Session 19 - Ollie's Epilogue
Ollie does not settle in for the night. She feels there is too much to do and so very little time to get it done. She could ask Baits or Virgil for help but… ultimately decides that she wants this time now with her son; selfishly. She will of course make sure Virgil and Baits get some time, but not right now.
With a sigh she reads over the letter she has written to her Father; satisfied with it she waves it in the air for just a moment to help it dry. (Father hates smudged ink.) The sound and look of her fanning the paper makes Mortimer giggle at her. Ollie takes just a moment to revel in the sound of it and softly smiles at him. “You are so silly.” She says sweetly to him and his eyes light up, oh how she loves that sparkle.
Turning her attention back to the paper she runs her thumb lightly over some of the violet words; no smear? Perfect. Taking the letter she carefully places it on the desk and rolls it then tucks it into a fairly thick tube. It is then prettily addressed and sealed with a bit of wax. There are two letters in this one and she hopes they make it to her Father in time for him not to rearrange his entire life for Mortimer when he is not going to show up. She sighs, looks at the tube, and does what she can; hope for the best.
With that bit of business done she looks at her little troublemaker. He is smartly dressed, but this time in a dull blue tunic that is another donation from Virgil. It was not beyond repair after they got back, he just decided it was time for it to retire; so she took it.
As she pondered her handiwork Ollie smiled and gathered up her little boy. “Oh you smell like your Pops…” she thought about that as soon as she said it and looked at Mortimer. It was clear to her that the word “Pops” had more of an impact on her than it did him. Mortie just chewed on a pretzel she had made for him out of leather scraps and offered her a taste with a nonsense invitation.
‘Was Virgil his Pop?’ They had not really talked about it. Sure Virgil had seemed effected by the decisions that Ollie made about Mortie, but was it enough to want to be his Father?
Just then her thoughts were interrupted by a little hand on her face turning her toward a soggy brown leather pretzel. “Oh my Mortie…” she laughed and he bounced in her arms “…wow that is soggy.” But she smiled and made fake munching noises anyhow. This made him smile brightly and laugh more. Ollie’s heart soared. It almost took the sting out of the deal she made and the heartache she was going to face.
It was then Ollie decided that spending the last night here in their little borrowed room was not good enough. She wanted him to have some ‘wander time’ she called it before she had to settle him back in for bed so she could write the instructions for Virgil’s Pop. She also needed to pack all his things away, not that he had much. To say she felt a little apprehension about sending him to a man who knows nothing of magic was an understatement! No, she knew that explaining all this was going to be extensive.
But for now she could put that aside, right now was about Mortie. Ollie liked the children’s “bible” study rooms. She loved its brightly painted walls and the common alphabet boldly bordering the room. There were also a few small baskets of toys there. It was a place where kids were supposed to be, but he could only after hours. ‘Gods forbid they teach the normies about acceptance.’ She scoffs as she sets him down by a small crate of brightly colored wooden blocks. Ollie then takes a seat on one of the short tables next to him.
Once there she watches him ‘stretch his legs.’ Ollie watches with a small smile on her face as he squats in his funny way with those ‘gifted’ appendages to grab hold of a bright colored block with a big red ‘B’ on it.
Victoriously he grins at her and holds it out for her to see then just as quickly puts it to his mouth, takes a look at it again, taps it with a chubby finger, then back into the mouth. Mortie does this twice before handing her the sloppy block and going off in search of more.
Soon enough Ollie is lost again in thought. Thoughts she should be giving a wide berth, they are the kind of thoughts that ruin a night. Dwelling thoughts that bore into you and eat you up if you let them; but she cannot help it. Things are different now.
Sitting there in the lamp lit room if she or anyone could see her; they would notice there is love on her face, but also heaviness on her brow. She knows her baby boy is not normal as she watches his awkward movements and knows many would have just exterminated him on sight… heck, he almost was! Washing all the oil off him was awful.
Ollie shakes her head, her heart feels heavy in her chest; it feels like it is sinking into her stomach as a thought races in her mind;
‘He will always face that…’
She purses her lips now, her mouth quivers as she tries to fight back a frown that will bring tears with it. Instead it is the tears that beat the frown to the race’s end. She watches the little boy… her boy… her son, with glossy eyes as he inspects another of the bright blocks. He turns it around without ever letting go of it and talks to it. In truth there is something humorous about seeing him do it the hard way; like her.
‘Weirdo…’ the word crosses her mind briefly. She has heard that whispered in the quiet, has she not? When she first asked for help? She knows for certain she has heard it as if shouted on the faces of some of the folks here at the temple; yet none have actually dared say it. Perhaps the word was meant more for her instead; that had to be it. Sure, yes, maybe she was a ‘weirdo’ for not putting the little, worse yet, ‘Monster…’ out of its misery but who were they to judge?
‘Saving such a “thing”—why?’ She had to have heard in whispered tones; she knew she did, at least saw it on their faces. ‘What hope does “it” have for normalcy?’
‘What makes it okay to talk like that?’ She thinks angrily.
Admittedly a future was something her and Virgil spoke of but it had no malicious intent, it was purely parental. Even still Mortie was not an ‘it’ a ‘thing’ or ‘monster’ to her. It never once even occurred to her, no she instantly felt compassion. This little boy needed a hero; a person in a brown dress and a life of adventure.
Her brow furrowed at the recount of it, disgust clear on her face and knuckles white on the edge of the table on which she sat. She needed to stop paying attention to those thoughts and people; she did not need or want them nor did Mortie. She was glad he was getting out of here, but would out of here be better?
Instead she occupied herself with all the rebuttals she did not make, but could have; ugh, why did the best zingers always come after the fact? When it would be too awkward to come back and spit them in their faces. No, right now there was just her son and her and as much as those others should not matter to her, they did.
She revisited their sidelong looks and knew that their horror was glazed over with duty. This fueled some kind of something inside her, something she had no names for. It was something she did not even understand.
‘Perhaps the best parts of you were not saved.’ Ollie thought as in her mind she smacked then shoved that simple horrified woman to the ground. The same one who when told to help the baby looked as if she had been handed a sentence of death. She watched as confusion washed over the meek woman’s face, put a hand to her reddened cheek, and Ollie would smile. ‘What I mean to say is that perhaps the best parts of you ran down—‘ She had started to say while hovering over the humiliated woman.
“Oh, Gods!” She whispered to herself shocked. Ollie had never ever thought of saying anything like that before to anyone…ever! She had only heard Virgil say that once in a heated conversation with someone who tried to rip them off on a job they had done. Now Virgil, he could zing them.
‘And we got now what we got, but it will have to do…’ a cruel new voice whispered in the far reaches of her mind with a chuckle. A little scared Ollie shakes her head hoping that it will somehow help, knowing better but trying anyhow. Though even as she shakes, she feels the corner of her mouth pull up, not really into a smile… but a sneer.
The words spoken out loud distract Mortie who is now looking at her and babbling from his pile of square victims. The little villagers of Block Village are all drenched from the child god’s rain of drool.
She forces a smile for him and tries to catch her breath… scared and shaking under her skin. The ferocity and imagery that play in her head as she confronts these imaginary persecutors is perhaps not what bothers her most, but how much their misery at being caught and chastised excites her.
Little Mort regards her with wide eyes and glistening strings of dribble from his mouth to his current target that look like web strings. She spends only a moment on that ironic thought before smiling in earnest and feeling his innocent loving gaze put out whatever began to rage within her.
“Oh, you got him huh?” She offers to the boy as he wiggles the blue block with an “A” on it at her and jabbers in a language only understood by babes.
“What are you going to do with him now?” She asks her little Lord with excitement even truer than she thought lacing the words; she genuinely wanted to know what he had in store for the helpless prey. Her rational mind knew that he was just a baby…but somewhere she was hoping for something devious; possibly cruel.
Instead “A” is then put back into the mouth looked at and then handed to her as he returns once again to terrorize Block Village. This makes her chuckle out loud.
The smile that erupts on his face is fueled by shear adoration; the following squeal confirms his joy and love. Mortimer then takes his eyes off her for just a moment to pick up another block, this time bright yellow with a “D” on it. It was now Ollie’s turn to glance away from the salvation of his loving face to lower down to the floor taking her now two colorful block village captives with her.
She had to be careful not to crowd him too much; he does take up some space. Ollie watched her little boy play with the blocks, banging them together and dropping them from what would be terrifying heights to the folks of Block Village. They clattered together and slid with a gentle spin away from the carnage taking place.
It was only when she was gathering up the poor scattered block folks for Mortie that she noticed something… he had handed her a red block, blue block, and lastly a yellow block. Separately these had meant nothing to her; but in that moment with Mort’s hand empty and pointing around at the fleeing village folk, Ollie looked down and saw them. Three belligerent wooden village folk who dared to scream up at her one word… “B-A-D.”
In one instance her heart sank, her stomach filled with emotion and she felt sick. Surely it had been some kind of coincidence. There was no way he did it on purpose; no way! It was just some kind of stupid fluke, she was sure of it. No one knew anything about the deals she made, the hand she shook; twice now.
‘Maybe the world knows?’ The thought raced through her mind. ‘Perhaps something—‘some’ ‘thing’ is trying to tell you what you already know and will not admit Ollie…’
“No.” She said out loud and in the quiet stillness of the little room even her whisper sounded like yelling.
‘Yes…’ her mind continued. ‘…you…’
“No!” she said in a normal voice.
‘…are…’ it sang in her now.
She simply shook her head tears escaping down her face and still mouthing the word ‘no’ but without sound.
‘Sca-roood!’ The voices laughed and repeated it over in some kind of sick serenade.
Then with a quickness not even she realized she had she scooped her son off the floor, who if she looked at his face was scared, and held him close.
“It is not true.” She whispered panicked into the empty room. Ollie looked around for some kind of some—one or thing to be there messing with her, but the only thing she saw were inky red burn marks on the desk she had been sitting on…
Ollie did not bother to put back a couple of the villagers, they were forcibly relocated. She decided then that she would just put a few coin in the coffers to replace them; someone would.
She rushed back to her room then, the voices seemingly left behind in a room that felt like a different world that housed Block Village. Her mind raced with the deal she made with Salazar and how it was too late now to change her mind.
‘Could a simple handshake start such events into motion?’ it was a thought she tossed around and then finally decided it was best left for her father to answer. Although she knew she would have to be delicate in her asking; but he was smarter than her so she would have to be extra careful.
That night she took a few double shots and rocked her son to sleep one last time. She did not know how long it was going to be until she got to do this again; the thought made tears imprisoned for a variety of crimes escape. Ollie gently brushed his hair aside out of his eyes and traced his pudgy cheeks with her stout finger down to his chin.
“You are worth it…” She whispered to him before standing and lying down with him on the borrowed bed that sufficed as home. “…no matter what.”