Jerry provides comfort to Batresh
That evening, Batresh sat at the kitchen table with Erish drinking iced tea. She looked at the clock, as it ticked on the wall. The glass of tea was cold, and the night air warm. Moisture condensed on the exterior of the glass running down onto the wood surface, pooling into a ring of water. Batresh sighed heavily. She looked at Erish and offered, “Thank you for spending time with me.” Erish placed her right hand on Batresh’s left one.
“I didn’t want you to be alone,” Erish responded.
Batresh began, “I know that you have a lot of work to do.” She took a sip of her tea, and swallowed. “You shouldn’t spend so much time here.”
“Just the night,” Erish said. “I will leave before sunrise.”
Batresh reached over and turned on the radio. The announcer was advertising prices of food items at stores in the area. “At Todd’s Big Star in Calhoun City…” the announcer droned on. Erish and Batresh looked at each other, then, the requisite Elvis song.
Batresh smiled, “Oh, I know who he is now.”
Erish offered, “That was a big gap,” she laughed softly.
After the song, the program cut to a reporter discussing the riots the evening before. They both listened, looking at the radio as it were speaking. “…30,000 troops to the campus.” Erish refilled her glass of ice tea. The reporter continued, “…people were taken to local emergency rooms, overcome by tear gas.” Batresh looked at her with her brows drawn together realizing there would be no mention of alien weapons or strange technology.
Erish rose from the table… “Do you mind if I sleep in your bed with you tonight?” She placed her empty glass in the sink. “I don’t want you to be alone.”
“Thank you,” Batresh responded.
The next morning, Batresh was awakened by sunlight shining through the drapes. Erish had gone. A breeze wafted through open windows. Looking northwards, though the top of the window, she could still see the moon in the morning sky. On the other side of that moon, her sister lay in a medical bay. She heard a ping from the display upstairs. She hurried to the stairway, and ran upstairs. The display was left on. A bluish rectangle of light floated above the desk. Batresh sat and looked into the display. There was Erish’s smiling face.
“Good morning,” Batresh offered, her voice hoarse.
“I have good news,” Erish responded.
Batresh’s eyebrows raised eagerly.
“Namazu has improved,” Erish was excited. “Her nerve tissues is regenerating.” She looked to her left at a man passing behind her. “Namazu followed me with her eyes when I went to see her this morning.”
Batresh smiled slowly, “Is there a prognosis?”
“The Tlaloc weapon is powerful.” She looked directly into Batresh’s eyes. “The beam was weakened by her shields. Hilimaz has the data. We’ll work on the shields.” A medical bot passed behind her, “We’ll get more data. Then, they can make a more accurate prognosis.”
“I understand,” Batresh responded. “This gives me hope.”
Erish looked to her left. Sagar stood there, waiting. “I will contact you later.” The transmission ended. The rectangle of blue light dissolved, and Batresh was alone. She looked towards the small window facing north and could barely make out the shape of the moon, still visible in the brightening morning. Soon, it would completely disappear.
She could detect the scent of autumn. She closed her eyes, and saw an image of Auset, a golden statue of a young woman kneeling, arms reaching outwards, long wings of blue, red, and gold stretched outwards. Black braids of hair framed her golden face. A reddish disk representing the morning sun, floated above her arching headdress. She remembered the Matriarch showing her how to light myrrh and frankincense resin in the bowl in front of the statue. It was to this ancient image of the Goddess, thin wisps of incense rising, that she prayed for her sister’s recovery.
She walked downstairs, and turned to the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator, she saw things Jerry left, a pitcher of iced tea, the remains of a BBQ sandwich, cold French fries. On the bottom shelf, she saw something new, a white box, with a red ribbon tied around it. Closing the refrigerator door, she sat at the table, untying the ribbon. She opened the box and smiled. Inside, were two thin layers of pastry separated by a layer of whipped cream, topped with chocolate. Beside the pastry, was a note, now moistened by cream. “Batresh,” the note began, “Thank you for telling me who you are, Jerry.”
She closed her eyes again and sighed with satisfaction. “This is what I need,” she thought to herself. “…to see Jerry.” She bit into the pastry. The whipped cream squeezed out the other side onto her fingers, dropping onto the table. Cream and chocolate stuck to her nose. She took another bite, cupping her hand under it, catching cream spilling out. She licked the cream from her hand, getting sweet, white substance on her chin. She took another bite, and another. Whipped cream and chocolate stuck to her fingers, chin and nose. Clumps of cream melted on the table.
Someone knocked at the door. She licked her lips, and looked at her hand, sucking the sticky sweetness from her fingers. She went to the door. There stood Jerry, with three yellow roses in his right hand. Seeing her, he tried to stifle a laugh, looking towards his right, then back into her face. He couldn’t refrain from laughing. Looking back at her, he offered, “I see you found the pastry.”
He took the door handle in his hand and opened it. He was chuckling. He leaned forward to her face. She blushed with the realization whipped cream and chocolate were all around her mouth. He kissed her, bringing his tongue to her chin, he began kissing the whipped cream from her lips, then, opening his mouth, he kissed away the sweetness from above her lips, licking the tip of her nose with this tongue. Dropping the roses on the floor, he eagerly kissed her mouth, pushing his tongue into sweet wetness. He pushed her gently backwards to the sofa. His mouth hungrily caressing the softness of her face and neck. He lay her gently on the cushions, and moved over her, loosening her night gown, and pushing her collar down over her shoulders. With his left hand, he lifted the hem of the night gown.