The Man With No Brain: Part Three:

Discussion in 'Sound Off' started by Leep, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Leep

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    I walked away from my talk with Jimmy with my mind reeling with thoughts racing at warp speed. I knew somehow that I would never be able to do this myself.
    I needed help.
    Jimmy was on my side, for what it was worth. I would however, need to enlist others to my cause. Four seemed a likely number.

    How do you face that which has no face, or is in possession of many? How do you defeat the evil that comes suddenly in the night, or disguised as innocence.
    At best, one can only hope to hold his own, unless God decides to take an active role. And, history shows that this is seldom the case.
    The sidewalk was warm from the late afternoon sun and I was walking aimlessly, deep in thought. I stopped suddenly, so suddenly that I almost got rear ended by a little old lady pushing a baby carriage. Looking thoughtfully at me she said sweetly, “Son, you must be troubled greatly by the looks of you”.
    “I have been better, mother,” I said quietly.
    “Would you like to talk about it then?”
    With a sigh I answered, “Oh that I could, if I only could.” “But, I fear that I am floundering in an ocean of indecision and confusion.”
    “Does it have to do with the Man With No Brain?”
    It seemed I spent more and more time with my jaw dropped in astonishment. Maybe I could rent it out for space.
    “What do you know of this, then?”
    With a smile that changed to a chuckle then onto a belly laugh worthy of any man, she looked into my eyes and slowly started to change. Her features coarsened, hair suddenly became matted and stringy. Teeth that were now longer, eyes that had a red cast to them.
    I watched in growing horror as her feet burst from her old shoes, black and thorny. In a guttural voice she chanted, “Give it up you mindless fool, you have no chance.”
    I recoiled in horror from this apparition. Her voice changed constantly, one minute high pitched, the next a guttural moan. Then, there were many voices ushering from her distended throat.
    Looking at the carriage, I saw movement. What were once cooing noises were now on a level the same as old grandma.
    A thorny arm slid over the side and became unbelievably long, morphing from an arm to a slithering serpent, jaws extended, gaping.
    I ran, I simply ran as fast as I could, with the deep, horrible laughing chasing my shadow down alleys, side streets, out onto the main drag, where my sudden, disheveled appearance drew more than my share of suspicious glances.

    This was too much:
    From that moment on my memories are confused, broken.
    I can see looking back, a time that seemed to last for eons, perhaps it did. Memories of chases, frantic run down dark alleys. Foul breezes the only warning of the oncoming evil.
    Hurried flips back and forth from my world to Tommy’s,…. a cool touch on my fevered brow.
    I remember a sweet soothing voice and soft hands cradling me close, a scent as sweet as any I remembered,… and oddly familiar.
    Angry voices as I lay resting. One in particular arguing that; “This is enough, he can’t do it alone and you cowards won’t help him.”
    Tommy and Charles were talking quietly and Franklin sitting in the corner, a book on his lap, a pipe smoking, unforgotten in his ash tray.
    “They almost got him the last time,” Frank mused.
    Tommy sat with his head in his hands. “What can we do to help Charles, we have to do more”
    Charles looked downcast at me and the others: “I don’t know fellows, I just don’t know: “we aren’t protected over there and if we get caught by the wrong ones, it is over for us.”
    “I have an idea”, he said. “At least we can see he gets a little help over there.”….. “We’ll send him some help.”

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………

    The next thing I remember is walking down a busy city street, feeling remarkably well. I knew things would soon be looking up, how, I didn’t know, but I was assured just the same. I was confident that Jimmy would be of help and the Doctor as well, if he was in the area when I needed him, just one more to complete the circle. One more man of principles and honor would be all we needed.

    I stopped for a minute at the entrance to a dark, deep, foreboding tunnel. Traffic moved above this apparatus, but curiously, none entered.
    A young man stood at the entrance, a large, bulky punching, kicking bag slumped at his feet.
    I liked his looks at once.
    I inquired as to his mission and was told politely that he needed to get this contraption home and hung soon.
    I said, “I can see you are no”Slack”{er},” and I would be happy to be of service.
    He also opined that if I was Superman I could assuredly “Leep” over the offending tunnel and land us safely at the other end.
    He smiled at this and looked at me with a calm, intelligent, assurance.
    “Well, since that is an option that won’t soon be available to us, you take one end and I’ll shoulder the other.”
    Slack, as I’ve come to call him, told me of the dangers that lurked in the dark recesses of the tunnel.
    “Leep, he said, there are always drug dealers along the way, ladies of the evening, and other sundry characters.” “We need to keep a sharp eye while in there”.
    Leep.
    Huh,… I kinda liked that moniker and became determined to keep it as my own.
    “Let’s go then, shall we?”

    Our footsteps echoed hollowly on the broken cobblestones and the light dimmed as we trod deeper and deeper into the quagmire. As we walked, we could see people standing in the dark corners, talking quietly to one another.
    They would stop and watch us as we slowly passed by, intently inspecting us and measuring our worth.
    Slack looked at them from the corners of his clear, grey eyes, steps not faltering a whit.
    As we sank deeper into the tunnel, things began to change, imperceptibly at first, then with more rapidity.
    I saw people watching from the dim corners- at least they looked like people.
    As we moved along one man on the right slowly began to change. His features slowly began to run, morphing into a countenance that became liquid, flowing. One minute he was a man, the next he was a monster. Teeth becoming elongated, pointed. Hair now long and shaggy, clothes bursting from seams no longer able to hold the new, improved me.
    What were once murmurs, talking, became sibilant hissing.
    The one on the left became a slinking, slithering reptile, spitting curses and warnings. Another creature, with arms and short legs that carried it a wonderful speed along the side of the tunnel, kept pace with us.
    One of the women, who was regarded previously as a lady of the night, was suddenly pounced upon by the creature.
    Muffled screams and wet, ripping sounds emanated from the blackness in the corner.
    Soon, the foul thing appeared in our sight once more, holding triumphantly in its disgusting appendage, what were once the insides of a person.
    I glanced at my new friend from the corner of my eye to see how he was receiving this.
    Except for a fine bead of sweat on his forehead and a step that hesitated just a second- he carried himself with remarkable aplomb.

    Suddenly thunder crashed and rain fell in torrents, sheeting, almost vertical. As each burst of lightning flashed, I could see the rain was black, incredibly dark, and shiny.
    The black wetness ran in rivulets down our faces leaving dark tracks that were soon washed anew in the foulness.
    The floor rolled and buckled as we neared the end of the tunnel.
    More creatures appeared at the periphery of our vision, more agitated, desperate now to get at us.
    “Steady, Slack, steady now-we’re almost out.”
    As we neared the end, we heard a roaring and howling and coming at us at incredible speed was, a dog?
    A creature that perhaps was once a dog, but was now more, much more, it had incredibly long teeth, almost ludicrous in their length. Foulness preceded it like the wind before a storm.
    I was starting to get pissed, really pissed. I never asked for this. I would have been happy to just have lived my life in blissful ignorance of this crap.
    But, here it was.
    Just as the beast was almost upon us and ready to pounce, Slack whipped the heavy bag off our shoulders and before I had time to react, he slammed it into the creature with incredible speed and force.
    The bag smashed into it and something very remarkable happened.
    Upon impact, blue lightening flashed and voices roared their anger, many voices. The thing exploded upon the impact of the bag, black confetti suddenly filling the air, swirling around us in a veritable blizzard.
    As the pieces slowly settled on the ground; silence fell with it.

    We stood looking askance at each other for a minute, then slowly and thoughtfully walked the last few yards to the end and into the bright sunlight.

    Looking back into the dimness, we could see men again, standing in dark corners, conducting business as usual.
    The ladies of the dark smiling at us with promise in their eyes, normalcy returning even as we watched, except for a sudden, subtle shifting of reality for a second, as everything moved in and out of focus, then settled into solidity once again.
    We walked to the side of the road and sat down on the bag, as traffic suddenly began to flow in and out of the tunnel.
    All was well with the world again, yeah.


    “Well, Leep, my new friend asked, what the hell was that?”

    I just looked at him for a second- then threw back my head and laughed, roaring helplessly, tears washing away the last traces of blackness that still clung stubbornly to my cheeks.
    Slack looked at me with bemusement and not a little concern. “Leep, you okay Leep?”
    Why does everyone ask me that, I wondered?
    “Ah, I’m ok Slack, old son.”
    “I was just about resigned to the fact that I was going to have to go through this alone, and sometimes it was a little more than I could take.” “But now, it looks like I’m going to have help:….. Just when I was sure I was at the end of my rope, you came along.”
    “I’m sorry though Slack, really sorry, ’cause now you’re in whether you want to be or not.” “They won’t let you alone now, but together maybe we can finally put an end to the Man with No brain.”
    With a sigh that betrayed his own sudden weariness, Slack leaned back on what I now regarded as the Magic Bag, and said, “Ok, let’s have it Leep”
    With a sigh rivaling his own, I began.

    Seconds became minutes, after I finished my tale, with no appreciable reaction. .Finally, Slack slid down and leaned his head on the bag, idly watching the clouds racing across the sky.
    “This is the real stuff, isn’t it Leep?”
    “Yeah, it’s the real thing, my friend, it’s all too real.” “Think you’re up for it?”
    He looked at me for a second then gave a repeat performance of what I had just given a few minutes before.
    Now it was my turn to look at him with questions in my eyes.
    Gasping, choking- Slack held out his hand to forestall any action on my part. “I’m ok, Leep, its okay.” “It’s just a little more than I expected to happen on a nice Saturday afternoon.” “Well, “ he said after a few more minutes of looking askance at the clouds, “ Let’s go somewhere , away from this place, “
    He looked nervously over his shoulder at the blackness we had just escaped from, and said “and figure out what we’re going to do now.” “The Man with No Brain—sheesh- how long did it take you to come up with that one.”

    Suddenly, it felt like the world had been lifted from my shoulders, and laughing contentedly, I jabbed him on the shoulder and said, “I suppose you could have come up with a better name, eh?”
    Slack laughed back at me and said, “In my dreams Leep, in my dreams.”
    Suddenly… sober once more, I said,” dreams, yeah dreams.”

    How’d you like to hear a story about a guy with three skeletons for friends, that live in another world, just like ours?” “But, over there, they’re not skeletons, but look just like us? “
    With a look from those calm grey eyes, he sighed and answered, “I can’t wait.”
    As we walked companionably down the busy street, I filled him in on all that had happened up to now.
    I looked at him a little nervously, wondering how he would take this new revelation. Probably hit me over the head with this bag, and run as fast as he could away from this nut, I thought.
    But, I misjudged this man, I saw.
    Slack glanced at me from the corner of his eyes and asked quietly, “Well, what next, Leep?”
    I said, well, I didn’t know, just see if we can find that creature and put an end to him.
    We had walked for quite some time when Slack asked, “Where are we anyway, I don’t recognize this part of town?”
    I looked about us and said.
    “Town, what town?”
    Looking behind us we could see that the town had disappeared and what were once buildings and a bustling metropolis, was now a barren desert.
    Looking ahead, we saw that what was once a highway was now a beautiful field, impossibly long, with green grass growing almost knee high.
    The sun was still shining brightly,…. but change was in the air.
    We stopped at the same time, and set the bag at our feet and looked uneasily around.

    Suddenly the sky darkened and the wind picked up- a wind with a distinct odor wafting about us. “I don’t like this, Slack”
    “I’m not real fond of it myself, Leep.”
    With little warning, the sky became a sinister black, and the wind was now howling- A black rain began to fall- “This again, I thought.”
    The howling soon took on a new pitch, a more personal tone.
    “How are you at killing demons, Leep-oh and some knowledge at destroying monsters and things that go bump in the night might be nice too?”
    “What the heck are you talking about, Slack?”
    Mutely, he pointed to the far horizon.
    There, to my horror, were hordes of said monsters flowing like a river over the hill ahead of us. All types and kinds, anything you ever imagined as a kid while you lay huddled under your blankets praying for dawn.
    Some had the long fangs, hair falling over red eyes, yelping with unbridled glee. Others slithering around and over all obstacles, laughing hoarsely. Some familiar ones, with bodies of snakes and legs of dog.
    Sounds like a recipe for a witch’s brew.
    Wave after wave, filling the horizon.
    I stood numbly, frozen in place.
    Slack yelled, “watch out, Leep.”
    Watch out, I thought, yeah, watch us get slaughtered, eaten alive.”
    Slack suddenly picked up the heavy bag, like it was nothing, and slammed it into the ground with the same incredible force he showed earlier. Now, why did he do that I wondered.
    I turned to ask him just that, when, as soon as the bag touched the ground, it exploded into a thousand pieces, each piece sending a fiery glow into the air. I saw the ocean of madness approaching us slow just for an instant, and then come towards us even faster, if that was possible.
    “Look, Leep,… look”
    I glanced down where the bag was, and saw a wondrous thing.
    There, lying at our feet, were two swords, beautiful and shining with a glow that gave me heart. Beside them, glowing with the same wondrous light lay two sets of glorious armor.
    They all had a blue aura around them, and as we bent hastily to pick them up, the glow suddenly enveloped us as well.
    We bent quickly and strapped on armor that fit us like a glove.
    The swords were encrusted with precious jewels, and…. close to the hilt, both wore a small cross, emblazoned in gold.
    Slack and I picked them up at the same time, and as our hands closed over them, our fingers clasped the hilt and our thumbs pressed upon the crosses. Blue flames shot from the ends of our newly found weapons, ran up and down the sword, up our arms and enveloped our entire bodies.
    I hollered, “Grab my arm, Slack.”
    As he did, we both felt a surge of incredible power sweep over us, and we turned as one to face the evil that was now upon us.
    The first were the doglike creatures, followed closely by those that resembled the werewolves in our youthful dreams.
    “Have at them Slack”, I yelled, and have at them we did.
    With every stroke of the blades, they fell, lifeless, headless, at our feet.
    At one time, I yelled, “Lord, give us the strength to prevail, in your name.”
    With these words, our strength became more, and the masses slowed, then stopped for a second, to study us more closely, it seemed.
    The dead and dying lay all about us: the screams of them still ringing in our ears. The field was strewn with them, their black blood staining the good green earth with their filth.
    We stood, arm in arm- gasping for breath- eyes and ears slowly clearing, as we gazed at the devastation lying all around us.
    “Wonder why they stopped, Slack gasped.”
    “Probably to get a better start, “I answered with a shaky grin.
    They stood silently, motionless, looking like figures carved out of black obsidian, row after row of the black evil, seemingly lifeless.
    Suddenly, there was a quiet shifting and we saw them move subtly, then they were standing, crawling, creeping at the breast of the hill- heads cocked, listening intently.
    “Now what,” I wondered.
    We stood, shoulder to shoulder, waiting.
    Then, at the breast of the hill rode a being, a thing of foulness, astride a pure white stallion.
    His blackness pervaded all around him, making a mockery of the whiteness of the horse.
    I was reminded of a book I had read once, “Death Rides a Horse.”
    “I don’t know what’s going on, Slack, but I have a feeling it isn’t going to be good.”
    Slack just looked at me and slowly shook his head, sweat running down his cheeks. “How many times can we beat them back, Leep?”
    “Guess we’re gonna’ find out, because HERE THEY COME AGAIN!”