Mending The Broken
Sleepless night & Trying Day
June 17, 2013
It was pointless to drive back up the mountain with the plans for the following morning. Hank and the General had packed the old Chevy truck with all the supplies, remaining clothing and cots before they left the cabin. Now the six were back as Susan’s apartment. Lilly, Hank, and Detlev sat on the overstuffed couch and watched the news, Which was showing coverage of the laundry mat attack. All four suspects were taken to the hospital with wounds ranging from bruises to cracked ribs and broken bones. Cecily sat on the floor against the wall under the small kitchen window. She watched as Susan tended to Alex’s wounds and the tiny kitchen table built for two. The vision of the attack still vibrant in her mind, the smiles and laughter from the walk had drained from her.
Susan slowly worked her way across Alex’s wounds, knife cuts, bruises, several cracked u. She looked up into Alex’s eyes and said, “Your fucking crazy, you should have let them take you to the hospital. You’ll need to go tomorrow at the latest to be sure there is nothing worse.”
“Fuck dat, I needed to fine Cecily. I’ve ‘ad worse.” Alex replied.
“I don’t care what you think. You need to be looked at by a professional. This isn’t a combat zone where I just patch you up so we can keep moving.” Susan turned back to the remnants of her stomp bag and continued, “I don’t have any pain meds, my bag is not stocked with enough fix to you in one piece if you keep doing this.”
“Chit, I get in one little fight and you go all Mutha Teresa on me.”
“You know damn well it's not about the fight, you did what you needed to, and they deserved it. But you’re acting like you used to.” Alex laughed as Susan spoke, “See, that's exactly what I am talking about. We need you in your right mind starting in the morning. If we are going to pull this shit off, you need to think about what you are doing, go to the hospital and get these ribs looked at.”
“Ok, mum, I’ll go right afta I get somtin to eat.” Alex looked over at Cecily, “ya want anytin Squeaky?” Cecily just shrugged back, “Ok, burgers it is den.” Alex said with a smile, “Anyone else wana buger?” Several ‘HAUH’s rang through the apartment
Susan shouted back at rabble that had occupied her place, “SHUT THE FUCK UP. YOU WANT THE NEIGHBORS TO CALL THE COPS” In response she received a loader ‘HUAH’ accompanied by the sound of glass Coke-a-Cola bottles clinking together. “What have I gotten myself into?” Susan stood up from the table and walked into the living room, “If ya’ll don’t keep it down in there, you’ll be sleeping in your cars.”
The General stood and walked to the kitchen saying, “You Vouldn’t Do Zat, and you know et. I’ll cook zee brugerz, Alex you needz to go to zee hospital now. Zuzan, drager her ifen you have to.” He looked into the vacant fridge, “Change ov planz. We will aparently be starfing to deaz due to zee lack of profisioning. Ifen vee are to stay here for zee veekve vill need to make a supply run. I Vill take Boomer to zee hospital and get supplies from zee store on zee vay back.”
Cecily laid in the kangaroo mouse shaped impression in the memory foam mattress and looked up at the spinning ceiling fan. This group that worked so hard to get her out of the ‘System’ confused her more every day. She had only met Alex that morning, yet the eagle had risked injury to get her out of a bad situation. She had watched the brief, ferocious action as the eagle cleared her path to freedom. What had amazed the mouse even more was when Alex came looking for her, still bleeding and limping from the fight. The bird did not stop talking during their walk back, random, insane topics that had nothing to do with what had happened for what their future held. Alex spoke of waffles and their superiority to pancakes, with the cups to catch the butter and syrup. She rambled on of sports bikes and martial arts. Being with her for that short time listening to her senseless rambling, Cecily had all but forgotten the events, even to the point of jokes and fun. Cecily contemplated how Alex differed from Lilly and Susan, yet they were all strong willed women, capable of defending themselves and others.
All that had passed the tenting to wounds, happy banter between the team. Each of them asking is she was ok, or if she needed anything. She was not the center of the world with these people, but she was part of it. They had tried at every turn to include her. Yet for the six hours she resisted them, only to have Susan insist on the mouse taking her bed in favor of a canvas military cot for herself. Alex had even pushed her off to the room closing her in. This strange collection of furs was the closest thing she could imagine to a loving family. She pulled the thick comforter over her head and buried her face in the thick, soft pillow, and tried desperately to relax, only to be startled awake by a loud ear piercing screech.
Alexis handled in the corner cradling Ashten, her baby brother, in her wings. She rocked him gently singing a lullaby, desperately trying to get him to stop crying. her mother would be home any moment and her father had already passed out from whatever he pumped into his veins. her mother was sure to be drunk from the club, and whatever else she was taking. She always expected to come home to a quiet house. Alexis fear what she might do in whatever star she was in. Fifteen years of life had tempered the eagle to the beatings and abuse. She had not been to school in six months, not since her brother was born. She could not leave him alone, not with them.
The grime and trash covered floor of the subsidized housing unit reeked of spoiled milk and rotten food. She had watch as roaches eat the formula as she tried to fix it. “I’ll get’ch ouda ‘ere Ashten, I jus have ta get out first.” She ensured the small eagle chick. She bounded and paced the floor as she contemplated just taking him and running.
Alexis jumped as the front door came crashing open. Screeching from the living room she heard her mother, “What the fuck is going on here? Can’t you keep that damned kid quiet for five minutes?” The screaming continued as she saw the older eagle woman walk past the missing door to their room. “Get the fuck up you useless bastard. Go find out what’s wrong with that damned kid of yours.” Alexis’ eye went wide as she hears the muffled male voice say her name. She knew what was to come as the older eagle propped herself in the open doorway, “Ain't you sposd to be at school, you little shit? If i get anitha call from them, it’ll be your ass.”
“But Momma,” she cried, “Da babay, he is cryn. I culn leve ‘im like dat.”
The woman stagerd towadrd the two youner eagles, “You can’t even talk right, you worthless slut. Get your ass to school before I drag you ass out of the house.”
“But Momma,” she said again, only to get treated to a slap across the face.
“Do what you're told.”: her mother scolded.
Alexis steeled her nerves and looked the matron eagle in the eyes,”I ain’t leven ‘im like dis, not wit jew.”
The older woman swung her wing at the girl with all the force she had, Both eagles eyes went wide as the small child was sent flying through the air. Alexis screamed as she dove to catch him.
Alex awoke and screamed “ASHTEN!!” as she jerked upright in the cot. The pain in her cracked ribs shot through her chest. She looked around the room, thankful that she had not woken anyone. She groaned as she stood up to retrieve her pain medication. she limped across the room weaving through the cots as she went. She halted just before reaching the hall leading to the bathroom. Before her stood Cecily, the small kangaroo mouse they were all working so hard to save. Alex’s conviction in this case held deeper meaning for her than any of the other knows. She looked down at the girl, “Did I wake ya up?” She asked in a low whisper.
“No, I couldn’t sleep.” Cecily replied, “Did you have a bad dream?”
“Yea, jew could say dat.”
The small mouse looked up at her and asked, “Who is Ashten?”
The color drained from her eyes and she dropped to her knees at the sound of the name, “E was my brada. She slumped against the wall as the dream came flooding back. Her mission for pain meds all but forgotten “E’s dead now, ben dead a lon time.”
Cecily sat across the hall from her and watched as tears started rolling from her eyes. “How did he die?” she asked.
“It was an akisdent, she didn meen ta ‘ert ‘im. she was tryne to ‘ert me.” Alex looked over at the now crying mouse. “comere Squeaky, I tink we bote needa ‘ug.” she said as she reached out to the girl. She wrapped her wings around the small rodent and pulled her in tight as she started her story, “I was only jer age, fifene. My muda and fada, day were bote … not good people. I lovd my brada, but somtines I wish ‘e was neva born, dat way he woulda neva got ert.” She looked down at Cecily while she nearly crushed the girl in her wings. “I ain’t doen dis fer Lilly, like de odders. I’m doen if fer me. Dis is my chance to do whatt I culdn for Ashen.” tears rolled down Alex’s cheek as she spoke.” Jer my siser now. An I ain’t weak like I was back den. I know it aint da same, but…” she trailed off in her thought, “I ain’t neva gona let nobody ‘ert ya, Squeaky. Not if I cen do anytin aboudit.” She snuffled as she spoke and squeezed the small mouse tighter, “I don know if I cen let Lilly ‘ave ya. Yer just to luvable.” She said as she released the tight grip.
Cecily looked up at the eagle and asked, “What was he like? Ashten?”
She looked up to the cealing, “E was my lita brada, an da mose bootiful tin i’ve eva seen. E ‘ad deep black eyes an bootiful patches ov black feder on ‘is back an wings.” She wiped the tears from her eyes with one wing, “I miss ‘im, but dere was nutin i cld do back den. Dats why I’ma do dis fer ya. Jew done ben ‘ert enough an I ain’t gona let it apen no mo. None of us will. Dats da rule, ain’t no one gona get ‘ert if we cen stop it. An ya one of us now, weder ya like it or not.” She looked down at the small mouse cradled in her wings, the sight brought a smile her face, ‘Speken of ‘ert… can ya get my pain meds outa da bafroom fer me?”
Cecily pushed her way out of Alex’s wings and ran to the bathroom retrieving a glass of water and the bottle of pills with her name on the label. She handed the items to Alex and said, “I’ve never had a sister before. What do sisters do?”
Alex looked back at her with a smile and replied,” I ain’t neva ‘ad one eader, so I guess we cen fine out togeda.” The two snickered quietly in the dark as Alex took her pills.
June 25, 2013
The week had passed smoothly, Cecily and Hank had spent most of Monday at the DMV, where Hank renewed his license and Cecily had passed the written test for her learner’s permit. Lilliana and Susan had left together each day to their own routine for the week, Susan back on her work cycle and Lilly to the required classes for potential adoptive parents. Lillyana did not question how she found her name on every roster for two hour long classes that often had month long waiting lists. Hank and the general had disappeared Tuesday into the woods for what the called a fishing trip, leaving the ladies by themselves in Susan's apartment for the remainder of the week.
Alex and Cecily had spent the time together visiting the natural beauty of the forests of Oregon. When Alex was not on the phone setting up court dates or contacting Susan to have the correct judge on the bench, she was picking through the woods with the young kangaroo mouse, watching her photograph and sketches the wildlife to her hearts content.
That day was different. The Ladies had dropped Cecily off with Hank and the general at their fishing spot. They had one last stop to make before they were ready for the court hearing to expedite the adoption. The three women sat in the waiting room of Dr. Sooner, the director of the Portland branch of Family Services. All three were dressed for success; Susan was in her white pleated dress and blouse, top two buttons open showing just a little fur. Alex was in a somewhat masculine black three piece business pant suit which was tailored to fit to her curve tightly. Lilliana was in her usual professional attire wearing a knee length black skirt and white blouse under a black vest, a frilly women’s tie around her neck. the silver chain of her prized pocket watch shone brightly against the black vest backdrop.
Susan seemed out of sorts as they sat in the waiting room. Lilliana looked over at her concerned, “Are you feeling well Susan?” she asked. “You look like five miles of rain washed dirt road.”
“Shit! if I looked that bad Alex would have never let me out of the apartment” She replied.
“Jew damn right i wouldn.” Alex jumped in, “I’m not ‘ere to look like a group of chit bags tryn to get dis girl, but ya do look a lill off dere.”
“I just really don’t like this guy, But I have to work with the I have on hand,” susan retorted, “He’s just got a list as long as my arm of complaints against him. But, I’ll tell ya, he’s been really cooperative on this.” She finished with a smile.
Alex shivered a little and took a deep breath closed her eyes before saying, “I don’t need to hear this right now. We need to focus on what is at hand and get this done so that we are ready for this coming Wednesday’s hearing.”
Lilliana looked over at the eagle, “And the proper lawyer makes her first appearance of the day. Where you you stick that accent of your anyway?”
Susan looked up with a smile, “Give us the Japanese, I always liked that one.”
Alex shook her head at the floor, “I’m not getting into this right now, we’re here to get a job done.”
“Come on Boomer, you know you want to.” Lilliana said with a mischievous gine on her muzzle.
Alex cleared her throat and said, “If you two want to do this by yourselves, I can just meet you at the bar when it’s arr over.” with a thick oriental accent, which caused the other ladies to bust out in a fit of laughter.
“How the fuck do you do that, are you part parrot or something?” Lilliana asked as she caught her breath.
“I lent it back in nonya… nonyabidnes” Alex said dropping back to her natural tones.
“Ha ha, whatever. We need to make some prank calls later.” Lilliana said just as the receptionist waved her hand at them.
“He is ready to see you now.”
Susan grabbed her attaché case ash the trio made their move to the smaller office. “Look, Lilly keep your damned mouth shut unless he asks you a direct question. Alex, I really need you to look over the paperwork and make sure it is right, I trust this fuck as far as I can throw him.”
Alex glance over at her , the corners of her mouth turned down is a disapproving manner, “I’ really don’t need or want to know what you did here. so I’ll just do my job and we can get on our way.” She said in her calm collected neutral accent.
As they entered to small office a large snowshoe rabbit sat behind the desk with a scowl on his face, “I thought this was just going to be you and her.”
Susan looked back at him with a smirk, “Getting worried are we? I can’t help it if she brought her lawyer to the meeting. Alexis Hawkins and Lilliana Fargo, this is Dr. Robert Sooner. He was gracious enough to have the paperwork done in a timely manner out of the goodness of his heart.” Lillian stifled a snicker at the comment as the rabbits expression hardened.
Alex closed the door behind them as they all took a seat. “May I see the paperwork; I would like to look it all over before my client signs anything.”
Alex slipped her glasses on and read line by line through the forms and papers Suan and Dr. Sooner looked to be locked in a test of wills waiting for the first to blink. Both the chinchilla and rabbit sat in silence faces hard with anger and disdain for one another. Lilliana watched the two, her curiosity growing as the minute passed.
A half hour had passed before Alex put the paper work on the desk in front of Lilliana, Everything looks to be in order here. A copy of the finished documents for my clients records.” she said as Lilliana when through the pages signing on each line marked with little “SIGN HERE” Post-its.
“That should not be an issue.” Replied the rabbit not breaking eye contact with Susan.
“I intend on leaving here with it today, sir.” Alex said with stern conviction in her voice.
“What!? I don’t have time for this.” the rabbit nearly shouted as he stood up slamming his paws to the desk.
In response Susan jumped to her feet and shouted back, “You will make time for this you sick fuck, or I will be sure you go down in flames.”
Alex and Lilly’s faces hardened as they looked up as Susan, both knowing full well how she operated in situations. Lilly finished the paperwork and slid it across the desk. She looked at Dr. Sooner, “You will get a copy of this to my lawyer before we leave today Alex please step out of the room.” The eagle stood and spun angrily on her toes and slammed the door as she exited. Lilliana took the opportunity to have her piece, “I don’t know what she’s got on you. Hell I don’t want to know if she is that pissed off might kill you myself. Trust me when I tell you, she will destroy you and everything you think you have. So just sit your happy ass down and get this shit finished so we can all get on with our lives.”
The rabbit snatched the stack of papers off the desk and said “Get the fuck out of my office.”
As the two left the office door slammed behind them, Lilliana looked as Susan, “Now you have me worried girl, What the fuck did you get us into?”
“Don’t worry about it; now that the paperwork is signed he can’t do anything to stop this from moving forward.” Susan said still obviously flustered.
Liliana grabbed the chinchilla by the arm, “Look Susan, I don’t like the way he was looking at you. he’s got something, and I need you know what it is.”
“No you don’t, and you were right this is over. I’m gonna turn in my two week on Monday; this shit is starting to get to me.” Susan said as she relaxed a bit in the liger’s grip, “I’ll just get some desk job as a secretary or something. I can stand the shit that comes across my desk now.”
“Look, you got to think of Hank here too, He’s still not in a good place, and after we leave you’re going to be all he has again.” Lilly’s face softened as she looked the chinchilla in the eyes. “I worry about the fuck, but you love him, and he still loves you. All you need to do is get his ass out of that cabin… or move into it with him. Just don’t leave him alone like that again. He’s not ready for that. He’s confused and needs you more than anything right now.”
“Would you please stop that shit Lilly? He has not looked at me the same way since the…” Susan trailed off as the memories weighed heavily on her mind. “All he thinks about is you now.”
“Fuck that, All her thinks about me is my injuries, and his common sense move to cover.” Lilly lifted Susan’s chin and looked her in the eyes, “You just have to show him you're still there and stop feeding his pity party. You’ve wasted four years waiting for him, you need to get off your ass and take him back.” Susan just shook her head with a weak smile. “Ok then, Let’s get Alex and drink up all their free coffee while we wait for that copy to get done.”