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September 25, 2023

Dinner With Henry 109: Them There Eyes

By Bruce Memblatt

The hallway was quiet except for the lone voice of a small beagle.

Diego, tired of knocking, flung the office door open. There she saw a small dog on its hind legs yelping at Maria who seemed to be transfixed on the dog's glare.

"Oh, Maria?" Diego hushed.

And then she hushed again, "OH, Maria?"

Frustrated at the lack of response, Diego raised the tone of her voice to a small yell, "OH ,MARIA!"

Suddenly the beagle stopped barking at Maria, and began barking at Diego.

Diego stared at its black wet nose, while Maria flailing her hands, her bracelets jangling, rushed to Diego's side and cried, "No, look away! Look away before it entraps you!"

Diego, still staring at the dog's nose said, "But it has such a cute nose. Where did you find this little doggie?"

"In the alley knocking at the garbage pails, so I decided to take him in, but I've been feeling strange and maudlin ever since."

Diego turned away from the dog. The dog stopped barking and sat under the desk.

"But you are always feeling strange and maudlin, aren't you? We must not let Her find out about the dog or she'll make you throw it back into the street. Does it have a name?"

Maria shrugged and sighed, "I haven't named it yet, but I think I will call it The Possessor."

Diego tossed her hair, glanced below the desk at the dog and said, "I can see why. His eyes are powerful."

At once the dog stood, ran out from under the desk, and began to bark at Diego.

Diego stared into its eyes again like she was gazing into a mirror.

Then Maria jumped and screamed, "NO NO YOU MUST GO, DIEGO! YOU MUST GO!" Maria grabbed Diego's shoulder and began to pull her to the door.

Diego sighed, "What are you doing, Maria?"

"I AM SAVING YOU! " Maria said as she pushed Diego over the threshold, and slammed the door behind her.

Walking into the kitchen, Diego saw Andre arguing with Shakespeare by the stove as usual.

"NO, I won't!"

"Oh, YES, you WILL!"

"Oh, never mind, Diego is here," Andre said, straightening his hat. "Good morning, Diego!"

"What is good about it?" Diego said, unbuttoning her jacket, then tossing it to the chair next to the table. "There's something going on with Maria."

"So what else is new?" Shakespeare snapped.

"She has a dog."

Andre's eyebrows arched. "A dog? So what is wrong with that, Diego? A little poochie may be just what she needs to calm her battered nerves."

Shakespeare mimicked, cracking a grin, "A little poochie?"

"Oh shush, Shakespeare."

"Well," Diego breathed, "this one doesn't seem to be making her calm. Maria kept pulling me away from him, screaming at me, saying how I was going to be entrapped. I must admit, that beagle does have powerful eyes." Diego began to stare towards the wall, and she sat down on the chair, crossing her legs. A confused look crossed her eyes.

"Maybe it's like Son of Sam?" Shakespeare said while he pulled a spoon out of a drawer and then pointed it in Diego's direction.

"More like Son of Elvira," Diego sighed, tapping her fingers on the table top.

A pot started to boil over. Andre quickly grabbed the lid, forgetting to put his glove on. "OUCH! Why am I always doing that?" He held the burnt finger between his lips. A tear slid down the side of his cheek. "Nobody better laugh."

"How many times a day can we laugh?" Shakspeare snapped.

"Very funny, Shakespeare, but back to the question at hand," Andre said, removing his finger from his mouth. "The thing is, this could be a good thing for Maria. BUT BUT BUT as usual you are putting a good idea down. And do you know why, Shakespeare? DO you know WHY?" Andre's eyebrows twitched.

Diego rummaged through her bag for a stick of gum, looked cross-eyed at Andre and asked, "Why?"

"Sorry, sister, I'm taking this one," Shakespeare snapped, kicking the floor with his shoes.

Andre glared. "Because you think you're a BIG SHOT! A REAL COOL GUY! Well you're not a big shot, mister! You're just a smug little blind midget."

"And you're just a dumb chef who burns his fingers twenty times a day," Shakespeare snapped with a smug look on his eyeless face.

Diego tossed her hair and crossed her legs. Then she squirmed around trying to make herself more comfortable in the wooden chair by the table.

"Are you okay, Diego?" Andre said, twiddling his thumbs on the countertop.

"I'm fine," Diego breathed, "But what about the dog? Do you think the dog has possessed Maria?"

Andre slapped his hand on the counter and laughed, "No, of course not, how could a little beagle do such a thing? No no no, whatever is going on there is clearly in poor Maria's head."

Suddenly they heard a thud.

Their heads turned and they all said, "What was that?"

Then came another thud followed by a loud buzzing sound.

"Oh my! It's Clarissa!" Andre jumped, and tearing off his apron he cried, "Something is WRONG ! SOMETHING IS TERRIBLY TERRIBLY WRONG!"

Shakespeare whispered, "Why do you keep repeating your words?"

And Diego sighed.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2014-03-24
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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