Chapter 4

by D.M. Jewelle

 This chapter completes 2 challenges:

– Kemuri’s theme, “Goatse
– Juufan’s NaNo challenge to put in the phrase “And now, I feel like being an omelette. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.”

Happy finding the Megatokyo reference!

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Key Sand’s memory was less than stellar, to say the least. He vaguely remembered walking to the cemetery, a lot of getting upset, getting drenched, and then all was black. Next he knew he was in a fluffy bed under a warm fluffy quilt. Obviously something was missing between the world going black and the bed, but he couldn’t place it.He looked up to see the old man from earlier placing a cup of steaming hot chocolate beside him.“Y’feeling less screamy yet?”Key opened his mouth, but no sound emerged, just a scratchy hiss from the depths of his throat.“Wunna be surprised if you lost your voice, you know how long were you screaming?” Key shook his head. “Three hours! In the pouring rain! If not this it’ll be pneumonia or lightning strike us both down. Y’wanna be miserable at least keep it to yourself!” The old man grumbled and tsked.

Key looked downcast, clutching the quilt tightly while the old man smoothed the covers and sat down at the other end of the bed.

“Be damned if you want to punch God looking like a wet kitten.”

Key looked back at the old man, eyes wide.

“You said all this is the Good Lord’s fault, swore you’d go right up to His face – if God be a man, tha’ is – and give him a good one riiight here,” the old man pointed to his nose. Key blinked. He knew he might have said a lot of ridiculous things – he recalled something about smiting City Hall with fire and brimstone, now that he thought about it – but he certainly didn’t remember the swearing about punching God in the nose.

“Go on, drink your choc’lit, s’good for your head.”

The long-haired youth sipped, hands wrapped around the warm mug. Nope, still nothing about punching noses. Another sip. Still a blank.

“Mebbe you’d remember faster if you burned your tongue.”

Key tilted his head back and drained the cup. The burning sensation on his tongue drew swirling colours in the room, and memories of an echo that sounded like his voice shouting, “You know what I think of your con!? This is what I think of YOUR STINK’N CON!!!” and making obscene hand gestures at the dark, cloudy, raining, sky.

He looked at the old man, more confused than ever. The man’s shoulders shrugged, “So maybe I mistranslated.”

Key was intrigued by the old man’s suggestion. Impossible, yet if done right, could be the biggest achievement in his life. The recognition he’d receive by meeting and manhandling God alone would impress theologians and philosophers, putting to rest the eternal debate of God’s existence. The debate was revived four years ago when the Ink Tsunami hit, he would merely be putting thousands of restless minds to rest. Furthermore, if God was indeed responsible, he could avenge Jan’s death – killing two birds with one stone!

The more he weighed the pros and cons, the brighter his face lit up. The idea won him over soon enough.

“So y’ll be off to punch God then?” Key nodded so hard his skull could dislocate from his neck. The old man heaved a sigh, “Well, settles it then, y’know how to get there?”

Key blinked.

“What, y’think God be sitting in a chair up on a hill somewhere down south?”

All lofty aspirations 6 paragraphs ago nearly died on the spot; Somehow the difficulties of locating a metaphysical abode located on a higher dimension had eluded Key Sand entirely.

“That’sa problem with young’ins these days – all gung and no ho, running on wild goose chases and coming back blaming the gov’ment for it. Tsk tsk.”

Key tilted his head, avoiding the old man’s lecturing gaze.

“So, you want to know how to find God?”

It came as a surprise to Key – for all the man’s seeming disdain towards youths with no future planning and coordination, he certainly seemed willing to help.

Key nodded. “Well come closer so I can whisper you the answer.”

Key raised an eyebrow. The old man leaned nearer, so close his beard could strangle Key.

“These walls…have ears.”

Key nodded slowly, waiting.

“Some philosophers be thinkin’…the thought that one man…or woman…making a planet with a complete ecosystem, climate control, natural disasters, races, ethnics, species….then multiply by a few hundred….or thousand…seems bit farfetched for one person t’do alone. Obviously this be making no sense wotsoever, but if there be summone who c’n do that, it’s summone with no sense to start with.”

A nod, prompting more.

“So if God is a person with no sense, then he’d stay at a place outside o’this big ball we live on, which makes less sense since there be no air or water out’n space.”

Nod.

“What, I gotta tell you ev’rything? Figure something out yourself for once!”

Key pointed to his throat.

“You think with your tongue?”

Shake head. The old man opened the bedside drawer and produced a pencil and a piece of paper.

*To find God we need to find a place that makes no sense?*

“Close, more like you need taking the path of least sense.”

*Path of least sense?*

“Y’know how they keep sayin’ Hell’s road be paved with good intentions? God’s garden path there be built on nonsense!”

The rain stopped pelting the window, kicking the pregnant silence up a notch.

Key scribbled furiously, more concerned with making his point than anything. *How 2 find nonsense?*

“First you find sumthing that makes no sense, then…you find the next thing that makes no sense…and then…uh…keep goin’ till you find it?”

Key narrowed his eyes, shooting daggers at the hemming and hawing old man. He had a half a mind to jump out of bed and kick the chap in the jaw for wasting his time.

The old man recovered quickly, “Look, you want to find God or no?” Nod. He pulled another sheet from the drawer, and showed it to Key.

Key had no idea what to make of it. A large hole graced the picture, with walls of neither darkness or light, but of squishy red flesh. The hole was stretched by wrinkled, overexposed hands. Each finger, gnarled by the ravages of time, hooked itself firmly on the hole’s rim. Within the hole, the reddish mass seemed to pucker and spiral, intertwining within itself, appearing much less cavernous than it truly was. The whole thing had a strange pull to it – despite what it clearly was, Key couldn’t pull himself away from it. He flipped the picture over, held it up towards the light, squinted and gave the picture several run-throughs; he hoped to find a clue tucked away in the corners of the picture (or within the hole, even), but came up empty. The picture made no sense to him, period.

“Makes no sense, does it?” The old man echoed his thoughts. “An old lady gave me this ‘few years back and said it be the key to finding God, t’was – mebbe it’ll be a bigger help to you.”

Key kept staring at the old man.

“If I knew wot t’do, I’d have found God ages ago, high time’d be your turn.”

The bed creaked as the old man rose and shuffled to the stairs. “And now, I feel like bein’ an omelette. I’ll be in th’kitchen if you be needing me.”

Key pulled away the quilt and hopped onto the floor with a thud. He followed the old man, curious and bewildered by his words of nonsense. Was it a clue, or had he been heeding the words of a senile victim of Alzheimer all along?

Just before the kitchen doorway, the old man stopped. Without turning around, he said, “Y’might wanna dress wee bit warmer than that short skirt; s’long trip, missy,” and made his way in, closing the door behind him.

Key ran to the door and rattled the knob, finding it locked. He gave the door a sharp bang and kick, smoothed out his skirt, then stomped towards the exit.

“S’bad for a lady to stomp, too!”

Key slammed the front door. Not too long after he left, the house collapsed from the force, though the old man’s fate was unknown.

Not that it made much sense to happen, but it did nonetheless.

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