Saturday, November 12, 2016

Carl and Ellie - Heroes & Villains [B.1.1]

“How’s the boyfriend?” Carl asked looking over his granddaughter. Ellie looked up from the antique chess board they were playing on.
“He’s fine, grandpa.” Ellie sighed, lowering her eyes again to look over the board.
“Still won’t come to our Sunday morning game parties I see?” Carl asked, shaking his head. Ellie focused her attention on Carl and scowled.
“I’m not getting into this again.” Ellie sighed.
“I just don’t understand why he doesn’t like me,” Carl replied, attempting to keep his voice light, though Ellie could hear the annoyance behind it.
“Neither do I,” Ellie admitted. “But I love both of you, and I’m not picking sides in this.”
“But I feel inclined to remind you again, you’re my only grandchild and I want to be able to visit any great-grandchildren you may have. So you better make sure he doesn’t keep me from your babies.” Carl said. Ellie groaned.
“Still not getting married, grandpa.”
“But you’re still living with him?” Carl asked. Ellie nodded. Carl’s returning smile was weak and insecure. “It’ll happen soon enough then.” Ellie rolled her eyes and shook her head.
It was a never-ending conversation between them, one that Ellie actively fought to keep quiet. Carl wanted her married with kids soon, but Art had particular opinions on both marriage and children that made Carl’s requests seemingly impossible. The fight between both of them had gone on for years and Ellie was tired of it all. She had perfected the art of changing subjects whenever things came to this topic.
“How’s work going?” Ellie asked. Carl let out a sigh.
“They may be cutting back wages again,” Carl replied. Ellie frowned, a wave of anxiety boiling in her abdomen. “I would leave but I’m too old to find something else. But enough about my work, what’s been going on with yours? Art called me one night asking if you were over here, but come to find out you were working late.”
“I’ve just been getting a couple extra hours in lately.” Ellie shrugged, trying to keep her voice casual. Keeping her secret life of working with the Knight Dragon from her grandpa was much more difficult than hiding it from Art. Carl had raised her, she told him everything and hated keeping secrets from him.
“Is it a money issue?” Carl asked. Ellie paused a moment, thinking back to what he had said about his own job.
“No.” She replied.
“I can try to find a second job,” Carl suggested. Ellie scowled, clenching her fists under the table. “If you are struggling to keep paying my rent then I’m sure I can figure something out.”
“That’s not an issue, grandpa,” Ellie said. “I’m happy to pay your rent. Art lets me live with him rent free and I’m very well paid. It’s not a problem. I’ve just been given a few more opportunities at work lately and it keeps me there a bit later, that’s all.”
“You deserve a promotion.”
“I don’t want one,” Ellie replied quietly. Carl nodded. They had discussed it many times previously, starting before she ever even applied to Bakersfield. Carl, more than anybody, understood Ellie’s career goals and trusted her every decision, even if it meant her never leaving data entry.
The lights in the room flashed brighter, buzzing angrily with the surge of electricity. Then, with a loud pop, everything went dark. Carl glanced around as an eerie silence seeped into the house. Carl and Ellie sat frozen for a moment, glancing around. It was midday, and the dim, overcast daylight shone through a nearby window.
“Did I forget to pay the electricity bill again?” Carl muttered. Ellie looked at him frowning.
“You’ve forgotten to pay your bills?” She asked standing from the table and moving to the window.
“It gets hard to remember sometimes,” Carl said sounding ashamed. Ellie glanced at him, anxiety creeping back in. She worried about Carl more than she could ever tell him. He was too proud to admit when he needed help and too old and injured to do it all on his own. Despite his limp and heart problems, Ellie was certain Carl would try to work for the rest of his life.
“Do you need help?” She asked gently.  Carl sighed and shook his head.
“Ellie you already do more than enough for me. Paying rent is all I can ask of you.” He replied. Ellie turned back to the window and peered down the street.
“Well, I’m happy to help.” Ellie continued.
“It’s not your job to take care of me,” Carl said, his voice stern.
“It looks like the power is out for the whole block,” Ellie said, deliberately ignoring his comment. “Must be something with the power company.” Carl nodded in response. Ellie moved back to the table, glancing towards her cell phone resting on the table beside the chess board.
The Knight Dragon typically didn’t work during daylight, but a power outage here usually had something to do with Bakersfield. Bakersfield supplied power to all the homes in the Island, their way of making up for destroying the area in the factory explosion. The longer the power stayed out the more Ellie began to think there was something wrong at Bakersfield. Ben would help if it was his own company, wouldn’t he? And he would want her help with it, wouldn’t he? Even if she never used it now, she had majored in electrical engineering, surely Ben would remember and want her help, wouldn't he?
It seemed as if Ben had been ignoring her since their nightmarish adventure at the morgue. He hadn't called or texted and the few times she'd seen him at Bakersfield, he barely even said hello. Despite the way things had played out with the Mortician, Ellie wasn't mad at Ben for taking her there. In fact, Ben taking her there only made her trust him more. He had saved her and fought to protect her. She wanted to show Ben that her brain could help protect him too. She wanted to prove she was stronger than her fears had made her seem. And she wanted to know why Ben wasn't talking to her.
“Ellie?” Carl asked. Ellie lifted her head, her eyes wide.
“Are you alright?” Carl frowned.
“Just distracted.” Ellie sighed, glancing towards the chessboard. She moved one of her pieces and Carl stared at it, his face calculating. He moved his own white piece and grinned up at Ellie.
“Check,” Carl said smugly. Ellie fought back a grin as she stared down at the board.
“If you’re struggling to pay bills, I can help you,” Ellie spoke up. “You know I’ll help you with anything you need.”
“I know that Ellie,” Carl said with a nod. “You’ll help anyone you can. You’re like your mother in that respect.” Ellie winced. “She always went around catching stray and starving animals, nursing them back to health. When she was dating your dad in high school she kept a raccoon here for a couple weeks.”
“It’s a shame the alcohol changed that in her then,” Ellie said bitterly. Carl looked over his granddaughter carefully, recognizing the similarities she had with her mom.  Ellie had her mother’s face, she barely took any features from her father. Even Ellie’s natural brown hair color mirrored her mother’s exactly. Ellie was the younger, smarter, and more lively version of her mom.
“It’s a shame your mother ever found the stuff,” Carl admitted. Ellie exhaled loudly, her eyes dropping to the chessboard. “Don’t tell her, but you’re the best kid I raised,” Carl added.
“We can keep that our secret.” Ellie grinned, the light in her eyes returning. She moved her queen across the board. “Checkmate.”

Hello friends! This was meant to be the beginning of next week's episode, but it just didn't work out that way. I'm fine with that, though. I like having these stories separate. But keep in mind that today's and next week's do take place basically at the same time.

My husband thought he correctly predicted today's story. How do you feel now Chris? It's so difficult for me not to tell Chris everything that's going to happen, but I want to keep it secret. There's just so much coming!

If you haven't seen it already, I am doing a giveaway!! Click on the GIVEAWAY tab under the header to enter. It's for Zak Detox Deodorant's new Super Smooth formula... which makes me smile because anything with the word "super" in it totally relates to my blog and this story series. But honestly, it's my favorite deodorant so go check it out!

Oh, and I looked over the random indent thing certain paragraphs have in all these stories. I would love to fix it, but when I get rid of the indent, it ruins the color, sizing, and other factors of the story, without any way of solving them. So even though it's not always pleasing to the eye, I promise you it's a much better alternative. And causes me fewer headaches.

... And yes, I'm aware Carl and Ellie are the couple from UP.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know for sure if I could help, but I occasionally fix formatting with html on some sites at work, so I could take a look at the indenting and see if I could help if you want. But no pressure. I haven't even really noticed the indents. -Michelle O


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