(This story so far resides here: https://ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )
Enid’s mother was quite interesting as a human. Though a small gluckast, she grew in the transition much beyond what came only from straightening, so that she was all but startlingly tall. She also appeared athletic, and not in a lean way like Gareth. Gibbsen was curious whether she was as powerful as she looked. She had named herself “Ardyth”.
She was sitting, as was her habit, on a bench in the receiving bay named “Errol” (the same where her daughter became a bride), to watch when a transport vehicle was bringing in sick gluckasts. There was blood and claw marks on the sides of the vehicle, and shreds of flesh on its horns. Though it had been a near thing, all were uninjured, and so it was a glad time. The gluckasts had been greatly reduced, though Adolphus Search and Rescue was kept in more labour than ever – the infection had broken free, and it was now a constant race to find all the infected.
Gareth was also watching (he had not been on this run), rocking his baby girl in his arms. Gibbsen considered rocking silly; babies were extravagant things, but he liked them anyway. This one was named “Angharad”.
Enid came at a trot, having fetched something.
“I wanted to show you this, Mother. Dr. Kilver kept Father’s claw, he preserved it.”
She proffered the gruesome artifact, which her mother handled with interest.
“Are you sorry,” Enid asked, “that my lover killed Father?”
“Oh, no,” her mother replied, then cocked her head. “Though I do wonder what sort of person he would have made.”
Ardyth spoke without a trace of the gluckast accent – it was eerie when they had learned that this was because as a gluckast she would mimic human speech to lure people to their deaths.
“Speaking of sorts,” she went on, “I also wonder how your daughter has not a trace of your husband’s complexion.” She gestured with the claw to the baby’s rosy skin.
Enid sat down and leaned on her mother’s brawny arm.
“My husband was not grey the time he was birthed. It is argyria.” (she was careful to pronounce the word correctly.) “It was a… I did not understand yet. He used it to fight demons in another country.” She tried unsuccessfully to catch her mother’s eye. “Mother, do you believe you will take a husband again?”
“No, unless I can persuade that Mundbern fellow,” Ardyth said with a funny half-smile.
Little Angharad began to groan; Gareth touched his fingertip to her lips, and she responded by giving it a suck. Her desires thus made clear, Gareth delivered her to Enid’s bosom, and sitting down he put his arms around Enid’s shoulders to conceal the motherly feeding process under the broad sleeves of his dark robe.
They heard a banshee scream, and soon saw their friends in another great vehicle heading out of the bay into the dark. The noise of the departing rescuers dwindled, until the only sound was the baby’s suckling noises. After a while, Gibbsen found himself genuinely curious about what a human’s milk tasted like.
This concludes Gibbsen’s anecdote of the end of the gluckasts and certain doings of Adolphus Search and Rescue.
#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/30