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I Am Not Your Mother, I Am A Dog... by Halrloprillalar
Summary: Complete title: "I Am Not Your Mother, I Am A Dog, Said The Dog". Deslea's rec: "A short, sad moment in the life of Jeffrey Spender. This one seems all the more vivid for its simplicity. Quietly powerful."

SPOILERS: Up to and including "William".

TITLE: I Am Not Your Mother, I Am A Dog, Said The Dog
AUTHOR: Halrloprillalar
EMAIL ADDRESS: prillalar@runbox.com
DISTRIBUTION: Archive anyhwere. Email forwarding is okay.
SUMMARY: Jeffrey Spender reads a book.
MORE FIC: http://come.to/prillalar

A very short one for the road. Inspired by "William"
but more a 2F/1S piece.

April 29, 2002

by Halrloprillalar prillalar@runbox.com

Jeffrey had the book. It wasn't the same copy, though, with
his name written in the front in faded green ink and a grape
Kool-Aid stain on page five. That had been lost when those
bastards trashed his apartment. When they trashed his life.

But it was the same book. He read it when the pain in his
chest got too bad. He could hear her voice reading the words
aloud, coaxing him to recite along with her. He could see
her fingers, smoke-yellow, pointing out the bird, the dog,
turning the pages. He remembered how terrible she smelled
and how much he loved her.

And when the pain got worse, he stopped reading.

Jeffrey made a cup of tea. There wasn't much around to eat,
so he put in extra sugar. He sat down on the couch and the
springs creaked. One of these days, it would break.

Last night, he'd stayed in his room because Alex had someone
over, some alien or spy or trick. Today, Alex was out and
there were new rings on the coffee table, glasses with a sad
quarter-inch of melted ice in them. The bottle of whiskey
was still a third full. Jeffrey drank his tea.

Alex had plans for him, Jeffrey knew, but Jeffrey had plans
for himself first. When he could walk further than across
the room without wanting to sit down, he was off.

First, he'd find his mother. They'd taken her and taken her,
but he'd get her back again and this time, she'd be safe.
He'd find a place for her and she'd be safe forever.

And then he'd find his father and make him pay.

On the corner of the table was an ashtray with six, no,
seven butts spilling out of it. Jeffrey wanted to take the
ash and rub it on his book, so it would smell right again.
There was a half-empty pack of Players, too, and a lighter.

Jeffrey read. "Are you my mother?" He closed his eyes and
drank more tea. Then he shook out a cigarette, lit up, and
turned the page.


Too long, eh? prillalar@runbox.com

NB: Spender's book is "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman
and a very good book it is, too.