].

XEN clenches his teeth and drops to the sofa next to KATE, who looks angry at her parents and apologetic to XEN.

LINDA: We'd like to talk to you about what you think.

XEN: About what?

LINDA: Well, when we brought you to church with us, you didn't go up for Communion. Which is fine.

XEN looks up at her, wishing she would just get to the point.

LINDA: So we want to know what you think...
XEN (knowing where this is going, trying to act innocently): About transubstantiation?

LINDA: What?

XEN: The turning of wine into blood and bread into flesh?

LINDA: No... well... no... [Xen]... you don't go to church.

XEN: I attend... services! I have since I was fairly young.

JOHN (shooting LINDA a look): What I think she is saying is... (long pause)

LINDA: We think it is good that you attend services...

XEN: Yes, it is. I think a source of divinity is a salutary part of most people's li.. (getting cut off)

LINDA: Well, we seem to think that... I think that...

(Okay, This is a side note, as I forgot about this entry: Since I started they actually DID find out I was a Pagan. My slip, of course. I had New Worlds send to Kate's house under a pet name for her. But they don't know that their daughter is a Pagan as well. Though I am totally sure the suspect it. They spoke with her briefly about it, not me. So, yay you get added realism, as I will incorporate what they said to Kate.)
XEN (impatiently): That, ma'am?

LINDA: Well, we know that you are into certain things?

XEN (jokingly): Why pseudo-mommy (my name for Kate's mom), this sounds like a set up for Jerry Springer.

LINDA (Smiling tersely): [Xen], we know that you are a devil worshipper.

XEN is shocked, tries to recover.

KATE: He is not, mom!! He... (stopping for lack of words going to the brain)

XEN: What makes you think I am a devil worshipper?!

JOHN: Well... er... Linda?

LINDA: We have seen your necklace (An antiquity that isn't actually a pentacle, but looks enough like one to please me) and shirt (I have a maroon shirt with a Celtic knot work star on it). And we found these.

LINDA pulls out a stack of magazines that XEN has had sent to KATIE from under the coffee table she is sitting on. Among them is Abyss (sellers of occult jewelry and oils) and New Worlds (Llewlynn publishing magazine).

XEN (forgetting himself briefly, under his breathe): oh, shit.

LINDA looks up at him

XEN: Well... see... oi!..

KATE (to XEN): you don't have to tell them anything.

XEN (raising eyebrows at KATE): yeah, I do. (Gulping and looking at Linda) Ma'am... I am not a devil worshipper. I am a... Pagan.

LINDA: What?

XEN: A Pagan...

LINDA: Well, what do you believe, then? Not in God.

XEN: Well, gods (emphasizing the "SSS").

JOHN opens his mouth several times in an effort to say something, then gives up.

LINDA: And the devil?

XEN (now that he feels the ball is in his court, with confidence): No, we don't have any devils. That's a Judeo-Christian concept. We believe people are responsible for their own actions.

LINDA: What do you worship then?

KATE (jumping in since she know the answer, forgetting that they aren't talking to her about her religious beliefs): The earth!

XEN (Shooting KATE a look since he believes she just admitted to being a Pagan herself): Yes, the earth.

LINDA: What do you mean, Kate?

XEN: Well, that...

LINDA: I asked Kate, [Xen]. What do you mean?

KATE (with a pleading look at XEN for prompting): Well, that the earth is sacred and... I dunno.

XEN (trying to finish KATE's sentence in order to divert her parents attentions): And we believe in the divinity of females... I mean feminine divinity.

LINDA: Like what?

XEN: Like... the goddess.

LINDA: How is that different from the real God?

XEN: Well, the goddess is all of the earth... and Paganism is older than Christianity.

LINDA: uh-huh...

(Okay, I am bored of this now and it is the reason I keep putting off sending this)

reading: my script
listening: my cat meowingwanting: a decent ending
interesting thought: reality trumps me for endings

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.

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