Suddenly on the cusp of fatherhood. He has never felt this way before. The anticipation, the excitement. It is even more wonderful than he had imagined. He’d thought his line had reached its end, that one of the younger branches would lead the family after he was gone. And it will be a boy, he is told. A son.
This is fate. It must be. He has never much cared to believe in such things until now, but there is no other way of explaining this avalanche of joy. Fate has blessed him after testing his family with hardship.
Nere’s spirits are not quite as high, but he is only too glad to be the doting husband. He wants to do everything. Often, he sends her attendants away so that he can be the one to bring her whatever she desires. It annoys her, sometimes, and she tells him that he should concentrate on his work with the Vanguard; other times, she tells him she was wrong, and she cries as she urges him to stay with her. She is all over the place, even more unpredictable than usual as her hormones play havoc with her body.
And then the day comes. Ibai is born.
The moment he lays eyes on his son, his heart swells with such pride and joy that he can feel the change coming over him. He feels that he is no longer the same man. He is a father now, but it is also more than that, he realizes. He is a father by blood, but he has already been a father in spirit for some time. After the loss of the previous generation and the departure of Melchor, he is the one everyone looks to for answers and guidance. Rholtam has been trying to help him see this all along, and now he understands the depth of his responsibility. Ibai has shown it to him.
Ibai is very strange. It first becomes clear when a doctor attempts to vaccinate him. The needle cannot pierce the boy’s skin. A solid splotch of dark brown appears in its path each time piercing pressure is applied.
And they do not know why. They do not know what Ibai is. But they can tell that the brown shadow is a construct of imaginary power. The boy receives his vaccines with the aid of a soul-empowered needle. They take him home and attempt to understand what makes their son so special.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Written by George M. Frost