Patrolling the Stockyard.
"Betty," I called out softly. The pale, watery moons of her glazed eyes slowly made their way to my face, darting here and there in their effort to keep track. She blinked slowly twice, her partially toothless mouth half open. "Yes?" She managed. "Who was that man who came to visit you last night?" I asked. "Man?" She said reaching for her medication. Her trembling hands worked at the cap. I watched her struggle. What a cruel joke, to put Parkinson's medication in a child proof bottle. "Yes," I insisted,"he was standing in the doorway watching TV with you." "Mmmmdid he say anything?" She asked shaking out pill after pill from her endless supply. "No, he was just standing here, I almost ran into him in the hallway, I thought he was visiting you and Chris." "Hmmm what did he look like?" She asked without interest. The flickering candle light made the living room feel hot and close. Her makeshift bedroom was dark even though it was almost three in the afternoon. "He was a big guy, thick arms, kind of barrel chested, big guy, white shirt, denim jeans, I dunno, looked like a workin man I guess." "Oh," she said offhandedly, "did he look like this?" She held up a grainy photo of a burly man with a little girl. The cheap dollar store frame was coming apart at one corner and her wrinkled thumb was straining a running crack coming from it. "Yeah, that's the guy." "Oh," she chirped cheerfully, "that's my dad. He was here? I wish I had seen him." I returned to the attic where I had spent the night with her roommate/tenant, a girl I was seeing. "Remember the guy I told you I saw last night?" Her head lolled toward me lazily. "I asked Betty, she said it was her dad." "No it wasn't." she countered back curtly. I bit back my irritation as she took another drag off her menthol cigarette. "Well I described him to her and she showed me a photo of him so..."
The weight of her head tilting in my direction made her eyes roll before finding my face. Her mouth twisted to one side as she raised an eyebrow in a look that implied saint-like patience. "Hailee, Her dad has been dead for two years."