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Twins in Death: Chapter One – Part Two

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter One: The Ballad of Captain Scourge

 

 

March 10th, 2002

11:45 a.m.

 

            The Weirdo should have had a better entrance to this story.

 

            It’s true, for someone with as long a history as he had, he could have come into the tale in a more dramatic way. This is a person who was shooting gangsters in the early thirties, had vanished for more than sixty years, and had reappeared three and a half years ago. In that time, he had run organized crime out of the city, hunted down an immortal serial killer and yet managed to be ignored by most major news organizations. He had powers, which seemed magical, and he traveled with people to whom the word wondrous could be used without exaggeration. All these things will be explained and expanded upon later.

 

            Bearing all that in mind, having him walk into an uptown restaurant is a fairly mundane and unimpressive way to enter this tale. Although it is fitting, since he rarely came to places like this. He was estimated to be worth something in the range of ten billion dollars as far as monetary wealth went, though this is only the educated guesses of a few people. As much money as he may have had, and as much as he may have been worth, something wouldn’t allow him to eat in places like this.

 

            He wasn’t the sort of person who felt he could eat in these sorts of places, something in his soul railed against them. He didn’t like the look of the yuppies, snarling at each other as they power lunched. The constant strain people had in these environments made him uncomfortable. They always had to watch themselves and each other for the tiniest sign of weakness. They had high power deals going on, the sort of things that could ruin companies and affect the lives of thousands. These were the sort of people who were important in the business world, and they were vicious with one another. He was not the sort to watch out for his place in any sort of hierarchy, and he didn’t like to lord his position over others, so it was pointless for him to be in a place like this.

 

            It’s been suggested that he was ashamed of his wealth. That he was like the tree huggers who claim to live off the land until you notice the checks from worried parents that come twice a month. The truth is very different, as it often is. The truth was that he had worked in the mines of Pennsylvania during the strike that caused Theodore Roosevelt to step into a labor dispute. He had walked with Watt Tyler and actually met Richard the Second. He had avenged Watt’s death at the hands of the mayor of London. He had carried two dying men off the field at Culloden, and stood in the trenches during the Great War. It has been said that when people like these claim they eat each other alive, he was heard to mutter that they probably only meant that metaphorically.

 

            It was because of things like this that the elitism of such places disturbed him. The room was filled with the false confidence of these men, who had only ever traded bonds or pork futures, talking about pressure as if they knew what it was. He knew what the real meaning of life and death was, and having those words bandied about over a two-cent drop in tech stocks disgusted him. He had stood in places where men like these would dry up and die within a few minutes, and he hated their sad attempts to appear important in a world that valued them less every second.

 

            Of course The Weirdo was the sort of person who could just walk into any place, but when he ate out, it was not generally at a place like this. However, she had asked, and there was nothing he could refuse her. Had she asked him to arrive naked and painted pink, he would have arrived so appointed. That is if he remembered. For someone with a photographic memory, things often slipped past it without a notice. He would remember later that she had asked him to wear a tie, but he had forgotten it.

 

             He entered the doors of the restaurant and scanned the room. It was a large but low ceilinged place, it felt confined and constricting. He didn’t like the low lighting effect that the place used either. It rather made one feel like they were eating in a cave and that they should all be wearing animal skins. While the primitive cave feeling might have appealed to the overfed business men, while they ate their over priced beef and drank over priced wine they knew nothing about, it didn’t help him as he tried to find her in the room. He didn’t really need his eyes to find her though. All he needed was to listen for her heart beat. He could tell where she was at all times it seemed. He was always drawn to her in a way. He moved past the mater’ de who made some harrumphing noises as he went past. The Weirdo heard, and made a mental note of the harrumph, but paid it no mind. He was not here for some waiter. He was here for her.

 

            She was already waiting for him at the table when he arrived, looking resplendent in a simple light blue pantsuit. She looked at him and smiled as he came to the table, his heart leapt to see her smile. He sat with her at the table and gazed across the table lovingly at her. He couldn’t remember a moment when she didn’t amaze him, but she was especially lovely today. Her chestnut hair was tied back with a simple barrette, and her amazing royal blue eyes stared deeply into his. He smiled at her again and looked down at the table.

 

            His heart pattered, and in that moment a face came floating up in his mind. The face of a dead child, who would never grow up to be like the beautiful woman sitting at the table. A child he had failed to save. He pushed the face away, trying to ignore the onslaught of faces that would often come at these moments. Yet the entire event, he knew would have to play itself out in his head again. It would come complete with diagrams and the six different things he could have done to save her. This would always happen whenever he felt close to happiness.

 

            “You forgot to wear a tie.” She said, and the face vanished.

 

            In fact he was wearing a blue denim shirt, a t-shit under it and a pair of gray pants that looked like worn cotton. He was the only person in the room who was so attired, the rest of the room taken up as it was by lawyers and other suit wearing type people. The Weirdo did not normally wear suits, nor was he generally seen with people who did. In The Weirdo’s world, suits spoke of pretension, not power. The thug who wanted to prove he was in control of the situation wore a suit. Suits were what little men who were afraid to get their hands dirty wore to show what cowards they were. He made a special habit of wounding these sorts because he liked to see the look on their faces when he proved they were not in charge.

 

            “Yeah but I wore real pants.” He said showing her the leg of one trouser. “Not sweatpants.”

 

            “Yes you did.” She said, trying not to laugh.

 

            The Weirdo could dress up, she’d seen it, but he often forgot when they were going to a place that required him to change his clothes, or he would talk himself out of getting into a suit. He could be very persuasive at times. She often thought he could talk the devil into heaven, if only he would try.

 

            The waiter came over and looked down at him, looking disdainful as he could manage at The Weirdo. The Weirdo had seen, or at least heard him come, and she knew it. He could feel the tiniest change in the local magnetic field, generally around seven feet away from him. He could hear a pin drop on a carpet in the next room, and he could see things before they happened. The fact that he didn’t look up had told her he knew the man was there and was trying to annoy him.

 

            “I’m sorry sir.” He said. “But we require a jacket be worn here.”

 

            The Weirdo looked up at her and without moving his head, turned his eyes to look where the waiter was standing. She let her lips curl up in a grin, knowing he would at least be on his best behavior. His eyes looked back at her and then his head tilted slightly. The game was about to begin.

 

            The Weirdo turned and stood up; he was about half a foot shorter than the waiter, who was six foot three. This required that he look up at the waiter as he stared back, and what a stare it was. The Weirdo had a way of looking at people that made them uncomfortable, it was the sort of look elementary school principles and police officers and other authority figures learn before they can start work. Those stares however are pale imitations of the one currently being trained on the waiter, who was just trying to do his job. It was a stare that could move stones on its own, and yet it was almost friendly.

 

            “It’s the…ah, dress code you see?”

 

            “Oh?” The Weirdo asked brightly, fully aware that he could make something sound dumb by simply failing to react properly to it. He also knew that by waiting a sufficient time he could make the person babble like an idiot and get themselves more flustered, by just standing there.

 

            “Yes.” The waiter began to falter.

 

            There was a long pause, in which The Weirdo simply stared straight into the waiter’s eyes. He didn’t look annoyed, or angry, he didn’t roll his eyes around. He simply looked at the waiter as if trying to understand a Frenchman asking a complex Geometry question when he’d only had a year of German back in high school. He looked as if he was getting maybe every seventy-third word the man spoke.

 

            “I’m here to have lunch see?” The Weirdo said in friendly manner. “With this stunning woman, now surely since I’m only here for lunch, it’ll be okay right?”

 

            “Well.” The poor waiter wasn’t holding up well under the gaze.

 

            He could feel some sort of threat, even though one hadn’t been made. In fact, if the other people in the restaurant had been asked, they would have sworn The Weirdo was just standing there, smiling faintly. For the waiter though, it was like being in a room with a tiger. He knew that while it looked relaxed, he was dealing with a wild animal. A sort of mixture of paranoia and panic rose in the waiter and he felt that if he relented this one time everything would be all right.

 

            “I’m sure just this once.” The waiter said.

 

            And then The Weirdo smiled his warm and feeling smile. It was the smile that told you everything would be all right, if only you’d listen for a moment. He looked like the sort of man who could encourage a small band of soldiers to take over the Roman Empire. He looked exactly like the sort of person who could convince an army to ride across the country to overthrow a government, while being able to claim it was all someone else’s doing. He could have led the world by now, if only he’d had the wish. His only wish now though was to have lunch with her.

 

            “Thanks, yer a pal.” The Weirdo winked, turned and sat back down.

 

            The waiter could feel the gaze lift off him like a weight, as if a spotlight had suddenly been trained elsewhere. He felt somehow glad to be alive and thought that just maybe he should just call the rest of the day in sick. It wouldn’t be fair to think of this man as weak, it was just that being so near such a dangerous object had had its affect on him.

 

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

 

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March 10, 2012 Posted by | Fiction | | Leave a comment