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Uno and Fog: Carrot and Stick

June 9, 2019

“I’m just visiting old haunts.” I answer.  I force myself not to take a step back from her.   She isn’t my mother, dressed like that, she’s The Black Death.

“You have a wife and children waiting for you.”  The wind picked up and swirled her cape behind her.

“I’ve always wondered how people got that to work.”

“Get what to work?”

“The cape always hanging right, and to swirl around your legs.  Its really hard. One of the reasons I never attempted that look.”

She gives me an exasperated look, “Trying to change the subject, but the fact remains you have a wife and two daughters that adore you waiting at home.  You’ve got your mother back.”  She starts to takes a step closer.

“Don’t come any closer,” I put a hand up to warn her away, “and stop referring to yourself in the third person.  Its kind a creepy.”

She stops, “Why don’t we call Serafina and tell her you’re with me and coming home, I’m sure she’s worried.”

“Is she though?”

“Of course she is, what’s gotten into you?”

“Oh, I don’t know I have a wife and kids, my mothers back after being absent for years, my fathers gone and I’ve taken his place and I honestly don’t know how I got here.”

“Then someone has gotten into your head,” she answers, “it happened to me, before you rescued me, I didn’t even know who I was anymore.”  She sounds concerned.

That would explain her disappearance all those years ago, “I don’t remember that.”

“Let me help you remember.”

She’s lying to you, a voice whispered in my head that sounded like The Fog.  The question was who was lying to who and if this was but a dream, how to escape it.

“And if I don’t want your help?”  I answer.

“Don’t be foolish.”

I thought about where I was and who I was with.  Maybe this was what I subconsciously wanted.  To have my mother back, to have a wife and children.  To feel like everything in life was the way it should be, the way I wanted it.  Maybe deep down I wanted to supplant my father.

But just because I might, deep down, want something, didn’t mean I could have them.  Or that I would choose them if offered them.  My mother had been a killer.  I had spent the early part of my adulthood stopping people like her, and didn’t intend to stop.

There were rules that I followed.  Rules I believed everyone should follow and having her playing grandmother to my children, wasn’t part of it, wasn’t in keeping with my sense of justice or atonement.  I may secretly want her back, but I would never be able to accept a monster like her as simply part of my life with out any consequences for her.

Without atonement.

I’m not be as unbending as The Fog, but I know one thing, that I would never have consciously chosen this life for myself.

We both chose a different path years ago and I know where it ultimately ends for The Fog and me.

There’s no happy ending for me.

I don’t get the wife and kids.  The holidays at the beach.  The warm holidays, the hugs from precious children, the homecooked meal

Certainly don’t get my mother back.

Looking at the uniform my mother is wearing, the implied threat of it. My pretend family is the carrot, the reward for going along with this, and she is the stick if I didn’t.  I realize I have my answer.

Pulling in power, my nervous system fires up.  The Black Death tenses up, “don’t,” but I’ve made up my mind, I know what I have to do.

Accelerating off the building into the open air I leap as far as I can go.  Feel the wind pick up as I fall.  Wonder if Serafina and the children actually exist somewhere.  If they might be real people now, in the past or some day.

I hope I didn’t make a mistake as the concrete and pavement get closer.




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