• Jeff South

Blogtober, Day 22

Word of the Day: Collide

“I thought you said your wife’s name was Leslie,” Buck whispered. “Who is Terry?”

Leslie remained seated. Her hands rested on her lap. The sinister grin never wavered.

“Terry is whoever my son was talking to the other night.” Marty stood frozen with fear. He would’ve swallowed if only he had any spit. His mouth was arrid and thick. He drew a tentative breath, but was afraid to release it. Everything he ever believed was now colliding with everything he thought was complete bullshit and the resulting debris threatened to bury him.

“I’m Terry. I am.” Leslie’s voice raised an octave and her smile morphed into a pout. “Don’t make me go back.”

“Who are you, Terry?” Buck held out his contraption with the meter at the top toward Leslie. The needle spiked all the way to the far right.

“None of your beeswax.”

“She sounds like a little kid,” Marty said. “Terry is a kid.”

“I don’t think you belong here, Terry.” Buck sat the device on the dining room table. “I just wanna help, okay?”

“You don’t want to help. Everyone says they want to help. But no one ever does.”

“What the fuck?” Marty caught himself. “Sorry, pastor.”

Buck shook his head. “An apt response.”

The strip mall preacher eased his hand into the satchel, eyes locked on the possessed woman staring into his soul. She slowly shook her hand at him.

“No,” she whispered.

“I just wanna help.” Buck’s voice remained calm and steady. Leslie’s did not.


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