“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.”
Leonardo Da Vinci, 1452–1519
Aleister Parker smelled the warm sun on fresh linens inside the pristine guest room Floor-2 at the Parrot Cove Cliff-House belonging to Angela and Vitor Weiss. Vitor had returned to Skyhaven, New Hampshire, the tallest elevation on New Hampshire’s minimal 18-mile coastline mere hours ago. He’d piloted the ebony Corvette Grand Sport with calm precision threading the dark asphalt switchbacks edging granite oblivion above the sea where the deep-beasts hungrily patiently bided their time.
From below, delicious brewing… Was that Dunkin’ Dark fresh-ground? Thin parched flakes of rolled oats salted scalded transmuting into honey-sweetened mush? Bacon! Ah… Bacon! A shimmery blue propane fire dark copper-bottomed pan sizzling spitting. Shall this be a day of gratitude, awareness, and warm full belly!
It could not be the life of Aleister Parker! Escalating unrelenting terror interspersed with numbness. Had he died? He cleared his throat, grinding fat tears back into his steel-blue eyes until the red green orange chased away the black.
Crossing on bare feet, cold tiles of black-star marble patterned with silvery flecks — constellations — looking up at him. Vertigo! Hey! Private bath… clean desk… laptop computer… WiFi… WIRED.com!
Gone! The “borrowed” garments bearing cryptic logos. Prussian blue on a snow white circle bisected. Green glyphs —clovers? Meshed gears small large golden. Those stolen things taken away while he slept? What state agency were they from? In their place: a shirt of fine fresh white silk. Was this silk? Trousers of tightly crafted natural smooth fibers. Windbreaker, lustrous, brand-new, nice. A gift from Angela Weiss? Vitor’s Angela?
Parsing the remnants of his tattered soul while scrubbing chipped teeth with the paste advanced whitening squished onto the fresh ergonomically bent green brush snatched at that state park building across the steel river-drawbridge. They wouldn’t want those back!
Emily Parker’s voice. She’s dead! He remembered her hands on his shoulders — little tiny mitts, perfect natural nails short. That day, a Tuesday morning. Emily’s last Tuesday more than two years ago. Lovely Emily. His wife! Beyond death we shall not part.
She had a “radio voice…” That clairvoyant audio quality that didn’t diminish even after words were crunched and reconstituted. Passing through electrons and generating ripples of invisible but very real energy. Airwaves.
Aleister’s heart stopped. Outside, a plump cloud went by, obscuring the tungsten fire dawn’s progress. For the millionth time he replayed her leaving in her cute blue sedan with dinged alloy wheels and scratch marks in the paint. A mosaic of lines patterned into a smiley-face etched in the exposed pale gray vehicle primer.
That Semi Truck transporting heavy marble slabs merged her and that pretty car into chaos. The driver was charged with manslaughter. DWI. Pills. Borderline personality disorder. The man, weeping, assigned to the Diamond State Hospital. Forever. A solid roof, warm blankets, three squares a day, TV. Aleister could never forgive the man.
Was he standing on that very marble tile the Big Semi carried as it bore down on her? Twenty-two years old! Was her life inside these very tiles? Did Emily Parker recognize his feet? Or was it his heart? Why.
Angela Weiss turned off the burner preparing to shrink the cholesterol–content in the shiny bacon by blotting it on paper towels. She wanted her boys to be fed, not dead!
The “boys” included Erik (her biological father), Vitor Weiss, and that soft tangled nest of confusion named Aleister Parker. Erik and Vitor were fine, their strange uniqueness immunized them from the plague of darkness descending relentlessly upon her world.
That Aleister boy. Upstairs. His mind was writhing. She could feel it.