First Draft Excerpt from Measure of Adulthood

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Lemarcus was getting bored, so Helene included him in the conversation telepathically, What are your plans, young man? The sending was limited to Lemarcus and myself.

"I'll find a way to get by." I had to wince. It was plain from his surface thoughts that he was still in 'minimum effort' mode.

Some advice from someone who's seen a little more of life - 'getting by' is the way into trouble, usually sooner than later. Learn to do it well. You may still encounter trouble, but not nearly so often and not nearly so much.

"I'm two hundred years old. I know what I'm doing."

Clearly. Mindrape and fraud are such minor issues.

I could feel the sarcasm dripping. Lemarcus, do not antagonize her! She'll eat you alive! I told him privately.

"I don't wanna be the mule making other people rich."

"Teach this offspring of yours the way economics works," Helene told me in Technical, pointedly turning her back and walking away.

"Well done. You going to challenge Amras to a duel next, or just pull a weapon on Iaren?" Either one was suicide - but I wasn't certain he hadn't done something worse already - Helene ran the family, and her marriage to Scimtar was as close as mine to Asto.

"They can't be dissing me like that!"

"Listen up - everyone here knows what you did, and don't tell me you 'didn't do anything!' Losing your adulthood for mindrape and fraud is plenty to mark you as needing remedial life training! You do not 'know what you're doing,' because if you did, you wouldn't have committed fraud or mindrape, and you certainly wouldn't have been convicted! You want to be the buffoon the whole family laughs at and makes fun of? If that's your goal, you're right on track!"

"You said you loved me!"

I made a prayer apologizing to Our Lord for putting Lemarcus up for adoption in the first place. Even then, I would have done better for him than what he got. "Love requires more than emotional support. It requires getting you off the self-destructive path you're on!"

"I was doing fine!"

"You had thirtyfive luc in total assets! I make more than twice that per hour! Esteban, who became adult two days ago, has cubes in his personal account! Your four other siblings, who can't be legally responsible, still make more than that every single week!"

"Who told you that?" Lemarcus was outraged.

"It's in the accounting for your fines owed." I realized the whole room was watching us.

Ilras broke in, addressing me in Technical, "Thirtyfive luc? Why are you bothering?" He turned his back in contempt.

"Because I'm his mother, and it was my responsibility to see he had a chance to learn better! What if I'd given you to strangers who should have done better by you, but didn't?"

Ilras saw the point, and turned back around. "I'm sorry, Mom." He might not have had any tolerance for fools, but he could admit when he was wrong. Switching to English, "I apologize, brother. Your adoptive family was not your fault."

"What you mean?"

"Stop right there!" I interrupted, "Ilras was apologizing for denigrating your efforts. The correct response is 'apology accepted.'" I looked from Lemarcus to Ilras.

"Apology accepted. But Mom, she done good by me. She always supported me."

"That may be part of your problem," I told him again, "She should have demanded more. It's never easy to improve, and there's always a tendency to coast on minimum effort. But the people here have a strong motivation."

Copyright 2023 Dan Melson. All Rights Reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on December 25, 2023 7:00 AM.

Excerpt from Working The Trenches was the previous entry in this blog.

First Draft Excerpt from Measure of Adulthood is the next entry in this blog.

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