Kolbe explained the healing process wasn’t one hundred percent foolproof. There were side effects to the reawakening, such as sounding and acting like a drunk-ass fool. Another seemed to be Glenn’s odd “pit-pit” noises, which Dymphna said (in her mumbling way) was the sound made by real quails. Not even saints had their amazing God-like abilities down pat apparently. Perhaps there just isn’t a good way to bring someone back to life when they’ve first been turned into a bird due to their addiction to crystal meth.
“Hey man,” Glenn cooed. He lifted a single wing, trying to caress Dymphna’s pale cheek. She smiled, which seemed weird on her sullen mug, and let the shaky wing smack at her face. His caresses needed work. “Or girl, I guess. Yer a girl, right? Why you holding me, girl?”
Dymphna whispered to him. Her voice felt soothing in my ears, calming. It even had an effect on me. I suddenly wanted nothing more than to curl into a ball and start snoozing. She could really turn on the charm when she wanted. I doubted Kolbe could say the same. “You can relax right here in my arms. You can rest now,” she said to him.
“Relashashon…” my friend mumbled, then drifted into sleep. He made a few “pit pit” sounds, and then started snoring. Our psychic bond made those snores pretty loud in my head.
“This is likely going to continue for the next day or two until he reorients himself,” Kolbe said. “Be prepared for your mental bond to overwhelm him as well. He will need to learn how to control it again. What you can do, if possible, is exercise a bit of patience and help him out when he needs it. Watch over him a little.”
“He’s my friend, Kolbe. I will help him out.”
The man, saint or whatever, cracked a bit of a smile. He craned his neck to the small bowls of vinegar scattered throughout the apartment. “I see that stuff actually helps a bit. Weird how it absorbs negative energy. But there’s more to curses than just that. Anyone in a bad mood can create negative energy.”
I sprang to the couch. “It worked enough to bring ManQuail’s addiction back full force.”
“And it’s made you a little bigger,” Kolbe acknowledged. “You probably haven’t noticed, but your larger than any tarantula I’ve ever seen. The curse is lifting, but only a little, and very slowly. We need to accelerate it.”
“Great. Now I’m a freak of a spider. Bad enough being a regular tarantula with human-sized strength, but grossly large? When can you get me, us, back into our human bodies?”
Kolbe looked surprised. He approached the couch and took a seat next to me. Sitting there next to him didn’t make me feel all that reassured about my predicament. I could hear my son in my head, however, urging me to take a deep breath and try to be nice. It’s how he would want me to be, whether I wanted to or not.
“Me?” Kolbe said. “I’m afraid you underestimate my capabilities. I can help you understand what happened and steer you in the right direction, but this is a curse we’re dealing with. A regular, run of the mill curse, but with something of a twist.”
“Something of a twist. Right.”
Kolbe’s voice grew deadly serious. “The soul of Jacki Sturgis must be laid to rest. For the curse to lift, and lift quickly, this must be done. You, her granddaughter Diana, or both of you together, can accomplish this. But it must be done soon. As I’ve told you, she has an idea you are a threat. She’s gathering soldiers to do battle against you.”
“Why would she do this? How can an old dead woman get this powerful?”
Kolbe stared into his hands grimly. Shadows fell upon his sallow cheeks and haunted eyes. “Her granddaughter has told you her story I believe. Her anger, anyone’s anger for that matter, can propel a soul into dangerous territory. She wants the curse to persevere. She wants to rain it upon us, Dymphna and I, by sending these afflicted souls to our doorstep. It’s growing, you know, the curse is beginning to spread like a shock wave. Soon it will affect those suffering in Flagstaff, in Camp Verde, Prescott and elsewhere. Within a year it could reach the west coast.”
“For what reason?” I asked.
Kolbe shrugged. “Hatred I suppose. Revenge perhaps. It’s hard to say. Miserable minds seek to make others know their misery.”
“I didn’t ask for any of this. I have my own misery. I just want that back and all of this… I want all of this to go away.”
“You’ll have to play a little longer to find that peace, Doug. Help Glenn here to recover and set the soul of Jackie Sturgis to rest.”
|Glenn is back!|
Saint Dymphna appeared beside me on the couch. Silently, she laid Glenn’s snoring body beside me. He looked like a regular little quail at that point, almost cute in a way. I watched his feathered chest rise and fall, still amazed he had returned to the land of the living. I wondered how he’d feel come morning. Could be he’d wake up smack dab in the middle of the night screaming for meth. That worried me a little, but I felt confident these saints knew what they were doing, at least a little anyway. With luck he’d give up on the stuff, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy.
“I’m ready to leave now, Max.” Dymphna announced.
Kolbe climbed to his feet. “Enjoy this peace and quiet while you can, Mister Lansing. It will soon come to an end.”
“Nice words to leave me with. Thanks for that.”
The two saints made their way out of my crappy little apartment without so much as another word. I was left with a reincarnated quail, my thoughts, and the feeling I was about to go to war.