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July 08, 2024

Dinner With Henry 102: The Gathering, Part 3

By Bruce Memblatt

Then another little ball of light fell, and another and another, all containing small insectual family relations, causing Henry, Winifred and Diego to ooh and ahh, and making Andre and Maria grow more impatient, until a much larger ball of light suddenly began to drift through the ceiling.

At once, Clarissa buzzed, "Now here is a memory for all of you."

Andre's jaw dropped, Henry quickly clutched Diego's hand, Maria froze, and Shakespeare began to shake because he knew something strange was happening.

It was Andre who cried first, "No it can't be! How is it possible?"

Maria clutched her blouse, chanting, "Santa Maria, Santa Maria, dear God save us all from what is about to occur." Bracelets fell from her wrists like metal rain and scraped against the old linoleum tiles.

Diego pulled her arm out of Henry's grip and breathed, "You know, he hasn't changed a bit," while Henry glared at his mother, his black eyes in near panic, frightened by the powers she seemed to possess that he was unaware of.

Suddenly, she buzzed, "Why is everyone all bent out of shape? Simpson is just another memory I'm sharing with you!"

"But we can see him!" Andre cried, punching the air with his fists, "but we can see him here in this very room inside that large bubble looking very much alive!"

"Oh my God," Maria whispered and then she fainted, nearly landing on Shakespeare, who, hearing her drop, scurried out of the way just in time, and he snapped, "If a Maria falls in the forest and no one is around to see it does it matter?"

"Shakespeare, she obviously is very distraught, as are we all," Andre said, his eyes never leaving the sight of Simpson slowly floating across the ceiling wrapped in a bubble.

Diego scratched her chin and said, "She seems more distressed than the rest of us."

"Isn't anyone going to try to wake her?" Winifred said, standing over Maria, peering over her body.

"Do we really have to?" Shakespeare asked, but he was more surprised by Henry's response than by even the idea of Simpson returning, when Henry said, "No, we don't have to wake her. Just let her lie there -- as usual, she is hogging the attention. Are we even looking at Simpson now? No, we are once again embroiled in her drama."

"Henry, I am shocked by you!" Andre said as he tugged on Maria's arm. "She cannot help herself!"

Then suddenly Clarissa buzzed, "For once my son is right, she's a big old drama queen!"

"Yes she is, but she is our drama queen," Diego said as she grabbed Maria's other arm. "Henry, I am shocked at you, too."

"I'm sorry, Honey, but look there! Look there is Simpson, floating through the air, back from the grave!"

And at Henry's words all eyes returned to Simpson, while Maria started to snore.

Clarissa's head swooped just below the broken ceiling near Simpson and she buzzed, "No, Henry, Simpson is not back from the grave, what you're witnessing now is Simpson evolving into another life form; the form we all will become when it is time for us to go beyond the door. He is changing as we speak and soon he will become a flickering beam of light, as we all will."

That's when Andre mockingly shook his head in Clarissa's direction and he said, "Uh huh, well in the meanwhile your flickering beam of light is trying to scratch and claw his way out of the bubble." He pointed his finger in Simpson's direction, where they saw Simpson's hands tearing away at the bubble, the bubble stretching to its limits.

Suddenly, Maria woke up, her hands shaking, nearly knocking Diego and Andre over. She screamed, "Oh my God he's going to kill me!"

Then suddenly the bubble burst and Simpson, like a newborn sparrow scratching its way out of an egg, began to float towards the floor.

Simpson cleared his throat and he shouted, "That's right, you nasty bitch, I'm going to kill you. You were behind my disappearance, weren't you? Weren't you?"

And Maria began to cry profusely. Her legs kicked. Her hands shook. Her bracelets rattled like they were subway cars speeding too fast, and she screamed, "So what if I was? Nobody liked you anyway!"

Shakespeare, not knowing which way to topple, merely snapped, "Well she does have a point," while Simpson's form landed on the floor, rushed over to Maria and began to strangle her.

Suddenly, Clarissa buzzed like a train whistle. "This has to stop! This has to stop! The story has gotten out of control."

"I agree," Andre said, "I think the problem is a lack of balance now -- we can't have Maria and Simpson in the story together. One must go back!"

Diego walked over to Andre and said, " You are right, one must go back, and I say send Simpson back."

Henry, glancing at Diego, said, "I don't know Diego, Simpson was here first, he was the first person to greet me, he taught me everything about this world."

"No, Henry, I did," Clarissa buzzed, her black eyes fluttering, and she said, "Simpson must go back, that's the way the story is told now.

Then Winifred raised her little hands and said, "Why don't we put it to a vote, Clarissa?"

And Clarissa buzz-giggled, "Silly girl, we don't vote here. I decide."

Suddenly Simpson standing over Maria shook his hands at Clarissa, tapped his foot and said, "What if I refuse to return? I absolutely refuse to return."

This caused Maria to faint again when, at once, out of the darkness, from the back of the kitchen came Sincere waving her hands like wands. Her crooked teeth grinning, she cast her bulging bloodshot eyes on Simpson and she said, "Sorry old boy, you've got to go." Then she moved her hands about Simpson like she was weaving and another bubble formed around him.

All eyes stared as Simpson floated back through the ceiling.

Then Clarissa buzzed, "Well where were we?"

And Diego sighed.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-11-25
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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