Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Little Something for the Old School Fans.

[All two of you.]

The two stood in the vast estate's stone-floored kitchen, leaning over plates on the hardwood island in the center of the room and trying not to drip mustard on themselves. The younger man took greedy bites of his sandwich, all but grunting as he eagerly chewed the perfectly-boiled corned beef. His companion took his time, relishing each bite as if he hadn't been eating this sandwich for the previous sixty-plus years.

They had taken to eating some of their lunches this way. They had an expansive dining hall at their disposal, but neither felt comfortable splitting the cavernous room and continent-sized table between them. And truth be told, the younger man enjoyed the coziness of eating meals in close quarters with his trusted manservant. It made him feel a bit like Bruce Wayne (his still-living parents notwithstanding).

After chewing on a particularly large bite, the young man paused and then spoke.


"Aye, lad?"

"Do you ever get the feeling sometimes that you're being...well, not watched, but thought over? Considered?"

"As if someone greater and more powerful holds you in his thoughts?"

"Something like that."

"Every day."

Louis considered this for a moment. "It happens to me sometimes. I get that feeling. It's creepy."

The older man put down his sandwich and dabbed at his mouth with a paper napkin. "I don't feel that way. It's a bit of a comfort, knowing you're not forgotten. Knowing that somewhere, someone who cares about you still regards you. Has plans for you."

"How do you know this person, whoever it is, actually cares about you?"

After a moment, the gardener laughed, "Well, I guess you're here, ain't ya? Mebbe when you disappear, that will prove contrariwise."

Louis' face fell. "That's not comforting, Felix."

The old man laughed, a wheezing thing that raised a worried chill in the back of his charge's mind. "Oh, Louis, you're still a boy, ain't ya. No, lad, it's fine. As that Jilly-person from somewhere once said: All is well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. Which is to say, your story isn't done yet. Whoever's got you in his mind is still working out the details."

Louis shook his head. "I don't believe that. I think we each write our own story."

Felix shrugged, taking up the plates. "Pardon me for saying so, but you haven't lived long enough yet. When you reach the backside of your lifetime, you'll understand that we're all simple players, fretting out our parts on a larger stage. Telling a larger story."

"Wait--was that a Shakespeare allusion I just heard from you?"

The older man paused, then turned, pretending offense. "Well, you're not the only one who reads books--you going to that fancy university there."

Louis smiled. And some part of him hoped Felix was right, and that his story wasn't over yet.

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