Monday, October 8, 2012

Dead Rite chapter 128.07


Harold lay back against the pillows. Why would he tell the woman's son about her past? Once he was out of here, the chances he would ever see her again were remote, despite her preposterous assertion that she was his daughter, grown suddenly from six years old to twenty-odd. It was ridiculous that she should expect him to believe it.

“Right.” She nudged the boy out of his self-induced isolation. “Come on, Len. Time for us to go. Simon will be back from the shop and be wanting his dinner.”

The boy pulled off his headphone. “Can we have chips? And sausages?”

“We'll see.” She flashed Harold a look-what-I-have-to-put-up-with smile. “That's your fault.”

“My fault?” Harold frowned. “Why?”

“It's Friday. We come to you every Friday and you always make sausage and chips. Or sometimes egg and chips.”

“Do I?” Harold looked for a drink of some sort to moisten his suddenly dry mouth. There was a bottle of Laverstone Spring water on his bedside table and he reached for it. It was a chance to cover his confusion. How did the nurse know he always had chips on a Friday? Jasfoup called it his 'Catholic conscience' despite Harold never having been a Catholic. The nearest he'd ever got to a Catholic mass was sponsoring the new stained glass window at St. Pity's when their original one was stolen. It was the least he could do, especially after the stolen window appeared to match the one in his house down to the last bloom of colour in the apostle's beards.

“Yes, Dad.” She leaned forward to pass him the bottle of water and gave him a peck on the cheek. Right. We'll see you tomorrow.”

“You're going?”

“Yes, Dad. We can't stay here all night.”

“But I thought...” Harold looked at the clock. It was five PM. Probably her shift end. That would explain her hasty departure. “Never mind. Good night.”

“Right.” She looked at the boy. “Got everything? Give Granddad a kiss and we'll be off, then.”

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