Lunch at the Paddlewheeler

November 4, 2010

Sitting near the fireplace in the back of the Paddlerwheeler Pub Vincent looked through the glass, the smoking area and out to the river.

The grey sky seemed close, the air wet, the wind sharp with only the hardiest of smokers sitting in the designated area. The clear plastic flaps cracked in the wind making the dank smell of butts even more repulsive.

Raj sat fidgeting in his chair something unusual for him, ever the stoic observer. Vincent waited, at some point Raj would get around to it.

Yesterday’s sale of a downtown Toronto property had brought them an unexpected windfall, they should be celebrating; they weren’t.

The fidgeting stopped and Raj said “Lena said she felt the presence of Kimberley… more than once. What could she possible want from Lena?”

Vincent sucked in some air. Shock could only describe what he felt. The children were out of bounds for Kimberley, no witchcraft around them.

He picked up the glass of ice water and took a long drink. Despite the cold running to his belly, he found no relief.

He lifted his head to the ceiling, scratched his neck and said “Damn, that’s wrong. Did she tell Mara?”

“No, she came to me. She knows the effect Kimberley has on her mother” Raj said.

“How about Sami?” he asked.

“No, and if he had he would tell me.” Raj said and smiled.

“And the smile?” he asked

“Just thinking of my son, he has become such a handsome young man, and he wants to be a doctor” Raj said turning back to the river before saying “What’s she looking for Vincent?”

“I don’t know, she is a long way from my mind. I haven’t felt anything. Stef hasn’t said anything, but I’ll ask. If anyone can sense Kimberley it has to be Stef.

“You should ask Michelle” Raj said.

“I will, but maybe I should just call Kimberley and tell her to piss off” Vincent said.

“Looking for Valhalla are we Vincent. As uncomfortable as it makes me, something is going on and calling her will just open a door we closed ten years ago” Raj said.

“Raj, we cannot let her play games with us” he said.

“Vincent, she could kill us with the bat of an eye, try to stay focused. Aside from the fact that she’s a witch, she lives in the drug world now. I suspect she had mastered the art of each. So less heroics and a little more thought” Raj said.

Vincent picked up his knife, cut a piece off his meatloaf, the special of the day and took a bite. The meatloaf like his disposition tasted a bit off. The presence of all other problems combined didn’t shock him the way this did.

And why would Kimberley’s focus any uncalled for attention on Lena, as innocent a child of sixteen as one could find. She deserves some reverence.

Smart and beautiful, a clone of her mother, caring ran off her like water ran down the Fraser. She would follow her mother’s footsteps to the Yellow Door Charities. Without thinking he said “Fuck you Kimberley, you don’t get Lena.”

Raj smiled and said “Thanks for the thought Vincent, however, it wasn’t the thought or the thinking we need, Odin.”

Picking up his glass of wine, Vincent  turned to the river, raised his glass, toasted Odin and said “To an easier time.”

the witch’s malice, September, 2010

David Hutchison, Writer