Biff Carter looked up from the red book he was always reading, wondering where they were. Keith B. was to his right, talking to Cubby the bear cub about his lost mother. “She’ll show up soon,” he tried to reassure, but Cubby had seen her wander off into the Hunting Zone, confused in the twilight’s last gleaming. Many of her kind don’t come out of there, she said earlier to the young bear, her third in a litter of two, although she didn’t know that fact at the time. A magical bear he was; able to talk and converse with the humans — like Keith B. here. “In the meantime, you just stay put here with… sorry, what was your name stranger?” he asked over to Biff, sucking on a piece of lettuce between his teeth left over from supper at Rusty’s. He couldn’t handle the beef stew what with the state of that kitchen in back — he’d seen the health inspector’s
rating writing on the wall. Better stick with salad, he decided. No meat.
You know my name, Biff wanted to say back, but instead just said it for him. He looked over. Did it ring a bell? Dirty diner? Always redding the read book? He could tell by Keith’s expression that it didn’t. He felt abandoned by the older guy from his childhood ever since the death of his grandmama, who was practically like his mother, raising him up after the death of his dad Dirk, who had already lost his wife, his mother, to another kind of virus long ago, not long after he was born actually. Dirk thought that the birth may have done her in, or at least weakened her to the effects of the virus, but this wasn’t really true. Or was it? Anyway, Dirk kind of blamed the boy for her death. Her name was… right on the tip of my tongue….
Elizabeth, he decided, thinking back to the book. He raised it to his eyes again and continued. Paper now. Rock earlier. Scissors coming up soon. His mother had some and she contemplated doing his father in once more. Because of the boy.
(to be continued)