wyldwyverne was always a waif, wandering on the wavery edges of worldliness, never quite getting into the swing of things, always missing the beat, always marching to the beats of other drums that petered off into pleasantly pattering pulses that no one else seemed to hear.
wyldwyverne was born in the usual way, innocently enough, in a normal hospital in a small country town under the southern cross (although it was midday) and the war had been ended for a few years already. doctors know about babies, and the one that first held up the wyldwyverne heard and felt the stars of strange corners of the cosmos howling in its dreaming, commented to the nurse, with a sort of sigh, ‘another space baby’, because there was a spate of us born about then.
it was bluish and skinny, a mucusy baby, and they had to stick a tube up its nose to drain the little lungs, but soon it learned to suck and later to smile and do the things normal babies do. but everyone knew it wasn’t a normal baby. it learned walk and talk rather quickly, and showed early signs of high intelligence, which surprised no one. it was an intellectual family. its eldest brother ignored it fairly successfully most of the time, and the other brother was simultaneously fascinated and appalled. sometimes he hit it and made ugly faces at it and sometimes he played with it, rather roughly, as if it were his slave.
it was thin, but quick on its feet and could if necessary hit back, or throw with deadly accuracy whatever missiles came to hand. its parents tried to love it but lacked understanding. it irritated them for some reason. they concluded that the child was naughty and they thrashed it rather a lot for small misdemeanours. they thought it didn’t love them. it did, but they made it too scared to show it.
gaia knew when wyldwyverne was born. she had held the woman who held the wyldwyverne in her womb in her soul and protected it from attempts by its environment to kill it, as an alien intruder. the gametes had come, tis true, from two humans, and was human, although the father was at some genetic extreme, an ogre you might say, half fairy, half wizard, with the mists of antiquity swirling about his feet, and the mother was the daughter of a fairy-seer whose gifts had for generations skipped a generation and were looking for a child of the new generation to evolve in. this was a space baby, though, and the earth had to make special provisions for these babies, so that they would not be rejected like foreign bodies from the planetary flesh. gaia looked after them all, ghosting their mamas and bonding them into their families despite their alienness.