Blood Fugue, Moonsongs Episode One: Pt. 1 - The Weapon

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Blood Fugue, Pt. 1 The Weapon

Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted. For me, dwelling on the past was akin to keeping a picture of an ex-boyfriend who had cheated on me with the town whore, stolen my favorite t-shirt, and given me Chlamydia. There’d be no value in holding onto that kind of torment. Personally, if I bumped into yesterday at the grocery store, I’d punch it in its shitty face and take my shirt back.

In reality, if there had been happiness in my life, people hadn’t had much to do with it. That’s probably why I made technology my first choice of company. Friends hadn’t followed me from town to town on my father’s boring-ass research trips as a kid. No one lined up to entertain me while I waited in some foul smelling hotel room, or worse, a library. Video games had been my escape. Growing up, I couldn’t spend five minutes in the living room without getting yelled at, yet I could waste all day in my bedroom with a computer and not hear a word. The math seemed pretty simple.

Two failed semesters of junior college was all the motivation I needed to open up shop as a computer repairperson. I’d been left with little choice. Dad’s life insurance was all but gone. I’d spent a third of it on two vehicles, another third on my hobbies, and had been living off of the other third. But I was proud to say I never touched a dime of Granny’s money.

Although, my dwindling savings account and escalating credit debt was making me rethink my independent streak a little.

With thoughts of money and food dancing in my head, I scanned my messages, clicking the only one marked unread. The subject simply read, Help.

Not that unusual in the computer repair business. People got real desperate, real quick when their Facebook page wouldn’t load.

Jennifer.

My mind froze. No one called me Jennifer. At least no one alive did. This was beginning to feel like one of those things I didn’t want to think about, and it scared me.

Nothing I say is going to make this easier on you, so I’ll get right to it. I’m your grandfather, Billy Moonsong. I would never contact you, unless it was extremely important. It is. Please, meet me tomorrow—

My brain felt like it had gone into a full reboot. My grandfather? That wasn’t possible. He’d died long before I’d moved in with Granny. Dad had told me a couple of years after Grandpa had been packed in the ground. At the time, I was too busy being a thirteen-year-old ingrate to care.

Had Dad lied to me? That didn’t add up either. And Granny would have surely mentioned her still living husband at some point. Maybe they’d gotten divorced. Maybe she hadn’t known he was still alive.

My bare feet scuffed over the creaky, wooden floors of the house. I stopped in front of Granny’s bedroom door. Somehow, I knew there would be answers inside that room. Answers to questions I never wanted asked. But answers all the same. The glass doorknob, slick with my sweat, rattled in concert with my nerves as I gave it a twist. The door groaned on its hinges.

Nothing had been touched since she’d passed. Like the Big Bad Wolf, cancer had eaten granny all up. There wasn’t much to the room, just a small metal bed and a dresser full of moth-chewed clothes. That was all that was left of her.

An unfamiliar lump lodged in my throat. She’d been a good woman and had deserved more, especially from me.

Images of her tired, gray eyes and long, white hair came to me in the swirls of stale dust flitting in the air. The lump dissolved and I smiled. She used to shake her head and hum old church hymns when I frustrated her. I’d shout. She’d hum. I’d slam doors. She’d hum louder. God, it used to piss me off something fierce. But right then, I’d have given just about anything to hear a little Old Rugged Cross wafting in from the kitchen.

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