October by Michael Rowe

October by Michael Rowe

Author:Michael Rowe [Rowe, Michael]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: ChiZine Publications
Published: 2017-10-29T04:00:00+00:00


The next morning Mikey told his mother he thought he was coming down with something and ought to stay in bed. He sniffled conspicuously and pressed his tongue to the roof of his mouth when he spoke in order to sound like he had a sore throat. He’d fallen asleep at dawn and had the dark circles under his eyes that made a convincing case for the onset of illness.

Since Mikey was rarely sick, and even more rarely faked being sick to stay home (he always wanted to see Wroxy at school, and sometimes even entertained the conceit that he looked out for her), Donna believed him. Mikey was careful to wear his sweats so as not to alert her to the bruises, not that Donna noticed much of anything at seven a.m. when she was getting ready for work. She rubbed her eyes irritably, her hands fumbling around the kitchen counter as she looked for her coffee cup. His father had left the house half an hour earlier.

“Were you out riding around in the cold again, Mikey?” Donna demanded. “When are you going to get some sense? You know how the weather is this time of year. Warm all day, then . . . pow!”

“A lot of kids are coming down with something, Mom,” he said. “It tends to only last a couple of days, but it wipes them out. I really feel like crap. If it’s okay with you, I’m just going to go back to bed.”

“Okay honey,” she said absently. “There’s juice in the fridge and there’s some soup in the bowl with the plastic lid. I think it’s still good. Call me at work if it gets worse. I don’t think there’s ice cream, but I’ll try and bring some home with me when I get off tonight. Remember, I have choir practice and your dad has that farewell party for his supervisor at the plant. We won’t be home till very, very late. Rest, okay? We don’t want you missing too much school this early in the year.”

“Okay, Mom. I’ll probably just go to bed and stay there.”

He lay in bed staring at the ceiling even after his mother popped into his bedroom to say goodbye. Only when he heard her car pulling out of the driveway did he throw back the covers and walk to the window. He looked up into the sky where the waxing moon had gone down only a few hours before. It would be full in a few days. Mikey smiled to himself thinking of it. He crossed to his desk and reached for the piece of yellow foolscap on which he had written the night before and looked down at his notes. Mikey had drawn a crude replica of the diagram he’d found there. The website had provided phonetic spelling for the words of incantation, though it neglected to identify the language of origin.

Mikey wondered idly where he was going to find a cat, and how best to kill it.


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