I don't usually write "Four Brothers" stories. It's my first, and I wrote it for my friend Ophelia.
Well...I don't know if I really like this, actually. I think it's a cute idea, so I went ahead and put it up here. Let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Jack Mercer, rockstar beloved by women, was at a loss. Because of a girl. Who couldn't walk. Or speak. Rosie McDonald was the year old daughter of the Mercer's neighbor. It was this same neighbor who had shown up on the front step earlier that morning, the little girl in one arm and a babybag in the other. She handed Rosie off with a vague mention that Jack's mother had offered one of her boys as a babysitter.
It wasn't too bad at first, really. Rosie sat quiet in his lap and stared at the TV while he watched, or sat and listed to the guitar. When she fussed, he picked her up. And when that didn't work, he changed her, or gave her a bottle. That's how it had gone for the first couple hours, and that had been okay. It was nearly three - Bobby and Jerry out at work, and Angel gone with one girl or another - when she started fussing. Jack set aside his guitar and picked her up instead, lifting her over his head until she giggled.
"What are we going to do now, Rosie?" Jack started down the stairs, the little blonde already beginning to fuss again. He lifted her again, tossing her into the air over his head, but she screwded up her face as soon as he set her back. "What's wrong?" She simply wailed all the louder, kicking angrily. Nothing Jack did would calm her down; she didn't need a new diaper, and she threw away the bottle and bowl of cereal he gave her. He tried calling his mom, but she was out at someone's house, matching them up with a needy child. (The woman who answered, a mean-hearted old woman, told Jack that he would have to try back later, and they weren't interested in whomever he was trying to get rid of now. He made a face and hung up; one time, one neighbor who would have been happier somewhere else, and they never forget you.) Rosie was nearly in hysterics now, so he called the next person who came to mind. Bobby.
"That's wierd, Bobby."
"Cracker Jack!" Bobby laughed slightly, "What's up?"
"Mrs. McDonald left her daughter here-"
"Is that what the screaming is?"
"Yeah. She won't stop." Jack bounced said baby, trying in vain to silence her. Bobby waited expectanly and Jack continued, "I don't know what to do."
"Change her. Feed her." His voice was short, and it was apparent he thought this was all obvious. Jack told him, irritably, that he had tried all that, and Bobby sighed. "Well...does she need a nap?" Jack didn't answer, unwilling to admit he hadn't thought of that. Bobby seemed to realize, and he laughed. "Smooth, Jackie. Have fun with that."
"I hope your boss kills you."
"I could take him. See ya, Jack." Jack returned the goodbye and hung up. Rosie had buried her face against his shoulder, her thumb lodged securely in her mouth. As soon as he moved, she whimpered and shifted position. Put her to bed...but where? He carried her back upstairs to his room and set her on the bed. Where she cried - loudly - and rolled over, straight toward the edge of the bed. Jack caught her before she could hit the ground and stood holding her at arm's-length and staring at her. There was a trick to getting babies to fall asleep...He tired desperately to think of it through the crying.
"Oh no..." It dawned on him, and he was suddenly very happy there was no one there to help. Because it meant there was also no one there to hear what he was about to have to do. He cast around and finally picked one he remembered from being very little, just after Evelyn Mercer had adopted him.
"Hush, little baby, don't say a word.
Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird..."
Evelyn Mercer rushed into the house an hour later, after being told by a woman at the orphanage that Jack had called, and there had been someone screaming in the background. There was no noise in the house, and she had just opened her mouth to call for Jack when she finally spotted him. He was wedged in the corner of the couch, his chin on his shoulder, and baby Rosie sound asleep on his chest, her thumb in her mouth.
Meh, it's short. Let me know if I messed something up grammatically, please. I don't have spell check at the moment, so I may have missed something. If I feel inspired in the next few days (and if it seems like others don't really like it) I may rewrite this. Maybe. Review for me? Please?