Marla had her three pairs of spectacles on and was sat upon the very high stool that Kedron had constructed
out of their old, pine wood loft bed to match her salvaged, pine wood easel.
Kedron wasn't anything close to a carpenter, but he figured most things out pretty quickly, given the right tools -
and, goddamn, did Marla have tools...
Sudden, there was a knock at the door.
"KEDRON!", Marla bellowed as if her life depended upon reaching the ear-less.
She continued painting, mostly sure Kedron was handling whomever was visiting, as Marla had reason to believe
it wasn't anyone they knew, nor anything that warranted a full stop to what she was doing at the moment.
The doorbell was now being leaned on,
a noise that took years off Marla's life every time she heard it, not being a fan of loud, guttural buzzes;
it made her think of metal bees with electric wings made by Germans to herd rabid cattle.
On that note, Marla jammed all her loaded, long stemmed brushes into her hair, tossed the dinner plate pallet to the floor
and hopped down from the stool, hiking up her heavy metal-smithing gown with the urge to destroy anything in her path.
After eleven wooden clog stomps down the hallway,
after twenty-five steps leading down,
after a nearly mangled lock mechanism was released,
Marla ripped the front door open creating a wind so forceful, a pound or two of dried leaves whirled their way to her feet.
Eyes forward, jaw tense, she saw nothing.
came a squeaky voice below her postured chin.
Marla looked down, noted that her veins had become rivers of sickled ice, and stood just as frozen with fear.
Kedron was now casually stepping out from behind Marla, touching her shoulder in gentle pardon.
He met with the eyes of the tiny visitor and smiled lightly.
"You've come without your mother?", Kedron asked, sliding his hands into his denim pockets.
Marla was seemingly speechless as she looked at Kedron with a mix of confusion and disdain.
She quickly grabbed his sleeve to pull him inside the vestibule for a word.
Kedron hated when she yanked at him like that, but knew it was merely a product of her emotional overdrive.
"What?", Kedron asked like the bomb expert he was.
Marla's entire body was trembling despite its battle stance.
"WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??", She hissed.
"That's Louise's son... we'll be looking after him for a few hours."
"Son"? Marla gasped with a whip-lashing turn of her head. She eyeballed the very small human and grimaced.
"Yes. I know,", Kedron said touching Marla's cheek with his thumb, "I've never seen a child before, either...
not up close. Only yesterday did I find out what one looked like. All this time I mistook them for something else."
"How can you be sure this isn't some wildly cunning gnome?", Marla said slowly, still gawking at the youth.
"Louise is a friend of mine from work and she asked if we'd babysit today... only a couple of hours.", Kedron explained.
"BABY??", Marla shouted, looking back at Kedron.
Lowering his head and aligning his eyes in softness,
Kedron sought to calm his poor wife so they could all move into the house
and out of the doorway
before someone noticed this "deformed" little creature on their porch.
"Listen, beautiful... think of it as a lost cat.
We'll take it inside, feed it and leave it something harmless to destroy."
Marla kept her eyes on Kedron waiting for more convincing towards this being a good idea while
digging into her panel pocket for a smoke.
"I certainly hope it gets along with the other cats... I'm too busy to be chasing all these animals around with the squirt gun, today."
With that, Marla ascended the stairs and returned to the studio.
Kedron regarded the boy with a kind expression trying to hide his reservations about the very bulbous head of this creature
compared to it's squirmy, under developed fingers with their uselessly thin and tiny claws.
"Want something to eat, then?"
The boy looked cautious. "I'm not hungry."
"Good man...", Kedron replied, "I take it you'd rather catch the meal yourself... nothing but Blue Jays in the yard, today I'm afraid."
Marla's hearing was not the greatest, but she heard that.
"Let's first find out how old it is before feeding it anything... might have to chew its food for it.",
she hollered with a paintbrush between her teeth.
"Aye.", Kedron said, noting the boy's hairlessness. "How old are you... a couple of weeks?"
The boy's eyes could get no wider.
"I'm six years old."
"HE'S SIX YEARS, BABE... WHAT DO YOU THINK?", Kedron relayed to Marla.
"SIX??", Marla barked. "He may not have any teeth left...
give him a can of the soft stuff and point him to the litter. He'll be fine."