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Brothers & Sisters – Chapter Four: A Look at Family Life

This is basically an un-edited version of this book. There will be typos. There will be your/you’re errors, because I’m dyslexic as hell. Why am I posting it? I’ve more or less come to the conclusion that some major things needed to change, so I’m changing them. However, I like the old version and I already gave you Twins In Death in the old form, so have this one too. It doesn’t matter, the books are being re-written, so enjoy.

Brothers & Sisters
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay

Chapter Four

A Look at Family Life

 

 

March 28th, 2003

8:31 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo was pensively tapping out a rhythm on the arm of the chair he was sitting in with one hand. He was singing the words to a song that had just come to him at the moment he began to tap out the rhythm of the song. It was completely random the way this song came to him and should only be looked on as a detail of the true and accurate account of events as they happened.

 

            “There is a park that is known for the face it attracts, colorful people whose hair on one side is swept back.”

 

            The phone in The Weirdo’s pocket rang and the phone vibrated at the same time. It wasn’t a particular ring, or a song downloaded from the internet. There was no particularly large amount of thought that came with the ring tone. It was just one of the rings that had come on the phone, a descending scale that just went from the top down to the bottom of the scale. He had simply picked it because it was the least annoying thing on the phone. He pulled the phone from his pocket and held it to his ear pressing the send button that answered.

 

            “Yeah?”

 


            “You’re the last.” Jorgaes said, rushed and near panic. “Everyone else is dead, there’s just you left.”

 

            “Everyone else is dead?” He asked, “What about Lilith?”

 

            “I don’t know about her. She’s not my responsibility, you are.”

 

            “What the hell is going on?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “I have no idea.”

 

            “What’s the worst?”

 

            “You’re team is all that’s left.” Jorgaes said, and he could hear the crack of his lighter over the phone. “We’re prepared to give you full authority. Recruit anyone you want, something big is going on. I’ll back you no matter what you do now.”

 

            “I thought you did that already.”

 

            “No, usually I just shrug and tell them they can contact my superiors. But since no one knows who they are, nothing ever happens.”

            “Jorgaes.” The Weirdo asked calmly. “Don’t lie to me, don’t tell me you don’t know, and don’t try to get around me. Just answer the following question. Are you listening?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“What?” The Weirdo asked “The blistering fuck?” he asked  “Is going on?”

 

            “I honestly don’t know. If I did know I’d tell you. Just gather your team and recruit as many new members as you can. I think you’ll need an army.”

 

            Jorgaes then hung up.

 

            The Weirdo looked at the phone and pressed the end button just to make sure the connection was broken. He looked at the small device and then out at the wall across from him. For a brief moment he contemplated hurling the thing at the wall. He then slipped the phone back into his pocket. He looked out the windows and thought about what he should do next. He should blow the bridge and put up a fortress wall around the shoreline. They had enough stores to last for years in the house. It wasn’t like they had to worry about anything.

 

            He knew he couldn’t do that though; there was something about to happen. He couldn’t nail up the shutters and wait out the storm; he was going to be part of the storm. He didn’t want to be, but he felt he wasn’t going to have a choice. He didn’t know what his role was meant to be, but he really wanted no part in it. However, Jorgaes had used a tone of voice that The Weirdo hadn’t heard before. There was pleading in that voice, and it wouldn’t be right to leave everyone hanging like that. He was going to have to call in a little help, Jorgaes had made that much clear. He scrolled through the phone numbers he had collected. There were a few names he could at least try.

 

            He pressed the send button on one number and held the phone to his ear. It took a lot of rings but the phone was picked up. The voice sounded groggy, and slightly pensive.

 

            “Hello?” the voice was calm, but tired.

 

            “Michael?” The Weirdo said. “This is The Weirdo.”

 

            There was some sort of change, completely non-verbal but perceptible nonetheless. The vampire on the other end of the line had sat up, and was paying attention now. He was ready to discuss business.

 

            “It’s about what’s happening isn’t it?” Michael Darrian asked.

 

            “You know about what’s going on?”

 

            “I woke up this morning, and there were half as many people in Boston as there was the day before. I haven’t seen a rat for three days, and I haven’t seen an insect in seven. Something is going on, and you want my help.”

 

            “If it’s not too much trouble.”

 

            “Never too much trouble for you.” He said. “I can be there by tomorrow morning, I’ve got to look into one or two things here.”

 

            “I’ll wait for you.” He said.

 

            He looked at the phone for a long time before calling the other number.

 

            Cydrill Blackheart was an immortal and he had a small group of immortals that he had brought with him from his own world. They had passed through a dimensional warp to come to this world five thousand years ago. In that time, there were five less of them than their had been before, Cydrill had killed the Immortal who had kept Judy and Sheila as her prisoners. The Weirdo had killed one of their kind as well.

 

            They had stood in a circular parking lot, and with Michael Darrian watching, had shot at each other in an old fashioned western style shot out. The Weirdo had slung the black gun into his pant pocket and Carlos had shoved his two pistols into the waistband of his jeans.

 

            They had stood apart from each other in the circle, waiting for one or the other of them to draw. There had been loud chime music playing from The Weirdo’s car. It had been Christmas music, but it would have made Lee Van Cleef proud to know it was chimes all the same. The Weirdo had drawn first, shot Carlos and killed him.

 

            It was during those events that Cydrill reveled that amongst other things, he was The Weirdo’s great grandfather. The Weirdo hadn’t actually spoken to him since then. Not out of resentment or anger, it just never seemed like the right moment. He hadn’t even called Cydrill to tell him that Shannon had died.

 

            Now he was going to call him and ask for help, it didn’t seem right. He should have called to tell him what had happened in his life, not just to ask for help. He wanted to do better duty to the man than that. He looked at the phone and with a heavy sigh he pressed the send button.

 

            “Hi, Cydrill? Piedmont? Is Cydrill there? Can I talk to him? Thanks.” He waited fore a shorter moment than he thought he would have to. “Cydrill? It’s The Weirdo. How are you? I need a favor, and I think we should talk more anyway. Yeah, a lots happened.”

 

 

March 28th, 2003

9:01 p.m.

 

            They were dressed in purple robes, with large red crosses sewn onto them. Each person’s robe was a different style and design. It looked at though each person had been given two specifications for their robes. It had to be purple, and it had to have a red cross on it. There were robes, capes, cloaks, and almost coats. Not everyone had a hood, but they were all purple with at least one large cross. Some had a lot of small crosses, some had one large cross on the back. They were gathered together in a large church, looking at the woman on the pulpit. She had an ornate robe. It was made of heavy purple felt, and was sewn into folds that covered her face and hands. There was red lace around the edges, embroidery all about the cuffs and hood. She looked up at the group that was gathered together. If there was one unifying thing about them, besides the robes, it was that they were all women.

 

            “Our father.” The woman at the pulpit began. “We understand what is coming, and we accept our part in your great plan. We who have silently carried your wishes through the ages now accept our active roll in the war to come. We do this with heavy hearts, for we understand the pain and suffering that is to come. We can only pray for the peace which will follow.”

 

            There was a pause and she continued.

 

            The church was a large modern building, made in a time when the larger a church sanctuary was, the more holy and pious it was thought to be. There was a place for a rock band to play, and instruments were sitting on racks waiting. There would be no music tonight though, simply the celebration of their sisterhood. They had long stayed in the background, and now they would play their part.

 

 

March 28th, 2003

9:04 p.m.

 

            They were dressed in blue robes, with large silver pentagrams sewn onto them. Each person’s robe was a different style and design. It looked at though each person had been given two specifications for their robes. It had to be blue, and it had to have a silver pentagram on it. There were robes, capes, cloaks, and almost coats. Not everyone had a hood, but they were all blue with at least one large silver pentagram. Some had a lot of small pentagrams; some had one large pentagram on the back. They were gathering in a field, standing in a circle. A large fire burned between them, and a woman walked towards the fire. She had an ornate robe. It was made of heavy blue felt, and was sewn into folds that covered her face and hands. There was silver lace around the edges, embroidery all about the cuffs and hood. She looked up at the group that was gathered together. If there was one unifying thing about them, besides the robes, it was that they were all women.

 

            “Mother we welcome you.” She said holding her hands towards the air. “We welcome the natural world around us. We shun no lover of life or peace.”

 

            There was a murmur of agreement from the men and women around the fire.

 

            “We cannot however ignore that we have been blamed for actions we have not taken. We have been blamed for explosions, murder, kidnapping. We cannot allow ourselves to be painted as monsters when monsters we are not. We must prevent the deaths of innocents, and bring to an end the lies of our enemies.”

 

            The murmur of agreement came again.

           

 

March 29th, 2003

12:05 a.m.

 

            “Do you ever really think about God?” Marla asked.

 

            “I suppose, sometimes.” Jack said.

 

            They were stretched out in their bed, the blanket up to their waists. He was resting on his back, her head on his shoulder. They looked the perfect example of married bliss. The only real problem with appearing to be the example of married bliss is that in an interesting story, they never are. That’s why Jack and Marla are so disappointing; they actually are an example of married bliss. After nearly ten years they were still desperately in love and passionate about each other. Really, these two have been a constant thorn in our side. They refuse to have affairs, or even argue about petty annoyances. They actually talk out their differences and discuss things like civilized human beings. Obviously with two such uncooperative people, we can only manage so much.

 

            “What do you think about when you think of God then?” She asked.

 

            “I like Zeus.” He said.

 

            “Zeus? You mean the Greek thunder god?”

 

            “That’s the one.” He said.

 

            “I know you’ll be sorry I asked this, but why Zeus?”

 

            “What do you mean I’ll be sorry you asked?”

 

            “You answer the question and you’ll find out.” She said.

 

            “I happen to like the idea of Zeus.”

 

            “Why?”

 

            “Well, he had style didn’t he?” Jack said. “Got around, had lots of illegitimate children. I mean the Christians keep going on about the one time their god got laid, but think about it, Zeus had a son in every city. There was no end to the guy.”

 

            “And you like that?” She said. “Are you unfulfilled?”

 

            “I’m just saying that if a deity can’t run around and enjoy himself from time to time what hope is there for the rest of us?”

 

            “So you are impugning my sexual prowess?” She asked, straddling him.

 

            “Not at all dear.”

 

            “Shut up Jack.” She said lying down and kissing him. “You have unwittingly questioned the prowess of a woman at the peak of her sexual powers. If you live till morning I’ll probably kill you.”

 

 

March 29th, 2003

12:26 a.m.

           

            There was a movie playing on the large screen television. This one room, out of all the others, was the only one with the big TV. There were small screens in other parts of the house but this was the biggest television in the house. The room itself was quite large as well though, and could fit the entire household in it. The Weirdo and Kestrel were the only two left awake though.

 

            “I’m going to bed.” Kestrel said standing.

 

            “Night.” The Weirdo said, then reconsidered. “Wait a second.”

 

            He reached for the remote and paused the movie, which was about to get to a good part with lots of shooting and loudness. He tossed the remote on the couch where he had been sitting and stood up. He looked at her and then at the television and then at her again. The formality was still there, the coldness between them. He was going to have to put a foot in the icy river between them someday, now was as good a time as any to start.

 

            “What?” She asked, slightly confused.

 

            “You don’t trust Lilith do you?” he asked, trying to be helpful.

 

            “No,” She said. “I suppose I don’t.”

            “Got a reason?” He asked, still curious.

 

            “I’m not sure.” She said. “Why?”

 

            “I just wanted to know.” He said.

 

            She looked at him for a long time before going on. She wanted there to be a bit more friendship between the two of them, but she didn’t really know how to go about it either. She thought about the reasons that would sound justifiable to him about why she didn’t like her. The truth was simply that women can see that sort of girl coming a mile away as men can see a certain kind of guy. The opposite sex might be blind to those who use their sexuality as a tool, but those who are not blinded by it can see right through the façade. The problem was Kestrel didn’t have the verbal skill or comfort level to say all of that just now.

 

            There was also the problem between them, the problem of an icy river. She thought that if he had put a foot in, she could put a foot in. It wasn’t hard to form the thought, but explaining it would be another thing. She watched his open, honest face and wondered how it could look either. He was as dangerous and deadly as a rattlesnake, and as hidden as a monkey in a thicket of bushes. You knew he was in there, but you couldn’t see where. There fore some tact was required, or at least discrete honesty.

 

            “She suddenly appears every where, and she comes on way to strong to you. It smacks of some one trying to obtain something they know they shouldn’t have. She’s rushing in to get you. There’s just something disingenuous about a woman who wears a corset over her clothes.”

 

            “I thought that.” He said, and then he was slightly dismissive. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

 

            “Yeah.” She said smiling a little. “See you.”

 

            He sat down in the spot he had occupied and picked up the remote again. The light gray of the remote was too light to be the kind of gray he preferred, but it would do. He tried to think of exactly when remotes became gray. They used to be black, and before that they were often wood tone with metallic sides. They once had a few huge metal buttons, and then small black plastic ones. Now they were gray rubber buttons that were all one piece of molded rubber. Yet they were now what they had once been, an infer-red flashlight that sent coded pulses across to a receiver in the target device.

 

He pressed play again, and watched as the zombies began to attack the Yakuza, starting a nearly ten minute long splatter fest of zombieriffic proportions. It was a scene he enjoyed, mainly because of how ridiculous it was. There was no sense, or even knowledge of what a muzzle flash should look like. He loved how foolish the whole damn thing was, and it was funny. The whole movie was pretty fun, but this but was the best bit in the entire movie in his mind.

 

            The widow behind him was open and a cool breeze blew in, fluttering the lace curtains. Shannon had loved those curtains, to an almost unnatural degree, which he sometimes found unnerving. He had thought them silly and impractical. He had argued that they let light in and obscured the view outside, which was the reverse of his thoughts on curtains. He thought curtains were to keep light out, and they had no need of extra privacy particularly here. She, however, had liked them so they stayed. Even now, they were still here, because she liked them.

 

            It wasn’t any sort of feeling that came on him suddenly. There was just the feeling of the room being empty, and then some one was in there with him. He could feel a sudden, comfortable warmth in the room, the contrasted the cold. He could smell the perfume of spring flowers, and would later swear there was bird song.  He turned his head and saw a Goddess approach him. Her name was Eoster, and she had been here before.

 

            The thin garment, which she had chosen to wear, did nothing but change the shade of her nakedness. It would have been a creamy white with spots of pink; instead it was a green with blue splashes. It was less a dress than it was two pieces of material that had been sewn together. It covered her from shoulders and extended to her ankles, but had no sleeves or elaborate neckline. It was the sort of simplistic thing a woman who was fully confident in what the dress showed off to not need any other embellishments.

 

Her body was what a healthy body should be. It was rounded and full, soft and yielding in placed, firm and strong in others. Her green eyes were large and shielded by long lashes. Her hair was reddish; tumbling curls the color of mahogany. She wore a crown of spring flowers in her locks, and a necklace of linked leaves.

 

            His hand touched the remote control, switching off the television and pausing the DVD player again. If he was going to be interrupted, he wasn’t going to miss the movie while it happened. He looked her over, noticing every detail, including her bare feet. She was always bare foot when he met her, yet she never had a broken toenails or dirty soles.

 

            “Hello Weirdo.” She sat down at his feet on the floor before him.

 

            “Eoster.” He said. “What do you want?”

 

            “You have resisted my attempts to do the job I was sent for.” She said. “For a full year you have resisted my attempts to comfort you.”

 

            “Yes I have.” He said. “And yet you come back over and over again.”

 

            “Because you are only being stubborn.”

 

            She hadn’t exactly moved, but now she was sitting on the couch with him. Her body was pressed close to his, her lips brushing his ears. He could feel her warmth, the smell of fresh flowers sliding into his brain and activating pleasure sensors. Her lips touched his ear, her nose running along the back of his neck. 

 

            “You’re comfort only seems to be about one thing.”

 

            “It’s very healing.” She whispered, her lips brushing his ear with every word.

 

            “Is it?” He asked, turning toward her “Or is it you want something from me?”

 

            “I don’t know what you mean.” She moved her face towards his, their lips nearly touching. “I have been set a task, I intend to complete my task.”

 

            As she spoke, her lips brushed gently across his. Her body pressed into his, she changed her position slightly, putting her hand on the seat cushion between his legs. Her wrist brushed his crotch as she moved. She slid her hand in a little more so her wrist brushed it more deliberately. She could see him trying to retain control, making his face go stony. He didn’t want to be hard to her he wanted to be kind. She could see it in his face; he wanted to take her on the couch. He wanted to take her quickly on the couch and then carry her to his room and take her slowly, over and over again.

 

            She couldn’t fully understand his resistance of his baser instincts. On this, why should he resist? There was no reason she could see, no matter how hard she tried. She hadn’t wanted him because of the task she had just wanted him. She had desired him for a long time, but had no pretense to approach him. She could tell he desired her; his body did at any rate. She could smell the chemicals his body pumped out when she was near, could hear his accelerated heart rate. The heart rate he was working so hard to get under control.

 

            “Who sent you to this task though?” He asked.

 

            “Don’t you think you have friends who want you to be well?” She said.

 

            “I like being a wounded brooder.” He said, tilting his head back, “It seems to get me a lot of offers lately.”

 

            “You’ve got to understand.” She said. “You have to be healed. You can’t win this if you’re injured as much as you are.”

 

            “Who sent you?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            He took her roughly by the shoulders and stood her up. He pulled a blanket from the couch and threw it over her to conceal her body. He sat her down on a chair and walked away from her, sitting in another chair.

 

            “Why is it so important that you know who sent me?”

 

            “If fucking you is supposed to be the earth shaking event you make it out to be. If it really does heal emotional damage, change the course of mighty rivers, and is a remedy for all complaints like a panacea, I’d like to know where to send the thank you note.”

 

            “After I have comforted you.” She said. “I can tell you then.”

 

            “I might be too weak to address the note after.” He said. “And who knows if I’ll have strength or saliva left in my tongue to lick the stamp.

 

            “I have been forbidden to tell you.” She said looking down at the floor.

 

            “Why do they want me comforted?”

 

            “I’m supposed grow your seed.” She said, her cheeks reddening at the sudden truth. “It’s got nothing to do with comfort. They hoped you might find comfort in loving me. I can heal much; I am the Goddess of healing rebirth and growth. I am spring!”

 

            “So everybody wants you to bear me strong sons?”

 

            “Some do.” She said. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t supposed to tell you that. Look, I can not conceive if it would help.”

 

            “Help what?” He asked, standing.

 

            “Some one has to bear you a child before you’re broken.” She said. “If not now, it has to happen soon.”

 

            “What the hell are you talking about?”

 

            “You won’t make it past this event.” She said. “When the destroyer comes and the twins arrive, you’ll be crushed and your power will fade. The only hope is for you to conceive and then to hide the child. That child can then return and make things better.”

 

            “I’m glad you all have such confidence in me.” He said.

 

            “This is something the Gods fear Weirdo.” She said, taking his hand. “There is no way around it, you will be broken. You will be broken and unless the power is passed on it will be lost. If you don’t pass you seed onto me, it could be taken by some one who can’t process it properly”

 

            “I’ll be the one who decides who I’m going to pass my seed onto.” He said.

 

            “Now isn’t really a good time to be obstinate.” She said standing up and shoving him backwards.

 

            He tripped over the table and fell back onto the couch. She walked towards him and slid the thin sheath of dress up her legs. She straddled him and leaned down toward his face. He was having trouble at this moment, remembering exactly why he was resisting her, but he thought it had been a good one. Her mood had changed; her face had taken a sultry expression. Her finger tips, when the touched him, seemed to contain electricity.

 

            “I want to bear you strong children.” She said. “Why don’t we create a new breed?”

 

            Again, it was difficult to understand exactly why he was resisting, even to him. She was beautiful, healthy, sexy, and alluring. His body was certainly alert and interested in listening to any proposals she was making. He felt the continuing need to resist though a counter proposal was coming.

 

            He also felt a little angry, that someone had decided he would roll with the first woman that offered herself to him. That he would simply take the first thing with spreading legs, regardless of feeling or emotion. He might have done that in his younger years, but no longer. Now there was a definite resistance to such and easy lay. This feeling of resistance didn’t come from Grandma though; Grandma was strangely silent on the subject of breeding. Grandma didn’t seem to have any opinions of the subject of his getting off.

 

            It was almost as if there was another force silently standing on the not now side. Some sort of authority was telling him not now. It wasn’t really a voice, just the knowledge that this force would be happier knowing he waited. He could almost form the words from the vague though. Wait until she comes just for you, it seemed to say.

 

            There were more scents than the flowering perfume that now greeted his nose, a smell of earthly pleasures. Her lips had grown red, and all the soft parts of her body seemed to have grown hard and firm. He was finding resolve a difficult thing to hold on to. A feeling that if he did this, he would be betraying wouldn’t leave him.

 

 It was a face that came up to save him, her face. The royal blue eyes set in her face, framed by those coils of auburn hair. A face that he was still more in love with than anything else in the world. She was still his love and he was not about to betray her for a roll in the hay with any Goddess. He felt his resolve strengthen, and take command of his body once again.

 

            “As I explained to you before.” He said taking her arms and gently pushing her back. “I am in mourning.”

 

            He had, in the past, had to do more difficult things. He’d done many a more difficult thing, he just couldn’t think of them at the moment. She looked at him with awe, and something that might have been respect. Her mouth hung open as bewilderment came to settle in. She sat in a chair across from the couch, her face coming under her control again.

 

            “What’s wrong with me?” She asked. “Am I hideous to you?”

           

            “No.” He said. “Very much the reverse. It’s just…”

 

            “Well what the fuck then?”

 

            “It’s not as simple as that.” He said, “I don’t love you, can’t love you, not while…”

 

            “Not while you’re still in mourning?” She said.

 

            “I still love her.” He said. “I couldn’t betray that love.”

 

            “You still love her.” Eoster said, as if sorting it out in her head.

 

            “Yes.” He said. “I can’t move on until I’ve finished this mourning.”

 

            “That’s the most tragic thing I’ve ever heard.” She said.

 

            There was silence in the room, and then she stood suddenly. She looked as though an idea had just struck her. She even hit her closed fist into her palm, and got a plucky look on her face. She walked to the window she had apparently appeared in front of and then turned and walked back to him.

 

            “If she where here, you’d make love to her right?”

 

            “I would know if it were her or not.” He said.

 

            “I’m not planning to take her shape, I wouldn’t do that. Not now, not to you.” She held up her hand, breathless with the idea. “Just tell me, if you had an hour with her, would you attempt it?”

 

            “What? To have a child?”

 

            “Even if after that hour you’d never see her again.”

 

            “I don’t understand.”

 

            “This is important.” She said. “If I could get you two together for an hour…”

 

            “Yes.” He said. “I think it would come into the agenda somewhere.”

 

            There was a long moment after that. She looked at his face, as if trying to judge the veracity of his claim. Was he just saying it, or did he mean it? She looked at his face for a long time and then nodded. She began to nod more vigorously, and placed her hand over his heart.

 

            “I won’t promise.” She said. “I think I can do this, but you’ve got to stay alive.”

 

            “You’re going to do what?” He asked.

 

            “You’re so beautiful.” She said, and kissed him on impulse. “You should consider me anyway, just in case.”

 

            And then she was gone. He stood in the living room, alone, with just Bagheera and the small child in her pink plastic raincoat. He turned his head slowly, because he was sure that the pink plastic raincoat was not a staple of the room. She was petting the large cat who was purring so vigorously that he could clearly hear the cat six feet away.

 

            She was about four, and as beautiful as any child of four has a right to be. Her blonde hair was cut just about her shoulders and her crystalline blue eyes were watching with delight as Bagheera purred. She smiled a tiny, enchanting smile, and used her other hand to scratch the cat under the chin.

 

            “Hi.” The Weirdo said.

 

            Her response was immediate, she looked up at him gasped and vanished. This is not to say she ran behind a piece of furniture, or bolted out of the room. This is to say that one moment she was there, and then she wasn’t. He walked to where the small child had been standing and looked at a small red and yellow backpack. The girl had apparently left it behind on accident. He opened the bag, just to peak in. There was a selection of fruit snacks in their little foil vacuum-sealed packets. There were two boxes of fruit juice and a clock key. The clock key looked familiar, and felt familiar, very familiar. It was comprised of a metal that he couldn’t quite place, but knew he’d touched. In fact he before had touched the key, he knew that much. He couldn’t quite remember where he’d touched it, but he had.

 

            He closed the bag back up and set it down on the coffee table in front of the couch. He looked at the bag and then at the spot the child had been sitting, looking at a sticker that had been placed on the backpack. It was a sticker of a cartoon character, we won’t say which one for fear of copyright infringement law suits. He looked at the bag, wondering about it.

 

            It could have been Amanda’s or maybe Rutherford’s, but he didn’t think so. He could recognize their things, and this wasn’t one of them. Also this bag had seen considerably more action than either of their bags had. It had been beaten and scuffed, though it hadn’t lost its color. The red and yellows were still very bright; the reflective materials on the sides were still brightly reflective. It was a new bag, or at least had been taken care of.

 

            What was it doing here was the question, and why was this little kid suddenly showing up, and was there some one else in the room with him? He could feel another object in the room. It was a disturbance of the magnetic fields that his body and everything else in the room gave off. It was a small person, in the room with him, behind the couch in fact.

 

            “I know you’re here.” He said. “I expect you know I know.”

 

            No response, perhaps he was going mad. No, that couldn’t be. He already was mad and you can’t go mad after going mad, or you’d end up sane, which could drive a person mad. He rejected a furtherance of his insanity, for the very real possibility that he was indeed right. He got up and walked around the couch, still feeling the little presence in the room.

 

            There was nothing behind the couch, even though he could clearly feel it. He closed his eyes and concentrated. He could quite clearly detect the presence behind the couch and no other life in the room besides the cat. There should be something behind the couch his senses told him. He opened his eyes and looked at the empty place behind the couch. He shook his head and sat down on the couch again. He looked at the table, where there was now no bag. Someone, with a considerable and sophisticated command of psychic phenomenon had hoodwinked him. He looked at the empty place where the bag had been and touched it. There was no bag so he had indeed been hoodwinked.

 

            “Shit.” He muttered.

 

 

March 29th, 2003

12:38 a.m.

 

            Aphrodite clung to the dress she had inadvisably worn on such a cold night. She had been told that the spring would catch quickly and that the nights would be warm by now. She had been advised wrong, and now was freezing her ever so tight and attractive butt off. She shivered as she leaned against the pillar that held up the roof of the patio on this pent house apartment. She had thought the Greek columns were a lovely touch of home, but they were freezing now. She shuddered as the wind whipped what little silk covered her skin. She stood away from the column and looked out at the city below.

 

            A feeling of warm covered her shoulders and enclosed her body. She touched her shoulders and found a heavy gray over coat draped across her shoulders. She turned to look at the gray man who now stood without his coat on. His gray hair flowed through the wind, blowing about his face. She pushed a few strands that covered his silvery gray eyes. She ran her hand over his face, caressing him.

 

            “I don’t know where she is.” The goddess said.

 

            “I do.” He said. “She’s already coming back here.”

 

            “This observation, it can’t be good.” She said. “She’s going to want to get involved early.”

 

            “She thinks that she has to know.” He said. “I can’t tell her no. I can’t tell her that it wouldn’t be proper.”

 

            “What if something happens to her?”

 

            “What can happen?” He asked. “She can always leave, always.”

 

            There was a warm wind, and they found Eoster stood with them. She was dressed in a sensible pair of jeans and sweater, making her look for all the world like a world-weary college student. The fact that she even had gone so far as to find a par of Dr. Martin’s boots helped the image all the more.

 

            “Well?” Aphrodite asked.

 

            “I’ve got an idea.” Eoster said.

 

            “But not an embryo.” The goddess of passion said.

 

            “He still loves Shannon.” She said. “Sleeping with me would be betraying her, as much as it would be were she still alive.”

 

            “Yes he does.” The Gray man said, placing his arm around Aphrodite’s waist.

 

            “We could let him sleep with that other woman.” Aphrodite said. “Steal the baby away.”

 

            “No.” Eoster said. “I’ve had a better idea, but it would take a bit of politics.”

 

            “This is all happening to end politics.” Aphrodite said.

 

            “Yes, I know all that.” Eoster said. “But by using a bit of politics, you could get the child.”

 

            “Are you suggesting we convince who ever has Shannon Gunner to simply give her back, so he can impregnate her and we can have the child?”

 

            “Yes, why not?”

 

            “Because it could take forever.” Aphrodite said. “You’ve seen the timeline, we’ve only got a few days before he’s broken. We’d need a month just to find out where she is, and then to work out a trade for her, it would take too long.”

 

            “Why not try?” Eoster said.

 

            “You’ll just have to convince him to have you.” Aphrodite said, and stalked back into the apartment.

 

            “I can’t.” Eoster said to the gray man.

 

            “Don’t worry about it.” He said touching her arm.

 

            “He won’t, he still loves her.”

 

            “I know.” He said. “Just calm down.”

 

            “He’s not going to.”

 

            “Shut up Eoster.” He said lovingly, though his patients were clearly wearing thin.

 

            “Sorry.”

 

            “You just work on a few contacts.” He said. “You get some help in finding Shannon. I’ll explain away you’re absence for a couple of days. Besides it’s more like two weeks than a few days so don’t worry.”

 

            “You’re sure?”

 

            “Where was I when you found me? Hmm? You helped me when I needed it, now I’ll help you, right? I know what he’ll do and what he won’t, to a certain extent anyway.”

 

            “What about Lilith? She would convince easily.”

 

            “Yes, but it doesn’t work too well for my plan if he sleeps with her.”

 

            “I’ll find her.” She said. “I know who I can get for help.”

           

 

March 29th, 2003

12:41 a.m.

           

The Gray man walked back into the apartment where Aphrodite was pouring herself a large glass of whisky. This is to say that she had a large glass, a twelve-ounce water tumbler as it happened, and was pouring whisky into it. She filled the glass near to over flowing and with one long pull, drained the entire glass. She set the glass down on the counter, fingers trembling. He moved slowly and carefully around her, as if she might explode. Explosion was not a completely unreasonable thing to expect.

 

            “We’re so close.” She said.

 

            “Yes.” He agreed.

 

            He had to agree, and move cautiously. After a few years of co-habitation mostly bliss, he had learned a few things about the goddess whose bed he shared. She was the most wonderful person he had ever known. When she was happy she would want to make love and mostly with him. He had accepted his appointed place in the universe and accepted the fact that he would never be the only person she would make love to. He was the person she most constantly made love to though, and she always came back to him. There was little more he felt he could ask for.

 

It was a wonderful thing for him anyway, because when she made love her passion knew no bounds. The problem was if she was upset, she wanted to argue and fight. When she argued, and when she fought, her passion knew no bounds. She could throw bottles, have tantrums or caused hurricanes that would wipe out much of southern Florida. A Goddess of passion after all has to cover the whole spectrum, and passion was passion. She felt strongly for him, but she felt strongly about everything.

 

“We’re so close.” She said again.

 

“I agree.”

 

She grabbed the bottle and drank the rest of it in one long pull. It was impressive actually, seeing how she could pack it away. She would feel it in the morning, and he was going to feel it before the night was over. The only question was which way she could be channeled. He could channel her toward the bed if he was careful, or she would channel her self into a bottle throwing rage. He looked out the window towards Eoster who was looking in through the glass.

 

“We’re so close and I can’t have some one cocking it up because they can’t get him to cock her up. I just want her to fuck his brains out? How hard is that? She can suck the chrome off a tail hook; she breaks walnuts with her thighs. What the fuck is wrong with him? She screws like a minx, she does anything you ask her to. So why can’t she do the one thing I need her to? She’s a goddess of fertility for fucks sake.”

 

“Darling.” He said, keeping his tone even. “He’s in love with Shannon, you made sure of that.”

 

“I want him to fuck her, can’t you tell him to fuck her? Can’t you make him do it?”

 

“Aph.” He said, in a long slow growl.

 

His tone conveyed in that shortened version of her name a direct message. The message was something along the lines of, ‘My darling love, you may be the goddess of love and passion and I feel nothing but love and passion for you. However if you wanna fight with me on this issue, bitch I’ll fuck your entire fucking week up.’

 

She looked at him through her freshly liquored fog, sizing him up. She could fight and she was a cat with claws, she had proven that before. She did recognize though, that he would fight on this issue, and he was prepared to fight hard. When he did fight, he could beat anyone in the room, who ever was in the room. When she had her tantrums, he usually just dodged the bottles when they flew. She recognized that this was one of those times when he would catch the bottles out of mid air and send them back at twice the speed.

 

He took a few steps forward, his head bowed down, ready to fight. When he expressed his strength, it filled the room, washed over her. There was not a molecule of air or an atom of matter, there was just him. She put the bottle down and felt her knees go weak, his will over coming her already. There had been a reason after all that she had fallen in love with him. He didn’t usually show his strength, but when he did it weakened her knees. He took the bottle from her hand and placed it on the counter next to her. She bit her lip, and smiled up at him as she tilted her body like a little girl in love.

 

“I love you.” She said, with a tiny laugh. “I’m sorry.”

 

“Not yet.” He said. “You wait till morning and then you’ll be sorry. I do love you too though.”

 

“I haven’t had that much to drink.” She said. “See it’s only these four bottles.”

 

He looked at them and calculated exactly when those four bottles would come back to haunt her. It would be at about six in the morning, the headache would wake her if she hadn’t passed out cold or wasn’t still awake. It would hit her and he’d carefully hold her hair while she vomited the contents of her stomach. He was only glad that these little drinking bouts were as infrequent as they’d proved to be.

 

“There’s somebody else you need to say sorry to.”
           

“Hang on. We can all go to be together.” She kissed him and actually floated out the door. That is to say her toes were suspended two inches off the floor as she moved.

 

Eoster was looking out at the city, feeling wretched. She hadn’t wanted to fail, but she had to respect The Weirdo’s wishes. She had wanted to have the child, even if it meant what the gray man had suggested it might mean. She had believed in what Aphrodite had asked her to become involved with, but it had to be done right. She felt as if Aphrodite now hated her, because she continued to fail.

 

She felt a hand touched her back, and draw up to the back of her throat. The hand then touched her shoulder. She couldn’t bring her self to turn because she was afraid she was going to get yelled at again. She was terrified of being yelled at, particularly by this goddess she so badly wanted to impress. She wanted to be counted as one of Aphrodite’s allies, not just an occasional bedmate when the passion goddess wanted to spice up her affair with the man in gray. She had once been great herself, se beloved that the plain rabbit had painted eggs for her to find. Now she was reduced to hanging on to this half forgotten Greek. She had wanted to be as beloved as once she had been. The fact that the eggs were still colored in her name had stopped her from vanishing, and the chocolate rabbits helped. She was still a mostly forgotten Goddess though, and if this plan went through she would likely fade and die.

 

The idea was worth dying for though, even if you died either way. If they made it work they would fade and die. If it didn’t work, and they were discovered, they would be slaughtered. If those who were against their ideals found out how they were trying to subvert and destroy the old laws found out what they were doing, they and all they touched could be killed. Even Gods can die after all, it just takes more effort than most are willing to put forth.

 

“Eoster.” Aphrodite’s voice was soft.

 

“Yeah?” Eoster said without turning.

 

“I know you could have forced him.”

 

‘Here it comes,’ Eoster thought. ‘This is where she screams and yells and tears at her clothes.’

 

“I know you don’t want to force him though.” She pulled gently at the shoulder, turning the goddess of spring around. “I understand why you didn’t though.”

 

“You do?” Eoster asked.

 

“I know I push too hard sometimes. Come back in please.” She said leaning in close and kissing Eoster’s lips and sliding her tongue into her mouth. “We’ll get there, we’ve just to plan for each eventuality. Please come back in, I promise we’ll discuss this idea of yours some more.”

 

“Okay.” Eoster said and arm in arm they walked back into the apartment.

 

 

March 29th, 2003

1:03 a.m.

 

            The door swung open, and the child walked in. She looked at The Gray man sitting on the couch, drinking a small glass of scotch. He looked up at her and then pulled out his watch and looked at it. It didn’t do any good of course, because he’d done so much time traveling the placement of the hands meant nothing at this point. That didn’t really matter though, because all he needed really was to make the show of checking his watch. He looked over his reading glasses at the little girl as she took off her pink raincoat.

 

            “Hi.” She said looking around. “Where is everybody?”

 

            “Aph and Eoster are…” How to put this? “Discussing politics.”

            “They’re having sex.” The child said.

 

            “Yes.”

 

“So why aren’t you with them?” She asked. “You like being with them when they’re in that mood.”

 

            “You do realize you’re four don’t you?”

 

            “You’re waiting for me.” She said.

 

            “You were watching him again.” He said.

 

            “I was, but after Eoster left, I left.”

 

            “Then why did Eoster get here first?”

 

            “Cause.”

 

            “Cause why?”

 

            “Does there have to be a reason for everything?” she said in a tone of voice that had she been a few years older would have let the conversation drop. Well actually about fifteen years, but we say a few for brevity. Then we explain it and brevity just goes out the window. Waste of time really.

 

            “Yes.” He said, in a voice that said she wasn’t that bloody old yet.

 

            “I forgot my bag.” She said.

 

            “You forgot your bag.”

 

            “And he found it.”

 

            “Where did you loose it?”

 

            “Well I set it down when I pet the cat.”

 

            “You were in the house?” He tried to keep his voice steady, had to keep it steady.

 

            “And so I had to distract him so I could get the bag.”

 

            “You were in the house?”

 

            “And then I had to give grandpa Chronos a clock key back.”

 

            “You went into the house?”

 

            “Yeah.” She said.

 

            “You’re supposed to be observing.”

 

            “He needs help.” She said. “You interfere all the time.”

 

            “I gently suggest the idea of interfering. I drop a pebble in the pond to disturb a few eddies and create a few ripples. You my dear are a great big stone, not a little pebble.”

 

            “I think he needs more help.” She said, the sound of her voice changing to almost an adult voice. “Aph wants him to do something very important, and we’ve got to help him do it right.”

 

            “Sweetheart.”

 

            “Because if he does it wrong, your plan is ruined.” She said.

 

            “That’s true.”

 

            “So we’ve got to get him to do it right.” The child said opened her backpack and getting a bag of fruit snacks out. “It really wouldn’t matter to Aph if it was Lilith or not, but it matters to you.”

 

            “Yes it does.”

 

            “They say he’s going to be broken, and it’s got to be done before he’s broken. Their wrong though.”

 

            “Are they?”

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “About what?”

 

            Her voice changed suddenly and she was the child again.

 

            “Do you want to see my drawing?” She said opening the backpack again.

 

            He looked at her and knew at that moment he’d never get an answer until she wanted him to know. She wouldn’t give out any information that wasn’t part of the planned motive she had in her little head. He looked at the sparkling blue eyes and saw only a child that wanted to show a picture.

 

            “Sure.” He said nodding.

 

            She pulled the paper from her pack, holding it up for inspection. It was a drawing done in the colors of Crayola, but it could have been done by one of the great masters. One of the great masters not fully in control of motor function perhaps, but a maser nonetheless. It had a legend at the top, written on what was meant to be a banner hanging in the air. The legend read, “My grandparents.”

 

            It was a picture of himself, with his arm around Aphrodite. She had her arm around his waist and their heads were inclined towards each other. In the background, Eoster and Cupid were sitting on a log and Chronos was waving as if it were a photograph. There were a few seraphim and cherubs flying about, but they followed cupid like flies anyway. Each person was represented well enough that anyone could tell who each was meant to be, but that hadn’t prevented her from labeling each person. Grandpa Gray, Aph, aunt Eoster, uncle Cupid, Grandpa Chronos.

 

            “Where’s your mom and dad in here?” He asked. “You’ve got Cupid and Eoster in the back ground.”

 

            “Don’t know mom and dad.” She said. “You won’t even tell me who my mom is.”

 

            “I don’t know for sure.” He said. “She had died before I ever got to you.”

 

            “You like me though, don’t you?”

 

            “Sweetheart, everybody who meets you likes you.” He said, realizing this wasn’t enough. He had to answer the question directly. “I like you, Aph likes you, Eoster adores you and even Cupid likes you. He just doesn’t show it cause he’s a wanker.”

 

            She laughed to hear him use this word, one of the naughty words he wasn’t meant to use. She knew that Aphrodite hated it when he used that word in particular, and to refer to her son in the specific. She loved her son very much, but Cupid hadn’t ever really accepted her new lover as anything remotely close to permanent. In fact the young gods exact words had been that once she’d squeezed him dry she’d find another fresh lime.

 

            There hadn’t been a lot talk between the two of them since that talk. There wasn’t much animosity, just a general lack of interest. The Gray man was interested in Cupid’s mother, and cupid had his own work to do. The fact that Cupid had shown a distinct lack of interest in the little girl had helped draw her and Gray closer together at first, and he liked to remind her of it from time to time.

 

            “You want to go in there no don’t you?” The little girl asked. “You want to go have sex with them.”

 

            “Why do you always think the worst of me?” He asked.

 

            “Because your desires are selfish.” She said.

 

            “But my actions are unselfish, aren’t they?”

 

            “All desires are selfish.” She said. “You don’t act on your more selfish desires, you try to make sure others get their desires, and you suppress your own.”

 

            “So why are you thinking the worst of me though?”

 

            “I’m not.” She said. “I just said you want to go to bed with Aph and Eoster. That’s not the worst of you, that’s the truth of you.”

 

            “Well I can have that anytime.” He said.

 

            “Well I’m tired.” She said standing on the couch and throwing her arms around his neck “Good night.”

 

            She kissed him on the lips and hopped down from the couch, dragging her backpack behind her. She opened her door and walked through the black portal to her room. She closed the door behind her and a light went on in the room. He watched the shadow move around the crack at the bottom of the door. A few moments later and the light went out.

 

            She would be reading soon, by flashlight. He couldn’t begin to fathom by she put a blanket over her head and read books by flashlight; it wasn’t as if any one ever told her to go to bed. It wasn’t as if anyone had ever told her it was time to go to sleep rather than read a book.

 

            He walked towards the room that he and Aphrodite were sharing this week. Last week they were living three thousand years ago in the most beautiful temple ever dedicated to her, this week the best New York apartment she thought they deserved. Next week, who knew were they might be. She always kept a place for him though, no matter what. It didn’t even matter when she had been at the center of an orgy three hundred strong she had kept a spot next to her free so that he could lay down next to her. He finally found her and collapsed from exhaustion, having to spoon in behind her. The proximity had caused him to do something he didn’t think he’d had the strength for anymore that night, but she had given him the strength for once more.

 

            He walked into the room, and watched the two of them for a moment. Eoster’s hair was plastered to her head, sweat gleaming of the both of them like… well sweat of two goddesses of love and fertility engaged in a highly enjoyably carnal act of Sapphic gratification. Everyone who’s seen this has commented that there is nothing quite like it and thus analogies are hard to come by.

 

            “You came.” Eoster said.

 

            “Not yet.” Aphrodite said. “Just another minuet, it’s close.”

 

            “No.” Eoster said kissing Aphrodite said. “He’s here.”

 

            The goddess of love’s head turned and when she saw him, her eyes closed and her teeth clenched. She grabbed Eoster’s shoulders and gave out a gasp that became cry. She then fell back and looked at the Gray man, gasping for breath.

 

            “Hello lover.” She said, her skin, actually glowing in the dim light.

 

            “Hello.” He said leaning down next to the bed, stroking her breast with his hand.

 

            “Why don’t you take off your clothes and join us?”

 

            “I was just thinking about that.” He said shrugging off his coat.

 

 

March 29th, 2003

8:05 a.m.

 

Minga was arguably not so much a tiger as a symbol. From her gray stripes to her coppery eyes, she was a symbol that appeared in most legends erroneously as a white tiger. She was an immortal and invulnerable spirit of the land, powerful enough to command nearly anything that went on four legs. Truth be told there were few things that went on two legs that she couldn’t command if the thought took her. All this being said she approached The Weirdo with trepidation. He was laying face down, on his bed. One hand hung off the side of the bed, and that seemed the best bet. She had woken him up before, and the sound had not been pleasant. One might be invulnerable to the slings and arrows, but flying pillows and quick feet were another matter. This was something not to be attempted by the faint of heart. Fortunately her heart was pure and her teeth were several inches long.

 

Minga nudged The Weirdo’s hand and he his head rose up quickly. He looked at her and his head dropped down into the pillow again. He had only just gone to sleep two hours ago, and now the cat was wakening him. It was bad enough that every time he started to go to sleep Bagheera suddenly wanted attention, now Minga was doing it too.

 

“Row.” The giant tiger said.

 

“What is it?” He asked.

 

“Rowr.” Minga said.

 

“There has to be someone else awake in this house.” He said, voice crackling.

 

“Row.” It was frankly the giant cats entire vocabulary.

 

“Is Timmy stuck down the well again?”

 

“Mew?” The giant cat managed, though in a much deeper register then you’re thinking.

 

“Well he can stay there, if the little shit can’t figure out where the well is by now he can drown.”

 

Minga started at him and placed her jaws around his hand and tugged gently. Not anywhere near hard enough to pull him from the bed, or cause any pain. It was just hard enough to tell him that there was something desperately important that she had to show him. His looked in the massive coppery eyes and the great cat tugged on his hand again.

 

“Okay,” He said sitting up in the bed and then standing. “But if Timmy’s at the bottom of a well I’m throwing a hand grenade down there.”

 

 

March 29th, 2003

8:06 a.m.

           

The Weirdo followed Minga down to Max’s room, where the door stood half ajar and some clothes were beginning to mount the first scout battalions on their way to invading the fertile valley of the hallway. There is something to be said for giving a teenager or young adult the room at the end of the hall. Mostly what is to be said is that it takes that much longer for their mess to inconvenience you.

 

            Minga pushed the door open with her snout and began to mount an expedition towards Max’s bed. This would normally require Sherpa guides and bottled oxygen, however Minga was not as weak as mortal creatures. The Weirdo kicked bits of clothing out of the way as the two brave travelers moved towards the bed, trying not to kick anything solid. If he hit the heavy iron Maltese Falcon statue replica that Max used as a doorstop he could break a toe. It had been a Christmas Present, along with the Dirty Harry DVD collection, two years ago. Jack and Tommy had gotten the infernal thing made special and it must have weighed close to six hundred pounds. Minga looked up, as if hoping to find that The Weirdo hadn’t turned chicken and run. He hadn’t, but he was wondering what had gotten the cat so worked up.

 

            The curtains of Max’s bed had been drawn, which was either a good or a very bad sign. Max only drew his curtains for one purpose, which meant it was who he had with him that was bothering the great cat. He walked to Max’s window and drew back the heavy curtains so that a piercing blade of white sunlight shone right onto the bed.

 

            He looked at the curtained bed and thought about how he could go about this. The best thing would be to draw it slowly and get Max’s attention first and find out what was going on. The worst thing to do would be to throw the curtains open and shout. It would embarrass Max no matter what he did and could severely limit his chances of ever getting near this girl again if handled badly. Max would be resentful for months if this were handled badly. To be done properly, he had to employ the height of tact and restraint.

 

            “Up and at ‘em you lazy sod!” He shouted as he threw the curtains back.

 

            See the thing is, this was more fun.

 

            “What?” Max asked, his eyes squinting in tiny slits. “Huh?”

 

            The sunlight haloed The Weirdo like something from a bad movie. It was like the bad dream sequence where the hero’s mother discovers him in bed with the neighbor’s dog or something. The Weirdo threw the curtains up so that they landed on the top of the bed and were unobtainable unless Max actually got out of the bed. The Weirdo smiled in his most irritating manner and spoke in a delightful voice.

 

            “My, god you miss half the day this way.” He said as he sat at the foot of the bed.

 

            “What’s going on?” Azela said as she began to sit up.

 

            He saw her bare back first, and then her face as she turned her head this way and that. She sat up in the bed, her bare breasts exposed to the world. She then saw The Weirdo and shrieked, pulling the sheet up to her eyes. The Weirdo looked at her and then at Max. He said nothing, just looked at Max quizzically. He almost looked at him as if to say, is this a marmoset or a girl?

 

            “You remember Azela.” Max said lamely. “She stayed here last night.”

 

            “You’re little friend from yesterday?” He said. “We’ve not been properly introduced.”

 

            He extended his hand to her and she shook it out of habit. She may not have been fully aware of what she was doing, her eyes still looked fuzzy. Her face had the puffy confused look of one who has been awaked four hours too early. She was most likely still floating on a cloud somewhere in dreamland and looking for a landing spot so she could rejoin reality in a reasonable fashion.

 

            “Azela.” She said.

 

            “How do you do?” He asked.

 

            “I’m naked.” She said.

 

            “I don’t mind.” He answered, graciously he thought.

 

            “This isn’t as bad as it looks.” Max said.

 

            “I’m gratified to hear you understand it looks bad, shows you’ve been paying attention to the lectures.” A pained look crossed Max’s face and The Weirdo realized that Max really thought he was in trouble. “Why isn’t it that bad?”

 

            “She joined this group, and they gave her shock treatments to make her do things she normally wouldn’t do. Like try to stab me on the street.”

 

            “Okay.” The Weirdo said. “Is there a longer version of this story?”

 

            “It takes about six hours.” Max said he looked to the young woman’s who was blushing to her ears. “We were talking and one thing led to another.”

 

            “You’ll want breakfast then.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Yeah.” Max said standing up from the bed.

 

            It was hard to explain why, but The Weirdo was vaguely annoyed to see that Max had put on a pair of flannel pants during the night. He could tell that Azela was naked, and yet he had put clothes on. He had gotten up halfway through the night and put pants on. He picked a t-shirt up from the back of a chair and slipped it on. He then walked to the other side of the bed and pushed the bed curtains back on that side, being sure to tie them back with the ropes. He whispered something to the thin blonde girl, and she nodded. She then leaned over and kissed Max, exposing her back again. This time The Weirdo clearly saw a cross tattoo on her shoulder blade. It was only about two inches high, but it was a definite gothic cross emblem.

 

            “She’s going to have a shower first.” Max said.

 

            “Let’s go see what we can stir up then?”

 

            They got down the hallway and began to walk down the stairs before The Weirdo stopped. He looked back up the hall and heard the shower in Max’s room start, he watched the door for a while, waiting for some movement. There was none, yet he still talked low.

 

            “What group did she say she had been indoctrinated by?”

 

            “The System.” Max said. “Why?”

 

            “Pagan group yeah?”

 

            “Yeah, why?”

 

            “She’s got a tattoo.” He said.

 

            “The cross on her back.” Max said.

 

            “The cross on her back.” The Weirdo agreed.

 

            “So she got a tattoo before she changed sides.

 

            “Any other tattoos?”

 

            “No.” Max said.

 

            “You checked?”

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “You ask her about the tattoo?”

 

            “I had other issues on my mind at the time.”

 

            “The Power, if we are to believe what we are told, is the arch enemy of a group called the System. The System is a Christian group, their the ones who have the cross fetish. We have only the scantest details about either group, so lets be careful shall we?”

 

            “We used condoms.” Max said, and then considered that. “But you don’t mean that kind of careful.”

 

            “No, I do.” The Weirdo said with a sigh. “I also think that we should be the other kind of careful as well.”

 

            “You think I should dump her?”

 

            “Do you want to?”

 

            “Not at the moment.” Max said. “I like her, and I believe she didn’t really want to kill me.”

 

            “Alright, she didn’t want to kill you, but what if that’s not why she came. Maybe trying to kill you was just a ploy so you’d bring her here.” The Weirdo looked down the hall again. “Maybe she’s an infiltrator.”

 

            “You’re a suspicious son of bitch.” Max said.

 

            “Am I?” The Weirdo asked. “Or are there really more than 3 licks to a tootsie pop?”

 

            “That doesn’t even make sense.”

 

            “I does and it doesn’t.” The Weirdo said as he walked down the stairs.

 

            “No, it just doesn’t.”

 

            “You have much to learn young cicada.”

 

            “I thought it was grass hopper.”

 

            The Weirdo stopped, and slowly turned. He then stared at Max while he took in one deep breath and released it. He then took in another deep breath and finally spoke.

 

            “Sometimes I wonder why I bother.”

 

            “You know if you weighed a bit more, you could travel down in an elevator and play with orchids at very particular times of day.” Max said.

 

            “Do you view yourself as Mister Panzer or Mister Goodwin?”

 

            “Oh Goodwin defiantly.”

 

            “Problem is I don’t like orchids.”

 

            “No?”

 

            “Hideous things.” The Weirdo said. “And I can’t bear the idea of regimenting my life to those hours. I would rather think of myself as a kind of Goodwin, ‘cept I don’t like milk. If only I knew who the fat bastard in the plant room was.”

© 2014 Autumn Knight Productions

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April 28, 2014 - Posted by | Fiction | ,

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