CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FIFTEEN
“I took away that virus,” Abi said. “You’ve had it a long time. You don’t need it, do you?”
“AIDS?” Nelson laughed. “Really?”
“Oh, is that what it’s called?” Abi asked. She shrugged. “Humans and their viruses. Crazy really. Every living being has at least one virus associated with it. You cannot have life without viruses. Yet humans have this idea that they can negotiate around their virus.”
Nelson glanced at her.
“There would be no humans without viruses,” Abi said. She nodded. “And yet…”
She put her hand on her forehead in a dramatic gesture.
“… I don’t deserve this,” Abi said and then laughed. “You know what you don’t deserve?”
“What?” Nelson said vaguely.
“Life,” Abi said. “You do not deserve to be alive. It’s a gift. Every moment of it. But no living creature ever understands that. They come. They go. They never understand that their very presence is improbable and will end sooner than they ever understand. Can you imagine the shock when the last cell took the last breath of carbon dioxide and killed them all? ‘We don’t deserve this!’ They cried.”
“First mass extinction,” Nelson said. “Single cells took in carbon dioxide and excreted oxygen until they killed themselves.”
“Yes,” Abi said.
“That’s not an answer to why you’re in human form,” Nelson said.
Abi grinned at him and pulled back. He turned on his side to look at her.
“I won’t tell anyone,” Nelson said.
“I wanted to see what it was like,” Abi said. “Have children. Live like a human.”
“Not so complicated,” she said.
“And Fin?” Nelson asked.
“He loves me,” Abi said. “I love him. Is that not enough?”
“No,” Nelson said. “He’s such a pain in the ass. Beautiful. I’ll give you that. He’s probably a pretty great lay — all those muscles and power. But — and that’s a big but — he’s such a prima donna. Who wants to deal with all of his Prince-sized drama?”
Abi laughed, and Nelson grinned.
“He knows how powerful I am and he loves me anyway,” Abi said. “He doesn’t interfere or try to control me. He doesn’t try to take my power for himself. He lets me be me. He has fought for me.”
Abi nodded. She stood from her seated position.
“When you are well, you will speak with him,” Abi said. “He’s one of the few people who know and understand what you’ve been through. He even knows all of the humans you have dealt with. He was old in their time. He will fight with you, and you’ll see what I mean.”
Nelson nodded. Abi leaned over and kissed him.
“Sleep now,” Abi said. “When you awaken, you will be well.”
Nelson fell into a deep sleep.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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