I arrived home to find a broken door propped against the frame, and a house in disorder, materially and otherwise. There was a note written on the back of a water bill: Isaac….icecream park, usual time. Shit got real! May. There was a small amount of blood on the floor and the baleful smell of predator lingered. Lyles’ room was open and empty of furniture, the forced entry had broken his wards. My toaster was hiding under the sink in the kitchen. I didn’t have time to comfort it but I put out some lightly combustible treats for later.
The park was halfway across the city, it was mostly frequented by drug dealers but still had a pretty decent set of swings. May was perched on one of them, an ominous black van parked on the street behind her. I leaned against the support pole and let her swing until she was ready to talk.
“So, a guy came to your house. Or, he might have been something else, but he looked like a guy. Real strong. Knew a lot of stuff about your family. Roughed me up pretty good.”
May held up an arm with a fresh cast to illustrate the last point. I moved to offer some comfort or apology but she held up her hand to stop me.
“ I don’t know what it was about. Lyle ran him off but the guy didn’t seem rattled. I don’t really want to say it out loud, but Lyle wrote the name down on a piece of paper. I don’t think this is your fault, but I am not equipped for this level of fuckery, so I’m gonna bail. You’re not the worst friend I’ve had, but I have a one strike policy on violent home invasions.”
I had a lot of questions but it was clear this was meant as a goodbye, not a conversation. I sat in the swing next to her and held hands for a moment with my best friend, wishing I could articulate what it had meant for someone to have seen me and stayed. I understood why she was going, and that maybe this was hard for her, so I kept it practical.
“Is Lyle going with you?” I asked.
May nodded towards the van.
“Yeah, he’s looking for a fresh start. I know you don’t trust him, but I think we’ve got enough common purpose that it makes sense.” said May.
If my friendship had been less dangerous I would have argued the point, but Lyle had been there when it mattered, so what could I say? I should never have let my life leak into hers.
“ Ok, May. If you need anything you know where to find me.” I said.
May squeezed my hand and slipped a note into my pocket as she stood.
“I do, unfortunately so do a lot of other motherfuckers…so, you know. If I am not in touch don’t take it personally. You were a decent hang sometimes, I hope you don’t get dragged into a hell mouth or whatever.” said May.
I waited until the van was out of sight before opening the note. There were three lines, the first was not May’s handwriting.
The Children, maybe?
Are you a hobbit?
End of Act One
Continued From Part Nine