Jerry swigged a Trader Joe’s Mexican Lager, massaged his bandaged hand then pushed a new tire and wheel back on the trailer. He tightened the first three lug nuts and was searching in the dirt for the rest when his cell rang. He checked the caller ID, answered, “You finished?”
“One more day,” Carl said, “Two max.”
“You said that three days ago!”
“Well, your transmission said otherwise. What can I tell you? Two days.”
“Better be. Or I’m taking Elvis on a little vacation south of the border.” Jerry disconnected, drained his beer, went back to digging in the dirt for his lug nuts when another call came. The caller ID surprised him.
Murphy and Winifred watched Abby going through office cabinets, pulling client files, stuffing them in boxes. The knock at her door made her jump.
“Who is it?”
Relieved, Abby unlocked the door and went back to packing.
One step inside the office, Jerry said, “You going somewhere?”
Winifred ran to Jerry who picked her up, rubbed her ears.
“I didn’t thank you properly,” Abby said, ignoring Jerry’s question, and not missing a beat in her packing.
“What’s with the packing? Where are you going?”
“Away. How’s your hand?”
“It hurts. You tell Derek what happened?”
“Waste of time.” Abby began ripping pictures off the walls.
“I’ll talk to Derek.”
Abby stopped, turned from the wall and watched Jerry massage his bandaged palm.
“Of course. How stupid of me. I needed to be stabbed, maimed. Better yet, dead! Maybe then he’d believe me.” Abby grabbed another picture, a smiling donkey, and wanted to throw it at somebody.
“Take it easy. Calm down. Winnie’s okay. You’re fine. I’ll survive.”
“Amazing powers of observation! You should team up with Dirty Harry.”
“Derek will get the guy.”
Abby gave him a long look. “You’re two of a kind.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You figure it out.”
“I may not have time, the way you’re packing.”
Abby stopped, gave it to him straight. “You’re both stuck in the past. Safer than getting on with your life.”
“Oh, I’m getting on. Get my truck back tomorrow and I am gone. Should have done it a long time ago.”
“Why didn’t you?”
Jerry was not going there. Stone wall.
“What? You don’t know? What happened to Mr. Golf Astrologer? Your Pars are in the Stars! Got the past and the future all figured out.”
Abby threw the donkey picture into a box beside Jerry who hopped out of the way. Winifred jumped from his arms and took refuge beside Murphy watching the action.
“Oh, that’s right. I forgot. It was all bullshit. You don’t believe any of it. Tell me, Jerry, before you ride off into the sunset… What do you believe?”
Jerry gave her a long thoughtful look.
Abby tired of waiting. “Winifred?… Murphy? You believe them?”
Jerry smiled at the dogs.
“Maybe it’s time to find out.” Abby took a deep breath. “Murphy and Winnie told me… stuff.”
“You have no idea.”
Abby had second thoughts… “Forget it.”
“No. You started this. Whatever stuff they told you… I can handle it.”
Before she changed her mind, Abby blurted, “Murphy wanted me to thank you for the tasty burrito you gave them the other night.”
Jerry shot Murphy a righteous look. “They were Carnitas Enchiladas!”
“I’m sure he won’t make that mistake again.”
Abby found her sketch pad and tossed it to Jerry. “Burrito… enchiladas? Look about right, Jerry?”
Jerry looked at the drawing. “How did–?”
“And then there was that woman who spent the night.”
Jerry caught his breath, glared at the sketch pad… had to know and flipped to the next page.
“Relax. I’m not that cruel.”
~ ~ ~