If you would like to read “The Quiet Ones, Part 6 ” click the title.
Jean turned off the TV and carefully folded the blanket she used to ward off the chill and
give her a sense of comfort while she watched the evening news. It was no substitute for
human contact, but it was the best she could manage for the time being. Like those baby
rhesus monkeys that were cruelly taken from their mothers and offered either a cloth
substitute or a metal one, Jean preferred the relative warmth of a textile against her skin.
It wasn’t that she had no family. She had two grown boys – and she also had a gaggle of
miscellaneous relatives, all fork and spoon in hand, waiting to feast on whatever crumbs
might fall from her munificent table.
She grew up with a family that was well heeled in their time, but their progeny had fallen
into two distinctive categories: highly successful (the infamous top 1%); and completely
unmotivated, unproductive and feckless. The former had turned their modest inheritances
and even more substantial educations into fortunes, while the latter had lived off the
money their parents left them until it was gone.
Some drank away their money, and others shot it into their veins. A few shopped, played
or invested it unwisely. They had the arrogance that often accompanied wealth, but not
the wisdom that came from earning it. When the money was gone, they had no idea how
to make more. They were consumers, and nothing more.
Jean had lost the one person who could have offered her true companionship over 18
years before. Her husband, Will, died much too young. He was only fifty-four when he
was stricken by an episode of sudden cardiac arrest. They should have been prepared for
it – the men in his family never lived past sixty – but they weren’t. Some how they always
believed he would be the exception. He wasn’t.
At least when Will died, the family learned the reason for their curse. He had
hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart. It sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? It would seem logical that a larger heart would be stronger and more efficient at pumping blood. They problem though, is why it grew so big.
At a cellular level Will’s heart was disorganized mess. Normal heart cells lay in flat,
smooth, compact rows. Will’s were a jumble of shapes thrown willy nilly in a heap like
pixie sticks tossed into a pile. His heart was also prone to scarring. Between the
inefficient structure of the muscle and the scars, his heart was stiff, requiring more blood
pressure to pump blood through it.
That was a long time ago. Her career was still in full swing, and she took comfort in the
adoration of her many fans. Eugenia Claudette Richardson Roberts was a true Texas
icon, a monument to all that made the Lone Star State unique, and it’s women,
She had written five book on subjects ranging from Texas history to motherhood. She
was known for her wit, and a rough, but captivating southern charm, that played as
convincingly on the national stage as on a local one. Her resume included editorships at
some of the biggest newspapers in the country, and six years as press secretary to the
President of the United States.
If you would like to read “The Quiet Ones, Part 8” click the title.
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