Discussion of Things to Come

Discussion of Things to Come

Postby Treadwell » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:52 am

Morning of the fifth day of the seventh month, 217.
The Treadwell estate, Myrkentown.
The master bedroom.

"He is asleep, Allie."

"Hmm? Harvey?"

Two soft-spoken voices, shushed. Two elderly parents in pink sleepwear--one a pajama jumper, one a gown--both rest in bed, their youngest child snoring between them.

"Of course. Tell me about him, Allie."

Fluffy white eyebrows raise, causing glasses to slip as Alice continues.

"He is three years old, now, as of just a few days ago. I. . . We. . . Well. We are old, Aloisius, and all our children are young. Egbert and Gwendolyn are almost nine, and Harvell is but three. The only ones older are Gideon and Nicholas and Arella."

"And Babette."

"A grown woman, Aloisius, who does not live here with us. Gideon nears fourteen. Nicholas and Arella near thirteen. They are young men and a young woman, already. Arella, if she knew a young man--" Alice's left hand rubs down her own belly with a nod. To her right, her husband wheezes quietly.

"We are old, Aloisius. I want to know our children are to be cared for."

"Dearest. . . . You and I, mmph, have many years ahead, hm, and Langley, too. They have nothing to fear."

"Nothing? Gideon is a young man learning to bake, and he. . ." That left hand on her belly tightens there, taking up a handful of flesh before getting a gentle pat and squeeze from her husband's own. "I will say it plain, Aloisius. He works a fat man's job, but he fears being fat. It taxes him. He worries about his looks, and he is your eldest son."

A grunt and a nod come from the resting toymaker.

"Egbert and Gwendolyn seem to like cooking along Gregory, which is good. She needs to know how to cook, should she be a wife one day, but Egbert? What all do you know, Aloisius? You claim godhood, and--"

And Aloisius frowns gently at this stopped retort.

"Would you truly know what they all will do and be, Dearest?"

"I want to know they will be well, Allie. I am their mother, even to the ones I never birthed."

"They will, lovey. Think you a god in the flesh would allow himself children who would fare poorly?"

"Speak as a father, Aloisius, not as a man who thinks himself a god."

Silence, except for short and labored breaths, follows.

"There are nine of 'em, Alice."

"And I want full truth about all of them, Aloisius. I want your assurances. You work as a maker of toys and as a governor. You are a priest, which gives you privileges among them. We eat very well. We live very well. If aught happens to you, or to me, or to both of us, I want assurances."

"From the youngest?" A nod to Harvell.

"From the oldest. Start with Gideon."

"Gideon. . ." Treadwell shakes his head. "His life is in his hands, Love. He is an outstanding baker and will work as such, at least for a time. What happens as he ages is up to him."

"About his looks?"

"Mmph mmph." A nod.

"Nicholas? Arella? They are not mine by birth, but--."

"Nicholas will take after his father: a toymaker and a Tubbian. You can see that already, lovey, mmph."

"The toymaker I can live with, Aloisius, though I still do not care for the Tubbian, but if you say that is what will be. . . . What of Arella?"

"Married and owner of an orphanage in Westenford. Two daughters by her husband who helps her run it."

"Daughters?" Eyes widen and face brightens.

"Daughters, hm hm. Twin girls."

"Well! Egbert? Gwendolyn?" At this question, Alice shuffles her bulky weight in the bed, allowing a bit more comfort. Between his parents, Harvell continues to snore quietly.

"Gwen. . ." the old man smiles. "A mother in good time, like Arella."

"A mother! Who?"

"Shush, shush." Another nod to the sleeping boy between them. "I shall not say. . . but you know the lad and his father, hm hm, quite well." A mischievous smirk crosses the toymaker's face. Jack Alldale and his son, Jack, are destined to join the family, but he'll not ruin the surprise for the girl's mother yet.

"Well, what of Egbert?"

"Eggy follows after Gregory, a butler and cook. I have already made arrangements with Jon for Egbert to work under him when he is old enough."


"Lincoln. My dearest friend in Westenford."

"And were you going to tell me this?"

"It is settled, Dearest, and agreeable."

Slow huffs of breath ease from both parents.

"It is." A moment's taken to breathe, to reflect. "Frederick, Aloisius. Frederick Augustine was born with the tail of a pig. You have never said why. He spends all his time with Pinky, of all places. Was I bewitched? Were you?"

"No, no, no, dearie." Over Aloisius wriggles just a little, offering an arm around Alice and a kiss to her cheek. "That boy is blessed by Porcus, the great pig mother, hrm. He is very special to her. Frederick will be very important, mmph, in Swinstead when he comes of age."

"Swinstead? Where you have Tubbians raising pigs?"

"The same. He will assume leadership quite naturally there, and happily, too. My coveralls, there, Dearest?" Aloisius nods to the giant brown garment hanging on its own hook by his wardrobe; Alice nods. "Fancy our fat little Frederick near to Langley's size, mmph, wearing the like, but with a hole in the rump, hm hm."

"A hole, Aloisius?"

"Where might a man who has a little pig in him be natural about showing it off, hm hm, but around them?"

"And you think this is natural?"

"It certainly is, mmph. He will live with no fear for it, hm, and rest you happily that his children will not be marked the same."

"Children? More of them? Gwendolyn, and Frederick, too?"

"Mmph." Another nod follows, fluffing out the old man's beard. "A girl he hires to work the swine with him, a right round miss herself." The toymaker chortles. "She finds that pink tail attractive, Dearest."

"Attractive." Alice smirks.

"Indeed, hm hm. It is not wrong to think of it, hrm?"

"What of Gertrude? Gabriel?"

"Another mother to give us grandchildren, mmph, when the time comes."

"Will we see it, Aloisius? She is but four, nearly five."

"Mmph." Emphatic and accentuated with a nod.

"And Gabriel?"

"A Tubbian loyal through and through, given over to the Church as a priest for his life, hm hm. He will be rather important, mmph, to his uncle and father."

"That leaves Harvell."

Both parents look down at the boy between them, still asleep through his parents' quiet, long conversation.

"Mayor of Colmouth when he is four-and-twenty and we are three-and-ninety."

At this, the mother's jaw drops. "So old?" barely escapes as a whisper. The whisper is shushed by another kiss, this one to the lips.

"And still some years past that, Dearest."

Another few moments of quiet fill the room, eventually broken by a hushed, stern statement and a jab of a plump, feminine finger deep into the reclining man's breast.

"You had best not be lying about any of this, Aloisius Horatio Treadwell."
"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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