Dust to Dust

The Never Ending Quest - Episode 88772

"Whaaaaat?!?!" Astra screamed so hard, the heavens shook! Then she remembered how close she was to them.

"Indeed, and in that universe, you love him dearly."

"We're married!?"

"And your septuplets were concieved in a moment of runaway passion."

"And have children? Seven children?"

"Seven wonderful babies: three boys and four girls."

"I have children with Fred?"

"I thought we had established that."

"Do you know how babies are made? Do you know what I feel when you tell me I've done that with Fred?"

"Now, Astra, technically you didn't do it, it was the Astra of the universe we're sending you to."

"But how is that even possible?"

"Ah, that's an interesting story: You were cursed by the evil dragon Minestus into the form of a half-human, half-fox. You seduced Fred instinctively, and he accepted, thinking you were a spirit of the forest. Minestrus was later slain by the dragon Malachi, whose own dieing words were to give you the Crystallic. You then took this Crystallic to the were- bare Synizn, who returned you to human form. After that, you married."

Astra blinked. It was too much to take in! She (or the she of the universe she was about to enter) had been cursed? And then restored by a were-creature? What did it all mean? Finally, she turned to the old man and asked, "Why are you telling me all this?"

"Because, Astra, due to their origins, the children behave differently around canines than the average child."

Astra thought for a long while. Finally, she said, "What's going to happen to the Astra of that universe while I'm there?"

"The whole ordeal I just described has been very exhausting for her. Her spirit is tired and weak. We are going to give her a sort of vacation in heaven, while you tend to her domestic affairs for her."

When Astra said nothing in a long time, the old man asked, "So, Astra, are you ready to meet your family?"

Astra wasn't ready, but couldn't think of a suitable excuse or question that would put it off any longer, so she nodded.

As the white light that had brought her here enveloped her, she couldn't help but thinking how crazy it was. Her? With children? Children that might behave like foxes? She had always thought foxes were cute when she was little, but still...

The white light receded. She looked around her. She was in a hallway, by an open door. This hallway was very familiar; she remembered running down it when she was only three years old. She was home! She was back at her castle! Was it all over? Could it be possible that even the conversation with the old man had been a dream?

Suddenly, a cry came from behind the open door. She remembered what that room was now: it was the nursery! She ran to see what was the matter, and found seven cradles labelled Harry, Thomas, Richard, Elizabeth, Theresa, Elinor and Melisande, in each of which was a beautiful little baby. "So it was all true," she thought, but before she could admire her children, the baby in the cradle labelled "Richard" started wailing again. She had to act quickly, or the crying would wake the others!

She picked little Richard up, and he stopped crying momentarily when he recognized his mother. But Astra didn't know a thing about being a mother! What would she do?

Almost instinctively, Astra cradled the baby in her arms, and...

  1. ...began to sing a song from deep in her memory: "Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop..."
  2. Meanwhile, Fred was wondering what was taking Astra so long

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