by David Halliday
The Invisible Man Part 9
Published by David Halliday at Shakespir
Copyright 2016 David Halliday
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1. The Donut Shop
“I think you’re just weird.” Mary Lou Frances said as she took her makeup case out of her purse, removed her mirror and lipstick, and retouched her lips.
Mackenzie looked on with amazement.
“Man, you’re really good at that, Mary Lou. I haven’t seen anything like it since last summer when they were repaving the parking lot at Six Points Plaza.”
Mary Lou stuck her tongue out at Mackenzie.
“Very funny, Mr. Philips,” she said then smoothed her lips together, put her lipstick away and looked at herself once more in the mirror. She maticulously manipulated several hairs on her head then, satisfied with their new position, returned her mirror to her makeup case, and her makeup case to her purse.
Mackenzie shook his head.
“Where’d you learn that stuff?”
“I don’t know what you mean, Mr. Philips,” Mary Lou responded.
“That stuff.” Mackenzie waved his fingers at Mary Lou’s purse. “If I had to do that everyday I’d be losing stuff right and left. How do you remember everything?”
Mary Lou smiled appreciatively as she surreptitiously glanced over Mackenzie’s shoulder to check out who else was in the donut shop. She looked Mackenzie in the eyes.
“You’re changing the topic, Mr. Philips.”
“Topic?” Mackenzie shrugged his shoulders as he raised his cold cappuccino to his lips.
Mary Lou smiled impatiently. “You were talking about God who apparently is out to get you. You should keep your thoughts more organized, Mr. Philips. It’s why you’re doing so poorly in school.”
“Who says I’m doing poorly? I got a 65 in my last science test.”
Mary Lou raised her cup of tea to her lips. “Exactly. I got an 87.”
“Ya, but Ms. Powell likes you.”
Mary Lou smirked. “I study. Oh, Mackenzie, how do you expect to do well in high school if you can’t do well in elementary school? Now, you’ve got me sidetracked again. What is this talk about God? Have you talked to Father Paul about it?”
“I talked to Father O’Malley,” Mackenzie responded. “But it’s confidential. I’m not allowed to talk about it under pain of damnation. Danny saw Ms. Powell and Mr. Donatello at Sherway Gardens together.”
“You’re doing it again.” Mary Lou shook her head. “You must stay focused. What were they doing in Sherway Gardens?”
“Danny said that they were looking at linens. You know what that means?”
Mary Lou shook her head.
“They must be shacked up together.” Mackenzie finished his cappuccino and licked his lips.
Mackenzie nodded. “They’re doing the horizontal tango. I could hardly believe it myself seeing as how Mr. Donatello teaches grade one and Ms Powell is about a head taller than him.”
Mary Lou sat silently lost in her thoughts, dreaming about true love. Mackenzie glanced around the donut shop. Nodding his head, he gestured across the room.
“There’s Jonathan and Jimmy Freeman.”
“What?” Mary Lou asked, startled out of her thoughts.
“They’re in high school. Remember, they were in grade eight last year.”
Mackenzie pointed across the room.
“They’re sitting with that girl Sue Beth Brennan.” Mary Lou bent over the table and whispered. “Jacqueline told me that she got banned from the Queensway theatre for giving a guy oral sex.”
“No, shit!” Mackenzie took a second look. “She’s pretty.”
“She’s a slut,” Mary Lou said matter-of-factly. “And don’t look at me that way, Mackenzie Philips.”
“That way when boys get stupid ideas in their heads. My mother warned me about that.”
“I ain’t got no ideas. I’ve got enough problems without getting God more pissed off with me.”
Mary Lou laughed. “You are so unpredictable, Mr. Philips.”
Mackenzie shook his head. “What?”
Mary Lou softened her eyes as she looked at Mackenzie.
“Do you believe in true love?”
Mackenzie thought for a moment. “I don’t know. Don’t know anyone that’s in love. Love? Like in the movies?”
“Your parents must have been in love,” Mary Lou responded. “They got married.”
Mackenzie rubbed his chin with his finger and looked up at the ceiling. Then he looked back at Mary Lou.
“I don’t think so. Sometimes I catch my mother in the living room looking at old picture albums. She never looks happy. Your parents argue a lot?”
Mary Lou nodded. “Constantly.”
“Mine too. Especially about money. And me. I’ve been a great disappointment to them. My dad drinks too much.”
Mary Lou glanced around the room. She noticed a disheveled older man cleaning off the tables. He was looking at them. She turned back to Mackenzie.
“My dad says that my mother nags him too much. My older sister, Victoria, says that they’re going to get divorced. Jacqueline’s parents are separated. They still live in the same house but they date other people. Don’t you find that weird?”
Mary Lou pushed her cup to one side and leaned over the table.
“Why are your parents disappointed in you, Mackenzie?”
Mackenzie shrugged. “Well…” he began then hesitated for a moment. Mary Lou looked at him with such interest that he felt he couldn’t disappoint her. “When I was born, my mom almost died. She had to have her plumbing fixed so she couldn’t have more kids. Apparently my head was too big.”
Mary Lou laughed. “Your head was too big?”
“Ya. It’s part of God’s wonderful plan. He’s been out to get me since day one. But I’ve got my own plan.”
“Your own plan?”
“I’m going to go see a fortune teller.”
“A fortune teller?”
Mackenzie nodded. “I’m going to find out the date of my…” Mackenzie drew his finger across his neck.
Mary Lou reached over and patted Mackenzie’s free hand. She was about to comfort Mackenzie when she spotted Jonathan Laudari, Jimmy Freeman and Sue Beth Brennan making their way out of the donut shop. Jonathan and Sue Beth were holding hands and laughing.
Mackenzie leaned over the table and whispered. “Do you think Sue Beth is going to give Jonathan oral sex?”
Mary Lou made a face in disgust. “I don’t even want to think about it.”
2. Lost Souls
“Do you believe in lost souls?” Mackenzie said as he looked up at Robin who was bent over his camera. Through his lense he watched Sam Kelly guiding children across Kipling Avenue.
“What?” Robin zoomed in as the children waved goodbye to the crossing guard. Sam Kelly made his way back across the street.
“Like,” Mackenzie continued, “when someone dies suddenly their soul gets confused and panics and gets lost when the body is carted off to the morgue.”
Robin stood up and looked down at Mackenzie. “You mean ghosts?”
Mackenzie thought for a moment. “I suppose. But sometimes you can lose your soul when you’re still alive. Like something terrible happens to you and you feel like you’ve died. And your soul leaves. Like Mrs. Henderson.”
“Who’s Mrs. Henderson?”
“You must have seen her. She stands up there.” Mackenzie pointed up Mattice Road.
Robin nodded. “Ya. I’ve seen her. How did she lose her soul?”
“Her husband and kid got killed in a car accident. My mom says that she had a breakdown. Spends all her time like a lost soul wandering through her days.”
Robin took a second look up Mattice Road.
“She ain’t there today.” Mackenzie said glancing over his shoulder. He turned back to Robin. “You think that she’ll ever find her soul again.”
Robin looked back at Mackenzie. “Man, that’s too heavy. You talk to your parents about this stuff?”
“I think you can find your soul when you’re dreaming.” Mackenzie said as Mary Lou Frances stepped up behind them.
Mary Lou stepped in front of Mackenzie.
“You got a cigarette?” Mary Lou asked Robin.
Robin shook his head. “I don’t smoke.”
Robin looked at Mackenzie with a concern expression then turned back to Mary Lou.
“Aren’t you kind of young to smoke?”
Mary Lou shrugged. “I’m trying to kick the habit. Is Mackenzie being weird today?”
Robin smiled. “He’s telling me about lost souls.”
Mary Lou shook her head. “Don’t pay any attention to Mackenzie. Him and God have a suicide pact.”
Robin’s mouth dropped. “Where do you guys pick up this stuff?”
3. The Widow Henderson
David wiped his brow and stopped mowing the lawn. He walked over to Mackenzie who was raking the loose grass.
“Let’s take a break.”
Mackenzie nodded and put down his rake. Mackenzie grabbed his bag on the grass and dug out a coke. He popped the can and took a sip then passed it to David.
“Your old man sure was pissed.”
David took a sip of coke. He nodded.
“He wanted me to cut our grass today. He gets like that some time. I think him and my mom are at it again.”
“They screaming at each other?” Mackenzie asked taking back the pop.
David shook his head.
“Worse. My mom was giving him the silent treatment. You should have been at breakfast. No one said a word. I hate that. One time my mother didn’t talk to my dad for a week. All because he forgot to call my grandmother.”
Mackenzie handed the pop back to David.
“Why’s your dad have to call your grandmother?”
“She’s old. We have to take turns calling her. I hate it when I have to call. She keeps asking me what I’m doing. I don’t know what to say. I mean, I’m talking to her. She asks me how school’s going. How do you answer a question like that? I think she’s crazy. My dad is always complaining that she’s off her anti-depressants.”
When the boys were finished the coke, Mackenzie crushed it under his foot then threw it into one of the bushes.
“You still going to get your palm read?” David asked.
David looked at his friend questioningly. “What do you think that lady is going to see in your palm? I stared at my palms for half an hour the other day and I couldn’t read anything.”
“You’ve got to go to school to learn that,” Mackenzie responded.
David removed his glasses and spit on them. Then he rubbed them on his t-shirt.
“My dad says that all that palm reading and tea leave stuff is hokum.”
Mackenzie turned angrily on David. “What’s your old man know?”
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“Trust me, Father, God hates me. He tried to kill me when I was born. My head was too big and my mother almost died. They had to use clamps on my head but the clamps broke so they cut into my mother’s bones. It was a real mess. The doctors figured I would have brain damage. I was tested. They didn’t find any damage but what does that mean? The way I figure it, I was brain damaged. I mean, I should have been a genius but I’m just average intelligence. It’s been a real disappointment to my parents. My dad is an airline pilot and my mom teaches at Humber College so they’re pretty smart. They figured they should have been set for life with a genius as a child but look what they got to show for everything – me.” Mackenzie Philips had to deal with all the trials of youth, bullies, school, parents who don't understand him. And God. Who Mackenzie believes is out to get him. God wants revenge. Because Mackenzie has committed a terrible crime. He's killed someone. He's killed two someones.