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Twins in Death: Chapter Six – Part Four

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Six: To Plan a Meeting

 

 

 

October 17th, 1405

10:21 a.m.

 

            Lau Chan came to watch his students at their water filling and found a strange device at work. It looked like a long wooden pipe that stretched from the river, all the way up to the well. There were large wheels, and wooden gears attached to it and two of the students were turning the gears while the new student and the youngest student, a serious fellow called Ryu hammered at the sides of the pipe. As the other two students, Samo and Lui wound at the wheels, water spilled intermittently out of the front of the box. The well was already nearly full, which would normally take half the day.

 

            “What is this?” Lau Chang asked.

 

            “He made it.” Samo said tilting his head back towards the new student.

 

            “He told us how, we all did it.” Lui said.

 

            “Ah.” Lau Chang said and began to walk down the hill where Ryu and the new student were hammering.

 

            “You’ll get us all punished like that.” Samo hissed.

 

            “We’re the ones working the gears.” Lui hissed back. “We’re already in trouble.”

 

            “You better get your bucket.” The new student said to Ryu as he hammered at the nail that was holding the board that was keeping the leak back. The system wasn’t perfect, but it was holding up well.

 

            “What is this?” Lau Chang asked.

 

            “We made it.” Ryu asked.

 

            “What is it though?”

 

            “Um?” Ryu asked looking at his co-conspirator.

 

            “It’s a screw.” he said. “Invented by this guy I knew in Greece.”

 

            “Greece?” Lau asked.

 

            “To the west.” The new student said pointing as if it might be over the next hill.

 

            “Ah.” Lau said nodding. It was out there in the world that didn’t matter. “What is it for?”

 

            “It sort of carries water.” He explained. “Everyday you tell us to get water, and you hand us some buckets. I noticed you never said we had to actually use the buckets, it was just no one had ever thought of another way to get the water uphill before. So I thought, why not use the screw and get it uphill like that? You only specified that the water was to get to the well you see.”

 

            “So you built this?”

 

            “We did.” Ryu said defensively. “All of us. We’re all responsible.”

 

            “Shut up Ryu.” Samo moaned, but not loud enough for anyone to actually hear him.

 

            “You know generally I tell them to take the water up to train their legs, and bodies.” Lau Chang said.

 

            “Oh?” The Weirdo looked a little crestfallen, just like Oscar had instructed him to at moments like this.

 

            “You all built this?”

 

            “Yes.” Ryu said. “Samo cut down the trees, and Lui and I hollowed them out while he made the screw pieces.”

 

            “When did you do this?”

 

            “Over the last two weeks.” Ryu said.

 

            “How have you been getting the water to the well?”

 

            “Buckets.” The Weirdo said. “We didn’t have a better way ready until yesterday.”

 

            “And now he yells.” Samo whispered to Lui.

 

            “Amazing.” Was what Lau Chang actually said though. “How does it pull the water up hill though? Water runs down hill.”

 

            “The screw makes little pockets.” The Weirdo said. “It’s like having a bunch of cups drawing up. I can draw you a diagram.”

 

            “Yes.” Lau said. “I think we have enough water for now Samo. Maybe today you should have some money and go into town.”

 

            “Really?” Samo said, waiting for the old man’s iron hard hand to come swinging.

 

            “Yes.” Lau said, with a tone of voice that clearly said the hard hand wasn’t coming. “In order to not do the work I’ve assigned you’ve done twice as much work. I think this is the most commendable teamwork I’ve ever heard of. We shall take a few days off.”

 

            “Really?” Samo still seemed a little worried that the truth was going to hit him in between the eyes in the form of the old man’s hand.

 

            “Yes.” The old man said. “Anyone who does twice the work to avoid the work deserves a little time off.”

 

            The three young men walked off, but the new student waited and watched them go. Lau Chang looked at him as he watched his fellow students move off before the master changed his mind. He gave them each a few coins with which to amuse themselves in town and each of them took the money and nodded happily.

 

            “Did you just turn my little victory into a defeat?”  he asked.

 

            “Yes.” The old man said smiling. “Do you think any of them noticed?”

 

            “No.” He said. “They noticed you said they could have some money as a reward and a few days off.”

 

            “Remember these sorts of lessons then.” Lau Chang said. “I think you’ll find them as instructive as any fighting style I can teach you.”

 

            “Yeah.” he said nodding.

 

            “Come, show me how this screw works.”

 

            “Sure.” The Weirdo said. “I can dismantle it and show you as we go along.”

 

            “And spoil all the work?’ Lau Chang said. “Oh no, we’ll keep it. I’ll just have them march up and down the stairs out of spite from now on.”

 

            “Nice to know nothing has changed.”

 

            “You must work the legs and arms.”     

 

            “Actually you get a good workout on the arms cranking.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “We shall see.”

           

 

October 23rd, 2002

11:34 p.m.

 

            “It’s disgusting in here.” The man dressed all in gray said, as he looked at the man in the red leather.

 

            “Is it?” He asked, looking around at the room.

 

            “It’s positively squalid. It looks like the set of The Young Ones.” The man in gray said. “I expect to be called a bastard at any moment.”

 

            He was sitting on the floor with one long leg extended one knee was bent and his foot on the ground. His wrist was resting on his knee, the straight razor glinting in the dim light of the room. He had cleaned it, polished it, and sharpened it so carefully, just like the voices had told him to. Now it gleamed, almost with an inner light of its own. It was a thing of beauty, a perfectly honed blade, so sharp it could cut time in half. He was looking at it when the Gray Man had come.

 

            “You’ve still got the blood on your face.”

 

            “I know.” He said.

 

            “How are you ever going to make a stand against him?” The gray man asked. “That ruse was pathetic, and you know it.”

 

            “Would have caused doubt.” Our still unnamed killer said. “If that little shit Davey hadn’t caused that trouble.”

 

            “No it wouldn’t.” The gray man said. “Even if you could start the doubt, he’s got diplomatic immunity. The best they could do is try to have his protection revoked and Jorgaes is the only person who could do that and he’s not going to.”

 

            “So what do you suggest? You’re so goddamn smart.”

           

            “Call him and challenge him directly.” The gray man suggested. “Give him a place where he can see you, come face to face with him.”

 

            “He wouldn’t come.” The man on the floor said.

 

            “Yes he will. If you make is someplace public and tell him what you’ll do if he doesn’t.” He felt a knot tie itself in his belly. He had to make these suggestions, but he didn’t have to like it.

 

            “Someplace like Rockefeller?”

 

            “Sure, that’ll do.” He said, wishing that he didn’t have to have this conversation. “You call him up, you tell him everything you know, and you get this thing going. If you wait until the winter comes, your little soldiers you’ve spent the summer building up will get bored and they won’t be with you anymore.”

 

            “Okay.” The man said nodding. “You have a number?”

 

            The gray man took a slip of paper out of his pocket and set it down on the table he was standing next to. He put it there because it was about the only available surface. There was a small bag of what looked like hash, but might have been oregano and some zigzag papers. He didn’t actually touch the table. He placed the paper down without having to actually come in contact with whatever might be on the table. He wanted to minimize his contact with this place.

 

            “Don’t roll it up and smoke it.” He suggested.

 

            “No Dad, I won’t.” The man on the floor said with annoyance.

 

            He turned away and when he looked back, he was alone.

 

 

 

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

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March 4, 2013 - Posted by | Fiction | ,

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