Vicky’s life becomes both better and stranger. She doesn’t even mind taking the three wives to the farmers’ market. Maybe Vicky is hallucinating.
Vicky sat back in her chair, letting those feeling wash over her. Just then, Paul Fortek’s voice came very distinctly.
“Don’t worry. Nobody else can hear what I say. Just think of your response, and I will hear it,”
“Okay. You were a real hit with the Chamber.”
“I worried they might not want me among them.”
“They have never turned down a prospective member yet. You had them eating from your hand. It was a marvel to behold.”
“I am pleased you were impressed with my efforts. It almost appears you think I am worthwhile.”
If they were speaking out loud, Vicky would not have responded the way she did, but her thoughts often slipped out the door before she could put a leash on them.
“Perhaps your three wives should be getting some of the attention you’re devoting to me.”
“The three of them and I communicate constantly. We all agree helping you is a good thing. By the way, we saw how helpful it was for you to have a few pieces of currency. Your file folder now has a couple of extra bills, just in case of some need. Now you should focus on where you are. I think you have a customer.”
Vicky realized her eyes were closed. Opening them, she smiled at the client at her office door. “How can I help you?”
The rest of the day went smoothly. Driving home, she saw one of the Fed vehicles, but going the other way. Fortek was directing everything in the area like a symphony conductor. Meanwhile, everyone thought they were making decisions on their own. Vicky considered that, for whatever reason, she was one of the reasons for all of it. What she could not imagine was why.
She didn’t need all the money for the bakery earlier in the day and treated herself to shopping at the grocery store. Vicky indulged herself with some ice cream among other things. The in-store deli just finished frying some chicken, and she even got that. Her diet could wait for another day.
The next morning found her well-rested and deciding the file folder could stay in the truck cab under the passenger seat. Everything went smoothly. Even the traffic on the highway to Alma stayed a safe distance from her. That turned out to be the omen for the week, where everybody decided it was time to be nice to her and each other, at least while Vicky was around.
That wasn’t the only thing, either. It seemed as though several people decided to move their bank accounts to them. It wasn’t just their bank accounts, either. They transferred loans, credit cards, and a lot of other things that helped keep the bank open and profitable.
Sunday, Vicky felt pretty good about going to church. With currency showing up in her file folder on a daily basis, she decided to help the church a bit more, as well. After church, Pastor Harris sidelined her again.
“I know you helped Paul Fortek at the farmers’ market. I also heard you volunteered to take some of his people to it this coming week. After your challenges, that was a very charitable act on your part.”
“Well, pastor, you mentioned today that when we do good for others, it comes back to us.”
Pastor Harris nodded and reached into his pocket for two envelopes. “He sold all that you gave him. He took some out to repay you for transportation. That is the second envelope. The first one is for Mr. Fortek.”
The farmers’ market was Monday evening, and Vicky went to the Fortek farm right after work. Going there was her third trip, and it already felt like a normal thing to do. The driveway didn’t seem as bad this time. Maybe she managed to avoid the worst potholes. At the same time, Fortek and his light show might have done a little magic out here, as well.
By the house, Fortek directed Vicky to back up to an outbuilding. There, the three wives immediately began loading the truck with the two flavors of amaranth leaves. The young leaves could be used as-is in salads. The mature leaves needed to be cooked, and were much like spinach. Vicky heard some people say they preferred the taste of the amaranth to spinach.
Product continued to load, and while Vicky was aware that the kind man in Holdrege was able to sell all she took to him, it was hard to imagine whichever of the three wives decided to go, being to sell everything there. It just seemed too optimistic. Blondie got in with Vicky, solving that part of the question. At the same time, however, the truck rocked slightly. Looking through the rear window, Vicky saw the other two wives were in back.
“We aren’t allowed to let people ride in the back,” Vicky mentioned to Blondie. “It’s against the law.”
“How about when people arrive in town with no visible means of transportation? That would seem to violate any number of things you consider natural laws. What about currency materializing inside a closed file folder located under the seat of a locked vehicle?”
Vicky shook her head. “None of it makes any sense. At the same time, I can see that’s how it is. Will Mr. Fortek join us?”
“I don’t think so.”
Vicky avoided the bumps on the way back to the road. Almost immediately, one of the sheriff’s deputies pulled up beside her.
“You got that old truck running surprisingly well,” he commented, looking at Vicky as though she was the only one in the cab.
“Yeah, it was a stroke of luck being able to get it running. Is there anything I can help you with, deputy?”
“No, it has been a quiet day. Have a good one and drive safely,” he concluded as he walked back to his car.
“I will do that. Thank you,” Vicky said to the man’s back.
Then she turned to Blondie, sitting with a knowing look on her face. “I don’t suppose it would do any good to ask how you did that.”
“He didn’t expect to see anybody but you, so we fulfilled his expectation. It was very simple. Your magicians do it all the time.”
Vicky did not feel any better informed. “I should get your names.”
“You already gave us names,” came the reply. “You think of me as Blondie. The others are Raven and Red. Those names will work as well as anything I might tell you, and you will continue to think of us in those terms in any case.”
Vicky got the truck moving before she said anything else. “The three of you being able to access my mind whenever it suits you is weird. Communicating when you are somewhere else is one thing. This is something else altogether.”
“There is nothing to it. You think of yourself as substantial when there is so much space between your various elements. Most of the universe can pass through you without your even being aware of it.”
“Just when I think I have a handle on things, it’s the Twilight Zone again.”