The Twisted Skein

2018 -- Nursery


"Oh, no! The SQUARE sword didn't work! That's because this Mary Sue has a TRIANGULAR hole in her armour. Can you help Agent Jay find the TRIANGULAR sword?"

The animated figure with its wide grin and -- yes -- trademark camera pranced down the screen away from the scowling blonde 'Sue with her urple dress. The dozen children arrayed in front of the screen immediately started calling and pointing as "Agent Jay" wavered indecisively above the line of shaped weapons. Mortic shook his head slowly. "I do wonder what Jay would think if she knew," he murmured to his wife.

"I keep forgetting you knew her," Elanor replied with a smile. "It must be strange, seeing this."

"Neh, it's been long enough," Mort said with a shrug. "How're they doing, by the way?"

"You can see for yourself Elisabeth's getting tired of it," Elanor pointed out, nodding in their elder daughter's direction. "I think she's realised that square swords, or semicircular 'Sues to fit in appropriate lava pits, or whatever it'll be next time, don't actually exist." She glanced back at the screen, which had now moved on to Agent Acacia singing the Happy Assassin Song. "And she thinks this sort of thing is a little 'Sueish -- which it is." She shrugged. "So they'll be moving her up to the next class soon, I think."

Mortic wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "At least you'll still have Mary to watch over," he said consolingly, looking at their younger child, who was singing along cheerfully, when she could stop giggling.

"Yeah..." Elanor sighed. "But for how long?"

"Long enough, I'd say." He dropped his hand to rest lightly on his wife's enlarged stomach. "Long enough for this one to come along."

Elanor smiled faintly. "I suppose." She looked at their two children again. "I am glad they moved me to Operations, though," she added. "The Nursery is a lot more my scene than any Action Department. Speaking of which... how's it going back in Wutuf?"

Mortic shook his head. "Same old, same old," he said. "Let's not talk about work, though, I get enough of that from my new partner. Let's just... watch."

Elanor looked over at the screen again. "Watch Makes-Things repair the Remote Activator with its numbered parts?"

"Watch the children," Mort corrected. "I don't get to very often."

Elanor smiled again, patting her husband's shoulder. "All right, Mort," she said, and watched.

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