10 August 2005
"You do this every day, huh?" Jackie asked over the music. "Two months, and I don't think I've seen you miss it more than once." I was beating up on the heavy punching bag hanging in the basement, and she was laying on my weight bench, reading.
"Mostly every day, yeah. Though people don't tend to hang out down here while I do."
"I can't imagine Lori would miss it on days she's here. Not if you always do it shirtless."
"She...doesn't like the idea that I hit things," I said, taking a step back and grabbing my water bottle. She hummed and nodded.
"I honestly hadn't taken you for a fitness nut when you were in Chicago."
"I'm not into fitness. I'm into fighting. It was something very important to my dad, and he made sure it was important to me."
"Well, mostly because of Grandpa, you know. Just in case he ever showed up at the house or something, we had to be ready. But given that I can touch spirits and they can touch me, he was pretty concerned about my well-being."
"Is this grandpa of yours really so bad?" I waved my hand for her to move, and she slid her legs off the side of the bench and sat up. I sat down next to her.
"He...I don't know, really. I've never met him. But the stories I've heard paint quite the picture. He's a nephil, son of a human woman and river spirit, and believes he's entitled to a better life than mere mortals. Apparently he's very willing to cause all kinds of problems, including murder, to get what he wants."
"But why you guys?"
"Dad says it's partly because he was a disappointment. You know, someone whose identity is built on power, who values power above all else, might have problems with his only child having no power at all."
"Your dad isn't like you?"
"No. But then, on top of that, my dad has taken it upon himself to oppose his dad, you know, the idea that if you know who the monster is you don't just let someone else handle it. That it's a family affair."
"So your dad made a very powerful enemy by opposing his father, and now you get to deal with it? I mean, not for much longer, right? How old is this guy?"
"Oh, he's about 100 now, but remember that he's a nephil. He doesn't age like normal humans. He might look younger than my dad, for all I know."
"So he shows up, and what? You just punch him a lot?"
"And kick. I think the biggest thing is that he relies on his power, and I take that option away from him. Dad told me that if either of us had a real chance of stopping him, it would be me, because I can actually stand up to him in ways he can't." I took a drink of my water and we both sat in silence for a minute, staring off into space.
"Well. I need to get ready for work, but if there's some way I can help with this family affair, let me know, okay?" I nodded and she left, and I returned to my routine.
The blog of John Matteson.