Quatrain HTML version

graduate students. But after he walked into the cantina and saw her 1,000-watt smile, her
beautiful thick dark hair and cocoa skin, he couldn‘t remember why he had even come to
South America. She was thin in the waist, big in the bust, and had a rear end that looked
fantastic in her tight blue cotton dress. She liked to dance and flirt and dazzle everyone
around her. She could speak English fairly well, although she regularly used a ―b‖
instead of a ―v‖—―you are berry interesting.‖ She often mixed up present tense and past
tense and could not seem to get the distinction between ―much‖ and ―many.‖ But when
she rolled her ―R‘s,‖ Morse was delighted. And the best part of Lola Carrera was that she
was crazy about John Morse, a boring, overweight, white-haired Philosophy and
Anthropology Professor, with nose hair and ear hair, and bushy pepper eyelashes and a
bad sense of fashion. The two shared a pitcher of margaritas and Morse never looked
back. After several months of letter-writing, Lola had managed a visa to Los Angeles to
visit him. They had married at the Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas two weeks
later. John and Lola Morse had gone on to have two children, Zach and Zoey. And John
Morse had been very happy.
Lola had been much more religious than Morse. Morse tended to believe in things
which were supported by evidence, facts, or at least a good hypothesis. He did not
believe in all-powerful bearded beings living in clouds, winged angels with harps, talking
serpents, or virgins giving birth. Lola had taken the kids to Catholic mass every week.
That was probably good, Morse thought, in that it gave the children some structure and
peace of mind. Morse would be there to help Zach and Zoey when they could reason for
themselves, and help them understand the Big Bang Theory, evolution and DNA. Morse
never understood how his wife could believe in all the Catholic teachings but at the same
time chart horoscopes, read Tarot cards, and bet the same six numbers every week on the
California Lotto drawing. The Catholic thing and the mystical thing seemed inconsistent
to Morse, but he wasn‘t one to quibble. He had a happy life and did not want to rock the
boat. When Zoey was just a baby, Lola had begun reading books on prophets like
Nostradamus, Jeanne Dixon and Edward Cayce, and she had become convinced that
certain people could sense future events. Lola had told him once that she believed she
herself had the gift of foresight. Morse burst out laughing. That was one of their few bad
fights. He had tried to reason with her, but she had felt truly insulted.
He did have to admit that she was skilled at reading people upon meeting them the
first time. She could usually divine whether a woman she met at the grocery store or the
gym was having problems with her husband, was interested in another man, or had
money problems. Morse chalked those up, however, to a keen observation of people‘s
facial expressions and body language, not psychic powers. If a woman came into the
gym with her eyes red and a sad look on her face, chances are she was sad about
something. It did not take Nostradamus to figure that out.
In August 2001, Lola had learned that her brother James was coming to the United
States for a visit. James had followed much the same path as his sister. He had wavy,
dark hair and beautiful features, and he had met his lover on a vacation to Peru. James‘
boyfriend Greg was an advertising executive for a large bank in Boston, and the two had
arranged for a trip to Provincetown on the Cape that weekend. Provincetown was a small
beach town on the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In the last few decades, the small
town had become a gay and lesbian Mecca. Lola begged John Morse to go, but he
refused. At first, he did not understand why he had refused, but later, when he honestly