As a 12 years old I went off to the young writer’s conference in the city and took a workshop on characters in story from one of my fave authors of the time- Gordon Korman, Canadiana at its finest. The story of his first book published at age 12 was inspirational. The surreal memoir of the language arts teacher taking ill and the gym teacher taking over and assigning a story for the rest of the school year seemed far fetched, but with my rudimentary understanding of school systems I could see it happening.
The joking he told of trying to tie Jaws and Airplane together in the story and then the infinite wisdom of his Mum, write what you know…and the rest would seem history for the MacDonald Hall (Bruno & Boots) series as he pondered what he actually knew at his age, and that was school, but the idea of characters and then the students having parents seemed daunting—hence a boarding school, a Canadian boarding school.
I liked that idea, and thought maybe that’s what my life was about, perhaps the grand author didn’t really want to deal with families and that’s why I was orphaned, yet got bored and invented my adoptive parents. Speak to the coping tools of a family massacre tragedy as a toddler.
It always astounds me what runs through my mind as I walk down the hill towards the double wide trailer surrounded by nothing but sand within the city. Zed had taken over the plot and redeveloped it after a Canadian government operation went sideways, and he watched friends die. He left what has been dubbed the Agency, mostly because no one can remember the actual name of the now defunct place and the original budget lines to fund it in the Mulroney-Chretien years was buried under innocuous within the RCMP-CSIS as “Office Supplies-Northern Arctic”.
The front door is open, the screen door is closed. No doorbell, just a simple wind chime hanging, I let my forefinger tap it so it serenades a little as I open the door and step in.
Directly on the right in the living room area, the kitchen has semi walls to enclose, to my left is a display wall that separates a meditation room, there is a full bath and two bedrooms down a short hallway. Within the living room to my left is a collection of meditation cushions/benches as Zed does not believe in furniture. Large fish tank fills the window designed with prism glass so the sunshine coming through creates colours throughout the room.
For the super set in Canada what Zed has dubbed the Ashram (this trailer, surrounded by sand garden) has become a bit of an energy nexus for some of the weirder. It could also be because Zed was the new living form of a fallen perhaps resigned godling-alien, Zeus, that gained the human host a symbiosis and immortality. The good to the Thor entity’s bad that inhabited John. Which honestly means when he calls saying there may be a way or there is information leads me to believe it is true.
“Zed.” The deep maroon robes as he levitates in the centre of the room, lit by sunlight colours dancing, in the evening it will be lit by candles. Also since taking down the younglings that just wanted to kill the bad guy, Zed has not been my favourite person, actually, him selling my secret ID to the agency a few decades back is a major reason I believe he is an idiot and every so often dream of killing him. “What do you know about John?”
He slowly glides down onto his feet. His serene smile makes me want to punch him out, but again I need to figure out what he knows about John, and if the spirit of my dead friend is manifesting to me or is it just my grieving mind and heart playing tricks on me. So yes, sometimes the villain in your narrative can become your ally to get to a truth you are seeking.
“Richard, long time no talk. How are you?” Zed’s cadence is that of a radio announcer, and fills the trailer home turned temple.
I just shake my head, maybe it is the long day, perhaps it is knowing during this I am not drawing a pay cheque, or is it what Susan and I left unspoken around the kitchen table this morning that I may enjoy wielding the power of the Pendragon. At this thought, Pen stirs a little in the inside pocket of my leather bomber jacket. Upside of my partner is that in settings like this, we share a connection along energetic lines in which I can tell if the being (non-human) is bull shitting me or being up front. When dealing with Zed that is always something to keep in mind.
“Zed neither one of us truly are friendly with one another. So, lets speed this up. What do you know about John?”
Zed’s hands vanish into the sleeves of the robe. In the day he would hide twin daggers, one strapped which he was good at using in self defense. Why am I letting the hairs on the back of my next bristle, would he try?
And the flash of steel in the prism colours dancing in the room in the daylight.
Pen leaps from my pocket before I can even react.
A shot of lightning from its tiny green mouth.
Right into Zed’s left red blood shot eye.
Daggers clatter to the ground and he grabs at the eye.
Pen is flapping in the air.
A fist is the most useful tool in close combat.
Make it as hard as you can. Strike as hard as you can in 3 locations on a male attacker: Adam’s Apple, nose or groin.
While blocking, the kick led a left jab directly to his throat.
Zed crumples. Blood trickling from behind his fingers where Pen scored a hit.
Something tells me this was the message.
“Message received about John, Zed.” I look down as Pen lands on my shoulder. “Message received. Oh, and ignored.”
To be continued….