A Fool No More by Peter Green
Avison Talon Wenondinnay
The First Engagement
The sounds of boots upon floor echoed down the hallway, fading a bit each time they entered the doorways as they made their way. They were searching for us. I stood with my ear to the door as they scoured each room and then came back out into the hallway. They started at one end, coming up from a stairwell on one end of the hallway. They did not use the main staircase. They wanted to flush us out. If we dared to exit down the grand staircase, you can bet that we would be caught.
There was nothing good that would come of it. From their past behavior, it was obvious that they would not offer solace and free port. They intended to kill us.
My heart pounded in fear. I held no weapons, and these men most certainly were armed. With what, I had no clue. Of the blue faces surrounding me, there was no one who could come to harm. They had been dead for what looked to be a hundred years or so. The other one near me had passed less than a year ago. My friend Joey, whom I called Joseph, who was the Lion Man, well, he had turned tail and bailed on us.
Tellesco, whom we now called No One, he was in the cellar. From the shouts I’d heard coming from down there, it sounded to me like he had been caught. I did not know that he had met more blue faces. They had shouted an affirmation that he would indeed, lead them up and out of the ruined mansion.
To where, who knew?
I figured that I was alone now. I did not have time to feel sad for him, because when you have intense fear, which verges upon panic, you can hold only that emotion at bay. There is no other room for anything else at all.
The boots thumped down the corridor and they were very close. I looked at the dead girl whose ghost glinted beside me. Weak comfort from an image no one else could see. I was truly alone.
She nodded at me, and her eyes looked deep into mine, so deep that I could feel her in my head. I heard her voice, and she said, “Veeeee-ill. Vee vill be ok.”
It did not help. I grasped the heavy bag over my one good shoulder with one hand, and held up the machine gun in the other.
I gripped the door knob, ready to yank it back. If someone came in, I would hold the element of surprise. That is the only thing I had on my side. That would last only for a brief moment.
I intended to slam the intruder with the heavy bag by whipping it around at him, and then stomp on his head with my Docs when he fell. Then, come what may, I pick that bag back up and I would charge forth.
Her look, how she was looking at me, it made me think that there was some worth to not running off in the other direction like Joey.
I wanted to bail. Believe me, I had no use for any of this ghost shit. Every hair on the back of my neck and my arms was sprung up so tight that they were made of glass.
I did not dare to move. I found myself holding my breath.
The ghosts behind me freaked me out.
The purple robes in front of me were going to kill me.
I was a deer, stuck in the head lights.
…do not panic…
Lorelei spoke in my mind.
I did not panic.
+ + + + +
Avison Talon Wenondinnay
Tellesco smiled at the woman in front of him. He said, “This is your little girl?”
The woman looked at the little girl on his back and smiled. She said, “She is. Her name is Avison Talon.”
Tellesco thought about the bones of the little girl, buried near those of her mother in the dirt beneath the huge mansion overhead. Tears came to his eyes. He said, “What happened to you?”
The woman said, “Not in front of the child. She don’t need to hear this, not now. We will palaver soon, after you lead us out of here.”
Tellesco nodded. He said, “What is your name?”
She said back to him, “I am Allison Tally. Me and my daughter are proud Scots, of the Wenondinnay Clan.”
Tellesco grinned. “I am a Scot as well! My ancestors were once kings in
There arose another loud chorus of fealty from the ghosts in the cellar as they heard him say this.
+ + + +
The moon over the mountains to the east was on fire with red flames. She looked like she had her best party dress on. Her lips wore whore red lipstick, and she had taken her white elbow gloves off. She was ready for a fight.
Joey stood at the line of his fear. This is the imaginary line in the dirt you have to cross. Step closer to mortal danger, and you get the sweats, the tremblies, the adrenaline rush. Time to bail.
Turn to face the other direction and take one step that way, and you get the chicken liver, the heart-sink, the shame and embarrassment of finding out that you are a coward. How will you ever live that label down?
With the Little Lion Man, it was all about the regard of others. For whatever reason, for however he was brought up, he needed the respect and admiration of others. That was why he always bragged about himself. He needed approval of himself that did not come from within.
But don’t judge him too harshly. You see, the deepest thing he felt in this moment was his betrayal of those he held dear. He had left us behind. This was what mattered most to him.
This is why he did not bail after all.
You see, he made the decision to help us out. He was going to go and get the little truck that was still purring, down by the immense power station. The power station fed the off skirt towns surrounding the ugly king of the desert.
It also fed that ugly king.
You see, the power lines fed the ugly king.
The power came from the dam in the nearby mountains.
It was the same dam that regulated the water flow through the cement canals that irrigated the city and gave it drinking water.
Joey held power in his fate that he didn’t even know.
Crank this bitch up.
We’re In This Together by NIN.
The boots on the wooden floor of the hallway went past us.
They went past.
I got the willies.
I turned back to Lorelei. She said, in my head, “Now vee go forth.” She pointed at the door. “Vee must hurry. Vee must be stealthy.”
I twisted on the knob. It did not budge. Then I understood. I simply needed to push on it, and it would click open.
And it did.
It was an exit, and an entrance into the hallway, and it could not be seen from the hallway.
Of course it was like that.
This chamber, the one which held all of the power of this evil place, it would not be easily discovered. The only thing about this secret door, apart from all the others we’d discovered was this: It had not been wallpapered over.
It could also not be opened from the hallway side. There was no chance for a drunk stumbler to fall against it and accidentally open it. For this chamber, you had to know exactly where the other entrance was.
And that was the room that Lorelei had waited for me in.
But there was no time to think.
The boots had faded into the rooms on either side of the hallway, and I stepped up the half-stairs from the chamber that was built between floors, and out into the hallway, with a large, heavy bag full of their curious and odd assortment of talismans.
Lorelei slinted right through me and slipped into the hallway before me. She stood and pointed down the hallway in the opposite direction. Her slint through me froze me in my tracks.
I did not expect such a thing. When she passed through me, something happened to me.
I was filled with images and emotions that were not mine, but they were very strong. They were fucking powerful.
I did not know how much she had cared for me, before she flew off in that aircraft to head back to
Germany. The aircraft that had fallen to the sea
before even reaching France.
I staggered with the heavy bag on my good shoulder, and I felt the world tilt away.
She had made a mistake.
She had slinted through me, and this imparted things to me that I did not need to know about her.
I would not go out this way.
I huffed and I puffed.
I stood right the fuck back up, and I roared.
I fucking roared.
That was my own mistake.
+ + +
Tellesco whipped around and put his finger to his lips. The cellar full of blue faces became silent. The thunder of boots coming down the hallway overhead echoed in the vast expanse of the cemetery underneath the mansion.
Tellesco put his hands up to his head. He clamped his eyes shut, and he fell to his knees. He was in over his head. He didn’t know what the fuck he was doing.
He shuddered and his shoulders heaved, and he began to weep. He was sorry.
He had failed them all.
He was no leader, and he did not have a plan.
He had no clue at all.
Joey the Lion Man heard shouts and hollers from the mansion as he ran, retracing our steps in the dirt under the light of the bloody moon.
He neared the power station, and there he saw the little truck. He stopped. Its engine was still running. But something else caught his eye to make him stop.
It was the beam of a flashlight, all flashing about the truck, and around the power station building.
Joey knelt down and pulled his black, half-red-spray-painted jacket up around his half-red face. He looked down when he saw the flashlight beam sweep around the back of the power station, across the field, over him.
His heart raced. He had been running, he was scared as hell, and he didn’t know what to do next. The truck had indeed been easy to find.
He just didn’t know who had found it.
Lorelei’s eyes opened wide. She looked over my shoulder at the men who came running out of the rooms down on the other end of the corridor, and she looked back at me.
Then she looked at the blue faces surrounding us, and she swept her arms wide at them, and she pulled her hands together into a fist. The blue people stood straight up and their eyes were wide open. She pointed at the men who ran towards us, and them men were pulling weapons out.
The blue people turned, and then they each slipped close to each other.
They fell into place, into a single place, like entropy. It was a mass of singularity.
They charged down the hallway as a single mass as them men ran towards us.
Guns came out, and triggers were pulled. I dove down but I hadn’t been shot. Nothing touched me.
The blue wall of people were a force of solidity.
They somehow protected me.
They had dragged me back down the hallway when I had run off. They could do things when they were furious.
Tellesco had been wrong when he said, “They can’t hurt you.”
These blue fuckers could hurt you.
They hurt them men.
They hurt them bad.
The bright wall of them blue people ripped through the men who ran forth and them men went flying down the hallway, tumbling and hitting the walls, and their clothes were torn into shreds, and they bled from skin pulled and stretched until it split.
Guns skittered down the hallway and those where followed by their shoes.
I looked back up in time to see the last purple robe in the hallway fly out of the open window on the end of the hallway.
= = = = = = =
The little girl on Tellesco’s back whispered in his ear. She said, “You’re a king. A king don’t let his people down.”
Tellesco couldn’t contain himself. He whimpered, “I am no king. I’m just a crying bitch. I can’t lead anyone anywhere.”
Avison hugged him and whispered, “You ain’t got much choice here, mister. These folks of mine, they looking for a leader. You’ll hafta do for now.”
Tellesco looked up through his teary eyes at the immense crowd standing there, watching him. He had no clue. He stopped his blubbering and he closed his eyes, as he knelt there in the grave dust.
He whispered back, with his breath faltering and hitching. He said, “What do I do now?”
Avison Talon Wenondinnay whispered back, “You stand up, you look them right in the eyes, and you tell them to follow you out of this cemetery. They will be free of their graves that hold them here.”
Tellesco McFlintlock whispered back, “What happens after that?”
Avison said, “Mister king, you just watch.”
God Help You.
God Help Us All.
Happens All The Time by Cold