"I's really how you interpret it," the woman says, and Cathy swears she won't get scared. "Someone close to you is going to die." She's sad, when she says it, but Cathy laughs hysterically. "No shit!"
Todd gets hurt, staring at her, worried. He doesn't like it when she jokes this way, anymore, not this loudly; he doesn't like it when she loses hope. This is the opposite of beestings, he shakes his head; I cannot support you in this, he shrugs. "That's not funny," he says.
Cathy assures the woman she's a very good reader, but before she can continue Todd has stalked away. She follows him, worried. "You shouldn't joke so much about dying," he grits at her. Like it's something she's doing to hurt him. Like dying is something she's doing to him.
"Those twenty-three bees are probably not saving my life. You're my doctor, you know how this story ends: I am going to die."
He can't go there, anymore. It's her road. He can't walk it.
"If you have trouble with this death stuff then you probably should have gone into feet or ears or something, because trust me: I'm not going to be the only one to kick the bucket."
But she'll be his first. She strokes his face; she can't hear what he's saying. She looks at him and sees a smart, handsome, successful doctor. A husband for Julie, a father to children she'll never get to meet. She looks at him and sees a boy, who's sweet. And shy.
Who wants to live in a world where the women don't know how beautiful they are?
"Aw, I get to pop your death cherry?"
She chucks his chin. He can't get far enough away from her. He leaves, and she knows better than to follow, and the Bee Man is out on the dance floor suddenly, in his boots, and she's drinking gin at three in the afternoon, and then she's dancing. He's not a doctor, he's a lunatic, but she only wants to dance.
There's a strange man in Marlene's house, touching her cuckoo clock.
"Get the hell out of my house," she warns him, but he just grins over his shoulder at her. She cocks her gun, and opens the door. He knows her name. He's young, but very tall. After his mother's birthday party, he thought Marlene was drunk. He didn't know yet how the body can betray you, and the mind.
It's three o'clock, and the cardinal is out. They stare, and wonder what it's for. Terrified they're about to be killed, Marlene by the boy and the boy by his neighbor, grown terrible and strange. It's three o'clock and Cathy Jamison is dancing in Canada with the Bee Man high on gin and venom. But the cards are already laid down.