Monday, April 4, 2016

Generation Four — Chapter Two: He That Troubleth His Own House …

Karly’s wedding didn’t come off the way she had always dreamed it would. The first attempt to marry Marc was marred by the untimely death of his uncle. Talk about a buzz kill. This second attempt finally got them to the wedding arch, properly married, but then it appeared their marital boat was already in rough seas. She blamed herself, partly. Marc was only too attentive, and she became uncomfortable with so many eyes prying. She all but pushed him away. Next thing she knew, he was stroking the cheek of one of their female guests. And the guest seemed to enjoy it, since she jumped into his arms!
“Two can play that game,” Karly remembered thinking, turning her attention on the fellow who sat at the small kitchen table nearest her. She flirted, and he flirted back. Next thing Karly knew, Marc was fuming. Her worst fears were realized when the two Sims ended up in a brawl upstairs. She didn’t think they were at a bar. Other than this, their guests had a great time. Before she knew it, it was time for her shift down at the medical clinic. She barely got changed out of her gown and into her scrubs. Arriving at work just a couple of minutes late.
“Hey, Karly,” said the receptionist.  

“Hey, sorry, I’m late. Got to grab some coffee.” She hurried back to the doctor’s lounge. Coffee didn’t dispel her mood, however. Karly found herself in a full-blown snit, taking it out on anybody and everybody. Just whom did she marry? Was Marc someone other than who she thought he was? He was normally so sweet and so attentive, yet just an hour after they were wed, he was busy working the room.  

Things only got worse in her mind, when Karly walked into an examination room to treat her first patient of the day. Madeline Crow. Anger roiled up through her. She lost what little composure she had and lit into the Sim in a verbal tirade. “I don’t know who you think you are, but you better stay away from my husband! Just what was that, last night? In my kitchen, too. How dare you. In fact, how dare you even come to the clinic where we work. Get out. Go somewhere else to be treated.”
“Karly, Karly, calm down,” Madeline said. “I wasn’t feeling too well last night. Your new husband is a doctor, and he was trying to render me aid. In the end he’s the one who sent me down here. To be seen. I swear. I’m sick. Take my temperature, if you don’t believe me.”
“Oh, I’ll run a few tests on you…”

The door to the examination room pushed open. “Karly, what’s going on in here? I could hear your raised voice all the way out in the waiting room,” her co-worker said.
“Nothing,” Karly said. “Would you mind taking care of this patient?”
“Well, sure. I can do that. Are you okay?”
“No. No, I’m not okay. Thanks to this, this floozy, I didn’t get my wedding night! She’s all but stolen my new husband from me.”
“Karly, Karly, you’re shouting again. Please,” the nurse said. “Why don’t you knock off early. Go home. No, I insist.”
Still trembling with rage, Karly withdrew her cell phone and called home to let Marc know she would be home early.
“Early, that’s great,” he said. “Everything all right? You didn’t get canned for being slightly late, did you?”
“No. I haven’t been fired. I’ll be right home. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Sweetheart. Hurry home.”
Marc all but did a ‘happy dance’ about the room. It was still early enough in the day for them to enjoy some much needed time together, without keeping them up so very late they’d be unfit for work the next day. He all but crushed his bride to him, the moment she crossed the threshold. “Did you know, he said, guiding her to the downstairs closet, “that it was considered good luck for a Sim to carry his bride over the threshold the first time they entered their new home?” 

“Hm,” Karly said. “Do you suppose that’s what we did wrong? We just followed our guests inside. You should have carried me, instead?”
“Maybe. But, at any rate, I would love to ‘start over’, if I may.” Opening the closet door, he stepped inside, and gently pulled her in with him. Being the first time for both of them, they managed to woohoo with little difficulty. They then went to the third floor, which had been transformed to a small apartment for the couple. His two sisters and his ghostly great-grandfather still lived in the family home. This would give a semblance of privacy to the newlyweds. The couple had some fun decorating. They even had their own kitchen. The place was self-sustaining.
     Within a couple of months Karly announced she was pregnant. Marc smiled and hugged her. Then he drew her outside to the patio to chat with her. All of this time, he’d managed to keep his true ethnicity hidden. She needed to know his deep secret. Their child could end up with lavender skin, after all, and the ability to read her thoughts. What was the new mother to make of that? Rather than have her fear the worst, he needed to disclose himself to her.
“Karly,” he began.
“Marc, what is it. You are happy about the baby, right? This is what you wanted. A family.”
“Yes, and I’m thrilled, more than I can say. But, there is something you should know. Something that may affect the baby.”
“You have a condition?” she said, touching his arm. Marc nodded his head from one side to another.   

     “I suppose that’s one way of describing it.” As he spoke, he slowly removed his outer clothes.
“Marc, we’re out on the patio. What are you doing? Our neighbor's have quite a view of our lot from that short cliff.” From where she stood she could see the lights burning in the neighbor's house.
“It’s okay, I’m not getting naked. Not in that sense. All of my private parts will remain so. But, I’m not who I appear to be. I’m not fully Sim.”
       “First my elderly grandfather was abducted. Then on my father’s wedding day, right before the ceremony began, my father was abducted.”
“So, his wedding got messed up, too?”
“Yeah, and his wife, Sophia, got pregnant on their wedding night. She gave birth to a girl, Janeille —” Marc, totally unmasked, set the last piece of his Sim clothing upon the patio rail. He stood before her dressed only in his alienwear. A one piece jumpsuit of white with glowing green piping. “A few hours later, my father gave birth to Megan and then to me. So, we aren’t exactly triplets. Not in the true sense of the word.”  

     “Oh,” Karly said, moisture standing in her brown eyes. “You’re, you’re lavender. My favorite color. Oh, and you’re just so beautiful — i-in a manly way. Why have you been hiding yourself?” Karly threw her arms around him and held him tight. “I love you. I don’t care that you’re alien.”
“You don’t? I’m so glad. And I’m only half-alien. My Father was a Sim and his father and his father before him. Now, my great-grandfather’s only sister married an alien, but she knew he was half up front.”
“I’m so glad we had this talk.”
“Me, too.”
The couple fell into a nice routine. They both worked at the same medical clinic, but mostly different hours. Every now and again their schedules would overlap a bit. Then they would have lunch together during their break. Marc was further up the ladder than she. But, his grades had given him a boost. He’d also started at the third level, whereas Karly started from the bottom. Marc was an RN by this time. Today, his shift at work had been a long line of ear-checking, tongue depressors, body-scans and thermometers. He passed out at one point, crawling on top of his bed for a nap when he first got home again.        
       He needed the rest, but not just because he was exhausted. When he awakened, Karly was in labor. Just at that moment, a very loud thrumming sound came through the roof at them. Ominous, Marc was instantly nervous. Afraid. Aware his twin was in danger. Going to the third story window, he watched in horror as Megan, caught in the Beam their father so often warned them against, was elevated upward. Floating right through the air. “Megan! No, don’t you dare! Don’t you dare take her from me!” he shouted. Suddenly, the thrumming stopped.
Karly bent over in pain, cast him a look. “What’s wrong with Megan, who’s taking her and where? Oh, owwww! This baby hates me,” she moaned. 

Torn in two, Marc stood before the stairs that led to the second floor. Should he stay here to guide his wife through her labor, or race outdoors to protect his sister? Stuck, inertia having its way with him, it soon occurred to him Megan was aboard the craft— the craft that no longer seemed to be above the house, noticing how quiet it was. There was nothing he could do. Whereas, he could help his wife deliver their baby. Donning a fresh pair of the surgical purple gloves, he got down to the business at hand. Before long, Karly gave birth to a beautiful, lavender, baby boy. “Oh, look at you, look at you,” Karly chortled, as her husband placed the child into her waiting arms. “Marc, he’s beautiful — just like you.” Carefully, she placed the infant in the bassinet the Social Services had supplied. Karly had wanted to use the alien bassinet, her late father-in-law had kept, but it seemed only first generation aliens were allowed it’s use. At least the new one was a neutral yellow color. She could live with it. 

They named him Joseph after his second great-grandfather, Erik’s father.
About two hours later, the thrumming sound was back. Marc, who was resting on the bed, jumped up and ran down the stairs to the second floor, across the hall and turning left, ran down that set of stairs to the first floor. Megan was there at the base of the stairs. She seemed a tad off to him. Dazed, he quickly realized. “Marc!”
“Megan, are you all right? What did they do to you? You realize you just lived out Dad’s worst nightmare. He was so sure they’d return and try to take us back to Zzxyzx.”
“I don’t think we got that far. I kicked one of them in the groin. I thought it was his knee-cap. My bad. They turned the ship around and dropped me off. Literally. They just threw me back into the beam of light! Then they muttered a few insults about Sims. I never!”

“Well, can you blame them?” 

“It’s their own fault. They’re the ones experimenting on all of Simanity. Maybe they should be more selective of their potential mates. I think I’m going to go take a nap.”
“Okay,” Marc said. “By the way, you have a nephew. He’s lavender, too.”
“Oh,” she squealed, “I can’t wait to hold him. Congrats, Daddy.”
“Thanks. I’m just glad you’re okay and that you’re back.”

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