We have been fighting an uphill battle here this last week. We have been shooting two or three juvenile wraiths a day, and double that at night. The bodies have to be disposed of. We have to constantly patrol the perimeter. We have lost three cows. Nerves are on edge. Everyday we have to check the livestock for those damn bugs, check each other and keep the windows and doors closed at all times.
But we now know something very important about the things. The bugs and the wraiths have more than just a slight symbiotic relationship. Neither one can exist without the other. The venom secreted by the bugs suppresses the immune system, allowing the wraith embryos to implant successfully. The waste products secreted by the embryos begin to break down proteins in the host that can be absorbed by the bug's simple digestive system. There are also hormones released by the embryos that allow the bugs to lay their eggs. The eggs are left on the dead carcass of the host after the wraith embryos mature.
Katherine has sequestered herself in her motorhome for most of the last week trying in order to give us this information. Twice she has sent Billy out to the hospitals in Lebanon for equipment and supplies. And of course Billy is all too happy to comply. I am not sure I like Katherine spending so much time alone in her motorhome. She is becoming more and more reclusive.
Stacy is out patrolling now on one of the ATVs. Jeanette protested sending a child out on patrol, but Stacy has a good head on her shoulders and we are dangerously shorthanded here.
We cannot maintain this. There are too few of us.
As soon as Stacy gets back it will be my turn.
Kyle, Jewels and I were having a bit of a theological discussion yesterday during a rare quite period. Kyle stated that he would sell his soul for a single boscaiola from the Co. Restaurant on 9th. He pronounced it "company" but said the name on the sign read simply Co. nothing else. The boscaiola is a pizza smothered with mushrooms, tomatoes, sausage and spicy peppers. Aside from the mushrooms it sounded good to me, but Kyle assured me that even if they forgot and left the mushrooms on you could pick them off and he would be happy to eat them of course if Jeanette was in the room she would make him fight for the them.
Jewels told him it sounded good, but then if he sold his soul he probably would not be able to enjoy the pizza too much. So we got to discussing what it would take to get us to sell our souls to the Devil. What would tempt us so far that we would turn our backs on everything we held near and dear. This went on for a few minutes and Jewels was becoming a bit uncomfortable with the line of conversation. I asked him his opinion and he quite simply stated nothing could make him do that.
"What the fuck would make me do a damn fool thing like that for? I mean you two white boys arguing back and forth over this like you were discussing fantasy football teams. You don't realize what the hell you're talking about. You sell you soul you got nothin, ya hear me, Nothin! They don't call Satan the Prince of Lies cause its got a nice ring to it. Shit Kyle, as a lawyer you should know anything can be hidden the fine print. You think if your woman or child was in danger you'd be helpin them by sellin your soul? Shit no. First the Devil don't keep his word. And second even if he did save them from whatever you was feared of so what. Now you sold your soul to the Devil, you are his, you're essentially gone. Bye Bye, no return service. That leaves this souless thing walkin around with your face. You have become Satan's Sock Puppet. He done rammed his hand up your ass and workin your head like a ventriloquist's dummy. And that is all you are. Now you may have saved you loved ones from death only to have them die anyway, only this time they die cussin your name. Is that what you want?"
Well, needless to say this sobered us up some.
People casually offer up their souls in exchange for the most mundane items. They are rarely serious but still it makes one wonder.
I hear Stacy pulling up on her ATV. So I guess it's my turn to go out.
© 2009 R. Keith McBride