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Due North

By Katya Kolmakov All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Romance


It’s been three days since Etta came back to Canada, and she still hasn’t seen her studio! She’s seen the bedroom, which John has also redecorated for the two of them; she’s been to the bathroom - kudos to the new bath tub, which both of them fit into; and she’s been allowed to the kitchen, though she suspects it was mostly for the sake of the lovely kitchen table shag they’ve partaken. Etta wants to see her studio!

Sadly, her wonderful, warm, and fuzzy farmer sleeps very little. His farm is operational again; and he’s very busy. These days he gets up at 4; and Etta woke up as well, because who would want to miss his morning… cheerfulness? Then she fell asleep exhausted. Then he came back to the house at 8; and they had breakfast. And then they actually ate, after picking up the dishes they’d swept onto the floor, freeing space on the kitchen table. And then he dragged her to the bedroom. Then he left for more farming; she cooked lunch; he came back; and they had lunch. They took a break mid-eating; and then they got up from the floor, and finished their meal. Then he said something - one or two words are enough, really - and she toppled him back on the floor. And then they went up to the bedroom, and that made them hungry; so couple hours later they came down to the kitchen for snack. That led to the round against the wall, and then it was time to cook dinner. He cooked, she ogled him. He had an apron on, and sliced veggies so sexily that she politely asked him to put down the knife; and when he did, she jumped. After dinner she had a nap, he attended to some errands; and then it was sufficiently dark to use it as an excuse to go to bed. And then they repeated it twice more.

Finally, Etta can’t stand it anymore; and she climbs from under the arm of sleeping Farmer Thorne, pulls over his hoodie, and minces downstairs to her studio.

The room is perfect. It’s spacious and well lit. And the portrait of her former cat, Mr. Thornton, is looking at her from the wall, and she smiles. That was quite an adventure, wasn’t it?

The pottery wheel is in the center of the room, and she sits by it on a comfortable stool he prepared for her. Her fingertips slide on the working surface. She properly won in this partner distributing lottery, didn’t she?

“Pardon my intrusion...” a quiet voice mumbles near her, and Etta whips her head. “And please, do not scream. Mrs. Thorne told me you wouldn’t scream.”

There’s a ghost in Etta’s studio! A real, 45% corporeal ghost! And no, it’s not a navy officer!

It’s a very stately looking middle age lady, in a black mourning dress, Edwardian fashion, if Etta isn’t wrong.

“Oh dear,” Etta mutters.

“Would you like me to return after you are dressed, Mrs. Thorne?” the lady asks with judgement in her voice. Etta looks down at herself. She’s wearing John’s fleece hoodie and a love bite. That’s it. The hoodie thankfully covers her backside, but only that much.

A squeaky 'um...' is Etta’s only response. The lady’s face grows exasperated.

“Mrs. Thorne, I do not understand your hesitation. Mrs. Linnet Thorne explained to me that you would know how to act in this situation.”

“Linnet? She sent you...” Etta’s head is spinning.

“But of course. I’m a patient of hers in the hospital. She told me that she could help me to send a message to the future. Is this year 2016?”

Etta jerkily nods.

“Excellent.” The lady folds her hands demurely, and proceeds, “Mrs. Thorne, it seems I am in the unfortunate situation of dying of my old age without leaving a will. And I have a sizeable fortune that I would like to become inherited by the children of my illegitimate daughter. My name is Pierce, Anna Pierce. I would like you to find my descendants, and tell them where I hid the papers confirming my parentage.”

Etta opens her mouth, and closes it again.

“Shall we continue the discussion at more convenient time, Mrs. Thorne?” the lady asks, and points at Etta’s naked legs with her eyes. Etta nods again, and the lady melts into the air with ‘oh what this world is coming to’ muttered under her breath.

“John!” Etta hollers and sprints out of the studio and up the stairs.

Thorough research into Etta’s genealogy later reveals an astonishing number of female relatives unfortunately suspected in witchcraft, dating as far back as to the druidic times.

In the years to come, Linnet sends seven more spirits for Etta to solve their grievances. That earns Etta the deepest gratitude of five families; one restraining order; and an adopted son.

John Thorne IV, former John Adams, is a son of a couple of engineers from Halifax, sadly killed in a car accident. While delivering yet another treasure map to his family, Etta meets John IV, later called Little John, in a foster home. He’s ten, blonde, with exceptionally smart green eyes. By then John III and Etta are married; and her immigration process is afoot. Big John, formerly known as Farmer Thorne, and Etta adopt Little John; and on a sunny spring day he moves into the Olympic Greens farm.

A year later Little John gets a younger brother, Thomas Crispin Thorne; and then Othin, Dain, and Unna follow.

Big John’s farm is a success; so is Etta’s pottery inspired by Edo period Japanese porcelain. She’s a big hit on Etsy; and later she starts teaching pottery in her own school.

She never stops loving Tim’s; and even years later she still gets flustered by randy squirrels. She takes her kids to the zoo; learns to make perogies; and never regrets taking that trip to the mysterious land of Manitoba.

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