A shower had never felt so glorious! It was divine, a gift from the gods, and it restored my stamina… but not my mood. I wasn’t exactly angry because I rarely got mad. But I was hyper-focused… I had way too many unexpected events going on for my liking, I needed to handle these situations before they got out of control. Even more out of control, that is. Order, there needed to be more order, or I’d start losing my mind.
To show I meant business, I put on a lightweight jogging suit. No skirt, heels, or dress… I didn’t even bother with jewelry besides the gold entwined eye pendant I never took off. My now washed hair went up in a high bun, managing to still look neat despite the lack of time it took. I didn’t know what new surprises were in store for me, so I didn’t want to be caught off guard again. Since the experience of chasing down piglets in heels was not ideal- I was in sneakers for the rest of the day in case some other surprises hit. This farm boy caught me off guard and it was time to face the fact that when it came to him, I didn’t know what was coming next. Not a realization that comes easily to me… it went against my very being. I am Nona, I am able to know everything… everything that ever was and will be. Until now.
This week would have humbled a lesser being, but thankfully I still had my hope. It gave me strength and insight… all problems had solutions and endings, you just had to figure them out. There was a reason for everything that’s going on right now, I know it.
I heard the door close downstairs, and waited for Nikki to make her way up the stairs to the bathroom wear I was putting lotion on my face… the buttered lotion making me way too shiny for the daytime, but I didn’t care. I felt the need to moisturize. “Why does it smell weird around here?” She asked as a way of greeting, as she just walked in without asking. Looking rested and her usual self.
“Ahhh, long story. I’ll have to fill you in on our way to find James…” I rolled my eyes at the thought of her reaction when I told her everything that had been going on. Then I paused and looked at her when I sensed it… “Oh, you found him already?”
“More like he found me.” She said as she took a seat on the bathroom counter next to me, looking my casual outfit up and down with a questioned look, which I ignored. “He came back to the mountain looking for the ‘Angel’ again. He didn’t find it of course; the fake Angel is gone. So are all the signs of it being there. Apparently, it’s moved on and found a new home.” She said this nonchalantly, but I could tell there was something else she hadn’t said. More bad news from the feel of it. I needed a drink.
“Don’t tell me anymore right now… unless you want a thunderstorm.” I put my hand up like my palm alone could stop her words.
“Now, you know there hasn’t been thunder in the skies for centuries… He’s not active anymore.”
“Don’t say that… He’s always active. He’s just biding his time. No one feeds his ego anymore, so he has no reason to be messing with the mortal world, he’d be throwing his bolts around for nothing.” Finished now, I walked out the bathroom without checking to see if she would follow.
She did follow. “You’re a reason.” She reminded me.
“Aside from me, he has no reason to waste energy. Theos-” I caught myself. Took a deep breath and swung around to face her… “He won’t waste energy until he makes his move. So, you’re right… I won’t cause a thunderstorm because lightening doesn’t currently exist. But I could cause a torrential down pour.” I put my pointer finger up like I had an idea. “And we wouldn’t want that.” I swung back around to finish my journey.
I went looking for my car keys… Oh, right. I have no car. “So, we have a problem.”
“Ok, we have another problem… I don’t have a car anymore.” I announced.
“Who did you give your car to this time? The mailman? I swear I’m tired of stealing cars Nona.” Nikki crossed her arms and leaned against the hallway wall. Looking like she really wanted to reconsider our friendship.
“First thing, we don’t steal cars… people donate them.”
“If that’s what you want to think.”
“They should feel honored to give me their vehicles, if they realized what they were doing… Secondly, I gave it to my receptionist. She didn’t have a car, it seemed wrong that a person working for me should be without such a thing.”
“Somehow I don’t think that lawyer from the Italian restaurant would agree with you… you had his car for what, three weeks??” She almost seemed to laugh at that… almost.
“Phhh… he’s fine. Already got a new one.” I picked up my phone and held it out to Nikki, “Do you know how to call, not a taxi… What is it again? Uber! Do you know how to summon one? I’m pretty sure Taxi’s aren’t around anymore.”
“Do I seriously look like I know how?” She opened her arms wide, palms up and indicated her whole self.
“Right. Let’s just start walking… we’ll figure something out.” I went for the doorknob like I was ready for anything because one way or another, I was getting to where we needed to be.
I felt it right before I opened the door. I quickly glanced at Nikki, giving her a worried look, before I turned the latch…something was wrong on the other side, in a very wrong kind of way. Swinging the door open, I found a man standing on the other side of the threshold. He wore wrinkled jeans, a gray t-shirt, hiking boots and a baseball cap that had the Eagles football team emblem on it. A Philadelphian team hat in heart of the Atlanta Falcons huh... must be a transplant. The hat wasn’t what Nona noticed the most though, this man was off… in a bad way. He was an ok looking man, pretty average, but the no expression on his face stood out… he seemed blank. Lost in thought, or maybe just stupid. I would have bet my money on the stupid part if it wasn’t for his aura. His aura was also… blank. Colorless. It was drained of all life causing him to seem like a blown out light bulb. James Jordan had come to me and was now standing on my porch, looking as if he were a living zombie.
He didn’t say anything as I just stared at him… he didn’t even seem to register that I opened the door as he kept his gaze on the floor in front of him. I glanced at Nikki, she didn’t seem shocked or concerned. I made a facial expression that asked for an explanation.
“He’s been following me ever since he found me at the mountain. It’s like he’s latched on to me somehow and I can’t seem to shake him... he can trace me without even seeing me.” Nikki shook her head in confusion. “He won’t talk to me or do anything… he just stands around creepily after he finds me.”
Of course, Nikki couldn’t see what I saw... “And you didn’t think to tell me this?? His soul is altered Nikki, it might as well be gone.”
“I was going to, but you told me to stop talking!” Ah, right… I did.
I looked back at the abomination in front of me… I would have pity for him, but I remembered all too clearly that this man purposefully left his young family to live his best life last week. Not that I could read any of that on him now… he had nothing to read. I also had picked up other stuff about him from Sandra’s aura… like how he liked to hit her when she failed to please him. Not too much to leave marks, on her body, but enough to scare her into submission. Not only was he a deserter, but he was also an abusive deserter. The energy in my body cranking up a bit as I went over this man’s deeds, they were calling for me to punish him.
James’s dead eyes locked onto my feet and slid up my body, like he was just seeing me for the first time… as his gaze got higher, his eyes got bigger. They were still blank inside, but something had got through his fog and caught his attention. He slowly took one step toward me. “So pretty,” He moaned… I didn’t move a muscle as he took tiny steps my way.
He reached his arm out in my direction, as if he meant to grab my neck… I had a feeling he would be stronger than his normal self since he didn’t have any humanity holding him back… he could do real damage to the ordinary person. I still didn’t move, having crossed my arms in front of me, as his hand crept closer to my neck… I almost felt the nearness of his outstretched fingers when Nikki’s vice like grip shot out and latched on to his wrist, causing him to stop movement in an instant. James didn’t change expression… he just stood there, his arm stretched out and frozen.
I uncrossed my arms, putting my hands on my hips, and smiled at James, showing all my teeth in the biggest grin… like the Cheshire cat. “James, would you like to see my garden?”
I glanced at Nikki with a wicked smirk, and she release her hold on James as we both turned to walk towards the back of the house. Just as I suspected, he started to follow us… moving a little faster now that he was interested in my energy. We made it through the house and out the back door, I made sure to take the quickest route, leaving a trail of my power for him to follow.
The sun was shining even brighter now… like it was blessing us with its gaze from way up high. I guess I wasn’t as upset as you’d think I would be, as I noticed the lack of clouds or rain.
The flowers in the garden all seemed to stand at an awareness as I strode through the maze of garden beds and statues… they knew I wasn’t in the mood to talk right now, and everything waited in anticipation. I stopped at an area, next to the sunflowers, that had nothing growing… this should do nicely. Linus had cleared the space for me, keeping it weed free until I decided what I would grow there. I walked past the space a few feet and turned around to watch James lumber down the path towards me, Nikki closely following behind him now, just in case he turned around. He was boxed in. Nikki’s facial expression calm and collected, like she was chaperoning a garden tour.
Flowers seem to back away from James’s zombie like aura, shrinking far away from him as he passed… giving him all the room he needed as he stalked me. He made a beeline in my direction.
First one giant sunflower head shot out and grabbed his left ankle, causing him to lurch forward… then another shot out to grab a wrist, just as Nikki did in the house, helping him not to fall forward. With his free hand, he still reached for me as I walked up to just within his reach. I put my finger up, tisking in slow motion... “Ah. Ah. Ah… Sorry mortal, I’m out of your reach. But don’t worry, we’ll get to know each other soon enough...” My voice growing deeper and darker with each word, until it sounds like nothing more than a snarling growl. The very sound of evil.
James should be grateful he was a shell of a man, not registering the world around him. Because most people, when they looked into my eyes as I let my guard down, shrank away in terror… I could almost see the reflection of myself change in their eyes when they do. The image they had of me morphing into a nightmare. I was previously an innocent looking- racially and age ambiguous but slightly exotic persona in their minds… until their karma fed my transformation and turned me into a grisly hag with eyes that swirled with the colors of the universe. If James was still normal, he would be screaming.
But since he wasn’t, he just stood there as, sunflower after sunflower, wrapped its head around parts of his body; some green vines sprouting from the ground to join in… collectively dragging him towards the empty space of the garden bed, and then, without a sound from his lips, he went under. The soil laying evenly flat after the last of him disappeared.
I stood there, crossing my arms again… Nikki coming up to my side as we both looked at the empty space in curious expectation. I wonder what will grow there this time. I didn’t have to wait long until little shoots started to emerge from the fertile soil… adorable little fragile growths that grew bigger by the second. Soon a full-sized two-foot mound of foliage had grown, bursting full of tiny flower buds just waiting to bloom. Who would have thought James was a Cosmo flower kind of guy.