” I must continue to follow the path I take now.”
Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter, 1853–1890
Vitor Weiss smelled the wood fires burning alongside the Deep Sea. Scents of scrap pine, tainted with traces of iron nails glowing tiny dots. Deviant oak like green piss… or was that a skunk? Sweet maple, tickling his eyes. Watering them. He involuntarily licked his lips.
Angela Weiss sat outside in the near-darkness two miles north. Her pulse in synch with the footfalls of not-man, not-machine, freshly birthed alongside the tungsten dawn, a mere half-day alive. Vitor dense like steel, random as the gathering mists. Heavy-Metal Vitor. Vitor in the body of a contemporary man, harboring ancient fears of spells, flames, shadow-spirits, and rune-curses. A scientific tribute to genetic hardiness. Posthuman Angel. Angela’s.
The slider doors were open, James Marshall Hendrix’s “Little Wing” alternatively titled, “Riding With The Wind,” slid across the breeze of iodine and algae. That guitar intro… Sweet Jimi Hendrix… He came to her world and remained only a short while. Angela pondered the “Forever 27 Club,” an urban legend.
Who would silence dusky Jimi, who would steal Comfort away from Janis Joplin? She, Janis Joplin, and man called Tom Jones, together eternally alive on Internet YouTube. Imagine! The other Jimi… Jimmy… James Douglas Morrison — that ephemeral smiling front-man, poet, historian, absorbed by the dark stars. Gleaming dully, biding time. Waiting.
Vitor Weiss smiled as dusky Jimi continued conjuring awesome noises within Vitor’s entire consciousness. A prayer called “Rock Music,” Angela said. From a cumbersome tree-thing, of pegs and lines and metal gleamings, a guitar she called it. The Jimi Shaman materialized clicks, bell-ringings, breath of tiny dragons. Incongruously syncopated shiftings synching the Vitor-Mind. Vast. Synthetic. Deep.
Accosted by something frail, fearful! Wretched wraith of sorrow, bearing breath of soured peppers, tiny flecks of what? Flesh of beasts? Burned beasts… inside the spaces of teeth lacking artistry.
Give your money! The teeth troll shouted. The See-Through-People bolted and ran away. A fat white gull against the darkening sky moaned and glided placidly into an adjacent realm.
Angela Weiss must have known. Vitor offered a card of thin plastic bearing the words DRIVERS LICENSE. Vitor could have slashed the throat of the sad thing posturing before his eyes by using the edge of that odd, otherwise worthless talisman, but didn’t.
Give me your money! Teeth troll reiterated. Squirming like the white worms occupying dead beasts, Vitor observed. Credit cards, cash…
My kids are hungry, cash? The sad thing was nearly weeping. Why had he fed himself first? Vitor considered that undignified.
Apparently the sorrowful one before him had baby goats! Microsoft! Back on track… Vitor remembered Microsoft! Yes, her soft crows, that’s what Angela kept, only the soft crows had been fed… He’d provide the credit cards cash and be on his way.
This was getting boring. Vitor gladly relinquished a Fifty, a Twenty, a Five, a One. They felt dirty, gritty, and smelled bad anyway. Besides, Angela hadn’t told him what cash was for… Enough of this!
Credit cards, turkey. Now! Vitor was stressing… something… and… turkey now, what the hell was that? Other than clothing — which he would not relinquish — and be cold — he had…