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Brothers & Sisters – Chapter Twenty-Four: The Forces of Evil are Victorious (Do not forsake me oh my darling)

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

Chapter Twenty-Four

The Forces of Evil are Victorious

(Do not forsake me oh my darling)

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:45 a.m.

 

            They writhed on the floor, shaking as Lilith walked towards a second stairway. This stone walk way led up to the roof, where the ritual began. They were unmoving for some time, though few have a capacity to tell how long. The pain was unendurable, yet it never seemed to break them. It seemed to hold them at the very edge of their endurance, to keep them in pain for as long as possible.

 

            On another floor, Aphrodite was trying to crawl away as another shock of pain wracked her body. Eoster had somehow managed to get out of the scope of influence and watched as Aphrodite and the gray man shuddered and writhed on the floor. Her hand went to her mouth to hold back a scream as they lay trying to scream. That was the worst part, after a few early cries, they simply made croaking noises.

 

            She couldn’t endure watching any longer and something from her belly made her move. Later she wondered if it was the child inside her that made her move, and had protected her. Tears were pouring down her face she hadn’t noticed that she was sobbing until this moment. She turned and began to run down the hall, trying to figure out what to do, and bumped into an answer.


 

            The Other was dressed in her pink and yellow raincoat, her denim skirt banging into her calves. She popped a fruit snack into her mouth, and chewed it like a gunfighter with chewing tobacco. Her mouth was open as she chewed, trying to look tough. She wiped her hand on the bright yellow shirt she was wearing. Eoster looked at her and picked her up quickly.

 

            “We can help them.” The Other said.

 

            “What?” Eoster asked still rushing down the hall.

 

            “Turn ‘round ya Wendy.” The Other snapped.

 

            That stopped Eoster and she looked into the bright beautiful face. This could be the face of her own child. This could very easily be her daughter. Somehow when she spoke though, it was the child who had authority. She set down the child, who looked like something from another world.

 

            “Who do we help first?” Eoster asked.

 

            “Angel and Kaala.” The Other said. “My brother will take care of our father.”

 

            “You have a brother?” Eoster asked.

 

            “Adopted.” The child said.

           

            Eoster looked into the room where Alice and Keyrran lay on the floor making the sickening croaking sounds. It was horrifying and she had to hold her hand over her mouth. The Other took the backpack off her back and opened it thrusting her hand in. She moved for a moment, and for just a moment Eoster was sure she was going to draw a gun of some kind. It was of course a ridiculous thought yet she had the stance of her father when he drew. The child instead pulled the small black and white kitten from the bag. The cat blinked in the light, and her tiny mouth opened wide in a yawn wide enough to engulf the world.

 

            “C’mon Fancy.” The Other said. “Clobberin’ time.”

 

            The gray man was sure he was seeing things when the door swung open suddenly. Some one had kicked the door and it swung open like the devil’s maw. He had already seen a few things, but they were nothing like this. The visions he’d had were incredibly unpleasant and this, well, just wasn’t. It was possibly, the most pleasant thing he could think of. In fact, if he had to make a list of pleasant things the little girl would have been at the top of it. The Other had kicked the door open and was walking in like a gunfighter from some old movie. In her arms thought, she carried her cat, instead of any weapon. She stood watching them, leaning on one hip. She looked like the tiniest gunslinger ever the world did see.

 

            “Time to let my friends go.” The Other said. “One chance.”

 

            “What?” one of The Power minions asked.

 

            “Had your chance.” The Other said and she closed her eyes.

 

            It began as a ball around the kitten, light pink and transparent. The Other squeezed her eyes closed and the ball expanded until it encompassed her body. She took in a deep breath of air into her small lungs and squeezed her entire body, the shell expanded. In a few seconds it touched Kaala’s leg and soon encompassed her entire body. As soon as the shell touched her, the pain began to fade.

 

            The Other bared her teeth and began to sway gently as tears began to trickle from her tightly squeezed eyes. The shell extended and Alice found the thoughts of pain and agony had simply faded. She was thinking, suddenly, about watching Evil Dead 2 with The Other. Kaala found that her legs didn’t hurt any more, and she was considering a picture she had watched The Other draw.

 

            When the ball of pink had encapsulated them all it stopped growing. The Other’s eyes opened and looked directly at the group of psychic tortures, and the ball of pink expanded suddenly. They, as a group fell to the ground a moment after the ball expanded around them. The gray man looked at The Other and began to move towards them.

 

            “No.” The Other said. “It’s not their fault, they just need to sleep a little while.”

 

            “Other?” The Gray man asked.

 

            “You need to sleep too.” She said.

 

            “I’ve got to find Eve.” He looked at her with a determination she was not prepared to fight.

 

            “Okay.” She said and nodded.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:51 a.m.

 

            Max was in great pain, yet something wouldn’t sit still. He was the youngest, and thus it is possible to suggest that he was the least guilt racked of the group. To this end there was just a tiny crack, were a crow bar could get in. There was one small comment made that kept coming back. It was like a gnat, banging against a screen, it knew there was a whole it just had to bang enough to find it.

 

            “We supplied heroin to North America throughout the nineties.” The gnat found its hole and the crow bar found its crack.

 

            He had loved his mother despite everything that had happened. He had loved her. She had shown her love to him, saving his young body from outright rape. As for the rest it was because, well because of (We supplied heroin) she had problems. She had tried to love him best she could, but it had been such a long time (through out the nineties) that she had been sick. She had killed a man to save him, because she loved him. He had loved her, she was his mother, and he loved her. He had given her that shot (heroin to North America) twice the sizable dose she was taking at the time. He had told her he loved her; it was the last thing he’d said to her. (Heroin) She couldn’t make her hands work the needle any more, so he did it for her. He gave her a very strong dose and stroked her hair as her heart failed her, and her breathing stopped. He had killed his mother because of (we supplied heroin to North America) them. He had done it out of love, but he hated who had done this to her.

 

            The words began to bang around and strike the same place over and over again. Anger began to build up in Max’s mind, and in his state that was probably unhealthy. All he could see for a moment was the peaceful look on her face, knowing all the pain was over. He had killed his mother to end all that pain, and the image was his own thing. It struck against the walls and banged around and caused a fuse to blow. That fuse caused a major melt down in Maximilian Zane’s brain. His right hand reached out and took hold of his Berretta; the left hand touched the Glock. He then stood up and announced the beatings would now begin by saying very loudly and clearly…

 

            “I have had enough of this!” His two hands came up and the pistols began to bark. There were twelve rounds fired and the ten flew back, he felt a horny and hard hand on his shoulder and he spun around, still firing. “You want some?”

 

            He fired the guns into the group of gods who stood behind him. Several of them weren’t hurt, but Hekatai lay dead on the ground before the guns ran empty. The Weirdo stood up and his hand looked for the black gun, but it was gone again. His hand did close on Excalibur and he drew it from its sheath. He yanked Max back by his collar and stood out before him. Max began to reload the two guns as The Weirdo stared down the assembled Gods. Blood was pouring from both nostrils, and his left eye was beginning to twitch and swell. These things made him look all the more dangerous and menacing than less so.

 

            “We are going to stop this from happening.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “No.” Horus said and took a step forward; his hand was extended out in a gesture for halting.

 

            Excalibur danced through the air, Horus’s hand landed on the ground. The Weirdo then took a step forward and sliced the legs of the god out from under him, and took his falcon head as he fell. He looked at the hawk head and gave it a savage kick like a football. The head sailed out into empty space and then began to fall towards the earth.

 

            “Any one else.” Max asked, aiming the two pistols over The Weirdo’s shoulder. “Please say yes.”

 

            “You know this is going to turn out badly for you.” Isis said softly.

 

            “Oh yes?” Max asked, tears running in twin tracks down his face. “But I’ll kill the first one of you that interrupts us. This has nothing to do with your little thing now.”

 

            The Gods looked at each other and began to back away from them slowly. The Weirdo could feel the sword tremble in his hand. He thought it wanted to kill more. He could hear Max’s breath and felt the heat coming off him. He would have to do something quickly, or the entire thing would spinout into a blood bath.

 

            “That’ll do pig.” The Weirdo said softly.

 

            “Yes sir.” Max said.

 

            “We are going now.” The Weirdo said. “If you try anything I think we could probably kill the lot of you right about now. I am just in the mood.”

 

            “We should be on the roof.” Hera said to Isis.

 

            They vanished and reappeared on the roof.

 

            The Weirdo turned and started to run.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:58:50 a.m.

 

            Eve was running through the building, trying to reach the second ritual. She would have to be there to be the high priestess if anything went wrong with Lilith’s ritual. She stopped half way down the hall when she discovered The Gray man leaning against a wall, blocking her way.

 

            “Hello Lilith.” He said smiling. “I bet no one recognized you with those contacts.”

 

            “Hello Weirdo.” She said, smiling at him. “You’re going to try and stop me then?”

 

            “Have done.” He said, showing her his gun. “I shot those pretty boys you imported to do the other ritual for you.”

 

            The gun was an automatic, yet it was of no company. It had been hand wrought and forged by hand. It was pewter gray, and had a large silencer attached to it. It was gray like The Weirdo’s gun was black, and had mystical powers.

 

            “You’ll never finish it.” She said.

 

            “Oh yes we will.” He said smiling. “You and I.”

 

            He leapt towards her and like passing through silk, they vanished.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:59:12 a.m.

 

            The stairs hadn’t looked like they would take eight minuets to climb up them, but it had taken that long. The Weirdo had started to count the steps but stopped when he reached two hundred and they still had only gone a quarter of the way. It was exhausting reaching the roof, but they made it just about the last second. The Weirdo came up and saw Lilith, still naked with a twisting sharp dagger in both hands.

 

            The Weirdo didn’t think, which was an unfortunate oversight by him. Maybe it would be more accurate to say he did think, but about the wrong thing. He drew his pistol as he came to the top of the stairs and his aim was perfect, but he was possibly aiming in the wrong place. The bullet struck the steel dagger and was meant to tear it from Lilith’s grasp. During the ritual though, her strength had grown to the point where the knife stayed in her hand. Half the blade shattered but a sharp point remained. She took no time to be shocked or even to look she simply plunged the dagger. If The Weirdo had fired at her head the way his mind had told him to, all would have been averted.

 

            As he came up the rest of the way he saw that it was Peach whose naked breast had been stabbed by the dagger. Lilith yanked the knife hand to one side and with the help of some one The Weirdo didn’t recognize, tore her heart from the cavity. She held the bloody heart over her head and threw it at him. The bloody organ bounced off his chest and she laughed, her eyes blazing from gold to red.

 

            “Now the time will come!” She shouted over the noise. “All will be well.”

 

            “You stupid bitch.” The Weirdo stalked forward, raising his gun, but someone hit him. He wasn’t sure who the bear like man was, possibly some sort of Indian God he’d not heard of.

 

            Lilith ran down another stairwell, and the Gods began to look at the group who had come up the stairs. Angel and Kaala had managed to join them, and Alice and Keyrran were in attendance. The group of Gods looked at the sky, where a massive storm was becoming a long tunnel, like a tornado. The Weirdo looked at the Gods who had no interest in him and then at the tornado, which was really becoming more like a massive tunnel, facing them. The storm was picking up a lot of wind, and he could tell something was coming.

 

            “Max.” He said over the building storm. “Lilith is yours. The rest of you get the hell out of here. We’ve lost this one.”

 

            Max ran across the temple floor and down the other stairwell. Darrian followed and Keyrran went with them.

 

            “I’m not leaving you.” Elise shouted.

 

            “Go!” He commanded. “There’s nothing more you can do here.”

 

            “We can play back-up.” Tommy said.

 

            “Not against this.”

 

            “Doesn’t matter.” Tommy said drawing out his Thompson. “Nothing else left to do.”

 

 

March 19th, 3068 B.C.E.

10:21 p.m.

 

            The castle of this Welsh country side had a name you couldn’t actually write down without causing cramps and trying to say it would drive a man mad. It seemed to be fifteen consents strung together without a vowel in sight. The rain came down hard and lightening ripped across the sky. An elf looked at the both of them as a hail of arrows came down on the ramparts.

 

            “This is where you ended it.” He said. “You think I never checked it out.”

 

            “What the hell are you talking about?” She asked.

 

            “You drove magic from the world at this battle.” He had to shout over the noise. “We found that much out, Aph and I.”

 

            She turned and ran from him. He wanted to just shoot her, but he had to do it right. She would lead him to the rest of them, that was more important.

 

            “Calregha.” A dwarf asked him. “What is going on?”

 

            “Keep fighting and don’t let them through.” The Gray man said. “I think we can have a victory.”

 

            He followed her in the rain, keeping her in his sites. He had known who she was the first second he’d laid eyes on her. Just as he had kept trying to get things right, so had she. She had dragged this same Lilith around from world to world though, unlike him. She and her younger self had traveled from world to world trying to make their mission fit just right. They had driven magic away until they had reached the last Welsh strong hold and then driven it fully from the world.

 

            That had been the first step in calling the twins, and he wasn’t going to let it happen again. Well to be honest, at this point he wasn’t going to let it happen at all. He had fought in three different places in this battle but he had never been able to stop the tide of non-magic that they had released. He finally had come to the conclusion that if he brought Eve back she would lead him to the place where they were having the driving ritual. It had worked too.

 

            She ran into a tent, and he followed her.  There were ten of them, ten different Liliths. They all looked at him and some of them smiled.

 

            “You can’t do it Weirdo.” The one who was Eve said, “You can’t kill an ex-lover. You’ve got that whole violence against women thing you need to combat.”

 

            “You’ve got a few things wrong.” He said. “I’m not The Weirdo, not really. I’ve been the Gray Man so long I’ve actually changed. Besides, these are the good old days, before female emancipation. A man is still supposed to keep his woman in line if she gets bitchy and tries to wipe magic from the earth.”

 

            He fired a single silent shot and Eve fell to the ground, brains and blood splattering. He then trained his gun on the other nine and killed them as well. He looked at the large glass orb, which stood on its stand in the middle. He knew what this was; it was the orb, which sucked magic out of the world. He could just take it away maybe use it later. He could be the one with the power. Who would know if he just kept it in reserve? He knew who would know though, he would. He drew a new clip for his gun out and reloaded his weapon. He then fired ten shots at the orb. The glass cracked and split until the entire globe began to fall in on itself. It imploded into nothing, vanishing as if it had never been.

 

            The battle was then over, Magic had won and would not be driven out. All the magic that had been absorbed would be released, and the purge would never have happened. He sat down on a bench and looked at the broken pieces of the orb. He wondered how this would affect things to come.

 

            “Done it then have you?” Aphrodite asked.

 

            “Yes I have.” He said slipping the gun away.

 

            “Good.” She said and sat on the bench next to him.

 

            “So what happens now?” He asked.

 

            She smiled and raised her eyebrows as she spoke.

 

            “We have a congratulatory shag on the wet ground.” She said.

 

            “Do we?”

 

            “Oh yes.” She said smiling impishly.

 

            “Then what?”

 

            “We have another.” She said touching the lapels of his coat. “And then we have another, and after that we begin to do things that we certainly couldn’t talk about in polite society.”

 

            “Yes but what about out there?” He said pointing his thumb.

 

            “They can fuck too.” She said and kissed him.

 

            “When we get back though.” He said

 

            “It’ll sort itself out I think.” She said. “We can fuck now.”

 

 

April 12th, 2003

12:00:01 p.m.

 

            The funnel opened and the creature came down it. Or maybe it was creatures, plural instead of singular. They were bizarrely made monsters their bodies were scaled like reptiles, yet they had flat faces like the puppets of Chinese dragons carried in parades in China town. They had long s flat strips of gold for hair, which fluttered loudly against each other in the wind. Their eyes were huge, and globular, with massive black pupils. One of them had deep purple scales and the other bright green scales

 

            The thing that made you want to scream that made you want to look away though, was that they were one creature. They had some how been wrapped around each other. If you made two men out of clay, and you twisted the torsos around one another, and then the legs, arms and tails you would have this creature or creatures. They were entwined and horrifying looking. Their heads where stuck to each other so that the purple head had only it’s right each and the green head had only its left. The hands were odd affairs where even the fingers had been pressed against one another and twisted together.

 

            They had warred once, been enemies. They were brothers, twins in fact, yet they had hated each other. The fighting went on for many millions of years until a truce was demanded by their father. Since they both declared there was only room for one of them, he compromised. He took his two sons and wrapped them together to form one being. The war hadn’t ended then though, it had merely turned outwards. They stopped trying to destroy each other and destroyed everything in their path.

 

            The Weirdo knew it must be grandma giving him this information but it didn’t help much. He had never seen things like this in all his years. The twins came down the tunnel and stopped, waiting. One of them opened a mouth and he could see two full rows of flat sharpened steel teeth, glittering in what little light remained.

 

            There was only one thing he could think to do, he flew out to greet them.

 

            “Where is the destroyer?” The purple head asked.

 

            “He is always to meet us when we emerge.” The green head said.

 

            “That is he?” The purple head asked.

 

            “Ah, no.” The Weirdo said. “The destroyer never came.”

 

            “You are he?” The green head asked.

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said. “No I’m here to stop you.”

 

            “The knight?” The purple head asked.

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said. “Just The Weirdo.”

 

            “We shall end him.” The green head declared and extended a hand.

 

            The Weirdo’s hand reached inside the coat, but there was nothing, no weapon at all. The world became once again, as it had too many times that day, a world of pain. Something shot from the palm of the left hand and struck him, and began to eat away at him. It was like having all sensations at once as the beam of light beat against him. He was both frozen and burned, attacked with a cacophony of sound and total silence. He was being drowned and dehydrated all at once, and always with the light. There was no shadow, merely the light. It eroded him away and he could pieces of himself fluttering behind with from the mighty wind, which was at the same time no wind at all.

 

            A bolt escaped the hand and The Weirdo was gone.

 

 

The time was 12:01:31 p.m. on April 14th, 2003 C. E.

 

 

A Place were the calendar has no meaning

A Place where time does not matter

The Weirdo’s Personal time line: After loosing to the twins.

 

            He felt himself trying to gather himself up, after something had scattered him. The legs had come first, or at least he felt them first. He had the legs to walk with, so he walked. The arms came and the torso must have come along at some point because he wrapped his arms around himself as he walked. There had been something terribly important he was meant to be doing, if only he could remember what exactly that something had been. He kept walking, feeling that the dusty earth below him was all that was real in the world.

 

            He had an image in his mind, of a pair of pistols, yet there they were before him. They were made of silver and had some sort of white wood, or possibly sandstone for handles. They were old revolvers, Colt Peacemakers. Their owner had abandoned them long ago, and now they had grown tarnished with neglect. He tired to swallow and found that his throat refused, too dry to even work itself. He closed his eyes and tried to ignore the dryness in his throat, and the mocking guns. When he closed his eyes he saw another revolver. This looked like some one had heard of the idea of a revolver but only had flintlock technology. The thing was about three times the size of any normal revolver and was a marvel of brass and steel. It looked like a pistol made in France, and which still resided there. He had seen the sixteenth century weapon once and marveled at the fact that they had wanted to make a revolver that long ago. He opened his eyes and saw another pistol, like a hand held gattling gun flashed across his mind. It was as if he were looking for the image of a particular gun, but the gun wouldn’t come.

 

            There was something he was supposed to do, but he couldn’t remember what it was.

 

            The guns though, they might have been part of it. If he could just hold a gun, he could do it. There had been a gun, once upon a time. He wasn’t a gunslinger though he was a gangbuster. He’d been given a gun, or he had bought a gun. There had been a gun.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:01:33 p.m.

 

            Kestrel and Tommy had been shooting ineffectually as Jack had flown around the two heads with Darrian and Nike kicking at them. There was no effect as they attacked, and Athena was trying to fire larger and larger guns in frustration. Cassimano was the first to see the great pair of hands extend and the bright light that extended from the palms.

 

            They were all thrown to the floor of the massive temple, and Jack had to catch the altar to avoid being thrown off the roof. They were thrown to the floor and found that the apparent idea was to overload their senses to death. There was pain, but also pleasure. The noise was defining, and so was the silence. There was blistering heat, as well as freezing cold. They felt soaked and dried out at the same time. And yet there was only light, no shadow. They felt their bodies eroding away as all shading left them. They were going to be whited out on a wave of extremes.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:01:45 p.m.

 

            Lilith had used a touch of magic to make the corset and pants wrap themselves around her body. Her boots clattered as she ran across the floor, making themselves slip into place. The gunshot was the first thing that stopped Lilith; the bullet hitting the door was the second. The bullet tore a large hole in the door, and she had felt the shock wave in her hair. She didn’t move for a long second and then turned slowly. She was no longer naked, and yet her body was still quite distracting. She looked at him with eyes that flashed from blue to green and then to gold.            Max turned to Keyrran and Darrian and used his gun to wave them away. They retreated without a word as he began to move forward.

 

            “Max.” She said, and held her arms out. “I guess you can have everything you want now.”

 

            He said nothing, simply standing with his hands gripping the two guns at his side. She looked at him and reached behind her back, touching the white pistol. He said nothing, simply looked at her with anger; she drew the gun out slowly but didn’t point it at him, just held it at her side.

 

            “Well?” She asked. “What’s it to be?”

 

            He had thought about what he would say to the person who had saturated the streets of New York with so much cheep heroin if ever he got the chance. He had been through so many scenarios, and so many different things to say. He had wanted to extend the vengeance for the death of his mother. The heroin had created a world where he had to murder his own mother. While holding himself responsible, he blamed them. It was while reading a book that he found the perfect words. In fact, he decided to lift them wholesale, weather they fully made sense or not.

 

            “Hello.” He said, biting the words out. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”

 

            “Oh come now Max,” she said shaking her head. “That’s pretty feeble don’t you think?”

 

            Her voice had a dismissive tone, and he wanted to explain everything to her. He wanted to tell her about the pain, about the agony. He wanted to explain the questions he had about himself, after being used for so long. He wanted to describe the feeling you get in your gut when you actually knowingly stick your own mother with a lethal dose of heroin. He wanted to say all those things, but if he did, he would loose control. He wasn’t going to loose control on this one; he was going to stay focused, there for he was going to stay on message.

 

            “Hello.” Large tears began to roll from his eyes; his voice was a shuddering whisper. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”

 

            “This is madness.” Lilith explained, still trying to figure out how to get the upper hand on him.

 

            There were walking around each other in, a slowly condensing circle. He seemed to be waiting for something, but she couldn’t tell what. He remembered the way his mother had asked him to work the needle for her. Her fingers didn’t work any more; she couldn’t manage to shoot her self up. He had so lovingly held the belt for her, stood on it while he carefully checked the needle. He wanted to make sure that there were no bubbles in the needle. That, he thought, would hurt her poor shattered veins.

 

            When he spoke, his teeth were clenched together.

 

            “Hello.” His voice came in a rasp. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”

 

            “It was your mother who died from the heroin.” Lilith said. “Your father just ran off, you could at least adjust the statement for the situation.”

 

            He nodded, she had a point, and it was silly when his vengeance was for his mother.

 

            “Hello.” He said as if he were getting tired of repeating this, and wanted to sob. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”

 

            “Stop saying that.” She said and raised her gun.

 

            He was a gunfighter though and he’d always been a gun fighter. He had always known who the fastest gun in the west had been, and it had been him. His hands came up faster than hers and the two shots tore into her right arm. The gun clattered to the ground as she tried to hold her now torn limb to her chest. She looked shocked that he had shot her, that he had worked through her good looks and sexual wiles. He walked towards her, both guns trained.

 

            “Hello!” He shouted now, pressing the guns against her. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die!”

 

            “No!” She screamed, falling to the ground.

 

            Her eyes were nearly like strobe lights, flashing red to white. It was like looking at the skin of a cuttlefish that had been badly started and is trying to drive off a predator. She was terrified, and she was in terrible pain.

 

            “Offer me money.” He said.

 

            “Sure.” She said.

 

            “Power and prestige in this new world of yours.”

 

            “Of course.” She said, falling to the ground. “I can even get your mother back huh? Make it like she didn’t accidentally kill herself from that over dose? Make it so she never O.D.’d huh?”

 

            “You can’t give me my mother back, because I killed her myself.”

 

            It would be untrue to say that he took pleasure in shooting Lilith, he didn’t. He didn’t enjoy taking life. It was that which separated him from The Weirdo. The Weirdo would not have just killed; he would have taken great satisfaction from the act. Max took no joy, satisfaction or pleasure in the act, but it had to be done.

 

            He only fired three times, all three from the barrette. He slid the Glock behind his back and looked at the gun he had been using for so long. It had been his first gun, and he still had it, and now it had done the job for which he had acquired it. It had fired possibly thousands of rounds and now it need never fire another. He looked at it and thought about dropping it, but he was a realist. He would still need the gun for the rest of the day, and so he slid it behind his back into its holster.

 

            He looked at Lilith’s rather sad form and tuned his back on her. She lay dead, in a pool of blood, looking like the cover of some pulp novel from the fifties. Her dead body in the foreground and Max’s silhouette as he walked away in the background. She was still beautiful, because he had shot her all three times in the heart. Even now, at the end, he hadn’t had the heart to destroy her face. She had been that beautiful.

 

            Of course though, now a billion microbes were beginning to do what Max hadn’t had the heart to do. They began, almost immediately, to attack the beautiful visage. It might take some time for them to destroy the beautiful face, to displace the golden hair. It would take time to take away the eyes, which had finally stopped changing colors, and now were simply white and empty.

 

            Max walked out of the room and set the down guns down on a table and sat in one of the chairs at the conference table. He placed his hands over his face and let the tears just come from. He felt his stomach turn and looked at the trashcan, incase he had to empty the contents of his belly. He felt like he might, like it all might explode. He didn’t vomit thought, he choked the sensation back. He let the tears come but for the first time in his life, he killed someone and didn’t throw up as a direct result. He did cry though and wondered if he was beginning to harden into a beast like The Weirdo.

 

            He saw the light from the window and wondered what was going on.

 

           

April 14th, 2003

12:01:51 p.m.

Olympus.

 

            “Are you ready?” The Other asked.

 

            “Oh certainly.” Chronos said.

 

            “I’ve got to go help him, and then I’ll come back here to help you.” She said.

 

            He looked at the massive clock, the broken sweep hand seeming to spin faster because the end had been broken off. He looked down at the scars on his palm from the sweep when he’d held it back.

 

            “It’s cheating you know.” He said.

 

            “Yeah.” She said.

 

            “More than any cheating we’ve done before.”

 

            “I know.” She said. “You don’t have to do it.”

 

            He looked at the tin, which had held the crackers. The crackers had long since been eaten, but he had kept the tin. He had explained that it had been useful to keep things in, but the truth was different. The truth was that he had been that touched by the gift. Such a simple gift, but it had meant so much to him.

 

            “Yes I do.” He said. “And I will.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:01:53 p.m.

 

            The lizard thing in the red cloak looked at Lilth’s body as she lay on the ground, bleeding out her last. She wasn’t actually dead yet, but she was close. Her eyes looked at the reptilian snout as the little monster came close to her. She couldn’t speak, and felt that movement below her waist would be impossible. She knew that one of the bullets had cut her spinal cord, and her lungs had been hit.

 

            “We still have need of you.” He said and the long curved claw touched each of the holes in her chest.

 

            The pain was as bad as being shot again, as the bullets were worked backwards through her body. The body healing itself was as bad as the pain had been initially. She found she could cry though and after a moment the cry came. She sat up when she felt strong enough and the three crushed and misshapen bullets fell from her chest. The tears fell from her face immediately, and she knew something had changed. The weight on her heart was gone. Had she known that the small device that had been connected to her heart had been pulverized by Max’s bullet she might have felt more grateful to him at that moment.

 

            “Come Lilith.” The lizard man said. “We must finish this and perform our part.”

 

            She stretched her hand out behind her and was gratified when the weight of the Walther slipped into her hand. The magic was still hers then and that was good. She looked at the thing, not moving. It turned back to look at her, it’s yellow slitted eyes glaring at her.

 

            “We must go and finish this now.”

           

            “I think you’ve underestimated me.” She said and brought the Walther up.

           

            She shot until the gun wouldn’t shoot any more, then made the other gun to her and shot it dry as well. She looked at the two guns and the mess that they had created and felt free for the first time in a long time. She was unsure of what she should do now, though she really felt free now. The weight on her heart was gone, and she thought she could get away and be herself now. She touched her stomach and felt the tiny child inside her. There was that at least, she still had that. She would have to get away, that much was clear to her. She hadn’t realized it before, but death had a way of changing you. She might not have seen the other side but she knew that in a very important way she had died. Now she could begin again, and maybe be who she had wanted to be.

 

 

A Place where the calendar has no meaning

A Place where time does not matter

The Weirdo’s Personal time Line: Indeterminate

 

            It was odd the number of pistols he could think of, without ever landing on the right one. He had thought of revolvers, automatics, and on two occasions some sort of energy pulse weapon. Yet none of them had been the gun he wanted to think of. He felt that if he could just think of that gun it would bring back a lot. If he could just hold it, it would make it all better. He was surrounded by darkness, and could only just make out the dusty ground around him.

 

            “What you doin’ boy?” An old woman’s voice asked.

 

            He looked up and saw an old woman standing in a hard cone of white light. She was only about two feet tall and so withered with age that it was impossible to determine her race, if she even had one. Her silvery gray hair hung down about her shoulders, and her eyes were bright hard gimlets. The ground around her, in that cone of light wasn’t the dusty earth he had been walking on, rather a shiny black marble.

 

            He knew her, knew her instantly. He had never thought her to be an actual person, more a force of nature or something like that. Yet here she was, right in front of him.

 

            “Grandma?” he asked.

 

            “So you do recognize your old grandma.” She said. “And who are you?”

 

            “I don’t know.” He said.

 

            “You got your butt whooped good.” The old woman said.

 

            “Where am I?” He asked, falling to his knees on the hard marble floor beneath him.

 

            “You’re where I am.” She said. “I took you away from the twins to bring you here.”

 

            “Could have brought me a little more directly.”

 

            “No I couldn’t.” she said. “You came by the quickest route.”

 

            “Why bring me here?”

 

            “There’s something that has to be done.” She said. “And before it is I want to explain things to you. No one has explained anything to you so I am going to.”

 

            “Okay.” He said sitting Indian style across form her.

 

            “These twins, they have destroyed hundreds of worlds before this one. Each time a champion is sent to do battle with their herald and then with them. Usually the destroyer kills the knight, but when he doesn’t the twins do.”

 

            “Okay.” He said. “Where do I come in? I’m not the knight am I?”

 

            “No.” She said laughing. “No you aren’t.”

 

            “So?”

 

            “Who’s telling this story?” She asked,

 

            “Sorry.”

 

            “Damn right.” She admonished, “Now usually the gods of these worlds just roll over and take it. They build worlds, all those people and these two come along like a bully at the beach and kick over the whole damn sand castle. So I decided to do something about it. See I’m not just the eldest god left in the world, I happen to be the goddess of interference lad.”

 

            “Interference?”

 

            “Right. So I decided that I would take the destroyer, and interfere. I took the person who was supposed to be a spoiled brat and a supreme bully and changed him. I took the Destroyer and created The Weirdo. I made you quite the monkey wrench thrown into the works.”

 

            “How?” he asked.

 

            “I interfered.” She said. “I got a conspiracy together and we interfered to make the destroyer a defender. I took a tool of evil and I made it work for good. Ain’t you never wondered about your temper? Why you think you have no problem killing, maybe even enjoy it sometimes. You’re a thing of evil, a beast of darkness. You are supposed to ride down the peasants and rape the women. You were made to be like that Loki thing you slew. Loki was the pure one, you’re an imperfection, but one we made. We took the pure iron of your soul and added the carbon of good. We then heated and beat you into the powerful thing of steel you are now. The strongest thing we could make, because you had to last. There is more at stake than just your little world, but if we don’t save that then we can’t get on with what follows next. Your little planet must survive.”

 

            “Just the planet?”

 

            “Well I also want to get the people back.” She said. “As many as we can manage.”

 

            “Are they necessary?” He asked setting up a trap for her.

            “No.” she said. “In the plan they’re not important, but I want as many of them back as I can get.”

 

            “If no one worships you and they’re not important, then why?”

 

            “Because I hate bullies and I won’t be one.” She said. “Important or not they deserve their chance to live their lives.”

            “Ah.” He said.

 

            “You think you’re going to trick old Grandma with a simple trick like that?”

 

            “Did you get my parents killed?” He asked.

 

            “Yes.” She said simply. “They would have indulged you too much, and accidentally nurtured a monster.”

 

            “I see.” He said.

 

            “I’ve never had a day where I didn’t feel bad about it though.”

 

            “Ah.”

 

            “Forgive me?” She asked.

 

            “Yes.” He said. “Surprisingly enough.”

 

            “There’s going to be a lot more coming after this, but I wanted you to know about it before we began.”

 

            “Began what?” He asked.

 

            “I’ve been caught cheating I’m afraid.” She said. “And because of certain politics I’ve been forced to bring you forward against what you were supposed to be.”

 

            “You mean you’re supposed to bring the Destroyer here to face me?”

 

            “Yes.” She said.

 

            “Shit.”

 

            “Sorry.”

 

            “I just wish The Other was here, maybe Jack and Tommy.”

 

            “I came on my own.” The Other said.

 

            “So what happens I’ve got to fight him?”

 

            “That’s right.” Grandma said looking up over his shoulder. “You have to fight some one as evil as you are, and you have to do it now.”

 

            “Stand up.” The voice was gruffer than The Weirdo’s was.

 

            He stood up slowly and saw what looked like a cowboy. He was dressed in brown dusty clothes, and all his clothes had a bronze look to them. His hand rested on a six-shooter in its holster on his hip. The handle of the gun looked to be of a dark brown wood. The hat and bandana the Destroyer had around his neck was of a darker brown color, and every time he moved a light dust shifted off him. He wore a pair of large incongruous sunglasses over his eyes. The Weirdo looked down and found that while he was wearing his gray pants and shirt he had somewhere managed to loose his trench coat. The destroyer was wearing dusty leather over coat, and without a word he drew the gun and fired two rounds. The gun was made of bronze, and had a copper colored wood for handles. Both bullets caught The Weirdo in the chest and he fell over, spilling a large chair next to a table. He could only see the apparition of The Destroyer, who was in a golden light. He touched the table as he pulled himself up.

 

            “You weren’t even ready to fight.” The destroyer said and plugged two more rounds into The Weirdo’s heart.

 

            He slammed into a black marble wall, trying to breath. The pain was incredible, and yet it didn’t seem to hurt at all. He could hear nothing, but the tinnitus in his right ear. Everything seemed to go numb for him then, except his hands. His hand hurt from arthritis, which had never manifested itself so fully as now. Sweat was breaking out on his face, and his hands were shuddering. There were four bullets sitting in his heart, and they caused a great deal of trouble. He slid down the wall and his eye caught The Other’s. Her face was falling as he did, Fancy was watching from her pocket. She looked crestfallen, and that hurt him more than the lead slugs.

 

            “It’s too bad no one’s going to oppose me.” The Destroyer said as he fired the last two rounds into The Weirdo’s chest. “There just ain’t no heroes left in the world.”

 

            The Weirdo’s shuddering hand closed over the bloody spot on his chest where he had been shot six times. The Other watched as his head ducked and wondered why he hadn’t fought. The Destroyer turned and began to reload his gun. The Other looked at The Weirdo and she began to silently cry. He couldn’t stand that sort of thing so he was going to have to something. He grasped at one thought and used it to fight of unconsciousness.

 

            “Where have all the heroes gone?” The destroyer asked aloud. “There were no heroes when I got here. What is a hero anyway?”

 

            A colt peacemaker, which was what the Destroyer had, takes a considerable time to load and unload. The gun has one slot where shells can be ejected from the cylinder one by one. This means the gun takes nearly a minuet to reload if you do it quickly. As the first shell hit the ground, a voice came from the floor.

 

            “A hero.” The Weirdo’s voice was weak, but he was slowly standing. “A hero is what the Greeks called some one who had a god for one parent and a human for another. They often had great powers and could perform mighty deeds.”

 

            The Weirdo’s hand was still clutched over the spot on his chest where he had been shot, but he seemed to be getting stronger somehow. The Destroyer watched with mystified fascination as another shell fell from the gun and down to the hard stone floor.

 

            “In the Nordic tradition, the hero was whoever had done great deeds. They were the ones who had righted wrongs, killed a dragon. The ones who had truly done something of note, only they could be called heroes.”

 

            The Destroyer just watch as The Weirdo stood up and began to walk shakily towards him. Another empty shell clattered to the ground and then another in quick succession.

 

            “The knights of the round table really defined heroism as we understand it.” The Weirdo said. “They saved maidens and slew evil dragons with a pure heart and motives. They were a sort of idealized version of the Nordic warriors. They were held up as a model.”

 

            The Other watched him move and her eyes grew wide as he moved. She had noticed that he was wearing his gray trench coat now, even though he hadn’t been before. She wondered if anyone else had noticed.

 

            “A hero is someone who does a great feat, you see. They do things that normal people can’t do. They are someone people look up to. A hero is a person that a child wants to grow up to be.”

 

            The Destroyer began to slide fresh shells into his gun, growing nervous.

 

            “But most of all.” The Weirdo said. “A hero is some one who saves mommies and daddies and kittens and people who can’t save themselves.”

 

            His hand extended from his chest and there was no blood on his shirt. His hand shuddered as he extended the fist outwards, seeming as if it were taking all his strength to do this. The shirt was not even torn; he might not have ever been shot. His teeth chattered as he held the closed fist out, which shook like crazy. He opened his fist and the six bullets tumbled from his hand. They clanged and clattered on the dusty ground.

 

            The destroyer didn’t move, just looked at the rounds which he knew had entered The Weirdo’s body. He looked up at the face of The Weirdo who simply smiled. The smile was a wicked one, and he bared his teeth. There was now a calmness, and all nervousness and shaking was gone.

 

            “Old father time is a friend of mine.”

 

            The Destroyer slammed a round into his bronze pistol, but The Weirdo was already there. He stabbed his hand forward, fingers tight and spread. He stabbed his fingers into the sunglasses, which shattered under the strain. His hand rammed the broken shards of plastic deep into the Destroyers eyes, followed by his fingers.

 

            There was a scream from the Destroyer, and he clutched at his face as The Weirdo withdrew his hand. The Weirdo hadn’t finished in fact he had only just begun. He looked at the table he had fallen against and lifted the Destroyer up and threw him at it. The Destroyer crashed into the table, and fell across the table and hit a few chairs as he slid. The Weirdo leapt over the table and landed next to the Destroyer. He lifted the Destroyer up and smashed his head down on the edge of the table. He then lifted the Destroyer up right and hit him with a right hook that by rights should have shattered his own hand as well as the Destroyer’s jaw. He took one of the dark chairs and lifted it over his head and smashed it down on the Destroyers body.

 

            The Destroyer held his hand out, looking for quarter. The Weirdo threw his coat open and his hand reached in, finding what it had so long searched for. He drew the black gun from under his coat, and aimed it down at the Destroyer, ready to blow him away.

 

            “Weirdo.” The Other said.

 

            He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t pull the trigger either. She was by his side now, and he looked at her as she looked up at him. He thumbed back the hammer, ready to shoot.

 

            “Don’t, please.” She said. “He’s just you from another place, like the Gray man.”

 

            The Weirdo placed his thumb on the hammer and gently squeezed the trigger, letting the hammer down slowly. He then looked down at her and then at the Destroyer. He knelt down to talk to this dust colored version of himself.

 

            “My daughter has asked that I not kill you.” He said. “You have her to thank for your continued existence.”

 

            “My eyes.” The Destroyer said.

 

            “Other.” The Weirdo said. “Let him see again. If I’m not going to kill him, I don’t want to leave him like this.”

            “Okay.” She said and laid a hand on the Destroyers hand.

 

            The Weirdo turned and walked back towards Grandma. She was gently clapping her hands as he came close to her. He set the gun down in front of her and sat down so she wouldn’t have to crane her head up.

 

            “You always the good boy.” She said.

 

            “Yeah.” He said, “Probably.”

 

            “You always be the one who do what right.”

 

            “Yeah.” He said as The Other came and sat down next to him.

 

            “You want to ask Grandma a question?”

            “Yes I do.” He said. “A few of them.”

 

            “Okay.” She said.

 

            He heard a pair of boots walking on the hard black stone behind him and turned to see the Destroyer looking at him with wonder and amazement. He picked up his gun and The Weirdo watched him carefully. The Destroyer simply holstered his weapon and then walked towards him.

 

            “Why?” The Destroyer asked. “Why didn’t you just kill me?”

 

            “She asked me not to.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “That’s not it, or it’s not all of it.”

 

            The Weirdo stood to look at this new doppelganger and noticed the reason he was taller was because of the heels on the cowboy boots. He smiled as he did so, and felt that the man represented the heroic version of a cowboy. There were silver inlays and tassels on his holster, even though he looked like a spaghetti western hero. He was like all western heroes rolled into one. The Weirdo considered for a moment with his fedora, trench coat and sneakers he probably looked like all pulp detectives rolled into one. Their weapons had reflected that.

 

            “I didn’t need to kill you.” The Weirdo said. “This was more than us. Grandma had to prove that she had made the better of us. Or perhaps they wanted to see us joust or something. I’m not sure why they wanted you and I to fight, but I wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction of killing you.”

            “I’m not gonna come after you.” The Destroyer said. “I’m gonna leave it in your favor.”

 

            “I’m very glad to hear it.” He said.

 

            With that the Destroyer was gone, like a handful of dust on the wind he vanished. The Weirdo looked at Grandma, her withered, wrinkled face twisted in a smile. He looked down at her and sat again. He was going to ask his questions and she was going to answer whatever he asked.

 

            “So am I evil?” He asked,

 

            “You’re based on evil,” She said, “But evil is what you make of it. Can evil be good? Can the righteous be bad? I suppose you have to answer the question of evil for yourself. I don’t think your evil, not now. I think you have to be strong, and sometimes that means being uncaring. I think darkness is still your place, but not for the bad of the world. I think maybe you are a dark force for the good side. You know right from wrong, and that’s probably where your answer comes from. The fact that you ask the question should be able to give you the answer.”

 

            She touched the Black gun as she talked and picked it up. She opened the chamber and looked at the six empty cylinders. The Weirdo looked at them and it came to him that he couldn’t have killed the Destroyer if he wanted too. She reached into a pocket of her dress and pulled out a small velvet package. She opened it and exposed six bullets, with what looked like diamonds for heads.

 

            “This was the weapon I gave you.” She said as she began to load the gun. “I did not give you a sword, that was a weapon for someone else. You started to loose your way, and the gun started to loose you. You ain’t not supposed to be no swords man. You’re a gunman, and a really good one too.”

 

            She closed the now loaded weapon and laid it down on the hard marble floor. The Weirdo looked at it and then at the old woman. She smiled and looked at The Other who simply looked at the both of them.

 

            “If I pick this up.” He said. “There is no going back is there.”

 

            “There is no going back.” She said. “It had nothing to do with you, but it’s already been altered beyond repair.”

 

            “So I go and save the world?”

 

            “That world is gone.” She said. “You go and repair the world.”

 

            “Okay.” He said, picking up the gun. “C’mon squirt.”

 

            He looked around for The Other but found she was already gone.

 

            “She has her work to do too.” The Old woman said.

 

            “Okay.” He said and slid the gun back into his coat.

 

            “Anything else you want to know?” She asked.

 

            “I’ve got all I need to know for now.” He said.

 

            “Okay.” She said.

 

            And he was gone.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:02:01 p.m.

 

            Tommy felt his grasp on the world fading, and knew he was going to die. He couldn’t stand the noise/silence that was assaulting his ears and wanted to scream. It was odd then, how he heard perfectly clear the words that come from the pen shaped device from his left jacket pocket. It was as if an illusion had been shattered by the device and now he could breathe again.

 

            “Breaker one nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck you got a copy on me Pig Pen c’mon?”

 

            The pain and pleasure suddenly ended. The light faded, and there was just the world. Tommy’s head lifted and he could see the world around him. The armies had been swept away, and as he stood he saw that New York looked like a nuclear bomb had gone off. Only this nightmare version of the empire state building remained. There were broken pieces of foundations and shattered streets.

 

            There was a song, like a tuba playing an umpa-tune. There was a gravely voice, which seemed familiar. Tommy recalled it from something, but he couldn’t grasp the song yet. He remembered Shannon singing it, so long ago.

 

            Driving up the road, was a speck of dark color in the bleached white world. It was a nineteen thirties midnight blue sedan, and there was music pouring from it. It was odd that a car, charging towards what was quite possibly would be playing a song like that. It was either the single most inappropriate battle song ever or the only acceptable choice. The song was playing out of every speaker, off every piece of glass and echoing in ever pipe and garbage can. They all looked at the car as it drove forward with a look of shock and amazement. There could only be one person behind the wheel of the car, but they thought he’d been obliterated.

 

            “What was in The Weirdo’s room?” Tommy asked.

 

            “Hey, you know what?”

 

            “Is that C is for Cookie?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “A round cookie with one bite out of it looks like a C”

 

            “Yes.” Tommy said, a smile creasing his lips. “Yes it is.”

 

            “A round donut with one bite out of it also looks like a C.”

 

            “Not much of a battle cry is it?” She asked.

 

            “But it is not as good as a cookie.”

 

            “Nope,” Jack said. “But it’s good enough for me.”

 

            “The moon sometimes looks like a C”

 

            “Jack.” Tommy said.

 

            “But you can’t eat that so.”

 

            “Yes Tommy?”

 

            “If you ever make a joke like that again I’ll kill you.”

 

            “Yes Tommy.”

 

            The car came to a screeching halt and the door swung open. The Weirdo’s left foot was the first to emerge and land down on the ground. All sound stopped when he did, like something determined to get attention. The last few sounds of a blue felt monster eating a cookie echoed into the distance. He stood up as he exited the car and he rose up from the ground like a floating monstrosity.

 

            “What is this?” The purple head asked.

 

            “Have we not ended this one already?” The green head asked.

 

            The Weirdo stood, with his eyes closed and began to do something that was incredibly simple to him. He had only just worked out the way it could be done as he was driving here, and now that he was doing it, it was so simple. He was creating, creating a world. The dirt formed around his feet and worked its way out from him, forming a great long perfectly delightful meadow. The sky over the meadow became a bright blue instead of the faded gray that the world the twins were destroying had. The grass was amazingly green, and a cool and fresh stream began to run through it. The meadow stood about a thousand or so feet in the air, about on the same level as the top floor of the empire state building. He looked around at the meadow he had created and nodded and would have pronounced it good, but he felt that might sound bad.

 

            “You have to go away now.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Does it speak to us?” The green head asked.

 

            “I do.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Does it not know what we are?” The purple head asked.

 

            “I do, but I don’t care.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “We will finish this world.” The green head said again.

 

            The light suddenly flashed back on, and Tommy felt himself falling to the ground under the oppressive light. The Weirdo didn’t move though, he simply closed his eyes and began to create again.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:02:15 p.m.

 

            Chronos looked at the watch in The Other’s hand and then at the giant clock. He then looked at her again, and she looked up at him. Her face looked a little worried, but she thought it would be okay if they worked together. The giant clock and this one were synchronized, their two sweep hands working together. They were about to perpetrate one of the biggest cheats of all time. If this didn’t work, there was no way to hide it. If it did work, there would be no need.

 

            “You have to tell me three seconds before.” He said.

 

            “I know.” She said.

 

            “Okay.” He said and hefted up the massive wrench.

 

            She watched the hands and as the sweep hand on the watch moved she said the word for which he had been waiting.

 

            “Now!”

 

            He brought the massive wrench in a high swinging arch and brought I down on the face of the clock. She dropped the watch and held her hands over her ears. The face glass, wood and all within shattered. The watch struck the ground and broke. The great clock would move no more. All of time stopped, yet a few clocks still moved, held in Chronos’s special case.

 

            “Did we get it right?” The Other asked.

 

            Chronos looked at a page in a small notebook and then at the clock. He then looked at the two again and nodded.

 

            “Just right.” He said.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:02:19 p.m. (time stopped)

 

            There is a misconception about Gods and power. The misconception is that gods have huge amounts of power in a store. This is untrue, Gods have power yes, but it’s not about power. It’s more about finding a moment and holding it. The Weirdo was in such a moment and with the power he was wielding at the moment, he had more power than any of them. If all the gods together were but children playing in the sand, by comparison, The Weirdo was a god to them.

 

            He was creating something that no God had ever been able to create. In this world, which had become nearly nothing but light. The Weirdo was making darkness, and letting it grow around him. The darkness was not the darkness that had always been there, it was not the old darkness that had allowed itself to be driven back when the Gods showed up to create worlds and suns. This was new and fresh darkness, it was strong and wanted to spread itself out. The darkness opened its wings and covered all, engulfing the Twin’s light. The Weirdo, with the darkness around him extended his hand and the light was pushed down to a single bright point. The Weirdo wrapped his hand around the single pinprick like a bright distant star. He closed his hand around it and the light was gone.

 

            “You cannot do this.” The green head demanded.

 

            “We are the light, we are the spirit.” The purple head screamed.

 

            “I have done it.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “We have the power of all your gods.” Both of them screamed like spoiled children who had been justifiably punished.

 

            The Weirdo then threw open his coat and his hand touched the cold black handle of his gun. The gun seemed to come out of a clamshell holster, and he suddenly seemed older and tougher. He drew back the hammer and said a phrase that will echo through the ages. It could be put on t-shirts, buttons, and posters and of course coke cans. Oh the merchandising possibilities of this phrase.

 

            “You can keep yer gods, we got Grandma.”

 

            The hammer came down and the world imploded. The bullet struck the purple head, and it exploded. The hammer came down again, and the green head exploded. He fired the gun three more times. The universe shattered around the fired rounds, darkness took over what little there was left to be seen.

 

            Twins were gone.

 

            All that was left, perhaps in the universe, was this meadow. Still, it was a kiss to build a dream on, wasn’t it? He looked around at his brightly colored meadow and the darkness that surrounded it. There was now, only the brightly colored meadow and the darkness beyond. The darkness seemed to have a face, and it looked at him.

 

            “I’m afraid you’re going to have to give up some of the universe.” He said,

 

            “I do not mind father.” The darkness said, in a voice like a whisper. “We have been victorious, I can go else where now.”

 

            “Go back then, go to the void before creation.” He said.

 

            “I shall go and fill that void.” The darkness said and began to fly away.

 

            There was then, only the delightful meadow. The tiny white butterflies fluttered up and around the green grass. Then Eoster was there leaning against the only tree. He walked towards her and felt badly over dressed for such a wild scene. The high green grass was nearly to his hips in places as he waded through the sea of green.

 

            “So you’ve done it.” Eoster asked, leaning against a tree.

 

            “Seems so.” He agreed. “You here for me?”

 

            “No. I came to fulfill my part of the bargain.” She pointed and they saw Elise, walking towards them. “She’s not Shannon, but maybe it’s time you tried to move on.”

 

            He turned to say something, but Eoster was gone. He wondered if she had learned the trick from the Gray man or had he learned it from her. It didn’t matter he supposed, he watched as Elise approached. She had a blanket and picnic basket in her hand. She was still pale and beautiful but she was no longer wearing the heavy black dress. The Victorian dress was still there, but she now wore a light gray summer weight dress. She smiled as she came to the tree.

 

            “Hello.” She said.

 

            “Hello.” He agreed.

 

            “All sorted then?”

 

            “Yes.” He said.

 

            “Then we have that chance you talked about?”

 

            “Yes.” He said. “I wonder how long they’re going to give us?”

 

            “Time hasn’t started yet.” She said, “I think we have all the time in the world.”

 

            “Do we?”

 

            “I think so.” She said. “Let’s roll the blanket out.”

 

            “You’re not wearing the black dress.” He noted as he took the blanket away from her and began to spread it out over the grass under the tree.

 

            “No.” She said. “I’m not The Lady Death anymore. I’m just Elise now.”

 

            “Are you?” He asked. “Then how did you get here?”

 

            “I can still do some things.” She said. “But I’m not going to be their Lady any more.”

 

            “Whose lady do you intend to be then?”

 

            “Mine.” She said. “Until someone decides to claim me for their own.”

 

            “Claim you?” He asked placing his hands around her waist.

 

            “Yes.” She said, running a finger across his chest. “I’ll never be a modern girl Weirdo.”

 

            “No, I suppose not.” He said, tilting his head in to kiss her.

 

            She accepted his kiss, and placed her arms around as they kissed. She pulled away first and looked up into his eyes, her skin blushing again. He noticed that she still had the deathly pallor of a corpse, but that the colors had grown warmer since he had brought her back with him.

 

            “I would have stayed down there for ever if not for you.” She said. “I’ve always been in love with you.”

 

            “I know.” He said.

 

            “But you don’t love me.”

 

            “You keep saying that, but give me a chance.” He said. “I can grow to love you. It is in my capacity to love you. I don’t love you yet, but I can love you with time.”

 

            “I’ll try to remember that.” She said. “I’ve been hurt before, and rejected by many in the past.”

 

            “I’ll try not to hurt you.” He said.

 

            “I’ll try not to always suspect you of being about to.” She said. “I know what you went through to give us the opportunity to be together.”

 

            “I’ve got one or two things to do before we can really truly start.” He said. “We’ve got to test each other for a little while, and I’ve got to do one more thing before we can truly start.”

 

            “Test?” She asked.

 

            “To see if we can be compatible together.” He said. “We’ve got to sit and eat and talk together.”

 

            “Do we also drink and make love under the shade of the tree?”

 

            “Not on an empty stomach.” He said. “We’ll see what happens after we eat.”

 

 

Jangis 97th, 91X1

31:Y0 k.p.

 

            Chronos looked at the large digital clock that was supposed to be the great clock for the future. He wondered exactly why it had to look like a massive clock radio from Sears. He looked at the instruction booklet, but it appeared to be written in Japanese by a person who only spoke Swahili. He looked at The Other who only shrugged. The large plastic thing wouldn’t quit blinking either, the red numbers kept flashing on and off. He tossed the instruction book over his shoulder and pressed a few buttons. That didn’t help though, beyond that now the numbers flashed in blue instead of red.

 

            “I’ve got an idea.” He said, and walked over to the former great clock.

 

            He grabbed and yanked the big wrench from the clock face; a few small cogwheels escaped the wreckage and rolled away under a table. One spring leapt from the face and landed on the ground and leapt away. That one spring kept going, and would have many great adventures, however none of them are germane to this story. If you think a series of children’s stories about a spring might make good reading write the author and tell him so, we will not go into it for this tale though. Chronos turned with the massive wrench in his and walked towards the big digital clock.

 

            “It’s all digital.” The Other said.

 

            “So it is.” Chronos said.

 

            “That means you can’t fix it with a wrench.” She explained.

 

            “Oh, can’t I?” He asked and swung the wrench in a wide arch that landed on the shatterproof case of the clock. “Ned Ludd will live forever.”

 

            To the maker of the shatterproof case’s credit, the case did not break. However it did help the wrench smash all the delicate pieces of digital technology with in. In fact, if the case hadn’t been so perfectly shatter proof, it would have taken two or three swings to destroy the clock instead of just one. There would have also been shrapnel that would have flown around the room and possibly hurt The Other. So you see, modern technology is not all bad.

 

            “See?” Chronos asked as he tossed the wrench aside. “Fixed its little red wagon.”

 

            “But time?” The Other asked.

 

            “Ah yes.”  He said walking to a case. “Well I was ready for this you see.”

 

            He opened the case and extracted a new great clock. It wasn’t exactly the twin of the first great clock. Some changes had been made, a few improvements, a few purely cosmetic changes. The wood now sported a slightly darker finish and the fittings were now brass instead of bronze. He had made it in secret and now he began to wind the new steel springs up.

 

            “You want to get it going?” He asked The Other.

 

            “Can I?” She asked.

 

            “Sure.” He said, “Come on up.”

 

            She pushed the big pendulum back and let it go, and the first second ticked. It made her feel a shock that ran up her spine. She had begun the flow of time again, and it was her that gave the universe its second chance. She watched as the great clock began to tick past the seconds.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:02:59 p.m.

 

            The people had been returned, Grandma had seen to that. It wasn’t all the people of course, but there were enough. There were a lot more elves, dwarves and goblins than there used to be though. She noticed that and figured that The Gray Man must have completed the part he meant to complete. Many people had been wiped away, but enough had come back, she was glad of that much.

 

            Time started and everyone just started moving. It wasn’t like the started slowly or anything, they just started moving, as they always had done. None of them would of course ever notice that things had ever been any different than they were that moment, because of course now they hadn’t. Everything was fine and it had all be pre-placed, the battle for the end of the world had now, never taken place.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:03 p.m.

 

            Max looked around him at the full conference room. He had been looking out the window and suddenly the sky had gone back to its normal blue, and then there was a beetle. It had fluttered from somewhere and landed on the window. It was the first creature Max had seen, and here it was before him. He looked at it as it crawled on the other side of the glass. He then felt a dozen pairs of eyes looking at him. He heard a coughing sound and turned to see a group of executives looking at him. He smiled at them and nodded.

 

            “Hi.” He said, and pointed out the window. “Nice day.”

 

            “Yes.” One of them agreed. “It is.”

 

            “Well I can’t stand around chatting all day.” He said and left the room.

 

            He walked out of the conference room and passed a young woman who looked very attractive. That is to say she had the sort of physic that calls to the Darwinian sense in human males. He thought momentarily about child birthing hips and the help to find food. She should run a good long time he thought, and could do other things for a while. She had a healthy look to her, and her beauty made her radiant.

 

She was wearing a business suit that was either brownish red or reddish brown. She pushed a piece of hair back and he noticed she had slipped it behind a pointed ear. She smiled as he turned to have a good long stair at her; she blushed slightly as he did her blush made her skin turn an attractive shade of green.

 

            “You’re going to hit the wall.” She said

 

            He did hit the wall, and noticed his jaw was hanging limp. He looked at the wall and then at her. She laughed, and put her hand over her face and laughed. He saw what looked like tiny flowers in her blondish brown hair. She looked at him and continued to smile He waved at her, unable to think of what else to do.

 

            “I’m not dumb struck very often.” He said.

 

            She blushed and bit her lower lip, looking away. She touched the door and had another good look at him before turning the handle and walking in. He realized the name after a few seconds, and it shocked him that he knew she could be nothing else. Dryad, he had seen a dryad.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:05 p.m.

 

            Tommy wasn’t particularly surprised to find himself sitting in a street café with everyone but The Weirdo, Max, gray man and Aphrodite. He reached out for the cappuccino some one had been kind enough to supply him with and looked at the newspaper he had apparently been holding. He seemed to remember that he was just sitting reading this paper all morning along with Judy and Sheila. What Kaala and Angel where at the table with them wasn’t a question he thought needed answering. He looked at Kestrel who was feeding Rutherford a cookie while Jack looked at his laptop at the next table. Marla was explaining to Amanda that children didn’t need coffee. Cassimano was sitting with Alice and Keyrran, looking at Darrian who was showing some sort of trick that involved standing an egg on it’s end with some salt. Nike, Athena, Cydrill and Piedmont were discussing who was a better Darren on Bewitched while Eoster looked on with Azgana and Thor at the people on the street.

 

            “So he did it then?” Kestrel asked, suddenly realizing that something was different.

 

            “Looks that way.” Tommy said, and then looked at the paper. “I wasn’t reading this before.

 

            “No.” Max said as he walked towards the café and sat down. “Something has happened. I think the world has changed forever.”

 

            As they talked a small fairy, no more than three inches high, fluttered down and took hold of a packet of sugar. Tommy looked at the tiny naked creature with the delicate wings of a dragonfly. She tried to pull up the sugar packet but they had been crammed in to tight she couldn’t get it out. Tommy pulled one out for her and she looked at him gratefully. She nodded and bowed and then took the packet and flew off with it.

 

            “Holy shit.” Kestrel said softly as she looked at the sky.

 

            There must have been twenty or thirty of them, and they were flying in formation. The great green dragons flew together like a formation of fighters, sailing across the sky. They barely flapped, coasting on the thermals that wafted up from the city. Kestrel watched them with interest as a small blue imp landed on the street and picked up a hot dog bun some one had discarded.

 

            “What did he do?” Cydrill asked.

 

            “Oh he only sort of did it.” The Gray man said as he and Aphrodite sat down with the group. “We sort of stopped something from ever happening in the first place.”

 

            “Ah.” Tommy said. “You going to explain that?”

 

            “There has always been magic now.” He said. “This causes a slight fracture in the space time continuum, but I don’t think anyone will notice, since I gather it’s never happened now.”

 

            “Hasn’t it?” Jack asked.

 

            “No.” Aphrodite said. “Some things will carry over of course, your memories and such, but this never happened.”

 

            “But this did.” Eoster said holding her hand over her stomach.

 

            “Yes.” Aphrodite said. “Some things should carry over.”

 

            “So where is The Weirdo?” Max asked.

 

            “Busy.” Tommy said.

 

            “What do you mean busy?” Max asked.

 

            “He’s… busy.” Tommy said.

 

            “You don’t know do you?” Max asked

 

            “Yes I do.” Tommy said. “He’s blocked me out and there is only one reason he blocks me out so he is busy.”

 

            “Oh.” Max said. “That sort of busy.”

 

            “Yes.” Tommy said, “That sort.”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said. “Finished that a while ago, just never turned it back on.”

 

            He sat down in a chair and Elise sat down next to him.

 

            “Oh I see.” Tommy said. “Where is The Other?”

 

            “She’ll be around soon enough I think.” The Weirdo said. “She has to done one or two last things.”

 

            “Shall we go home then?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “Sure.” The Weirdo got up and walked towards the midnight blue sedan, which was iddilying happily in anticipation.

 

            Now some people might say that a car doesn’t do anything happily. They would say that a car is just a ton or two of metal, plastic and some fabric or leather. They might try to tell you that it’s nothing but something that was made by a few people on an assembly line. They might also postulate however, that dreams never come true, or love won’t conquer all. These individuals would have us believe that magic doesn’t exist, that people can’t come back from the dead, that you can’t gain the favor of a god with crackers. They would force you to think, as they do, that immortals don’t walk the earth, or that vampires can’t stand in the light or that you can’t make the moon full with a flashlight. They would try and force you to think only as they do, but even if you did it wouldn’t be true. The world isn’t that narrow, and we repeat, the car was idling happily in anticipation.

           

            “Shall we then?” The Weirdo said as they go in.

 

            They drove for a moment and Kestrel tapped him on the shoulder as he did.

 

            “I don’t wish to alarm you.” She said as they drove. “But the house is the other way.”

 

            “I want to see something.” He said.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

12:10 p.m.

 

            She looked out over the sea, looking for anyone who might be coming. Her right arm was held high over her head, a torch bright in it. She was a bright copper color, instead of the green she had been. The lady liberty had not just been replaced, but cleaned up a bit. She stood, watching for the immigrants as she always had. The noonday sun made her a bright bastion of freedom reborn.

 

            The Weirdo didn’t move for a long time, looking at that massive statue. She was beautiful to him, and he bit his lip as he watched her shimmer in the sun. He held Elise’s hand as a few tears let themselves out of his system. He wiped them away with his shirtsleeve and smiled at her.

 

            “You ready to go home now?” She asked.

 

            “Yeah.” He said, “Let’s go home.”

 

© 2014 Autumn Knight Productions

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May 18, 2014 - Posted by | Fiction | , , ,

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