Monday, March 2, 2015
On the Bandwagon
A little while back we had a baby boom at Talbot’s Peak, and a subsequent scramble to find suitable names for all those rugrats (or rugsquirrels, or rugwolves, etc.). I couldn’t join in because none of my characters are in the family way. Then I remembered Virgil, the runaway werewolf, and Destiny, his partner on the lam. Destiny was pregnant at the start of the story. Sooner or later she’d have to give birth. It only takes about five-six days to drive cross-country (I’ve done it myself. Twice.), so either she was farther along than I thought or wolves don’t carry as long as we do. I’ll have to figure out shapeshifter gestation periods.
At any rate, eventually the kid arrives, and finding a name becomes paramount, for a number of reasons …
# # #
Destiny stood in the doorway of the little beach cottage. “And where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m taking Goober down to the beach,” Virgil said. “He does like to dig. Want us to look for clams?”
“His name is not Goober. He’s the son of alphas. No alpha in the history of any pack has ever been named Goober.”
“G’wan. He’s been a little Goober from the minute he popped out. Haven’t you, buddy?” Virgil made wet, sloppy noises against the baby’s belly. The baby crowed happily.
Destiny stamped her foot. “I will not let you name my son Goober!”
“Fine,” Virgil said. “You name him, then. It’s just a nickname anyway. I had to call him something, and ‘here, boy’ only works on dogs.”
Destiny practically snatched the baby out of Virgil’s arms. Startled, the infant yowled. She rocked him gently. “There, there, sweetie, mommy didn’t mean it. Listen to him howl! Those are alpha lungs. He’s going to have a commanding voice. He needs a commanding name.”
“He’s gone a week without one. He’ll last a while longer.”
“I’ve been thinking this over carefully,” Destiny said. “You don’t just slap any old name on an alpha. We have to think of the future.”
“Better pick something Italian, then, if we’re going to stay in New Jersey.”
Destiny’s expression let him know how little help he was being. “I said alpha, not mob boss. It has to be something classy. What was that city we passed when we got on the parkway?”
“Be serious. Camden. That was it. I like the sound of that.” She held the baby against her breast. He immediately latched on for a snack. “Camden Gregory Hancock,” she cooed. “That’s the name of an alpha.”
“That’s the name of a kid who gets beat up behind the swings in fifth-period recess. If you’re going to go in that direction, why not call him Princeton?”
“Because I like Camden. It has strength. Quit pouting, will you? It’s not like he’s yours.”
She knew she’d hit the wound head-on the second she said it. Both of them looked out separate windows. The newly-christened Camden finished his meal and slid his lips off his mother’s teat. Destiny handed him back to Virgil. “If you’re taking him to the beach, he’ll need protection,” she said briskly. “A hat or something. Let me see what I can find.” She darted out of the room.
The baby hiccupped. Virgil set the infant against his shoulder and patted his back. “Don’t listen to her, Goober,” he murmured.