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x- rocket -x- the story of catherine d'tardis -x

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x- rocket -x- the story of catherine d'tardis -x

Post by catherine dtardis on Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:23 am

[ greetings!

catherine is the only of my characters who was created out of a specific need - to help me through the grieving process of losing someone who was very dear to me. for that reason, and the peculiar developments that arose through rp about encounters with the doctor in catherine's past before they truly 'met', her journey is rather singular and meaningful to me. enough so that i began to write it in prose form, with a goal of completing a book as another way moving on. as a sidenote, since the doctor is not my character, you'll notice i never name him and simply call him 'the man', nor do i use any of the language that is property of Doctor Who.

i'm posting this up there as a way of kicking myself in the bottom to keep working on it. thanks for letting me!

cheers,
minja! ]


ROCKET

“Let her get it? You’ve got to be kidding me. It’ll be pulled under before she’s - “
“No, Ty, you don’t understand. My sister’s not just a fast swimmer. She’s rocket.”

- Prologue -


Catherine Demarco was a week away from nine-years-old when she saw him for the first time.

“A man taught my class today!” She informed her grandmother of the fact before she shed her book bag on Pop Pop’s rocking chair like she always did. Catherine announced it even before she shut the front door.

So by the time Catherine did those things, there was Gran. Wiping her hands on a well-bleached dish towel and smelling as she always did of baking. Her granddaughter’s statement peaked her interest enough to make what would have been her first question her second, in order to make room for, “A man, Catherine?” But she just couldn’t keep the other question at bay. Not Gran. “Where’s Park? That boy, your Mother will have kittens if he’s – “

While Gran’s face showed her apprehension, Catherine seemed entirely nonplussed by her brother’s absence. Maybe she was even a little satisfied. But first, Gran needed to be corrected, which is why Catherine interrupted. “I like to be called Kitty now. Like Park calls me.”

“Oh! Well I’m very sorry – Kitty, where’s your brother?”

Hearing herself called Kitty made the spunky runt beam with pleasure. “With Jake.” She answered that over her shoulder in a tattle-tail tone. She was making a beeline, as always, for Gran’s kitchen.

“Is that right? Where did they go, Kitty?”

The redheaded child already had her fingers on a small blueberry-peach tart. She paused the tart in its journey to her lips to look up at her Grandmother. Eyes wider and deeper than any ocean, that’s what Gran always said about the openness of them, even though they were reddish brown in color. Wide and deep as the ocean, for Catherine such a likening was very appropriate.

“That’s right! They went to the cliffs again.” Triumphantly, the tart met its fate.

“The…!” Gran sputtered that single word, her worry and displeasure clear. “Catherine Marie Demarco, you march right back out that door and you be certain that you find them before they find their way to the top of those cliffs!”

That was not the response Catherine expected. As Gran pointed to the front door, her smug golden-child smile sank. The protesting look that replaced it was echoed in the girl’s voice, heightened in pitch. “But Gran, I’m not – I didn’t - !”

It was no use, however. Gran was already on the move, the door to the hall closet open and the spry older woman stooping down to pick up Catherine’s spare sneakers. “You’re old enough now, Kitty, to know that I will not accept don’ts, can’ts, should’ves, would’ves, and could’ves for answers. There’s no use in telling me what you didn’t do when it didn’t happen,” she said sternly as she pulled herself out of the closet, approaching Catherine and holding the girl’s sneakers out for her. “So instead you’re going to put your sneakers on and tell me what you did do when Parker and Jake told you where they were going.”

If it was anyone but Gran talking to her like that, the sass of the red-headed girl might have shown its colors. But even with the red of her hair putting extra fire in her temper at times, she knew that Gran was someone who didn’t get sassed. So Catherine took her shoes, sat herself down on the floor, and changed her shoe quietly before she gave her answer.

“Let them go.” She corrected her answer after a pause, “I did let them go.”

Gran, who had been watching Catherine like a hawk, nodded. She gestured for Catherine to put on her other sneaker as she spoke almost grimly. “There are too many people in this world already, Catherine, talking about what they can’t do or what they didn’t do, and I won’t have a granddaughter of mine adding to it. We can and do every moment of the day, Kitty, every single moment. And those choices are what make things happen; there’s no use in living a life that goes from one didn’t to the next didn’t, or from one can’t to the next can’t. Living from wasn’t to wasn’t gets you a life that never was, and I don’t want that for you. You’re too special of a girl to settle for that, do you understand?”

Catherine had never seen that kind of seriousness from her Gran before. The elderly woman’s look and tone were enough to make her granddaughter’s stomach twist, but the words were what made her stomach knot. Maybe she didn’t get what her Gran was saying entirely, but she understood it enough. The ocean that was her gaze grew a little bit wider this day, and a little bit deeper, and those kind of changes can never be reversed.

“I do, Gran.” Catherine’s voice was soft. And she nodded, and finished tying her shoe.

“Good, Catherine. Good.” It was like the elder woman put the power of healing into her smile as she looked down at her granddaughter. Instructions as they were, urgent as she felt the situation to be, Gran’s earnest was now wrapped in gentility. “Now follow your did with a do, and run to the cliffs faster than you can and you bring those boys back here by hook or crook so they can learn their lesson.”

“Yes, Gran.” The little girl stood. And was trying so very hard not to protest, but in the end she lost. “But – “

“We’ll talk about the man who taught your class when you and Parker are back here safe, Kitty, I promise.” She placed her hands on Catherine’s shoulders, and proceeded to usher the girl to the front door, opening it. “While we’re talking about it you can help me bake a nice pie.”

“Yes, Gran.”

“Straight home, Kitty! You bring them straight home!” Catherine was already well down the block as Gran called that after her. Then, the door was closed.

The pie, Gran knew, was needed. Even if it was unneeded right now, the elder woman could feel the coming need in her bones.

While it would be years before she was given the title by her peers, it was on that run to the cliffs that Rocket was born.

- -
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Re: x- rocket -x- the story of catherine d'tardis -x

Post by catherine dtardis on Fri May 08, 2009 12:13 am

- -

When the man was teaching her class about molecules, there were only eight days of school left, and Catherine was very busy practicing holding her breath.

That morning her mother promised that Catherine could go with her to Park’s swim practice after school. It was one of Catherine’s very favorite things to do, especially since her mother hardly ever let her near the water – at least, not nearly as much as Catherine would be if she could have her own way. The gift of attending Park’s practice meant that she would get to play in the shallow corner by the stairs while the team did laps, and the shallow corner by the stairs was where she always did her underwater breath-holding practice.

Even though it was obvious to Parker’s instructor how much Ferrilyn Demarco did not want her daughter in the water, Coach Burke could spot talent even when it was on its land legs. To him there was no mistake – there was talent Parker Demarco’s younger sister that could not be ignored, even when faced with the glare of their cold, often leery mother. It was talent enough that Coach Burke regularly risked getting chilled by Mrs. Demarco’s suspicious, unbending stare.

“When she’s nine-years-old, Mrs. Demarco,” he’d always say either at the beginning or end of Parker’s practices whether Catherine was there with their mother or not, “I’d love to give her a spot on the junior team. Have I seen your daughter swim? Not once. Have I ever in my career have I offered that to a parent without a tryout? Nosirree, Mrs. Demarco, not once. But for your daughter? In a heartbeat - I thought you should know that.”

Ferrilyn Demarco did indeed know. That she knew that particular fact she could never deny, as Coach Burke told her that very thing at the practice before this one, and at the practice before that, and the practice before that, and so on from the very first day he’d laid eyes on her Catherine. Perhaps he repeated himself hoping to wear her down, but each time he got the same cool, unchanging reply.

“Stephen and I will speak about it when the time comes, Coach Burke, though you should know having both children in the same sport is highly unlikely. I’m sure Catherine will come to see she has her own unique interests.”

“She doesn’t have her own unique interests,” Coach Burke always grumbled to the assistant coach, who had been one of Burke’s own students once upon a time. “When I ran into Amelia Connolly, you know what she told me? She said her granddaughter learned to swim before she could walk. And I don’t doubt it, Marks. My gut says that girl was made to move through water, and my gut never lies. Neither does Amelia Connolly.”

The only liar, perhaps, was Ferrilyn Demarco. Unless one considered her insistence that her daughter would come to see that she had her own unique interests as simply denial. For Catherine would be nine in six short days, and sitting now in class her cheeks were puffed out as big as a squirrel’s while her eyes were proudly fixed on the second hand of the classroom clock watching as she was about to break her best breath-holding record. She was eight seconds away when,

“…while an electron is attracted to an molecule with a positive charge, pieces of paper – “

Smack. Exhaled exclamation: “Ow!”

“Tattler.” Thus was the retort from the thrower, from two rows away and three seats back. For a nine-year-old, he had a very good pitching arm.

“ - are not traditionally attracted to the backs of little girls’ heads.” The substitute finished with a funny little smirk, the sort that said he’d known Jake was going to throw that piece of paper perhaps even before Jake knew it himself. He looked at the steaming Catherine briefly, before his age-old bemusement was directed back at Jake. “Nor are thumbtacks naturally attracted to desk chairs, or pieces of paper with rude four-letter words naturally attracted to projection screens in the hope they will get pulled down, and all of that tells me that in this very room, class, we have a catalyst.”

“You ruined my new record!” Catherine turned in her chair and spat that hotly at Jake, clearly not listening to a single thing the man was saying.

Jake, however, was. This man knew he’d taped something on the projection screen without even pulling it down. It got his attention. And suspicion. Jake didn’t like this man any more. Not that he’d ever thought the substitute more than an end of school-year joke. “What’s a catalyst?”

“I’m so glad you asked,” the man said with a wan grin, eyes trading between Catherine and Jake as he strode up Jake’s row. “In science, a catalyst is an agent that provokes a chemical reaction to happen at a speedier rate than it would have otherwise, or an agent that provokes any significant change or action. Now in this classroom, well,” he added as he slipped a hand into the pocket of his suit jacket, “a catalyst is the lucky recipient of one of…a recipient-” He frowned and scoffed his next words as he dug his hand deeper into his pocket, losing both the timing of this reveal with the suspense of it on the rocks as well, “oh come on now I’ve got it in here somewhere, made sure to pack a whole stack of – ah! These.”

The pink slip positioned between his index and middle finger was extended out to Jake. “Funny thing, class, about catalysts. Unable to reason,“ he said with a playing smile, “they never realize that for every action there’s an equal an opposite reaction.” He dangled the piece of paper in front of Jake’s face to drive that point home. “Come on then, Mr. Donovan. Take my equal and opposite reaction to the office, or I’ll just give the projection screen a little downward pull so the principal can have a look – “

Jake snatched the piece of paper out of the substitute teacher’s hand, snatched up his book bag, and stomped out of the room with a smoldering glare before the man could finish.

“ –see,” he completed with a grin. “Well! That went well, wouldn’t you all agree?” The substitute picked up his book, and continued the lecture without skipping a beat. “A molecule with a positive or negative charge and thus having the power of attraction, by the way, is called an ion, and – “

The bell rang.
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