It's been over a year since I was poking around in the cellar and found the book Sex and the Single Girl by Helen Gurley Brown. "The unmarried woman's guide to men," it said.
Back then I was almost willing to exclude Grandma from the likely suspects who could've owned this book. But the dates, the fact that my aunt and mom were both out of the house well before 1963, led me to one inescapable conclusion: Grandma was a lech. Or at the very least, scientifically interested in affairs of the heart.
The "True Confessions," "True Stories," "Secrets" magazines that were always around the house also factored in as a clue.
I put it out of my mind, that book, since Grandma and Grandpa had been married forever, so why would she want or need an "unmarried woman's guide to men"? Unless, unless, you see the pieces are falling into place. The whole thing with the Grange Brotherhood or Sisterhood (more likely at this point), the sex games designed to ensnare and kill foolish young men, the Peruvian queens, a dynasty the extent of which I haven't begun to discern. These things can't be merely coincidental.
And both my grandparents were in with the grange people all those years ago. Until whatever it was that separated them and put them in disfavor or semi-disfavor with the group. Then it was hardly ever mentioned. Except I knew we avoided the countryside like the cooties. And I remember Grandpa oftentimes had a cold shudder go up his spine that even people unfamiliar with him could feel across town. I could feel it. That's why they kept me out of kindergarten till the following spring. I had some kind of rare, congenital frostbite.
Anyway, if the Grange Sisterhood is trying to keep all this hidden from me, they're not going about it in a very good way. It's more likely, since I was invited into Lemuel's home and was present when Peru and Lemaperu were dressed in full royal garb, that I'm meant to be in on it. For whatever reason. Breeding purposes, I'm thinking. Possibly recruiting. Or taking over the horses. I just don't know. Maybe no real reason. Maybe they just want to rub my face in it because they can.
But Grandma sleeps on. There's no way she's in on this at this point. Unless she's-- No, that's crazy talk. Able to separate from her body? That's total nonsense. But what keeps her alive? And how come I never see bedsores? What's she made of, linoleum?