Story Orgy – Creature Feature – Chapter Seven

Hi friends and happy Monday! Are you ready for another chapter of my Story Orgy Creature Feature story with Demetrius and Cody?

So far this story is untitled, but we’ll see what comes up as I write it, shall we?

Today’s prompt is: This was not about you.

Now, grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and settle in. Enjoy!

Story Orgy Creature Feature

Chapter Seven

Hank Edwards

(c) 2015

Cody stood on the back patio of Parson’s Pines Nursing and Convalescent Home of Serenity. It was early—well, early for him at 9:30 AM—and the day was already warm and on its way to hot. He stood with his arms crossed and legs spread, watching his grandmother Felicia where she sat on a bench under a shade tree. She was very animated, looking years younger than her actual age as she talked and tipped her head back in bouts of gleeful laughter. It was all very idyllic, but Cody just wished his grandmother sat with at least one other person. Instead, she sat on her own, talking to whoever might be appearing in whatever time period she was living in at that moment.

Finding her in these states made him uncomfortable. He loved seeing her happy, but worried for her. Most times when she slipped into the past, she had no idea who he was, and that always left him feeling sad and alone. She was the only relative that remained in Parson’s Hollow. His parents had moved to Arizona years ago, and his four brothers had scattered to different states where they were busy with families of their own. Cody hadn’t stayed in Parson’s Hollow just for his grandmother, but now that she was living in the past more than the present, he was glad he’d remained close. Now, not wanting to confuse her, he hesitated to approach where she sat on her own out under the tree.

“She’s asked about you.”

The voice was sure but shaky and when Cody turned he found a spry looking elderly man standing behind him. He was about a foot shorter than Cody with wild wisps of white hair standing up around his nearly bald head. A retro cool Star Wars T-shirt made Cody grin before he responded to the man’s statement.

“Asked how? Like wondering why I haven’t stopped by more often?”

“No, nothing like that,” the man said with a shake of his head and a frown. “More like wondering when you’d come by again. She says you’re her favorite grandson.”

“Probably the only one she can remember,” Cody said as he looked across the lawn to where his grandmother was enjoying the party inside her mind.

“Not on her lucid days,” the man said. “She mentions all five of you by name, but gets a big smile when she talks about you.”

“That’s better than most of my ex-girlfriends,” Cody mumbled.

“I hear that,” the man agreed.

Cody grinned and stuck out his hand. “Cody Bower.”

The old man took Cody’s hand and gave it a surprisingly firm shake. “Wallace Benson.”

“Thanks for the talk, Wallace. I needed it today.”

“Glad to help.” He gestured to Felicia. “Go on out and visit with her for a while. I know she’d like it.”

Cody walked out to the space beneath the tree. A grouping of chairs surrounded the bench on which Felicia sat, and he lowered himself into the one nearest her. She was in the middle of a laugh, and when he sat down, the laugh cut off abruptly and she turned to give him a long, steady look.

“Hi Grandma Felicia,” he said. “How are you today?”

Story_Orgy_logo“This was not about you,” she said. “But I’m glad to see you.”

Cody cocked his head and gave her a tentative smile. “Oh? Well, I’m glad to see you, too.”

“You’re the only one of my grandchildren that comes to see me,” Felicia said. “I still have some of my memory intact, you know.”

Encouraged, Cody moved from the chair to sit beside her on the bench. He stretched his arm out around the back of the bench and touched her bony shoulder. Even with the heat of the day she felt cool to his touch, and he considered going back inside to grab a sweater from her room.

“You know, I’ve always been able to tell when you’re troubled, Cody Duran,” she said. “And lately, you seem to be dragging trouble around behind you in a great big bag.”

“You make me sound like Santa Claus or something, Grandma,” Cody said.

“Santa Claus with a bag full of deep thoughts maybe.”

“First time anyone’s considered me having a deep thought.”

“Well, I doubt that’s the truth,” Felicia said with a sniff. “You’ve been known to stretch the truth when it suits you.”

Cody laughed and shook his head, then pulled her up against his side for a hug. “You don’t let me get away with anything, do you?”

“Can’t say as I do,” she replied. “Now what’s on your mind?”

Cody shook his head. “Just feel like I’m at a crossroads right now, Grandma.”

“Those are the most exciting places to be,” she said with a smile. “It makes you decide, one way or the other, about something.”

“It could mess up something very special,” Cody said.

“So it’s a romance quandary,” Felicia guessed. “Take it from my many decades of experience, it’s very telling if you are feeling this confused and concerned about her…” She leaned in closer and lowered her voice. “…Or him.”

A shock went through Cody, and she must have felt it reverberate through him because she let out a gentle laugh and said, “Oh, I may have hit the nail on the head.”

“What are you saying?” Cody asked. “How do you know so many things?”

She gave a gentle shrug. “When all you do is sit and talk to people from your past who are no longer alive, those around you tend to talk more openly. I’ve seen the way you and Demetrius act around each other. You care for him, and you owe it to yourself to find out just how much.”

“This doesn’t bother you?” Cody asked. “The fact I’m thinking about a man in this way?”

“You’re all hung up on the masculine and feminine of it all,” Felicia replied. “You need to put that aside and focus on the relationship. Does it feel right? Does it feel good? But most important of all, does it make you happy and do you make each other laugh?”

Cody sat and stared at the trunk of the tree for a long moment. He thought about Demmy and all the years they’d known one another. He thought about the connection between them and how deeply he felt it when they were together, and how much he missed Demmy now that they were apart. It felt as if things were unfinished or something was not quite right in his life. It was similar to how he felt when he went to the store without a list and couldn’t remember the one important item he’d written down, only this was much more intense and left him feeling hollow and out of sorts. Was Demmy feeling this way without him around, or was he too busy trying to manage his mother’s health care?

“He does and we do,” Cody finally said, and when he looked at his grandmother, he saw she had tears in her eyes and felt the sting of his own. “Why are you crying, Grandma?”

“Because, my dear sweet boy,” she replied and wiped away her tears, “after all of the years of dating and trying to find someone to keep your interest for longer than a few weeks, you’ve finally realized he’s been beside you all along.”

“Jesus, has it been that obvious?” Cody wondered, suddenly scared his brothers and his parents might have figured it out as well and have something less accepting to say about it all. Especially his brother Robert, who was the most conservative out of all of the Bower boys.

“Not to everyone,” Felicia said, “and I’ve only noticed it very recently.”

“I just never thought I would be… gay, you know?”

“It doesn’t mean you’re gay, my dear. It just means you have feelings much more intimate than friendship for Demetrius. It’s not a gay or straight concern, it’s love.”

Cody laughed. He tipped back his head and laughed loud and long at the tree branches arching overhead. Behind them, he could hear a small group of residents talking and laughing as well, and he hoped he and Felicia were the subject of their conversation.

“Where did you come up with all of this stuff?” Cody asked.

“Oh, honey, just because I’m in my nineties doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s going on,” she replied. After a long pause, she held up a wrinkled and bony finger and said, “Usually I don’t know what’s going on. Sometimes I get confused. But right now, I know perfectly well that I’m talking with my grandson, Cody, who I love very much, and who I want to see happy.”

“Well, Grandma, I want to be happy, so we’ve got a lot in common.” He kissed her on the cheek and gave her a careful hug. “Now, let’s talk about something else.”

“Good, Horatio over here was getting bored with all of this gay and straight talk,” Felicia said with a wave to an empty chair and an elaborate roll of her eyes. “He’s so dramatic.”

~ * ~

I hope you enjoyed this latest chapter of my Story Orgy Creature Feature. Leave a comment if you’d like (it’s always fun to get mail!), and then hop on over to the blogs of the other Story Orgy writers. Some of us may take a week or two off, but we’ll be around for the most part. Like our Story Orgy Facebook Page for details about all of our writing. Feel free to like my pages as well if you’re interested in becoming a true Hankie: Hank Edwards Facebook Page or the Venom Valley Series Page, or follow me on Twitter. Go ahead and give the other participating Story Orgy writers a read: Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows as well as Em Woods, who might drop in for a prompt or two. Have a very good week and I’ll see you next Monday!

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