Hank’s face reddened when he realized he’d been unabashedly gawking at Sadie and Freya as the float passed him by. Pulling himself out of what seemed like a dream, he jumped onto the float and was met with a delighted Sadie. He’d never caught her joyous and felt ashamed. He knew that it wasn’t his fault that she’d been attacked but his ruse at the morgue had been a low blow. He wanted to offer something, anything as a peace offering but could only shake his head stupidly. Sadie smiled warmly. “It’s OK. I forgive you Hank.” Hank nodded. “Very carnivalesque Sadie.”
“I’m feeling very festive, yes.”
“You look better.”
“Gettin. Surprised to find you here. Or maybe not. Must be strange given your...hobby.”
Hank recoiled as if she’d struck him. For a moment, he wondered if she referred to his taking sometimes lewd pictures for clients.
“Yeah, well I don’t miss a Carnivale. Did you know that aside from the encouraging unacceptable behavior, Carnivale was meant to bring unlikely people together?”
Sadie sized him up.
“What are you getting at?”
“Oh not that.” He replied. “Just that good and bad, heaven and hell, and perhaps mortal and immortal. Seems it worked.” He nodded towards Freya. Freya noticed that their eyes were on her and stopped dancing.
“She’s with me.” Sadie murmured.
“Of course she is.” Hank replied. “So I thought you should know...we caught one.”
Sadie looked away. “The young woman?”
“We think so. She matched the description that you and Eli provided. But no rain slick.”
Sadie’s eyes drifted up towards the cloudless sky. “How do you know it’s her? Did she say anything?”
“Not much. Just sits there and stares in front of her.”
“Then how do you know?” She exclaimed with a trace of urgency.
“Because she asked for you. She said to bring her the carcass.”
Sadie flinched. Her mind flashing back to that night. She could still hear the puppy whimpering and that horrible whisper.
“She says she wants to see you.”
“What about Eli? Did she ask for him too?”
Hank shook his head. “Not as of yet. But then again, ****no spoilers******
The jab had its desired effect. Sadie shrunk and started rubbing her hands. Hank continued. “ I think it might be a good idea. It won’t take long. Just go in there and we’ll be watching the whole time. She can’t hurt you. She’ll be shackled.”
“Sure asshole. Have you forgotten there’s one more? And what do I do when I get home and little sis is waiting for me?”
“I will personally ensure your safety. I don’t sleep these days. I can watch over your apartment myself.”
“I’m not reassured.”
“Nope.” Freya chimed in.
“It’s important Sadie.”
She took out her phone. As she texted Eli’s number, she wondered how she was going to explain this when they got face to face.