Hi..I realized, once I got to the 10th section of my ongoing story that it became too unwieldy and intimidating for new readers to have to find all the parts. Because this is being done for the A to Z blog challenge, I would end up having 26 sections! Too many links, even for me. Figured the best thing to do is copy them as I write them and paste here so anyone could read the sections all at once. So..without further ado…
[ps: so you know how I’m working this, I write it as I go, by Letter, and whatever inspires me that day does. I still, as this writing on 4/16/2011, have no idea, yet, where I’m going, no overall plan. Nada. That’s the fun in it for me. I think I’ll have a big reflection on the whole process when it’s over]..um..yeah..no more..so, ado…
Winston knew for a fact that the average time it took for an egg to boil was 3 minutes and 37 seconds. Three minutes and a half (+7), and he could have soft, oozy goodness, chipped out of its container and into his mouth to his stomach and be Ahhhh…satisfied.
Waiting for ten minutes, Winston knew that fact as well. Ten minutes to boil. Ten minutes to set. Some more time to cool down, crack open, and slice and mash and add to it. He pictured the final product, slathered on toast (which he’d have to wait another bit of time for), and crown it all with garden sweets. He’d bite and crunch and swallow and have to wipe the corners of his mouth for the little loose bits that always wind up there.
At three minutes and 37 seconds, he turned the heat off.
Part 2: Dumb, Founded
Winston walked briskly down the street to his office. He had that constant smile on, not totally fake but not totally sincere either. Winston’s smile. It was as practiced as how he brushed his teeth (set at a 45 degree angle along the gum line, using a vibrating back and forth rolling motion, 2-3 teeth at a time, until all were done on top. Then on the bottom. Repeat). His smile never wavered from its position. He let the smile make eye contact with the people he passed.
Arriving at his office at exactly 8:45 am, on the dot, Winston unlocked the door with a sigh and his polished keys, and entered. Ms. Hemple would arrive at 9:02, late as usual. Today, Winston did not care. Well, yes, he did, but he decided it was not as important as the whole of today would be. It was the lesser of two evils, he surmised.
Walking around his desk, pulling out his chair, Winston positioned himself. Flipping on his computer monitor, he waited the 8.2 seconds it needed to wake up. Lit and ready, Winston began his search for the perfect fool.
Part 3: Elora, of light
Elora lay, naked, underneath the waning gibbous phase of the moon. Stretched out among plants with dark green glossy leaves, she felt more at peace then she had in…well, she just couldn’t remember when that was. Elora had left her clothing strewn along the shrubs that encircled her, like a crown of green that proclaimed victory.
Heaving sobs had given away to this calm, this peaceful state, that she found herself adoring. The stars twinkled as they should, and every attempt to count them brought a fit of giggles that ended with a deep sigh that came from her toes all the way up.
“Free,” she sighed to the sky. “Free.” Elora wiped away the last lingering tear that glistened on her cheek, feeling (hoping) that that was the last tear she would shed for the life she left behind. She left them all behind: her folks, her sister, her job, her town, her 1.2 friends…her supposed love of her life. Getting off the train at this lovely area, far enough away from THERE, in the hopes she can start over, this HERE already gave her more then she could have wanted. New job, new place to live, new sky.
The partial moon moved along on its path, and in its wake the air grew cooler. Goose-pimpled on every area imaginable, Elora shivered and sat up. She started to get up, to look for her clothes, to go back to her new place, when she noticed some shape moving very fast away from her. Not wanting to be noticed as she was, she reached around for her clothing.
She found everything but her bra.
Part 4: Freak
“DamnitIwasquietwhatthehelldidIdo?????”, Daniel thought as he ran away full tilt. He didn’t plan to stop until he went beyond the ridge, hoping to be well out of sight. Something caught him short, sending him ass over teakettle, through the brambles and onto his, well, ass. He hit his head on a small jutting cylinder of a rock formation and saw a different set of stars then the naked woman was looking at, when he was looking at her, without a sound, he thought.
“Oooph”, he groaned, followed by a considerably anguished “OW!”
Daniel was in the same position as the lady was when he first came upon her. “But, I’m not butt naked,” he grinned to himself. “Ow,” he repeated, and then again “ow ow ow!” He laid there for a few minutes, catching his breath, holding the slight throbbing bulb of a knot on the back of his head. Daniel felt for something wet. He’s bled before, many times, and checking for this tell tale sign that something was really wrong was a lesson he’s learned often, to his parents chagrin and embarrassment.
Dry, he heaved a sigh as he turned his head back and forth, looking to see if the naked lady had followed him. She hadn’t, or not that he could see anyways. Slowly getting up, Daniel brushed himself off, adjusted his pants (which were all askew, for various reasons), started to walk again towards the ridge of the glen..and was again stopped short. This time, not running, he was just caught on something. Tugging, and then tugging a bit more, he was let loose.
Turning around quickly, he didn’t find anything, but something swung around and gently tapped brushed against the back of his leg, Daniel didn’t see anything. Reaching behind him, he pulled something off (well, with a touch of effort) his rear jean pocket. The light from the waning moon was just enough for him to see what it was. Daniel could not believe what he was holding.
It was a lightweight tulle half cup non padded bra. See through, he was pretty sure, as he’s known the moon to play tricks on him before. “Well, as God is my judge…” he said out loud. The bra had caught on one of the larger brambles, and with the bra hanging low, and he ran right into it. “Hmmm… pretty good quality. It didn’t rip or tear.”
He stuffed the bra into his pants pocket. Looking around, seeing nothing following him but the moon, Daniel continued walking home.
Part 5: Gobsmacked
It was 9:06, and Ms. Hemple still had not arrived. “Later than usual,” he harrumphed, a trilling mumble under his precise breath. His fingers were dancing around the IO Gear Wireless 5.8 GHz Keyboard. The Viewsonic VX2250wm 24.5 LED monitor was ablaze with activity, and Winston’s eyes never left the screen. The monitor time stamp byte it’s way to 9:07 when the door to the office opened, and in rushed Ms. Hemple. Winston gritted his finely honed brushed teeth and bit back a scathing remark.
“Everything is precision, Ms. Hemple,” he said in his crisp disciplined way that Ms. Hemple so hated.
“Yes, Mr. Wynne. I know” she said, while thinking “I know I know I know because I’ve heard it too often you f…”It was out of my hands,” she answered to his question of why she was late. “The bus just stopped. The driver had no clue what was wrong, so we waited until another bus came along.”
Winston had already begun to ignore her, not really caring for any of her excuses. Tuning her out, he tuned out the rest of everything that did not exist beyond the data he was linking into his Thinkstation E50. He sat like this, ignoring any remarks Ms. Hemple made, for the next 68.8 minutes. A file appeared, with multiple folders and notes and photos that left Winston struck dumb. His eyes bulged just a tiny fraction, but it was enough to know he was truly struck speechless, if he had intended to speak.
“Oh, yes,” he inwardly smiled as one piece, one huge piece fell finally into place. This was his win-win scenario. He could hook this fool to do as he needed, he would not have to worry about sullying any part of himself, let alone his hands, and this..this Daniel would only be the first. “He’s perfect. My perfect fool.”
Yet, Daniel was far away. “First,” he thought, “let me see what’s closer to home.”
Winston chuckled, and the sound not only made Ms. Hemple’s skin crawl, but her stomach, which had been filled with that lovely breakfast Don..Dan..Dave..last night’s and this morning interlude made for her, roiled in disgust.
If Winston’s hands were not glued to the keyboard as his eyes were glued to the monitor screen, he would have clenched them, in an out of character ecstatic glee, raising them to the heavens.
Part 6: Hamlet, or so tis be
Daniel stood on the town’s community center stage, one bare light on, stage right. He faced the dark theater audience of seats. They were appreciative, he thought, as they sat in utter silence, waiting for his majestic thespian overtures.
He cleared his throat. The seats waited in folded up anticipation, wooden in their appearance, glad to be free of the burnishing of so many bottoms. Bottom. Why couldn’t he be in love with Bottom, they thought (if they had thought, Daniel thought).?
“Ahem…” he coughed ever so gently. Daniel took out the bra from his pocket. Under the guidance of the lone light, he noticed it WAS sheer-no fooling he under the moon’s light-and that the material was of a light bluish sheen. “Ahem!”, he thought.
Holding the bra bunched up in his upstage hand, his body cheating out to the un-milling non-thronged assemblage, Daniel began:
“Alas, poor Agent Provocateur! I knew her, Danielo: a woman
of infinite chest, of most excellent fancy: O, if she hath
borne me on her back a thousand times; and now, how
lurid in my imagination it is! my gorge-and other things- rims at
it. Here hung those lips that I wish I kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your gaze now? your
dreamings? your sighs? your flashes of lady bits,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own grinning? quite crest-fallen?
Now get me to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let
her pant for me an inch thick, to this favour she must
come; just don’t make her laugh at that.”
Daniel feigned weeping and buried his face into Elora’s bra. His feigning got the better of him, and he soon was crying. Just a bit. A tad. A smidgen. Yet cry he did.
He had noticed Elora the other day at Trudy’s Market. He was getting something to drink; she was buying fresh fruit. She glanced around, saw him, looking, smiled, nodded a “hello”, and went off, leaving him standing there with a cold bottle of Sarsaparilla warming in his hand. If the bottle hadn’t already had liquid that had been carbonated already, it would have from the electronic pinging going off all through Daniel.
Falling in infatuation, in lust, in intensely deep like…Daniel knew all of those things. This, though…this was something else. This was something new, and it was really, really, really, really good. Really. He felt he finally understood what “falling in LOVE at first sight” was all about.
Since then, he happened upon her in the expected places: the library, going to get some coffee at the luncheonette, sitting in her living room. Daniel wasn’t stalking her, he felt, just following what his heart bore him to. It was actually accidental that he came upon her lying in the laurel bed on his way home from auditions. This was a route no one ever seemed to take, the way he liked it.
Knowing it was wrong to watch and tom peep as he did (Daniel peeping?), she was just too beautiful for him to turn away. He had already learned her name, overhearing her tell the coffee seller (barrister was a lawyer, nimrods!) as she waited for her cup of choice.
“Elora, I just saw a girl..woman..named Elora..Eeeeeloorrraaa…..” he went on inside the mashed up overcrowded place called his head.
Sitting on the stage, legs hanging over the side, feet swinging and banging back and forth, back and forth, Daniel talked himself into getting his courage up, to stop being Captain Chickenshit, and…say “Hi. I’m Daniel,” and then wing it from there.
If the seats could have applauded, they would have. A performance like this did not happen every day.
Part 7: Inbox of the damned
There were 365 emails waiting for Elora, two weeks since she last checked. “365 in just two freaking weeks,” she said to herself, with a heaviness that kept from deleting all 365 with one click. Twelve were from her dad (“Thanks Dad”), forty two were from her mom, sixty even were from her sister, thirty nine odds and ends, and all two hundred and twelve vomit inducing OTHERS were from that lousy-back-stabbing-cheating-lying-sack-of-crap she used to call Hers. Jay. God, she hated Jay so much. Hated hated hated HATED Jay!
Elora turned off the light in her bedroom, letting the glow from her laptop wash over her as she sat at the desk propped against the wall. Rain was slithering down the window pane as she scrolled up and down skimming over the subject lines: I’m sorry, Forgive me, She meant nothing, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, You’re a selfish BITCH, Sorry, Sorry…..and it went on and on. In between she saw the Elora Call Me, Please come home, We’re worried about you, Call please..please..please…
The tears slithered down her face as she clicked on ALL and then DELETE.
Elora sat staring at the laptop screen, her email log blank, for another hour. Another 47 emails bled their way onto the screen during that hour. They blurred into one foggy haze and her eyes glazed over, not taking in who they were from or what they said.
This time she didn’t wait. All. Delete.
She deleted her email account.
Part Eight: Jaywalking Away
Elora in the light of day differed from the Elora in the dark of the night. She had expunged quite of bit of heavy aura burden from herself when she deleted her email account. Setting up a new one with a new dot com gave her a sense of well being. Elora knew she was not facing up to things (Mom Speak), running away from her responsibilities (Dad Speak), being a total bitch (Sis Speak), and…well, she really didn’t care for anything Jay Speak said or thought. Elora Speak said: “go out and conquer this new land!”
In her sparkly new sandals, blue skirt swirling around her shins, a rose red form fitting tee, and a future so bright you have to wear shades eye wear, Elora trod on this new town of hers with a delicate balance between knowing where she was going and the awe of seeing new things for the first time. She smiled at everyone who passed by, saying “Hello” and “Hi” and “Nice Day” as it suited her. Most smiled back at her, a few adding a slight nod. Others scurried away, afraid she was selling something, had something wrong with her and she’d bite their nose off, or just distrustful (read: dislike) of strangers. Elora took it all in stride. Smiling stride.
Elora was also looking for one person in particular. She knew he was following her, in a sad puppy type of way. Asking at the coffee shop the other morning, she found out his name was Daniel. A local, and according to the barrister, loony but harmless. Deirdre (coffee nymph) said he had a crush on her, asked her out once after standing at the counter for well over twenty minutes, but never bothered her again once she said “Thanks, but no, sorry. Well,” she added, “he does come in for coffee, looks away, and leaves like a good puppy.”
“Don’t look behind you, but…”
Glancing in the mirror behind Deirdre, Elora saw Daniel pass by. Then again. Then turn around and pass by again, looking but not looking into the shop. Elora brushed back her shoulder length raven hair and smiled into her hand. “He’s cute. Harmless?”
When she went outside, he was no where to be seen.
That was a few days ago. The day she felt good to have someone have a crush on her. The night that she lay under the stars naked. The night someone, SOMEONE, ruined her privacy and “TOOK MY BRA!”
“Bad puppy. I’m pretty sure it was you.” Elora continued walking along, looking for Daniel as much as..
he was following her. At a very safe distance.
Captain Chickenshit rose to the occasion. He turned and went home.
Part Nine: Killing with kindness
Winston sat as far away as he could, on the opposite side of the table, as he could get without actually sitting at another table. Which, in all ways, he would have prepared to..this. ZsaZsa (lazily pronounced ZahZah, not like the way it should, ala Ms. Gabor) munched gerbil like on her salad, but swilled her lemon water with gusto. Winston shivered with every bite she took.
He had scoured the internet that week, pouring over files, reports, statements, blogs, comments on blogs, and links upon links. Four people met his extreme criteria. Two he already dismissed, as one was already dead (the same day he found him, indeed) and the other was overseas at the moment, visiting a relative who she hoped, from his reading, was going to die soon and leave her a great chunk of a hefty estate. She could wait, if ZsaZsa and Daniel did not pan out as he hoped.
And his hope in ZsaZsa was dashed with every sentence she uttered. She was attitude on the hoof, mean spirited, petty, garish, and moronic. Everything in her life was wrong, and it was wrong because of someone else. She didn’t read, watched only reality TV, listened to bands Winston has never heard of (all DeathRock bands, she squeed), and the most interesting thing she even mentioned was that she had run over a squirrel one time, stopped to see if it was ok, saw it was in pain and sobbing, and then got back in the car, reversed it and backed over the squirrel, finishing the job. At this, she smiled quite brightly.
Winston was not going to pat her on the head and give her a treat. Well, not the one she was hoping for. She got up from the table with a grunt, said “I have to go take a whiz”, and waltzed off, smiling at every cute guy..every guy on the way.
Careful not to touch anything, Winston, ignored by everyone in the restaurant, as usual, reached across and added a little something into ZsaZsa’s water glass. It settled and dissolved quickly, which was a good thing as ZsaZsa was not long in returning.
Sitting down, Winston spoke up. “ZsaZsa, it has been a pleasure meeting you,” he said, adjusting his street disarming smile in a way that made her at ease. “I do hate to cut this short, but while you were indisposed, I had a call. One I must attend to immediately. Please, finish your lunch, and your water. I’ll pay the bill, and we shall talk another time.”
“Ok, shure,” she said, taking a big swallow from the glass, getting the lemon wheel stuck in her teeth as she said it. ZsaZsa reached her hand out to shake Winston’s, but he was already zagging away around this and that table, getting to the waiter to pay, and OUT. “Putz,” she thought, as she slugged down the water and grazed through the rest of her salad.
An hour later, ZsaZsa was removed from her bent around a tree car. They had to struggle to remove the steering wheel from her grasp. “That’s some death grip she had. Doesn’t look like she’d be that strong” said one of the rescue workers. They got her body into the ambulance finally, after a lot of hard work.
[Two squirrels sat back on their haunches, tails in the air, and munched on some nuts as they surveyed the happenings. Cousin George would have been pleased, they both thought.]
Part 10: Lording Over the Illogical
It was the third glance, third slowly altering of the path coming in his direction, that alerted him that he was out of sync with his outsideness. Winston attached his constant smile on, the Winston smile, as he adjusted his walking stance and glide. He let her get to him, and that was unbearable. His research let him down, and that was more unforgivable than anything else.
He read the reports, the files, the blogs, the intel, her records, and they all pointed to a Grand Fool, with the power to mock and one of wit, outsmarting those into thinking they are not as sharp as they really are. ZsaZsa (Winston pronounced it in his head the way he felt was the correct way, the S stated proudly) was not that; she was the antithesis of Fool, a nonthinking primal blundering cretin , both during their Skype conversation of sixteen minutes and fourteen seconds of blathering on her part, and in person. Thinking of her “in person” made Winston shivered, and in shivering he lost his step, and his constant smile, only for a second or two. But, it was enough. A boy of about 4 saw Winston as he truly was in that brief flash, and he ran screaming for his mother, unable to tell her what got to him so. Among the pulsing sobs and wracked breaths, the “there there”s and pats on the back, the boys’ mind went to a very dark place, for just a little bit too long. (ps..we won’t meet this boy again in this story. Be afraid. Be very afraid.)
It was simply this annoyance, this arrogance in pride of her own base vileness, that caused Winston to “fix” her drink. Although he was annoyed with himself too, though never would he be admitting it. Ever. He kept things just SO, and this..this was inexcusable. He felt most of the blame, yes, most of the blame must fall on those who sugar coated their reports, their discussions and findings. Can’t label her unfairly, no no no. Must push on through, she’ll grow out of it, poor thing, and with her father like that! “Damn them,” Winston allowed a growl inside to sizzle.
She had gained weight from her last file report that he surveyed. It didn’t reach her face, but spread out in various nooks and crannies. As he approached his car he removed his polished car key and remote, blinked the car into life, and got inside. He sat behind the steering wheel far longer then he normally would (two minutes and 30 seconds even!) hoping that the dose he concocted was still strong enough to do it’s job. The extra body mass…another important piece of information that was infuriating Winston to no end. He hit the steering wheel twice, honking the horn once, ignited the car and zoomed off, at precisely the speed limit of 25 mph.
As he turned the corner, heading back to his office, he knew he could not make this mistake with the next one. No, files were good, but he wanted first hand experience with Daniel Killigrew. An excursion was in order. Winston’s constant smile found it’s place again.
[A darkened room. Four small eyes peering in, noticing nothing moving much at all. If they knew the symbols, words, they’d know they were looking at a bed, and on the bed a body, and on the body a sheet, and the sheet moved slowly up and down, up and down, as the body on the bed under the sheet in the darkened room had an Endotracheal Tube inserted in the body’s mouth and throat and the Endotracheal Tube was taped on in quite a face squishing fashion in that such a thing might have hurt if the body on the bed under the sheet with the… oh, you get it. She wasn’t conscious. Eyes swollen and closed, hands frozen as if gripping a steering wheel, she slept the sleep of the awake and cognitive challenged.
The owners of the four small eyes passed nut meat back and forth between them. They waited.]
Part 11: Man Servant
[Mid Show Interlude]
The window blinds are drawn. The room is lit from the overhead array of Peyleton White Glass Tech lighting, which perfectly augments the voltage track system perfectly. The walls are white and austere, except for one painting, 32 x 48, hung plumb, of a white background intersected perfectly down the middle by a five inch wide ribbon of pure white. The wooden floor is covered by a thirty year old Heriz Persian rug, in beige. There are no plants, no chairs except for the two Global Ergonomic High-Back Multi-Tilter Managers Chairs, with the Air Grid backs and Metal Mesh seats, placed at the two desks. The desks are Tampa Glass, 3/4 of an inch thick frosted glass top with Dark Cherry wood frames, and both have Electronic Control Panels for the computers.
Ms. Hemple’s desk sits at a 45 degree angle to the far left, near the door to the office, and it is empty. All of her items, the few she squirreled away in her drawers, only taking them out when she knew HE wasn’t gone for the day, were packed in the rolling luggage she brought with her to the office: her Julie Bell and Yamato Fantasy Figure collection, which she did not trust to keep at home, but reveled in when she was alone in the office.
Ms. Hemple is sitting at Winston’s desk, in Winston’s chair, with her left leg in her FRYE Deena Harness Tall Knee-High Boots propped up on the 3/4 inch frosted glass top, the right boot (and leg) were spread out in an open male sitting position. Otherwise, she is naked. She is not alone.
A lone husky male hand, hairy knuckled, right hand, four fingers only showing, is gripping the edge of the aforementioned desk. If you look closely enough, you can see the tension exerted by the grip and the pulsing of the raised blood vessels, almost hidden by the growth of his hide’s fur.
Ms. Hemple, or as we should now know her name as Jennifer Rose Hemple, lets out a couple of “gasps” and “mmmsss” and “oh yeahs” as she stares at the computer screen. Her right hand jiggles the mouse and points, clicks, and aims, mostly on purpose, and a few times from some unexpected spasms.
This click, though, she stops, and smiles a smile the Cheshire Cat would admire. It is not a constant smile, but one of true extreme cruel pleasure.
She leans forward, her left breast smearing the frosting.
Male Hand: mljll;poohhall;
Jennifer: Stop that. I found something. STOP. IT. NOW!
Male Hand: (silent)
Jennifer: Oh, I’ve got you now, Mr. Wynne. You are so screwed. HEY..stop tha…mm.. oh.. oh…damn..
JRH reclines, and her eyes roll back into her eyelids.
Part 12: Nocturne in Tune
It was a peaceful night, which had followed a peaceful but eventful day. Elora had her hair chopped and shorn, and it was so very, very freeing. That was in the early morning, nano seconds after Wonderland Beauty Salon opened it’s doors. Freedom drunk as Elora was, she did what she had wanted to do since she was twelve: she got the beginnings of a back tattoo! The outline stretched between her shoulder blades and up to the nape of her neck. A beautiful rendition of Vincent’s Starry Night, arcing across her back…which was now in pain, and caused her to wince in a major wincing way when she moved just like “OW!”, or leaned on something, forgetting, “OH MAN!” She had her A&D ointment, her non-scented lotion, and had to ask her neighbor to help change the paper taped, saran covered bandage a few times. Three weeks until the next step. She couldn’t wait.
Bandaged up, clean for now, she knew she was in for at least three weeks of OWies, and no bras. Not until it healed properly. Nine weeks no bras? The thought of no bras made her think of her missing very expensive bra, and of Daniel, who she was pretty sure was the decolletage bra thief. That was for another time. She took her California Malbec in hand, streamed her favorite AAA radio station over her lap top auxiliary speakers with special sub woofer attachment, and went to sit on the windowsill of the wide open window in her living room. A couple of nondescript songs came and went. She sipped her wine, looking at the stars. She was in bliss. Pained bliss, but bliss.
But then.. one of Elora’s favorite singer/songwriters, Harlan Regan, a new song, from his new CD, Quoted, played, and she stopped sipping, stopped wincing, stopped focusing on the stars, and was enveloped by this:
Don’t limit to just one dream, And let them go where you want At the place in your life that you are when you dream them.. Open those doorways That you often find closed Dream the big dream for no one but yourself Don’t let the mediocre minds Crush your great spirit They’re jealous and scared Because you are unknown And the unknown is frightening As closed minds are to me as well One day I hope you’ll find What you’ve been wishing Hope is not just pie in the sky One day I know you find what you’re dreaming One day I know you’ll live your dream One day I know, another dream will find you Take that road…see where it goes.
Elora cried, hugging her knees to her bra-less chest, her short spiked shock haired head leaned down, resting sideways to the field beyond the window.
Daniel stood in the field that was just beyond where Elora sat in the window, crying. He saw her shake silently, illuminated in a glaze of softly spun light. He realized his mouth was agape, and winching it shut he felt and heard his heart beating away, like a Great Rift Gold Dwarf hammering away at his foes, aberrations from the Underdark.
“Dork,” he thought, “the most exquisite woman I’ve ever seen, crying her eyes out over a song, and I go to D&D.” He shook his head, and only then realized that he had been steadily walking towards Elora. Stopping, he looked into her eyes, and…
HE LOOKED INTO HER EYES… “SHEISLOOKINGRIGHTATME!
Elora raced out of her room, well, racing as much as she could with an “ouch ouch OUCH” running across her shoulders, the shoulder blades, down and up her back, into her leg (“Leg? What the…”), out the door, and over to where the peeper splendidly lay in the grass. Kneeling down was like a Herculean chore, but she made it. Elora stared down, not knowing what to do, exactly.
Daniel came to, his heart doing a hot tamborim infused Samba while he lay on the night grass. His eyes opened slowly, and he was “SHEISRIGHTABOVEMELOOKINGATME!”
“Are you ok?” she asked.
“Um, uh..” he answered.
“What were you doing outside of my place, staring stalking me? What is your major malfunction?” Her arms were akimbo across her chest, very aware of being bra-less at that moment with somethings poking into her loose, but not loose enough, night shirt.
“What happened to your hair?”was the first thing that came to his uber-fogged state of mind. “And your back?” he continued.
She would have kneed him if (a) they were both standing and (b) if she wasn’t in massive itchy pain at that second. Punching him was also out of the question due to (b). Instead, she went into a five minute vocal kick-punch about men, men with their thing about women with long hair, men who don’t know not to ogle women, men who are weak lily liveried lying lumps of…..
Daniel was gobsmacked. He couldn’t believe he actually was hearing her voice, her soaring musical, lilting lift of joy and heavenly words. He grinned in the best moronic way.
“…and, I meant to add, I really like your new hairdo,” he said as nonchalantly as he could,when she stopped to take a breath, tucking away Captain Chickenshit as best he could. “Hi, I’m Daniel.”
Sucking in her breath, she let it out in a slow, steady stream. She just said “Elora.”
“I know,” they both said in unison. They stared at each other, smiled, and began to laugh, one more uneasy then the other, but pretty soon it melded into a harmonic blend that filled the night. The stars blinked above them.
Winston, who had been following Daniel all day and night, watched the scene unfold from behind a fence that straddled the land between Elora’s place and her neighbors, who were now…unnaturally…out.
Hearing the laughter, Winston put his finger in his mouth and made like he was gagging. Straightening up, he realized in 100% certainty: he’d found his fool.
Part 13: Or Else!
Sitting on the floor and talking till dawn, Elora and Daniel connected. She had brought him inside, because he, in quite natural klutz fugue state that he often found himself in, had banged the back of his head on a rock on the lawn, that was outside the window to her place, and bled just enough for Elora to be concerned enough to bring Daniel in.
They had discussed a lot in those hours, laughed with each other, she laughing at him once or twice over his clumsy persona, holding hands when she teared up in retelling about the betrayals done to her, sat in comfortable silences…and Daniel banished Captain Chickenshit during one of those silences forevermore. Or, well..you know. CC doesn’t go away without a fight!
“I’m really in like with you,” he blurted out during one of those silences, his face turning a glowing pulsating heat red that reached up behind his ears.
Elora looked at him. REALLY looked at him, deeper then she had been doing all awhile. She thought about everything they had just shared: his awkward life, his non-acceptance by those around him, his thinking so way out of the box, spiraling around that box in Ecsher like ways that she was astonished at how his mind clicked. She liked it. She had held back from blasting him on spying on her (just saying, “ya know, not a good thing to do.”), and from accusing him of taking her bra, as she first tended his head wound, and they tended each others inner wounds.
Daniel waited for her response. ANY RESPONSE. He gulped in desperation, running very quickly over the last couple of hours of discussions, the discoveries he made, the warmth he felt, the “stalking” her (“yes, I know..not a good thing to do.”), and all of her bits and pieces that she shared with him. The Captain was just about to resurface and make him flee when..
“Thank you. I like you, too. Just..be in the open with me, ok? I can’t take anymore crap behind my back. I….”
Just then, there was a loud banging on the door. Elora got up, looked through the peephole, and saw this guy. He was tall, balding, wearing glasses, and had a chubbyish nonthreatening constant smile on his face.
“Yes?,” she said to the door.
“Hi, my name is Winston. I’m a friend of Daniels, and I was hoping you’d know where he is. We’ve been looking for him.”
She turned her head and gave Daniel a questioning look. Daniel sat there, cross-legged and hands splayed on the floor, tilted his head an shrugged a noncommittal shrug. Elora unlocked the door and started to open it.
“He’s right in he….”
The door slammed open. Winston had put all his weight behind the push, sending Elora bouncing to the floor, just about into Daniels lap. “This is undignified,” he thought, as he pulled out his gun.
Elora and Daniel first started to yell “hey, who the hell do you think you are” (or words to that effect) until they saw the gun. They both quieted down very quickly. Elora scooched back, onto Daniel, and Daniel put his arms around her protectively.
Winston closed the door and locked it, never taking his eyes or the aimed gun off of them. His smile still constant, he walked over to her comfy looking upholstered swivel rocking chair and sat down, pulling up his pants legs one at a time.
Daniel squeaked out: “Hey, what are you doing? I don’t know you.”
Elora, staring straight ahead at the gun, which was aimed RIGHT at her chest, and said out of the side of her mouth: “Why the hell didn’t you say that BEFORE I started to open the door?” She felt him shrugging the same visual shrug he gave her before.
“Shhhh, both of you. NOW!” Winston, who seldom raised his voice, raised his voice. He was on the verge of frustration, and that was not acceptable right now. He looked at his watch. This had already exceeded his time plan by nine minutes and fifty-one seconds. “The two of you will get up, hold each others hands, and leave with me. My car is outside. We have someplace to go.”
“Why the hell should we go with you anywhere?” Elora sneered.
“Yeah..why?” Daniel chimed in.
Winston sat for three point zero seconds before answering.
“You do as I say. Or Else!”
Part 14: Passed Over
ZsaZsa (for those who forgot, it’s ZahZah..smh) found herself not really anywhere. She wasn’t feeling anything, and there was this complete sensation of unbeing…IF ZahZah was any type of deep thinker..um..thinker..well…she would have been puzzled, bemused, anxious, curious, afraid, mildly perturbed, and maybe a couple hundred other things. She wasn’t.
As it was, she was royally miffed, irked, ticked off, po’d, unamused, and generally not a happy camper. Not too far from how she always felt, but…well, this was a bit different.Floating, but not really floating; grounded, but not really grounded either. Her head began to hurt. “This is too much thinking going on, and no ‘splainin’ ” she thought out loud.
Her voice fell flat, going nowhere, for nothing there was to see to bounce it off of. The words just floated around her, and it caused ZahZah to look around. If she could have felt any pain at this moment, her neck turning would have caused spasmodic unconsciousness. That is, to say, if she also had anything inside her noggin to really grasp onto as well.
“Cheers, Darling. Nice to see you again,” came a voice beside/behind/over/under/up/down/around her.
Narrowing her eyes to a wrinkle producing squint, ZsaZsa looked in all the directions previously mentioned and saw no one. Hissing out a “hisssss,” she yelled in her all too squeaky voice: “Who the..Where the..Who the F are you?!!!”
Right in front of her nose, about an even 6.6 inches from said shnozz, was a squirrel. One very dead looking, tire tracked smashed squirrel. “I..I killed you!” she whispered quite loudly.“Yes, you did. You didn’t have to do that.”“I was putting you out of your pain.” she whined.
“Um..who put me in that pain in the first place, hmm?”
“It was an..accident. I sw..” she was cut off.
“Zsa, I was crossing the road. Saw you coming, started to get out of the way and YOU AIMED THE CAR at me. The last thing I saw before your car overcame me was the glint in your eyes, and you were laughing!”
“No, no..I..um..I had something in my eye..the sun..it was in my eye..and..”
“It was overcast the whole day. No beams of sunlight were happening.”
ZsaZsa said nothing. She was still not happy about being called Zsa, with the S. She looked at the road kill in front of her. An actual non-emotional thought came to her: “What are you? Squirrels don’t talk. Am I the big D?”
“Not yet. I’m George. Thanks for asking,” George the Squirrel said snidely. “I AM dead, thanks to you, and I’ve been dragged out of Nut Haven-yes, don’t look at me like that-to tell you you have a chance to redeem yourself, and live awhile longer. Totally up to you. Me? I could care less.”
“Why?” she asked in really..really..complete innocence.
George the Squirrel, gaping in buck toothed awe at such chutzpah, said: “Are you really THAT stupid?”
She just nodded her head, a couple of times. She heard that one often enough to hold onto it as her constant.
“Here is what is going to happen. You will wake up in a hospital room. Did you know that?”ZsaZsa nodded her head back and forth instead of up and down.“Ok..well, you are in one, in a bed, with a sheet over you and an Endotra…sigh..a tube taped into your mouth. Once you wake up, this is what you must do…” and George the Squirrel, one with his squirrelness now, told her the thing she must do to truly make amends, in a lot more small words and phrases so she’d understand. He had her repeat it back to her, and then revise and repeat again until she got it. That took a long, long time.
“OK..phew..you’re a nag. I got it!” she said.“One last thing, ZsaZsa.”“Yeah?”“My cousins are outside the window to your hospital room. Tell them George forgives them for raiding his nut pile, and that they should watch out for you.”
“Talk to squirrels? I..oh..yeah..heh..ok.”
ZsaZsa closed her eyes (well, she thought she did that)…and went to wake her body up. George the Squirrel was alone. “Can I come back now?” he asked, to nothing/no one in particular.A very large mound of Macadamia nuts were instantly all around him.
“Oh..very nice. Very nice indeed!” he squeed, as he jumped into the middle of the pile and did his best Scrooge McDuck impersonation.
Part 15: Quite Nicely Done…to a T!
Or Else became a blow to the back of Daniel’s head, as he was slow to move, holding onto Elora in a defensive position as she struggled with him screaming “OW OW OW OWWW!” Daniel was pressing on her back in JUST the wrong spot. In all the commotion he had forgotten that (1) she had a big bandage on her back (2) he had noticed there was some red smearing spreading BLOOD on that bandage on her back (when she had scooched onto him when the guy busted in) and (3) who was he to protect someone else when he was the one who usually needed protecting?
Just as he giving Elora some space, bang bang Winston’s silver hammer..well, gun..smacked Daniel in the exact same spot he so klutzily damaged before [see previous escapade of Daniel and the Rock]. Down he went to one knee with an “Ohhh, eeeee” out loud, knocked his head onto Elora’s rump with an “Ohh..oooooooooooooo, nice….” he thought, and wisely did not say out loud, and landed on the floor in a heap of right leg green, left leg blue and tush cheeks red. Elora tried to bend down to reach him, but she was in too much pain.
“Why did you do that? she screamed at Winston. “We were leaving!”
“I don’t have the time, or the patience, to deal with any dawdling. From either of you. I thought I explained that quite succinctly just two minutes ago. This is the last time for fooling around, Daniel. I do not want to hurt the young lady. YOU do not want me to hurt the young lady, do you?”
Daniel shook his head no, which, under the circumstances was really not the smartest thing to do. It was a Daniel thing to do, and a few drops of newly raised blood fell to the floor in answer. Elora saw this, took a tissue out of her jeans pocket, and pressed it to the back of Daniel’s head. “It’s not as bad as before. Just a scab come loose,” she said after she gave it a quick look.
“Scab, heh…ow,” mumbled Daniel.
They were out of her place, into the driveway, and heading towards a sharp looking limo. The driver was in the front seat, head down, looking like he was asleep. Winston tapped on the passenger side window, and the driver came groggily alert and push clicked the back door open.
Winston made Daniel get in first and move all the way to the front near the drivers section. Elora hesitated. “Look, I told you, I realllllllly need my ointment, cream and fresh bandages. I just got this big honking tat, and it hurts and I’m bleeding.” She stared at Winston, and saw his constant smile crack just a little. That little was enough for Elora. She rushed inside and sat close to Daniel, shivering.
Sitting down in the back, Winston adjusted one trouser leg, and then the other. Straightening out his suit jacket and tie, he told the driver to continue on…”..and close the partition. Now, if you please.” Winston checked to make sure that the intercom between the two sections was off. He said a few choice words about the drivers mother and father, and when he got no response he breathed deeply. At no time had he altered the aim of the barrel of the gun. It was aimed right at Elora’s chest, just as he had in her place.
Daniel spoke up a few minutes later, as the car jostled down a road that no shock absorber or strut could correct enough. “What do you want with us? I don’t know you, and it’s obvious Elora doesn’t.”
“Yeah, what is your major malfunction, butt head?” Elora loved that saying. Butt head.
Winston’s constant smile did not falter this time. He sneered vocally: “I don’t want ‘us’, I want you, Daniel. Elora…sorry to be so familiar, but as I am a butt head, I don’t know your last name.”
“Lightner,” she croaked out before realizing she did.
“Ms. Lightner, a pleasure. Mr. Killigrew, it’s you I came for, and got. She,” he emphasized that she like SHE, “happened to be…available. This situation requires a little pressure on you, and Ms. Lightner happens to be that pressure.” Winston continued constant smiling. “My name is Winston. You may call me Sir.”
“Sir Winston?” Daniel said, impressed.
“No. Just call me Sir, and we’ll be fine.”
“Oh,” Daniel said, unimpressed and kind of let down. Visions of “This was their finest hour!” went crashing through his mind, and out one ear.
Sighing loudly being undignified, Winston inwardly sighed, puffing up and out his chest. Daniel giggled, thinking he looked like a frog, and Elora smacked him in the arm.
“ow,” he said softly. She shushed him. Her back was killing her. It was getting dry and itchy in some places, and it felt wet and runny in others. This was not going to be fun for her back unless he could get him to stop for some first aid.
Just as she was going to ask, Winston held up a finger, checked his Grande Complication by Jean Dunand watch, with a mono-pusher split-second chronograph, split-second hand isolator, minute repeater, tourbillon, bi-retrograde perpetual calendar, and even a see-through sapphire back signed by its creator, and said: “We have an almost even three hours and twelve minute ride in front of us. I suggest you get as comfortable as you both can. I will do my best to explain why I needed you so ever badly, Daniel, and why you had to come along, Ms. Lightner.”
One hour and five minutes later, Winston had laid out his plan. Elora just stared at him with an open mouth and realllllllllllllllly painful upper back. Daniel was trying to wrap his head around the whole thing, and was now in the process of trying to retell Sir..um..Winston the directions he was given.
Forty-two minutes later, with coaching from Elora at a minimum, Winston’s constant smile grew a breadth constant larger. “Very good, Daniel. Very good indeed. That was quite nicely done…to. a. T! Do as you just retold, and you both shall leave this enterprise quite freely.” Winston shut down then, and just looked at the two of them, constant smile and gun unwavering.
Elora and Daniel looked at each other. Neither thought they would get out of this ‘enterprise quite freely.” Daniel reached for her hand unconsciously.
Consciously, Elora took it.
Part 16: Revenant Revenge
“Who the hell is it? It’s 2:47 in the morning!” Jennifer Rose slammed out of bed, almost forgetting to put something on. The bozo in her bed slept through the racket. Snoring, no less! “There it is again!” she yelled out loud inside her head. Two sets of three loud knocks, followed by four tinnier raps…and what sounded like a couple of swishes, against the apartment door.
“Hold on..hol…STOP THAT NOW! I”M COMING!’” she yelled out loud for real this time. She mauled the three locks on her door, leaving the fairly useless chain attached, and cracked open the door. She started to say….she started to…What the hell?
Standing outside her door was a slightly..well, overweight, really tall redhead, who looked like she had just crawled out of a car wreck. Her hands were mangled, two curled in C’s, and her wrists were bent at a weird angle. That wasn’t the strangest thing, because there were two squirrels with her, one on each shoulder. One had it’s back to the door and was just in the process of wagging it (presumably the swishing noise) so she caught some tail in her face, which promptly began the process of sneezing. Very loudly, when it culminated.
The squirrels jumped, doing somersaults and back-flips over and behind Mangled Hands head. Mangled one visually flinched, then said: “Hi..are you Ms. Hemple?” ZsaZsa knew it was her, but George insisted she be polite as polite can be, especially first thing. He promised her too much for her to shoot back the comment she was biting back, not liking being yelled at at all.
“Yeah. What do you want at this hour? Who are you? Wha…” and then it hit her. She had seen this woman, well, her pic online when she was screwing around at Winnie’s desk. Figuratively. She had opened up his “secret” files. Thought he was so smart. It didn’t’ take her too long to get the password. He always went on and on about how he made the perfect soft boiled eggs. 277secondsboiled. What a password!
“Can I come in? We need to talk, about your boss, Mr. Wynne.”
Jennifer Rose opened the chain and let ZsaZsa in. The squirrels zipped past her before she could slam the door shut. “Don’t worry,” ZsaZsa said as they ran to her, “they are with me, kinda my bodyguards, or something.” ZsaZsa sat down.
“S’ok if I sit?” she asked. Jennifer Rose said nothing, just crossed her arms over her chest, stuck out the left hip, supported it all by her right leg and foot, and nodded. She waited. She was good at that. A loud snore from the bedroom broke her glaring for a millisecond.
ZsaZsa then went on, in as much detail as she could muster, and told Jennifer Rose all she knew (which was not all that much) and all that George the Squirrel told her, which was in more detail and she got mostly right. A little flourish here and there, but the tale got told: the emails from Winston (she called him “Wynne, Mr. Wynne.”), the phone call that was just a bit off, the meeting, the almost dying…and that it was him..uh..he..umm..that is was that bastard..who drugged her and almost killed her. She told of the meeting with his royal squirrelness, and then she told Jennifer Rose the big secret, the whole big plan of Wynne’s.
Jennifer Rose listened carefully. In the middle of this girls ranting she really started to listen, then she sat down, then put put her chin on her hands and bored a hole of listening into the story, and she thought and plotted. Then, when she was done, Jennifer Rose smiled, a very Winston constant smile, but even more intense. ZsaZsa shivered a bit when she saw it.
“What’s your name? ZsaZsa?” she pronounced it like the Green Acres actress, which got a big frown out of ZsaZsa, with an AH. She promptly corrected Jennifer Rose.
“My apologies. ZsaZsa, I have to get dressed and get rid of some unsightly noise from my bedroom. Then..you and I…we’re going to pay Winston a little visit.”
Some loud chirping growls came from ZsaZsa’s lap. Their tails were poised for attack.
“Yes..you two too. This should be…interesting.”
Part 17: Suddenly Static
Moments in Time (1)
Elora was pissed. She did not like where any of this was going, as she did not for an instant think she and Daniel were going to survive this. “Him and his White Knight complex!” she thought about Daniel, as his over-protectiveness both irked her and pleased her, which, pleasing her in any way, made her more pissed off, now some of it at herself. He shared he had always had that guy dream, saving the damsel in distress, riding in on his white charger (“It’s not a car…it’s a horse” she told him. His answer? “Oh.”) , and the two of them falling in love and living happily blah blah blah.
Still, they had to figure out something, or this was going to end badly. Winston’s glare and smile AND gun was grating on her nerves. He said NOTHING since he told them his cockamamie story. Just…sat. Elora’s stomach did triple contortions. She grasped Daniel’s hand even tighter. Her back was killing her.
Moments in Time (2)
“OMANSHESREALLYINTOME” Daniel inwardly crowed, high fiving himself almost literally (he would have hit Elora if he continued his movements. He squeezed back, tightly but not too tightly. He let a small smile play along his mouth and started to breath a little bit harder. He noticed Elora wince at that (“Ow, damn, this is really hurting!” she thought) so he eased up. She still was wincing a bit, but it gave way to a kind of blankly worried look.
“She is sooooo beautiful,” and thinking this, and staring into her watering eyes, the pressed lips, her leaning forward, and he did not think at all about the guy holding the gun on them, that he hadn’t seem him blink or move at all, no saccadic eye movements at all, which he thought was weird, because he was always looking all around so not to miss anything…Daniel leaned in to kiss her…
Moments in Time (3)
Jennifer Rose wasn’t completely sure why she was listening to ZsaZsa (what a stupid name, unless you’re from Hungary, and even then..and to pronounce it the way she did…), but..she knew a lot about Winston, stuff she thought only she knew, having worked with him for the year and a half she did.
The part about coming back to life for revenge? That one still bugged her, and she didn’t really believe it. Jennifer Rose couldn’t let it go without a challenge. “Why you? Why did they let YOU come back instead of all the millions who die?” she asked.
ZsaZsa said, in a really teeny tiny small voice, more grating then her normal speak: “I made a promise, when I was in the bed, under the sheet, with that thingy down my throat. I didn’t know I made that promise, until GTS (that’s George the..)…”
“I get it, I get it,” she cut her off. “What promise did you make? It had to be a doozy.”
“Um..well..I..promised..I promised to,” and here she lowered her teeny tiny small voice to the infinitesimal: “i would stop having sex until i found my true love.” ZsaZsa blushed, for the very first time in her life. It burned her cheeks like what she thought a hot branding iron would feel like. She had no idea.
Jennifer Rose let out a huge honking blast of laugh at that one. “Oh, honey…sex is sex. Love has nothing to do with it.” That was that. True or not, she went along with ZsaZsa’s story. Taking The Snorers’ car (he was dead asleep), they boogied to catch up to Winston, if ZsaZsa was telling the truth.
Suddenly, a smell from the back broke into her remembering as she was driving. “What the..”
Moments in Time (4)
Both squirrels had chittered long enough. They had to go, so they went.
Moments in Time (5)
ZsaZsa stared down at her mangled hands. She tried to open them, but..nada. She tried again and again, and still nothing. She lost what little other thoughts she may have had to put so much into her hands.
One thought did come to her: “I already promised no sex. What do I have to promise for my hands?” She grunted a little at the unresponsiveness of the situation.
Moments in Time (6)
Winston was deep in his happy place. His Pranayama deep breathing allowed him the stillness he desired. His smile and grip on the gun were constant, and he was still aware of what was in front of him while existing in this elsewhere of his. Everything was clean, neatly ordered, and just so! He was aware of each and every second that passed, in it’s accuracy, how one logically followed another, and how time was on his side. Yes, it was.
His happy place already included the prize he sought. He already positively envisioned that it was his, and his alone, and he was happy. Truly, blissfully, happy.
Which was shattered when his outer sense noticed Daniel moving towards Elora…
Moment in Time (B)
Elora: “What are you…”
Winston: “Stop that n…
Daniel: puckered up, almost at Elora’s beautiful lips…
Jennifer Rose: “What the f…”
Zsa Zsa: “snort..true love..yeah, rig…”
Squirrels: “LOOK OUT!”
Limo: go boom, crash, tinkle, roll, roll, roll..stop.
Moment in Time (A)
The driver was drifting in and out of sleep. Holding two and a half jobs was killing him. Literally.
Part 18: Time isn’t holding us, Time isn’t after us
Daniel woke up all tangled up. He had extra legs, hands, hair, legs…”oh..Elora…” She was unconscious, and bleeding. Her shirt’s back was soaked through in blood. He carefully untangled her from him, as much as he really didn’t want to, and laid her down as carefully as he could on her front. Looking around, he didn’t see the weird smiling guy and gun. “Good.” Daniel noticed that the limo was right side up, remembering turning over like a centrifuge at least once.
“Wait..centrifuge..around..no..Kumba..seven inversions..ok..I liked..” and he went on like that for awhile, tending to Elora’s back as best he could (he took off his tee shirt and blotted her back, leaving himself Daniel chested), and by the time she started to awaken, he had (1) gone from roller coasters to roller blades to he didn’t shave that day and what time was it, and did anyone really know, to Chicago-Boston-America-New York Dolls, to what a doll Elora is and (2) cleaned up most of the excess blood, with a few “oohs” “ooos” and “ewwssss” along the way. He found a few bottles of water in the limo, washed her back a bit, and dried it the best he could.
Elora started to turn her head and move a bit to look at Daniel, but almost passed out from the pain. Not really from her back: Daniel’s ministrations were better then he thought. Elora grasped her right side, lower rib, and it hurt like she’d gotten kicked by a limo in the ribs, which is kind of what happened. “Help me up, please.”
Daniel did, and they squat walked/carried/dragged themselves to the back, where there once were two doors with a Winston filling between them. Now there was one, and they made their way out of the limo.
Winston was outside, with his gun. His smile was gone, and in it’s place was something very cold and dangerous looking. He had two women on the ground backs against the rear of the limo, their hands behind their backs. “The driver is dead. Get over there with them…NOW!” he demanded.
Winston was not happy. His suit was a mess, his neck hurt, and his time frame was all..it was…”Damn that man! Damn him,” he thought with venom. Shot. His time frame was shot. Even with his buffer, he…
…he let his usually held anger get the better of him. Ms. Hemple and, he couldn’t believe she was here and alive, ZsaZsa, their car…nothing was wrong with it. It looked all right, just the doors were open. He had not passed out when the limo crashed. He had thought he heard a second set of squalling screaming brakes and voices (and animal yelps?), but no collision. He heard them call out if anyone was all right, if anyone was hurt, and when he had stepped out the doorless passenger side, he was almost as astonished as the two…women..were.
“Your car, Ms. Hemple. It is in working order, yes?” he asked her, with the constant smile returning to his face, but this one…this was held a different level of constant attitude. This one did not sit well for any of the four looking at him.
Jennifer Rose just nodded back, glaring at him and the gun. ZsaZsa whimpered, her mangled hand reallly hurting in that postion.
“Get up. All of you. We’re going for a ride. Daniel, if you resist, one of them dies. Guess which one? Ladies, if any of you resist, one of you will die. Are we clear?” Winston did not even check for any answer. His watch was still working “Of course,” he said outloud. “Get up now. We still have time.” At this, his constant smile turned into a brief undulation of disconnected facial muscles.
“All this for a stupid clock? What the hell!” Elora said, as she clutched her side in pain.
“Clock?”Both Jennifer Rose and ZsaZsa chimed in together.
Winston chuckled. “Ladies, I will explain in your car. This is no ordinary clock. This clock, of ultimate precision, calls to me, sings to me, and it is devastation not to have it. Now, get in the car, or one of you…” he let it hang, and they moved to the car slowly and reluctantly, but they went.
“Wait,” Jennifer Rose said, “you threatened us with death, but not him. Why?”
Winston stopped and glowered at her, but said nothing. Elora, as she was getting into the front with the other two women, gasped out:
“He says Daniel is ‘special.’ That only he could get through something called the Ratiocination Labyrinth.”
Winston demanded they drive off. They did.
He had not checked under the front seat. Furry things waited.
Part 19: Understanding and ululations
Inside the car, it was dead silence. Winston gave the main directions all at once, and it was pretty straightforward, very few right or lefts. He was not a GPS system, but he acted like one; only when, with uncanny precision, would he speak to Jennifer Rose..Ms. Hemple… to take the next turn. For the first forty-seven point thirty-four minutes.
Daniel, slumped in the farthest corner away from Winston, had been dazed, more so than usual, as he was worried about the bleeding and pain-in-the-side that Elora had. She was between the other two women up front, and from time to time it looked like one of them or the other was propping her upright. His head throbbed a little, easing as time went by….”HAH!” he thought out wickedly loud, “Take THAT Windrip! Time is ticking away the moments that are making up this very much not dull day.”…first from the bump-bleed to the back of his head, then the roll roll roll of the limo..clang clang clang went his head.
“She’s in pain,” he said, nodding (“ow”) in Elora’s direction.
Winston, using soft focus peripheral vision, was aware of all that was around him in the car. “Daniel,” he said softly, “I am aware of that. And of your pain; it’s all over your face. Not good at hiding what you feel, eh? The knight gallant, the fool be-smitten. You repulse me with your inexact ways, your fuzzy chaos driven thinking..but, that is also why you are needed right now. You’ve squandered the mental gifts you were given, but I am going to put that right, for the first time in your non-linear ramblings of an existence. Concentrate on the task that is ahead of you instead, stay focused for once in your life.”
Elora heard the sharp slicing mandoline edge in Winston’s grating voice. “Daniel, I’m ok.” She added: “How is your head?”
“I’m ok. You sure you’re all right?”
“Yes, I’m ok. “
Elora couldn’t take the silence. “You told us only so much in the limo. Maybe Daniel would be a better slave for you if he knew more about what a Ratiocination Labyrinth is, and why this ‘The Clock of the Long Ago Now’ is so damned important. To you. Why is it SO damned important to you?”
Winston didn’t answer her for 12 seconds flat. He, too, was bored with the silence and the monotony of the drive. No keyboard to send him throughout a world he’d rather be in, one of connections that lead him into real time, with fast bytes of information for him to swallow. This was mundane, this waiting, and he disliked the mundane. His elitist upbringing led him here, and this “carousing” with the inferior was so beneath him. He only put up with Ms. Hemple, in his presence, at his office, truth be told, for her looks. They were a distraction to anyone who came to him for his research skills. He knew all about her sexual proclivities (“animal,” he thought) and she suited him well in her administrative duties..when she was there. On time. Obviously, he could not put up with ZsaZsa at all.
On the 13th second, Winston began to answer…
[The squirrels had been “listening” all the while under the front passenger side of the bench seat. A little squished down, but roomy enough, they had burrowed underneath when the guy with the bad juju vibes came to the car.*A little known fact: squirrels possess VIBE-DAR; they know when a human is “ok, they’re just feeding us” approachable or when it’s “ruh roh, high tail it outta here!”. End of that little known fact about squirrels.*
They had skittered to the front of the car where they got a bit tangled in a mess of feet. Their charge, as put on them by George of Nut-Haven, cousin of spirit, was waving at them with her frozen gnarled hands. ZsaZsa gently nudged them with a foot to get them back into hiding. They were not stupid. They went.
Bad JuJu Vibe had the thing that could hurt and kill you in his hand. It was steady and constant, and they were afraid, but they could not allow any harm come to ZsaZsa.
They waited, sneaking peeks out. They bared their incisors.]
On the 13th second, Winston began to answer…
“The Clock of the Long Ago Now has been thought to have been a myth, legend only, going back at least 2,000 years. An exquisite piece of work with it’s roots in something that was found off the coast of a Greek island: the Antikythera Mechanism. There has been a lot of research and hypotheses abounded, most of them leading along false trails. The most obvious one was denounced and discarded too easily, which is the way many truths in our world are obfuscated, leading people away from what is real.
I’ve done the research, checked the data, rechecked it, and there are too many shadows overlaying the truth for the common man to find, let alone comprehend and believe in. Many of the “secret power cults” are there, in place, waiting for civilization to move along on the road they have built and continue to build. All for their own good, not humanity. I’ve seen the truth, and it’s led me to this fact: The Clock of The Long Ago Now is real, and the Antikythera Mechanism IS part of it.
This was way beyond what mankind could even dream about then. The Clock not only gives the most precise timing this world has ever seen, but the timing of Celestial events. The machine tracks complicated interactions between heavenly bodies, such as eclipses and novas and births of stars, all through precise timing! Everything is pre..”
“precision. Everything is precision! What is it with you, anyway? Got locked in a closet too long as a kid and counted your time like a prisoner to be let go?” sneered Jennifer Rose Ms. Hemple.
Without knowing it, she came too close to the truth, and that delve into his past was not to be taken lightly. Winston’s grip on his gun changed, and he began to raise his arm.
The squirrels leaped up and around, sinking their teeth into his gun hand (one at a time), and then they ran up opposite arms, trying to get at his eyes.
Winston did not drop the gun on the floor, but he did move his arm up to deflect the..the.. attack from what he knew what, for it was but a blur of teeth and tails and fur. Without warning, the gun went off.
EVERYONE (well, Winston’s was more for the squirrels) screamed in the car. Jennifer Rose almost lost control, her heart beating like a good night of..well, beating really really fast, but she knew she wasn’t hit, so she got herself back together very fast, and saved all their lives.
All but one. ZsaZsa screamed louder then all of them put together. “No…no…” she said. One of the squirrels had jumped on her shoulder and then burrowed it’s way into the front of her blouse, hiding in her cleavage. “NOoOOoooooOOOOOOOOOOooooooo……”
The other squirrel was bleeding profusely, laying across Daniel’s lap.
Part 20: Versecular
Above, the starry night
The car of screams did penetrate it’s shine;
Alone along the barren road, no travelers did they see.
“He’s dead, he’s dead!” she keened and wailed,
Over his small broken body, his blooded tail.
The copper tinted smell in the air inside the cabin, closed,
took o’er the senses,some shut down.
Daniel, in red drenched lap, wonder looked
To see the patterns forming there, the stiffness
settling in. He saw the horseman braying ‘Come’
Wondering if this was for he as well.
“Oh, what have you done? What have you done?
All for the sake of Time and the unknown?
So many other ways, so many chance to take,
And this is the road we’ve traveled on?”
Winston stared, and tried to erase the unpleasant noise
That filtered from around
He worshiped not this, but silence, no sound.
The cacophony of decibels, the sone bursting through
He drew his weapon upon them all
“Shut up!” he bellowed, “Go to hell!”
The whimpering subsided, but the tears inside die not
One thought went through the others, alive,
And if Winston had an ounce of empathy,
One shred of deeper understanding beyond his miscast precision,
He’d quiver and sink so much lower then he had
With the unswerving blows upon his head
They all felt he deserved…and more.
“Let us bury him” they cried as one.
“No.” he said, as he lifted his leg to adjust.
“Let us bury him” they wailed this time.
“No.” was all he said, with his gun raised
And his constant smile so strained
“We must go on, and waste no more time
On such foolishness again.
If you don’t watch that other beast
That bit me and tried to gouge me
I WILL show it the same, you’ll see
Then who will be next, do you think?”
Sitting back, he said no more.
Jennifer Rose, gas pedaling hit the floor
And like a streak of light the car
Continued on it’s path through
Underneath the starry starry stars.
To the one left
Quivering in his charge’s bosom,
Came a vision, it did appear
Inside this woman’s brassiere
“Calloo, Callay, you’re here to stay?”
He asked of his old compadre
But, alas, he shook his head
And his tail did sag and droop
For Jack came back to give him the poop:
“I’ve been to a wondrous place, old Bob,
And seen our cousin, George
Of Nut-Haven, he is one, and so too I am bound.
Bob shared a tear
“Tut Tut, none of that.
I am happy as I can be.
I did what I could for our lady charge.
Now it is up to thee.”
“What the heck? Did dying make you a poet?
It’s me, Jack, ME” he said,
As a tear ran down a breast.
“Watch over her, and in your time
You will know what you must do.
Try to be stalwart and true
and Nut-Haven will also be for you.”
With that old Jack did swim away
O’er a lake of cashews and cream
And fading fast from his sight
Old Bob thought it was a..
“Nah..I’m just sad. Damn that man.
I aim to take out one of his eyes for this!”
And so a plan was set!
Part 21: Wonderment
The blathering in the front of the car crawled to a halt as Ms. Hemple sped on. Daniel, still holding the dead rodent in his blood caked lap and hands, just stared at him. “Good. He is finally focused.” Winston thought. “He needs to stay that way.”
Why had he bothered to explain anything to these cretins? The anticipation, the moments ticking away in such a dull way, surrounded by these..these.. Winston realized he let them get the better of him. He just stared back, his constant smile again in place, and his hand throbbed a bit from the bites. It was not enough to cause him to lose his concentration again.
What would he say to them that they would understand, that they would not judge as drivel? That The Clock of the Long Ago Now is the epitome of cosmic precision? That his research did lead him to the truth: that aliens do exist, that the Celestial Zafeiropoulou have been here, have guided us and thwarted us, and that humans in secret conclaves know of this and support them? That the Zafeiropoulou are as close to time incarnate as one can get, that they are the personification of precision timing on a cosmic scale? That they really rule us all? They would laugh and ridicule him if he was not holding the gun.
He knew that this treasure is his way to ascend to a state of time bliss and to join them. If the Ratiocination Labyrinth is breached, the Clock will give him everything he’s wanted. His dream, forever along the time line of the universe, always perfect, always constant and precise. His dream, and he is putting all of it on a world class dreamer of a dolt.
Winston stared at Daniel through the corner of his left eye, while keeping the rest of his attention looking for that other rodent. He heard ZsaZsa making soothing and shushing sounds to the damned thing. “Just wait. All of you,” he threatened inside his head.
Looking at Daniel, he wondered, and in wondering, began to doubt, if this head-in-the-clouds intelligent fool would really be the one to break through all the logic barriers the Zafeiropoulou put in to guard the Ratiocination Labyrinth and what it hides.
Forget the other incredible weapons and baubles that are supposedly to be found inside: Dropa Stones, Ica Crystals, The Cosovisto Artifact, the Siribhoovalaya translation (numbers, in precise mathematical order, describing the universe), and so much more. Forget them. Daniel need to get me the clock. The clock is all that mattered.
He’d have to go through the sections, one by one: the Limbus Come; The Lewd Ones; the Tanuki; the desires of Kamadeva; the Emoticon Curtain; the Minim Five; the Numbing Nukekubi; the Proposition of Mudd; and finally…he came across a blank wall on this one. There was one more section to pass, one last hurdle. There was no information on it. No clues. Nothing.
Winston settled into his thoughts, running through everything he knew about each sections passage to be gained. He needed an illogical thinker to make this work. He read all the secret supposedly destroyed and erased files on all the “intelligent” ones who tried to get through. All the ones who failed, and they all had. Only their companions survived, one at a time, and bit by bit Winston put all the information together. They had all approached this from the wrong angle, and all made the same mistake, time and time again. Linear thinkers, one and all.
Daniel was his key to success.
And…once he had the Clock….
Winston in real time smiled a little broader. Daniel clutched the body in his lap a little harder. Jennifer Rose stepped on the gas, making the care to a little bit faster, which caused Elora to flinch against the seat and made her back hurt and she gasped a little bit louder, and ZsaZsa soothed the squirrel a little bit needier…
The squirrel? He got a whole lot more angrier.
Part 22: Xeriscape
They drove for hours more in silence, the only time they stopped was for a massive pit stop (Gas and go) that Winston had to, finally, acknowledge. Out of the cities and towns, out of most human habitation, with only the stray house here, ranch there, and then nothing. Nothing except the beginning of a dessert like…nothingness. They left everything behind.
They still had one hour and forty-nine minutes before the sun rose. Winston’s watch was accurate, he knew that for certain. They were almost there, but all the interruptions (if the deaths of a limo driver and a squirrel and a massive pit stop taking in and letting out can qualify as interruptions)…he silently berated him for waiting so long to take Daniel. He thought, first, she would never take him into her house. Then he thought she would throw him out after taking care of his head. He waited until he could not wait any longer, knowing he was losing precious precise time. What started out pure and simple became a circus, and Winston hated the circus.
Ten minutes later, Ms. Hemple pulled over to the side of the road at Winston’s demand. There was nothing to be seen. The headlights of the car only illuminated so far, but with the skies clear and full of stars and a brightly waning moon, with the oncoming morning light just hazing off in the distance, she could see enough. Of practically nothing. It was an arid dusty setting, with plant life.
With plant life? She looked around, but did not see anything that was giving them water. These weren’t just cacti. There were lush leaved plants in groups. She counted nine such groupings just in the light from the car. Jennifer Rose put her hand on her hips and frowned a puzzled “huh?”
ZsaZsa got out at Winston’s demand, helping Elora out of the car as best she could, with her hands the way they were. Elora was flinching a bit, but her back was overall numb, and she felt a bit sick. They were both glad to finally be out of the car, and held onto each other a bit more as they made their way over to where Jennifer Rose was planted.
A bustle in her bosom area brought ZsaZsa attention to her chest. She wasn’t fast enough-the squirrel had wrestled his way out, up, stared at the car perched on her shoulder (just as Winston and Daniel were getting out), made a very rude noise (especially for a squirrel) and jumped off into the darkness. ZsaZsa mewed a “noooooo” and tried to chase after it, but Winston’s yell that he would shoot stopped her dead..well..stopped her.
Slamming the car door behind him, Daniel tried to walk over to Elora, but Winston just waved the gun in a “no-no” fashion. Waiting for Winston, they waited where they were.
Elora was looking down and around, noticing slight ridges in the dusty land. The ridges, what she could see in this light, ran from one of the clusters of plants to the other. The plants were what drew her attention at first. They were the same type of plants she had lain in, with dark green glossy leaves, so soft, naked under the stars, not that long ago. The night “someone, hmph” sneaked a peek and most likely took her bra. She turned her head to look for Daniel…
He was heading her way, well, their way, with Winston right behind. “We’re moving forward,” Daniel said, semi under his breath, not wanting to alarm Elora, or the others. ZsaZsa was still looking off into the night; Jennifer Rose came over, put her arm around her, and led the two of them behind Elora and Daniel.
“Walk about ten more feet. Then stop. The entrance to the labyrinth will be there.”
They looked and saw nothing but outlines of flatness and far away hills/mountains. They stepped on and over and around more bunches of the plant clusters. Daniel tripped over a couple of them, only falling one time. His entire attention was on Elora.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
She quietly said: “shhh..it’s not your fault. This is just unreal in every sense. Just don’t get him mad until we can figure out how to get out of this.”
“I’ll do my best. I still don’t see what I…”
“Stop, Now.” Winston barked out, but regained his negative calm. “Daniel, do you see that large rock to your left? Go to it, and place both hands on it, and push. Now, Daniel.”
Daniel, with a nod from Elora, left her with the other two women, and walked over to the rock. From what he could see, it looked like a Metamorphic rock, but that was gonzo to Daniel, as there wasn’t anything around that could cause such a thing to happen. Something like this would have needed great heat and pressure, and…”oooopsawllahhhhhh”
Tripping over one of the base rocks, Daniel fell on the large-ish Metamorphic rock, throwing both hands out to prevent harm to his face or chest. His hands landed on the rock, hard, and his falling momentum pushed the rock ever so much.
It was enough. A whirling winding sound arose from beneath the rock, and then slid it and Daniel to the left. Where there was darkness now came a smattering of lights, dancing in the air in front of them. It sound died down, but the lights coalesced into one large pinpoint that grew. Grew some more. And…well, it grew until it outlined a tunnel, the inside of it which could only be seen by looking at it head on. Elora and Jennifer Rose (with ZsaZsa still glued to her) tried to look, but around the “edge” it was the same as before: lifeless dessert, except for the plant clusters.
Winston’s constant smile reflected the glow. “The Ratiocination Labyrinth. It is all true. Time for us to enter. Daniel, you must lead the way.”
He did, the women followed, with Winston behind them. They had not walked far in, when a horrible moan bolted into them. All but Winston were shaken.
“Daniel, prepare yourself. The Limbus Come are approaching.” he chortled, so unlike him, not.
Elora tried to reach out to Daniel, but the other two held her back as something wicked their way came.
Outside, Bob The Squirrel had been following them, waiting for an opportunity to get the big human back. He kept on eye on his charge as well, and was glad the other one was protecting her. That gave him more of a chance.
Daniel’s falling, and the opening of sound and lights, happened all too fast for Bob to do much of anything. As the others walked in, they did not look back to see the lights start to fade and the “entrance” start to close. Jumping with all his squirrel jumping powers, Bob made it into the tunnel as it sealed shut behind him.
Bob followed, and did not like what he was smelling.
Part 23: Yet, The Limbus Come
Elora broke free from Jenifer Rose and ZsaZsa. She ran over to Daniel as he slowly walked-SLOWLY WALKED-down into the tunnel. Unaware that the opening they came through was gone, not looking back, they both were overcome with a feeling that there was no where else to go. Nothing that they could do. They stopped at the same time, nearly touching but feeling like miles apart, the sense of being alone overwhelmed them, and they could not move another inch.
Nothing Shapes filled to bursting with Nothing Sounds engulfed them both. The tunnel whited out, the whiteness searing into Elora’s head. Everything about her felt dull, and she had to fight to keep Daniel in any sort of visual perspective. She heard him humming, and the humming turned into a tortured version of a song, and she lost all track of time as Daniel went from one song to another.
“…sunny day, chasing the clouds away… hmm hmm…can you tell me where to find…. mmmm mmm da da hmm.. don’t worry….be happ…..t’was a sunny day, lots of birdies in the trees….hmmm hmm hnmm da dada dah…..” he went on, looping around Sesame and Puff and Paul and Sweet Baby James and more and more…and the Nothing Shapes with their Nothing Sounds started to fade.
“I hope you know what you’re doing,” she sang along, taking up the melody he was into at that moment, “..won’t you be by neighbor..”
“Yeah, me too!” was answered along the lines of “I’ll be there!” and he went further along the musical path he was laying down. Tune after tune, wrong words, true words, nonsensical pairings and blendings and intersections of songs, it didn’t matter: Daniel sang from an innocent enough spirit (well, innocent aside from the gawking/stalking side of him that, remember, he did admit was wrong). The Limbus Come, the whitewash effect of theirs, began to fade out, fuzz out, dropped out, and the tunnel in it’s indiscriminate length fell back into place around Elora and Daniel. The Limbus Come were silent shapes now, and they dwindled and passed back into the darkness that they had poofed out of.
Elora cleared her head by shaking it a few times. Daniel just stood there and smiled, turned around, saw the others, and waved. “You’re a sick, sick man, you know that?” she mentioned as they walked back to the others, grinning broadly.
“Yeah, I know,” he replied, his smile sharing Elora’s, as he took her hand. She took his, too. (Yes, Captain Chickenshit was truly gone. Farewell, Captain).
“We couldn’t see you-either of you. All of a sudden: poof! No more you!” ZsaZsa said while she hugged Elora.
Elora explained what she could, what she felt and experienced. Jennifer Rose added: “Daniel, how did you know what to do?”
Daniel stood there for a few moments, not sure at first what to answer, but he felt the tension from Winston grow, sensing he, too, wanted to know. He looked to Elora.
“I’m not sure about you, but…whatever that was, it felt really empty. It had no purpose, nowhere to go or be. Stuck. I felt stuck. Horribly stuck in one place. There was really nothing here for it, and it..the Limbus Come?…felt so empty. The only thing that felt right was to sing. Songs are full of life, right? Songs can take you places, make you move. What is life without some sort of music? I know I can’t live without it, so….”
Elora completed: “So, you filled them with song. The heaviness we felt at first just got lighter and lighter until that thing..Winston, what was that thing?” she whipped on him, then one..two..three of glaring..turned back to Daniel. “I still don’t know how you knew what to do.”
Daniel lopsidedly grinned, and said: “It just felt the right thing to do.” Adding in his best Belafonte, and shrugging, “The Limbus Come, and they want to go home!”
Elora smacked him on the arm. “OUCH!” But, it didn’t hurt at all.
“Move, now. This is nauseating,” snarled Winston, “and we have a number of more pull it out of your ass moves to come. Let’s go. “
All six of them continued on. Those on two feet, and one on four.
Bob chuckled: “heh hehe..Limbus come and they want to go home….” he sang.
Part 24: Zippidy-do-DOH!
They did not get far. The Lewd Ones were waiting around the slight bend that the tunnel took, to the left, then straight. Floating in mid air were three of the most stunningly beautiful women that any of them had ever seen. Nakedly floating, and moving around each other, touching each other, in ways that it would take quite the perverted mind to imagine.
“Wow..I had a dream like this once,” Daniel said. Elora glared at him for the comment, and was going to make quite a comment of her own, when Daniel was whisked into the air. Air whisking had nimble fingers, because before you could count to 1..2.. all of his clothes were laying on the floor under him. Under the lewd ones…and they liked it. Their smiles were the smiles of sirens leading sailors to their dooms, but just less moist.
Speaking in one voice, The Lewd Ones seductively and mellifluously said, as they wrapped themselves around and around and around Daniel: “Come,boy boy boy,come play with us us us, Barbeb, Pronia and Prunikos are so lonely lonely lonely. Fill us and stroke us and tenderly glide with us..Fill us and stroke us and tenderly glide with us..Fill us and stroke us and tenderly glide with us..” the r
“Daniel! Do something!” Elora screamed up. Elora and Jennifer Rose tried to grab a hold of him, but he was just out of reach. They also had to watch out for the three floating things with him: one had clawed at Jennifer rose, another tried to bite Elora, and the third one was slobbering all over Daniel, and great gobs of saliva like liquid fell around the two grounded ones.
“I’m..hey..try…Stop THAT!..ing..ohman…STOP THAT!…to!” Daniel was squirming every which way but loose, trying to get these..unbeliveably..stop that…hot…c’mon…women to stop…well, he wasn’t even sure what wasn’t being done to him at that point. He was feeling a bit off though. And he felt more off then on as the gyrating continued. He began to bleed from his nose, and not just a drip drop. It bled a bit more each time they started over in their chant chant chaa…..
Elora froze when she saw the blood, and she pulled Jennifer Rose to her. Daniel tried to sing again, hoping it would work with the Lewdish Ones (“funny, you DO look Lewdish” he laughed to himself), but at this point all he could think of was bawdy Ren Faire songs, and he didn’t think that would work. In one of the tossy-turvey moments,
“Hey…oh lewd ones. Bodacious as the three of you are, this isn’t doing it for me,” he half yelled over their chanting. “Elora…
Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kisse but in the cup,
And Ile not looke for wine.
The thirst, that from the soule doth rise,
Doth aske a drinke divine:
But might I of Jove’s Nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee, late, a rosie wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered bee.
But thou thereon did’st onely breath,
And sent’st it back to mee:
Since when it growes, and smells, I sweare,
Not of it selfe, but thee.
Elora started to tear, not only for the Ben Jonson poem (one of her favorites), but also…Daniel sounded weaker with each circlet those bitches made around him, and the blood got bloodier.
Daniel weakly smiled at her, met her eyes again on one of the passes, and barely eked out “I’m enchanted with you, a smitten kitten, have been since I laid eyes on you. I, uh..stop it BarProPrune!!..Elora, I guess I love you.”
“Oh Daniel,” she wept completely. “Me too.”
Daniel fell to the ground on top of his clothes. The Lewd One hung in the air, the first time for them just stillness. Then, the three of them started to cry.
“That was beau..beauti..beautifil” they said, in three part harmony. They looked longingly at Daniel and Elora, she having rushed to him when he hit the ground, and silently touched ground. They walked away, in perfect unison, not looking back.
Elora helped Daniel into his clothing. ZsaZsa and Jennifer Rose were holding onto each other, sniffling and wiping a tear and one of them honked out a happy sounding laughed. Only Winston was unmoved by what occurred. They did not notice him starting off at the departing Lewd Ones. A few steps were all he took. Composing himself, he moved to two couples.
“WHAT HAVE WE HERE?” Boomed a big booming voice. “IT IS I, KAMADEVA! WHAT IS YOUR DESIRE!”