Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-two - Covid is a family problem (part three)
Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-two - Covid is a family problem (part five)

Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-two - Covid is a family problem (part four)


(part four)

The elderly man closed his eyes and sighed. A tear rolled down his face.

“I’m going to put this mask on you,” Heather said. She opened her hand and a face mask appeared. “Nelson and Blane can’t get Covid. So I don’t want any argument from you.”

The man gave a vague nod. She put the mask over his face. Heather gestured for Nelson to come out. Blane said something to Jacob, and Jacob went into the kitchen. Blane and Nelson went out together. Blane grabbed the man’s right wrist to take his Chinese medicine pulses, while Nelson used an infrared thermometer to take the man’s temperature.

“99,” Nelson said. “High, but that could be from dehydration. What do you think?”

“His immune system is fighting something,” Blane said. “He is very weak. We should treat him as infected until we can check.”

Nelson nodded. Jacob appeared with a cup of warm broth. Everyone but Heather backed up. Heather placed her hand on the man’s shoulder.

“Let’s see how you do with some broth,” Heather said.

The elderly man nodded. He took off the mask and drank the broth. Heather waited to see his effect. She shook his head.

“He’s too weak,” Heather said. “The broth is running right through him.”

Blane and Jacob shared a look.

“What?” Nelson asked.

“We need to bring him to the Castle medical offices,” Blane said.

“He’s too weak,” Nelson said. “Can’t we put him in your office?”

Blane and Jacob looked at each other again. Jacob nodded.

“Yes,” Jacob said.

“What the fuck is it with you two?” Nelson asked irritably. “I thought I’d have trouble with Tres, but he’s open and honest — clear even — compared to the two of you lovebirds.”

“Sorry,” Blane said. “We’ve worked together for a long time. We’ve had many years of long conversation about me using the medical offices for my practice.”

“I told him this very thing this morning,” Jacob said.

“While we were moving me into my office,” Blane said.

“This morning,” Jacob said.

“Did you finish?” Nelson asked.

“Moving in?” Blane asked.

Jacob vehemently shook his head.

“No,” Blane said. “In the words of Jacob, ‘Damn, you have a lot of crap.’”

“So we can move him to your office?” Nelson asked, trying to hide his exasperation.

“Yes,” Blane said.

“Let’s,” Jacob said.

When they turned back to look at Mr. Matchel, he was gone. Heather was sitting in his place.

“I moved him into Blane’s office,” Heather said, mildly. “He needed a bath and some clean clothing, which has been taken care of by my associates. He is sleeping quietly.”

Heather smiled at the men.

“I am a goddess,” Heather said. “So I’ll tell you — this man is exhausted. He’s been without any form of nutrition for a long time. He hasn’t had company or interaction either. He’s been stuck in his house without any assistance while the entire world closed down. He’s terrified that he will die and no one will know. He is hungry, tired, dirty, distraught, and very alone.”

Heather stood up.

“He is now a part of our family,” Heather said, standing up. “And, we need to think about every single one of our neighbors because it’s very possible that there are more people in Mr. Matchel’s situation.”

She went into the house.

“Covid?” Nelson croaked.

“I don’t know,” Heather said. “Jill’s out with the kids. I sent her a text. She’ll stop here when they get back.”

Heather gave the men a nod and went back into the house. The men watched her go.

“I’m not making dinner,” Heather said.

Jacob laughed. Nelson trotted into the house after Heather. Blane nodded to Jacob and followed them inside.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...


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