I’m still alive! Pretty sure, anyway… Yes, I’m back, if only for a moment, to try and finish this scene. It’s too damn important not to. I’ll share my past week’s misadventures another time. xxxxx
“…no use at all. The medicines did nothing.”
Chloe jumped at the sound of the axe on some unseen chopping block. A few fat snowflakes flew in through the crack of the open kitchen door to die upon the woodpile.
Sal held his arm in front of Chloe, ears red as the veins in his eyes.
“What did you even give her?”
He didn’t have to tell Chloe to be quiet. She clenched her jaw to keep from chattering, and dug her fingernails into her palms. How could she pretend like they didn’t hear? What was she even hearing?
“Who knows? What’s clear to me is that she knows where it is and she is not telling.”
WACK. “Not telling you, you mean.”
A lone, fat drop of blood broke from the rabbit pelt by the butcher’s block and struck the ground with a sound too loud, too obvious. Sal started pushing his arm against Chloe, his breathing shallow and fast under his plaid shirt.
“Don’t get started with me.”
Chloe took a step, but…but she couldn’t quite go. What was the big deal, really? Sumac worked for Chloe’s grandmother. The doctor would be here often to treat her.
Not that he sounded pleased about it. “That bitch has cost me too much time already. I want that seed, and I want it now.”
Sal stopped nudging. “Seed?” he mouthed silently. His lips formed the word, over and over as he hunched his gangly body forward and lurched further into the room. The balls of his feet wobbled as he crept, his fingers outstretched to grab anything, anything that could keep him from falling.
“Hand me the last of that meat, will you? My perimeter’s just about done.” Sumac sounded very much at ease, almost relaxed despite the axe work. “My point, Sir, is that she may have told one of her children.” WACK. “Or maybe she’ll tell the granddaughter. You said she liked her.”
Well. Chloe needed to follow now. She followed Sal’s cue and took to all fours, her knees fastly cold from old snow and blood. They kept close to the butcher’s block, the only real cover in the kitchen.
The two men’s shapes walked before a window, and stopped.
Chloe and Sal just made it between the butcher’s block and the fridge. They were hidden.
Chloe dared to peer with one eye around the edge, hoping the rabbit pelt would do enough to cover her head.
A small red something flew into the snow. “Could the girl be bribed, perhaps?”
WACK. “Damn joint.” A large, crooked something flew like a heavy boomerang before the windows. “Maybe. If the parents don’t get in your way.”
Dr. Artair laughed a jolly laugh. “Ah, but these are parents who want what’s best for their child. I’m sure I can bend that to my advantage.”
A drop of blood fell and splattered atop Chloe’s hand.
WACK. “If you say so.” WACK. “All I know–” WACK. Sumac grunted and stepped, stepped, stepped. “–is I’m not cleaning up any more of your messes tonight.” The kitchen door swung wide, groaning in the cold. He stopped in the doorway, holding a hand up to the light.A bloody, pale stump of a forearm and hand, adorned with a watch and a shredded purple sleeve. Sumac pulled the shredded fabric off and held the watch to his ear. “Always wanted a Van Doren.” With a smile he gave the bloody hand a high five and returned to the doctor, the meat, and the snowy night.
Word Count: 596 Total Count: 11,811
Hmmm. Not quite what I was planning here, but it’ll do for now. 🙂
Click here for a complete list of posts for my novella What Happened When Grandmother Failed to Die. And until tomorrow…
Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!