Another Day in the Retirement of Me.

Episode 6: Family Day. (Part 2)

It was late into the evening before Rachel put the finishing touches on her self-proclaimed Titanic. Sonita had glue all over her clothes and toothpicks in her hair, she was hungry and downright tired.

"Can I go home now?" She asked, deciding sheíd never come in on family day again. It was just plain hazardous to oneís health. And she didnít want to know what Rachel had been doing down in the entrance hall earlier.

"Yeah, yeah, get out of here," the old woman agreed eagerly, "The kidsíll be by any moment, donít want you scaring them, eh?"

Sonita frowned as Rachel motioned her out of the bathroom. "What kids?" She asked.

"Kids?" Rachel echoed, glancing back and forth, "I didnít say anything about kids."

"Yeah, you did," Sonita said, "You said the kids will be by any moment. But I thought they werenít allowed to see you."

"Psh, if my daughter allowed some man to rule her life then the apocalypse would have already come and gone." Rachel said, "Nope, I know who wears the pants in my daughterís family and it ainít some yellow coward named Bret."

"So your family is coming?" Sonita asked in confusion, "Visiting hours is over, though," she added, glancing at the clock.

"Who cares about visiting hours?" Rachel asked. She lowered her voice to a conspiratorial tone. "Theyíll come at you in the dead of night. The doors will be barred but theyíll find a way in. No one will be safe and no one will get out..."

Sonita looked at the woman as if she were insaneówhich, by all rights, Sonita reminded herself, she very well might be. "Uh, Racheló"

"They come!" Rachel interrupted theatrically at the same moment as something hard thumped on the floor beside the window.

Sonita jumped and squeaked embarrassingly in fright. Rachel glared at her. "Oh, shut up, Dennis isnít that scary."

There was another thump and then a woman climbed through the window. She reached down and hauled two children to their feet. The kids quickly squirmed away and ran over to Rachel.

"Grandma!" They cried in unison, giving the old woman hugs until they were beat off by her walking cane.

"Off! Off, you little scavengers! Feeling for money no doubt," Rachel grumbled.

The woman who had climbed in the window somehow managed to get around Sonita without her noticing and flipped the light switch. Cries of pain immediately sounded out from the two children and their grandmother.

"Ah! The light! It burns! It burns!" All three of them exclaimed dramatically.

The woman rolled her eyes and playfully hit Rachel over the back of her head, "Knock it off, mom, donít encourage them."

The old woman smiled guiltily and shrugged, "Hey, theyíre your kids."

"Mom, whoís this?" The woman asked, looking Sonita over.

"Ah, some dumb brat the hospital assigned to torment me," Rachel replied, waving her presence away.

"Iím with the Senior Citizen program from school," Sonita said dryly, "They stuck me with this old witch."

The woman laughed as Rachel glared, hands tightening on her cane.

"Wow, and you two havenít managed to kill each other yet," the woman said in wonder.

"Hey, grandma, look what Iíve got!" The smaller of the two kids interrupted. She was showing the woman a small, marble sized ball. "Itís a game daddy got me for Christmas, want to play?"

Rachel looked down at it skeptically, "It doesnít have rainbows in it?" She asked.

The little girl giggled and shook her head.

"No ponies?" Rachel asked skeptically, "Or dolls with ankles too small for their weight?"

The girl shook her head again, "Itís a first person shooter, grandma," she announced, "Daddy thought it was educational."

Rachel cackled, "When will he learn that he needs to play the games himself before giving them to you kids? Bring it on, girlie!"

The two kids and the old woman excitedly touched the small ball and it shone brightly for a second, the three of them spacing out as they became lost in the violent world of the game.

"So, youíre Rachelís daughter?" Sonita asked, "I always wondered what kind of family someone like that would have."

The woman grinned, "Oh, she isnít all bad. She spoils the kids rotten whenever she can, of course, and my husbandís never forgiven her foró"

"The chainsaw incident on your second date," Sonita interrupted, "Yeah, I heard."

The woman laughed, "It was only a bit of threatening. Dad was surprised when he came back, most of them run like thereís no tomorrow after that one. Thatís when we all knew it was true love."

Sonita snickered, "When the guy comes back despite the in-laws?"

"When the in-laws carve ham for dinner with a chainsaw and suggest that the same might be done to some other pigs, then, yeah," the woman said. She stuck out a hand, "Iím Rose, you are?"

"Sonita," Sonita replied, "Just Rose? I would have expected something a little different with someone like her as your mother."

Rose smiled thinly, "You mean something like Rose Aeris?" She asked.

"Whoís Aeris?" Sonita asked, frowning in confusion.

Rose immediately clamped a hand over the girlís mouth, looking at the dispossessed old woman nervously. "Donít let her hear you say that," she whispered, "Itís a character from some archaic video game." She shrugged helplessly, "That was first date material. If the guy didnít know who Aeris was they werenít even allowed to have ham."

"Video game character, huh?" Sonita asked, wincing.

"Yeah, well itís better than my brothers," Rose said, "John Laguna and Daniel Sephiroth." She shuddered, "And whatís worse, they act a lot like their namesakes."

The three game players jerked back to reality, "Booyah, baby, I still got it!" Rachel crowed happily.

"Teach me how to do that thing with three guns, Grandma?" The little girl asked eagerly.

"I wanna know how you got that knife to work!" The boy exclaimed, "I always thought it was part of the environment!"

"Experience, kids, canít beat experience," Rachel said with a smug, satisfied expression, "Oh, yeah, Iíve got a present for you in the bathroom."

"Yay!" The kids chorused before dashing to the bathroom, almost tripping over each other in their haste.

"You really think theyíll like something like that?" Sonita asked, looking after them skeptically.

Rachel grinned, flipping a few of the marble-type games in her fingers, "Nah, I just like to see them sweat."

"Mom, youíre horrible," Rose commented as the two kids came out of the bathroom with smiles forced onto their faces, the toothpick reconstruction of the Titanic resting in their combined arms.

"Er, thanks, grandma," Dennis said, his sincerity failing a little. He elbowed his sister.

"Uh, yeah, thanks," the girl echoed, "I, uh... itís great, grandma."

Rachel laughed, "You two are hopeless liars," she announced, "When are you going to learn to at least meet my eyes when youíre lying?" She tossed the marble-games at them. "Here you go, brats."

Dennis and his sister made an exclamation of joy before diving for the games. Rose just barely managed to catch the ship in time to keep it from following its namesake.

"Now, this little gem is a game I expect you all to play before the next time I see you," Rachel said, holding out a third marble to show the others, "I donít care if itís graphics are old, youíll play it anyway. Cause if you donít," her eyes narrowed, "Iíll know. And I wonít be happy."

"Weíll play it grandma!" The girl exclaimed before snatching it from the womanís hand.

"Good girl, Riku," the old woman said.

Sonita raised an eyebrow and looked over at Rose, "Riku?" She mouthed.

The woman smiled guiltily, "At the time we thought mom was on her death bed. Turned out she was faking just to get a grandchild named Riku." She shook her head, "The things we do for love."

Thatís all for now! This has been another exciting episode of A Day in the Retirement of Me! If you donít recognize where any of the names in this story came from then you need serious help and you must submit hours to the playing of Square games and reading the Lord of the Rings, because youíre obviously oblivious to them both. Of course, I canít be held responsible for what Knives might do to you in the meantime.... (what do you mean youíve never watched Trigun??)

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