CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FORTY-THREE
Saturday morning — 10:10 a.m.
Noelle and Nash stood outside the Castle’s next door neighbor’s house. Noelle glanced back at Sandy, who was standing on the sidewalk with the support of two canes. Sandy waved Noelle on. Noelle visibly sighed.
The girl knocked on their next door neighbor’s door.
“I hear someone,” Nash whispered to Noelle.
Noelle nodded. The children backed up on the porch until they were about six feet from the door. The door opened a crack.
“Hi, I’m Noelle and this is Nash,” Noelle said.
“I don’t want anything,” a voice said.
Two dark eyes peered out at the children. Even though they were dismissed, the door didn’t close.
“We’re not selling anything,” Nash said.
“We wanted to check that you were doing okay,” Noelle said. “With the pandemic going on, we are going around checking on our neighbors to see if anyone needs anything.”
“That’s nice of you,” the voice said.
“You probably know Mr. Matchel,” Nash said.
“That old coot,” the voice said. “I know him enough to stay as far away as possible.”
The voice chuckled which led to a deep cough. Nash looked at Noelle, and she glanced at Sandy.
“He collapsed yesterday,” Nash continued. “So we thought we’d check on everyone in our area to see if they were okay or if they needed anything.”
“We brought some facemasks in case you don’t have any,” Noelle said.
A thin, wrinkled brown hand stretched out from behind the door. Noelle placed the masks into the hand and the hand retreated. There was another cough.
“You sound like you’re a little sick,” Noelle said.
“It’s not Covid,” the voice said. “I have some lung problems from before this wretched thing started.”
“Our uncle is an acupuncturist,” Noelle said. She gestured toward the back of the Castle. “He’s setting up his office at the house.”
“I can’t afford nothing,” the voice said. “No payments from disability lately.”
“That’s okay,” Nash said. “He’s giving away treatments to neighbors. He wants to see everyone once alone and then, if you can, do it as a group. If not, you can see him privately.”
The brown eyes blinked and then blinked again. The door opened a little wider.
“Are you for real?” the voice asked.
The children nodded.
“We’ve also been growing seedlings,” Noelle said. “Tomatoes, beans, stuff like that.”
“I noticed them greenhouses,” the voice said.
“We can help you plant your garden,” Nash said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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