When Jason asks how much it'll cost, Steve honestly doesn't know, but Sarah sure does. "Twelve hundred dollars. We cover room, board and transportation and you just pay for your class fees." They agree that it's a hardship, but tell him to pray on it: "There's no price for salvation," they say, and "God'll give you a sign." Jason gazes at them, crushing already, in puppy love. "Okay. I'll pray on it. God'll give me a sign." Steve caresses his face. Jason's parents died when he was nine years old. Jason's parents were never this rich, or this focused and direct; they were never this beautiful.
Speaking of charisma, Sam's finally brought the bag of money to Maryann's crazy house. Karl the Pig Manservant, with an awesome weird accent, notes that she was expecting him last night. "Uh, yeah, there was a bit of a... A murder in my parking lot?" Karl motions him in and says he'll look for Maryann. Her house is self-consciously eclectic, a bricolage of cultures, the sensuous and the playful. Beautiful and irritating in a very specific Rachel Getting Married, upper-class, Maggie Gyllenhaal way. There's an underlying theme but we can't see it yet; by the time you do, it's too late. His eyes fall on a classic Mycenaean phi statue on one table that he remembers, a goddess with arms curved up over her head, calling the dead to life and the living to abandon. Her body is a knife.
It was windy. The puppy came out of the forest and ran toward a house, in through the doggy door. It was as though the house simply sprang up in his path; called into existence, perhaps, by his need and the curious divides and gaps within his soul. The puppy stood on two legs, and was Sam. He'd been traveling for a while, all alone, hunting for scraps, stealing in the dead of night to stay alive; he was an abomination, on the run. On the table was a sumptuous spread, and it smelled so good and it was so beautiful he chomped down a turkey leg without thinking twice. Later, as he crept naked through the house, quietly filling a bag with the most expensive looking of her forest of too many things, the statues and the dollies and the masks and objets, his eyes fell on a classic Mycenaean phi statue on one table: a goddess, with arms curved up over her head. Her body was a knife.
Sam was taken by the statue, he picked it up, mesmerized, and Maryann appeared in her nightie and robe, grinning. "How did you get in here?" He swallowed, terrified, with the goddess in his hands. "If you'd broken it, I'd be really angry." He offered to leave, and she laughed: In this weather? He wasn't even wearing clothes. "You are very interesting," she said. "How old are you?" Seventeen. Practically hers anyway, and adorable. Her hands play across her lips, and she smiled. He stared back.