So I was in the car for a while, so another part got written! Yay! Probably after this it’ll slow down for a bit. Sadness.
Anyways, we last left off with Porter discovering that he’s essentially a “guardian angel” for a kid named Myrtle, who happens to be a technological pioneer.
Also, Myrtle is the only one who can see him.
You can read more about this here.
(oh and see the author’s notes at the bottom)
“This is where you live, hon?” I raise my eyebrows, surveying the broken down apartment.
“Yea. My uncle’s in there.” She shrugs, looking somewhat embarrassed, scuffing the ground. The shoes I thought were new before, I realize are just men’s shoes that are too big on her feet.
“Ah.” I nod, remembering.
Myrtle Bloom, saddled down with an alcoholic uncle who barely lets her go to school. It’s a sad story to read, really. If I were back on my couch at home reading her biography, I might even frown a little longer than normal.
But it all seems much more real when you can smell the whisky and see the broken chairs because they can’t afford any more. It’s much more real when a little kid that barely knows you is shrinking to cling to your side. You don’t see that in a biography, now do you?
Oh Myrtle, we’ve got to get you out of here. She’s stuck to my side like a parasite and I don’t have the heart to shake her off. Which is odd, cause I’m the type of person you’d think would shake off small clingy children. I normally would too, but this is different.
“HEY!” A low voice yells, whisky running off his voice like water as he stumbles through the hoarded trash to find me.
“What’re you doing with my niece?!”
Ah, so he can see me too. Thanks council, it will make punching him in the face that much more fun. Perhaps it’s just Myrtle’s genetics that have the ability to see little ol’ me. Who knows? Who really cares?
“Child services, sir. We’re taking her away.”
Yet another lie I don’t feel bad about. That makes two in the past day. Nice. Or not, depending on your worldview.
She tenses beside me, if she’s waiting for a no or a yes, I don’t know. I hope it’s not the former. I squeeze her shoulder and she relaxes a tiny bit. I get a better look at her overweight uncle.
Dreadlocks lie around his face, outlining those calculating beady blue eyes. He’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt stained with alcohol and he just reeks of it. His tan shorts are blotched with spots and I wonder how Myrtle’s made it this long semi normal and educated. The kid’s tougher than I thought.
“Great.” He mutters, walking back.
“Wait, sir, I need you to sign this.” I say, quickly grabbing in my pocket for a crumpled adoption paper that the council handed me before throwing me to Earth.
They also gave me some money.
So thoughtful of them. Always preparing me for any outcome. A crummy adoption paper in case her uncle was still around and hadn’t drank himself to death, and enough money to last me a month or three.
He grabs a pen out of the junk heap that he calls his home and quickly signs his name, transferring legal rights over to yours truly. Myrtle blinks a little bit beside me. I put my arm around her shoulder. Ugh. I don’t do touchy feely things.
“Get your things, kid.” I have never been so glad to leave a house in my entire life.
She nods, sniffling. I don’t think she shares in my utter joy.
He just gave her away like she was nothing. I don’t normally find myself feeling sorry for people because they deserve what they get, but I feel sorry for Myrtle Bloom.
“She’s a handful, that girl.” Her never sober uncle remarks, taking another swig of his bottle. I turn around.
“I’ve been told I look scary right before I punch people between the eyes.” I remark, as calmly as if I were talking about the weather and not his physical wellbeing.
He blinks, staggering back.
Ah yes, being a guardian angel is pretty fun.
Myrtle comes out with red eyes and a ratty blue backpack stuffed with clothes and a broken radio. She carries a faded green turtle blanket that looks like it’s been cried on and rubbed in the dirt.
“Come on, Myrtle.” I say louder, giving her uncle a look and clenching my fist where he can see.
When she’s alongside me I kneel down and whisper. “Whatever you do, kid, don’t look back.”
She nods gravely, hugging her blanket to her chest to stop the leaking from her eyes. It’s funny, how you forget how young she is until she does something so utterly childish. I sigh a little bit. I’m not a nice person, but not even I would make her walk alone from her only family.
I put my hand out and she grabs my fingers in a death grip.
I am already regretting this decision.
“I didn’t think he’d let me go that easy…” She says quietly once we’re down the road.
I sigh. Time for a motivational talk. I kneel down, looking directly at her eyes.
“Myrtle Bloom, I am not very good at talking, so I’m going to make this short. You are a wondrous creation and if you think for a second that your uncle gave you away because you are trouble or bad or it’s all your fault, then you are by far the stupidest child I have ever met.”
Pep talk over.
She laughs a bit, rubbing at her eyes. “You’re funny, Porter. Thanks.” She gives me a watery smile.
Uncle Morris down, millions of more things life will throw at Myrtle Bloom to go.
She had a hard life.
It’s almost cruel, the way the council is making me pay penance. Scratch that, it’s the most unfunny joke that’s been played on me since Harold Creech made me think he was dying for three months.
You save a life and mess with a timeline, and guess what your penance is? Decide what crap you’ll allow a little girl who just wants to be normal go through.
Thanks, Council, no really. If I didn’t already hate you, this might just clinch the deal.
Thankfully, you’ve already got my hatred, and all this does is make me even more sure of it.
“How’re we going to live?” She cocks her head.
I calculate about how much money we have and what an invisible person can do for work.
“We’ve got enough for a couple months of apartment rent and groceries.” I think out loud, never so thankful that everything was cheaper in the 80’s.
“I can work.”
“No, out of the question. You are going to school.”
“What can an invisible man do for a job?” She says, dragging her blanket behind her as I wrinkle my nose up a bit.
I am definitely buying a washing machine.
“Well, I can cross off acting.”
She laughs like it’s the most funny thing that’s ever come out of my mouth. My lips quirk upwards a bit as I wonder why children are so easy to please.
“You could write the movies.” She says, laughing.
Wait. That’s an idea. I could write science fiction, borrowing from my own future and normal life and putting artistic license on it.
“I can be a novel writer and an editor.” I say, rubbing the stubble on my chin thoughtfully.
“Aren’t writers kinda…” She cocks her head, making a “crazy” motion around her head.
“A bit, yea.” I shrug and then my eyes widen. “Don’t you have school?”
“Today is Sunday. You really must’ve hit your head hard.”
Oh right, back then they didn’t have school on the weekends.
“Know any cheap but not ratty apartments?”
“Down by Jen’s house, there’s a good complex. Pretty decent prices according to Mrs. Harrison.”
I nod. Now, just to figure out how to buy it invisibly. Perhaps I could pretend to be an eccentric person who is scared of people and just communicates over mail?
Yes, that’ll work.
“Got any paper?”
She pulls out a notebook and a pen and I begin to scribble my note in the margins.
“Take this to the manager.”
“Do you think it’ll work?”
“Money talks, hon, even if I don’t.”
She shrugs and puts her things by me, running off past the houses, streaking like a bolt of purple lightning, her jacket flying behind her.
Author’s notes: So I don’t really know exactly where I’m going to go with this. I have a vague idea of scenes I will write and who my villain will be and an eensy bit of dear ol’ Porter’s backstory. If you have an suggestions or ideas of what you think might happen or should happen, please tell me!