Strigoi (Part 7)

It was eight at night and Mrs. Webster had just finished making a huge bowl of tuna fish salad. While she set the table for two, she gave a quick glance at Roy, who was sitting on the couch wringing his hands nervously. When Mrs. Webster spotted Roy walking in the opposite direction while giving her statement to the Sheriff, she hurriedly stopped him and called him over. Roy couldn’t have been in the neighborhood at a more perfect time. She needed a man around the house, just in case that derelict came back and tried to break in. Mrs. Webster had told Roy what had happened and Roy immediately became worried. He asked her to describe the man, what he was wearing, if he spoke to her. Mrs. Webster explained to him that he was just staring at her from the wooded area across the street. She also included that he had begin walking towards her and that’s when she ran inside to call the authorities.

When Michael Ward came over, Roy knew from the expression on the Sheriff’s face that he had found something in the woods that was disturbing. He wanted to ask Ward what he had found, but knowing the history between the two, decided against it. As a matter of fact, Roy had asked Mrs. Webster if he could use her bathroom as an excuse to avoid Ward and the authorities altogether. He knew they were thinking of asking him questions about the incident but they probably decided against it, when they saw Mrs. Webster welcome him in open arms and telling him about what had happened. After the Sheriff and deputies left, Roy stepped outside again, listening to the couple who lived next door and Mrs. Webster talk about the events that happened earlier. The wife, I think he said her name was Lina or Lisa was holding a chubby, brown skinned baby with hair brushed up in a little pink bow, and her husband had his arm around her holding them close. The husband, Dr. Scott, he believe he said, had assured Mrs. Webster that he will call every half hour to check on her. Mrs. Webster said that Roy will spend the night with her to make sure she was safe, but still would appreciate the call and she would call them every hour.

Roy had asked the Scott's about the man they saw in their backyard, which Lina gave the same description Mrs. Ward gave. This put Roy in a panic because he knew they had come back to wreak havoc like they did twenty years ago when he and Darren got mixed up in that hoodoo stuff. Throughout the day, Roy tried to take his mind off of it, told himself that it was a bunch of winos that was looking to break in to some people houses to steal jewelry or money to supply their booze. Roy fixed some things around Mrs. Webster’s house, did some light housekeeping for her, even did the gardening, to keep his mind from going 200 miles per hour. But Roy knew. Roy knew that they came back.

“Roy, dinner’s ready”, Mrs. Webster called out. Roy was sitting on the couch flipping channels on the flat screen TV in her living room. From how modern and high tech the television looked, Roy assumed that Darren sent it to her. Speaking of Darren, he wondered if his mother called him and told him what had happened. Roy also wondered, would this be enough for him to bring his ass home to check on her welfare. Roy sat at the round, oak wood kitchen table. A tuna fish salad sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, on wheat sliced in half sat on a plate with a side of potato chips, in front of him along with a tall glass of sprite; his favorite beverage. Roy’s heart fluttered. After all these years, Mrs. Webster still acted like a mother to him. Down in the dumps and all. She sat opposite him at the table, took his hand, closed her eyes and said grace aloud. Roy had taken a bite out of his sandwich when Mrs. Webster spoke. “Don’t be so worried, Roy”, she said before sipping from her glass of water. “I noticed that you’ve been walking around nervous, walking around outside trying to see if you see the man, and fixing things outside to see if you can spot him”, she chuckled. “You looking for a fight”. Roy swallowed his food and smiled. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you, Ma Webster. Did the Sheriff find anything in the woods? I heard one of the deputies call out that he needed to take a look at something”, Roy said before sipping from his glass.

“He came back out of the woods and didn’t mention it. Must not have been important or had anything to do with that Peeping Tom. I’m more worried about Lina and Daniel next door. She said one of the men was standing in her backyard looking right in her window”, Mrs. Webster said shaking her head. Roy’s anxiety started up again, intensifying as he thought about what happened twenty years ago and how it connected to now. It had been bottled up inside Roy for two decades, what caused him to drink his entire military career and life away. He needed to get it out, but to who? Who would believe him. He surely couldn’t tell Mrs. Webster the secret he and Darren had been harboring for twenty years. She would think he was drunk and throw him out. That was one of her rules. Roy is to not ever drink in her home or come to her home drunk. If he did she wouldn’t have anything to do with him. Of course, Roy respected Mrs. Webster too much to break her rules.

“Roy?”, Mrs. Webster called his name, her face etched in worry. “Are you okay? You look completely zoned out”. Roy cleared his throat, finished the rest of his sandwich and wiped his mouth with a napkin. “I was just thinking who the men could be that was peeking in you and your neighbor’s windows like that. That’s all. Here, I’ll clear the table and do the dishes. That’s the least I could do for your kindness, Ma Web”. Roy pushed his chair back, stood up and started clearing table. He had brought over a pitcher of iced water with slices of lemon floating in it, to refresh Mrs. Webster’s glass, when the lights suddenly flickered out.