Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others
and a love within recall that alters you.
“You are my father!”
“Oh yeah. I’m your father Luke.” He laughed. Without seeing paternity results Harris knew in his bones that this was his son. Son! He sat on the bed.
“We’ll leave you two to get acquainted. Come on Tom you can help in the kitchen. If you promise to stay out of the way.” His mother pushed his Dad out of the room and shut the door.
“How long … when did you find … cripes I don’t know what to say or where to begin. There are loads of questions in my head. Like how old are you? I’m trying to do the math here.”
“Thirty-three. You’re …”
“Nineteen in a month. which made you ….
“Almost fourteen.” Harris shrugged. How much did Marshall know about the curse?
“Wow. You were hitting it pretty young.”
“I guess. Not that I have much memory of it.” He began to put the Black Boxer Boys set back into their protective plastic sleeves.
“You too? Must run in the family.” He handed Harris the Slap Shott he had been reading.
Harris flipped through it. He loved the big double finish of it where Shott hit the mind eraser into the open-mouth-like spaceship bay of the aliens who had sent it to Earth while saying ‘Return to sender.’ On the next page was the aliens’ space craft blowing up.
“What do you mean?”
“My mother calls it acting out. I’d been caught with my pants down more than few times at school. Incorrigible is what the teachers called it. But I never could remember what I had done. What’s up with that? She sent me to a shrink.”
Harris glanced around for his shoulder bag with the Tobias pages in it. He’d left it downstairs.
“Dr. Findlay suggested I was trying to express a need for female attention that I wasn’t getting at home. Rather than take meds for my need for attention I got into acting where I could lots of attention. My mom figured instead of acting out for free I could channel that into act out for money.”
“Did that help?”
“Sort of. I’m pretty sure it was my looks, not my acting ability, that got me cast in Mirror Mind. Good thing it’s a five book series. I usually have handlers with me now when I’m in public so no one gets close enough for me to say no.”
“I think I might be able to explain some of this.”
“The fatal attraction we Steven’s have had for generations.”
“You mean its genetic?”
“Not exactly. Let’s go down and talk to my Dad. Where’s your Mom by the way?”
“At a coffee shop awaiting my call. She didn’t want to come with me. Said something about unhappy history. Dropped me off at the door and drove off with Blake. Oh, Blake’s my manager, body-guard and no-sayer. Single handedly keeps me from acting out.”
They pounded down the stairs and into the kitchen.
“There’s nothing like sound of happy feet on the stairway.” His mother had the table set for brunch. “Brought back memories of Harris coming and going. Except he did trip over his feet more than once with his nose in a comic book.”
“That’s sure a lot food Mrs Stevens.” Marshall sat and grabbed for plate of waffles. “Best to get these while they are hot, right? It’s a good thing my Mum isn’t here. She’d never let me eat half of this and I am going to try everything.”
Besides waffles there were plates of sausages, bacon, ham, french toast, plain toast, scrambled eggs and fresh baked croissants. Between those plates were jars of marmalade, jam, and peanut butter.
“Now you can see why I’ve never lost my baby fat.” Harris joked.
“You were going to explain about our fatal attraction.”
“You told him?” Harris’s Dad stopped spreading his toast.
“No. He doesn’t know yet. He’s had the same things happen as have happened to me. Like with Aunt Clara not remembering. ”
“You too Mr. S?” Marshall looked up at Harris’s dad.
“Yes. But not for many years.”
“So what is it?”
Harris’s Dad went to the living room and came back with a folder.
“These are photocopies of journal kept by Tobias Stevens. Late 1700’s.” Harris’s Dad quickly explained the history of the curse.
“That’s fucked. Sorry Mrs. S.”
“That’s what I thought, too, Marshall.” Harris pushed his chair away from the table. “But once I knew, became aware. It happened. I’ve seen the evidence.” He told them about seeing the security footage of him and Frances meeting. That Frances didn’t remember it either.
“Now that’d make a great movie.”
“Sure Marshall but this is our real life. We know how it came into the family. I wonder if there’s way of breaking it.” Harris wiped his face with a napkin.
“Why would you want to break it? You could harness it somehow. That’s what I’ve done. Making movies.”
They went into the living room.
“Could be.” Harris’s father nodded. “But you can’t control your fans, can you? You need handlers, body guards in public. Sounds like the curse has harnessed you and not the other way around.”
“So that’s why Mum didn’t want to come in.” He snapped his fingers. “She’d be caught in the aura of three cursed men. I wonder what that would do to her.”
“Look, I know what one of us can do to one person. That’s enough for me.” Harris laughed.
Marshall’s cell rang.
“Blake checking in to make sure I’m okay.” he answered it. “Hi Blake …. Yes they’re pretty cool people … no …. no problems … yes I know I have that interview in an hour …. yeah come and get me in twenty …. put Mum on …. hey Mum you gotta come in this time say Hello …. whatever …. see you in twenty.” He shut the phone. “You don’t mind. She’d like to say hello and …”
“See if by gones are by gones?” Harris’s Mom wiped away some tears. “I think we’re all ready.”
“How do we break the … spell?” Marshall asked.
“I don’t know if we can.” Harris thought moment. “I’ve seen an … expert … she says this isn’t meant to be a curse but a blessing. To bring love into life isn’t such a bad thing, is it?”
“Yeah, but this is invasive … acting on us instead of with or even for us. What about the other people; the ones who fall for us.” Marshall paced the room.
“He’s right there Harris. It certainly didn’t do your Aunt Clara any favours. Pulled us apart.” His mother said.
“Then again maybe to break the spell isn’t the solution. You know like what happened in the end of Shatter Mirror Mind 2. You have seen it haven’t you?”
“It’s been awhile.” Harris saw it when it was released two years ago but hadn’t bothered to watch the copies his mother had given him. “You’re releasing Spectrum Mirror Mind 4 this week. That’s a lot to remember.”
“Right. In the end of Shatter, Calopae breaks the mirror, anticipating that’ll free us all of its hold on us.”
“Right, I remember now. But it doesn’t work.”
“It half works but when I go to a mirror.”
“You cast no reflection?” Harris’s mother suggested.
“Not exactly Mom. He’s there but he’s not there. We see his shape but there’s no features, no substance.”
“Right. I only had a physical self when reflect by the right mirror.”
“You’re saying that the Harris curse is what give us a sense of who we are. That it defined us without knowing about it?”
“An interesting theory. How will breaking it affect me? Your Dad? Will your parents fall out of love?”
“I don’t know. I’m … tired of dealing with all this. I’d be as happy to forget it as get rid of it.”
“Knowing is as bad as the curse itself?”
“I guess so Dad. Tobias did pretty well for himself without knowing about it didn’t he.”
“He moved from town to town.”
“What did you do in part three?” Harris asked Marshall.
“In Resurface I accepted that I’d never see myself clearly again in any mirror but that the reward was that I’d never be trapped by one again either. That way I could start to free the others. By the end I didn’t exist to myself except as this blur in the mirror. I lost all sense of my body though others saw me. Usually shirtless for some reason. It’s a fantasy movie not a how to documentary on breaking a spell.”
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