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The Welcome Inn wasn’t a very welcoming place. It was no more than a run down fleabag of a motel on the outskirts of LAX.
Between the constant roar of the jets just skimming over the roof, as they came in for a landing. There was also the constant yelling and fighting from the Haze head couple in the next room.
Lysergic Oldham had, long ago, decided she wasn’t going to get any sleep tonight, so she didn’t even try. Instead, electing to just sit on the ratty couch that sat over in the cobwebbed corner, as what passed for a room and smoke the last of her herbal cigarettes.
Binary, however, seemed to have no trouble and snored away on the lumpy bed.
Lysergic had earlier unzipped the leather bag and dumped the cash out onto couch. She had examined the bills closely. Remembering what Slicer had told her about Binary, she figured she’d ask her just before Binary drifted off to sleep.
“Binary?” Lysergic had called out.
“Yes,” Binary had sleepily replied.
“Did you copy these?” Lysergic had asked, holding up some of the bills.
Binary glanced over, “Yes.”
“All of them?” Lysergic continued.
“Yes.” Binary answered.
Lysergic nodded. So the $25,000 she had discovered were all forged by little miss Binary, upon the instructions of Slicer. It made sense. Binary had made some fine forgeries, Lysergic noted.
She had used some of those bills to rent the room for the night. The greasy haired, one-eyed, night clerk didn’t bat an eye when he accepted Lysergic’s cash payment. So she decided money wasn’t going to be a problem, at least for now. As for Daniel Faraday’s journal, that she had also taken from the bag, well that was another story.
She knew she would have to get rid of it but when or how, she didn’t know. Something else to worry about later. So Lysergic just sat back, took another drag on her herbals and watched the exhaled smoke drift away into random patterns.
‘Kinda like my life,’ Lysergic amusingly thought to herself.
Early the next morning, after waking Binary, Lysergic put all the cash, as well as, the journal back into the bag and zipped it shut.
“We’ll grab a bite to eat out at that fast food drive-thru we passed by last night,” Lysergic told Binary, as they exited the room, “then there’s someplace I need to go, okay?”
“Yes,” Binary answered.
After grabbing a couple of artificially processed wraps for breakfast, they headed out to a place called “Praying Hands”.
Praying Hands was a cemetery located near a sloped hill covered with shade trees. It was a nice, peaceful place. It was also the place where Bradley and Annie Linus were buried.
One thing that M. Z had promised Lysergic and had followed through on, was to tell her where the Linus’s had been buried.
Lysergic parked the Thunderbolt under a particularly large shade tree and told Binary to stay put and that she would be right back.
“Yes,” Binary agreed.
Lysergic then walked down the grass trail, past several gravesites, until she had arrived at the two she sought.
Lysergic now stood before two head stones, placed side by side, marking the final resting place of Bradley and Annie Linus.
On top of both graves were a twin set of roses. Lysergic stepped forward to read the inscription on the note attached to the flowers.
Bradley and Annie. The only family I truly ever had and loved. Rest in Peace. Lysergic.
Lysergic noted that this was the second thing Mr. Z had followed up on that Lysergic had requested.
She then began to, once again, fight back the tears.
Suddenly, some one spoke from behind, startling Lysergic!
“Family or friends of yours?” the voice gently asked.
Lysergic quickly turned to see a thin, young man, with dark hair and a friendly smile. He was about Lysergic’s age, maybe a little older. He was dressed nicely in dark pants and a white dress shirt open at the collar. He was carrying a bouquet of some kind of white flowers.
“Yes, both,” Lysergic replied, smiling back.
The young man nodded back in sympathy.
“I’m here for my older brother,” the young man said, Nodding toward a gravesite right next to the Linus’s.
Lysergic noted the name chiseled on the head stone. Karl Martin.
The young man stepped over and placed the flowers down on the grave, right next to the headstone.
“My brother’s not really buried there,” the young man said, feeling some need to explain to Lysergic, “this is really just a monument in his memory. Karl was taken away by my father, after my mother and him divorced, when I was still a baby. They both ended up in some cult overseas somewhere. We never heard from them again. After I grew up, I made some inquiries. Couldn’t find out much, except I was told there had been an accident and both were dead.
Years later, for my mother’s sake, I had him declared legally dead and we had this monument put up. I guess it helped my mother and me deal with his disappearance. By the way, my name’s Kris Martin. What about you?”
Lysergic sadly smiled, “I’m Lysergic. These were the only people who ever cared enough to help me when I needed it! My real family didn’t but they did and they paid the price for caring! Something I’ll never forget and something I’ll never forgive myself for allowing to happen. They died because of me!”
Kris nodded, “That’s a big burden for such a young girl to carry around for the rest of her life. If you would like to talk about it, I’d be happy to listen.”
Lysergic nodded, “Maybe some other time. I’ve got someone with me. We’ve got to be leaving ourselves, but thanks for the offer.”
Kris glanced back to see Binary standing over by the Thunderbolt.
“Whereabouts do you live?” Kris asked.
Lysergic grinned, “Actually no place particular right now. We’ll probably be heading out of town, anyway.”
“I’ll tell you what,” Kris began, “why don’t you follow me home.”
Lysergic gave Kris a very cynical, untrusting look.
“Listen,” Lysergic replied, “I don’t like any funny business!”
“No,” Kris replied, “I didn’t intend to imply anything like that. I live about ten miles north of here, in a nice wooded area, with a really sweet and kind elderly couple. They, themselves, had once lived overseas for several years but eventually, I guess somewhat mysteriously, ended up back here. They’ve opened a combination boarding house and bed and breakfast. I know they would welcome you and your friend.”
“Thanks, but we just can’t,” Lysergic replied.
“You both could come as my guests,” Kris insisted, “I know you’d be welcome to stay for as long or as short of time as you want. Why don’t you just follow me there. Okay?”
Lysergic thought it over. She really didn’t know where her and Binary could go next. Lysergic did, however, get a good vibe off this Kris and he seemed genuine and nice. Besides, she thought he was kinda cute too.
Maybe, she thought, she would just go and check it out, if not for her, then for Binary. A girl like Binary couldn’t keep being towed around on the back of a bike, living a life like Lysergic was used to living.
“Okay,” Lysergic answered, “you’ve talked me into it, lead the way!”
Kris smiled, “I’ll get my car!”
Lysergic and Binary closely followed Kris Martin into the foothills, along a winding path into some of the most beautiful wooded scenery Lysergic could ever remember seeing, not that she had seen that much in her young life.
They finally passed a gate with a sign that read B&R Boarding. They rode on up to a beautiful old two story home.
Kris parked in front of the home, while Lysergic stopped the bike right next to his car.
The loud roar of Lysergic’s bike brought an elderly couple out onto the front porch.
The man was chubby with snow white hair. The woman was short with speckled gray in her hair. They both had kind faces.
Lysergic shut off the bike. Binary and her hopped off.
“Who do we have here?” the woman sweetly asked.
Kris smiled and nodded towards Binary and Lysergic.
“I asked these young ladies to join us for supper tonight, if that is okay with you?” Kris asked, “This is Lysergic and her friend, Binary.”
“Well, of course its okay, isn’t it Bernard?” the woman turned to the chubby man, who smiled a wide smile.
“Of course,” the man replied, “I’m Bernard Nadler and this is my wife, Rose.”
“Hi, we really appreciate this,” Lysergic replied.
“Oh, no problem, honey,” Rose said, “all are welcome here. Bernard’s got a charcoal grill going in the back. We’re going to have burgers tonight. Lysergic, you and Binary, can come on in and wash up. The bathroom is down the hall, to the right.”
“Thanks,” Lysergic replied, as she and Binary headed into the house.
Later, as Binary watched Rose prepare some salads in the kitchen, Lysergic wandered out back to see Bernard and Kris preparing the burgers.
“I told Lysergic that she was welcome as long as she wanted,” Kris said to Bernard, as Lysergic walked up.
“Oh, I can’t stay long,” Lysergic noted.
“You and Binary can stay as long as you desire,” Bernard replied, “Rose and I enjoy the company of young people. Keeps us young ourselves!”
“The burgers are ready!” Bernard added, “hope you’re hungry.”
Lysergic nodded approvingly, as the smell of the burgers made her drool.
Kris and Bernard scooped the patties onto a plate and headed in.
“Lets go, Lysergic!” Kris called back, “supper awaits!”
Lysergic nodded, “I will…. in just a moment.”
As Kris and Bernard went inside, Lysergic reached into her pocket and pulled out Daniel Faraday’s journal and tossed it into the barbeque fire. The journal quickly caught fire. Lysergic watched, as the leather cover began to melt and page after page burned and curled onto itself until, in a few minutes, it was nothing but ash.
Lysergic felt relieved that it had finally been destroyed.
‘And the world’s a better place,’ she thought.
She wandered down towards the forest line to think awhile before heading in for supper.
‘This would be a good place for Binary,’ Lysergic thought, ‘Kris was nice and Bernard and Rose seemed so sweet.’
She watched as the sun began to set, creating a beautiful perfect picture.
‘Maybe this is a good place for me, as well,’ Lysergic realized, “another chance, maybe? A fourth chance?’
Lysergic smiled, “Someone is watching over me, I guess.”
It was then that she swore she saw two ghostly figures momentarily appear just a few feet away. It was then that she suddenly realized who was watching over her.
The images of Bradley and Annie Linus had materialized. They both stood for only a few seconds and both smiled and nodded towards Lysergic.
Lysergic smiled and nodded back, just as both images slowly faded.
Lysergic wiped the tears from her eyes, once more, but these were not sad tears but tears of joy.
As she turned to head back in for supper, she realized she had finally found a new home and had been given a new start and, most importantly, along with Bernard, Rose, Kris, and Binary, she had found a new and caring family.