Henry whistled as he walked from his car to the entrance of the clinic. It had stopped raining, Luce had received a call from Cath and she had sounded OK, and he felt invigorated after Luce’s tea.
The New Agers were honouring the full moon tonight, and he could hear a drum beat in the distance. The sound was faint. Luce had told him to let it comfort him. All was good.
He hoped that MJ wasn’t going to be too angry that it had got so late. His clothes were crumpled and a bit mucky, still damp even after the drying out session in Luce’s caravan. He’d change quickly and then he’d take MJ out for dinner in Sligo. There was no need to book a table in advance, on a Tuesday night none of the restaurants was going to be overrun. He’d let MJ decide where she wanted to eat.
The reception was deserted as was the adjacent kitchen, but the lights were on in the Blue Sky Room, the door leading into it slightly ajar. He walked toward it briskly. “Sorry I was away for so long. Give me two minutes to change into fresh clothes and then let’s go into town. I’ll tell you all about what happened on the way. MJ?”
A hefty rattle of snoring came from inside and Henry opened the door wider to peer inside. “Junior!”
“Dad, you’re late. MJ took a cab home. Don’t look so worried, she isn’t mad at you.”
“What are you doing here? Is everything alright?”
“Long story, but you should go get changed and collect MJ. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. I’m fine, it’s just – I’d like to stay here for a while. Listen, if your secretary is still battling with the moon sickness tomorrow morning, I could fill in for her.”
Junior stood up and walked over to him. He was swaying a little.
“You weren’t drinking, were you? I’m getting a whiff of whiskey here. Are you sure your story can wait until tomorrow?”
“Positive.” Junior sniffed the air above Henry’s shoulder. “And I’m getting a whiff of let me see, could it be badger, or fox maybe? I think you should freshen up before your drive down to MJ’s. I’ll text her to let her know that you’re on your way.”
“Thanks, you do that.” Henry turned around and made to leave, then looked back over his shoulder and gave Junior a lopsided grin, “Good to see you, son. Not sure about you manning the reception, but we’ll see. Might ask you for help with something John mentioned earlier. He was preaching about storing electronic records in the cloud. I haven’t a clue what he’s talking about, but I figure you might be able to help me with that.”
“No problem, I can start having a look at that tomorrow. Hurry up now, I’m about to hit send on that text. Oh, hang on, MJ told me about that woman who went crazy on you this morning. Is she alright?”
“Seems to be.”
© Ash N. Finn, 2016