"Are those the heads?" Flynn asked.
"Go get ready for bed, Flynn," Marvin said, breathing hard.
"Heads? What?" Anna said.
"Clay heads. Busts. I'm two-thirds of the way though casting. I'm not sure about the humidity levels in the bus, so I didn't want to leave them in there. Too much moisture and I lose the correct slip."
"Yeah, okay whatever," Anna said. She looked over at Flynn. "I have a bed all set up for you in the guest room."
"Go brush your teeth, Flynn," Marvin said.
Anna waited until she heard the water running in the bathroom then said, "What the hell is going on? What is all this?"
Marvin sighed, then pulled a bottle of vodka from his pocket, the same oversized trench coat she remembered him wearing all those years ago.
"Let's have a drink."
"No thank you," she said. "Look, I don't know what kind of game you're playing, mister, but I won't have it. You tell me straight out what you're doing here, or you can leave right now. I'm too old for this kind of crap."
He nodded. "It's late. Can we talk in the morning? I've been driving for sixteen straight days, mostly in circles looking for my wife. Okay?"
Anna didn't answer. Flynn reappeared in the living room.
"Bedtime, young lady," Marvin said.
"I have to feed Hoover," she said.
"I'll feed him," Marvin said.
"But I need to. He has a delicate stomach. He needs consistency."
Anna and Marvin both watched as Flynn took a pouch of cat food and a small bowl from her backpack, then watched, along with Flynn, the cat eating his dinner as though they'd never seen anything quite like it before.
All night long Anna lay awake. Flynn was in the guest bedroom, and Marvin had the foldout couch in the living room. Anna heard him get up numerous times, the front door opening and closing, the slam of the bus door outside.
Already it felt to her as if they'd been here years instead of hours.
Excerpted from Above The Thunder by Renée Manfredi. Copyright 2004 by Renée Manfredi . Excerpted by permission of McAdam Cage. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
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