Rowena's Page, Rowena Gets a Life. Rowena's Life, Part 3

Rowena Becomes A Proto-Aunt

Fiction by S. D. Youngren



Rowena received a phone call from her sister. “What's wrong?” she asked.

“Wrong?” asked Maralynne. “Why should anything be wrong?”

“Nothing should be wrong; it's just that you only call me when you're upset.”

“Oh, Rowena,” said Maralynne. “You're such a pessimist.”

“Well, it seems that every time you call, you're mad because Brian just moved out, or because Brian is refusing to move out, or you think you're pregnant again, or you've had to change acting coaches or psychics or—”

“I haven't changed my psychic for over a year. Madame Zelda is wonderful. I'm sticking with her to the end of this life. Speaking of which, do you know she was my twin sister in Egypt and my mother in Atlantis?”

“How nice,” Rowena said.

“It's all so exciting. I wish you would just accept the fact that it's a New Age now and you will never achieve true happiness and fulfillment until you are willing to seek Enlightenment and—”

“And change the way I spell my name?”

Maralynne sighed patiently. “I explained that to you when I did it. When I become a Star, I will want to keep my own name so that everyone I ever knew—all the little people and everybody—will know it's really me, but I won't get confused with Marilyn Monroe.”

“Nobody is going to confuse you with Marilyn Monroe,” said Rowena. “No offense, but not even her impersonators get confused with Marilyn Monroe. Besides, if you're really that big a Star—”

“Well, I want to make it clear I'm not a bimbo; that I'm serious, a real Star with a formidable talent, and not just another gorgeous little piece of fluff who—”

“Maralynne—”

“Besides, Madame Zelda, who is a very gifted numerologist, explained to me that as long as I kept our last name I was never going to get anywhere as ‘Marilyn’, even with all the talent in the world.”

“So what's she think of my name? Should I become R-H-O-W-E-E-N-A?”

“I don't know. I'll have to ask her. But she's just wonderful. And you know, she says it's a real honor to work with me.”

“How much does she charge you?”

“Really, Rowena, how vulgar. I'm surprised at you. But I'm not going to let you get me aggravated on account of the baby.”

Rowena took a deep breath. “What baby?”

“My baby.” Maralynne was proud. “This time it's for real. And this time I'm ready for it. It'll be a small strain on my Career at first, but according to Madame Zelda this particular baby—”

“Have you had a pregnancy test?” Maralynne had four or five false alarms a year.

“Oh, I don't need a test. Madame Zelda told me all about it. I have to be very careful or I may lose him in the next couple of weeks, being as how Saturn—”

“Maralynne, how far along are you?”

“Three weeks. But Madame Zelda gave me her word.”

“I see.”

“It's going to be a boy, and I'm to name him Percival Bruce.”

“‘Percival Bruce?’”

“It's very sound numerologically. And it has kind of a ring to it, with two C's and, you know, different numbers of syllables and stuff.”

“Couldn't you make it ‘Bruce Percival,’ then?”

“No, it's got to be ‘Percival Bruce.’ Madame Zelda was very firm on that.”

“But, really, Maralynne—”

“Please don't argue with me, Rowena; there are Forces at work which you just don't understand.”

Rowena looked at the ceiling. “There certainly are forces at work,” she said. “Oh, I believe that all right. Money, for instance.”

“Rowena! Madame Zelda is helping people. She does this because she enjoys it.”

“Oh, I suspect she loves it.”

“I am not going to let you ruin everything. You—God, Rowena, you're such a close-minded reactionary little idiot sometimes. You—” She caught herself, suddenly. “I mean, you should really try to be more accepting. I'm sorry about the outburst, but you're such a—anyway, Madame Zelda keeps telling me not to be so negative, so I'll forgive you once again.”

Rowena shut her eyes. “Good for Madame Zelda,” she said.

“It's good advice for you, too.”

“Maralynne, I would love to continue this argument, but my fortune cookie last night told me I should drop everything else and start learning to knit baby booties. Talk to you later.”

And Rowena hung up.



_____________________________/


Next Story:
Rowena Goes To Work

Rowena's Life, Part 4

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