‘Yes, that’s me but…..I thought you had to…..my son does it on the internet now.’ She really did seem confused. He needed to gain her confidence.
‘We decided to give a better customer service by going back to the old days of reading the meters. It’s less messing around. It only takes a minute.’
‘That’s what I said to my Robert. We never had any bother back in my day. Hang on then.’ She shut the door then there was the sound of a security chain being slid to the side. The door opened and he was invited inside. He looked at her face contort as she tried to focus on the large white van parked outside but she was clearly at a loss without her glasses on.
‘Where is your meter?’ he asked as he walked into the lounge. He heard the door shut behind him and he knelt down ready to open his toolbox.
Sampson fixed her with his limpid, liquid gaze. Not for the first time, Jane felt that horses, like dogs, with their heightened five senses – or even with a sixth – could read people far better than people could read them. In the stallion’s dark and steady stare, there seemed to be an awareness of the fear she denied and of her double grief at the loss of a husband and the necessary separation from this child.
Milt began humming. Soon, Pinky recognized the song as “She’s Always a Woman,” by Billy Joel. She started to hum along with him.
“I love that song!” Pinky shouted. Of course, Milt was not surprised. Sometimes it described her to a tee.
“Okay, so, since we’ve got at least twenty minutes, tell me, what are some of your theories on what I’m doing here?”
“About the boy? He’s a grandson or a great grandson. You’ve discovered that someone will carry on your line of DNA. He kind of looked like you. I still think you broke some rules. Here’s my other theory. He will one day be a future president that will heal this big rift in the country… though I don’t see how you would know anything of the future beyond 2047, unless you secretly traveled ahead while I was reading about the latest breakthroughs in insect-style body modification.” She said this sardonically. “But here’s something else that was interesting. It may be even better than Tomas’ method of creating art. You sit in front of a screen, turn on a sensor, it scans your face, and produces artwork to reflect your mood and state of mind. Not that I want anything to do with such a mockery of creativity, I just wonder, is it producing artwork that has already been created? Are they recycling classic art? Who really creates the art? Someone must! And it just reduces an artist’s work to computer science, just like that.” She snapped her fingers. “Although, maybe they have actual artists on hand who produce, or have produced these great works. I mean, I might like that job. If, I get to sign my name in the corner.”
Once they arrive at her garth, which is a square of land that sits beyond the town on the flat beyond the Bishop’s palace, Mary and Jane run off to hide and reappear later with the stains of strawberries about their mouths, oozing fistfuls of redcurrants, through they swear they were not thieving.
“Where is the lime?” He demanded out loud. I saw the man’s shoulders slump forward slightly with sudden realization on his face.
“I forgot it,” he said in almost a whisper. Still looking at the ground, he began to tremble slightly as Master Jason sighed in an exaggerated fashion.
“Kendra, Leila, this is, well I call him Bitch,” he smiled at this statement. I could see a devious twinkle in his eye as he reached into his pocket. “You are to refer to him as such,” he ordered us. I was not too sure how to respond as I was not used to being commanded by someone.
I decided I would play it safe and wear jeans and a tank top, but take a light jacket just in case. I left my crazy blonde locks to fall as they wanted. Grabbing my books, I started for the kitchen.
“Didn’t want to get out of bed?” Raine asked handing me coffee in a travel mug.
“No, stupid clock broke this time. I have no idea how you can be so peppy in the morning.” I pulled out the Pop Tarts and offered her one.
She took the Pop Tart and took a bite. “It’s easy.”
“How so? I really need some pointers on liking mornings.”
“I don’t know, you just get up and force yourself to deal instead turning into a slug like you do. Now, let’s go. I’m riding with you today, I’m out of gas.”
I grabbed my coffee and books with my Pop Tart hanging out of my mouth and walked out the door.
I tossed my books in and got behind the wheel. “What are you waiting for?”
“I’m seriously afraid of your car.” She looked creeped out. She was holding her books to her chest, just staring at my car.
“Why would you be afraid of my car?”
“It’s a mess, Riley. Have you ever cleaned it out?”
“Shut up and get in.” I shook my head and started the engine.
“What a foolish little brother,” someone sighed and she flinched as an eerie white mist enveloped them. The strange haze combusted as it imploded into a brilliant white light that crept into every dark corner, shattering the demons glamor and sending them plummeting back into reality. Her arms went up to shield her eyes as the sound of metal on metal met her ears, the demons roar sending fear and an inkling of relief skittering down her spine. The light seeped out of the room as if had never been there at all and her eyes immediately went to search the area for signs of their attacker. But the demon was gone. And in its place stood a tall, extremely handsome man that–to her complete and utter surprise–greatly resembled Kaizer. His hair fell around his ears, a rich chestnut brown that sifted around his fingers as he settled it back into place. His brows furrowed as he frowned down at them and something told her it wasn’t an expression he made often. His eyes were a shocking silver, the mercurial pigment melting into a guarded, warm, brown that both terrified and comforted her.
As they checked out and loaded the painting supplies into the cart and headed to the car, the three women were approached by a fifty-something year old black woman with cropped short hair and a missing tooth in the front-bottom of her mouth. “Ma’am, ‘cuse me, sorry to bother you, but imma needin’ some help, missus any change you could-”
“Get away from me, you filthy animal!” Sister Jolley screeched. “You sure as shit do need help, but you ain’t gettin’ none from me. Now go on home before someone comes along and beats your black ass!” Did that really just come out of……
Those were the highlights of my days, in pink in my spreadsheet. And the thing is, having kids is not like when a man leaves you. In that crisis scenario, you are left with the hope that you can start again. In the kids scenario, you cannot put them back up your vagina where they came from. It’s done. Permanent. And people without kids resent when you tell them that not having kids is a selfish choice. Maybe they are right. But for sure, once you have kids, it is much more difficult to be selfish. You have seen my spreadsheet, and I was one that used to take pride in my endurance threshold. I had worked in investment banking! I was one that constantly gave my best shot at things. But you have seen what my days were like. Unworkable.
And the nights. The nights were purgatory, constantly waiting to be admitted to hell. Admissions were random………
Among the same group’s membership was General Edwin Walker. Walker used his military office to aid his own political interests. He publicly handed out John Birch Society literature to American troops. His propaganda labeled President John F. Kennedy and some of his appointees as Communist sympathizers. This was an attempt to associate John F. Kennedy with Soviet ideals and programs.