Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘Starting over…’

Starting over…22

“Well, gather ’round children.  You too Jerry,” said Kit.  “I talked to the Draknotues.  They never realized they were being played by the universe.  They weren’t happy about it, which was good.  I told them that your side wants a truce, so you won’t have to fight and kill each other for the amusement of a third party.”

“And what did they say?” asked, Lilly.

“They are open to negotiations.”

“What kind of negotiations?” asked Jimmy.

“They want Utah, Nevada and parts of Texas.  They said Vegas will remain neutral territory, of course, but the rest of the state will belong to them.  They said your side can have the rest, as long as you keep D.C. away from them.  If the government gives them trouble they’ll eat them.  I told them they could do that now and if they did, we would give them part of California for their trouble.  They’re thinking about it”

“Wait,” said Lilly.  “They want to live here?”

“Some of them do, yes,” said Kit.  “Openly.”

“Why Utah?” asked Jimmy.

“They’ve always been fascinated by mormons,” said Jerry.  “I think they want to study them.”

“And you think we should let them?” asked Lilly.

“Well, seems a small price to pay, when you consider the alternative.  Full out war.  There will be a lot of causalities across the board.”

“I don’t get it,” said Jimmy.  “Once they’re here won’t they expand?  What if they eat the humans around them?”

“Always a possibility,” said Kit.  “None of them can be trusted, but humans kill each other all the time, so it’s just a matter of semantics.”

“Is there room for more negotiation?” asked Lilly.

“A little wiggle room, I suppose,” said Kit.  “Why?  What do you propose?”

“I don’t know,” said Lilly.  “What do you think we should do?”

“I guess you could offer them parts of New Mexico.  Some of them love dry, open spaces.  And there’s always Washington, since it rains a lot and the wet ones would like it there.  Maybe they’d give up Nevada for those places.  it’s good to keep them on the coasts, as much as possible.  Having them in the center of any country could be a problem.  I told them they couldn’t have France, but they wanted Germany and India.  They said we can keep Sweden and Norway but they are interested in Australia.  Africa is quite hot, and many of them melt, so that’s off the board.  I told them Australia can get boiling hot as well, so they were thinking the arctic area might be another place.”

“No.” said Jimmy, standing up.  “They can’t have any of it.”

“Excuse me,” said Kit.

“I said, NO.”

“But why?” she asked, brushing lint off of her blue robes.

“Because it’s ours.”

“That’s not really a reason, darling.”

“It kind of is,” said Lilly.

“Well, sweeties, if you don’t give them something, they won’t agree to a truce.  You can’t expect them to just stop playing, if they can’t take home a goodie bag.”

“They lost last time.  They agreed to a one time deal and they are not going to make demands because they’re sore losers,” said Jimmy.  “Go back and tell them no deal.  Tell them that if they don’t honor the contracts they signed last time, they have no honor and they will bring disgrace upon themselves,”

“Wow,” said Lilly, smiling at him.  “Way to go Jimmy.”

“Yes, yes, darling,” said Kit, “very nice speech, but they really don’t care about things like honor or disgrace.  If you don’t give them something, the war is on.”

“Then the war is on,” said Jimmy.

“Wait,” said Lilly. “Do they have females?”

“They do,” smiled Kit.  “What do they have to say about all of this?”

“The females of most species think males are insane. None of the females want war. With the exception of PNOWKYYTR’S, a species where the males give birth, anyone who carries and gives birth to offspring, don’t want them dead, or wounded.  It’s jut men, who aren’t physically involved, who don’t seem to understand that part.  They’ll kill anything.  Keep in mind that females are vicious fighters, but they mostly fight to save their offspring.  Men will fight just to fight.

“Do you think if all the females of all the species got together, we could stop this from happening?”

“I seriously doubt it, sweetie,” said Kit.  “Males like to kill things, and there doesn’t seem to be anyway to stop them, no matter where they’re from, including here.  The losers don’t actually care about a rematch, they just want war.”

“Well,” said Jimmy, “if it’s war they want, then that’s what we’ll give them, but they can’t live here and they can’t…”

“They already live here,” sighed Jerry.

“What?” said Jimmy and Lilly, at the same time.

“You’d be surprised how many different species live or vacation here.”

“He’s right,” said Kit.  “They’ve been here since the beginning.  They just don’t have any say in how things are done, because their side lost the war.  They want to come out of the universal closet and be seen.  They want you to know they’re living here, by showing their true selves.”

“Do you think that’s a good idea?” asked Jimmy.

“It’s a terrible idea,” said Kit.

“I can’t believe they actually live here,” sighed Lilly.

“Oh, my tiny darlings,” laughed Kit.  “If you only knew the things that lurk and live around you.”

“That’s enough, Kit,” said Jerry. “No need to…”

“Scare the children?” she laughed.

“Yes,” he said.  “Besides, it’s bad business.”

“You’re right,” she said, turning toward Jimmy.  “So war, then?”

“Can we win?”

She smiled at him.  “Let’s just say that it will be a bloody mess, like it was last time, but I think enough fighters will return to help you, and there are so many more of you humans nowadays, and you’re mean as….”

“I get it,” said Jimmy.  “How about you Jerry?  Do you think we can win?”

“No idea,” he said, honestly.  “Many of them have advanced weapons, they all know more than you do and some of them are just plain killers.  The nice species won’t leave their planets, or galaxies.  They don’t believe in fighting.  Then there are those who will pretend that wha’t happening isn’t happening, so they’re useless, and then there will be those who think that by thinking good thoughts and worshiping their gods, that will make a difference, while people and others are dying to save the world for those who are actually doing nothing at all.”

“It’s always that way,” sighed Lilly.

“Yes, darling,” said Kit. “It is always that way.”

“There has to be a way to stop this from happening,” said Jimmy, pacing back and forth.

“Well, you don’t have much time,” said Kit.  “The troops are preparing, so let me know what you decide asap.  Meanwhile, since I’m already here, I’m going to get my nails done.  Would you like to join me Lilly?  My treat.”

“No. But thank you,” she answered, smiling.

“Okay, darlings.  See you in a bit.”  And she was gone.

“What are we going to do?” asked Jimmy.

Lilly shrugged.  “No idea.”





Starting over…20

“Look,” said Jerry.  “I don’t know what to tell you.  I don’t know if we’ll have any warning, or if it will be a surprise attack.  I’m guessing it will be the latter.  Suddenly the sky will be filled with waring ships and the battle will have begun.”

“Then how am I supposed to gather the troops?” asked James.

“It just happens.  I don’t know what triggers it, but you’ll light up and those on our side will appear.”

“So basically, the universe is using me to do it’s bidding and I have no say in it at all.”

“The universe is USING all of us to do its bidding, James.  Each and everyone of us.  We’re just pawns in whatever game it’s playing.”

“That sucks,” said Lilly.  “Basically we’re toys.”

“And not well loved toys at that,” agreed Jerry.  “You’re disposable, that’s why you die.  You become boring and the universe keeps hoping the next batch will be more fun.”

“Can we attack the universe?” she asked.

“I don’t see how,” sighed Jerry.  “Think about it, Lilly.  No one even knows what the universe IS.”

“That’s not fair,” she said.

Nothing is fair,” said Jerry.  “None of us have any choices, or control, over anything.  That’s simply an illusion, my girl.  Nothing is real.”

“So what, exactly, are we fighting FOR?” she asked.

“Ah,” said Jerry, “Indeed.  What ARE we fighting for?”

“Just so the universe can have fun playing with us?”

“Perhaps,” sighed Jerry.  “I wouldn’t doubt it.”

“What if we refuse to play its game?”

“How would we do that?  Let the others just kill everyone?”

“What if we white flag them?  What if we want to parlay and get them agree to stop the fighting?  What if we show the other side how we are all being used to kill each other for the fun of something we can’t even see?”

“Lilly,” said James.  “That’s a great idea.”

“Why should we fight and die because someone, or some THING, is bored?”

“You make a good point,” said Jerry.  “I just don’t know if the others will agree to a meeting.”

“It can’t hurt to try.”

“No,” said Jerry.  “I suppose it can’t.”

“What are you babbling about now,” said Kit, who simply appeared sitting on his desk.

They told her.

“Well, this is a fine mess,” she said.

“Tell us something we don’t know,” said James.

“And you,” she said, laser gazing at Jerry.  “How long do you plan on stay here, among the humans.”

“Aw, come on, Kit.  I was just having some fun.”

“That’s what he always has to say when he’s shirking his responsibilities,” she said, looking at Lilly and James.

“I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”

“I know that,” she said.

Jerry grimaced.

“Now, about the war,” she said.  “I’ll talk to a few people and see what I can do to set up a meeting.  I doubt they’ll go for it, bloodthirsty things that they are, but I guess it won’t hurt to try.”

“Really?” said James.  “That would be great.  Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me yet,” she smirked.  “And I can see that you and Lilly are no longer an item.  What happened?”

“They told her.”

“Seriously?” said Kit, laughing  “Heather?”

James turned beet red and nodded.

“I can see why you like it here, Jerry.  They are endlessly amusing. And you,” she said, looking a Lilly.  “That boy Tommy is trouble.”

“I know.”

Kit smiled.  “Go for it,” she said.  “Jerry was like that once, before he turned into what you see before you now.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Jerry, frowning.

“You’re not what you used to be, that’s all.  All the bad boy has run away and now your just…this.”

“That’s not fair!” said Jerry, standing up.

“Let’s not fight in front of the children, dear,” sighed Kit.

“About the war,” said James.  “Could we get back to that?”

“Of course,” said Kit.  “I’ll see what I can do.  And as for you,” she said, looking at Jerry.  “If you don’t return soon, I won’t be there when you get back.”

“Come on, Kit,” he said.  “I’m just…”

“Don’t care,” she said, turning her attention back to Lilly and James.  “I’ll let you know what I find out.”

“Thank you,” they said.

And she was gone.

“I think you’re in trouble, Jerry,” said James.

Jerry ran his hand over his face.  “Won’t be the first time.”

“It might be the last,” said Lilly.  “I get the feeling that she has someone else in her sights.”

“I better go back,” he said.  “The school will have to get someone else to finish the semester.”

“The kids won’t like that,” said Lilly, smiling.  “No more practicing on each other.”

“True,” said Jerry.  “But they’ll just have to deal with it.”

Once outside James looked at Lilly and said, “Love seems to be messy no matter where it’s happening.”

Lilly nodded.  “Tell me about it.”

“I hope she finds a way to set up a meting.”

“So do I.”

“I wonder what will happen if we all refuse to fight?” said James.

“I don’t know but I want to be there to find out,” she said smiling.  “I think it would be fantastic to stick it to the universe.”

“So do I,” he laughed.  “Let’s see if the toys can trip up the universe.”

“That’s the attitude a champion has, James.  It’s kind of scary to think that the universe might have a temper tantrum.”


“No.  It is,” she said, throwing her arm over his shoulder.  “Trust me.”

“Uh, no.  I’m never trusting you again,” he snickered.  “Not after last time.”

“I can understand that,” she said.  “Let’s get something to eat.”


“We can talk about your thing for Heather.”

“No.  No we can’t.”

“Aw, come on, James.  What is it about her you love?”

“I don’t know,” he sighed.  “It’s too stupid to even talk about. Your sister is mean and horrible.”

“Is that what you like about her?”

“I just think there’s more to her than that?”

“Like what?”

“No idea.”

“Love is strange, don’t you think?”

“More like insane,” said James, smiling at her.  “Even I know that my feelings for her are crazy and that I’m walking into a den of hungry bears who are just waking up from hibernation.”


“We’re going out next weekend, if we’re still alive.”


“It’s not that funny,” he said, laughing.

“Then you’re not paying attention,” cried Lilly.

“Just keep walking.”



Starting over…19

“What do you want, James?” asked Lilly, standing in the doorway.  “I thought you hated me and never wanted to see me again.”

He looked down.  “I’m sorry.”


“Being an idiot.  I don’t hate you and I know you were doing what you thought was right.”

“Did Jerry tell you to say that?”

“No.  Not really.”

“Come in.”


“What do you want?” she asked, again.

“I want things to be the way they were.”

“I’ve moved on.”

“What does that mean?”

“Things can’t be the way they were, but have anymore people offered to fight with you?”

“What do you mean you’ve moved on?  It’s been like five hours.  And yes, everywhere I go people tell me they are here to fight.”

“I’m not in love with you.  I doubt that I ever was. I think it was just the whole being dead together thing that I was feeling and do you have any idea when the fighting will begin?”

“You don’t love me? Why?  Because I don’t know how to fight, or is it because of that Snake person.  I saw the way he looked at you, you know.  He’s crazy about you and I think the fighting will begin soon because the way things are going politically, and because of the unrest in the streets.  That’s the beginning of everything.”

“I’ve known him all my life and yes, we love each other, but it has nothing to do with whether you can fight or not.  I agree, the battle has begun.  What are you going to do about it?”

“So, we’re just working together now?  That’s it?  I’m just supposed to stop caring about you?  I have no idea what I’m supposed to do about ANYTHING in my life right now.”

“Do you want to hold Snowball?”

“NO, I don’t want to hold a hamster, thank you very much.”

“He’s really soft and sweet.”

“Lilly, you are driving me insane.”

“We should talk to Jerry.”

“Why?  He never really has anything useful to say.”

“He told you how to heal yourself.”

“Besides that.”

“Right,” she said.  “Well, here’s what I think.  I think that when the aliens, or whatever they are, start to fight, it will be above the planet, at least at first.  Remember the woman who said the ships were beautiful?  Well, she didn’t mean boats.  So, unless they’re cloaked, like on Start Trek, we should see them.  I think when that happens your light will be so bright that it will call to those on our side, letting them know that it’s time to fight.  I honestly don’t know what you will do after that, but you are the champion, so I suppose whatever will happen, will happen.”

“This whole thing is stupid.”

“I think so too, but it’s what we have.”

“I should have eaten the carrot again.”

“Don’t be silly,” she said.  “How would that help?”

“How am I going to help now?  All I am is a human lightbulb?”

She started laughing.  “A lightbulb.  That’s funny,” she snorted.  “I think you’ll be more like a beacon, or a lighthouse.”

“Great,” he sighed.

“Hi, James”

“Hello, Heather.”

“Have you found out how crazy my sister is yet?”

“She’s not crazy, Heather.  Why are you so angry with her all the time?”


“She loves you and you’re always mean to her.”


“What did she ever do to you except be born and that wasn’t her fault.  Go hate your mother and father for that.”

“Screw you James,” said Heather, stamping her foot.

“Maybe, if you turn into a nice person, we can talk about that.”

Heather gasped and stormed from the room.

Lilly just stared at him.  “That,” she said, “was brilliant.”

“I’m not a total idiot,” he said.  “She needs to get over herself.”

“James,” said Lilly.  “I think you like my sister.”

“You have to be kidding,” he said, gagging a little.  “She’s horrible.”


“There is something about her,” he admitted, looking at his feet.

They both started laughing.

“Fine,” he said, give me the hamster.”

Snowball sat on his palm and stared at him.  “He’s very conflicted,” he said.

“The hamster said your conflicted.”

“The hamster is right,” said James.

“He doesn’t have to worry,” said Snowball.  “The hero doesn’t have to make plans, the hero simply reacts to circumstances.  All he has to do is be there.”

“Really?” said James.  “That’s what Snowball said?”


“Okay.  I feel better.”  James kissed the hamster and handed him back to Lilly. “Then I guess I’ll do whatever it is that I’m supposed to do at the right time.”

“I guess you will,” agreed Lilly.  “Do you want me to get Heather for you?”

“Oh, great goats, no.  One battle at a time.”


“I read a book when I was a kid.  It had goats in it, so I started saying that.  I guess it just popped out,” he said smiling.  “So, are we good?”

“We are,” she said.  “I’ll be there with you no matter what.”

“Thanks and about Heather.”

“Oh, please.  Take her will you.  I’d be so happy if you did.”

“You sure?”

“Absolutely.  You have my blessing.”

He smiled.  “She’s so terrible.”

“I know.”

“Do you think I’m insane?”

“Without a doubt,” said Lilly.  “But love doesn’t care about that.”

“Do you think the people will know there’s a battle going on?”

“I think they know one is happening right now.  They can see it and they’re already dying.”

“I mean will they be able to see the outsiders, or aliens?”

“I don’t know.  I doubt it,” said Lilly.

“I don’t think so either.  I mean how would that go down?”

“Look, all we can do is guess.  We can ask Jerry.  He’s our best source of information,” she said.

“He’s currently our only source.”

“Let’s go,” she said, getting to her feet.  “You can say good by to my sister, if you like.  I’ll meet you out in front.”

“Funny,” he said, frowning at her.  “But, okay.”

Lilly tried to control her giggles and failed miserable.

“Oh, be quiet,” he snickered. “Worse things could happen and they probably will.”

“Worse things than Heather?” she chuckled.  “I seriously doubt that.”

“I’ll meet you out in front”


Starting over…18

Lilly was sitting on her bed, pillows against the headboard, Snowflake on her lap, Rex, Cleo and Bitsy toward the bottom of the bed.

“No, you can’t play with the hamster,” she said.  He’s not a toy, he’s a living breathing person.”

“He’s not a person,” said Cleo.  “Not even close.”

“She’s right, you know,” agreed Bitsy.  “A hamster is not a person.”

“I saw Tommy yesterday,” said Lilly.

“Ooooh,” said Cleo, arching her back.  “He was such a pretty one.  I really liked him.  I let him pick me up and…”

“Get over yourself, Cleo,” hissed Bitsy.  “We know you loved him.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” said Cleo.  “He liked me better than he liked you, so you’re still mad about that and besides, you liked the mailperson.”

“I don’t know why she’s like this,” sighed Bitsy.  “Normally, she’s a reasonable cat. I never liked the mailperson and I’m not the jealous type.”

“She had a kitten crush on Tommy and never outgrew it, right, Cleo,” said Lilly.

“No.  Yes.  Maybe a little, but how could I not?  He’s was so adorable.  Those dark eyes, that black hair, those bulging muscles that made me feel that he’d never drop me,” she sighed.  “How does he look now?”

“Still gorgeous, but you can see him yourself, since he’s about to climb through the window.”

“Hey,” he said. “We need to talk.”

“You could have used the front door, you know.” said Lilly.  Cleo was kneading the blanket. hoping to be noticed.

“Is that my fluffy little kitten,” he said, grinning at the cat, who was rolling onto her back.  “Come here,” he said, and she launched herself into his arms, purring loudly.

“Am I the only one who is disgusted by this horrible show of…of…I don’t know what it is, but it’s disgusting,” said Bitsy.

“You’re grossing out Bitsy,” laughed Lilly.

“Aw Bits, don’t be mad at me, you know I love you too,” he crooned, picking her up with his other hand then kissing her neck.

He was holding two purring cats and Rex was sitting in front of him wagging his tail.  He put the cats down and petted the dog.

“The hamster’s good,” chuckled Lilly.

“Why won’t you marry me, Lilly.  You don’t want to be with that weakling, do you?”

“You know that you’re just a normal guy, don’t you.  I know who you are, remember?  Snake?  Really?  You’ll always be Tommy to me.”

“Tommy doesn’t scare anyone Lil, but Snake does.”

“You don’t have to scare people.  You didn’t have to join a gang.”

“I think I did,” he said, shoving her over and laying down next to her.

“That’s silly.”

“It’s not,” he said, watching the cats, settling themselves on his body. “It just seemed right, somehow.”

“Okay, but it’s not a life I would want for myself.”

“I know that,” he sighed.  “But I won’t stop asking.”

“You know I love you.”

“I know,” he said.  “And I love you.”

“We just decided to walk different paths,” she said.

“Don’t you think the paths choose us?” he asked, looking at her.

‘Maybe.  I don’t know.”

“I mean, what if the paths in front of us were different from the very beginning?  What if we never even saw the same paths?”

“That’s a good point.”

“I’ve been think about you a lot, since you brought that James kid to us.  He’s not for you, you know that don’t you?”

“I do.  It was our being dead together that made me think there was more to us than there was.”

“That makes sense.  Could have happened to any two dead people.”

Heather slammed the bedroom door open.  “I thought I heard your voice Tommy.  What are you doing here?”

“I’m talking to Lilly, what does it look like I’m doing.”

“I hate you Lilly.  You get all the good stuff,” she said, and slammed the door closed.

“NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN HEATHER,” he yelled, trying not to laugh.  “Doesn’t she know how awful she is?  I’d be surprised if anyone ever liked her.”

“She not that bad,” said Lilly, petting the hamster’s ears.

“I think she is.”

“Why are you here, Tommy?”

“Wanted to see if you changed your mind and wanted to marry me, and I wanted to ask you more about the upcoming battle.  And before you say no to the first thing, what if I leave the gang and come back?”

“You love your gang.  I’d never ask you to do that.”

“I’m offering.  You never asked me to do anything.”

“The guys would be devastated.”

“I have someone picked out who could take my place.”

“I can’t believe you’d do that for me.”

“I’d do anything for you.  Seeing you again, just reminded me of that.  Besides, you can fight as well as any of them.  You took a beating, time after time, but you always came back and the guys respect you for that.”

“I’m really not old enough to get married right now.  People used to get married right out of high school but they don’t do that anymore.  They want to do other things first, before they settle down.  You’re two years older than I am, but I promise that if I decide to get married soon, you’re the love of my life.  So give me time to think about things, okay?”

“Okay,” he said, kissing her hand.  “What about the battle?”

“I told you everything I know.  James really is the champion.  I don’t know why, or how he’s going to do anything, but he’s the one.”

“Whatever he’s going to do, it won’t be fighting.”

“I know, right?” she laughed.  “I don’t know why he’s so afraid of everything, but he is, and he really hates me for leaving him with you.”

“I know that,” he laughed.  “He kept his eyes closed almost the entire time.”

“Oh, tell me you’re kidding.”

“I’m not.”

Lilly, scooted down on the bed and stared at the ceiling.  “Not everyone is cut out for the arena, Tommy.”

“No.  Not everyone is, Lilly.”

The hamster, ran down Lilly’s arm and up Tommy’s body, where he burrowed into his shirt pocket.

“I think Snowflake likes you.”

“Don’t tell the guys, okay?”

“Promise,” she laughed, as their fingers entwined.





Starting over…17

“Well, we did what we could,” said Snake, looking down at James.

“Thanks,” said Lilly.

“He’s not really fight material, you know.”

“I know.”

She bent down and reached toward James, but he slapped her hand away and said, “Don’t touch me.  Ever.  I hate you.”

“You’ll get over it,” she sighed.

“You should come around more often,” said Snake, putting his arm around her.  “You bring nice toys for us to play with.”

Lilly looked at James.  “Can he fight now?”

“No, but he’s getting better at defense.”

She nodded.  “I guess that’s not a bad thing.”

“I despise you,” said James, glaring at Lilly.  “As soon as I heal, I’m going to…”

“You’re going to what, James?” she asked, squatting down next to him.  “Thank me for trying to save your life?”

“We didn’t hurt him,” said Snake.

“I know.”

“He won’t touch a blade, a gun, or pretty much anything.  I don’t know how he got the way he is but he’s a dead man walking, if you ask me.”

“He’s the champion.”

“Of what?” asked Snake.

“I’m not sure yet, but he’s supposed to be the hero.”

“Good luck with that,” said Snake.  “I gotta go, Lil.”

“I’ll let you know when the fight is on.”

He nodded and kissed her.

“Come on James, time to go home.”

“I hate you.”

“You said that already, but let’s go.  You don’t want to be laying around here much longer, it’s too dark outside.”

“I never wanted to be around here in the first place, you…you…awful person.”

“I know.  But you’ll thank me later.”

“I will NEVER thank you and I will NEVER stop hating you.”

“Small price to pay for saving you,” she said, helping him to his feet.  “We have a hamster named Snowball.  Can you believe someone just put the poor thing in their yard when they moved?”

“I hate you.”

“I know.”

“Ouch, ow, ow, ow, ow,” he said.

“Did you block with your arms, or with your ribs?” she asked, not looking at him.

“I really hate you.”

“They did it to me too, you know.”


“How do you think I learned how to fight?  I went back every time I finished healing, until that was no longer an issue and they were the ones on the ground.  So don’t think I don’t know what you’re going through.”

“Why would you do that?”

“Really?  I’m a girl.  Do you KNOW what happens to girls in this world?”

“Oh, yeah, sorry.”

“You should be,” she said.

“Excuse me,” said an older woman, coming toward them.  “When is the fighting going to begin?”

“We don’t know,” said Lilly.  “We’re hoping it won’t begin at all.”

The woman tittered.  “Oh, sweet thing, it’s far to late for that.  It’s just a matter of when.  I fought last time and it was amazing.  Once you’ve had that much energy flowing through you, when it’s over, it’s as if all the lights go out.  It’s a huge rush.  All those ships in the air, the different species, costumes, weapons, ideologies.  It’s horrible, but it does have it’s moments, I assure you.”

“We just want peace,” said James. “No fighting, just peace.”

“Well, you’ll never find it here,” laughed the woman.  “I’ll fight with you.  Beware of the lizards, they’re really the worst of the lot.  They’re pretty much killing machines, so don’t give them a second thought before you hit them.  I just wanted you to know that I’ll be there with you.  You’re the champion, so it’s nice to meet you but you better learn to heal a lot faster than you are, if you hope to make it out alive.”

“Learn to heal faster?” said James.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Apparently, you have healing abilities that you aren’t tapping into,” said Lilly.

“I’d like to learn how to do that as quickly as possible,” he wheezed.

“Good idea,” she said.  “Let’s go and see Jerry.”

“Of course you can heal yourselves,”  said Jerry.  “Did you learn NOTHING, when you were dead?”

“No, Jerry! I didn’t learn ANYTHING when I was dead and whose fault is THAT?” shouted James, holding his ribs.

“Oh, you’re right, you’re right.  That might be my fault.”

“Might be?” said James.  “No MIGHT BE about it.  It IS your fault.”

“Well, fix him now and show us how to do it,” said Lilly.

“This is the quickest way,” said Jerry.  “Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath and visualize a door.  Open the door and go inside.  There’s an anatomy chart on the wall.  Go to the chart and touch the places that are damaged on your body.  If you want to, you can run your hand down the entire chart and get rid of all aches and pains.  It will reknit bones, tears, cuts and bruises.  It will help with truly horrific wounds, until you can get to a hospital, or to a witch, whichever is closest.”

“A witch?” asked James.

“Stay in the room until you can feel the repairs begin.  If one of them is stubborn, press the chart again.  Nap, listen to music, read, or just sit there.  You’ll know when it’s safe to leave.  Always thank the chart and wipe it off with the cloth that’s on the table underneath it.  Then leave and close the door behind you.”

“Go ahead, James,” said Lilly.  “Try it.”

Jame closed his eyes and tried to get comfortable.  Then he drifted away.

“What happened to him?” asked Jerry.

Lilly explained the situation.  She also told him about the people they were meeting who wanted to fight again.

Jerry smiled.  “So James is the true champion.  He has to be, if the old gang’s getting back together.”

“What does that actually mean?” asked Lilly.  “He doesn’t want to be a champion, so won’t that screw things up a bit?”

“No.  The champion doesn’t have a say in it. He, or she, is chosen by the universe.  Chosen because the universe sees something inside the person that can keep evil at bay.”

“That makes sense,” said Lilly, watching the bruises on James start to disappear.

“It does?” snickered Jerry. “That makes sense to you?”

“Of course.”

“Don’t you wonder how the universe can choose anything at all?”

“Not really,” she said.

“Why not?  How can that not seem weird?”

“It just doesn’t seem weird.”

“Okay, then,” he laughed.  “Looks like James is waking up.”

“Hey, James,” she said, poking him.  “How do you feel?”

“Better, but I still hate you.”

Jerry laughed.  “I think that will take longer to heal,” he said, looking at Lilly.

“You’re all better, so get up,” she said.

“No. I’m never going anywhere with you again.  EVER!”

“Okay, good luck, then,” she said, waving goodbye to Jerry, as she headed toward the door.

“Where are you going?” asked James.

“Away from you.  That will make both of us happy,” she said.

“Oh, now you’ve gone and done it,” said Jerry, tut tutting him.  “Now, you’ll have to win her back.”

“No way.  Not after what she did to me.”

“She tried to help you.”

“By having me beaten up?”

“No, by helping you stand up.”



Starting over…16

“He rode with Hell’s Angels and the Chicago Outlaws?”

“I don’t see why he’d make that up,” said Lilly.  “Besides the look on his face was priceless.  He loved that time period.”

“I guess.”

“Maybe it will be like it is in the movies and when you’re attacked, you’ll automatically know how to fight.”

“Don’t hold your breath,” he said, miserably.

“No one can expect you to fight aliens alone.”

“Lilly, I don’t know how to even start thinking about this.”

“It’s okay, we’ll do it together.”

“Did you just see that?” he asked, turning around. “That thing that just floated by?”


“It’s gone now,” he said looking around.

“Maybe you can see things, that I can’t.  It’s probably another one of your gifts.”

“Great,” he said, shaking his head. “You can talk to your cats and I can see weird things, like that guy in the tree over there.”

“What guy?”

“The one waving at us?” he said, waving back.

“Why are you waving at him?”

“He looks friendly and he waved first.”

“Maybe you should ignore the beings you see.”


“I don’t know, just pretend that you don’t see them.”

“He’s coming over here and he’s wearing yellow pants.  Who wears yellow pants?”

“What do you mean, he’s coming over here?” asked Lilly, looking around.  “Where is he?”

“I’m right here,” said the person in the yellow pants.  “We can all see you, you know.  Your light is really bright.”

“Great,” said James. “He said everyone can see me because my light is bright.”

“What light?” asked Lilly, looking at him.  “And, more importantly, who is everyone?”

“I’m here to fight on your side, if the war starts up again.  You can call me iug.”

“I don’t think I can, actually.  I can’t pronounce it,” said James.

“Then call me…Luke.”

“Okay, Luke, and thanks.”

“Do you want me to make it so that she can see and hear me?”

“I’ll ask her,” said James.

He explained the situation to Lilly who said, “Duh.  Of course I want to see and hear him.”

Luke touched her arm and smiled.  “Hi,” he said.

“Hello and who are you?” she asked.

“I’m Luke,” he said.  “I fought in the last game and word is that the losers want a rematch.  A lot of us are coming back to fight, in case they don’t take no for an answer.”

“Really?” asked James.  “You’re going to fight?”

“Well, I don’t think you could fight them by yourself and if they took over, things would be even more unpleasant on earth than they are now and before you say anything, yes, that is actually possible.”

“Why is this happening and what does it have to do with James?” asked Lilly.

“I guess he’s the chosen champion.  Every battle needs one.”

“Me?  A champion?  I don’t think so,” said James.  “You need to choose someone else.”

“It doesn’t work that way.  There’s no one else to choose.  You’re the guy.”

“Why?” asked Lilly.  “He doesn’t even know how to fight.”

“Maybe he’s pure of heart, maybe somewhere in his past he had an ancestor who was a god.  I just know that he’s the guy.  He’s a beacon, his light is bright and it calls to all those who fought before.”

“But a motorcycle gang?”

“Ah,” laughed Luke.  “I see you’ve been talking with Jerry.  He loves biker gangs.  He actually rode with Hell’s Angels and the Chicago Outlaws, for awhile, so he would see things that way.  He’s not really wrong, you know.  But others will be attracted to your light, James.  You won’t have to fight alone, so don’t worry.  I’ll be back if, and when, you need me.  But while I’m here, do you know where I can get good Mexican food?”

James told him where he should go to eat and Luke thanked him and disappeared.

“Now I’m hungry,” said Lilly.”

“Why is everything so violent?”

“Well,” said Lilly, thoughtfully,  “let’s assume that the Big Bang really took place.  A lot of scientists don’t think it did, but let’s go with it for the moment.  If it happened, then we were born of violence.  A violence so enormous and powerful, that it made at least one universe, that we know of, and everything in it.  It’s still exploding, making new stars, while black holes are eating everything that touches their even horizons.  Violence is EVERYWHERE and in EVERY THING.  We don’t even know what dark matter is.  What if that’s violent as well.  It’s sure secretive enough.  I mean, think about this whole place.  Things implode and explode, die, are born, attack each other and galaxies consume other galaxies.  Violence is all we really know.  It’s all we’ve ever known.”

“Maybe I should have stayed dead,” he said.

“What about me?  If you stayed dead, we wouldn’t be together.”

“You know what I mean.”

“No. I don’t.”

“I have no idea how long I was dead.  Time doesn’t exist there, not the way it does here.  When I came back, no time had passed.  My parents didn’t even know I had been gone.”

“I didn’t realize that,” said Lilly.

“We were sitting down to the dinner where I died while eating the carrot.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, smiling.  “I’m not trying to make light of how you died, but a carrot?”

“Just laugh and get it over with.”

So she did.  Then she wiped the tears from her eyes and said, “A carrot,” and then she was laughing again, and James was laughing with her.

“Okay,” she said, sniffing.  “Down to business.  So how would you fight a psychotic biker gang?” she asked.  “And please, don’t say that you would just run away.”

“But that’s exactly what I WOULD do,” he said.

“But what if you wouldn’t, or couldn’t.  What would you do then?”

“Die,” he said, truthfully. “In the first three minutes.”

“You are such a…”

“Such a what?” he asked.  “Loser?  Chicken? Coward?  Wimp?”

“I was going to say, non planner.”

“Oh,” he said.  “Well, that too.”

“Here’s what I would do,” said Lilly, standing up.  “I’d act really tough.  Like no one could beat me, no matter what.  I mean attitude is reality, don’t forget that.  Body language is important.  Even if I was afraid, I’d be walking back and forth, in front of them, not showing any fear…”

“How?  How would you do that? How would you not show any fear if you were terrified?”

She shrugged.  “You just do it, that’s all.”

“So not helpful,” he sighed.

“Anyway, I’d be smiling.  Enemies and bullies always hate it when you smile at them, like they can’t touch you, no matter what they do.  They want to taste your fear, so that’s the one thing you NEVER EVER give to them.”

“I’m gonna throw up,” he groaned.


“Yes,” he said, immediately, sitting up straight.  “Sorry.  Don’t show any fear.”

“Right.  Even when you’re scared to death, you don’t let the bad guys know that.  I know you don’t have time to learn how to do that, so you’re just going to have to DO it.  If you let them think you’re afraid, they’ll play with you, because your fear and weakness is like the best thing they’ve ever eaten.  Sure, they might kill you, but if they do, they were going to kill you anyway.  You can die on your feet, or you can die on your knees.  Get what I’m saying?”

“No.  Not at all,” he said, covering his face with his hands. “Not even a little.”

“Okay.  I didn’t want to have to do this, but come with me.”

“Where are we going?” he finally asked, after they had been walking for awhile.   “Isn’t this a bad neighborhood?”

“One of the worst.”

“I don’t want to be here,” he said, pulling on her arm.  “Let’s go back.”

“Hey, bitch, whadda ya doing on my sidewalk?”

Lilly stood in front of James.  “Walking, what does it look like I’m doing you dork?”

“What did you call me?” asked the very surprised guy.  “You have to pay, to walk on my sidewalk.”

“Yeah, I don’t think so, but nice shirt,” she said.

He looked down at his shirt and said, “You got a smart mouth.”

“Thank you,” she said, looking at the two other guys who were walking toward them.

“OMG Lilly,” whispered James.  “Let’s go.”

“Who’s the little boy behind you?”


“Give it to me.”

“He’s a guy who needs to learn how to fight.  He needs to learn fast.  A bunch of badass biker guys are coming for him, some of them aren’t human, and he’s never been in a fight in his entire life.”

“For real?”


“OMG, omg, omg,” said James.

“I should tell you that he’s already been dead once,” said Lilly.  “They sent him back.”

“No shit.  What was that like?”

“A really boring office job,” said James.

“Not what I was expectin’,” said the guy.

“I know, right?” said Lilly.  “Who knew.”

The guy pulled a gun out from behind him and pointed it at her.

James held on to the back of Lilly’s shirt.

“Who should I shoot first?”

“Put the gun away, Taz.  I know her,” said a guy, walking up behind him.  “Lil, what are you doing here?”

“Hey,” she said, running up and throwing her arms around him.  “Been to long,” she added, kissing him all over his face.  “You look…great.”

“I told you not to do that in front of the boys,” he said, smiling at her.

“Oh, sorry,” she lied and kissed him again.  “I need a favor.”


“Do you think you and the boys could teach this one,” she said, pointing at James, how to fight really fast?”

He looked at James and then back at Lilly.  “No.  Not a chance.  Why?”

Lilly explained the situation about the civil war, biker gangs, being dead and then asked again.  “So can you?”

“Look at him Lil.  He’s shakin’ like a leaf.”

“I know but that’s because the doesn’t have any skills.  If he knew how to fight, he wouldn’t be afraid.  You taught me.”

A smile spread across his face.  “That’s true.  I did teach you, didn’t I.”

She punched him, then hugged him again.

“Uh, Lilly,” said how do you know this guy?”

“Oh, sorry,” she said.  “James this is Tommy.  Tommy this is James, and we grew up together.  He used to live next door to me.”

“Call me Snake,” said Tommy.

“Sure,” sighed James. “Why not.”

“Okay, leave him here and pick him up tomorrow.  We’ll do what we can…”

“Wait, what?” said James.  “Leave me HERE?”

“What’s it gonna cost?” asked Lilly.

“We want in on the fight.”

“Deal,” she said, holding out her hand.

“Wait,” said James.  “You can’t be serious.  You’re just LEAVING me here?  With…them?”

All the guys, and there were quite a few by now, were grinning.

“Yes,” she said, turning toward the crowd.  “And if anyone gets out of line, they’ll have to answer to me.”

Some of the grins disappeared.  Snake snickered.  James tried not to whimper.

“It’s okay, James.  You’ll learn a lot, believe me and I’ll be back tomorrow before dinner, okay?”

“No.  Definitely not okay.”

“See ya Tommy,” she said.

“It’s Snake.  Call me Snake.”

“Sure.  See ya Snake.  Take care of James for me.”

“My pleasure,” he chuckled.

“I’m gonna die Lilly,” hissed James.  “And it will be your fault, this time.”

“You’re not gonna die, you’re going to be tougher.”

“Uh, excuse me,” said a tiny voice.

Lilly looked down and saw a hamster sitting by her foot.  “Yes?”

“The people who took care of me, moved away and put me in the backyard.  It’s scary out there and I was wondering if I could go home with you?”

“Of course you can come home with me,” she said, picking up the fuzzy hamster.  “What’s your name?”

“Snowball, what’s yours?”

“Lilly,” she said.  “You’re beautiful and I’ll make a wonderful nest for you.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.  Bye James,” she shouted, holding up the hamster.  “We have a new friend.  See you tomorrow.”

“No. You won’t.  I’ll be dead by then.”

“Is he serious?” asked Snowball.

“No.  I mean he believes it, but he won’t be dead.”

“I thought I might be dead when they put me outside.”

“That was mean of them.”

“Tell me about it,” sighed Snowball.  “Can I sleep in your pocket.  I’m really tired.”

“Sure,” she said, placing the hamster in the pocket of her jacket.  “Sweet dreams, little one.”




Starting over…15

“What are you two doing here?  I have class this morning,” said Jerry.  “We’re going to study your weak little bodies today.”

“You’re not teaching anything until you tell us what’s going on.  I want to know about the angels,” said Lilly.

“What angels?”

“The angels you expect James to fight.”

“I told you.  There aren’t any angels.  They don’t exist.”

“You’re lying,” said James.

“I’m not,” he sighed, sitting down behind his desk.  “Look, they aren’t the kind of “angels,” he said, making finger quotes, “that your kind made up.  I mean there is no god, and the angels aren’t wearing white robes, they don’t have wings, at least not the kind you’d recognize, and you won’t see a single halo.  It’s more like the war between the north and the south, and the so-called angels are a biker gang that’s pissed off because their side lost.”

“What?” said James, his eyes wide.

“Look,” said Jerry.  “A very long time ago, there was a fight between the beings you call aliens. Actually, it was more like a very big, very long, very violent, game, and earth was one of the prizes.  So we broke into two teams, kind of like they used to do in gym class in the thirties, where the captain of one side picked a kid and then the other captain picked a kid, until everyone was on one of the two teams.  It was like that, only with powerful aliens who had their own cultures and planets.  I mean it was better doing it that way than everyone was fighting everyone else.  It never would have ended, if we didn’t have teams, and things were already messy enough.  So, we had two sides.  Then we picked four beings from each side, since there were a LOT of us, to write up the rules.  Even though this universe is chaotic, we needed some guidelines, or the game never would have ended.

Anyway, the rules were drawn up and agreements signed.  Anyone who didn’t follow the rules, was out of the game.  Permanently, if you know what I mean,” said Jerry.  “All the planets, and there were more than there are now, at least in your group, were up for grabs, but yours was the one we all wanted.  I take that back,” he said.  “Some wanted what eventually came to be called, Pluto.  Said it was a jumping off place for what they wanted to do.  But earth was the big prize for most of us.”

“Where do the angels come in?” asked James.

They aren’t angels, they’re just beings who call themselves that, because they think it’s funny.  I told you, they’re like a motorcycle gang, only made up of violent psychopaths.  Don’t get me wrong, I like human biker gangs.  I even rode with Hell’s Angels and the Chicago Outlaws for awhile.” Jerry smiled, and started drifting away.  “Those were the days,” he sighed.

“Uh, Jerry,” said Lilly, snapping her fingers in front of his face.  “What else?”

“Well, our side won.”

“And?” said James.

“The other side wasn’t happy.”

“I can imagine, but you said, they signed contracts and would follow the rules.”

“They signed, because they thought they’d win.”

“How long ago was this?”

“Pretty much right in the beginning, when you guys were crawling out of the ooze.”

“Seriously?” said Lilly.

Jerry nodded.  “Anyway, they never got over the fact that their side lost.  They’re still pretending that they won something, still wearing their uniforms and colors.  Waving flags and doing their thing.  They want a rematch but, we said no, it was a one time deal.”

“So, they might come here anyway?”

“Yes.  And I have to get to class,” said Jerry.

“Do they look human?”

Jerry, looked shocked and then laughed.  “Let’s just say that they would stand out in a crowd and be hard to miss.”

“I don’t want to fight,” said James.

“You won’t have a choice, Jimmy boy.  “It’s fight or die.”

And with that Jerry, pushed past them and went to teach his biology class.

“Uh, fight or die?” whispered James, staring at Lilly.  “Did you hear him?  He said FIGHT OR DIE!”

“We still don’t know that they are coming here.

“I THINK WE DO,” he shouted.

“Maybe, but we don’t know when,” she said, trying to calm him down.  “We probably have plenty of time to find out more about what’s going on and how to fight back, if that ever becomes necessary.”

“IF?  Why can’t you admit that this is going to happen?”

“James.  You wouldn’t have been given this task, if they didn’t think you could do it.”

“Are you MAD?” he asked, glaring at her.”  I told you, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT!”

“You really have to stop saying that.  I mean it.  You need to find out what you can do and what else they put into you.”

James took a deep breath and nodded.  “You’re right.  Deep breaths.  Deep breaths.”

“Let’s go to my house and fight.”


“I said…”

“Fight?  You want me to fight you?  You’re a…girl.”

She had him on the floor in two seconds, his arms twisted behind his back, and growled into his ear, “I am a girl, but I can beat you up with one hand tied behind my back, you…you…”

:I’M SORRY. I’M SORRY,” he yelled.  “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“Let’s try that again,” said Lilly, letting him up.  “You can come to my house and we can fight, or do you have someone else in mind?”

“No, of course not, but…”

“I’m a good fighter.”

“I can see that.  Where did you learn to fight like that?”

“My mom taught me, now get up and come with me.”

“Maybe we should wait until Jerry comes back and ask more questions?”

“We could do that.   But we know you’ll have to fight a biker gang from the universe and…James?  Get off the floor.”

“Oh, sorry.  I think I blacked out for a minute.”

“No.  You didn’t,” she said.  “Why are you afraid?  What are you afraid OF?  You’ve already been dead, so I don’t get it.”

“What if it hurts.”

“Let’s try and find out what other gifts you’ve been given.  Maybe that will make you feel better.  Let’s go and remember, the place you NEVER want to be in a fight, is on the ground.”






Starting over…14

“Jerry, or should I say Mr. Martin, is a very busy man.  He likes it here,” said Lilly, “and it seems as if he’s going to stay for awhile.”

“I don’t know how I feel about that,” said James.  “It seems wrong, somehow.”

“I agree,” said Lilly.  “And you’re right, he’s not finished with us.”

“I don’t like that either.”

“Neither do I.  I tried talking to him about it, but he had a meeting.”

“Do you know what happened in the meeting they all had?”

“The men like the status quo and the women are fighting for change.”

“Same old, same old,” said James nodding.  “What do you think he wants with us?”

“I can’t even dream something up,” she said.  “Nothing comes to mind.”

“Do you think Kit put more into us than we realize and she’ll turn whatever it is…on, when the time comes?”

“No.  That doesn’t make sense.  I don’t think she’s part of any of this.”

“Why not?” asked James.

“I think she just wanted to get rid of us.”

“That’s a good point.  Unfortunately, we don’t really know where we were, when we were, or what happened, when we were dead.  It’s not like we wished we would end up there.  I’m not sure what that place was.   And we have no idea who Kit and Jerry are.  What kind of names are those anyway?  I know she said he changed his name, from something unpronounceable, but still…none of it makes any sense.”

“You’re right.  And I think Rex is involved as well,” said Lilly.  “But before you ask, I have no idea why.”

“What if we disappear.  You know, run away.”

“I don’t think that’s a possibility.  I think they’ll always know where we are.”

“You mean we’re tagged?” he asked.

“No, more like we give off a different kind of aura, having been dead and all.”


“I don’t think Kit is mean, and Jerry is just plain weird, so I’m not worried,” said Lilly smiling.  “We don’t even know for sure that they’ll do anything at all to us.”

“I have to go home in an hour,” said James.

“That’s too bad, but I’ll see you tomorrow, so no problem.”

“Right.  But honestly, school seems kind of lame, after being dead.  I think we should try and find out if we have any more alterations in us.  I find it difficult to believe that the only thing Kit gave you was the ability to understand animals.”

“Dude, that’s HUGE,” said Lilly.  “Like GINORMOUSLY HUGE!”

“I guess.”

“And look at you,” she said.  “You look like a body builder and you’re gorgeous.”

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that,” he said, frowning.

“It’s so when you have to fight the angels, you’ll…”

“What did you just say?”

“Nothing.  I mean you look great.”

“About the angels?”

“What angels?”

“The one’s you said I’m going fight?”

“When did I say that?”

“Just now.”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did,” said Cleo.  “We all heard you.”

“Really?” asked Lilly.

“Yes,” they all said at once.

“Well, I don’t remember saying it, so I don’t know what it means  Besides, Jerry told us that angels don’t exist.”

“I don’t feel good,” said James, putting his hands on his stomach.

“It might not even happen.  Maybe I was thinking about something else, like a story, or whatever, and it just slipped out.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I don’t either,” said Bitsy.

“I don’t know how to fight,” whined James.  “I’ve never even been in a fight.”

“Maybe you should take Tae kwon do, Karate, or that thing where people hit each other with sticks.”

“Do I look like I’m going to throw up?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Cleo.  “Bitsy looks like you do now, when she’s getting ready to hack up a fur ball.”

“I hate to admit this, but I’m terrified,” he said, sitting down on the floor and leaning against the wall.”

“You don’t know that anything’s even going to happen, so don’t worry about it,” said Lilly.

“Easy for you to say.”

“If you do have to fight, I’ll fight with you and so will Rex.”

“Don’t look at us,” said Bitsy, her tail swishing back and forth.

“I think we need to talk to Jerry,” he said.

“I think you’re right.”

“Come to school with me tomorrow and we’ll corner him in his office.”

“I’ll pick you up early.”


“I’m going home,”

“I understand,” said Lilly.  “I hope you feel better.  I’ll see you in the morning.”

James nodded, said goodby to Lilly’s mother, and left.

“He’s gonna be dead again,” said Cleo.

“Real soon,” agreed Bitsy.

“You’re wrong,” said Lilly, her hands on her hips.

“Whatever,” said the cats, walking away. “Just keep in mind that we’re lovers, not fighters.”

“Well, except when we’re angry,” said Bitsy.  “Then we’re fighters.”

“Or if someone tries to pet us when we don’t want to be petted,” said Cleo.

“Or, when…”

“I GET IT,” said Lilly.

The cats snickered and unsheathed their claws.  “Dearest Lilly, please remember that we are one of the deadliest predators on the planet.”

“Well, except for humans,” said Cleo.

“Yeah, except for them, but they use guns and bombs and things, while we just use what we have,” crooned Bitsy.  “We’re always armed and dangerous.”

Cleo, purred.  “You got that right,” she said.  “Always locked and loaded.”





Starting over…13 A Short story

“Excuse me, Mr. Martin.  Can I speak with you?” asked Lilly.

“Of course,” he said.  “Okay, class dismissed.  Read chapters eleven and twelve for tomorrow.”

They watched the kids file out of the room, smiles on their faces, some of them waving to him.

“You really shouldn’t keep telling them to use each other as homework.”

“We already discussed this.  It’s the best and fastest way to learn.”

“There are logical consequences that go along with that.  You need to take those things into consideration.”

“What do you want Lilly,” he sighed.  “I’m busy.  There are always meetings to attend.  Useless, idiotic meetings, but I’m expected to show up.”

“How long are you going to stay here?”

He shrugged.

“Don’t you have to go back to where the dead people are?”


“How did the meeting go?”

“On new biology books? he asked, staring at her. “I’m ordering them, because that’s how you keep funding coming in.  The new books are the same as the old ones, but you have buy the new ones, or apparently they won’t give you money next time you want it.”

“No, Jerry, the meeting the invitations were for.”

“Oh, that,” he sighed.  “Well, there was a lot of…discussion…a few fights…and a lot of yelling.  Many think we should just let all of you die and get it over with.”

“Nice,” she said.  “And?”

“And some were against that.  The men don’t want to have anything to do with equality and the women won’t budge until they do.”

“So stalemate?”

“Pretty much.  At least in a lot of area’s.  There are those who love war and those who think wars have been overdone.  All but a very few, thought it was a good idea to make everyone the same color and speak the same language, like it was in the beginning.”

“That makes sense.”

He nodded.  “We’re meeting again next week.”

“Why are you staying here,” she asked.  “Tell me the real reason.”

He stopped shuffling papers around and looked at her.  “It’s fun,” he said softly.  “If Kit found out, she would be upset with me.”


“We’ve been together for a very long time and…”

“I get it,” said Lilly.

He nodded, then starting laughing.  “I must admit that kids today are quite different than they were when the first people were here.”

“You mean they live longer?”

“That and the way they believe they know what’s going on.  So funny.”

She smiled.  “Our brains are slow to develop.”

“Sooooo slow,” he laughed.  “Almost not worth it.  By the time you’re really grown up and ready to take care of yourselves, it’s time to retire and die.  The window for intelligence is very, very, small for your species.”

“I’m choosing to ignore that,” said Lilly.  “Even if it is true.  And about using each other for biology homework,” she said.  “Do parents know what’s going on?”

“Of course not.  No one wants to ruin a good thing.”

“Well, be careful, snitches are everywhere.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” said Jerry.  “But remember, I can disappear and wipe memories, so it’s not really a problem.”

“It might be a problem for those you leave behind and all their new babies.”

“How’s James?” he asked, clearing his throat.

“Filled with questions.  He thinks you aren’t finished with us.”

Jerry frowned.  “He’s right.”

“What does that mean?” she asked.

There was a tap on his door and Ms Lens, the English teacher, poked her head into the room.  “Come on Jerry, or you’ll be late for the meeting.”

“I have to go, Lilly.”


“We’ll talk later.”


“Later,” he said, and rushed out the door.

Starting over…part 11

“The meeting will come to order,” said Jerry, pounding on the table.

“Who put you in charge?” yelled a guy in filthy jeans and a matching vest.

“He is in charge,” said a woman, who looked at him with disgust.  “Just shut up and, if possible, take a bloody shower, will you.”

“Who you telling to shut up?”

“I’m telling you,” she said, standing up, a knife in each hand.  “You got a problem with that?”

“Please, please,” said Jerry.  “Let’s get on with the meeting, shall we?  You’re not in America now, so just chill out and shake it off.”

“Go ahead Jerry,” said someone to his right.  “What’s this all about?”

“It has come to my attention that we have all been playing fast and loose with the lives of the humans on earth.  It’s made things too…chaotic.  It’s possible that they will soon become extinct, if we don’t cut back.”

“So what if they become extinct?  We can play with someone else, if that happens.”

“And,” said Jerry, ignoring the comment, “it’s time to set up some guidelines.”

“What kind of guidelines,” asked someone, in the back of the room.

“Kit’s going to hand out some packets, but here’s what we feel should happen.  We need to make the human societies more equal, economically, gender wise…”

“I think the females should have a few thousand years of being in charge.  It’s only fair,” said a gorgeous woman, standing up.  “I’m sick of all the violence they have to put up with, the low pay, the horrific lives some of them lead.  If that’s not part of the agenda, or new rules, I’m out.  You don’t go from all those years of inequality to equality, without the men finding out what it’s like to be on the other side of what they did.”

“That is part of the new agenda.  So, sit down and let me talk,” said Jerry.  “We want to change a lot of things.”

The meeting went on for quite some time, after which there was a Q & A period.

“I heard you let two kids go back to their lives.  Is that true?” asked someone who looked like a big lizard.

“I did that,” said Kit.

“Why?” asked a man.

“I thought they would be of use to us later and…”

“What kind of use?”

“Actually,” she said.  “I did it because I wanted to.  If you have a problem with that, after all these centuries, meet me after the meeting and we can settle it then.”

“I’m sure you knew what you were doing,” he said meekly.

“The girl,” said Jerry,” can use the typewriter.  That’s how I got the letter out to all of you.”

There was a collective gasp, then a lot of mumbling.

“I’m in contact with her.  I’m teaching at her school.”

More mumbling.

“Does she know what she is?”

“She does not,” said Jerry.

“Are you going to tell her?”


“What’s it like back on earth?”

“Stupid.  I don’t know how any of them can stand it.  If their memories weren’t erased, they’d all kill themselves,” said Jerry.

“Still deadly?”

“More than ever.”

“Any hope they’ll learn anything.”

“Not as far as I can see,” said Jerry sadly.  “That’s why we’re having this meeting.  It’s a last ditch effort to keep their species alive.”

“Who cares?” said several people.

“I do,” said a woman.

“So do I, said another.

One by one, they started standing.

“That’s a majority,” said Jerry.  “We’ll give it our best shot.”


“What do you want to be?” asked James.

“Everything,” said Lilly, excitedly.  “How about you?”

“How can you be everything?”

“I don’t know, I just think I can be.  There’s no reason a person has to be just one thing.”

“Maybe,” he said, frowning.  “I never thought about that before.”

“That’s why a lot of people end up being only one thing.  People don’t think of other ways of being.”

“That’s true.”

“So?  What do you want to be?” she asked.

“I’m not sure.  An environmentalist, or oceanographer, or someone who can really make changes in the way we live and treat the earth and animals.”

“I think that’s wonderful.  I’ll help.”

“You will?  Sure.”

He smiled.  “Okay.”

“Do I have to meet your parents?”

“Not if you don’t want to,”  he said

“I don’t want to.”

He laughed.  “Good enough.  Do you think we’re in love because we were dead together, or because we really love each other?”

“Does it matter?” she asked.

He thought for awhile and then said, “No.  Not at all.”

“I don’t think so either.  Want some ice cream?”


“Let’s go,” she said pulling him up.

“Do you think we were meant to meet?”

“Who cares?” she laughed.  “Why do you keep asking questions, instead of just enjoying the moment?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, it’s a waste of time, don’t you think?  People rarely ask the right questions and there usually aren’t any answers so, let’s just HAVE FUN,” she said, doing a cartwheel.”

He smiled and ran after her.


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