Three Word Wednesday-Child of the Cuckoo's Nest -Part 1
Dampen; verb: Make slightly wet; make less strong or intense; reduce in amplitude.
Keep; verb: Have or retain possession of; put or store in a regular place; continue or cause to continue in a specified condition, position, course, etc.; continue doing or do repeatedly or habitually; provide for the sustenance of (someone); honor or fulfill; make written entries in (a diary) on a regular basis; noun: Food, clothes, and other essentials for living.
Tremble; verb: Shake involuntarily, typically as a result of anxiety, excitement, or frailty; be in a state of extreme apprehension; shake or quiver slightly; noun: A trembling feeling, movement, or sound.
Other Three Word Wednesday writer's offerings here.
Child of the Cuckoo's Nest -Part 1
The mother toiled long and hard, bringing the child into the world. The child that was born was handsome, his hair, curly blonde and tight, to his little head. The mother cooed over him and her husband Olaf was proud to call him son.
The other women in the small village fawned over him and envied the woman Emelie. Her husband gave her riches and now he gave her a son? Not any son either but a baby with winsome smile and blue eyes that gleamed like diamonds. It was not fair they claimed, she had everything.
Emelie bathed in the adulation. She had given birth to a child all adored. She would wait until her husband Olaf slept and then creep into the nursery. . Emelie loved to look at the baby, when all were asleep. It was their quiet time just mother and son to be together. She would suckle him at his breast, as she talked to him of all he would accomplish and he would look up at her with his big blue eyes, gurgling.
One night Emilie heard a noise in the nursery as her husband lay beside her trying to go to sleep. Emelie dismissed the noise, even as her breast dampened with the milk waiting to be suckled.Her husband bid her go in and check on the child. When she went into Marcus she thought he looked different somehow but dismissed the idea as preposterous. She got him to lie down and went back into her husband missing her chance to be with her boy that night.
The boy grew and his mother Emelie wondered why he did not walk yet, or talk yet. He could not feed himself and he would not be trained to not wear diapers. He certainly didn’t speak. What had happened to the boy? Then she remembered the noise when he was a baby. Could someone have stolen her child and replaced him with this broken child? Had she been too proud of her son? Emelie thought of how foolish this was. This was her child there was no doubt not in her heart. Even if it was not she would fight to keep this boy. She loved him.
The boy Marcus was slow to walk, finally walking at four years of age, but by then others were noticing, how truly different he was. He could play a harpsichord and sing beautiful pieces and yet he spoke, no word he did not sing. If his father’s accounting books were put before him, even at four years of age; he was able to compute all the sums to totals, faster than any normal full grown man could. He read books in his father’s library beyond his years and yet he did not speak. Others in the small village were afraid of him because he wouldn’t speak or look them directly in the eye. Marcus screamed and trembled, an unholy noise was heard when he was touched. Emelie was careful to protect him and make sure no person touched him but she worried that she had not done enough for the child.
Olaf’s heart grew cold towards the boy. He found him annoying and didn’t hesitate to tell Emelie that he wondered where this child had come from. He began at first to suggest Emelie must have broken their marriage vows to conceive Marcus. Emelie protested that this was not possible begging him to love the child, but Olaf saw only failure in the child and he would not. Finally Marcus told Emelie it was obvious to him that the noise that they heard in the nursery, was a fairy placing her child in Marcus place. Emelie tried to convince him otherwise but Olaf wouldn’t budge. He began to treat the child as if he was a stranger. Emelie grew angry with him and her heart hardened against Olaf, to the point where she kept him from her bed. Finally Olaf left her obtaining an annulment from the priest citing the defective child, as he called Marcus.
Emelie struggled to feed herself and her child.She took jobs cleaning homes of those who took pity on she who had once been the lady of the village. They even allowed her to bring Marcus.
Meanwhile Olaf married another woman in the village. She was pregnant with his son. Carl. Carl was spoiled by Olaf .Olaf said he was grateful now to have a normal child and not one from the cuckoo’s nest. He tried to sour the village against Marcus, but Marcus’ good deeds fixing things that others could not made him well liked in the village.
Marcus learned to speak and was soon speaking the languages that traders brought to the village. Emelie still protected her son he was her world and she did all she could to make him succeed. She sought books from traders spending any spare monies to obtain them for Marcus. These books opened worlds of knowledge for Marcus. Emelie could see that Marcus learned much from them as he began repairing things he found broken and talking of things she'd never heard of.
When her employers well stopped working, Marcus at twelve years of age, conceived a way for it to work again. Marcus was ingenious ,solving problems in the village that even grown man could not. He grew older and Emelie continued to watch over and protect her son.
When Marcus was a mere twenty, the King who had heard of his brilliance begged him to come to his court to solve a problem of great secrecy. None in the village were to know where he went. Marcus however told his mother of the strongly worded request. Emelie was afraid for her son. There were many people at the King’s court and Marcus did not do well with people. Emelie convinced the King’s messenger that she was necessary for Marcus to complete his task and she was able to go with him.
When they went with the messenger all in the village thought the King was punishing them. Olaf was glad. His boy Carl now sixteen, could now succeed without being compared to the cuckoo in the nest Marcus. There were those in the village that rejoiced that the man who made them so uncomfortable was gone. They rejoiced and said a curse was lifted. Others in the village were frightened who now would fix what couldn’t be fixed if Marcus wasn’t there?Marcus was a saviour of their village why couldn’t they see how they had prospered since he started fixing problems in the village?
Emelie was just worried about how to protect her son in the King’s court. Marcus was excited about the books he would be able to read there and did not seem to understand how many people might be there. She would protect her son as she always had he would be safe in this world. She would make it so.
To be continued next week
©Sheilagh Lee May 9,2012