"Jesse! Wake up!" Constance shouted.
The blond-haired girl leapt from the bed with her fists raised and her eyes half-closed and crusted. "Wh?" She wiped her eyes before glaring at her best friend. "Wha-a-at?"
"You were talking in your sleep."
"You screamed at me for that?" Jesse huffed, "I was sleeping good."
"I didn't scream. I spoke loudloudly," Constance defended. "Besides, it was what you said, not that you said."
Jesse plopped back into the pillows, "well, what'd I say?"
"Directions. I wrote them down. But, you didn't say where to start."
Jesse's blond bob fell over her face as she stared at the notebook. "This...this...I know this." She scrunched her brow, her lips became red slivers, "I know the start." Jesse shined momentarily, then slumped, "damn."
A slender unpainted fingernail jabbed Jesse in the calf, "well?"
"It's impossible. We can't get there. And, I don't know what we'd find, you know? Girl, I must of been flying or something."
"You dream rainbows and you don't know what's in the pot at the end? You're not a very good leprechaun. What's your gold, love?"
Jesse blushed. "Probably some silly stuff I thought was important when I was like six." She couldn't tell her best friend, she couldn't tell anyone. She'd made a promise to Henry when they buried him. She swore, they both swore no one would ever find out. And, that's a promise she meant to keep.
"You can tell me, Jess."
Blood trickled from Jesse's bottom lip, she stopped chewing on it long enough to say, "it's no good. I can't. He'd kill us if he found out."
Constance whipped her head up, "kill? Hey, let's just forget it." She stared at Jesse with dismay, nothing like finding out you don't know your friends. Except. That's not the kind of thing Constance would normally say.
With her eyes on the ceiling, Jesse couldn't help wondering if she'd said even more than Constance was sharing, "what gives?"
"What do you mean?"
Jesse rolled her head, looked at Constance and said, "you never give in that easy."
"I know," Constance said sorrowfully. She looked at her friend, "I know how much he meant to you. How long has it been?"
Closing her eyes, Jesse thought about it, "on the 3rd it'll be 16 years."
"16 years already?" Constance sighed. She vividly remembered the day Jesse showed up on her doorstep bawling that the Bastard had killed her Henry. Poor dog. That moment cemented in Constance a new form of terror which took hold of her soul and made her skin crawl when she thought of the Bastard. Henry was the sweetest, affectionate, playful little spasmoid know to bury treats in shoes. How could anyone do such a terrible thing?
"Yeah, 16 years," Jesse said while she shuddered under the covers. Some sorrows catch up, she tightened her closed eyes fighting back the tears until her eyelids twitched. "I wanted to push the Bastard down the stairs," she confessed. "I even had a few chances." She sighed, sniffled, and continued, "he still lives there. Sometimes I think about..." she coughed, "about... oh, nevermind. It's just...you know."
"Go on," Constance coaxed, "don't be shy."
"He's old now. The stairs might kill him..." Jesse whispered.
"That they would. If we're lucky, they will," Constance said.
"If we're lucky," Jesse yawned. "Night."
"Night," Constance said. While Jesse's breathing slowly evened out, Constance meditated on the various entry points to the Bastard's house. If I could...Don't be silly...but, he deserves it...Shh. Drifting off, she moaned, "we'll see."
Two days later
At the grocery store check out line, Jesse spotted the cover of their fishing village's newspaper, FreshCaught News. "Constance," she whispered, "look."
Turning to Jesse, she said, "what is it?" When she saw the partially burnt home, she ashened, "whoa."
"I know. I guess we're lucky," Jesse said as she stuffed the newspaper back onto the rack.
Constance nodded her agreement, then turned back to the cashier who had started ringing up their goods. She was immeditately thankful for that little repreive. She needed the chance to suppress the grin that tried to rise when she'd seen precisely how much of the house she'd managed to burn down. Rotten son-of-a-bitch had it coming, she thought as she filled their sacks with the groceries. With a little too much excitement, she asked, "shall we bar-b-q tonight?"