“I know what you had witnessed was extremely… unsettling, but I assure you, I can explain this.”
Dr. Hayashi sat next to Ghoul on the living room couch, facing the front of the house. I was adjacent in the recliner, watching Elizabeth shift restlessly on her feet. Her back was to the door, and she kept glancing over her shoulder. I could only assumed that it was to reassure herself that the door, was indeed still there, and available for a speedy exit.
“Elizabeth, please, sit and talk with us,” requested Ghoul.
“I am not going to sit any wheres near you, Greg. If that is even your name, you horrid monster.”
Bruce, who was laying at Ghoul’s feet, growled when he heard Elizabeth’s tone.
“It’s okay, Bruce – some people are just rude. I think I will take my leave, as I don’t want to subject myself to further insults.”
He began to rise, visibly hurt and distressed from this scenario. I never knew how emotional Ghoul was, and I felt like I should defend my friend, although, I also understood Elizabeth’s perspectives. I wanted to stay neutral for several reasons, but I decided that someone needed to keep the peace, and move the ball forward on the unexpected inevitability that is Ghoul.
“I have something to say,” I stood, and took the floor. “I know what you saw in there Elizabeth. Trust me when I can say that I have seen much worse living with this guy. Believe it or not I have a number of unanswered questions. Now you don’t have to sit or even look at any of us. All I am asking is that you just listen to what Dr. Hayashi has to say. I know I will.”
Elizabeth never responded, only listened, as Dr. Hayashi began.
“I am… how do I say this… I am a medicine man of sorts. I have been one now for a long, long time. I have combed over every acre of this planet, traveling throughout societies primitive and advanced to offer my skills. In return, my payment has been the acquired knowledge from all approaches of medicine – be it traditional, holistic, modern, and sometimes, dark. Ghoul here,” he paused, then wrapped his arm around him, pulling him close with a smile. Ghoul, looked mortified. “Has been a project in the works for some time now. I have searched around this planet for a way to reanimate a body with zero negative repercussions, and as you can see, I am so close to finishing, but….”
He stopped there, looking down at the ground as if he was trying to think of the right words to use in presenting a difficult fact.
“You know I have to say, I have never – in this life – been more insulted thenI have been tonight. First, she calls me a horrid monster, and now, Dr. Hayashi calls me a ‘project’? Come on Bruce, let’s go for a walk. Maybe we can find someone who won’t treat us like a horrid-monster-project. Assholes.”
Bruce looked back before following, giving us all a quick bark. I didn’t know if it was meant to be a goodbye, or a thanks-for-making-my-owner-upset-you-assholes type bark.
“Let him go, he needs to blow off some steam,” I said.
Elizabeth was still quiet, but I knew she was taking time to process all of this information.
“After tonight I must leave,” said Dr. Hayashi.
“What? Why?” I asked.
“There are people looking for me, and I fear that I have stayed in one spot for to long. I will finish my work with Ghoul tonight before I depart.”
Before leaving to find Ghoul, Dr. Hayashi stopped at a picture of my Grandfather that hung on the wall. It was taken from when he returned from Vietnam back in the late 60’s. He said something in Japanese to the picture of my Grandfather, bowed, and then walked out the door. Even though I had no idea what he said, the sentiment was touching.