Memorial Day Reunion.
Barefoot Abby went to visit her father's grave today. She broke down and cried a lot, saying that her father was the first friend she ever had and she missed him so very much. I comforted Barefoot Abby as best I possibly could. Schiller and Barefoot Marcel stopped by. Meeting with this gentle elderly couple helped to cheer up Barefoot Abby significantly. When Barefoot Abby was feeling better, she asked where Barefoot Tefé was, as our barefoot daughter hadn't returned home yet. I explained how Barefoot Tefé was still in California after leaving her cult. She was visiting the grave of her loyal friend Barnabus Tookoome. I received this e-mail detailing Barefoot Tefé's unexpected interaction with our family friend Barefoot Suzy, about how another reunion came, resulting in a rather shocking surprise for Barefoot Tefé:
re: Barefoot Tefé Holland wrote:
"Dad. After Barefoot Zaina and I returned to Titans Tower after seeing Barnabus' grave today, you'll never guess who I ran into next: Barefoot Suzy. There Barefoot Suzy was, with her friend Tim Hunter, talking to Barefoot Lady Raven about options on how to free the Shadowpact. Apparently, it's going to take three months just to get one of them safely out of the dome they're locked up in, and the one most likely candidate for rescue is Detective Chimp. Barefoot Suzy was pretty damned pissed that she couldn't get Barefoot Lady Raven to save all of them. Tim Hunter, who's much more powerful than Barefoot Lady Raven, or Barefoot Zatanna, or any other magician, insisted to Barefoot Suzy that Barefoot Lady Raven knew what she was talking about. Barefoot Lady Raven was more concerned about the recent disappearance of the Martian Manhunter, who's been acting strangely lately. It looks like the Martian has got himself kidnapped by a divergent supervillain again. This time he was taken by a mad scientist from an alternate dimension who calls himself Captain Koma. Barefoot Lady Raven started to explain to Barefoot Suzy and her friend about how the reappearance of divergent realities with alternate Earths could start up another Infinite Crisis, even though this Koma loser isn't anywhere near Alex Luthor's league. Barefoot Suzy said J'onn can save himself and will deal with Koma on his own. She only cared about saving the Shadowpact. Barefoot Lady Raven was about to argue with Barefoot Suzy over this point some more. But then, Barefoot Lady Raven saw me coming, and she headed off in the other direction in a big rush, without even finishing her talk with Barefoot Suzy. Why is it I have that kind of impact on people? Anyway, Barefoot Suzy lightened up and she was really glad to see me. We hugged, then I found out a little more of how Barefoot Suzy's pheromones work. Barefoot Zaina saw Barefoot Suzy as a prissy barefoot blonde overdressed and repressed lady barefoot secretary type and not as the nude purple barefoot nymph we know her to be. Barefoot Suzy's pal "Timmy" couldn't help but laugh at the way Barefoot Zaina carried on, since he hadn't seen anyone under the influence of Barefoot Suzy's pheromones all day. Either that, or Timmy's a total perv like his mentor John Constantine. Whatever. Timmy already has a barefoot girlfriend, of course, namely my cousin Barefoot Gemma Masters, who I finally got to meet at the hotel where they were spending their Stateside summer vacation, but Barefoot Gemma busy was taking her bath, so we left her to it.
Now, here's where it got weird. After this Hunter guy was completely convinced I haven't got my powers back yet, [and I still think he was flirting with me, which didn't make Barefoot Zaina too happy!], Barefoot Suzy said it was time we all went to what's left of San Diego, [the suburbs that didn't get hit by that huge-ass tidal wave to become Sub-Diego]. Barefoot Suzy said it was time for me to learn the truth about my first-ever childhood friend Barefoot Maxine Baker. Did you know Barefoot Lady Blackhawk is just as good a limo driver as she is a pilot? Barefoot Suzy was just glad to be back riding around in one for the day, not having done so in the last four months, courtesy of Barefoot Zinda's boss: Barefoot Lady Oracle. It made Barefoot Zaina's head spin too! When we arrived, I was the only one to get out. Barefoot Zaina liked the air-conditioning too much to brave the heat. Barefoot Suzy was too busy having an argument with Timmy to give any further attention to me. The sun blazed down on me, tanning my feminine nude ass. I barefooted over the hot sidestreet pavement into the driveway of the Baker home, wishing I'd remembered to summer-balm lotion my always bare feet this morning. I should always--ALWAYS--remember to sunscreen the soles of my bare feet in late spring and summer. Damn, that concrete was hot! I stopped for a second to cool off my heat-scorched forever bare feet on the freshly cut front lawn. The mowed grass underfoot felt wonderfully cold and wet with all those sprinklers going. That was sweet. There's this huge sign spread over the front of the house saying: "WELCOME HOME, HERO!" I guessed Barefoot Maxine must still live with her parents, as this was clearly meant for her dad, Animal Man. The barefoot lady of the house was also outside nude soaking up the sun and she had just finished mowing the frontyard. She looked great. She waved at me, to come on in. She rinsed her sweaty hair and nice nude body with her garden hose to cool on down. I took this awesomely hot pic of her when she turned off the water. She warmly welcomed me."
"I told "Barefoot Maxine" how beautiful she looked, reintroducing myself as Barefoot Tefé, and I gave her a big hug! Then she told me she wasn't Barefoot Maxine, but her barefoot mother, Barefoot Ellen. She said she's already talked to Barefoot Suzy on the phone about today's visit. Barefoot Ellen said she was flattered to be mistaken for Barefoot Maxine. Barefoot Suzy walked up to me and asked if I was surprised by Barefoot Ellen's strangely youthful appearance. It didn't surprise me at all, having been prematurely aged myself. Barefoot Ellen showing no signs of aging just means she's luckier than my mom, who's only just beginning to age at 50. Barefoot Suzy said that's not it. She said Barefoot Ellen isn't really middle-aged at all. She stopped aging years ago. Barefoot Suzy said the real surprise was going to come from Barefoot Maxine and her brother Cliff. Barefoot Ellen opened the gate to her backyard, as we followed her. I was shocked to see her barefoot daughter, little Barefoot Maxie when I took this picture of her standing in the shade after she came outside, turning her back to me, as she did to her own future, apparently."
"She was even wearing the same childhood clothes as she had been years ago, at least until she finally got undressed. Once nude, she came out in the sun to play and splashed into the swimming pool with the rest of us. Guess her moment of shyness came from all of us staring at her. Still, learning that little Barefoot Maxine is a child after all these years was startling even to me. Barefoot Ellen tells me that Barefoot Maxine's always going to be like this. Even Tim Hunter couldn't believe it. And Barefoot Zaina kept saying this was some kind of sick joke and Barefoot Ellen had to be the real grown-up Barefoot Maxine. But I know the truth when I see it. Barefoot Suzy, Tim, and I took turns trying to reintroduce ourselves to Barefoot Maxine. But little Barefoot Maxine just splashed water in our faces with her wet pigtails and kept calling us fakers. She hadn't seen her real friends in Free Country all that long ago and we couldn't possibly be grown-ups now in her mind. Barefoot Maxine said we were all liars, and for some reason her taunts really hurt. Barefoot Ellen said her kids don't recognize the passage of time. They'll never grow up, and Barefoot Ellen will never grow old. The Barefoot Black Orchid said this somehow took place when Animal Man returned from a trip to Earth-Prime on a mission to resurrect his dead family. That's why this happened. Destiny itself was changed to bring about an otherwise impossible resurrection. The lives of Barefoot Ellen and her kids are frozen in time. We will fix this someday, so they'll age normally, but for now I realize that Barefoot Ellen, Barefoot Maxine, and Cliff are stuck this way! Now I realize why it was so important to see little Barefoot Maxine again today, expressly for this reason. All your talk about making your own destiny, Dad? It's all true. You were always so right. Even about Barefoot Poison Ivy. I'll never doubt you again! Promise. Love you always, Barefoot Tefé."
I'm so glad Barefoot Tefé has managed to learn this. It is an important lesson I could never have taught her myself. We never control destiny, but we still manage to influence our fates. The future depends upon this. In the end, all we have is our memories and our intentions of design.
Dealing With Another Crisis.