Groundswell: Chapter eight

Chapter 7

Clancy always knew they’d come for him one day. He knew too much. He’d spent the majority of his life looking over his shoulder, and though he now often spent it looking out of a window, he knew he couldn’t hide from them forever.

He couldn’t exactly remember who “they” were, and the details of what he knew were fuzzy and jumbled, but the fear was real–and ever-present–even when he couldn’t remember why he was afraid in the first place.

“Hey Clance. What’s shakin’?”

That voicefamiliar. A friend? Yes, a friend. But who? From when? Izzat Tommy Cornwell? No. Now wait a minute…what was I–

“Y’hear me in there, Clance? I asked you what’s shakin’. Y’hear me? Oughta get that pretty little gal that wipes your ass to turn your dang hearing aid up.”

All the pieces clicked together, for just a few moments, and the world made sense again.

“Just my Parkinson’s, Bobby,” he said with a mischievous glint in his eye. He held up his shaking arm to demonstrate.

“Glad to see you still got your sense of humor, Clance,” said Bobby, gnawing on a toothpick. There was no humor in his eyes, though, nor on his lips in the form of even the weakest of patronizing smiles.

He hasn’t come here to joke around.

“What do you want, Bobby?”

Bobby sighed. “What do you remember about back when they put up the fence, Clance?”

Clancy’s eyes went distant. “Oh, I don’t ”member too much about it, I s’pose. Say, how’s Mary? You bring her and the kids? They out in the car? We’ll bring ’em on in, its been awhile. What was it, last summer we all went out to that tiger place? One with the fella with all the loud outfits?”

“Mary’s dead. She died eight years ago and the kids don’t talk to me.” He sighed. “At all. Y’know, sometimes I wonder if it’s karma for all the things I done to keep y’all’s little secret.”

Secret? What secret?

Fingers snapping. “You still with me, old man?”

“Bobby? How’s the kids?”

Shit.” Bobby kicked the dresser, and a nurse came in to check on the noise. He waved her away.

She obeyed, despite the look of concern apparent on her face.

Bobby turned back to Clancy. “We got a detective in town, pokin’ around and askin’ folks questions. Now I know he ain’t been here yet, so I know you ain’t told him anything, but what happens when eventually makes his way ’round here, Clance? Weird shit’s going on, don’t know if you keep up with the news or not. Bad shit. We think it got out somehow, leaked into the water supply. Found a kid out there, died of a bullet wound to the head, but I could tell just by looking at him….must’ve drank some of that spring water out there, ‘member that? When we was kids? Well, I mean at different times cuz you’re so much older than me, but there wasn’t nothin’ colder and more refreshing than that water straight outta the side of that hill out there. You know where I’m talkin’ about.”

Clancy’s eyes lit up. “How’s Mary?”

Bobby stared at him for a moment and sighed. “You know, he told me to come out here and ‘shut you up,’ y’know that? Now based on what I’ve seen here today, I don’t think there’s any need for that. I’m gonna go on back and tell him that you ain’t no kinda threat to any of us. Hell, you probably can’t even tell me your own name. What’s your name?”

“What’s this all about, Bobby?” Clancy craned his neck to see out the window before Bobby yanked the curtains shut.

“Just try to follow me here, damn it! This is important!” He sighed. “Guess you can’t really help it. Crazy old coot. And it ain’t like I give a shit about you. Shit, I remember what a pervert You was back in the day. Lotta folks still around would love to see you gone. Even more of ’em would love to see my ass behind bars for it. Can’t just go around doin’ that kinda shit in this day and age like he wants, though, even to a nasty ol’ kiddie diddler like you, Clance. He’s sittin’ up there in that damn mansion; don’t know what the hell’s going on these days, what they can do. Forensics and all that.”

Clyde was just staring at him with a stupid look on his face that disgusted Bobby.

“Well, real nice seein’ ya, Clance. Keep your damn mouth shut and don’t blab nothin’ to nobody.”

“Bobby! How’s Mary doing? I heard she was sick.”

Bobby turned and left.

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