Paul Gadzikowski

King Arthur in Time and Space

Pudentiana's mother meets Merlin

"'Merlin'?" said Claudia. "This is the time-traveler you told me about?"

Merlin turned to Pudentiana, a huge smile dawning on his face. "Your mother?"

"Mom, Merlin. Merlin, my mom."

Merlin advanced upon Claudia and, to her surprise, threw his arms around her. "Grandmother!"

"What?" blurted Claudia, her arms coming up around Merlin with great tenativeness.

"Uh," Pudentiana hawwed, "it's a long story."

"His father is a sorceror geneticist," said Arthur. "When he met Pudentiana he took one of her eggs."

"Okay," said Pudentiana, "it isn't a long story."

Merlin held Claudia at arms' length to grin at her, but Claudia was looking at Pudentiana with her overwhelmed look. "My," said Merlin, "what big eyes you have."

"I think he has your hair," Arthur said.

"Your ... son?" Claudia asked Pudentiana finally.

"In a techno-genetic totally-not-involving-sex way," Pudentiana said. "Let me emphasize that again -"

"Any others I should know about?" Claudia asked. "Am I Hercules' grandmother, too?"

"Now there would be a paradox," said Merlin. But at her own word grandmother Claudia had reeled and now she needed to lie down for several minutes.


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