Brothers & Sisters – Chapter Seventeen: The Fever
Note: The point isn’t really for you guys to read a chapter everyday. That would be crazy, these chapters are about 30 pages long. This is just an info-dump situation, collect them all and read at your leisure.
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
April 12th, 2003
“Can it be done?” Lilith asked.
“Yes.” Chandelroth said, looking at the large book before him.
“This isn’t really the sort of thing we should be doing Lilith.” Peach said.
“Peach.” Lilith said calmly. “This is exactly the sort of thing we should be doing.”
“I can perform the right in two days time.” Chandelroth said. “Ten minuets before midnight on the fourteenth.”
“What do you need?” Lilith asked.
“We already have everything.” Chandelroth said. “All we need to do is wait.”
April 12th, 2003
The Weirdo was looking at a computer screen, going through the collection of legends and stories that had been collected. He was marking things off that he now thought weren’t going to happen, striking them in red. He was unsure that all the things he was marking off weren’t going to happen he had no way to assure himself of that.
He was trying, ever so desperately, to not think about what Grandma had told him was coming. Of course it was going to be only a prelude of what would come after it, but the idea made him shudder. He had read the stories as a child, having stolen his brother’s book. No one would have let him read about the old ones if they knew. He had made sure they didn’t know, and had shivered through a few nights over the idea.
Something had always scared him a little, made him worry about those things. He had some how, instinctively known that they existed. He somehow knew that the poor deranged man who had written those tales was writing from personal experience. He had seen those things and lost a portion of his sanity with the sight.
He flipped from one page on the computer to another, and came across a name. It was just a page of information, about a goddess. Just a minor deity, one that was supposed to be beautiful, but then they all were. She loved flowers and music, just like his lover.
He wanted to be able to cry, but his eyes remained dry as the desert. He wanted to lift the computer and hurl it across the room. He wanted to scream to cry, to demand justice, to fight a thousand men. He found himself winding up, his heart beating faster.
She had loved him, and then she had died. Her last words had been an expression of her love. She had fallen to the ground, a pool of blood had formed a tableau around her, and she had died. He had held her close, power surging through his fingers, and she had died. He had laid her out on a boat and sank her in the lake behind the cabin, but it had done no good. She remained in his thoughts, and he still pined for her.
Eoster had asked if her return would make him fulfill the apparent goal that had been set. He thought if he could touch her once more, he would do anything. He could fight the gods for control of the universe if he thought that she was the goal.
“Weirdo.” The Other’s voice asked behind him.
“Yeah Sweetie?” He asked turning around.
“What is death?” She asked.
“Death.” The tiny cleric said. “What is it?”
“Well.” He said, pushing away from the computer and leaning back in his chair. “It’s the cessation of life. When the body no longer works as a whole and cellular activity on many levels breaks down and important functions can no longer take place.”
“But what is it?” She asked.
“Well first you have to figure out what being alive means.” He said. “Death is an absence of life, it’s not so much a thing as a lack of a thing. When all the life is gone, death sweeps in like the dark.”
“But darkness is a thing.” She said.
“No, that’s just what you have if there is no light.” He said. “Darkness is an absence.”
“No.” she said. “Darkness is what you have to fill the void. Before there was darkness there was nothing. There had to be darkness for there to be light. First there was nothing, then there was dark, then their was light. Darkness was created, and then it filled up the void, and then the light came to push it back.
“Are you sure?” He asked,
“Positive.” She said. “I read a whole bunch of books the last couple of days, and I’m pretty sure I know what I’m talking about.”
“Quite well versed for a four year old.”
“Yeah.” She said. “But they don’t say what death is. I mean I know it’s when the cells don’t get their energy and can no longer perform their tasks, but that doesn’t really tell me anything.”
“You want to know the other part of it.” He said.
“Yes.” She said. “When the cells stop working, then what? What happened after you died?”
“Some one tried to get me to go through a big set of doors. I didn’t go through, and I ran out into a great wasteland. I didn’t know the way back to Valhalla, or I would have gone there. I bumped into… well a few people. I can’t remember all of it, but I met up with Lucifer, and he helped me get back.”
“And you were alive again.” She said.
“I’m not always sure.” He said, touching the knuckles of his left hand with the tips of his right fingers.
“You’re alive.” She said, her tone changing. “They won’t let you die until you’ve done what they want you to do.”
“I don’t know.” She said, a tear shinning in her eye. “But they’ve trapped us both. Until we do what they want we’re trapped.”
“We’ll get free.” He said, placing a hand on her head. “Don’t you worry.”
“No.” He said, and got off the chair to crouch down to her level. “It’s time you learned something. It’s the most important thing I’ll ever tell you. You listening.”
“Yes.” She said.
“Never, never, ever, ever give up.” He said. “There is always another chance, there is always another way. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, you win if you can just keep getting up.”
“Okay.” She said.
“Whoever’s got us, we’ll deal with them when we know who they are.”
“Okay.” She said, nodding.
April 12th, 2003
Tethra was the king of the great island of Mag Mell, an idyllic place. The inhabitants of the island were possibly some of the most contented people who had ever lived upon any place. It was a sort of heaven, at least for some peoples. The place had changed in the last few thousand years since Eoster had last been there. It had been transformed into the perfect English village, with perfect neighbors and perfect cottages.
“Hello Ostara.” The king of Mag Mell said as Eoster set foot upon the island.
“Hello Tethra.” She said, smiling.
“What brings you back after so long?”
“I’m looking for someone.” She said. “I’m afraid the time has come, all are converging.”
“Whom do you wish?”
“I don’t even know if they’re here.”
“Well what great warrior could I offer?”
“I’m not looking for a warrior.” She said. “I’m looking for some one’s lover. She’s supposed to be very beautiful, one of the most beautiful. Her lover, he’s important to those on the correct side. He would be able to complete things if she were around.”
“Odd.” Tethra said.
“Yes.” She said. “He is.”
“Do you know who she is?”
“Oh yes.” Eoster said. “I’ve always known who she is, I just don’t know where she ended up.”
“We’ll find her, you and I.” He looked down at the ground and then up at her. “I was told by a tiny blue pixie that you were with child.”
“Yes.” She said.
“And dose that make you happy?”
“Yes it dose.” She said.
“But I didn’t.”
“It didn’t work at that time,” She said, “It doesn’t mean we can’t try again later. After all I’ll need a place to be, once the child is born.”
“I had problems.” She said. “I’m starting to learn how to deal with them.”
“Why don’t we try and find your friend before we start a conversation like this.” He said.
“I think that would be best.”
April 12th, 2003
Angel was sitting on the small bridge, watching the stream slip away into the small grove of trees where it vanished from sight. This was such a calm place, at this moment. It was more calm a place than she had ever known. It occurred to her, standing on this bridge at this moment, that she hadn’t had a cigarette all day. She couldn’t remember smoking one all the last day either, thought she might have. She wondered if there was something to that. She wondered if maybe this place had made her not want to smoke. She turned and looked at the house, which seemed to be looking out at the ocean.
Her life hadn’t ever been this quite, if you could call this quite. She had never felt loved or wanted in her entire life, until now. She had found that the conviction that Kaala was going to leave her had become a little less powerful each morning she had woken up next to her here. She wondered if they would have to leave, when this was all over. It had been clear, though never stated, that they were being aloud to stay here because there was no place else for them to go.
She was beginning to feel like a character in a movie she had seen once. She had been sixteen and trying to be strait with a boy who was also trying to be strait. The movie though, she had loved that movie. It was a Japanese movie about two men who went to a war and on their way home got caught up in an adventure. The entire tale was told from their perspective and it was clear to her that the story wouldn’t have been interesting any other way. Unable to ever remember the names she just called them Frik and Frak, making Frak the shorter one. Remembering that movie now though, she wondered if perhaps she wasn’t Frak.
Would this tale later be told from her perspective? Would the whole of her story ever be told? She wondered while looking at the stream. She didn’t hear any one coming up behind her, but Kaala had spoken far enough back not to startle her.
“It’s lovely isn’t it?” she asked.
“Yeah.” Angel said.
“Do you know something?” the beautiful young blonde asked, leaning on the stone rail next to Angel
“I used to think you were going to leave me.” She said, pressing her arms against Angel’s. “I don’t know why, but I always did. I thought you were going to get jealous of the men who were always trying to get me to pay attention to them. I always felt this irrational feeling that you would leave me because you didn’t think you were good enough, or something.”
“You used to?” Angel asked.
“Since we’ve been here, since we got away from Peach and Diana and the oracle…” She stopped and shrugged, “I’ve felt like everything’s going to be alright. As long as we’re together, it’ll all be okay. We’ve got nothing to worry about as long as we trust each other.”
“That’s right.” Angel said, placing her arm around Kaala’s shoulders. “We’ve got nothing to worry about baby. Once we help these guys work out this whole end of the world thing, we won’t have to worry about anything.”
“The world isn’t going to end.” Kaala said.
“Oh?” Angel asked. “How do you know?”
“The Weirdo promised me.”
“Oh.” Angel said. “Well then everything’s going to be fine then.”
April 12th, 2003
D’var Cassimano, Maximilian Zane and Michael Darrian were probably being naughty little boys, in the strictest sense of things. They probably shouldn’t have had all that semtex, or the detonators; some one should have taken these things from them. Of course the lack of what one might call adult supervision didn’t help. Instructions on fire works often call for adult supervision. The problem with calling for adult supervision, if you’ve noticed, is that it’s so often the adult who’s rushed to the hospital after blowing their hand off.
It is the opinion of your narrator that adult supervision is supposed to mean a responsible individual who will not get their hand blown off. In that capacity, Tommy Gunner was possibly the worst choice one could come up with. Where as at the moment, it might not be entirely clear as to why these four members of our chosen side were placing small amounts of high explosives around the city with radio detonators, it possibly will be later. As for now, it must be a mystery, other wise it would spoil the surprise. Though to give a hint to some of the cleverer members of our audience, here are a few of the things they were doing.
“God damn son of a bitch.” Cassimano swore as he pulled up the manhole cover.
“Got it.” Max said as he pressed the putty against the steel lid. “You can drop it now.”
“Set it down slowly.” Tommy said quickly. “Drop it and we could all go up.”
“I thought this stuff was stable.” Cassimano said,
“Well it’s more stable than C4 maybe, but it’s not that forgiving.” Tommy said.
“What number was that?” Asked Darrian.
“Um, two forty seven.” Max said looking at a map, marking another spot.
“Okay.” Darrian said. “Next is that building then.”
He pointed at a brown stone building at the corner of the block. Tommy lifted the bag and opened it. He smiled at all the lovely blocks of plastic explosive in the bag, and was glad that you never needed as much as the movies tried to make it look like you needed. They always went over board with the amount of stuff you needed. He might need only half a block for what he had planned.
“You even sure we’ll need all this stuff?” Max asked.
“Never hurts to be prepared.” Tommy said. “Learned that in the war.”
“Which war?” Cassimano asked.
“The only war America ever fought this century.” Tommy said. “You might have noticed but we only ever fought in World War Two, and that’s where I was.”
“Ah.” Cassimano said.
“Never mind all those poor bastards who died in Korea or Vietnam. Those guys in Iraq, well they were just so much collateral damage. Nope we’re gonna keep talking about how we trounced Hitler forever, even though the rest of the world’s long gotten over it.”
“Nice to know how you feel about these things.” Max said.
“You don’t remember what this country was like before those days.” Tommy said.
“I wasn’t around.”
“Yeah.” Tommy said. “I keep forgetting.”
“So do we think this idea will come off?” Darrian asked, longing to change the subject.
“Oh it might.” Tommy said. “I think we can have at least a thirty seventy chance of having to use it.”
April 12th, 2003
Cydrill Blackheart looked at the large door and wondered about it. It had taken them days, just to get this far. Might it take even more to get it open? What would he find if he did manage to get it open? There was nothing that said that they would even find their way back to The Hall from this door. He had never found another door though, after all these years, he had never known that there was a door.
They had been forced to dig, to hack with axes, and chop away at large rocks just to get to this door, and it could all be for nothing. He looked at the brass plate though, which still bore a promising label. He rubbed at the dust and read the words in what he assumed was a long dead tongue.
“Do we open it?” Tanteroy asked.
“We do.” Cydrill said. “I just worry about what we find on the other side.”
“What if it’s nothing?” Piedmont asked, still holding his axe, ready to deliver a blow. “Or something.”
“There’s only one way to figure it out.” Cydrill said, touching the door handle.
It was stuck at first, but after a few good hard pulls the door came swinging open. The hinges had been oiled; they must have been, for there was no sound. The door swung open and what little light there was in the tunnel spilled into the small room where a man lay dying. He was wearing the armor of a Selarian soldier. His breastplate of leather hadn’t been able to stop the thin, needle like arrows of the Karabak though. His eyes looked up at the three men as they entered the small room.
“Lord Blackheart.” The man said reaching up. “They’ve stormed the hall. Broken the doorways, killed everyone.”
His head fell and the man began to vomit blood. His body shook and convulsed, driving the thin arrows in further. A moment later all movement stopped and he was very still. Cydrill walked towards him and touched his neck, finding nothing. He stood up and looked around the room.
It was a fifteen-foot long room, octagonal in shape. A doorway was cut into each wall and a heavy door stood in place. Cydrill tried one, but found it wouldn’t open. He rammed into it, smashing against with his shoulder. The door however, wouldn’t move, he tired another to the same result. He took the axe from Piedmont and didn’t even try to open the third door. The wood split, and after only three strokes, the door shattered open.
Cydrill threw the axe down and walked across the thresh hold. He walked four steps and stopped, looking around him. He felt such despair looking at the place that he nearly broke into tears; he closed his eyes and covered his face with his hands.
“No.” Tanteroy said as he came through the doorway.
The palace had been called the darkened hall, but that had been more because of the doors ways than the place itself. It had been a brightly lit hall, with life and beauty. There had always been the colors of harvest here, bright red and oranges. There was an upended cornucopia of harvested foods. There had never been the darkness of winter here, just the twilight of autumn.
Now it was dark, only a few blue lashes of light came through the high windows at the top of the hall. It was also cold, and there was snow on the tile floor. What had made Cydrill stop, and made him despair was the beautiful woman who lay dead at the center of the floor. She wore a black dress, with black fur lined around the neck and cuffs. The dress had shown her bare shoulders, and the cuffs were just above her wrists. The long skirt had the same black fur, and her boots were of the finest black leather.
Her white hair had been tied in a long coiling braid behind her head and a thin silver circlet had been on her head. Now it lay a few feet away from her, from where she lay. She had been stabbed, the knife still in her breasts, her white eyes staring up at the ceiling.
“Azgana.” Cydrill said kneeling down, looking into her eyes. “Who did this to you?”
“Lord Blackheart?” A small voice asked.
“Fitz?” Tanteroy asked.
“Tanteroy, you live?” A small monk asked. The huge glasses he wore magnified his eyes. His black robes were the simplest things that would still allow him warmth.
“What has happened here?” Cydrill demanded.
“The twins, they sucked the world dry.” Fitz said.
“Who killed my sister?” Cydrill asked.
“They came and they killed her. I know not who they were. I came and found her dead.”
“She is eternal.” Cydrill said. “She is forever!”
“No lord Blackheart.” The small man said, bending over and stroking her head. “She has been slain, I stayed to look after her, make sure no one came for her.”
“Who would come for her?” Cydrill asked.
“You don’t know the world you left.” Fitz said. “It’s not the Assitania it was a year ago. There are things out there.”
“A year?” Piedmont asked.
“A year.” Fitz said. “Give or take.”
“It has been five millennia.” Cydrill said.
“Maybe for you.” Fitz answered. “Here, only a year has passed since that day. I’ve kept the clocks working; I’ve kept the calendar. Two says ago your sister was killed and today you arrive. I will mark your return in the book.” He turned away and began to walk across the floor.
“My sister, dead.” Cydrill said. “It cannot be. How can there be winter if Azgana is no more?”
“I know not Lord Blackheart.” Fitz said, turning his head to look and then continuing his journey.
Piedmont walked to the massive front gates and opened the small door next to them. There were always smaller doors in castles such as this, to prevent the need for opening the massive gates. The world outside was coated with snow and ice, and nothing else. There were no forests, no grasslands with the ends of grass just poking up, nothing. He remember how it had been, when he had been dragged here as a prisoner.
This had once been in the center of Asitania’s greatest forest, and now there wasn’t even a stump visible. There was something though, moving across the horizon. It disturbed Piedmont to see the thing, so he closed the door. He then worked the bolt, just to make sure.
He felt the guilt he felt so many times before, having helped create this. He had been a pivotal part before Tamarock had taken him. Cydrill had kept him from being killed and after some time had come to realize that he had been the wrong side. He wondered how Chandelroth had managed to come to earth, and had he killed Azgana? He looked at the dead woman, her body still laying in the position she had died in. Her left hand near her head, her right hand by her side. Something felt very odd about watching Cydrill weep over his beloved sister, and seeing her in that position. He thought that there was something wrong.
“Has any one pulled the dagger out?” The Other asked him.
“I don’t suppose they’ve tried.” He answered.
“Why don’t they?” She asked.
“I guess we could.” He said and then realized who he was talking to.
He looked down at the little girl, wrapped up warm in a pink winter coat with her hood pulled up. She had on little blue mittens, and a white knitted scarf was around her face. She smiled up at him, pushing her scarf down a little so he could see her face.
“Hi.” She said.
“What the blistering fu…” he checked himself. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to help.” She said, and began towards the dead woman, in the box of blue light.
Piedmont watched as the little girl approached the dead woman and wrapped her hand around the dagger’s hilt. She then pulled the blade out and fell over as a blaze of light poured from the wound. Azgana screamed and her back arched up. She began to rise into the air, and Cydrill grabbed her wrist.
The Other grabbed onto the woman’s ankle as she began to rise and every torch, fireplace, even an empty wine goblet, burst into a blasting flame. Azgana’s body was pulled up into the air, and Cydrill fell back. The Other held on though, and the windows exploded and things began to rush in.
They were black fell beasts, covered in snow and ice. Their breath was steaming in the cold air, and their teeth shimmered as they fell upon the group. Cydrill’s rage was sudden, the fires began to leap from their places and attack the beasts, as he drew a sword from a wall and fell upon them. Piedmont looked at the axe he still held and rushed into the fighting. Tanteroy attacked with the shovel he held.
Azgana screamed and writhed in the air, kicking at The Other who grabbed at her skirt and began to crawl up the twisting body. She held on as best she could as the woman began to change and become a bestial thing. The Other reached for the place where the light poured out of the wound, her tiny hand nearly reaching it. She didn’t bother looking at the hundred foot drop that she would suffer if she let go.
“It’s all gonna be okay.” The Other cried out. “You’re gonna be okay.”
Her hand closed around the wound and the light made her tiny hand became transparent from the light below it. The woman screamed in pain as The Other held onto the wounded spot.
“Kill me.” Azgana screamed “I’ll be one of them if you don’t kill me.”
“I won’t let that happen.” The Other said. “You’re going to be okay.”
“Just kill me you silly girl.” Azgana’s voice had become bestial
“I can’t.” The Other said, so calmly that it made one take notice. “This is what I can do. You’re going to be okay. You’ll see.”
The feeling in the room changed suddenly, and all looked up at the two floating one hundred and fifty feet overhead. The light was golden, like the maple syrup on a pancake. It poured down over them all, and warmth filled the room. The Other held onto the dress, gritting her teeth as something she couldn’t control flowed through her. She threw her head back and golden light poured out of her eyes. It showered out of her nose and ears and when she screamed it came from her mouth. Her skin glowed, and the room filled with the power. Nothing but the golden light could be seen, and a noise like a thousand mice calling to their god in thanksgiving.
Then, it ended, and Azgana floated down to the floor. She held her hands to her breast, where the wound had been inflicted. She landed gently, her heeled boots landed soundlessly on the stone tiles. She looked around at the men who lay on the floor, so many of them, they had been the fell creatures, but now they were men.
“The soldiers of the hall.” Fitz said as he came from the small office.
“Yes.” Cydrill said as he lowered the sword that could have cleaved another head open. “And none of them are dead.”
“Where is the girl?” Azgana asked.
“Where did she come from?” Piedmont asked. “She comes and goes at will.”
“She saved us.” One soldier said.
“So it would seem.” Cydrill said. “What happened here?”
“When you left, those things destroyed everything in their path besides the hall.” Azgana said.
“This tale will take a long time to tell I fear.” Kelaif, captain of the guards said.
“So it would appear.” Cydrill said.
“The problem is we don’t have time.” Tanteroy said. “We’ve got another world we’re trying to save from the same fate.”
“So we have.” Cydrill said. “But we have time to hear this tale.”
April 12th, 2003
“Weirdo?” The Other asked as she came into the kitchen, her eyes wide and shaking slightly.
“Hey Kiddo.” He said. “Your just in time to help with dinner.”
“Weirdo?” She asked again. “Are you there?”
Her big blue eyes rolled up, exposing the whites and she slumped to one side. She collapsed to the floor, and The Weirdo rushed to her side. He lifted her in his arms and nearly dropped her. She had a fever so hot he could feel her burning his hands, he cried out from the pain, as smoke began to rise from his shirt, which was beginning to flame in places. He set her down gently on the floor, patting out his smoldering shirt.
Jack rushed into the room, having heard The Weirdo cry out. Kestrel and Mrs. Pendleton came a moment later, finding him putting his hands into the freezer. He then looked at her and pulled the ice trays out and pour them over her. The ice cubes actually shattered and flew in all directions when they struck the little girl. She noted how his hands were already bright red and swelling. Kestrel watch as The Weirdo grabbed at the collar of the tiny cleric’s shirt and dragged her across the floor towards the sink.
The faucet was of a fairly new variety where the head could be pulled up and away for nearly two feet, forming a sprayer for the dishes. He turned the water on cold and simply held the stream over the tiny cleric. The water faired little better than the ice had, and the room was filled with steam soon after.
“What the hell is going on?” Kestrel asked.
“I don’t know.” The Weirdo said.
“This isn’t working.” Jack said as he poured bottle water from the refrigerator over her. “We need something colder.”
“Colder water?” The Weirdo asked. “The only place colder is…”
He poured the water over the girl and turned his face away as one of the hot ceramic tiles burst when the cold water hit it. The bit of tile struck him in the face and caused a long red wound across his left check. He looked around the room at the helpless faces around him.
“Meet me at the cabin.” He said to Jack. “Bring some of her clothes.”
He picked her up and he thought the heat must have intensified. He then rushed forward and with a burst of electricity, was gone. They looked at each other, and then at the burnt floor, and burst tiles. Kestrel covered her mouth with her hand and found that she had been crying.
“All channels, all channels.” Jack said into the pen shaped device. “This is Sod Buster, emergency meeting at the cabin. If you can get there, get there, if not get to the house and then get to the cabin. This is an emergency.”
April 12th, 2003
There was a burst of electrical power and The Weirdo was running towards the lake. It would have been poetic to stop and look at the lake, to think about how he had never broken the surface. He would have liked to contemplate the fear that had lived in that lake, but there was no time. His child was hot enough to melt steel and all he could think was that this lake was somehow too cold for ice to form in it. He rushed into the water and ran until he was up to his chest. He lowered The Other into the cold water till just her mouth and nose were exposed. The water boiled up around her as she was immersed.
He felt his legs cramp up and his bowels tighten from the cold. He thought he might fall down from the cold, he could have passed out. He held up though, holding the child up, as the water around her boiled. He kept his legs moving, despite the cold they felt. He held her up, and moved his hands around, as the water moved over her. The cold of the water was being forced away from the heat of her body. The heat of her body though, was being sucked away through the contact with such cold water.
The Weirdo hoped that he was right about endothermic reactions, or she was going to die from heat and he from cold. He kept moving around, as much to keep a supply of cold water on her as to keep his legs warm. It took what seemed like days, but the water stopped boiling around her, and then it stopped steaming, and she began to shiver slightly. He pulled them out of the water, and walked to the shore. He wanted to collapse, but he couldn’t, he knew he couldn’t. He had to keep himself from falling over while carrying his precious cargo.
Jack’s blue streak zipped across the sky and he came down from the sky with Kestrel who had a fist full of clothes. He placed the tiny cleric on the blue grass of the lawn and sat down next to her. As his mind began to loose it’s footing on the deck of consciousness, he looked up at Kestrel.
“Change her from wet clothes.” He muttered. “Don’t want her to catch cold.”
He then fell face first into the grass and felt every thing spin away. He spun away from his body just like the night he died. Everything went so peaceful, and he had spun away. Everything reached an odd calmness, and blackness over took him.
April 12th, 2003
“Is he okay?” Tommy asked.
“Define okay.” Kestrel said.
“I can’t.” Tommy said, after a pause. “I’ve lost all frame of reference.”
“He’s not dead again is he?” Max asked.
“No.” Kestrel said.
“Then he’s fine.” Max said.
“Where is he?” the gray man asked.
“Sleeping.” Jack said.
“Is he going to do that for a while?” Darrian asked.
“He hasn’t slept in days.” Tommy said.
“What the hell happened?” Cassimano asked.
“I don’t know.” Jack said.
“The Weirdo screamed like he was in pain.” Kestrel said. “When we came in he was throwing ice cubes on The Other and then dragged her to the sink.”
“We poured water on her but it didn’t help.” Jack said. “Then he said to meet him here and he vanished.”
“Cut time.” The gray man said. “I didn’t master it for a very long time. It’s not an easy trick, not until you learn the secret.”
“Well he did that.” Jack said.
“Then we found him here and they had just come out of the water.” Kestrel said. “I got The Other changed and put her to bed and then we changed The Weirdo and put him to bed.”
“Not very dignified.” Tommy said. “I hope you two took into consideration that the water must have been very cold indeed.”
“I did yeah.” Jack said,
“What?” Kestrel asked.
“It’s… just trust me. If he asks just mention that yes the water was very cold.”
“Okay.” She said.
April 12th, 2003
“Are there horses left here?” Cydrill asked.
“There are, my lord.” Kelaif said.
“What are you thinking brother?” Azgana asked.
“Now we have heard the tale of what has become of our first home, I think we know how to save our adopted land.”
“We need to rebuild our home Cydrill.” She said.
“Would you have this happen to another world?” Cydrill asked. “Would you have me abandon another home and family because of my cowardess?”
She looked at his face, and then looked at the great doors of the only place she could call home. She thought about this other place, that her brother had called home, where he had apparently lived another life. She was his older sister and had existed three thousand years before him. Now to find that he had currently lived a thousand years longer than she had intrigued her. What had that world been like?
“Alright.” She said. “We’ll go save your new world. After that though, we must find a way to save this world.”
“Then let us gather the horses and what ever force for good might exists here.”
April 13th, 2003
Jack, Tommy, Nike, Cassimano, Athena and Darrian where sitting around the cabin’s dinner table looking at the map they had brought with them. Kestrel poured herself a mug of tea in the kitchen as they looked at the map. She came from the kitchen, which was open to the dinning room.
“Kestrel?” Tommy asked. “Could you bring me a mug of tea too?”
“Sure.” Kestrel said.
She walked to the kitchen with the two mugs and looked out at the living room where Angel and Kaala had fallen asleep next to each other. Judy and Sheila had long grown tired of their discussion and gone to bed. Mrs. Pendleton had gone back to the house with Max to gather a few provisions. It seemed wiser to stay at the cabin for the time being.
“So is there a way to get around all these?” Jack asked.
“There shouldn’t be.” Athena said, standing slowly.
She held her hand to her back, her swelling belly causing her some trouble. It had happened quickly, just over the last two days she had begun to show. Now she seemed ready to burst, though most thought it would probably be tomorrow when it would happen. Cassimano helped her up, holding her gently as Nike held the other hand.
“I just need to go to the bathroom.” Athena said. “I can manage on my own.”
Cassimano and Nike both sat back down, looking at the now empty chair that separated them. She extended her hand to him and he took her fingers and squeezed them gently. She smiled at him and bent down to kiss his fingers. They weren’t close, but they had managed to find a common ground and possibly a certain affection.
“You think this will be necessary?” Kestrel asked.
“It’s always helpful to think ahead.” Cassimano said.
“Besides, if I’m right this probably won’t be enough.” Tommy said.
“You’re just full of vim and pip aren’t you?” Jack asked.
“Better than lying.” Tommy said.
“Kestrel?” The Other said, at the bottom of the stairs.
“Hey shorty.” Darrian said spinning around.
“How you feeling dear?” Kestrel asked.
“I’m hungry.” She said.
“Well let’s get you something to eat.” She said.
“I can do that.” Nike said standing.
She walked to the kitchen, her wings occasionally just scrapping the ceiling. She looked up at them and they curled down to a respectable level. She wished they would fold down like angels in the paintings could. Her’s would just stand up, or spread out to let her fly. They never folded down, which was another reason to hate angels.
“What happened today Other?” Jack asked.
“Hungry.” She said. “I had to go to bed before dinner.”
“You gave us a bit of a scare actually.” Kestrel said.
“I’m sorry.” The little girl said looking at the floor.
“You want eggs?” Nike asked.
“Yeah.” The Other said brightening up. “Can you scramble them?”
“Sure.” Nike said smiling.
“Thank you.” The Other said.
“Other.” Tommy said. “What happened today?”
“I had to go help somebody.” The Other said. “Grandpa Cydrill’s sister needed help. I helped her and then it was so hot.”
“Yes.” Jack said. “It was hot, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, then The Weirdo put me in the lake and I dreamed.”
“Oh?” Kestrel asked.
“Yeah.” She said. “What are you guys doing?”
“Just trying to figure out what we’re going to do about all this trouble.” Tommy said.
Athena came back into the room and caught The Other’s eye. The little girl smiled at the goddess who smiled back. They both then looked into the kitchen where Nike was coming with a plate of scrambled eggs. She pulled a chair out for The Other and kissed her on the head as the child sat down. Nike then walked back into the kitchen and got a carton of orange juice and poured a glass, bringing it back to The Other.
“Thank you.” The Other said.
“Are you gonna blow up the streets?” The Other asked looking at the map.
“Why would you say that?” Athena asked, freezing half way in sitting down.
“You’ve got the map marked in all the places where it’s be easiest to create havoc.” The Other said. “Man hole covers, sewer grates and subway lines. If you started blowing things up there you could collapse a lot of area and prevent any one from moving along those routes.”
“Well that’s the idea.” Athena said sitting down.
“Only we’re not done.” Tommy said. “We had to come here.”
“Sorry.” The Other said.
“Don’t be.” Darrian said. “We had to get out of the area pretty soon anyway. The new System is running pretty regular sweeps around the city. They seem to think they own Manhattan island.”
“I’m getting pretty sick of them.” Cassimano said. “If we could get all our people in one place.”
“You’d all go down together.” Athena said. “This is a fight that’s going to require strategy and planning.”
“And an army.” Jack said. “Which we also don’t have.”
“We might be able to get one.” Nike said.
“Oh?” Darrian asked.
“Yeah.” Nike said. “We can call our uncles. Athena is the niece of Hades, my uncle is Charon.”
“Hades will not help us.” Athena said. “We have shunned him for too long.”
“He might.” Cassimano said. “Given the right motivation.”
“You gonna slap him around?” Tommy asked.
“Nah.” Cassimano said. “I’ll introduce him to a good plastic surgeon and the wonderful world of multilevel marketing.”
“He’s not actually evil you know.” Athena said.
“But he could be.” Cassimano said. “And that’s where the real money is. He’s into money isn’t he? I mean Hades is the Greek equivalent of Pluto and we all know about Pluto and money.”
“Do we?” Kestrel asked.
“It’s where you get the word Plutocrat, as in one who rules with money. Or was it for money?”
“Pluto’s is the god of money dear.” Athena said.
“Is he?” Cassimano asked. “I was in China and Iraq most the time you guys were really active. I didn’t make my way over to Europe till nearly the middle ages.”
Tommy began to laugh at that and in a few moments they were all laughing.
The Dream World
There is no time like the present
The Weirdo was standing alone in a field of daisies, which was odd, because he usually dreamt about bloodied fields. This comment has nothing to do with the story, as our hero wasn’t conscious of dreaming, it’s simply an attempt by the narrator to make you feel like you know the hero of the story (The Weirdo) a little better.
He walked through the daisies and looked down at his feet, he seemed to be standing on daisies. He pulled his switch blade out and flicked open the knife. He looked at his hand and wondered at that. He had a switchblade, but why would he have it in a field of daisies? He never carried it except for work, and he hadn’t even carried it since he had been given the Laguiole by… her name started with an E didn’t it? Ellen, Elise? No, Shannon, her name was Shannon.
He was her odd little man, and she was his everything. She had been so beautiful.
He reached down and cut away some of the daisies, and found that yes, he was standing on daisies. He pulled at the daises and found there was just more daises. He tore and cut as the bright green stems, causing them to bleed green ooze. He tore and pulled out huge clumps and finding only daises. He stood up and found he had dug a six-foot deep hole, of daises. The new generation seemed to have been built on the last generation, like coral. This wasn’t a coral reef though it was a field of daises.
He climbed up out of the field and walked purposely across it, trying to find a place that wasn’t covered in daises. He walked and walked, but out into the distance was nothing but daisies. He was thinking that he didn’t like daises, but there wasn’t much hope in getting away from them. They were such useless flowers, with stupid white petals and yellow faces. He could get into a rose, or even a geranium, but daises?
He walked through the field and noticed to his left that a forest the six of Chicago was to his left. He hadn’t noticed the forest before, there had only been the daisies. He didn’t want to keep walking on daisies forever though, so he began towards the forest. Out of the forest came a man with leaves for a face. He waved his hand towards The Weirdo to come closer.
Upon coming closer he could see that the man was made completely of leaves.
“A green man.” The Weirdo said. “Neat.”
“This was the only place we could talk to you.” An otherwise normal naked man said. What made him other than normal was the fact that he had a set of one hundred and fifty point stag antlers sprouting form his head.
“And a horned man.” The Weirdo said.
“He can’t pay attention.” The Green Man said.
“He’ll listen.” The Horned one said.
A bright orange bird landed on the nearest branch, it’s large eyes swiveling around trying to get the whole image. The Weirdo looked at the bird and pointed but didn’t actually say anything.
“We can’t get to Thor, he’s been taken by the enemies.” The horned one said. The Weirdo began to dance to some music that started to play. “You must listen!”
“He’s in Helheim.” Another voice said and a beautiful woman entered.
“I know you.” The Weirdo said. “You’re Chivetta.”
“No.” She said, breathing in deeply to control her temper.
They didn’t have time for him to be silly or disorientated. The colors were beginning to fade. They were loosing him quickly now. They had used up so much power to get to this point just to get this far, and it had used them up. Now he couldn’t be compelled to hold on, his dream state was taking over and they would loose him. She tried to exert what little strength she had to hold onto him.
“No.” He said. “Rosemary. Rosmerta!”
“Yes.” She said. “Thor is in Helheim.”
“We haven’t got time for this.” The orange bird grumbled.
“I don’t know who you are.”
“That’s because you don’t know enough about Rapa Nui?”
The Weirdo looked and cocked his head. He did know him it was just well…
“I always thought Makemake would be more colorful. You know, more than just orange.”
“If you’re the progenitor of an entire people, you can be whatever color you want.”
“We cannot free Thor.” The Green man said.
“We have no army to give.” The horned one said,
“This was the only way you could reach me.” The Weirdo said. “Thor could gather an army, he could make an army out of anyone.”
“We cannot help you, besides guidance.” Rosmerta said. “And we have used up the knowledge which we had.”
“Don’t be so damn negative!” The Weirdo said, and he looked angry.
The colors were suddenly so vibrant, the greens nearly blinding. The colors were so bright they almost glowed. Makemake who had only been orange exploded into a world of subtle hues, and his hold was almost too strong. The horned one had to lean against a tree from the rush.
“If the fucking Gods won’t stand up and do something, then what’s the use of anyone trying? How can anyone be expected to do what’s right if their only example are a bunch of weak kneed dick heads?”
“We.” The Horned one began
“Don’t give me that shit.” The Weirdo said, “You’re a fucking God, your image, in one way or another survives to this very day. Maybe people see a Satyr, and maybe they think it’s the devil, but it’s you.”
“I.” The Green man began
“And you!” The Weirdo turned. “You’re sold in every Yuppie fuck wad catalogue in the world. Every pagan wanna be girl has a resin cast of your face on their wall. You’ve become fucking ubiquitous in the last ten years, so don’t give me that shit.”
“You’re Goddamn name gave us mother fucking Rosemary!” The Weirdo roared. “So don’t tell me no body believes in you lot anymore. Even Makemake looks like something a child would love to have made out of Styrofoam to throw on a windy day.”
“Really?” Makemake asked, suddenly intrigued.
“Oh yes,” The Weirdo said, “You have no idea.”
“Imagine.” Makemake said, much impressed
“You… you’re all so powerful, if you’d just realize that old gods can do new jobs.” He seemed frustrated almost unto tears. “If you’d just stop giving up and moaning about how you’ve lost already. Jesus Christ in Cheese sauce, your like the Democratic party!”
“No wonder he doesn’t need us.” Makemake said. “He could be one of us.”
“I’m not one of you.” The Weirdo said. “I’m just a guy. I just want to get through the day, and do what I said I’d do.”
“You could be greater than just that.” Rosmerta said.
“I’m not going to do that.” He said. “I’m going to do what I said I would do.”
“Thor could be of assistance in that endeavor.” Makemake said. “He’s trapped in Helheim.”
“Who else?” The Weirdo asked.
“What do you mean?” The green man asked, far to quickly.
“Papa and Rnagi for a start.” Makemake said. “Tane, Wakea, Tyr, Seth, Horace.”
“They’ve been doing this for a while.” The green man said.
“Those who aren’t in Helheim are in Tartarus and Mitnal. Maybe more places.” The Horned one said.
“They’re massing armies together.” Rosmerta said. “This time though, there is no organized group to fight them. More are gathered together for this destruction than has ever been gathered before.”
“You get what you can together.” The Weirdo said. “If you can fight, come fight. If not, find a deep hole to climb into and don’t come out till the noise stops.”
“We might be able to find that some might know us.” Makemake said. “But our worshipers aren’t exactly world wide.”
“You do what you can.” The Weirdo said, slowly and distinctly. “I’ll do what I can do.”
“If we can provide some help.” Makemake said.
“Then you can.” The Weirdo said, and the colors began to rapidly fade.
The color faded and then the gray was replaced by black, like a bad television effect. He watched as everything slid away and he was standing in a black world. He could see himself, outside of himself. He was standing on a field of black, and then he was sliding through the ocean.
He was flying over the sea, and rushing towards the ice reaches, to see the thunder god. He would have to go get him, if only to find out why Thor had gone to Nefelheim. He had done it before and he could do it again. There had only been one person, god or man, who had gone to Helheim and escaped. Of course there was the fear that going back would be tempting fate, but that was a risk he would have to take. He ducked under the ocean, and he dove deep to the frozen bottom.
He reached the icy cold bottom, a place below the freezing point of water, but a place where there was too much pressure for the water to actually freeze. He touched the ground, and caressed a small nematode, then swam for the surface. He swam up, and the water was still cold. He felt like he was swimming through the frozen center of the earth, and yet he kept rising. He could see the surface, and yet it was so cold. He broke through the surface, and found he had come out of the lake. He looked at the cabin, and floated through its walls. He then found his way to his room and lay down on the bed, where he woke up.
Consciousness came slowly, and with trepidation. No one likes to wake The Weirdo when he actually gets to sleep. It’s only under the most dire circumstances that people bother him at a time like this. The problem had gotten so bad that The Weirdo didn’t like to wake The Weirdo. Consciousness did step in though, making the transition ever so slowly, so as not to cause anger.
April 13th, 2003
The Weirdo began to get up but stopped half way, when the shooting pain struck his brain. His hands hurt, and they hurt bad, so very bad. He flipped onto his back and held his hands up while trying to recall why his hands felt like he’d dropped them in a deep fryer. Then the image of the boiling lake came back to him.
Ah yes, that would be it. He had steamed his face and boiled his hands. The Other had been burning up in more than a metaphorical way, his shirt had caught on fire. Speaking of, where was his shirt? Or his pants, or his undies for that matter? He was stark naked, why would he be stark naked? Oh yes, The Lake. The memory of the lake tore across his mind, like a canker sore that he had suddenly bit on accident.
He stood up on feet and looked at toes that he thought were probably frost bitten. He walked to the drawers where a few spare sets of clothes were kept for just such an occasion. He found that he had to move slowly, because of the frozen feet and burned hands. It was a bit of a time, trying to slide into his clothes when his hands hurt so much. He couldn’t tell if they were covered in blisters until he turned the lights on and he wasn’t turning the lights on until he got dressed.
He slid into a pair of sweat pants and pulled a loose shirt over his head. He tried his best not to brush his hands with anything, since they were badly burned. He was about to attempt to switch the light on with his elbow, when he saw some light. The light switch was right next to the door, and there fore he could see some light down the hall. He walked out of the room and down the hall, looking for the source. He came down the stairs and found The Other sitting with Darrian, eating Kellogg’s Corn Pops cereal.
Can’t make this shit up; wish we could. They were easting sugar coated puffed corn cereal, with milk. If you really want to know, Darrian was on his third bowl, The Other her second. The Weirdo stood and watched for a while, and then cleared his throat.
“Hi Weirdo.” The Other said turning towards him.
“Why is she up?” The Weirdo asked.
“Slept most the day.” Darrian said.
“I see.” The Weirdo said.
“We’re eating cereal.” The Other said.
“I can see that.” The Weirdo said. “How many bowls.”
“Just two.” Darrian said.
“How many have you had?”
“Like five.” The vampire admitted a bit sheepishly.
“Yeah, not so many.”
“I could eat ten.”
“You gonna make this a Total commercial?”
“No.” Darrian said shaking his head, “Kellogg hasn’t come through with a check yet.”
“Ah.” The Weirdo said. “So it’s not selling out that bothers you it’s doing it for free.”
“Why should they get the benefit of my massive sex appeal for free?” Darrian asked.
There was a bit of a pause while The Weirdo considered the question. It was a good question, if you ignored that the only audience for this massive sex appeal was a strait man and a four-year-old child. No one in the room was really going to be swayed by his sex appeal not matter how massive really. Although that wasn’t to excuse the Kellogg Corporation from getting an advertisement for free.
“I can’t think of a single reason.” The Weirdo admitted.
April 13th, 2003
Everything was in readiness; Lilith was prepared for the dawn ritual. There were some who felt uncomfortable, and some were down right worried about this. She was beginning to scare some of them, and that made her angry. She was only doing this for the greater good, didn’t they see that? She hadn’t wanted to betray Jesus, but she was going to need more help than the soldiers of Christ could offer. Surely the risen dead would go along way, but she was unsure there would be enough of them. Would there be enough fighters, would they come at all? At least she thought that’s why she was doing it. She was beginning to feel like she was taking a back seat in her own body.
She couldn’t take the chance, and that was why Amy was laying on the stone slab. Her naked body was covered in Goosebumps, as the cold air whipped over her. Lilith found herself wanting to lick the cold hardened nipples. She wanted to suck and to stimulate the young girl. She knew that this wasn’t allowed though, that would defeat the purpose. The stone knife slung in Lilith’s belt required the blood of a virgin, at least as far as she knew. Her knowledge of the ritual was sketchy at best actually, but she knew what was required of her. They had told her what she needed to know. While she slept they had come in dreams.
She had dressed in not but a thin gauze piece of material, with a belt at the waist. It was little more than a tunic, and only barely that. Her own body grew hard against the cold breeze that blew up on the roof of the empire state building. She looked around the group of followers, those who were able to attend. They had gathered on the observation deck, and were packed in as close as they could get.
So many of them stroked Lilith’s arms, legs, buttock, and breasts as she passed that she wondered if they thought her the God here. She walked towards the stone slab where young Amy, beautiful Amy, had been tethered down. She knew that this was probably wrong; that this was in some small way rejecting Jesus, but that didn’t matter any more. She was beyond the concept of Gods. She would be one when this was all over.
“Hello Amy.” Lilith said. “Do you remain pure?”
She had been chained into place and her arms and legs had been lashed together with leather cords. This wasn’t because Amy was trying to get away, but because the process called for it. She wouldn’t be able to help her self from convulsing once they had started. Her body would want to live and there was said to be a bit of pain involved.
“I am pure.” Amy said, and Lilith noticed that her wide eyes were oddly dilated. Some one had been kind enough to slip something into her drink. “Pure as the driven snow, pure as the morn.”
“Then you are ready.” Lilith said, and raised the knife. “We offer to you our servant Amanda Smith, born seventeen summers ago and yet untouched by man or woman.”
“Good bye my lady.” Amy said. “I love you.”
“Love you too.” Lilith said. “It’s time to meet your husband.”
She stabbed the knife into Amy’s chest, and tore a cavity open. It wasn’t the simple activity she had thought it would be. She had to whack at the chest fairly hard to crack the ribs and then snap them open. The blood sprayed and soaked Lilith’s tunic. She twisted the knife and tore again, with more blood. She reached into the ribs and broke some of them open. She hadn’t been prepared for all the blood or how slippery it made everything, but she couldn’t stop now. Her upper body was covered in the thick red fluid, her tunic sticking to her body and disarrayed to the point where her right breast had become completely exposed. She reached in and pulled the heart from the cavity, while Amanda still writhed on the stone slab. It took two strong strokes and one sawing motion to cut the heart away from the arteries, and then she nearly dropped it. She held it above her head though, a few spastic beats pulsing in her hand. The crowd cheered then, when she held up the heart.
She placed the heart in the bowl of embers and poured on the oil like the book said she was supposed to. There was nothing for a moment and she wondered if she had done it wrong. Then the heart burst into flames and they cheered again, and continued to cheer as he came.
He was eight feet tall, and muscular. The god appeared in the visage that the Aztec’s had waited for. He was white skinned, and had a thick black beard. He appeared in the air and walked towards the observation deck. There was no sign of the feathered snake and Lilith had thought some mistake had been made, until she heard some of the girls whispering. They said he’d come in the returned form, that of a man.
“We have to throw the body.” Peach said.
“What?” Lilith said. “Oh, right.”
She cut the bonds and with the help of four others, threw her body off the top of the building. They had cut away the safety bars so that they could more easily perform this task, and were gratified to find it sailed good distance before it struck the building and then spiraled away to the street. The way the limp body tumbled was sickening to watch, though Lilith couldn’t help it.
The god stopped before the blood soaked slab, and then at the burning heart. It was clear that she hadn’t performed the ceremony perfectly, maybe he was confused about weather she meant to call him or not.
“This is mine?” Quetzalcoatl asked.
“Yes lord.” Lilith said.
What he thought was his was a mystery to her, there was just a bloody slab. It was then that she saw him begin to climb on the slab, and he became engorged. He knelt over and licked something that wasn’t there, but they all heard a moan. He moved up closer and they began to see Amy’s outline form as he pressed into her. She screamed at the first thrust, and at the second. She stopped screaming after that and only moaned. Then the moans became screams again, but of a different kind. A breeze came and the wind nearly froze Lilith, who’s wet body seemed to let the heat leave her body faster.
When the snake god had finished, she was fully solid again. She squealed, actually squealed, when he convulsed in the familiar way that Lilith knew so well. He drew out of her and stood up from the slab. He looked at Lilith, his engorged manhood pointing directly at her.
“You are my representative on earth.” Quetzalcoatl said. “I know why you asked me here, though you misperformed the rite, I knew. You have provided me with a fine new concubine, and for this you shall receive what you have asked.”
“Thank you.” Lilith said, falling to one knee.
“Now this little one and I shall retire.” Quetzalcoatl said. “When your gambit is prepared, we shall be there to do our part.”
The god and his new mistress turned away then, and walked back out over the open air. They vanished at the same point where he had appeared, and a long silence followed. Lilith no longer felt cold, in fact she felt like she was on fire.
“Did that just work?” Tyla asked.
“It did my love.” Lilith said. “It most certainly did.”
A Cheer went up and Lilith rejoiced. That could not have gone better, she told herself. The mistake, and the fact that he caught it had only added to their relief. They knew now not only would these things work, but that she hadn’t betrayed them. She had done this for the first time with all of them watching, she was no betrayer. She had done what had to be done, for the good of the group. Besides, they were both Pagan and Christian now. All the religions of the world would have to set aside their differences if the world was to be purged and healed of his evils.
She looked at the spot where Amy had lain, so happy, so ready. She had been taken right there by a God Lilith had called. They would all be ready now, to be taken by great and powerful gods. The idea that any one of them could be the next Gods concubine and all enjoy it as much as Amy had would go a long way.
She walked out of the observation deck and down to her room. Elated though she was, she was still covered in blood. She found Eve waiting for her at the elevator and they both went down together. Eve pressed the buttons for Lilith, and stripped the garment off her.
“You did well my dear.” Eve said looking at the covering of blood on Lilith’s body.
“I did it.” Lilith said, her orange eyes flashing to green then swirling to blue.
“I know.” Eve gave her a not particularly passionate kiss, and dabbed a bit of blood from her shoulder.
“They won’t ever question anything you say again.”
“Then we should take the baby.” Lilith said.
“It would encourage her.” Eve said.
“Do we know when it’s going to happen?”
“Soon.” Eve said. “I’ll tell you.”
April 13th, 2003
They were all sitting on lawn chairs, near or around the picnic tables that stood on the lawn between the house and the lake. The Weirdo was sitting in a long sunning deck chair, explaining his dream to the assembled masses. He was a little disappointed to find that Cydrill, Piedmont and Tanteroy were still not among them, but they had things to do. He knew that Cydrill was still going to be around for a little while and he might even be back at the house by now.
“Helheim.” Tommy said.
“Been there before.” The Weirdo said.
“Oh?” Jack asked.
“The only person, man or God ever to leave.” The Weirdo said. “Something to be proud of.”
“Why would Thor have gone there?” Nike asked.
“Why would Tyr? Or Seth for that matter.”
“Prisoner exchanges.” Tommy said. “Some one had something Hel wanted, and she exchanged something for something else.”
“Lucifer said they would be exchanging souls.” The Weirdo said.
“But how would Thor get stuck there?” Cassimano asked.
“You never met Thor did you?”
“Let’s just say in a world of extinguished candles, he’s still not the brightest bulb on the string.”
“Ah.” Cassimano said.
“Yeah.” The Weirdo said.
“So how did you escape last time?” Kestrel asked.
“Pure luck.” The Weirdo said. “Couldn’t count on that chance happening again.”
“Why is it impassable again?” Darrian asked.
“Gjoll is a pretty damn tough river to cross.” The Weirdo said. “Swift moving and it hooks around the place so that you keep washing up on the wrong shore.”
“Why would we go there anyway?” Athena asked. “Even if we free him, what’s the real likely hood that Thor would help us?”
“Good question.” The Weirdo said.
“Lousy answer.” Tommy said.
“Quite you.” The Weirdo said out of the corner of his mouth.
“The question is, would we just be wasting a lot of valuable time and effort going into Nefelheim?” Athena asked.
“If he’s there and wants to help, no.” Tommy said.
“But if he’s not there, or doesn’t want to help.” Jack said.
“The problem as I see it.” The Weirdo said. “Is that all we have is a dream I had when I was in a lot of pain and my body was already producing opiates to dull such pain. I mean they still hurt but I can hold a gun now.”
“We need and army.” Darrian said. “We’ve known this.”
“And I know my father.” Athena said, stroking her widening belly. “He’ll go with the side that can promise the most power for him. All we can offer is that the status quo will be maintained.”
“Which leads me to another question.” The Weirdo asked, pushing his sunglasses up. “Are we on the right side?”
“Yes.” Max said.
“How do we know?”
“We’re not going to destroy the world.” Max said
“How do we know they’re going to destroy the world?” The Weirdo asked. “Lilith claims their going to end pain.”
“Life is pain princess.” Max said, actually capturing anger in his voice. “Anyone who says other wise is selling something.”
“Maybe it doesn’t have to be.” Mrs. Pendleton said.
“I can’t believe you!” Max said standing up. “How can you guys sit around and be prepared to just let the world end? I mean… if the world… can it be undone? I mean will it be retroactive? If there was no pain in the world, I’d probably never have lived. Who amongst us would be here, right now, with these people? Who would still be alive, and who might never have lived?”
“How would that work?” Judy asked.
“It wouldn’t.” The Weirdo said. “I was just sick of hearing the excuse from my own lips.”
“What?” Max asked. “You agree?”
The Weirdo walked towards Max and set one of his lobster red hands on the young man’s shoulders. This caused him great pain, but he concealed it, as heroes have to do at these times.
“If you take my sins, do my merits mean anything? You can’t take my pain, without diminishing my joy. Even if the world didn’t end, what kind of life would we leave them?”
“A dull one.” Sheila said.
“But one where no one has to kill their own parents.” Athena said, and Max winced.
“A place where there are no Gods.” The Weirdo said. “Because if everything worked out perfectly why would you need them? The gods were invented because of pain. If the rain comes every year and one year it doesn’t, don’t you make up a reason and try to rectify it?”
“No gods?” Nike asked.
“No lesbians, no cola, no fucking blue raspberry flavored lolly pops.” The Weirdo said. “You wanna live in that kind of world? Where everything is so god damn perfect that life isn’t worth living. We’d be the perfect goddamn cattle to happily be lead to the slaughter. Who would rule that world, you me? No, them.”
“No lesbians?” Nike whispered.
“No cola?” Kestrel asked.
“No blue raspberry.” Jack rasped.
“No fucking Blue raspberry.” The Weirdo said. “Nothing that would cause any kind of strife or problems, but under the surface would be the memories of that world, when we were alive. The world in the gray flannel suit.”
“You know how to stop it?” The gray man asked.
“You’re darn tootin’.” The Weirdo said. “We take a plan of action.”
“You didn’t want to get involved.” The gray man said,
“I’m going to do this my way.” The Weirdo said. “Which involves a lot of small applications of force in pivotal areas. When I’ve affected the few important places, we can back off.”
“Maximum impact for minimal force.” Max said.
“See, somebody listens to me babble.” The Weirdo said hooking a thumb towards Max.
“No, I read it in a comic book.” Max said.
“Was it written by Frank Miller or Alan Moore?”
“Ah shit, we’re fucked.” The Weirdo said
April 13th, 2003
The Weirdo was standing in the workshop attached to the garage. He was measuring out amounts of power into a small container that he then tipped into the brass shell casings. He had made so many of these in the past, and now it gave him no joy. He of course had bought rounds, because you can’t always pour your own. He liked being able to do this though, being able to make his own rounds. He sometimes, like today, went so far as to pour his own bullets. There were six dozen small lead, copper and steel bullet heads laying in lines of two dozen each.
“Do your hands hurt?” The Other asked walking into the shop behind him.
“Yes.” The Weirdo said, measuring out another amount of powder.
She clambloured up to the work shelf and sat down on it, so as to see him better. He didn’t need the counter space, but it urked him having someone watch him work. This was something he did in solitude, with out an audience. He didn’t say anything though, because why would he? What was she hurting? Nothing let her stay.
“I’m sorry.” She said.
“Why are you sorry?” He asked.
“It’s my fault”
“It’s not your fault you had a fever sweetie.” The Weirdo said laughing as he finished the last powder filling.
She reached out and put her hand over his. The glow was brief and his hand changed from red to its more normal color. She smiled apologetically and pulled her hand away. He set the plastic box that held the up turned shells in place down on the shelf and turned to her.
“What happened yesterday Other?” He asked
“Grandma told me Cydrill’s sister needed help. She told me how to get to Assitania, and I went. I got to Cydrill’s palace and his sister was dead on the floor, she’d been stabbed. Everyone was standing around crying, even grandpa Cydrill was crying. So I thought, why not take the knife out, so I did. Then she started flying in the air, and I went with her. These things came into the room, and Cydrill and Dagron were fighting them. I put my hand over her heart to heal her and….” She began to cry. “And I couldn’t stop it. I felt like I exploded, like I was healing everything. It hurt so much and I couldn’t stop it.”
“Hey.” He said picking her up and holding her head to his shoulder. “Shush shush.”
“I broke away.” She said, sniffling. “Before I stopped, and then I was home. Everything hurt, and I felt so hot, and then I fell asleep. And then I don’t know what happened. I fell over and then I was somewhere and I don’t know how I got there.”
Here she began to sob again and The Weirdo was reminded, ever so painfully, that she was just a scared little girl. She didn’t know anything, yet she knew everything that there was to know. There were things she could do that obviously terrified her. She screamed into his shoulder and her tiny fist ineffectively struck his chest.
The Weirdo felt more pain than a tiny fist could ever place. He was also angry on the little girl’s behalf, angry that such a tiny child should have to go through such a thing. His face twisted up in a mask of rage. He held her head to his shoulder, to prevent her from seeing it. He walked out of the workshop and just walked till he reached the shore of his island. He held her, stroking her hair gently.
If and when he ever found out who was responsible for making her with so much power and not the experience to control it, there would be words. No, there would be blows. He would nock and eye out, Gods are all used to loosing eyes. After that he would give the individual a moment to explain before knocking the other eye out.
“Do you know what?” The Weirdo asked.
“What?” She asked, rubbing the tears from her eyes.
“I don’t know when your birthday is.”
“Me neither.” She said.
“When all of this is over, we’re going to find out when your birthday is and we’re gonna have us a party.”
“And a big cake made mostly of frosting.” He said.
“Goody.” She said.
“I’m glad you’re excited.”
© 2014 Autumn Knight Productions
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