In my original superhero urban fantasy series, the second of the 3 primary characters that take over the 1st person POV is Bryson Finney. I’ve previously highlighted his near-brother status to Jared O’Shea in posts here and here. With Jared as the first narrator, Bryson is usually seen through his filter. However, the following scene shows Bryson, the Texas-transplant, in his natural element–grilling and doting on his wife, Kate, and his puggle, Riptide aka Ripper.
Bryson is already working the grill. It looks like we’re having corn on the cob and sausages. It seems awfully early in the season for corn. “Did Kate tell you we renamed the dog? Waco was a terrible name; everyone up here thinks of Branch Davidians. As a kid, our dogs always had Texan names: Austin and Texarkana were beagles, Houston was a Chihuahua, Dallas was a springer spaniel, Tyler was also a Chihuahua, and Midland was a bulldog.” I knew about him having dogs, but I’d forgotten about the Texas-themed names. “My stepdad named them. Obviously, he’s a freak about Texas. He’ll be disappointed that I broke tradition, but this here’s a Yankee dog. Riptide. Like my band—Riptide.”
“Yeah, Kate said. About time you actually used that name.” Bryson is smirking and grilling, quite proud of himself. Kids can be punks, but I bet Bryson’s students like him. He has that right amount of intensity about whatever he believes in. As a teacher, his passion is history and how technology, science, war and politics have propelled society’s development. This guy knows more about America than anyone I know.
“Did Kate tell you anything else?”
“Not really. She’s getting together with Barb and friends. Barb’s the tall one, right? Are you ready for a beer? Bigger question: are you ready to dreamwalk?”
“We’re pregnant, Jared.” WOW! Bryson is looking right at me. Smiling, but not smirking. I believe he could cry. I can feel myself misting up.
“Dude!” Really? Dude? My reaction blows. I’ve got to do better than that. “That’s great news, Bry.” My voice wavered when I said “great news.” I am such a wussy that I could tear up to a beer commercial. Bryson has turned his attention back to the grill. He’s beaming. “Too bad you already used the name Riptide for your dog. You could name the kid Galveston or Amarillo.” I can’t think of any other Texas cities.
“Odessa if it’s a girl.” He’s laughing. “I’ll take a beer. Unless you think it could interfere with the dreamwalk?”
“One can’t hurt.” I’m still shocked by his news though I guess I knew they were trying. I am going to spoil this kid rotten.