Eighty One

Fence is the easy part, the flipping hedges are like a solid wall, but with the help of my brand new tool and raw persistence I push through and find myself in Congreve’s backyard. My finger sized flashlight pans over the turf, there, one of the recently turned plots. I briefly wonder if plots is a bad omen.
Zoe C, ‘Just get digging.’
I do, easy work, the dirt is loose and comes up in fat shovelfuls with no resistance.
At least until I get to three feet down, the spade thumps against something, harder than the dirt, softer than a rock. I tentatively scrape, put my light on it. Oh shit, eyes, a forehead and a nose. Whoever it is hasn’t been here long, no major decomposition. At least the eyes are closed, I guess they’re closed, maybe a cover of dirt. I don’t want to know. I move on until I find a second grave. Same bit, except this poor bastard has been here long enough to collect maggots.
Zoe C, “Noise inside, sounds like a scream.”
“You saw what I saw?”
“Yes, we need inside, and we need inside right now.”
“Got it, don’t try for the front door, we don’t want to arouse the neighbors. Stay in my head, if there’s a problem I don’t care if you drive the car through the door.”

I move to the patio door, give it a try but he’s got the latch on. I read about these doors, they are essentially a joke. I lift the door by the handle, on cheap sliding doors there is always room at the top. That loosens the latch, I push the door and yank the handle, it slides open. I ease in, Glock in hand, locked and loaded. The living area is empty.
I hear muffled something, whatever it is, there’s pain involved. I go to the sound, a door, it’s partially open, stairs, a basement.
“I’m unlocking the front door, come in that way, quietly…and don’t fucking shoot me.”
“No worries, If I shoot you, Mac will sic the monster mutt on me. Wait until I’m in, no hero shit, heroes come back dead.”

I unlock the door, Zoe C comes in, “Behind me, I’m going to the basement.”
We creep to the open basement door, I start down. It smells of chemicals, I don’t recognize them, but the air is acrid. I slide on the oversize sunglasses we use to keep from being identified.
Congreve is in front of a man, smallish, standing against a wall. I’m not getting what’s going on. The man isn’t tied, standing on his own, Congreve has no weapon, nothing to keep the man from making a run for it. 
Zoe C, ‘What in hell…?’
Congreve raises a hand, his victim jumps, shudders and howls, bends over like he’s been punched in the gut.
Congreve laughs.
‘It’s like that thing with McKenzie and Zelda, how the target bruised Zelda without touching her, how McKenzie prevented a second injury by holding her hand over his.’
I’m at the bottom step, Congreve turns, spots me, snarls. He points his hand at me, I’m blown back and land hard on the steps.
I hear a shot, a red spot on his forehead, he falls backwards, smacks his head on the concrete and is still.
I push myself up, Christ my chest hurts, ‘Go to the car, the victim hasn’t seen you and there’s nothing to do here. I’m getting him gone, you need to be gone first.’
‘Got it.’

I go to the victim, he’s wheezing, clearly in pain.
“Easy pal, it’s over.”
A wheezy, “How’s he do it?”
“No idea, but there are graves in the backyard, be happy you aren’t in one.”
“Who are you, how did you know?”
“Anonymous tip. You don’t need to be involved, cops will come, a coroner, eventually the press. Leave, if you need medical help, go to the emergency room. Just tell them you got mugged. Can you manage that?”
“Yeah, he got me three times but nothing vital as far as I can tell.”
“Walk around…slowly.”
He does, a limp, a cringe or two, “I’m functional, just need to get home.”
“Get as far from here as you can before you call for a ride. I’d give you one myself, but I can’t for obvious reasons, I was never here.”
A deep breath, a cough, “You saved my life.”
“Then pay me by never mentioning me to anyone, for any reason.”
He looks at me, nods, goes up the steps.
Nothing to clean up except collect the cartridge, put it in my pocket, give the guy a few minutes to disappear, but not so long as to be here if he calls 911.
I find our car, get in, Zoe C drives us to the hotel.
“Think he could recognize you?”
“Unlikely. Watch cap, oversized sunglasses, nondescript clothes. Besides, there’s no percentage in him getting cops involved, only Congreve knew he was there and Congreve isn’t telling.”
Zoe C, “A drink is in order, do you want food?”
“Yes, but simple, there’s a market down a few blocks from the hotel.”
Something called Basha’s, never heard of it but it’s a full size supermarket, I go off to find a bottle of vodka, Zoe C collects a few things from the deli, then to the room.
“Fried chicken, and good too.”
“They were close to closing, I got eight pieces for six ninety nine and she threw in four more since there was nothing they could do with it. With so much chicken, I only added a pint of coleslaw. Might want to pass by in the morning, they make their own doughnuts and they looked good.”
We make a dent in the food, still several pieces of chicken left.
Zoe C, “I’ll stick it in the refrigerator. We can have it on the way home, or save it for Zelda.”
“Zelda will love it. A couple of doughnuts and an hour fifteen flight, we won’t need more food. What did you eat, one breast?”
“Couple of wings too, offing the asshole made me hungry.”
“Talk to the children?”
“Texts from Mickey, she’s loving that keyboard. We have one near hyper little charmer and one near silent little charmer.”
“And one near silent giant dog who thinks she’s human.”
“I’ll take Zelda over most humans I’ve encountered.”
That’s a fact.
“What do you suppose is going on? That’s the second person we’ve encountered that can apparently throw energy. I’ve got a bruise on my chest the size of a softball.”
“Geez Chef, you should have said something, we could have had ice on it all this time.”
She gets up and dumps ice into the plastic bags we got from the market, “Lay down, we’ll watch something on TV while you chill, I have…” she goes off to the bathroom and returns with a couple of little bottles, “aspirin and ibuprofen.” 
“Three aspirin and two of the other.”
I down the pills with a slug of vodka, had to settle for Grey Goose, they don’t carry Russian Standard.
I marinate, TV is playing a movie I don’t recognize, “Make the flight arrangements?”
“Yes, we leave at nine, be home for nine, not counting the drive to Malibu.”
Pain killers and another vodka, I shuffle off to my room, brush, flush and crash.

Eighty Two

We get a half dozen Basha’s doughnuts, and they are quite good. Flight is a quickie nothing. Another coffee on the plane and a short drive home, it’s only thirty miles down the PCH, but it’s also SoCal, it takes near an hour. We come to the gate, Zoe C clicks the remote, drive on to the house. Elle and Nat are at the door waiting.
While Elle hugs Zoe C, Nat hugs me fussing, “Fuck you think you’re doing, getting injured, Zoe C ratted you out. Get inside an let me see.”
First I have to acknowledge Zelda, then a peck on the cheek for Mac and Mickey.
Elle, “Leave the bags, I deal with them, want coffee, tea?”
I never turn down coffee. While Nat examines my purple chest, I sip.
Nat, “Could have fractured your sternum, it didn’t. Good thing you’re a tough bastard, if it had you’d have been in the emergency room.”
Zoe C tells some of the story, the part about the same kind of energy that McKenzie redirected in San Diego, when Zelda got hurt.
Natalie, “What is that anyway? How does someone direct energy like that? Isn’t there some law of physics?”
McKenzie is on the mat with Zelda and Mickey, she raises her arm, points in the direction of the kitchen island where we’re sitting. A spoon floats up and back down.
Elle screeches, “What the flip! Do it again Mac.”
This time the spoon rises, then smacks against the wall over the griddle, bounces off and clanks to the sink.
It’s quiet, dead silent.
Mickey, “McKenzie can do all kinds of stuff without…doing anything,” she giggles.
Natalie, “My beautiful little auburn is from outer space, that’s cool, I’m good with that…I don’t have a clue what I’m saying.”
“McKenzie, find something in the internet that explains your ability, your telekinesis.” 
She doesn’t acknowledge me, but a minute later a message shows up on the kitchen laptop, an article on psychokinesis, more on telekinesis, which is the same thing.
I read, girls over my shoulder reading as well.
Elle, “Well starch my shorts, will you look at that? McKenzie, why do some people use it for bad things? They could get rich if they, I don’t know, went on TV or whatever.”
McKenzie shrugs, that translates into she doesn’t know or care.
Natalie, “Okay, what now?”
“Now is where we leave the kids alone and find something else to do.”
Natalie, “You flew home a box of leftover chicken?”
“For Zelda. I need to pull the meat off and figure out lunch.”
“You need to park your butt on the couch. Mac fed us a big girl breakfast, if anyone wants lunch they can grab one of the deli meats and slap it on bread.”
She’s not in the mood to be contradicted, returning with even a minor injury makes her antsy.
“That’s what I meant to say, I’ll sit on the couch.”
Natalie goes to the office, “McKenzie, come take apart the chicken, Chef brought it for Zelda.”
Mac is watching stock trades float across the screen. She clicks a button, stands.
“Nine hundred eighty two,” she returns to the kitchen with Nat.
“Here, put the pieces in this,” Nat sets down a plastic tub with a lid, like Tupperware.
I hear music, then song….who is that? I recognize the grating voice, then a high register….
‘And I said, oh, whoa, whoa, hon, tell me why,
Why does everything go, go wrong?
I said hon it all go wrong, I wanna know! I wanna know!
And I hope there's someone who could tell me, come on,
Tell me why, oh tell me why
Oh baby tell me why love
Oh honey, why love is like
Well, it's like a ball and chain.’
Mickey comes storming down the steps, her music room is her bedroom upstairs,
“I got it! That was hard, but I got it!”
“What did you get? I recognize the song, who sang it?”
“The one I did was Janis Joplin, she was amazing.”
“Ah, of course, Ball and Chain, from the Monterey Pop Festival way back in 19…um…”
Mickey, “1967, you weren’t even born yet.”
“I only remember because one of my techies used to play it while he wrote code. He was younger than me but he discovered her on YouTube. How in heck do you hit those notes? You’re not eight yet, I can’t fathom how your vocal cords can carry that weight.”
She grins, “Practice. I go one note at a time until I have it, then add the next and next until I know the whole thing.”
Zoe C, “And her druggie ass mother had no idea of her child’s talent.”
“Just as well, she’d have found a way to try and capitalize, then spend any money on more drugs.”

Hard, probably more accurate than not.
Mickey plops on the couch down from me, I hear a soft thunk. Burma has launched herself from the cat tree, then speeds across the floor, around the couch, leaps up and lands in Mickey’s lap. The cat, still a kitten, stretches up Mickey’s chest to her face, a rough cat tongue lick then settles into her lap, curled in the universal cat crescent. I hear the purr as Mickey softly strokes her back.
Mickey laughs, “Burma is so much fun. I hope she stays playful when she’s grown up. When I put the ball in the top hole of the tree, she races up and pushes it out, then watches me to see if I’ll put it back up. When I do, she immediately pushes it out again.”
Mickey is still small, she got herself a step ladder so she can reach the top of the cat tree. Burma alternates between the tunnel in the cat tree and the ladder to go up and down.
“And when she wants to hide, she climbs through the tree, lays down in the shadow and pretends nobody can see her.”
“How do you get her down?”
“Shake some of her food pellets in the bowl, she races to it, invisibility forgotten.”
The fence will be completed in a few days. It’s a lot of fencing. I don’t much care for unknowns on the property, but the agreement is, install the fence, do not approach the house. So far, they’ve been golden.
“Soon you can let her roam the property, at least walk with you. She may not be crazy about outside, but the second fence is useful anyway, keeps critters from gaining access.”
Mickey, “She’ll come out with me, particularly if Zelda goes along.”
McKenzie, “Five, feed Zelda.”
Feed Zelda is now also a cue to feed Burma, pellets dink into the two bowls, big ones for the big dog, small ones for her kitty companion. We move to the kitchen island, laugh as Zelda pick up a pellet and drops it in Burma’s bowl.
Natalie, “Awww, how sweet, shares her food with the kitten.”
Burma sniffs the brown pellet, about the size a marble, pokes it with her paw, unsure of what to do with it. She bats it across the floor then hops in little leaps after it, bats it again, hops again, then lays down and gnaws on it until it crumbles and she finishes it off. Then she strolls over and finishes her bowl, Zelda’s is already empty. Zelda wastes no time when it comes to food. Despite Burma’s bowl right there, she makes no attempt to eat that too. She sits and watches the kitten eat, they both go to their water bowls and drink. Zelda has half her’s on the floor, Burma is far more delicate and doesn’t spill a drop.
The girls laugh.
Elle, “Those two are better than TV.”
“The fence guys are gone, only stretch left is at the bottom of the hill. Let Burma go with Zelda, but make sure she goes up, not down. Mickey, keep an eye on her.”
McKenzie and Mickey go out with their companions, Zoe C and I are in the office practicing our mind to mind talk. We quit at six fifteen, I need, no, want, a cocktail.
The young ones returned long before Zoe C and I emerge, I see Burma, “Well, she didn’t escape.”
Mickey bubbles, “She was sooo good, right along with Zelda. She’d get distracted chasing a bug or a lizard, but if she got more than ten feet she’d hustle back,” she giggles, “she walks under Zelda, not under and past, right under, her umbrella. One time Burma chased a lizard, which naturally scooted off, Zelda went over and picked up Burma by her neck and brought her back.”
Zoe C, “Didn’t hurt her I hope.”
“Not a bit, Burma just hung there until Zelda put her down. About halfway, Burma got tired, Zelda lay down, Burma climbed on her shoulders and Zelda backpacked her home.”
Zoe C, “I wish I had a video of that.”
Mickey, “I’ll bring a phone next time.”
Kitty video, what next?

Eighty Three

Children in bed, adults watching a CNN scroll, Cognac in hand. The stupidity of politics rolls past, we watch with the sound off, nobody wants to hear talking heads either decrying or applauding the current political mess.
Then the scroll says, ‘Man found shot in his home in Flagstaff Arizona, police discovered four bodies in shallow graves behind the house. Names of the deceased are being withheld until identification is complete and families have been informed. The deceased man is Reggie Congreve, a local attorney. It appears Congreve tortured and killed the men, as of yet, police do not know if Congreve was killed by a fifth victim who escaped or if there was a third party involved. More as we get details.’
The new moves on to storms in the Northeast and rain in California, Natalie clicks it off.
“Unless the one you saved comes forward, they will never figure this out.”
“We don’t want them to figure it out, I should say, they can never figure it out. A man has the ability to torture people with energy shots and picks up victims for practice, who’s going to believe that? I’m sure as hell not going to try and explain it to them. Besides, this is America, land of the short attention span. They’ll be back arguing about war, abortion, the homeless and gun control in a heartbeat.”
Elle, “Ain’t that the truth. Come on Zoe C, let’s sneak off and do salacious lesbian things before bed.”
Zoe C grins, “Best idea all day, coming Nat?”
“Yes, my big guy is recovering,” she turns to me, “you get your butt in the sack and don’t move until morning. I know nothing is broken, but still.”
“Yes dear one,” I don’t mind, I’m stiff in the chest and ready to disappear from consciousness, I go to my room, do bed prep and slide under fresh soft sheets.
I’m on my back, the least painful position, I hear the door slide, then the bed creak just a bit. It’s McKenzie, what the…?
She folds the sheet and blanket over, my chest is bare. She lays a hand on the spot. I feel a buzz, not a jolt, like a massager. Then it’s cold, very cold, icy. I estimate fifteen minutes of frostbite, then I feel her ease out of bed, I hear the door slide shut. My chest doesn’t hurt, I turn to my side, all good, shift to the other side, still good. Next thing I know, it’s morning and the big dog is poking me with her snout, a kitten bounces up the bed and lands on my chest. Two more pokes from Zelda, I flip open the sheets and make my way to the bathroom. When I’m done my two alarm clocks have disappeared.
Downstairs to coffee, ah, good, I may live. The others are already up, I’m the last one today.
Natalie, “How’s the chest?”
I lift my shirt, nothing.
“What in….? That’s not possible, there would be improvement after ice and a long sleep, but not just gone.”
“I was visited by an elf, dark red hair.”
Elle, “McKenzie? She did….what?”
“Hand on my chest, a vibe, then cold, felt like freezing. Then I slept like Burma up in her tree. Thank you McKenzie.”
She glances at me, returns to stirring. Looks like steel cut oatmeal, sausage patties on the griddle.
“What can I do?”
She means set the table, I fetch bowls, small plates, utensils, half and half, butter is out already.
We ladle out oatmeal, take a couple of patties, Mac naturally has a couple saved for Zelda. She cuts one in half, puts the half in Burma’s bowl, the rest in Zelda’s, which disappears immediately. Burma sniffs a pushes her bit around in the bowl first, then nibbles daintily. Zelda watches but doesn’t steal Burma’s treat.
Zoe C, “Zelda is so polite, she could have made that half go with one lick.”
McKenzie, “Numbers now,” she goes to the office, Zelda trails behind, Burma jumps in Mickey’s lap and goes to sleep.
Nat, “What’s up for today? I have three more investors at a million each, one at two mil. The fund has Chef’s twenty five, five from another investor plus the new five.”
Elle, “Thirty five million, wow, that’s good isn’t it?”
“Enough to start, I bought the candy company for three million, negotiating with two more, not candy, specialty furniture and organic cosmetics. I’m also setting aside a million for McKenzie to trade and a million that will be run by Elle’s algorithm.”
Zoe C, “Wonder what they’d think if they knew a not yet ten year old is running part of the money.”
“They don’t need to know. If fact, if they found out it wouldn’t be long before some reporter showed up.”
“That’s not good.”
“Which is why it isn’t going to happen. For all they know it’s just part of Elle’s program. They don’t see our trades anyway, all they get are performance numbers.”
“When do the two programs start trading?”
“Technically, Elle’s isn’t all day trading, it searches for investments but it might bail on them quickly enough to be called trades. McKenzie is all spec, the holding periods are less than a day for eighty percent of the transactions.”
“And all she does is look at raw numbers, no voodoo charts, no moving averages, no stochastics.”
“Nothing, I have no idea why she pulls out green or red or black. In fact, pulls out is wrong, she doesn’t decide anything, she sees colors.”
I shrug, nothing to do when there’s nothing to do, “Whoever is up for Krav, see me in the gym in thirty.”
Turns out everyone is, well, not Mac, she’s still in the office looking for colors nobody else can see, I don’t know, maybe Zelda. I doubt it, dogs can only see two colors. No, not exactly right…they have only two color receptors, yellow and blue, they can’t distinguish between red, yellow or green objects based on their color. Not sure what the difference between distinguish and see is, but that’s what they say happens, or doesn’t. Science is not an exact science.
Mickey and Burma watch us throw each other around, “I want to learn.”
“Good, start young, by the time you’re a teenager, you’ll be a mighty force if you keep after it.”
Another half hour, then I leave the rest of practice to Zoe C, who knows the moves best, she works with Nat and Elle.
“Okay Mickey, let’s get you started. First, stretch, if you work on being limber at seven, you’ll be able to pretzel, split front and side, for the rest of your life. You should practice every day.”
“I can do splits already, and back bends.”
“Good, let me see.”
Danged if she doesn’t.
“Been practicing?”
“I like it, I’d like to try gymnastics.”
“I don’t know from gymnastics, do you want Zoe C to find a class?”
She brightens, “Really?”
Like I’m lying to her and she needs secondary verification. We move on to kicks and punches, I instruct her on the heavy bag, which she can barely move but that’s okay, she’s building strength.
Mickey, “When do I get thrown around?”
“One thing at a time. Flexibility will help, a bit of muscle will help, the actual moves come later.”
The girls are finished, rubbing shoulders, legs, elbows, Krav practice is brutal. Brutal is the part that saves you from being beat to crap by some asshole.
“Zoe C, your young one wants to take gymnastics. Let’s check out places and see what works for her.”
Zoe C smiles at Mickey, “Good decision Mik, I did it when I was your age, still tumble, not so much the other stuff, balance beams and vaults.”
“Will you show me?”
“I would if you weren’t going for lessons. Two instructors might be confusing. My experience will help us decide on the right coach for you.”
“You’ll go with me?”
“Absolutely, Burma will have to stay at home though.”
Mickey giggles, “She has her own gymnastics.”
And that’s how Mickey got started in the sport. 

Eighty Four

Six months later she’s doing handstands around the house, back flips off the diving board and dance moves that would shame Michael Jackson, and she’s hooked.
“How’s the coach, or coaches?”
Zoe C, “I intentionally went to a small school, not a gymnastics factory. And I made rules, rules I explained to Mickey and I explained more forcefully to the coaches. She is never to be alone with a coach, male or female, although her current coaches are all female. She will have her own doctor is she needs one, no team doctor of either sex. I went a step further, I told them I would be at every practice, if I can’t make it, I’ll send a friend. Mickey is never to go off the floor to any locker room or office, she will be visible to me or my friend the entire time.”
“What did they say?”
“I left them with no options, they either agree or I walk, they agreed. One of the junior coaches told me privately that she wished more parents were like me. Most of the mothers drop the kid off and require nothing, it’s like they’re asking for trouble.”
“Do they think the little precious is going to the Olympics?”
“Every one of them.”
I roll my eyes, “Parents should have to pass a test, too stupid, too greedy, they can’t have kids.”
“We can’t get gun control, but we have birth control, unfortunately, some groups have out of control births, other groups have out of control guns.”
“You thinking of starting a religion?”
She laughs, “Not a chance.”
McKenzie wanders past, “One thousand three hundred fifty eight,” she keeps going, out the door with Zelda, Mickey and Burma.
“Zelda is bigger than all three of them.”
“Mac is growing, hard to say yet where Mickey is going to come in, my early guess is five nine or ten, while Mac I see at five six-ish. Puberty will sort it out.”
Natalie joins us, “McKenzie made over a thousand today. I’m starting to wonder why I want to go to the trouble of researching private companies.”
“You do it because you like it. We have enough money for several lifetimes. Most of what we spend is tax free income, the equity investments just keep stacking up money.”
She smiles, “I like the mental stimulation. And I’m buying a high end bicycle maker, mountain bikes with carbon fiber frames or titanium frames. There are arguments for both as I understand. The fund will own the company, the current owners want to expand and test multiple combinations, including some bits made of carbon fiber and other parts titanium. It’s expensive metallurgic engineering. We may not make any money for a while.”
Elle, “What do they cost?”
“Around ten thousand each.”
“Professional riders have sponsors, it’s not like they’re pulling ten grand out of their pockets, although many amateurs do.”
McKenzie and her entourage return, “Five feed Zelda and Burma.”
She’s been including Burma in her daily organizational structure. One massive mastiff vacuuming a bowl of chunks, one mahogany growing kitten nibbling much smaller bits. Zelda is done in a minute, Burma takes five.
Natalie, “And little girls are sorely in need of a shower. Strip, you can use the pool shower or go to your rooms, you look like a dust bunny collection.”
Mickey laughs, “We were in the dirt playing with Zelda and Burma.”
“Then outside, Zelda needs a rinse.”
“Burma too, she likes water.”
Zoe C, “I thought cats hated water.”
“Not Burmese, they’ll swim even.”
Little ones go outside to clean up, I’m glad to see McKenzie getting dirty, until Mickey came, she was kind of prissy about dirt.
Ten minutes later girls come in wrapped in big towels, another for Zelda, Burma quick dries and races inside, up her cat tree and peers at us through one of her cave-like openings.
Elle, “Burma is waiting to pounce on one of us, whoever passes her tree first.”
Natalie, “Girls, upstairs, dry hair and dress, it’s getting onto time to make dinner.”
McKenzie, “Steak.”
She means flank steak, one of our many favorites. Char it on both sides, when it’s just red inside, take it off the grill and slice in thin strips against the grain. Virtually fat free, all protein, quite tender and tasty.
Zoe C, “What are we having with?”
“Creamed corn, fries skin on. Devil’s Food cake with French vanilla frosting.”
“I’m doing cocktails, the usual or somebody want something different?”
She pours a decent red table wine, vodka for her and me, we park around the patio table and enjoy the sunset. The kids come down.
“McKenzie, do you want to grill the steaks or make the fries?”
I know the answer, she loves the grill. I have one of those absurdly expensive things with six kinds of adjustable heat.
“We can make the fries out here as well.” 
I can get one side hot for the oil, the other hotter for the steaks. Creamed corn is simple and can warm on the upper rack, the whole meal prepared on the grill.
Since the food is already outside, we eat at the patio table.
Mickey, “This steak is terrific, good job McKenzie.”
Zoe C, “I love fat fries, crunchy outside, soft in. On a different topic, Arizona was the second time we’ve dealt with someone who can do…what do I call it? Can do that energy thing, like McKenzie. She uses hers to heal, why did the others go bad, hurting people to hurt them?”
“Excellent question, I’m unable to provide an excellent answer, or even a marginally good one. Another unanswerable is how many more are there?”
Mickey, “McKenzie can see them.”
“Hit the brakes…what do you mean, see them?”
McKenzie, “McKenzie sees a shadow.”
Natalie, “What’s that mean?”
Mickey, “Like they are only a shadow, or surrounded by darkness.”
“She sees the darkness then?”
“Yes, and she ignores them except when it’s black.”
“Not black people.”
“No, this is different, like a…cape, with a hood that surrounds them.”
“How many has she seen?”
“Don’t know, we stay at home most of the time.”
Finish dinner, Zoe C and Elle do cleanup. Nat and McKenzie hunt for a show to watch. 
Zoe C, “Wait…I picked up a DVD set at the library, Above Suspicion, a Brit thing by the woman who wrote Prime Suspect, a very good series in itself.”
“What’s Prime Suspect?”
“Oh, good, you haven’t seen it then. I think that one is on Netflix, if not I can get the DVDs from the library. I don’t know if this one measures up but the Brits generally do quality stuff.”
We settle in, check the first hour, it’s…interesting. After an hour we take a cake break, return to eat chocolate, flour and sugar for the second hour.
Natalie, “Not badly done, just that the characters are weird, particularly the female rookie detective, she’s creepy. Beautiful in an odd way.”
Elle, “All the characters are odd, the lead cop, the wimpy little woman who does the grunt computer work, still, it has a certain attraction.”
Zoe C, “They dressed the poor woman in too tight blouses, she always wears the same snug skirt and jacket, high heels, useless for field work. I suppose they were fishing for a male audience.”
“Would you date her?”
Zoe C, “Not a chance, she’s too….fulsome.”
We’ll finish the last of it tomorrow, there are two or three seasons left we’ll get around to eventually.
Natalie, “Time for young girls to go to bed, let Zelda out, she’ll be up with you in a bit.
We got another cat tree, smaller, for Mickey’s room. Burma likes to be with people and she was climbing into Mickey’s bed, which is fine but the cat prefers to be in her own hideout. When she’s ready to get up, she leaps from the tree to Mickey’s bed, gets right in her face and sings. That’s what Mickey calls it, I heard her once, it sounds like a child’s singsong rhyme. It makes Mickey laugh.

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