Challenge 2: Chapter 3 - Cowplants and Kids: Part 2 Dec 8, 2017 17:36:15 GMT EuphorialQueen likes this
Post by Pally on Dec 8, 2017 17:36:15 GMT
Mud showed up the morning after Hank left. He brought with him a pale man in a top hat with a clover on it, who lit a bonfire and began dancing. When I asked Mud who he was, he told me, "Oh that is Wound. He is your next family partner," he had a grin on his face and almost looked as if he wanted to laugh at me. "I noticed Hank leaving last night so I figured you would be ready for your next child." "You want me to have a child with, him?" I asked,"He doesn't look too healthy." "Oh, I am sure you will make up for anything he lacks," Mud's grin widened and I was sure he was holding back laughter now. "I have recorded your names so now you must, get to work," he chuckled as he left.
I talked with Wound over breakfast and learned a little about him. He was part of the Mad Mudder group. A clan of pale men who seemed to worship Mad Mud. When I asked him why he wanted to have a child he said,"I don't really. But I am obedient to the Mud. I shall always do as he asks of me." He spoke without much feeling, as if he were programmed to do and say what Mud wanted. Led by my desire to stay in Murkland, I agreed to have a baby with him. Since there was really no attraction between us, I whipped up some love bites. Special cookies that helped put people in the mood. They worked faster than I thought and that night I conceived a little murky bundle, again.
The following day, Hannah aged into a child. I dressed her in orange to remind us both of her daddy. She took a liking to a little potion table I found for her and would spend a lot of time on it mixing strange things. Wound and I never really formed any sort of lasting relationship. He spent his time making the walls of the jail a little more colorful and sometimes he helped feed the cowplants.
I spent the next couple of days keeping up with my tasks and hunting for more cowberries. I still needed two more. My favorite place to fish for them was in the oasis cave. I loved the quiet, and when alone, I always thought of Sunshine and wondered what he was doing and if he was okay or if he was even still alive. I was deep in thought when the first of my labor pains started. I barely made it home in time to give birth to not one but two little mudders. I named them Pain and Mendy, because wounds can cause pain, but they can mend too. Speaking of Wound, he was not too impressed with the babies.
After their birth, I decided to catch up on my baking while the twins were still babies and made a bunch of baked goods for when they turned into toddlers. Hannah came in to watch me and made me think of all those times her dad did the same. "Why did you have babies with the creepy grey guy?" She asked all of a sudden. "Well, Mud wants me to help repopulate the faction," I tried to explain but I don't think I made much sense. "But why can't you pick your own partner?" She asked, and that was a really good question. Hannah was a really bright kid, and she did her best to help with the babies which I was extremely thankful for when Mud decided he wanted me to learn how to hack computers on top of everything else.
Soon the twins aged into toddlers, Pain developed his father's grayish skin tone and blondish hair. Mendy took more after me. I made them some clothes to wear and began the task of teaching them some basic skills. Pain was a deep thinker and didn't like it when he was put to bed early.
It wasn't easy trying to manage two little ones, but I did my best. Wound was hardly any help. Most nights I put the kids to bed by myself. I made time to try and teach them to speak. I noticed they spent more time being murky than Hannah had to. Her father was way more attentive when he was still here. Between taking care of kids and cowplants and trying to learn to hack, I managed to max my baking skill!
When Mud found out I had maxed the skill, he payed me a little visit and brought me a new recipe. "I noticed you have been collecting a lot of cowplant essence," he began. I explained how Hank and Wound seemed to really like cake. Then he told me, "I want you to bake them into pies using this recipe. I then want you to sell them in various neighboring towns. I will allow you a visa to travel to these places whenever you are ready." He looked at me with a smile before adding,"I am very pleased of you for all you have done for me so far." The words of praise really made me happy, more than I wanted to admit, and I couldn't help but express my joy.
A few days later, I was off to Widow's Creek to sell my pies. I was glad to have some time away from the jail. It was such a gloomy place sometimes. I had brought my sale table and set up on the lot of my friend Myzuki, she lived with a the other librarians, but she was still in some other town setting up a library. I sold my pies and a few other things and was about to go exploring when I ran into Mud. "Have you sold your pies?!" He demanded to know. I told him yes and that I was just using my leftover time to explore some. "Very well," he narrowed his eyes at me,"don't forget your duties at home!" After he left I found a strange tree and began talking to it. One of the other librarians told me if I stared at the tree long enough I'd find a secret path to a strange glad.
I stared, talked, and watered the tree until a little tunnel appeared and I jumped inside. Before long, I found myself in a lush glade that glowed an eerie pink. I tried to catch some frogs in the pond but had no luck so decided to do a little fishing in it. After some time I felt as if I was being watched. I looked around and could of swore I saw a pair of glowing eyes watching me from the bushes, but when I looked again they were gone. I tried to fish some more but couldn't shake the feeling of being watched, so decided to head back to Murkland.
I stopped by the Puffer Dome for my weekly visit on the way home and made it through dinner again. One of the waiters told me about the latest victim of the restaurant, some infected young lady who lived near by. When I got home I found Wound trying to have a conversation with Mendy. I'm not sure what it was about, I couldn't understand either of them very well. Pain was feeding himself and Hannah was maxing her mental skill. Now she could eat another slice of the special cake to age up.
The next morning I woke to a moody teenager! She found some old clothes and dressed herself in an orange tank to remind us of her dad's orange jumpsuit. I had her help with feeding the cowplants for her morning chores. She didn't seem to mind the funny way they smelled. Later I found her trying to help with the twins. I was happy to have the help! That evening I had some free time to play chess with her. It was great to grow my relationship with my firstborn.
My next couple days were filled with toddlers. Mendy seemed to be more needy than Pain. One evening when I was helping her with her blocks, Wound came out to watch us. He just stood and stared like he had never seen someone interacting with a child before. Mendy woke later in the night wanting to potty but when she tried she had an accident, so I went ahead and bathed her. It was technically a Wednesday so I was free to do so. The next morning she and Pain maxed their movement skill and were able to eat some cake and age up.
I found them both some comfy clothes and Pain took to playing with a stuffed dino he found. Mendy was still a little on the needy side and her over active bladder reminded me of my Sunshine, he was always in the bushes. That afternoon I was up tending my garden when Wound joined me to announce he was leaving. "Your kids are big enough to not need me around anymore and I want to go home," he said plainly. "That's more than fine with me. You were never much help anyway," I told him just as plainly,"You can stop by anytime you want to see our kids." He didn't say anything else and left.
Late that night I was getting ready to head to bed when I saw a strange man standing outside the jail. I went to see who he was and what he wanted. His name was Waylon and he said he was going to be my next family partner. Mud was waiting in the office to talk to me about it. I was almost angry. I mean this guy was more sickly looking than the last one. I couldn't help but wonder if Mud was purposely picking the worst people in Murkland for me to be with. When I approached Mud he had the same smirk on his face as he did when Wound moved in. I tried to tell him I had no problem helping to regrow the population, but I didn't understand why I couldn't pick my own partners.
I expected him to have an angry outburst at me for questioning his authority. Instead he looked at me strangely and ran a finger over his bottom lip,"I might consider letting you choose your own partners, if you do something for me." His eyes gleamed and I hated to ask,"What is it you want?" "You to have a child with me." I was shocked,"You want a child?" "I am not yet immortal, and I have often thought of having an heir to train and bring up to carry on after me, if something should happen. You have proven yourself a worthy woman and I would be willing to consider your request if you agreed to do this for me." I didn't know just what to say. I was a little scared, a little nervous, and maybe, just maybe a little bit honored by his request. I didn't know what to do. He told me I had until the following evening to give him my decision.
To Be Continued