Passing a Role

Passing a Role

Postby Treadwell » Mon May 01, 2017 12:31 am

Night of the thirtieth of the fourth month.
The Church of Tubbius.
Bedroom of Aloisius Treadwell.


"I feel ashamed to ask this of you, My Lord Tubbius, ashamed and guilty and greedy."

I wish to end this mortal life, My Lord, to join eternally with your holy body. The request had been made with wringing of hands over belly and shuffling steps. The old man before Treadwell had asked very meekly, very softly. Treadwell's reply, with wet eyes and a loving hug of pudgy arms around portly frame, is simple enough.

"Jim, you have lived, hm, and served me for three hundred and ten years, mmph, and two of my own lifetimes. You raised and taught me when I was in the body of Tobias Griffum, mmph, and you shepherded me back into awareness of my divinity in this body. You have earned yourself a good, endless rest."

At this, the rounder of the two Tubbians sniffles unexpectedly, burying his face into his old friend's shoulder for a moment.

"The magic keeping you alive and healthy, hrm, will be withdrawn gently before first light, mmph mmph. You shall pass painlessly. Instead of one last dawn, you will simply wake to see my majesty, mmph, to join me there."

"But my role. . . ."

"It will pass, as well, mmph." At this, Treadwell eases away from his subordinate, reaching to take a yellow-dyed handkerchief from his pocket. A nasal whonnnnk follows. "You can likely guess who the new Tubbius Princeps will be."

"Your brother, Langley, My Lord?"

Aloisius nods at this. "He doesn't know it, yet, but he will learn in the morning. He is the third largest of our holy order, after you, but he has much growing to do to catch up to you in his own centuries to come, mmph mmph." A giggle escapes the old priest, who stands there in the candle lit bedroom, wearing his yellow pajama jumper. "Sleep well tonight, dear friend. Your brothers here will tend to this body," a wave of hand up and down at the well-rounded frame, "and bury it and mourn you, yes, after you pass on."

With that, the embrace is returned, and, on his way out of the bedroom, James Wilde asks one final question, "You knew, did you not, Lord Tubbius?"

"That you would ask this of me tonight?"

"Yes, Holy One."

"Of course I did, mmph mmph. Of course. Off to bed, dear friend, until you sleep with Tubbius."

From there, James Wilde turns and toddles out of Treadwell's bedroom to return to his own. Both men then ease to bed, to snore mightily until just before morning, when one man's snores slowly stop minutes before sunrise. At that time, on the Endless Plain of Tubbius, the Great God reaches out one of his immense arms to cup around the incoming James Wilde, floating in the air until hand and round-bodied spirit meet stomach. The ghost disappears with one final, audible sigh of pleasure, prompting a new roll of flesh along the front of Tubbius' belly.

However, mere feet away from the Great God, the snoozing spirit of Langley Treadwell comes to visibility as Tubbius turns His attention to it.

"Join Me, little one, and grow for Me."

With those words, a fleshy vine, an umbilicus of sorts, appears on the ground between deity and spirit, originating at the stomach of the former until it connects seamlessly to the navel of the latter. At the touch, Langley briefly stirs, rolling from side to back with a rub to his gut, but he does not awaken--not for a few more minutes, when dawn finally reaches Myrkentown on the first of May. He will wake hungrier than his usual, ready to feast with his Tubbian brothers downstairs, having spent the night at the Church with his younger brother. By the time he arrives downstairs, he learns of two details.

First, Tubbius Princeps James Wilde has died peacefully in his sleep.

Second, Langley Treadwell has a very long life of service ahead of him.
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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