Another weary talk with Isabel and Michael, this one just outside the school building, wrapped in memories and paranoia. The subject of Maria has come up and no one wants to deal with it seriously. I want it resolved because it seems a dangerous loose end but Izzie wont try to deal with it. She’s the one that started it but her Olympian attitude gets in the way of helping even a little. Michael seems indifferent, this because he’s distracted and a little obsessed.
Maria is just an accident waiting to happen, Izzie says.
Isabel, could you at least make an effort? I say.
No, she says.
Think about it, i say. People dont know shit about anything except what they see on TV. Movies with aliens. Aliens killing humans. Evil aliens. Green, slimy aliens. You keep acting that way with Maria and that’s what she’ll think we are.
Exactly, Izzie nods. The evil alien thing can work for us. The way to deal with Maria DeLuca is to make her sweat, keep hitting at her fears from the dark. Make her afraid of my shadow, your shadow, Michael’s shadow, her own shadow. Right, Michael?
Or we could just kill her, he says.
We both stare at him.
It’s a joke, he says. Good god.
I dont see the point of trying to destroy Maria, i say. I dont want to deal with this at all right now. Izzie, you started this, now fix it. Dont go making enemies.
Did Liz talk to you? Izzie says.
Maria had a fit because you terrify her, talked to Liz, who wanted me to talk to you. I told her you make people nervous because you like to fuck with their heads and i would talk to you. You’ve been talked to. Now deal with it.
Bored with all this talk, Michael brings out the key he swiped from the sheriff’s office and brandishes it.
Put that key away, i hiss at him.
You want to know, dont you? Michael says. You got the bug. We got this key. Now, what does this key open? Admit that you have to know.
Stop with the key, Izzie says. The key means nothing.
Indignantly Michael says, If it means nothing why did i have a vision the first time i touched it?
Because you’re brain damaged? Izzie says. Just a wild ass guess.
What do you think it means, Michael? I say. It’s just a key. Where could it possibly lead? It looks old. It could be to anything, anywhere. Or nothing.
I’m telling you, the government cleaned out the sheriff’s office. And this is the key he kept from them. It has to be something important. Maybe it belonged to the corpse from 1959.
Michael, you’re grasping at straws, Izzie says.
And i know that, he says. But we ought to follow it where it leads us. I mean, who knows where we’ll end up? Maybe home. I mean, Max, we cant let this go. We cant just hide.
IDK, i say, shaking my head.
There is silence as we gaze surreptitiously at Maria, who has materialized from the school building and is running her mouth to a couple of girls i dont know.
One more day before she cracks, tops, Izzie says.
Just try to find something you have in common with her, i say firmly.
Izzie laughs. She says, What am i even supposed to talk to her about?
Try something, i say desperately. Anything. Order some fries. Just start a conversation. Talk about anything. About aliens, maybe. Goddamnit, Isabel you are not an unsocialized lump that cant make conversation. You just dont want to. I’m telling you to do it anyway.
Maria walks away from her own conversation, trips over her own feet, and lands on her ass. Nobody moves over to help her up, so she has to do it herself.
No, Max, Izzie says. She’s too irrational.
Michael peers over his shoulder at Maria. She is kinda weird, he says.