Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day Five-Forty-Four: Take thine elephant from out my room

Ed continued to give me the slip today. Having grown tired of his weird attitude, I brought in some outside help.

I spent an hour this morning, wandering around with Fynn at my side, asking people if they've seen Ed. The answer was always the same: Yes. Everyone's seen Ed. He's ashen, and jumpy, and tight-lipped, but yes, everyone's seen him. He's just never in the room when I am, something even the densest of crew members found odd.

After asking around, I sought out two people who are well-known for their skills in subterfuge and tracking. Within the hour they brought Ed to me.

I was sitting in my cabin with Libby, playing with Fynn, when Ed stumbled through the door. He'd been propelled by two sets of hands, one green, the other small and feminine. Both waved before shutting the door behind Ed.

I waved back, noting the shocked look on Libby's face. "Thanks, you two. I owe you. Stick by the door, alright?"

I sharp rap on the wood indicated that, yes, they weren't going anywhere. 

I gave my boy one last tickle as he tottered across the floor, then stood to usher Ed to my bed. He quivered, plainly terrified, but complied with my request, seating himself beside Libby.

She edged away from him. He edged away from her. They had a weird moment of silence. Then, without warning or provocation, she slammed her fist into the back of Ed's head.

"You FFFFF!" Libby screamed, perhaps conscious that she was in the presence of a child. "YOU FFFFFFFING FFFFFF! WHAT THE H DID YOU DO TO ME? HUH?!"

Ed cowered, throwing his arms up. "Naught! Naught! I pray thee naught! / With confusion now my mind is OW!"

More attacks. I had to step in to stop Libby, and she thrashed me instead. S'okay, I'm used to it. "Stop stop STOP! Calm down, danger, I just wanna TALKKKKwoof ow. P… please stop."

Libby, perhaps noting that her boy was now wailing behind her, extricated her fist from my stomach. She stepped moodily away and hefted Fynn into her arms with a mighty grunt.

I helped Ed to his feet. Blood dripped freely out of his nose. "There… ugh, Libby, you really gotta lighten up. You okay, Ed?"

He nodded, accepting a tissue to staunch the blood. "Tho I hab beed bettah, / I'm weady to unfettah."

"'Unfettah'? Dunno what you mean, dude. Ow."

Ed shook his head. "Juth get on wid it."

We all sat down, I separating the pair of them. Libby did her best to bounce Fynn on her knee, though she was grunting under the strain of his weight. He's a big one, that boy.

"So," I began, "my son… our son… is black. Chocolate. Whatever. You've noticed this, right?"

Libby rolled her eyes. Ed stared out the window. They both nodded.

"'n he does look an awful lot ilke you, Ed. 'cept maybe the hair. Yours is all dreadlocky."

He tugged at his hair absent-mindedly.

"Soooo… I guess the question is… how did this happen?" I paused to clear my throat. It was suddenly tight with nervousness. "Is it, um, uh, a… like… a viral thing?"

"A wha?" Ed gasped, face flushing.

"Well, you know. Like, a sickness." I twiddled my thumbs. "Maybe, um, maybe… your… skin… colour… got, I dunno, got into… Fynn's… bloodstream. Through Libby. I mean, you two do play board games together, sometimes… so… like… maybe…?"

Silence. Heavy, heavy silence.

I shook my head. "I… well, maybe virus isn't the right word -"

That, for some reason, did it. The room exploded. Libby rose to her feet and jabbed a finger at Edmund, exclaiming that he must have 'done something' to her when she wasn't looking. Ed got to HIS feet and pointed back, saying he'd never touched her, exclaiming that she needed to take at least a dozen more baths before he'd EVER consider sleeping with her, and then I got to MY feet and asked what SLEEPING had to do with anything.

Another fist fight and an infantile fit later, we were back on the bed. I had a black eye, Edmund a strained elbow. 

The ramifications of what they said were beginning to sink in.

"So… lemme get this straight. You're… ow, my fuggin' eye… you're talkin' about sex."

Libby covered her face.

"Sex…" I paused, "between you two. Ed and Libby."

"I never had sex with her," Ed immediately hissed.

"I wouldn't touch 'im with a fifty-foot pole," Libby yelled back. "You seen the way he eats cashews? Always got that fuggin' dust all over his clothes -"

"Whoa whoa whoa!" I urged them to calm. "It's okay! It's okay. Obviously you didn't have sex. 'cause, like, you, me, Libby, we had sex. Right? We did. 'n that, I guess, according to Celine, is how babies get made. Right, Celine?"

A confirming tap floated through the door.

"Right. We're, like, husband and wife. That's what you do. With thingers. That's what thingers are for. That and peeing. Which I think is weird. But anyway."

They both calmed down immediately. I felt much of the tension in the room disappear.

"All I wanna know is how this could've happened," I explained. "'n Ed, since you're already black, I figured you might have some ideas. That'n I'm sick of you running away from me. So, like, can we talk already?"

And we did. We talked for over an hour, calmly discussing how my precious baby boy could've turned out all fudgey-brown. We had no good conclusions, though, and in the end the issue had to be dropped. (We also skirted the subject of Fynn's abnormal size, which I think should be more important, but, hey. We live in a weird world. Things like this happen.)

Point is, the tension is gone. Libby is my wife, Edmund is my friend, and they didn't do anything together besides occasionally play some board games and hang out. We have a kid that kinda looks like Ed, and by the gods, I am okay with that. Perfectly okay.

This leaves one more person to talk to before the week's out. Guess I'd better get it done tomorrow. Who knows, maybe he'll have some answers hidden away that I couldn't have predicted.


Dragomir the Daddy

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