Balloon Man

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Chapter 43

Alma waited until the chief and detective left then made her way to Cye’s room. Once inside, she breathed a sigh of relief—he still had two feet.

Sitting down next to him, Alma whispered, “Cye, can you hear me?”

Cye opened his eyes and grinned. “Hey there Alma. Yeah, I’m having me a great time.”

Alma suppressed a laugh, noting Cye was high as a kite. “How’s the foot?”

“They told me I could keep it, but it’s gonna take a while to heal.”

“Thank goodness! I was so worried!” Alma took a long breath. “Wait until you hear what happened after I dropped you off.”

Even though Cye was loaded, he heard the edginess in Alma’s voice. “What?”

Alma told Cye everything from the moment she left the hospital after bringing Cye in. By the time she finished, Cye was sitting up in bed, mouth agape. “I can’t believe it! That big scumbag! I hope they catch him and hang him upside down in the tree like I was! Until Parrian bites him in half! Oh, and that poor girl! You should’ve killed the bastard instead of leaving him alive.”

Alma sighed. “As hard as I smacked him, maybe I did! Who knows? All I cared about was freedom for me and Alouette. I can’t even begin to imagine what horrors the girl’s been through. My God, I’ve lived here my whole life and always stayed because I thought this was a safe, normal town. Things like this don’t happen here!”

A nurse poked her head inside the door. “Ma’am, it’s time for Mr. Swain’s mediation. I’ll need you to step outside.”

Alma and Cye exchanged glances. The tension in the room was thick. “I’ll be back soon.”

Cye nodded, watching the only woman he’d ever loved walk out the door.

Alma went to check on the boys.

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