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Irish pt. XLVII


Back in the suite we rummage around in the leftovers from the food Larry brought.

Ramona breaks out her iPad and tries to Skype Pete Moss. The rain has started back up. Not the bedlam of before, but a steady downpour. The WiFi isn't working and Ramona can't establish a connection. She fidgets, unhappy at being unable to Skype her beau.

The electronic door makes its buzzing, grinding noise and Desiree comes in.

"Good! She's here," says Desiree.

"What's up?" I say.

"They can't find Joe Bap. Larry is demanding a forfeit. The monks say Joe has just been misplaced in the confusion from the storm. Last I heard the casino is going to grant an hour delay to locate Joe."

"So what do we do?" says YoYo.

"Sit tight. Don't let anybody in the room. Don't let Ramona out of sight. If it comes down to a forfeit it'll be a huge payday."

"OK. Where am I gonna go anyway?" says Ramona. "Pool is closed and I don't gamble. I guess I could go shopping down in the lobby. Except I hate shopping."

"There you go. You could hit the mini-bar, but don't tell Larry. And don't overdo it. The match may still happen. You don't want to be tipsy, Ramona," says Desiree.

"You know I almost never drink!" says Ramona.

"I could use a drink!" says YoYo.

Desiree leaves.

"Anybody want to play Scrabble?" says Ramona.

We set up the Scrabble board. YoYo fusses with her phone and finds a music channel. She routes it through the speakers in the room. YoYo and Ramona want to hear the Beyonce channel. I'd prefer Junior Brown, but I'm outvoted.

We get through about five rounds of Scrabble and then there's a banging on the door.

YoYo and Ramona and I all look at each other.

"It's me, Larry, open up," says Larry.

We open up. A hubbub spills into the room. Monks, casino people, Larry, security guys.

The security guys start checking the room. Looking under beds, in closets, behind the shower curtain in the bathroom.

"See!? I tole ya! We ain't got him!!" yells Larry. "I demand a forfeit!"

The monks chatter agitatedly. The casino security guys look bored.

The chief security guy talks with the English speaking monk. The monks jabber among themselves.

The whole menagerie leaves the room and swirls down the hall, all talking at once.

It's still raining outside.

Ramona, YoYo and I return to the Scrabble.

The rain picks up. The lights flicker.

Lightening cracks and thunder rumbles.

"It hasn't stormed like this in 20 years," says Ramona.

We look out the sliding door at the storm. A figure appears. The sliding glass door squeaks open. Ramona freezes. YoYo and I are up at once.

The figure stumbles into the room and falls down. It's a slight figure.

YoYo and I reach it.

"It's a little boy!" says YoYo.

"What the....Who is he?? What was he doing out on the balcony in this weather??" I say.

Ramona comes over.

The figure is curled up on the plush carpet in a pool of water. Whoever they are they're shivering like a scared cat.

"We can't just leave him there!" says Ramona. She bends down to pick up the body.

YoYo and I snap out of it.

"Let's get him into the shower. Turn it on warm, not hot," says Ramona. I do as I'm told.

Ramona and YoYo bring the person into the bathroom. They maneuver him into the shower.

"Plug up the drain! We have to get a warm bath for him to warm up in!" says Ramona.

I flip the knob and the tub starts to fill as the warm shower comes down.

Ramona starts slapping and kneading the kids arms.

"Should we take his clothes off?" says YoYo.

"Yes, yes, that's a good idea!" says Ramona.

So Ramona and YoYo set to work removing the clothes. Which is easier said than done, under the conditions.

"Oh my god! His skin is like ice!" says YoYo. "Is he alive?"

"He's got a pulse. We need to warm him up ASAP before he gets hypothermia!" says Ramona.

Ramona and YoYo work diligently.

At last the figures eyes flutter open. They swivel around, uncomprehending.

Then they begin to focus. They settle on Ramona.

He mutters something.

"Whadhesay?" says YoYo.

Now the kid speaks up. Gaining strength.

"I am Joe Bap. Requesting asylum I am, please?"

"What??" Ramona and I and YoYo all say at once.