A nasty flu virus has been wreaking havoc around the house this week. Fortunately I dodged the bullet, but my little plastic kids haven’t been so lucky. Kyle, Seth, and Katrina have fallen victim and have been confined to their beds for days. Since angels don’t get sick, Vincent has been taking care of them while Ray has been steering clear. But today, Vincent had to ask Ray for a favor.
“What? Why are you leaving?”
It was then that Ray noticed the sword hanging at Vincent’s side. “There’s no reason to panic, but there’s a small group of demon scouts starting to pick up on our trail. I need to shake them off.”
Ray shifted in his seat to get a better look at Vincent. “Why are they after us anyway?”
“I can’t say,” he said gently, “but I won’t let them find you. I should be back by morning.”
“Alright…” Ray reluctantly turned off his PSP and stood up. “Good luck, Vince.”
The angel smiled at him. “Thank you. Call my cellphone immediately if you notice any strange activity. If need be, I’ll return within seconds. And be careful you don’t catch their sickness. I prepared some pudding and fruit for Katrina, it’s in the refrigerator. That’s all she’s been eating the past few days. For Seth and Kyle, there’s plenty more cans of soup left. You’re able to heat up soup, right?”
“I’m not that helpless at cooking!”
Vincent laughed, “Okay. Well then, I’ll be off.”
Once Vincent was gone, Ray underwent careful preparations in order to prevent himself from catching their germs. Then he headed towards Katrina’s room first, not yet mentally prepared to go to the boys’ room. The thought of two sick boys in one room that have been sealed up behind a closed door, incubating their germs for days made him nervous.
“I’m okay, I guess.”
“Can I get you anything?”
“Well, I’ve been craving some nice cold pudding,” she replied shyly. “Is Vincent around to make some more?”
“No, but he left you some in the fridge. I can go get it for you.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“I can’t believe it… he saw me in this state…” she sniffed miserably.
Shortly after, Ray returned carrying a silver tray with the glasses Vincent prepared. He set it on the table next to her bed, and quickly stepped back.
“Oh, thank you,” she said. “Vincent really makes the best pudding. It’s heavenly.”
“Yeah I’m sure it is. So is there anything else you need?”
Katrina had to stop herself before she suggested that he stay and hold her hand. So instead, she began to ramble. “There is one thing. Something I’ve been wanting to say for a while. I guess I should just say it, since, you know… I’m sick. And there’s no telling if I’ll wake up tomorrow…”
Ray laughed, “You’re not gonna die from the flu. Besides, we’re plastic. We can’t die.”
“But if we’re plastic, how did we get the flu?”
It was a fair question, but Ray couldn’t think of an answer. “Anyway, what did you want to say?”
“Oh. Um, I just wanted to thank you for the box of chocolates.”
For the first time in his life, Ray was speechless. “What?”
“On Valentines Day, you left the box of chocolates with my bear, right?”
The look on Katrina’s face could best be described as horror. “It wasn’t you, then?”
Ray gave a nervous laugh. “Probably not.”
Katrina deflated as she reached for the spoon and poked distractedly at the grapes on top of one of the puddings. “Oh. Well, that’s all. I don’t need anything else.”
“Okay. Sorry.” Ray was more than happy to make a break for the door and leave her to her pudding. And now he actually wasn’t so against the idea of paying a visit to the boys’ room.
Just as he began to turn around and slip away, Seth spotted him and called his name. Ray sighed, turned back around, and forced his feet forward, flipping the light switch.
“Hey. Can I get you guys anything?”
“Turn the light off…” croaked Kyle as he rolled over to face the wall.
“Oh, sure. I’ll be right back.” Running the entire way, Ray retrieved a water bottle from the kitchen and brought it back to Seth. He tried not to get too close when he handed it to him, reaching from the middle of the rug up to the top bunk and holding his breath, as not to breathe in any germs.
“Thanks…” Poor Seth couldn’t get that cap off fast enough. He chugged that water down so fast Ray was briefly concerned that he might drown himself.
“No problem,” Ray said. “Need anything else?”
“Well, I feel my headache coming back. I could use a pain-killer. And I should probably eat something. Would a bowl of soup be too much trouble?”
“Nah, I’ll go make some.”
“Thanks. But can you grab the pill bottle first?”
After a while of running back and forth – getting the pills from the bathroom, trying to find the can opener in the kitchen, figuring out how to use it, getting the stove top to light, and cleaning the stove top after the pan boiled over – Ray finally delivered the bowl of soup and thought he could have a break. But then Katrina called for a glass of water. Then Seth wanted the window cracked. Minutes later, Kyle wanted an extra blanket. Katrina wanted a book, Kyle wanted his Nintendo DS, Seth fell asleep (finally) and by the time Vincent returned late that night, he found Ray face-down on the couch.