Sequence: The Watcher Watched (part one)
My soul waiteth for the Lord
More than they that watch for the morning;
I say more than they that watch for the morning.
Nora Huey had gone with Boxer.
Her husband would have slammed the door in Boxer’s idiot face. Twenty years ago, Boxer had called her on the telephone, at the shop—which Charles had forbidden under any circumstance.
“Nora, you’re a woman. I don’t know what to do.”
She’d rung him off. Anyone could listen in and get nothing from those few words. Boxer had showed up no more than ten minutes afterwards. He must have set his friend to look out for Charles. When they saw he’d left, Boxer called, making sure Nora was at home.
And she had not grown to love Viola completely. She reserved a chamber of her heart, that one day, should the shadow of authority fall over her, she would not wholly die…having expected this. She was not a mother.
But, here was Boxer again―the man who’d set the wheels spinning.
“I don’t know what to do.”
She lifted the hand, and the fingers were cold, yet sliding her own to the wrist, she could find a pulse. Charles would be livid to know Boxer had hidden his dying friend in the Huey’s garden shed.
“Boxer, there’s time still. You’ll only be running to the corner.”
“Boxer, Father McCann will have nothing to say to you. It’s only for…what’s his name?”
Nora had never heard this. She would not remonstrate with Boxer. Twenty years ago, she’d been twenty-nine, young…Boxer a year or two older. And Gimp, whom she had not seen in the intervening decades, and whose real name was known to God and to his mother, a half-wit teenager.
“Boxer, if I stay, I’ve got to go…” She paused, hearing herself. “I mean, Charles will look for me. I’ll have to settle him. But you had better run now.”
He did not run, but told her, “It’s one more pair of eyes.”
The Watcher Watched
(2016, Stephanie Foster)