Post by Pally on Jan 4, 2018 19:12:03 GMT
When I arrived back at the jail with Sunshine, it was still the wee hours of the morning. I offered to make him a plate of my famous baked potatoes he had always loved and he was super excited. "I've dreamed of eating these things so many times," he grinned happily. I watched him eating for a few silent moments. He was the same man I fell in love with, but different too. His confinement must have changed him. He had just started on his second potato, when I felt it was time I told him about my kids. I told him of how the mayor sent me to live here at the jail and how I was now under the rule of the Mad Mud Faction and how I spent time looking for him at first. We had a good laugh when I told him about eating all the grilled cheese.
I paused and cleared my throat. I wasn't sure how he'd take what I had to say next. I took a deep breath and spilled it all. I told him about Mud's plan to repopulate Murkland. How he brought Hank and Wound to be my first two family partners. About Hannah, Pain and Mendy. I paused again to catch my breath. He was looking at me without speaking. His eyes just scanning my face. My heart was racing as I continued on and told him about going to Mud's house and about having his girls. I felt he deserved to know it all after everything he had been through. I was shaking when I stopped speaking and looked at him silently waiting for his response. "Wow, that's like, some super heavy stuff to throw at a guy, Styles," he finally responded then he got up and took his plate to the sink. 'This is the end,' I thought, sadly.
When he came back he stood by the glass doors looking out at the gloomy courtyard. I got up and joined him,"Look, if you want to go back to your old camp I completely understand," I told him,"I am happy to just know you are alive and safe." He looked at me in silence again before he finally said,"You know when I was down in that pit and stuff, it was like all I wanted, to see your smile again and hear your voice," he paused. I could tell he was having a hard time trying to put his feelings into words. "I thought about how sad you must be, you know," he continued," and as time went on I hoped that you would find a way to be happy again. That you could forget me and move on." Then he took my hands in his just like he did that first week I came to Murkland and looked into my eyes and said,"But when you came walking toward me down in that pit, all I wanted was to spend the rest of my murky days with you. So the way I see it, when we teleported up out of there, it was like we were two souls reborn and given a second chance to share our love, and stuff. And the past don't matter much anymore, you know. The only thing that does is you and me, here and now." Then he pulled me close to him and kissed me.
After our talk, Sunshine went to take a nap and I had a visitor, Mud. I took him into the little office and told him about how I found Sunshine. Then I told him I was going to have him be my next family partner. "I have given you five kids toward your re-population efforts, and since you only asked me for six, Sunshine will stay with me after we have one together, indefinitely." It took a moment for my words to sink in. Mud turned away and looked as if he were going to start crying. I was a little surprised. I didn't realize how much he must of cared for me, but I saw it for a moment. Then he angrily yelled,"If you wish it, then so be it! But don't give my girls any less attention or else I'll send that barefoot hippy to a place worse than you found him." He stormed out after that.
When all my kids had woke, I made a special breakfast for everyone and introduced them to Sunshine. Wound's twins were a little suspicious of him at first and no one was really saying anything. All of a sudden Muddia blurted out, "So is this guy gonna be the next one you are going to make babies with, just like all those other guys?" I nearly choked on my food. Sunshine just laughed,"Cute kid. I see she takes after her dad." I told them all that, yes he was going to be my next and last family partner. Pain seemed to be happy about that,"It'll be nice to have another guy around here. And I know mom will be happier. She used to tell us stories about you when we were littler." By the end of breakfast, it looked like they had all accepted Sunshine's place in the family.
It was Thursday so the school age kids all went off to their Mad Mud Faction training class. I went with Sunshine and Hannah to the Freegan camp to pick up a few of Sunshine's old things. Forest Tree was the only one there and when he saw Sunshine he looked like he had seen a ghost. "Man, I thought you were dead! We all did!" he told him. Sunshine looked at me,"Well, thankfully not all of you." I smiled back at him. While he went to get his things, Hannah found me and announced she was going to stay with the Freegans now that they had a spare bunk. She really liked the way they all lived and wanted to be a part of them. I would miss her, but was proud of the way she had turned out. When Sunshine was ready to head back to the jail I asked him if he was really sure about it. "I will follow you anywhere, my murky lady," he told me.
The next day he decided he wanted to cut his hair so I helped him trim it up. He kept his beard. He said it was to remind him of the time he was lost and then found. I like a hairy man so I didn't complain. That evening I threw a big welcome back party for him and invited everyone from the Burner faction along with some of my other close friends. Sunshine was really happy to see everyone again. We spent the evening dancing and having a good time.
Saturday evening I told him I had to go to the Puffer Dome to eat the fish as part of my Mudification. He went along with me and we had our first date in what seemed like forever. He said that this should be our regular date night and I agreed. It would be nice, in case I got a plate of bad fish, to have someone to plead my case to old Grim. No sooner had we been seated and Sunshine was back checking out his old bush. It was a perfect evening, that is until we heard a commotion going on at the front of the restaurant. The Mayor and his wife were eating with their son, Span. It seemed everyone knew what was happening but them. "Now son, that is not the proper way to eat," Aeon was saying, "Span dear, get your face out of your plate."
"Span? Span!" She finally began to realize what happened. The Mayor on the other hand was totally ignoring the whole ordeal. He just sat there as if nothing was happening and no one was around. 'What a heartless man!' I thought to myself. His wife had become hysterical,"Somebody do something, please! Epoch! Epoch, don't just sit there!" Then the Mayor pulled out his calling device and paged his vehicle to come and pick them up. When grim showed up to claim the little boy, I tried to give him one of my death flowers, but he acted like he didn't see me. So much for our first date.
After the loss of the little Salamander boy, I was determined to spend more time with my own kids. Life was precious and in Murkland it was even more so since we were so few in numbers. A couple of days later we had a little scare of our own. I was showing Mud's girls how to use the little chemical table and when I went to get some baking soda and vinegar, Muddia decided she would mix stuff on her own. "Mom said to wait," Maddy told her. "I know what I'm doing," she replied. Then a big boom echoed in the jail and someone started screaming "Fire! Fire!" Thankfully Sunshine and Mendy were nearby and came to the rescue.
The next day I was tending my plants when Sunshine told me he was ready to start trying for a baby of our own. We were going to take some time getting to know each other again but the past few events had made him feel that we never know how long we really have together. It made me happy to think we would be bringing a little murky bundle into the world together. I went back to watering my plants and he decided he wanted to have some cake, and ended up proving his point about life being unpredictable.
That night Pain was extra helpful around the jail. He set the table and even did his homework without being asked. I should of known something was up because later when we were all eating dinner and having a good little chat, he announce that soon he'd be ready to age into young adulthood and that he was going to go live with his dad. I was a little shook up. I hadn't really noticed how well he and Mendy were learning their skills. They both would be leaving soon. That evening Autumn came for a visit and we danced for a little while. Or I should say I tried to dance. I wasn't really in the mood.
I was sort of down in the dumps all the next day so in the evening Sunshine decided to cheer me up. We stood before one of the bushes in front jail, "Are you sure you want to do that in there?" I asked. "Babe, you ain't really experienced it until you've tried it in a bush," He grinned widely and smacked me on the bottom. Then we both hopped inside. This man sure knew his way around a bush! We emerged happy and murky.
I had just put on some deodorant cream when Hannah showed up for a visit. She told me about her first week away from the jail and her new life with the Freegans. She was quickly learning their ways and was proud of herself. She wanted to know some of my gardening secrets so I told her about raising a cowplant. Pain joined us and they talked about life outside the jail while I munched a trash fruit. Then sometime after midnight, she said her goodbyes.
The next morning I had to say two more goodbyes. Pain and Mendy had each gotten three skills to the level need to eat the special cake to age up. "Thanks for giving me a great start, mom," Pain told me,"I think I'm going to be a hacker, Mud said he needs good hackers." Mendy had a creative side and she told me she was going to go stay with the group of librarians that lived in Widow's Creek. "So much is happening here in the world around Murkland and somebody has to tell the stories," she smiled at me. I hugged them both and told them they were always welcome here. And so it was that three of my little murky birds and flown the murky nest. It made me feel sick to my stomach....or maybe it was something else doing that...