The Cuckoo's Progeny
15: In Need of Repairs
CopyrightÂ© 2016 Vincent Berg. All rights reserved.
“You’re sure this is the right place?”
“Absolutely,” Betty replied. “Have I been wrong yet?”
Al glanced at the house surrounded by hardware and equipment. “It’s just that the place is a mess. It looks more like a decrepit pawn shop than someone’s home.”
“You should know better than anyone that you can’t judge someone by their surroundings,” Theo said. “We each came from orphanages and were raised in a variety of homes. One deals with the hand they’re dealt, but they aren’t defined by them.”
“Good point,” Al responded, climbing out of the car. “Let’s go talk to them.”
The others held back as Al and Betty approached the small repair shop. Al assumed the couple lived upstairs. Delilah and Gary stationed themselves in the front where they could survey anyone approaching. A bell rang as they entered. As they waited, they examined the shop filled with knickknacks. There were hundreds of clocks of all shapes and sizes, plenty of electronics, along with quite a few major appliances. Before long, a young man entered from a back room.
“Can I help you?” The sides of his head were shorn, while he possessed short curvy locks atop his head. He had a rugged appearance with about three-day’s beard growth.
“Yes, I’m Al, and this is my sister, Betty Collins.” Betty cleared her throat, though Al ignored the interruption. “You’ll want your partner here for this.”
The man cocked his head. “I’m Ivan Meskers. I take it this has nothing to do with business?”
“No, this is personal. We have information on who you are.”
He perked up at that, calling upstairs. “Kaci, we’ve got guests. I think you’ll want to be here for this.” Turning back to Al and Betty, he continued as they waited. “I notice a few people hanging around out front. Did you not want them to hear this, or are they to scare our customers away?”
“We thought you’d appreciate the privacy,” Al assured him. He glanced around again. “This is an odd selection of goods. I also note you’ve got grease under your fingernails. It appears you’ve been working on car engines.”
“Kaci and I repair all kinds of things. Aside from the delicate items here, I also work in a nearby garage and temp for a refrigeration service. I’m good at isolating problems and resolving them, rather than running down a checklist. It’s cheaper for the services to hire me than rely on their normal staffs.”
“There’s a good reason for that,” Al said as Kaci entered the room. “I suspect you both have increased spatial reasoning segments in your brain.”
Kaci glanced around as she joined them. She was a black woman with short straight hair, industrial style black glasses and an odd cockeyed smile. “And how would you know that?”
“Before I answer, please remain standing. I’m tired of people falling to their knees.” Al pulled his hair back, revealing his unusual birthmarks. Their knees buckled, but instead of collapsing, the man slammed his fist to his chest while Kaci clutched her heart, gasping.
“Who’d a thunk it,” Betty said. “Simply ordering them not to collapse, and they don’t. And you continue questioning everyone’s response to you?”
“Something was done to us as orphans which sets us apart from everyone else. We have something in our blood which gives us unique abilities.”
Ivan cocked his head, his attention distracted. Kaci reacted the same, so Al waited until they responded.
“We’re in,” Ivan said as his eyes refocused.
“Just like that? Aren’t you curious what this is—”
“Zita told us everything,” Kaci said. “She conveys a lot more in a few seconds than you can by carefully explaining it.”