“It was only a dollar fifty for fu…”
“Silas! Don’t you dare finish that sentence.” Ally’s patience was wearing thin with her son’s anger and foul mouth. Her fear of the ever increasing mountain of shit she knew was nearing the point of collapse and her constant refusal to agree to any bit of fun for her kids was sending her natural mother guilt in to overdrive. Silas was right, not that she could tell him that, but it was a dollar fifty cone for fucks sake—a simple cone she could not provide.
“Fine, but it was just a stupid, plain cone. I want one. I’m hungry!”
“If Silas gets an ice cream, I should get to go to the movie.” I’m bored complained over his twins whining. The only one acting like a big kid was her nine year old and that was just because she was currently engrossed in a rock she’d found at the park.
“No one’s going to the movies or getting ice cream. Now please be quiet while we’re in this lovely lobby and let’s head up to our room.”
Ally smiled an apology at their fellow hotel guest who’d raised an eyebrow at her as she directed her brood through a lobby, filled with authentic old west décor. Desperation and desolation did not belong in such a beautiful place, but those were the high ranking emotions filling her soul these days and she worried they would remain for some time to come.
“Mrs. Swans, excuse me…Mrs. Swans.”
Please, oh please, not now… Ally stopped the kids and turned toward the man calling her name, a name she was ditching just as soon as humanly possible. “Yes, can I help you?”
“Robert Ferre´t, ah you know, how about you just call me Bob. I’m the hotel manager.”
Ally gave the short, rat-faced man an assessing glance and wondered how far her pleas would go towards extending their stay for another week. Sick with the fact that she would have to do this in front of her children, she wondered where to start. “Mr. Ferr…”
“Bob, please,” he interrupted, waving his hands to cut off her appeal before it started. “If you don’t mind stepping back this way into my office, Mrs. Swans.”
“Sure.” Ally moved the kids in front of her as they all made their way to the hotel office. There were chairs enough for her crew, set beside the door. At least she could be shamed in private, but they’d still have to drag what little remained of their personal effects down and out into the street when this was all over. She hoped her kids could handle it without too many tears.
“Mom, I’m bored, can I have a quarter to play the video games while we wait?”
“No, Daniel.” She cringed at hearing that word come out of her mouth yet again. “Kids, please wait for me in these chairs…no moving. I’ll be right back out.”
Ally turned and followed Bob into the office, determined to do whatever it took to keep a roof over their heads as long as possible.
Hawke squat in the corner of the waiting room and watched the young Swans fidget in their chairs while waiting on their mom. Each one of them made him smile. The oldest, Silas his mother had called him, struggled with the order to remain in his seat. His legs were stretched as far as he could get them with the smallest amount of his butt remaining on the chair.
His twin, Daniel, kept on with the sighing that all young children seem to master along the way. Even the children of yesteryear knew how to sigh. It must be instinct.
The sweet little girl, a replica of her mother, sat quietly observing her rock. “What is it you see in that stone, sweet’ling?” He asked, but didn't really expect an answer.
“A ring or a bracelet maybe, I’m not sure yet.”
Hawke looked into the honest eyes of a child who could see him. She smiled so prettily at him with no fear and a trust he wasn’t sure he deserved quite yet.
“Shut-up, Rosie, no one cares about your stupid rock.”
“Sorry about my brother’s bad manners,” Rosie whispered to him from behind her hand. “He just wants an ice cream.”
“Crazy…” Silas once again took his anger out, verbally, on his sister. Hawke would be correcting that behavior as soon as he was again corporeal. Silas would be learning what it meant to be a man through hard work and encouragement. He would, along with his siblings, find out what it meant to be a person of honor.
First though he had a little girl to introduce himself too.
“Hello, Rosie.” He waved and smiled at the accommodating child. “Can you see me?”
“Of course.” She chimed with a nod of her head. “Are those real feathers in your hair?”