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Saturday, June 23, 2012

5: Billy The Rat And Simon The Frog Go To France

Greetings! Here's is the fifth installment of my novella that I actually lack a title for. Hmmm... perhaps: Life's Funny That Way.
I'm taking suggestions!
In case you missed them:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

Chapter V

Billy the Rat and Simon the Frog had never met each other. Except for having moments together within the rainbow mist that wasn't there... but that doesn't count since neither remembers their past.

Although they were different in their past lives, they were still essentially the same individuals.

Both had died at the exact same time in the exact same place numerous times in the past, present and future, and had been born at the same instant at least exactly the same number of times (as far as we know). But since neither was able to keep track of those events, it hardly seems worth mentioning.


Billy was not your average young man. Growing up in the inner mechanism of New York City, he had learned to pick pockets before he could walk. Besides his penchant for crime, Billy was also a genius who could solve puzzles and locks with ease. That, plus hi natural affinity for mice and rats, caused his comrades to nickname him "the Rat".

It should be noted, however, that a dependency on the 'bottle' hindered his criminal genius somewhat.


Simon was the result of numerous chance encounters between a French Assistant English Teacher and a Canadian living in Japan.

Simon, now residing in Paris, France, was a handsome 21-year-old who appreciated the finer things in life and set about acquiring them with alarming success. Lost in his financial wizardry was a teenaged swimming champ and broad jumper. The world was Simon's oyster. In fact, his horoscope said this year, 2014, would be the start of something new and exciting.


After a particularly successful night of burglary, Billy settled into his customary drunken stupor... just not for long.

He didn't know why, but something - some higher force -  compelled him to lurch and to stagger his way to the airport. He didn't know why, suffice that it had to be done. If he had been more cognizant, he would have recognized that the higher force that did most of the compelling was someone called Jack Daniels. But that is academic and not that important to the overall story.


Unbeknownst to Billy, a hitherto known stranger was in New York on business. Simon who was visiting some of the local collectors to purchase examples of early Native American wood sculpture, was boarding a NASA-Boeing 797 shuttle for Paris. He didn't know it, but a man who had once tamed wild horses in Wyoming 300 years ago, had also carved the 700-year-old figurine just days before being abducted by aliens from a Douglas Adams book.

He grinned a sheepish grin at Annette the Stewardess (once part of the seafood banquet platter that stirred Jules Verne's imagination) and moved through the plane past the Bourgeois-class area and into the Sun King room.


At this moment, Billy had somehow managed to evade airport security and had stumbled out onto the airfield's tarmac. With a final belch and a stagger, he landed face down (just like a boxing match he never saw) in a load of luggage that just so happened to be awaiting transfer to a NASA-Boeing 797 shuttle bound for... you guesses it!... Cuba! Oh, you didn't guess it. Okay. That doesn't matter.


Simon flomfed back in his upper echelon cloud couch and held the wine glass in such a manner that none could see his slightly webbed fingers which was a cross-cultural genetic defect courtesy of his multinational parents.

He galoonged back the drink and licked his lips lasciviously.


Billy was nestled snugly within the luggage on the plan. It was an uneventful flight for him because he was sleeping throughout it. Had he been awake and sitting in an assigned seat 20-feet above, he would have noticed the French hijacquers (all late coal miners who died of the Black Lung disease after working the mines in Hungary) ordering the plane to be flown to Paris.

He awoke with a start as his stomach suddenly knotted up in pain. It was always like that when he flew. Oh well... at least he knew where he was. If only he knew where he was going.


Simon had a terrible pain in his chest. It felt like it was going to explode. Flying always did that to him.

The plane began its descent through the white wispy clouds. Simon thought of wishing the clouds away, but realized that would be impossible.

Thirty minutes later, the plane landed with a couple of thuds in the middle of a hot Parisian night.


About an hour after Simon's plane had landed, Billy's plane touched down with little fanfare... except for the bullets and the riot police. Billy slid noiselessly from the plane and stole away into the night as confusion reigned about the area.


Simon, after battling a custom's officer who at one time before followed Billy into battle at Dieppe only to have his face ripped off in a crossfire, leaped through the airport and into his waiting limousine. He rode back to his chalet.


After a few attempts of botched robbery, Billy soon realized that no one obeyed his threats because no one here understood English. He was in France! He was always a fast learner.

He decided to try a little breaking and entering as soon as night fell. He looked at his watch and wondered by it was so dark at 5 o'clock in the afternoon.


At that same moment, Simon jumped onto his waterbed and glanced at the clock on his Louis the VIV nightstand.     

"Hmm, 11 PM. I better get some sleep."

Within instants, he was like Little Nemo in Dreamland. For some reason, he dreamed of a garden.


Billy, throwing caution to the wind, decided to try a little B&E now because, as far as his watch was concerned, it was still the late afternoon.

However, he was wrong. Although it wasn't the middle of the afternoon like it was in New York at the moment, it was six hours later here in France.Billy was an idiot.

As 'luck' would have it, the first home he decided to hit belonged to Simon, though Billy did not know that.
Billy deftly snaked up an apple tree and stealthily jumped down over the electrified fence that had deterred many a criminal in the past. But this was now or at least it will be someday if not before. Time is confusing.

He slithered through the underbrush and came to a window on the main floor. Using his innate burglar skills, Billy quickly opened the window with a large stone.


Simon awoke with a start. He heard the glass tinkling on the now extinct Ontario White Pine floorboards. Someone had broken in!

He slipped his green bathrobe over his broad back and took out his .357 Magnum from out under the bed. No one was going to steal his stuff!

He quietly hopped down the heavily carpeted stairs...pausing, he moved towards the den where he heard a chair squeak.


Billy couldn't believe his good luck! There was a treasure load of treasure inside the den. So caught up was he in the rooms splendor though, he didn't hear Simon sneak into the room.

It wasn't until he smelled Simon's cologne that he turned to see his long-time acquaintance and stranger standing 10-feet away from him.


Simon had not shot immediately because something told him not to shoot. Some weird voice in his head... the burglar looked familiar for a stranger.


Neither Simon nor Billy had a chance to savor this reunion of sorts, for it was at that moment when more people came running into the room.

The police fired a volley of bullets towards the shocked pair killing both instantly.

A second later, a voice, who in his last life had been a smelt eaten by Philip Hutchison of 245 Belvedere Road in East London in the year 1962... July 28th at 7:47AM (Hutchison later yelled at his wife because he had wanted sardines, cried out i French, "Halt, or we'll shoot!"

Apparently Billy's skills as a burglar weren't as good as previously suspected. He had tripped a silent alarm that had brought Paris' finest running.


That mauve light was there again. Both followed it separately, but together. Pausing to look back at each other, they entered the light and were enveloped by the white mist that wasn't there.


Billy had finally met Simon in life as well as death. Neither remembered that they had once been much more to each other in the past, present and future.

Life's funny that way.    

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