Three loud knocks raised him. Groggy and cursing Jim trudged past the glare of midday windows. The rude awakening nullified caution and he swung wide the door.
“What the fuck do you want?” He demanded of the strange mustachioed face that greeted him.
“Are you always this charming?” A soft midwestern accent questioned in return.
The guy was middle-aged and looked like a lineman turned high school principal.
“Who the fuck are you?”
“Sir Luckadoo informed us that you may be having some trouble.”
“Sir…? What is this renaissance fair shit?”
“Well, I suppose he is a bit too modest to have informed you of his knighthood.”
“Look…buddy…I’m getting’ real tired of this goblin, knight, wizard bullshit. I’d love nothing more than to send those little fuckers straight to hell with the rest of ya. Why can’t everybody just leave me the fuck alone?”
“Still an adolescent I see.”
Jim slammed the door in his face.
The three knocks again resounded.
“I’m afraid that’s not an option.”
“I’m armed asshole.”
“Threatening a federal agent is a bad idea, son.”
Jim swung open the door.
“A fuckin’ fed…thank Christ…I was wondering when you guys would bust these assholes.”
The strangers face was blank.
“I think you’re confused.”
“What is it that you think is going on here, son?”
“A drug ring…ain’t it obvious.”
The principal shook his head.
“You are responsible for the Western gate.”
“Pfft…more of this hick gibberish…you’re not a fed…” Jim said backing his way towards the Mossberg.
The stranger flashed a badge.
“I’m special Agent Thornton.”
“You’re special alright.”
“Come on kid. Don’t be stupid. I know what went on here the past couple of nights.”
“O yea…cause I certainly don’t.”
“Well, that’s your own doing.”
“Are ya fuckin’ kidding me? I’m supposed to make sense of this voodoo shit?”
“Well, you were given a manual.” Thornton shot a thick finger at Hant’s letter.
“Can’t make heads or tails of that shit. Waste of time…”
“Yes…I’m afraid you have wasted a lot of time.”
Jim rolled his eyes.
“So why are you here again?”
“To inform you that distracting them can only work for so long.”
Jim felt a chill. So, he really was being observed, if they knew about his recent deployment of Dutch’s trick…what else did they know?
“Yes, you have to pass the threshold.”
Jim laughed. “You mean like the fucking Doors?”
Thornton smirked. “Something like that.”
“Well…uh…alrighty then…and how exactly do I do that.”
Thornton sighed. “Unfortunately, you have to work that out on your own. Though I can point you in the right direction.”
“Do you suppose the sky is filled with nothing but death?”
“I have no idea. Nor do I care. I can barely find a reason for living down here much less guess at otherworldly horseshit.” Jim said lighting a cigarette.
Thornton sighed again. “Well, unfortunately otherworldly horseshit is your job.”
“Yes. I know you’re very much inculcated in the new fashion. That you chose your path. That your profession is something that you can pick from a menu. I’m afraid that it isn’t so.”
“Hmm…my ma warned me about you protestants…”
“I don’t believe in a thing old man. Much less Calvinist horseshit.”
“I don’t think belief is necessary after all that you have witnessed.”
“See, there it is. That Baptist talk…witnessed…I’m tellin’ you I don’t buy it. And if I did, I’d go to the true Church like Ma wanted.”
“Well, my one task here is to leave you with a suggestion, with a key.”
“All men return to the earth from which they sprang. But the earth from which they sprang is full of wisdom. For it was not a folly that the Most High fashioned us from her dust. The light of stars spiritual and physical far beyond the Gnostic lie of duality. Matter is spirit, and spirit is matter, and any confusion about this is a trick of the devil. His armies have many tactics the chief of which is to trap spirit within matter through illusion. It is this that the El sell to Kings in exchange for temporal power. But this is a will-o-the-wisp. One that you must surpass to guard the gate aright. To stay the division till the appointed day when its revelation will strain the wheat from the chaff.”
“Jesus Christ dude.”
“Christ helps those who help themselves.” Thornton said and turned to go.
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