CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY
“How are the books?” Nash asked.
“Crazy,” Teddy said at the same time Noelle said, “Like little museums.”
Teddy looked at Noelle.
“The books are from the 1940s and 1950s,” Noelle said. “They are like looking at a museum of that time.”
“It’s a lot like today,” Teddy said.
“But really different,” Noelle said. “I bet you’d like them.”
“Did Dad say if we can see Sandy?” Nash asked.
“Not for a while,” Noelle said. “They are restricting her visitors to adults. Dad said that they get a few minutes at a time and that she’s mostly asleep.”
“So we just have to fill up today,” Nash said.
“I don’t know how I’ll ever learn Ukrainian,” Nash said.
“You were learning on that phone app,” Teddy said.
For a moment, the three teenagers fell silent.
“I apologize,” Bernie said. “I was listening in.”
They looked up. Bernie was dressed in a red robe with a plastic crown on his head. He seemed not to notice his attire.
“I didn’t mean to eaves drop,” Bernie said. “I came to see if you’d like to watch the movie with Dale and me.”
He gave the teens a broad smile.
“I am King Theoden,” Bernie said. “Want to watch?”
“I would,” Teddy said.
“Who will you be, young Theodore?” Bernie asked.
“I was thinking of being Legolas,” Teddy said.
“Great choice,” Bernie said. “And the lass?”
“Eowyn,” Noelle said. “I like how strong she is. Plus, Ava’s sister is called ‘Eowyn.’”
“Indeed she is,” Bernie said. “Another good choice.”
He turned to look at Nash. In slow Ukrainian, he said, “Any you, Master Nash?”
Nash blinked and blinked again.
“You know Ukrainian?” Nash asked in Ukrainian.
“I know a number of languages,” Bernie said, returning to English. “My Ukrainian is a little rusty but it worked fine when we were there a while ago.”
Bernie winked at Nash.
“You know in my day, we used to rely on learning things from people, not machines,” Bernie said.
“Oh,” Nash said. “Would you mind helping me?”
“It would be my pleasure,” Bernie said. “Seth told me about those dark arrows and the lovely Nadia. I knew her father.”
Nash looked up at Bernie.
“He was an evil sod,” Bernie said. “But, his choice of a wife was brilliant. Nadia was a lovely child. I haven’t seen her in a long while, but I have every confidence that she’s an amazing adult.”
“She’s …” Nash said and blushed.
Seeing Nash’s reaction, Bernie put his hand on the boy’s shoulder.
“We’ll get you speaking Ukrainian in no time,” Bernie said.
“Thanks,” Nash said, his voice cracking with emotion.
“Now, onto more pressing matters,” Bernie said. “What would you like to be today?”
“Can I be ‘Boromir’?” Nash asked.
“Of course,” Bernie said. “Might I ask why?”
“I like that he was never really affected by the ring,” Nash said. “I mean, in the movie, he more does his duty than being under its influence.”
“Boromir is one of the few incorruptible characters in the book,” Bernie said.
“I’d like to be that,” Nash said. “Incorruptible.”
“Then we shall talk about how to do that,” Bernie said. “All with time. You know, I heard your talk about giving up your phones.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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