I'll be posting a series of landscapes this weekend, so keep your eye out. Places you can go and relax, relax, relax.
Lurker in the Locker Room
"A Samuel Light Junior Story"
By John Pirillo
"It hid in the depths of the shadows, its eager eyes haunted by what it had become. It was hungry. Hungry for what it had never dared to taste before. Its hunger was not satisfied by mortal food anymore, but by something much darker in substance."
Jimbo stood in front of a campfire, his hulking form looming over the Cub Scouts arrayed in a circle about the fire. The nearest child's eyes were as wide as moons as Jimbo spoke, and if one were close enough, they would see that he peed his pants. And he wasn't the only one. Jimbo was nothing if not a great story teller.
"What happened next, Scout Master?" A Cub to his right asked, his eyes pleading for the rest of the story, even as he strove to keep his body from shaking from fear.
In the forest they were in the middle of some bushes shook. The Cubs ignored it at first, and then a pair of glowing red eyes appeared in the shadows of one of the largest trees and a growling sound. The Cubs jumped to their feet, ready to take flight.
"Whoa! Whoa, little fellows. It's only my friend and buddy, Sammie trying to put a little terror into your hearts."
At that precise moment as he finished his soothing words and the Cubs started sitting down again, Sammie walked into the light. "Hey Jimbo, where's the flashlight you left for me?"
The Cubs all jumped back up, and screaming ran off into the woods.
"Now why'd you have to go and do that for?" Jimbo asked, perplexed at how Samuel had gotten from the trees to there so fast.
"Scare the kids before I finished my story, that's what?"
Samuel gave him a blank stare.
Jimbo looked back over to the trees and the glowing red eyes were still there and then the growling grew louder. "Oh Holy Mother!" Jimbo cried out, and then ran after the kids.
Samuel watched his friend run off, then sat down next to the fire and began to whistle as if nothing unusual had happened. The eyes continued to glow, but the growling had stopped. Samuel pulled out a remote control and flicked off the simple machine he had set up earlier in the day, and then reached for the nearest hot dog strung on a limb across the campfire. He tossed it from hand to hand until it cooled off, and then began eating it.
Samuel and the other kids all watched the clock as Mister Marvel, his real name, finished telling them their homework for the night, and then the bell rang and everyone scrambled for the door. Samuel stayed back. He went to Mister Marvel, who deftly dodged a rushing kid who almost struck him from behind.
"That device you gave me for the weekend worked like a charm."
"You're welcome, Sam. Did they all run?" He asked with a smirk.
"Every one of them, including Jimbo."
Mister Marvel laughed. "Glad I could accommodate you, your friend's been disrupting classes for years now."
"Revenge is sweet." Samuel said with a grin.
"Indeed it is. Indeed it is." But when Mister Marvel said it, Samuel didn't get the feeling he really meant it, but gave it no second thought. Adults were weird anyway.
They both felt, rather than saw a movement from the corner of their eyes, but when they turned to look, no one was there.
"See you later, Mister Marvel."
"You got it."
Samuel exited the room and threaded his way between the rows of students talking and looking at their cells as they did, or high fiving, fist bumping or whatever exotic moves they had come up with for that week or year. A couple who sat next to him, gave him strange looks as he passed them and began talking in low voices to each other, while glancing at him.
He had gone along with the weekend fright, but thought most of it childish. The only reason why he had gone along with the scare tactics that weekend had been to get Jimbo's attention. His friend was getting too cocky. And that worried him. They had been through so much now that he worried Jimbo was going to take that kind of life as normal and lose his edge. He couldn't afford to. Not and stay alive if he was going to be with Samuel.
A locker slammed with a bang behind him and he turned around. Jimbo stood there, a strange look on his face for a moment, which he quickly dissolved into a smile. "P.E. Time."
He and Samuel hurried down the corridors, until they reached the quad, and then the front gate of the gymnasium. They were practicing basketball along with the other class members. Some for the team they hoped to get on and some just because there was nothing else to do.
The hour went pretty fast and after running defense for each other most of the time, and tossing a few hoops to the dismay of their team mates, they went back into the locker room and began undressing for their showers.
"Sammie, you'd never lie to me, would you?" Jimbo suddenly said, a look of concern on his face.
"No reason to."
Jimbo leaned closer and in a conspiratorial voice whispered. "There's a lurker in the locker room."
Samuel started to look and Jimbo caught him with a light blow on his knee. "Don't look, give you away."
Samuel gave Jimbo a closer look. Jimbo looked frightened, even more so than the other night. What was going on?
"You see something?"
Samuel shook his head.
"If you do, whatever you do, don't tell anyone."
Samuel began to get annoyed. "Is this some kind of trick?"
"Look, Sammie, we're best friends, we'd never stoop to anything as stupid as that, would we?" He asked in his thick Texan accent.
Samuel felt a twinge of guilt. He had done something as stupid as that.
"Look, I've been doing some research and remember Mister Fielding?"
"The teacher that killed all those kids?"
"Yeah. That one."
"What about him?"
"Someone saw him in the locker room last night."
"Not possible. He's dead." Samuel said, and then did a double take. "You're serious!"
Samuel began a sly surveillance of the locker room. "I don't see any ghosts."
"Not this one. He only comes out at night."
Samuel sighed. "Jimbo, no way you're getting me to come back here tonight. No way in heaven...or hell!" He added for emphasis.
Samuel and Jimbo watched the Night Watchman checking doors, and then they slipped from behind the bleachers and made a dash for the locker room. Their Nikes squeaked loudly as they ran, but not loud enough to alarm the Night Watchman. Mister Reed was deaf in one ear and they were running on that side of him, as he made his way across the dark gym floor, the stark beam of his flash lancing ahead of h im.
They made it into the locker room and carefully shut the door.
"I'll keep watch." Jimbo whispered by the door. "You see if you can, you know...see..."
Samuel shook his head. His Mom was going to kill him if she found out he hadn't gone over to Jimbo's as he had phoned to her. There would be hell to pay.
He brushed his mop of hair back out of his eyes and peered about the locker room. Nothing more than deep shadows and even steeper darkness. His eyes were more attuned to the dark than others. He had a special vision that allowed him to see in the dark, when others couldn't. But not only that, he could see things. Jimbo called them ghosts. Most ignorant people did. But they weren't ghosts, they were people who had died and lost their way.
Samuel did his best to help them when he could. Sometimes they didn't want to be helped; they were stubborn and incorrigible, like hardened criminals. Once he had seen one plucked right out of the body of an innocent person and hauled off into a searing bright light. Not to hell. There was no hell, but he knew that soul was going to have to go somewhere and make up for the wrong he had been doing to that child.
"See anything?" Jimbo whispered.
"Keep alert. I was told it appears about nine o'clock every night. Time it was executed."
"Yeah. So's flying saucers and auras and little men who can walk through walls and climb up your nostrils, but we've seen them. Or least you have."
"Look, Sammie, if you want to chicken out."
Samuel turned around. His eyes flashed with anger. "I'm no..."
"Chicken." Jimbo taunted him, and then made clucking sounds.
Samuel wanted to punch his friend at that moment, but he wasn't the sort to do that kind of thing. Wasn't in his blood. Jimbo had no such problem. He had seen him take on three kids a foot taller than him and three grades older with one hand and win.
"Next time you say that I'm going to throw my dirty gym shorts at you."
"Mercy!" Jimbo cried out.
Samuel grinned and turned back the way he had been looking, and just as he did, something moved in the distance. At the right upper corner of the lockers. It was dark and streamlined, moving like smoke.
"Jimbo." He hissed.
Jimbo ran over and crouched beside him. "See it?"
"Something. Look!" He pointed.
Jimbo looked, but he didn't see anything.
Then they heard something breathing heavily and it was moving down the other side of the lockers towards them.
"Holy Mother!" Jimbo cried out, starting to sweat.
Then it stopped at the exit from the lockers and turned to look at them with bright, burning red eyes.
A groan came from it.
"I can't see any aura." Samuel squeaked. "It's not human."
"Is it dead?"
Then the thing, whatever it was, rushed them.
Both Samuel and Jimbo dashed out the locker room door and into the gym, then outside, screaming at the top of their lungs.
The lights came on in the locker room and Samuel's Mom and Mister Marvel stood there where the thing had been, a long gossamer cloth lowered between them, with a pair of led lights attached to it.
They both broke into laughter. "That should solve both their problems." Mister Marvel said.
"I hope so. My son can be a bit cocky sometimes."
"But I think Jim is going to be a mite angry at me in the morning when I talk to the two of them with you."
"Better they should hear the truth. They need it."
Mister Marvel nodded, and then began to dissolve into the air.
"Thanks for the opportunity to work off some karma with them kids."
"You're welcome." She said, then picked up the other side of the cloth and exited the locker room, wondering how she was going to explain to Samuel how he had been listening to a ghost teacher all these weeks. She laughed. Ghost person.
The Man with the Empty Face
"A Cartoon Story"
By John Pirillo
Johnnie went into the comic book store, his eyes hungry for the first edition of X-Ray Man, an old golden but oldies comic book written by Jacob Bentley, an unknown artist and writer, who funded the book on his own. He was the forefather of modern comic book graphic artists, who own and do it all. But back then in the thirties, such types didn't always end up on top, but sometimes on the bottom, especially if it was the Great Depression.
X-Ray Man was a very strange hombre. He could see through walls and also walk through them. He could transport himself at the speed of light from one point to the other. The only problem was that sometimes he would exit inside a wall or bridge, or car, or whatever. Being an X-Ray Man, it wasn't devastating, but it was always funny...to others anyway...when he'd materialize in a toilet bowl basin, with only his had poking out of it. Made for some frightened people, as well as jokers who thought it funny to get stuck inside a toilet.
Johnnie had no illusions that he could pull off such a stunt, nor would he want to. Toilets just weren't his thing.
"And they better never be." Cartoon said into his right ear, whispering so softly she made every hair on his body stand up. She never failed to get him excited at her touch, or voice. She was a comic book queen...literally...who glowed in the dark, could see in the dark...and had magical powers, many of which she wouldn't tell him about, such as reading his mind.
"Hey!" He complained, gently pushing her back from him. She made a pouting look with her lips, and then giggled like a little girl and went to search comic books in the Wonder Woman section of DC Comics.
"See you in ten." He told her.
She nodded, already lost in the fifteenth edition of Wonder Woman and her exploits with her invisible jet.
Johnnie surveyed the comic shop's interior, looking for the Oldies, But Goodies section he'd seen advertised on the Internet, then spied a tall man with a hood over his head, thumbing through a stack in the corner. Above him it read. "Oldies, But Goodies."
Johnnie went over there, ignoring the man's rudeness at blocking most of the stacks. Instead, he reached around him and began sorting through stacks too.
The man bumped into him roughly, almost knocking him down.
"Hey, cut that out!" Johnnie shouted at him.
The man turned around. Beneath the hood was a pair of glowing red eyes, but nothing else. "Mortal!' Was all the face, if you could call it that, said.
Johnnie wasn't about to get into a fight in a comic book store, instead he backed away, the red eyes following him as he did so. He had forgotten he had a comic book in his hand as he did. Suddenly, he felt the shelving behind him, but instead of stopping there, he found himself looking out from inside the shelving, part of him immersed in the stacks of comics, and part looking out.
Several female customers and one man turned to look at him, thinking it was some kind of stunt. They giggled, laughed and pointed. "That's really emo!" One said, and then they went to the cash register to check out.
The man with the empty face stared at Johnnie. "You're the one."
"Maybe." Johnnie said, as he stepped back out of the shelving.
"You're the one." The man with the empty face insisted.
"Cartoon!" He said loudly. "I think it's time to check out."
"I'm still reading about Princess Diana and the Amazons." Cartoon said, ignoring his pleas.
"You're the one and you must come with me." The man with the empty face said in such a tone that it made his blood freeze.
Johnnie side stepped the stranger and headed for the front. He slapped down a twenty. The man at the checkout eyed the bill. "You'll need eighty more."
Johnnie slapped down a hundred. "Keep the change."
"Thanks! " The employee said. "I will."
The man with the empty face came up and grabbed the employee. "You will come with me too."
The employee grabbed the arms to break free, thinking it was some kind of nerd joke, but when he looked up into the empty face, he screamed and then his entire body turned to a ruby red smoke and was sucked into the man with the empty face.
"Johnnie!" Cartoon shrieked from behind him.
He turned and saw a second man with an empty face gripping her. She was kneeing him in the crotch, but he didn't budge. His grip held her like a vise.
Johnnie stuck the comic book he had just paid for in his back pocket and rushed the second man with an empty face. As he was about to strike into him, his body shivered with a weird energy and he actually passed through the creature. It shuddered violently a moment, then its entire body deflated like a balloon, allowing a glowing red dust like substance to flow into the shop.
Cartoon hurriedly backed away and Johnnie rushed to her, but when he tried to touch her, his hand passed through her. She gave him a surprised look. "I'm X Ray Man." He told her grinning, and then turned to face the first man without a face. "You got two choices."
Johnnie held up one finger. "Actually, only one."
He rushed the man without a face and passed through it. The man without a face roared like a dying lion, a fine red mist exploding from its body and vanished as it deflated, leaving just a smoldering pile of red ashes on the hardwood floor of the shop.
"You all right?" He asked Cartoon, as he turned.
She nodded. "What manner of creatures are these?"
He pulled out his comic book, flicked through some pages, and then stopped, pointing a finger at a drawn figure there. She leaned over and took a look. "It's the man without a face."
"Afraid so." He uttered, glancing nervously about them.
"Let's get out of here while we can." He suggested, concerned for her safety.
"But what if there's more. We can't just let them loose in the world!"
"You're right." He answered, making a hard decision as he spoke.
He ripped out the page from his comic book with the man without a face, and then several more, until no more pages of the creatures existed. As he did so, the back of the shop made a loud sound, like small cannon shots, then a horde of men without faces erupted into the shop.
Johnnie glanced around, not sure if he could handle all of them, and then spotted a Bic on the employee's counter. He grabbed it, flicked it, and then lit the ripped pages. The men without faces closed in on them from all directions. "You're the one. You will come with us!" They all spoke in unison as they closed in.
"Not likely." Johnnie said.
She took the burning pages and tossed them into the horde. They all screamed horribly as they caught fire, burning as furiously as the comic book pages.
In moments there was nothing left, but piles of smoking red ash.
Then the fire alarm blasted and water began pouring from above.
Later as he and Cartoon walked home to his apartment, she stopped him, alarmed at his silence. "You were hurt, weren't you?"
He looked at her and wiped a tear from one of his eyes. "Yeah. Big time."
"Anything I can do to help?"
"Only if you can replace the Number One copy of Batman, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and a ton of other oldies but goodies that got washed into oblivion by the sprinklers.
They continued towards his apartment, she in amazement at how such trivial things could wound him, and he trying to figure out why he was cursed with bringing pain and suffering to all comic book lovers and death and dying to real people at the same time, while he transformed into various Comic Book heroes or with their powers. It didn't make any sense, and then he relaxed as Cartoon pulled him around and leaned into him, fixing a bright kiss on his lips. "Cheer up, Johnnie, its only paper."
"So were you once." He said.
She smiled. "Was I?" She asked and got in the last word, leaving him stunned and amused at his good fortune to be in love with such a cool girl.
Catch Me If You Can
"A Young King Arthur Story"
By John Pirillo
It was neither dawn nor dusk, but a twilight of a heavy sort where the clouds veil the skies in somber hues of gold and red, daring you to try to sleep or awaken beneath them. It was an auspicious time and a dark time, a time of light and life, and a time when dark forebodings rose like mists from the heaves of the earth below.
Merlin sat with Arthur beneath that shroud of mystery, himself a mystery, as his thoughts flew where only one such as he could travel.
"Were I a magician, I would make the clouds go away so the sun could shine and make all the bright and pretty things shine and grow beneath it." Arthur ranted, the hint of amusement touching his lips as he watched his master.
Merlin continued his restful pose, both legs intertwined in that strange position he had learned in the Far East from the dark skinned men there who worshipped a thousand different gods, but obeyed only one. His skin was bronzed just like the skies at that moment. Merlin spent many an hour outside tending to the needs of the wild life that was sheltered neared his Crystal Cave, and the needs of the people who came to him for healing and health.
"Were you a magician." Merlin finally said, with a light smirk on his lips. "I would be out of a job."
Arthur unraveled himself from his position on his elbows, and sat up, startled by the statement. "If I were a magician? Are you saying I could be one?"
Merlin opened his eyes and Arthur could see a vast depth of gold light emitting from within them, as if someone else were watching him through Merlin's eyes, and not Merlin himself.
"Could I really become a magician?"
Merlin loosened his legs from each other, and propped his head on his knees watching Arthur go through all the motions of trying to figure out what he meant. The young lad was a very bright soul, but had a tendency at times to get lost in the intellectual side of things. Something that Merlin hoped in time to wear away at until the pure pristine hope of Britain shone with the Light that had been promised by his birth.
"I would think even the least of God's creatures could be a magician, Arthur."
"How is that possible?"
Merlin spread his palms and a beautiful butterfly fluttered from above and lit upon his right palm. It had triangular shaped blazons on its wings that seemed to pop out in gold and red. Its eyes were a gold color and its antenna a soft brown. It began to wash its face, as it that was the normal thing for it to do on a stranger's hand.
"For instance this tiny being. Just look at how much magic it offers in its gentle touch, its beautiful colors, and its dainty, carefree leap through the airs."
Merlin lifted his palm and the butterfly spiraled upwards, trailing a soft dust from its wings behind it, like a fairy taking flight.
"It is beautiful. But I'd hardly call that magic." Arthur finally ventured. "Wouldn't it have to be able to transform one thing into another?"
"Arthur, were you but to see your eyes when it landed on my right palm and began to wash its elegant face, you would no longer doubt magic in such a creature."
A cry in the skies drew Arthur's attention. It was a small white dragon, leading a larger golden one that seemed to be alert to all about it as the baby flew. When the baby flew too close to the ground, the mother dragon soared beneath it to urge it back into the air, and when it flew too high, she flew above it to help it back down before its wings lost their grip on the tenuous skies.
"It's a baby dragon."
"Not just any baby, Arthur. It's a King of Dragons."
"Yes. Only the purest of colors can find such a dragon. This dragon one day will carry a great leader into battle to fight the forces of darkness, and shall carry him like a chariot to the very gates of heaven itself."
When Merlin spoke those words, his eyes were on Arthur, as Arthur's eyes were on the baby white dragon. He smiled at Arthur's look. "No magic?"
Arthur looked at him and smiled. "The mother's love? She never lets him venture too close to the earth, nor too high in the heavens."
"And what else, Arthur?"
Arthur thought about it.
"It makes my heart dance."
Merlin clapped his hands.
"And isn't a dancing heart...magic?"
Arthur giggled, then grabbed Merlin's magic staff, leaped to his feet and ran away. "And so is your staff!"
"Arthur you come back with that staff!"
"Catch me if you can, old man!"
Merlin laughed and leaped to his feet.
Arthur led him past the Crystal Cave and along a narrow path about the mountainside it was embedded upon. Arthur, for his part, knew the path quite well as he used it daily to return home to his home with his Uncle, and to serve the Dark Queen Morgana, a task that fraught his nerves with fear and doubt, but that he did with a sense of urgency because he wished to serve his people, and could not do so, if he were ignorant of what they needed...and feared.
Arthur leaped across a fallen tree, and then scampered up a steep slope, using the staff to dig into the loose soil so he could make better headway. He looked back and Merlin was no longer behind him. He grinned. "Gotcha, old man!"
Suddenly, a pair of strong hands gripped him and pulled him up into the air and Merlin was whirling him around like a small child.
Arthur cried out with laughter and shouts to let him down, but Merlin was relentless. The more Arthur cried for release, the more he turned him, until he was so dizzy he thought he might throw up, then Merlin set him down on a large boulder, depositing him on the cliff of a great overhang that overlooked the Golden Forests below and the distant towers of the castle where Lord High King Uther Pendragon and the Dark Queen Morgana lived.
Merlin sat beside Arthur, and gently prized the staff from between his fingers, then set it between them. "I may be older. But I'm not that old!"
Arthur laughed, and then almost gagged as his stomach heaved for a moment.
Merlin reached onto his belt and loosened a flash attached there. He opened it and handed it over. Arthur took a long drag, and then his pale face brightened. "Honey water."
Merlin and Arthur sat there upon the wide boulder, dangling their feet over the edge of the drop, watching as the clouds finally drifted apart to reveal a setting sun, which kissed the distant black towers of the Dark Ones, and softened its dismal appearance.
"Some day I will build a new city here, Merlin."
"I pray that day comes soon, the world needs order, but..." He looked at Arthur. "It needs love even more. Never forget that, Arthur. Law is only a part of the structure of life. Without love, law is cold and spineless, like that which the Dark King and Queen wield, but with love, it becomes like a radiant sun supplying life and vigor to all it shines upon."
Arthur nodded. "I'm not sure such a day will ever come to these lands. The Dark Ones have such a powerful hold on it, and the wealthy, Merlin, they have forgotten the laws of charity. They take from the common man, more and more, and give back lashes and abuse, with little to eat and sustain the souls and bodies of the peoples."
Merlin put an arm about Arthur's shoulders. "Maybe someday you can change all of that. You think?"
"I don' know what to think."
Arthur's face hardened. "But if I could do it right now, I would. I'd have the heads of those Dark Ones..."
Merlin put a finger to Arthur's lips.
Arthur gave him a surprised look.
"Arthur, all is part of God's Creation and part of his body. We must never forget that in God's eyes we are all each other's brothers and sisters."
Arthur sighed and put his head in his hands. "It's so hard to remember that sometimes, especially when I see Morgana's guards whipping a young girl because she kept a loaf of bread for her ailing father, instead of tithing it to the Dark Queen."
"Patience, Arthur. Just like a tree plummets the earth with its stout roots, some day you shall also do that, and your roots will sustain you when you need to shelter and succor those of need."
Arthur looked up and brightened.
"You think so?"
Merlin gave Arthur a knowing look. "I know so."
"Can't catch me, old man!" Arthur cried out, snatching up the staff again and sprinting back down the mountainside.
Merlin watched Arthur run and smiled. "A child must be a child before he becomes a man."
So having said, he took himself back down the mountain, already knowing exactly where to surprise Arthur and recapture his staff. Some magic requires magic, but some only requires patience and maturity.
The First Night of Annihilation
A Samuel Light Junior Story
By John Pirillo
Streamlined darkness. Lines of darkness that stretched out into infinity. Enveloped by a cashmere velvet of deep space, but no stars.
Peacefulness. Gliding through infinity with no need to do this, to do that, to hurry here, to hurry there.
"Sammie, wake up, Damnit!"
Velvet black was shattered into shards of harsh sunlight smashing into his eyes. And an ugly face. A wonderfully ugly face. Jimbo. His eyes wide with fear.
"Can you hear me?" Jimbo hollered.
"If you whisper."
Jimbo breathed a sigh of deep relief, then helped Samuel to sit up. "You took one straight in the front teeth. I thought for sure you were a goner, when you flew down backwards."
Then Samuel realized the whole baseball team was gathered around him. The sound of sirens grew. Coach Adderberry was on his other side, his face filled with anxiety. Sam was his best batter and the game was on this very night.
"You okay, son?"
He never called any of his athletes by their first names, either son, kid, or batter or catcher, or some such thing. His balding head was sweating in the near summer heat. "Someone get me that water!" He yelled over his shoulder.
A hand pushed through the amassed players and he took the Arrowhead Sports Bottle, dripping beads of sweat from the cooler it had been in. Stuck it into Samuel's hand. "Drink it. All of it."
Samuel obliged, not sure if he could. When he drank, he noticed that his top front teeth hurt and his lip. That was when he realized his lip was split and his teeth loose. He looked at Jimbo. "Do I look as bad as I feel right now."
"Worse, which is why I thought you were...you know."
Samuel almost choked on his water and everyone immediately, tried to help him. He waved them off. "It's okay. I was just trying to laugh."
Coach Adderberry smiled then in relief. He stood up and looked at his team. "Already, boys, back to work. Samuel's the same old snarky boy he used to be."
Everyone laughed, clapped Samuel on his back, told him to feel better, then marched back onto the field for their practice. Game was in ten hours. "I'm leaving you in Jimbo's hands, if that's alright with you?"
Jimbo nodded. "I'll make sure the paramedics find him."
"Be hard to miss me." Samuel cut in. "I'm the only one laying in the dirt with a busted upper lip and a mouthful of loose teeth."
The Coach laughed, patted Samuel on his head, then joined the team. Immediately he began hollering at them to tighten up, get here, get there and everything began to settle back into the normal routine of working out on the field, while striving to tighten control over the game.
"You really did have me worried, Sammie." Jimbo finally said.
"Yeah. Me too."
"What happened to you?"
"I got smacked by a line drive hundred mile per hour hardball in my mouth is what happened!"
"No, after. Your eyes were all over the place beneath their lids, and you kept muttering something about the Dark Ones are coming. What's a Dark One?"
Then Samuel remembered.
The ball was smashing right at him. He stretched his glove out to catch it. He was shortstop at the time and it missed his glove and smashed into his mouth. The was all he remembered of his physical self until Jimbo called him back to...he rubbed his jaw...reality. Ow, that hurt! He thought.
He saw himself falling down a long tunnel of white light, sort of a perpendicular tunnel of white light like the ones that people vanished into when they crossed over, but his was pointed the wrong direction. Like Alice in Wonderland he had tumbled head over heels down the tunnel and then landed on a soft surface with lots of shrubs and flowers around it. He had sat up, not feeling any physical sensation at all, just standing somehow. He wasn't even sure he had any feet.
He turned around slowly, or was it float around? What he saw was an endless landscape that stretched as far as the eye could see in all directions. On one side was a huge tropical forest with huge exotic birds playing or perched. On another side was an infinitely long row of artists with their tripods set up with a canvas, and all painting the birds. It was the most stunningly beautiful thing he had ever seen.
Imagine a world where the most important thing in life is not making money, but appreciating the beauty that nature has provided us. That God has created.
"Jimbo, when I saw that, I thought for sure I had died and gone to heaven. I just couldn't understand why I had gone down a vertical tunnel of light. It didn't make any sense to me. No one I had seen cross over ever went down or up, it was more like walking along a path before you, with it extending further and further into the light, but surrounded by a light so pure and white that it's blinding, and yet the most gentle and reassuring feeling you could ever experience."
Jimbo nodded, then Samuel went back in time to his experience again.
I stood there imagining the whole thing as if I were in some kind of cosmic dream, but I couldn't unimagine it, make it something different, like you can in a dream, so I knew it was real, but what kind of reality I wasn't sure just yet.
Then in the distance I could see storm clouds beginning to churn and darken, spreading wider and wider, consuming the light before it, and rushing forward at a breakneck pace, eating up the land, forest and birds in front of it. It was frightening, like watching the death of a world!
Samuel wavered for a moment on his feet and Jimbo steadied him. "You okay? Maybe you need to sit down again."
"No, it's just when I remember that part of my experience, it overwhelms me." He looked directly into Jimbo's eyes. "I'm pretty sure now that what I was seeing wasn't a dream, nor was it the afterlife."
"Then what was it?"
"What will happen to our world if we don't learn how to love it."
Jimbo growled. Which he often did when he was frustrated or angry. "We won't let that happen, Sammie."
"I don't know if we can stop it. We're only two human beings. We're not gods!"
Jimbo shook his head. "I may not believe in everything you do, Sammie, but one thing I know for certain is that it's never wise to give up. It's always better to keep on fighting the odds, then defeat yourself by not even trying."
Samuel smiled. "I suspect you're right, partner."
Jimbo smiled back at him. "Speaking of partners. You know that new chick in our English class?"
And so their conversation came back from the cosmic to the practical and Samuel once more helped Jimbo score with the opposite sex, while he went home in an ambulance to sleep off the worst pain he had ever had in his life.
His Mom stood over him as he lay in bed. "It's all right, Sam, they will do just fine without you."
"It's not that, Mom." He protested.
She sat down next to him and waited.
"What is it then?"
"It's just that my life...it's so all over the place. I'm not normal like the other guys. They see ham burgers and girls in their dreams. I see angels, dead people..."
She put a finger to his lips.
She put her finger back on his lips.
"You're special. God has chosen you to do things others wouldn't want to do."
"I don't want to do them either." He protested, feeling a growing sense of disgust in his voice.
She laughed. "Sam, one thing I know about you, is that you never give up and you never, never turn your back on helping others."
He sighed, feeling the weight of disgust dissolving. He yawned and closed his eyes. "But it would sure be nice to win a girl once and awhile."
She laughed so hard, his eyes popped open.
"What's so funny?"
"Oh Sam, girls aren't prizes to be won."
"Then how can Jimbo is always winning them."
She smiled. "That's for Jimbo to know, and you to find out. Now you get to sleep. I'll wake you up in a couple of hours to watch Saturday Night Live and we'll have some homemade blueberry muffins."
"But you don't have any blueberry muffins." He protested.
"I will have." She said, then blew him a kiss, and closed the door.
For the next several hours he dreamed he was living in a blueberry village, where the houses were made of blueberries and the walls were eatable, and when he woke up to the sound of Jimbo's voice below, he knew he was going to have a good friend to watch TV with. But when he smelled the aroma of fresh blueberry muffins, his mouth watered and he knew he was going to have a happy tummy that night too.
You have got to see this series.The BBC does a splendid job of everything they get their hands on. I read the book and it is really wierd and wonderful . A great read!
The Rainbow Bridge
"A Seeker Story"
By John Pirillo
The morning sun burst through the clouds like a small child poking holes in the soap bubbles of their bath, eliciting swarms of golden rays to lance across the landscape below. Tiny sea gulls swam the ocean of sky, their heart shaped wings harvesting the air with graceful sweeps as they made their way towards Lake Folsom.
I watched the skies like an avid hockey fan, searching for every hint of what was to come. It would come, I just didn't know when. I had spent a year waiting for this event and I wasn't about to miss it, come hell or high water.
"Look!" My partner in the crime hollered.
I looked towards where her tiny finger was pointing.
Ellie's slender finger, shaped like porcelain jewelry, pointed at a cloud that resembled Apollo's cart and horse that drew the famous God across the skies every day at morning sun rise and evening sun set. Her blue eyes were screwed together in concentration, causing her eyebrows to pucker away from her bronzed forehead. She was tiny for her age, and I had recently learned she wasn't growing much, which scared her father. Another reason I was here. To support him and to give her love. I can't think of a more healing potion than love and with her I had no problem heaping it on, because the child was the most pure of diamonds I had ever experienced. Never a bad mood, tantrum or foul mood attached to her.
She was a pure delight. Barely five, she already talked like an adult, was slipping into her father's bookshelves to read the classics and drew artwork that to put it simply were simply stunning. One piece featured prominently in her portfolio that her father kept. It was a beautiful rainbow with gigantic angels crossing it. For some reason that image stuck in my mind. I had first seen it several years ago, and it had never gone far from my recollections when I thought of her and any visit I might make.
So where Ellison had phoned me and asked me to visit, I had leaped at the opportunity to renew our friendship and play with that angel he had brought into his life...and now mine.
I picked her up and put her on my shoulders and danced in tiny circles with her, causing her lockets of blonde hair to bounce up and down across the top of my head and the baseball cap I had reversed there that said, "Rainbows such, eat clouds!"
I had bought it from a vendor down on Sacramento Street, who was attending the annual Clee Cluckers Event. It was the official parade of the non-believing, agnostic fruit pickers of America. A silly name for a group of college kids that I had met on Facebook through another friend. They called themselves the Clee Cluckers because they loved to make fun of anything and everything, but in a good hearted way. Usually their energies these days were more focused on politics, because heaven knows that Washington and our Capitols need a lot more humor than exists there now.
"Ricky!" She shouted happily, screaming with delight.
But all delight comes to an end eventually, and I collapsed onto our blanket by the large vee that separates the Sacramento and American Rivers, and lay there panting for breath, while she danced around my exhausted body, clapping her hands. Finally, she got tired of that and flopped beside me.
I sat up and gave her a weird face. She giggled and touched my cheeks. "Uncle Ricky, silly."
"I am, aren't I?" I managed weakly, then lugged over the medicine chest. (A nick name for the goodies I inevitably loaded our picnic basket with to cure our hunger.)
"Rass or Tass?" I asked.
"Rass." She squealed.
I grabbed a cold Raspberry Juice Soda for her, popped its cap off with a thumb, and gave it to her. She guzzled it down noisily, leaking on her cheeks as she did.
I hurriedly grabbed a towel I kept handy and swiped at her cheeks. She giggled, but kept on drinking.
I dug out the cold sandwiches I had packed, one of which was Turkey and one that was Chicken. "Cluck or Duck?" I asked.
She gave me a searching look. "You didn't hurt Daffy, did you?"
I held up hands up, the sandwiches with them. "Nope, no birds offended, or ducks."
She leaped for the Chicken one, and I let it drop into her outreached hands. She dropped beside me, unwrapped it, and then attacked it like someone who hadn't eaten in days. She was going through a growth spurt.
I unwrapped mine and at a more gentle pace began nibbling around the edges of my Turkey sandwich, which I had loaded with mayo, pickles, lettuce and a nice garden fresh tomato from her backyard.
We ate in silence, appreciating the shade of the trees that overhung us, and watched as some speedboats wove across the river, their drivers waving at each other.
It was a peaceful day, which was a contrast to how my heart had felt lately. I looked over at Ellie and she was close to gobbling the last of her sandwich. I hurriedly grabbed a bag of chips and dumped it into her lap and she slowed down long enough to open it, spilling some on the blanket, which she ate up fast. The ants were searching for food, so she had to be quick.
Ever since I had left the mountain top to come back down into the valley again, I had spent nights and days wondering what my next course of action would be. I was like a hermit in some ways, because I generally kept to myself, except when I visited my best friend, Ellison, whose daughter was named after him. He and I went back to college, where we had both hogged all the paranormal, occult and spiritual sections of the library as we sought to accomplish in a few months, what greater men have not accomplished in lifetimes...discover and unveil the secrets of Creation.
I can understand now why Moses didn't make it to the Promised Land with his people; he was too busy trying to figure out what the meaning of that burning bush was. I smiled at that thought. Not likely, but it sounded good.
A jet from the Sacramento Airport thundered over head and Ellie gawked at it, her lower jaw hanging open with a chip still half uneaten in her mouth. I laughed.
She gave me a quick look, then smiled, and went back into making her chip bag empty.
Finished, she came over to me and snuggled against my side. "Daddy likes you. I like you. Can we get married when I grow up?"
I laughed. "Aw, Ellie, that's sweet, but by that time I'll be this old gray haired man with hair growing from my nose and ears that's over a foot long.
"Euuu!" She said in disgust.
I laughed again, and then gave her a warm hug.
"Time to go, sweet cakes." I told her.
"But we haven't seen the Rainbow Bridge yet."
I gave her a side look. "The one from your coloring book?"
I thought she was talking about the fantasy one, the Rainbow Brite coloring book o ne.
"No, the one that crosses the rivers into the other side."
"Other side of what?"
"The other side, silly." She said in exasperation.
I gave her an appraising look. "You're pulling my leg."
"I saw it last time I was here. Daddy and Mommy were too busy putting their lips one each other's faces to see it. But I saw it."
I laughed, not at what she had seen, but what she had seen.
"Okay. So where's it supposed to be?"
She stood up and turned slowly, until she was facing towards the tall skyscrapers of Sacramento. "There." She said, pointing.
I stood up, maybe I was missing something. I hadn't been out here in a few years, so something's might have changed.
Then the morning mists over the river began to thicken, almost as if a great chef was turning up the steam on his cooking pot. Fingers of mist began gathering above the vee of the rivers, and the formed a misty bridge of sorts.
I smiled. It did look like a bridge.
"No rainbow today?"
She shook her head. "Not yet. It will come."
I waited and waited, and then the bridge seemed to brighten and change colors, until it became all the colors of the rainbow. As it did I could swear I saw these gigantic beings crossing over it, with wings of light issuing from their shoulders.
Ellie began jumping up and down. "See it. See it!"
I did, but no one else did.
I looked around and not a single other person picnicking or playing out there in that park was looking at it, or if they were acted as if they saw anything, because they casually looked away.
Then the largest giant of them all stepped onto the bridge, crossed half-way, then turned and looked towards us. It smiled and slowly raised a hand to wave at us.
Ellie waved and waved, until it lowered its hand, then it and the bridge collapsed as two speedboats, racing side by side shot through the mist, scattering it forever.
I sat back down.
Ellie stood there looking at me triumphantly.
"See, I told you it was there."
I began putting our things away and she took my right hand and my left took the rest of our belongings and we made our way to my car.
"Thank you, Ellie." I told her.
"Can we do it again? She asked in a typical childish manner.
I smiled and wondered. "Could we indeed?"
((New) An Interview with Sherlock Holmes, Harry Houdini and Doctor John Watson. Parts 1 and 2 by John Pirillo fixing a cut and paste disaster
I apologize for any confusion the mixup in the post was and hereby submit both interviews in one post for your reading pleasure.
An Interview with Sherlock Holmes, Harry Houdini and Doctor John Watson. Part One.
A terse description of Sherlock Holmes might be sharp as an eagle, determined, relentless, determined and driven to know the truth.
A longer one might be that he is a man of many talents, a mystery even to himself at times, a mystic and a leader of men.
Presented today is a brief interview I was fortunate enough to have with the distinguished gentleman when he came into our world with his good friend Harry Houdini and his partner Doctor John Watson in search of a predator who was determined to assassinate one of our leading Presidents. Why he would go so far as to interfere in our world's politics, I hope this short interview might enlighten you as to.
I apologize for any errors that might appear as I tend to do the transcribing quite late at night so as not to disturb my family.
Because of the nature of the interview and its length, it might be interrupted at times to allow for me to either edit something I previously had more to add to, or to add more information that I remember that was not recorded.
Author and Biographer,
March 10th, 2010
A location I am not at liberty to divulge
Mister Holmes is seated with me, his good friend Harry Houdini and Doctor John Watson in a friendly manner of intimate friends. I feel honored that he has included me in his circle of friends, despite our rather brief relationship.
Contrary to many views of him in literature, his nose is not so sharp, nor does he always wear a cape and deerstalker hat. When he travels between worlds, as he has this day, and when he intermingles with the populace of a new land, he assumes the clothing common to that time or place. So were you to bump into him, you might totally miss what you had done.
Today, he sits in an easy chair, right leg crossed over the left, wearing jeans and Nikes. His hat is a baseball hat devoid of team attachment and placed backwards on his head, as is the style these days. He wears a plaid shirt and white tie with a "Global Warming" is real button on its lapel.
He does not smoke his pipe in deference to my own dislike of smoke, but instead chews gum, which he has found to be a charming side aspect of his journey here and a pleasing find.
Doctor Watson does, however, continue to wear a traditional British suit, and carry his black medical bag.
"Always have to be ready." He assured me before we sat for this interview.
Harry, on the other hand, is quite the visual find. He is a dandy of the first kind, colorful and bright in every way. Had he been born in the Sixties he would have fit right in, but of course in Victorian London he has to squash his more outlandish tastes to accommodate the more proper English ways.
"First of all, I'd like to thank you gentlemen for taking the time to allow this interview. I realize you are all quite busy with your current pursuit."
Sherlock looked at me in that classic pose and said, "Our pleasure, Mister Pirillo. You've done such a fine job keeping track of our exploits that even Watson here has had to retire from his journal."
Watson gave Sherlock a scowl.
"Not that that was ever a problem for me."
Watson brightened a moment, then realized Sherlock was working his emotions as usual. "That may be, but I still intend to take charge of our biography at some point again." Beneath his breath. "If we can every find a moment of peace, that is. Bloody hell if that ever happens!"
Watson scowled a moment at me, then smiled. "I apologize for my rudeness, it's the stress of the chase. My Victorian manners are taking a nasty beating from it I suspect."
"No problem." I told him.
Watson leaned closer from his chair and asked in a hopeful manner. "You wouldn't, perhaps, happen to have some scones, would you?"
I got up and went into the kitchnette of our meeting place, came back out with a steaming pot of coffee and a large plate of scones. Watson's eyes lit up as they usually did when presented with the pleasant challenge of eating down a plate of scones.
"I shall love you forever."
I laughed. "I'll settle for continuing this interview."
Harry took a scone on a napkin onto his lap, then poured some coffee. "I hear this city is famous for magicians."
"Not so famous as you, Harry." I told him proudly.
He gave me a grateful look.
"I'd very much appreciate it if you could guide me to a local magician's show, I'd like to see more of what your world considers magic."
"My pleasure. I'd love to, Harry."
At that particular moment I checked my cell phone. I'd forgotten to recharge it that morning, but I thought we'd have enough to record the interview. I was mistaken of course.
"That's an odd device, Mister Pirillo." He pointed to my cell phone which was peeping from my shirt pocket. I wore a crisp white starched shirt and tie in honor of the men visiting me. Wanted them to feel as comfortable as possible.
"It allows us to communicate with each other."
Sherlock plucked it from my pocket and rolled it around in his hands, his eyes taking in the shape and details of it. It lit up when he touched its face, revealing a clock, weather and time.
"Absolutely stunning." He commented, handing it back to me.
One thing I've learned over the years when I meet with them is that they are quite forward and pretty much unafraid of saying or doing anything, unless it was improper. Evidently, snatching cell phones from a person's pocket did not fit in the latter catergory.
Sherlock gave me that steely gaze. "I believe I've offended you."
"Not in the least." I lied.
He smiled. Didn't believe it for a moment. But for the honor of both our sakes, he lapsed into silence.
Harry finished his scone the same time as Watson and reached for another. "I seem to remember seeing Wells and Jules with such a device when I traveled with them last time in the Master of the World."
He stopped eating for a moment, as if the thought he spoke next struck him as significant. "You wouldn't happen to know them as well, would you?"
Again, Sherlock gave me that piercing look. He knew I had. It was obvious because it took me longer than usual to cover my tracks. "Uh. Briefly. Never for long."
When in fact I had spent a great deal of time with them, as well as Stephen Hawking, who had helped them with working out the String Theory they had been working on and utilized in their amazing vessel.
"I believe our host would like to start the interview." Sherlock reminded everyone. "And our time is running short. We have to make that..."
"Tram." I told him.
"Tram before it embarks."
Watson wiped his mouth and sighed. "You have our deepest apologies. It's just such a relief to come to a world that has so little violence in it."
"Why are you laughing?" He asked ,surprised at my response.
"Nothing. I'll tell you next time. And I'll also give each of you a cell phone next time for you to play with."
Their faces lit up like a child's might. Even the Master Detective licked his lips in anticipation, though I'm sure had he wanted one, he could have easily managed to take it without being noticed.
"Okay, let's begin."
"Doctor Watson, let's begin with you."
Watson blushed. "Surely Sherlock is more interesting than I?
"Everyone knows you are a modest man." I looked at Sherlock as well. "Even you. Though Harry..." I laughed. "Harry not so much."
Harry laughed too. "Read me like a book."
I smiled back at him, then turned my attention to Watson again. "My reading audience is intrigued by your tenacity when following a case with Mister Holmes."
II looked at Sherlock and he nodded his head, indicating he was okay with the direction I was heading. "Have you ever found a time when the danger of such missions created a...uh...chance of you harming those you love, and in particular harming your friendship with Mister Holmes?
Watson leaned forward and put his chin between his hands, thinking deeply on what to speak next, then he looked up. "The one time that comes prominently to my mind was when I and Sherlock..." Smiles at his friend. "...were on a special mission to the East India Isles."
Sherlock's face grew alarmed briefly. " John, you never spoke of that as being a worrisome time for you. This is most alarming."
"I didnt' mean to frighten you, Sherlock, but sometimes a man has to remain quiet for his own honor's sake." Watson gave Sherlock an apologetic look. "I didn't want to burden you more than you already were.
Sherlock reached across Harry and pressed Watson's right knee in an uncharacterically warm gesture. "You will never be a burden to me, Watson. Ever!"
As I watched that brief illumination of the depth of their friendship, I couldn't help but feel tears touch my eyes. The warmth between these men, despite current literature, is vast and strong. Though I have to remind my audience that this Sherlock is not the original one, who died most foully at the hands of that monster Professor Moriarity. This Sherlock comes from one of the overlapping dimensions wherein he lost his good friend Watson. So both these men had a tremendous history of loss and I could sense the depth of love they bore towards each other because of that and their renewed friendship from their meeting on their present world.
Harry poured another cup of coffee, then plucked a yellow packet up. I shook my head at him. "What's wrong?"
"Poison your body." I told him.
"Then why are you serving it."
"I didn't. The maid is forced to add it to t he serving."
"Oh, I see, on your world maids poison the hotel guests."
I laughed. "Something like that."
He gave me a blank look, then reached for a plastic wrapped container of honey. He held it up. I nodded okay.
Harry plucked it open, then poured it into his new cup of coffee as he spoke. "I have to admit Holmes that it was I, not Watson, who put a damper on that episode."
"I knew that if you forced Watson to rush back to the rescue of Mrs. Hudson, you would also be rushing back to your death, as it was a trap for all of us. The only thing to do was to keep you with us and expediently return to rescue Mrs. Hudson, whom my magic told me was safe enough at that time."
Sherlock gave Harry a stern look. "We will talk about this further later." Ominous pause. "After our interview is completed."
Watson turned to eye Harry angrily. "Both of us will."
Harry exhibited his usual pomp and shrugged. "What will be, will be."
"We were on the trail of an especially murderous villain, related to the Hollow Man. We had discovered his presence through the help of our good friend, Captain Nemo." Watson went on, ignoring Harry for the moment. These men had a temptuous relationship at times, but loved each other dearly. I know. I've chronicled their lives for years now.
"I still can't get over how all these famous men live in your world at the same time. You, Harry, Sherlock, Watson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." I remarked, adjusting the notes on my lap. I had meant to go more deeply into that incident, but saw now that might be starting a fire I wouldn't be able to put out. So I diverged into a different and hopefully safer direction.
Watson shrugged. "You forget the good Count Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson, Madame Curie."
"Nonsense, Watson. He knows of them all." Sherlock cut in.
"True, Sherlock, but his audience doesn't know of all."
"Nor will they if you keep interrupting him." Harry added.
Both Sherlock and Watson gave him scowls. Harry shuffled uneasily on his chair and plunged into the scones again to divert attention away from himself.
Watson looked back at me. "Have you not written us that way? How could it be any other then?"
My eyes began to water again. My writing had opened doors that I never thought possible and having these great men in the same room with me, is as wonderful as it is for some of you to have a Beatle, a Sandra Bullock, a George Lucas or Steven Spielberg. For me it's always been my Victorian friends.
I went on. "And yet, despite what I write of you, your lives continue unabated without a single further input from me. Why is that?
They all looked at each other, but Sherlock answered. "I can enlighten you as to that, Mister Pirillo."
Everyone looked at him , including me.
"Einstein and Edison have come up with a theory that encompasses the relativity of our two dimensions and all the others that overlap each other and ours.
I'm sure my eyes must have lit up at that moment. I knew what I had written, but they were about to tell me what they had discovered on their own without my input.
"I'd love to hear it."
(At that point I had to stop because my cell phone went black. The power had drained out. It would take at least an hour to charge it up again.
Please forgive me for this small break, because I have to recharge it.
All my work is being encoded and typed for me on my computer as I interview our esteemed gentlemen by a program called Dragon Naturally Speaking.
I will return later in the day with further elements of this interviews as I am able.
An Interview with Sherlock Holmes, Harry Houdini and Doctor John Watson. Part Two.
As I explained yesterday, I have decided to put the interview into a different format, as the other one seemed a bit confusing, even to me, and as the purpose of this site is to continue the excitment of the Baker Street Universe, it's important to me that we not lose the vigor and vitality of the heroes of that universe.
So today I present Part Two again, but expanded and hopefully a lot easier and fun to read.
Our interview was interrupted by my cell phone running too low on power. Now I have repowered it and can continue with transcribing the text of my very lively conversation with three of the world's greatest men: Sherlock Holmes, Doctor John Watson and Harry Houdini.
Author and Biographer,
March 10th, 2010
A location I am not at liberty to divulge
"Now that I've recharged my phone, I'd like to continue where we left off."
"Please do proceed." Sherlock replies. "Oh, and I'd like one of those chargers as well. I'm sure TEsla and Edison would have fun playing with both devices."
"I'm sure they would." I replied. "So you were going to mention Einstein.
"And Edison. Don't forget Edison. He and Tesla are very good friends and Einstein works with both of them as a consultant and friend. He's been very helpful to many of the inventions we've released to the public in London, as well as in helping us solve some very peculiar and sometimes quite dangerous circumstances." Watson pointed out.
"I agree." Harry added. "I remember the time he saved my ass when I got caught in a time swirl created by the despicable Hyde."
"Remarkable." I commented. "On our world he's been gone for many, many years. I'm sure had he lived longer much would have been different here."
"Seems so anyway." Sherlock said cynically. "Though a bit askew what our Einstein would prefer or h ave wanted to be part of. I still don't understand you people are so fascinated with killing each other. So many guns. In our England guns are only the property of the Constables, and they only use them as a last resort."
"That's even more remarkable." I said enthusiastically. "There are many citizens here who protest the use of guns, but a very well monied lobby of individuals have kept government from preventing the negligent use of guns."
Watson snorted. "More than likely paid off by those indviduals, I should think."
"Watson! That's rather mean of you!"
Watson blushed. "It's true, isn't it." He said, looking at my face.
I couldn't lie to him. "I wish it were not. The America of this world has lost a lot of its freedom to the wealthy."
"It was once so in our Victorian England." Harry admited, but since the rule of Queen Mary of Scots, God bless her soul, the rich have become less ostentatious..."
"And more likely to share their abundance with the lesser endowed." Sherlock added.
"That's great!" I said. "But how does one person manage what so many cannot?"
"She is honest."
I sat there in a stunned silence for a time, for on our world, honesty seems to be for sale so much of the time.
"Well, no matter." I finally said, after a long pause. "Shall we continue?"
"Indeed." Watson agreed. "Einstein believes, based on calculations he made, and with which Edison and eventually Tesla as well helped in fleshing out, that our world...dimension if you will...not your world, of course.
"That our worlds overlap each other. "
At that point he took out three bracelets that he kept in his bag for certain occasions, which I will explain at a later date.
"It's like this." He explained.
He laid down first one bracelet, shaped it into a rough circle, then proceeded to overlap two more bracelets, like you shall see in the illustration I have provided below. I would have included the photo I took, but didn't feel it made much of a difference in the presentation of the idea. If any of you are later on interested in seeing the original photo, I shall be most happy to provide such.
Doctor Watson finished the design and then said, "Let's assume the middle circle is our Victorian England, London, where Mary Queen of Scots rules. Now the upper circle is your own world and dimension. The lower one is another one, which is, as yet unexplored and unnamed, but for clarity's sake, we will call Earth three...ours being one, yours being two.
I frowned. "That concept is quite old in our literature, but I hardly ever thought it a reality, let alone a possibility, though some of our scientists like Stephen Hawking believe in multiple dimensions...I'm just not certain their concept inlcludes alternate realities and duplicates of ourselves."
I touched the upper bracelet and looked at Watson. "How do we know that your world is the one in the middle?
Sherlock laughed. "My dear, Mister Pirillo, poor Watson here is already far out of his own intellectual boundaries, do not confuse him further with such details."
Watson scowled at Sherlock. "I'll have you know that I spent an entire week with her majesty, Tesla and Einstein going over these principles."
Sherlock frowned. "You never told me about that?"
Vexing. "You'd be suprised how much I have never told you."
Surprised at the complexity of their relationship, which I was then seeing was quite a bit more vigorous than portrayed in literature, by me or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I proceeded to intervene as a good host should.
"I'm sure the both of you will have more than enough time to iron all of this out. What with all the adventures you administer, and the services to the public, I don't see how the two of you have any time whatsover to communicate at all sometimes."
Watson nodded. "True. By Jove, sometimes I feel like a top spinning on the pavement, twirled this way and that."
Sherlock nodded. "It can be a it much at times."
Harry grinned, and took another scone to eat. "These are really good. How are they made?"
He frowned. "What's organice?"
"Food without toxic chemicals."
He almost choked on his bite. "You serve toxic food to each other here?"
I didn't reply. I didn't have to. The look in my eyes told him everything.
He took his hat off and set it beside him. "You have my sincere apologies. I didn't realize your people were so afflicted."
Wanting to divert back to the interview again, I proceeded. "
"Very kind of you to say. But please, go on, you were saying...?"
Sherlock steeples his fingers together in a classic pose, squints at them a moment, then gazes into my face with that hawk like gaze. "Mind if I continue, Watson?"
"Not at all, Holmes. Please do. While you do so, I shall take advantage of these wonderful scones to help them from going stale."
I smiled the same time as Sherlock, who then said. "For all intents and purposes each world is number one to its inhabitants, and so to arbitrarily call one the First would be a great injustice to those peoples who inhabit the worlds."
"Jolly well spoken, Holmes."
(Portrait of Harry Houdini)
Watson wiped his mouth with one of the napkins I had provided, took a large gulp of his coffee, then leaned forward and tapped the overlapping bracelets. "So..."
I gave him a smile and nodded for him to proceed. Sherlock, meanwhile, took out a small notebook and began scribblng furiously in it. Something which I am not now allowed to divulge, but shall certainly do so once they have lifted their restrictions upon what I can or can not reveal to my dear audience.
"So, John...as you can see from the diagram, one can easily slip from one worldly dimension to the next as there are numerous points of contact, much like Fairie overlaps our own world, and once did yours as well until Merlin separated the realms.
"You knew Merlin?"
Harry grinned like a Cheshire Cat. "Not knew. Know. He is quite alive and well, thank you. Besides, who do you think taught me all I know...or a lot of it?
Both Holmes and Watson laugh at that attempt at humility, which has failed miserably.
"Then am I to understand that I can go to your world as well as you to mine?
Sherlock nodded. "Without a doubt."
Watson crossed his arms then and gave Sherlock's words a minute of thought, then said, "Though I would rather think you might want to go when you have trustworthy companions as there's no exact science in your world yet to make sure you land in a perfectly safe environment. Our world and many of the others have very hostile spots on them, wherein you might have your life stricken from you in a moment."
I shivered in terror for a moment at that thought, for I have a very large imagination and I could imagine all kinds of horrors that might take my life.
"Really, Mister Pirillo, you mustn't let your imagination take over your common sense. In our many cases we find more have died from an overactive imagination than from actual physical contact with a mortal danger from our world or another.
"Indeed." Sherlock agreed.
"Although the occasional zombie or dragon has been the death of a few citizens now and then. " Harry added.
At this point I will end my interview with Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson and Harry Houdini.
If time allows, which hopefully it will, I will return later this day with Part Three of the Interview with Sherlock Holmes, Doctor John Watson and Harry Houdini. Until then I trust everyone has gained a profound sense of trust for these three men as I have. For I have known none finer, smarter, nor more truly dedicated to serving humanity.
(P.S. Didn't happen. Ran out of time and energy. Sorry.
"The Magic of Love"
Young King Arthur
by John Pirillo
Being a King of Threads and a budding Knight under the tutelage of a sour-puss Sergeant, and a scoundrel of a King Uther Pendragon and Lady Morgana a sorceress, didn't do much for Arthur's hope for the future at times. As a matter of face at this particular moment he was entirely depressed by the opportunity as Merlin called it to learn about the Dark Ones, and become strong of hand as well. Wasn't his thread enough to strengthen his grip?
True, he did hold the sword much firmer than many of the other knights, and also true, his grip was stronger when he slammed the flat of his sword against the shield of a fellow knight. So much so that King Uther actually laughed when his opponent lost his footing and fell into the mud and slop of horses that had taken their evacuations there.
"Well done, Arthur, King of Threads." The King had told him, clapping his many ringed fingers that glistened with the wealth of many a common man's hard earnings and blood sweat and tears.
Arthur, though hating what the King and his lords and ladies did to the common man and woman that they were supposed to be guardians of, was humble enough and warned enough...by Merlin and his magic flower...to take heed and bite his lip. But not so literally, as he found himself grinding his teeth so hard, he actually caught the inside of his lip between them and caused a stream of blood to flow from the corner of his mouth.
Lady Morgana descended from beside the throne of her King and soon to be husband and had used her black hanky to dab it away, her eyes looking into his. "You have magic with the way your thread, and no less with a sword. Not one drop of blood should hamper the beauty of your movements, Arthur."
Arthur pretended to feel rewarded by the gesture and inclined his head. "You do me honor, My Lady."
"Yes." She whispered into his ear. "And don't forget that I can just as easily take it away."
He looked up and she was still smiling, but in her eyes he saw death beckoning. He wasn't going to give into that darkness though. He smiled back and dropped to a knee before her. "I shall honor the King and his Lady as long as there is breath in this poor, humble body."
King Uther rose to his feet and roared with applause. The court, arrayed about him, also applauded. So on that day Arthur met the approval of the royals, as well as their court and the knights who though weary and wary of Arthur, knew better than to harbor any enmity, for it would be at the risk of their very souls from Lady Morgana.
That evening Arthur returned to the Crystal Cave of Merlin and laid down on the cot he kept permanently there these days and moaned. "I feel like my whole body has been the playground for demons to trounce upon with giant horses feet."
Merlin, stirring a pot of stew he had made, looked over at Arthur. "Who is minding your business while you visit?"
"My Uncle. I have told the Lady that I will continue to weave for her, but I will no longer weave for anyone else."
"And she believed you?"
"I think so." Arthur said doubtfully.
Merlin just nodded, his eyes clouding over for a moment as he slipped inside his spiritual veil to look further into the matter. Satisfied with what he saw, or at least unwilling to make Arthur's life any more tired at that time, he merely said. "Good. It is done."
Arthur didn't hear him. He was fast asleep.
In his deep, weary dreams he kept hammering this beautiful sword over and over with a gigantic rose that caused the sword to sing so happily and beautifully that the very angels from heaven came down on clouds to sing with it. Arthur was in so much wonder of this, that he missed a stroke and struck the earth instead and then his side. He cried out in sudden pain.
He awoke on the hard floor of the cave, rubbing thigh bone which had struck first. He struggled to his feet, and then sat down on his cot to watch Merlin scoop soup into two stone bowls for the two of them.
"Only at the end."
"I dreamed I was building a fantastic and beautiful sword with a gigantic rose."
Merlin stopped spooning and looked at him. His eyes bright with amusement. "A rose you say?"
"A gigantic red one."
Merlin nodded, and then set the bowls of stew on their humble table, where both of them sat to eat in silence. Arthur had managed to purchase some fresh wheat bread near his home after he visited his Uncle and they shared that, savoring its crisp flavor and delightful crunch.
"So." Merlin stated.
"So." Arthur replied.
They broke into laughter. He and Arthur were so in tune with each other these days that one's thought seemed to flow easily into the other's heart and mind, though Arthur was smart enough to realize it was more likely Merlin read him like a book, than he Merlin.
"I saw Gwenivere in the forest on the way here."
Merlin stopped eating and looked at him. "What color was she wearing?"
Merlin looked away, a look of amusement on his lips.
"Love is a very powerful thing, Arthur. Never disown it, or its merit. It is far more powerful than any magic in this or any other world."
"I don't know." Arthur said. "Lady Morgana is pretty powerful."
"Dark magic has even less power over love than White."
"Why would White Magic want to interfere with love?"
Merlin considered it a long moment, rubbing the thick whiskers on his unshaven face. He gave Arthur a long stare, his eyes sparkling with amusement. "Why indeed?"
And that's the last he spoke of it.
The next morning Arthur set off again for the Dark Tower where he served as the Knight at the Door at Midweek. He relieved the prior Knight and gave him some of the stew and bread he had saved. "Good Morrow to you, Sir Stewart."
"And you Arthur, I pray your watch is safe and your heart as well."
Arthur grinned. "Not much chance of that is being harmed."
Sir Stewart clapped a hand on Arthur, almost knocking him down. It was that powerful. "Lad, when love strikes the heart, even God must step aside, it is so powerful."
"In that case I shall make even surer not to let it happen as I would not want to get in God's way then, would I?"
Sir Stewart laughed, and then trudged off; weary from his all night watch.
Arthur watched him exit the Dark Tower's high wall gate and cross its moat and vanish into the outer boundaries of the people's city that bordered the tower.
Arthur heard a mew sound and turned to spot a black cat spying upon him from a portico just above his head. An opening for knights to thrust lances to skewer combatants attempting to enter without permission. The cat's ears were perky and its eyes sharply intent on Arthur.
"Ah-ha, young feline, I have a gift for you as well."
He pulled out a bit of meat he had kept from the stew and laid it carefully before the snout of the cat, who pawed at it playfully for a time, pretending it was a pray about to get away, then it pounced upon the meat and began gobbling it down, tearing off chunks with its teeth, while holding down its pretend prey with its paws. It eyed Arthur the whole time.
"And what do you say about love, fear feline? Do you believe it to be so powerful?"
The cat answered by gulping the last of the meat, and then setting to licking its jaw and paws.
"As I thought. You feel as I do. Love is not so powerful that we can't set it aside for other purposes more needful."
At that precise moment a horse about a dozen yards away was spooked by a rat and broke free from its reins and stormed towards Arthur, who was unaware of it.
The cat looked up from its licking, and then screeched horribly.
Arthur looked up at it and saw it launch towards him. But the cat didn't strike his face as he thought it might, but instead landed on his right shoulder, then leaped into the air, claws sprayed out.
Arthur, at that very same moment, heard the horse charging. He turned around, but there was no time for him to move away from it. The cat landed on the horse's long face and clawed at its nose. The horse drew to a sudden halt and reared up on its hind feet.
Arthur rolled to the right and out of the way as the horse dropped its front hooves, narrowly trouncing him as he rolled to safety.
The cat leaped away and as Arthur watched the cat leaped to the top of a canopy and began licking at its paws again. The cat looked over at Arthur, who was still in shock, and mewed in what seemed like feline laughter, and then it leaped to the ground and ran away.
Arthur returned that night to the Crystal Cave of Merlin and told what had happened.
Merlin set Arthur down with warm bread and goat's milk, and then told the hungry lad, as he ate the meager food. "Your love for the cat inspired it. Its leap to the horse was a leap of love for your protection. Not all love is human, and not all humans can love as well."
Arthur finished his meal and lay down on his cot, listening to the flickering and snapping of the fire in the stone Merlin had made for their meal.
"Maybe love is powerful after all." Arthur finally admitted.
"It is the most powerful sword your arm will ever hold." Merlin told him.
And that night Arthur slept and dreamed of the sword once more and this time the cat was there with him, helping him to forge the most beautiful sword he had ever seen. Watching them were Merlin, Sir Stewart, his Uncle, Gwenivere and many other friends he had made through the years, and as he hammered the metal with the rose, it seemed to grow more and more powerful, more and more fantastic to the eye.