Everyone knew Curtis Lester had gone dark. Everyone. It started when he was eleven. It wasn’t his fault, not exactly. I mean when you wake up in the middle of the night and your bed is surrounded by men in dark hooded robes, it can give you a good fright, that’s for sure. Still, Curtis wasn’t all that afraid.
“Curt,” she said. “What’s with all the darkness? Are you thinking about that night when you were eleven and those guys came to deliver a message about being one of the Darklings?”
“Not really,” he said. “I didn’t know I was looking dark.”
“Honey, you always look dark.”
“I don’t mean to, you know.”
“Maybe it’s time we had a baby,” he said, trying to smile at her.
“Seriously?” she gasped. “Didn’t they tell you they would take your first-born and make him one of their own?”
“Well, yes, but…if we had a girl, they wouldn’t want her.”
“No. No babies. Ever. No, no, no.”
He nodded and grabbed his wallet. “I know you’re right.”
“Where are you going?”
“To pick up some groceries. Want to come along?”
“Sure,” she said. “While I’m getting my coat, get Mindy.”
Curtis walked over to the kitten and gently picked her up.
“Hey, Min-Min. Want to go for a walk?”
The kitten stretched and let him put her on his shoulder.
“I’m ready,” she said, kissing the kitten, telling her she was a pretty girl. “You know it’s really bad when you have to have a white cat with you to keep the Darklings away. Amazing how they are so terrified by any light.”
“We should stop calling them Darklings and just call them what they are.”
“You mean Republicans?”
“Yes. One should never be afraid to call something what it is.”
“Harry Potter?” she asked.
Photo: Llyuza Mingazova