Title: Paronomasia Author: Kit'. Characters: Estra, Zallie and Nicco Genre: Drama, Comedy Challenge: Part of the 1st Quarter OC challenge - Comedy set by the very fabulous @madman007 Summary: Nicco warns his sister not to put herself or her new baby in danger, as Del goes on a rampage with his new found power... Spoiler paronomasia /ˌparənəˈmeɪzɪə/ noun a play on words; a pun. * “Don’t go in there,” Nicco leant against the door and shook his head. The sound of plates moving around the kitchen filtered through the door. Estra glared at him holding her baby tightly against her chest. Nestled in her arms, Halulu squirmed, her tawny skin turning a rather dappled shade of red. “Halulu won’t go to sleep and only F’kisi knows that damn song that she likes so much.” As if responding to her name, Halulu scrunched up her face and wailed. Estra dropped her shoulders and glared at her brother. “I can’t let you go in there,” Nicco said, shaking his head. “Da is…” He trailed away as the sounds of groan emanated from the room behind him. “Then you put Halulu to sleep,” Estra said, thrusting the baby at Nicco. The shift in position was enough to stop Halulu crying. She gave Nicco a pop-eyed stare. Nicco threw up both hands in the air. “I didn’t have kids for a reason.” “You put the twins and Quin down lots of times. You even changed nappies lots of times,” Estra said tilting her head on one side. Halulu’s face scrunched harder and she grunted. “They were our siblings. Lulu is all yours,” Nicco said and then scrunched his own nose. “Although it sounds and smells like you're about to have to do the nappy change thing too.” “Fine, then let me in there,” Estra said, glaring at him. Nicco shrugged and stepped back. “It’s your funeral,” he said. Estra glanced at him, her mouth set in a firm line. “What do you mean?” “Da is in one of his moods,” Nicco said. Estra’s hand hovered over the door button. She slumped slightly and she made a face. “Really? How did that happen?” “Blame Zallie,” Nicco said. As if called his younger sister appeared out of the door way down the hall. “I heard my name. What did I do?” “You gave Da, that stupid flimsy,” Nicco said with a pointed look, “and now we’re all stuffed.” Zallie shrugged and made a face. “Not my fault that he took it seriously. I blame Halulu.” “Really?” Estra grit her jaw and glared at her siblings. “Now it’s the baby’s fault?” Zallie shrugged again. “Halulu’s changed Da. He’s not himself anymore.” “He is himself,” Nicco corrected, “he’s done this his whole life. You just became immune.” “He was never this bad. Halulu’s birth has just made it infinitely worse. It’s like a drug now. He won’t stop.” “Well, you didn’t have to encourage him.” Estra listened to her sibling squabble and tried not to roll her eyes. In her arms, Halulu grunted again and there was a popping noise. Estra breathed deeply and then wished she hadn’t. “Unless, both of you are going to help me, I need to get F’kisi.” “I wouldn’t try. He’s lost too.” Zallie said. “What do you mean?” “He laughed.” Zallie said solemnly. “He laughed at Da.” “He what?” “He laughed.” Estra closed her eyes, trying to button down on the anger that was slowly building. She was exhausted, over everything and her sibling's squabble was just the zherry on top. “Rin then. Rin can get Lulu to sleep. She can use the Force.” Nicco shook his head. “Rin's no help. She’s encouraging it and making it worse.’ Halulu grunted again. Something gurgled deep inside the baby. There was a wet sound. The baby gave her mother a toothless, proud smile as her ruddy face went back to its normal tawny colour. Something inside Estra snapped. She pushed the baby at Zallie, who took her and shuddered as the smell enveloped her. Estra squared her shoulders and took a step towards Nicco who had gone back to barring the door. “It’s a bloodbath in there. I really wouldn’t go,” he warned. Estra put her hand on her brother’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t stop me,” she said brusquely. “I can guarantee I’m a lot scarier than whatever is in there.” Nicco shrugged and grinned at his sister as he took a sidestep. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Estra gritted her teeth and opened the door. The door slid open to reveal F’kisi and Rin sitting at the table while Del stood at the counter, knife poised in the air. Rin’s face was mottled white and red. Tears rolled silently down her cheeks. F’kisi had his hand over his mouth. “I was wondering why the speeder was growing bigger and bigger,” Del said, grinning as the knife came down and sliced cleanly through the Jogan fruit that was lying on the cutting board. “And then it hit me.” Estra let out a sigh of annoyance and glared at him. “Essie!” he said grinning maniacally as he noticed her. “Did I tell you, how beautiful yours and F’kisi’s wedding was? Even the cake was in tiers.” Rin giggled. F’kisi let out a gwaff of laughter. “Also, now I’m a grandpa, I was thinking of growing a beard,” Del went on. “I used to hate facial hair, but then it grew on me.” Estra glanced around the room and then took two steps backwards. “Wait, Essie” Del said grinning evilly. “How do you know if a snake is a baby?” The door slid shut. Estra turned and faced her brother. Nicco was grinning at her. Zallie held Halulu awkwardly as if she would break. Behind the door there was another ripple of laughter. Then Del’s voice loud and clear. “Come and have breakfast kids. I’d tell you a great joke about construction, but I’m still working on it.” “I’m not going back in there,” Estra said firmly, “I’ll just get Lulu to sleep myself.” Nicco looked at Zallie and Estra as another bout of laughter echoed from the kitchen. “I’ll come with you,” he said quickly. Zallie nodded. “Me too.” Estra held her hand up and glared at her siblings. “There are conditions,” she said sternly. "If you want a legitimate excuse not to have to go in there, then you need to help me." “I know the song,” Zallie said quickly, grinning at her brother. "Plus I can use the Force." "Not fair, Zallie." "You snooze, you lose brother dearest," Zallie said smiling and handing Halulu over. There was a wet trumpet noise. Halulu gave a happy gurgle. “Fine,” Nicco made a face and glared at his sisters. “I’ll change her nappy.” Estra smiled.