CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIVE
Monday morning — 5:45 a.m.
Heather touched Blane’s shoulder as she passed his seat at the bar in the kitchen. He looked up at her. She took down two cups from the cabinet and poured coffee from the automatic drip. She added cream, and set one in front of him. He nodded. She went to lean against the counter. They both drank their coffee in silence.
“I remember when I first had coffee,” Heather said wistfully. “It was with the Sufi’s in Yemen, I think. It wasn’t at all like this. Of course, it was 1456.”
Blane burst out laughing at the absurdity of her words. He laughed and laughed until he was crying. Heather stood her ground. They had been able to keep themselves together until Tink left. Tanesha and Jeraine took Jabari, Mack, and Wyn to the mountains to give them time to get through this.
They had spent most of the night crying, raging, laughing, or some combination of all of that.
“I can’t get over the feeling that he died because we brought Nelson around,” Blane said. “I know that Nelson thinks that.”
“He died because some butcher put some thing in his head in some backroom surgery at the whacko Christian conversion center,” Heather said. “You heard what the coroner said.”
Nodding, Blane snorted some amount of snot. Heather threw a box of tissues in his direction.
“The device was wired to the sexual centers of the brain,” Heather said. “Anytime he felt excited or aroused, it was to give his brain a shock.”
“It malfunctioned,” Blane said.
“It was also infected with what she thinks is MRSA,” Heather said.
“He was dead a long time before he came to live with us,” Blane repeated the words they had each said at least ten times. “I just wish that …”
“How would we know?” Heather asked. “He passed the physical — all the blood tests, the extra tests for HIV and Hep C and everything. I mean, his white cells were elevated but we’d just rescued him from that place. His white cells should have been elevated! And, anyway, Delphie didn’t even know!”
While Heather’s words were factual, they felt hallow. Blane nodded as he had the time he’d said the same thing.
“There was nothing we could have done,” Blane said. “That doesn’t mean it’s not …”
“Awful,” Blane said at the same time Heather said, “Horrible.”
They both looked to the front of the house as the sound of a van pulling up in front of the house broke the still silence of the early morning. A moment later, they heard a man talking loudly to someone else. Heather went to the front to peek out the window.
“TV news,” Heather said. She shrugged, “Jeraine’s not here.”
“They can’t come here for Jeraine,” Blane said. “Fairy magic.”
“Then what?” Heather asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.