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A Loving Family

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When Gaster is young, and his father is stripping the meat from the bone of a cow, he softly asks him what it feels like to die.

His father grunts in response, and doesn’t answer.

When time comes for them to kill an injured chicken, Gaster steps up, all twelve years and gangly bones. His mother tells him to make it quick, and she goes back into the house. He watches the poor, poor chicken kick around in the dirt for a while, then he lifts the axe, and swings it down hard.

When Gaster is up to his teen years, he is sent to boarding school. The other teens, a mix of monster and human, generally leave him alone. (His father is a frightening man, they say. He butchers little old ladies, they whisper.) Late one night, he wakes up to whispering in the next room. They had dorms with beds in a circle, and a common room. He gets up slowly, taking his time to creep across the room to the edge of the door. He’s done this at home. It’s just as easy.

One boy is in the middle of the others, a human. A large dragon boy, he’ll graduate in five months, smirks at the boy in the middle. “Look, you wanna join our club, you have to do as we say. Now, burn your arm.”

The boy’s eyes shine with tears…but he holds up the lit candle, shakily. He burns his arm, and screeches, but the dragon yells at him to keep it up, and not put it down until he says so.

The skin burns darkly before they make him take it away. His face was pale, he shook, face wet with tears. Grossly, a burned piece of skin sloughs off and onto the floor. The dragon rolled his eyes. “Crybaby. But you did it. Come on, I have some healing food, you only get one bite though.”

Gaster thinks they’ll come this way, and he tenses up, waiting to be caught. But no, they all turn the other way, towards the door that leads to the hall, creeping out as quiet as he had.

He counts to ten, creeps out of the doorway, and stars at the charred up flesh on the ground.

Gaster cannot imagine eating anything else.

Other foods turn to ash in his mouth, even water is unappealing. But he fakes it. He eats his meals and sips his milk and nods in agreement with teachers. His first victim is a bird he caught. It’s not the same, at all.

He thinks to himself one night, after disposing of the feathers out the window, swiping his hands on his night shirt. The only thing that was good was…

Gaster isn’t stupid. He knows if he did anything to any of the others, he’d be hung out to dry and kicked out. But, they live near a commonly walked path in the forest. He’d never be suspected.

He waits until all the checks have been made, pretended to be deep asleep when some of the gang got out to go and do whatever it is they do. He got up, switching out of his night shirt and pants into a dark sweater and pair of pants.

He has stolen a knife.

He waits at the side of the pathway. The ‘gang’ walks down it, shoving each other, mocking each other. He waits. And waits. And waits.

A woman dressed in a plain dress and bonnet slowly walks down the path. She frowns down at the basket in her arms, sighing sadly.

He doesn’t care about her story. It ends with his knife.

Gaster buries the knife and clothes under a tree’s roots, ignoring the fact he has to walk back naked to his dormitory, redressing, and getting back into bed. He’s so full now. So deliciously full. He regrets not saving any of it, but it would lead to questions, and Gaster loathes stupid questions.

Next time, he promises himself. He’s stuffed himself a little too full, but he’s alright with that.

The headmaster calls an emergency student assembly. A woman’s skeleton was found in the forest. They believe an animal got to her, and so everyone is prohibited going alone into town or even outside.

The town nearby would have several more deaths over the years. It was assumed to be a horrendous animal, something strong and fast. The town rumbled and fretted, and they sent for a hunter to come and assist.

Gaster had graduated just as the hunter came to town. Hm. At least he’ll get paid for ‘scaring it away’.

Gaster graduates with honors. He’s dedicated to assisting others with their health, a budding little doctor, a true catch for any swooning maiden. He was tall, and quiet, and often wore a cloak over his black suit, with a top hat that he would grip the brim and with a flourish, would bow to someone with a smile. “Hello,” he would say, and they would be entranced instantly.

It made things way easier.

He learned how to sear meat, how to season it, but he was always in a rush and never had time to cook! It’s not like his health was affected by eating the raw meat, but still. It’s a matter of taste!

He traveled out of town often, so murders became ‘accidents’ and ‘unfortunate demises’. One would wonder why, especially with the knife wounds, the skinned arms and legs…but when said murdered individual was from the slums or a mere working woman, well. Everyone looked the other way.

‘Yeah, unfortunate,’ they would say. ‘Good thing it’s not us’, they whispered.

Late one Winter, when most were inside to keep warm, Gaster roamed the streets with an intense hunger. He came across a nicely rounded woman, who cooed sweet promises to him in exchange for monetary value. He didn’t mind, after all, he would just get it back in a moment.

Hand over mouth with ether on the rag, and a quick slice over the neck. It’s the best and easy way. He’s not like the other killers who took joy in their victim’s screams. It’s how they got caught, after all. He got to work, getting the pieces he wanted…and then, he swept a hand over her stomach. It was so big…it would taste so good after a broil.

He sliced it open, surprised-that he hadn’t realized it earlier-to find two infants wrapped tightly up together.

This was new. And unplanned. For a moment, he thought about…but no, he wasn’t a damn savage.

He sliced the little sack keeping them safe, and one little baby began to wail. The other one stirred, staring up at him almost with a pout.

Also surprisingly, they were two little skeleton children. They must have been young, human/skeleton hybrids often gained an ecto skin around them by the ninth month. Skeletons weren’t common but neither were they rare like elementals were, lately.

His heart was captured.

In a flash, he was gone from the alleyway, two little infants tucked up close, one of them sniffling softly and the other kicking up a storm angrily, obviously hungry.

——————————————————————————————————————————

This time, he did cause a stir. The woman he attacked wasn’t as unloved as she assumed, or perhaps it was the loss of two little heirs (Monsters didn’t view marriage and childbirth the same as humans, albeit they didn’t often, if ever, inter-marry) that caused the Baron to step into the limelight. A tearful article was printed in the newspaper, how he had met her not long ago, that they were waiting until she could move in, how they couldn’t find the small babies and how they feared the worse.

Gaster snorted, folding the newspaper back up and placing it down. “He’s quite full of himself, isn’t he, dears?”

One baby, he named BB due to the purple eyes-like a Blackberry, was cuddled into a little cradle, a magic hand holding up a bottle to feed the small one. He hiccuped in response. Blue was in Gaster’s arms this time, as BB’s turn was last time, and he was eagerly sucking down the magic, his blue eyes staring up happily.

Gaster smiled back, rocking the little baby a little.

This. This was addictive. Having someone lean on him, need him, require him to take care of them.

He wanted another…and another…and another…

Hm. It was tempting to just go and do what he did yesterday, oh so very tempting, but alas, it would be hard to tell who was pregnant with a skeleton, and his luck wouldn’t be good so many times in a row.

He thought for a moment, shifting Blue up to his shoulder, rubbing his back. He got them little infant dresses, soft and white like all the other babies he had seen. Blue hiccuped, squeaking in his ear. Gaster nodded along with him, gently cradling him close again. He suddenly smiled at Blue, making the infant burst into giggles.

“You need a mother.”

That was it.

Skeletons lived so, very, long. He could live off this feeling for centuries. Even if they grew and moved away, he would love them. But he wanted so many little ones to take care of, to guide in his ways as they grew.

But first…they needed a mother. And he, an acceptable candidate for the future of his brood.

Yes yes, this was excellent. Not today, however. Police were stalking up and down alleys. But soon.

Soon, he promised.