the two lifelongers make their way down Federal Way.
Doryce: this highway is so beauteous. i'm glad i did my part to keep the highway clean.
Gladyce: you did no such thing of the sort. you've never touched money. i can't see nothing. when i try to open my eyes, all i see is Blue Heaven come early.
Doryce: good for you, not for me. where you go, i go. did you enjoy our little sojourn in horse n buggy? it was so enchanting and throwback. emblematic of a simpler time.
Gladyce: yeah but it was on the road. like Washington on the Geico. horses shouldn't be on a road it's just not right. you can't fool me. that was your unusually horse-like hands making the clopping sound. there are no coconuts in Washington!
Doryce: the good news is the sicker you get, the lighter you get. you're more a feathery backpack on me now.
Gladyce: i've been vomiting the whole way through, or have you conveniently forgotten to notice?
Doryce: we did get a couple stares from those gas guys sliding up the pole. i thought they were checking out my sweating butt.
Gladyce: if anything they were checking out my butt. you put it in their faces when you turned around.
Doryce: not long now, dear. another village settles upon us, same colors as the first. i can see the pepto bismol from here. Lake Hillier yonder.
Gladyce: you think every pink lake is Lake Hillier. we're not in the home country just yet.
Doryce: speaking of, what about those Timeshare Exit Team commercials?
Gladyce: girl i'm getting watery. Kelly and Mike are perfect for each other! and they cemented their dangerous love with a baby, that's when you know it's true, when you piss off both sets of parents.
Doryce: what a bummer to learn that's not a real couple. they were just actors!
Gladyce: i hate learning.
Doryce: it's like my friend Auverin always tells me, well she told me in the bubble of a Woodstock Valentine's note today: the best actors are non-actors. like that Eastwood movie where the real train heroes play themselves in the movie. now that's realism no French can touch. that's how all movies should be from now on, just have real people playing themselves.
Gladyce: i'm more jealous that you're cheating on me with the blond than the girl. Rabobank.
Doryce: possibly the worst name ever for a bank. and of course it's our home bank. right next to our community pharmacy. community is overrated. we're here!
past the belltower at Maryknoll Doryce huffs her last mile to the soft patch. the water is a sweet bubblegum swill curtailed by a flowing wheel that looks the same from the side and from the top. it gently transports each cup of water to the rock chimney above, keeping the thatch roof watered. the cottage is surrounded by an outer bed of silvertip reeds. Doryce makes a circle with her elbow in one of the dusty windows to look in cautiously.
Gladyce: there's no way to cautiously do that. anything poking through? like nipples?
Doryce: what's she look like?
Gladyce: the most beautiful woman who ever lived. the most beautiful blonde in the world. tits like howitzer shells. got more stunning as the years went on the bitch. unclear if that was from her own natural spells or her own natural cells. one of those girls who grow into their fulsome womanly body as they mature instead of get fat, they're cute when they're young but a broomstick.
Sally Quinn saunters over the mini footbridge with her ladies in tow. who kiss her toe when she makes it safely across.
Doryce: ice queen i presume?
Sally: please i ain't that old, honey. allow me to introduce my ailing associates. i'm the ice maiden in the group if anything. they are ice princesses in their field.
ice princesses: we have no time to be in waiting.
Gladyce: i always wanted to be a blue blonde. didn't have the mean chops.
Sally: what is the ailment?
Doryce: too much empathy i'm afraid. my sister here drained a whole pool of tears.
Sally slowly guides the wooden circle of intertwined branches on a stick around Doryce's flappy neck.
Sally: you are the weak one of the two. i can already tell you're the complainer of the group.
Gladyce: no, i swear to you i didn't follow my pattern.
Sally: well you weren't drawn to me, either. i'm upfront with my patients, i never lie, i was brought up in Pennsylvania. there's a force afoot which brought you to me here today. never felt it before.
Sally ganders at the stick and pulls the stem up.
Sally: isn't she a marvelous piece of magic?
Doryce: what is it?
Sally: the Sword of Saad.