Septemus 62



I was reading Octy a bedtime story when we heard them singing.

“Hear that, Octy?”

“Mommy song!”he said.

“Is your mom singing, too?”

“Think so,” he answered.

Oh, boy! Get ready, Pops! He was out working on the rocket, and I knew they were coming to pick him up!


I’m glad Pops likes spending time with our folks. Even if he never understands what they say, I think he gets it. He describes the feeling as a heaviness pressing down on his brain.

“That’s downloading,” I told him.

He said he understood that, but what he doesn’t know is how to make sense of what he’s downloaded, after he’s downloaded it.

“I can tell there’s information there,” he says,”But I just don’t know how to process it.”

Sometimes, I can help. I can pick up some of the bits and bytes from him and sort and sift them until suddenly, I know something that I didn’t know before.

I figure maybe our folks want to give him more practice. Either that, or they just really like spending time with him.


I glanced out the window to see the ship take off.  How I love that big eye looking down on us!

Octy had already fallen asleep.  I watched the ship rise. It’s funny–I’ve never even wondered why they don’t take me. I guess–when they come, it feels natural. It always feels right. If they wanted me, they’d pick me up. But they want Pops. So up he goes!


I hope he remembers something of what they tell him. He always asks me, “What do you think they said?” But how am I to know?

While Octy slept, and I waited for Pops to return, I sang to all my brothers and sisters–it feels so good to be doing that again:

The big eye came
and took my pops.

That’s OK,
he likes space-hops!

If your ma goes, or your dad
Just be happy
At all the fun
that’ll be had!


He was gone half the night. I waited up. I didn’t know how he’d be feeling when he returned. Maybe we’d have another little sibling, though I sort of hoped not–at least not this time. Octy is still very young, and Pops doesn’t yet seem completely recovered from the whole having-a-baby thing.

I hoped they were telling him more about the rebellion so that he’d be able to clue me in as to what I’m supposed to do. I’m feeling too old to just be going to school, singing silly songs to the pagotogo. I should be doing something!

I keep waiting for orders, and every time Pops has contact with them, I think he’ll be able to let me know what they are.

Or maybe, he’d need to talk. He always seems mildly confused when he returns.

Whatever it would be, I wanted to be awake when he got back, just in case I could help.


He came home happy, but he went right to bed.

“Not now, son,” he said. “Everything’s OK. I’m not pregnant. But I really just need to sleep, OK?”

I understand. He had a lot to process, and sleep’s the best way to do that.

“Sleep well, Pops,” I said. “Do your best to figure it out, OK? Maybe there’s a message for me? Or for Octy?”

He nodded and tumbled into bed. He was asleep immediately. I kept checking on him, making sure he was all right. He slept soundly, and he seemed comfortable enough.

The munchkin was up before Pops was, so I got him a snack and sat with him.

“Mommy?” he asked. “Where’s Mommy?”


I felt a dark lonely wind swirling deep within him.

“Did you think Mommy was coming?”

“She here. Where?”

I tuned into him, and I could feel a tendril of love. No words were attached. The only data was love. The wind died down. He breathed deeply.

“It’ll be OK,” I didn’t know what else to say.

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