cloutier: (music - a7x - the rev (RIP))
The living room is cluttered with baskets of flowers, blue balloons, and baby clothes. Congratulations cards litter the stairs. The answering machine blinks a red light, full of excited messages. An old mutt sleeps on the floor in front of the door.

Suddenly, the doorknob jiggles. The dog springs up and barks at the door. The door opens, and Richard Solanum escorts his wife into the house, toting a diaper bag. The dog barks louder, intrigued by the bundle in Elizabeth’s arms.

Elizabeth shushes the dog and kneels down gingerly. She shows the mutt what’s inside the bundle - a baby, with a head full of curly brown hair.

“Meet James, Juturna,” Elizabeth says softly. Juturna sniffs the baby’s face, taking in the new scent. The mutt then licks the newborn’s face. James coos.

Richard kneels down to join his family, scratching Juturna’s ear and kissing James’s forehead.

Elizabeth beams at her boys, her heart swelling with live. The most important chapter in her life is about to begin, and she can hardly wait to see how it unfolds.



- - -



The living room is cluttered with flowers, most of which have begun to wilt. Condolence cards litter the stairs. The answering machine blinks a red light, full of sorry messages. An old mutt sleeps on the floor in front of the door.

Suddenly, the doorknob jiggles. The dog looks up and slowly moves out of the way. The door opens and Richard Solanum escorts his wife into the house, toting a bag of cards. The dog whines, worried by the absence of a bundle in Elizabeth’s arms.

Elizabeth shushes the dog and kneels down gingerly to pat the mutt on the head.

“James isn’t coming back, Juturna,” she says softly. Tears well up in Elizabeth’s eyes, and Juturna licks her face.

Richard kneels down to join the remainder of his family, holding his wife and his dog close to him. Tears drip into Juturna’s fur.

Elizabeth looks at her boys, her heart aching. The most important chapter in her life has come to an end, and she doesn’t care to find out what happens now.
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June 2016

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