The Bloomer Legacy: 8.4 A New Beginning

“So, this is it,” Yenn smiled at the girl. “Your last day in Newcrest! Any big plans?”

“Not really, I’m all packed already,” Pauline laughed. “Too eager… But I was thinking we could spend the day together, if you want?”

Yenn: “That would be lovely.”

Pauline tried her best to ignore the guilt building up. This was meant to be a good thing.

2

“I’m sorry, aunt Yenn. For letting you down.”

“Shush. We don’t want to spend the day in agony, do we?” Yenn said brightly. “You should say goodbye to Newcrest in style!”

3

“I don’t really know Newcrest that well, to be honest,” Pauline muttered. More guilt. Plum it.

“Ah well, there’s our plan for the day then,” Yenn exclaimed. “I’ll give you the grand tour! Everybody should know where they come from.”

4

“Ruby Perrin Memorial Park is where it all started,” Yenn announced as they reached their first destination.

“I’ve walked past it before,” Pauline nodded. “I didn’t think it was all that important though, it’s not even named after a member of the family anyway.”

5

Yenn smiled: “Well, this very plot of land was where the founder, Kirk Bloomer, originally game with nothing at all, just vision. He would sleep in a tent, right where the wedding arch is.

“Seriously?”

6

“There’s photos to prove it,” Yenn smiled. “Of course, when he got married to his wife Maranda, that’s when the arch came into the picture.”

“You mean that wedding arch has stood there ever since then?”

“That’s right. Several family members had their weddings here since. But Kirk and Maranda’s was the first. Of course, they’ve been through ups and downs here…”

7

“So what about this Ruby Perrin?”

“That would be one of the downs. She was a friend of Kirk and Maranda’s who died here, when the fire from a weenie roast got out of control. They buried her here and dedicated the park to her.”

“Oh.”

8

“She wasn’t quite gone, though,” Yenn added. “Her ghost would haunt the park ever since.”

“You mean supposedly, right?” Pauline said sceptically. “Like the alleged ghosts at the Von Haunt Estate…”

“I’ve seen the ghosts at the Von Haunt Estate,” Yenn replied. “They were quite lovely.”

Pauline arched an eyebrow.

9

“You saw me come back to life with your very own eyes not too long ago,” Yenn continued. “Is it that hard to believe that ghosts exist?”

“Good point… so does that mean she still haunts the grounds here?”

10

Yenn shook her head. “She befriended Kirk and Maranda’s son Isaac, who eventually brought her back to life. A bit like you did me, except he knew what he was doing. You may have seen a photo of Isaac and Ruby over at the old house…”

Pauline’s eyes widened. She had assumed the photo just used special effects. It was real. Just like Yenn’s parents’ story from the book.

“I can’t believe he did that for her,” Pauline managed to say.

11

“Of course, Isaac wasn’t all perfect,” Yenn said. “No Bloomer ever was. Isaac had quite the mean streak, especially as a teenager, but overall, he was a good man.”

12

“He even built these affordable starter homes to truly start building a community here in Newcrest…”

13

“…and of course, it was him who saved the legacy when he arrested Ruby’s granddaughter Cassiel, the leader of the Lollipop Lair gang… but of course you know all about them from the book.”

“But then that means… Cassiel was your mother, wasn’t she?”

14

Yenn nodded. “That’s right. And that mansion right over there is what used to be known as the Lollipop Lair. I’m told it looked a lot more ominous back in the day though. The things that went down there…”

Pauline starred at the building. “You never did tell me if you met them. Your biological parents, I mean.”

“I sure did,” Yenn answered simply. “But that’s a long story. We should sit down over at the library for that one.”

***

15

“Wow.” Pauline shook her head when her aunt finished the story. “You’ve been through so much!”

“Have I? I mainly remember the good things,” Yenn told her. “It’s funny the way the mind works.”

16

“I had a wonderful childhood, we would spend hours playing here in the backyard with my brother and sister.”

“This was your back garden?”

17

“That’s right,” Yenn confirmed. ”The library was built and opened by my adoptive father Peter, but before that, it was my childhood home. I have nothing but fond memories of this place. And then of course, we moved to what’s known as the gym; our next stop.”

18

“You lived here too?” Pauline looked around the gym and spa incredulously when they arrived. “It’s so luxurious!”

“All my brother’s doing,” Yenn smiled. “Booker made all kinds of calls, but this was definitely a good one. I lived here with him and his wife Keiko, and my sister Chell and her husband Knox.”

“And what about you?” Pauline asked carefully. “The book said that you… that you didn’t think love was for you. Did you ever change your mind?”

“Yes,” Yenn looked into the horizon. “Yes I did…”

***

19

Pauline’s eyes grew misty. “That’s so sad. But beautiful.”

“Sadness is fleeting,” Yenn told her. “The beautiful memories are yours to keep.”

“Did you ever see Ethan after… when you were… gone… I mean…”

“I wish I knew,” Yenn replied. “I know as little about afterlife as you do. I don’t remember anything about being dead. But I would like to think that I did.”

The two women sat quietly for a moment, lost in thought.

“Time to wrap up and head on over to the bar,” Yenn broke off the silence. “I think we could both use a drink.”

20

“Well, here we are, back where we started this morning,” Yenn concluded. “This of course, used to by my little Livvie’s bar.”

Pauline looked at the building. She’d been staying in the upstairs apartment for the majority of her time in Newcrest, but it didn’t seem like the same place now.

21

“Liv wouldn’t be happy with how empty the place is now,” Yenn sighed. “I guess that’s my first order of business once you leave; reopening the bar. In fact, all of the places in town need a bit of sprucing up. Just because the legacy is over doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be maintained.”

22

“I want to help you,” Pauline blurted out. “To fix up Newcrest. Make it better than ever. And the legacy… it isn’t over.”

“Oh, are you planning to come back here eventually, like your mother did?”

“No,” Pauline said firmly. “I’m not leaving.”

23

Pauline wouldn’t believe it this very morning, but it seemed like the best decision she’d ever made. It was time to take back what was hers. And to continue building Newcrest.

24

As for Yenn… well, one could say she was a little relieved.

25

Hi Peyton,

Sorry for the last minute change of plans. I wish I could explain it, but I don’t really have the words. You’ll need to come see it for yourself…

The Bloomer Legacy: 8.3 Read My Mind

Astrid lingered around the museum. Her spirits had briefly lifted with the return of her aunt Yenn, but as soon as their reunion had set in, Yenn’s presence seemed as a constant reminder of Astrid’s mistakes to her. Not only had she hurt and alienated everyone who had mattered to her, but it was her fault the legacy was on the brink of collapse. If only…

Stop, she told herself firmly. Look ahead. Change your actions. Just like aunt Yenn said.

Her eyes rested on the rocket behind the museum, the rocket built by her aunt many moons ago.

2

It seemed like the most natural path. In fact, once it occurred to Astrid, she couldn’t believe she had never thought of it before. Her ties with her earthly family were so severed they might have been beyond fixing. Her brothers being distant, her daughter refusing to carry on the legacy… But she could always try to reconnect with her original family.

3

Sixam was beautiful. Soothing. Newcrest and Windenburg felt like a distant memory. For the first time in years, a smile crept on Astrid’s face. She was home.

4

“Greetings, friend,” a Siaxamian greeted her. “You’ve travelled from afar to reach your family. It’s good to have you here, at last. We know you’ve been lost, but that ends now.”

5

Before she knew it, Astrid was surrounded by a group of locals, each more welcoming than the last. She felt like weeping with joy. She was finally with her own. What did a silly little legacy on a distant planet matter anyway…

6

“I must go now, but please explore our planet,” Naavlu, the alien woman encouraged Astrid. “After all, it’s yours now too, if you’d like.”

She walked off into the distance, leaving Astrid with a man called Orsiss.

7

“I hope you’re not too overwhelmed by all this,” Orsiss smiled. “It must all seem very… well, alien.” He laughed.

“I’ve never felt more at home in my life,” Astrid replied.

8

“Excellent,” Orsiss leaned closer towards her. “I would love for you to stay and call this place home.”

Astrid was taken her aback. He couldn’t possibly be suggesting…

“Sorry, I’m being too rash,” Orsiss apologised quickly, as if he’d read her mind. Maybe he did, it occurred to her. Did she mind?

9

“I wonder if you could see my planet from here,” Astrid changed the subject.

“Let’s find out,” Orsiss encouraged her, gesturing towards the ground. They both lay down, watching the sea of stars in the sky for a moment. The constellations looked unfamiliar to Astrid.

“Perhaps it could be… that way?” she pointed in a random direction weakly.

“Possibly,” Orsiss shrugged. “Or not. Has it occurred to you that if you had a stronger connection with your planet, you would be able to sense the correct direction no matter where you were?”

10

“That’s a wild speculation,” Astrid hesitated. “How could I possibly have a stronger connection with the planet? Everything I’ve ever known is there. My legacy, my daughter, my brothers…”

“Your brothers who never understood you. Your daughter who cannot stand you. Your legacy that’s as good as over because she doesn’t want to continue with it…”

That was that. He must have definitely been reading her thoughts. But it was only humans who found that unacceptable, wasn’t it?

“You deserve so much more, Astrid,” Orsiss continued. “And it would be my pleasure to give it to you.”

Astrid looked over at him and he realised he was glowing with a bright pink colour. She knew all too well what it meant. After all, the very same coloured light was shining from her skin…

11

“You know your place is here, with the people who want you. With us. With me,” he held her hands softly in his.

Nothing more needed to be said. They could both read minds, after all.

***

12

The day finally came. Pauline’s birthday. The celebration was a lot more peaceful than she had anticipated.

Maybe it was Yenn’s presence, but Pauline and her mother were finally on speaking terms again. It seemed Astrid had accepted her daughter’s wish to move back to Windenburg.

13

Booking her trip there was Pauline’s first order of business, followed by a quick makeover. Young adulthood was awaiting.

Pauline was beyond excited.

14

“It seems just like yesterday when your mother had the same look of anticipation in her face when she was leaving for Windenburg. Maybe you two have more in common than you think,” Yenn’s eyes twinkled.

Pauline’s throat felt dry for a moment. Would she fail everything the way her mother had? She wasn’t like her… Astrid was running away from everything; Pauline was running back home… right?

“I’m sorry I won’t be continuing your legacy, aunt Yenn,” Pauline blushed. She wished she could have the strength and wisdom of the old woman. But as Yenn had told her, in order to get those, she had to live her life.

“The legacy had a good run,” Yenn shrugged. “It might end a bit sooner than I would have hoped, but I’ve met the Grim Reaper enough times to know that nothing last forever, even the best of things. What’s most important is that you’re both happy.”

15

“Us both?” Pauline looked over at her mother, confused.

“I wanted to wait until after your birthday, but… I’m moving home. To Sixam,” Astrid pointed to the sky.

“But…” Pauline was searching for words. A part of her had wanted to believe the legacy would not die with her moving away. Her mother was still fairly young, she could have a new heir, restore aunt Yenn’s legacy… But not if Astrid was leaving the planet.

16

“It makes sense,” Astrid tried to reassure her. “I’ve never felt like I belong here. And you’re not going to be here in Newcrest. Seems unnecessary for me to stay for no reason.”

“But what about aunt Yenn,” Pauline worried. “She can’t stay here alone.” She just came back from the dead. And we’re killing all she’d ever lived for, Pauline thought to herself.

“Don’t worry on my account, Pauline,” Yenn smiled broadly. “I’ve always been a loner by nature. But if I get too lonely, perhaps I’ll travel, meet some people. You know, live a little.” She chuckled.

17

It still didn’t feel right, but Pauline didn’t know what to say. Astrid hugged her, and she let her. It could be the last time she would ever see her…

Perhaps aunt Yenn was right, it occurred to Pauline. Perhaps her mother and here weren’t that different after all. They were both just trying to return home.

18

The three women walked to the rocket in silence. Astrid gave her family, Newcrest and her earthly life one last look before leaving it all behind and boarding the rocket.

19

As Pauline watched the rocket blast off, she felt warm tears rolling down her cheeks. A few hours ago, she couldn’t wait to leave her mother, Newcrest and the legacy behind. But now… was it really all over?

The Bloomer Legacy: 8.2 The Greats Are up to You

Hi Peyton,

So you know when I was saying how dull this place is? Holy cowplant, you won’t believe what happened the other day!

2

I was bored out of my skull, just walking around the flat aimlessly…

3

So I ended up picking up this random book – yeah, I was that desperate!

It was written by some guy called Peter Bloomer, I guess he must have been one of my ancestors too…

4

At first, I wasn’t all that into it… but it turned out to be really gripping. I stayed up all night reading this thing!

It started off with this huge conspiracy, a gang of criminals trying to take over the world. But then there was a whole other storyline about an amazon tribe and a slave that got banished… and he ended up serving the criminals, and even helping their leader escape when he got arrested…

I know what you’re thinking, that I’m getting way too into this book… But get this; it’s all real! It actually happened. And the villain and the slave ended up having a daughter, who was adopted into my family! I’m related to her!

5

The book really was about her, and how her past made her troubled and hesitant to trust people and fall in love, but it ended with her 18th birthday. And then I had all these questions, like if she ever got to meet her real parents, and if she started to believe in love… I mean, I’ve never thought about whether I believe in love, but I guess I do hope it will happen  someday…

Anyway. I’m going on a tangent, and I still haven’t gotten to the coolest thing…

6

7

8

Pauline stared at the woman that just materialised in front of her.

“You… wait… what… the book!”

The woman smiled at her, and somehow, it made her feel better. Better than she’d been since moving to Newcrest.

“You must be Astrid’s child,” the woman said.

“Uh, yeah,” the girl nodded, still wide-eyed.

“I can only imagine how odd this must seem,” the woman acknowledged. “I can barely understand what’s happened myself. But it seems that you’ve brought me back by reading my Book of Life. I had no idea my dad wrote this…” She paused, her mind wandering elsewhere.

9

“In any case, thank you,” the woman sat down next to Pauline. “I feel like there’s a reason why I’m back. I’m Yenn, and I’m your great-great-great aunt. Though the greats are up to you. Personally, I think I’m just alright,” she grinned.

“So,” Pauline gathered her thoughts, “the book was about you? You have to tell me what happened next!”

“I would love to,” Yenn nodded. “But first, let me find your mother. Where is she?”

10

Yenn walked inside the bedroom that used to belong to Liv. It all felt surreal. But somehow, she also felt clarity. It seemed like waking up from a long nap, refreshed.

Astrid, on the other hand was sleeping. Yenn studied her face. Even in her sleep, she looked worried.

“Astrid, it’s all ok honey,” Yenn said gently.

Astrid turned around sleepily, but as soon as she saw her aunt, she jumped right up.

11

“What’s going on? Am I dead?”

“No Astrid,” Yenn said calmly. “It would appear I’m alive.”

“But… how?”

“It’s called the Book of Life,” Yenn explained. “I have the ability to write them too, but it never seemed justified. They can bring a person back from the dead, if read till the end. It seems that my father wrote one from me.”

“Wow,” Astrid struggled for words. “But… why for you and not anyone else?”

“I think he was really worried about me, back when he wrote it. I wish he knew that it all turned out just fine in the end,” Yenn trailed of. “But come to think of it… I think he knows now,” she smiled.

12

“You think?” Astrid asked quizzically. “Do you… not remember anything from, well… the beyond?”

“No my dear,” Yenn shook her head. “The last thing I remember is wishing I could help you, or Estrella, as you called yourself.”

Astrid looked down. “I’m sorry. For everything,” her voice trembled. “I was wrong, and you were right.”

13

“It doesn’t matter,” Yenn replied calmly. “What matters is what happened next. I’ve met your daughter just now…”

“Pauline?” It was as if the realisation just dawned on Astrid. “It was her who brought you back to life, wasn’t it?”

“Pauline,” Yenn repeated. “What a beautiful name. I wonder who you named her after…”

“I messed it all up,” Astrid whispered. “He doesn’t even know I exist. And that she…” Astrid paused. “Pauline… she hates me. And I deserve it.”

14

Yenn hugged her tightly. It was as if Astrid was a little girl again, seeking her aunt for comfort.

“You can’t change anything you’ve done, honey,” Yenn told her. “But you have the power to shape every single action you’re about to take from now on. We all do. So make things right.”

Astrid sobbed in her arms. “Oh aunt Yenn… I don’t know if I can.”

Author’s note: Did you really think I would say goodbye to Yenn off-screen, in the sidelines? I’m not letting my favourite character go that easy 😉

But on a more serious note, I always felt like Yenn might be crutial to the legacy further down the line, with the generational goals getting quite vapid (bar, lounge, club…), so I had Peter write the Book of Life for Yenn back in his day to ensure the legacy maintains some depth.