Tonight’s the night. It has to happen. We’ve been waiting for this day for some time. Everyone’s on their best behaviour, like they’re being watched and yes they are. I guess you could say, it’s not a typical day in the neighbourhood.
I’ve never seen such clean, dry, and neat looking Uniforms, not around here at least. They found another piece of the puzzle on the ground, over near the pool. There’s something strange and disarming about looking at this scene. It sets my teeth on edge. It makes the most abnormal happenings somehow seem staged, like we’re in the thick of a Disney animation. This place really is a zoo.
There she is. Mrs Pauley, she’s the one they’re looking for. Salt of the Earth, worked hard for the man her whole life.
‘We have standards. You have to do exactly as I say. Listen, you must come with us! Soon you’ll be in our corner of the world, a healthier, happier space. You’ll be in a better place.’
‘Mary mother full of grace’…she mumbles as she tries to waddle away.
I wish to control the chaos. How did they get all the power? Politics! There alway seems to be a sacrifice. Don’t get me wrong I like it here, but I’m hungry for something different now. I should go and help…
‘YO, B, GET OVER HERE!’
That’s my mate Ted, and my name’s Beatrice by the way. Teddy winks at me. I wish he’d stop that. It’s one of those mating rituals I don’t understand.
‘MAY I SAY, YOU LOOK LOVELY THIS EVENING.’
‘Okay…I’m worried about Mrs Pauley.’
‘OH B, YOU CAN’T GET SO EMOTIONALLY INVESTED. SHE HURT HER FLIPPER, THEY’RE JUST FIXING IT FOR HER. DIDN’T YOU SEE THE BLOOD? SHE’LL BE BACK BEFORE YOU KNOW IT.’
For two weeks each year the uniforms put us together hoping for a little miracle. Today is the first of those days. Usually we just climb the springy tamarack sapling, gentle play-bite, act out tightrope and king of the mountain. But tonight feels somehow different.
‘You want to play,’ I say in my best monotone voice.
‘YES, I REALLY, REALLY DO.’
He’s got that look in his eye…’Oh my goodness, Ted!’