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datatime: 2022-10-07 01:51:18 Author:EueeyBFx

The upper hall is a scary mess. This is where they have hung the gallery of their past: Fred and Judy outside Madison Shoes, a blues club they sometimes went to when there was nothing interesting going on at the Chocolate Watchband; Fred and Judy dancing the first dance at their wedding reception while their folks happily looked on; Judy in a hospital bed, exhausted but smiling, holding the wrapped bundle that was Ty; the photo of the Marshall family farm that she always sniffed at; more

Most of these framed photographs have been taken down. Some, like the one of the farm, have been thrown down. Glass litters the hall in sparkling sprays. And she has been at the wallpaper behind half a dozen. In the spot where the picture of Judy and Ty in the hospital had hung, the paper has been torn almost completely away, and he can see where she scraped at the wallboard beneath. Some of the scratches are dappled with drying spots of blood

He picks Judy up in his arms and is appalled all over again, this time by how light she is. She's lost maybe twenty pounds since the last time I picked her up like this, he thinks. At least ten. How could I not have noticed? But he knows. Preoccupation with work was part of it; a stubborn refusal to let go of the idea that things were basically all right was the rest of it. Well, he thinks, carrying her out the door (her arms have crept tiredly up and locked themselves around his neck), I'm over that little misconception. And he actually believes this, in spite of his continued blind confidence in his son's safety

Ty's gone,Judy says.Gorg fascinated him and the abbalah took him. Abbalah-doonThe tears course down her cheeks. When she raises her hands to wipe them away, her fingers leave appalling streaks of blood

But he loves her, has loved her from the first week he knew her, helplessly and completely and without the slightest regret ever after, and now love guides him. He sits down next to her on the bed, puts his arm around her, and simply holds her. He can feel her trembling from the inside out. Her body thrums like a wire

She points toward the place where the Ireland travel poster hung, and he sees that four of the nails on her left hand have been ripped partly or completely away. His stomach does a flip-flop. Her fingers look as if they have been dipped in red ink. If only it was ink, Fred thinks. If only

The upper hall is a scary mess. This is where they have hung the gallery of their past: Fred and Judy outside Madison Shoes, a blues club they sometimes went to when there was nothing interesting going on at the Chocolate Watchband; Fred and Judy dancing the first dance at their wedding reception while their folks happily looked on; Judy in a hospital bed, exhausted but smiling, holding the wrapped bundle that was Ty; the photo of the Marshall family farm that she always sniffed at; more

Judy Marshall sits on the bare mattress of her son's bed. The sheets are heaped in the corner, along with the pillow. The bed itself has been yanked away from the wall. Judy's head is down. He can't see her faceher hair is screening itbut she's wearing shorts and he can see dapples and streaks of blood on her tanned thighs. Her hands are clasped below her knees, out of sight, and Fred is glad. He doesn't want to see how badly she has hurt herself until he has to. His heart is hammering in his chest, his nervous system is redlining with adrenaline overload, and his mouth tastes like a burnt fuse

I love you,he says, surprised at his voice. It's amazing that seeming calmness can issue from such a crazy cauldron of confusion and fear.I love you and everything is going to be all right.

Most of these framed photographs have been taken down. Some, like the one of the farm, have been thrown down. Glass litters the hall in sparkling sprays. And she has been at the wallpaper behind half a dozen. In the spot where the picture of Judy and Ty in the hospital had hung, the paper has been torn almost completely away, and he can see where she scraped at the wallboard beneath. Some of the scratches are dappled with drying spots of blood

Ty's gone,Judy says.Gorg fascinated him and the abbalah took him. Abbalah-doonThe tears course down her cheeks. When she raises her hands to wipe them away, her fingers leave appalling streaks of blood

Ty's room looks like the aftermath of a rough search in a detective movie. The drawers have been yanked out of his bureau and lie everywhere, most overturned. The bureau itself has been pulled away from the wall. Summer clothes are spread hell to breakfastjeans and T-shirts and underwear and white athletic socks. The closet door is open and more clothes have been struck from the hangers; that same spousal telepathy tells him she tore Ty's slacks and button-up shirts down so she could make sure nothing was behind them. The coat of Tyler's only suit hangs askew from the closet's doorknob. His posters have been pulled from the walls; Mark McGwire has been torn in half. In every case but one she has left the wallpaper behind the posters alone, but the one exception is a beaut. Behind the rectangle where the poster of the castle hung (COME BACK TO THE AULD SOD), the wallpaper has been almost entirely stripped away. There are more streaks of blood on the wallboard beneath

He picks Judy up in his arms and is appalled all over again, this time by how light she is. She's lost maybe twenty pounds since the last time I picked her up like this, he thinks. At least ten. How could I not have noticed? But he knows. Preoccupation with work was part of it; a stubborn refusal to let go of the idea that things were basically all right was the rest of it. Well, he thinks, carrying her out the door (her arms have crept tiredly up and locked themselves around his neck), I'm over that little misconception. And he actually believes this, in spite of his continued blind confidence in his son's safety

He stands in the door, all words temporarily knocked out of him

Ty's gone,Judy says.Gorg fascinated him and the abbalah took him. Abbalah-doonThe tears course down her cheeks. When she raises her hands to wipe them away, her fingers leave appalling streaks of blood

She looks up at him and something comes back into her eyes. Fred cannot call it sanity (no matter how much he would like to), but it is at least some sort of marginal awareness. She knows where she is and who is with her. For a moment he sees gratitude in her eyes. Then her face cramps in a fresh agony of grief and she begins to weep. It is an exhausted, lost sound that wrenches at him. Nerves, heart, and mind, it wrenches at him

She begins to sing the chorus of Ty's lullabye again and he can't stand it.Judy, no,he says, going to her through the strewn minefield that was, only last night when he came in to give Ty a good-night kiss, a reasonably neat little boy's room.Stop, honey, it's okay.

He stands in the door, all words temporarily knocked out of him

She points toward the place where the Ireland travel poster hung, and he sees that four of the nails on her left hand have been ripped partly or completely away. His stomach does a flip-flop. Her fingers look as if they have been dipped in red ink. If only it was ink, Fred thinks. If only

He stands in the door, all words temporarily knocked out of him

Tyler's door stands open. Fred sprints the length of the upstairs hall with glass crunching under his loafers

Judy hasn't toured their bedroom during her rampage, and to Fred it looks like a cool oasis of sanity. Judy apparently feels the same way. She gives a tired sigh, and her arms drop away from her husband's neck. Her tongue comes out, but this time it gives only a feeble little lick at her upper lip. Fred bends and puts her down on the bed. She holds up her hands, looks at them

Ty's gone,she says simply.I looked behind all the pictures I could . . . I was sure he'd be behind that one, if he was anywhere he'd be behind that one . . .

Judy Marshall sits on the bare mattress of her son's bed. The sheets are heaped in the corner, along with the pillow. The bed itself has been yanked away from the wall. Judy's head is down. He can't see her faceher hair is screening itbut she's wearing shorts and he can see dapples and streaks of blood on her tanned thighs. Her hands are clasped below her knees, out of sight, and Fred is glad. He doesn't want to see how badly she has hurt herself until he has to. His heart is hammering in his chest, his nervous system is redlining with adrenaline overload, and his mouth tastes like a burnt fuse

The upper hall is a scary mess. This is where they have hung the gallery of their past: Fred and Judy outside Madison Shoes, a blues club they sometimes went to when there was nothing interesting going on at the Chocolate Watchband; Fred and Judy dancing the first dance at their wedding reception while their folks happily looked on; Judy in a hospital bed, exhausted but smiling, holding the wrapped bundle that was Ty; the photo of the Marshall family farm that she always sniffed at; more

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