30 March 2011

Page 14

“The dream will answer your questions about the drone.”

He took the pipe out of his mouth, tapped it against his hand, and stuck it in his shirt pocket. “It’s for effect-really. I don’t actually smoke. I keep it in my mouth for safe-keeping. It’s a little like chicle in that regard.”

“Chicle?” asked Maurice.

“The perfect chemical. That’s what chewing gum is made of. A good wad of sugar-flavored chicle between the cheek and gum, massaging the salivary glands, is like manna from Wrigleys. Even better than squid…from my sea-faring days…and chicle grows in trees and won’t squirt you with ink. Nor will a chicle tree try to eat you should you fall overboard.”

Polly smiled. “I do same thing with much of the food I review. I don’t actually eat the horrid stuff. I simply observe it and visualize how it affects my taste buds. You’d be surprised how accurate this is.”

Maurice wondered why he didn’t think of this before the spamburgers arrived and made a mental note to mentally try squid someday.

“About the dream, Mr. Walder. You we’re saying…”

“Yes, yes-the dream. Do you believe in Predestination?”

“Why yes I do,” said Polly.

“I believe in Fate,” said Maurice.

“What would you say if I told you I dreamed the two of you would be sitting here with me, and Ell, and Scrap Iron, and Russell, and Buck (This must be the two checker players thought Maurice) on April the 1st, 2011?”

“Today is the last day of March,” said Maurice.

“Not in New Zealand,” chimed Polly.

“Predestination is like being a character in a book. The book has already been written and it’s up to us to decide who plays all the parts.”

“Oh…Ok,” said Maurice. “But who wrote the book?”

Jakob ignored the question. “Threads. Each of us, and you two in particular, are a single strand of thread connected to the Creator of Life…you can think of him as the writer of the Book of Life too. In my dream I saw two strands working together to create a mesh that stopped a great evil from poisoning the planet. The evil has many names and is real. I think you called him Destruction in your dream, Mr. Perez.”

Maurice’s heart skipped a beat and he felt his face grow warm.

“These microchips Z-Tech inserts into people…yes, I know about them. They bother you and not just a little bit. It’s a bit unsettling how they use facial recognition algorithmns to recognize and track aliens.

You know with your heart this…this numbering and tracking…is wrong, but do not know why.”

“And Polly-you are an artist and writer and intuitively know why beauty and uniqueness is important in life. You also hate spiders.”

Polly jerked and nearly knocked her tea on the floor. She considered spiders as little incarnations of evil and had a particularly bad nightmare about a very large tarantula the night before.

“The two of you should work together to fight this encroachment of civil liberties. Now in my dream, I saw the two strands weaving a web that trapped this great beast.”

“Please Mr. Walder, this sounds exciting, but it’s a little…fantastic, and unsettling, and…and…”

“Arachnodiculous,” said Maurice.

“Yes. Arachno…arachna…what Maurice just said,” said Polly.

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