Cain: The Search for the Gregori – Chapter 5

CAIN: THE SEARCH OF THE GREGORI

by K.J.Jackson

Chapter 1: Dark Dreams of a Merciless God | Chapter 2: The Streets of Rome | Chapter 3: The First Murderer | Chapter 4: Breaking Point | Chapter 5: The Kindness of Strangers | Chapter 6: The Vatican Vaults | Chapter 7: The Prisoners of God

The Kindness of Strangers

Cain emerged from the shed in the morning looking like a different person, his beard was trimmed as close as he could get it with hedge cutters and his hair was short and pushed back; the big man bent down and studied his reflection in the shed window, almost the ‘shop model look’ he envied yesterday.
“Oh my! Good morning!” A petite voice startled the murderer. Cain looked around and a little old lady was stood in her back garden holding her washing, presumably on the way to put it out to dry, “Were you sent by God?” The woman studied the giant, well-built naked man stood near her shed.
Cain, with little understanding of humility, stood tall, naked and proud, “Something like that,” he replied.
“Come inside dear, before the neighbours see!” She shuffled back to her door and hoisted her clothing basket back in to the house.
Cain took a moment, wary of the hospitality of strangers after last night; but after a moment he decided he likely didn’t have a better plan, being naked an all.
The little woman had started placing cakes on a plate and had the kettle on the oven, boiling. She barely came above Cain’s naval, she stared through faded once-blue eyes and her tanned leathery skin spoke of a lifetime under the Mediterranean sun; she kept herself well presented with a linen white blouse and navy trousers, her hair was alabaster white and permed frequently.
“Please sit, oh you’re so big!” So exclaimed, “Even bigger up close!” She grinned a large wrinkly smile.
Cain’s cheeks clenched at the cold surface of the plastic chair, he began to feel uncomfortable under the woman’s gaze, “Do you have any clothes?” He asked, abruptly.
“Oh no I’m afraid not,”
“I only wish to borrow them, I need to visit a friend then I will return them,”
“Oh, no. I mean I would never have anything to fit you. I have my husband’s clothes still but he was only dinky, bless his heart,”
The naked man sat and thought for a while.
“I feel there is a story behind all of this, do you wish to share?”
“Maybe, but I am in a rush. It is urgent that I speak to my friend first, but I need clothes,”
“I see, well. Let me think…” The little lady tapped her chin as she stared at Cain, “Ohhh! Oh I know, Guiseppe! He will have something,” Without saying another word she scooted off in to the other room; Cain followed, wary of her going to the phone. She put glasses on that were sat next to the phone and flicked through the little book on the same table, she found the number and picked up the handset; the vigilante realised the woman did not have a television in the house, confident she was not calling the police he made his way back to his chair.
“Big, very big!” She giggled from the other room.
The little lady returned a few minutes later, “My friend Guiseppe is a tailor and does have a section that specialises in suits for men of your… Stature. He is a good friend and he will be round shortly with some for you to try,”
“I have no money for your friend,”
“Oh, do not worry. I’ll owe him a few cakes or so,” She plonked herself on the chair opposite Cain and pushed the cakes over towards him, he waved a massive hand and shook his head.
“What’s your name dear?” She asked.
“My name? Err… Cain,”
“Ohh, are your family religious?”
Cain fell silent, and they both sat in uncomfortable silence for some time, until the doorbell rang. The little lady jumped up, glad of the distraction.
A man of equal stature to the lady hobbled in carrying huge suitcases in his frail, wobbling arms, “By goodness he is big!” He exclaimed.
Cain stood pondering the kindness of these strangers as he dressed in the woman’s bedroom, much like the people that have dropped money at his feet all of these years. He buttoned up a pink shirt that fit him perfectly and felt luxurious against his skin, the navy linen jacket that went with his trousers fit just as well; the little man had a good eye and chose the correct suit first time. Brown leather shoes finished off the ensemble and suddenly Cain felt like a man once more.
The kind old pair were waiting for him as he came downstairs, the woman inhaled in shock and the man just looked at his work with pride.
“Thank you, both of you, you are most kind. But I must go,” Cain said, truly appreciative as he examined himself in the hallway mirror.
“Where is it you’re going dear? If you don’t mind me asking,”
“Vatican City, that is where my friend is,”
The little lady played with a cross around her neck, “How are you going to get there?”
“Walk I guess,” Cain replied.
“Oh no! No no, that will not do! Here,” She dug around in her bag, “Take this, my boy, I would not have you walking that far to see a holy man,” She stuffed money in to Cain’s huge hands.
“I… I cannot take this,”
The little lady played with her cross again, “I insist,”
Cain stood in awe of the kindness for a moment, “Thank you… I never got your name,”
“Rosa, dear,” She stopped for a moment but continued to hold her cross, “Good luck, with whatever it is you must do,”
The murderer stared at her, wondering just what was going on in her mind, who did she think he was? After a while Cain just smiled and nodded before turning to leave the couple.
“Ohh! Hang on!” The little man ran back in to the kitchen and came out with a navy trilby hat which looked massive in the diminutive man’s hands, “Finishes the look off nicely!”
Cain accepted the hat and placed it on his head, it’ll help disguise my face and it looks good he thought as he looked in the mirror once more. The newly dressed vagrant looked back at the woman, she was smiling her wrinkly smile again, he did not realise it yet but that lady’s face would change the fate of the world in weeks to come; Cain took his leave, heading for the bus station.