The Encounter Blog interview with Etta Castle Teague
HL: You were raised by your Grandfather after your Dad ascended and your mom pretty much bailed. What was that like? Albert Castle always seemed like a good guy, but we all know life behind closed doors is different.
ECT: You’e right about that. The first few months of living with my grandfather were the hardest. The years after that didn’t get much better. I learned his rhythm and he molded mine. We didn’t talk about either of my parents. Mr. Albert was never fond of my mother, and he had miles of regrets in regards to my father. My mother, however, was not a believer in the Towes, and by the time her eyes were opened she had lost everything, including her mind. Yes, she knew about ascensions. Everyone does, but things get foggy for Rejects, you know that first hand.
HL: That I do. But I wouldn’t call it ‘foggy.’ I’d say ‘aware.’
ECT: It’s definitely fog. I’m married to a Reject, remember? Anyhow mom was foggy when my dad was chosen to ascended and when he was gone she plunged head first into utter darkness. Losing my dad broke her heart. It changed her. She never said it out loud. She had actually stopped talking pretty much altogether, even to me.
HL: How’d that make you feel?
ECT: How do you think it made me feel? That’s hard on a child. Being treated with little more than indifference by the person you love the most makes leather of the heart. Don’t get me wrong, leather has its good qualities. It’s durable, keeping things out and keeping things in. It is opaque and if used as a covering, it can keep a lot of things hidden. Leather hearts are excellent at keeping secrets.
HL: You definitely have a lot of those.
ECT: Secrets are necessary when dealing with the Towes.
* * *
Etta woke first. It was half past eight in the morning. The sunlight was breaking through the cracks in the drawn blinds, tickling her eyelids. Her phone was also vibrating, she reached for it, slid to answer and listened to the voice on the other end. Nobody.
They hadn’t even waited for Etta to say hello before they began their rant. Etta glanced at Jørn’s still sleeping face and cupped the phone with her hand, cutting Nobody off. “It’s early. Too early. I will call you back.” She hung up the phone.
She blew out a breath and stretched before pressing her body closer to Jørn’s warm skin. It was hard to believe how much she loved to be close to him even though she had hardly touched him lately.
She had her reasons, but when she did indulge…