DC Genesis, Captain Marvel: Pigeons, Part Two
My phone is ringing. I’m in my bedroom; it feels like a small victory. I’m sure I know who it is; no one else has my number. Light pours in through my window and bathes me in heat. I kick my blankets off and stumble over to my telephone.
“Hello?” My voice sounds like a croak. “Hello?” I repeat myself.
“William, I called you yesterday several times, you didn’t pick up. Where were you?” The voice is familiar.
I pause momentarily, distracted. There are two pigeons seated on my windowsill once again. I think they’re looking at me. One of them flaps its wings and it’s gone. The other one continues to stare. It’s mocking me. It must be mocking me.
“William?” The voice sounds impatient; it already knows what I’m going to say.
“Jayson County, I woke up there, it happened again.”
“It’s happening on an almost daily basis now, Will. I think we should talk.”
“We’re talking now; just say what it is you have to say.”
“I think it’s better if we discuss this in person. Come by my office sometime this evening. I’ll be here all night.”
“Sure, see you then.” I hang up without giving the chance to reply.
My eyes wander back to the window and I see that the second pigeon has flown away too. I stare longingly out my open window and feel nothing but envy.
* * * * *
. My feet pound the sidewalk as I make my way to the company’s head quarters. My uncle, Ebenezer is a very wealthy man. Until recently he was the Vice President of Batson Drilling Co. Then my mother died. Now he’s the President. He’s a glorified oil baron, a lot of foreign drilling, mostly South America. I don’t really ask about it. My trust fund’s in the company’s name so I try not to jeopardize that. My uncle’s known about my problem for about as long as it’s been happening. After my parents died he took it upon himself to look after me. He wants me to tell him whenever it happens, says he’ll always “keep one eye on me and the other on your mother’s business.” When I turned eighteen he bought me an apartment. I told him I’d rather move out of the city. He wouldn’t have it; to be honest, not sure if he means well or not. I guess he does but I still get a strange vibe from him. Like he’s not watching over me so much as he’s watching me. My parents trusted him deeply, though. So, that counts for something.
I reach the waterfront at a little after nine and stare at the monolithic testament to my mother’s memory. The enormous Lake Greene serves as the building’s backyard. Panes of glass line all four walls of the building, reflecting moon and starlight into the eyes of any whose gaze lingers for too long. I open one of the tall, heavy doors and immediately shield my eyes. My uncle likes to keep the building as “well lit” as possible. Every inch of the thirty eight story building is illuminated by industrial strength light bulbs: “A bright work environment makes for bright workers”, one of his many mantras. The front lobby is empty this late with the exception of a custodian, busily cleaning and a woman behind a large, ovular desk.
The receptionist notices me enter, she looks up and smiles. I lower my hand from my face and feel awkward.
“I’m here to see—“
“—your uncle? You can go right on up, Billy. He’s expecting you.” She finishes my sentence for me with a smile. I can’t tell whether it’s genuine or not but smile back anyways.
As I ascend to the top floor via the elevator, I think about uncle Ebenezer and what he could want to talk about. I don’t see him in person very often. He much prefers to speak over the telephone. This must be important. Maybe he’s decided to allow me to leave? I picture his thin, sharp face, his steel grey eyes and his silver hair. His skinny lips opening to reveal snow white teeth, his mouth moves, “I’ve decided you’ve proved yourself mature enough to leave,” he’d say. “Here’s enough money to make yourself comfortable wherever you find yourself.” The elevator chimes and opens.
I move out into the hallway and travel its long, narrow path. I make one sharp turn to the right and walk down another, equally long, hallway. My eyes have gotten use to the brightness of the building. I open the door to my uncle’s office, carved mahogany, merely touching it feels inappropriate. He’s seated at his desk, writing something. The office is colossal. Artwork masks most of the walls from view, I can’t tell the colour of the wall underneath. I stand silently in the doorway, afraid to make a noise and interrupt his busily scripting hand.