Saturday, April 4, 2015

Six Days – Chapter Three - Leviticus Vayikra

My mind was just thumping and raging now as I stared out into that field where about 30 seconds ago, two large men were and then vanished. My head is killing me at this point in time and I can’t even think straight as I realized that I now have to understand why I am technically in league with the Devil. I’m not exactly a good Christian girl, but I’m far from being a mortal sinner either, I have been to enough Sunday School classes to know that it takes a lot more than pre marital sex to become friends with Satan after all. I did give myself a bit of the giggles as I thought over the fact that Satan should have come to see me about the pre marital sex over 15 years ago anyway, because that was the last time I had had any. Nothing passes the smell test anymore really so I don’t know anything and am at least willing to admit it.

Of course now I have some time to sit and think about what I had experienced thus far and put it into a much broader context. First of all, I have to change my theological rhetoric, or is that dogma? I don’t know, I’m about as good with politics as I am religion so I guess it could be either. God is a woman. I can accept that. The Devil is a spectacularly beautiful man who proclaims he is no different than any other angel and he can’t lie to me, while having to follow cosmic rules of some sort. I guess I can accept that, because his explanation of omnipotence was rather easy for me to follow, even if omnipotence appears to have some limitations that spoil the word for me. Great, my head hurt worse, and just trying to remember what I was thinking then makes my head hurt now.

My mind finally wandered to the things that I need to think about like the window that I assume is going to blow in on my house any minute now. The rips in the fabric of time should probably be the next thing I ask my new buddy about if I ever see him again, but realistically I don’t even think I can assume that I won’t see him again. It’s just too easy to assume that he is in the process of catching this Darius character and dragging his ass to Hell or whatever it is he intends to do with him. My new found enlightenment is far from an easy maneuver and of course as I said before it just makes my head ache. I know how Lou feels when he has to try to understand something that he doesn’t understand. Perhaps his brain only has so much room just like mine feels like. Then again his brain holds a lot more than mine does. You have to love the humor of these things and again I settle into my new found, understood, and accepted level of insanity as I laugh to my feet.

I am starting that walk home from the park now, but my legs are total gelatin from the feeling that I had sat on that bench for 12 hours at least. Maybe I had been and my lapses in time are merely delusional blackouts. That helps explain my new friendships these days. Well I guess we never talked over whether we were friends or not so that could be a little presumption on my part. Even I couldn’t be so lucky to think at this point in time that I am going to wake up from all of this, because I can already feel that I am locked into something epic, that someday the next JRR Tolkien could write, but as it appears you all are stuck with me instead. As I write this I feel my brain expanding so perhaps I have been in a drug induced stupor for God knows how long. I wish the scars would go away just as easily as my sanity did. Daylight was escaping the streets rather quickly and I could only see the outline of my house from the lights on in the windows from here. I couldn’t make out whether the panes were broken or not, but I did see a shadow walking about in the kitchen which appeared to be Jake, so I will assume it is and be relieved.

My street is so boring, or at least it was until that day. Nothing really seemed boring at that state of my life anymore, and perhaps it wasn’t for the better. This whole ordeal was already starting to teach me that all those years of staring out the window at work and wishing for more out of my life were so misplaced. I already knew as I was walking down the road that I probably have only faced the easiest part of what I had already faced outside of my own little slice of reality. Now the whole expression of, “Watch what you wish for, you just might get it,” was more than a joke to laugh off among friends. Heck I really wish I had taken the time to make a friend before now, because I would have loved at the time to talk to someone who lived in the same small universe that I did. Live and learn.

Walking up the back stairs I already could tell that the window had again been smashed in, only this time it isn’t going to go away. If it was then I wouldn’t have such a lack of amusement over the fact that I am unemployed now. Reality isn’t all that fun but then again I am confused as to where one ends and the other starts so bear with me as I try to sort it all out. Yes I did already take a second look to make sure that the diner was still leveled and it was quite destroyed, it was on the way anyway. That diner was my job for fourteen years and I was lucky to have it, in this jobless town. Now I am like all those others that are escaping because the source of almost all of the jobs blew up. I just hope we still have some panes of glass in the basement.

Once I had the door opened I saw the glass lodged in the wall as I had before. There was a baseball underneath it which wasn’t there this morning but had it been then I would have been far less surprised about the whole thing than I had been. Broken windows caused by baseballs make sense and it was about time that something was broken for a sensible reason. My mind at the time was completely scrambled and I didn’t even want to think about the problem of seeing this happen like fourteen hours ago. What a wonderful day to find out that not only does Satan exist, God is a woman and now I can predict the future, or see it or something along those lines. What I couldn’t see was my son who I had seen walking around the kitchen as I approached, or was it actually my son? “Jake!” I yelled out wondering where he was desperately and in a way rather ashamed of myself for not thinking of him the second I saw the window.

The voice from the basement sounded a little frustrated and confused, “Mom, please!” and somewhere in the scorn that came out of his voice I had a feeling that he was frustrated. “I just came in ten minutes ago and I came straight down to the basement,” his words were getting clearer and louder as he walked up the stairs and then got crystal when he came into the kitchen, “I didn’t even know the window was broken, while I was outside, but we have more glass, sorry about that,” and he obviously thought I was blaming him for something, which I wasn’t but I can see what he was thinking. “That was a ball that sailed over my head and I had no idea it sailed this far. I didn’t even hear the glass break?” Looking at the glass impaled in the wall, I had to imagine that Ricky is going to get some good outfielder money some day.

As Jake walked over to the window with the other pane of glass in his hands I muckled on to him, almost making him drop it, “Baby, I was just worried when I saw the glass and didn’t know where you were like a burglar or something broke in,” which was a horrible lie but I have been having a rough day. He didn’t actually try to break free but he did give me the look of a young man that also realized that our door has never been locked, this town isn’t worth burglars moving to, and any that live here know full well that we have nothing to steal. He obviously chalked it up to his insane mother, and shrugged it off as he carried the glass over to the window and to snap the broken glass out. When did he get to be the man of the house like this?

He made an obvious sigh, which means that he hasn’t learned the art yet before he said, “It just figures that I spent all that time cleaning this window this morning, just to have to replace it with another one that’s even dirtier than the one I cleaned before,” his laughter afterwards was more natural but still sounded pretty fake. I didn’t think of it at the time but for accuracy I’m pointing it out now. I watched him snap the broken bits out of the pain and remove the staples that held the wood in place. Like a mother I worried every time he touched a piece of glass, but that’s part of the deal of parenthood isn’t it? He added, “Did you even notice that I didn’t bother to ask you what you were doing all day since the diner blew up? When I didn’t see you after practice I thought you were out drinking like all my friend’s parents have done since their jobs went up in flames, but you don’t smell drunk so now I’m wondering,” which was followed by a much more nervous laugh that did get my attention. Damn this being jaded thing, I could feel it seeping into everything I do and there doesn’t seem to be a cure for it after you see what you shouldn’t.

“I was out trying to finagle another job, it’s not easy without a car,” and the lies just kept on coming. After all it is still my job to keep my poor son from the expert jading process I have been going through isn’t it?  He continued to fix the window but his silence was deafening as to the pile of crap I had just spread in this room. I was starting to feel guilty about all the lying I was doing but I don’t think any mother of the year candidate came right out and told their children they were hanging out in the park with the Devil. I mean it doesn’t pass my own personal test and I’m a smart cookie, trust me. I decided it was best to change the subject and see what that would get me, “How was school today?”

He started out with the standard blow me off answer, “Wasn’t too bad,” but then he acted as though he remembered something really important while he reached into his pocket, “Mary gave me this at lunch and wanted you to call her. Sorry I forgot about that,” he exclaimed as he handed me a folded and stapled piece of paper. Mary has been the lead lunch lady at Jake’s school since I was in Jake’s school. There was a duality in me at the moment as I first was thinking all those years of being nice to her when everyone else picked on her God fetish, finally paid off, and she was getting me a job. The other half of me was screaming in the background that my life had finally sunk to the level I had always worried it would but never wanted to speak of out loud. Who in the name of God ever wants to be a lunch lady? Well the unemployed waitress with the teenage son and a dead ex husband who wasn’t all that alive when he was does I guess. I opened the note and immediately lost my voice. Jake inquired as to what it was because it was a very noisy, lost my voice we are talking about here.

When you are on a roll continue to lie, “Um,” my mind sat frozen as I stared at the note, “She wants to see if she can get me a job at the school, since the diner is destroyed,” came out easily since it was something I had been thinking of. I didn’t want to read off, “Call me later tonight so we can talk about your friend, and his friend,” with her phone number scrawled on the bottom of it. I was still pondering all of this over as I tried to think of where Mary was able to catch on to the under worldly drama as it unfolded. I don’t know what Lou had told her when they had talked, I don’t know if she knew who he was, but she did act as though she figured it out shockingly when he kissed her hand. Come to think of it, why couldn’t she have filled me in on it all before I was jumping around time? On that note what does she know about anything? She is the town’s bible expert and when I say that I mean it as a compliment. The local preacher asks for her advice and as I now recollect so did the Devil himself. Now how is that for a résumé enhancement?

Jake brightened up like he had more really good news to tell me. He then started stammering out, “You don’t have to worry about that mom, some guy came by and told me to tell you that he had bought the diner a few weeks ago and was going to incorporate it into his chain of diners,” and then he started thinking about it a bit, which gave me time to get over being startled by the revelation. He continued, “Yeah, they hadn’t told anyone yet, because they weren’t sure whether it was going to be redeveloped first, but the explosion made up their mind,” and the words were hovering in the air as I was trying to find the perfect time to cut in, my mind was still trying to accept the note from Mary, who knew too much, “It was the guy that was hanging out around the school, cuz I guess he was trying to get a feel for the area, but he wanted you to know that they are going to pay you while they redevelop …”

“Was his name Lou?” I asked him as I was starting to see something forming here and just wanted to cut to the chase. He gave me a curious look, so I added, “Tallish guy, with long dark hair, very handsome?” and then realized that my son probably doesn’t have any concept of another man being handsome yet at his age. Jake’s expression was that of a pondering young man and then he looked down at the baseball.

Somewhat defensively Jake started talking again, “He never said his first name mom, he shook Ricky’s hand and said something to him when I came around the corner from getting a stray baseball,” Jake was not very comfortable by the way I looked but I was getting rather ill all of a sudden but encouraged him to continue, “He never really got within 10 feet of me as he explained it all, but he seemed pretty genuine. Said his name was Mr. Darius …”

“Mr. WHAT?” and yes I was totally out of control at this point and my son actually slid back a bit from where he was sitting at the table, a bit afraid of how I was reacting. My mind started whirling around that the freak came within a mile of my son and more over was actually talking to him. I stood up and started pacing in a bit of an uncontrollable panic, and then did everything I possibly could to control my temper before I sat down again, Now I was paranoid all over again and for damn good reason, the fact that he made a point to shake Ricky’s hand and stayed ten feet from Jake meant something but who knows what it means. I rationally and slowly said to Jake, “I’m sorry. My nerves are shot because of the explosion, and I had no idea that the diner had been sold; I’ll call Bud and see what the hell is going on. Did he say anything else to you?” I added as an afterthought, but let’s face it I would have just loved Jake to say, “No, mom he just got tackled by the most beautiful man on earth and they both exploded into a fire. There was a beautiful rainbow afterwards though!” but I think I would have a better chance of getting back child support from my dead ex.

Jake so wisely beyond his years put on a smile to try and comfort me when he said, “It’s ok mom, I can understand. I saw that explosion and it should have rattled you,” but he said it rather timidly and then started again with, “He didn’t say much more, just told Ricky that he wanted to see another good fast ball, and that was when the ball went sailing over my head and then apparently through the window,” he looked over at the baseball again, “I just don’t get it because I couldn’t have gotten the ball that far. I have never seen a throw that hard in my life, but Ricky had said he’s been practicing,” and then he was back to cleaning up glass off the floor.

Now of course my mind is racing around in circles. Who knows what that freak Darius can do to someone. I’m pretty sure that shaking Ricky’s arm had a lot to do with why he was throwing the ball thousands of yards with enough force to stick glass into the wall across a room when it finally makes contact. Here we are again at another one of those places where the average mind simply ignores the unrealistic, because Jake doesn’t find that weird. When I was younger a bunch of my friends dragged me off to a baseball game in Kansas City because a pitcher named Nolan Ryan was pitching. From what I heard he was a freak of nature himself and he threw the ball pretty hard, especially considering he was at the end of his career, and I can tell you that he couldn’t have done this. The world is so small and new before you get jaded huh?

I would have done cartwheels around logic this time last week if I had seen Ricky throw the ball so hard, so far and so fast that it did this, so I can’t fault Jake for not picking up on it all, actually I am rather happy he doesn’t because I am running out of my quota of lies for this week and I just don’t have it in me anymore today at least. Jake has the glass all cleaned up at least and he seems more focused on getting the TV on in the living room. Usually I would tell him to get cracking on his homework but let’s face it; I need some personal time to gather my thoughts. Lord knows what my thoughts actually are, but I’m going to gather them all the same. I need to figure out a way to separate Jake from Ricky until I know that Ricky is safe to be around. It never crossed my mind that a normal person would have just gathered her child and gotten out of town either, and that wasn’t only because I couldn’t afford to do that, but also because I was starting to buy into the whole theory that I was part of this. Of course the world includes everywhere and I still think the entire world is on the line and not just this crappy little town.

Jake startled me when he called to me from the living room, “Hey mom, you’re on the Wichita news!” and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that somehow they had footage of the explosion and there I was lying on the ground. I was disinterested in seeing my highlights so I got up and wandered over to the door separating the two rooms, so that I could smile at him. He was serious when he said, “Seriously mom you’re going to want to see this.”

I walked over to the couch and dropped my butt into the cushion next to Jake who barely got his feet out of the way before I hit. The person on the news was going on about the suspicious nature of the explosions and cueing around the sights from the helicopter footage. I didn’t really know what Jake was talking about until it went back to the restaurant wreckage and then showed a picture of myself walking around the wreckage with the idiot sheriff, keeping in mind that it was like watching a television show with someone else in it, since I had skipped this part of the day, but then the reporter started talking about me, “After questioning the lone suspect related to both explosions, Sherriff Walter G. Miles has allowed Anastasia Jones who had many issues with the derelict father of her son, who was one of those killed in the Skillings factory, and coincidentally was the only waitress at Ferguson’s Diner, which was the scene of today’s explosion,” and I sat there incredulously watching this since I didn’t really know any of the details myself.

Wonderful little conundrum I have myself in now. I mean I knew as it was going on that I didn’t have anything to do with either of the events, but that idiot WGM III never let a good piece of evidence get in his way. He’s never actually solved a real crime if my memory serves me well. This is just insane since I couldn’t have even gotten inside the Skillings complex without identification and I was almost killed in the diner explosion, but again I didn’t expect anything logical to pass through the minds of these bozos. Jake for some strange reason was very level headed as he watched this and then he added, “Don’t know when you had time to do either, I was with you both mornings,” and then he changed the channel before he said, “You don’t vote for that moron do you?”

Nothing spectacular happened between the times we changed over to prime time, and when Jake finally went off to bed. Thank God Jake was raised on the crime dramas that I watch or else I would have needed another television in this house, which I really never could afford. It had been a long enough day without having to try and deal with Mary while Jake was awake. I never took into account that Mary might go to bed a lot earlier than the normal person, because let’s face it she isn’t a normal person. In any regards, I would rather not talk to her than have to explain more things to Jake than I had to. I didn’t really have a clue what Mary wanted to talk about anyway. For all I know she wanted to know how I got away with my rash of arson. That was nothing compared to the long argument I had with myself as to whether I really should call or not. In the end my curiosity over what she knew and could probably help me with won out, and I grasped the phone from the wall.

This whole process would have been silly say yesterday since I have spent just about every morning with her and never thought twice about talking to her. Now it was almost childish how I had nothing but a sinking feeling when I picked up that telephone and held it up. I stared out the window in amazement at what little I knew. The creatures that really do make the bumps in the night out there and what are they actually up to right now. Mary had seen the Devil in absolutely everything for as long as I had known her. She even went as far as to start ranting about plots on the backs of cereal boxes that made that weirdo on the AM radio in the afternoons ranting about the New World Order seem almost sane. The scary part as I stood there swearing that I saw something out there, and then another something, was that if we all didn’t just assume everything Mary did was strange and took the time to know what she was saying, she usually made sense with only a few things that were “out there” and out of the mainstream. What did I know of the mainstream now anyway?

The loud noise coming from the receiver startled me as I got the message from the phone company that the phone had been off the receiver for too long. As I went to hang it up again I heard a faint noise coming over the phone, and quickly set it to my ear again just to hear, “…please hang up and try again …” which ended what was being said by the phone company then it was followed by a low hissing. No more of the faint whispering that I could have sworn I heard, so I chalked it up to the insanity that I have accepted will most likely completely engulf me sooner or later. Within the next few days anyway, I expect a good size nervous breakdown, from the bull and pony show that Walter the super trooper will put me through alone. I went to hang up the phone again, and then brought it to my ear for a fresh new dial tone, which I now had. I went to hit the first number when a hissing “don’t” had come through the phone it flat out startled me. I pressed the number 5 and after the number tone I heard that hissing “don’t” again and even more profound than the first time. I pressed the 7 and then the hissing said quite plainly “don’t do it” and I defiantly pressed the 8. “HANG UP THE PHONE!” came blaring through this time in an echoing voice like the crazy guy on the radio when he is pretending to be Satan. I started pressing the last four digits quicker. 3 … 9 … 3 and then I heard a click before I could press the last one. “Tap Tap Tap” came from the door and I could have hit my head on the ceiling I jumped so high.

I didn’t even want to turn around at this time. I was simply listening to my heart beat. It was a nice beat and it reminded me of a song I had heard by Def Leppard, or some other band that didn’t have a particularly talented drummer, maybe the Scorpions. I took a deep breath and simply hoped that it was my nerves and not an actual tapping at my back door. You never know I had heard of people’s imaginations driving them to a near heart attack and that matched the scenario I found myself in at the moment. I had no such luck when the “Tap Tap Tap” came on the glass from my back door again, and I closed my eyes for a moment before I started turning around. The damn curtains on the window obscured my view from this safe distance and it was going to force me to walk over and check. I really didn’t want to.

I slowly walked towards the door. I seriously think it was pathetic as I write this but my nerves were shot, but I slowly pulled the curtains apart, and then I very timidly peeked out the window to see Mary’s face looking back at me. As I reached for the handle to open the door the phone rang so I grabbed it while letting Mary in the door. There was a part of all of this that was getting rather silly in my mind as I was going through it all but I was back to the reality of my situation came shooting back to me when, “Don’t touch her!” shot at me through the phone and then there was a hang up. I looked at her to see if she had heard that and I didn’t have a choice in the matter since the very first thing she did when she walked in the door was grab my hand. She then simply walked past me and sat down at my kitchen table as if she had been over here a million times before. What made this particularly strange is that she had never been in this house before.

Those that are wondering how she even knew her way to my house wouldn’t think it so strange if you lived in a town this small. You don’t even have to know everyone to know who lives in every house in town. Directions are given that way and nobody ever thinks much of it, except the new people in town when everyone scurries to find out their name so as not to get lost. I’ve got it a lot easier than most being the waitress at the only diner in town and one of the only two restaurants in town, come to think of it, I get everyone updating me on these things. It’s kind of like I am the unofficial tour guide since sooner or later a stranger that got lost on the way out of Wichita is either going to find me or Reggie at the only gas station in town. I could tell you where Mary lives anyway and I have never been there so I guess it’s fair, and now that I have explained all of that you know why it was only moderately strange and not totally strange. Totally strange is reserved for the voices barking out orders over the telephone at 10pm on a school night.

“So what brings you out at this time of night Mary?” I asked trying to hide my shock at it all, “Would you like some coffee?” I then added as my manners kicked in. I didn’t want to bring up how odd it was that I was trying to call her but a spooky voice on the phone was trying to prevent that. Wouldn’t that have been a real conversation starter huh?

She looked at me rather strangely still and started talking as if I hadn’t even said anything, “I wanted to come over and talk to you about your friend Lou, since I have a feeling that you figured out who he actually is,” she said to me in place of a nice salutation and some small talk about the weather. How refreshing is that? Nothing like being a little blunt, so don’t hold back Mary why don’t you start offering opinions while you are at it. I did nod at her as I very cautiously watched where I stepped in this conversation. She decided to continue, “Do you really know who he is though?” she asked with a certain uncomfortable glare in her eyes. After I nodded again with a bit of an exasperated look on my face she asked pointedly, “Who?”

My wonderfully jaded mind started setting up the defense mechanisms required to deal with angels and demons, and a stranger named Lucifer. The wiseass tone in my voice was quite apparent, but this was my house and I don’t have to play schoolhouse rock with anyone in it, “I have an idea, why don’t you tell me what conclusions you have formulated Mary and I will tell you if you are right?” and let me tell you that the forced charm she came in with disappeared in an instant. I was happy to see what I was dealing with though even if it didn’t translate into my face. In all obviousness I had retorted this back at her with a warning tone in my voice and a bit of a grimace that would have made Jake cower from the mere sight of it. I know since he has told me that it looks like I am staring through him and he hates it.

Mary wasn’t impressed at all with the tone and the look. She just stared back at me expecting to add to what I had just said and I defiantly didn’t, and more over I ended up crossing my arms to make it known that I was done talking. It doesn’t matter who you are but when I woman in her late twenties crosses her arms like this it means that she is ready to take stubborn to a new level. It wouldn’t compete with my grandmother, but she was a trained professional at being stubborn having eleven older brothers and sisters. She trained me well. She then decided to speak and it was in a sing song sort of holier than thou speak that I expected all along, “I’m sorry but I had assumed that you had figured out that he was none other than the devil himself, but obviously you have been taken under his charms,” and trust me she made sure it was extra judgmental. She looked at me a bit fiercely as she then started in with, “I don’t know what brought him here among us, but I sure am not going to sit idly by while he takes apart the very fabric of our society!” and I have to admit there was a little too much Charlton Heston, in the way she said that, so I started chuckling a bit.

Now unfortunately I think I am the smartest thing since Einstein some days, and it is my downfall. Here was a perfect example of a time when I didn’t know crap aside from human nature. I was probably right in the way I surmised that something was off about her, and by “off” I mean far more off than usual. What I didn’t know could fill the Pacific Ocean and had I been as clever as I thought I was I would have played along a little less aggressively, and as I look back here I feel like an idiot. If you are reading this you might wonder why and that is simply because I know what happens next and you don’t. I also know that at the time I knew nothing of what was going on and I had no real world experience for all of the out of this world experience I was getting. I did snap out of my false confidence for anyone that is worrying about me. Besides as I told you all, I’m still here writing this so Lord doesn’t need to tell you that I survive. I wish I could say the same for a lot of others though. Oh forgive me as I go off like this, I’m just trying to get the whole ordeal strait.

I stood there calculating what I was going to say next because seriously having Mary sitting here in a tizzy about Lou isn’t going to do the world any favors. I was worried about her in all of this now, because there are plenty of martyrs in this world to a variety of causes. I know Mary well enough to know that her favorite cause is dealing with evil, and she might know some things but I might know more, and that is no place to be in this world. The looming apocalypse or whatever scenarios my mind was hashing up at the time didn’t allow for the assumption that it was going to be any better with Mary running around screaming about the sky falling. I hate the thought of lying but I had been getting so good at it as of late, so I attempted to make light of it all by saying, “If he’s the devil then where is his pointy tail, and the red horns then?”

Now I was about to get put in my place and I truly deserved it, “You should have paid attention in Sunday school and you might have learned that Lucifer was the most beautiful angel. His beauty was what led to his extreme vanity and the God complex that resulted in that. Vanity is the deadliest sin after all Anna, and it all starts with the devil!” she practically shouted across my kitchen, and it pissed me off to no avail. Partly because I was shown up, and let’s face it in my own mind I was the devil expert now, but mostly because my son was asleep upstairs and I wanted to keep him that way.

I shot back under my breath, “You need to keep your voice down, because Jake is asleep upstairs,” of course my mind was still reeling from her stating that vanity was the deadliest sin and here I was pissy because I was the devil expert. They should put that on my grave or something, “and don’t start with how everyone needs to know what you think you know either,” and that really cut open a vein on her because her eyes went really wide as if she was offended to the very core.

She did keep her voice down at least when she started, “Nobody can know what I know Anna, I have seen far more than I ever care to, and I have learned far more than most will ever care to acknowledge,” I was really starting to get that Chronicles of Narnia feeling about all of this and was feeling rather justified in not wanting to talk to her, but she reached into her pocket and grabbed a folded up piece of paper with the seal of a crucifix on it pressed into melted wax, and the creepy factor went up about 10 notches in the room. She held out her hand with the palm up and the paper outstretched to me and said, “Go ahead Anna, and read this.”

I started towards her with a bit of a pissed off distaste in my mouth to snatch the paper from her hands. My mind was yelling at me from within as I heard the venomous whispering hiss only menacing more like yelling “don’t!” and my outreached arm stopped. She pressed forward with her own hand as if she just wanted it in my hand. My mind was also replaying the way she so piously said my name over and over again, but then it hit me like a ton of bricks even as I snatched my hand back moments before she got the paper into my hand. She had been saying my name far more than she has ever said my name and more importantly she had said the wrong name all of those times. How do I lose track of these things? I have been so transfixed with the amount of times I have heard Lou call me Anna and how much I adored the sound of it when he did. Maybe there was some truth to what Mary said in all of this?

I started reaching for the paper again, as if my own doubts about what is and is not the truth were taking on a life of their own again and it was starting a battle within me. The only thing that saved me in this instance was a very curious thing, that I probably wouldn’t have noticed a less jaded day ago, but was screaming at the new and improved me. That wax seal on the paper, was unbroken, and that is very strange to say the least, I have seen wax seals before, because I am only part hick on my mother’s side, but here I was faced with a fact that I remembered. Things are sealed so you know if someone else read it or not. You reseal something without ruining the seal, and that left two conclusions here. Mary hadn’t actually read the paper, or she had put that seal on it herself so that nobody else would have read it. I didn’t like either so again I withdrew my hand.

Mary was not happy about this in the least. She most likely had not expected such a battle to get that paper into my hand, and more over she appeared to be thinking up ways to get that paper into my hand as I finally had decided I didn’t want it. She was not looking like the sweet old lady I had gotten to know that had a few quirks that people tended to tease. She looked like anything but any of that. She was turning cunning and shrewd and it didn’t fit her since she was always passive and resolute in what she knows. She was also now starting to walk towards me and if memory serves I only had about two feet of back up space before I was against a wall, and I didn’t want to know what was going to happen then.

“Hello Mary, what brings you here this evening to wake me up?” Jake said as he idled by me to attempt to grab the slip of paper from Mary, which made her jump about two feet backwards and just about trip over the chair she had gotten out of to start menacing me the way she had. I was instantly scared for Jakes safety and sanity but I would be lying if I told you that there wasn’t a ton of relief that he had walked in. There was a certain self assuredness in the way he walked and I’ll be damned if for some reason his very presence didn’t terrify Mary. I couldn’t put my finger on it and I simply stood there in amazement waiting to see what happens. I was feeling quite comfortable in the fact that in this little kitchen I could get to her quick enough if she did anything that threatened my son. Mama hen gets brave when there is a chick around.

“This is for your mother and not for you Jake,” she hissed back at him but Jake just kept walking towards her making her back up very strangely, and looking almost terrified as she did it. “This is adult stuff Jake and I don’t think you need to be involved in it,” and I even noticed a bit how her voice started very randomly getting sweeter, as if she was forcing herself to be as such. I sidled myself around the wall until I managed to get myself between her and the door. I don’t know why exactly I did that but I knew instinctively that I didn’t want her leaving here just yet. Of course it was a stupid decision in retrospect since that was when she knocked me over trying to get to the door.

With a maniacal look on her face she knocked by me and that was the last thing I remembered when my body hit the floor with a hard thud even though I did get my hands in front of me. I was dazed at what had just happened and my eyes were locked closed out of survival instinct. Reflexes are strange that way, and I took a quick moment to listen for one of their voices to see what was going on. I wasn’t worried about what was going on above me because it was pretty obvious that Mary was gone the second her feet crossed the threshold of the back door. Of course I didn’t hear it slam shut after she made it through and the spring holding that sucker onto the frame is as strong as they come. Tornadoes you see do that to a construction job in these parts. I figured I better get my eyes open and see what is going on; the lack of screaming didn’t make it any easier in fact it made it scarier.

On my hands and knees I didn’t see the floor like I should have but I was staring at the pavement. My hands hurt as though I had just scraped them on the pavement as well and looking up again I could see down the road in front of the diner, and the sounds of firemen going crazy all around the street were fresh in my ear. I should have quit while I was ahead, but it was daylight out and to the left of me I could see the smoldering remains of my diner. I knew instantly that I had just hit the ground from when I had charged into Darius but thank God he was nowhere in sight. I guessed I was going to find out what happened to the 12 hours I lost; the hard way even though I wished to know about what was going on at my house. I have this really bad habit of wishing the worst on myself don’t I?

I propped myself up on my knees and assessed the situation. The diner didn’t just lose its windows this time, but I could tell by looking at it that it had actually imploded as opposed to exploding. The way everything had blown into itself and then somehow flew upward is amazing to see. I had seen some of those skyscraper and hotel implosions on the Learning Channel, but it is far more impressive in person. I should be ashamed of myself for kneeling here and admiring the handiwork of a lunatic, but you have to give credit where it is due regardless. Now that I think about it that is borderline foolish, and it probably played into a lot of what happens next.

I felt a hard tug on the back of my shirt as I was being dragged to my feet. I should have seen this coming since I was warned about it all along. The voice was not one that I wanted to hear at the moment and realistically our wonderful Sheriff Walter G. Miles III saying “What the hell happened here Stacy?” wasn't in the tone I wanted to hear either. Before I even had a clue of what was going on, I could feel my hands being wrung around my back and the feel of steel on my left wrist made me rip my hands away. How dare he start throwing cuffs on me?

“What the hell are you doing you flaming idiot?” I shouted at Walter as his hand fell about his pistol rather quickly. Even without the extra hundred pounds of fat he carries I am half his size, so this was just insane as I looked at him. The one bracelet of the handcuff hanging open from the other one that had already been cinched around my left wrist made it rather obvious, but all the same, I wanted an explanation. I clicked the other bracelet around the same wrist so that it would force him to have to unlink one of them to get both my hands in it. I don’t know why that came to me but I knew this jackass would get confused easily and it would allow me another line of defense.

“I'm just covering my bases here Stacy, but that explosion looks suspicious and I am going to have to question you about this,” he said with his usual smarmy indignation. Situations usually would end up with a woman at the sheriff’s office with his manhood forced into her mouth to avoid any confrontations or smear campaigns that would ensue after one of his notorious false arrests. Of course none of them have ever been for murder, which is a charge that would come out of the other explosion if that is to be pinned on me, which I know the news seems to think it should be. He has never had a real crime in these parts and perhaps he would have to take this one seriously, but I wasn’t about to find out. He started talking again, “You know how it works. You're going to have to come back to the office and answer some questions,” he followed up with.

My uncontrollable rage flew as I spit in his face, and shouted out, “You can kiss my ass, I'm not going anywhere with you, so you can just kill me right here in front of everyone!” which I yelled out just praying that it would draw attention. Unfortunately with everything going on, I was just another melodrama in the whole circus of chaos, and I got a nightstick in my ribs for good measure. All the indignation in the world doesn’t cover up the fact that spitting in his face was assault. I was crying from the pain when I started wailing out “I was nowhere near the place when it blew up and asking the witnesses here will tell you that, so don't try your bullshit on me!” but as I cowered in pain on the ground he started taking the one bracelet off my wrist so that he could apply it to my other one.

I started trying to squirm out of his grasp and I had a pistol placed against the side of my head. This was pretty serious now and I was scared half to death when I started wailing. I must have looked pitiful, and there wasn’t a thing in the world I could do about it. Almost every girl I had gone to school with who hadn’t managed to escape this town had been sexually assaulted by this man. I escaped that by not being in a situation where I could be all these years and now here I was at his mercy. Ok if I had thought about it a little more I would realize that this scenario would bring to much exposure to him, but at the same time I thought he was too stupid to know this. His trembling hands told the story of a man that had never been stood up to be one of the women in this little corner of God's shit hole. He didn't appear like he was going to allow me to get away with being the first either as he said in his shaky voice, “Are you resisting arrest?” and I just started hyperventilating from my tears and fear.

“She appears to be resisting the bad intentions of a corrupt sheriff if you ask me, now why don't you put that gun away before someone demonstrates to you how a human being can actually act when they are faced with no choices?” came from the darkness as I stared at the ground. I recognized the voice and thank God for that voice. Ok I guess it is the wrong thing to say because God probably doesn’t have very much to do with that voice. That beautiful voice doesn’t fear our tin dictator of a sheriff though as it adds to what he had said, “How long did you expect to run your horrible life this way Walter? I think you should put that gun away and continue to live what’s left of that horrible life.”

Walter knows not what he does, and this is no time for him to change his ways as the biggest bully in a little town. He very angrily said, “I think you have your nose where it doesn't belong here son, and if I were you I would simply stop trying to interfere with a law enforcement issue,” I lifted my head to see the whole scene as it played itself out. Walter cocked back the hammer on his 44 to give it added effect when he pointed it at Lou, but the trembling in his hands as he wasn't the overwhelming bully for a change was rather pathetic. From where I was kneeling between the two, I could see Walter start to sweat. “Are you going to make me shoot you?” he then added although his voice was starting to go out on him as he said it.

Lou stepped around me so that he was shielding me from Walter. He looked him straight in the eyes and from just barely the length of Walter’s arm. The barrel of the gun was pressed so hard against Lou’s chest that it started bending in the arm of our wonderful sheriff a Lou walked in still to get practically nose to nose with him. “I'm going to make you put that gun down before you force me to do something that isn't foolish,” Lou said to Walter as he immediately holstered his gun. The tone in Lou’s voice was extremely serious, and he wasn’t losing his voice in the least, nor raising it for that matter. “Why don't you just take that gun away with you and pretend that none of this ever happened?” was what Lou said next and before the final word left Lou's lips Walter was backing off slowly. I wish I could understand why Walter then took out his gun again and started walking off towards the wreckage of the diner.

Lou cleared his throat and Walter stopped and turned to look at him again. I was terrified by this exchange and I didn’t even know why. Walter had genuine fear in his face like he knew that he was facing something that trumps his particular brand of evil and it didn’t change with what Lou said to him next, “You know what you have to do, so go do it,” and with that Walter simply walked away without so much as another word. There was a strange finality in the way Walter walked away and I didn’t see it at the time, but as I look back on it, I can see nothing but the obvious now.

Lou had already started walking away like he had a purpose to get away from here. I chased after him the second I noticed him getting away, because I didn’t want to be alone here for the most part. Of course I had a few questions I wanted answered, but I have to admit that I felt strange demanding anything of a man that just saved my sanity if not my life outright. His quick pace made it damn difficult to keep up with him though, and I definitely had the feeling that he needed to be somewhere else and his and he wasn’t paying attention to me because of this. I spoke up as quickly as I could since I was running out of breath keeping up. Well after all of my wailing my breath was at a premium already, “If I ask you questions you have to tell me the truth right?”

Lou just laughed at me and didn’t slow down at all as he kept walking down the street away from the scene. He didn’t look at me either, and I could feel my temper over this building. I also could rationalize that my temper was getting out of control because he drives me crazy like he does everyone else. I was able to regain my composure. Well doesn’t that sound kind of stupid as I was wailing on the ground with a gun at my head a few minutes ago, but you know what I mean? Lou seemed to know what I meant to as he looked at me battling my emotions and slowed down a bit and then said simply, “I don't have to tell you anything at all, and there is nothing in the law that says I have to.”

It made me a bit perturbed but I do what I can to control my temper around him as I have at least realized that I have no control over my emotions as I said before, when he is around me. It is obviously one of his greatest weapons while he is in the corporeal form that he talks about. Doesn’t mean that he doesn’t aggravate me quite a bit though either. Of course making everyone lose control is an excellent smoke screen, I said to him as I chased along behind him, “Ok fine then don't but I am going to ask you questions anyway,” I shot back at him after I grabbed his arm to force him to stop. He turned to me and gave me a very fierce glance that he hadn’t given me before and it made me extremely uncomfortable. I released his arm and he appeared to get a far calmer look on his face, but still had a bit of a terror factor in his eyes that made me almost afraid to go there with him. “Please, I need to know about …”

He cut me off without letting me finish my question by throwing at me, “I am going to tell you what I want you to know and you are going to listen to it if you choose, and take from it what you want,” and then he looked at me awaiting my acknowledgment which I gave to him with a nod. When he started again his voice was totally serious, “I don't know how you keep fracturing time, because until yesterday it was something that even I cannot do.”

I stood there looking at him and it was one of the questions that was on my mind, but just a small fraction of the questions. The look on my face must have begged for him to continue and for some strange reason he did. I think that he is starting to look at me as an ally and that is why he saved me from Walter back there but I don’t want to just assume. He went on, “I am stuck in finite time when I am in your realm of reality. In the mortal world I am for the most part mortal right along with the rest of you even though I can exploit a lot of my immortality but that is more because I don’t place limitations on what I can do as a mortal. It’s a long story but most mortals can do far more things than they allow themselves to, and I don’t have that issue.”

I nodded even though I didn’t have a clue of what he was talking about yet. I do later and when I get it I’ll let you all in on it, but at this time there were other things I wanted him to get to and he was on a roll. He wasn’t done yet either, “I can follow any of the time trails that you do, and arrange things, so it has been a bit of an ally to me. Actually I have been forced into your time trails and I don’t know how that is but as I said it doesn’t matter because sometimes I have a glimpse of the future to work with and other times I get to go back and manage a scenario. This is why things change a bit for you,” and that I understood. He continued speaking quickly because I think he was aware again of somewhere he had to be, “I have no idea of whether Darius knew that the time shifts were happening, or at least I don’t think he did because I was able to take advantage of those things. I’m pretty sure he is onto them now. My omnipotence allows me to keep my memory of every shift you take and drag me along to and obviously you remember them as well. I can’t chalk that up to omnipotence so I have to chalk that up to yet another thing I just don’t know.”

I can always see the pain and confusion when he has to admit that he doesn’t know something and I can understand since I hate doing that and I have been around a little less than thirty years. His billions or trillions must make it a lot harder. Think about that for a minute. He’s still on a roll but he does it while he starts walking again, “I can’t be in a time that you are not, so as weird as it was I didn’t even know that you were about to be assaulted by that moron in front of the diner until I saw it happening. It is an interesting gift which allowed me to chase Darius off the moment he was about to take you, but I had nothing to do with the time shift. If you hadn’t jumped out of time when he was about to take you, I wouldn’t have been able to make that prediction, when we jumped back. I lost him having to come back and take on the sheriff,” and when my face sunk he spoke up again, “I wasn’t making any progress on him anyway, so it didn’t cost me anything. I think he was trying to keep me occupied.”

Now that was a strange revelation that Darius might have been hoping someone else would kill me, or damage me or whatever was going on. I didn’t even have to ask, Lou gave me the answer, “I don’t know why Darius wanted you dead or if he even did, but he does know that you are important and an obstacle all at the same time. In omnipotent terms I think we both realized it at the same time so I wasn’t already in the loop, and I also still had to find you in the park, since that was ‘out’ of what has happened and a new place and time,” he cleared his throat and then shook his head a bit. “It’s rather strange that my throat gets dry but since I met you I have talked more than I ever have in my entire existence at any given time, so excuse me while I deal with these things,” he then made a rather obscene hacking noise. I reached into my pocket and I handed him a Lifesaver. After popping a green Lifesaver in his mouth he made a very weird face and then said, “Agh, these things are terrible,” then after another weird face he added, “They do work though, thank you.”

I started making encouraging gestures to him to continue talking which he did, “ Well you see there was a fracture that you had nothing to do with when I first appeared here, which told me that you are not the one doing it, but it also allowed me to see when Darius took Mary's soul at the school,” he stopped for a moment to make sure I was following and I nodded, so he continued, “it didn't give it to him because he has not got the ability to possess the souls of others so in turn any soul he takes becomes my issue,” he stopped for a moment to collect what he was saying after seeing that he lost me a bit, “On the phone earlier,” he stopped and gathered his thought, “actually later that was me but as I have relinquished any right to your soul, I can't make you do anything and those sorry sacks in Hollywood have desensitized everyone to the old scary tactics we used to use in the day,” he chuckled a bit, “When I did that phone trick to John Kennedy he pissed his pants, and the next thing you know he was sending boats full of expatriated Cubans over to invade Cuba,” he let out an interesting sort of giggle and said, “Made God take back a bunch of her Popes in that bet we had.”

I stared at him rather taken off guard by his matter of fact humor and you could see that he had a “too much info” moment and then moved on, “I am having a hard time even figuring out what is even the next phase of whatever grand scheme is happening and I can see the future, but these rips in the fabric of time, are out of my bounds of comprehension, and they change the future so that I can’t even see what is coming. I don't even know who has the ability to rip people from time as it has never been documented by anyone,” he started walking again and then threw in, “This is beyond me or any of the other omnipotent beings.”

“You’re in contact with the other angels?” I asked since it seemed like he was saying that he had concurred with them it seemed like a logical question. He grimaced at me as if I shouldn’t think of him as an angel, but then he seemed to get over it. He didn’t answer me though which also made me think that I had touched a sour spot with him. I should have already known this when he was ranting about everything in the park. I changed my tact, mostly to see if I could get back into the role of questioner with him, “Have you figured out why I could understand your natural language?”

He gave out a laugh that sounded honest, “I can’t understand anything about you. Haven’t you been listening?” and then he started walking a bit faster. We were almost out of eyeshot of the diner area, and I was starting to worry if it would appear that I fled the scene, but then again in a very strange sense I do have a guardian angel.

“Why didn't you want me to touch Mary, if you and basically Darius too can't claim me?” I decided to ask since it was another question that really didn't have an answer. I was expecting something about all of this cosmic karma crap that has baffled me the whole time since I don't read that Aramaic crap that he does, but somehow understand his language. Perhaps it was going to be a long drawn out story that in the end tells me hardly anything.

He actually answered me easily as if it was something I needed to know in his consciousness anyway, “No reason really other than the fact that Darius doesn't follow all of the rules, as he isn't bound by them for some ungodly reason. Oh that was a good pun,” he chuckled at his own humor and as usual I was having a hard time finding it in me to smile. He started again, “Willingly touching someone or something is the easiest way to steal a soul. Don't ever trust a cross or a crucifix because for all you know it could be an anti-cross held upside down. I was able to see the item she wanted to give you and I couldn’t be there, so I hoped I could just get you to stop. Before you ask I don’t know what had gotten into your son.”

BANG! The echoing noise came from behind us and when I went to turn around to see it I felt Lou's arm around my shoulder before I could and it continued to guide me walking along. Obviously the diner was out of eyeshot but not earshot, and I know the sound of a forty five as it continued to echo around us. I remember it so clearly as he just said as matter of fact as anything else he ever did, “You don't need to see what happened; you just need to get away from here, before it changes time again. We’ve had enough of that for one day, and enough of this day to last a lifetime.”

I would be lying at this point if I didn’t say that the more I know the less comfortable I feel about it all. I agreed with Lou that it was best for me to get away from whatever that gunshot was. I’m not a dummy so I knew full well what it was but I cling to my ignorance. I know what is going to happen about eleven hours from now, but I am not too thrilled with getting there actually or having to live through what happened after that again. I haven’t got a clue how I am supposed to deal with Mary this time knowing that she is in league with Darius. I wondered actually if Lou was going to change that but by the sounds of things that had happened in this time and it means that it will have been foretold for the next time. Oh God who the hell talks or thinks like this. My head was starting to ache again. I was losing track of how much time I actually have lived in relativity to the last time I slept. I asked Lou if that affects anything and he reminded me that he doesn’t know and he is sick of me rubbing it in.

This was the first time I had jumped back in time and appeared at the point of a major even that I had jumped out of. It’s scary to say the least that I know what I am involved in but I had lived all that extra time in between and it got more confusing as I go through the actual event I left knowing the outcome from a distance. Yeah I’m confused too and I was there so let me tell you that walking down the street with the Devil and he is just as confused doesn’t make it any easier. That entire “stuff happens” attitude that I have led my life by doesn’t apply anymore since in my case “stuff happens” over and over again and it is all important. It is so important that I don’t know why I am involved in it all. I wouldn’t wish being enlightened on anyone and as I am starting to realize that I might be the most enlightened human being on earth now I am not too particularly thrilled with it and would prefer total ignorance. Damn that phrase of “Ignorance is bliss” is so true and I hate it when anything proves my mother right to this day.

Lou pulled me out of the way of a car that went screaming by, because I was daydreaming and Jacob Grainger’s car went flying by me down the road towards the scene of the diner explosion, and he wasn’t too concerned with the two of us wandering in the street. His lights were flashing and his siren blaring, so I wouldn’t really have had anyone to blame but myself when he had run me down and I’m amazed I missed it. He’s such an idiot, that I am amazed that he was even contactable when the explosion happened because like his now deceased boss he probably was off rousting some sort of sexual favors out of some high school girl. Thinks he’s God’s gift to women and would have given me the same fate if he had been there instead of Walter, even if I am about fifteen years older than the ones he likes to defile. The hicks around here abound no matter what facet of day to day existence they fill. Fortunately I was on a section of the road with a sidewalk so Lou didn’t have to throw me into the trees. I am sure he would have creamed me on his way around the bend, and then of course would have arrested me for something so he could get me back at the sheriff’s office as stated before, and he’s sick enough to defile a dead body. How in the name of God did I ever last this long stuck in this horrible town? Walter actually had a point in assuming I would want that ex-husband of mine dead.

Lou turned around and watched the deputy’s car go flying along for some unknown reason until I heard the crash, and whipped around to see that he had smashed into the Walter G Miles I Monument on the corner and the car was immediately engulfed in flames. I looked at Lou in shock, and he looked back at me, “You can’t have those two idiots running around the town making a bad situation far worse, and despite what you think there is no joy in taking another scumbag down to hell to add to the ambience,” he started walking away and I still stood there dumbfounded. “What? You jealous that I can kill pests and you can’t. I can’t kill anyone that’s soul doesn’t already belong to me, and I doubt I have to tell you what team those two have been batting for their whole lives.”

That confirmed what I already knew that the forty four was a forty four and it was Walter’s and used on Walter. I was fine with that because that man was the lowest common denominator in this town. Jacob was the second lowest and aside from their mothers, there wasn’t another living soul that would miss them. Come to think of it their mothers can’t be that stupid either. I looked up and thanked God out loud that there wasn’t a Walter G Miles IV and then guiltily looked at Lou who simply said, “I thank her for ending that blood line myself,” and another jaded bit of me faded away as I had never wished death on anyone, and now was rejoicing at the end of a bloodline.

Now getting back in the moment I still would never wish death on anyone, and I was feeling a bit upset in the knowledge that they had gone before their time regardless. That was until I remembered that Walter was in the process of making me one of his mercy jobs in the Sherriff’s office. “Where are we going?” I finally asked him as I trotted after Lou. He didn’t say anything and as usual I was starting to forget my place in this relationship when I asked him the same question.

“We aren’t going anywhere I have to get back to finding Darius and you really are a bit too slow of foot for that,” he said to me as he looked back for a very brief moment. He then picked up his pace in a way that was going to make it all but impossible for me to keep up with him. I even consciously tried to apply the knowledge that I could do more speed than my mind would allow and my mind told me to go screw myself as I got a Charlie horse of monumental proportions.

I shouted out to Lou as he started to really pull away from me, “I know where he is going to be in 10 hours, does that help you out at all?” and I had a huge grin on my face like I finally had something to add to the Darius hunt. He turned to me with the strangest look on his face. It was hard to gauge as he was so far away, but I would actually have pinpointed it as confusion, but who can tell as he has different emotional responses then the anticipated. I didn’t even get enough time to catch up as he stared at me for the half a minute or so.

He then responded after his face cleared up from what must have been confusion as I had surmised, “I do too come to think of it, but then again so does he, I would assume,” he looked over me towards the light pole that was flickering as a large cloud made the sky dark enough to set the timer on the lamp sporadically. “I don’t know what happens or what changes with each jump that gets made, I see what is going to happen but it doesn’t stay that way when it gets there, like I eluded to before. Some of it I change other parts of it changes without me,” he looks at me now as he states, “I have knowledge that comes with being omnipotent, and it hasn’t changed with what has changed. My mind is still telling me that time is finite and I have never seen a time when it wasn’t. I think I am afraid, but I don’t know the emotion, and now that I know that time is not exactly finite I don’t know why my mind won’t change that fact in my consciousness,” and he turned and started walking again. I am never going to catch up to him but I tried to keep up. He then added as he kept walking, “The minute I stop thinking about time jumping around here on earth my mind completely eliminates the concept, so I have to keep thinking about it and that takes up some of my cognitive thinking at all times.”

I yelled out to him as he was starting to get out of my range of voice, “What scares me in all of this is I am starting to understand what you are saying,” and I almost tripped over my feet from laughing at my own cleverness. Years of waitressing finally came in handy as I was able to regain my balance through the stumble, “I would never wish that type of confusion on anyone.”

“I happen to know everything actually, and when I don’t know something it is very hard to deal with,” he looked at me again, and even stopped his walk. He was simply reaffirming something I had figured out myself and I couldn’t wait to rub in how my mere mortal brain was catching up to him. He stole that fun out of my grasp by yelling back to me, “I happen to know what funny is too and you missed on that last one, but I’m sure that my wonderful wit will rub off on you sooner or later,” and that did stop my laughter cold in its tracks, “You have to sell it with the straight face actually, I mean you walked right into that one,” but he stopped dead when he saw me pointing ahead of us down the road to where the hulking silhouette of Darius stood. I can never understand why Darius gives Lou a vantage point in which to focus on. If Darius wanted to be out of sight I am pretty sure he could do it.

I then decided to reiterate that fact, “I’ll never understand why he taunts you like he does,” and I looked at Lou who was starting to seem bigger himself as he doesn’t take his eyes off of Darius. I was at a bit of a loss but added, “What would happen if I started walking towards him? Do you think that I could get to a point where he would try to snatch me and then you could get to him as he comes towards you?” and I thought it was a pretty profound idea, but his response told me differently.

“That’s amazingly stupid of you to tempt the fate of an evil angel, but I think that you have a false sense of security because you think that I can protect you,” he takes a step towards Darius and Darius doesn’t move. He then starts his thoughts again, “Walk towards him and see what happens, I actually think that there is something else in play now but no matter what you do, don’t take your eyes off of him.” And I did as he asked even though it took me about two minutes of walking just to catch up to Lou and walk past him. The whole way he was hypothesizing about things I didn’t understand. Come to think of it I was so out of breath at this point that I didn’t even remember what he said, or why I came up with this stupid idea.

I didn’t even respond as I finally passed Lou and just continued walking towards Darius casually while looking right at him. As I sit here now writing all of this I am amazed at what little I thought of these things, my mind knew of the two most evil forces in the world being in front and in back of me and I just didn’t care. As you most likely know because I am sitting here writing this now, that I do survive and I am sure you are just thrilled that I keep reminding you of this, but it is important to know. I guess I am questioning your intelligence and I apologize but I would get confused if I were reading this. I also apologize to you all that I kind of steal all that drama away from it all, but I also know what a blithering idiot I was throughout all of my stunts looking back now regardless of whether I live or not. This was one of those situations where I would assume that most women would walk slowly and cautiously and I am still in the mode that whatever is going to happen is going to happen with or without my permission.

Darius takes a step back at this point and gets a bit of a confused look on his own face, but I don’t take it to mean anything because I don’t know what Lou is doing behind me as I am not taking my eyes off of Darius. I do follow instructions well even if I have no proper sense of self yet. This of course is easy because my son isn’t here and that keeps him out of harm’s way. I continue to stare at Darius as I started thinking that perhaps I am too foolhardy with my own life as long as I don’t need it to defend my son. Now that I was on that subject perhaps I was starting to see what Lou was trying to show me. Then again maybe not, Darius looks like he could start sweating. I was starting to get within spitting distance of him and the average person who knew what I was doing at this moment and who I was doing it with would be right to assume that I am the biggest idiot on the planet. Darius is starting to debate whether I am the biggest idiot or not too, you can see it all over his face. I stopped dead in front of him realizing that if I walked any further I would be standing on his toes.

Darius actually jumped back again and was spitting rage all over the place. He was confused but not as much as he was about twenty feet ago. He’s furious all the same. Darius started acting all aggressively nervous, and started hopping up and down like a prize fighter while going back and forward, and I would be so full of it if I said that I wasn’t starting to get scared, but I kept walking relying completely on the faith that I would make it through this. It was in an instant that Darius jumped forward and then totally disappeared. In my own shock I braced myself and nothing happened, so I turned around to see if Lou was still there and the second I did I felt my whole body lunge forward as if I was being tackled.

My first reaction was to grab onto anything I could and I did finally have a hold of something which felt like clothing, but eerily different. My mind didn’t just race it screamed as I figured I finally had done it and I was dying in this very instant. Nobody can ever underestimate how many things can go through your mind in a fraction of a second and I was simply preparing myself for my entire life to flash before my eyes. At least that would put me to sleep and everyone wants to die in their sleep don’t they? I started laughing which really isn’t the reaction you should have when you are being killed by a vicious demon is it? The laughing coming from me was being received as strange by someone directly under me, and that didn’t match the tackling position I had been thrust through. I opened my eyes and the laughter stopped almost immediately as I saw the near lifeless body of Mary under me.