Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dead Rite chapter 128.08


Harold glanced from the nurse to the schoolboy. Perhaps she was telling the truth? He could imagine a nurse pretending to be his grown-up daughter – Hadn't there been a Hitchcock film about a woman's claim to be a man's daughter to get his house and money when he prematurely died? But this was involving a child and he couldn't imagine anyone manipulating a child in such a fashion.

“Cone on, Len. Hurry up. We need to go.” The woman claiming to be Lucy flashed him a smile as the boy packed away his gaming devise and shuffled toward Harold, lips puckered for a cheek-to-cheek kiss.

Harold stared at his grandson, the amber glow of his eyes seemed familiar and he struggled to place the memory. Had he dandled the child on his knee as a baby? He tried to imagine the action. He'd done it with Lucy often enough, until she'd grown too old and too self-confidant to allow him. He could hear the indignation in the toddler's voice. “Da-ad! That's for babies. I'm not a baby any more.”

He smiled at the recollection and tried to imagine Leonard in her place. Was there ever a boy on his knee? It didn't feel right. He couldn't even imagine the seven year old as a baby but failed. Lucy with dark skin? That was a little more familiar. He explored further. A child, with ink black skin and amber eyes. The image was so close he could almost taste the November wind in a schoolyard. Lucy at St Pity's when she was six, the day she wanted to take Jasfoup in for show and tell. Jasfoup the toy. Jasfoup the demon. Mrs Hammond and her insistence that Harold be a member of the PTA and take the hand of a grubby little boy called...called...

He opened his eyes. “Lentil.”

At his bedside Leonard growled and turned away. The nurse glared at him. “That wasn't very nice, Dad. You've hurt his feelings now.”

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