The Light Behind the World
Chapter 23: Construct

Copyright© 2010 by Sea-Life

We had arrived home on a Friday afternoon. Sunday we were scheduled to get together with the Legion of the Doomed to do something. Hang out probably, get caught up on what was going on in our lives. Certainly we needed to let them know that Ginny and I would not be attending Bret Harte High School in the fall!

Ginny and I discussed this at Dinner Friday evening. Dad had cautioned Grandpa A.J. and Cyrus about not saying anything in front of Ginny's parents, and we went and had a California barbecue. This gave us an opportunity to have yet another round of philosophical discussions on the art of barbecue. A.J. In particular was struck by some of the influences he had not much seen before, such as guacamole sauce and Chorizo, a very spicy Mexican sausage. Cyrus mentioned the fact that Chicken seemed to be barbecued on the west coast way more than it is where he grew up or on the East coast in the various places he had worked.

When Ginny and I realized just how much barbecued chicken there was going to be left over, we asked her mom if we could have enough chicken breasts for three or four barbecue chicken pizzas and, with that ingredient assured, decided we would invite the Legion over to my house Sunday at lunch time for a pizza feed.

With that out of the way, and dinner done, Ginny and I went up to her room to email the gang with the plans. We got an email back immediately from Arden, and when we told him we were at Ginny's, the phone rang almost immediately. Ginny answered it on speaker phone.

Arden, in his breathless, timid way, asked if it was okay to bring a date!

Once the shock wore off, we told him it would be fine of course, and asked him who he was going to bring.

"Alicia," he said.

"My best friend Alicia?" Ginny asked incredulously. "Alicia Jackson?"

"Uh, yeah?" Arden said insecurely.

"Oh My God!" Ginny screamed into the air. "I've got to call her!" She hung up on Arden and immediately hit Alicia's number on her speed dial. There was no answer at Alicia's and while it was ringing, Ginny's phone chirped its call waiting signal. I wondered at how bleak a life it must have been for the teenage girls of America before the introduction of speed dial and call waiting.

It was Alicia on the phone when Ginny answered, again on speaker.

"Ginny, how rude to hang up on us like that!" She giggled.

"Yeah! What's up with that?" Arden's voice followed hers out of the speaker. All timidity seemed to have vanished. Arlen and I soon might as well have vanished, we quickly became useless accessories to their excited, high pitched reverie. I kissed Ginny, told her I'd call her in the morning and headed downstairs to see if everyone was ready to head on home.

Saturday morning, I woke up before seven, and headed down to make coffee. Cyrus was already up, and coffee was made. I was glad to discover that making coffee was yet another thing in life that Cyrus excelled at. He had called Chet last night and they had arranged to go running. Cyrus had already put in a four mile run this morning, and I had barely been up long enough to empty my bladder and pour a cup of coffee. After about a half a cup I got around to asking him what he had planned for the day.

"Well, unless you are planning on taking me and your Grandpa someplace else we ain't never been, I've got calls to make to arrange to get Felicia out here, and find us all a place to live. I don't think your Grandpa wants to borrow your guest room indefinitely, and I also don't think he plans on leaving here anytime soon after yesterday's revelations."

After another half a cup or so, Cyrus thought to ask "What about you? You gonna bebop off to Mars or something? Maybe go cuddle up with your sweetie?"

I laughed at the thought of me bebopping anywhere, let alone Mars. "No, I've got something I have to do today, but I'm pretty sure it will not involve Mars."

I wasn't sure what time everyone would be getting up today, with all the activity throwing wrinkles into the routines we usually kept at home, but I knew that Mom would normally be up shortly to get a little work done in the garden before the sun was up too high, and Dad was rarely a late sleeper either, so I decided to get everything ready to make pancakes and bacon for breakfast. I figured both would keep pretty well if someone did sleep in. I saw a bunch of fresh strawberries in the fridge while I was getting the butter, and pulled them out. Cyrus saw them and asked if I thought everyone would like Strawberry smoothies with their breakfast. It sounded good to me, so I said go ahead. He grabbed about 3/4's of the strawberries and left the rest. Meantime he took the entire container of ice cubes from the freezer and put them in a large pitcher. He poured water over the ice, but once the ice was covered, he poured the water into another pitcher and repeated the process until the second pitcher was completely full. Then he put that pitcher in the freezer and threw the ice into the blender.

"The secret to the perfect smoothie is super-cold water" he told me, as he began chopping the tops and bottoms off the strawberries.

When Mom came down the stairs and into the kitchen about 15 minutes later, production was in full swing. I had bacon frying and the batter was mixed and ready to go, I had the griddle top for the stove on and warming.

"Mmm!" she said as she poured her cup of coffee. "Toppings?" She asked. When I pointed at the container of maple syrup I had heating in a pan of water she grabbed the rest of the strawberries and a bowl and started chopping the remainder of them up, adding some sugar. She pulled a small container of whipping cream out, and was whipping that when Dad came in looking for coffee.

"Mmm!" he said. "What can I do?"

I looked around. "I don't know Dad, I think we got the basics covered unless you want something you don't see here?"

"I will wisely choose to get the heck out of the way and let the three of you have at it!" and he disappeared into the living room with his coffee.

When Mom had finished whipping the cream she had folded it into her strawberry and sugar mixture, and that gave her a very light, creamy and sweet strawberry topping for her pancakes. She then cleaned out the bowl and used it to whip some of the butter I'd put out so we'd have whipped butter to use.

Grandpa A.J. Must be psychic in some way not relevant to the role of guardians he held back home, because he managed to appear just as we were finally setting the table. He grabbed his cup of coffee and joined us at the table. The griddle attachment for the stove top really lets me make pancakes any size I want, so I had made huge restaurant sized ones. We dug in, and although I noticed Grandpa avoiding the butter, everyone enjoyed the breakfast, and the strawberry smoothies were really great! As we sat there over an after breakfast cup of coffee, I asked Dad if I could use the sailboat today.

"Davey, are you headed to the ledge?" He asked.

"Yeah, I need to get out there I think," everyone looked up at me.

"Whatever sent me back, from wherever I was that day in North Carolina, is waiting for me to go there I think," Dare made that strange little ferret thrum that I'd been reading as approval. "Even Dare thinks I need to go."

Dad of course would not deny me the use of the sailboat under these circumstances, but was a little upset when I insisted that except for Dare, I should go alone. Finally he agreed when I reminded him that all I had to do was leave everyone behind when I moved myself through, so I would achieve my goal of going alone anyway.

I called Ginny, as I had promised her, and went through another session of arguing and persuading with her.

I lost.

She told me in no uncertain terms that she would be going with me to our ledge, and she would be waiting there for my return, and there would be no further argument. Dare remained diplomatically silent on this issue.

A few hours later, Ginny and I were sliding through the waters of Lake Melones. I gave Ginny a thorough rundown on how to start the auxiliary engine and steer the Naiad with the tiller. I cautioned her that the helm would seem less responsive when moving at the slow speed that the auxiliary engine would be propelling her. We went over how to turn on and use the VHF radio set. Dad had his radio on at home and we established where in the high-walled northern arm of the lake she would need to be before the radio would reach him. By the time we tied up in our usual spot I was feeling a little better about leaving Ginny behind, and Ginny was feeling a little better about being left behind.

It was close to noon and a beautiful day in late August, so before we packed everything up to the ledge, I threw the diver's ladder over the stern and invited Ginny to go skinny dipping. We swam around in our isolated little corner of the lake for fifteen minutes or so, and then without even really having to discuss it, we dried off and went below. In the light of day, with the sound of the water gently lapping against the hull, I made love to my love, and she to me. When we had recovered our awareness of the rest of the world, we went back topside and went for another quick swim to wash ourselves off.

 
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