The fourth and final Sperm Donor for a Cosmic Paradox story is here! This story wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for all the people who said, “What the hell man! I want know what happens next!” I was asked many times about these stories, so I humbly thank you all. I do plan to collect all of these and others in one volume someday, but for now owning the entire collection of the Sperm Donor series is as simple as spending $4. Purchasing stories is your way of telling me to write more. When you buy music, books, and movies that you like, it tells publishers, studios, musicians, and authors, “Hey, make more of this kind of art.”
On with the sample:
The smart phone swooshed as Jed sent another email. He figured two hundred messages pushed the boundary of urgent and crazy. Len had not contacted him in over six months since dropping off the DNA test. Jed attempted every possible method to contact Len. He called Len’s office phone and cell phone until they were disconnected. Jed even went to Len’s office a couple of times, but they turned him away and insisted that Len had found other employment. Jed asked about his test, but there was no record of a test for anyone in his family. Len had skipped town and took all the evidence with him, but that still didn’t dissuade Jed from emailing Len. Jed assumed that if he was persistent enough, Len would reappear and answer all his unanswered questions.
Despite the many sleepless nights, Jed tried not to think about his genealogic mysteries as much as he could. Jed filled his life with talking care of his mother, going to work, and playing video games. Since talk shows hadn’t been calling Jed for an appearance, he figured the tests must have been inconclusive. Jed resolved to never think about these stupid DNA tests ever again like he had resolved the day before and the day before that.
Jed dug through the trash on his coffee table for his Xbox controller. His work at making his house look nice went to the wayside as his tendency to never clean or even walk from the couch to the trashcan reinserted themselves. Jed was a perpetual bachelor. He lived among piles of trash, and only the presence of a female would change it. Since the disappearance of Anna, the only female keeping him on track was his mother. His mother shamed him into keeping the place clean. Since Jed was a momma’s boy, her not so subtle tactics worked.
However, the last six months were difficult. Despite his daily resolve to stop thinking, all Jed could think about was that he might be a father, and that his son might be his mother’s great grandfather. Jed didn’t want to be a father at first, but after accepting the shock of it, Jed thought he’d be pretty good at being a father. Jed remembered all the bullshit of growing up. Jed felt like he could change for his son what never happened for him.
Jed remembered being the target of rocks hurled by Zach and his cronies during his walk to middle school. Since Jed was non-confrontational his whole life, Jed picked up his pace to the school where an adult would quell the rock throwing by the presence of authority. Jed would teach his kid martial arts. He would show Jed Jr. how to break a person’s arm. If Jed would have broken Zach’s arm, no one would have fucked with him ever again.
Jed’s kid would be everything Jed was not. That’s why Jed thought he’d make a good father. However, history had different plans for Jed, and his son would grow up in a time when electricity was this fancy thing the city folk were raving about. Jed’s son would grow up when farms grew more than just corn. While Jed could make a good father to a modern son, he wouldn’t know the first thing about farming or slaughtering a cow. Jed was better off at the other end of time from his son.
Despite being on the wrong side of time from his legacy and his resolves to not think about it, Jed still couldn’t help but wonder. In the past six months, he actually left his house for more than just work and spent time scouring the historical archives and later resolved to not come back even though the nice old lady working the front desk knew him by name. Jed’s family all came from a town called Underwood, Iowa. As far as he could tell, his father’s ancestors had one child and that child was the mother of his son. A mysterious man named Earl James Ray Ruttle I was the father, and he had no registered ancestors. The birth records were lost, so the exact date of Earl James Ray Ruttle II’s birth was unknown. To make matters worse, there were no proper death certificates either. Jed’s only option was to pack his bags and go to Underwood to look for a gravestone or talk with the members of his extended family who never left.
Jed attempted to convince himself that he would never think about it after the trip to Underwood, and this would be the last time he’d spend on a futile search. Jed knew that video games and streaming television could eat up hours of time, but they never answered the questions burning in his mind, what was his son like? Could his life be different with Anna? Jed didn’t want to wait anymore. He wanted answers. Today was the day he would drive to Underwood. Jed called his boss. He called in sick to his job.
For a man like Jed who made doing nothing a sport, he had lots of time off stored up in his leave bank. Jed may not have aspirations, but he enjoyed employment and more importantly the money generated from it. Jed never missed a day of work unless it was planned. So when he called his boss requesting the week off, his boss granted the request with a confused concern. Jed thought that his boss was mad. When in reality, Jed’s boss was excited by the sick time request. There was a pool at the office for when Jed would call into work, and his boss won the pool. Jed’s boss didn’t realize that his celebratory steak dinner with his family would be one step in a chain of events that would lead to a life of “rabbit food” after one too many steak dinners.
After the awkward conversation with his “rabbit food” destined boss, Jed packed his bags for his destiny located in Underwood, Iowa. He decided a two-hundred and first message on Len’s machine was necessary to convey the recent developments in his search. Jed also decided to leave a note on his front door in case Len decided to show up unannounced. The note would later confuse police, and give his confused his mom a vital clue about the box in her storage locker. Everything would have been avoided if Jed had not bought a super mega soda on the way out of town and promptly needed to pee at a rest area outside of Underwood.
Jed’s trot to the bathroom was cut short by a whimper from the bushes. The summer heat and humidity pressed down on him, and he almost ignored the whimper. But then he heard it again. Because Jed was horror movie literate, he would normally leave moaning rustles in the grass be, but when he first saw the grass behaving strangely from the rest area, his curiosity got the best of him. Since he was so close to Underwood, he figured the rustling of grass was a lost dog. Jed imaged a heroic return of the dog to some old lady. That old lady would be the same old lady that knew his great great grandmother personally and would confirm everything Jed believed to be true. He would learn that his great great grandmother’s name was Anna, and that she always dreamt of the day she would be reunited with her lost lover. The old lady would look in the distance and talk about great loves. She would say one of the great loves was Anna and her lover. The love would be legend.
His fantasies were cut short by a moan from a human source. Somehow, Jed knew that the moan belonged to Anna. He had not heard her voice in over a year and a half, and he knew it was Anna. Jed cautiously moved forward not knowing what to expect. He was paralyzed with fear yet giddy with excitement.
“Anna?” He said as he stepped forward, one foot at a time.
“You’re taking your sweet ass time!” Anna said.
“Anna!” Jed yelled, “Why are you hiding in the bushes?”
“Because I’ve been shot!”
“Why did you get shot?”
“Why did I get shot! Not let me call the ambulance or let me stop the bleeding!”
Jed felt like an idiot. Anna was pretty good at making him feel like an idiot. Jed ran forward and sure enough, Anna was bleeding out in the grass. Her gut was stained in blood. She was wearing a frontier woman dress! She was a time traveler.
“I knew it! You did travel back to the Old West!”
“Clearly! Now stop the bleeding! And call god damn 9 – 1 – 1!”
Jed tore off his shirt and stuffed it in her wound. She winced from the pain, and after he was sure that he stopped most of the bleeding, he dialed his phone.
“Hi, I want to report a gunshot wound.”
“Report a gunshot wound! I am fucking dying!”
“I mean I need an ambulance for a gunshot wound… how many miles would you say we are from Omaha?”
“I don’t know! It’s not like I had a cowboy GPS for the last seven years!”
“Years? How long have you been gone? Did I miss my son growing up?”
“Tell them where to find us before I fucking bleed out!”
“Um… can you track my cell phone? How is my son? Is he bullied in school? I hope he can handle slaughtering a cow…”
“He is seven-years-old in an old school house where the teacher is the bully now get the…”
Anna trailed off as her eyes glazed over. Jed screamed, “Anna. Anna. No please… She lost consciousness. Tell me what to do.”
Jed started chest compressions. He dropped the phone into the grass. Tears began to stream down the side of his face. He could not lose Anna. She was more than the only link to his son or the answers that had been plaguing him for the last six months. He realized that he loved her. He never dated anyone in a year and a half because he never wanted to date anyone else. Anna was the person for him, and she was going to bleed to death before he could do anything about it.