• Jeff South

Blogtober, Day 27

Word of the day: Desert

“Mason, come here, buddy.” Marty motioned to his son, but Mason stayed put.

“I’m talking to Terry,” he said.

“That’s Terry?” Marty’s stomach knotted and pitched at the thought of something possessing his wife. “That’s Mommy, buddy.”

“She’s talking like Terry. It’s funny.”

Leslie’s gaze remained fixed on Marty as he stepped further into the dining room.

“What are you guys talking about?” He dared not make any sudden moves.

“Daddies,” Leslie said in the same childish voice that she used the other day when Pastor Buck was there. Marty swallowed hard. His mouth was desert dry.

“What about them?”

“Just stuff,” Mason said. “How sometimes they’re funny and silly and sometimes they’re mean.”

“Sometimes they hurt you.” Leslie sat motionless, staring a hole through Marty. “Sometimes they do very bad things.”

“Well, I wouldn’t do anything like that.” Marty felt a little silly defending himself, but it seemed appropriate somehow. “Did you daddy hurt you, Terry?”

Leslie looked away and pouted. She scrunched her face up, a gesture that conveyed Terry was not willing to answer that question. Mason reached up and put his hand on his mother’s knee. Marty reached out in protest and a piercing pain shot down his arm to remind him that sudden movements were ill-advised.

“Come on, Mason,” he said instead. “Let’s go find some chocolate milk.”

“Daddy,” the boy replied, “is it okay if Terry stays?”

Marty drew a breath and held it. He looked at Leslie who wore that awful grin again.

“I do like it here.”

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