Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

More Mefody Buslayev

In case you're wondering what the kid looks like:

Zozo Buslayeva put down the magazine and looked at her son thoughtfully. A normal twelve-year-old -- he looked normal, anyway. Thin with skinny shoulders. He was also not growing taller...He had three front teeth, to start out with, and long light brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. The uniqueness of his hair was that they really hadn't cut it since the moment of Mefody's birth. At first Zozo didn't do it because the child kicked, threw himself around and screamed like he was being cut; and then the grown Mefody started to claim that it hurt him for scissors to touch his hair. Whether this was true or not, Zozo didn't know. But when once, five years back, she'd tried to cut a piece of plasticine out of her son's hair, she'd seen blood on her scissors from who knew where...hen, calming herself, Zozo managed to open her eyes -- the scissors were completely dry, if we don't count one small brown speck.

Beyond the hair, there was still something else about Mefody which was no part of the diagram called 'twelve year old boy'. And that was his eyes. Slanted, not quite entirely symmetrical, and of a completely undefinable color. One person thought them gray, another green, another black, and a couple of men were ready to swear under oath that they were blue. In actuality, their color changed according to the light and the moods of Mefody himself.

Every now and then, especially when her son got angry or was agitated over something, Zozo -- if she happened to go near him -- felt a strange dizziness and weakness. It seemed to her that she descended in an elevator endlessly, into a narrow black mine. She almost really saw this elevator with its dim lamps, flat iron buttons, and boldface marker inscription: "Welcome to the Gloom!" She saw it, and couldn't shake off the hallucination in any way.

Here's Mefody's home life:

Mefody only knew that first there was Papa Igor. Then life rolled Papa Igor up into its carpet and carried him off somewhere. Now he showed up once every two or three years, bald and battered by fate; and he brought a little three-carnation bouquet to his wife and Chinese pistols to his son, and boasted that everything was
fine with him. A new wife and a company which repaired washing machines. However, Edward Khavron, who knew it all, claimed that Papa Igor's affairs were only so-so and it wasn't his company that did repairs, but himself.

...After Papa Igor, into Zozo and Mefody's life came Uncle Lyosha, Uncle Tolya, and Uncle Innokenty Markovich. Uncle Innokenty Markovich stuck around for a long time, almost two years, and he bugged Mefody with his quibbles. He made Mefody hang his trousers on a hook, wipe his own nose, and call him by his patronymic as well as
his first name. Then Uncle Markovich evaporated somewhere, and Mefody no longer bothered to memorize the rest of the uncles, so as not to overload his young memory.

You drive such nonsense into my brain cells, and there won't be any room for my classes! he reasoned.


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