Larry pulls a (fairly) large rock shard from his pocket; a rock his tail man helped him dig free from the Moore’s yard. The piece looks like a puzzle piece to some large Petroglyph. Whatever it amounts to, the object has been placed inside a velvet bag—as if to signify it's importance to someone. Larry turns the freed item over and over in his hands, as if he holds a petrified world within his palm. He thinks back to his childhood and throwing flat pieces of rock into a lake in order to either attempt a skip or hear a plunging SPLASH! Within the delicacies of the rock, a door opens in front of an eye mimicking the sun. The shard lacks background, and offers no clues to the conglomeration of meaning, refusing to offer any mantra to fill in any mental fissures in time.
He walks over to the research desk and asks, “Can you get me information on any Petroglyph Sites in the area?”
A pudgy Oriental Man looks up at him.
“Sure…Give me a couple of hours, guy.”
Larry remembers learning about Petroglyphs in school. He had drawn them. Yet, he had never actually seen a Petroglyph Site—in person, or ever witnessed the symbolic history beyond what was printed by a Xerox Machine or a Magna Doodle.
The rock possesses something. Larry feels it, deep down in his marrow. It acts as the evil Tike Figure the Brady Boys dug up (in the 80’s), when they visited Hawaii on the television, or an unforeseen evil incorporated in rock. At the same time, the piece resembles an illicit love affair. If a rock could beckon, probe, and open a door without blinking, he knew it would be at one with a bible full of miracles and Oprah Winfrey.
Entering his second month of marriage, the gun-shy divorcee finds Tina is a definite keeper. Never in a thousand years would Larry have believed such a connection existed. She is the best friend I had at eight, fourteen, and eighteen. But she has proved so much better than any friend.
The man thinks he often finds her the perfect crevice to rest his weary head upon, and Tina could offer up a back scratch that could make him purr like a kitten. Just having Tina on his arm caused him to feel more youthful and complete. Now, when the boss pulls him aside to ream him, Larry has a re-enforcing force field called true love—that helps dampen the blow. It sounds incredibly corny, but Larry believes Tina represents the Lois Lane that brings out the Superman in him. All Larry needs to think about is Tina in a leotard, or how she says, “Come hither!” And the ridiculous, stupid world, seeps back into proper perspective.
Larry stares at the jagged rock shard again, as if he half expects the object to speak, like some pet rock he had as a kid.
“You’re losing your grip!”
He picks up the phone and dials the number on the business card before him. And an automated voice tells him ‘the person you are trying to reach is not available to take your call’.
Larry slams down the receiver and follows the action by wadding up the business card before him.
“Dude, you want in on the football pool?”
The cop spins around and looks up to see a fellow veteran on the force.
“We making those rounds again?”
Larry reaches for his wallet. I have always put ten dollars on football, without much thought. This time he hesitates. This time he is married.
The other cop senses his reluctance.“Up to you; I don’t want to twist your arm!”
Larry hates to have to get an ok from his wife. Tina will understand.
“Give me that square!” He points, as if to convey he knows what he is doing. Larry flips out a ten. Then he waves the man away, as if he is going to get caught by his mother.
I’m already the luckiest man alive. Larry thinks.
Sally knows about the door to December, when she approaches Larry’s desk—a second time.
I know Sally is not your real name! You’re no good. Larry thinks, but does his best not to give it away, although the woman makes him frightfully nervous. This prognosis goes beyond the woman’s black outfit or bright emerald nails. The fact remains that even with a hidden camera, the woman never leaves a sharp enough image to visually identify her. Larry’s intuition is astute. Sally, a new-age feminine Grim reaper, smiles. She is cute, sexy, and downright appealing to any male libido within forty yards; at the same time, she holds the capacity to alter history by helping a modern virus through the gate.
Larry reaches out his hand and tries to project confidence when touching her green talons.
“Sally, was it?”
“What can I do for you?”
Jerica’s piercing Puerto Rican features burn into his masculine temporal lobe.
“So…you have found part of a Petroglyph?”
How does she know this…Unless she has been following us? Larry can’t help but wonder.
“What’s it to you?”
The woman’s inviting complexion subtly transforms, before she answers, “I am interested in such raw, archeological discoveries.”
The woman lies.
“Historical preservation is important to me.”
“I take it you know where the shard is from?”
Larry searches the dark face for answers, answers that never come.
Bible Defender walks out of a large glass skyscraper wearing slacks, a dress shirt and a tie. He notices two window washers stand on a lower ledge, and clean a less than vertical slope of connecting lower windows. The hero knows that one slip could cause either man to plunge through to the concrete floor, at least hundred feet below. Stress fractures of age run across the aging actor’s unmasked forehead.
As he steps out onto the street, sunglasses and a baseball cap attempt to hide Bible Defender’s famous Hollywood Smile. A Hollywood smile the man passed along to a son.
God has spoken to me. But the utter clarity of a recent God-shot left me a bit rattled. It was not a written script passed down from some hacks hand under the umbrella of a corporate God. No. It was a real, almost human voice, resounding as if from the heights of heaven.
The Lord calls to Bible Defender and speaks just beyond the skyscraper of meeting. “Go thus to the Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area,” says the divinity.
For several seconds the voice pauses. “If death is there, do your best to halt her progress. She has held many names, worn many disguises, and sometimes has even toted a large sickle. Her eyes may deceive her intentions, because she will never…ever back down from a laying of waste.”
“How do I stop her, Lord?” A plain clothed Bible Defender asks, and nearly feints from an instant spiritual head rush.
“Have faith, my child,” the Lord returns. “Find Tawny Alexandre. She will be front row center, at your Reno Show. You will see my spirit alive, within her window-like eyes.”
A loud car horn brings Peter Caldor back around, while a leaking shaft of sunlight forms a cross between two adjacent buildings—towering at the other side of the road. The middle-age man stumbles across the intersection, as if he is spiritually drunk, causing him to barely avoid the bumper of a Lincoln Bermuda. He feels warm blood trickle from his nose as he draws closer to the fading cross of sunlight, and a small girl turns her riveting sachet of eye sockets his way. Terror rips at the man’s throat like a vice. He will tell no one that the girl’s eyes were not there; instead, he alone saw the girl’s sockets held a deep and dark emptiness one could liken to a flesh-less skull.
Bible Defender will never admit to peeing himself, even in defeating death, because Superheroes never peed in fear or ever relieved their selves—for that matter. The suit will hold more meaning than it ever could. Bible Defender thinks, upon opening the door of his Porsche 911.
“To the Biblecave!” He cackles in near hysteria.
Tires squeal. A few pigeons seek cover. And the sky turns a bright crimson. For the first time, a superhero calls for added back-up. Local police had once told Bible Defender, tongue-in-cheek, to give them a call if he ever needed their help. Even though he has a fifty-fifty chance of them taking him seriously, Bible Defender knows God will never let him down.