Hey All- After some coaxing from Clara and a swift kick in the pants from Gertrude I've written a bit of a treat. Remember my favorite punching bag, Seamus? Well, here's a new chapter...from the perspective of everyone's favorite cowboy grandpa: Merle.
Chapter 3.141414: Jackrabbits on Speed
If there was one thing I hated, it was tacky hotel rooms. Arthur always insisted on meeting in them. I gave up arguing about it with him long ago.
The walls were lined with velvet- a brocade pattern. Purple carpeting brought out the red in the wallpaper. The cracks on the ceiling were making obscene gesture. Only one light bulb worked in the fixture above the headboard. I could hear the sound of post-coital hissing of cockroaches in the yellow rimmed bathtub. As far as dingy, disgusting dive hotel rooms go- this one was pretty plush.
I myself looked like a man waiting on the return of his lover. Only Arthur wasn't my lover. He was my mentee who had flown through the ranks of the Council at lightning speed and was now my supervisor. Occasionally I beamed with the pride of a proud papa. Other times I felt the grudge of a father whose son has managed to outsmart him and is better paid.
Just as I was beginning to be annoyed by the sound of a leaking faucet, the door flies open banging the wall behind it and leaving a rather impressive dent. Arthur steps in, face flushed from having to climb five flights of stairs. His appearance otherwise is striking, a tall lad with broad shoulders. His sunshiney blonde hair only has hints of gray that somehow manages to pick up the color of his eyes.
I wait for him to catch his breath before speaking. When he finally focuses on me sitting at the foot of the bed I can't help but smirk a little. "You look like hell." Arthur is not amused and exhales loudly as he sinks into a mold infested desk chair. "I missed you, too." Finally he offers up a smile and extends his hand for a shake. I accept it and give it a firm squeeze before letting go.
"So what's on the agenda today, Magistrate?" I ask him as he shirks off his court robe and flings it on the floor like a child. The only thing to do when he acts like this is to have a smoke. I pull out my pipe and give it a good thwack against the faded blue of my trousers.
"I have an assignment for you, Merle. A new recruit." I nearly choke while lighting the pipe.
"Damn it, Arthur. Are you tryin' to kill me?" I had the sworn promise of the last head magistrate that I'd never have to take on another disciple after Arthur. He had been handful enough. I was promised to go it alone, the way I liked it, on missions. The last thing I wanted was to have to drag along some wet-behind-the-ears youngin'.
"You'll like this one, I promise. He's different." I massaged my temples as I could feel a headache coming on. Arthur leaned in close to my face.
"He set a combustion engine on fire."
That made me jerk my head up faster than a jack rabbit on speed. I could tell by the way Arthur was grinnin' like a possum that he knew he had my full attention. Leaning back and taking a thoughtful drag on the pipe I locked eyes with him.