The Son of Someone Else's Son
by Oscar Deadwood
forum: The Son of Someone Else's Son
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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The Son of Someone Else's Son


       The misfit walks and thinks, walks and thinks, and it's an early Sunday morning - late in the winter, early in the spring - and the sky is pale, pale blue and cloudless and a hopeful and warm gentle breeze swirls in the still frigid air.

       The misfit feels good, he's glad to get out of his cramped house, pushing the stroller with his infant son through his homogenous suburban neighborhood. He decides to cross the expressway and head to his little suburban downtown littered with boutiques and bars and antique shops. He'll go to Starbucks maybe, stroller in tow, and feel artificially affluent drinking a mocha latte in front of an empty fireplace.

       And it feels good, really good, to get away from his wife, who everyday seems a little stranger and infinitely more distant, as if he doesn't really know her. He quietly left the house with his still somnolent son, leaving his wife's large and black-haired form sleeping in their bed. He could hear her grind her teeth as he softly shut the door.

       He knows divorce is inevitable, Billy knows he and his wife really don't fit, they just aren't like those sitcom couples they view with regular jealousy. They don't sit up in bed and solve the days problems with the pillows propped against the headboard. There is no intimacy, no moments of comic confrontation. There is just silence and tension and distance. They never talk, unless it's in regards to their six-month old son Evan and even then the talk is strained, impersonal, curt.

       They thought having a baby would help ease the tension and bring them closer together but no, their marriage was born of lust and would die of resentment and indifference.

       But not fitting in is nothing new for Billy, he muses as he crosses the service drive and makes his way for the bridge over the expressway, pushing the stroller onto the narrow sidewalk, the still light traffic on the expressway below roaring through the placid morning.

       Chaos. Chaos whispers in his ear and interrupts his melancholic reminiscing.

       He shakes his head, hearing the word "chaos" distinctly, but writes it off to the cacophony of the traffic above and below the bridge.

       He never has fit in. He is the youngest of three boys and his father worshipped his oldest brother and his mother pampered the middle son, calling him "her baby" even to this day. Billy has never received that sort of attention. He often played alone in his room while the rest of the family sat gathered in front of the warm glow of the television set.

       And he never did fit in at school, he was basically friendless except for the occasional fellow misfit who would latch on to him as he sat alone in the cafeteria or playground or walked slowly, slowly home from school.

       And now, in his office, his desk is never the sight of informal conversations. He sits alone, always, nose down in his facts and figures while the laughter and gossip twirls underneath the fluorescent lights and echoes against the thin carpet and cubicle walls.

       Chaos. Chaos whispers in his ear and calls him by his name.

       He stops and leans over the stroller to study his wide and green-eyed son. He loves his son, but he doesn't feel like a father really, and he has a gnawing fear that Evan may not be his. He and his wife have only been intimate a few times since becoming married, far removed from those torrid days of their dating life. And the married lovemaking has been passionless, brief, cold.

       He looks at the baby boy who might be his son.

       "Did you say something," the warm breeze causes his thin and fine and prematurely gray hair to dance in an irregular rhythm.

       His son flaps his arms and kicks his legs and gives the misfit a happy squeal and gurgle.

       Billy shakes his head and chaos calls him, and calls him by his name.

       But by his other name, a name he never knew he had, a name that stirs memories of distant stars and ages. Memories he's never known.

       But memories he's always suspected.

       And chaos speaks in his ear and he can feel the warm and loving breath, he can feel the spittle rain in his eardrum and never, ever, has he felt so loved.

       And he understands in a full instant, the nature of his existence.

       "Now is your time Rygaard, now is your time," the chaos says at the tail end of a telepathic explanation.

       The misfit instantly understands the mysteries of the world. He understands why mothers drown their children in bathtubs. He understands why sons and daughters stab their sleeping mothers and fathers and why antidepressants are swallowed with more devotion than vitamins.

       And he understands why a fellow misfit in Milwaukee ate his male lovers, and he understands why brothers rape their sisters and why genocide still occurs in this modern and civilized world, and why car bombs tear families and countries and people apart.

       He understands it all and feels happy, happy to do his part. Happy to help the chaos, help the chaos invade, help the chaos from that distant star that he knows was once his home.

       He picks up the stroller and throws it off of the bridge.


copyright 2006 Oscar Deadwood.

Oscar Deadwood:
I have had some non-SF stories appear in Wanderings and Darkervision, and hope to have my first novel "The Trinity" released by Silverthought Press soon.