Her voice trembles as she struggles to absorb the heaviness and utter disbelief that clouds her as she stares at her feet -The lack of them actually. Mod gently takes her hand in his and pleads
“You need to stop. I know its bad. I do. But you can’t be like this. I can’t bear to see you this way. I’m sorry i can’t Vah. I just can’t. Its harder for me to watch you all torn up like this. I can’t take it.” Tears flow down his chubby cheeks. She pauses from her distress long enough to wrap him in her arms, momentarily calmed by his 7 years of innocence. And she forgets. For a moment she forgets the elixir of her devil’s speed in her red ford on the darkened highway just 2 days before. She almost forgets her pointless escape from the pain. His baby breath comforts her and she forgets. For a moment. Before it all comes rushing back in electrifying flashes that shock her back into the truth of her new found loss. She hugs the boy with a harsh vengeance suddenly. Almost hurting him. But he lets her. He is calm in absorbing her misery in this wicked embrace, seeming to deflect its force into a secret space in his limitless universe. All accomodating and wise beyond his years. He hugs her back. She stays suspended in her black ecstacy till there’s a knock at the door. Its gentle at first. Then persistent. He moves to unhinge himself from her alarming grasp but her voice stills the child. She takes his face in perspiring hands.
“Don’t Mod. Stay here. It could be Mom or Dad. You remember what they did to me? Do you remember what they almost did to you? But i saved you. I saved you from what they did to me.” He wraps small hands about her wrists, his huge eyes bearing into the core of her existence. His calmness frightens her
“I know Vah. I remember. But they can’t find us here. I think we really got away. I think its James. He found you in the wreck. He came by earlier this morning. To see how you were. Said he’ll be back this time today. I’m sure its him.” She calms down a tad.
“Okay. Go see who it is.” The boy turns from her quietly to go get the door. From the tiny inner room she hears it click open and slam shut a little too quickly. He runs to her breathing -his breath heavy, gasping for air. Before she asks, he offers inbetween breaths, stammering in the process
“A man… a big big tall ma..n at th the balcony. Sai..d no nothing to me. Just stared. All he did was stare. Black hat…. Gun… evil smile.” She begins to chuckle as though amused. Her voice is sardonic with deep sadness and satire.
“You saw Father… it is him. He has found us.” Mod creeps away from her to curl up in the nook of the inner room’s deepest corner. Scared. They both hear the door click open. Bolt from bolt keeper. She stops laughing, fear beginning to cease her existence. Bold footseps echo through out the wooden house from the main door, getting louder the closer they get. Majestic and powerfully disposed, the man stands now at the open door to the inner room staring into Vah whose terror diffuses as she notes the kindness in his eyes. Mod has his hands over his face in the corner of the room. Praying. The stranger’s voice forces the boy to dare a glimpse at him
“Mod? Its me. Judas.”
“Judas!!” He runs into the open arms of the big tall stranger who lifts him high into the air, snortling with great excitement. Vah looks confused but inquires with her eyes.
“James’ Brother. We found you together. The hospital has him occupied so he asked me to come see you.” Her awkward face quiets down in tone, relaxing in the process. Before she assumes cool offence at the invasion
“You could have said something atleast. Are you here alone?” The second sentence leaves her lips as she is made self conscious of her disability by his intimidating presence. He responds without ceremony
“I’m not. As a matter of fact…” Before he can finish the statement, a shapely, well suited black woman seems to just appear by his side. Her smile would be infectuous if she didn’t feel like taking her own life in this very moment.
“Hi Vah, I’m Ruth. There’s alot we need to talk about.. ”