Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter forty

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis

Chapter Forty


Saturday November 16th 1996

The snowstorm had ended sometime during the midnight dinner. North of the Laurel House there was a stone wall, a long forgotten project of the previous Castellan it was waist high and less than half finished. Jason Magwier had climbed atop it, kicking snow aside he zipped up his leather jacket and spoke a soliloquy to the empty sky;

“Bare handed sculptor
Hands and will set against stone
Unwieldy pen and awkward prose
Speak the feelings the heart has shown”

Further down the wall Zeth watched him with his arms across his chest and a pained expression on his face. Jack had told him that all the guests of the house that passed on were buried here and there on the grounds. He wondered to himself if what Magwier was doing now might be considered desecration.

The dark-eyed dark-haired man swung his arms around theatrically;

“Winds of spring
Close enough to bring joy
A breeze forever out of reach
Of a man too much a boy”

This was just like him, sending Zeth somewhere with poor directions and worse instructions. If he was lucky Magwier would show up before disaster struck. Of course sometimes Magwier brought disaster along with him. Some people might have called him clairvoyant but that was too simple a label, Jason Magwier remembered things that might happen. It made him terrible at chess but great at cards.

He walked along the half-built wall with exaggerated steps, almost losing his balance but never letting that keep him from speaking;

“Living in proximity
Worlds apart further than stars
They glitter like fireflies
Kept in separate jars”

Zeth’s pained looked became one of disbelief, this was why the man kept turning poetry slams into bar fights. When he had first met the man named Jason Magwier he hadn’t even been using that name- he had been calling himself Benjamin Zachary. Not harm in changing your name, it wasn’t like he was really named Zeth after all but Benjamin Zachary hadn’t changed his name out of choice or a whim… he had almost seemed to go mad for a time, wandering the highways and calling himself ‘Noah’ until their paths crossed again and he suddenly decided his name was Jason Magwier.

Maybe that madness was why he was so effective in his crusade against the Monarchs. It was still a one sided battle but somehow Magwier managed to break against a force that could bring down entire cities.

“If you look my way
Will I find the words to speak?
Would I stand humbled as a fool?
As I dream of your kiss on my cheek.”

Magwier jumped from the wall and bowed to the tree line.

“You know…” Zeth said, “…poems don’t have to rhyme anymore.”

He turned and narrowed his eyes, “Philistine.”

The two men laughed and leaned against the wall. Magwier pulled a fresh cigar from his pocket and lit it. “Where did you get that?” Zeth asked.

“Grabbed an extra for myself” He puffed on it “Or two. These really are very good.”

“So what now?”

“I was waiting for you to explicate my poem.”

Zeth glanced to the house, “I don’t think Galen’s going to help us.”

“He will… he might…”

“The torweg is the only leverage he has. Do you think he’s going to give it up?”

“He needs us as much as we need him.” Magwier said.

“I just wish I had my guns, even the .22.”

“I think guile will serve us better in this situation.”

The sun was rising pale and sickly from behind the clouds, it was starting to snow again. Zeth turned to his friend, “Does that mean you know who the traitor is?”

Magwier blew smoke at the snowflakes, “I can’t for the life of me remember.”

End of Book Two

1 comment:

  1. Bravo, Al! Congratulations. Nice non-ending to wrap up book 1. I enjoyed following along, and appreciate the hard work that went into this.