Merry Christmas Eve. Level 3 storm warning here. My pharmacist at DayJob is literally dialing it in: logging onto EPIC from home. It’s too cold for the salt to work so the roads are a mess. Told me to stay home.
I think I can finish this MS today. That would have symmetry for me. It was Xmas Eve, eight years ago, just before midnight when I clicked “Publish” and changed my world.
And no, I don’t know what she is, either. Kalí first makes her appearance in “A Texas Naval Affair,” where another young man was trying to woo someone from the imperial family. Love will make a man do strange things.
This time, he turned it off and rested his head back. “This entire family is nuts,” he muttered, drifting off a little, even with the bumps.
“That’s not very nice,” a young woman’s voice with an odd timbre said directly into his right ear.
It’s not Aurie. I’m dreaming.
“We all are. But some of our dreams manifest,” her voice went on. Jimmy went on playing pretend. After all, if there was a sudden passenger in their Hummer, Hardt would be freaking out right now. But she does smell like machine oil.
“It takes much to upset Robert, but you are correct. He does not know I am here. The smell is because I was helping my husband just now.”
Seems as violent as the rest of that family, he thought.
“Applied violence is often just prudence. Especially for those of us who can see.”
So since I’m arguing with myself, he kept on, to have and keep Aurie, I’ll have to be as violent as the rest of them. Certainly not how I was raised.
“You were raised incorrectly. Consider what your wife did for you at the launch facility. That was not violence. That was love. Agape, philia, and eros, for you.”
Jimmy took a shuddering breath. Now I’m making up words. Seems colder in here. I wonder if there’s a blanket…
“You cannot move. I have more to say.”
He found that to be true and was suddenly wide awake. But frozen with his eyes shut.
“I’m going to touch you now.” There was a burning sensation right between his eyes. “Know Truth. Like one I have just brought back, you, too, have little time.”
“We are the spear of the Change,” she said now in a sing-song voice. “Our souls are fire. Our bodies, flesh, steel.”
Wait. That sounds like what Aurie said…
His eyes opened. Scraggly long blonde hair, not washed in forever. Dust and dirt on her face. One black and one green eye.
“We must take on much pain. And someday, be alone. So as I pray…” the girl leaned in and pushed her dusty and sand-covered lips to his. “You are now my brother.”
He blinked. She was gone.
“Centurion!” he called a little too loud. All four looked at him.
“Did you see a girl in here, just now?” Jimmy’s voice shook.
“Nope. Another one, Burns? Like the rental car gal?” Hardt smirked.
“No. She was… that is, she looked just like the picture of who I reading,” he said, holding up the tablet. “Kalí Rigó.”
“Oh. Okay. That’s fine.” The centurion sat up and stretched, looking about. “Looks like we’ll be there in about fifteen minutes.”
“But…!” If looks could kill, Jimmy knew he would be dead.