23. Türchen: Come On In, Dad


I’m sorry. I had a rather neat idea for today, which for technical reasons proved unfeasible. The good news is that this grants you an extra door some day after the 24th. The bad news is that today’s door is a rather threadbare thing, but then, that’s part of the charm, isn’t it?

Enjoy.

No pdf today because our fragmet is so very short.

Come On In, Dad

I saw light in his room, so I went over and stopped before his door.

“Hello”, I said.

“Hi. Can’t sleep.”

“Me neither”, I answered, smiling guardedly.

He chuckled.

I just stood there before the open door, waiting. I don’t like to say it. I am actually not positive I ever told them explicitly, but they know. So I waited. I am good at waiting.

“Come on in, dad”, he finally said.

So I did, and took a seat on the stool beside his bed.

He came over and sat on my knee. He had never done that before, and It gave me the same sort of quiet satisfaction I had felt before on the few occasions when mortals finally started to shed their instinctive fear of me.

I put my hands on his shoulders and thought about rocking my leg a little for good measure but decided to err on the side of dignity.

“Dad, how old are you?” he asked.

“I’m old, Brian”, I answered.

“How old are you?” he repeated. “Are you older than grampa?”

I gave a half-laugh, half-grunt. “Yes, Brian. I am older than anyone still alive.”

I am not technically certain that is true, but I honestly think so.

“How old are you?” he asked again.

It was kind of a game between us. I am not sure why I will not answer his question. Maybe because I doubt he would be able to fathom it. Maybe I am waiting for the day when he finally insists.

I have seen your kind surprised and alarmed by fire, accusing the one who made it of sorcery. I remain unconvinced that you changed very much since then.

“Are you going to die, dad?”

There. Distracted again. It never takes long for you, does it? I imagine it makes sense.

“No”, I answered. “Never.”

“Am I?” he asked.

“Yes. Eventually. But it will seem to you like a very long time.” Until the end, of course. But I did not mention that. I am not a complete killjoy.

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