Yesterday, we had a grueling night of zombie catch and release. One of our team broke her wrist in a scuffle. And then we ended up chasing a Z into the forest preserve which would be fine, but three of our guys ended up getting sprayed by a skunk. The rest of us were farther back, but the scent particles created a thick cloud that we all ran through. Eve and the girls couldn’t believe I hadn’t actually been directly sprayed, that’s how strong my clothes smelled when I got home.
Your mom is speaking now, in a voice so faint and raspy it’s almost inaudible. But she manages to get her points across. She says she doesn’t remember how she disappeared. The last thing she remembers is being in her office, hearing a rumbling sound outside, and stepping out to investigate. She didn’t think anything was wrong, she was just curious about the noise and didn’t want to miss anything.
Our zombie squad consists of five field biologists, one chemist, one geologist, one driver, one military officer, one veterinarian, three physicians (one of whom is Dr. Cohen) and two sharpshooters. Rather than our offering our sharpshooters a bounty, we pay them an hourly wage. This means they do a lot of sitting around doing nothing but still getting paid; still, we don’t want to provide them an incentive to “bag as many Z’s” as possible. (That’s the way they’d put it, not me.)
A weird week, my brother, indubitably strange. Your mom sleeps all the time, though I haven’t seen it for myself; I’m not at home.
Your mom showed up last night. She’d been kidnapped, she said. Waved off our questions, and toppled into bed without explanation.
Let me tell you the actions we’ve taken to find your mother.
1) Talked to her dad.
2) Sent Griffin out to sniff and pick up her scent.
But the fact is, I don’t know where or how or what she is doing.
Apparently, Jane had an enemy we didn’t know about. Some guy who ran against Levi in the election, and it’s possible she helped double-cross him to help Levi win. Maybe the guy has it in for her, and is messing with her somehow. That’s one theory.
Please forgive me if what I’m about to say isn’t terribly coherent.
Strike one: I don’t know how to start a letter to the Dalai Lama. Strike two: I’m not the chattiest fellow to ever grace the Midwest. Strike three: I have something difficult to tell you, which is to explain where your mom went and why she’s not writing you her daily epistle.
At dusk, Eve and I walk the beach together. This is one of the biggest advantages of where we’re squatting: you can stroll the edge of a vast glacial lake with only a few minute’s forethought.
I’m performing acupuncture on Levi. His right knee is bothering him and has been since our run on Sunday. He’s unfathomably confident that my putting needles in him will help.
On Sunday, Levi and I took a longish run together. It was four miles, which isn’t far for serious runners but that description encompasses neither he nor me.
“I’m miserable at this, I know.”
Mason appears so conflicted that I’m now wondering if our confrontation was such a good idea. Eve and I decided to make him sit down and not let him get up until he told us what happened to him out in Ottawa, and where he’s been going during the days.
I could be wrong, but I suspect Mason’s sister might be alive and reaping terror upon the villagers of Ottawa, just like she always did. When I lived out there, I prayed every night for a tornado to come and drop a house on her. She thought I’d married her father for his money, and threatened me once with a large, well-honed kitchen knife.
When I got home from work last night, Mason was there. He had a bruise under his eye, and when he finally rose from his favorite chair, he winced from the pain of bringing himself up to stand. He limps, and he’s favoring his right arm, trying not to use it if he can awkwardly do what needs doing with his left.
Mason drove out to his dad’s old house in Ottawa on Saturday. He asked if I wanted to come—after all, it was my house, too, since I was married to his father.