Use: “As thick as London fog …” or “Like oil and water …” or “She ran in …”
Use: Pizza, peanut butter and kool-aid or Lightning, blue sky and a chair
Use: The image of a dead tree
I just signed my first contract with Torquere Press, and they will be publishing my short story, A Special Christmas, in December of this year! Needless to say, I'm quite excited about it!
Stan and Ollie #19
I’m honestly not sure where my head was when I made that demand of Xylina. Brandy? Why? Somewhere in my muddled thought processes, I must have equated it with something I’ve seen on TV, St. Bernards bringing assistance to stranded travelers in the Yukon.
Or maybe on a more practical level I’m just thinking it will do something for his circulation.
I’m trying not to panic, trying to maintain a certain level of calm. But it’s not easy. I remind myself that we’ve been in difficult situations before, this is not the first time. But that’s small comfort right here and now.
I vaguely hear Xylina in the background. I think she’s arguing with the desk clerk. I’m beginning to wonder if this place even offers room service, or if it’s every guest for himself. I hear the tenor of her voice change from crotchety cat to silken purr. I suspect he’ll do whatever she wants.
Sure enough, moments later she’s standing before me, clearing her throat, and I look up at her from Ollie’s bedside.
“It’s coming,” she smirks. “What reason do you have to think it will work?”
I don’t even know. I don’t know what to say, and for a long moment we simply glare at one another Finally, I offer, “I saw it in the movies.” A half-truth, but what the hell.
“This is such a miserable planet,” she grumbles, pulling up a chair to the other side of the bed, as close to Ollie as she can be without changing into her cat form. I honestly think she realizes she needs to refrain from doing that. The two of us need to be able to communicate, odd though that may be, and I don’t speak cat. “I tried to talk him out of coming, but no, he would not listen. He said you were here and he was going to be with you no matter what.”
She’s just succeeded in making me feel worse. As if I’m to blame for Ollie being in this condition. I guess I am. I’ve always known the reason he came to Earth was to find me and be with me. And now…
Please, God, don’t let Ollie die, I pray, as I bury my face against him. I don’t want her to know her zing hit its mark. I can feel his breathing, but it’s so shallow, so faint… and he’s far too cool for my liking. When the knock comes at the door, I never move. Let her do it.
Like oil and water, that’s what we are. The only thing we have in common is Ollie. I don’t like her and she knows it. The feeling is more than mutual. If not for their symbiotic link…
Wait, what happens to her should something to him? The thought dawns on me, and I have no idea.
She returns with a paper bag and a smug expression. She loves that human men are stupid enough to fall all over her and do as she tells them to do. Except for me, obviously. She hands me the bag. “I hope you know what you’re doing.” She eyes me suspiciously.
So do I.
“Can you feel him?” I ask suddenly. I pull out the pint bottle of brandy. It’ll do.
“The connection is there, of course,” she replies guardedly.
“But can you feel him? Can you reach him with your mind?” I know I’m grasping at straws, like with the brandy. But I have to try.
“He is not speaking.” I hear the regret in her voice, and for just a moment she’s let her guard down and I can feel her pain. I know she loves him, in her own way, hard as that is to believe. I blink back the tears that suddenly threaten to fall. I can’t fall apart. It’s a luxury I cannot afford.
“Ollie, baby.” I reach up so I can murmur in his ear. “Hang in there, just hang in there. I’m here for you. Just hold on, let this thing run its course. Everything will be okay.”
I’m talking like he’s got the flu or something. Bed rest, plenty of fluids, and a healthy dose of Stan’s TLC. If only it were that simple.
I open the bottle and place my fingers over the mouth, upend it and wet them. Then I press my fingers against his lips. Carefully. Just a small dose, to see if he’ll swallow. If not, there’s no point in offering more.
At first there is no reaction. Then as we watch, the tip of his tongue appears, takes the liquid and disappears. I wait, but there is nothing else. It’s a start, right?
I’m thinking I should send Xylina out to do reconnaissance. To keep us abreast on what’s going on in Cortez as regards our deceased client. But somehow I don’t think she’d obey me and, to be honest, I wouldn’t blame her. I’m not willing to leave Ollie’s side, why should I expect her to be.
I remember the first time I saw Ollie. I’d just come home from work. It was a cold night, and I was hungry, and not in a particularly good mood. Gwin and I were living together, had been for a while, in Mom’s house. And there he was. Sitting in Mom’s chair, petting that furball. And even though I didn’t admit it to myself, there was something about him…
Dammit, you crazy alien, come back to me. I need you. I confess it, I do. You’ve made my life complete. I thought I didn’t need love until you came along and showed me how wrong I was. I don’t want to live in a world where you don’t exist. I love you, Ollie, so very much…
A hand brushes my arm, startling me. I glance up. Xylina is pointing toward the corner of the room. What the hell?
Reluctantly, I turn my head… and behold a pale specter.
Just fucking great…
to be continued
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Until next time, take care!