Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘Nine’

A Strange Meeting…Nine

“That might make sense,” she said.  “Look, you stay in the car and I’ll go in, that way we can keep the heat going.  Do you want anything special?”

“Cheese on the popcorn, plain caramel corn please, and surprise me with something.”

She laughed and slammed the door.  It was freezing cold and the snow wasn’t even slowing down.  The weather was out of whack.  She walked up and down the aisles of the small Nut Shoppe and grabbed whatever looked good.  She bought cigarettes made out of gum and lots of old fashion candy.  The clerk bagged everything and she paid with cash.

As soon as she got outside a large bald man, dressed in black, grabbed her bicep and dragged her toward the side of the building.  Lexie held the bag steady, so as not to spill the delicious contents, pulled a specially made  serrated switch blade out of her jacket pocket and shoved it into the man’s neck.  She saw his eyes widen, then watched him fall.  The blood spurted out of his neck to the beat of his hear as she walked away.

“Is that blood I smell,” asked Parker, when she got into the car..

“Some guy thought he could personnap me.  He was wrong.”


“What part didn’t you get?  Hold on a second,” she said, and pushed a button on her phone.  Someone picked up on the first ring.  Lexi gave the address, ordered one ticket to Italy and hung up

“Who was he?”

“No idea,” she said pulling out of the parking lot.

“Did he mention Bill, or me?”

“We didn’t actually have time to chat.”

“Did you at least take the knife with you?”

“Do you seriously think this is my first time?  He wasn’t looking for money.  He was wearing expensive clothes and had four hundred dollar DG sun glasses shoved in his pocket.  He could have wanted information about you, but I doubt it. Maybe he was just looking for a woman to hurt.  No matter what he wanted, he’s not getting it.  Ever.”

Parker just stared at her.

“What?” she asked, running a yellow light.  “Should we get another pizza?  I wonder if Danny will make my half with more crust.  All he has to do is put the toppings lower.”

“Who and what are you?” he asked.

“I’m Lexi Smith.  Born and raised right here in this fabulous city.  I was a daughter, until two years ago.  I’m a couple of other things as well, including cat lover.  Why?”

“Tell me about the other things,”

“Do you believe in magick?  Real magick, not the fake stuff.”


“I suppose some people would consider what you do to be magick.  I mean you do walk through time, right?”

“Uh, I guess,” he said.  “It doesn’t seem like magick to me.”

“That’s the thing with magick.  It doesn’t seem like magick when it’s part of a person’s everyday reality.  People take those things for granted, just like you do.  Magick always seems to be something out of the ordinary.”

“What I do, has to do with time and space.  It’s a physics problem.  It’s not magick.”

“Anyway, we all have, mmmm…let’s call them special talents, okay?”


“I mean some people are good at one thing and other people are good at something else, right?”

“Yes, I get that, so what?”

“I’m good at sizing up situations and responding before the other person knows what’s going down. Do you understand?  I’m saying that I’m fastReally fast.”

“So you kill people?”

“Sometimes.  Like tonight.  He was a man with bad intentions.”

“So he had to die?”

“Would you rather I let him live to hurt some other woman?”

“No, but isn’t that the same thing I do?”

She thought about it for a few minutes.  “No.  I act on a persona level.  His death will leave ripples, yes.  But he attacked me and I defended myself.  No one is attacking you.”

“That’s true.  Will they catch you?”


“Why not?”

“For one thing, there won’t be a body, or blood, arterial or otherwise.”

“I think you have more secrets than I do,” said Parker, looking out the window.

“Without a doubt,”  she muttered.  “Does that bother you?”

“I’m not sure.  Should it?”

“I honestly don’t know.”

“Let’s get extra mushrooms on the pizza,” he said, Then he leaned his head agains the window and closed his eyes.






“You sure you’re okay sleeping on the couch?” asked Louise, tucking the blankets in around him.  “I have air mattresses and you can always sleep with me.”

Novak stared at her.  “Is that a good idea, sleeping with you I mean?”

“We’ll be asleep, how bad can it be?” said Louise, staring at him.

“Where is Gau sleeping?”

“On the floor next to my bed.  I made a nest for him out of blankets and old sweatshirts, since he’s still stressed and afraid to be alone.”

“I think I’ll stay here.”

“Up to you,” she said.  “If you change your mind, you know where I am.”




“Maybe,” said Louise.  “Shy or afraid…he seems to go back and forth.”

“Coo,” said the bird, in agreement.

“What about his job?” asked Shane, knocking back a bottle of water.  “Any donuts left?”

“He really can’t go to work right now.”  Louise took a box of donuts out of the draw next to her knee and slid them across the counter.

“Thanks!” said Shane, happily.  “My favorites.”

“Every donut is your favorite,” snickered Louise.

“Na uh,” mumbled Shane. waving a chocolate iced donut in the air and then pointing at a French donut still in the box.  “Favs.”

“Are you staying here tonight?”

“I’ll be right next door.”

“Lock the door and spell it when you leave, please.  I’m gonna crash. And yes, you can take the rest of the donunts .  I have more.”

“You’re the beast partner ever, you know that, right?”

“I do, actually.”

Louise fell across the bed and then forced herself to remove some of her clothes and crawl under the covers.  Gau and Billy were snuggled together on the floor and in spite of their loud breathing and snarfing, Louise fell asleep immediately and barely felt Novak get into bed with her early in the morning.

“Softest bed ever,” he whispered.  “Why do you ever get up?”

“Because the bed can’t pay the bills.”

“It could if you rented it out by the hour.”

“What time is it?”

“Seven,” said the bird.

“Time to rise and shine kiddies,” she said ripping the blankets off.”

“I hate you.”

“Wow, no one has ever said that to me before.  I’m crushed.”

“She’s kidding,” said Graywing.  “You know that, don’t you?”

“Yes, thank you, I do know that,” replied Novak.

“I’m taking a shower.  We’re going to visit your friend after breakfast.”

“I need clothes,” said Novak.

“Look in the hall closet.  I’m sure something will fit you.  And before you ask, there are clothes for men in the closet because you aren’t the first client who has stayed here.”

“Got it,” he said.

An hour later everyone was in the kitchen.  “Billy, you stay here with Gau.  You know the drill.  Graywing you’re with me.  Shane will take drag.”

“Is my friend going to fall on a bullet?” asked Novak, who was dressed in jeans, a white t-shirt and a navy sport coat.

“That’s up to him,” said Louise, eyeing him up and dow.  “You look…good.”

Novak bowed.  “Thank you.  I do my best.”

“Gau, do everything Billy tells you to do.  He’s done this before.  Eat anything you want, unless it’s alive.”

Billy, nodded and so did Gau.  Shane was in the hall leaning against the wall.  “Took you long enough.  This is my last donut,” she said,wiping her fingers on her torn, skin tight jeans.  “Powder sugar rocks.”


“Lilly,” said Steven, as he rushed into the room, his voice hushed but urgent.  “I saw the whole thing.  How could you have let her go on like that?”

“Me?  Let her go on?  I told her exactly how to act,” she snapped.  “She hasn’t been here long enough to know our ways.  We’re alive, aren’t we?  If you think you can do a better job then you take over,” she added, turning away from him.

“I think the Queen likes her,” he chuckled.

“I think you’re right,” sighed Lilly, “but I can’t imagine why.”

“Are you talking about me?”

“Yes,” said Lilly, “we are.  I’m going outside for awhile, I need to sit in a tree and calm down.”

“Have fun,” said Edith, turning toward her mother.

“So?  You gave me away and then, when you moved into human society, you didn’t come and get me.”

Buttercup looked at her daughter.  “Yes.”

“Why?  Didn’t you like me?  Am I too ugly for you, because I’m half human?  Why would you leave me with those awful people?”

“I don’t think you can understand,” said Buttercup.  “Our ways are different than those of the humans.”

“Meaner, right?” said Edith.

“I suppose it seems that way to you.”

“There’s really no other way to see it.  You gave me to people who wouldn’t love me and when you could have taken me back, you didn’t.  I may be young but I’m not stupid, so you can call yourself my mother all you want but to me, you’re just someone who gave me away,” she said, as she turned and ran outside.

“She’ll come around, Buttercup,” said Steven.  “She’s new and things are….”

“She’s right,” said Buttercup.  “She’s right about everything and we are meaner than the humans, which is something I never wanted to admit.”

Steven looked at his daughter.  “She will come around. I did.”

“No, father, you didn’t.  You still have mixed feelings about what was done to you.”

“I’m not saying it isn’t difficult,” he said.

“I know you aren’t,” said Buttercup, smiling weakly.  “We shouldn’t switch our babies with theirs, it’s not good for anyone.”

“Well, she’s here now, so what are you going to do?”

“I talked to Scott and he said he would move back here, if we could all be together.  Either that, or take her back to the human world, to live with us us there.”

“Did you tell her that?”

Buttercup shook her head.  “Not yet.  I thought we might get to know each other a little better before I say anything about her future.”

“That’s probably a good idea,” he said, nodding.  “Your mother is stressed and exhausted.”

“I can see that.”

“How do you like living in the human world full-time?”

“I’d rather be here.  See, that’s the thing.   You should know where you came from.  You can’t feel like you belong, if you don’t know where you’re from.  That was taken away from you, from Edith and from too many others.”

“Well, your mother kept you,” he said softly.


“You’ll have to ask her,” said Steven.  “But, truthfully, neither one of us would let you go.”

“What does that make me?”

“That’s something you have to ask yourself.”






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