Chapter 1 Chapter 6 Chapter 11 Chapter 16
Chapter 2 Chapter 7 Chapter 12
Chapter 3 Chapter 8 Chapter 13
Chapter 4 Chapter 9 Chapter 14
Chapter 5 Chapter 10 Chapter 15
Brandon Bird Chats With The Grinning 2-Footer And Gets Very Confused
Brandon bird was flying the friendly skies in the standard "V-Formation" that all ducks seem to prefer for reasons known only to them and Miss Elmira Jones of 690 Mill Road West, West Palm Beach, Florida. (Apartment 2B) (or maybe not).
All of a sudden, Brandon was sucked into the roaring engine of a DC-10. Death was pretty much instantaneous. It was also really messy, what with feathers and blood all over the engine casing.
ロAboard the DC-10, the starboard engine exploded in a small ball of orange. The co-pilot (once one of the Red Baron's victims; previous to that, he was the first person to discover in 1734 that electric eels should not be grasped without rubber insulation, and that blue is the 2-Footer's favorite color. He discovered the latter fact when he accidentally lobotomized himself with an electric eel in Russia - it is not known what electric eels were doing in Russia at this time. Perhaps later.) quickly diverted fuel away from the burning engine, and shut it down.
The pilot who had never been born but once 41 years ago, fought to keep the plane level. He managed to bring the DC-10 and all of it's passengers and crew down safely at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas.
He didn't know it, but he saved the life of Simon who was a passenger on the plane sitting in a wet spot in Economy Class seat 47B. Well, actually he didn't really save Simon's life...he merely delayed the taking of it.
Y'see, Simon died at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport while waiting at the luggage carousel for his suitcases. (The Writer knows what that is like.) (The Editor, too.) He waited there faithfully for days, never moving, until finally his bladder exploded from hyper-expansion. Simon was quite the stupid little 15-year old in this particular incarnation.
ロBrandon was dead again. He didn't bother with following the Paris green-lit tunnel. Instead, he merely flew over to a nearby escalator and pressed the only button visible (there were several other buttons, but they were invisible and were not that important then). After what seemed like an eternity, but was really only about 30 seconds, the white doors slid open.
The elevator compartment was filled with a white mist that was most definitely there. At least he knew he was going to the right place. He got in and pressed the only button. The doors closed.
When they opened, he found himself beside the grinning 2-Footer who wasn't standing or flying or anything like that - he just seemed to be everywhere all at once. Smiling.
ロ"Hello, Brandon. We am pleased to see you for not the first time," smiled the 2-Footer.
"Yeah, thanks...So are we going to have that talk like we promised the Writer? He really needs to get things rolling," said Brandon who failed to realize that the Writer could hear everything he said.
"Hmmm, okay. What do you want to ask he?"
"Well," began Brandon, "I've always wondered why you don't have any fins. You have hands, claws, paws, wings, feet, flippers, tentacles and feet. You seem to represent all of the life forms that have limbs. Why don't you have any fins?"
"Have you ever tried to pick anything up with fins? Me no like tentacles despite the fact they can pick up many things at once."
"Oh yeah? Why is that?"
"They are icky looking. Anything else you wish to ask they?"
"Yeah, lots. Like why are you treating me like a criminal? That penguin routine was really horrible! I couldn't fly. I couldn't walk properly. And what was the reason for me dying as a duck? I mean, I was a duck! I had eyes! I had ears! I should have known that there was an airplane nearby!"
"We don't hate you! You am our favorite. You just didn't know there was a plan there."
"Because...You realize you will never win a philosophical argument with we," boasted the grinning 2-Footer as its teeth gleamed in the suddenly brilliant background lighting. "Actually, maybe She and We have a sense of humor. Please wait a moment...Here they come again! Please hide behind our back."
Brandon, quietly and quickly obeyed. He knew who was coming.
ロ"Well, look what the cat dragged in. Oops, no offense," grinned the 2-Footer as it talked in the same manner as Rod Serling.
Simon and Billy had never heard of Rod Serling at this point in their lives, so they completely missed the joke.
"Do you want to fetch the stick? C'mon, let's go! laughed the 2-Footer.
Sensing that Billy, who was in the form of a Cocker Spaniel, wanted to try and do great harm to them, the grinning 2-Footer chuckled, "Uh, uh uhhh! No evil thoughts like that please. We were only joking, we am be, right? I'm going to send you back, because that's what she wants we to do. I'm sorry. You've got no one to blame but yourselves."
Simon in the form of a female cat, meowed, "Who makes the rules!"
Brandon cringed when the grinning 2-Footer's voice exploded across the dimensional bridges of inter-reality.
(Editor's note: Say, what?!)
"I will! I have! And I am again!"
In an instant, Simon and Billy were off to a new life apart but usually entwined.
"Okay, Brandon. You may come out. Do you have any more questions?"
Brandon wanted to ask him why he was able to smile behind his back, but instead chose a line of questioning that pleased both the Writer and the Editor completely.
"So, why do you keep sending them backwards and forwards in time?" asked Brandon.
"We was? They didn't know that. It's just that time and personal reference is an incredibly difficult concept for I."
"Didn't you create time?"
"Shh, not so loud. He don't want too many things to know we be not as omnipotent as they think. And to answer your next question, us don't know who did make time. You see, 'time' is like a swirling eddy. It's circular, and it is all happening at the same instant," said the 2-Footer with a hint of a smile that still made all of its teeth visible.
"So why isn't everybody here all at once?"
"They are. You and your type and the humans are lucky. Us created you so that it would seem that for you that time only occurs in an ascending order. For we it happens all at once. It's why they have problems in describing I-self. That and the fact that I am he and he is me and he are we and we are all together.... hee... that was pretty good."
"Okay, then. What about them...'Simon and Billy'?" sneered Brandon.
"You don't have to sneer."
"Why not? Those are silly names!"
"You should talk, Brandon. Or should I start calling you 'Mike'. What a common name...Anyways, Simon and Billy are being punished. You know that. She just sends them back to an already determined time and place to pay for their sins."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, what about me? Why do I remember my past life? No one else does...except maybe those people who go back under hypnosis - and why do they always remember that they were somebody famous?" whined Brandon.
"Stop whining, Michael," began the 2-Footer, who sounded like he might be scowling, but no one could tell because of that all permanent smile he has. "You, my child, are special. You follow Simon and Billy, to try and protect them from deviating from the plan."
"Oh, yeah." muttered Brandon/Mike/Michael who was as sure of THE plan as he was about his name. "Are there others like me now?"
"No... not any more. Are we done? I'm very busy, you know. Being god of a universe is a lot of work. There's always dusting to be done somewhere," smiled the grinning 2-Footer. If it was possible for him to turn away, that is what it looked like.
And then he turned back - or he didn't move. Brandon/Mike/Michael wasn't sure, but still he had to ask: "Just one more thing...there are more people on Earth than at any other time in its history."
"That wasn't a question. But when do you mean there are more people on Earth than at any other time in history? When is that?", asked the all-knowing grinning 2-Footer who enjoyed the repartee knowing that with enough double-speak he would confuse Brandon./Mike/Michael.
"Nevermind. I think I confused myself. Okay... how about this: Does everybody have a soul? And can they all come back in a reincarnated form?"
"Bwa-ha-ha-ha! You make I laugh. Don't you know? Over there, in the mist that is usually not there but is not there now, is a large pool. In this pool the unused souls stay. When it is time for them to play a part in the whole, they go forth and do me bidding. There are only a certain number of souls - only so many parts of the whole. Some get to go back and forth through the tunnel, while others do it only once. That's the way our am." explained the grinning 2-Footer to hopefully clear up some of the confusion. "Now fly away little bird. Us shall meet again. Probably as soon as you leave. Time is constant. Moreso for we."
ロFeeling an urgent need to escape the suffocation, Brandon began scratching his way through the tough wall that imprisoned him. While scratching and pecking through the shell, he mused over his conversation with the grinning 2-Footer and was confused over what his part in the great plan was.
ロIn an airplane hanger in Dallas-Fort Worth, a lone technician whistled as he brought the water hose over to the DC-10. Mr. Chris Santa who had never had another life but had had may names, giggled as the water washed away bits of feather and blood.
He whispered the name, "Michael" and began laughing even louder.
ロSomewhere a white mist and a floor were having an inanimate conversation about why there is a river that some people have to cross to get to see the 2-Footer. A tree appeared and told them that it was impossible for them to have a conversation because neither of them were alive.
The floor then spoke up and told the tree to mind its own business. They knew they couldn't have a conversation because they weren't alive. That's why theirs was an inanimate conversation.
The tree conceded defeat to the slippery cunning of the floor and walked over to chat with a candelabra.
A booming voice, that did not part its teeth, boomed from everywhere, "Ah, welcome back and sayonara."
The laughter would have been deafening if there had been anyone around to hear it. But, luckily, they were all busy elsewhen talking with each other.
Life is indeed funny that way. The afterlife, too.