Albert and Jarvis part 26

a tale in weekly parts

This story is open for suggested continuations. I will publish here, with links to your own blog, all I receive. The one I like best will become (or form the basis for) the next episode of this collaborative tale.

You can see the full story so far at this link.

Episode 26

“Sorry, Dad, but I had to get away for a while. I’m having trouble dealing with this, too, you know.”

“You’re having trouble? You’re having trouble? Have you just found out that you’re only half human? Have you just learned that your father is a bloody shepherd’s hut?”

“No, Dad. I have just found out that the reason I don’t have any friends isn’t because I’m more brainy than the people I’m at school with; it’s because I’m some form of organic computer. I may be three-quarters human, but the important part of me; my brain; is mostly not human. I’ve just found out that I have abilities that no human has, and I don’t know what to do with them, and it scares me. Yes; you could say I’m having trouble dealing with it.”

“We had no idea it was this hard for you,” Xander’s mother said, “we just assumed you were okay with everything.”

“I am now, Mum,” Xander replied. “When I phased out earlier, we; Uncle Albert and I; went to a place where Christians did pilgrimages in the thirteenth century. I met with a monk called Henry the Pious, and he helped me to talk through a number of things, and gave me a perspective I hadn’t seen before. I’m actually quite cool about everything now, and I promise I won’t disappear off like Kr’veth’neq’is, I mean Alice, did.”

“And what about that bloody shimmering?” his father asked.

“I’ll try not to do too much of that, too, Dad.”

“I’d rather you didn’t do any. Unnerves me, that does.”

Once again, mother the peacekeeper stepped in. “Give the boy space to breathe, Father, and I doubt he’ll need to ‘shimmer’, as you call it.”

Xander looked pensive for a moment, as if he were listening to someone else; which, of course, he was; Albert was talking to him.

Xander turned to his father and said, “Here’s a thought, Dad. Why don’t we all go to the place in France where I met Henry the Pious? Not to his time, of course; the time-travel would mess with your heads too much; but we could go to Rocamadour as it is today. We could take Chav with us, too, he’d love it, and running up and down all those steps would use up some of his energy, too.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” his father said, “we can’t afford to go on holiday yet, and I can’t get the time off work at such short notice.”

“Won’t cost a penny; we’ll go in Jarvis—”

“That ricketty old thing’ll never get us to France!”

“It got me to 13th century France, Dad.”

“Go on, Father,” Mum said, “a holiday’ll do us good; even if it’s only a long weekend.”

Xander looked pensive again.

“Will it help, Dad, if I tell you that Kr’veth’neq’is will be there?”

His father’s face flushed with a joy seldom seen from the head of the Grahamson household.

“Make the arrangements, lad,” he said, “I’ll fix to have Friday and Monday off. They owe me some time for the extra days I worked over Christmas.”

“Yippee! Can Chav come?” Xander asked.

“Are dogs allowed?” his mother asked.

“Yes; I checked,” he lied. Although he knew that if Chav weren’t welcome (and his father wasn’t looking), he could whisk the dog away in no time. Literally.

“You’d better go tell your uncle,” his father advised.

“No need, Dad. He knows already. He’s talking to Jarvis about how the inside should be for the journey.”

“How the heck does he… oh, it doesn’t matter. I suppose I’d better get used to some strange things going on, being as I’m a bit strange myself; eh, Mrs G?”

“I’ve always suspected you were a bit strange, Mr G. Now I have confirmation, and I’m starting to understand why.”

They all laughed. The lady of the house skipped gaily into the kitchen to collect the rhubarb crumble and custard she had prepared for their ‘afters’, happily singing ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday‘ as she did so.

Happily, that is, until she saw what their little dog had just done.


This story remains open for suggested continuations. All I receive will be published here, with links to your own blog. The one I like best will become (or form the basis for) episode 27 of this collaborative tale.

This story was started in response to Kreative Kue 18, issued on this site on 30 March 2015.