Sage Tyrtle

The Baby Talk

I am flying on dark and terrible wings around the CN Tower when Vyrid says, “Babies. Let’s have babies.” I look up. He’s sitting on the top of the tower, eating a storm cloud. 

“We don’t want babies,” I say.

Vyrid shakes his head and every shake takes three and a half months. “Maybe, though. Maybe now we do.”

I swoop over the Gardiner Expressway and land on the shore of Lake Ontario, shaking the earth. The lake sloshes.

Vyrid steps over the Gardiner, stubbing his toe on a motorcycle and stomping it into a pancake in a fit of pique. He wades into the lake. His skin cools from green to a sparkling turquoise. “Just think about it for a second. Our baby could be born with my horns and your lava eyes.”

I sit in the sand, popping sunbathers like bubble wrap. Soon, Mayor Tory will call in the planes and the bombs and we’ll have to flee. I don’t mind. We haven’t been to Europe for a while. I’ll wear the Eiffel Tower as a hat. “Who’s gonna take care of a baby while we’re playing Whack-A-Mole with cruise ships?”

Vyrid doesn’t say anything. He’s licking a passing airplane like a lollipop and the tiny people inside are screaming.

I wade into the water, lean my head against his scaly shoulder. “I mean, what is it about us that says ‘nurturing’ to you?” I wave two tentacles in the air.

Vyrid hurls the airplane south, and I watch the plane steady itself and fly on. Next stop America, whether they were headed there or not. “Don’t you ever want more than this?” Vyrid says, stroking the sensitive ridges on my neck.

I look at the weeping sunbathers, cradling their dead. I picture a slobbering horned baby, tapping my nine milk-swollen nipples with a frown, and I sweep water with my tentacles toward the sand, the resulting wave filling the Rogers Centre and now no one cares if the Blue Jays or the Marlins win the game.

Without looking back I launch myself upwards and burst through the high white clouds, and fly, and fly, and fly.

Sage Tyrtle‘s work is available or upcoming in X-R-A-Y, Pithead Chapel, and Cheap Pop among others. She started writing on an IBM XT in 1986, had an online journal in 1995, a podcast in 2005, and hasn’t owned a smartphone since 2014. She hopes she’s still an early adopter, but this time of an analog-based life.

A Song for Sage

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