Alice and Bernie: By Death Bemused VII

Alice and Bernie: By Death Bemused

A Brief Conversational Narrative by David L. Haase


Episode 7: In which Alice tells Bosco’s tail.

“There, now, Alice. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Bernie smiled happily, reinvigorated by her fast food breakfast.

“No, it wasn’t, but we’re losing time. Those other campers could be on the way to the ovens.”

“Ovens? What ovens?”

“The mortuary ovens. After they euthanize them, they have to dispose of the bodies. They probably do it right down the street from that motel.”

“Oh, Alice. Do you really think so?”

“I’ll bet. I know I would. They’re probably all part of that conspiracy.”

“Well, do you think Manuel can drive faster?”

“He can’t drive any slower.”

“I think he’s doing a wonderful job. You would never know he had never driven before.”

“I wish we had known that before we started.”

“Alice, you didn’t give the man a chance to explain.”

“Well, at least we’re heading in the right direction now.”

“How long do you think it will take to get to Gracie’s?”

“If we were about three hours from San Lorenzo when we started and we went in the wrong direction for three hours and stopped for lunch, then we should be about six hours or so.”

“We’ll never get there in time to save those poor old people.”

“For once, I think you’ve figured it out right. I’ll bet they put something in their prune juice over lunch. Then they put them in tents for a nap and that’s when they do it.”

“How do you think they do it? Do they shoot them?”

“Shoot them? And attract attention? Bernie, sometimes I wonder about you. No, I’m sure they use some kind of drug. Just stick a needle in them.”

“I just don’t understand. Why would my Camden want to do me in? And your Bobby?”

“It’s the money.”

“We don’t have any money. All we have is our Social Security and Medicare. It’s not that much.”

“Well, maybe they took out life insurance policies on us. It’s always about the money.”

Bernie knew Alice’s Bobby and her Camden. Known them all their lives. Two nicer boys – sons – did not exist. They were paying for St. Gertrude’s. There was no way it was about money.

“Alice, is this about Bosco?”

“You leave him out of this.”

“It is about Bosco. What did he do this time?”

“He might have scratched Bobby.”

“Oh. And Bobby is so allergic to cats.”

“Yeah, he swelled up like a balloon. They had to take him to the emergency room. After he got out of the hospital, he said Bosco was no longer welcome in his home, and if I insisted on keeping him, I was no longer welcome either. He told me I had to decide between Bosco and him.”

“Oh, Alice. You love that old cat.”

“Bosco is not mangy.”

“Alice, I didn’t say he was. But now you mention it, he really doesn’t have much hair, especially on his tail, and he hates everyone. He won’t let me near him, I know that.”

“How can a blind old bat like you tell if Bosco has hair on his tail or not?”

“I’ve got hands, and I can tell you that touching that cat is like touching … Well, I don’t know. But it’s not furry or fluffy or … normal.”

“Well, I knew if Bobby was going to get rid of Bosco, it wouldn’t be long before he got rid of me. The next thing you know, he’s talked Camden into sending us both to this camp. And he says not to pack too much stuff. What do you think now?”

“I think we need to call Gracie again. Maybe she will be in this time. She should have gotten your message, don’t you think? I confess I’m surprised she hasn’t called back.”

“I told her everything she needs to know. She doesn’t need to call back. As a precaution, in case she breaks down and tells her dad, I turned your phone off.”

“Oh, Alice, do you think that’s wise? She might be trying to call us.”

“I don’t want your phone to give away our location, just in case.”

“Just in case of what, Alice?”

“Bernie, you and your questions are almost as bad as you and your appetite. In case the cops are in cahoots with the killers, that’s what.”

“Oh, Alice you don’t think that, do you?”

“How long have we been gone? Four hours? Why haven’t the cops found us? We’re in a bright yellow school bus. How hard can it be to find us?”


Up Next: Episode 8 – In which truth is revealed.

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