Friday, September 25, 2015

                            THE LEGION OF NIGHT, CHAPTER 37

                                                        TOPEKA


     There's a cool breeze up here on the roof, not really the place you'd expect the Police Commissioner to be after midnight....still, I'd been waiting for this meeting, for months, and this is the only way she'd see me. You'd think being her father would buy me some consideration.

     Maybe that's exactly what this is.

     I haven't seen Joanie since her mother's funeral, after a bomb meant for me went off with the wrong person at the wheel-Sara. Thirty-one years together gone in a flash of heat and noise, leaving a hole in my heart, and a nineteen year  old child learning the fine art of resentment. Joanie was definitely her mother's daughter, a blessing after three miscarriages, trying, failing, separating, coming together again. Sara didn't blame me, nothing like that, but my job, the hours, the things you can't share with the ones you love, kept pushing them closer together, and me further away. I love my daughter, but I can't understand the choice she made; those people, the Legion, are outlaws, no matter what  public opinion might say. We raised her to respect the law, not ignore it as if it didn't matter at all.

     Suddenly, she's right in front of me, black hair, pale skin, firey green eyes glaring at me just as they did when they were ocean-blue, and we buried her mother. She's wrapped in black, like the night itself, She's taller, I guess because of the Change, and feral-looking, like some sort of nocturnal predator.

     I can't stand the silence hanging between us. "Joanie"- "My name is Luna!" she hurls back at me, "Don't you CALL me that name!" The silence again, broken only by the sounds of traffic  below, and those eyes, like a challenge to....what? Apologize? Take the blame?


     It's my turn to be angry. "You asked me to meet you here, remember? What do you want? To throw this-" I say, pointing a finger at her, how she looks, "in my face, like I made you choose this?
Why? Why this?"


     "For her", she says, softer, still angry, but softer. "No one could do anything....you couldn't do anything. Those animals were still walking the streets while my mother rotted in the ground, and the law mumbled about 'no proof, no evidence'. Everyone knew Dag Roland made it happen, he practically told you in court that he was going to get you- but he missed, didn't he? Well, I didn't!"


     That angry silence again, and no answer to why I'm here. Why does it have to be like this? I don't care who she's become, she's still my daughter, my only child, and all I have left of Sara.  I turn to leave, and I hear a sound, like a tinkling rush of wind behind me. As I turn, I see Luna transforming, not into Joanie, but someone much like her.


  "Dad", her voice echoes in my head, "don't hate me; I just couldn't stand them getting away with it, killing Mom, wanting to kill you. I don't hate you....I hate the fact that your hands are tied.


     "Ours aren't; we're not your enemies." Her voice reaches my ears this time, plaintive, and sad. " I-I miss you, but I can't be who I was. I didn't stay away just because of that, but because I thought it might make things harder for you."


     "Not seeing you makes it harder. I still have lasagna for Sunday dinner, not as good as your mother's, but I make it okay. "


     Before she fades away completely, I see a smile. This is Thursday; better go shopping tomorrow.


    

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

THE LEGION OF NIGHT, CHAPTER 36



     You'd think that Dougie would have better things to do than watch me fress.
Susan was just here, talking a mile a minute about the wedding, the guests, her dress, the whole ding, and I'm a quivering icicle inside, and trying hard not to show it.

     I've BEEN through this before, and I love this woman, and I want to spend the rest of my life here with her, so what's with the internal cold sweats? Not to mention, having this facacta cat giving me looks like I'm in need of a bib....

     Maybe I'm just used to being alone.  Nope, that's not it....I'm lonely, and I'd rather not be. Dougie, good dude that he is, just isn't the same.

     Truth is, I'm afraid; not of her, or what she can do, but of what effect this might have on us, and our relationship. This is kinda why I never actively pursued relationships with other cops-there's just so many things that work on you when you're in that business, and being Legion looks like it'd be like that, in stereo.

     I've seen cop marriages break up because one of the folks involved couldn't understand what it's like to do that kind of job, along with being glad (in a way) that the spouse didn't get what it was about; why would you want your mate to know some of that? Even when they do, like if you're involved with someone who's in the Biz, there's stresses, stuff regular people don't face, usually.

     This has been taken to the Throne in prayer, but no answer yet. At least, nothing loud and clear. A lot of times, that means that I already know the answer, but I'm overthinking the question, something Susan's pointed out to me before. Come to think of it, my mother used to point that out to me, too.

     I realize I'm about to do something totally juvenile, but totally appropriate- I call Pastor Mike, and ask him to meet me at my house in an hour. Then, I send out a call to someone who I know is listening; sure enough, she materializes in my living room, in costume, with her friend Spark in tow, and they're both doing that schoolgirl whispering and pointing thing. I'm not sure, but I think they know what I'm up to. Sue is glowing, and not just from her Nightwitch persona. In an instant, they both Change, and I realize that Spark is the little pixie that dips my ice cream at Faroh's, something-Sextella, I think.

     "It's Jessie," she says, revealing that mental-mojo gift she's shown before....I guess they all have it. I went to school with Jessie's dad, and watched as he was carried to rest at Rose Of Sharon Gardens, about a dozen years ago....damn cancer.

     "Now you've gone and done it", says Susan, walking across the room to me, taking my hand, beaming like Cinderella when the slipper fit, "Mike's on his way, and Jess and I aren't gonna let you get away."

     "You've probably got time to change-no; this is who I'm marrying," she says, running her finger lovingly down the front of my Ghoulardi t-shirt, "and this is how I want you."

     Dougie is rolling back and forth on the floor, as if to show he's dressed for the occasion. Sue bends down and picks him up, holding him like a bouquet- I hope she's not gonna toss him at anyone.
She's dressed in white, albeit a white knee-length skirt and a WMMS Buzzard Nuclear Army t-shirt- I never COULD find one, although she maybe went E-Bay. Her gorgeous red hair is twined in a long braid, wrapped around her brow like a crown. As always, the sight of her makes me tingle.

     This is DEFINITELY the right move. No licence, but marriage is between a man, a woman, and God....Caesar has nothing at all to do with it. Our Pastor will be here in a moment, and counting Jessie and Dougie, we've got two witnesses.

     Mike is knocking, and I let him in....it's showtime.