Shadowed: Chapter 9: Felicia Again
A few chapters ago, Pudgy Jack told Paul “how limited our resources are, especially space.” It now appears that Pudgy Jack is a big fat liar, because the Apostle family is immediately given “a den of two rooms with a bathroom down the hall.” It has “privacy, ample bedding, and seating.” Because Hell forbid that our hero reside in anything even mildly uncomfortable for a even a little while.
(Honestly, does Jenkins even keep track of what he’s written? I spent most vacations of my childhood in much smaller hotel rooms than this, four people on two double beds in one small room, and now the Apostles have a small apartment while the parents have death sentences hanging over them. Pfft.)
Jae dozes off, praying here and there, “even” for Ranold and Aryanna.
Remind me, what did Aryanna ever do to her, except be really kind to her and her children?
And as for Ranold, aren’t Christians supposed to pray for their enemies?
We’ve been talking lately in the comments about Jenkins’ tin ear for names in specific generations, but it’s important to note that he also screws up common turns of phrase: Jack, another person born in the early 2000s, has this to say:
“I was never military or law enforcement, Paul. Education was my game.”
“X was my game,” is a phrase whose unironic use I only associate with Baby Boomers like…oh, say…Jerry Jenkins. Wanting to be sure of this, I even asked my own parents, also Boomers. My father said it’s a phrase he’s rarely heard even among people his own age, and even then, usually referring to actual games. (“Tennis is my game.” “Poker is my game.”)
Oh, and Paul tells Pudgy Jack that if Wipers squeals to the NPO, “They’ll be on you like Elvis on felt.”
This from a man who would be an elementary-school-aged child right about now.
All this discussion of generational phraseology just to avoid the sadness of Paul’s next conversation with Felicia.
Oh, but first! (I’m avoiding this for as long as I can.)
Jack has an exciting teaser for Paul about the underground’s plans in the wake of this global slaughter:
“Wait till you see what we’re doing with cars and dead people’s clothes.”
We won’t find out for a couple of chapters yet what this is, but trust me: just when you think these people can’t get any more monstrous, they manage it. In fact, this book has a passage (much later) that is the only time in the whole series that my mouth actually dropped open in shock and horror.
Sigh. Okay, enough stalling. On to Felicia.
Paul calls her, and she’s working despite the fact that her son has been dead for only a few hours. I can’t decide if this makes her really dedicated, really being deep in denial, or if Jenkins just forgot what he did to her again.
“I mean, c’mon, Paul, widespread death is pretty hard to argue with.”
“Well, if there’s no God, who killed all the men?”
That’s Felicia talking. She never references her son as an individual, we don’t even know his name, and she refers to his death only as one of the “widespread” ones. Her boy was one of “all the men.”
I’m going with Jenkins forgetting.
Under the circumstances, Felicia is astonishingly forgiving of Paul never saying a word to her about God or the fact that he was a double agent. She excuses everything Paul ever didn’t say to her, even concluding “we still love each other in spite of it all.”
I don’t think Paul is capable of loving anyone, Felicia. Just sayin’.
Oh, and if you think that Paul is calling his good friend and coworker to commiserate or apologize or express sympathy, you probably haven’t been reading these critiques for very long. Paul just wants Felicia’s help. Because he hasn’t done enough for her yet, what with praying for the death of her kid and all.
All he wants right now is for this griefstricken mother to access a file on our pal, Roscoe Wipers. Felicia is pretty okay with this, and says straight up that it’s because she’s scared of God and thinks she’ll be “in trouble” with him if she doesn’t help Paul.
Paul, sensitive as always, has this to say:
“I’m not sure that’s the best motive, Felicia, but I do need your help and have to trust you.”
Yeah, Felicia, how dare you not have “the best motive” when you’ve just discovered that you live in a world with God who will slaughter innocents on the whim of his followers!
Man, almost-RTCs are so dumb sometimes!