3.8 Words

by Matt P.

Morgan paused at that, still as a statue while Walter finished putting the coffee into the single cup maker and set it. “I’m sorry.” She offered. For a moment the only sounds in the room were the coffee maker, and the background noises of all houses. “It was…important to the two of you?”

Walter nodded as he leaned back against the counter, crossing his arms. “As a saying it meant a lot to us. It was also how she took her coffee. She got a similar tattoo when I got mine, except hers has a quote I used in my wedding vows.” Once the cup was full, Walter took it and handed it to Morgan. She walked over to take sugar off of the counter and start pouring it in. “So how did you know her?”

Morgan let out a little laugh at that. “We could both know the saying.” She offered, but before he could say anything she shook her head. “We’re distantly related, and I knew her when she was a kid. I picked up the phrase from a friend who was Turkish, and she loved it. I never knew whether she liked her coffee like that because of the phrase, or if it was just destiny.”

Walter shook his head as he considered that, and took a long sip of the whiskey he’d brought in from the outside. The ice clinked in the glass as he finished it, and he opened a cabinet to pull out the bottle. “I didn’t realize you knew each other.” He offered neutrally as he poured himself another glass.

“We were fairly close before she left. I’m the Morgan in Siobhan’s name, I suspect; I got a letter right after the twins were born.” Morgan looked down at her coffee and considered it, before she reached out to take the bottle of whiskey to pour a measure into the dark brew. “When she left she wanted to be gone, and that meant very little contact. After the twins were born she sent a letter, and I understand her parents visited you once.”

“They came to see us when I was in the Army, and they visited us once in Kansas City, right before.” Walter sipped again and then looked at her. “To be fair she didn’t talk about this place much.”

“She couldn’t wait to get out. There was always something about the town that bothered her, and college was her escape.” Morgan answered, shaking her head. “And there are things I’d change too, but I think we all hoped she’d come back; not just be gone for college and never return.”

Walter nodded. “It surprised all of us.” He said with a sigh. “But ultimately its what brought us back here. I’d hoped that something here might comfort the girls; they were particularly hard hit, and having their grandparents near will be good for them.” He said in a way that made it clear it might not be the best for him.

Morgan was about to question that when there was a crack from porch, and a roll of thunder. It drew Walter’s attention immediately because the night was heavy with humidity but clear and pleasant. He turned in time to see a man step through the open front door of his house. He was tall and slender, his eyes and hair pale in the light. And in his hand was four inches of some sort of metal, silvery and wicked and sharp.

“Hello.” His voice was like a rasp on metal, and a moment later he was a blur of motion lunging for Walter.