Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Recess Part 5


Jorgensen's throat fit into my hand rather nicely. I squeezed once to wake him up. I squeezed a second time once his eyes opened, and kept my hand tight.

"Listen to me. We're going now. You're going to call everyone off and let us out."

"Why would I do that? I've got enough disposable guards. You'll die eventually."

I curled my fingers, digging them tight into his greasy flesh.

"You aren't listening. I told you to listen. What do you think I'm going to do first if you refuse to submit? I'm going to tear your bleeding throat out."

He laughed disdainfully through a half-closed windpipe.

"You're mist and illusion boy. You've never killed someone with your own hands. You let dreams do the dirty work. You don't have it in you to kill me."

I smiled. He didn't like my smile. That's what I guess, from the way the blood drained out of his face.

"Maybe it'll be a razor gutting you. Maybe it'll be a stone hand caving in your skull. Or maybe it'll be a homemade bomb rammed up your arse. You'll die. And then who'll be disposable?"

He wasn't looking at my eyes now, his eyes were searching for Nandin. For Widow.

They found Maizner, in a pool of blood, his Mr. Jonathan marionette laying across him.

"That's right. He's dead. Nandin's trying to keep himself from being turned into a wallet and belt set by Mr. Jonathan. Mr. Rook is threatening to tear Widow's legs off. Trevor and the others are keeping your disposables at bay for the moment. So right now, it's just you and me and my sister here. And I'd hate to have to kill you in front of her."

"Your sister? Should've known better."

"Known better than what?"

"Known better than to let Maizner kidnap her. We knew when you brought her through, when you made her real. Maizner needed her hair for puppet wire. We played along with the father thing. I wiped her memory. Should've known better than to bring you into this with her here."

I said nothing. There was nothing to say. I just tightened my grip on his throat.

"Michael... Michael don't..."

My name... She...

"Rebecca? My name is Nod."

"No... No, it's Michael. Michael Tarcynski. You aren't a killer Michael. They are. They are so you can be safe."

"Rebecca, let me handle this."

"No... No... You made me didn't you Michael? You built me in your head, just like you did them. I'm wasn't meant to be real."

She looked at her hands, at her shivering icicle fingers.

"I want to go home Michael. Do we have a home?"

"We'll find one Rebecca. Don't you worry."

My eyes met Jorgensen's, my lips moving slowly, so he wouldn't miss a word.

"We go or you die. Count yourself lucky I don't kill you outright for what you've done to her."

His teeth sank together, his jaws twisting, trying to grind his mouthful of needles together.

"Go. Get in my way, we'll kill you."

I let go of his throat and stood, adjusting my suit and tie.

"It was a pleasure meeting you Mr. Jorgensen, but I have had quite enough of your hospitality. Everyone! Fall in! Miss Rebecca, if you would?"

I offered her my hand. She wrapped hers around it, a smile dawning.

Nandin and Widow moved toward us, as did the disposables. Jorgensen raised his hand, shaking his head.

We walked to the elevator and boarded it as a family. And as the doors closed, I started to cry.


I had stopped by the time they opened again. Rebecca had dabbed them dry with one of Mr. Jonathan's handkerchiefs. She was frowning a sad clown frown, wringing the handkerchief between her hands.

I stepped off the elevator first. The imps scampered out ahead of me, carousing in the solid steel lobby, sliding across the floors.

Mr. Rook touched my shoulder.

"Before we go any further..." A quarry in mid-day.

"The imps may not need to know, but we do." Old leather and older revolvers.

"How much have you sacrificed Nod?" Top-hat razor blade surgeon.

Why? Why did they need to know? It would change nothing. We were a family again. Why did it matter?

"What do you want to know lady and gents? How long I'll live? How long you'll live? If there's anyway to stop it now? To undo what I've done?

How about this. A list. Fifteen years tops. Same for all of you. That's if we do real well. You can be damn sure I'm going to look for a way to let us live longer, but I'll die before I look for a way to send all of you back."

Rebecca leaned forward, peering into my eyes with mother's.

"Don't swear. It's unbecoming a gentleman like you."

Trevor, Mr. Jonathan, and Mr. Rook nodded in agreement. From her gasp, the imps shared my sentiments.

I turned and shook my head, walking away from them, walking out the door.

It was snowing. It never snowed in Chrysalis. Only rain got over the wall and squatted over us for months. Never snow.

I pulled off my glasses and rubbed my eyes. My glasses slipped out of my hand and fell to the ground, shrouded by snow. I leaned down, seeking them out with my hands.

"What are we goan ta do know Nod? We are out of a home, a job, and are in the middle of a snowstorm."

I stood, slipping my glasses back on, and hit Trevor between the eyes with a snowball.

I laughed (I laughed?) and started running.

Rebecca giggled behind me.
The imps squealed in delight.
The Wulf Brothers were chuckling.
And Mr. Rook was rolling a snowball larger than I was.

THAT is what we would do today.

Past the sunset and sunrise, we would find a tomorrow.

And that would be soon enough.

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