Monday, March 15, 2010

Dark World: Angels and Demons

(The story begins here.)

“He was lying, you know,” Lassiter said as the noise of the Better Angel Foundation fell away behind them.

“Of course he was,” Dr. Fleming muttered. “Which lie do you mean?”

“He had a symbol on his wall that looked like the one on that dagger at Dvorak’s—the one I saw in Germany. He also had a diploma from Leipzig.”

“I knew about Leipzig. Yes, he knows German—better than you do, in fact. And he should’ve known I knew it. Then there’s his remark about folie à un becoming folie à plusieurs; it doesn’t, at least not often. He should know better about that, too: he’s a licensed psychiatrist, and he has also studied psychology. He knows far more about such things than I do, though I do know enough to catch that lie of his. He’s changed more than I would have believed possible.”

Darren scowled. “I think he’s had help.”

“I’m sure he has. Not demons or anything, but biochemical enhancements. There are certain substances—hormones, for example—that can modify the body. They are safe in naturally occurring quantities, but when someone tries a larger amount or higher concentration, I begin to get nervous. It simply isn’t safe, and he must be well over that line.”

“What about the wind?” Lassiter asked. “What happened back there? You both felt the wind, didn’t you?”

Darren nodded. “The door opened again, but it was different this time. I’m not sure how or why. It seemed to be an answer to prayer, though, and I had a sensation of hope.”

“So did I.”

Dr. Fleming shook his head. Then he pulled off the road and parked behind some greenery. “I no longer have a plan. I thought Adam might be annoying yet helpful. Instead, I can’t help concluding that I’ve unleashed another danger on us all. I doubt it would be safe even to return home for a while. So I was serious: do either of you have a plan?”

“I’ll pass,” Lassiter said. “I don’t know anyone helpful—I doubt I could even get us a place to spend the night. But won’t we need more supplies before the next full moon?”

“I can probably get any we actually need. Darren?”

“It’s too late to get very far before nightfall. I’m not sure which troubles me more: spending the night outside or trying a driving marathon to reach…”

Dr. Fleming waited very briefly before asking, “You’ve thought of a destination?”

“Perhaps. A gentleman who almost adopted me—and a…” His voice broke off, and he began again, “We’ve been overlooking the linguistic angle, perhaps. He could be a great help. He lives just outside of Boston—if he’s not abroad somewhere.”

“Beans for breakfast it is,” Dr. Fleming muttered as he pulled back onto the road.

Next: Good Morning, Beantown

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