“So… Castro sent Raquel the angel of vengeance to try to convince Bigfoot to take the journey to far off Dallas, to make good on his promise to deal with the evil mutant overlord John F. Kennedy.”

Candace sat in her bed beside him, dressed in her pink pajamas, eyes wide. He’d been building things up for weeks now, setting up the troubled relationship between the angels of socialism and the league of evil mutants who wanted to recover their powerful totems from the dark side of the moon. Of course, the pure angels were the good guys, but had been forced to compromise their ideals because they couldn’t act directly due to the laws of heaven that they had to abide by.

Kennedy had to be stopped, to save the world. Frank wasn’t completely satisfied however, with how the plot was going, and had revised it several times to try to keep it simple and his daughter interested. Candace was seven now, but was starting to figure out his ambivalence and had corrected him more than once when his story went off the tracks. She had the makings of a good editor. Stevie was a lot more forgiving where it came to plot holes. He liked hearing about the carnage caused in the battles, but hey, he was five, so that was to be expected.

“But I thought you said Bigfoot was a mutant too,” Candace said, her forehead grown a little bumpy as she concentrated, twisting some of her brown curls in her finger as she worked the latest revisions out. “Wouldn’t he be on the side of the mutants and Kennedy? Wouldn’t the Abominable Snowman be a better choice for the mission. He’s the angel of snow, right?”

“I’m glad you noticed that,” he told her, scratched a few notes with his 6H pencil. 6Hs were the best, they lasted practically forever. He thought for a moment while his daughter stared at him in anticipation. Did she remember what abominable meant? He made a note to go over the third draft again.

“Maybe he wanted to get revenge as well, you know, after Kennedy said he was going to marry Bigfoot’s sister and then left her at the alter.”

What was that from? Draft two, maybe.  He scratched another note

His daughter started nodding.

“Oh, right,” Candace replied. “That was a bad thing to do. Kennedy is bad, Ms. Bigfoot was so in love with him too. I get it. What happens next?”

He was almost ready. Another few weeks and the story would be ready for the next. He just needed to find a decent artist to bring the whole story to life. Someone crazy enough to get the rolling subtext. But not too crazy.

Cathy was watching the Black List by the time he got back downstairs.

“Still telling them that Kennedy story?” she asked.

“It’s Candace’s favorite,” he told her, plopping down beside her. “And you know how Stevie likes stories about things getting smashed up.”

“You know she told me she wants to be a Sasquatch when she grows up now,” his wife noted after muting the commercials, wiped her blonde bangs from her glasses. “And find a way to become totally covered in hair now.”

Given how much Cathy liked conspiracy shows, he was surprised she had lost patience with his bedtime stories. But then, he knew she only watched Black List because she’d had a crush on James Spader since Pretty in Pink. Ten years together and he finally started to figure out where her taste in entertainment came from. It had certainly improved date night, that was for sure.

But Candace and Stevie were his kids too.

“It’s a phase,” he told her. “I’m sure she’d be back to her Bratz in no time. She still keeps them on her ‘A’ shelf, right?”

“She also asked me how get revenge against the president of the United States yesterday,” she added.

“He’s done a lot of bad things, Cathy,” he told her.

She let out a breath.

“Lucky your insurance covers therapy.  Don’t get fired,” his wife replied. That was it for the moment, as the commercial break ended. The Black List was a no-interruption show.

He thought about her snarky comment, and wondered why he’d never felt the need to book any sessions with Dr. Geddes, like most of his co-workers had at one time and another. Considering all the things he’d seen, you’d wonder why he didn’t have a hankering to lay down on a couch and go over it all in detail.

Oh yeah, he remembered. If he did, they’d put him away, probably in an adjoining suite with Rebecca Amicci at Kendall Manor. So, while his wife’s eyes were glued on James Spader, he went back over Candace’s edits. Yeah, he decided. Lets do some tweaks, and started scratching away.

Cathy let out another breath at the scratching noise it made. She called his favorite pencil ‘the nail’.

His sanity had never been in question at the office, though. These days, the concern was more about Gary. And a certain missing little girl he thought of every time he looked at his own little girl.

Go to Chapter Eleven

Go to Chapter Thirteen

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