Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day Four-Twenty-Four: Crash and Burn



Oh dear. Bad times, diary, bad times a-comin'.

Drags, he decides, picnic. Big picnic. He, and Blondie-blonde, and BoobyBrowns, they aaaaaaall go out and has the meal. Is lunch over; is workers back to workersing; is sit by bits of biiiiig stone thinger. When screaming guys come. "The weekend is coming!" they screams, and they wakes me up. Stupid Screamers.

They sits. I, diary, in backpackback. I listen. I watch. Drags, he sets Blondie-Blonde on blanket. He feeds her the foods, and she eats. She eats. BoobyBrowns eats, Drags eats, all. Eats.

And laugh.

And eats.

Offer diary? No. Offends.

But diary, has eyes somewheres else. Diary can seeeeee, diary can feeeeeel, diary knoooooows that someone is comiiiiiiing, coming heeeeeere.

Who?

Other. Other person who is write in you, and I, and diary.

Who else?

Libbers.

Uh oh, Drags. Uh oh. Here's she comes.

"Well. Isn't this cosy."

"Libby! Uh, um, hi! Hey, what're, you, uh, shouldn't you -"

"Hi, Libby."

"Shut it, Tits McGee. I'm talkin' to my HUSBAND. Guess you got tired of livin' it large with the prisoner? Had ta go exotic?"

"Come on, Libby, it's not like that, we're out here -"

"Out here sittin' PRETTY FUCKIN' COMFY WITH EACH OTHER, that's what I see. Nice picnic, got your monster daughter all set up, forgettin' all about your CRABBY-ASS WIFE while she's trying to bring PROSPERITY to your FUCKING TOWN -"

"HEY! I'M NOT THE ONE WHO TOOK OFF! I'M NOT THE ONE WHO SAID I WISHED I MY PARTNER WAS DEAD!"

"I CAME HERE TO APOLOGIZE FOR THAT, YOU FUCKING -"

"YEAH, WELL, SAY YOUR BIT AND GET LOST -"

(Smack. Drags, he goes flying. So does little white thinger from mouth. Ow. Libbers, why's you be so harshin'? You don'ts mean it. Drags don't neither.)

"BACK OFF! Dragomir, are you okay?"

"Fine. Ugh… been hit… worse… 'n that…"

"Don't you TOUCH MY HUSBAND YOU BLEACHED BITCH!"

"GET LOST, LIBBY -"

(OW. 'nother hit. Drags, he steps in way, takes the faaaaaall for BoobyBrowns. 'nother white little thinger. Oh, Drags, painmouth.)

"You… you'd take a fucking hit… for her…?"

"Go… go away, Libby… 'n stay away… all you do… is hurt me… 'n everyone…"

"Dragomir, gods, you're bleeding everywhere, here, let me… let me…"

"I… I came back… 'cause Grayson said… moms 'n dads… should be together… he kept sayin'… he misses his dad… but I guess dad didn't miss him. He's too busy with freaks and sex-maniacs."

"Go… 'way, Libby…"

"Fine. Not comin' back again. We're through."

… through?

What means, through?

No, Libbers. No no no. Through is no. Come back, Libbers.

Can't see?

Can't see the white?

White from child? Behind stone thinger?

White. To you. To Drags.

Always white. Always child.

Thought white was good, did diary. Always white, always good.

Thought wrong.

Please read, Drags. For Libbers.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day Four-Twenty-Three: Beats



I CAUGHTS THE SNEAKIES TODAYS

YOU SNEAKIES NOT GETS BY I, DIARY

So Drags. Drags, he spends alllllll his lifetimes by Blondie-blonde. Is never no never leave room. Is bore! And if leaves? Blondie-blonde goes with. Is floppin's on his back. Gods, diary, gods. Gets the room.

Waits.

Has the room.

That is PROBLEM.

Anys, TODAY, there is ruckus. Peoples outside. Manys! Maybe Drags thought, give mayor away, be good? Left alone? No. Brings peoples. And Harrraolrldldld. Theys come, theys knock, theys complain! Much complain, and Drags, as BoobyBrowns be elsewhere, answers door.

Door away.

Door not near bed.

Drags talks to crowd… and whence he do? Window is opening. In slinks the Bernie.

Bernie is dick. Drags say, many times. Old Bernie mean. Douche. BIGGEST douche. This Bernie? Sad, always sad. But still, diary, still, Bernie is do green work. Green work for Yappers. 

He goes to Blondie-blonde, he does. Is reach under clothes cloak a-swaddled, is pull out sharpies. Sharpy-sharps. Is take, is move at Blondie-blonde, is touch hair.

Arm. So gross. SO GROSS IS LOOKING.

I know. I hear Drags. He says, hair? Precious. Do it right. This, this, no do right. No right ats the all. BERNIE, YOU IS NOT GIVEN OFFICIALS RIGHTS TO TOUCH BLONDIE-BLONDE HAIRS, AND I, DIARY, THOUGH SHUNNED, IS AGREES WITH DRAGS

I leap. We leap! Diary, we leapt so high, we wiggleses our little pawsies and we KICKS the Bernie in's the FACE. Rights in the a-swaddled FACES. He is FREAK, he is STUMBLE, he is FALL OUT WINDOW, takesing sharpy-sharp with him.

TAKE THAT, SAD DOUCHE BERNIE.

Drags comes back. Close window, wonders the why is open? I would answer! Woulds totally the answer. But no. He picks up, he puts back on shelf, he NOTS READ DIARY, FUCK DRAGS, READS DIARY.

READS THE DIARY THAT IS ME.

Sinceres,

READS ME DRAGS

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day Four-Twenty-Two: Resignation?



Drags, Drags, Drags. Peoples no happy with yooooou. 

Peoples come. I say? Ya, diary, I say. Many times. Peoples, they comes to Drags temphousehome. They asks questions, and Drags? He is all Blondie-blonde. Stuck on the Blondie-blonde, always, always. Won't leave her.

Attention, always her. Diary? None. PAY ATTENTION TO DIARY WHICH IS I, DRAGO, HAS IMPORTANT THINGS.

I try. Diary, we try. We leap on face. Five times! FIVE! I does math. Maybe even twelve times. We leap, we fall on footsies, we BITE, but Drags? Always sets aside. Takes with, yes, but aside. No care. Only Blondie-blonde.

Drags. Obsessed. OoooooobSESSED. Reading is good for BRAIN! Do read and you SEE! GODS, DRAGS!

People. Lost track. People! Peoples keeps coming. They ask Drags. Man, silly hat, kinda likes the Drags? What's name… Harororororrrlddd! Yes. Harrhahahrold. Funnys is the name. Sounds, boi-ster-ous laugh. Harharhahrhroldharhar! Har! He come early, he talks to Drags. Ask. I record.

"Mr. Mayor?"

"Ah, hey, Harold. C'mon in. Come to check on Eve?"

"Uh… no, I think the Lord Knight has her share of protectors in you… and… Bora, I suppose… you know, you've been spending an awful lot of -"

"She ate some turnip today. Isn't that great? I've had trouble giving her solid foods up 'til now, but TURNIP! Man, that Bora's a wonder. She can make gross food taste good to even a coma patient. That's talent, man, talent."

"Ah. Yeah. Listen, Dragomir, the first bits of stone have been coming in, and I think we need some more workers, maybe another mason, what with the Weekendists using one on their church and all -"

"Oh, yeah, the church. How's that coming along?"

"Uh. Well! I guess. Haven't… had much time to look, Edmund and I have been at the wall a lot, but I think it'll be ready for a library quite soon, maybe even tomorrow -"

"Keen. Can't wait. Listen, I have to give Eve a bath now. She's gettin' a bit dirty. Go get Bora for me, would you? She's good with Eve's hair, better than I am."

"…"

"Harold? Ya back there?"

"Are… are you still the mayor or not, Dragomir?"

"What?"

"Of Pubton. Do…  do you even care anymore?"

"Hm? Oh. Nah. You be mayor. I'm busy."

"… o… kay…"

Harrhahahaholdldldl leaves. Is mayor now? Sure. Politics. Don't get.

Sinceres,

Diary

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day Four-Twenty-One: Greenies, greenies everywhere



HE NOTS NO READS DIARY

WHY DRAGS, WHY

WHAT IS WRONG WITH DIARY

Has I boogers in face? Is just face! Is green! You clean, no green! Once brown. Now green! So gross. So many, the boogers. But my's fault? NO! NO, diary, NO! No hands, can't clean!

Boogers.

YEARGH, BOOGERS

People, they looks for Drags. They no think, jump in Drags backpackback. But diary? Does. Totes does. I knows what he do when's he have backpackback. Sometimes with Greasywoman, sometimes with BoobyBrowns, ALWAYS Blondie-blonde. Always. Carries her, see, on's the back. Then SHE hases the backpackback.

Then's diary. Thanks, Blondie-blonde. Maybe not so "Yeargh, I's deads!" after alls.

BUT BOOBYBROWNS. So much the time, with BoobyBrowns. Why? Nice, yes, maybeyes, but suspect? Sus-pi-cious. Is green, like Yappers, like Big'un. Nonsense is up to, you know. Yes, diary, you know. But Drags, he listen? NO. He is all like

"Hey, Bora, wanna go for a walk?"

and she is all 

"I have to do some cooking, how 'bout later?"

and he is all

"Sure."

and she is all

"How's Eve today?"

and he is all

"Better! Her reflexes seem to be improving! Doc says he thinks she's slowly comin' back. Was a little faster on the uptake than last week, 'n he says I'm feeding her all the right stuff. Also, uh, offered to buy her hair for ten gold. He's a weird guy, but he sounds like he knows what he's doing."

and she is all

"Hope so. Gotta get back; see you later."

and he is all

"Bye, Bora."

WHAT'S YOU DO DRAGS YOU IS LIBBERS HUSBANDTHINGER

Vex. Is so vex, diary. Add to that, no read? No READ? DRAGS, YOU STUPID

Tent, there is. I saw. On edge of Puberston. Big. Big'un sit out by it, look bored, read book. Not as cool as diary, but book. When's anyone come? She hides. Pretends is eleleleleleleleelphanfun, but I knows. 

I sees your less awesome than me books, Big'un.

Drags gets opinion. Couple times a day, he goes. Yappers talks. Always talks. Says same things, over and over and over, but Drags likes hear. Likes hear Blondie-blonde getting better.

Caaaareful, Drags. 

They's play you good.

Sinceres,

Diary

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Twenty: Yappers yaps



Yappers, Cedders, Bernie, Greasyman and Big'un, they aaaaaaaaall comes to Drags temphomehouse today. He invites! He thinks, he ponders, he invites. BoobyBrowns comes too, so Drags, he no stuck alone.

But wouldn't be alone.

Why?

DIARY IS HEEEEEEEERE

Big'un stays outside. No fit. Wreck temphomehouse, would. Greasyman, Cedders, outside too. Too grumpy. Bernie, sad Bernie, he comes in with the Yappers. And oh! Oh, my diary! Does he YAPS.

"So this is the patient, eh? Pretty young thing, pretty, sir… is she your daughter, perchance? If she is, I can see the resemblance, yes, sir, yes!"

"Yeah, she's my daughter. Can you do anything for her?"

"Well, sir, that depends, that solely depends on an examination, a short, quick, easy, thorough examination. May I, please? Eheh?"

"Bora? Whaddya think?"

"… let him. It'll be fine."

"… go ahead."

"Thank you, thank you! Ah, excuse me, I am a bit short, I need to jump up, here… ahh, yes… heart, beating… pulse, excellent, excellent… chest feels a bit shallow, if I say so… slightly malnourished, but not bad, not bad… slightly muscular… breathing normally… fine hair, sir, fine indeed, this would fetch quite a price back home, we don't have many blondes in the desert -"

"C'mon, get on with it."

"Ahh, yes, sir, apologies, most sincerely… I get worked up sometimes… Dog Three! Fetch me my kit!"

(Bernie, all quiet and sighs, goes outsides. Gets package thinger. Brings. Did Bernies always have one arm? Diary, I thinks, is no.)

"Let's see, we'll test the reflexes… ah, there, a little delayed, but not bad… pupils dilating under light, that's good… one thump there, two thumps there, three, four… yes, yes, she looks to be normal."

"Then why's she in a freaking coma?"

"It's in here, sir, I suspect. All in the head. The open eyes, they give her away to me. Her brain is working, but it's thinking deeply about something. Time and study, sir, that's all I can offer as suggestions. Though if you would be willing, I could perform a slightly more invasive procedure, as that may uncover -"

"Nothing invasive."

"Ma'am? I don't believe this is your call to -"

"NOTHING INVASIVE."

"… I'll go with what she says on this."

"Very well, sir, very well. At any rate, if you don't mind, I'd like to stick around at least a few days and continue to examine the patient, ehe. Perhaps I can discover something I missed today, eh, yes?"

"Free country. And it can't hurt. I, ah, have to go use the washroom next door… Bora, could you…?"

"Sure. Go ahead, Dragomir."

"Thanks."

(Drags leaves. I, diary, on shelf. I watch. I record. SO totals tell Drags all of the what they say.)

"What are you doing here, Emmett?"

"My, he's barely clear of the house. Surprisingly bold of you, Lito, surprisingly. And I could ask you the same thing, couldn't I just? Considering I just saw you a few days ago. Though your form back in the capitol was, ah, slightly less pleasant than this."

"Answer the question, you yappy prig."

"Frisky! Ever frisky. Your time in the normal world turned you rather acerbic, I see. The Baron sent me to check up on this little girl. He is quite perplexed, yes, QUITE perplexed, as to why she is here… when she should be there. Do you have anything to say about that, Litobora the Many?"

"Nothing. Nothing to you, vermin."

"You, of all people, calling me vermin! I don't have pieces of myself sitting inside the stomachs of moat monsters. Spiders and gators and all manner of freaks. The Baron is beginning to wonder if you are still on his side… or if you defer more to his brother. That would be most unfortunate, considering what I've heard of the man's goals. Or lack thereof."

"I'm a free agent. I do what I please. The Baron knew that when he called me in. Hasn't changed. If he has questions, he can talk to the parts of me in the capitol."

"Ahh, but what if he wants to talk to the real thing? You've spread yourself around so much that it's difficult to get a bead on your identity. Of course, I wouldn't expect anyone who dresses like that to do anything other than spread -"

(BoobyBrowns looks ready to eats Yappers. But Drags back, clomp clomp, and they shuts up.)

"Sorry 'bout that. Uh, okay, that'll be all, I guess, doc. Is Doc okay?"

"It is! I doubt you could pronounce my full name, dear boy, dear sir, it is rather long. We desert folk like our lengthy monikers. So many vowels! If you will excuse me, we shall return to our tent for the evening and better set up shop. I would like to properly advertise my services to the people of your fair city by Monday, indeed I would. Farewell, farewell!"

(Offs they skitters. Poor Bernie, his green, so sad.)

"Ah. Glad he's gone. Kinda gives me the creeps."

"Me too. Weird guy."

"Did he say anything while I was away?"

"Mmm, not really. Kept… talking about her hair…"

"Egh. I'll have to watch him when he's 'round Eve… or you can do it for me. If you don't mind."

"Of course not. I'll watch her like she was my own child."

"Thanks, Bora."

(Ewww, Drags, squeeze nots the hand ofs the BoobyBrowns. You knows not what she be. Hurry ups and reads the diary, I tell ALL!)

Sinceres,

Diary

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Nineteen: Pubton gets a doctor


vis

i

tooooooors

WE ARE IN PUBBERS. Puberstons. And in Puberstons, we's the visits. ALL time. Some? Come. Some? Stay. Some? Go. Go's be fools, 'cause, Puberstons? Pubbers? Home of diary. Why go? Stupid. Bask in the glories of you, which is I.

Diary.

Yeeee.

More visits. Two-day. Two, but no! Is three. Plus one. And two! But back one. So… um… diary, what… three, and one, and two but not three or one, but not one? Oh maths, you confuddles the diary.

Seventy. Seventy visits. Is maths. DIARY WIIIIIINS

First, little thing. Not so littles as diary. But littles! Littles to Drags. Like others, in cloths. All a-swaddled. He's the jump around, jump around, jump up jump up and get down. Or maybe nots so much the all that, but twitch. So twitches.

Second, all a-swaddled. Huge! HUUUUUGE! Like big greenies. In Greenyville. But BIIIIIGGEEEEER. Very still, very not the move. Swaddled.

Third… um… a-swaddled… is… oh! Cedders! HI CEDDERS! Ew, he's be all the wriggly under a-swaddled. Gross.

Number the four… kind of… so very the thin… not so thin as di - OH OH OH IS BERNIE, HI BERNIE. Drags hates Bernie. I, diary, know. Heard. Listened. Seen. Seen aaaaaall the Bernieness. 'cept nots when a-swaddled.

Number the five, is so the Greasyman. I's, diary, we, you, all, we's jump on the face. Pinch. Pinch pinch pinch. Take that, Greasyman. Can't now; a-swaddled. Clooooths. But soon! Soooooon, Greasyman, we pinches your face once againmores! Just you see if diary does not!

Oh, and all? Aaaaaall greenies. BAD. Well, no, is not all greenies all bad, OB-VI-OUS-LEE, but these? You so baaaaad.

Talks. I record.

"Greetings, good sir! Thank you kindly for coming to meet with us! Much appreciated, eheh!"

"Uh… huh. Well, yeah, hi, I'm… mayor… I guess… of Pubton. Y'know, you don't have to get permission to come in, or anything… it's a free country, so long as you aren't plannin' to wreck up the place… that big fella makes me question your intentions a bit…"

"This? No! No! Look, look clooooosely, my friend. This is quite obviously a rare desert elephant. That's where we come from! The desert! Hence the, um, er, robes! We're not used to the climate here, sir, no, not a bit! This unwieldy pachyderm's skin dries out in an INSTANT if its robes come off. In fact, they're BORN with clothes, covering them from stem to stern."

"That right."

"It is, sir, it certainly is. Eheh."

"So… why's the elephant stand on two legs…?"

"… I told you, sir, it's a raaaaare DESERT elephant! They, they, they stand on two legs at a time to avoid burning the bottoms of their feet on the unforgiving sands of their native environment! By the time they get here they can't HELP but walk on two legs all the time!"

"… so you mean to say this big thing can use its, er, arms, to walk? If it wanted?"

"ABSOLUTELY! Absolutely, my good sir. Go on, er, Titan Blue, show him how you walk on your… other… feet."

(Big one, it throws the diiiiiirty look. I see through a-swaddled, I see annoy. Soooo annoy. Then it goes… goes… tries… OHHHHH flop. Ow. Ground is all a-shakings. Diary, loops are thrown at you.)

"Well. That didn't work so great."

"Apologies! Get up, get UP, you silly, uh, beast! Forgive her, sir, she has not been to a desert in a very long time. The hind legs are much easier to walk on, you see, and she has gotten used to creature comforts. It will wreak havoc on her constitution to go back to the endless sands one day, aha, aha!"

"Yeah. Sure. So, if she's an elephant, is she gonna, like, wreck up the place?"

"No no no no! Desert elephants are EXTREMELY peaceful creatures. Extremely. She'll hardly make a peep, sir, don't you worry a thing about THAT. Not a peep. Understand? Not a PEEP."

(Little guy is kick big'un. Big'un looks to steps on him. Ha, ha! Splat. Is no the happen, but diary, maybe, some day. Soooooome day.)

"… okay. What's up with these three? Awful quiet. 'n you, what's your business here that needs me to come out and chat? No offense."

"None taken, none taken, young master, young mayor! I, ah, I and my assistants here, we are physicians! Doctors! Healers of the sick, wounded and infirm! Or I am, rather, and they, they provide me with… assistance! Imagine that! Ahahahaha! We travel the lands, offering our services to the unwell. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money… is never charged in the first place! Bills after receipt of healing! Ahahaahaha, does that not sound excellent?"

"… I… hm."

"Ah! Hm! Thoughts swirling in your brilliant cranium! I suspect, I dare think, good sir, good mayor, that you may have someone in need of healing at this very moment, this very SECOND! Who is it? A colleague? A friend? A loved one? Dare say, might it be any enemy whom you must keep alive for some reason? Just kidding on the last, of course, just kidding, just kidding, sir!"

"Yeah, sure. Uhh… look, yeah, there is… one… person. And your timing is really good. I've been trying to… well, you see, I…"

"Yes, sir? Yes yes yes?"

"Damn are you short. Uh, I mean, sorry… you're strangers, see, and… I'm kinda leery. I'll have to think about it."

"Think, sir! Take all the time you need! We will set up a tent on the edge of your fair metropolis and wait in anticipation of your call! But don't wait too long - not for our sake, but for the sake of the ill and infirm! Let us practice our arts all the more swiftly!"

"… sure. I'll get back to you tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to look around, get something to eat… check the Beefiary over there, tell Bora I said you could have some grub on the house. Okay?"

"Oh, is Lito-"

(Coughing. Little Greeny, he starts up and pinches self and pretends to wheezes and hackses and coughses ALLLLLLLL over the place."

"Er… ahm… apologies, I don't know what came over me. I mean, is… there… a… lithographer in town? That's what I meant, yes, yes, sir, yes, eheh."

"I… don't know what that is."

"NOR DO I, SIR, it must have been a case of the brain spasms. I get them sometimes. BUT NEVER WHEN PRACTICING MEDICINE! No, no sir, never once, never ONCE has a spasm harmed a patient. In fact, brain spasms are said to be found only in good doctors, sir, the very best. Go on, now, sir, think on the proposal, we shall be in our tent if you need us. Good day, sir, good DAY."

GODS OF THE SKY THINGER ABOVINGS, little guy talks SO MUCH. I call him Yappers from now on. Yappers the Greener. Proper names.

Done recordings for now. Tired. Writing, it takes much from diary. Tomorrowtimes, diary!

Sinceres,

Diary

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Eighteen: AHAHAUsgd


Oh, oh, diary.

Oh GODS the diary.

FUNNY

SO FUNNY

DIARY

I SHEDS THE TEARS

STAINS

YOURS

I MEAN I'S

COVER

AHAHAHAHABALARGHBAL

CONTROL, diary. Control! How's you talk if can't talk? Talk. Talk! Control is talk, and talk is write, and write is… diary. Write is right is diary. Aha, universal constant! I am champion of the universes!

So Drags. See, Drags, he gets idea. From MotherDrags. She says, "Dragomir, if you want your baby t'wake up, you need to give her some outside stimulus. Not those vials you've been making up and tossing out, but physical contact. Touch, ya goof! Rub her sensitive spots and bring her out of that funk!"

Drags now up: "Uuhhh, mom, that sounds… um… really… really…?"

"… please, gods, don't tell me he's misunderstood. Tickle her, you witless politician! Under the armpit! 'n under her feet! You 'n Robert were always ticklish under your feet when you were kids. Here, c'mon, lift your foot up -"

"Mom, I don't - I'm not -"

"Cootchie-cootchie-coo!"

"…"

"Coo… coo… what, nothing?"

"I'm not really ticklish, ma. Maybe you're misrememberin'."

"Bah. Well, try it on her, see what happens. Used ta wake you two up without fail ALL THE TIME when you were littlies."

"I'll give it a shot."

"Let me know how it goes!"

CLICK goes the door. Back to DragsTempHousage. Blondie-blonde, she waits on bed, all mum and "Blargh, I's dead still!"

(Is funny, see, still funny.)

Drags: "Eh… tickle… huh… well, worth a shot. Sorry, sweetie, I hope you don't kill me for this, but it's less offensive than my other cures…"

(I's peek out of bag. Drags move in for the kill, by which I, diary, means the TICKLE.)

"Mmm… feet… well, let's…"

(He's grab the foot. It flops. Not like diary feets - they's wiiiiiiggle.)

"Right… here, I guess - "

He tickles, is Drags, and then SLAM! The foot? It COMES TO LIFES and GETS THE DRAGS IN THE NOSE HOLES! He is go FLY BACK like the FRONT ON FIRE, AND HE LANDS


IN A BUCKET THINGER

AND

AND

BLAAAAHAAHAHAHIYBEIHDH

AGHHRRAHHAAHAOOHOHOohjod

ohhoooh

ooooooooh

woooo

Diary is pleased.

Sorry, Drags. You's fine. Be happy; Blondie-blonde, she differents than before. Others? She cave faces in! 

… 

That's be all bad, diary.

Ya.

Don'ts tickle Blondie-blonde no more, Drags. Kay?

Kay.

Sinceres,

Diary

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Seventeen: Smelly


Today? Diary? You has BEST plan, by which I says, I has best plan. 'cause I, you diary, we's ONE. One like ratties, only BETTER, 'cause ratties ain't got power of DIARYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Poor ratties. They's so tired under big'un tree. Is no worry, ratties! Some days, more of you's come! Lots mores! They's 'round, they's all's 'round. I know.

And why?

'cause…

I's…

DIARYYYYYYYYYYYYY

But ya. Plan! Best plan. Drags, he is all "I have to find the proper ingredients ta put together a concoction for her!" and BoobyBrowns is all "Just… no more onion, okay?" and Blondie-blonde is all "Yeargh, I's dead. Yeargh."

Last part? Drags call 'fic-tion'. Is make lies, but amuse lies. Yes, diary? Of course? You so smart, diary, and so laugh. I laugh.


Waits.

Don't you laughs at ME, diary.

No, no, wait, laughs WITH. Ya, that's the punch ticker thinger.

Ooooooh. Right.

SO PLAN. I hide in Drags bag. I hide, and watch, and seeeeeeeeee what's he put on me. And he is all "When did I put you in here, diary?" and I giggle, 'cause Drags, he just don't know. He don't! Diary, ultimo-spy. ULTIMOOOOOOOOOOO

Drags, he hunts down so many stuffs. He says when he gets, too. Is all oranges, and chicken meat, and pie, and pecans, and weeds of that there winter, and turnip, and grass, and soil from ratties den, and piece of bark from glowy tree, and a bunch of Drags' HAIR. HAIR? Why you take off hair, Drags? Silly.

And then he takes, and he makes potion thinger in biiiiig kitchen where under sleeps cookmeister (poor cookmeister, no colour for you's anymore), and he's all put nice things in for flavour, and then he tries a bit, and BOY SPITS HE FAR. So far, diary, that we should think it is record. Big, best record of spitting.

"At least you tried it first," says BoobyBrowns. She dumps out window.

"You… ach… don't know that it wouldn't have worked…."

"Double negative. Let's fix it up. I know it was a vile o' bile. Try somethin' else, Dragomir, you can't give this crap to Eve."

So they tries again. And again. And again! 'n all times, reject by BoobyBrowns. So picky, is her. So, so picky. Maybe she know better 'cause she is all greens. Greens know sick stuff.

Night, diary. Is sleep. Long day, travel, is much. Tomorrow? New day! More travel! So fun. Yay, Drags, you take me 'round afteralltimes! Yays!

Sinceres,

Diary

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Sixteen: Every day, you said


Sorry, diary, but I need a week off. Maybe two. I'm working full-time to help Eve. Nuthin' personal, eh? I know, I said I'd write in you EVERY DAY… but… I've done pretty damn good. You're practically a novel by now. Lemme have a bit of down time. Don't worry, I'll give you a new letter by Lord B.T. to munch on when it comes. Just sent him one the other day. Okay?

Okay. See you in two weeks.








































IS NOT OKAY

DRAGS, WHAT'S THE HELLS

I, diary, was sleeps. Drags writes in me, and I says, "Hey! Diary! Don't worry. Drags, interest, wane it will not. He be back. Short entry. Read it? No worry. You sleeps. Drags up all night, makes me, diary, and YOU, diary, stay up with. BUT THEN HE WRITE THAT! WHAT'S THE HELLS!

I follow. I see what he, Drags, is do. He be all weirdy after Libbers go byes, so I's should worry more, ya? Blondie-blonde is back; I see if he goes her.

Trot.

Trot trot.

Trot.

Ooo, chocolate leftovers cake on floor thinger. Makes I, diary, want mouth to be eatings. Mouth, we have; but eatings? No, diary, no. Sad. Gum up pages, is frosting

Trot.

Trot trot.

Trot trot trot.

Ah. Drags. Under bed I go; record, diary, is me.

"I don't know, Bora. She wasn't any help the last time she looked at Eve. Doubt she'd be any better now. 'sides, she's busy with… you know."

"Yeah, I guess." Is BoobyBrowns, this. She is so boobs. "What about Evangelina? She was her student, or something, you said…? Maybe she'd…?"

"Nah. I asked. Apparently Eva wasn't so good with potions and brewing and that crap. Won't talk about it much, though - her past is off-limits."

"Too bad. Still, I don't know that home remedies are the way to go. Hell, don't know if there ARE home remedies for comas. Sounds a bit… serious? For everyday fare?"

"I still gotta TRY! Don't worry, I won't expose Eve to anything really weird. Nothing that'd hurt her if she was awake. Just, y'know, keep your ears open, 'n drop me a line if anybody comes up with a good cure. For now, I'll hope this does the trick…"

"Egh… onion and beet juice? Foul. If that girl does come out, she has every right ta hate your guts."

"Ahhh, she won't. She'll get over stinky breath. Open, open, there we go, just a bit - ACK! OH GOD, SHE GOT IT IN MY MOUTH, IT TASTES HORRIBLE, IT'S SO GROSS!"

"Ha ha ha! That's what you get! Nice spittin', 'lil one."

(Drags is now clean mouth for ten minuteajiggers. BoobyBrowns laughs at. So does diary. Smelly? Take THAT, negligent Drags, take THAT!)

"Eugh. I think I kinda vomited. In my mouth. That was so gross."

"Poor baby. Don't give your daughter anythin' you wouldn't be willing to try yourself."

"Yeah… I guess… good lesson…"

"C'mon. Robert may not've had any cookbooks, but I did. Maybe we can find somethin' that'll perk her up."

"Yeah, okay… back soon, Eve. Mwah."

(Kissus. They'd leave. I pursue, but diary? Legs? Sooooo tiny. Teensy tiny. Fail. Poor diary.)

I go back now. Is entried. Better, even, than Drags, as writer. Diary? Totals. Totes and totals. You, me, diary, we's gonna hit it big, bay-bee.

Sinceres,

Diary

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Fifteen: See ya



WELL, that didn't work. Time to head home.

As agreed, I travelled to the mountain to see how Libby was getting on with her crew and camp and whatever. The going was much easier than before: not only is all the snow gone, the Hypermole is also a handy road builder. It made a great path straight through the forest and out the other side. Lotsa fallen trees, sure, but it's a hell of a lot easier to traverse than before…

… and this time, I had a ride! Yep, Morris lent me his wagon and horses. He's a cow man, now, and he has no interest in Libby's nonsense, but he knows goin' there's important. He handed over a neat little four -wheeler and two well-groomed and polite horses to pull it along. With a bit of food and some galloping across open plains I managed to reach Libby's camp a little after lunch today.

(Left Eve in Bora's care. Bet you wondered about that, eh, diary? Thought I just left her behind without considerin' the consequences? You thought WRONG, diary. So danged wrong. But that's okay, you're still cool.)

Libby's camp… isn't much of a camp, just yet. It's mainly an assemblage of tents, most of them pilfered from Pagan's abortive siege a few months back. When I arrived workers were busy preparing a meal centre while Libby sized up the mountain with June, who, I assume, is sticking around here from now on. Saw her door peeking out of the side of the mountain and everything.

Noting my approach, June leaned on her staff and whispered something into Libby's ear. Judging by the scowl that came next, I bet it was about me.

Grayson, emerging from behind a barrel full of tools, skipped gleefully up to me - but I saw at once that something was wrong in his face. He was mildy peeved. You don't miss irritation in a child who is so happy the rest of the time, even if it is mild. 

"Hi, mayor!" he said, coming to a stop in front of me. He had a yoyo in his hand, and he slid it down the length of the string and kept it there while talking. "Have you had enough of the monster yet?"

"Yeah, I have." I tried to brush past him. He skipped in front of me.

"I'd watch out if I were you," he warned, snickering. "You shouldn't talk about me like that. Not in front of mom. She'll dislocate your jaw, and only if you're lucky."

"We'll see. Would you move, please? I need to talk to Libby, not you."

He pouted, but stepped aside. His yoyo was still spinning at the bottom of the string, "You're no fun. So… apathetic to everything. You know what I mean?"

I ignored him and walked up to Libby. She refused to look me in the eye, so I took the initiative. "Libby. June."

"Dragomir," said June.

"Dragomir," said Grayson.

"Fuckface," said Libby.

I shrugged. I couldn't be goaded today. "Whatever. You didn't win the vote, you shouldn't be out here."

Libby sneered, eyes blazing as they searched the ground for some secret that might yield the perfect digging point for the Hypermole. "We had a new vote. Everyone who said yes came with me. Seemed fair 'nough. You have a problem, you shoulda voted in the LAST one."

"I guess. You gonna come back to Pubton?"

"Not a chance in hell."

I shrugged again. "Okay. See ya."

I turned to leave. Grayson's expression didn't change. June's dropped a little, into surprised shock. I didn't see Libby's, but she was mad enough to come out of her crouch and glower at my back, so I'm sure it was a foul look indeed. "That's it? 'See ya?' Nothing else from high-and-mighty Dragomir?"

"Nope. You wanna dig out here, you go right ahead. I got better stuff to do."

"Yeah? Like what? Go attend to that unconscious little BITCH back in town?"

"Yep. I like her more than I like you, these days. Did more for me than you ever will."

Grayson 'ooohed'. June 'aaaahed'. Libby went ballistic.

"MORE FOR YOU… SHE KILLED YOU, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! I'M THE ONE WHO BROUGHT YOU BACK TO LIFE!"

"Actually," - I pointed over my back - "I think she did. Thanks, by the way, June."

"No problem," the witch murmured.

"I… I… " Libby unleashed a torrent of curses, kicking at the ground and punching the air ineffectually. Had I been closer, or if Grayson hadn't been between us, she might have charged over and killed me. "YOU SHITHEAD! MAYBE I SHOULD'VE LEFT YOU TO ROT IN THAT FUCKING HOLE! MAYBE YOU SHOULD'VE STAYED DEAD!"

That prickled. It messed with my buzz of apathy - and, apparently, it messed with Libby, because she clamped her hands over her mouth. She had nothing else to say.

I did. "I'll bring Eve to visit when she's better. It'll be soon. Then she can see how not to act. Try not ta get eaten by a gods-damned werewolf before we return, eh?"


Huh.


I left after that.

I'm sitting on the wagon. The camp… is… wait a second… there. It just disappeared over a rise in the foothills.

Libby's words are still ringing in my ears. In my heart.

Fuck me.

That…

That was my wife…

Those things… what I said to her, 'n what she said to me…

Did we really mean them…?

How was I so casual when I got into this wagon…?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Fourteen: This is what girls do, right?



Today, Bora showed me how to brush Eve's hair.

I'd asked Evangelina last night if she knew how to do it, but she just shrugged. She has an orphan child as a pen pal, true, but she's never brushed the girl's hair before. She only knows how to tidy herself up before diplomatic events. She was afraid she might yank some of Eve's hair out by accident. I let that slide - better she tell me than try and risk hurting Eve's poor head.

Eve. Evangelina. Both good people. I like one better than the other, of course, but… Evangelina's family. She'll make a good big sister when Eve wakes up.

And Bora! Bora Bora Bora. She knew how to brush hair. She's handled lots of kids. (Said she did it to Robert a few times, too. Ew.) It's very simple, really… you take the brush, you gently insert the teeth in the hair, you pull down. You hit a tangle, you either move to another spot or jerk at it a bit until it comes loose. 

Eve has a lot of tangles. There was a lot of jerking. But, hey! She looks wonderful. Adorable. Great with straight hair. Curls again shortly after you're done straightening, but I'm fine with that. Curly hair runs in my family. Spiky, curly hair.

"Lords but this is bristly," Bora commented, taking a few locks in her fingers. "Probably needs a good cleaning, too. Has she ever had it brushed before?"

"Not that I know of. Always looked damned messy back home."

"Well… judging by the way you talk about her…" Tug, tug, jerk, jerk, "I'd say personal hygiene wasn't high on 'er priority list. Eh, kid? Whaddya say to a bath?"

Eve stared at the door to the pub. Not a flinch in response.

"Most kids squirm and howl at that. I like this one. Yep, gotta give you a nice bath some time. Here, Drago, you keep goin'…"

We brushed. I'd never have thought that brushing a person's hair would be at all invigorating, but, hell, diary, it was! It totally was. When I pictured doing things with Eve, I forgot to include all the silly girl stuff, probably 'cause I figured it would bore me. Turns out I love doin' it as much as the boy stuff! For all I know, I like it MORE!

Helps that Bora's here with me. She's been real supportive, more 'n most people. Doesn't show a hint of fear towards Eve. Evangelina's sceptical, despite what I said yesterday… 'cause she's seen Eve in action… but Bora gets it. She knows. Man, Robert, you were a lucky guy.

Huh. Somewhere along the line, I'd intended to try 'n get her chummy with Edmund. Y'know, chocolate on chocolate sorta thing. Seemed right then.

Now…

Uh… 

Well, anyway.

You're probably bored hearing 'bout Bora and Eve, diary, so I guess I'll address today's big topic: the result of the vote. Because I refuse to participate, they've declared it a no-go. Mom didn't win, Libby didn't win. Complete deadlock.

But Libby's still following through with her plan. She's taking the Hypermole, some more gear and whomever wants to come and plowing a path straight through the forest to the mountainside. Actually, I should change up some tenses in that sentence, 'cause she's already gone. Didn't even say goodbye. A lotta people went with her, too, I hear, almost forty. I guess more will follow with supplies 'n stuff to set up a camp.

So, in the end, the vote was good for something.

Others aren't happy about the whole thing, so they've told me I have to go talk to Libby and try to reason her into abiding by democracy 'n shit. I'll go, too, if only to get it over with. I know Libby will stay there, no matter what I say. She's a giant douche like that.

Of course she is. Just look at her son.

Sincerely,

Dragomir the Father

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Thirteen: Mortal Mombat



So Libby dropped by the house today. I am unashamed to admit that I fought for my child, and since I'm still here, I must have won the battle.

She was one of the few people who hadn't stopped by to offer congratulations and consolations regarding Eve since her arrival last Friday. I'd expected as much, and, frankly, I'm surprised she showed up THIS quickly. Shoulda known the object of her visit was NOT Eve, but, instead, that stupid vote.

"YOU HAVE TO VOTE," Libby yelled, waving her arms. "IT'S IN A DAMNED DEADLOCK. YOU -"

I spun and raised a finger to my lips. "Shut up! She's trying to sleep!"

Libby stared at Eve's wide eyes. "What the HELL are you TALKING ABOUT? SHE'S -"

I stood from my chair and did something unheard of: I pushed Libby backward. "QUIET! I can tell she's sleeping, dammit! Don't wake her!"

Grayson, who of course had accompanied his mother, used the moment of complete shock to slip by me and poke at his sister's… half-sister's… arm. "She looks dead. Is she dead?"

Before Libby could recover from my first push I reached around Grayson and shoved him back several feet. Not hard, but firmly. "You stay away from her."

Libby freaked at that. She told me, in the loudest language I've heard from human lungs, that I can do what I want to HER, but that I'd better keep my arms OFF her son. There was much cussing and creative use of the word 'ass' which I won't bother to repeat here. Most of it I'd heard before, some was improv.

Libby progressively cooled down when she recalled her purpose. She wanted me to vote. Naturally, she wanted the vote to go in her favour, but she would settle for ANYTHING as long as it ended the deadlock.

"When my mom came to visit," I replied, "she didn't even mention the stupid vote. She only wanted to see Eve."

That set Libby off again. Her next tirade was even louder. By the end I thought it better to pick Eve up and carry her to the pub to recuperate in a lockable room, and since Evangelina's room HAS a lock, that's where we stayed.

Libby ranted at us from outside for a few minutes. We clamped our hands over our ears. Eventually, she left.

"That woman is crazy," Evangelina pointed out.

"Yep." I smoothed Eve's hair as she sat in my lap, propped against my chest.

"You're looking kind of crazy yourself, there, Dragomir."

"Yeah. I need a bed." I paused, looking at the key hanging on the wall. "Mind if I put her in there with you for a bit? Until I'm sure Libby's gone?"

Evangelina cocked an eyebrow. "Aren't you afraid I'll try to escape? Or use her as leverage?"

"Not really. If it were up to me I'd have set you free by now. You're good people."

"Huh. Thanks. I think." She motioned for me to use the key and let Eve in. "You know, it IS in your power to let me out. I did enough to warrant staying in here, but… you COULD -"

"Nope." I slid the wooden bars open and carefully laid Eve on the bed beside Evangelina. "I've asked around. Popular vote is still against you. It's better than it was, what with everything that's happened, but they all still think you're better off in here. Little things like this'll convince 'em otherwise."

Evangelina didn't reply. She was deep in thought. We sat, the door wide open, both of us watching Eve. She'd closed her eyes again, her head propped in my lap. I smiled down at her, and I pictured her smiling back at me. I'll never forget that smile.

"She really is lovely," said Evangelina. "When she's not killing people, I guess. She's a lovely little girl."

Yeah. She is.

Sincerely,

Dragomir the Father

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Twelve: Gushing



I swear she said something today. I swear! She did! She totally did, diary. She said something, and I know it, because I love her. And junk.

She said something.

… 

She did!


Okay, so, maybe it was just gas. A wheeze. I dunno. What kinda sounds do people make when they're in a coma? And if her eyes are open, does it COUNT as a coma? Should she be CONSIDERED a coma patient, or just a really sick person with open eyes and naught else?

Nah. Really sick sounds bad. A coma's just a coma. Kinda like a comma but with a deeper sound. Y'know, like, a comma wraps around in a sorta spooning position. Like a coma patient. See the parallel? It's totally there. Either way, coma, comma, we're in business.

Daughter. Daughter DAUGHTER daughter daughter. Gonna make her weeeeeell, gonna get her all betteeeeeer, gonna do the THING with the STUFF and when that's DONE there will be PROFIT 'cause she'll be UP and ABOUT and then everything will be fine.

Hell, it'll be different. VERY different. See, even though she looked small before, Eve always had BIG KNOTS OF MUSCLE on her little arms. BIG knots. 'cause she was super-strong, right? Now, though, her arms are, like, the size of a normal girl's arms. Maybe a teeeeeensy bit bigger, but not much. I bet she's normal strength, 'n if she lost her freakish warrior prowess… maybe…

Just maybe…

When she wakes up…

She'll be able to talk normally…?

AAHHHHHH I'M SO EXCITED I'M SO EXCITED! Seriously. I mean, I'd be totally happy to have her back the way she WAS, all buffed out and scary, but a normal little girl? Eeeeee! So awesome. SO AWESOME.

I should probably talk about something else. Otherwise you might get bored, diary. Don't want you getting bored. You thrive on input, don'tcha? Yes, yes, I bet you do. You thrive.

Uh. Lesse. More people… came by… said… things… I recall somebody pushing me around a bit, though I warded 'em off by complimenting Eve… always works… um… OH! Harold came by for a few minutes. Had to coax him in off the front porch, the big pansy, 'cause he fears Eve as much as anyone. Maybe more - he IS kind of a wuss. No wonder he's so big on getting the wall up. Probably afraid those migrating clams will get in.

Because. You know. Clams can't hurt a fly. Hope Eve wakes up before the herds move off - their pearls glint so magnificently when they stop to rest for the night, their little clammy mouths yawning up towards the stars. 

(I hear they do that to catch sky dwarves. Makes sense.)

Anyway, Harold wanted… something. I think it had to do with the vote. And what crops we should grow. And getting stone for the wall if the quarry thing that woman wants doesn't go through. Do you know she hasn't even come to see her daughter yet? Ugh! The bloody nerve. I ought to go out 'n drag her in here, maybe bring that psychotic little prick with her and show him what a REAL KID

Sorry. Sorry! Lost track there. Long story short, I told Harold to go with his gut. Gotta go with your gut. Y'know? Like me! My gut tells me to stay here. So I stay here. I stick with Eve, I keep her clean, I spoon-feed her with food Bora brings me, I tell her stories, I carry her up to Evangelina's room for visits, I… am parent. Hear me roar.

ROAR.

Sincerely,

Dragomir the Father

Monday, March 11, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Eleven: Lazytime



The vote ended with a tie. In other words, it failed.

There's been more news of that crazy rock-thrower in the Imperium. Sounds like he's headed our way, and wreaking more and more destruction as he goes along. The latest report is that he levelled a supermarket and demolished a wall fleeing the city once guards caught on to him. Was screaming something about a 'great reptile in the sky'. He's a wanted man by many, many people.

Another kingdom fell. Not too far south of here. Some people think it's the same guy who gave Pagan this land in the first place. There are whispers of it all having something to do with the Grand Chasm, 'cause all these places are going butt-up along the chasm.

Pagan came looking for his rent today. He decided to up it by 100 gold. Said he has to pay for extra guards. He promises to repay at least part of the excess at the end of the year.

My butt is itchy.

I don't care about any of these problems.

Because the only thing that matters right now is Eve.

When I woke up today, the first thing I thought of was Eve. Easy to do, as I was slumped in a chair by her bed. We have her set up in Edmund's house. Everyone else has 'charitably' moved out, to give Eve space. I'm not dumb - I know they fear her. They fear what she was.

But not me. Not anymore. She's my little girl. And when I saw her eyes were open, I squealed with absolute and pure joy.

She didn't respond. Her eyes are blank, watching the ceiling. She doesn't care about waved hands or the sound of her name or any words. She just stares and stares, pausing for the occasional blink. But she's there, in there, somewhere. I know it. I can feel it. Now I have to draw her out.

A few people came to visit today. June in particular. She wanted to examine Eve. I was fine with that. She might be batty, but June knows how to heal people. She's the closest thing Pubton has to a doctor. She watched Eve for a while, testing her reflexes and feeling her chest, and eventually she stepped away and shook her head.

"Strange. She's healthy enough, her reflexes are… delayed, but there… her muscles are nothing like people made them out to be… I suppose her brain's the real problem. It's out ta lunch somewheres."

"When will it be back?"

She shrugged. "Dunno. Depends where it went. Judgin' by the feel of this girl, it mighta travelled somewhere mighty queer… could be a long time before she does much more than this, Mr. Mayor."

I squeezed Eve's hand. She squeezed back, slowly, carefully. No power in it. "That's okay. I'll stay with her 'til she works through it. Don't care how long it takes."

Packing her things and hefting her umbrella, June frowned at me. At Eve. "You're still mayor, y'know. You can't sit here all day. Still got a vote to resolve, as I recall. Kinda need ya for that."

I smiled and waved her away. "No you don't. I was on the fence. Still am. Doesn't much matter t'me what you all do, so long as you do whatcha think is right."

"Ain't that the problem? We can't figure OUT what's right?"

"Hm." I thought about it, shrugged, and laughed. "Guess democracy ain't as good as those Imperials say, eh?"

June grinned, though there was some annoyance in her eyes. "Yeah. Guess not."

She left. Other people came, cautiously, paying their respects, asking my opinion on day-to-day operations. I gave them half-answers, ignoring most of what they said. I was too fixated on my daughter. Probably will be until she gets out of this.

And when she does, we can have the family I always wanted.

Yeah. I can't wait.

Sincerely,

Dragomir the Father

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Ten: Democracy, Interrupted


Holy shit.

I'm sitting beside a bed. In it… 

In it…

Is…

I'll start at the beginning.

We held the vote today. Everyone knew the arguments inside-out after a week of petitioning. There were no big and nasty surprises beyond what had been said in public, and from what I'd heard around town opinion was pretty mixed. Almost a split fifty-fifty. I was interested in - or perhaps 'dreading' is a better choice - the outcome, 'cause either way, somebody I loved would be pissed.

We carried out the poll as I remembered from the castle, since we're all still kinda hazy on election procedures and democracy in general. There were a bunch of rocks left over from my abortive attempts to build a church, so we counted the people in town, broke up the rocks so we had a small one for each person, and created three polling stations with little ballot boxes made of wood. If you voted for Libby, you put a chalk mark on your rock. If you voted for mom, you left the rock blank. All rocks went into a box underneath the balloting stations, and when the box got full we put in a new one. 

After twenty slow minutes of shuffling feet and frayed tensions, watched over by the two candidates as they pointedly ignored each other from a wooden podium surrounding the base of the golden tree, the last voter cast their ballot. Three of the nobles were elected to count the ballots, watched over by me to ensure fairness.

They counted. One rock, two rocks, three rocks, five rocks, ten rocks, 25 rocks, 37 rocks, 68 rocks, 92 rocks, 128 rocks in total. There were supposed to be 129 votes total, one for each person in Pubton, but they didn't care about an absent voter. It likely wouldn't come down to a tie.

Likely.

Wouldn't.

The nobles tallied their numbers, each drawing from heaps of rocks and carefully ticking off counts for Libby and counts for my mom. They finished their tally once, frowned, mumbled something to each other, murmured agreement… and began to count all over.

Then, with even deeper frowns, they counted one more time.

The tension was palpable, if tension could be palpable. It clung to the air, mucusy and jelly-like, pushing us all into a sickening, tenuous slump as we waited, waited, waited for the results, waited for them to reach something other than what they'd reached during the first two counts, to find that inevitable mistake.

There was no mistake. The woman with the animal hats stood up, a bison astride her brow, and boldly proclaimed "WE HAVE A TIE!" to the gathered masses.

A roar of protest rose up around here. The people of Pubton screeched about the failures of democracy, many exclaiming that this, THIS HERE, was proof that one needed a monarchy, a lord, a ruling class to make the decisions, and then when the nobles stopped talking the peasants COUNTERED them by saying they were twits, no, you don't have to be a lord or a rich man or that shit, you just need somebody to say what's RIGHT -

I listened to it all, cringing behind the golden tree, my hands in my pockets. One clutched a rock. On it was no chalk mark - but its blank face wasn't a decision, either.

I shouldn't have thought about it so much. I was found out immediately. "MY DAD DIDN'T VOTE!"

The shout didn't still most of the crowd, but it surely caught Libby's attention, as well as my mom's. Grayson had yanked my hand out of my pocket and was waving it around for everyone to see, and though I managed to wrench away from him in seconds the damage was already done.

"Dragomir?" my mom breathed, looking confused and hurt. "Didn't you vote?"

"HAW!" dad bellowed from nearby, arms flailing. "I TOLD YA YOU WOULDN'T VOTE! FUCKIN' PANSY-ASS! WIPE MY BUTT WITH DEMOCRACY, I DO!"

Libby swiped the rock away. Striding down to the polling stations, she grabbed a piece of chalk. By now most people in the crowd had caught on, and they watched her turn back to me, expectant and grumbling.

She shoved the rock back into my hands. With it was the chalk. She glared. "Vote, Dragomir. Vote now."

I trembled. In anticipation of the worst I hadn't drank anything during the day, but my bladder whined and complained under the weight of fear nevertheless. I stared at the chalk, at the rock, at Libby, at my mom, my dad, the crowd, the friends and neighbours and confidantes, not knowing what the hell I should do or say or whether I should put a mark down or not, only yearning, praying, HOPING I would suddenly wake up and discover that, hey, I'm just a guard who wants to start a diary, so MAYBE I shouldn't think to store it in the rat farms and completely FUCK UP MY LIFE BY BECOMING A MAYOR WHO'S FORCED TO VOTE IN A STUPID ELECTION ABOUT SERIOUS BUSINESS, BECAUSE GODS HELP ME I CAN'T MAKE DECISIONS LIKE THAT, AND WHO COULD, WHO COULD AND STILL BE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND? WHO?!

All that ran through my head. I kid you not, diary. It took thirty seconds of quiet, frenzied, trembling deliberation before somebody, anybody, spoke up to interrupt my horrified thoughts.

But it wasn't me.

It wasn't anybody on the platform.

It wasn't somebody at the polling stations, or in the crowd.

"Hey!"

It was a merchant. He was passing through town with his cart.

We all looked at him. He took a step back, a bit surprised at the mass attention.

"Whaddya want?" Libby yelled.

The merchant shuffled his feet and adjusted his hat. It looked the same as Tobo's, though this clearly wasn't Tobo. "Uh. I've… well, I was just passin' through, and -"

"We're in the middle of something!" Mom yelled, cross but polite.

"Beg pardon, ma'am," the merchant said, taking off his hat and adjusting his glasses nervously, "but I was on my way through here, 'n I found a little girl passed out on the road a ways back. Was wonderin' if, maybe, I could find a bed to set her down in? Looks to be in bad shape, and my cart's hardly a fit restin' place for the injured."

The crowd murmured, perplexed and annoyed.

The merchant set down his cart. "Serious! She was unconscious! I… I don't know what y'all are up to here, but… have a look, maybe one of you knows her…"

He reached into the cart. His hands looped around a thin, frail, limp form, clad in beaten and dirty clothes. He lifted it out of the hay and supplies stocking the cart -

- and a cascade of long, dirty-blonde hair fell over his arms.

And that's when I knew.

I threw the rock. I threw the chalk. I forgot about the election, about the wife and the mother, the overly-critical father, the bastard non-son, the constituents, the buildings, the progress, I forgot about anything and everything that had happened in the last year-and-a-half in that one perfect moment where, weeping and running and lunging, I pulled my daughter from a kind man's gentle grasp. I held her close, I said her name over and over, I thanked the merchant, and I brought her to the pub to recuperate.


She's back. Weekends and deities and all things be praised, she's back.

Eve is in a coma. I don't know how she got here, or how she got away from The Baron, but it put her in a coma. And that's okay, because she's here, and I'm gonna make sure she gets all better.

I'm safe, Eve, thanks to you. And now you are too.

Bless the gods,

Dragomir the Father

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Nine: Don't tell her



I invited Libby to have a sit-down in a crowded place, namely, the pub during dinner. It seemed the wisest course of action if I wanted to avoid talking about personal stuff.

Going up to her was INCREDIBLY awkward. She was hard at work, barking orders at her assistants as they heaved several nicely-shaped rocks into place on the mill. Now that we have a mason, the mill is expected to be up and running properly by tomorrow, with a millwright expected to show up any day to operate it.

Don't ask how that works. Supply finds demand. Even if supply is people. Crazy world.

As soon as she saw me, Libby went bright red. She ordered a work break - much consolation to a bunch of guys lifting heavy rocks - and stormed over to talk to me.

"What," was all she said, though she didn't look as mad as I might have anticipated.

"Uh." I flushed. "Meeting. Dinner. Pub. Usual time. Wanna talk. Vote. Thing. You know."

"Okay."

"Don't bring Grayson," I added quickly, dashing away before she could respond.

She brought Grayson.

"I was hungry, dad," were the first words out of his peppy little yap. "You aren't big on feeding me properly these days, are you?"

I retaliated by shoving my meal in front of him. It was almost completely untouched.

"Ew, dad, I don't want your leftovers."

Five minutes later he had a bowl of steamed clams (they're migrating through Pubton's forests right now), I was annoyed, and Libby looked ready to talk about personal matters. We jumped right into the Hypermole issue, and I think that relieved both of us.

Libby's position hadn't changed. The Hypermole is the path to the future of Pubton. With it we can drastically cut down on development time by unearthing and selling rare ores to neighbouring kingdoms. We can also use it to hire a bunch of new workers and expand the town by employing them in the proposed quarry (the mountainside) and in metallurgy shops. Within a year, maybe two, Pubton could be Pubcity. Or Pubdom. Or maybe even a name not based off a single building in its borders.

I found it a bit easier to volley questions at Libby. She answered all the mundane ones with a level head, got a bit pissed at the tougher queries, and then stopped just short of plain-pissed when I asked the main thing that'd been nagging me:

"There's a werewolf livin' in those mountains. 'n… a sloth, I guess. How ya gonna get people to dig there if they're under threat? Hell, how ya gonna get 'em to dig there at ALL? I mean… a sloth…"

She sneered and sat back, staring at Grayson. "Sloth. Peh. YOU'RE the one always sayin' there wasn't a sloth in the first place, 'n I haven't heard anybody complain 'bout it in weeks."

Grayson mumbled something under his breath. I don't know EXACTLY what he said, but I'm pretty sure it included "that stupid witch".

"What'd you say, sweetie?" Libby asked, smiling.

"Nothing, mom." He smiled up at her, a stringy bit of clam flesh hanging from his mouth.

"Atta boy." She cleaned his face and turned back to me. "If there's a werewolf, we'll deal with it. Did it before, 'n we can do it now."

The last time we 'dealt' with a werewolf, the castle nearly got overrun by the ravenous bastards. And Libby was one of them. Given that Antonia STILL seems wary about biting people, though, I changed the subject. "Are you really sure this is a good idea? I mean… that mountain… sure, it could be great, but… remember what happened back home…"

"Completely different. Jeffrey was an idiot, 'n ya had a traitorous bastard runnin' things. We all trust each other, here."

My eyes flickered to Grayson. "But… well, when we were there last time, we found -"

Suddenly a foot NAILED my own beneath the table. I yelped, almost biting my tongue, and glared at the only person there who could have done it.

Grayson smiled. "Sorry, dad, didn't mean to. Um, though, mom? I agree with dad. I don't think you should go digging."

We both looked at our son, surprised. Libby particularly so. "Are you sure, Gray? You never said anything while I was workin' on the schematics…"

"Oh, I was too busy with Aunt June. She's a lot of fun." Big smile. "But I am a little worried. There were strange things under your old castle, right? You've told me about them before?"

"Yep. 'n you were there with me, I think, little man." She ruffled his hair.

"Heh. Yeah, I guess… what if you dig more up here, mom? I mean, it would totally be an accident, but… it could happen, you don't know…"

"I don't think it will. We aren't bad guys, Gray. We aren't lookin' for things like that."

"Mm. I guess so." He took a small bite of clam. "Though didn't you say dad got duped by the bad guys? They seem to come looking for him an awful lot. Maybe he calls them here…?"

This visibly shook Libby. There was a lot - A LOT - of doubt in her eyes. "G… Grayson, don't say stuff like that 'bout your dad. He… he wouldn't do that."

"No. I guess not." He grinned broadly. "It's not like he likes my sister over me, after all. She was a bad guy, right, mom?"

Libby turned slowly to look at me. A thousand little moments of me defending Eve sparked and burned in her expression. "Yes, I guess she was."

I bit my lip. Defending myself, and Eve, was the worst thing I could have done in that moment. And I knew it.

"I'm… gonna go use the can," Libby said slowly. "I'll be back. Stay here, Gray."

"Kay."

Libby left, watching me over her shoulder. She didn't go to the bathroom. I have no idea where she went. Maybe she needed some air.

I didn't have time to think about it. Grayson demanded attention as soon as she was out of earshot. "Don't tell her."

"What?"

"About the mountain. Don't tell her. I'll find another way of stopping the dig. One that won't drive her to crazy conclusions."

'Another way.' I shuddered. "You made that sloth, didn't you?"

Grayson's eyes narrowed, turning his happy grin into childish malevolence. "I don't know what you're talking about. All I know is that you'd do well to stay away from my mother."

I stood. "Are you threatening me? My own son's threatenin' me?"

"You know I can." Grayson remained calm, his hands folded, a smear of clam juice still staining his chin. It did nothing to diminish his menace. "And if I were you, I'd stop calling me your 'son'. It disgusts me… and so do you. Tainted one."

I clenched my fists. The punch I hadn't thrown the other day was on the verge of exploding in Grayson's face, even if it would have meant murder at his mother's hands. And he seemed to yearn for that, to desire it above all else, his face so open and charming and wanting and needing to be hit, as if it would open a gate I couldn't close again afterward.

I held my breath, turning to walk away.

"You have remarkable restraint," he commented to my back. "But restraint isn't what we need. I guess you're worthless after all. And worthless things… only unbalance the world."

I left. There was nothing else to say, nothing else I could think to say. More cryptic bullshit, more freaky talk from Grayson, from a boy whom I'm now thinking may not even be my son. I don't think I'll call him that anymore, because it implies a connection we don't have. I'm not his father.

Gods. I need my daughter back.

Sincerely,

Dragomir the Mayor