10-17-2011, 05:08 PM
Serenity, Criss' twenty-five-million-dollar estate, lived up to its name that spring evening. The shrubbery, just beginning to bud, swayed gently in the desert breeze. A soft trickle of water from the fountain in front of the sprawling mansion accompanied the few birds twittering in the trees. The setting sun gilded the tiled landscape with a coppery golden light.
This quiet scene was shattered by the booming thump of car stereo woofers as Criss swerved up the main drive and parked by the front door. He shut off the engine, killing both the noise and the insufferable heat inside the Rover, to the great relief of his brothers in the back seat. JD and Costa bolted out of the Rover to cool off in the evening air. "Oh, man!" JD exclaimed, airing his sweating body by flicking his shirt, "thank God we're home!"
Costa said nothing; he just peeled off his sweat-drenched shirt and cast it aside as he strode toward the giant pool in the back of the mansion, all the while cursing his younger brother for nearly baking him alive, eggs or no eggs. When he reached the rear patio, he unbuckled his belt, pulled down his khaki shorts and briefs, and dove nude into the crystal clear water, savoring the refreshing chill of it. He surfaced, tossed his head to clear the water and his hair from his eyes, and whooped in a combination of relief and triumph. "Come on in, bro!" he called to JD. "The water's fine!"
JD watched all this from a distance at first. The pool did look tempting, especially from that sweltering ride in the Rover, so he pulled off his clothes as well, but kept his briefs on for the sake of his dignity, and dove into the pool as well. His overheated flesh cooled off instantly on contact with the water. It was bliss.
He emerged and turned to Costa. "Oh, man, that feels good!" he said, wiping the pool water from his face. He looked around. "Hey, where's Criss?"
"Tending to his eggs, I guess," Costa replied, shrugging.
JD looked through the large glass windows leading to the living room. "I see him," he said. "Yeah, he's got those eggs all right."
Costa chuckled a little. "Wouldn't it be funny if they hatched?"
"Well, I don't know how funny it would be," JD said, shrugging, "but that's Criss' problem. He's the one who took them from their nest, so he's responsible for them."
Inside the house, Criss laid the bundle of eggs gently on the seat of an overstuffed chair. "I hope you little guys made it all right," he said anxiously. "God, I hope I'm not too late."
With a feeling of trepadition he unwrapped the eggs. A flicker of movement startled him. He spread out the shirt covering to reveal six quivering balls of wet featherdown set among broken shards of eggshell. There was a tiny peep, then another, then another, then all six joined in the chorus celebrating their emergence into the world.
Criss could only stare at this miracle in awed silence. My God! he thought. They're alive! They all made it! Oh, thank You, God! Thank You!
He got up and dashed toward the pool. "Hey, guys!" he shouted. "They hatched! The eggs have all hatched! Come on! Check it out!"
JD and Costa reluctantly pulled themselves out of the pool to see what was happening inside the house. They managed to find a couple of towels in the small cabana used as a dressing room and dried themselves off, Costa wrapping his around his naked hips. "Okay, what's the deal?" JD asked.
Criss pointed excitedly at the overstuffed chair. "Look!" he cried happily. "They hatched!"
He knelt down beside the t-shirt nest and gently stroked the ducklings' tiny heads. "Hey, little guys!" he crooned. "How ya doin'? Happy birthday! Welcome to the world!"
Last edited by Veritas; 10-19-2011 at 07:02 PM.