Susan’s finger tapped the front page of the paper. A clear helmet cam shot of the potato sack covered head and the headline clear as day “Bionic is Back!” I admit I dropped the secondary name to go for the more Stan Lee style flare, but a by-line with a freelance cheque goes nicely for a start to the sabbatical. A fuzzier picture pulled from someone’s twitter feed of me blasting back off into the air.
“I thought you were on sabbatical?” Not sure if she was implying the super hero shenanigans or from the journalist perspective. Her dirty blonde hair was highlighted by white hairs, some from being a mother, some from being a caregiver to her aging parents in the first steps of dementia, but mostly she credits to me and the vocations that chose me.
The paper was on the kitchen table, kids were already on their buses to school (both our children were differently-abled, which sadly meant in Alberta Education and the Calgary Board of Education we could not choose our schools, they were designated for them. Upside great support in the school, downside because of ablest parents out there bitching had to pay for busing because it wasn’t fair that parents that chose to send their kids to school not their designated had to pay—end soapbox). Took a sip of my morning coffee. Her green eyes would be flaming if she had magic to go with her medium-ship. Yes my beautiful wife can easily feel and converse with the energies of the other realms. She was the silent third partner in John and I’s duo.
Which with where the weird adventures Gerklyn then Merlin took us through, was a good thing to have someone like her on our side. It was one of the earliest adventures that gave her the permanent blue flame hair streak down the middle. “You said sabbatical to sort things out, I mean since your supposed death there has been no clear `evidence’ if you will that the Knight was active again.” A loud snore from Pen on the counter followed by two short puffs of smoke rings.
Another sip, she is geared up this morning and not much I can say about having saved a life is going to save my hide from a night on the sofa. But truly, a Killer Face resurfacing is a sign of something. Not sure how it fits in with the maybe spirit of John that visited me in the graveyard. “I am sorting things out.” Wonder if I should tell her about John, it would peak her curiosity, just like in the old days, and especially since his final exorcism and death she is still shocked he has not come to say hi, not even to our twin daughters that share their mother’s gifting.
“By playing underwear outside your clothes again? You said full well after nearly dying to end the darkness, that was it. A few favours for John and that’s…” She pauses, damn it I can’t hide much in my cow eyes from my soul mate, my lightning rod, and after John’s name tumbled from her lips bingo. “that’s what this is about, putting John to rest finally?”
I gulp what’s left of my coffee. She is going to kill me. “Partly. Putting him to rest, and finally discovering what wielding this magic realm here and now is all about.”
“Fuck you Rick Saturn, you are not allowed to have a mid-life crisis.” Mid-life crisis? This isn’t about a run of the mill mid-life crisis? It is about finding out if my friend is finally at peace at the very least, or at best… “Ah me Ricky, don’t go after the big R on this one.” But she doesn’t get it. If it was her I would. “We know how purgatory works, and that with his death all that was tormenting him here was finally sheared away.”
“Yada yada yada. So, he is the pure energy-cosmic being as part of the Cosmos, I get it babe. Trust me, enough of my mates have gone to the great beyond and not returned. But there is precedence for the return, and what if?” I leave it dangling, what more can I say. So many have appeared dead to the world yet returned. So if my friend died due to being possessed/controlled by an alien force masquerading as a demi-god dubbed Thor…then why could he not have survived and just need his corporeal self pulled back together?
Susan’s green flame eyes pierce into mine. One of those rare moments in our lives when I know she is staring deeply into the depths of my soul. She finishes her porridge, and her coffee. Picks up the paper, and walks over to me.
Silence is deafening.
She kisses the top of my head and drops the paper in front of me.
“If you truly believe you can bring him back, then quit pissing about with this bull shit.”
She kisses me again on the cheek and leaves for the day, she is going to be an art therapy volunteer at the kids’ school. She leaves me in the kitchen of our bungalow as she heads out for the day. Time for a refill on both porridge and coffee. The front page does haunt me as I sit back down. Just the coincidence of starting a sabbatical to discover myself a new, and one of the first villains I faced is there trying to be a ne’er do well.
Cell vibrating. Click open. “Hello?”
“Rick, we need to talk about John. Come to the ashram.” Zed Said.
To Be Continued…