Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The walk back went by quicker than the walk in. With Winson’s spell disapated the area starts back on its path of being a filthy drug den that any truly civilized nation would feel well and truly ashamed of. They walk quickly and quietly stepping over the bodies of those unfortunate enough to live there, they exchange no words between them until finally they reach the car. As Winston is about to get in John stops him, “Do you want to go get waffles?”. Winson nods in reply understanding that the request is more than a request. It is a command given by someone who doesn’t make commands because people know better than to not fulfill his requests. John neither asked nor cared how Winston had gotten there. He found his own way there and he could find his own way back again to where ever the hell it is he left his car. It was certainly no where near the rat maze and wandering around in the dark looking for Winson’s car is simply not appealing. It is especially not appealing when the alternatives are waffles and bed.
It is the wrong area of the country for a Waffle House. They don’t usually spread this far north. In some parts of the country their multitudes puts Starbucks to shame, but up here? This is the only one for 100 miles. However, nothing hit’s the spot after finding your friend biting off the heads of snakes, and drawing in the dirt with their blood, naked, like a waffle. Waffles are one of the reasons to keep the earth spinning and should the chain ever go under the resulting cosmic backlash would probably result in all the lights of the universe being switched off so that we could try it again, with less Waffle fail this time. Waffle House also has another strange property. As long as the second f and the s are burnt out on the sign then the whole property acts as a cosmic nullifyer. John never tested the extent of how well it works himself but he has spent many a late night, eating waffles, pouring over texts that would drive people mad just to look at him, while some blank faced waitress refills his coffee. He can discuss freely the names of dark outer gods, evil plans, sinister dealings, and this nights events all without anyone around being bothered by it or asking questions. Some of them used to joke that when the dark gods came the only thing that would be left would be him, the god, and a handful of waffle houses with their appropriately broken signs.
The drive passes in scilence, each one trying to figure out what to say to the other. Trying to decide which course of action, if any is best,. And most importantly which toppings they wanted on their hash browns. The after taste of snake blood and poison coated the insides of Winston’s mouth and while he, and he alone would suffer no ill effects from either the venom or the amount of blood he swallowed, it still is nice to have some real food in your stomach afterwards. Moments like these he misses the jungle, the smells, the friuts, the women, the snakes. His rumpled suit didn’t fit right, and he could never quite get used to wearing clothing again, or being fat. That’s something new, something he wished to god he could solve in some way, any other way, than lowering himself to going to a gym where he would have to run next to Ken and Barbie and his desires to kill them both with a hammer and feed their bodies to a constrictor. Inside the smell of grease, eggs, and regret wafts through the air. The waitress who looks as if she has seen one to many late nights, and heard one to many forbidden secrets clops over and then words pass in the form of both of them making their orders before the icy scilence resumes. Winston can feel it. He needs to go first. He needs to be the one who breaks the ice, who begins talking, who admits that things could of gone just ever so slightly better. After a minut of fiddling with things around the table he finly draws himself together and decides that it is high time to get this whole thing over with, “So, tonight could of gone better don’t you think”
John raising his eyebrows replies, “Oh I don’t know these things happen, I mean in terms of cockups this could have been a whole lot worse like the time Mary disappeared for a weekend and managed to found, brainwash, and finnish off an entire suicide cult. My my that girl can get things done when she chooses to.”
Winston smiles a little bit. It is a sick wan little smile, the runt of all other smiles, and like all runts it died quickly and quietly leaving his face blank and ever so slightly sad, “You know I wasn’t planning on killing those two girls. I don’t even know where they came from. No one should have been able to enter the building, and I am postive they weren’t inside before hand. I mean sure we are all big on the human sacrifice thing but not those girls. I mean even if I wanted to their bodies were to damaged, they might of injured the snake. It much prefers new mothers…”
John cuts him off with a dismissive wave of his hand, “I don’t think it really matters either way. Those girls aren’t particularly a main issue, and in two to three years they won’t be an issue at all, they will instead be an abstraction. I can only hope that their transition to death is pleasant one. What I want to know is, what is it you were doing down there in the first place?”
Winston stopped and fumbled around a bit for words before stopping, taking a deep breath and trying again. This happens a few more times before he gives up entirely, “I have no idea. I mean part of me, the good parts, they are still beholden to the snake god, and he still wants out, you know? I am still his high priest, and so sometimes instinct takes over”
Mild celebrations along with mellow fanfare, the waitress has brought the coffee, John sips it quietly as Winston absently stirrs his Hi-C. Terrible coffee and yet there is something about it that never fails to bring John home. Setting the cup down he resumes, “Yeah but you’ve fought it off before, I mean I don’t really understand why it is you’ve regressed now. Is there something I missed, some sign I should have been aware of, something I could of done…”
Shaking his head Winston smiles, “Sorry there buddy boy. Not even you can be everywhere at the same time. I know I’ve watched you try and it always ends up with you here, beating yourself up, sometimes with a dead body in your trunk, sometimes a live one, but it is never a good time. Now look I don’t understand everything I do, and I don’t understand everything I am. I guess it is one of those things like black out drinking that alcholics go through from time to time. It is just that these things happen”
John looked skeptical, “I don’t think how that works, I am pretty sure yo- oh hey thank you very much” Their food had arrived, and along with it a truce. The topic dropped for now, as it always is because there are some things you just don’t discuss over food, especially Waffle house food and so the conversation veered off. They talked about work, their homes, vacation plans, and for awhile they became normal, or as normal as two people like them can be. When they had finished, and their all star specials had been cleared away that John returned to the topic, “You know in a lot of ways I guess what you did tonight shook me so much because it reminds me of when I first found you”.
Winston nods, “Yeah I had a complete breakdown, there are still parts of my life that I have not been able to put back together and parts of me are thankful for that. I’ll talk about it at group tomorrow. For now though I am beat. I am not like some of you, I still need to sleep”.
Checks were paid and hollow requests of being asked to return were endured as the two of them stepped back out into the cool night air. John nodded over to his car indicating that John wasn’t letting Winston out of his sight until he was back at his house. It isn’t that Winston couldn’t get a cab, or that John isn’t above letting his friend find his own way home. It is just that over the years John has realized that Winston is a cagy little bastard who knows far more than he says. His cards are always played close to his chest and he never gives out more information that he has to. He has a feeling that tonights insident was truly unplanned. He also had a feeling that Winston is one of the few people on the planet who, if he put his mind to it, could hide something like that from John. Power does funny things to people and there isn’t anyone on the planet that embodies that trueism quite like Winston does.


Winson was what he looks like now. He was a down on his luck insurance claims investigator. Who lived with a woman who he onced loved very much but ended up not liking him very much. She cheated on him, he knew it, but he decided not to prance about it. He knew that she could never be pleased by he, he also knew that she was barren as a pile of rocks floating in space, and after awhile of dealing with he bitterness and resentness he just wanted to be left alone by her and allowing her to continue on with her stupid little affair seemed to be the best way. Just out of high school life once seemed so full of possiblilites. He landed a good job, a beautiful wife, and he didn’t even need to mess with college. Now at 25 he is locked in a marriage where he occationally gets to have sex with someone who resents him. His salary that seemed so great right out of high school wasn’t looking so hot 6 years later, and more and more life began to press down upon him like a great weight from above.
To put it succinctly his rise to power started with some very unassuming beginnings and became nearly catastrophic in terms of results. How he ended up in the jungle isn’t clear to anyone. As best as John can piece it together Winston stumbled upon some old texts and part of an idol, and then somehow, from these scraps, he managed to extrapolate the location of a lost nameless civilzation that practices a particularly brutal form of magic. Once he found out where they were he went down there, apparently he accidently fulfilled several prophesies all at the same time, and they took him in just as he was looking to go native. They taught him the dark arts, which he mastered at a record pace, and at one point he came so close to ending the world that he could taste the skin of the great serpent god’s hide as his slithered against the arcane barriers that Winston and he cult were looking to bring down. It made Jamestown look like a pickic from what Winston described it as. These people didn’t just do simple blood sacrifices. Their rituals went on for hours, sometimes days as they would carve away pieces of the victems bodies to sacrifice to the snakes in the area, poisosn has to be consumed along with hallucingins that haven’t even been discovered by the western world. They put Grammora to shame, and yet at the end of it all, something happened. John, who was dealing with his own demons at the time found him wandering those back alleyways. Winston refuses to say how he made it back to America, heck he refuses to say where exactly in South America his cult is based out of. TO everyone else Winston looked like your average run of the mill hobo, with his dirty suit, wild eyes, and incomprehensible muttering. However, not every hobo mutters in an ancient language, undiscovered by academia that is used almost exclusively for magic. That sort of thing tends to single you out if you have the right kind of ears.
John’s first attempt at trying to reel in Winston didn’t go so well. He screeched like and animal and ran off, and in John’s hurry to persue him he almost didn’t notice the traps Winston had left behind. The second attempt went better John ambushing Winston in his layer was able to subdue him, break the spell that had his rational mind locked away and he brought Winston back from the brink. At what cost though? Winston looked around uncomprehending that day, then slowly his actions caught up with him. It was there that John saw it. He saw it in his own eyes when he looked in the mirror, he saw it when he looked into her eyes, he saw the loss. There was no guilt, no remorse, no crushing realizations of the crimes he has commited against humanity. No beating of the chest crying out to god for forgivness for sin which could never be forgiven, no tears of remorse, no desire for absolution, sympathy, and above all no regrets, no regrets save one. He had lost most of his power. The power, that caused people to slit their own throats at his very command, the power that made women fall at his feet, the kind that scattered children before him, it is what allowed Winston to dine on baby flesh and drink the blood collected from the virgins he has most recently defloured. It is the power that let him talk to a god, to hold the fate of the world in his hand, and while some one feverishly suckled upon his errection he could look into the eyes of all that is unholy and decide that it really is time to let it all burn. All he needed to do is pave the way. He didn’t blink when he looked into the abyss he didn’t make a deal, instead he ran to give it a helping hand. To let it in. To welcome it home, and if that meant turning the universe to ash then so be it. That is the look he saw in Winston’s eyes, and on that day 4 years ago he decided to form the group. There were others like him, like Winston. People who were going to shake the world and for whatever reason they didn’t. Now life goes on, they are still alive, living with a loss far more profound than anyone else could ever understand. John calls them the world shakers and for better or for worse they are all in this together.
As he leaves Winston behind he pulls off memory lane and merges back into the prescent. Winston. Oh well at least group will be interesting tomarrow.

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