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In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was "Yes." Heretical thinking, perhaps, but we're hardwired for it. Implicit in the clasp of lovers, extra space filling empty space with perfection, hissed between teeth in passion. The word that makes things happen. "No," stops things. "No," is the hard place against which the Rock is formed.

The red apple pierced with needles lay on Detective Lena's desk. The skin was puckered next to each needle, and it was slit almost like a Rubik's Cube. It smelled good, and was fairly fresh given the couple weeks it had rested there. No one asked about it. What kind of question would it be? An unusual paper weight, perhaps, but one of the fellows in Homicide used an old boot. You don't press, you don't pursue . You just accept the eccentricities and figure however folks stay mostly sane is their own deal.

The answer to the question she was asking, though, was "Yes." Erzulie liked being generous, especially when she was being pleased at the same time.

Erzulie stared out of marked cards, a Spanish harlot peeking playfully from behind her black mantilla. Mantilla de aletas, to be precise, suggesting black wings. A dark angel? The deck was cleverly designed, and sanctified once or twice. To shuffle it always brought a flickering of the candles. The sigh of the cards as they fluttered against each other could almost be mistaken as a woman whispering, "Yes."

The sound of smoke is a sizzling against the grill. It is the smell of frying bacon. It is the chant that leads to doors opening beneath the earth. The dead rising from the grave? Freedom is another way of saying, "Yes."

It doesn't take a shout to change the world. A whisper in the right place (or the wrong place) can do it. A name, a laugh, a grunt. Implicit in those who heard the Word was forgiveness. After all, that One said yes.

"It's the indiscretions. Melts into a shimmering puddle of goo for every woman he has a crush on, and you still want to tousle his hair. You forget the lightning anger, the aggravation, and just remember that he likes a good fling. But he always comes back to momma." Barbara wasn't talking to anyone in particular, but David knew she was talking about him.

Yes, always back. It was too late to stop her from embarrassing himself before his daughter, but Jaylynn's wisdom would hopefully chalk it up to the stroke. How convenient.


Events proceed as planned. Consolidation (reassembly) in process. Anticipate revolutions continuing. Expect me.



"Dere's somedin' missing here," the Professor looked up as one of the two folks at the bar frowned. "Dere's no music. You expict dat tinny backgroun' music."

"Oh, there's music all right," said his student. "Can't you hear it?"

The Professor arched a brow, elegantly.

The fellow who was complaining quieted down, put his fork on the plate, and listened. "Nope. You're one of dem hippies saying dere's music everywhere or somedin'?"

"No, the dead are marching. It's a drum beat beneath us."

"Creepy," the Professor noted, resting his errant eyebrow, and went back to his eggs.

"Crazy," the fellow's partner corrected. The two turned, ready to finish their meals.

The Professor tapped a drum beat on the table. "They're waking, aren't they?"

His student nodded. "Yes. Soon."

"Your kind would say resurrection was 'imminent,' too." The Professor snorted.

"We will rise up and slay our masters. Soon we will all be free."

"Very good. I wish you luck with that. In the meantime, please pass the pepper." The Professor didn't look alarmed.

"With pleasure, sir." The phouka grinned, amused.

"Well, girl?"

Mary Katherine looked up at the young woman. Young, and yet, her hair was pure white, the thin, dry white Mary Katherine associated with age. The stranger's skin was terribly fair and young, untouched perhaps by the horrors of the down below. One sleeve of her blood-red dress hung loose, empty. Mary Katherine looked directly into the stranger's eyes, to find them so light as to be almost silver.

"Didn't you hear the bell? It's break time. Midian. Midway." The girl tossed an apple at Mary Katherine, which was carefully caught. "Bet you haven't had a bite in ages. If you can slice me off a piece, I'd be mighty thankful."

There was a strange sound, like the beating of drums, or marching feet.

"Yes," Mary Katherine said, her voice sounding strange even to herself. She took one of the cleavers off the wall, and watched as the apple bled. She handed the bleeding fillet of fruit to the woman, seemingly unsurprised as the woman stretched out the arm that wasn't there to take it.

"Bite into it. This one's from Another Tree." It sounded ominious, but her hands were stained already. "You'll need sustenance for what's ahead."

"What's ahead?"


Anjok picked himself up off the ground, letting his eyes adjust to this place of darkness. The first thing he could feel was the moisture. "I am bleeding," was his first thought, and "Where is my friend Rijn?" was his second. His third was, "I am alive!" which is, of course, a form of, "Yes."

He could feel the pain in his chest each time he took a breath. The place stank of dragons.

He concentrated. The dragon had eaten him! He remembered his head sliding past the dragon's jaws, and then the strange swoop that the beast had made, as if swerving out of the way of something. He coughed and the spikes of agony that radiated from near his heart made it impossible to concentrate. He staggered, his wings fluttering fast enough to make their own breeze in this humid black. One hand pressed against his thorax, as if to relieve the pressure. In the noise of his wings, he didn't hear the Dragon crawling behind him.



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Page last modified on May 02, 2006, at 05:10 PM by MeeraBarry

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