andhiswife: (Default)
2020-11-20 08:57 pm

Darrow Mailbox

Please leave letters for Greta here.
andhiswife: (Default)
2020-11-20 08:54 pm

Darrow Voicemail

[There is a second of silence, an uncertain squeak, and then a quiet cough.]

"... Er. Yes. Leave a message, if you, er, meant to call me. This is Greta, by the way."
andhiswife: (melancholy)
2017-09-12 07:45 pm
Entry tags:

Go lift your sails up for one last swell

And now the Poldarks are gone.

She doesn't even know how to process the losses anymore. She doesn't know why she's still here. How much more is she supposed to bear, exactly? There has to be a precise point where this all stops being worth the trouble. Hasn't she passed it, yet? Or is she still meant to believe this epilogue is some sort of generous gift, far better than an abrupt and undignified ending at the bottom of a cliff? Because she honestly doesn't know, anymore. She doesn't know if she wants a second chance if this is all that will come of it.

She especially doesn't know why they've left her the bloody house. She sits on the stoop, staring down at the keys in numb disbelief, and it's only because her friend wanted this that she can convince herself that this, too, isn't some kind of cruel joke.

Demelza would never be cruel. Not to her, not now.

Well. Not on purpose. Part of her can't help but wonder if this was something decided before Sam's disappearance, and they just hadn't got round to updating the paperwork. That would make sense. More sense than the thought of her knocking about what is unmistakably a family home with just a dog for company. It's absurd. What is she supposed to do with it all?

Go in would be the logical first step, but she hasn't yet worked up the nerve. After helping them move in, and visiting on several occasions, she has too clear an idea of how it ought to be. Not empty. Not silent. And certainly not hers.
andhiswife: (overwhelmed)
2017-09-03 03:11 pm
Entry tags:

Tell her what you know

It's not easier this time, or better, it's just different. She doesn't cry as much, because she doesn't have the energy for hysterics anymore. It's less like being tempest-tossed and more like being adrift, gritting her teeth through the intermittent swells of sorrow or bitter self-recrimination until the waters still again, and she can get on with things.

And she doesn't want to talk about it. She doesn't want another round of sympathy from her friends, she doesn't want to be pitied. She doesn't want to be the person who just can't seem to stop suffering all the time. She's so tired.

But someone needs to tell Saoirse, and Greta's not letting it fall to anyone else. She ought to hear it from someone who knows how much Sam and Jordan meant to her. So after her shift is over, she goes off in search of her, eventually finding her out on the lawn with Cu.

"Saoirse?" It's a bright day, and Greta distantly wonders if she's about to ruin it as she shades her eyes. "Can you come here a moment?"
andhiswife: (smile - pensive)
2017-08-13 02:53 pm
Entry tags:

Every knot was once straight rope

Greta hasn't said anything to Saoirse about the misunderstanding at the hospital -- the one neither of them had bothered to correct. She'd explained it all to Baz, with no small amount of embarrassment. In that case, she hadn't had much choice. The bill would have arrived, and the paperwork would have ratted her out, and then he and Simon would have wondered why she hadn't told them.

Fortunately, they hadn't seemed to mind. She wonders if being perceived as a bit of a bumpkin (who of course wouldn't understand how hospitals work) has been to her advantage. At any rate, she's not about to argue that she knew exactly what she was doing. Better to shoulder the embarrassment of an honest mistake than delve into how dishonest the whole thing truly was.

Saoirse's kept the cast. Greta's stomach twists every time she catches a glimpse of the pink plaster, both a reminder of the day, and an unnecessary hindrance. She could have been healed in a moment; this could have been so much simpler. But there was an agreement: her coach and teammates and half of her teammates' parents had all seen the injury, and it would have been too conspicuous for her to show up to the next practice looking as if nothing had happened. There might even have been grumbles about unfair advantages.

Greta would have argued that speedy healing is perfectly fair when all the other children are twice Saoirse's size and knocking her into the dirt every other minute, but she can see the wisdom of keeping any magical influences well-hidden. She doesn't like it -- and the Greta of eight months ago would have gawped at the thought of not liking a bit of magical restraint -- but she understands it.

It's nearing the end of her shift, and she's putting the last few dishes away, making sure everything is in order. There's a spare lemon tart wrapped in a handkerchief and waiting by the door, so she won't forget it. (Despite Mad Sweeney's reassurances, she can no longer convince herself that a mouthful of bread -- even her bread -- is a sufficient offering for someone so bloody enormous.) And then there's a knock on the door, one she easily recognizes as Saoirse's. Though she knows the sight of the cast will give her a pang, Greta finds herself smiling fondly as she goes to open the door.

"Hello, sweetheart." She almost adds that Saoirse doesn't need to knock, that she can come visit whenever she likes, but then she remembers that with only one hand at her disposal, doors must be harder to handle. "Are you hungry? I could fix you something before I go."
andhiswife: (smile - appreciative)
2017-07-03 05:39 pm

Not a sigh and not a sorrow

Greta had given herself plenty of time. She'd needed it. There was a lot to read about modern-day dog ownership, and plenty of supplies to acquire. On top of that, she'd wanted to give her enthusiasm time to fade, if it was going to. The idea of getting a dog had struck suddenly enough to qualify as a whim. She needed to be certain that she wanted a dog for its own sake, and not just because she was desperate for something to do.

But her research hadn't put her off, and her enthusiasm hadn't waned. She staggered her supply runs, giving herself ample time to reconsider. But, two weeks after she first started seriously thinking about it, she finds herself with everything a dog might require. (Except for a bed. The necessity of that seems questionable, and she wouldn't know what size to get until she chose a dog, anyway.)

There's really no need to put it off any longer.

She calls Demelza, intending to suggest they find a time over the next few days, but she isn't surprised when her friend insists that they can make today work, and she doesn't argue. Within the hour, Demelza's cheerfully leading her towards one of Darrow's animal shelters.

"Thank you for this," Greta says for the nth time, her arm linked with her friend's and a long-absent bounce in her step. "It'll be good to have a second opinion."
andhiswife: (tired)
2017-06-25 04:05 pm

Nice is different than good

Greta hasn't been back to Cabeswater since she spoke to Jesse, and she's been avoiding the rest of the woods as well. There hadn't been much point to venturing out there, really -- and certainly no comfort to be had.

But she's heard some rumors of a strange cottage, and decided she needed to see it for herself. She doesn't think it'll prove to be anything from home. One heard stories there, as well, but she'd never actually seen such a thing, or spoken to anyone who claimed to. Such tales tended to filter into the Village thrice-removed, at least. Not so outlandish as to be unbelievable, but fantastic enough that you'd be forgiven for doubting some of the details.

And there are details ripe for doubting. She knows gingerbread, and she'd be the last person to suggest building an entire cottage out of it. A tiny one, perhaps, no bigger than a dollhouse. But she has a fair number of kitchen disasters under her belt, and she's yet to pull anything out of an oven that could function as well as a brick, even if it might pass for one at a glance (or, if she's being brutally honest, at a taste).

So she tromps into the forest -- the reassuringly unmagical one -- and she doesn't have to wander too far before she comes across it: a candy cottage, as advertised. She doesn't approach it, but her shoulders do slump a little. She should probably make sure Simon and Baz know about this. Goodness knows they don't need any of the children stumbling across it.
andhiswife: (neutral - in the woods)
2017-06-19 10:04 pm

The Tale You Tell

It's been a difficult week.

That's actually an understatement. But she can't let the full weight of it settle on her, not when she's out in public like this. So for as long as she's out here, doing some shopping, it's just been a difficult week.

She's told Baz and Simon about her situation. They'd offered to give her time off, but that wasn't what she wanted. The Gardens are one of the few places where she doesn't feel like climbing the walls. There's too much else going on, too many other things that require her attention. It's everywhere else that's the problem. Her apartment is too quiet and too empty and too immaculate; she can't even justify housework anymore because everything that could possibly need doing has already been done thrice over.

And she knows she has friends who would help her, who would be happy to provide company or distractions or whatever she needed. But that would require telling them. Repeating the story wouldn't make it any more real than it is already, but the thought of burdening anyone else with it -- and how could something this heavy not be a burden? -- turns her stomach. So much so that she's been politely deflecting the invitations she's received, rather than try to face anyone.

She'll say this for texting: it makes it easier to lie.

The thought of food rather turns her stomach, too, but she's getting groceries, anyway. Even if the chief appeal of cooking is making a mess that she would then have to tidy up, it's still a necessary chore. Her clothing is starting to hang a bit looser than it ought to, and she doesn't want to make new garments for what she knows, distantly, to be an impermanent state of affairs. So, groceries. She can do this.

[Find Greta looking terrible either at or en route to a grocery store, or on her way back to Candlewood. Closed unless we've spoken; hmu if you still want in.]
andhiswife: (melancholy)
2017-06-03 05:16 pm
Entry tags:

What you wish, you lose at last

June 12th, 2017:

She has no business going to work on Monday morning. She barely slept the night before, and she knows she ought to call in. Lying is easier over the phone. 'I'm sick' wouldn't be questioned; she feels sick, and she knows she'd sound it.

But the alternative to work is staying here, and she can't bear the thought of it. There are distractions at Green Gardens. There are reasons to put on a brave face and pretend nothing's wrong, and maybe that isn't wise, but it's what she wants. She wants to be brave. She wants nothing to be wrong.

She wants to get out of this too-quiet, too-empty apartment that has gone from borrowed lodging to all she has.

The really shocking thing is that it seems to work, at least in the beginning. Things she'd wanted to do become things she has to do: calm down, make herself presentable, leave her apartment, walk with purpose. The cool morning air soothes her, a little, and she doesn't glance toward the treeline or think about just how much of a waste those trips to Cabeswater turned out to be.

She arrives well before any of the children are awake, and doesn't even have to interact with anyone between the front door and the kitchen except for one of the cats (who submits with surprisingly good humor when, in a moment of weakness, she scoops it up and buries her face in its fur). And then there's breakfast to make -- something new, she decides, and a little ambitious, something that will require her full attention.

Even when people start to wake and poke their heads in, she's able to keep her composure. What's the alternative? She can't just start weeping in front of a child.

Still, there's no getting around her exhaustion, and it's harder to be distracted by the mundanities of cleaning up after breakfast. She finds herself pausing more and more often, staring right through the pile of dirty dishes she's ostensibly washing and swallowing past the lump in her throat. Catching herself after one such lapse, she gives her head a little shake and scrubs harder. She's already made it through most of her shift; she's not giving up, now.
andhiswife: (pondering)
2017-06-03 02:51 pm
Entry tags:

When going to hide, know how to get there

June 11, 2017 (later):

It might all be nonsense -- she's thought of that. She's found Jack and Rapunzel and Cinderella and the Girl with the Cape in story books, and none of it has been quite what she expected. None of it has been a perfect match. There's no reason to think that her own story has somehow survived intact, down to the last detail. Maybe it's been mangled and twisted over the years. Maybe there have been mistranslations.

Maybe people changed things on purpose. It's not as if 'a Baker's Wife lies, swindles, and cheats her way through a magical Wood, gets the child she wants, and lives happily ever after' is the sort of tale people would want to tell their children. Stories are supposed to teach lessons, and lessons are supposed to be things like 'behave yourself -- or else.' They're supposed to teach children how to be good, not practical, or satisfied.

She hadn't gone into the Woods to be good.

But no matter how hard she tries to convince herself that it's all some sort of ghastly editing choice, she can't quite believe it. She remembers how it had felt, standing at Sam's window and looking straight down. The terror that she was about to fall had been sudden and visceral and familiar in a way she had refused to examine. Now, she knows why.

She wishes--

--no. No more wishes. Look where the last one got her.

God, if she can just hold herself together until she gets back to her apartment, then... she can't think about what then. She just has to get there without making a scene, without being the madwoman everyone else tries to politely ignore. Oh, don't mind me, I just found out that I'm technically dead, that's all.

She feels as if she might laugh, or be sick, she doesn't know which. She has to stop for a moment and grab the back of a bench to steady herself, her other hand pressed to her midriff, as if to make sure she isn't literally falling apart.

But she isn't. She's fine. She's fine.
andhiswife: (grin - goober)
2017-05-29 04:35 pm
Entry tags:

The greater the good, the harder the blow

June 11th, 2017:

It's been over half a year in Darrow, now, and she's trying not to think of her current, relative comfort as settling. She has a job that still feels too good to be true, and both her wardrobe and her social circle are more expansive than what she had back home. It's not enough to make up for the absence of her family, of course. But she has to admit, if only to herself, that it's a relief to no longer be aching for them all the time, or even most of the time. It's a relief to have other things on her mind, to have business to attend to.

Not that this is business, per se. She's just exploring the boardwalk. Now that the shops are all officially unshuttered, she's trying to get a sense of what's there -- easier done without Saoirse or Jordan or anyone else in tow, though it's ultimately as much for their benefit as hers. She'd like to have some ideas of what might appeal to them ahead of time, instead of just wandering the length of the place with a child in tow and hoping something might catch their eye.

It's a pleasant afternoon, and there's a decent crowd. It's easy to let herself get carried along at an ambling pace; she's in no hurry, and it's not so packed she can't step around people if she needs to. And when she does find herself held up, it's behind a young man who has a rather adorable baby, peering wide-eyed at her from over his shoulder.

Another silver lining for all the time she's spent here is that the sight of other people's babies doesn't pain her anymore. She gives the child a smile and a little wave, and after a moment of nonplussed consideration, the baby rewards her with a broad grin and a shriek. Greta chuckles a bit ruefully. "That's on me, I'm afraid," she tells the child's father when he glances back at her. "I didn't mean to wind her up."
andhiswife: (smile - pensive)
2017-04-25 08:05 pm

You, Me, Her and Him

This, Greta thinks, is probably overdue. Jordan might not be Saoirse's age, but she's about her size, and Greta's fairly certain they'll get on. She's a little less certain about Marvin and Cu. The sheepdog has excellent manners, but there's no getting around the size disparity between him and the little terrier, and Marvin might not like it. Then again, Marvin also might not even show. She'd told Sam that Cu would be here, figuring he'd know best whether his own dog would actually enjoy tagging along.

She's also not entirely certain about the beach as a meeting place. Saoirse loves it, of course, which might be part of the problem. Even without any sign of her coat, Greta can't quite shake the fear that the seals will end up calling her into the water. It's probably paranoid, and even if it isn't, she's heard enough stories about selkies to know she doesn't want to be that person -- the one who so fears losing them that they do something awful just to keep them a little longer. But she's grown desperately fond of the girl, despite knowing what she is, and it's hard not to dread what seems like an inevitable departure.

Not that it'll be today or anything. Jordan and Sam will be distracting enough that Saoirse won't even be tempted to look too long at the waterline, probably.

She's rather looking forward to seeing them, with or without Marvin in tow. They'd checked in during the attack of all those awful little toys, so she'd known they were all right (and vice versa). But it's still reassuring to actually see them, happy and in one piece. If she's being entirely honest with herself, part of the reason she arranged this playdate is so she'd have an excuse to spend time with them without seeming... fretful. Or needy. Or other things she generally isn't.

The private insistence that this isn't all about her might be what prompts her to look down at Saoirse and ask, "Are you excited to meet Sam and Jordan?" They've only just arrived at the beach, and she hasn't spotted the pair yet, but she expects they'll find them soon enough.
andhiswife: (smile - fond)
2017-03-08 08:55 pm
Entry tags:

With the Fishies Splashing

They take the bus down to the boardwalk. Normally, Greta avoids modern means of conveyance as much as possible, and the walk from Dimera to the beach is nothing by her standards. But she doesn't want Saoirse to get tired or bored before they even reach their destination, so the bus it is.

Part of her wonders if she's making a mistake - if it might be foolish or even cruel to bring the girl to the seaside when she's still... as she is. Can she truly enjoy it? Or would it be worse not to take her, when it might be something of a second home to her? Granted, it's much too cold to go for a paddle or anything, but at least being on the beach might provide some comfort. It might even help with the vague illness she's been saddled with in her sealskin coat's absence.

Pitiable as Saoirse's condition might be, Greta can't help a stab of apprehension at the thought of what will happen if she actually finds her coat. She's heard enough stories about selkies to know that that's when they leave you -- and, selfishly, she doesn't want the girl going anywhere. She's grown terribly fond of her already.

"Now," she starts, holding Saoirse's hand as they cross the road and head over to the boardwalk, "it's too cold to go into the water, but I bet we could find some shells if we looked. Or there are all these shops along the boardwalk. There's a lot to see." She drops down to Saoirse's level and brushes some of the girl's hair out of her eyes -- it's rather blustery out, though at least the sun is warm. "What would you like to do first?"
andhiswife: (what was that)
2017-02-19 01:12 pm
Entry tags:

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind

She returns to Cabeswater, though she tells herself nothing will come of it. She believes nothing will come of it, and berates herself for even bothering right up until she steps over that invisible border between woods and Woods. Then it gets a bit harder to convince herself that anything is impossible. Cabeswater, much like the Woods she came from, has a very Possible sort of feeling to it.

Which is precisely why it's dangerous, but here she is.

She's not even sure why she felt compelled to visit today. Tromping around the forest never sent her home the first few times she tried it, and she can't bring herself to wish for her family's arrival. Maybe it's just been too long, part of her worried that she might forget the way back to the spot where she arrived. Maybe Darrow's starting to feel just a little bit too comfortable, and she wants to remind herself of where she really came from.

At any rate, it's peaceful and quiet out here. Darrow is so loud, and there's a difference between growing accustomed to it and liking it. Aside from birds, her own footsteps, and the paces she's counting under her breath, there's nothing - no traffic, no machinery, no snatches of overheard conversation. No tell-tale snapping twigs, either, so a flash of white out of the corner of her eye is the only hint that she might not be alone.

Greta stops in her tracks with a sharp, startled inhalation, peering through the trees. She can't help but wonder if it might be the white of a cow, or a steed fit for a Prince, though it's probably neither. "Hello?" she calls out uncertainly, then winces, immediately regretting the outburst. She's alone in a magical forest; maybe she shouldn't be drawing attention to herself.
andhiswife: (smile - pensive)
2016-12-25 04:58 pm
Entry tags:

I think I see a glimmer

One unexpected side effect of Greta's visit with Biffy yesterday - and the initially mortifying but subsequently reassuring realization that she'd got the wrong end of the stick - is that it's made today's visit with Sam and Jordan less daunting. At first, it had been hard to convince herself that she wasn't imposing, what with the terms mostly being dictated by a three-year-old that she and Sam were both inclined to humor. Now, after the humbling reminder that sometimes she reads too much into things and frets over nothing and embarrasses herself, it's easier to just take it all at face value. All of them were looking at a more dismal holiday than they'd anticipated, so they're spending it together to make it a bit more cheery for everyone. Simple as that.

With a mind toward keeping the girl entertained (and reckoning that sorting out the day's activities shouldn't fall on Sam's shoulders, or be driven solely by the whims of a toddler who might get overwhelmed or frustrated), she'd brought along all the necessary ingredients and materials for making gingerbread men. She'd tested the recipe in her own oven, and was confident Sam's wouldn't be so different. And because it was Christmas, and because she wanted to leave her hosts with a more permanent gift than food, and because she liked having the excuse to experiment with some of the stranger yarns this world holds, she'd knit them a pair of hats. They didn't match perfectly - Sam's was mostly blue that faded into white around the brim, and she'd inverted the colors for Jordan's - but they clearly went together, and she thought the blue rather suited them.

The hats seem to go over well, but it's the baking that really captures Jordan's attention. They end up making a fantastic mess in Sam's kitchen, the girl stirring the dough with more gusto than finesse. It ends up being too tough for a three-year-old's arms to handle, but when Greta catches Sam watching a bit wistfully (she knows that look; she's usually the one trying to hide it), she makes a playfully casual remark about how people who plan on eating the gingerbread really ought to help make it, which is all it takes to rope him into the proceedings. It goes more smoothly with his help, though by the time the cookies are in the oven, all three of them have a rather liberal dispersal of flour about their persons.

Somewhere between cooling the cookies and icing them, Jordan ends up sprawled on the couch in an abrupt but unsurprising nap. Greta watches her for a moment or two with a fond smile, then turns to look over the kitchen, her smile turning considerably more sheepish. They've really done a number on the place. There's even a splotch of flour on the poor dog.

"I suppose we ought to do something about this, as long as she's asleep," she says, dropping into a crouch and coaxing Marvin over so she can wipe him off with a corner of her apron, giggling quietly.
andhiswife: (resolved)
2016-12-24 08:45 pm
Entry tags:

I have no fear, nor no one should

Well, this ought to be interesting.

Cut for length )
andhiswife: (neutral - in the woods)
2015-05-04 08:05 pm

Greta Baker: Personalty-Related Nonsense

Alignment: Neutral Good
Myers-Briggs Type: ISFJ
Hogwarts House: Closet Slytherin who probably would have asked to be in Hufflepuff
Element: Earth
Color: Gold
Flower: Sunflower
Temperament: Choleric
Dæmon: Old English Sheepdog (Angus)