Author: H. Savinien
Author’s Note: A little extra gift for the Good Omens Holiday Gift Exchange mods. Thank you for everything you do to make this all run smoothly. While this is not particularly modly-themed, I hope it gives you a bit of a chuckle. Story inspired by: http://notalwaysfriendly.com/unborn-
Summary: Anathema’s pregnant and experiencing the joys thereof, including overly-familiar strangers.
Anathema shifted uncomfortably. Pregnancy wasn’t any more fun than she’d thought it would be and bus seating was murder on the newly-discovered joys of hemorrhoids. Privately she’d decided that a couple of the more fire-and-brimstone passages in The Book had been complaints about Agnes’ own experience of the miracle of procreation. Some notecards from the file written in flowery Victorian script agreed, albeit in roundabout terms.
It seemed interminable, the ride up to Buford Abbey, but she needed to visit the Ikea for more spice racks and PC World for a new hard drive for her computer. Newt, though improved, was still incapable of setting foot in a store dedicated to technology without accidentally melting or recoding something simply by existing nearby. The bus jolted over a bumpy bit of road and knocked Anathema back to the present. She shifted again and wished she’d brought a cushion. The elderly woman sitting across from Anathema beamed at her every time Anathema met her gaze. Anathema propped her notebook on top of her stomach and tried to ignore her.
An hour later, Anathema was scrunched down in the seat as far as possible (not terribly, thanks to eight months of miniature Device-Pulsifer), trying to find a comfortable position. The sums she was working in her notebook indicated that, with a little luck and continued local interest in homeopathic medicine, they’d be able to afford a replacement for the finally-deceased Wasabi in a few months. Not another Wasabi, to be sure. She had veto power now and wanted to drive something more reliable, more environmentally-friendly, and less weirdly racist.
With a creak of brakes and a waft of petrol fumes, they pulled into the Buford Abbey retail park. Anathema tucked her notebook and pencil back into her bag and slid into her coat. The overly-smiley woman was getting her things together as well and tottered down the aisle behind Anathema. Anathema offered her a hand off the bus, a little worried about her balance. She clung to Anathema’s arm even after they were both on solid ground. Anathema tried to pry her off gently, but she was more tenacious than expected.
“Oooh,” the woman cooed, letting go with one hand to pat Anathema’s stomach. “I can read the energy and aura of your baby! It’s going to be a boy!” Anathema flinched, trying to figure out how to get away without dropping the woman on her arse.
“Um…thank you.” Anathema knew for a fact that she was expecting a girl. At Newt’s request, she’d even got a test from the hospital to confirm it.
“I can work miraculous prayer healing! I can sense that to be healthy the baby needs to connect with Christ before it’s born! Let me pray for you!” That was enlightening, but not comforting.
“Please let go,” Anathema said, edging away.
“Just one moment more… Finished! He’s going to be a strong Christian boy!”
Anathema grit her teeth and managed to pry her arm free. “How nice.”
“ Merry Christmas, dear!” the woman chirped, as Anathema hurried off.
“Blessed Solstice!” Anathema yelled back and ducked into PC World just ahead of an outraged torrent of vulgarity.
She slumped against the trolley return. A young employee stared, price scanner drooping in her hand. “Are...are you all right, ma’am?”
Anathema smiled tightly. “Wonderful. Could you point me toward the portable hard drives?”
“Right over here, in aisle seven. There’s...there’s a sale on, if you’d like to take a look at the green signs on the right.”
Well, that was something. “And, just in case you were considering touching my stomach, I’d really prefer you didn’t.”
The girl dropped her scanner, luckily into the trolley of merchandise she’d been working on. “Of course I- who does something like that?”
“You’d be surprised,” Anathema sighed. “Lead on, please.”