out of the ashes

Sunday, March 7, 2010

From Chapter 38!

There's been a slight confrontation between Robert and Maribeth at the breakfast table the morning after Marvin injected himself. Richard and Trish have told them to stay in the kitchen. The governor and his wife will go find out if Marvin is dead or alive.

I'll get to Marvin dancing, and the angels on the ceiling having a great time--the music of Ms. Makeba blaring in the background, later. He needs to get a few years younger, first. This could be fun if I get it right!


He rose and waited until his wife joined him, and then they walked side by side down the hall to the basement door. Rothschild quietly appeared behind them, slowly wagging his massive tail, drool dripping from the pink tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth. When Richard pulled the door open, Rothschild sat back on his haunches and stared down the first flight of stairs dolefully, as though he sensed a soul in need of being dug out of an avalanche. Weak, gray light filtering through the windows across the hall added a gloomy feeling to the house and the indigent genius’s likely fate.
“Stay there, boy,” Richard said to the dog, and then he and Trish went down. When they had crossed the expanse of the recreation room, both noticed the hypodermic needle and unlidded flask resting on the corner of the bar. Trish cringed. The reality of Marvin’s intention to reverse his age hit her forcefully, the lengths to which he had actually gone suddenly becoming real. From the mouth of the flask an odor, sweet and thick, permeated the air around it. Richard picked it up, waved a hand over the opening an inch or two above it.
“It smells like…oranges. Maybe he mixed up orange juice and mainlined vitamin C into himself?” he said.
“The liquid looks like filthy water, not orange juice,” Trish commented.
Richard stepped to the door and listened for a moment. There was no sound inside at first. He lifted his hand to knock, Trish standing close, grasping his free arm nervously. A split second before his knuckles moved forward to touch the wood, a faint rustling, like the wings of a hundred birds, broke the silence, and then the muted sound of Marvin’s voice. Both leaned an ear close to the surface of the door and waited. A pause, and then Marvin spoke again, faintly, indistinctly.
“Abot-buba bot. Sat waguga!” it sounded like. The faint rustling again, and then the sound of joyous laughter.
Trish turned her head and whispered, “That’s his voice, but I don’t understand…what is he speaking?”
“Sounds vaguely…African. An African dialect. What the hell is going on?”
“Can you translate it?”
Richard jerked his head back with a look of astonishment at the question.
“Me?”
“Well, you are fluent in German and Japanese.”
The words continued to roll from Marvin’s lips, broken at intervals by others in English.
“What? I don’t know…” Very softly…”Where she is. Doesn’t matter…” And then loudly, “Wa-imia, wa-imia sat, be-eenga…My nose looks strange. It’s melting. What do you think, Anselm?”

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