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Thursday, November 22, 2012
In Brist's Time - Chapter 3
Anne Southerland! I don’t know what you think you are doing, but
Dad will definitely not be pleased!”
What are you doing here?”
air conditioning isn’t working properly, so mom gave me directions
to get here figuring a swim might cool me off, but never mind what
I’m doing here, what are you doing, hmm?” Drew demanded.
swimming with my friends,” Brist said defensively. She was now
sitting, hugging her knees to her chest. So was Belana, but Randy was
trying to hide behind Brist.
That’s funny, cuz it looks to me like you’re naked, lying on a
rock with a naked guy and another naked girl, and to make matters
worse! My baby sister is kissing what has to be the first male she’s
seen since she was dumped by her boyfriend of a year,” Drew said
over-protectively. Belana saw the wounded look that fixed itself on
Brist’s face at her brother’s words, and decided that she had had
“Drew Southerland! I don’t know
what you think you saw, but your sister, my cousin, and I were
innocently tanning in the sun. You obviously don’t have much trust
in your sister, so I will tell you, nothing was going on!”
She snapped, angered by the fact that he was making them all feel
like naughty toddlers than the near-adults that they were.
“Oh really? Nothing?”
Drew asked in a condescending manner.
“Drew, you are absolutely disgusting!
What do you think would happen? Did you think that I would have sex
with her cousin right in front of her? Or did you think that she
would join us?” Brist would have stamped her foot in anger if she
hadn’t been sitting on her butt, trying to keep herself as covered
stammered for a moment then grunted. “Well I came to swim, and I’m
not leaving until I do,” he stated matter-of-factly.
Drew, whatever. Could you just give us a few moments to get dressed?”
Brist asked. She loved her brother dearly, but he could be so
nodded, then wandered off to a secluded spot to change into his swim
three skinny-dippers took that moment to jump off the rock, wade to
shore, and get dressed as quickly as possible. As soon as Drew deemed
it safe, he returned to the pond and pulled Brist into an embrace.
sorry I went off like that, I was just freaked is all. I’m mean
admit it, you would have been concerned if you’d been in my
position, wouldn’t you?” He asked, sincerely sorry that he had
nodded slowly. “I guess.”
listen, you guys don’t have to leave just yet,” Drew offered, not
wanting to be left alone.
we weren’t going to, see? I brought a picnic lunch for us to
enjoy.” Brist held up the basket she was about to unpack.
Drew uttered, then left them to swim in the pond alone for a while.
Belana! Of all the days for the a/c to break down!” Brist sighed.
too bad, I was actually having fun. Question?”
you and Randy actually kissing?” Belana asked curiously. “I mean
I was half asleep and didn’t see or hear anything.”
smiled and looked at Randy, who cleared his throat, and blushed.
were!” Belana exclaimed.
“Well, I could tell that it was his
first real kiss, and I was trying to determine if Jesse had ruined me
for other guys,” Brist said.
It wasn’t my first kiss,” Randy protested in a whisper so that
Drew wouldn’t hear. “Can we please talk about something else?”
Um, thanks for today Brist, I’m glad Amy stormed off and left us to
get to know you,” Belana told Brist.
me too. I’m having fun, and we rarely ever have fun around Amy,”
Randy added, glad for the change in the conversation.
welcome, but don’t worry, today isn’t over yet,” Brist said as
she unpacked their picnic lunch.
enough sandwiches,” Belana remarked dryly when she saw the heaping
plate of them that Brist withdrew from the basket.
kind are they?” Randy asked.
laughed. “Our cook makes hundreds of these sandwiches everyday for
the servants to snack on. Egg salad sandwiches are a favorite among
the servants, so is tuna.”
delicious,” Randy murmured.
to drink?” Randy asked after the three had gorged themselves on the
sandwiches and humorous conversation. Brist pulled a couple of fancy
looking bottles out of the basket.
“Wine?” Belana giggled.
worry guys, it’s non-alcoholic,” Drew said as he joined the
and Randy made exaggerated sounds of disappointment, causing Brist to
do I know you?” Drew asked Belana.
She shook her head, smiling.
how’d you know my name?” He wondered.
we were talking about you before you showed up,” Belana teased.
were?” He asked gullibly.
“Actually yes, but we
were talking about who might happen upon us. I mentioned that you
probably wouldn’t. Guess I was wrong,” Brist chuckled.
Brist, if anything had happened here today, you would have told me,
wouldn’t you?” Drew asked.
course Drew, you’re my big brother, I tell you everything. I told
you about every time with Jesse, didn’t I?” Brist answered.
Drew nodded, reassurred.
like you tell me everything… like you told me about you, Lillian,
and certain events that took place under the bleachers,” Brist
prodded, causing Drew to snort in laughter. Then he sighed.
don’t know why I had to come here, I would have rather stayed in
Minnesota so that I could see Lillian every day. God I miss her!”
you are 21 now, why don’t you just tell dad that you’re old
enough to stay in Minnesota without parental supervision.”
and miss seeing my beautiful sister everyday?”
“Ha! I’m not beautiful and you know
it! God, just look at me!” Brist exclaimed. Drew shrugged and shook
his head, as if to say “whatever you say babe.” Randy looked
do you mean you’re not beautiful? I think you’re gorgeous,” he
Do you have glass eyes!? Just look at me, I have this horrible shade
of red hair, and my eyes are purple! Look at them,” Brist ordered,
slightly pulling down her right bottom eyelid to give Randy a better
look at her eye. This caused her three companions to laugh. “And,
I’m short. It’s so infuriating that Drew is a whole 8 inches
taller than me. Take it from me, I am not beautiful.”
you say so,” Drew chuckled.
“See,” Brist said as if Drew had
just confirmed her opinion.
finished their lunch, except for Drew, and sprawled out on the grass
in relaxation. The quartet chatted amicably for a while, until a
natural lull occurred in the conversation. Brist took this as a cue
to unpack dessert.
hope everyone likes my surprise,” she said mysteriously. She
deliberately created an air of suspense by removing half a three
layered milk chocolate cake – having a generous amount of lush
fudge between the layers, whole and pieces of ripe raspberries
imbedded in the cake, and an opulent frosting made out of melted dark
chocolate chips and crushed raspberries – out of the basket. After
it was safely out of the basket, where it had been in its own
protected compartment, she set it down with an exaggerated flair.
Belana moaned appreciatively. “If you had told me about this, I
would have saved more room!”
it’s half gone!” Randy protested.
“Randy! Don’t be so selfish,
there’s plenty left to go around!” Belana chided. Together, the
group polished off the delicious cake in no time. Not wanting the day
to end, but not wanting to swim again so soon after eating, and yet
antsy to do something, Brist decided to pack up and bring her new
friends to her house.
Drew?” She asked her older brother.
I’m gonna go tanning on the rock a while,” he replied lazily.
but be careful, you just ate.”
will, don’t worry. Where you off to?”
well, I don’t know how you got here, but you can’t take the golf
worry, we’re riding horses.”
I don’t know how you can stand those things!”
shook her head and laughed. This comment from a would-be hobby
“What?” Drew asked suspiciously.
farmer you’ll make.”
I like petting animals, not riding them,” Drew defended himself.
“Wow! You live here?”
place is cool!” Randy exclaimed.
okay.” Brist shrugged modestly.
Randy questioned as he jumped off his horse. He immediately offered
to help Belana down from Cream.
it’s kinda weird. It looks like an old plantation, which it is, but
it has everything uncharacteristic of that time period. It was built
by my really-great grandpa. Anyway, I think it would be cool to have
lived in it back then.”
me! Life was probably horrible! No video games, no TV... How did they
live?” Randy asked emphatically.
they managed somehow!” Brist laughed. She snuggled up to Cream’s
face a few moments, then told her and Honey to go to the stables to
be rubbed down. As she watched them walk to the stables, she noticed
Renee watching them come towards her, and motioned for Renee to care
for them alone this time. Once she received a nodded confirmation
from the stable master, she led her friends inside.
“Hmm, the air must be working again,”
Brist remarked as she showed them into the library, which was the
first door to the right of the entryway.
you two want anything to drink?” She asked.
I am a little thirsty.”
went to a table that was somewhat centrally located, opened what
appeared to be a tiny laptop computer, touched the part of the screen
that said ‘kitchen,’ and waited for an answer from the cook.
Moments later, Rachel,
the cook, was heard asking what was needed. Brist ordered three
glasses of her favorite juice, and after she received confirmation of
prompt service, she re-closed the intercom panel and turned her
attention back to her friends.
What an awesome picture of you!” Belana exclaimed. “I’ve always
wanted to dress up in a beautiful old-fashioned dress like that.”
enough, that’s not me. It’s my really-great grandma, and as if
that weren’t weird enough, her name was also Brist. Brist
Southerland Evans to be exact, and it’s so freaky because my
mother’s name is Ellen Evans Southerland.”
way that could be anyone other than you,” Randy said, examining the
portrait of the long dead woman of Brist’s ancestry.
to know something even weirder?” Brist asked.
Randy and Belana nodded. Brist carefully reached behind the huge
painting and pulled out an age-yellowed envelope.
“This letter is addressed to my
mother and was discovered when she was 16. Her parents had decided to
restore the painting, and – for the first time since it was placed
here – it was moved. Lo-and-behold, this was wedged into the corner
of the frame. On it are instructions for it not to be opened until
10-7-2001. Hey! That’s my birthday! Anyway, it says it’s from my
really-great grandma Brist,” Brist informed them, passing the
envelope to them to examine. Once she got it back from them, she
replaced it behind the painting.
is so weird!” Randy exclaimed. Belana agreed, rubbing the sudden
set of goosebumps off her arms.
stories are passed down through the generations about how crazy she
was, and how she thought she was from the future. Isn’t that
funny?” Brist asked.
“She thought she was from the
future?” Belana questioned.
I can’t remember from exactly when she claimed to have come from,
but they say that she had in her possession the most odd machines.
Machines that could capture a person like a photograph, yet it moved
when viewed. Not to mention the machine used to view it with. Then,
there was a machine that made such horrible noise that no one could
bear to be around it except for her, and they say that she called the
horrible noise music, and whenever she listened to it she would dance
in the most unseemly way. In fact, her love of dance inspired my,
ahem, male ancestors to keep a very sharp eye on their daughters to
insure that they never exhibited any of my many greats grandmother’s
made a sound that indicated she was puzzled, and then continued on.
“Odd, I recall hearing tons of stories about Brist, and they’re
all told in order to discourage inappropriate behavior from the
females of the Evans family, but I don’t recall ever hearing of any
other females in the family other than my mother. I mean not even
anything about the wives of my male ancestors that helped continue on
the line, nor anything about any of the female children that died at
a young age and are buried in the family cemetery. I find that
insulting, don’t you Belana?”
“Yes, my family is abound with
stories of courageous women starting with my first ancestor to
inhabit the area. They say that she and her husband had a somewhat
sad life to begin with, but that she was able to give up her most
precious possession to ensure the continuation of our line.
Apparently, she made a very good friend with an influential woman of
what must have been the Evans family, who helped her and all
those people who were depending on her to survive, and founded the
town that we live in,” Belana explained.
favorite story passed down to me from my Grandmother is about
thieves,” Randy informed them, deciding to contribute his own
stories to their musings about the past. “As my Grandmother told
it, our family once resided in England, in a fair sized – but by no
means huge – castle, and for some reason, the castle and all its
inhabitants fell on hard times. In hopes of a better life, they
packed up and moved to America. However, the trip itself cost
everything they had, and the enraged and desperate men took to
raiding the owners of the ship that had transported them to America.
They watched carefully over the owners and their family, and at every
opportunity robbed them of everything valuable they had on them at
the time,” Randy told them with an excited gleam in his eye.
vexing that must have been for the ship owners and their family!”
Brist laughed, taking another drink from the glass of juice that had
arrived during their discussion.
This is the most delicious juice I’ve ever had, is it watermelon?”
Brist smiled, a low moan indicating that this was her favorite juice.
Randy continued his examination of the library. He thought that there
were certainly a lot of books, but not really one interested in
reading, he made no comment on it. However, there was a cabinet made
entirely out of glass which was filled with an amazing amount of
liquor cabinet Brist. Think we’d get in trouble if we sampled its
contents?” He asked.
if you and Belana were of a legal age to drink, then no, we could
all, ahem, sample until we couldn’t see straight and started seeing
visions of fish swimming in the air, but since you are not, then we
cannot,” Brist stated, coming to stand next to Randy in front of
the cabinet. Belana following her, her breath catching at the sight
of not only a variety of liquor, but a wide range of ages on them
“Wow this brandy is labeled ‘1695!’”
“Amazing isn’t it? Do you know how
much work goes into the upkeep of such an old alcohol? It needs to be
strained every few years, and even then this particular vintage must
never be drank in large quantities, or else the drinker may die of
alcohol poisoning. See, alcohol continues to ferment, grows stronger
over time, and never stops. That is why the finest wines are of an
older vintage, but more than that, they must come from a decent batch
to begin with, for adding age to bad alcohol just makes it worse,”
Brist explained simplistically, not wanting to confuse them with
do you know so much about alcohol?” Randy wondered out loud.
since anyone can remember, there has always been a cellar full of
‘homemade’ alcohols, and every member of our family has been
taught the basics of it creation. It was especially a passion of my
mother’s, and she taught it to me. Therefore, I know a fair amount
“Yes, but my father would never let
him truly pursue the subject, Drew was bred to take over the company,
and I was taught to pursue whatever subject that pleased me as long
as I also learned those subjects that would make me an asset when it
came to hosting business dinners, or parties. I am the perfect
hostess; I can make drinks – especially martinis – oversee
preparations, and make small talk all while keeping an ear open for
any profits to be had. It’s all quite horrible when you think about
how it’s almost discrimination. I must be made ready to compliment
my future husband perfectly, yet in a way, it’s allowed me such
great freedom. I mean I’m not quite yet 18, but I have come to
appreciate that while Drew’s the boy and must one day take over the
business – or so Dad would like to think – I have been allowed to
do as I please because I’m female,” Brist informed them.
she blushed. “I realize that it may sound like I’m bragging, but
I really can do anything. I’ve personally made sure that not only
am I able
to do anything I set my mind to, but also to do it better than anyone
else. Okay, I’ll stop singing my praises now!” Brist blushed
harder, not sure why she had felt compelled to tell them so much. She
took another sip from her glass.
getting late, Randy and I had best get home,” Belana stated
abruptly after she glanced at the clock.
mom will be pissed if we aren’t home by 8:00,” Randy added.
problem, let me drive you home,” Brist offered, then for the second
time since they’d been there, went to the tiny laptop
computer-shaped console on the centrally located table and opened it.
Since she was unsure of where her mother was located, she touched the
box on the screen that indicated that the entire house would be able
to hear. “Mom?” She questioned, waiting a few moments for a
dear?” Her mom’s voice asked through an almost invisible speaker
on the table.
going to borrow a car for a while, I’ll be back in about a half an
hour,” Brist informed her.
thing honey.” Brist was infinitely surprised that her mother hadn’t
argued, or insisted that she have Drew drive her. Hmm...
she must feel bad for me...