Tuesday, April 30, 2013

THE LEGION OF NIGHT, CHAPTER 13

     Sometimes, the more information you get, the muddier the situation.... I'm sitting in my living room, pondering what to do that evening. There's nothing playing nearby that I want to see, nothing on tv worth turning it on for, and my phone hasn't rung all day. Dougie's taking a snooze on the sofa across from me. So, I'm sitting in my ratty recliner, re-reading the file on the Legion, when there's a rapping on my front door. I start to get up when Dougie sits up, looks toward the door, and dashes toward it, chrr-upping like he's just won the 9 Lives Sweepstakes. He reaches the door, gives a loud
Ch-RUPPP!", and steps back, just as a petite, elfin woman in black walks THROUGH my door!

     I'm sorta blown back by this, but I manage to get out, "How'd you...."
"He invited me in," said the woman, gesturing at Dougie, who's gazing at her, purring like a '69 Charger at a stoplight, "and YOU-" she added, "wanted to talk to me....well, one of us, anyhow.
"My name is Spark, and I heard your thought a bit ago, and I thought it might be a gas to stop in, and have a bit of conversation,."

     She's cute, in a Wednesday Addams sorta way, dancer's form, about four foot nine,  black catsuit, slippers, gloves, and a sort of gauzy serape over her shoulders, Emily Dickinson face topped with silver pixie-cut hair, and a red and gold luna moth on a chain around her neck. She carried a strawberry aroma with her, like the natural perfumes girls wore when I was in high school, forty-some years ago.

     "Can I say something first", I ask. "Please do", is the reply.
"Okay....IN THE NAME OF CHRIST JESUS, BEGONE!"
She's still standing there, smiling at me. well, at least I know she's not a demon, which probably means the rest of them aren't, either.

     She strolls over to the sofa, and sits down in what generally is Dougie's spot. Rather than raising a fuss, he jumps into her lap, and starts head-butting and cheek-rubbing her madly, purring even louder, if you can imagine. Spark scratches him behind the ears, paying close attention to the scar behind his right ear he got in a fight when he was two....drives him crazy.

     "So, Mr. Wishgood, what do you want to know?"
"What are you, really?"
"Really, I'm a girl who got tired of the bad guys getting away with hurting people. I lost someone real close to me in a robbery, and I was going to  kill myself 'cause the creep got off, lack of evidence.
Someone came to me, that night, and offered me the chance to bring the killer to justice, and I said yes."

     "What happened? " "It's hard to describe", Spark says, "He placed the palm of his hand on my forehead, and I felt this incredible warmth, this, I don't know, , energy, flowing all through me, it hurt, it felt good, it took forever, it lasted just a second, all at the same time."
I ask, "When you change, does it happen automatically, like at sunset, or something?" "No," she says, with an even wider smile, and a shake of her head, "it's a conscious act. Actually, about the only thing that really changes is our appearance-I'm always bulletproof."

     "How does it work?"  "Mr. Wishgood, you've got a cellphone, right? Do you use it all the time? Do you know how IT works?" She had a point, I had to admit.

     I ask her, "I'm not really sure how to put this, but....have you....killed anyone?"
Spark dropped her gaze from my face, and her smile became sad. "I have, and I feel the same way that you did when you shot someone-I don't take pleasure in it, but it was necessary in each case. We know when someone won't stop feeding on the innocent, and we take them out." "No," she said, as I started to raise asnother question on the subject, "I really can't tell you more about how it works, and I'd rather not poke around in how it feels to kill...you understand."

     I did-I've got two bodies on my record, both righteous shootings, and I stil see their faces each night. Then, I don't think I'd really want to be the kind of person who wouldn't see them. A change of subject seemed to be in order.

     "Are you from around here, Spark?"
"That would be telling", the smile was back, "and I've got to go. Remember, though....we're here to help." she tickled Dougie under the chin, and slowly faded away, leaving the echo of a laugh and the faint scent of strawberry perfume in the air. Dougie, after dropping the six inches or so to the sofa cushion, ruffled his fur, and proceeded to wash, occasionally shooting glances at me.... like I had an answer.

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