His Name

His grey-green master came to see him in the morning.

The sun was up, and it was eight thirty by his clocks, which seemed accurate. He’d just completed showering, shaving, and his other personal matters when he turned and saw her. His house was at a level where she could comfortably look in on him without bending much.

The intrusion infuriated him. Shouting profanities at her tempted his tongue, but he held back, instead smiling at her. Still smiling, he gave a mock smile and bowed. He wondered how she would take that, and then turned his back on her to go down and make breakfast.

“Tolleaf,” she said.

She’d said that before, he remembered. Stopping, he turned and looked up at her.

“Tolleaf,” she said.

This is probably his name, he realized. What she’d decided to call him. He shook his head. “No. No.” Pointing at himself, he said, “Thomas.”

“Tolleaf,” she said.

“Thomas,” he said. He hit his chest with his fist. “Thomas. Thomas.” He hit his chest again. “Thomas.”

Bending closer to his house, she opened her yellow eyes wide. He watched her irises and pupils change. The capillaries and arteries in her eyes looked like a garden hose.

“Thomas?” she said.

Thomas nodded. “Yes.” He nodded again and pointed at himself. “Thomas.”

“Thomas,” she said.

He felt sick that this made him feel happy.


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