Billy and Annabelle talked as they made their way back toward their houses. Their experience with the old man that lived in the cabin had struck a chord with them.
“Did you see his eyes, Annabelle. He had kind eyes. For a killer I mean.”
“He was kind. While you slept, I watched him. He was never rude, and he took care of you after you passed out like you were a fainting goat.”
“I thought he was gonna kill us and have us added to his kill marks.”
Anna bobbed her head and her curls danced with the motion. “I thought we were goners when you passed out, but he picked you up and bandaged your wounds. I think he was a medic.”
“Aren’t medics like doctors?”
“Why would doctors have kill marks?”
“It might have been bad wherever he was. Or maybe he wasn’t a medic.”
They arrived at Billy’s house first. Billy turned at the gate and gave his friend a shy smile.
“Don’t tell nobody I fainted, okay?”
Annabelle smiled at Billy’s embarrassment. “Okay. It will be our little secret.”
Anna lived two doors down. Billy watched as she walked to her house. His friend turned and waved at him, and he waved back. As night settled over the town of Fredericksburg, the man looked out the window toward the end of his drive. The visit from the children had brought out some part of his forgotten humanity. “I wonder if they will come back.”
It’s not like Davy Walker had many friends. Sure, at one time he did, but the fires of combat had consumed all in its path. He sat in his recliner and picked up his newest novel by his favorite author. It was a crime fiction novel filled with murder and intrigue. Reading helped keep his demons away.
Meanwhile, Annabelle stared out at the night sky from her bedroom window. “I wonder what the man is doing. Does he entertain at night? Is he alone for a reason?” Annabelle fell asleep with a mind full of questions. As she dozed off, she decided to return to his house tomorrow.
Davy Walker had fallen asleep in his recliner. His book rested open on his chest. He had read half of the book last night, so he decided to finish it before he got the day started. Down the drive he noticed Annabelle headed his way. “Now what?”
Annabelle marched straight to the door and rang the doorbell. Davy could not help but admire her spunk. After the tenth ring he answered the door.
“I thought you might be lonesome.”
Davy stood at the door and stared at this small spitfire before him. There was no back down in her. He shrugged and she followed him in.
“Where is your friend?”
“He couldn’t come. You scared him yesterday.”
“Weren’t you frightened?”
“A little,” she admitted. They walked into the library and she sat in the black chair. Davy sat at a small writing desk and moved the computer mouse.
“What do you do here? What is your name?”
“I write. Why do you need to know my name?”
“What am I supposed to call you if I don’t know your name? What do you write?”
“Call me Davy. I write about a lot of things.”
“Stories, things I don’t like such as politics or nosy girls that have invaded my home.”
“A girl invaded your home?”
Davy stared at her. She stared back. Finally, he turned his attention back to his computer.
“Do you write books? You have a lot of books.”
Davy stopped what he was doing. It was now clear he would not be able to focus until Annabelle’s visit had concluded. “Because I am constantly interrupted by people who have a million questions.” He shrugged and forced a smile.
“Do you eat cookies, Annabelle?”
“What kid doesn’t?”
Davy led her to the kitchen and motioned for her to have a seat at the bar. He pulled out a package of Oreos and poured her a glass of milk. Annabelle opened the package and took out two cookies.
“Eat as much as you want. Can you find your way to the library from here?”
“Yeah. Thanks for the cookies. You’re a nice man, Davy.”
Davy returned to the library and sat down to write. Annabelle’s words kept drifting through his mind. “Now why did she have to go and call me a good man? I am not a good man nor am I a nice one.”
War had changed him into something fierce. An animal with human intelligence. He was no longer fit for human civilization; he knew this to be true. However, the little girl in the kitchen snacking on Oreos refused to see that truth. Down the hall he heard the patter of small feet.
Annabelle returned to the library. Davy chuckled when he saw her. Black crumbs of cookie were lodged in the corners of her mouth. She grinned wide when she heard him laugh.
“You have a nice laugh, Davy.”
He nodded and began to write.