Diary 1 – June 22
[Darth Vader presses “record,” leans back in chair]
[Takes a couple slow Vader-y breaths]
I am frankly embarrassed to do this but require an outlet for my suffering, and strangling hapless underlings via the Force or rendering IT assets worthless with my light saber is no longer sufficient.
It has been only one week since the children arrived, fresh from kindergarten graduation and being taken from their surrogates. Master Palpatine insisted they spend the summer on the ship, learning the ways of the Dark Side. I agreed at first: ten weeks with my dear, estranged progeny!
But now I fear it shall be a harrowing episode for all, mostly myself: I am still training to become a powerful Dark Lord of the Sith and supervising construction of an enormous killing machine! The Master must understand that compounding this with the caretaking responsibilities of two juveniles will inevitably lead to an increase in rage and resentment levels…perhaps this is part of his plan.
[Sighs] I do love the bastards, but they test my resolve. Bedtime. Need I say more.
Putting one five-and-a-half-year-old to sleep is challenge enough, but two? It’s like wrestling a pair of rabid Ewoks trying to escape from quarantine. As if wearing footy pajamas were like being frozen in carbonite and having one’s teeth cleaned equivalent to being lunch for a sarlacc!
I’m afraid I’ve taken to imbibing once the rebels have finally lapsed into unconsciousness. I worry the one glass of Mandalorian wine will soon be three to five.
[Pauses, sips wine through helmet, checks his watch]
9:00 and two down already. It will be a long and laborious path to September.
– – – –
Diary 6 – June 28
Today we had progress! Our new nanny is a success.
That first imbecile, Jar Jar Binks, was a disaster: Day one I return to our quarters to find him gagged and hogtied on the linoleum, Luke and Leia taking turns assailing his ribs and backside. “Nothing of their mother in them!” he croaks. I promptly sent him back to the dungeon.
Our new model ZZ-45 knows what the little rogues need. He’s no Caretaker nun, but doesn’t take any lip and isn’t afraid to use the cattle prod.
ZZ-45 even administered a mild sedative before bidding us goodnight, so the whole evening is mine to brainstorm names for the new mega-destroyer!
Hmm … Moon of Mass Destruction? Astronomical Object of Demise? No, not scary enough. Zero-Gravity Doom Cannon? It must strike instant mortal fear into the hearts of insurgents…
[Snatches list, pushes back chair]
I shall whisper into the sleeping children’s ears and chart their reactions.
– – – –
Diary 13 – July 11
The twins are going to kill me. It is not something I have foreseen. It is something I know.
My patience wanes rapidly. If I hear “no” or “why” uttered one more single time, it shall be a provocation my uneasy mind may not endure.
How can children possibly be immune to Jedi mind control?! Yes, I know the Force is strong in our family, but still!
[Slings wine sloppily through breathing grate, swallows]
What did the little princess undertake but yesterday? Stole a chocolate space cake I was saving for afternoon tea, hid it in her sleeping quarters, then attempted to eat it for breakfast this morning! “Put the cake down, Leia,” I command. She takes a bite. “You will put the cake down and apologize,” I say. The episode ends with her crying and me—
[Jerks head at WHOOSHING off camera]
LUKE! Put Father’s light saber DOWN! You want to lose a hand?! Touch it again and I’ll take that appendage for you!
[Turns back to camera]
I swear on all that is unholy and evil, they shall be turned! They will learn to obey my orders, and should my human form be destroyed in the process, so be it!
Whining shall cease at the flick of my wrist, rejected supper gruel will be force-fed by telekinesis! My Little Cantina Kitchen accessories shall rise from chaotic floor heaps and fly directly into the trash compactor!
Oh yes, they shall know my power. It will require the use of all my reserves, but for this I have been training.
Needless to say, the current trajectory of my intake of consciousness-altering substances is both concerning and unsustainable.
– – – –
Diary 15 – July 19
The children have returned prematurely to their surrogates. My feelings are mixed.
Leia will enjoy six weeks of luxurious swimming pools and molecularly agitated cheese sandwiches before school begins. But Luke’s small hands will be repairing faulty wiring of old junk droids in that desert hellscape.
It was the Master’s decision. My intoxicated morning rants were affecting morale, and ZZ-45 witnessed me repeating idiotic toilet humor in a dead monotone as the children shrieked with laughter. I know there is danger in allowing them to stay: they have only begun to discover their power, and already they weaken and manipulate me.
But still: I am their father! Could I not have endured the capricious insolence of my own offspring at least until the smell of Endorian pumpkin spice fills the air?
How does any sane parent survive an entire season of such psychological duress? Show him to me, and I shall unmask him as a droid made not of metal, but wood.
Some day, I will find them again. I see an image of three figures, dressed in black, surveying mighty military forces through the gigantic windows of the newly-completed Impenetrable Space Laser of Inevitable Death. Laughing about the pathetic and doomed nature of our rivals, perhaps enjoying Darth Maultinis. Ruling as one, the Vader dynasty.
It is our destiny.
I will undoubtedly resist the instinct to torture my adult children, as they have this past month so tortured me.
[Carefully peels the paper off a chocolate space cake, considers it]
When that day comes, I promise my emotional faculties will be fully operational.
[Mashes the cake through breathing grate]
I shall not fail to control them a second time.
CUT TO BLACK.
Illustration by James Kochalka