For those of you who are reading Fowl Play I have 18 chapters completed and I completed those several years ago, so I need to get back to writing so I can post. While I remember the basic premises and twists this piece originally intended, it may twist differently as I write on. If you have suggestions or questions as always post comments here or on Facebook. I’d love to know what you are thinking.

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Chapter Twelve

Mavis arrived at Heritage Village early the next day. She had every intention of heading off another confrontation in the hospice wing. Her plan was to meet with Helen and clear the path for Amy to visit and play for the patients. She had checked with Lydia Brownfield’s family after having dinner with Earl. They had given their permission for Amy to visit Lydia, but had let Mavis know that Amy was on her own with Lydia and that if Lydia threw her out, that would be the end of it. Mavis had agreed.

Milo’s affairs rested in the hands of Bartholomew Gratis, an attorney, who basically told Mavis choices of care and treatment were up to Heritage Village, because it wouldn’t make a bit of difference to Milo. Mavis interpreted his apathy as a “yes”. And thus armed, however tentatively, she prepared to discuss the matter with Helen, before Amy returned to the hospice wing.

At the hospice wing nurse’s station, Mavis saw one of the new registered nurses entering chart information on the computer. What is her name, Mavis struggled to remember, Cindy? Lindsey? Reaching the desk, she found “Sydney’s” employee id badge visible, enabling Mavis to call her by name.

“Good Morning, Sydney.”

Sydney intent on her charting, startled, and then seeing the smile on Mavis’s face smiled back.

“Good Morning, Miss Purcell. How can I help you?”

“First, call me Mavis.”
“Mavis.” Sydney replied, nodding, but Mavis had the distinct impression that the use of her first name was not going to come easy to Sydney. Mavis tried to remember how old Sydney was; she looked fifteen. Probably, early twenties, Mavis concluded unable to remember what was on her application.

“Is Helen here?”

“Yes, ma’m,” Sydney looked down the hall and then pointed, “Miss Marcum is making patient rounds. I think she is in Mr. Grant’s room—436. Do you want me to go get her or call her on the intercom?”

“No, I’ll just catch up with her when she finishes in his room.”

Milo Grant’s room was near the end of the corridor. Approaching, Mavis noticed the door ajar and a mirror on the wall opposite his bed reflected Helen as she worked. A muted sound, which Mavis first thought to be Milo moaning, caught her attention. Drawing closer to the door, but standing out of sight, she listened. What she heard awakened a new picture of Helen Marcum in her mind—one that prepared her to speak about Amy playing for the hospice patients with Helen. All the scenarios she had practiced before coming in early to talk to Helen dissolved on the wings of a song. Helen sang, as she worked with Milo to make him more comfortable. The low mournful yet hopeful words brought tears to her eyes.

“All my trials, Lord, Soon be over.”

Mavis pivoted and returned to the smiling Sydney at the nurse’s station.

“Did you find her?” Sydney asked.

“Yes, but she’s quite busy. Could you call me in my office when she finishes making rounds? And, Sydney, tell her I need just a few minutes of her time.

##

Deborah Webster rolled over in bed, hit the snooze alarm and stroked Daffodil’s curled form. Daffy nestled closer, wedging her body against Deborah’s in feline protest to the possibility that she was about to be booted from the bed. Folding her ears down, the cat tried to ignore Deborah’s cooing sounds. Deb found the cat to be a perfect companion. Daffy, unlike the human companions Deb had chosen, never left any doubt about her true feelings. When Daffy was mad, Deb knew she was mad.

At forty years old, after three failed marriages, a battle with alcohol dependency, a month in rehab followed by AA meetings that continued to this day, Deb rediscovered the faith of her childhood, the Jesus who loved her. In AA meetings when others grappled with their “higher power” she knew for sure who hers was. However, when she tried to share her new found faith with her sisters, both devoted church women, Donna had patted her hand and commented that she hoped Deb didn’t “go off the deep end.”

On the other hand, Diana ever the encourager offered, “Wonderful! Now you need to find a church with a singles’ group in our age range. I just know there is a perfect man out there for you and church is such a healthy place to find one.”

Deb wasn’t sure what the deep end was and she didn’t want the “perfect man”. She had found him and if she never entered a romantic relationship again, Christ would have to plop him down in front of her, because she wasn’t looking.

For four years since, it had been Daffodil and Deb with no sign of supernatural match making. The cat planted her front paws directly on Deb’s chest yowling full force. Suddenly feeling playful, Deb rubbed Daffy’s head until the cat leapt from the bed switching her tail in mock disdain. Deborah laughed and slid her feet onto the floor, poking a toe in Daffy’s direction eliciting a clawless attack.

“You love it and you know it.” Deb told the cat, laughing again. Awareness dawned—Hallelujah—her body didn’t double over with coughing. As if to warn her not to get too confident, a small cough emerged but the effect was less devastating than it had been the previous week.

Deb glanced at the clock and decided that before she climbed in the shower she’d call her mother. The visit with her sisters, the whole chicken falderal struck her as wrong. They had promised to help with the “pet” project and silly or not Deborah decided she’d keep her end of the bargain. Besides she thought, shoving her feet into her slippers, I’ll probably get free eggs and who knows maybe God has a chicken farmer out there somewhere for me.

##

As it turned out by the time the breakfast crowd gathered, Agnes had spoken to Deborah and Mavis had spoken with Helen. Both conversations ended on positive notes.

For Mavis that a conversation with Helen turned out on a high note was an event so rare that Mavis could not recall even one. Surely that was not true, but then again maybe it was. The outcome left her almost euphoric, even giddy. Amy would be allowed and even assisted with her music therapy in the hospice wing.

Agnes, on the other hand, felt a touch of motherly pride that Deborah wanted to participate in the chicken project. Even if the other two triplets chose to continue to distance themselves from the folly, the numbers on each side of the argument now corresponded equally. If her walker and repaired hip would have allowed her body to follow her spirit, Agnes would have skipped to breakfast.

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