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By SongbirdsTuneNK

Drama / Humor

A Beginning (of Sorts)

There was someone else sitting next to her, looking down with empty eyes.

Beginning. Middle. End.

Every story has one – don't they? Yet the stories we find beneath the covers of books are different to the ones we find in real life.

For one thing, they aren't as clear cut. Real life has a thousand conflicts, a book has only a handful.

And beginnings … beginnings in books are a clear thing – they start at chapter one, the first word. That first line

Beginnings in real life are often difficult to define or put one's finger on. Often they can creep up on you, completely unawares. Sometimes they can start with a boom, other times as a soft whisper in your ear.

My beginning – or the beginning of this tale I'm going to relate to you, was quite easy to spot. Or perhaps it wasn't.

For one of the main figures in it, the story began with one word – Bucky. But he didn't remember that for a while.

For me, it began with walking into my living room.

Every beginning is different, isn't it? Even for those in the same story.

Middles are a muddle – a thousand dissimilar threads in a confusing tangle. They often seem like the end – the very, very End. But they aren't. The darkest hour precedes the dawn, as the saying goes. For my middle, I remember anguish and the wish to lift a burden that wasn't mine to shift. But I guess that was my Aunt's wish as well, though she was never one to express it in so many words.

Endings … ah, but I mustn't spoil mine, though I might say that it was a bittersweet one, which is both the best and worst type of ending.

I ought to set the scene a little – hadn't I?

"Secret Government Organisation Uncovered" was one of the more unimaginative newspaper headlines in those weeks. "Spies Among Us" was another.

The world for those employed by S.H.I.E.L.D was tipped upside down and everyone else thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. Though some experienced a terrible sense of paranoia and panic – ("Big Brother: A Reality" ran the Daily Bugle) – others found the existence of a James Bond-esq type organisation was absolutely with-no-doubt-about-it awesome.

("Awesome Sauce!" was the title of a post in one of the more popular blogs, followed by the sub-header of: "… and they had gadgets too!").

I found it interesting reading – who wouldn't? A world of espionage and agents and secrets had landed in our laps and we hadn't had to pay a single dollar for it. I mean – who knew that the parasitic (and terrifying) Hydra had organised the Starks' death? Poor Tony Stark. Poor, poor Tony Stark.

And then the list of all those who were going to be killed (for the good of humanity. Yeah, right. The good of humanity my foot) by Hydra was published by one intrepid blogger and those who were on it were equal parts frightened and proud.

My brother was one of them. I was the one who was frightened and he was the one who was bursting with pride (he knew he was intelligent and brilliant, he told me over the phone. I informed him that his PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering rather pointed in that direction and he needn't have to rely on a death-warrant to confirm it).

But forgive me, I'm wandering from my purpose.

While the world was finding the database and history of S.H.I.E.L.D and Hydra fascinating, my Aunt sat in her comfortable chair and knitted a jumper for Philip and a pair of thick, woollen socks for me. Hers was a peaceful existence – until her door was knocked on one evening and she shuffled in those big slippers of hers to open it.

Ready for a bit of a shocker? My Aunt is actually my mother. My adopted mother, that is. She and her husband fostered me – even had a hand in naming me (Ida, they named me. After Aunt's own aunt). I grew up calling them Aunt and Uncle and when I was officially adopted, the names stuck.

My younger brother is the biological child of Aunt Becky and Uncle Scott and lives several states away, though his presence is frequently felt by the often uttered request to forward his post (which he never got around to sorting out).

Every day, come rain or shine, I trot down four flights of stairs and catch the bus which takes me away to my very lively job of angry customers and constantly ringing phones.

Every evening, at five o'clock, I leave the office and its insults and complaints behind ("I ordered pink – pink! This is salmon coloured!") and return to our cosy little flat.

But one day (or once upon a time, if you prefer your stories to begin that way) I came home. And my Aunt wasn't alone.

There was someone else sitting next to her, looking down with empty eyes.

And that, that was where my story begins. For everyone.

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aeratheninja: Interestingly enough, this story touches on different psychological states and was very informing, on top of being a solid story. Although somewhat predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this; I could feel the fear and the frustration of the characters, and was happy when they were happy.Even ...

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