Crossbreeds 3: Chapter 58 Brothers and Sisters by RedPhantom ()
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Andy pulled up to the house and Ti breathed a sigh of relief. His stomach did not like the trip. Thailyn had needed to use his magic twice to keep him from throwing up. It was clear Ti’s past injuries were affecting him, but not as bad as they had feared. He also reported that Ti didn’t have eta-vie poisoning.
A woman came out. She was too young to be Kate. Andy wondered if she was a sister. He had never entertained the idea he might have other siblings besides Chrissy. He had never thought of Sam as his father. In his mind, he was just the monster that hurt his mom. He’d hated it every time he had to call him his birth dad or his biological dad. Steve was the one who raised him and cared for him. Steve was his dad.
“I’m Joy,” the woman said. “I guess I’m your sister,”
“I’m Andy. This is my father-in-law Lynn and his cousin Ty.” They decided not to use their real names but something local, just to be on the safe side. They all shook hands.
“Come on in. My mother’s inside. She’s not doing well these days.”
“May I ask what’s wrong with her?” Thailyn asked.
Ti put a hand on Thailyn shoulder. Thailyn looked at him. Andy had a feeling a telepathic conversation was going on. He knew what was being said. Ti was reminding Thailyn he shouldn’t heal the woman. Thailyn was saying he had no choice.
“Tim isn’t going to be able to make it. Getting down here is too difficult for him on his own and I couldn’t leave Mom long enough to pick him up. He inherited dad’s sight problems and went blind a few years back. Mark and I are lucky, we can see. You too obviously.”
“I’ve had my own eye troubles, but no one thinks I’ll lose my sight.”
“What kind of troubles?” Joy asked.
“Difficulty distinguishing colors and light sensitivity. The light sensitivity I apparently outgrew but I still have trouble with similar colors.”
“Is that why your mom kept cover your face at the trial?”
“It’s possible. I don’t remember the trial. I know that was when I was having trouble with light.”
“At first, I thought she didn’t want you to see us or maybe dad to see you or something like that. But, I saw her do it once in the car after you left the courthouse so then I didn’t know what it was about. It’s funny the things that stick with you, isn’t it?”
“It is,” Andy agreed.
“I know you wanted to meet all three of us. I don’t know if Mark will come or not. He tried to look you up a few years back, but he got nowhere. He felt like your mom was stonewalling him or something.”
“He talked to my mom?”
“She never told you?”
“We don’t see each other much. I’ve been out of the country for a couple of years.”
“This was four years ago.”
“Is that significant?”
“That was when my sister died. My mom kind of shut down for a while. She never really recovered from what Sam did. Being a reminder of that, I found it better to stay away as much as possible.
“He would’ve been better off to talk with my dad, but that might’ve been difficult since they were separated.”
“It seems weird hearing you talk like he’s not your dad.”
“Sam was your dad. Steve is my dad. He raised me. He was the one to help my mom.”
“I know. I’m sorry. He wasn’t much of a dad to us either, even before he was arrested. We were just never allowed to forget who he was to us, and Mom never trusted anyone after that so she never remarried.”
The doorbell rang. Joy answered it and admitted a man. “Andy, this is Mark. Mark, Andy, Lynn and Ty.” They stood and shook hands.
“Joy was just telling me you tried to get a hold of me a few years back. I’m sorry I never got the message. My sister just passed away,” Andy told him.
“I’m sorry to hear that. We were trying to see if you were having eye troubles too. Joy remembered you from the trial and she thought you might have had eye problems. We were wondering if you might be able to help Tim,” Mark explained.
“Even if I had I problems, how could it help?”
“If you were having problems that long ago, your sight would be worse and it maybe your doctors might know something. Tim’s doctors were stumped.”
“I had some light sensitivity back then that that’s all, sorry.”
Mark shrugged. “It was a long shot anyhow. So, what brings you here?”
“Questions about Sam’s vision problem, believe it or not. My wife is expecting and she has her own genetic issues. I didn’t even know about my vision problems or Sam’s until a few days ago. The doctors are concerned that it might be a symptom of something larger that might compound my wife’s problems.”
“I’m afraid we can’t tell you much. The doctors never did figure out much with Tim. Dad wasn’t much for going to doctors so there were limited records.”
“I understand. I appreciate you talking with me,” Andy said.
“It may not feel like it, but we’re family. Mom always says family sticks together,” Joy said.
“Hello? Mark is that you?” A voice called from the next room. An older woman came in. “Oh, you have company,” she said, seeing who was there.
“Mom, this is Andy Mathis, Carla’s son. And this is his father-in-law, Lynn and a cousin, Ty. You remember, Steve called and said they be stopping by.”
“That’s right. It’s good to see you. I haven’t seen you since you were baby. How is your mother? I’m so sorry for what my husband did to her.”
“It’s not your fault. And she’s doing quite well.”
“If I remember, Steve said you had questions about Sam’s health.”
“Just a few. Mark and Joy were answering them.”
“Good. I’m afraid there isn’t much to tell. Sam wasn’t big on going to doctors. He seemed to think he was invincible.”
“Andy, we do need to get going. We still need to make Ty’s doctor appointment.” Thailyn said.
Andy nodded. “You’re right. It’s been good to meet you.”
“You too. Keep in touch.”
“I’ll try, but I don’t live in the states anymore. I’m just here visiting my parents,” Andy explained.
“Oh, okay. Well, when you’re here, keep in touch,” Kate said.
Outside, Andy turned to Thailyn. “Doctor’s appointment?”
“Steve suggested it. It didn’t seem like we’d find out anymore and you seemed uncomfortable.”
“I did? I was trying to hide it.”
“Ann could tell.”
Andy shook his head. “You telepaths are trouble. How is Kate doing?”
“They’ll find her cancer’s gone, but I couldn’t do anything for all the poisons in her.”
“That’s the chemo. Once they realized the cancer’s gone, they’ll stop that too.”
“Chemotherapy. It’s how they treat cancer. Try to kill it before you kill the patient.”
“We don’t have healers. There aren’t any better options.”
Thailyn nodded. “I hadn’t thought of that. This world, it’s amazing it survived without magic.”
“We make do with what we have, just like those healers who aren’t named Thailyn or Shunati.” Andy smiled. Thailyn did too.
“So, did they have magic?”
“Nothing I could see,” Ti said.
“I didn’t detect anything, either. No immortality, no magic, nothing unusual. Both Joy and Mark’s eyes are fine too.”
“Now,” Andy said.
“They were fine before we met. Both are pretty healthy.”
“Thailyn, I’m a bit concerned. With Sam, Tim, and I all having problems with our vision, the baby might have trouble too.”
“I was thinking the same thing. I usually check for problems, but I will keep a close eye on that.”
“What if the baby’s an unreadable?”
“It’s too soon for that to develop. And I can still watch for these things.” Then he smiled. “Andy, this is my grandchild. I am going to do everything I can to make sure the baby is born healthy.”
Andy nodded. “Should I call my dad and see if he can locate where Tim lives?”
“No need. Neither Joy nor Mark had magic.”
“So, if no one in my family has magic, how did I get it?”
“We don’t know Sam didn’t have magic. We only know he wasn’t immortal. If he were an immortal, all three kids would have potential at least. Since they don’t, Sam may have been a mage but just a human one. He may even have been able to cast a few spells.”
“But humans here aren’t mages,” Andy pointed out.
“Sure they are,” Ti said. “You are and I’ve seen a few mages since we’ve got here.”
“You’ve seen people practicing magic?”
“I don’t think so, not exactly.”
“When people come into their magic, they start to draw it in unconsciously. If they aren’t trained, it leaks and manifests itself. Luck, clumsiness, unexplained things can often be caused by these leaks. With weak mages, like humans, it’s minor. With more powerful ones it can make life impossible. Most likely, that was what caused Ann to seek out magic training wherever she could find it. That, and a need to release the energy where she has no addiction,” Thailyn explained.
“When I read Pt’this’s old journal, he mentioned Mirimar making him change his addiction. How do you do that? He never said what she did,” Andy asked.
“Most likely he was too embarrassed by it. Her advances made him quite uncomfortable. He’s always been a peacock in crowds, but one on one with a pretty girl made him nervous.” Thailyn explained.
“Back then at least. He wasn’t used to other dragons. Some of the ones his age were not very understanding of that. Mirimar liked him and was sure to let him know her feelings every chance she got. I don’t know if she changed addiction intentionally or not, but he’s right. She did that to him. Most likely, it wasn’t intentional. It took too long. Even if she was hiding it from Dad, it still should have taken only weeks, maybe months, but not years like it did.”
“So, how do you change it?”
“You do both activities at once.”
“But they hadn’t mated.”
“A sex addiction is more than mating,” Ti said. “Sometimes just a back rub is enough for Dae. She was addicted to sex long before we mated.”
“Fantasies are also often used. I don’t know what Miri did exactly, but it’s likely she did a lot of talking about what she’d like to do with him while he was writing. Why are you asking?”
“I was curious. Not about the specifics of your sister and Pt’this. Just where he said she made him change and then once Nim said his second mentor tried to make him change his addiction from drawing but he wouldn’t.”
“Most likely, Nim understood what his mentor was doing and refuse to draw at those times. I’m not sure Pt’this understood what Mirimar was doing, and even if it made him uncomfortable, he probably enjoyed her attentions.”
“What happens if you can’t indulge in your addiction?”
“Same thing is if you don’t have one. Look at your wife.”
“No, I mean, like where Nim burnt his arm so bad. What if he had lost it and couldn’t draw with his right? Is there any way he might change his addiction?”
“It would take some effort and time but if he totally avoided all drawing and anytime he had a buildup of energy, he cast and did something else at the same time, it might work but he wouldn’t be able to do any drawing at that time and it would take months, maybe years.”
“Is there anyway someone could have an addiction and not know it?”
“Ordinarily, I’d say no, but that actually happened to me. When I awoke from that explosion at the end of the war, I had amnesia. I didn’t know I was a healer or a mage, or even a dragon. I don’t know how it happened but I was in true form on the way to Dragon Castle when the explosion hit. When I awoke, I was in human form, in a village near Paosij. I never did find out how I got there. The villagers didn’t know either. They had found me lying unconscious in the square two days earlier. The thing was, it was four days after the explosion.”
“It takes two days by horse to travel that far. Perhaps someone made you change and took you there looking for a healer.”
“Why not take me to Resdelk? It’s closer and bigger. Shades, Baj-tisk was closer too. If they knew I was a dragon, why not take me there?”
“I suppose it depends on where you landed. Nim ended up almost in Baj-tisk. Shintanillic was thrown through the gate. Maybe you were thrown beyond Resdelk.”
“It’s all possible. It’s just kind of disturbing missing almost a week and having no idea what happened.”
“I can understand. I’m missing one night and I know what happened but it bugs me that I can’t remember.”
“I got totally wasted… Um, drunk. I rather not talk about it.”
“How about you Ti? Anytime you can’t remember?”
“No, but there are a couple of months I’d love to forget.”
Image Comments (3)
zaqxsw () Online Now! 6:39PM | Mon, 12 July 2021
Excellent! More wonderful twists... I love the details of how magic works in your world.