You'll only find the doctor between corners, is what the neighboors used to whisper. He lived in the shack at the bottom of the street, the one with those awful gothic frames on the doors, and could barely stand its own weight. It had been built by
the youngest son of the Morales, who proclaimed that it was experimental architecture. The only experiment that would come out of the little joke for a house would be what his father'd do to him when he found out what Morales did with the money he'd lent him for college. In any case, the young artist had shut everyone's mouth when he shook hands with Eustaquio Dubois, the now owner of the mausoleum dressed as a home.
At first the stranger caused fascination among the neighbors, with his vermilion suits and Apollonian profile.
A doctor? What type? From which place? Who sends him?
They got used to having none of their questions answered. In part because the doctor was mute, but mainly because it seemed he liked to play the part of the tortured genius. And as the months went by, they also got used to the fact that the only place that they could marvel at his clear eyes would be through his windows.
The tall figure of the doctor began in the main room and ended in the door jambs. When the children walked towards the institute, they took the opportunity to snoop in. Still in his evening gown, he paced the study, his bulging eyes fixed on maps, scrolls and fat tomes. Each and every morning a cup of coffee was perched on the French desk, expecting a fate of being forgotten at best. At worst, it ended up spilled over poems written in Latin.
When Elena returned from the office, the doctor obsessively observed the patterns on his walls, trying to hold back tears. Still in his evening gown, and with an infinite tenderness, he craded his essays towards his chest with one hand. With the other, he held a half-empty, or half-filled, bottle of whiskry. On some afternoons, he soaked the papers with his drink of preference with the same delicaly, and set them on fire. Once, Elena made the mistake of crossing eyes with the man while on this task. She'd never wanted to talk about it, but inside the clear eyes she found nothing.
And in the early mornings when the Centipede returned from a trip, Eustaquio rested in the frame on the open windows, the closest thing to human contact he performed those days. Dressed in one of his beloved suits, with gummed hair and ash-stained hands, he directed the traveler a distant salute. For his part, the Centipede felt his stomach knotting each time he passed by, the clear eyes too similar to those of his sister. He wouldn't be surprised if he peeked in one morning and found the whole body stained with ash. They could never get rid of the smoke stench in Fatima's body.
The centipede did not have the time or the brain to heal people, that was for certain. Even so, it was an early February morning, the anniversary of The Fire, when he took one of Eustaquio's frail hands, and brusquely cleaned it with his handkerchief.
"Lock yourself in if you want, but don't play with that,"he snapped, not aware of the tears that had been accumulating in his eyes for two years, finally slipping down free. "Don't play with that."
They remained silent for a few moments, for a few hours. The centipede did not heal people, Eustaquio had barely reacted. But in the early hours of the morning, one can ignore these things to concentrate on the melody of the cicadas. One can gaze at the shadows hiding inside the street lanterns. One can pretend Nine Abadón is piece of lost world. One can smell the stories, speak to the demons that inhabit it.
When he'd made his decision, the doctor turned towards the Centipede with lost eyes. He put his clean hand toward his chin, and made a gesture of pushing with the back of it, an imperceptible smile on his lips.
With this, ends the little Nine Aabadón series. There are many other chapters, but I didn't bother to capture and write them down. Hope anyone who reads it enjoys.