The Pellegrine

Soul Lark

Book II

Chapter 4

© The author reserves all rights to this work.


This story is of an adult nature. It is not intended for minors nor for those whose law in their land forbids them to read this material.
This story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and unintentional.

NB: Words found between asterisks (*) refer to words exchanged in psychic or telepathic communication.

Date: 23 April 2080, Tuesday

“You did WHAT …?” exclaimed Gertrude Vengrom-Krueger.

“You heard me,” said Lars Vengrom with a grunt.

“How could you? He’s your flesh and blood!” said Gertrude.

“Jorg is no longer our son,” Lars enunciated each word carefully and bitterly.

“You don’t speak for me. I gave birth to him and we activated his powers together. I can't stop you from hurting him but I won’t allow you to make decisions for me!” shouted Gertrude defiantly.

“You don’t understand, Gertrude. He’s one of them homosexuals. It’s an abberation of nature. I can’t allow this to contaminate the Vengrom line,” said Lars bitterly.

“Contamination?!! Are you blaming me now? Are you saying that his sexual orientation has everything to do with me and nothing from you?!” Gertrude’s shouting was getting even louder.

“I don’t like your tone with me, woman,” said Lars. His psychic hackles were raised and poised.

“Lars Vengrom!” said Gertrude icily. Her own psychic hackles were also raised. “You drove our first born son away and disowned him without consulting me. You let your own bigotry blind you to the son who worships you and have passed on that poisonous attitude to Marie and Ivar. I AM your wife, your partner, your equal. I’m NOT your maid nor your subordinate nor your slave. I WON’T have you taking that kind of tone with me, either!”

Lars backed off for he knew that Gertrude was a much stronger magus than he was.

“You're a magus, a rescuer,” continued Gertrude, “How can you afford to be so narrow minded? Do you mean to tell me that if you meet a gay person in your rescue, you’ll pass over him?”

Lars did not answer.

“Lars,” Gertrude’s voice was more subdued. “We’re family. As parents, we must love our children. We must be there for them. We may not necessary agree with their lifestyle choices, but we must love them. I’m not talking about giving in to them or being submissive. I’m talking about bearing their sufferings and crises with them. I’m talking about not judging our children but being there with them. I’m talking about wanting what’s best for our children and allowing them to be happy. That’s our responsibility as parents.”

“And what about their responsibility to us?” asked Lars. His eyes were flashing, as if in triumph. “Aren’t they supposed to be good children and not cause us heartache?”

“What do you think he was doing?” asked Gertrude. “Do you think he came to tell you his decision to spite you? He didn’t want to lie to you. He's been struggling with this for years. He knew that you didn’t like gays but he’s now in love with another man. He made a choice to hope that you still loved him and wanted him to be happy. We don’t own him, Lars. We’re his nurturers. We nurture and teach him. We taught him well. He decided to come clean with you instead of hiding the truth from you and me.”

“Apparently we didn’t teach him enough!” said Lars bitterly. “He decided to become a homo even when I’d taught him never to go down that path!”

“It’s all about you, isn’t it?” retorted Gertrude. “You neither care about his happiness nor spare a thought for him or any of your children. You want your children to make you happy without a thought about their own happiness. You’d rather Jorg live a life of loneliness and misery so that you can be comfortable in your life. That’s pathetic, Lars! It’s so self-centred; it’s unbecoming of a magi rescuer.”

Lars did not reply. He merely moved himself far away to avoid any other contact with his wife.

That night, Gertrude apologized to Jorg and told him what had happened.

¤ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ¤

Date: 22 June 2086, Saturday

Jorg and Martin had been married six years. A week after Martin proposed the two left for the Netherlands and exchanged vows. Old Mrs. Krueger was present. Gertrude and her two younger children were also present. Jorg was a little sad that his father was absent. However, it meant a lot to him that his mother, Yanek and Sheila still treated him as part of the family. He pushed his negative thoughts aside and took up the joyous moment when he and Martin said I do.

Jorg had told Martin about his father’s reaction to their marriage and how he had been disowned. He also explained how his grandmother had been supporting the both of them. Thus, it was decided that they would be based at the farm. Martin did not really have a need for an office in the city as his main work was ‘on-site’ and the design could be conceived just as easily at the farm as in the city.

It was also Jorg’s birthday. In reality, he was sixty-six, but he only looked in his mid-thirties. The Magi Administrative Corps had helped him in the wedding application. Based on the date given, he was only thirty-six. Martin, who was forty-two, was going to bring him out for dinner. Despite the heavy workout he had at the farm, Jorg remained on the thin side. Genetically, he was not predisposed to having well developed muscles without biomedical help. Martin, on the other hand, was one of the typical mesomorphs who was naturally endowed with bulk and definition. He exercised a fair bit and was more serious about what he ate after turning forty. All the strict regimen would go on hiatus for the significant days in the couple’s life: birthdays and their wedding anniversary. The strict diet would also be forgotten when they celebrated Mrs. Krueger’s birthday.

Jorg’s face was grim as he stirred his coffee. He had finished his daily chores and had just gotten a cup of coffee when he heard his mother trying to contact him. His father had slipped in the bathroom and had broken his right femur.

“What’s the matter, dear?” asked Mrs. Krueger who had already lost all her magi powers.

“Mom just informed me that Dad is in Magi Hospital.”

“What happened?”

“Dad got up with a foul mood this morning. Since he threw me out, he hadn’t been himself. I feel guilty. I’ve been living a happy life but he’s absolutely miserable. Perhaps, if I hadn’t told him about Martin and me …”

“Then? The both of you would be hurting. Martin may be over it by now. You? You’d probably be miserable trying to keep your father happy. What about that other matter of the Rescuers. Would you have gone back to Rescue Training if you left Martin? You’d be more devastated than you are now.”

“Well, Grandma, my heart aches to see him but Mom tells me that he’s still bitter over my decision. I told Mom to tell him that I miss him but I don’t know if he’ll get angrier if he hears it.”

“He’ll get angry all right,” said Mrs. Krueger with a distant look in her eyes. “If Gertrude wasn’t a more powerful magus than he was, I’d have never agreed to the match.”

Jorg pricked his ears. This was something in his parents’ past that he never knew.

“Your father had a reputation in the Rescuers as being someone who stuck to the rules. The only person who was willing to be his partner was Nic Sklerer. The rest of his squad were afraid of him. He stuck too close to rules. Sklerer was the only one flexible and quick-thinking enough to work with Lars. Of course, he was also the perfect gentleman. Your mother was one of the best women rescuers in the Corps. She was more like Sklerer in many ways. She thought on her feet without throwing away the rules. Why she ended up with Lars is a mystery to me. They always double dated and the men would pick up your mother before picking up Elise. I could see what Lars was like but your mother didn’t waver. I was afraid that Lars might bully your mother but when your Grandfather and I found out that your mother was at least two levels above your father, we gave our blessings.”

Jorg sat there a little dumbfounded. “If Dad is level thirteen, then …”

“Yes. Your mother was offered instructorship but she decided to step down an start a family. Your father continued in the Corps.”

Jorg felt terrible. When Martin came back, he almost wanted to cancel the dinner date. Fortunately, Mrs. Krueger pulled him aside and told him not to worry too much about his father. A greater surprise came when Gertrude turned up at the front door.

*Sorry for not calling, Jorg. Yanek and Sheila helped me and so I could come here earlier. They send their regards on your birthday.*

*How’s Dad?*

*What? No greeting for your mother?* Gertrude’s mental voice was amused.

*Sorry, Mom. I was so worried about Dad. I’m glad you came and please convey my thanks to Yanek and Sheila as well.*

*I understand,* Gertrude was smiling. *Your father’s fine. His bone will heal in time and he&rsquo'll be able to walk. He’s temper … well … Let’s just say that he could work on improving his temper.*

Just then, Martin came down after his shower. He was all dressed up. “You made it, Mom,” he said smiling. Martin took to Gertrude well and Gertrude was not adverse to being addressed as Mom by him. “Jorg looked so worried when you didn’t turn up at the appointed time. Grandma kept telling us it was all right but Jorg was still worried.” No one had told him what had happened. “I was wondering if I had to cancel the reservation,” he added with a smile.

“Jorg’s a worrier. We deliberately kept that away from you so that he could be married off. It’s too late to change your mind. You’re stuck with him for better or worse. You can’t return him,” said Gertrude with a grin.

“Worrier or not, I still love him. You can’t take him from me,&rdquo laughed Martin who noticed that Jorg was bright red.

“Enough chatter. You’re going to miss your train if you continue,” said Mrs. Krueger, motioning the couple to leave. “Have a smashing evening, you two,” she said as they left the house.

¤ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ¤

Date: 4 December 2086, Wednesday

Lars Vengrom’s femur had healed at a slower rate than anticipated. His temper flared up when he was told, after eight weeks of his accident, that he had to stay at the hospital for another month or so. This outburst caused a minor stroke in the man. The doctors were quick to treat the patient but the few seconds had taken away his speech and psychic communciation abilities. This kept the room quiet but the man continued to be obstinate with his eyes. As he could neither communicate audibly nor mentally, he wrote. This was also very frustrating for the man. Another stroke occurred and he became weaker. He kept getting weaker until mid-November when he became totally bed-ridden. He now communicated with a nod or a shake of the head. Gertrude was constantly by his bedside.

Jorg received the message from his mother at eight in the morning. His father had taken a turn for the worse during the night. He was requested to be at the hospital.

Martin was in Spain with a project for the duration of the week. He would not be back by Friday. Jorg pictured the location of the hospital in his mental map and he was at the front door of the hospital. He walked to the main counter but before he could even make an enquiry, the was told that his father was on the third level at room 4.

Rushing towards the room, he was stopped by Ivar and Marie.

*What are you doing here?* demanded Ivar.

*I was asked by Mom to come,* replied Jorg. He was anxious to see his father.

*Only family members are allowed in. You’re no longer part of the family,* Marie answered.

The retort stung Jorg to the core. Marie and he used to share great times as children and they were close. Her mental voice was cold and vicious, something that he had never experienced before with his sister.

The doctor came out and tried to mediate. *Please, as the oldest child of Mr. Vengrom &hellip*

*He isn’t a part of the Vengrom family. I’m the oldest son,* proclaimed Ivar.

Gertrude came out and glared at Ivar and Marie. *Your father asked for him!*

*You would speak for him,* Marie retorted. She regretted it as soon as the thought came out. Gertrude lashed out against her. Marie staggered a little to keep steady.

The delay was too long. They heard an omnimous alarm and the group rushed into the room.

The doctor covered the serene face of Lars, signifying his death. Jorg noticed the face for an instant before the taunts started.

*You’re the cause of Dad’s death,* Ivar declared.

*You disappointed Dad through and through. First you left the Rescuers and then becoming a despicable freak. You broke his heart and he lost the will to live. Murderer!* contributed Marie.

Gertrude broke in but Jorg had caught all their taunting thoughts. He just stared into space and disappeared. Gertrude managed to locate him and found him outside the hospital. His eyes were red and empty. He was staring aimlessly hopelessly lost in his grief. His mother managed to snap him out of his stupor.

*A few seconds and you’d become a psychic cripple. Don’t ever do that again, understand?!* Gertrude’s loud mental voice boomed into Jorg’s head.

*Stay away Mom, I’m guilty of patricide. I need to be punished. I need …*

*Listen Jorg! Your father asked for you. His mind was reconciliatory. Don’t let those two mess you up. You didn’t do anything wrong!* his mother emphasized.

*But I arrived too late …*

§ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ §

Date: 30 April 2661, Tuesday

Jorg was interrupted from his memories by another call from Miriam.

“Do you want me to set up a meeting?” she asked.

“Yes, please,” Jorg replied. Then, as an afterthought, he added, “Please don’t say that I’m assigned to him.”

“As you wish, Jorg,” said Miriam respectfully.

After Miriam confirmed the appointment, Jorg left instructions with his computer, “Jemma, I’ll be away for at least a few hours. Take down messages. I’m not to be contacted until I return.” Then as an afterthought, Jorg added, “Jemma, you may go to sleep mode.”

“Very well, Jorg” droned the computer.

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