Monday, June 25, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Recess Part 1

Between The Lines

My tongue was bleeding.

I kept my back straight, my head tall, my tie straightened. My suit was meticulous. My shoes were shined.

My tongue was bleeding, a slippery trickle of heat in my mouth.

Four guards escorted me into an antiseptic fortress. Hospital stink. Covered up rot stink.

It was not, as anticipated, the corporate arcology.

More than three hours drive away from the East Fredricksburg arco stood a four story molded fortress. Poured steel. All one piece. Latest innovations in indestructibility. From the outside, it had looked like it smelled inside.

Nod - watch Nod - Something wrong - Not right - Boom Boom Boom

Teeth. I smell teeth.

We crossed the lobby as a unit, but when the elevator opened, I was the only one that boarded it.

"Mr. Jorgensen is waiting for you."

The doors slipped snicker-shut. Everything felt wrong. Tasted it too. Blood tang in the air. Charnel house instead of security complex.

Wrong. Place wrong. Nod go. Not here. Smells.

My tongue was still bleeding. I was still biting it to stop shaking.

Slicker-snick open.

Cologne-man, Jorgensen, sat in a black faux leather swivel chair behind his desk. Still fat. Still rolled. Still sweaty.

"Come on in."

"A question first." Ah queddian fird

I stopped biting my tongue.

"By all means."

"Where's the boss?"


"You're fake. The cologne. It's b.s. Where's the boss? The one that had a proposition for me."

Cologne-man swiveled in his chair.

"What makes you think that's not me?"

"I smell ink."


"Ink. Someone's letting me borrow their nose for a minute."

"I really don't see how that's important in this..."

His mouth was still open when I shot him between the eyes. His lips melted away, black dribbles coursing down his chest, the hole in his forehead leaking as well.

The lines defining him drew in black, losing all color. As they changed, they melted and he fell apart, a flood of ink across the floor.


"I thought it would take a killing shot. The wound to the arm was real enough."

A figure, no talling than four foor slipped out of the chair and sauntered toward me. Green and yellow robes draped over him, speckled with ink stains. His sleeves poured over his hands, more than a foot longer than his hands should be.

I could still see the tips of claws.

Soft silver hair grew from his scalp only to dangle limp over sharpened ear lobes and a pumpkin head. A pinprick nose and dents for eyes. As he opened his mouth to speak, his jaw unhinged.

Rows upon rows of needles jutted up from his gums in eerie symmetry. He was grinning.

"Well done Mr. Nod. I'm most impressed. I had thought your assistants were no longer able to assist you. Their deaths separated them from you. And you struggle to find them again. How sweet."

"I was told you have a business proposition for me. If you have only asked me here to mock me, I can always leave."

"Now, now, no reason to get uppity with me. Only making a point."

"And that is?"

Until now, that grin had been left on his face, unflinching. He stopped and sneered. Blood thickened, bones creaked. Can't afford fear. Not in business.

"That you are outclassed in this particular confrontation. Do not think to act on bravado or bluster with me boy. I know far too much about you. I've not invited you in for a cup of tea or to discuss finery."

"Then what do you want?"

"I have an opening prepared. Several in fact. I run a sophisticated mercenary organization Mr. Nod. We maintain a basic security contract for East Fredricksburg, but that is the least of our talents. I am looking to expand and I want you to be a part of my organization."


"Room, board, and 30% of what they pay us to do it."

"I'd rather starve."

"You will without them to help you."

"They won't be helping me here either you demented little troglidyte. You already know that too. Your agent told me so."

He chuckled. The twisted little beast was laughing at me.

"That doesn't mean I don't have a plan. You, Nod, are relatively disposable. Don't get me wrong, your ability is fabulous and your leadership skills are fascinating. But the fact remains you are of limited use. They are not. They are worth keeping you around."

"You have a plan?"


"To bring them back?"


Wrong. - Quiet! - Free! - No. Wrong. Still wrong.

"I'm listening."

He was circling me as he spoke, grinning again.

"I have the capability to... funnel... them into their own bodies."

"Ink like yours was?"

"No. True flesh and bone... or stone depending on whom we're speaking of. I fix them up. I own you. Do we have a deal?"

I slipped off my bowler, toying with the brim.

"When do I start?"

"That simple a choice?"

"Your home is saturated with death Mr. Jorgensen. It reeks of it. The only thing that might stop you from killing me where I stand is that it's new carpeting."

He reached into the folds of his robes and I heard a click. His wall slid open.

"My private elevator. Shall we?"

No Nod. Not for us. No. Wrong. He's wrong. Smell. Taste. Run.

I stepped on board and we went down.

I will find a way, no matter the cost.

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