Friday, October 30, 2009

Seven #2.12

Nicholas was taken out of Robideaux's grocery store and taken to the Indianola Bridge. "With Ernest's untimely death," Samuel began, "we need someone to take over the bridge."

"And you're choosing me?" Nicholas was stunned. "But when my friends get here, Tara and I have to leave."

"And when you come back, the job will still be here. I've made certain of that. You've been a good citizen and I've loved you and Tara living with me and Mary. If you ever need a place to stay or anything else when you finish this journey you're on, just let me know," Samuel smiled.

"Thank you very much Mr. Vieux," Nicholas smiled back. "I'm fairly certain Tara and I will come back to Indianola when we're done with our journey."

"Glad to hear it," Samuel patted Nicholas on the back. "I'll see you back at home."

Samuel walked off leaving Nicholas alone at the toll booth. Nicholas went inside the booth and sat down. It was nearly thirty minutes before the first person came down the bridge.

"Toll, please. Ten cents," Nicholas said.

The small man turned his head toward Nicholas. "How about I give you everything you want instead?"

Nicholas eyed the little man. "Sounds good but I think I'd rather have the ten cents," he chuckled.

"Would you?" the little man smiled and threw his hand up into the air and everything went black. Almost a split-second later, Nicholas awoke, back in Cassoday.

"What in the...?" he stammered.

Standing over him was his brother, Gregory. "What are you doing on the ground? Come on, we have to get to the church."

Gregory helped Nicholas up. "The church? What for?"

"Such a joker. Your wedding, Nick. You're finally marrying Tara today," Gregory said.

"Mr. Uskglass"
"What is going on?" Nicholas turned to the little man.

"I'm giving you everything you want," the man said and began peeling a banana that appeared out of nowhere.

"But I'm back home and...marrying Tara?"

"Yeah. I don't know who this Tara person is but in half an hour or so she'll be your wife," the man said and finished his banana. "This is what your subconscious said you wanted."

"What? No it isn't. Well, yes but Seven likes Tara and I..."

"Seven? Who's that?"

"My best friend."

"Well if he's your best friend then he should be happy for you. What kind of name is Seven?" the little man wondered. "I guess there is that 1990s television show that has a person named Six on it," he muttered to himself.

"What? Television?" Nicholas was more confused.

"Nothing!" the man covered up. "Come on, your wedding is about to start."

"I'm not getting married. Who are you?" Nicholas demanded.

"My name is Mr. Uskglass," the little man removed his hat and bowed. "I come from a place very different from this one. But since I can travel through time and other dimensions, I keep myself well-entertained."

"Time travel? That's impossible," Nicholas said.

"Obviously not because we're here, aren't we?" Uskglass said.

"Send me back to Indianola," Nicholas demanded.

"Don't you want to marry Tara?"

Nicholas looked at the church and sighed. "Not like this. Send me back."

It went dark again and soon Nicholas and Uskglass were back in Indianola. "Okay. So you didn't like that one," Uskglass stroked his chin with his fingers. "Maybe you'll like this one better."

Then it went dark again.

The huge missile got closer and closer and Seven prepared himself for what was next. Seven crouched down and closed his eyes.

"You need to go," Corrine suddenly said.

Seven opened his eyes and saw a ghostly visage of Corrine standing in front of him. "I'm sorry I failed," he said.

"Don't worry. We'll see each other again soon."

Then Seven was torn from the rubble he was standing on and sent back through the water. He reached the top and threw himself out of the water, gasping. Major Beam and Cassius were standing at the pond's edge and saw Seven emerge.

"What in tarnation..." Major Beam gasped. He and Cassius went into the water and helped Seven out. "What are you doing in the water?"

"I was called here," Seven coughed. "Corrine--the Lady of the Lake lured me in. She wanted me to help fight in a war and...and we lost."

"A war?" Cassius asked. "Why did she choose you? Let's get you inside." The men began helping Seven back to the house.

"She said a Luther person saw that I would become a great hero someday. That's why she came into your visions, Cassius."

"When we get you inside you can tell us all about it," Cassius said. The men got Seven inside and helped him dry off before sitting him at the kitchen table. "Now, tell us what happened?"

Seven told them what happened in Aquarius finishing up with the missile closing in and Corrine sending him back. "I was set to die but she saved me. I lost sight of the city when the missile hit. I can only assume the city was destroyed and they all died."

"That's amazing," Major Beam said. "I do hope everything works out for those--what were they again?"

"Aquarians," Seven said.

"I have a feeling you'll be hearing from them again," Cassius said convincingly. "We need to continue walking if you are ready, Seven."

"About as ready as I'll ever be," Seven said.

Within an hour, Cassius and Seven were ready to go. They bid farewell to Major Beam and began walking away from Smallwood and toward Indianola.

"I hope Nicholas and Tara are still waiting for us in Indianola," Seven said.

"They are. I had a brief vision about them. They're actually becoming pretty well-known and successful," revealed Cassius. Cassius also saw something else. Nicholas and Tara kissing. Cassius was not sure when it would happen but he hoped Seven wouldn't find out.

Nichols and Uskglass suddenly appeared on a moving train. "Now where are we? Where are we headed?" Nicholas asked.

"We're on a train headed to Keya Paha in Nebraska. I'd tell you why but that would spoil the fun. Sometime in the future you will be riding this exact train," Uskglass said.

"So are we in the future now? Can I expect to see myself wandering around?"

"No. If anyone would actually see themselves in another plain of existence then your head would explode," Uskglass said. "At the very least, your eyes would bleed."

"Why are we here?" Nicholas was getting fed up with this little man.

"Just give it a minute," Uskglass said. Shortly after he spoke, the train suddenly lurched and the brakes squealed. People fell down and began exclaiming as the train continued to lurch and jostle around.

"What is going on," Nicholas asked as the train suddenly bucked up.

"This is how you die," Uskglass said. "I thought you might like to know."

"Well, I didn't! Why would I want to know that?"

"So you can make changes to it and your life," Uskglass grinned. "What else would you do with this kind of knowledge?" The train suddenly bucked up and began sliding off the track. "I better get you out of here. Don't want to give too much away."

Back in Indianola, Nicholas was asleep in the toll booth and awoke with a jolt when Tara tapped him on the shoulder. "Nicholas, what's wrong? You fell asleep," she said.

"Asleep...Yeah, I guess," Nicholas said but could only think of the train crash. "I am so glad to see you."

He stood up and hugged Tara. She hugged him back although she was a bit confused. "I'm glad to see you, too. The next guy should be here soon and we can head back home..."

Nicholas kissed Tara right on the lips. At first she was stunned but soon her eyes closed and she kissed him back.

Cassius and Seven arrive in Indianola and the team is reunited.