Chapter Description: A new neighbor pops up next to Charlie's house...literally.
Chapter 25- New Neighbors
Charlie played with his toy turtle, scooping it through the air and making whooshing noises like it was some kind of reptilian fighter plane. It was just after bath time, and Charlie was playing on the carpet of his nursery in just his diaper while Mommy was switching into her night robee
It was kind of the routine.
The turtle was supposed to be a bath toy; a cute buoyant thing with a concave bowl in the shell that little nick-nacks could nest in. Charlie just liked to fill it up with water. It brought back fond, almost forgotten memories.
Under normal circumstances, Charlie left the toy turtle in the tubby where it belonged. But he whined and begged and complained until Mommy finally understood the message and let him keep the toy after he was toweled off. Sometimes it was so hard for grown-ups to understand him, that Charlie was tempted to limit his speech to mewls and babbles and whines...maybe a few two word sentences here and there. It was how most of the other babies his age did it, and all that the grown-ups understood.
One time he’d gone through the trouble of reciting the preamble to the constitution. Nothing fancy, but full of non-toddler language. All that day he’d done it, but Mommy and all the other grown-ups just gave him the same responses of “Uh-huh” and “That’s nice” and “Oh yeah?” and “Really?”. They weren’t hearing him. Sometimes it was easier to just whine and tantrum and coo and get loved on for it.
BONG! BONG! BONG!
Charlie snapped his head up. “The clock!” he whispered to himself. He knew that toll anywhere, even after all these years. What was it doing so close to here? It could only mean one thing: Malacus had come back to Scrumpton.
Over the years, whenever a new kid was brought into daycare, just before they completely cracked, Charlie would manage to overhear their ramblings before it went into full on babblings.
There had always been mentions of worlds underneath beds (before they turned into cribs) and closets and cupboards and mirrors and wardrobes and holes in the ground. At least once it was something about a cardboard box in an attic. But never a clock. That meant that kid he’d seen the other day…
Where was that noise coming from?
“Okay, Charlie,” Mommy said as she came in. Her robe was already open, her breasts engorged. Other than her silvering hair she looked exactly as she had the day when the Charlie had found that clock. “Time for one last bit of num-nums.”
“Mommy! No!” He cried out. Looking over to the window. “I hear the clock, Mommy! I hear the clock. No!” He picked himself up and ran to the window, trying to show her, trying to let her know. “Look!”
“Oh yes-yes-yes!” Mommy cooed, a smile plastered on her face. “It’s time for num-nums, then bed.”
Charlie was already cradled in her arms before he could protest, her nipple brushing against the corner of his mouth. Instinct and routine kicked in and he latched on; suckling and moaning even as he struckled. A few gentle pats on his back and some slight bouncing quieted him down. “Shhhhh, that’s right. That’s right. Good baby.” She started swaying slowly, rocking him to sleep. At least she was still by the window.
Trying to keep his lids from shutting and his eyes from rolling into the back of his head, struggled to power through the ecstasy and keep his eyes trained on the window along his periphery. In the empty lot by their house, a heavy fog rolled in, a sentient mass of clouds obscured everything outside.
The sounds of clicking and clacking could be heard through Charlie’s window. Earth being moved and paved. Framework being put up. Bricks being laid and plumbing and electrical being installed and rigged up. All in a matter of seconds. Charlie couldn’t see it because of the mist (and his mother’s boob in his face) but he could sure as hell hear it.
The sleep started to overtake Charlie. His lids were drooping. His tummy was getting full. Unconsciousness would claim him, and he’d most likely awaken just in time for Church tomorrow.
BONG! BONG! BONG!
That sound! Charlie unlatched and craned his neck just in time to see: Like steam on a skillet, the mist evaporated up into the air. Where once there was an empty lot and a patch of grass, a new two story house stood. So that’s what it looked like from the outside. He felt his diaper warm and become damp, and this time it wasn’t just because he hadn’t had his potty training for well over a decade and a half.
“See you soon, kid…” Charlie whispered.
“Time to switch,” Mommy cooed, moving him over to the far tit. Charlie closed himself off and just enjoyed the milk; the warmth; the intimacy. No point in worrying about things he couldn’t control. Speaking of which, he hoped Mommy plugged in the wipe warmer. It’d be easier for him to stay asleep during a change if the wipes were warm.