CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-SIX
Friday night — 10:05 p.m.
Private ceremonial grounds, Navajo reservation
“Thanks for letting me know,” Gando Peaches said into the satellite phone. “And really, Jake, thanks for the last week.”
“See you in a few weeks,” Jacob said.
“Yeah,” Gando said. “That will be good.”
“Nah,” Jacob said. “You’re going to be fine. You can always call if you have any trouble. We’re not so far away.”
“Thanks, man,” Gando said.
“Oh, Mike said to tell you …” Jacob said.
“Fuck off, Ind’n,” Gando and Jacob said together.
Laughing, Gando hung up the call. He looked up. Hecate was sitting across the fire circle from him. She was holding a stick and poking at the joyous fire she’d created. The golden-orange light of the fire cast one side of her face in light while the rest of her face was in shadow.
Unfamiliar with telephones, she didn’t look up when he finished his call. He was slightly offended the first time she’d done this. Didn’t she want to know what was said? Didn’t she want to be included in his conversation? She’d laughed away his concerns.
“You have a lot to teach me, young one,” Hecate said. “But you may have your own conversations and thoughts. I will never ask. I will never listen in.”
“Why?” He’d asked.
“If I listened in on everything said to or by a human, even one I care about, I would go mad,” Hecate had said. “I would rather listen to the wind, the dance of the stars, the echoes across the water. This planet chants a precious song. It is my preference to hear her melody.”
“Would you prefer that I listen in?” Hecate had asked. “Hedone tells me that there are women today who check their partners phones for texts and other infidelities. How do they have time to listen to the melody of the sun? The decadent sound of the movement of the planets that resonate in the song of your own human heart?”
His heart had squeezed in a way that he’d never felt before.
“If you need this, you will not ever have it from me,” Hecate had said, mildly.
“I don’t need it,” Gando had said. “I’m just … acculturated to it.”
Feeling his eyes upon her now, Hecate looked up from the fire. Her curious eyes scanned his face.
“Why did you laugh?” Hecate asked.
“Mike,” Gando said.
“My brother?” Hecate asked.
“He …” Gando pointed at her. “You said you didn’t listen.”
She gave him a broad smile.
“You laugh every time before you turn off your conversation,” Hecate said.
“I do?” Gando asked.
She gave a quick nod.
“What has my brother done?” Hecate asked.
“He tells me to ‘fuck off,’” Gando said. She gave him a confused look. “It’s a swear. He …”
“He has my father’s aggression with his human humor,” Hecate said with a smile. “I don’t know my father’s other family. I am looking forward to getting to know them.”
Gando felt a blanket of sorrow come over him.
“What is it?” Hecate asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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