Modes of Communication



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Scene Title Modes of Communication
Synopsis Eileen composes a response to Ryans' message.
Date January 28, 2011

Staten Island

Astor Loukas is deaf to the sound of the pen scratching across the paper, and to Eileen's thin and raspy breathing as she guides her hand with the same deftness and precision that her birds display in flight. A solitary candle flickering white gold casts strange shadows on the brick wall at her back and illuminates the page in front of her for the mourning dove perched on her shoulder, its eyes the same inky black as what bleeds from the pen's tip with every fine stroke.

He's asleep. Eileen will be too, soon, but in her own room. Her bedside vigils last for only a few hours at a time, enough that she can be satisfied his seizures aren't a regular occurrence, or at least not regular enough that his recovery is in danger of being postponed indefinitely.

She pauses to work some of the tension from her dominant hand and rubs the edge of her thumb along the inside of her palm in a slow, circular motion while flexing her fingers. This is the third draft of the letter she's addressed to Benjamin Ryans, its two predecessors reduced to silky gray ash after she burned them over the open flame. She could not tell you what the others said, but attempt number three passes a final inspection and concludes with a signature snapped off at the very bottom of the page.


I've given your request some thought and believe I may have a solution to your problem. I have, in the past, done business with a man named John Logan who once operated off of Staten Island, and while you won't be able to find very many people in New York willing to provide a positive character reference, I feel that he can be trusted with your daughter until the network can acquire vaccine.

I don't know whether or not he'd be willing to do this as a favour to the Ferrymen or to Delia, or if he'll demand some sort of compensation, but if the latter then you should tell him who sent you so he and I can make some sort of arrangement.

You can find him at a small strip club in Brooklyn called Burlesque, which he owns and manages.

I hope this has been helpful. While you're in New York City, I'd be deeply appreciative if you could stop by The Old Apothecary in Greenwich Village and ask Constantine Filatov if he's in possession of any Tegretol. More importantly: whether he's willing to part with it for an old friend.



Eileen sets her pen down and, before she can change her mind, transforms the page into something small and skinny between her fingers, which she ties to the dove's leg after coaxing it down from her shoulder and onto her hand, its pink toes curled tight at her knuckles.

She cracks a window and hopes that draft does not wake the man still as death beneath the covers of the bed.

Her message flies free.

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