88/66.4

88664Diogenes

A very brief look inside the darkness. Perhaps you’ll see why, even without a lantern.

[Estupenda Graca \\ Pat Metheny]

88/66.4

Brendan looked on helplessly as the Titanic disappeared within banks of swirling black mist, but Deborah Eisenstadt looked at the sight feeling both curiosity and revulsion.

“I think what we just witnessed was some kind of wormhole formation,” she sighed warily, “but what was that ship doing there?”

“What were they doing there?” Brendan cried — before angrily turning away from Deborah and running to his bedroom.

‘My God, he has fallen in love with that spy!’ she thought, now seriously unnerved by the all the dawning implications such an emotional upheaval might bring. She couldn’t imagine anyone less emotionally secure than Brendan, and certainly not if rejection was part of the formula, and especially as Didi and Harry were the only two people in the world he seemed to care about now. Yet there was nothing to do now but go to the man-child and try to pick up the pieces; this was about all she could think to do. Try to salvage what she could and get ready to deal with whatever fallout came their way.

Yet when she knocked Brendan came to the door and held it open for her, then he stood aside and let her pass. She was curious now, yet on guard as she walked inside and sat in a little chair beside a small, built-in desk. Brendan came back to his bed and sat there with his arms crossed over his stomach, looking down at the floor.

“You like her, don’t you?” Deborah started, innocently enough. “I mean, more than a little?”

He nodded. His downward gaze remained unfocused, his voice a flat wasteland.

“She’s almost twice your age, Brendan.”

“I can’t help the way I feel.”

“That’s okay, I understand. How about Didi? Do you know how she feels — about you?”

He shook his head. His arms seemed to constrict around his midsection.

“Have you asked her how she feels?”

Tightening constrictions. Clinching teeth. Flexing fingers.

“What do you think has happened?”

His arms broke free and with his hands now free he pulled back the sky: “This!” he cried.

Deborah came and sat next to him, and from this vantage she could see what he had revealed. Didi pushing Harry to the rock-strewn beach. Her grasping hands pulling Harry free before she mounted him, her back arched and her arms outstretched as if taking flight. Streams of auburn riding the wind in contrapuntal harmony to some deep reservoir of need, then their hands came together in grinding supplication…

Deborah wanted to look away — yet she couldn’t.

Brendan wanted to run from these images — yet he dare not. Not now. Not yet.

Then in a flash she watched a milky run of seed seeking new life — just before the image flickered and disappeared.

“That’s what happened,” Brendan said, his voice a ladle of despair. “Now she’s going to have his baby. A girl. Another Dana.”

“What?”

“Another one of…them.”

“Them? Brendan, what are you talking about?”

“The baby will be one of theirs, just like the other Dana. They’re part of the plan.”

“The plan?”

“I can’t see it yet, but it’s taking shape now.” He turned to Deborah and awkwardly, timidly put a hand on her breast…

And she looked at the boy, then at his hand — before she took a deep breath. “Brendan, you don’t need to do this.”

“I have to. He took her from me, so I have to take you from him.” He pushed her down to the bed.

“Do you have any idea how old I am, Brendan?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Brendan — we aren’t equations, you know? You can’t balance human behavior that way.”

“Of course I can.” He started to unbutton her blouse and within the cresting waves of the broken hearted she felt him mounting her so she looked up into his eyes… 

He was a wilderness, barren and unclaimed, yet she could think of nothing to do now but cradle his face with her hands. It was, she soon realized, easier to wipe away his tears.

© 2016-22 adrian leverkühn | abw | and as always, thanks for stopping by for a look around the memory warehouse…image: Jean-Léon Gérôme of Diogenes (gee, see a trend here, like maybe a subtle hint…?)

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