Nearly a week since Terry had last seen Adebisi. Not as many night shifts lately, the only reason Querns hadn't transferred him out was a fear of prejudice accusations. He used the free time to take care of forgotten matters. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, or maybe that's just in romance books. Mom would know.
76 years old, living in a retirement facility, crabby and still in partial denial about his "phase", but there were worse mothers. Medea, Joan Crawford, Shirley Bellinger...
"Found a girl yet?"
Eyes rolled, blatant enough for Mom to notice. Pulled off her bifocals, rubbing her weary face with cream. A frail hand hit her CD player. Lionel Richie.
"Found a boy yet?"
*Yeah Mom, wonderful man. You could eat the entire bluebird breakfast deluxe deal off his ass. We're trading rings and moving to a little cottage upstate. I'll do the dishes while he sells crack from our herb garden. Soulmates forever.*
She'll ask about barnyard animals and space aliens next.
"At least a busy social life might explain why you never see me."
Suppress the urge....good, wanting to knock her head off with a table lamp is wrong.
"I've got a new job, it takes up a lot of my time."
Barely listening, poring through a thick romance novel. Wonder if Adebisi ever did any of those covers. He had the body. Finally, Mom slowly walked toward Terry, running her index finger down his face.
"How the heck do you stay so youthful?"
"Wish they had all this technology when I had the chance to use it."
Terry pulled her from her recliner, hugging her. Didn't feel completely natural, but he did love her.
"Mom, you're beautiful."
A smile lit on her face.
"It's still nice to hear that on occasion."
Mom returned to her chair, age kidnapping her again.
"All day, I read the same old boring books. Terry, could you be a dear and get rid of these historical romances for me?"
Grabbed a few. Nice to see she wanted some change in format.
"Anything you want instead?"
She drummed her fingers in her lap for a moment.
"Sure we aren't being a little too daring there?"
"No, it's time."
Should be easier. Days and days since Terry visited. Desperation overpowered Adebisi, hunger. Where was he? Had Terry found another? Adebisi would kill them with his bare hands.
No. Not his own thoughts. Maintain control. Another day sitting at a table, eyes full of sleep.
"He has left our plane of reality."
"Nah, he's just lost his balls."
Reflex from insult made Adebisi slam his hand against the table, hard enough to send a fag scurrying. Not very hard at all.
"I am still aware."
O'Reily circling around him.
"Sure you are. We're...I'm not disputing that. Can't speak for Nikolai. He can barely speak English most of the time."
"Don't press me O'Reily, I do not forget easily."
Foreign muttering made his head ache further.
"GO AWAY! GO AWAY! YOU ARE NOT TERRY!"
The two men scattered. Good. Terry had much to answer for when he returned. Stares, shock, amazement. Ignored them. His nerves shook as he watched Querns' office, Querns and Said emerging. Said happy, shaking his hand. No....no.....no....
"Listen up. Kareem Said will be the official, sole trustee for Em City. He answers your questions, he wipes your noses and asses. Questions? No. Now get out of my face."
NO! Partner, not replacement. Fuck Terry, this came first. Had to gather thoughts, fists, kill Said now. Out of the chair, slowly, slowly edging closer to his rival, his obsession. Almost there, but Pancamo stepped in the path.
"How many tits you been' shoving up that nose Adebisi? We had it! We had everything, now it's gone! Fuckin' moolie."
So simple to replace Said's smugness with Pancamo's. Bottled every bit of strength, fist connected to dago jaw. Dago fist hit his belly, people all around, cheering, screaming, hacks interceding. Trip to the Hole. Maybe his head would clear.
"We got a name, now we must find a face. I have never seen Adebisi act so..."
"Fucked up. I've known him a lot longer, last time that even came close, he was in the middle of a blissed-out trip to Beulah Land. A lot different."
"How should we discover the cause for his descent?"
"I know most of the fuckers in this prison, but Em City only has two Terrys. One spends five days a week whining to me about wanting tits on credit. The other is Terry Emerson, new hack."
"A correctional officer? It is too bad Officer Murphy left, you and he were so...compatible."
"Yeah. Watch the vocabulary Nikolai. Here's my thought. We have to move fast, Querns is moving all the palefaces out, hacks and cons. Next time he shows up for work here, probably the last time, you run toward him waving a cross. If he gets the shakes, he's a vampire."
"And he will kill me."
"Nah, I got your back."
"Of course. As I have yours. I suggest a more simple idea. Vampires love blood, yes? I slit your throat, push you in a supply closet, scream 'Ryan O'Reily is bleeding to death in this supply closet!' and wait for him to drink."
"That's real clever Nik. Remember I cook your food. Wait, that's it...thanks Russkie. You just solved our problem."
"Wait and see. Trust me."
"That I will never do."
to be continued