• Published 3rd May 2019
  • 973 Views, 22 Comments

Aria's Archives - Shorts - SamRose

A series of short stories based on the Tumblr Ask Blog Aria's Archives

  • ...

To Be Family

Author's Note:

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Sonata's daughter wonders if she really is family

With a hefty, angled toss, the small stone sailed through the air before hitting the water just right, skipping up into the air and down the stream, doing so at least three more times before plummeting into the water below.

“Nailed it!” Golden Knight grinned, pumping his arm a little.

“You've only managed to match me in terms of skips so far,” Harp Note scoffed, a grin plastered to his face. “You have to best me if you want to claim victory.”

“That was just a warm up toss and you know it.” Knight said, grabbing his shoulder and twirling it around. “I'm going to show you that my training hasn't been for nothing!”

“Given how good you are at your other studies, I can only imagine.” Harp scoffed, “Everyone knows I'm the superior fighter of the family.”

“For now maybe, but I'm gonna make you eat those words.” Knight barked back, competition growing fierce between the two.

“Bring it.” Harp challenged back, the two getting in each other's faces as the animosity intensified.

“Boys.” Golden Dew said with a roll of her eyes, gently cradling her first child in her arms as she walked past the bickering teenage cousins.

It was a warm, sunny day, exactly the right temperature for enjoying a day out together as a family. Everyone had been given the day off for one reason or another, so they'd come together to one of the open fields to enjoy a small celebration.

Harp Note and Golden Knight had immediately taken to throwing rocks in the creek, either seeing who could throw the farthest or skip it the best. The two would-be soldiers had been hard at work with their training, and having the day off they were once again trying to best each other. Given that they were the same age and aiming for the same profession, it was only natural that they had become so competitive.

Golden Dew, the oldest of the children, had been married off to a well-to-do suitor and a family had started not long after. Her first child was a small bundle of greens and purple, that would one day grow up to be a respectable member of the family no doubt.

Olive Branch and Noble Lass were on the other side of the field, Olive teaching Noble a new song she had heard from a traveling performer the other day, and Noble for her part doing her best to keep up with her hyperactive cousin's interests.

The parents of the kids, their mothers and respective fathers, were busy tending to the meals that were planned for this occasion. A fire had been lit and was now properly smoldering with coals that were being used to cook rather sizable portions of meat that had been gathered by the hard working men. A stew was being prepared as a secondary meal, fresh bread had been purchased from the market earlier, and baked goods would be brought in later for dessert.

Extended family from the men the trio of women had sired children with were in scattered attendance too, causing the small field to be filled with merry banter and music. From a single look it would appear as if the whole town had come to join in on the celebration, and all were having a good time.

All, save the young 12 year old redhead who sat under the shade of a tree, sighing quietly to herself as she watched the merriment play out before her. Her eyes wandered from cousin to cousin, relative to relative, before stopping to stare at her mother. The large head of blue hair seemed to bob with her laughter, apparently having found a joke someone had said funny.

Her lips pursed a little, then pulled back as she hung her head, burying it in her knees, as she sat there in a puddle of her own conflicting emotions.

“You don't look like you're enjoying the festivities like everyone else.” Dew's words had snuck up on Melody, her head popping up to see the eldest cousin standing in front of her, smiling as gracefully as ever. “Would you care for some company?”

“O-Oh... No I, I couldn't bother you.” Melody said with a shake of her head. “You have your son to take care of after all...”

“Oh he's not being fussy right now, if anything I think he's ready for a nap.” Dew chuckled, looking down at the small bundle that was curling up against her body. With care, she took a seat next to the younger girl, making sure her son was comfy, then turned to the troubled teen. “So how come you're over here by yourself and not partaking in the food or song?”

Melody stared down at her knees, twiddling her fingers as she tried to articulate her emotions. She wasn't even sure if she even wanted to try and explain them to Dew, let alone even be in this situation at all. It hurt her head to think about everything, and it left her just feeling more down than she'd started.

“I don't know...” Melody sighed, resting her chin on her knees as she watched their family enjoying themselves. “I just feel... Out of place, I guess.”

“Out of place?” Dew tilted her head. “Why would you feel out of place? You're family, same as everyone else here.”

“I... I mean... Yeah... I am...” Melody shook her head, her eyes drifting over to Sonata once more. The older woman was smiling again, watching her sisters with rapt attention as they spoke and helped prepare the food. “But am I really?

“I'm afraid you've lost me on this one.” Dew softly chuckled, leaning against the tree. “You're my cousin, and that makes you family. I don't know what else you might need.”

“...A mother that cares, for one.” Melody had meant to mumble it to herself, but came out loud enough that Dew caught on.

“Ah, so that's what this is about.” Dew smiled sympathetically. “Aunt Sonata has never been the... Freshest of fruits.” Dew pursed her lips as she tried to pick her words. “She always was the lazy aunt, always preferring to have other people do everything for her. Not that mom and aunt Ari aren't like that too, but they don't whine nearly as much when they have to do something themselves.”

“Yeah. And usually I'm the one who gets stuck cleaning up the chores she doesn't want to do.” Melody grumbled.

“You do seem to get the short end of the stick there.” Dew carefully adjusted the cloth around her baby, making sure he was comfy before turning to look back at Melody. “I know when Harp, Knight, and I were living there we were helping you with the chores Sonata refused to do, but things never seemed that bad. Have things been worse at home lately?”

Melody paused as she thought about it, before gently shaking her head.

“Not... Really. Olive and Noble do their share around the house, as do their parents... I do get stuck doing whatever Mom asks me to do, but it's not like its been more than usual...”

“So what's bothering you then? Cause it's clearly something.”

Melody went silent at that, looking up at her mother again, who seemed to have moved to eating some of the food that had been prepared. That silly, happy smile on her face as she enjoyed life without a care in the world. A gentle breeze blew through the field, and Melody felt a small twinge in her eyes as the realization hit her hard.

“I just... Wish I knew if she cared or not...” Melody murmured, turning to stare at the ground.

“I have seen few things that Aunt Sonata seems to genuinely enjoy.” Dew said softly, bringing her hand up to rub Melody's back. “She really only has interest in the things that interest her and seemingly nothing else. It can be a hard thing to accept, but it's not like she out right hates you.”

“Aunt Adagio loves you though.” Melody grumbled. “And Aunt Aria loves Knight and Noble, even if she shows it in her own way. But Mom doesn't even glance at me most of the time. She treats me like a burden, something in her way rather than her daughter.” Melody felt her voice starting to crack, and buried her head in her knees. “I just want her to love me...”

Dew gently rubbed Melody's back in comfort, letting the two sit there in silence. The breeze carried the notes of music and merriment from the family around them, a constant background reminder of where they were. A couple cheers sounded out from whatever competition Harp and Knight had gotten themselves into now, and more of the guests were making their way towards the food.

“I wish I had the answers you were seeking Melody, I really do.” Dew said as sympathetically as she could. “All I can really suggest for now is maybe finding a time to talk with your Mother, maybe see if you can't get these things sorted out. It's Sonata so I don't know how well it'll work, but it's worth a shot isn't it?”

Melody gave a non-committal grunt from her knees, which gave Dew a small chuckle.

“But I want you to remember this Melody. No matter what you may think or how much Sonata may love you, you will always be family to us.” Dew gently lifted a hand up to Melody's head and leaned against her, pulling Melody into a side hug. “We love you and want you here. Even if we're not always around, that much will never change.”

“...Love ya too cus...” Melody murmured before finally lifting her head up to smile at Dew, who smiled back.

“Come on.” Dew said with a smile, standing up from her spot and extending a free hand to Melody. “It may not be much, but let's go have lunch with your Mother. I've found it's best to spend time with her when she's in a good mood, and even a small glance can tell you today's one of her better days.”

Melody hesitated at the offer, glancing over at her mother who was still at the table eating and conversing with the other adults. She swallowed some of the nerves that had gathered in her throat before taking Dew's hand and standing up. Dew gave her a small nod of approval, before the two began to walk towards the tables.

Melody felt the anxiety bubbling up inside of her, unsure of how this might go, or what might be said. She just wanted to be happy together with her mother and while normally she felt like that wasn't so much to ask for, right now it felt like the biggest task in the world.

The two approached the table and it was Adagio who spotted the two first.

“Ah, Dew! Were you looking for food?” Adagio, the supposedly eldest siren who looked suspiciously similar to Dew in age, asked.

“Yes, actually.” Dew said with a smile. “Melody and I had grown hungry so we figured it was time to eat.”

“Then pick a seat you two, I'll fetch you something to eat right away.” Adagio said with a smile before whisking herself away.

Dew gave Melody a pat on the back and nodded her head towards Sonata, who seemed to be in her own blissful world munching on a rather large piece of meat that had been thoroughly cooked.

Melody took a deep breath and let it out slowly, before stepping up behind her.

“Uhm... Mother?” Melody spoke up, just loud enough to be heard.

“Hrm?” Sonata asked, turning her head to look at Melody with a mouthful of meat, continuing to chew absentmindedly.

“W-Would it be alright if I sat next to you?”

Sonata blinked at that, before shrugging her shoulders and shifting over a little. Melody's heart lept a little at that, happy at the sign of acknowledgment as she quickly took the seat next to her mother. She squirmed a little in the seat, not sure what to do or say, though Sonata didn't seem to notice as she was drooling over the cooked meat.

“I-Is the food tasty?” Melody asked, just trying to strike up a conversation.

“Mmmm... Ish goooooood.” Sonata moaned with a mouthful of food. She chewed a few more times before swallowing, and immediately took another large bite.

“G-Good. That's good.” Melody softly chuckled, looking forward as she waited for her own meal.

It wasn't much, but... She was sitting there with her mother, and while it wasn't quite how she wanted it to be, Sonata didn't seem to loathe her merely existing, and that would have to do for now.

At the very least, the small sentiment had put a smile on Melody's face.