Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day Five-Hundred-Eighteen: It Grows

My gods, is she ALREADY going to give birth…?

Libby remains under the watchful eye of Queen Daena, usually in a small tent within the ruins of the Matriarch. Problem is, Libby's belly is growing so quickly that she's becoming too large for the tent to contain. When I visited today, I noticed that a small portion of her stomach was peeking out of the side of the fabric.

I don't know what's happening. Her belly is now quite a bit bigger than when she had our other kids. And though there are plenty of moms and dads living in Pubton, none of them can offer an explanation for Libby's rapid growth. They all claim to have had children of a normal size. This did not comfort me.

Even worse were the hypotheses. Every parent I spoke to offered 'possibilities', things that could potentially explain why Libby's stomach is on a rampage. The explanations included:

- Twins, triplets, or potentially more
- One really fat baby
- Two fairly fat babies
- Three babies that should get more exercise
- Not a baby at all, but some kind of parasite (I nearly throttled this guy)
- A baby with its own home office
- A baby that likes to run around a lot, and therefore created a small arena in Libby's tummy
- Aaaaaand a wife that needs to cut down on her sugar intake

Most of the explanations were meant to calm or reassure me. None of them, except maybe the explanation that Libby's becoming a lardo of her own volition, did the trick.

In the end, it was Daena who offered the most comforting advice:

"Stay by her, Dragomir. Stay by her and support her. That's the best thing you can do."

Daena's been a godsend. As I'd hoped, she's managed to stabilize Libby with her cheerful words. When I arrived at the Matriarch's grave earlier, they were happily chatting and swapping stories of the past year. I imagine the topic of lost sons came up at least once or twice, though by the time I got there they were both laughing gaily.

I didn't get my chance to speak to Daena until Libby rolled over to nap. She offered me a cold, accusatory stare before closing her eyes, but I don't think there was any hate in it. Think.

I rubbed the back of my head. "Support her, huh? Gonna be tough to do that if she gets much bigger. We'll have to, ah, 'adjust' the Dauphine. Hell, our trip might be on hold as it is."

Daena nodded. She's one of few people who knows what Libby, Plato and I have been building. Makes sense, since she's once again the primary power source with her kicking legs. "I understand. And I'm glad you're willing to hold off until she gives birth. That's very responsible."

I shrugged. "Well, y'know, what can I do? Don't wanna expose Libby to the world if'n she's not ready for it. Especially after the… erm… knife. Thing. Has she… said anything… about yesterday…?"

Daena shook her head. "It hasn't come up. I don't want to pry into it too much until Libby makes it clear that she wants to talk. As strange as it sounds, I think she's already put it from her mind."

That knocked me for a bit of a loop. "Put it from her mind? She…" I lowered my voice to a husky whisper. "She tried to stab herself, for gods' sake! How the hell can you put that from your mind?"

The queen shook her head sadly. "The human capacity for self-denial is amazing, Dragomir. I don't know that Libby would have actually gone through with it anyway."

My mind crawled unwillingly back to the flash of the knife, turned aside only by a miracle I'm not sure I want to address right now. "I'm not so sure. But, uh, as long as she's not gettin' near any pointy objects today…"

Daena laughed sadly. "No, no. She appears too pinned by her belly to go anywhere anyway. Do not fret, I will keep both eyes on her at all times."

The queen offered me a hug. I accepted. Celine danced by, singing 'That could be construed as cheating', and we both shushed her.

Work continues on the… yeah, okay, it's called the Dauphine… in Libby's absence. I've recruited a bunch of her assistants onto the project, now that reconstruction of Pubton is complete, and Plato 'n I are leading them, day and night, in getting the thing done. We made incredible amounts of progress with Libby at the helm, and it may only be another day or two before we're ready to leave.

… assuming I CAN leave.

Babies. Ugh. You little bundles of joy make things so complicated.


Dragomir the Wanderer

1 comment:

  1. My money's on quads, and they're going to be totally in sync 'n stuff, telepathic with each other.