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04 January 2012 @ 03:06 pm
Impulsive: A Karen Brewer Story/Impulse  

TITLE/PROMPT: Impulsive: A Karen Brewer Story/Impulse

AUTHOR: mkrobinson

RATING: PG-13

WORDS: 13183

TABLE: http://babysitters100.livejournal.com/53582.html#cutid1

SUMMARY: Life isn’t all Lovely Ladies anymore...

WARNINGS: None really, just that this is from Karen’s POV...

NOTES: This is in the same universe as all of my previous stories, with the exception of the crossover. 


Impulsive: A Karen Brewer Story

When Karen Brewer is seven years old, Mommy and Seth go on their long delayed honeymoon, and she and Andrew get to spend nearly the whole summer at the Big House, with Daddy, Elizabeth, and all their brothers and sisters. She cannot wait, because Kristy and Charlie recently graduated from SMS and SHS, and she got to go to a big BSC graduation party, at Kristy’s friend Mary Anne and Dawn’s house. Daddy let her bring Hannie and Nancy, and they had a great time in the barn, though Mary Anne’s daddy requested they not make such a mess in the hay, and Dawn’s mommy told Daddy that they really should not swing in the barn on the rope swing, but Kristy and Dawn tell her they did, and she gets distracted by the arrival of Morbidda Destiny. 

The witch. Daddy claps his hand over her mouth as she lets out a screech.

Suddenly, Daddy is convincing Dawn’s mommy (who doesn’t look frightened to see Karen’s next door neighbor) that he does not mind the girls playing in the barn, and he is promising her a trip to the shore with all of her friends if she just behaves.

She knows that she should not bring up Morbidda’s identity as a witch up at the party. She wants to go to the shore with all her friends.

Daddy promised. 

Two days later, after successfully getting Daddy and Elizabeth to take her, Hannie, and Nancy out for ice cream, Karen is awoken by the telephone ringing, in the middle of the night. Wanting to be a big girl, like the grownups, she answers it.

“Hello, Thomas-Brewer residence. May I ask who-”
“Karen? Hi, it’s Stacey McGill. It’s about...can...”
“One moment please.”

Karen knows that Stacey McGill is Sam’s ex-girlfriend, and so she wakes him up, rather than disturbing Daddy or Elizabeth, or even Kristy. Not that her kindness matters, because Sam soon wakes nearly everyone up. She goes back to her room, listening through the door. She can make out little snippets of the conversation: fire...no place to go...let them stay here... and suddenly all of the adults, including Nannie, were gone. Sam had gone back to bed, and Karen could not sleep. She was too interested in the fire. She hoped it was not anyone she knew. 

Karen knew her imagination was overreacting, as it usually did, and Emily was awake, and crying, so she took her out of the crib and brought her downstairs, giving her some applesauce.

“It is like I am your babysitter, Emily! I will have to be a mature and responsible babysitter, like Kristy and her friends! I do not want Daddy and Elizabeth upset with me because I gave you sweets so late at night.”
“Karen! All come in! Wanna play Karen all come in!”
“We cannot, Emily. It is much too late. Let us just watch some television and then Daddy and Elizabeth can put us back to bed.”
“Mama! Dada! Barney!”
“No, we cannot watch Barney. Perhaps we can watch Sesame Street?”

They watched Sesame Street until the grownups came home, though Emily had nearly fallen asleep. Karen counted the people who came in, surprised with how many there were. Surely they hadn’t been-

“I’m telling you, Richard, you’re welcome here for as long as you need to stay. We have the guest suites, and there is always the third floor-”

Daddy couldn’t be serious! Ben Brewer haunted the third floor, and he knew it! 

“Daddy, you cannot let them stay on the third floor! You know the ghost of Ben-”
“Karen, why don’t you go back to bed?”
“I want to stay up! I babysat Emily while you were gone! I can handle it!”

“Fine...Karen, Mary Anne’s family is going to be staying here for a while. Their house burned down.”
“Is that why Stacey McGill called?”
“Yes, and Karen I want you to be nice to Mary Anne, and to her father and stepmother, okay?”
“Okay, Daddy.”

Daddy and Mary Anne’s daddy went to the guest suites, and she decided to greet their other guests. Elizabeth and Kristy were comforting Mary Anne, so Karen decided to comfort her stepmother, who looked confused. She was going to be nice.

“Hello, Mrs. Spier, I am Karen Brewer, Kristy’s stepsister, and I was wondering if you would play Lovely Ladies with me and Hannie tomorrow.”
“What?”
“It will be great fun! Mary Anne can play too!”
“Well...sure, sweetie. Aren’t you sweet, trying to make me and Mary Anne feel better!”

Karen beamed. She had been helpful. 

Three weeks later, she had discovered that Mrs. Spier was a witch. She had to be, as she was Morbidda Destiny’s niece.

***

Karen Brewer starts the fourth grade at Stoneybrook Academy, still in the same class as Hannie and Nancy, still pretend-married to Ricky, and she hears the news that Mrs. Spier, who is a good witch, just like her aunt, is going to have a baby. She hears this from Kristy, her big sister, from Mary Anne, who is excited about becoming a big sister, and from the other Mrs. Porter one day while she is at Maria Kilbourne’s house, playing with her, Hannie, Melody, and Amanda. She does not like this Mrs. Porter, even though she is not a witch. This is the Mrs. Porter whom Daddy yelled at when Mrs. Spier’s house burned down, because she would not come home from Aruba. Karen wants to go to Aruba. It sounds like a lovely place.

However, Maria tells them that this Mrs. Porter is saying “bad words” (Karen recently learned some of them due to some graffiti written on Daddy’s car, courtesy of Abby Stevenson), and so they all go to investigate. Even Karen manages to listen quietly to the conversation between Mrs. Kilbourne and Mrs. Porter, which is a huge step for her. She does not want to get caught.

“Don’t you think you’re being a bit harsh, Rita? Ted says that you made her cry!”
“Oh, don’t you start defending her, Kathleen.”
“I just don’t think you should have hit her! I mean, I’m sorry, Rita, but you haven’t been very nice to Sharry lately.”

Sharry? Who was Sharry? They all exchanged confused glances.

“Nice? I let her marry him, didn’t I?”
“You left halfway through that reception! And I cannot believe that you wanted to wear black to it.”
“Charles and I will never approve of him. You know that.”

“Look, she’s your daughter. You should be happy for her. I still can’t believe how you acted when her house burned down! You were such a bitch, staying in Aruba while you knew they were living with Watson Brewer!”

Karen gasps, not just because of the swear, but because she’s figured out who they’re talking about, and she doesn’t like it. She likes Mary Anne’s stepmother, even if she is a witch.

She gathers the courage to enter the kitchen, where Mrs. Kilbourne looks surprised to see her.

“Karen, dear, what are you doing here?”
“I am playing with Maria, Melody, Amanda Delaney, and Hannie, Mrs. Kilbourne. I have to go home now. I just wanted to let you know.”
“Of course, dear. Would you like Mrs. Porter to walk you across the street. She was just leaving.”

She gave the other woman her meanest glare.

“That is alright, Mrs. Kilbourne. Mrs. Porter who lives next door is on her front porch talking to Nannie.”

That is a lie, but Karen goes over to Mrs. Porter’s house and tells her everything, even the bad word that Mrs. Kilbourne called the other Mrs. Porter. 

After Mommy picks her up at the Big House (it is not a Big House month) they go to the grocery store. She annoys Mommy and soon gets permission to go wander around, where she spies Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Spier talking, over by the vegetables. (Mrs. Spier’s daughter, Dawn, is a vegetarian.) She skips over, smiling brightly at them. She notices that Mrs. Spier has done a poorly done job of covering up some bruise on her face, and she wonders why she wouldn’t fix it with magic, but she brightly speaks. 

"Hello Morbidda Destiny and Mrs. Spier! How are you, today? I am well. Mommy and I are grocery shopping because this month is a Little House month, which means I do not live at the Big House with Daddy, Elizabeth, Kristy, Sam, David Michael, and Emily Michelle! Did you know that I am a Two-Two? Two years ago my teacher, Mrs. Colman, read us a wonderful book called "Jacob Two Two and the Hooded Fang" and that is how I came up with the name to describe me and Andrew! I miss having you live at the Big House, Mrs. Spier! Is it true that you are having a baby and if so may I baby sit it? I wish to be the best babysitter in the world, like Kristy is!"

She pauses, watching Mrs. Spier rub her abdomen, a hesitant look on her face. She does not understand why, she is great with babies, especially Emily and Danny, but perhaps it is her age. She is a bit young to really babysit. Kristy said so. She sighs. 

“When...when you get older, okay?”

What? She had been expecting a no!

“Really? Oh, thank you, Mrs. Spier! You are the best! I hope that you have a girl so that I can teach her how to play Lovely Ladies!”
“...That would be nice...”
“It would be!”

***

“A pack of Parliaments, please. 100 count. I have to see my mother, later.”

Karen Brewer has long given up her lack of contractions, her fixation with being a two-two, and, quite frankly, her belief that Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Spier are both witches. She is eleven years old, now, and much too old for such foolishness. That’s what her mother said, when she insisted she get tested for ADHD. Her father still claimed that she was a free spirit, but the teachers at Stoneybrook Academy had had enough with her “overactive imagination”.

So, she sits at the pharmacy, waiting for her mother to get her prescription, and she watches. 

She knows that she can’t be completely obvious about watching, but she does. 

The woman buying the cigarettes, she’s Mrs. Spier, and Karen knows that, but she doesn’t want to be pushy about it. Her mother will be rude and ask Mrs. Spier awkward questions, (her stupid snotty aunt Marjorie had mentioned that Sharry Porter had been exactly like her when they were growing up) and she doesn’t want that. She does, however, want to coo over little Olivia, who’s holding tight to her mother’s hand. Soon, she’ll be allowed to babysit her. She hopes.

Drat. They spotted her.

“Karen? What are you doing here?”
“Nothing, Mrs. Spier. My mom’s just getting some stuff...”
“Are you okay?”
“I guess.”

She isn’t really, she doesn’t want to have to take the stupid medication for her nonexistent “attention disorder”, but she doesn’t want to have to bother her about it. 

“You sure? Mary Anne said you haven’t seemed very happy when she’s babysat for you and Andrew.”
“I want Kristy to sit for me. I want Kristy to and Mom says she can’t because she “keeps encouraging my imagination”!”
“Oh, honey, I’m sure Kristy sits for you sometimes.”
“Only when we’re at Daddy’s.”

Her mother is still talking to the pharmacist, and she folds her arms across her chest, not caring how immature she comes off as.

She is only eleven, after all. She wishes she’d never skipped second grade.

Maybe then she’d be normal.

“Karen? Honey, you’re crying.”
“Leave me alone. You don’t understand what it’s like, Mrs. Spier. Mom and Daddy used to love my imagination, they used to tell me that I was gonna be whatever I wanted to be, but now just ‘cause my stupid sixth grade teacher says I’m “immature” for my age or something stupid like that I have to be on medication? Mom wants me to go to a therapist. I heard her asking Mary Anne about me going to hers. But I don’t wanna!”
“Did you tell your mother this?”
“She doesn’t care! All she wants is for me to be normal!”
“Honey, I’m sure that she does care-”
“No. She doesn’t. She thinks that I’m stupid. And dumb, and I know she does, Mrs. Spier, so don’t tell me she doesn’t. Did you know that Andrew got another stupid award? I can even go to the awards ceremony ‘cause Mom thinks I won’t behave. She’s mad ‘cause Mary Anne can’t sit for me because it’s during school!”

Karen, who’s pretty sure that Mrs. Spier has merely only tolerated her the entire time they’ve known each other, settles Olivia on the chair next to her, and stands up, pulling a ten dollar bill out of her purse. 

“You can have this, Karen, if you and Livvy just stay here while I talk to your mother. Okay?”
“Okay, Mrs. Spier. Thanks.”

She simply shrugs, walking in the direction of the pharmacy, where her mother is still deep in conversation. She turns to Olivia, smiling brightly at her.

“Hi, Livvy! I’m Karen!”
“Hi!”
“Your sister babysits for me sometimes, Mary Anne?”
“Mary Anne! Dawnie?”
“Sometimes, but she’s usually in California.”
“Dawnie home! Daddy get!”
“You’re happy, aren’t you?”

Olivia giggles, her dirty blonde hair falling out of its ponytail, and she smiles at her.

“Dawnie and Jeffy and Sunny home! Daddy get!”
“Do you want me to fix your hair? So you look even more pretty than you already do?”
“Yeah!”

She fixes her hair neatly in two pigtails, fishing out her compact so she can show Olivia what her hair looks like. 

“You think it’s pretty?”
“Yeah! Mommy?”
“Your mommy’s talking to my mommy. We have to stay here for her, okay? I can tell you a story.”

Mary Anne and Dawn’s little sister crawls on to Karen’s lap, and she reads to her from a book she has shoved in her backpack. It isn’t a witch book, but her mother would probably still call it babyish, but Olivia likes it, and that’s all that matters. Their mothers seem to be involved in a bit of a disagreement.

That’s when Seth and Andrew come in. Andrew points them out immediately, and she cringes. 

He’s gotten so mean!

Seth thinks that she’s too young to babysit, and his disapproval shows, but she doesn’t care. Mrs. Spier trusts her, even though she’s only a few feet away, and that makes her proud. Olivia glares at him, her pigtails bouncing.

“Karen, what on earth are you doing?”
“I said she could babysit.”
“Who are you?”
“Sharon Spier, you jerk. Karen, honey, you did a wonderful job. Your mother said that it would be okay for you to help Sunny watch Livvy on your day off from school. Would that be fun, sweetie?”

Olivia nods, grinning widely. Mrs. Spier turns to her audience, which now includes Karen’s mother, and stares at them.

“Thank you, Mrs. Spier. I’d like to help Sunny with Olivia while you and Mr. Spier are at work!”
“But...”

That was Seth, her stepfather. 

“Mrs. Spier said Sunny would be there. She’s a real baby sitter. Mary Anne says that she watches Dawn’s little sister out in California.”
“Gracie!”
“Yes, her.”

Olivia giggles louder. Karen smiles innocently at her family. 

She sees that Mrs. Spier has the same prescription that she has to take in her hands, and she figures that it wouldn’t be that bad. Maybe she’ll be allowed to have Kristy babysit for her again if she takes it.

***

Karen dresses nicely for her unofficial sitting job, remembering all of the rules that Kristy had had for the BSC, and remembering how Kristy was her idol. She hopes that she’ll do well. After all, she’ll be compared to Sunny, and Mary Anne said that Sunny babysits for Dawn’s other sister all the time, out in Palo City.

Mary Anne also told her not to mention Sunny’s mother. She pinky promises not to, though she doesn’t know why. 

When she arrives at the house (which is the old barn, turned into one), Olivia is still asleep, and Sunny (she assumes that’s who it is-she knows who Dawn is, after all) and Mrs. Spier are standing on the porch, smoking a cigarette. Her mother clucks in disapproval. Karen simply tells her that Daddy is working from home that day, and that she could garden with him and Mrs. Porter, and soon enough she is waving good bye to her mother and Seth, glad she doesn’t have to go to Andrew’s stupid award ceremony. 

She gets to stay for dinner, and Kristy comes, along with Sam, who is going out with Stacey again, and Karen is so happy. 

She wishes that she could be seven years old again, swinging on rope swings in barns, having a pretend-husband, being in Ms. Colman’s class with Hannie and Nancy, but she supposes it isn’t all that bad. So, Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Spier aren’t witches, they’re still nice to her, and they even laugh when she tells them about her childish fantasies. Her brother liked her back then, and she was the apple of both her parents’ eyes, but things have to change. 

Sure, her mother and stepfather think she’s a flighty burden, but her father and stepmother are talking about gaining full custody of her, and she’d like that. She wants to live with them again, with all the pets, and Kristy and Sam, and she wants to be able to see her friends, instead of being tutored (she isn’t stupid, thank you very much) and being carted around to “child phycologists” she doesn’t need to see. 

She’s drawn from her silent contemplation by Mrs. Spier joining her on the back porch, still dressed in her suit from work, and she takes the lemonade she’s offered.

“Thank you.”
“For what?”
“Talking to my mom. You really didn’t have to.”
“I did.”

They lapse into silence. Eventually, they go back into the house.

Karen gets to go home with Kristy and Sam.


 
 
 
joykilldramajoykilldrama on January 5th, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. I absolutely love it.
mkrobinson on January 5th, 2012 02:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it!
automatic doorautomaticdoor on January 5th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
You aren't allowed to make me cry sympathy tears for Karen! Except that you did! This could so be canon. Her mom encourages her imagination and then kicks her metaphorically in canon all the time. Seth doesn't really like her either, from what I've always gathered (merely tolerates), and she's just really overactive but so intelligent. She irritates me to no end, but I'm sure I was a Karen growing up. Not as wildly fantasy-filled, but talkative and active and all over the map.
mkrobinson on January 5th, 2012 02:47 am (UTC)
Thank you! I agree! Exactly, Lisa was all for her being creative whenever she wasn't at her house, but the second she misbehaves when it's on her she's on the phone to poor Watson screeching about how poor Karen's a brat, while Karen is within earshot. Exactly, Seth seemed to like Andrew a lot more, and at least the Thomases made an effort to like both the kids. Exactly, she's probably an attention speaker because she's the product of that divorce, and due to being the youngest in her class. I think I was a Karen too.
Emilybookplayer on January 5th, 2012 05:48 am (UTC)
This really was beautiful. Why did you have to go and hit my over-medicated kids button? It's an issue I feel pretty passionate about, so it's an easy short cut to making me love this. Which I do.

I love that you had Watson's family okay with Karen's imagination. I know a lot of folks complain about it, but I've always loved the Thomas-Brewer's more laissez-faire attitude towards their kids. (It reminds me of my own family. Like you, I was probably a Karen, but my mom would have had words for anyone who suggested there was something wrong with me for it.)
mkrobinson on January 5th, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I agree, I have problems with it too! I'm glad you liked it!

I agree, I think that Watson would have been better equipped to deal with Karen and her imagination, simply because he didn't view it and by extension her as being embarrassing! Also I thought it was nice that he and Elizabeth didn't punish Karen for everything she did, they had actual reasons for it, whereas Lisa seemed to do it a lot more! Thanks for reading it!
Lisa: BSC: babysitters100ozqueen on January 5th, 2012 07:45 am (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm terribly behind in my fic reading, but I think you're still writing your serial featuring Sharon Schafer?

Could you take a look at our new system for tagging serials, which is mentioned in THIS post.

If you're not sure, I'm happy to do the existing entries for you and then talk you through future ones, but I need to know what you want to call your serial and which characters feature in most of the entries.

If you'd rather do it yourself, here's how:

Go to the first part of your serial and tag it with:
- title of your serial
!serial/multi-chapter


As well as all main characters and pairings that feature in your serial.

The following entries should only be tagged with the - title of your serial tag, your author tag, your table number, and the appropriate prompt. If other characters show up for minor appearances, you can tag them in individual entries, but all characters who feature regularly/heavily should only be tagged in the first entry.

Like I said, I'm happy to do it for you :) Just let me know which characters I need to tag it with and what you want to name it. Or you can do it, if I've made sense and you know how to do it :p

Let me know if you need help! You can see bookplayer's entries for her Life in Stoneybrook series as a good working example! :)
mkrobinson on January 5th, 2012 02:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry, yes I am! I was a bit confused as to whether or not it was considered a serial, but since you just told me it was I'll absolutely tag it using the new system as soon as I get on an actual computer!