Interviews With a Woodelf

David Returns From His Mission

When David returned the third time, it was about two o'clock in the morning. I hardly recognized him because he had gone to extra lengths to be unrecognizable. He was literally covered with filth; he wore a torn plaid jacket and pajama pants that looked as though once upon a time they were white, and he stood there stooped, looking half a foot shorter. I was half conscious and didn't have my contacts in, and started to close the door in his face, thinking he was the guy down the street that gets really high every night and often ends up knocking on random people's doors around then. Just before I got the door shut, David whispered softly to me, "Please let me in, Rachel. I have an appointment with your sofa." I almost fainted from surprise.

He didn't say much, just went about his customary shower. As usual, I had forgotten to put the towel in there. He poked his head out the door ask for the towel, but then poked his head out again to ask if I had any more towels, and I saw his chest. There was a long, bleeding cut down the middle, still held together by stitches. It looked like the scar on my grandfather's chest from getting double bi-pass surgery. I threw up when I saw it. I threw up again when I found out what it meant.

I hid in my corner and began to re-read the cheerful parts of The Lord of the Rings, drinking a cup of chamomile tea with lots of honey to get rid of the puke-taste. David lay on the sofa, drinking a cup of water. As usual, he broke the silence first. "I don't know if you are in any danger. I don't think they followed me. Please forgive me for putting you in this position."

I nodded, clutching my book like an infant with its security blanket.

"I need you to keep a few more secrets for me."

My fingers felt numb.

He got up slowly and walked to the door, picked up the bag full of video-tapes he had left when he came in, and dumped them on the floor by my feet. They all were carefully dated with a room number or hallway number marked on them. "These are surveillance tapes. They video taped the dissection."

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