I burrowed my head deeper into the book I was reading and pretended not to hear.
“Are you listening? I’m resuming my writing career,” C.W. said.
“What writing career?”
“The one you keep discouraging with your lack of the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.”
“My lack of encouragement is for your own good,” I said. For the first time, I looked up. There sat Edgar Allen Poe, or at least how the historical biographies picture him. Oh no. Halloween is approaching. I braced for the worst. “You should consider new careers,” I said. “What happened to your plan to become a country parson?”
“Nevermore,” he said.
“I tried it.”
“I quit after preaching goodness, love, respect for one another, forgiveness, understanding, and all that for months.”
“Darkness there and nothing more." He stopped, looked around, and said, "The sons of bitches wouldn’t pay me.”
“I see. So now you are going to write?”
“Gothic horror. Creating dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
“I see. Do you have a plot in mind?”
“A dreadfully frightening one it seems, just in time for Halloween.”
I quickly returned to my book.
“I’d love to share it with you,” he said, as if I had requested it.
“Oh that might be bad luck,” I said.
“A true modern gothic villain,” he said. “He will become as feared among children as Montresor in The Cask of Amontillado, a truly terrifying creature.”
“Good,” I said, “now why don’t you go and work on it and leave me in peace.”
“I’d be glad to,” he said. “It goes like this.”
I laid the book across my stomach.
“There is this children’s entertainer, puppets, music, and such, who goes from village to village making children happy—only a child himself. His name is Parabello.” He stopped and looked to make sure I was listening.
I nodded, giving in. “Go ahead.”
“So he does this for years.”
“And no one seems to realize that he is getting older. He keeps applying makeup, more and more makeup, to make it appear that he doesn’t age.”
He continued. “So he becomes more and more famous and wealthy entertaining the children. He takes some of his money and builds a vast park where he takes selected and fortunate children to entertain them on special outings. He calls it Fairyland, and creates a wondrous experience for the children”
“You might want to think on that name a bit,” I said.
He ignored me. “Then one day, years after he has been entertaining children there for days on end, a mother stops him.”
I began to doze. He continued. “She asks him how old he is. He says, ‘Beat it.’ She says ‘I want to know how old you are.’ He says, ‘Leave me alone.’ She says, are you listening to me?” This time he screamed.
I woke up.
He yelled, “I said are you listening to me?”
“Of course,” I said. “I just nodded, nearly napping. What happens next?”
“The mother unlocks the fact that Parabello is not a child but a man nearly 50 years old.”
“Oh my. And he has been having bunking parties with his little fans?”
“His claim is this, that they only played games and frolicked, nothing farther then he uttered.”
“Does it work?”
“Hardly. The people send him away saying he will remain nameless here for evermore.”
“So his memory becomes a thing of terror?”
“What else? I mean, imagine a forty-something year-old man dressing up in heavy makeup and pretending to be a child as he frolics around with real children. How else could his image be recalled? An icon? Someone to be emulated? A man who never left his childhood state, merely this and nothing more?”
|My poor idol only made money on one thing he wrote.|
It was a scientific work on spiders. Me? I intend
to get rich despite Big Dope's lack of help. - C;W;
I sat stupefied.
“So what do you think?”
“I think you and I need to have a long talk about my species.’
“I have another,” he said. “It starts many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea.”
“Please beam one of us up,” I said. “Please.” Then I swear I heard this voice boom down from somewhere up above.
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