Chapter 55

…And yet, suddenly, like an etherial shadow, or a thief in the night, the tiniest flicker of darkness riding an imaginary breeze wafted between them just long enough to startle them both.

Neither of them could recognize this specter that alarmed them both so deeply.

“A disembodied  spirit? Maybe trying to hitch a ride?” Elliott whispered; he never even bothered to ask Aimée if she had seen it. “Or maybe fan-mail from some flounder?“ (A Rocky and Bullwinkle homage.)

She closed her eyes for just a moment, and turned her head ever so slightly as she bit her lip pensively.

“Well I think it’s more than just the hat…!” (More Rocky and Bullwinkle.) Aimée snickered slightly, but it turned into another one of her dreaded snorts, but in front of Elliott, she was losing her self-consciousness.

“Maybe just a ghost in the machine…”

(Elliott had a feeling that it wasn’t anything good.) Perhaps it was the specter of doubt. 

“Knock, Knock!” Rebel verbally reinforced two actual knocks, seemingly to telegraph her entrance into the kitchen.

“Got any more coffee? I need to get a good jump-start going before we finally get some rest….pretty good Joe as a matter of fact.”

“Yeah we got plenty, Just made another pot.”

“Hey, I hope I wasn’t interrupting anything…unless you wanted to invite me in on it…”

“I was just trying to figure out how long since Aimée and I had any quiet, mundane time together. It was kind of nice really, and I don’t mind you being a part of it. In fact, it’s nice with the three of us…has a kind of domestic feel to it.” 

“Well thanks, Doc, but we ll need this coffee so I’m just going to take the pot out there…How soon for the first course?”

“We’ll have the eggs ready in less than two minutes, and they’re fixed about any way you can think of, plus both smoked bacon and uncured pork belly if you prefer.”

“Plus about a whole loaf of toasted bread and sliced tomatoes.”

“I thought that Rebel could use some help carrying everything in. We’ve got some very hungry people out there.” 

With that, the breakfast caravan got everything to the table, and the food was so good that barely a word of business was spoken for almost twenty minutes. Not that they needed much spoken conversation, since the empathic communications were progressing rapidly.

Two large pitchers, one filled with tequila sunrise, and the other with tequila bloody Mary helped insure that everybody got their daily doses of vitamin C. but no one drank or ate excessively.

Despite the sumptuousness of the table, moderation and restraint governed everyone’s actions.

With the final nibbling and relaxing, both Jed and Elliott produced several joints to help take the edge off and prepare everybody for rest, relaxation, and eventually…sleep.

“When we’re all ready, later we’ll discuss some ideas we have and maybe make some plans…assuming that you two are still interested…”

“Unless we encounter some kind of insurmountable differences of opinion, I think that we are most definitely interested…unless you have any objections, Chianna…What do you think?

Chianna grinned a lot more than she intended, which caused her to blush, before she simply said “Was there any question in your mind that I’m still very interested?”

“Not a bit…but I’m also sure that you realize that I am extending you the courtesy of asking.” Jed smiled a very patient, indulgent smile as he spoke.

In the time since they had established their residence at the Fourteenth Colony, the social isolation as well as general boredom had put a serious strain on their marriage, and in the last four or five months it sometimes bordered on alienation of affection, at least as far as Chianna was concerned.

The longer that they were there, the less that Chianna felt engaged by her activities of daily living. Elliott had always been a take-charge kind of guy, and they wanted for little in the way of comfort, but Chianna’s boredom became expressed by sleeping most of the day, and complaining that she couldn’t sleep at night.

Any attempts on Elliott’s part to help her get back on track were met with derision or outright hostility, because she didn’t really want to get ‘better’ and truth be told, even Elliott could see that Chianna was using her ‘health problems’ as a passive-aggressive method of controlling Elliott, or at the very least only doing what she felt like doing when she felt like doing it.

Elliott wasn’t the kind of person to get heavy-handed or confrontational with any woman, (not that he didn’t have equally dysfunctional ways of coping with his disappointment), but he had decided, a very long time ago that this would be the last time he let himself be compromised by Love…(just like every other time, except lately, because even he felt like he was being a pussy about it).

“Well, then what would be my role in this organization?”

“Well, your assistance with things like the labeling and bottling would be extremely useful; after all, that is a part of the operation that has never even been necessary  before, but if there’s something else that you had in mind…”

“I wasn’t really thinking along the lines of production…”

“Then what?”

“That depends on if Jed has anything that he needs…or wants done while they’re on the road…”

The sound of the slow, steady drip of the cold water faucet in the kitchen drowned out the sound of all breathing in the dining room.

“Well, I suppose that depends on what Jedidiah needs…perhaps we should ask him.”

There was not a single closed mouth in the room, despite the fact that no one was speaking…or even breathing for an interminable amount of time.

Knowing looks and furtive glances shot across the room like bullets ricocheting in an alley.

“Ahhhhh…” Jed was clearly at a loss for words. “Elliott…are you sure that you’re OK with this?”

“It’s not really a question of what I think or want.”

“I gotta disagree with you on that…i would rather walk away from the whole thing before I would do anything to hurt you…ever.”

“What do you think it would be like here if you did? I don’t want this to be misunderstood, but really, you’d be doing me a favor. If Chianna and I are supposed to continue to be happily married, it has to be her choice on this one.”

“Don’t you get a say in this?”

“Sure I do; I can say no, or if you go, don’t come back. That’s like burning your bridges before  you cross them.”

“I can say ‘I forbid you to leave,’ in which case, even if she does stay, I’ll wish she had left.”

“Or I can say do what you think is right for you, and if that leads you back to me, I’ll know that you’re here for the right reasons, and if you don’t, it wasn’t meant to be.”

“But what are you feeling right now?” Leigh-Anne had been silent through all of it up until then, but somebody had to say it.

“OK, look…it’s like this…Chianna has to decide what she wants. I have chosen to love her unconditionally.”

“I would never betray her, or send her away, or give up on her, but frankly, if she wants to go off with you, then that’s what she should do…in fact you’d both be doing me a favor.”

Chianna gasped, and then began to sob like her heart was breaking.

 “If that hurts to hear me say that, then you know what I feel every day since you began rejecting me…. You take me for granted…maybe because I haven’t stood up for myself.”

“There’s no challenge.”

“I can’t even blame you for it any more…shit! I could never respect anybody who let me treat them the way you treat me, so who’s the fool?”

“It’s been one hell of a day and a night for all of us…and way past the point where we’d better stop before somebody says something they’re sorry for, or that they can’t take back.” Leigh-Anne certainly had a gift for putting everything in perspective.

“We’re all exhausted and it’s time to rest..not to fuck…to rest, and I think we all need to do that together, like six cats sleeping on a sofa…you know what I mean. They all touch each other just enough to make contact…to keep that connection, and pass it around.”

“We didn’t come this far just to give up because of one little mid-air collision…right?”

“The rest of the world is in ruin, and over half the population that we know of is dead. So if this doesn’t start out like summer camp in the Poconos, I suggest that we stop and think about what we do have here.”

“In spite of heartbreak and disappointment enough to send us all on our separate ways for…how long? We’re all back here for a reason, and maybe part of it is for all of us to help each other.”

“If we can all forgive…and never forget, we might just have a chance.”

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

copyright  ©  March 11th, 2021  

Fish swim with the tides, in and out of the lagoon as it empties itself, receives from, and flows back into the sea.

*ALL REFERENCES TO ANY PERSONS CONFIRMED STILL LIVING IS PURELY CO-INCIDENTAL…AND THE DEAD ARE TOO BUSY LAUGHING AT US TO CARE.

…And yet, suddenly, like an etherial shadow, or a thief in the night, the tiniest flicker of darkness riding an imaginary breeze wafted between them just long enough to startle them both.

Neither of them could recognize this specter that alarmed them both so deeply.

“A disembodied  spirit? Maybe trying to hitch a ride?” Elliott whispered; he never even bothered to ask Aimée if she had seen it. “Or maybe fan-mail from some flounder?“ (A Rocky and Bullwinkle homage.)

She closed her eyes for just a moment, and turned her head ever so slightly as she bit her lip pensively.

“Well I think it’s more than just the hat…!” (More Rocky and Bullwinkle.) Aimée snickered slightly, but it turned into another one of her dreaded snorts, but in front of Elliott, she was losing her self-consciousness.

“Maybe just a ghost in the machine…”

(Elliott had a feeling that it wasn’t anything good.) Perhaps it was the specter of doubt. 

“Knock, Knock!” Rebel verbally reinforced two actual knocks, seemingly to telegraph her entrance into the kitchen.

“Got any more coffee? I need to get a good jump-start going before we finally get some rest….pretty good Joe as a matter of fact.”

“Yeah we got plenty, Just made another pot.”

“Hey, I hope I wasn’t interrupting anything…unless you wanted to invite me in on it…”

“I was just trying to figure out how long since Aimée and I had any quiet, mundane time together. It was kind of nice really, and I don’t mind you being a part of it. In fact, it’s nice with the three of us…has a kind of domestic feel to it.” 

“Well thanks, Doc, but we ll need this coffee so I’m just going to take the pot out there…How soon for the first course?”

“We’ll have the eggs ready in less than two minutes, and they’re fixed about any way you can think of, plus both smoked bacon and uncured pork belly if you prefer.”

“Plus about a whole loaf of toasted bread and sliced tomatoes.”

“I thought that Rebel could use some help carrying everything in. We’ve got some very hungry people out there.” 

With that, the breakfast caravan got everything to the table, and the food was so good that barely a word of business was spoken for almost twenty minutes. Not that they needed much spoken conversation, since the empathic communications were progressing rapidly.

Two large pitchers, one filled with tequila sunrise, and the other with tequila bloody Mary helped insure that everybody got their daily doses of vitamin C. but no one drank or ate excessively.

Despite the sumptuousness of the table, moderation and restraint governed everyone’s actions.

With the final nibbling and relaxing, both Jed and Elliott produced several joints to help take the edge off and prepare everybody for rest, relaxation, and eventually…sleep.

“When we’re all ready, later we’ll discuss some ideas we have and maybe make some plans…assuming that you two are still interested…”

“Unless we encounter some kind of insurmountable differences of opinion, I think that we are most definitely interested…unless you have any objections, Chianna…What do you think?

Chianna grinned a lot more than she intended, which caused her to blush, before she simply said “Was there any question in your mind that I’m still very interested?”

“Not a bit…but I’m also sure that you realize that I am extending you the courtesy of asking.” Jed smiled a very patient, indulgent smile as he spoke.

In the time since they had established their residence at the Fourteenth Colony, the social isolation as well as general boredom had put a serious strain on their marriage, and in the last four or five months it sometimes bordered on alienation of affection, at least as far as Chianna was concerned.

The longer that they were there, the less that Chianna felt engaged by her activities of daily living. Elliott had always been a take-charge kind of guy, and they wanted for little in the way of comfort, but Chianna’s boredom became expressed by sleeping most of the day, and complaining that she couldn’t sleep at night.

Any attempts on Elliott’s part to help her get back on track were met with derision or outright hostility, because she didn’t really want to get ‘better’ and truth be told, even Elliott could see that Chianna was using her ‘health problems’ as a passive-aggressive method of controlling Elliott, or at the very least only doing what she felt like doing when she felt like doing it.

Elliott wasn’t the kind of person to get heavy-handed or confrontational with any woman, (not that he didn’t have equally dysfunctional ways of coping with his disappointment), but he had decided, a very long time ago that this would be the last time he let himself be compromised by Love…(just like every other time, except lately, because even he felt like he was being a pussy about it).

“Well, then what would be my role in this organization?”

“Well, your assistance with things like the labeling and bottling would be extremely useful; after all, that is a part of the operation that has never even been necessary  before, but if there’s something else that you had in mind…”

“I wasn’t really thinking along the lines of production…”

“Then what?”

“That depends on if Jed has anything that he needs…or wants done while they’re on the road…”

The sound of the slow, steady drip of the cold water faucet in the kitchen drowned out the sound of all breathing in the dining room.

“Well, I suppose that depends on what Jedidiah needs…perhaps we should ask him.”

There was not a single closed mouth in the room, despite the fact that no one was speaking…or even breathing for an interminable amount of time.

Knowing looks and furtive glances shot across the room like bullets ricocheting in an alley.

“Ahhhhh…” Jed was clearly at a loss for words. “Elliott…are you sure that you’re OK with this?”

“It’s not really a question of what I think or want.”

“I gotta disagree with you on that…i would rather walk away from the whole thing before I would do anything to hurt you…ever.”

“What do you think it would be like here if you did? I don’t want this to be misunderstood, but really, you’d be doing me a favor. If Chianna and I are supposed to continue to be happily married, it has to be her choice on this one.”

“Don’t you get a say in this?”

“Sure I do; I can say no, or if you go, don’t come back. That’s like burning your bridges before  you cross them.”

“I can say ‘I forbid you to leave,’ in which case, even if she does stay, I’ll wish she had left.”

“Or I can say do what you think is right for you, and if that leads you back to me, I’ll know that you’re here for the right reasons, and if you don’t, it wasn’t meant to be.”

“But what are you feeling right now?” Leigh-Anne had been silent through all of it up until then, but somebody had to say it.

“OK, look…it’s like this…Chianna has to decide what she wants. I have chosen to love her unconditionally.”

“I would never betray her, or send her away, or give up on her, but frankly, if she wants to go off with you, then that’s what she should do…in fact you’d both be doing me a favor.”

Chianna gasped, and then began to sob like her heart was breaking.

 “If that hurts to hear me say that, then you know what I feel every day since you began rejecting me…. You take me for granted…maybe because I haven’t stood up for myself.”

“There’s no challenge.”

“I can’t even blame you for it any more…shit! I could never respect anybody who let me treat them the way you treat me, so who’s the fool?”

“It’s been one hell of a day and a night for all of us…and way past the point where we’d better stop before somebody says something they’re sorry for, or that they can’t take back.” Leigh-Anne certainly had a gift for putting everything in perspective.

“We’re all exhausted and it’s time to rest..not to fuck…to rest, and I think we all need to do that together, like six cats sleeping on a sofa…you know what I mean. They all touch each other just enough to make contact…to keep that connection, and pass it around.”

“We didn’t come this far just to give up because of one little mid-air collision…right?”

“The rest of the world is in ruin, and over half the population that we know of is dead. So if this doesn’t start out like summer camp in the Poconos, I suggest that we stop and think about what we do have here.”

“In spite of heartbreak and disappointment enough to send us all on our separate ways for…how long? We’re all back here for a reason, and maybe part of it is for all of us to help each other.”

“If we can all forgive…and never forget, we might just have a chance.”

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

copyright  ©  March 11th, 2021  

Fish swim with the tides, in and out of the lagoon as it empties itself, receives from, and flows back into the sea.

*ALL REFERENCES TO ANY PERSONS CONFIRMED STILL LIVING IS PURELY CO-INCIDENTAL…AND THE DEAD ARE TOO BUSY LAUGHING AT US TO CARE.

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