Baileys Besieged

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Chapter 3

Georgia’s mind pans back in personal reflection, and she comes to realize she overlooked something. She re-opens the bible to the king of diamonds, resting between two old, sallow pages. The playing card is partially yellowed, its edges are worn, yet it provides evidence it was important to someone.

The woman continues to rummage through one of her drawers and finds a fresh deck of Bicycle Playing Cards. She opens the box, fans out the card deck and extracts the four kings, then casually tosses all of them down in front of her. In all the years of playing cards in school, she had never noticed the only king in side-profile is the king of diamonds.

Why? Why is the king of diamonds the only king not carrying a weapon? Does the king’s empty hand gesture mean something I’m not grasping? Georgia suddenly considers these odd things.

Perhaps, the card is part of ‘the rough hand’? All Georgia can think of is the bible book of Kings. She sighs, and flips to the book’s inspiring pages, and discovers 2 Kings 13: 20-21 circled with a pencil.

“Is there a king that will be re-incarnated?” Georgia throws to the air.

“A king with a rough hand? A rich king.” The prophetess thinks aloud as she places the king of diamonds back into the deck.

On her computer, she receives another encrypted e-mail from Jeremiah’s old website.

I wonder if a professor at UNR can help me un-encrypt it?

The mysterious form appears again, sending KC into hysterics.

“What is it, honey?”

KC ignores his master, only to release a high-pitched whine.

“KC…Please stop that!”

KC turns whines into whimpers, as he tries to hold back nervous outbursts. The uninvited spirit hovers over the clown case and the old gun, enters through the glass, surrounds the metal relic, and attempts to take the old armament with it. Somehow, the specter has enough substance to knock over another defenseless clown.

KC starts a barking tirade again. Then, as swift as it approached, the phantom disappears.

Georgia walks over to the display case and opens the door. She picks up the displaced clown, quite bewildered, and wonders how it could have fallen over in a stable case? Too much fracking? She cannot help but giggle to herself.

She thinks everything seems to point to the mysteries of the tome, causing her to wish the bible could speak. What marvels it could tell. She knows she must be patient. She has no way of knowing Jeremiah’s spirit often struggles between worlds, moves anxiously about, and carries around a stray flitter-bird in its bottomless pocket.

The phantom knows it drives KC nuts, and it needs to cut back on its visitation. It also knows the gun is safe, the tennis racket is in a closet, and the bible hasn’t been destroyed through human fear of the unknown.

On several floating passes over her bed, the form tries to caress Georgia Alexandre’s face. All the spirit gets for its trouble is making the widow’s face itch and getting the dog barking aloud; a dog attempting to protect his master.

Tawny is awakened from her slumber by KC’s repetitive barking.

Tawny approaches the side of Georgia’s bed. “What’s KC barking at, mommy?”

Georgia swipes at several crusty pieces lining the corners of her eyes. “I don’t know, dear. It certainly isn’t like him.”

“Maybe he’s hungry?”

Georgia gets out of bed and walks into the kitchen to check the dog’s bowl. She is relieved to find it empty. Meanwhile, the specter leaves their residence. Georgia cups out some Science Grubs into KC’s food dish. Then gives him fresh water.

“Maybe you’re right,” Georgia returns.

She spins to address her daughter.

“You hungry, Tawny?”

“Yes. Mommy.”

“I’ll start us some breakfast.”

“Can Stacy come over for a slumber party, tonight?”

“Is it ok with her mom?”

“You can call her, if you want.”

The mother picks up the phone and dials the Thompsons. Inwardly, she is just glad Tawny seems to be making some friends.

Cledus signs a few uncensored Street Posse Posters for a few fans. He remembers to set one aside for the stranger who asked for one earlier. His mind flashes back to the previous night. After the concert, a tart had posted a smile and asked him to sign her butt with a permanent foam-tipped pen.

He thinks. She probably won’t shower or bathe for three or four days. These are things Sammy Moore probably lived for!

Cledus finds out Jeremiah’s fiancé’ moved, since he last checked. Soon…I will have to shoot someone in to pluck me the bible. I’m ninety-percent sure the Alexandre matron has my heirloom.

He fingers his cell phone and dials a travel agency. He books a vacation flight, for two, to Bora Bora; Cledus thinks it an adequate apology to his snobbish British girlfriend, whom the new Sammy is growing fond of.

If for some reason she turns me down, there is always a beautiful yun groupie that’ll not shirk taking her place. But Cledus can’t help but be enamored with the curvaceous British Model. Body piercing is the durnd’st culture shock for me to get use to eyeballing, especially thru a birthday button. The only thing tarts pierced in the late 1800’s twas der ears; if dey pierced anything else, dey were treated as grotesque outcasts. Any guy doing so would have been shot by any random guntoter, who would have tak’n the body tokens as a sign of a Nancy-boy. What’s up with tat short haircut, when long locks would bring out hrn gazers?

Cledus frets the model will find a subtle mark that will draw attention to his being an imposter, although he knows proving it will be a different thing entirely. He finds comfort in the whole thing being ‘his little secret’.

Getting on a private jet terrifies Cledus the most. He saw commercials advertising flying, saw pictures of airplanes, and even saw planes flying overhead—leaving a trail of burned fuel behind them. He thought the large birds totally mind-boggling in their ease of flight, grace, and range. In a couple of years, Cledus moved from a covered wagon and horseback to a Lear jet, from paid for sex to sex for free, and from lean-to wood shacks to steel girders and skyscrapers.

Both profiles of the king meld into two sides of the Bicycle Playing Card, much in the same way Cledus mirrors Sammy, although a symbolic death axe at their sides separate a mutual existence in a physical world.

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