FDD MICROCYCLE: Angel-Snowdrop-Caterpillar
I don’t want to bring my son into town because I know people will stare and try to interfere. You know the kind of folks I’m talking about. Gossips and busybodies. They’ll look at him and say he’s sick; that his color looks bad; that he’s lethargic. A couple men, Jehovah’s Witnesses, I think, rang the bell last week. I answered with my boy in my arms, and they had the audacity to gasp when they saw Cullen. I just slammed the door in their stupid, pious faces. I have my own faith, anyway – my Lord tells me everyone is welcome, no matter how they look.
When Cully’s mom died giving birth to him, I buried her myself. It’s what we’ve always done in our family. We’ve had six generations of Dempseys come and go. Each one is on our property, six feet underground at the foot of the rock face. No gravestones. No need to tie them to their earthly names when they’re beyond. Their memories live on through our journals and essays. It’s what my great-many-time-over grandfather, Finian Domnall Dempsey, demanded of all his children, grandchildren, and so on. It’s how our legacy will endure.
I’ll admit to not being the best father over the first couple months of Cully’s life. I often forget to feed him. Sometimes I leave him alone for hours at a time if I need to run errands. I’ve never once heard him cry or whine, though. He’s very sweet like that. Not a complainer. One thing I’ve always remembered to do, though, since it’s hard to forget, is bathe him. As the time has gone by, his smell has gotten worse and worse. In the back of my mind, I know the reason. I’m not ready to admit it yet. My boy is healthy. Strong.
FDD MICROCYCLE: Angel-Sunflower-Lamb
This was one of our shorter microcycles, as we’re nearing its end. It feels good to write an update so soon, though; only about a month after the last one. Cullen hasn’t moved. The food I tuck into his mouth, hoping he’ll swallow, just sits there and putrefies until I turn him over and let it tumble out. That thing in the back of my mind I mentioned last microcycle is hard to deny nowadays. Cully’s gone unwashed for at least three weeks. Whenever I tried to do it, he’d get damaged. I can’t bear to hurt my boy. I’ve since swaddled him up in the tiny blanket Sine had knitted for him. I wish she could’ve seen him in it. He looks so peaceful.
FDD MICROCYCLE: Archangel-Thistle-Lion
I had to stop denying the reality of Cullen’s situation today. More and more of him had leaked through the blue pastel blanket his mother had made to keep him warm and safe. The entire house smelled of death. The end of the macrocycle just made the impending trip to the rock face that much more of a necessity.
At the foot of the rock face, above the bodies of those who came before me, countless flowers grew. Their bright faces shone with hope and encouragement, doing their best to cut through the morosity I felt. I carefully placed Cullen on the grass. I unwrapped the blanket and stared at the carcass of my son. As the wind took his odor away and poured it into the woods, I thought about the long wait I’d have to endure. Another three quarters of a year until I’d see my next Angel.
The swollen torso of Cullen collapsed inward as his livid flesh melted into the grass. His little mouth stretched open, popping softly as the decayed jawbone separated. His swollen tongue pushed itself out over his nose and forehead, followed by his esophagus, stomach, and intestines. A wanton orgy of flies descended upon the viscera, only to die the moment they touched the glistening surface. From the soil beneath my beloved boy, countless black tendrils of the finest gossamer erupted in an infinitely-long, omnidirectional spread. In my mind, I remembered the last words in Finian Domnall Dempsey’s journal he’d left before inaugurating the very first macrocycle: “…and corruption will begin its inexorable metastasis in testicles and breasts and bones.”
The carcinogenic tendrils of Archangelic filaments continued their eruption until the last of my beautiful boy had dissolved into the dirt. And he was gone. I mourned for what felt like hours and watched snowdrops, sunflowers, and thistles rise from the Cullen-fertilized ground. I felt empty. Alone.
I walked back into my home, trudged down to the basement, and unlocked the cage which held the soon-mother of my future Angel. I told her what her name would be, then I handed her a ball of yarn and two needles. Sine got to work immediately. Later that afternoon, I planted the seed of the new Cullen. All that’s left for me to do is wait.
FDD MACROCYCLE: Man-Pollen-Null