"Spring's afraid of me," Ron whispers.
But then something's happened.
"O, Papi," Ron's breathing—panicked, hysterical—in my ear.
I'm walking briskly, staring straight ahead as Ron clings to me, repeating, over and over, wild & foamy: "O, Papi, O, Papi, O Papi, I am so sorry, Mi Amor."
"Are you having my son?" a piece of paper stapled to the light post asks. "He is good boy. Please return him us."
Ron's face lights up.
"Let me kill someone for you," he blurts out.
"O, my darling, please" he continues, hand, intimately, on my shoulder, "Let me kill someone for you. Some nobody keeps track of."
"Or better yet," he adds, after a moment's thought," let me kill someone really important. Like a priest!"
And next thing I know (yikes!) we're in the old church and Ron's got someone pinned under his heaving body. But his body's not a real body at all. It looks like a squirming word-mess.
An actual, physical mass of squirming words all aglow is what my Ron's become. And this word system's violent, irresistible. Like The Borg in Star Trek, I think: Resistance is futile! And I'm appalled, of course (there's a terrible moaning emanating from the mass), but I'm also impressed with the special effects. Am mesmerized by the glow and seethe and playfulness. How do they do this, I think to myself?? How on earth do they do it.
A dove lands on my wrist (a vague sense of screaming).
"O, PAPI !!!!!!!!!!!!" Ron whoops out suddenly, like an orca's glee in the celebrating of a crucial kill. "O, PAPI !!!!!!!!!!!!" "O, PAPI !!!!!!!!!!!!" "O, PAPI !!!!!!!!!!!!"
The dove nibbles at my thumb. It's like I'm on a mountain.
This is the missing boy, I think. This is the missing boy.