Elder Things - Episode Five

Mickey preferred to shoulder things alone.

Elder Things - Episode Five

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"What's bothering you?"

It was a loaded question, but then, Eleanor always had a way of asking the exact right question at the exact right time.

Not many people could spot Mickey's tells. Maybe none since Eleanor's passing.

And yet, she had never really passed. She was in the room now, whispering sweet comfort into Mickey's ear as his friends ran around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Ghosts and monsters.

Mickey was willing to believe, because he had kept his wife's ghost with him ever since her body died.

Of course, he knew that, in truth, she was nothing more than his increasingly fuzzy memory of his wife.

Real ghosts don't exist. But we conjure metaphorical ghosts every day.

Herman was blathering about needing to collect crosses, iron, and salt.

Penny had given up chiding his insane belief that the groundskeeper was a murdering monster.

Mirabell had her hands out in front of her, as if she could somehow cleanse Herman's anxieties.

The new girl, Daisy, was in the corner, arms crossed but eyes sparkling. There was something to do other than sit and grumble like all the other old folks.

She was loving the adventure. For that matter, so was Mickey...except...

"What's bothering you?"

Eleanor always figured it out before he could.

Did he want the boring life of the easy chair?

Hadn't he done enough adventuring in the first eight decades of his life?

Hadn't he even lost his goddamn eye to adventure?

Hours and hours dragged on since the crew found the dead man's journal. Robert Dawson clearly believed the groundskeeper was something other than human. His ideas had infected Herman, who was working his ass off to infect the rest of them.

Mickey enjoyed being undecided.

Ever since he was a kid and he saw Bugs Bunny chomping on that carrot with a smirk on his face, Mickey had prided himself on standing off to the side, dispassionately.

He was all mouth.

Of course, it was a badly timed joke that lost his eye, back in the seventies.

"It was worth it," he said, as the doctor's bandaged his grinning face.

"So what's bothering you?" Eleanor had responded.

To the best of his awareness, Mickey's expression hadn't shifted a millimeter. His smirk was in place, but somehow Eleanor detected his spirits slumping.

"What's bother you, Mick?"

What was bothering him then and now was the consequences.

The things we do and say to each other have a habit of bouncing back and hitting us square in the head.

What beehive was he about to kick?

Wouldn't everyone end up stung?

By the time Mickey headed back to his apartment, Mirabell had successfully calmed Herman down.

As a group, they agreed to scope out the groundskeeper. Learn about him.

Robert's Journal had done a decent job of setting the groundskeeper up as the root of every problem in the nursing home, but how could that possibly be the case?

In the morning, they'd explore the outside of the home, watch the groundskeeper at work, and perhaps even look into his reputation among the rest of the staff.

Turning his key in the lock of his door, Mickey absentmindedly gave Penny a peck on the cheek, and then he let himself inside his small apartment and waited.

Two minutes.


He couldn't be sure how long it might take Penny to get home. Most nights they'd stay together and watch the news, but he had left her alone to walk home.

He liked her too much. He liked them all.

Four minutes. Surely she was home by now.

Eleanor's voice didn't need to ask the question, he knew he was simply delaying doing what he'd already decided to do.

Turning the knob slowly, Mickey pushed his door open, and headed for the lobby.

Amelia Harris, a nice young woman, was scrolling through her iPhone as Mickey approached the front desk.

"Scuse me, Amelia?"

She looked up at him, not even a hint of a smile on her face.

"Always a joy seeing your smiling face, I was wondering if you knew where the groundskeeper's office is?"

Mickey had decided to kick the beehive alone.

Elder Things - Episode Six
Venturing into the hornet’s nest.