Mermaid, Chapter 14, End

This is the end of Chapter 14. Al has some fun, Tom Mike and Al visit the cellar for a chat and Roger talks to toothy Bill.

Al.

Sunday. 12/06

Stephie’s little misunderstanding with Tom was understandable. Between us we had all been talking around about Tom for years and Stephie was so proud of what her brother could do that she wouldn’t stop. The problem was that Tom’s not bonding and reaching into himself caused all sorts of stresses that while the family only slowly started to talk to us about, were all fairly obvious. Then Mike and I never went up there when Tom was there until he was back for those couple of years and then he spent all that time in his shop making gun parts.  The problem was that he did so well making those that Larry and I, for that matter, couldn’t help taking advantage of it.  Stephie had wanted him to do other things and she had nudged him to start their battles up again, but he just hunkered deeper into the work and Greta told Stephie to let it go.

I had wanted to see how Tom actually did things for years, so when Chrissie dragged me out I couldn’t get out there fast enough. Actually, the set up was mostly digging and the diagrams made the whole thing easier.  Stephie brought Tim out and he took some pictures and then we went over to look at the fence. If Robert and Tony sensed us they didn’t act as if they did when Tim and I went over to the fence. Tim turned to me and said, “When we were kids my buddies and I used to get through fences in abandoned buildings and stuff so we could explore.  Chain link with a barbed wire on top was a pain because you couldn’t cut with the tools we had. Wood, even if you had something on top, was easy because all you had to do was knock a board out and if you did it right the board wouldn’t even look like it was loose. These people put up a wood fence. So you guys getting in should be a breeze. Then they let this vine grow all over it. That’s just stupid.”

He went along the the fence under the vines and took some photographs. He came back and said, “Those people are idiots. You could just walk the kids right through the fence. The problem is the Twisted chasing you.”

“We’ll talk to Tony and Robert about that when we go in.” I replied “We do want to make the exit as clean as we can, so we won’t push it. Let’s go.” We went back out to the street. Stephie and the rest were waiting and Athena asked, “what were you looking at?”

“The fence, it’s full of holes and they don’t even know it.” Tim said, “Letting vines grow kills a fence because the vines get inside the cracks and pull the board out. I took some pictures.”

Tim took Bob, Scott and the young man that Boris had been watching the house with across the street to introduce them to Mr. Carpenter who had an nice blind where he could watch across the street. Then Tim came back and Boris and the ladies left with Tim and Bob, Scott and I finished the work. After we were done I turned to them and said, “After all those years of hearing your Aunt Stephie talk about how good Tom was, how do you think think that the real thing stacks up?”

“Al, the first time he understood that he was leaving us in the lurch he made sure that we were set up,” Bob said. “With his own money, not the farm’s. We’ve been watching him work on his gun stuff and now this stuff and he’s everything Stephie said he was. Also even after all those years of years that we hid all the stuff about fae and Change, he came right out and shared all his stuff. Then there’s this which if half of it goes off and I suspect that most of it will, it’s going to be amazing.”

“We can’t wait to see what he does at the wedding,” Scott said. “This is all stuff we knew about with no adding of his abilities. He keeps asking questions about them and he’s been Swimming in the bowers. He’s cooking up something. We were kids on the tail end of his battles with Aunt Stepthie and we remember how Aunt Stephie was always trying to figure things out and how cagy Uncle Tom can be. He did that Trouble package for Andy and I think that that’s going to be a popular Christmas present until all the boys and some of the girls have them. Then there’s this thing and the stuff that’s coming.  The fun thing is that we get to help and see all of it work. Not like the stables and Tony. We’re going across the street to watch  the show, so you take the van back.”

They walked across the street and I drove the van back to the house. Mike met me there and we decided to go for a Swim and touch base with our wives before we went in, for a variety of reasons. Eltra and Nera were moving slowly back and forth across the seawall that had become familiar and joined us when we Swam up. “There are ten Twisted in the back. We’ve been trading watch with two of Steve’s people and he has some people in the house next door that’s abandoned. We’re all ready for the show.”

Tom’s boat did a run by with Tom, Sal, Chissie, Roger and a merman that I didn’t know. We followed the boat to the other side of the house and once it got out of sight the house we joined it and climbed aboard. Tom said, “Al, Eltra, Mike, Nera this Tono, the king of the Sound bower. We came to take a look.”

Tono said, “This was everything you said it was.  How did we never even notice something like this?”

“Probably because it wasn’t like this,” Mike said. “He only called in the troops after Hilda gave him his headache. There were only six guards when we went in the other day. I suspect that these things are the things we were chasing in around New York for years.  We haven’t had a chance to go throught the wallets we took yesterday, but I suspect that we will close more than a few cases.  This is just the Manager calling in the local troops.  There’s no way you can keep this many Twisted concentrated and not have it noticed.  If the Manager had been smart he wouldn’t have brought them here at all, he would have told them to launch attacks all over the region to keep us busy and pulled out.”

“We have people at the railroad station if he tries that,” Tom said. “The FBI office sent them out.  They’ve been told to look out for that car of his, but not to close in or try to tail. Of course if he tries to use the car to go anyplace he’s going to be in trouble.  We haven’t seen his Change, so he may have options that we don’t know about. After we go in, I want to talk to mother about how to remove compulsions.”

“I do too” Sal said. “I wasn’t able to pull Al’s compulsions yesterday and I triggered them.  While Al was no great loss, I wanted to know what the Manager was up to and if he had any more connections through compulsions with the outfit.”

“Well lets head back.” Mike said. “I think it’s time that we find out what Andy wants us to know about.”

Eltra and Nera quietly dropped off the boat as Chrissie turned us out into the Sound before heading east toward the house.

“I going to hate telling father about this,” Roger said. “Especially that Bill is involved.”

“He’s involved,” Sal said. “He’s been in and out of that house. Even if hadn’t been eating people, he knew what was in that house and never told anybody.” “There might not have been anybody to tell,” Mike said. “We haven’t checked the police chief for compulsions, but I suspect that he is under them.”

“He never called Frank Magelleno,” Roger said. “Lt. Magelleno has been talking to all of us since my cousing Vicky died. We all thought he was a lune, but it looks like he was on to something. Anyway, we all had his number and knew he was fae and had contact down below.”

“Frank hasn’t said anything about this place,” Tono said. “I would have hit it if he had.” “I talked to Frank when this thing started,” Sal said.  “I found out about him when your uncle was complaining about him to his butler when I went to talk to him about your cousin. He didn’t have enough at that point to point any fingers,but a lot of things pointed at your family, Roger even before I talked with him.  The shark attack didn’t make sense and Frank at that point thought that somebody had put blood in the water when Vicky and her bonded were closing the deal.  He could never find any evidence of anybody being up at the beach when they were there.  So he kept chasing the leads he could and hoping that something broke loose. Until I started looking at shark attacks and their connection, he could see the links but not the method.”

“So you think that Bill was part of the shark attack in Vicky?” Roger asked. “We were all upset by her and John getting killed like that. Why do you think he did it?” “I haven’t figured that out. I didn’t have any contacts or experience with your people and how the alliances work.  I was working on that when the kidnappings and Andy came up and distracted me.  The sharks were used to kill at least seven bondings that I know of now. One was a Rockaway bonding between my best friend and Sillia’s brother and a connection from our neighborhood. That alliance would have joined Dom’s outfit with a growing metals outfit and provided resources and growth to the Rockaway bower.  Three more were Rockaway girls and Sound boys and I haven’t had time yet to talk to the boy’s families and see what they do. The other three including your cousin were from the Sound bower and your “Set.” I don’t know what each side of those couples brought to the table. Vicky and maybe some of the others might actually be the result of Bill and his friends wanting a bite on bondings they knew were happening.  By the way, if your sister hasn’t closed the deal yet I know a nice comfortable place over in Patchogue and a nice honeymoon on the Cape Swimming around the islands up there would be safe.  The word has gone out on your brother and his friends and the outfit up there has pictures and instructions. They even go near Montauk or the Cape and they disappear.”

“Violet has closed the deal and we have made arrangements with the family yacht to go South on a cruise, so that’s dealt with. Violet went up to Fire Island about the same time that most of Bill’s friends disappeared.”

“She was lucky then,” Tom said. “She was protected by the Manager’s obsession with me and the fact that the sharks couldn’t be in two places at once. Considering my little spat with my sister, that my sister and I really need to talk about, I have to wonder about how much jealousy played a part in Bill’s becoming a shark in the first place. Was your sister’s Change a trigger?”

“Bill was never good with girls. He was too full of himself. He also liked to hang out with a rough crowd and bullied people when he was younger.  You’ve probably seen his rap sheet if you’ve been talking to Frank, Sal.” “Actually we were pointed at that by Leonard when the traffic stuff all happened at the Cape.” “We never did figure out why he went up there with his friends.”

“The Manager’s orders,” Tom said. “After my encounter with Bill and his friends, I took Chrissie up to Vermont to break the mermaid scent trail and make sure that my parents didn’t go on the warpath against Chrissie’s parents.  Knowing what I know now, I don’t think that that would have happened, but at the time I was concerned about that.  I took pictures of the sharks coming at me and spread them around and one set went to my brother in law,Boris, who gave them to the Manager’s agent when they had a meeting right after I left the farm to go back to the Cape.

The Manager called out the troops and set up an ambush on a beach that they thought I would be using on my way back. Noro and his friends closed down the beaches on the Cape and shutdown the bridges once Bill and his friends were on the Cape and Chrissie’s dad and my brother in law, along with Sal, Mike and Al set up to ambush the ambush with me and Chrissie as bait. We went down the canal for a tidal Swim race and the ambush was mostly entertainment except for a guy in the outfit who got in front of some zombies that the Manager had set up. Frankly the whole thing was stupid because it relied on me and everybody else doing exactly what they thought we would do, with me showing up on that beach without a gun, dropping Chrissie right in the water and following her to be eaten.” “You don’t seem to have a gun now,” Roger said.

“You’re sitting on one. Lift that tarp.”

“Oh.”

“That was a family project,” I said. “The family and I worked with Colt when the army wasn’t sure they wanted it and Larry had bought the receivers as part of a scrap lot. Colt bought some of them back and Larry and I provided some quiet range space, design advice and Colt provided ammunition for testing,  sent their technical people up and provided machine work. The whole thing was done on a very low budget and that was mostly for ammunition and machine time.  At least I got to meet Mr. Browning before he passed on.  Larry and I had a lot of fun too.”

We arrived at the dock and Chrissie maneuvered the boat as we handled the lines and put the fenders out. Then Chrissie slipped over the side to join with her friends. They were Swimming back over to the Manager’s to catch the show with Nera and Eltra. Tono went into the poolhouse and Sal, Roger and Tom went into the parlor and Mike and I grabbed our clothes out of the lockers and got dressed.  We waited for Tom in the hall and when he came back out with Sal, Roger and Tim, he picked up the phone, dialed a number, put it back down and said, “We have half an hour.” Sal, Roger and Tim got in the Duesy while Mike, Tom and I got in another car and drove over to the forest near the Managers. Then we went discreet walked toward the fence and waited. The noise started and we simply moved the loose boards that Tim had found earlier and walked right across to the guesthouse and though the basement door that Andy was holding for us. “Hi, Uncle Tom, Al, Mike. you came.”

We were in a very nice little shop and hideout. The rest of the kids had Tom’s trouble pack out and were doing something with sheet metal and firecrackers. Tom asked, “So what are you planning with that?”

“Well when the sharks come back for the car, we’re going to have this in the garage to scare them.”

“How are you going to turn it on?”

“With a string, we think, Nagim said. There’s also a light near the garage that has it’s switch right next to the door in this house. Robert might connect a socket for us.”

“Be careful with high voltage. It can be dangerous. But if you have Robert connect the socket you should be fine. Do you have a socket?”

“Right here. Sarissa’s soldering the wires.”

She was. She turned around to Mike and said, “How come you didn’t get us out yesterday. We missed the party. From the noise it sounded like a lot of fun. We heard the band”

“We wanted to, but the Manager had too many of his Twisted and I didn’t want to risk that they might hurt you kids.”

A couple came down the steps. They were under compulsions but not as binding as they were supposed to be. They were also high fae and seemingly strong enough that placing compulsions on them in the first place should have been impossible by the Manager and anybody we had seen. Andy said, “This Albert and Mary. They are the staff for this house and they are the parents of the kid that had this place. Albert, Mary, This is Mike, Al and my Uncle Tom.  Uncle Tom killed my dad when he was a werewolf and Mike and Al shoot monsters for the government. Tony and Robert’s brother is their boss.”

Albert said, “So you are here to deal With HIM. How come you didn’t deal with him a long time ago.”

“Because we didn’t know about him or where he was.” Mike said. “We had hints and contacts with Gregor and Anthony’s moms, but they evaded us and we lost people trying to figure out what was going on. We also had to spend a lot of time shooting monsters that seemed to be random.  It wasn’t until recently that we had enough of the picture to figure out what was really going on and the right resources to work things out.  Until very recently, other than Andy’s family, very few of the fae kingdoms would even talk to us and we had no firm contacts. It’s only when the Manager attacked the Rockaway bower and tainted the water that we even knew that there was coordinated project to kill all the fae. So Andy seems to think that you have an important story. You also seem to be here, doing what you’re doing because you WANT to be here. Why?”

“Werewolves. Specifically the ones that were the Strumtrups in the war. You and Al look old enough to have been over there. Did you hear the stories?”

“I was an MP officer who chased Tom’s brother, a high fae who had been Turned all the way from Russia to the US where Tom shot him. Al ran a sniper unit that engaged them twice.”

“So you know about them. Good. I think that I will start from the beginning.  Back in the ‘80’s we came over from Europe. My father insisted that I come over and live here. We were high fae, but we had lost connection to our kingdom a long time ago. I went into business,  did very well and built this house. We had a son and he grew up here. When he was fifteen he met a young lady who was next door. She turned out to be high fae and royal and she and her family went under sea at that age because of her Change. Of course she and my son had bonded and the daughter came back to the seawall here when she finished her Change. My son had been admitted to the naval academy by then and was in his second year.  They decided to complete the bond when he graduated and they did.  Then the war came and he had to go. He had one last leave before he went overseas, was attached to one of those land based railroad guns the navy had and was killed. By werewolf infiltrators. His bonded had gone under sea and we never saw her again.” “She’s fine, Mike said. “She’s over at the house where the party was right now. Her daughter, who is probably your granddaughter is right offshore there watching the show we put on.” “That’s wonderful,” Mary said. “We can’t get together right now, but let Telia know that we are here.”

“So how did you end up here?” Mike asked. “You must have let youselves be compelled.” “Well, after the war ended, one of Victor’s fellow officers came over and told us what had happened.  So we sold the house and went over to Europe to see if we could track down the source of the werewolves and our families. We spent three years tracking down nightmares and finding nothing. My parents and seemingly every other fae had disappeared and the dark was everywhere. We tracked the same werewolves that you were chasing, Mike and even saw you once with that Russian fellow.  When the werewolves found a ship and we couldn’t find you, we came back to the States and just out of curiosity checked out our old house and there HE was, having compelled the owner. Since he seemed to be at the center of things, when he needed staff for the kids, we allowed him to enslave us and have been keeping an eye on him ever since.”

“Do you know if he has superiors?”

“There is one. We are sure of that. The sharks are an older Change and came over from Europe and infiltrated the Sound bower’s people and he gets resources and contacts like the Chemist and Pete, his necromancer. Who his boss is, we haven’t been able to discover.”

Mike looked at his watch. “We need to get ready to go. Round two is coming up.”

Andy handed me an old very nice German shotgun. “Albert gave this to me and I have some special shells. Can I shoot some Twisted next time during the noise. Mom said I could shoot monsters, but I don’t want to mess you up.”

“Andy, your mom and Aunt Stephie are supposed to shoot all the Twisted this time.” Tom said. That’s on the other side of the big house. Then next time is going to be on this side and I’ll tell your mom and my sister to leave some for you to shoot if you can do that without them noticing. Be careful and watch Robert and Tony. They know what they are doing and they want to protect you, so you don’t want to mess them up.” “I know.  I already talked to Tony and he thinks that we can get away with it.  We are also doing the fun stuff.”

“Is Sal having more parties?” Sarissa asked. “The Manager messed that one up for us and our mommies.”

“Your mommies were very disappointed that we couldn’t get you out for the party,” I said. “We have more parties coming and we are planning to have you there for them.”

Mary handed Mike an album. “Give this to our granddaughter so that she can see her father. Now get going.” The noise started and we went out the door and over to the corner of the back. Tony must have sensed us because he came over and said, “Tom, that was better than the horse. The idiots just went crazy.  Then they went in to the woods and never figured out that the ladies were taking them out. Get going before the fun ends.  We’ll talk later.”

Tom said, “There’s more fun coming Tuesday, close. So enjoy it.”

We went over to the fence and through the loose board. Which we made sure was back in place. Then we walked back to the car. As we got in I said, “That was interesting.”

“It was, wasn’t it.” Mike said. “Andy was right to set that up. And now we can tell Telia and Trillia that her grandparents are still alive and right here.”

“They seemed to like my gags,” Tom said. “They also dived right in on the trouble pack. If I weren’t worried about them getting caught by the lady I would tell them to make sure to make drawings of what they do. When they get out I’ll take them all through that. Sarissa seems to have picked right up on the electrical stuff. I wonder what else they will cook up?”

“I imagine that it will be fun,” I said. “That trouble pack was like water on dry ground after all that stupid stuff they were supposed to be “learning.”

We arrived back at the house and Tom went back in to talk to Sal, Tim and Roger while Mike and I went over to the poolhouse where Tono and Telia had been talking to Eric and Greta. There was a table setup next to the pool and Telia was in the water talking to Eric, Greta and Tono as we walked in, Eric looked over and said, “How did it go.”

“Well Andy made some interesting discoveries,” Mike answered. He handed the album to Telia. “Your inlaws are acting as servants in the house. Your bonded’s little shop is still in the basement of the guesthouse  and they gave me this.  I think your daughter will want to see her dad.”

“We must get them out with the children,” Telia said.

“I don’t think they will leave. They want the Manager. Apparently your bonded was killed by the same werewolves that we chased. Your inlaws were actually watching some of that and I want to talk to Boris along with them next time. They were there for at least part of our chase and there are still some unanswered questions. They also encountered the same missing fae issues that Roscoe did.  Either the families have gone into deep hiding or they were killed.”

“My family put me on a boat and sent me over and neither Boris or I have been able to reach our families since,” Greta said. “We’ve tried. So how are the kids doing?”

“Andy was upset that his mom took all the monsters this time, the rest are cooking up trouble and in general they are annoyed that they missed the party. They heard the band.”

“I get the feeling that they will be a handful for their mothers when they get out.”

“I think so,” I said. “But that’s a good thing.”

Trillia Swam in and Telia said, “Wonderful news, Trillia. Your grandparents are living in the Manager’s house, right under his nose.”

“They ARE,” Trillia said. “How did that happen.”

“Your father was killed by werewolves and they were tracking them down” Telia said. “When they came back the Manager was living in their house and they let themselves be compelled so that they could watch the Manager. They have apparently been there for some time watching the kids.”

“I want to meet them.”

“That’s not going to be easy until the manager goes down,” Mike said. “They want to keep the Manager in the dark about them as much as possible.”

Nera and Eltra Swam in. Nera said, “Steve’s people have taken over so we could get a break.”

“I want to be on Manager watch duty too,” Trillia said. “Now that I know that my grandparents are there, I want to watch for them.”

“You will need to learn to be discreet and how to sweep without being seen,” Eltra said.

“I already know how to be discreet and Swim up and down so that I can see without being seen. I use those to sneak into parties. Show me how you do it.”

“We will. Later, after dinner.  This isn’t easy either. You will need to be able to stay watching things for a long time and be alert to changes in what’s happening.”

“Like today. All of a sudden, all that noise and they all went over there.” “Yes, but but what else happened that they should have been looking out for.”

“Somebody sneaking in under the noise. That’s what you guys did.”

“That’s right. Just because you see something in front of you, doesn’t mean that something isn’t happening someplace else. Why don’t we go up to dinner and talk about this.”

We put Trillia and her mom into chairs and blankets and rolled them into the house. All through dinner Trillia pigeonholed me and Mike about her grandparents. “I’ve been past that house a thousand time and never stopped. It seemed so dead and we all thought that my father’s parents had gone. To think that they were there the whole time.” “It was inpossible to know when the house was shielded,” Eric said.  You probably got a tinge of the dark that was living there and didn’t want to stay around long enough that Albert and Mary knew your were there.  They never knew about you or what happened to your mother, so all they would see would be random merfolk.”

“Well now we know that we all exist and can get together. Grandfather, when the Manager is gone, put them up in that house you left empty.” “I will,” Tono said. “For many reasons. I need somebody up top that I can trust to not keep me in the dark when people try to communicate with me.  I suspect that my previous connection has been compromised. Probably by the Manager.”

“I’ll talk to Helmut and he’ll send somebody to look into when he can.” Mike said. “We’re strapped for resources right now between this and a bunch of monsters that turned up about the time that the warehouse imploded.  Though some of those cases probably died today when Stephie and Hilda shot them.

We didn’t get a chance to eat their cooking, but maybe Albert can set you up a place like Bennies that you can have as an up top contact that’s discreet. Though if things go the way they have been going, Bennie’s going to need to expand and Discreet is not what that place will be.”

Boris, Hilda and Stephie came in and Sillia waved Stephie over and said, “Stephie, how about you collect Tom and the rest and bring them in for dinner. That way you can talk to him and tell him what you really think.”

Stephie smiled and went back out. Bob, Scott and Steve came in and a bit later Stephie brought back a rather startled looking Tom along with Tim, Sal, Mera and Josh.  We had a nice meal and after Eltra and Nera insisted that Mike and I go for our Swims.  I said to her, “that was an interesting day.”

“Yes it was. What was going on between Tom and Stephie?”

“An old misunderstanding. Tom used to use a radio to listen to Stephie’s phone conversations and she found the radio, working, because Tom had set it up for the FBI guys. She’s been trying to decide if that radio had been used like that for years or if it was just another of Tom’s dead projects.  She wanted it for her collection. I’m going to talk to Tom and tell him that the best Christmas present he could give his sister would be the control box from his horse gag.  That’s the other thing she’s been looking for actively for years. He built new boxes for the noisemakers but I suspect that he has that box with him.

“And your little trip inside?”

“We found Trillia’s other grandparents. They were apparently chasing werewolves and found the Manager and have been inside spies. Now that we know about them we need to have a way to get information out, or when the Manage goes down have a very long chat with them.”

“The Manager seems stupid. ALL the Twisted went over to the walls when the nosie started and then they went out into the woods where there were supposedly people with guns.”

“I know. I suspect that the Manager hasn’t dealt with the potential of being exposed before and that the Twisted are usally not confronted by things like gunfire. So they draw down to what they are used to and expecting people to be aftraid of them.”

We continued our Swim and then Eltra collected me for some together time underneath the dock where we slept.

Roger

Sunday 12/06

On our way back to the house from the del Vecchios, father handed me the cartridge. “You can find Bill?”

“Yes. I’ll talk to him. I think he’s at their new clubhouse. I presume that you are cutting him off?”

“We don’t really have a choice. Not that it will matter. Kids for crying out loud.  A pile of kids. Plus the bondings, how many friends and relatives has he indulged himself with. How am I going to face my brother knowing that Bill ate his daughter, my niece and her bonded. Bill is not to come home, ever. I will tell the staff to call the police and Frank Magelleno if he shows up. If he gets nasty I’ll tell them to call Sal. Frankly I wish that Tom had shot the lot of them. But that would have been an easy way out and we don’t deserve that.  We weren’t paying attention. We never noticed how the boys were having trouble bonding and that there was a shortage of girls. Part of the problem is that we never understood that as fae, we couldn’t just marry non fae and we always expected that you could go to Europe and find mates in our set. But when we looked there weren’t any fae, in our set or anywhere else. We didn’t realize that we should have looked closer to home in amongst the neighboring communities. We forgot who we were and that was a mistake. Go to Bill and hand him that. Tell him that he can use it or not. Frankly, for some reason I don’t think it matters.  Leonard is going quietly talk to the other families, and we will have to get all the families together and talk to mera after her weddings next week. As for the sharks that are left, they are living on borrowed time, I think.  Sal will probably try to do this the right way, but if they go after another kid I don’t think that his friends will let them get back to the clubhouse.”

We arrived at home and I got my car out and drove over to the clubhouse. The place was essentially empty today, but Bill answered the door. He looked, like a monster, barely human and hungry, very hungry. “Father knows.”

‘Knows what?”

“What you have become. A reporter has a picture. He has stories in the paper and more coming.” I handed him the cartridge.

“What’s this.”

“The trigger pull. Somebody didn’t and gave you a month of life. He suggests for our sakes that you use this.”

“Why should I care, he was prey. The shark doesn’t care what the prey thinks.”

“Was Vicky, your cousin and John, prey?”

“They were food, delicious food. Like the others.”

“And the kids?” “They were delicious and gave me Change, Change and power. It wasn’t fair that Violet had Change and we didn’t. They were only street kids. Nobody will miss them.”

“Somebody did. They have your picture and they know who you are. They know everything.  Father has said that you are not to come home, ever.  You have been cut off. My advice is to use the cartridge. It will be easier.”

I left, got in my car and went for a long drive. Iwas going to have to tell father about this.  I hoped that Bill would do the right thing but I didn’t think that he would.

 

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