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Twins in Death: Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Thirteen

Returning the long way

 

Date – Unspecified.

Time – Unspecified.

 

            He had a name, but he couldn’t remember what it was, not that it bothered him that much. He was walking along a road, which as far as he knew he had always walked. He couldn’t remember ever not being on this road, or not walking across this blighted landscape. It wasn’t much of a place to walk really, not much of a place but he couldn’t remember anyplace else. The land was rocky, there was no particular source of light, the sky was a dull and nearly solid gray. There were patches of fog, patches where the rocks were slightly higher, but the land was lost. It was as if someone had simply known that ground and sky were necessary, but hadn’t had enough enthusiasm to make anything else.

           

            He somehow knew that he hadn’t been walking this road the whole of his existence, knew that he was going somewhere, but he couldn’t remember anything else. He couldn’t remember anything but this road, which was his existence at this moment. Oh, there was also the song, but there had always been the song. The song would always be with him, even if he couldn’t remember all the words, the tune would be in his heart.

 

            “Monkey, monkey, eating cheese. I’m dancing with a walrus, if you please. The monkey likes to sing and play. It’s a monkey, monkey, monkey day.”

 

            He was convinced that this was the chorus, there had to be more words than that, but he couldn’t remember them. He could remember the chorus to lots of songs, children’s songs. Then everything suddenly changed, without warning. He could suddenly remember a different song, or the chorus of a different song anyway.

 

            “I started out, with one guppy. Then I had a few guppies more. Now I’ve got millions of guppies and they spilled out onto the floor.”

           

He had a tin box, which contained crackers and tea biscuits, but he didn’t know why. It was a very ornate box and wasn’t heavy. He liked to look at the pictures that had been put on the tin plates of the box. It was an intricate picture that told a story as far as he could figure. If one started at the beginning, one could follow the story of a hero who falls and walks the higher realms. Around the middle of the box, right where the label saying that these were Grendel brand biscuits was a scene of the hero and a god sharing the biscuits. The box’s story went on to tell how the god later helped the hero gain his life and justice and lots of loot because he shared the biscuits. Marketing people are always doing things like this, suggesting ways to eat your tea biscuits so that they can sell more. These things always involve things like the suggestion that you share them with a friend so the biscuits get eaten twice as quickly.

 

            Still, it’s a nice idea, having tea and biscuits with a friend.

 

            He had seen the large tower from afar and made for it. It was not a particularly dark tower, nor was it very light. The tower wasn’t a mission it was just a destination. He wasn’t bound up to catch this tower, just curious. The landscape hadn’t ever changed, and now there was a tower.

 

            The tower was about five hundred feet high and sported a large clock face on its surface. He walked for that tower because there are always clock keepers and someone might be able to help him. This had meant leaving the path, but it could have been worth it. He couldn’t really get lost if he kept the tower in sight. If he could just keep heading towards the beacon of the tower, he’d be all right.

 

            It took a while to reach the foot of the tower, which he could see now wasn’t as tall as he thought, nor was it actually a tower. It was a large grandfather clock, and while big it wasn’t the tower he had though it to be. It might have been twenty feet high and the face could have been five feet across, but it wasn’t a tower.

 

            In front of the clock was a grouping of tables and workbenches. There was an old man working with some giant gears, trying to fix something. He was dressed in ancient, withered robes. He had once been a great figure, this much was obvious, but now he was just another worker. He had been taken from a high position and never given a change of clothes besides the grand robes he had worn when he had been made a worker. At this moment, he was a worker that was having a problem.

 

            He was turning a tool in a small hand held clock, his face turning purple with effort. The clock slipped from his hand, sailed into the air and landed on the ground at the feet of our friend rolling as it touched his shoes. The old God swore softly to himself, his once great and proud shoulders slumping.

 

            Our, shall we call him hero, looked at the clock as it rested on his shoes. Never boots, always shoes. Cump had worn shoes, and had passed the habit onto him. He had gotten used to shoes instead of boots, and it was shoes he wore from that day on. He couldn’t quite remember who Cump was, but he had taught him about shoes.

 

            The young man reached down and picked up the small clock. It was a sort of mantle piece clock, about the size of a portable tape player. It had a small brass plate under the clock face, with a name written on it. He couldn’t quite make his eyes focus on the name though. It could be that the writing wouldn’t sit still long enough to be read, or he might need glasses.

 

            He looked at the stopped clock, the body of which was made of a light blonde colored wood he couldn’t quite identify. The face of the clock had silver hands with small green stones set in the tips, and silver numbers. He turned it over in his hand, looking for damage. He then looked up at the old man, who was holding a tool in one hand.

 

            “Hi.” He said to the old man.

 

            “You?” The ancient white haired man said.

 

            “Do I know you?”

 

            “I don’t believe we’ve actually met yet,” The old man wiped his hand off on a towel and extended his hand, “How do you do? I am Chronos, Lord God of time.”

 

            “Hi.” He said, “I’m… I can’t remember.”

 

            “It doesn’t matter.” The old God said shaking his head.

 

            “You need some help?” He asked, setting the small clock on the table.

 

            “If you like.” Chronos said. “I can’t get this damn spring to work into its final position. Which means that this clock can’t start, and this little one won’t be born.”

 

            “Is it a person’s life?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “You were expecting an hour glass? This is a very important person, at least she’s supposed to be.” The old man said. “The thing is if I can’t get this part into place, she won’t be born to do her important work. She’ll be still born.”

 

            “Well, I tell you what.” He said. “Why don’t I give it a try?”

 

            “Alright.” The old God said, handing him the clock.

            Chronos set him down at the workbench and handed him the tool. There was a moment when Chronos thought he might not be able to do it. He had that look on his face as he twisted the piece into place. An extremely long moment passed as his fingers slipped once and then twice. Chronos looked at the great clock and thought that this little one wasn’t going to be born, it wouldn’t happen. However, a moment later a look of triumph crossed the young man’s face and he began to wind the clock. He tapped the spring into motion and the small pendulum began to spin back and forth.

 

            A tiny tick, tick, tick came from the clock, if one listened they could almost hear a baby’s cry. Somewhere, in our hero’s memory, was an image he hadn’t seen yet. A small girl placing her hands on the face of an infant. The child was about five and the baby was almost herself at birth. There was then light and the memory faded. Chronos smiled as he looked at the clock, he was glad that the job had gotten done. He liked the idea of this young child’s work and what she would grow to be. He had particularly liked that this man had pushed the spring into life.

 

            He then looked at the man before him, he knew who he was of course; he knew everyone. His own clock was made of dark wood, had sharp steel for the hands and silver numbers set into the gray stone face. He looked down at the clock and then at him and smiled. The work was begun, and the child was alive and kicking. He took the clock and put it in a cabinet along with several other clocks, of every description.

 

            There were digital clocks, coo coo clocks, atomic clocks and more. There were clocks as individual as each life; that is to say that they were almost identical beyond tiny idiosyncrasies. He moved a small pocket watch over to place the small mantle clock on the shelf next to it, looking at the silver numbers for when it’s time was to run out. He’d have to hand it over to the Death Council soon, but not too soon.

 

            “Thank you, my young friend.”

 

            “No problem.” He said.

 

            “Is there anything I can do for you?”

 

            “Not now.” He said. “I’m fine, really.”

 

            “You’re sure?”

 

            “Not really.” He said sitting. “I can’t remember anything. I think I was supposed to be somewhere, but now I can’t remember any of it.”

 

            “I see.” Chronos said. “Why don’t I make us some tea while you think about it?”

 

            They sat together, sharing the tea. There was milk, and sugar but alas the God had to sheepishly apologies that he had no tea biscuits. It was then that the box was brought up. The god was very happy to find his guest had a box of biscuits with him. The guest was very surprised to find them on his person but couldn’t remember not having them. It was like finding something your mother had given you so long ago that you had forgotten it was there and were suddenly finding a use for it.

 

            Since he had the box of biscuits, they were eating them. They both savored the lovely English biscuits without discussing the fact that Americans would have simply called them crackers. There was even a bit of cheese that could be spread on the biscuits, so they did that.

 

            “Have you been eating them?” Chronos asked.

 

            “I don’t think so.” He said. “Why don’t you keep them?”

 

            The God looked at him as if he had offered him the treasure of the Sierra Madre and the Hope diamond. Not only had he offered this tin of biscuits but he offered them as if he didn’t much care about loosing the whole tin. The ancient God however, had been longing for a tin of biscuits for some time, some considerable time actually. It was the most important thing anyone had ever asked him if he wanted. If anyone had ever bothered to ask old Chronos if there was anything he needed he would have quickly replied ‘A tin of biscuits!’ but no one had ever ask him. This young man however, had simply offered them without the slightest hint having been offered.

 

            “No one’s brought me a tin of biscuits for some time.” Chronos said. “I shall definitely have to find some way to repay you, now.”

 

            “I doubt there’ll be a need.” The visitor said smiling. “It’s just a thing of crackers after all.”

 

            There was more talk, about what they both could remember, just little things, the sort of tea talk you might have. They talked about how nice the fields looked, and how the clouds were a particularly pretty color today. The entire world had somehow changed and now looked like a painting by an old master, just that much more perfect than real life had any business being.

 

            Finally though the young man finished his tea and couldn’t drink any more, he had had two extra cups out of politeness. He looked at the sun in the sky and the road, which extended down the rolling hills and cut like a blade mark along the green of the fields. It was odd that he hadn’t noticed the green fields before, but why should he? There had always been green fields, and that road. As long as he could remember he’d been walking that road cut between the fields.

 

            “Well I think I really must be on my way.” He said standing. “Thank you for sharing your tea.”

 

            “Thank you for the biscuits.”


            “I fear we ate most of them.” The young man said.

 

            “Oh no.” The God said pulling the box close. It was nearly full as only two biscuits were gone. “Things last longer here you see. These biscuits will get me by for a long time.”

 

            “Well I’m very glad to hear that.”

 

            “I think if you go down that way, along the road with the red signs, you’ll find what you want.”

 

            “Thanks.” the visitor said.

 

            “Oh and Weirdo?”

 

            “Yes?”

 

            “Thanks for the crackers.”

 

            “No problem.” The visitor said walking away.

 

            Chronos laughed to himself. If you asked the boy his name, he still would have been unable to tell you. However, if you called him by name, he could answer. Chronos opened a drawer and removed the dark oak-paneled clock that had “The Weirdo” on a small brass plate screwed to the front of the clock. He opened the clock and wound the spring, adding to The Weirdo’s life. He was the only one who could do this, the only one who could give life, and give time, to a person. All the others could do was extend the life granted, but he could add to it. He hadn’t given the clock to the Death Council so that they could smash it. Instead he’d kept it for the time being. He had conspired with those who thought The Weirdo shouldn’t die.

 

            Even though he was in league with those who didn’t want The Weirdo’s mission to fail, he hadn’t just wound the clock back, like Aphrodite had asked.  It was all well and good for Aphrodite and her conspirators to say that it was important, but he had standards. The fact that there was more than one group, working separately from Aphrodite’s group and for other reasons, didn’t affect him in the least. Chronos was an old God and had to know if he was getting behind a worthy cause. After a while, you learn that a worthy cause is all down to personal choice.

 

            He had never met The Weirdo and wanted to know more about him. He had to know that he person they wanted to preserve was worth preserving. If it was meant to be, there would be back up heroes, there had to be a reason for this one. He had waited to see if this one would be worthy of his favor, and a tin of tea biscuits had proven it. There were so many who had the opportunity to do a good deed, and none had. He was going to watch over this one, he was going to make sure he did well. He would never be able to give him as grand a gift as The Weirdo had given him, but Chronos could give some gifts, oh yes.

 

            The moral?

 

            Give the Gods your crackers.

 

            That is if a tale of this sort can have a moral, which we’re still not sure of to be honest.

 

 

October 28th, 2002

11:41 p.m.

 

            “Well, he be out of them woods.” The figure in the tall white robe said.

 

            The shorter black robe grunted with approval, looking at the body.

           

            “I tell you he would no be go that easily.” The shorter black robe said.

 

            “How long will it be take?” The white robe asked.

 

            “Flood gate open in three night.” The black robe said. “He be come back that for. They all be come back that for.”

 

            “So, we be wait, do we be?”

           

            “I guess we be.”

 

            “Hmm,” The white robe said. Then as a black bony hand reached into the white robe, the figure produced a pack of Hoyle cards. “A game of gin you fancy?”

 

            “Yeah, alright.” The black robe extended an ivory hand that picked up a writing tablet. “Penny a point?”

 

            The white hood nodded. “Right.”

 

            The black hood turned.

 

            “You done all you can.” The white robe said.

           

            “You might well come play.” Black robe said.

           

            “You’re sure?” The man in gray asked.

           

            “It now be just time.” The white robe said. “Come, I deal you in.”

 

            “I suppose.” He said. He took off his coat and draped it over The Weirdo.

 

            It had taken a lot for The Gray Man to bring him here, to make such a risk. He had to steal the body away though, so it could sit in this place of healing with these…

 

            To be honest he didn’t actually know what they were, but he could tell what side of the fence The Weirdo had been on. Now that he was on this side, they claimed there was nothing else to do, so he decided to play gin with them. He had been put off by their sudden change in speaking attitudes, but this had been the sixth time they had done it, and it was becoming less disconcerting and just plain annoying.

 

 

A place where the calendars are blank

An area where the clocks have no hands

The Weirdo’s Personal Time Line – Uncertain, Probable – 6 hours after Chronos

 

            There was nothing but the road, and the walker, but he had a name now. The landscape was largely barren, but there were tufts of grass and a forest in the distance. There was also weather, which made the walker happy for his trench coat. He could make out the gaily-dressed figure on a rock long before he came near enough to make his presence known. He saw the man hunched on the stone like a vulture, arms wrapped around his legs. He rocked back and forth and looked down at the old man curled up next to the boulder.

 

            The walker saw them both and wondered about them. The old man had a crown on his head and so the walker judged he was probably a king, while the other could only be his fool. Only a fool would dress in blue and purple pied colors and only a fool would wear little bells on his hat. The man on the rock looked at him with something that might have been reproach, not anger or suspicion, just reproach.

 

            “Yes?” The fool asked.

 

            “What’s with him?” The walker asked.

 

            “Mad.” The fool said and turned his head back to stare out at the nothingness that had previously held his attention so rigidly. “Otherwise he wouldn’t be here.”

 

            “I see. And you?”

 

            The fool turned back to him and unfolded his legs. This was going to be a diversion that much was clear. The fool regarded this newcomer, his long coat and dark glasses. The dark glasses which were slung in the neck of the shirt for the time being. This man was not just another of the lost souls, he at least knew what he was searching for even if he didn’t know that he knew.

 

            “I am a fool.” The fool said.

 

            “So for that you’re with him?”

 

            “Where the master goes, the fool follows.” He said.

 

            “How mad is he?” The walker asked, looking on with interest.

 

            “He believes that he is in a nutshell, and therefore the king of infinite space.”

 

            “Aren’t you mixing metaphors?”

 

            “Or at least plays.” The fool said.

 

            “Where is this place?” The old king asked.

 

            “Oh shut up.” The fool said. “God how I hate him.”

 

            “Then why stay?”

 

            “Who would watch after him then?” The fool asked.

 

            The walker said nothing, simply tilted his black haired head, which made a popping sound at his neck. He looked at the fool and regarded his bells and cap. He regarded the crazed king in a way, which said that he would not view this as an acceptable excuse.

 

            “I do not view that as an acceptable excuse.” The walker said.

 

            “I am a fool.” The fool said with a shrug. “It’s what fools do. Think about what you do. Think about what you are. ”

 

            The walker said nothing but thought about this for a moment. It was as if he were rolling a mouthful of wine around, trying to decide if he should swallow it or not. He then nodded, seeming to at least understand this reason. There was something to the idea that each must do what they do.

 

            “It is the role of a man to know what he is and then to act accordingly. I am a fool, and thus must act in a foolish manner. It is also in the fool to be loyal, and therefore, here I am.”

 

            “I see.” The walker said.

 

            “What did you do?” The fool asked.

 

            “I am Robin Goodfellow, also known as Puck.” The king said.

 

            He was ignored by both of them.

 

            “Something stupid.” The walker said. “I tried to be a scholar, a lover, a man of refined tastes and dignity.”

 

            “And?” The fool prompted.

           

            “And I ended up being a hero.”

 

            “No.” The fool said.

 

            “No?”

 

            “No.” The fool said. “You’re a child’s idea of a hero. You don’t see it, because you are inside the story, but you’re what a child would create if they wanted a hero. A person who is strong and good and right and most of all fearless.”

 

            “But I’m not.”

 

            “But you are.” The fool said. “That’s exactly the problem. You can do almost anything, but what do you really do? Have adventures? Save people, kill bad guys? To what end? You just exists as a fantasy for teenagers. Without a sense of moral compass or fear. No fear, that’s the most important thing. I must admit the lack of arrogance is interesting. At least you lack the strutting compassionless dick-headed attitude so many of you power fantasy types have. Maybe that’s part of the layering. You start as a pulp hero, then become a comic book, then you lie in state, then become a comic again, then a novel. After a while, the edges are knocked off.”

 

            “So what do I do? Heroing is the only thing I seem able to do.”hat do you really do? Have adventures? Save people, kill bad guys? Without a sense of moral com

 

            “Then you must do what heroes do, as I must do what fools do.”

 

            “Probably.”

 

            The walker began to walk again and the fool looked after him as he went.

 

            “I must say that I have learned the importance of being earnest.” The crazed king said.

 

            “Wrong play, wrong century, wrong genre, wrong writer.” The fool said.

 

            “T’was Briliag and the slythie toads?” The king asked.

 

            “Wonderful, you’ve now back slid into poetry, it’s not even a play.”

 

            “I’m looking for a man who calls himself Bucho.” The king retorted in a bad attempt at a Mexican accent.

           

            “Oh do shut up.”

 

 

October 29th, 2002

12:51 a.m.

 

            To say Loki stank would be like saying Richard the Lionheart had a slight thing against Arabs. He had the slime of the east river caked on his body, there were worms trying to get out of his pants to a place where the filth was cleaner. He had fallen into the river and kept falling until he struck the bottom, and then he was stuck. He had been forced to struggle his way out of the garbage, finally managing to climb out of it. He had walked through the streets, looking like a creature of slime. Had there been a small wizard smacking him across the back of the head while he walked, we might be sued by Tolkien’s executors.

 

            He managed to get back to the room he was using until the day of reckoning, which would be oh so soon. He threw the door open and was muttering to himself as he crossed the filthy floor. He picked up a small Ziploc bag full of multiple colored pills. What was in them no longer mattered, just that he had more pills to fight off the other thoughts.

 

            “Fucking bastards.” Loki’s voice said as he opened his small bag of drugs and took two of the blue pills.

 

            He then took two of the red ones and then two of the white ones because he was feeling patriotic. All these pills, all these wonderful, glorious pills. He had read that taking the fifteen different pills he was taking would throw a person into repeated psychotic episodes. He took more of the pills, took them by the handful.

 

            Psychotic episodes, they had no idea. He was going to wash the streets in blood, and he would rape the women and children first. He was going to do it all and worse, and then do it again. He reached into his bag and came out, oddly enough, with a book of Norse mythology. Idly he flipped it open, and lo and behold, his own name stared back up at him. He’d had a few ideas about his name, but had never read up on it.

 

            Psychotic episodes: the state where a person looses connection with reality. A person in such a drug induced episode might have deity illusions, do damage to themselves or others, might even believe they’re the re-incarnation of a Norse god that legend tells was strapped to a few rocks while a snake dripped venom on his head.

 

            Psychotic episodes? What psychotic episodes? No demented killers here, just us Norse Gods. Just the Norse Gods and their slime caked books.

 

           

October 29th, 2002

1:45 a.m.

 

            Virgil stood with the machine gun held tightly in his hands, the silencer screwed to the front of it. He moved up the stairs as quietly as he could, aiming the gun at the ceiling for safety. He’d disturbed a drunk in the normal course of the drunk’s duties. People who lived in these kinds of places were used to machine gun toting lunatics. It was to be expected, no report was filed with the drunk’s union. He had come to the conclusion that he had killed the wrong man, and now he was going to set it right.

 

            He didn’t know what kind of damage he was going to have done by shooting The Weirdo, but he would make up for his mistake now. He would kill Loki and take care of the body. He followed the man in the gray clothing up the stairs slowly, the machine gun already warm in his hands.

 

            “He’s in this one.” The man in gray said.

 

            The gray man had lead Virgil to this place and he’d begun to think of this gray man as a sort of weird guide. He looked at the door and felt that a strong kick might turn the door to a pile of splinters, which gave him pause. Should he kick a door that would so easily give anyway? He wanted to kick the door, like they did on the cop shows. They had always done such things, but it seemed kind of silly and probably dangerous. Most things that looked cool were either useless or needlessly dangerous.

 

            Still, it was really the only way to get into the room wasn’t it? He was going to have to get in and shoot him. He kicked the door open and gave Loki a whole two seconds to look shocked before he opened up on him. It wasn’t out of kindness or panic so much as it was having to charge the gun up with particles. The red energy flowed into the gun as he waited. The energy emitters in his fingers zapped the gun with the energy, which made the gun glow slightly. Loki looked like he was about to run forward, and Virgil squeezed the trigger on the gun.

 

            Loki’s body danced as the bullets tore into it, the gun making a muted but surprisingly loud sound in the small apartment. Virgil kept the trigger down until the gun stopped firing. He wasn’t sure if he’d charged the gun enough, but Loki looked dead to him.

 

            Loki’s body lay dead, the blood seeping very slowly from the wounds. Virgil looked at the face, which lay motionless beyond reality. The face of a dead man can’t actually be faked by a living one. The muscles in the neck twitch and blood vessels move whether we like them to or not. Virgil picked up the single blanket off the bed and wrapped his dead clone brother up in it. He lifted the dead body onto his shoulder with the knowledge of a job well done.

 

            In fact the job wasn’t done, even now he knew he would have to send the body through a device that had once been used for CAT scans. He would have to submit the body to a high does of magnetism and then a certain brand of radiation as well. Only then could he dismember the body and burn the pieces to make sure Loki would not be coming back.

 

 

The place where dates are meaningless

And clocks have no hands

The Weirdo’s Personal Timeline – Uncertain, Probable – 10 hours since Chronos.

 

            The church was a large European styled cathedral, but he couldn’t tell what God it was meant to be for. It didn’t appear to be for any kind of god actually, it was just a church. He walked into the church and saw the single black robed monk in the heavy cotton cassock. The man was chanting, which is like singing. He was singing actually, singing the chant.

 

            “Sing a carmen of lamnia a Sinus plenus of rye , quattuor quod viginti niger pennipotenti baked in a pie. Ut Pie eram patefacio pennipotenti coepi decurro wasn’t ut a fastidiosus patella propino rex?”

 

            He thought that his Latin must be off, but no, Miss Parker would have never approved him if his Latin could get off, so maybe this fellow’s Latin was off. He wondered about that as well and thought maybe the fellow was just talking gibberish. It was hard to pick out all the words because the man had learned Latin from a worse teacher than Miss Parker.

 

            “Rex eram in suus duco domus duco sicco suus viaticus. Regina eram in parlor eating panis quod mellis. virgo eram in ortus pensilis sicco induviae , ut down venit a niger bird quod snipped off suus nose.”

 

            No, that was Sing a Song of Sixpence though this man had just used a word for coin instead. The walker wanted to ask the man why he was singing such a thing when the next chant began, and he didn’t feel he could interrupt it.

 

            “Sedecim men in a mortuus man’s scrinium. Yo eia eia quod a solum of rum. Yo eia yo eia. A pirate’s vita mihi.”

 

            “Now wait a minute.” The walker said and approached. “That’s not even very good Latin.”

 

            “Sol solis eram rutilus in profundum, Rutilus per totus suus vires: Is did suus valde optimus facio unda teres quod perspicuus – Quod is eram odd , quoniam is eram Medius nox noctis.”

 

            Back at the tower, a hand turned a key gently to rewind a spring. It had to be done carefully, lest the owner become hurt by the wound down spring winding up again. To wind a person up is a difficult thing, if one wants it to be done properly.

 

            “No, no no.” The walker said approaching. “You will not be doing Lewis Carrol poems to your little chant.”

           

            He grabbed the monk by the shoulders and spun him around.

           

            “Hic , quis vestri fucking venatus caliga?” The monk asked.

 

            The walker had to extend his mind out and read the man’s mind “Here, what’s your fucking game mister?”

 

            “Vestri latin est non bonus.” The walker said. “And you’re speaking crap besides.”

 

            “Puteus they couldn’t reperio a valde bonus progressio ut reddo mihi.”

 

            “Do you even know what the hell you’re saying?”

 

            “Nullus.” The monk said.

 

            “Wir haben ein bettelarm Übersetzung Computer.” Another monk said. “Bitte Erbarmen unserer arg Übersetzungen , bekommen nicht empören.”

 

            “You, what?”

 

            Chronos flipped the tiny pendulum, the clicking started, and the world came into focus for its focal point. The life that this clock had been made for came back to what it was. No longer stopped, but now back on track. Chronos looked at the giant clock, and made sure that it was just out of sync, so that he could be just a bit on the outside of the clocks thought. That was the way Chronos liked this one.

 

            “The Weirdo.” The Weirdo said suddenly remembering his name. “And I have to get home.”

 

            “Würden Sie gefällt mich zu vorsetzen Sie Käse nun jetzt oder auch eingeben Sie ein Glas über marmelade?” The second monk said.

 

            “I have to go now.” The Weirdo said. “Y’all are just fucking with me now anyway.”

 

 

October 29th, 2002

1:51 p.m.

 

            Virgil had felt himself a little lucky that the hearse was still where he’d left it. He had bought it for this reason, because the programming had done its job there. He pulled Loki’s body into it and was going to leave town, when his eye fell on the flyer.

 

            He re-read the flyer that Dale had given him. A party, a Halloween party, at a club. He wanted to go to the party, and he wanted to talk to the man Dale about things. About everything, about nothing. He thought the body would still be just as dead in two days as it was now. He looked at the body bag and drew out the small pistol he had taken from Loki’s apartment. His hands glowed very slightly as the gun was warmed up. He fired three rounds into it and got out of the car.

 

            “That’ll hold you.” He said, and walked away.

 

 

Dates don’t matter here

Time has no meaning

Even a personal time line has only limited meaning now.

 

            The Weirdo was walking slowly, his feet hurt and his head thumped. This must have been some kind of improvement he felt. Throbbing pain was at least a sensation. He had flown over this area the first time with Death. The sand had few tracks in it, from fellow travelers. Was it sand, in fact, or was it something else? It might have been snow, or sugar, or even cocaine for all he knew. It was grainy, and it had gotten into his shoes, and it was cold. Everything was cold, he felt like he might never know warmth again. He was glad he had his clothes, though. He hated to think that he might be sent back naked. He’d have to wear white later and talk about a damn ring. He didn’t really look good in white; besides, Tolkien is for reading, not living.

 

            “Weirdo?” The voice called out.

 

            “Hello? Yes?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “Weirdo.” The voice called. The source of the voice came closer to him. “Stay put a sec.”

 

            “Huh? What?” And then he saw the source of the voice approach.

 

            He’d never seen the face before. But he knew this face, just like you know death when it shows up without having seen its face. It wasn’t what he had pictured as a child, wasn’t what the religious kept trying to insist it was. He thought perhaps he should have pictured this though. He was actually blonde, tall and muscular. However, the face of the former archangel Lucifer was not a cruel one. It was a rather kind and forgiving face, the face of someone who had been there.

           

            “You didn’t want them or they didn’t want you?”

 

            “Pardon?”

 

            “You walked out on Michael?”

 

            “Uh.” The Weirdo said. “Guy with a cigarette holder?”

 

            “That’s him.” Lucifer said. “So, you’ve come to be found?”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said. “I’ve got to get back.”

 

            “Get back?” Lucifer asked, looking confused.

 

            “Unfinished business.” He said pulling at his jacket.

           

            Lucifer laughed softly for a moment.

           

            “I can appreciate that.” He looked around and tapped his fingers together for a moment. “I’ll help you for a favor.”

           

            “You should know something.” The Weirdo said.

           

            “What’s that?”

           

            “Before you play deal with the Devil with me, you should know which of us is Faust, and which is Mephistopheles. I never got the doctor’s part right.”

           

            Lucifer laughed, again. Not an evil laugh but the laugh of someone who had heard and appreciated a good joke.

           

            “Nothing like that.” He said. “I want redemption for my flock. I want them let in somewhere, anywhere. It’s damn hard trying to get anything in this place. As it stands now, we live like Bedouins. I just don’t want them to have to live like animals in the after life. I don’t know how you can help, and maybe you can’t, but try. You have influence with a lot of people.”

 

            The Weirdo looked at the fallen angel and then at the faces of those who had been cast out, for whatever reason. They all looked tired and sad, not punished, just forsaken. They stood together like a family who’s seen their home destroyed. They were tired, and they hadn’t been cast out for any really good reason. He felt sorry for them, and felt that they perhaps deserved better than this. He walked towards them and in a sudden reassessment it occurred to him that there were a lot more than he thought. There were so many in fact, that he wondered how many had actually made it through the gate he had avoided.

 

            He’d been told once that there were more people alive on planet earth than had died since the beginning of the human race. He found himself looking on nearly a billion souls, lost in a world that shunned them.

 

            “I’ll get them a home.” The Weirdo said not looking up at the angel. “I promise, you guys will get to a place of your own.”

 

            “Come on, I’ll take you back.” Lucifer said simply.

 

 

October 29th, 2002

10:25 p.m.

 

            Judy and Sheila sat with their suitcases open before them, neither of them had begun packing but it would come. Tommy entered the room and looked at them, they looked back at him. They sat looking at their suitcases and then at him. There was a conspicuous third suitcase he recognized as one of his open on the bed as well. That at least boded better than just the two suitcases.

 

            “Leaving?”

 

            “We don’t know.” Sheila said. “These things aren’t working out like they should. But if we do go, we want you to come with us.”

 

            “I don’t want to lose you.” Judy said. “We can’t stay here and watch you die.”

 

            “No.” Tommy said. “I suppose we shouldn’t just stay, should we?”

 

            “We don’t want to loose you, now.” Sheila said.

 

            “I know.” Tommy said.

 

            They embraced and Judy stood up from the place she had been sitting on the floor. She walked to the door of the bedroom where Bagheera was looking at her. His eyes were reproachful; he seemed to shake his head and walked away. There was something like disgust in his look.

 

            Judy wanted to call out to the cat, to explain that they weren’t abandoning things, that they had to look after themselves. She wanted to tell him that they would take him with them, that they weren’t going to leave anyone behind. She wanted run and to explain it all to him. She would have done this, but couldn’t bring herself to call out after a cat.

 

 

October 30th, 2002

1:45 p.m.

 

            Kestrel looked at the small duffel bag, still packed on the floor of what she had only just begun to think of as her room. She didn’t want to run again, to keep trying to stay one step ahead of whoever found it their business to chase her down. She guessed that was exactly what she was going to have to do, though. She wondered if anyone might come along and help her. She loaded the gun and slipped it into her pocket.

 

            She sat down to think about her options. There were bonds, hidden away in secret places. There were jewels and there was money, all of it hidden away for a rainy day. She could just go away again, fade into the background once more, and vanish like fairy gold in the sunshine.

 

 

October 30th, 2002

2:15 p.m.

 

            “Kestrel?” Tommy’s head popped into the room.

 

            “Yeah?” She said raising her head.

 

            “Well, Jack and Marla are apparently going back to England tomorrow. Judy, Sheila and I are thinking of running north, there’s a cabin there. I don’t know what Max is doing. I haven’t seen him all day. You’re welcome to stay here if you want. You could take a car and try to make it somewhere if that’s what you’re thinking you might do. You could come with us if you want.”   

 

            “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” She said.

 

            “Yeah, me neither.” He admitted. “I mean we’ve got an idea, but no real plan yet.”

 

            “I’ve felt desperate before,” She said, “But not so soon after feeling everything was going to be alright.”

 

            “Yeah.” Tommy said. “I’ve never cut and run from a fight in my life.”

 

            “What do we do then?”

 

            “We’ve all got responsibilities, we’ve got to ask ourselves what’s more important, sacrificing our lives or letting a festering city burn away?”

 

            “Personal sacrifice sounds better when it’s happening to someone else.” She admitted.

 

            “I saw some people sacrifice themselves in Japan.” He almost muttered. “They killed themselves rather that get caught, rather than fight intelligently. They built crap weapons and kept a battle going long after it had been lost, just so they could die honorably. It’s easy to die for a cause, it’s hard to live for one.”

           

            “So what do we do?” She asked.

 

            “We run.” He said with a sigh. “And hope the world forgives us. That is if there is a world to forgive us later.”

 

 

October 30th, 2002

10:25 p.m.

 

            Virgil danced to the loud thumping music in the club. He wore a glowing necklace that someone had given him. He was happier than he had ever been, which was saying something really. He couldn’t explain this feeling of joy; it was like nothing he had felt before. He held onto the beautiful boy he found himself in love with and danced with him. People were happy all around him and he was happy as well.

 

            The thought of Loki getting out of the hearse was more than fifty billion light years away from where his thoughts were. In fact he didn’t know where his thoughts were, because he had stopped thinking. He was just dancing with a beautiful boy and enjoying himself more than he ever had in his life.

 

            Loki was angry though, as he tore his way out of the bag and out of the hearse. He was furious, he was so angry he actually bit the tire of the car. This resulted in his having a massively bad taste in his mouth, which caused him to spit. Spiting had made him notice he was thirsty, so he went to find a drink.

 

 

The Door Way

 

            It looked like the front porch of a house, in a normal upper middle class neighborhood. The Weirdo looked around at the white and gray house and then at the great red door. The door was painted so brightly red that it looked almost obscene. It was like standing in nineteen fifties suburbia. The rest of the place was just like the sort of nice place you would want to be though. There were large oak, maple and ash trees, their leaves turning, falling gently from the branches.

 

            The Weirdo looked from the house to the Archangel, who was actually a much better guy to be around that most people gave him credit for. He looked at the door and then at the Archangel and pointed at the bright red door.

 

            “On the other side.” Lucifer said. “You go through this door and on the other side, is life.”

 

            “This works does it?”

 

            “Oh, yes.” Lucifer said. “Every time.”

 

            “Really?”

 

            “No, not really. Only one in ten people can even grab the doorknob. You must understand this is your representation of what’s going on. It’s a metaphorical construct of what’s going on. Even your great mind couldn’t handle what it really is.” He looked around at the neighborhood where they stood.

 

            The house was an upscale one, but not a huge house. The area was late autumn, and there was no one around. Lucifer found himself looking for the lone dog and newspaper boy that would no doubt be by soon.

 

            “Just open the door and walk in?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “That’s it, if you can do it.”

 

            The Weirdo reached out and took the door handle.

 

            “I guess I can.”

 

            “Just one thing.” Lucifer said. “They’re going to tell you Loki’s dead and it’s over. He’s not. It’s not.”

 

            “Thanks.” The Weirdo shook his hand. “I won’t forget this.”

 

            “I sincerely hope not.”

 

            The door swung open for him, the house within was like a thin, color faded reflection of the drab one that they stood in. The Weirdo looked at the archangel, who only nodded. The Weirdo looked through the gray light that shone through and a small pair of hands grabbed at his. He was pulled through the doorway by a pair of hands, like those of a small child. He could almost hear his daughter telling him to come on, that they were late.

 

            The Weirdo went through the door and Lucifer watched as a small blonde haired girl stepped out to look at him. She held her index finger to her thumb in the okay sign and he nodded to her. She smiled and stepped back, letting the door close on its own. The fallen archangel looked at the street and saw the young boy on his BMX bike, throwing papers, a small curly haired dog following. Rather it was the construct of a boy and a dog. The bike wasn’t a construct though. It was a literal BMX bike that had washed up on this shore, a piece of detritus from the real world that had formed the rest of the background.

 

            Lucifer watched him go, and then pulled a comic book from his pocket. The door was on the cover, and what he assumed was The Weirdo was shown silhouetted in the doorway. He glanced through the twenty-two pages of what was supposed to be called a story. It was mostly flashes of backstory, with parts of the conversation the two of them had just had interspersed between segments. He rubbed his chin and considered the implications of the testament. He then looked at the door as its light faded and the world drew back into shape.

 

 

October 31st, 2002

12:22 a.m.

           

            The Weirdo sat straight up and looked around, which is hard to do. Lie down on a bed sometime and see how easy it is to just sit straight up from a lying to a sitting position, not so easy is it? Yet he had managed it, so great was the force of re-entering his body after three days.

 

            His eyes felt blurry, his throat felt dry, and he couldn’t help but think that he hadn’t eaten in a while. He looked at the gray coat that was draped across him and then at the three people sitting at the table. One robed figure in white, another in black, and The Grey Man. They were playing cards, just sitting and playing cards. The figure in white had hands that were actually black and the one in the black cloak had hands that were genuinely white. Their hands were the color of their partner’s robes, not the white and black of human pigments. He was trying to work out how that worked for a moment, but he couldn’t make sense of it.

 

            And then The Weirdo, who was now part of an extremely select group of the risen dead, heard words, which put the entire situation of life after death into perspective for him. He had thought to hear the angels or possibly a demand for brains, but not this.

           

            “Gin.” The ancient voice sounded.

 

            “Damn it.” The sable hands in the white robe said.

           

            “You’re up.” The Grey man said noticing The Weirdo.

           

            “Yeah.” The Weirdo said getting up. “I’m up, I think, or I’m in a very bad student film.”

 

            He looked at vaulted ceiling overhead. It had a sort of cathedral look to it. The ceiling had paintings that were quite different from a cathedral though. The ceiling painting was of a battle in which two knights had stabbed each other. He looked around him and saw the hall that looked like a tenth century castle. It was very nicely decorated in a very old style. It was also completely empty save for the few people around one table playing gin.

 

            “How are you feeling?”

           

            “Where the hell are we?” He asked.

           

            “This is ah…” He ran his fingers through his silver gray hair. “It’s.”

           

            “Oh cripes.” White robe said. “Just tell him where he be.”

           

            “What?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “You be in castle on Avalon island.” black robe said.

           

            “How did…” The Weirdo turned towards the gray man to find him gone. “Where the hell is he?”

           

            “He do tend to be go at dumb time don’t he?” black robe asked.

           

            “Well, yeah.”

           

            “You need no worry about Loki.” White robe chimed in.

           

            “Why not?”

           

            “The one made you be go,” White robe began,  “did it by accident. He just get Loki, tonight. Gonna cut him into many different part and bury him in the desert. Gonna put the body part a few mile away from each other, if I understand the last thought he be having.”

 

            “I see.” The Weirdo said. “So, no trouble at all, then? Save the fact that the guy who tried to kill me is still on the loose?”

 

            “Oh, he no try.” Black robe said. “He did. You were go, but now you be back and all be well.”

 

            “And you no need worry about Virgil.” White robe said. “He’s going to make himself be go, or be go in a crash. The Fates were very clear on that point. Gin.”

 

            “Damn it.” Black robe said, adding in a distracted manner. “You’ll find a plane ticket on the table over there. You can get to London on you own?”

           

            “Yeah, no prob.” The Weirdo said, picking up the tickets. “I’m just gonna go for a bit of a walk”

           

            “Yes, fine fine.” The black robe turned to the white robe. “I think we should play something else. I’m losing too much at this.”

           

            The Weirdo looked at the two of them and couldn’t help but notice that their mode of speech had changed quite suddenly. He thought of asking about this, but deiced he’d be told that they weren’t really talking. That they were just a metaphorical construct or something, and he’d had enough of that answer for a while.

 

October 31st, 2002

1:24 a.m.

Stonehenge England

           

            He was clothed in his usual gray outfit, the one he always wore. His gray eyes swept across the field, looking out at the fields. He finally saw the lady he had been waiting for, her alabaster skin glowing in the faint light. He approached her, his heart thumping hard in the depth of his chest. She pulled her coat around her as she walked forward. She was beautiful but then she would be. His hand reached out and took her cheek in his hand. He kissed her and they embraced, her frame pressing to his.

 

            “He made it back, Aphrodite.”

 

            “I saw to it.” She said. “I just hope that all else goes well.”

 

            “I’m sure we can persuade him to do this.” He kissed her, again. “She’s agreed to watch it all. She said she has to understand what made him.”

 

            “Dose that mean all of it?” She asked, her body pressing firm against his.

 

            “She said she’ll start with Shannon’s killing if that’s what it takes.”

 

            “You’re going to take her?”

 

            “She says that she’s seen it, that I take her.”

 

            “Don’t you get confused with all this jumping back and forth?” She asked, tears beginning to slip from her eyes.

 

            “Time is relative.” He said. “If I’d had anything to live for before you, I might mind more.”

 

            “You’re not even one of us, you’re still mortal.” She said.

 

            “You just keep to the task at hand.” He said. “And you don’t get confused.”

 

            “Why do you keep at it?” She asked.

 

            “Because I love you.” He said.

 

            “There’s more than that.” She said.

 

            “Of course there is.” He said. “You forget that I have a stake in this?”

 

            “Have I told you that I love you?”

 

            “I don’t know if you have or not.” He said. “I don’t remember you saying so.”

 

            “I do.” She said. “I do so love you.”

 

            The gray man embraced the Goddess and held her close against the cold wind.

 

 

October 31st, 2002

1:55 a.m. (England- Avalon)

 

            The Weirdo stood on one of the taller rocks and looked out on the ocean. His body was still, rigid, and cold. He wasn’t wearing his trench coat, but a shorter coat. The fairies had procured it for him while they tried to sew up some of the holes in his own coat. It was what catalogues called a barn coat. It was canvas and had corduroy along the cuffs and collar. His fist was stuffed deeply into the pockets, which were for his hands. Another set of pockets resides below those and held his gloves.

 

            He wanted to leap away from the high stone. He thought it must have once been a main guard tower. He thought he could smash his body against the rocks below. Some archeologist would find this place eventually and would wonder why there was a man in a barn coat on the rocks.

 

            There was the tinkling of bells and a young voice behind him.

 

            “Why don’t you fly?” the small voice said.

 

            “Can’t fly, Peter.” The Weirdo said not looking at the small boy who sat behind him.

 

            “Of course you can?” The small green clothed boy said flying into The Weirdo’s line of sight. “I told you, just think happy thoughts.”

 

            “Or any thought that has great emotion behind it,” The Weirdo said finishing the words for him. “Yeah, I know, Peter.”

 

            “So, fly.” The boy said.

 

            “No thoughts left.”

 

            “There have to be some.” The boy, who always sounded a bit Irish to The Weirdo, said. “Maybe you should go to the mainland and find something. It might be worth your while.”

 

            “How, may I ask, will that help?” The Weirdo asked. “We both know that I can’t beat him unless I have some great feeling behind me. I can’t feel anything anymore. Nothing, no pain, no anger, no joy.”

 

            “When the first baby laughed for the very first time.” Peter said looking at the moon. “The laugh split into a thousand pieces, and they became fairies. Do you believe in fairies, Weirdo?”

 

            The Weirdo looked at the rocks below and wondered at this for a moment. Did he believe in fairies? He watched one fly by him, with it’s silvery glowing body dancing past. He knew if he said he didn’t, then that fairy would fall dead into the sea. He found something within him that he had thought died.

 

            Something that was small, something good, and something pure. Some part of the tattered worn coat he liked to think of, as his shield was shimmering in the darkness. Some tiny light deep in the darkness, and something that didn’t want the light to go away. Something that believed that a hero’s job was to save mommies and daddies and puppies and kittens. He truly felt that he didn’t want this fairy to die. He also felt the fairies fear as to what he answer might be. Of course if he was concerned for her life, he must in someway believe in her, which answered the question.

 

            “Yes.” He said nodding. “I believe in fairies.”

 

            “Then, that’s a start isn’t it? Once you believe in them, then you can believe in you. When you believe in you, then you can fly, and if you can fly, you can do anything.” The small boy darted into the sky and headed off for the second star.

 

            The Weirdo thought about this for a long time as he went for his walk. He came across a lake, which gave him pause. It wasn’t a particularly big lake, but it called to him. He felt he was waiting for something, but he couldn’t tell what. He needed his thought, and a happy thought would do better than an angry one right now.

 

            It’s at time like this that things happen to The Weirdo. He could spend all day explaining how life wasn’t like a movie or a storybook, and then one event would prove him wrong. He was just thinking that in a movie something would come out of the water and give the hero exactly what he needed. Thus was the way a lazy writer could…

 

            “Oh fuck me.” The Weirdo said as the arm of the lady of the lake rose from the bosom of the water.

 

            Her hand was clad in the most perfect shimmering samite and she held a loft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying that he was to wield this sword of swords. The hand flung the sword through the air and The Weirdo raised his left hand, which he was very surprised to find held a scabbard. The sword spun through the air and landed neatly and directly into the sheath in his hand.

 

            “I’m going to take this sword.” The Weirdo said loudly enough so everyone could hear him. “And when I’m done with it, I’m going to shove it up all your asses!”

            He felt peeved, but it was hard to be peeved at a moment like this. He had needed something to signify that it was all going to go his way. If a strange woman, lying in a pond distributing swords was not a basis for knowing you’re gonna win, he’d like to know what was. The Weirdo smiled a gleeful, little boy smile.

 

            “It ain’t supreme executive power,” He said, “But it ain’t bad.”

 

 

 

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September 24, 2013 - Posted by | Fiction | ,

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