WARNINGS: This story includes explicit descriptions of sexual acts. If reading this might involve you or another person in an illegal act, or you are offended by the exploration of adult themes in literature or on the Internet, do not read further.
Copyright 1998 by Jane Urquhart
The author is a member of the Net Authors and Creators Union (NACU), which defends the rights of Internet authors and creators. NACU intends to bring suit against any person or corporation infringing copyright.
Specific permission is granted for publication in the news groups Alt.Sex.Stories and Alt.Sex.Stories.Moderated and for archiving by the Alt.Sex.Stories.Moderated archive and DejaNews. All other rights are reserved. Do not repost or distribute by any other means without express permission from the author.
NOTE: This story is part of a series. Later stories sometimes refer to earlier ones, but each also is meant to stand alone. Four stories have appeared previously--"Janey's January," "Janey's February," "Janey's March" and "Janey's Trip."
ANOTHER NOTE: After this, read Sandman's "French Kisses" to get the male point of view on the events narrated below.
Well, that's not exactly true, as you'll see in a minute.
The thing is, I couldn't have written anything this month, anyhow, especially since I didn't do a thing that you'd be interested in. My daughter got sick. She's only eight years old, and all kinds of awful things have been going around in the Boston suburbs all this winter. We went on holiday, and as soon as we got back she got something. She had a bad sore throat, and she was allergic to the antibiotics. She had to go to the hospital, which scared me worse than the disease, hospitals being what they are today. So I spent a lot of time at the hospital in Newton, and I prayed a lot, and I was absolutely petrified. Bob, my husband, was worse off than I was. You know how men are when they can't do anything about something; it drives them nuts. So he was teaching his classes with big black circles under his eyes and bumping into things and wanting to kill somebody, only he didn't know who to kill. (I know, Celeste, that should be "whom," but did you ever hear anybody say, "I don't know whom to kill?" I haven't, so the hell with it.) Besides, nobody's to blame--life's a bitch.
Judy's perfectly fine now. To hear her tell it she just had a big adventure and she doesn't see why everybody's keeping an eagle eye on her and wrapping her up like the Michelin man every time she gets in a draft. Bob's sleeping again--that's actually his greatest talent, even if he is the best medieval historian in the whole world and the dearest man I know. Me, I'm still shaking like an oak leaf in a gale. And let me tell you--compared to worrying about a sick kid, sex is nowhere.
Unfortunately, I also suffered what I thought was another, lesser but still horrible, disaster. My mother came up from Texas to help keep things going and look out for my oldest, Alan, who's ten and swears his sister was shamming, while Bob and I were running back and forth from the hospital. That wasn't the disaster--I was really glad she came, because she's an absolutely wonderful person. She loves my father, and that's what led to the disaster.
See, I keep my story files buried in the computer in a folder called "etymolgy," which is in another folder called "voced" for "vocational education," and that's in yet another called "univbus" for "university business." I figured those were places nobody in her right mind would go to look if she were just messing around with the computer. Actually, there's nothing wrong with my system that wouldn't have worked perfectly well if I hadn't left a printout of "Janey's March" lying right next to the keyboard when the school called and told me Judy was sick.
Somebody else's mother would have put Alan to bed and watched Entertainment Tonight or the latest news about Monica Willy Tripp on the TV. Or read a big coffee table book I bought called English Gardens. Or, possibly, picked up a copy of A Spanish Lover that I had just finished--Joanna Trollope is really good. But that's not my mother.
She waltzed right over and sat her cute little derriere down at my desk, fired up the computer, and started to write a letter to my father. Then she saw my printout. She read it--what would you do? Then she hit the Start button, clicked on "Find," and typed in the filename, which, unfortunately, was right on the top of the printout. Whirr, whirr, and up pops "C:\msworks\univbus\voced..." My mother's no dummy--she probably knows more about computers than I do. I am undone, and I don't even know it--I'm five miles away and frantic about poor Judy.
When I got home--even mothers of sick kids have to sleep sometime--she was just awfully sympathetic, forced me to sit down in one of our big floppy chairs and made me a cup of tea. Loose tea, in a pot, none of the crappy teabags I use all the time. She asked me all about Judy, and how was Bob holding up (he was in bed at the time), and reassured me about Alan, whom, of course, I was worried about, too. I relaxed for the first time in about sixteen hours.
Then she smiled her absolutely most evil smile, and said:
"I didn't know you were interested in etymology."
"I'm not, particularly," I said, without a flicker of suspicion.
"Well, the projects you're working on looked interesting to me."
I'm often at loss about what to say, but my brain whirls around like mad all the time. It whirled. Stopped. The cold, hard glare of reality hit me like a ton of bricks.
"What projects?" I said weakly.
"Well, for instance," she said, still smiling, "I thought the Sandman project was particularly fine. I suspected you'd need that little spell sooner or later."
"You did?" I managed what I hoped would pass for a smile myself. Might as well go with the flow, that's what I usually do.
"On the other hand," she said, "I thought the fellow who asked you for Beth's phone number was way out of line." Oh, no. She read my fan mail, too. (Well, of course I get fan mail. You can send some to my mother if you want to. I'll read it before I give it to her, so she won't be shocked.)
"You read my stories, you even read my fan mail--that wasn't nice--and you're still speaking to me?" I was working up to being thunderstruck. I really like that word, mostly, I guess, because it happens to me all the time.
"Look, dear," she said, her smile turning into one of great superiority, "if you really think about this, you'll realize that I was sleeping with men before you were born. It's absolutely necessary in order to produce great hulking wenches like you."
"Well, yes, but that was my father," I said, gulping, "and, anyhow, since I couldn't possibly imagine that, I always assumed I was a product of immaculate conception."
"It's a smart girl who knows who her father is," she said. Then she had the gall to laugh at me when I turned pink.
"It's all right," she said, "He really is your father, I'm pretty sure. The other possibility was a fellow Angus called a 'wee, strange little man,' and since I'm not very big, you had to get your build from Angus."
Remember, it was eleven o'clock at night, I had been in a stew for as long as I could remember, couldn't sleep the night before, and was generally a wreck. She could have waited until morning to drop this on me. But I was sure as hell awake now. Have you ever gotten a new mother all of a sudden? It's a sobering experience.
"Look, you're going to tell me all about this, aren't you. I'm dying of curiosity, now."
"Well," she said, "I had an idea. Tomorrow, after Alan goes to school and you and Bob go away, I'll clean up this shambles you call home, and then I won't have anything to do for three or four hours. It occurred to me that it was most unlikely that you'd be able to write Janey's April in time. I doubt that you'll even have the steam to do the research." Another evil smile. "So I'll just write it for you. Naturally it won't be up to your usual standard, but I'd hate to see you miss a month. When you read it you'll know a little more about your origins."
I went to bed shaking my head.
Here's what she wrote:
MARY ELIZABETH'S APRIL
(FM, FM [same F, different M], then FMF, and
a couple more FM's, in each case not only cons
but positively salivated after by all concerned)
by Mary Elizabeth O'Brien MacDonald, A.B.
It was a dark and snowy night... All right, just kidding, I'll start again.
Since I don't belong to this jolly group that Jane's all involved with, I don't have to follow your silly rules about story codes, do I? I think mine are better. And I do find the younger generation strange when I read all the posts about grammar in your discussion group. Everywhere else, all I hear about is sex, and in your sex-story-author discussions you write about grammar. And you think we're weird!
Now I'll tell you my story.
.... There is more of this story ...