Sunday, December 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: [Pargons Of Virtue: book #1] Day #10

I hope that you like these thoughts!

John sighed and shook his head. “I can't believe what happened.”

“Let's hear it.”

# # #

John said, “I don't think that it's fair that they can get away with that.”

“Technically, they don't.”

“Why doesn't anybody speak out against them?”

“What is there to speak out against? They are just doing their jobs.”

“No, they aren't. Their jobs are to be good leaders. They are corrupt. I can't believe that you are protecting them. That makes me sick.”

“No, no. I'm not protecting them. I'm just not forcing them to play by our rules. They aren't here for that. It is our job to do good. Their job is to do evil. We are supposed to punish them.”

“What? That makes no sense.”

“It does. Evil is what evil is. Evil does what evil does. You are confused, because deep down inside, you want to put them at an arm's length, and make them behave according to your rules. You feel guilty about wanting to kill them off. The are mosquitoes that should be killed, without much thought. They are weeds that should be pulled. We don't protest against weeds or mosquitoes. We just kill them.”

# # #

John asked, “Reed seems like quite a character. Did you meet anybody else?”

“Dave not only was a character, it was hard to tell him apart from the characters he portrayed.”

# # #

Dave was a performer. Before he converted, he was Roman Catholic. For work, he was an Elvis impersonator and a stand up comedian. He was really successful at voice impersonations. When he converted, he gave all that up, except the comedy and impersonations. He made people laugh.

He owned a lot of sound tracks. In his spare time, he would play them, while he sang. Since he gave up his secular music and music of other religions, he tended to go with Johnny Cash. Whenever we heard the music playing, it was hard to tell if it was the real Johnny Cash or not. Dave was from the states, and he even talked like Johnny Cash.

When I first discovered that he was a performer, he showed me his group photo of him and other performers.

I said, “Where are you?”

“That's me.”

“That's not really Elvis?”

“No, of course not.”

Dave said to himself, “Now, where did I put my boot polish?” I saw him look my way. “Hey, Tommy Boy, would you do me a favour--”

I tossed it to him. I never understood why his belongings ended up in everybody's space. It was as if he were an anti-thief; some kind of person who did things like taking his belongings and putting them in somebody else's space. Perhaps he was more of a squirrel. I heard that squirrels lose track of half of their nuts. It made no sense, because he seemed really on top of things, when the pressure was on. On all the missions that he led, he seemed to know what to do, and he got it done early.

Dave sang, “I hear that train a comin'...”

I said, “Hey, Dave.”

“What can I do for you, Tommy Boy?”

# # #

Mr. Wesson said, “We are here for the arrest of David Tanner.”

Captain Van Tilling said “There must have been a mistake.”

“Does David Tanner have a scar along his cheek, and black hair, and sound like Johnny Cash, and look like Elvis?”


“Then that's our man. He has been seen leaving the crime scene.”

“You don't understand. We don't commit crimes.”

“The evidence says otherwise.”

“No. We don't commit crimes.”

“You don't believe us, but most crooks don't either. We have our orders, and we will leave here with your...our man one way or the other.”

Captain Van Tilling shook his head in disbelief. He still believed that Dave was innocent. He just did not believe the nerve of these guys coming in and ordering him around, as if there were any possibility of guilt.

Dave casually came into the office with an open folder, and said, “Sir, I found--” He quickly darted down the hallway.

The CSIS men came into the hall, pointed their guns, and said, “FREEZE! Or we'll shoot!”

Dave stopped in his tracks. He put his hands up, and slowly turned around.

“Ah, I see that you have done this before. You've got your hands up all ready, like a good boy.”

Captain Van Tilling said, “Sub Sergeant, what's going on here?”

“It's not what it looks like, sir. I'm innocent, and it was just a force of...”

Mr. Wesson said, “A force of habit? Is that what you were going to say?”

Dave looked through the corner of his eye, in defiance.

# # #


“You snivelling coward.”

“I really need your help.” He leaned forward in his chair, as if to kneel.

“Get away from me. You stink of weakness.”

“That's not fair.”

“Would you please leave all ready...oh my goodness. You've got me doing it now. Get out!” He reached for the speaker phone. “Alec? Get in here and take out the trash!”

A clean cut brute, entered the room. He had a barrel size chest, and appeared to be the type of beefcake who got trophies at the local highland games.

Terrell cringed at the sight of him.

Alec gestured to the door, and said, “Sir?”

Terrell flinched at movement of the baseball mitt sized hand, and hurried to the door.

# # #

Clang cling clung. The two men spared in lightening speed, as if attempting perfect synchronization. Kuckf-f-ft. Tom block the strike, and forced Dr. Evil's sword to the side, as Dr. Evil pulled his sword back.

Csh! Tom swung from the side, cutting lightly through Dr. Evil's forearm armour. Psh! A flash erupted from the wound, and Dr. Evil gasped. Each time the sword wounded an enemy, God blessed it with greater strength until the final victory.

Dr. Evil swung sideways too.

Kuckf-f-t. Tom parried the blow over his head, with his sword's guard. This left Dr. Evil open, and left Tom's sword in a perfect position to swing at Dr. Evil's base of the neck.

Cling clunk clink. Tom rapidly swung at each side; each time stepping forward, and Dr. Evil stepped back. Clink clunk clink clunk clink clunk.

Panic flashed across Dr. Evil's face, when he hit the back of the rail. He instinctively looked behind him onto the factory floor, several stories below.

Tom leaned on his sword, and pressed towards into Dr. Evil, which forced Dr. Evil into a backwards lean. When he was able to hold the position with one hand on his sword, pulled back his left and punched between the two swords, cracking Dr. Evil's nose.

# # #

The stranger whipped the left side of his cloak open with a grand gesture like a magician, and tucked the arm behind him. He smiled with pride, as he removed his mask.

Tom was not surprised that it was Mayor J, but it he was fascinated by how it all seemed so real now.

“At last, Tom, we meet again. Did you get any practise since we last met?”

When it came to life and death situations, Tom liked to hold his cards close to his chest, and to skip any banter.

“I hope that we can resolve this like gentlemen,” he said, as he pushed back the right side of his cloak, revealing a sword handle. He looked at Tom genuinely for a confirmation.

Tom tensed up, and thought, “The bastard. He wants to kill me with my own sword.” Tom lowered his rifle, and nodded his head. He removed his magazine from the rifle, and then fastened his bayonet.

Mayor J drew the sword, and it rang out of tune. The sword had been away from Tom and the order for so long, that it had lost much of its power.

Mayor J held the sword out, and stepped towards Tom.

Tom fixated on Mayor J's waist, and continually reminded himself that he needed to use a different combat style. Paladins fought with a bayonet attached to a rifle in a manner similar to using a staff.

Mayor J thrusted. Tom blocked upwards.

Whack! Tom blocked on the left. Whack! Then on the right.

Mayor J stepped forward and brought down the sword with all his wrath. Whack. Mayor J punched! Biff!

# # #

Before leaving for school, John called Carl. He got the voice mail, just he had all week.

That day at school, he kept an eye open in the hallways. He never saw Carl since that day. “Hey, Sally. Have you seen Carl?”

“Oh, fine, thanks for asking,” she said, as she raised he eyebrows.

“Oh sorry. I've just been feeling so out of it. How are you?”

Sally's face softened in sympathy. “Fine. Remember? What's the matter?”

“Carl, and I, and the guys, got into a fight. I tried to break it up, and he hates me for it. I just didn't want him to do something that he'd regret. Those guys were trouble.”

She placed her hand on the base of his neck. “Aw, that's too bad. I'm sorry to hear that.”

“Thanks. Have you seen him?”

“Yeah, he's been around,” she said, gesturing up and down the hall.

“Where, though? How could he be so easy to find? Has he been avoiding me?”

“No. I asked about you, but he says that you're okay.”

He blinked, and threw up his hands. “I give up. I can't believe this. He's not returning my calls, either.”

“Oh, that's too bad. Maybe give him some time.”

“Maybe I should give him forever. He probably wants to kill me.”

She looked at him questioningly.

“I tried to stop the fight from getting too extreme, and I thinks that I betrayed him.”

She touched his arm. “Oh-h. I hope that things get better for you both.”

The bell rang.

“Thanks. I'll catch you later.”

“Hey, call me.” She jokingly pointed a finger at him, and said, “You have more time on your hands now, since you're talking to him, so you have no excuse.”

He cocked his head sideways, and nodded.

# # #

At supper, his mom said, “Have you thought about what you want to do after high school?”

John said, “I don't know.”

His dad said, “It's getting late. You don't want to wait until the end of June. You should try to make sure that you...A...either have a job waiting for you...or have an acceptance letter for college or university.”

“Yeah, I know.”

She said to his dad, “Harold.”

Harold said, “Carol, if I don't pressure him, then who will?”

Carol turned to John, and said, “You say, 'I know,' 'I know,' but why don't you anything about it? If you know, then why are you waiting? You should be spending all your spare time handing out resumes and college applications.”

John sat back, and simply stared at his dinner plate, while he chewed a morsel. “I think that I'll become a paladin.”

Harold immediately snorted. “What about getting a job; or university? Where are you going to find time to do that and go to university at the same time? Haven't you been listening to a thing that your mom has been telling you?”

“I probably won't go, but at least I'll have a job.”

His mom said, “How do you expect to be able to provide for your family? Do they even get married?”

“I don't know. I never asked.”

Harold said, “You should at least finish school and establish your career, before know what? This is crazy. You're great at math. Why don't you be an engineer?”

“I don't know about that.”

His mom said, “Why do you want to do this?”

“I don't know. It seems kind of cool.” His eyes were still on his plate. A smile crept up. “It would be kind of cool...fighting the forces of evil...saving damsels in distress.”

Harold looked at Carol, and laughed. He said, “I've got news for you. It's not like that. It's a lot of hard work, for little pay...and honestly, it's for people who can't get a job. You worked hard in school. You deserve better. You earned it.”

John nodded.

# # #

In the cafeteria, John carried his tray and scanned carefully. For the first time, this week, he saw Carl. Carl sat at a different table, and John never thought to check there.

John walked over. “Hey.”

Carl looked up at him, without moving his head, and nodded.

“Can I sit here, or what?”

Carl shrugged without looking.

John took a seat. He figured that it was the only opening that he was getting for the next little while, and he intended to work it. He dug into his soup, and the rice, while they continued to chatter among themselves.

Half way through the meal, Carl looked up at John. “You were really trying to look out for us?”

John said, “Yeah. Of course.”

“Since Friday, those guys have come around again. We pounded them to the ground. They want more.”

John shook his head. “They just don't learn.”

“Exactly. Tonight, we're going to teach 'em a real lesson. We want to bring it home.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just that. We asked around, and we hear that they hang out a place in Burnaby. We're going out there tonight. As soon as we see them, we're going to break some knees.”

John felt such a weight settle on him.

“We could always use some help.”

John looked down, and took a quick sip of soup. He looked up again.

“Well? Are you in?”

John looked away at the other tables, and back again.

“You know that things are going to get worse. We tried it your way. Are you ready to try ours?”

John looked down, and nodded.

The others cheered. Carl said, “I knew that we could count on you.”

John chuckled nervously, and nodded.

The celebration died down, and Carl said, “You and I have been through times, but we've always been there for each other.”

John quickly looked up. “Wait. What time?”

Carl shrugged. “Six o' clock?”

“I can't. I have to meet up with somebody. I'll be done at six. I won't have enough time to meet up with you guys in time.” John breathed a sigh of relief, and began to plan how he might convince them to not go through with this.

“No problem. We'll pick you up at six. It's not like we made an appoint with those guys.” He chuckled.

John breathed deeply in frustration. He shrugged it off. He figured that Tom might have some advice.

The bell rang, signalling that they had five minutes before class, putting the conversation to an end.

While Tom rummaged through his locker, Sally said to him, “Hey, I heard some cheers coming from your table at lunch. Things are cool now?”

“The better they get, the worse they get.”

“Don't be so negative. Things are better with Carl, aren't they?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

She playfully pouted, and said, “I guess that you won't have time to call me now.”

“I'm not gay. I still like girls.” He looked at her seductively, and said, “Yeah, I'll call you,” as he walked past her. He looked back.

She made eye contact, and mouthed, “Thank you.”

He smiled, and nodded. He bumped into somebody, apologized, and then finally made his way.

# # #

John entered the seniors home. The familiar scent washed over him. Even though he still felt repulsed, he felt a sense of comfort. It reminded him, that he could finally relax and get that thing that he wanted but could not identify. As he stepped out of the elevator, he checked his watch. He was ten minutes early; not as early as usual. He knocked on room 404, and put his handle on the door lever, in anticipation. His hand already had turned it part way.

He waited.

He left go, and knocked again, but louder. He thought, that Tom's hearing was fading. Again, he put his hand on the lever, and began turning in anticipation. He felt a cold tingly sensation wash over him. He let go, and comforted himself with the idea that Tom must be in the washroom. He leaned on the wall, next to the door, and waited.

He looked up and down the hall, and noticed that it was extra quiet.

He was about to knock, but checked his phone to time his wait. He did not want to make Tom rush. He thought, “Maybe Tom is sleeping.” He stepped away from the door, and looked under. The light was still on. He pressed his ear on the door. He felt that tingly cold feeling again.

Tom paced in front of the door. He checked the phone. He only had a minute to go. He gave the door another hard knock. After waiting for a few beats, he opened it, and said, “Tom?” “Tom? Are you there?” He slowly opened the door. He noticed that the bathroom door was open and the bathroom light was off. He quickly pushed the door open and walked in.

Tom was not there.

He panicked, but remembered that Tom might be in the other lounges. Tom spent the next several minutes searching through the lounges, and checked back in the room. He finally checked at the nurses station on the fourth floor. The usual nurse was not there, and he did not recognize the nurse. He said, “Have you seen Tom?”

The nurse made eye contact, and paused briefly. She gently said, “Tom Wilson?”

“Actually, I don't #404!” Tom felt the tingly feeling again, when she paused again, and looked him straight in the eye. “Where is he?”

“I have some unfortunate news. He passed away this morning.”

John's eyes flashed open.

“Are you a relative?”

He stepped away from the counter, and shook his head. He sped to Tom's door. He wanted to bang it down, and yell for Tom to come out. He opened it and sat down in his usual spot. He placed his elbows on his knees, and his face in his hands.

Tears flowed. Tom leaned back and closed his eyes.

For almost two hours, he thought back about all the conversations that they had had. 5:59 had rolled around. He saw the bag that contained the stones that Tom had talked about. John grabbed them, and dashed out the door.

The end. Thank you for reading!

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