a tale in weekly parts
You can see the full story so far at this link.
“Let me make sure I’ve got this right,” Madge said, “You have to do something small that ends up causing something big.”
“Affecting, rather than causing,” Alex said.
“Okay. But you don’t know what the small thing is, yet.”
“Or what the big thing is.”
“Or when the big thing that you don’t know anything about is going to happen, or when you have to do the small thing that you don’t yet know what it is.”
“You’ve got it, Mum. Well done,” Alice said.
“Don’t patronise your mother,” Al said, “she’s doing her best, bless her,” he added, patronisingly.
“One other thing,” Madge said, her chin rested in her cupped hand and her brow thoroughly furrowed, “Does Albert know what these events are, or when they’re supposed to happen?”
“Probably,” Alex replied.
“Or probably not,” Alice clarified, casting a glance at her father.
“Do you hear that, Aloysius? He wants the kids to do something, only he doesn’t know what or when; and he expects a result, but he doesn’t know what that’ll be or when it’ll happen. Are you going to sit back and put up with that? Are you going to let him put our kids in danger like that?”
“We don’t know that there’s any danger, Mum,” Alex said.
“You don’t know that there isn’t,” Madge replied; a touch of hysteria entering her voice, “Well, Al? What’ve you got to say for yourself?”
“Sounds par for the course,” he replied.
“Have you been listening?”
“Listening to what?”
“Just as I thought. Your kids are facing an unknown danger—”
“Or not,” Alice interrupted.
“Shut up! Don’t interrupt. They’re facing an unknown danger,” she looked at her daughter with an expression that implied that a further interruption could prove costly, “dreamed up by your inhuman father in one of his weird moods, and you can’t even be bothered to listen.”
“The reason I wasn’t listening, dearest, is because I have my mojo back. I am back in communication. Albert was explaining it to me, and I’ll tell you as much as I can later. Suffice to say you’ve no need to worry. Albert cares as much for our kids as we do. After all, he is their grandfather.”
“So I suppose that’s all right then, is it? I don’t think so.”
“Before you say any more, Madge, ask yourself one question. Do you really want to drive Alice away again? And before you answer, consider that this time, she’ll take Alex with her.”
Madge broke down in tears. “I don’t want to lose my kids,” she wailed, “but what can I do. They’re going to be in grave danger, I just know it. There must be some way I can protect them. And I didn’t drive her away before. You did, with your overbearing, domineering control-freakery.”
“C’mon, Bro,” Alice said, “Let’s go; let them carry on with their squabble. We don’t want to be part of this scene – in a restaurant, for goodness’ sake!”
“What about the dogs?” Alex asked.
Before Alice could answer, Al shouted, “Wait. Don’t go yet. Let’s go home and talk about this like responsible adults.”
“Okay, Dad,” Alice said, “You pay the bill, we’ll wait outside. I don’t know about Alex, but I can’t take much more of this embarrassment.”