When I awoke the evening after I had birthed my son, my mothers fed me, then brought him to me. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever held. Tiny, red lips, a long, tiny nose, and large sleeping eyes under thin, copper-red eyebrows. His hair was auburn against his maple candy colored skin. I stroked it gently and rubbed his chubby cheeks as he suckled in his sleep. Jay and Anne had had their baby months before me, so Anne breastfed for mine while I was asleep. As Ina and humans differed in most aspects, however, my son needed my milk for complete sustenance. My mother-Shori guided me on breastfeeding him, and he took my breast easily, hungrily.
My mothers left me to be with him, and when he finished feeding, I called Aidan. We had already discussed names, so when he answered, I said, “Damien Ciaran Sullivan.”
He chuckled and sighed. “A boy.”
“A boy. He’s beautiful. He has your hair.” I smiled as he laughed and cheered. “Go to your computer. I’ll meet you there.”
“Be careful, little mate.”
I hung up, then gently placed Damien down. He opened his nickel-gray eyes but lay there contentedly while I climbed out of bed. My back, bottom, and legs were still sore, but I crossed the room slowly, took my laptop from my desk, and returned to bed. I turned it on and met Aidan on the video phone system. His smile brightened his face as I lifted our son for him to see.
“He is beautiful.”
“He will get a couple of shades darker, I think. My brother Nicky was this coloring when he was born.”
“His eyes will get darker, too. My sisters’ eyes all looked like that. Ciaran’s too.” His smile saddened a little, but then widened. “I imagine you and I will make even prettier children, just a little.”
I smiled at that. “Damien, do you recognize your father’s voice?” He responded with a small burp, and we laughed.
“I recognize that attitude, certainly. I will fly in tomorrow night. Get some rest now. I love you, Ruby.”
“I love you, too…Call your fathers.”
Aidan nodded. “I will do that now.”
We closed the channel, and I moved the laptop to lay Damien down. Then, I rested on my elbow and watched him. Of course, he didn’t do much but look around, smile at me when I stroked his belly. As he fell asleep, I kissed his hair and whispered into his ear before I fell asleep myself, “You are Ina. You are the future.”


Unknown said...

Thank you. You finished a story I always felt needed more closure and you did it perfectly. Again, thank you.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Oh my gosh, thank YOU!

name_unknown said...

As soon I finished fledging I googled fanfic cause I needed an ending so badly. Thanks for this.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Wow! You're very welcome!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful sequel to the book - you're a great storyteller!

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you...I have always wanted more after Fledgling. I'm very grateful you wrote and posted this.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Thank YOU for reading it. Fledgling means a lot to me.

Portia Spencer said...

Thank you so much for writing this! I found Fledgling earlier this year and was devastated when I found out about Octavia Butler. You stay true to the story and that made it the most satisfying fanfic I’ve ever read.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it! Fledgling is my favorite of her works, so that others find this and enjoy it means everything.

Kstone said...

Beautiful writing and an excellent sequel, I just reread Fledgling and knew someone would have wrote a fanfic for us OB fans. I think you did a wonderful job that Octavia Butler would have appreciated. I hope to discover that you’ve written more since this. Thank you for this ❤️

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Oh wow, thank you! I'm always happy to know there are more Fledgling fans in the world and that I could do a little more to complete Shori's legacy. <3

I have other short works on my blog and a YA Fantasy on Amazon. More to come down the road!