Monday, April 25, 2011
So this week:
Messengers will finish.
Zombie story will start.
New Red Teeth chapter.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Dylan felt like he was drifting. There was an unreal quality to life in jail. Sometimes he suspected that it was the mixture of a perfectly regimented schedule combined with more free time than he knew what to do with it. While that was a reasonable enough explanation, and it might have even been true, it wasn’t really the truth.
The truth was that nothing in Dylan’s life had felt real for a long time, definitely since before the messages, probably since Alexandra died. After a certain point, Dylan thought, we expect our lives to go a certain way. We start looking at the future like we look at the past, something fixed, something definite. When things go off the rails, then you start to feel like nothing is real.
Dylan hadn’t quite lost his mind. He was aware that feeling like your life wasn’t real was some kind of insanity, and he hoped, at the very least, that being aware of the insanity of his feeling meant that, paradoxically, he wasn’t going insane. Or at least, not too insane. But there was still a moment or two when he woke up in the morning where he simply could not believe that he was where he was.
He was a celebrity, of sorts, and so he spent his time in jail alone, passing the days until his trial. They’d tried putting him in general population, but his status as the angel guy had made managing the other inmates more trouble than it was worth. It was amazing to Dylan just how many of them blamed the angels for their problems, or thought that Dylan had a line directly to them and could help them.
It didn’t help that he was the current subject of a media blitz, which had taken him from relative celebrity as the first person to receive a message to full blown infamy. They might not have wanted anything from him, but they all knew who he was.
For his part, he was grateful for the solitude. The one real advantage of being in jail, as far as he was concerned, was that he was free from the messages. He didn’t watch television, he didn’t use the internet, and he declined to speak to anyone on the phone. He did read, but he did his best to get books that were printed before the messages began. He wasn’t interested in anything that the angels had to say.The problem was that he was alone with himself, and the truth was that he wasn’t really alone. In the endless hours, he found that his thoughts naturally drifted towards Molly. Always. Her memory distorted the shape of his mind, like a bowling ball on a rubber sheet. No matter what he did, his mind was always pulled towards her. It was worst at night, when he dreamt about how he killed her.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
“I think you’re keeping secrets” she said.
She said it through a mouthful of bacon, which is one of those things that he loved about her. Molly was an unabashed carnivore, and while he didn’t share her enthusiasm for meat in all its forms, it made him love her even more.
“I’m an open book. Hell, I’m practically a newspaper.”
“Uh huh. I think you’re keeping something from me. I can tell when you have something on your mind, and I think you have something on your mind.”
“I’ve got lots of things on my mind: my deadlines, the nature of causality, why Hugh Jackman is popular, and how cute you are when you’re devouring a salted pig.”
“Nice try, but I know something is on your mind, beyond the usual.”
Her tone was light, but it seemed a little forced. Dylan thought that she was genuinely worried about something. He wasn’t inclined to tell her what he was thinking about, and he was actually a little worried that she might figure it out on her own.
“Well,” he said, “what about you. You never did tell me about the other message.”
She paused, bacon hovering in mid air and he regretted bringing it up. They’d been married about six months when he came home from an interview to a house full of smoke.
He found Molly in the bathroom, where she was burning paper in the bathtub. She was pale and she was crying. She was burning a printout of her thesis. Dylan had tried to turn on the shower, to stop the fire, and she hit. She pounded against his chest and he had to grab her to stop her. He’d never seen her like that before. He’d never seen her like that since and he hoped that he never did.
Dylan was not, despite occasional evidence to the opposite, a stupid man. He figured out that she had gotten a message. But she refused to talk about it. She spent the rest of that day in bed, not saying a word. He wondered what she could have read that would have done this, but she wouldn’t tell him.
The next day, she was back to normal. He brought it up again and the subject was either brushed off or the beginning of a huge fight, but there was never an answer. As far as he knew, Molly didn’t have secrets, didn’t see the point, except for this.
She stared at him now, and he wondered which way this was going to go. She stood, no expression on her face.
“I’m late,” she said, which simply wasn’t true.“Molly,’ he said, but it was already too late. The only things that heard were the kitchen table and the bathroom door. Dylan drummed his fingers on the table. He didn’t want her to know what he was worried about. He was worried that talking about it would cause what he was afraid of would come to pass. Once again, he wondered about causality.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Greer, for his part, walked away from the accident without a scratch on him. At least on the outside. Dylan heard, later on, that the man was never able to go back to work. He just couldn’t get behind the wheel. All things told, that seemed like small punishment.
Despite that, Dylan wasn’t really angry at Carson Greer. He thought he was an idiot, and he thought that playing Call of Duty was a stupid reason to die, but he didn’t hate him, not really. That Greer plowed through that red light at just the right time to kill Alexandra was blind idiot fate, and if you spent your time being mad at that, then you weren’t likely to get anything else done.
Their marriage was not a particularly love filled marriage, not in the way that romance novels and chick flicks would recognize, but it was a happy marriage. They got along and they had a good time and Dylan missed her every day until the angels started leaving him messages.
Johnny was right; there was something about the messages. Dylan assumed, at first, that the voicemail was some kind of mean spirited prank, or maybe even a wrong number. Dylan didn’t know anyone that was that big of an asshole, as far as he knew, but he didn’t really consider any other possibility. But it nagged at him. He spent the whole day thinking about it.
Of course, once the messages became a known fact, which didn’t take very long at all, Dylan gave it some more consideration. It was a while before people got a grip on how the messages worked, but Dylan couldn’t put it out of his mind. Not just because it was bizarre, although there was that, but because he couldn’t shake the feeling that the last few years of his life were not what he thought they were.
His marriage was happy. He was sure of that. He knew Alexandra, knew her as well as he could know anyone, but what the angels said, he couldn’t get over. She’d been planning to leave him. Something was wrong, something he never saw.
There was no evidence she was planning to leave, if you don’t count the word of unknown and possibly unknowable forces, potentially supernatural in nature. He’d checked her email, spoken to her friend and family, even tried to check with the divorce lawyers in the area. As far as he could tell, Alexandra was as happy in their slightly odd but functional marriage as he was.
So he went on, and did his work with the messages, and tried not to think about it because there was nothing to think about. Either the angels were right or they weren’t, and there was no way for Dylan to get at the truth of it. If he kept replaying his marriage over in his head, the only real outcome was misery. He thought about it everyday, after the message, but he tried not to think about it a lot.But then he went and got married again.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Dylan’s first wife was, more or less, Dylan in a dress. Alexandra was smart, she had a biting sense of humor and Dylan always wished that he loved her more. They got along, almost too well, but there was always something missing. He didn’t realize it until he met Molly.
They’d got together in high school. Dylan was neither popular or unpopular in high school. Basically, he was background filler. He didn’t feel particularly lonely, but he was definitely different. Not many sixteen year olds at his school had actually read The Communist Manifesto. Alexandra had. They fell into each other’s orbit out of necessity. It felt like gravity.
They’d gone to college together. They hadn’t really discussed it. It wasn’t a big romantic gesture, like they had to be together. It had simply turned out that way. In a way, Dylan would later realize, it was a lot like their relationship in general. They did it because it was the easiest way. He realized that their whole life together was like sliding down a greased chute. Always down the path of least resistance.
They got married after college, in a small ceremony that was probably most notable for the cookie table. They were happy enough, he supposed. They were comfortable. The marriage worked. Dylan had honestly never considered that it might have been otherwise. Naturally, it was bound to end in tragedy.
Tragedy, in this case, came in the form of an eighteen wheeler driven by a man from Florida who shouldn’t have been driving. His name was Carson Greer, he was twenty six years old, and at the time of the so called accident he’d been up for more tham twenty four hours.
This had nothing to do with him being a truck driver and everything to do with him being an asshole. He was at the end of the amount of hours he could legally drive at a stretch, and that would have been fine had he not spent the day beforehand up playing a Call of Duty. In a very real way, Alexandra died because of an X Box.
Life hangs on tiny seconds. Alexandra stopped at the local convenience store every morning before she went to campus to teach her first class. The coffee was terrible, but she’d gotten a taste for it when they were young and poor, one that had persisted now that they were slightly less young and slightly less poor.
If she had spilled her coffee, if she had had to look for change, if she had eaten cereal for breakfast instead of a bagel, she would have lived. Anything that made her five seconds faster or slower would have saved her life. If Dylan had given her a goodbye kiss that morning. But he didn’t. She didn’t.Carson Greer never even saw the red light. He didn’t even see Alexandra before he slammed into her car at sixty miles an hour as she pulled out at the intersection. Dylan didn’t know why she hadn’t seen him coming, why she assumed that because the light was green that the intersection was safe. But she didn’t.
Friday, April 8, 2011
“What did you find?” he asked. He knew, but you needed to keep the conversation flowing.
“Pictures. He had a scrapbook. He took a picture of each girl. Every one of them…you don’t know what it was like, looking at that. It was like looking at a snapshot of hell. I found the rest of his rape kit. It wasn’t proof. Not really. But it was enough. I knew.
I waited in his house for him. The waiting was hard. Sitting alone in the dark, waiting for a monster. He walked in and I stepped behind him and shot him in the back of the head.”
“Do you feel guilty?”
“I am guilty.”
“I think you know what I mean.”
She smiled at him again, the disarming smile. The soccer mom smile. It wasn’t reassuring.
“No. No, if I was uncertain about Carcetti I was sure about Sinclair. He would have kept on doing what he did. Maybe the angels would have sent a message to someone else and stopped him. Maybe not. I don’t feel bad about him. Not at all. The world is better place if he isn’t in it.”
“And the others?”
“You’ve read the files on them?”
“Then you know. The other three? The same. The world is better off without them. It is. And they were guilty. No doubt. No innocent people at risk. So do I feel guilty? About them? No. I don’t. I wish, sometimes, that I had never heard of Carcetti. Regret. I’ll give you regret. I wish things had been different. But they weren’t.”
“What gave you the right? Why did you get to decide? What about the law?”
“What about it? The laws were designed for a specific set of circumstances. But circumstances changed. The angels might occasionally be wrong, but they never lie. I didn’t need the system to do what was right. All I needed was to be able to take the blame.
Once I killed Carcetti, the clock was ticking. I had choices. I could wait to come here, and let those animals loose on the world. Or I could do something. I did something. I murdered them and I deserve to be punished for that, but I wasn’t wrong. I wasn’t wrong.”
“Do you think the angels wanted you to do what you did?” he asked.
“I don’t know what the angels are. But I know they don’t care about us.”
“They weren’t using you to make the world a better place?”
She laughed. Longer than she reasonable, louder than was comfortable. Dylan cast a glance to the motionless guard in the corner. He shrugged.
“I’m not crazy, Mr. Hobble. At least, I’m not that crazy. I am not the avenging sword of god. I didn’t go on a holy quest. I killed them because down at the core, I knew they needed killing. Not because the angels made me, or even because the angels told me to.The angels don’t care. If they cared, they would have told me enough to help Amanda Carcetti. If they cared, they wouldn’t have sent the message to my partner. If they cared, I wouldn’t be here. They don’t care about us, and they don’t make us do anything. All they do is show us exactly who we really are.”
Thursday, April 7, 2011
And we were on the ground. Things were normal, for a given value of normal. Selene buried her face in the dirt and clawed her hands in.
I closed my eyes and gravity switched directions. The ground became a dirt cliff and I was hanging on. A light of no color burned into my face and I pressed my face into the dirt. There was a sound I couldn’t hear and then it was over. I head a familiar sound.
I open one eye, and the cat was looking me.
“I don’t have any food,”
I peeked an eye open and looked at Selene. The cat was pawing at her head. She lifted her head from the dirt and blinked.
“I guess so.”
I flopped over on my back and looked. There was nothing but a hole where the shed and pasture had been. Just a circular bowl carved out of the ground. I looked at Selene.
“What the hell was that?”
“Which part: where the universe folded in on itself or when Pan got killed by his women?”
“The Shed was an extension of Pan’s will and belief pushed into the real world. Call it a reality pimple. When Pan died, the pimple popped. This is…this is the scar, I guess.”
“Pan was a god, right? How can a god die?”
“Pan was an echo of belief. The cultists summoned him into the world with their belief, and he maintained that through the dairy and the brides. Once they woke up, every one of them wanted them only for themselves. They believed it so hard that his existence shattered, and my non belief destroyed him.”
“Non belief? You just killed him.”
“It’s learned skill.”
“Am I supposed to understand that?”
“A wizard did it.”
“That’s more like it.”
We sat and looked at the hole. I’d seem some weird stuff, but this was probably the winner. Selene looked pleased. She stroked the cat like a Bond villain.
“So why do it?”
“This. Offering yourself up as a bride of Pan.”
She half smiled, shrugged.
“Somebody has to. Beside, I get extra credit at Misk U for this kind of thing.”
She got up and dusted off her make shift toga off. I scratched the cat’s head. Who he was, that’s a story for another day. Selene walked away.
“What would you have done if I hadn’t shown up while you were on the altar.”
She smiled and winked.
“I’d have thought of something,” she said as she walked away.
And you know what? I’m pretty sure she would have.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
“Well,” I said to Selene, “It was nice knowing you. Except for the dying thing.”
“We’re not going to die.”
“Well, you might not…”
“Trust me, just watch.”
Behind Pan, who was still coming fast on our heels, the brides were rising up like a white wave. Before he could get to us one of his brides stepped in front of him. I was sure he was going to trample her down, but he stopped suddenly.
The wave rushed over him. He struggled and was lost in a seas of white flesh. They didn’t say a word, just engulfed him in nameless lust. I could see flash of red as they piled onto him.
“Pan’s…let’s call it love…is lust and sex distilled down to it’s purest form. While the brides were still being milked, their urges were being kept in check. Now in the presence of Pan they’re letting it all out.”
“Fucking him to death, yeah. They’ll devour him in their desire.”
It wasn’t pretty. They were a seamless squirming mass of flesh, no way to tell where one began and another ended. It wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t erotic. It looked like maggots on dead flesh and somewhere in the moaning, Uncle D was screaming.
“Has nothing to do with it.”
There was more red than I expected, and I realized that the brides were tearing each other apart, and more were rising from the beds all around us, not even needing Selene’s help. They were killing each other. One of them looked up at me with a shark’s smile and started to move forward. Selene struck her down.
“We need to go, now.”
“Terrific. Do you have any ideas about getting around the ravening sex beasts there?”
“I do. Come on.”
She went to the wall and began to chop at it with the sickle while the brides were still destroying themselves.
“This area is a four dimensional space pushed into a three dimensional space. So no matter how big it is, the walls are still…”
Moonlight came in through the wall. Fresh air, more or less.
I started chopping with my sickle and we managed to get a hole going. I smashed into it with my shoulder and kept going right through to the grass. Selene was right behind me.
“Are you just going to lay around all night or what?”
“What about them.”
“They…” she paused, a sad looking passing before being replaced with anger, “...they stopped being human as soon as Pan got to them. There’s nothing left for them.”
The shed started to shudder, and things changed. I felt like my head was trying to turn inside out and everything started to taste like the sound of purple. Selene grabbed my arm.
“og ot deen we” said she.
She gave up on me and started booking it for the edge of the little pasture the shed was seated in the middle of. The landscape blurred and Selene stretched out to the edge of forever. I wanted to look back but back was in front of me. Selene reached out with a hand a million miles long and grabbed me and pulled and…
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
“I have an idea.”
“Terrific, let’s do that.”
“Don’t you know what it is?”
“So long as it’s not give up and get goated to death, I’m in.”
“We need to go to the shed.”
Which wasn’t going to be a problem, since I didn’t know how to get anywhere else. We hit the wrongness of the field and Selene kept running, grabbing a sickle off the side of the shed. She grabbed another one and tossed it to me.
“Come on” she said, and tossed the shed doors open.
It wasn’t any better the second time around. Selene grabbed a sheet hanging near the door and did some kind of woman magic and turned it into a fairly passable toga. She shut the shed door, dropped a board in the slats to lock it. It probably wouldn’t slow Big Daddy D down for long, but what the hell. The sickle wasn’t as good as the hatchets I usually used, but it was passable. I gave it a few experimental swings. Not too bad. But still…
“I don’t figure these are going to do much to a god.”
“No,” she said, “they won’t. But they don’t have to.”
I feel Pan coming, a shuddering rising in my loins the smell of flowers blooming. Selene stood over one of the brides and slashed with the sickle, cutting the tubes carrying away their mother’s milk.
“Take the other side and keep moving”
I started chopping the tubes, the sickle sharper than I would have imagined. The brides started to stir as soon as I cut the wires, blinking away and looking at me in a way that might have been flattering and interesting if it weren’t so terrifying. Pure and unadulterated lust was something I was pretty sure that I never wanted to see again.
I wasn’t sure exactly how many brides there were, but we were a good ways down the aisle when the doors turned into splinters. Uncle D stepped through the doors. It was like looking at one of those hologram things that had two images together. I was looking at the kindly old Uncle and the Great God Pan at the same time. He smiled, and wiped rocky road off his face, licked the melted ice cream off his hand.
“Ah, Rocky Road,” he said, “Some of my very best.”
He looked at Selene with a look that would have given a eunuch a hard on.
“My darling bride. Come with me and I will show you a night that you will never forget, I promise you that.”
Selene smiled. I was a little worried. I hope somebody had a plan that didn’t end in satyr rape. Then she gave him the finger.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Come and get me, goat nuts.”
I liked her more all the time. Pan came charging, still flickering between being the kindly Uncle D and the Great God. Selene went running. So did I.
Monday, April 4, 2011
The fact that all of Uncle D’s ‘brides’ beared a rather strong resemblance told me that Uncle D or whatever obscene entity was inhabiting him definitely had a type, and she was it. And presumably, next.
The problem is how do you tell someone that yes, the supernatural exists and oh, by the way, it wants to fuck you? Literally. As it turns out, that wasn’t going to be the problem that I thought it was.
“Yes, I know, now don’t fuck it up.”
“I know it’s crazy but…wait, what?”
She shook her head and looked at me like I was maybe the dumbest guy she ever met. Which, admittedly, was entirely possible. I certainly felt like I’d missed some part of the script. She took off her glasses, rubbed her nose and took a deep breathe.
“Sixty years ago, Uncle D was one of a group of occultist cum scientists who tried to impregnate a woman with the seed of the Great God Pan. They got it wrong.”
“The woman they used was, well, we’ll go with unclean and Pan was not amused. He killed everyone else and basically turned Uncle D into his flesh puppet. He started the dairy to try and get a foothold back on Earth.”
“Through the power of milk?”
“It does an evil nethergod good. It also gives him a little bit of control in every person who takes a lick of that ice cream. Every year, inch by inch, he gets a little more of his position in the world back. It’s a slow process, but he’s got nothing but time.”
“So wait, how do you know all this? If all the cultists died?”
“I go to Miskatonic. We know things.”
“So you’re here to…?”
“Become one of Pan’s brides and send him back to the half formed realm of the collective unconscious from which he was summoned.”
“The power of focused unbelief channeled into Pan as he reveals his true form for the, ahem, marriage.”
“You’re going to unbelieve him to death?”
She put her glasses back on and told me to get the hell out of there and not blow her cover. I didn’t, which is why I was booking it through the labyrinthine fields of fences holding a sex stunned naked intern and being pursued by sex god who was going to rape one or both of us.
“You tell me. Your focused unbelief didn’t seem to be working. If he hadn’t gone chasing the cat out of there I’m pretty sure you’d be “married” by now.”
“He’s…he’s substantially more real than I anticipated.”
“Terrific. Do you have any other ideas?”
“Well, you can put me down.”
Running alongside a beautiful naked woman is distracting, but the rape god behind us was an excellent way to concentrate my attention. The last time I had to fight a god, I had the means to control it. Here, I pretty much had the means to die horribly
Love and Panic At Uncle D' Old Fashioned Ice Cream Emporium - A slightly older story (as in I wrote it at the tail end of last year) that is, in fact, completely finished and actually short enough to be described as a short story. Huzzah. This is a fairly rough version of the story, since I wrote it as an exercise in writing fast and without a plot in mind, neither of which I do very often. That said, it amused me a lot more reading it this time compared to when I finshed, which is a good sign.
Messengers - Is winding down, writing wise, so I may actually be finished with it this week, depending on the paid work.
Red Teeth - Another chapter should be up this week. Yes, I know I said that last week, too.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Uncle D’s winds around and around until it opens up into a small field with a small red shed in it, pails hanging on nails in the wall, and no air movement at all. I didn’t like it. The whole place just felt wrong, and stepping foot onto the nicely trimmed grass felt like a violation. Looking up, I couldn’t the idea out of my head that I was looking at the wrong stars.
But the meowing continued, and it was very definitely coming from that shed. Which meant that, naturally, I was going into the damn shed. It was locked, of course, but not locked enough. The Cat kept meowing.
The shed was…different on the inside. Bigger, for one thing, stretching on as far as I could see, and the smell of sex and milk wafted out. Row after row of bed stretched out in an endless interior space. Every bed occupied by a beautiful young eight breasted woman.
Eight. Udders would not be the wrong term here. Everyone hooked up to what I was pretty sure was a milking machine. The woman didn’t seem to mind, being in, near as I could tell, a permanent state of near orgasm. It was maybe the worst thing I ever saw, and I’ve been to Barry Manilow concerts.
The Cat said ‘Mirp’.
I said “Oh, fuck me.”
Uncle D said “Aren’t they beautiful?”
I didn’t jump out of my skin or, despite what The Cat might claim, scream like a little girl. I’ve had way too much training for that, but hearing the cheerful voice of a thousand television commercials right behind was slightly startling.
He draped a heavy arm across my shoulders and walked me across the threshold, smiling all the while. The air in the room felt wrong, and I still couldn’t see the far wall. I was fairly sure that if I turned around I’d find no wall behind me either, so I didn’t.
“Now, see, son, you weren’t supposed to see this,” Uncle D said. He was taller than I expected, grey hair slicked back and a face as red and smooth as a televangelists, but the body under the suit was pure old farmer, muscle overlaid with fat that was as hard as oak. He never stopped smiling.
“Now, I could,” he said, squeezing my shoulder hard enough to cause me knees to quiver “tear your overly curious head off and leave your body for the magala.”
“But I hired you for a reason, Hatch, and that was not your dubious musical talents, though god knows I do appreciate music. I hired you because of the incident with…well, let’s call it my cousin. You kept that quiet, and I appreciate someone is both discreet and well versed with the more unusual parts of the world we live in.”
He turned me then, and I was still powerless to resist. He out both hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes. His eyes were both a regular bright blue and the golden horizontal eyes of a goat.
“All of these are my brides, Hatch, everyone a blessed treasure to me. But it costs so much to keep them happy. So I had to make a deal with this…farmer in order to provide that. If people knew where Uncle D’s ice cream came from, well, that just wouldn’t do. “
So that was the agreement. I didn’t tell anyone about this and remained the watchman, and Uncle D didn’t kill me. Supposedly. I suspected that I was probably going to be necessary for some sort of arcane ritual, as that’s how this thing usually went. I would have and should have ran into the hills and never looked.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda. The problem, of course, was Selene.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
. Selene had a habit of working very late into the night, studying the goings on of Uncle D’s while there was no one there to disturb her. The Cat, apparently, had decided she was also an excellent source of food and warm spots to doze, and had adopted her as well.
I had half a tuna fish sandwich for The Cat and went out looking. Selene had half a turnkey sandwich and the same idea.
“Oh!” she said, “You must be the nightwatchman.”
“I don’t suppose you’ve seen…”
“A big ball of fur that thinks he owns the place?”
The Cat was sitting in between, licking his lips and looking liked he’d been there the whole time. Selene would come over after that whenever her eyes started to bleed from staring at Uncle D’s legendarily disorganized books, and we would shoot the shit while The Cat basked in our adoration.
Frankly, if I’d been a little less attached to the fuzzball, I wouldn’t be running for my life from a sex crazed god. Of course, there’d be no one around to save Selene, either, so I guess I owe the critter for that, but I would like to just once, ONCE, have a job that didn’t end up with me nearly being killed, possessed or otherwise personally violated by supposedly mythical beings.
What happened was one night, The Cat didn’t show up. He had just about got me trained the way he wanted me, so this was a little out of the ordinary. I went out looking for him.
What do you want? He was The Cat, I never did name him. I was answered by what sounded like a faint meowing. And now I was worried, because The Cat didn’t meow, and this meow sounded like the kind you get when a cat is scared and wants a human lackey to do something.
The grounds of Uncle D’s headquarters are pretty sprawling, encompassing both a dairy farm and the actual place where they make the world famous ice cream, and the damned meowing seemed to becoming from just ahead, no matter how far it went.
Before I knew, I was deep, deep into the labyrinth like interior of Uncle D, making my way to dark territory, where I wasn’t supposed to go and where cameras didn’t reach. If I were a good employee, I never would have been there. On the other hand, if I were a good employee, I never would have been here at all.
Friday, April 1, 2011
As the door to the ice cream parlor burst open, I briefly considered the naked intern on the table in front of me and guessed that the agreement was probably off. The bargain was this: I could either keep the secret of Uncle Dio’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream or I could die.
But seeing as I was right in the midst of snatching Selene, Miskatonic intern and latest ‘bride” from her place on the sacrificial altar/ice cream counter, I figure I’d moved into the “or die” portion. Well then, I was going down swing. I reached down into the ice cream tray, grabbed my weapon and nailed the Great God Pan right in one weird goat eye with a double dip of Rocky Road.
He was not amused.
This problem was the intersection of two of my longstanding problems. One, I can’t help but fall ass long into trouble. Two, I’m a sucker for a pretty smile. Selene had the kind of lo side grin that made my heart (and, possibly, parts south) stand up and take notice.
In my defense, she wasn’t JUST cute. She was a grad student at Misk U. and she already had two degrees, one in some kind of agriculture, the other business. Her grad studentry focused around, not surprisingly, agribusiness.
Uncle D’s isn’t agribusiness in the same sense that the massive conglomerates that provide most of the food in the country are, but I guess the growth of the company from a family farm to a chain with more than two hundred locations and a presence in many of your fancier grocery stores was worth looking into for Selene’s masters thesis.
Me, I was just the nightwatchman. I was looking for something nice and relaxing after the thing with the Thing on the coast. All I had to do was make sure that nobody tried to bust in, and seeing as no one had ever tried, this looked like an easy job. I’d even get time to catch up on my reading.
Except, of course, for the cat. I have a soft spot for cats, and this cat, the cat who walks through secure security perimeters, was a big fluffy bruiser with a chewed up ear and a snaggle tooth. He came ambling up to the secure office one night, completely non plussed by the locked doors, motion detectors and chainlinks fences. I still don’t know how he got inside. He jumped right up on my desk where I was definitely dozed off, set his broad butt down and said.
Not a meower, but that was fine by me. I gave him half my lunch and he curled and slept the rest of the night. He showed up every night a little after I got disappearing or sleeping as it suited him and going wherever the hell he damn well pleased. If it weren’t for the piles of cat hair I had to clean up every night, I might have thought I was imagining him.I wasn’t the only person getting visited by The Cat.