Three toddlers were a lot of work. Veronica had never been a woman to do things by half measures, and parenting was no exception. She threw herself into it with abandon.
In their waterfall hideaway, it was easy for her to go weeks without making the trek into town. Veronica almost missed her appointment with Shanni to get her hair done.
When she made it to the salon, she was in for a rude surprise.
“You!” It was Sandi Church, Shanni’s stylist trainee. “I saw you in the Daily Gossip! What’s it like to woohoo with a ghost man?” Veronica threw her hands up in front of her face just as the woman snapped a photo with her phone. “My friends won’t believe this!” she crowed.
“Damn you!” Veronica shouted. She made a lunge for Sandi, but the other woman was too far away, and the whole thing was pointless.
Veronica had taken herself away from the harassment, but the harassment was still there waiting for them. She’d fought the system in the courts and lost. Was there really nothing more to be done than hiding away in the mountains and hoping the problem would go away? Someday, her children would be in school, and Sky was just as ghostly as her father.
One morning, Veronica was up before the babies, and she found herself sharing the kitchen with Zahra as she went through her morning ritual before work. They hadn’t broached the subject of the newspaper articles since the disastrous court case. Veronica was reluctant to bring it up now. Still, the old scientist WAS Charles’s mother, and she cared for him in her own way.
Veronica took a deep breath and tried to bridge the silence.
That night at the dinner table, she had an announcement to make. “I think I’m ready to go back to work,” she said. “Zahra has referred me to an open research position at the Science Center, and I’m going to take it.”
“That’s great,” Charles said. “You haven’t seemed completely happy at home as a full-time mom. Mad Science seems like a great place for your talents.”
“Well… this is kind of a side project of theirs,” Veronica admitted. “It’s in, um, spirit research.”
Charles blinked. “You’re researching ghosts?”
That’s right. Veronica was going to be a field worker, collecting ghost specimens for research at the science center.
Her first jobs were dealing with complaints of howling noises from around the town. The white, green, and purple flickering lights she’d often caught in the night mists turned out to be more interesting than she thought.
And there was the VERY BIG GUN. Who wouldn’t love that?
The work was heart pumping. The, um, research was something she had to hope would come later. Right?
“I’m confused,” Charles said. “I’m part ghost. Your daughter’s part ghost. How does catching ghosts and keeping them in traps help us?”
“I don’t know yet,” Veronica admitted. “I won’t let any harm come to these creatures until I understand them better. But we know so little about where you come from. I don’t see how we can fight the bigotry of the town if we don’t know anything ourselves. Can you trust me on this?”
Charles took a deep breath. “You’re your own person. I’ll try.”
So, mapping out the pictures for six posts in advance has had limited utility. Now I’m rewriting the posts and going back to find different pictures. Argh! Sometimes I just can’t help myself.
In one of the shots at the spa, you can see Latrice Hodgins (Trixi’s child with Xander) hanging out talking with her stepdad Jess Ursine-Hodgins. Glad to see they’re getting along so well.