Eddie's Tale: Part Two
The next morning, Eddie locked up his bike outside Rachel's. The fussy Lexus woman stood on the sidewalk talking to a cop. She was complaining about some guy who tried to bite her at a stop light. The cop dutifully wrote the report. She said, “Well, don't just stand there – do something! Go find him and arrest that man!” Eddie coughed loudly, and she glared at him.
He recalled her remark later that day when a guy stepped off the curb into his path. His grayish skin looked awful and he tried to grasp Eddie's arm as he dodged away. It happened again that afternoon, and the second one had blood smeared over his face and hands. Eddie arrived home badly shaken, disturbed even more to discover drops of blood on the kitchen steps.
Dog sat in the kitchen, his hand wrapped in a towel. “Some asshole tried to knock me down!” he complained. “And he cut my hand. Honest-to-god, Eddie, he cut me with a fingernail! I punched the son-of-a-bitch but it didn't even faze him! He just got up and came at me again. Probably a drunk. I got out of there in a hurry.”
As Dog cleaned and bandaged his hand, Eddie told him about the people he'd seen. The last one with his face all bloodied had unnerved Eddie, though he'd never admit it. “Donna's working the evening shift tonight. I'm gonna call her. Maybe I'll go meet her for the ride home.” Eddie hadn't been afraid of the dark since he was a child, but somehow the growing darkness bothered him in a way he couldn't describe.
He called Donna at work and offered to ride home with her. For his effort, he received a hot retort of the I'm-a-big-girl-and-don't-need-your-help variety. After some lame small talk, he rang off.
“I'm gonna make dinner, Dog. There's still some spaghetti sauce left. Want some?”
“Nah. I'm not feeling so hot. I think I'll just go to bed early.”
This wasn't at all like Dog. Eddie had dinner and watched television until the late news was about to start. He clicked off the set as the announcer began droning ominously. Donna still hadn't arrived when he went upstairs. He would stay awake reading until she was home, “big girl” or not.