Some time has passed since the Holy day of my forgiveness. I’ve lessened my drug intake. The child grows; thriving on the love of a perfect mother and the teasing of a less an imperfect man. Kristine and I do not talk as often as we used to. When we do the exchanges have an undercurrent that may never leave.
I’ve made several efforts to explain my experience after Shanna’s death and mishandle the subject each time. Kristine distils my unlikely story into a format she can understand: I’d found a baby somewhere, took too many drugs, and hallucinated the rest. Her nervous glances at my pill bottles, or the glass in my hand, speak volumes of incredulous disbelief even if she refuses to voice them.
Exasperated by her motherly patience my thoughts usually scatter, and the tale loses cohesion. I spit out my transmogrification in indigestible chunks and halting mis-remembrances which wind down in guilty silences. She raises an eyebrow particularly high when I describe my psychic abilities.
True, I compound the unlikely nature of these claims by waving my arms vigorously to show her the Parasite fog that stains the sky a little more each day. I press my hands against a refuelled shield that has returned to glow in sickly luminance around me, infuriatingly invisible to Kristine’s eyes. I strain every fibre of my being to penetrate Kristine’s mind, without success.
“What are you doing? Why are you screwing up your face like that? Are you constipated?”
The experiment is aborted.
“No I’m trying to... ahh, forget it.”
The third Parasite thread takes longer to arrive, but I’ve been vigilant; half-expecting its appearance. The tendril streaks another dark line across the sky, halving the North-West quadrants as it joins the X’s locus a week later. I keep the disturbing, unprovable information to myself.
The dearth of Creeps around our broken-fenced home is reversed around the time a forth tendril slices the sky into smaller pie wedges. I believe the destroyed nest is being triangulated by others. The incoming, road weary Creeps we begin to see on the highways, are replayed in my lucid dreams. They are the scouts of a larger Army, seeking the nest destroyers.
We are hunted.
But this time I have a honed weapon that can hurt them.
And, if running away is not an option, I vow to protect my dysfunctional family and fight them to my last breath.