Chapter 1. Midnight memories
“Nay, but there are rocky mounts, and barren sands, from whence he comes, and more oft than not, not a soul is there for thine eyes to perceive.” said my visitor somewhat reluctantly.
“The fuck you’re saying man? ”
“But all that is there, the iron of the smith, the blade of the rogue, the plough of the reaper, the song of the lads, the disease of the sick, the laughter of the rich, every piece of rock, every grain of dust, everything, belongs. Everything but him. For a poet he is, and outcasts poets are.”
“Dude, you stoned or what? ”
It took him long enough to finish and longer for me to figure out what he was trying to say.
Last time I saw him was four years ago in England, somewhere west of Birmingham. My father had some work there and it was my birthday, so we thought it would be a good family vacation.
And here he was today, standing in my bedroom. Four feet tall at most, and fat as a hog, he was a strange sight indeed, and to top it all, with a pointed Gandalf hat on his head.
“And what about you? Didn’t you call yourself an outcast the last time we met?”
“Aye, but he is by choice, while me… I don’t even remember why they cast me out.”
“Okay. So you have traveled halfway across the globe to meet me and help you rescue your friend who you say is captured by some evil wizards.”
“True” he said, with a grin that bared his golden teeth. Or was it plaque? I don’t know. At least his breath didn’t smell.
“And what makes you think I’m gonna help?” I asked as coldly as possible.
“Knowledge of the fact that you owe me your life and freedom” he retorted proudly.
“Oh come on, all you did was guide me out of a tiny forest. I’d have figured a way out myself. I didn’t ask you to help. I even gave you my jacket for your help.”
“A forest infested with killer sparrows it was. You should be thanking me still for protecting your life.”
“Sparrows aren’t killers!”
“Ye wouldn’t say that if thou had been a good-hearted worm.”
“BUT I’M NOT A WORM. I’m human, and for God’s sake, get rid of that fancy accent.”
“A human? Oh crap. You humans behave so much like vermins that I mix it all up. But fret not, fret not. I come to you then with a fair deal. But it is your birthday. You say it for yourself. What can I get you in return for your help?”
“You wanna know what I need? Well, a nice job, a condominium, jacuzzi, a GTO, and a pussy.”
“Ah, I knew not all humans are materialistic. Well said kid. They said men are all about money. But I knew at once that you’re different.”
“You really didn’t get what I said, did you?”
“A cat I can get you before dawn, and as for the rest, can you summarize that in British English?”
As we were talking, my phone started beeping. “What’s all that” he asked. “Just birthday wishes” I replied.
“Is it midnight already?” he asked and pulled out a silver ring studded with the largest onyx I had ever seen. “This is my grandpa’s lucky ring. Alas, he fell into the well that he was digging and passed away. This was all we could salvage. And this I entrust to you. Happy birthday kiddo.”
“Some luck it brought” I retorted, and at the same time hoped that the falling into the well was not attributed with wearing the ring. I was amazed at the sight of it though. I couldn’t even guess how much it would cost, but it was a gift so I took it. “Thank you” was all I said. But seeing what he was capable of parting with, I was now much more interested in his deal. Yeah I’m greedy. Problem Jon Pedley?
“For someone who doesn’t even remember his name, you remembered my birthday. You just scored some brownie points there fella. And so I’ve decided to take your deal. State your offer.”
“Now we’re talkin business. You help me find and invade the castle of the human wizards and rescue my friend and in return, I’ll lead you to the biggest treasure in your city.”
Yeah sure. For someone scared of killer sparrows, how tough would be his ‘human-wizards’ ? Prolly some kids from a Harry Potter fan club.
” All right then. If we’re gonna work together on this one, I’ve got to call you something.”
“Call me by my name then.”
“And what exactly is your name?”
“Je suis Charlie.”
“Or was it Crazy? Yes. Crazy it was. That’s what they called me. Crazy Hass. It’s been seventy five and four hundred years since someone called me by name.”
“They called you crazy ass? I can see why.”
Oh man, what an end to my weekend. Happy birthday to me.