67. Jim

Chapter 66

June 6th


Not now. Please, no.

I’m looking at her on the floor there with the Leigh kid, and Kyle’s in front of me. There’s not a lot of blood, but she isn’t conscious.

Breathing’s hard for me. I got a bunch of different thoughts and I’m looking all over the place. She’s gonna die if – but then I can’t do much for her. I look right at Kyle and he knows what I’m gonna say before I say it. What I say is, you told me never again. Never, never again, you told me.

He looks down at her and says the bullet’s hit her spine.

Come on, kid. Don’t you dare leave me, I say, but I doubt she can really hear me.

I pick myself up with my hands and go to get out of the chair, and I crumple to the ground and I try to reach her. And I reach and she’s too far away and I think I’m crying and swearing and looking at Kyle and yelling at him.

What the fuck good are you? Fix her!

She isn’t breathing. Come on, kid. Don’t you fucking dare.

I look up at the shape that’s standing over my granddaughter and I catch his eyes and tell him to bring her to me. He says that we shouldn’t move her, so I say move me. He hoists me up and sits me next to my girl and helps me hold her. He doesn’t have an expression, Kyle doesn’t.

Hey, kid.

After Gret went I couldn’t tell her. I’m sure she’ll be back soon, I told her. And she told it back to me, because she believed me. Why wouldn’t she? Why would her grandpa ever lie to her? As I’m sitting back it occurs to me that both of her parents’ deaths are on me. And now this, too.

I don’t let that occur to me for too long.

Not yet, goddammit.

I look at Kyle. You gotta take her in, I say.

He says no. Come on, he says. Let’s call an ambulance.

No. No, no no no. Put her in. He’ll be here soon. We killed his boy, Kyle. He’s gonna be looking for blood, and he can’t enter there anymore. Not after ’63, Stag’s not allowed. She’d be safe. Get her to the idea man. The rules are different there. You don’t need what you need here. She could make it in the hotel.

She couldn’t ever leave after, Kyle says.

Yeah. Do it.



Chapter 68

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