“I knew I smelled Java,” Chuck said boisterously as he made a beeline for the pot.
“Dear god, I’m too old for these sorts of marathons.” Doctor Pearce remarked, popping his back.
Graham was silent, placid even, given his recent eager shenanigans, I had half expected another barrage of reasons for leaving post haste. But, they never came.
My headache was dissipating, nonetheless, I was in no mood to play chef this morning.
“Well! There’s the fridge, there’s the pot, you know what to do.” I declared and trooped off to take a hot shower.
On my way to the stairs, I stopped by Schmidt’s room and told him to drive the yokel back to town. He groaned but assented.
There was no need for that kid to be here, there was a lot of weirdness to unravel, and he’d just further complicate matters. I was concerned he’d talk, but even if he did the Rotary club types of the town, or what passed for them in Foley anyway, were all under NDA’s and already knew. For added security, I told Schmidt to scare the shit out of him on the drive back. His wry smirk was all the confirmation I needed.
It was good. It was good to stave off the cold. I appreciated the steam coming from the showerhead. One hell of a water heater, one of those things that made me wonder, why someone so rich would build a place like this, in Foley…
The thought disappeared as I was enveloped in warmth. There were a lot of headaches ahead and I made certain to take adequate time to let my muscles relax. Bodily tension leads to mental tension which leads to fuzzy thinking. This was no time for fuzzy thinking.
I was good at this, too good, and soon dozed off.
The sound of running water and the pressure of the drops on my head…the warmth…I awoke under a waterfall. The sound of exotic birds echoed all around. And there was a pervasive nearly unbearable humidity.
I looked to my left. As the water struck stone it produced a fine steamy mist which was falling on my face. I hopped to my feet which I noticed were bare.
The soil was black, soft, and spongy, the air redolent with flora. Vast trees with great trunks stretched up and away on either side of the river near which I’d been napping.
Despite myself, I knew my purpose, at least my legs did, I strode with confidence into the dark line of trees.
The atmosphere beneath the actual canopy was entirely different. Though I could still hear the sound of the waterfall tumbling down behind me there was a muffling effect. It was like being wrapped in some subtle sort of filter that wouldn’t permit anything inessential to enter the mind.
Despite the occasional cry of a bird or monkey, there was a solemn sort of silence. I proceeded further into the forest my feet adept at dancing round roots and other impediments. My eyes sharp for speckled bands or leaves sitting where they should not be.
After some time. I came to a line of rocks pointing like fingers in every direction. Some towards the sky, some to the east, some to the west, and in the midst of these there sat a man with bronze skin. He was older and stretched in front of him was some kind of array of multi-colored strings with little knots at odd places up and down the length.
As I approached, the elder looked up from his work and said in a loud clear voice,
“Baird! Baird! Stop jerking off already!”
He sounded exactly like Sam.
“Baird! Thorton is on the phone.”
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer