"Some personas want to be concealed," she says in explanation, knowing he won't get her meaning. But it doesn't matter as long as he has the money she wants. She looks at him seductively, removes what little remains of her clothes, and says, "Welcome to St. Aug."
SOME NEW GIRLS
Jimmy Dobbs has been down on some dark streets late at night trying to find some new girls. But he can't find any because they are all afraid of getting killed. The word isn't supposed to be out that a serial killer is running loose in St. Augustine, but down on the streets where it counts to Jimmy, everyone knows about it and most of the doors are closing in his face.
But Jimmy knows if he keeps going he will find some girls to work with him. It's just a matter of time and them running out of either money or crack. He patrols the neighborhoods more often than the police, and this gives him the opportunity to get his new girls going. He drives down the peaceful streets late at night and early in the morning. The crack keeps him energized until he finds two girls walking along in that mysterious way that he is a genius at recognizing. He knows it when he sees it, and he stops his car alongside them and invites them to get in.
They are careful not to just jump right in the car with Jimmy until they figure out who he is, but in only a few seconds they recognize him. After some conversation between them, in which he assures them he is not the killer and that they need not worry about that, he offers them some free crack, and in the car they get.
Once a girl gets into the car with Jimmy, she's a goner. He owns her from that moment on and whatever happens to her in life after that is directly attributable to him. She puts herself in his hands as though he is her father, but she lacks the knowledge or discernment to judge him quickly enough to see he is her ruination. At that time in her young life, it doesn't seem to her that anything can ever ruin her and she feels the power of invulnerable youth. But wicked people exist in the world and they are opportunists as well. Jimmy is one of those people, and the girls don't care or notice because they believe they have all their lives stretching out in front of them and that there is nothing they can't handle. But they are wrong.
GHOST REAL ESTATE
Gary Gravestone returns to the little cottage in the Slave Market with more projections of properties coming available in St. Augustine. One thing about Gary in life is that he was right on top of the real estate market, and nothing has changed about that. The only difference is that more properties are available, and if you don't have a prejudice about living in a grave, you have so many choices. Gary knows every grave in town, whether they are funky or not, whether they are occupied or not, and he also knows the tenants and what their intentions are regarding leaving the plane. He has some good ideas for Louise and he wants to talk them over first with Mavis, who he especially likes. She isn't home so he gets together with George and reviews some of them on the screen he produces for his mental projections.
"Now, here's one, George, I really like." He projects an image of St. Augustine House onto the screen.
"Isn't that place haunted with gangsters?' George protests.
"Sure, but they don't bother ghosts, only people. They have some machine gun illusions, but nothing that Louise can't see through. They have been successful in frightening away some physical world tenants but, all in all, it's a nice old building with plenty of space in the attic, and cheap as they come. If she doesn't want to live in a grave but would prefer a house and would also like to save up her Reality Bytes, it doesn't get any easier than St. Augustine House."
Gary really knows real estate, George thinks. "If that's your recommendation, I'll pass it along."
"It's not the only property I list," he says. "Another great place on San Marco, in the seafood restaurant, is coming available soon. Catalina, in the upstairs bathroom, is planning to pass over. Louise might like to take the space. It's a famous haunt, so she'll have lots of tourists come through to frighten, and she can start by practicing on the hostesses. Catalina says they get absolutely hysterical sometimes when she appears. The bathroom has two nice mirrors, a couple of toilets, a couple of sinks, and of course this running water will really help her regain her energy."
"Ok," says George. "That one sounds better to me but I don't know if Louise wants any guests right now. I'll check with Mavis about that."
"Fine," says Gary. "Just passing it along."
"I know you," says George. "You're holding something back. It must be something pretty good, too. Let's have it." George is wearing his big smile that Gary likes to see. They have played this real estate game before.
"Right," says Gary. "Here it is, the primo spot, the number one super spot, the best of the best, and it is coming available soon. Are you ready for this?"
"I'mmmmm ready," sings George.
"It's a large, private, waterfront room in the corner of the old fort!"
"Not really! That's exciting! Who's leaving?"
"It's the left corner room," says Gary.
"You don't mean..."
"Yes. He's ready to go and he just let me know today. I have the exclusive listing. Louise can have it for twenty-two Reality Bytes." Gary is obviously excited.
"Wow, that is something! A waterfront room in the old fort belonging to him all these years, and now Louise is getting it. The energy in that room is wonderful. And for only twenty-two Reality Bytes. She has more bytes than that, Gary. She can have the room, decorate it however she likes, and still have plenty of bytes left over. I know Mavis is going to go for this. Whatever you do, don't mention it to anyone else." George makes Gary promise, but Gary already made up his mind not to tell another soul.
Louise is going to get the primo spot on San Marco, a waterfront room in Castillo De San Marcos. People come from all over the world to see it and Louise will have her choice of people to whom to appear, and they'll be thrilled to see her. It's a ghost's dream come true. Neither one of them say anything about the ghost pirates that live in the fort because they both know how to handle them and they will teach Louise.
DAGON-JAH AT KNOSSOS
Dagon-Jah, Ja-Ra, Ariadne, and Theseus admire the vast Palace of Knossos, its four-story tall rooftops covered with bull's horns, its levels supported by long rows of upside-down Doric columns. The two-story Phaistos Palace is huge, thinks Dagon-Jah, but nothing to compare with this. Surrounding the palace is a carefully designed city of two, three, and four-story adobe townhomes decorated with rooftop patios, tiled floors, and painted with gay frescoes. The city streets are filled with sophisticated people wearing beautifully designed, colorful clothes. Many women are topless in their ankle length dresses, as are many men in their mini-skirts. The sophisticates mingle in the town and walk along roads paved with pebbles and shells. The Palace of Knossos and the city surrounding it are a shining metropolis in the Mediterranean Bronze Age.
As the group approaches the palace, they cross over an expansive stone viaduct built over a flowing stream. The viaduct leads to the southwest entrance. Crowds of people cross with them, some carrying litters with bejeweled ladies inside, some walking with their children, some herding sheep, and some casually strolling along the promenade. The country people entering the palace are less stylishly dressed and wear shirts, blouses, or tunics and long pants. They come from the local countryside or from some of the other ninety towns and cities of Crete.
"Daedalus designed this bridge," says Theseus, in a tone of respect.
"Daedalus designed this palace," says Ariadne. The huge palace is built in a square around the continuous activities of its vast central court, where it hosts fashion shows, art fairs, markets, and rodeos. The palace has eight hundred rooms and covers six and a half acres.
Ultra-modern in the Bronze Age, the palace has indoor plumbing with bathtubs and flushing toilets. Beneath the palace in a subterranean, labyrinthine plumbing and drainage system, water flows throughout in clay pipes large enough for a tall man to stand in. The Queen's bathroom, located in the Royal Apartments, has five entrances and walls tiled in blue dolphins and spirals. The Queen enjoys a garden tub and steam room. The palace architect, Daedalus, took special care in designing the Queen's bathroom. She is his patroness, although he serves the King as well.
Dagon-Jah and his traveling companions enter the palace only after stopping at one of the bathhouses to wash their faces, arms, and feet. They enter the palace through one of the shield rooms, its walls painted with blue, red, and yellow spirals and hung with huge Figure 8 shields. The entire ceiling is covered with interweaving blue spirals. In the corner, on a three-tiered tiled platform, stands a six-foot tall double axe, symbolic of the reign of the labyrinth kings. Dagon-Jah sees the Figure 8 shields and the double axe and thinks of his masterpiece and smiles. The four companions gather around a large incense furnace in the center of the shield room and are attended by a priestess who fans the incense to cleanse their spirits so they will be clean on the inside and the outside.
They enter the palace along a walkway supported by upside-down Doric columns painted red and black. Beautiful murals and frescoes cover the walls, large scenes depicting blue monkeys eating fruit and blue birds on limbs of white flowers. One of the larger murals is of a man gathering saffron, his dark brown body blending beautifully with the red and white background of flowers he bends over to pick. A masterpiece, thinks Dagon-Jah, who then is reminded of his own masterpiece. The columns and walls are covered in mazes and spirals that tell stories with images in continuous representation. Dagon-Jah stops to ask directions of a guard.
"Tell me, where can I find Daedalus?"
"What is your name?" asks the guard.
"And what do you want with the King's inventor?" asks the guard. He is magnificent with his crested helmet and his ornately engraved sword. The engraving shows dogs chasing a lion. His shield is engraved with a battle scene showing Egyptian chariots. He is dark and his dark eyes seem to penetrate Dagon-Jah's soul. No one would dare refuse to answer the guard's questions.
"I am told to see him," says Dagon-Jah.
"Who told you?"
"Jah told me." The guard looks closely at Dagon-Jah. The name Jah is like a password.
"I will take you." He leads Dagon-Jah through the crowd that parts to let them pass. They enter the building opposite the great facade of central court where hundreds of people mill about talking. They walk up a covered walkway supported by columns. Ten steps lead to the room at the top.
The guard knocks on the door with the hilt of his sword, and a small, delicate man opens it. Could this be Daedalus? How could such a small man be so widely known?
"This man, Dagon-Jah, is sent by Jah to see you," says the guard to the small man.
Daedalus nods his head 'yes,' and Dagon-Jah is shown into the most remarkable room he will ever see. It is huge and filled with all kinds of devices he can't understand. Against one wall are giant wings made of white paper and at least ten feet tall. Against another wall is a device like a miniature chariot. Charts and maps cover the walls, and near the center of the room is a table upon which rests a big model of the great pyramid. Scattered throughout the room on the floor are pieces of clay plumbing pipes and fixtures, and in the center of the room is a big box shaped like a bull and painted white. Along the far wall and gathering dust is a giant miniature of the Palace of Knossos.
The astonishment Dagon-Jah feels shows on his face. Daedalus laughs. "Here," says Daedalus, "look at this." He hands Dagon-Jah a tiny miniature of the entire Palace of Knossos, so small he can hold it in both his hands. The tiny replica is true to every detail. Even the murals are there and the tiny bull's horns top the palace all the way around.
Dagon-Jah is afraid he will drop the replica and hands it carefully to Daedalus. As he does he sees leaning in a corner a mummy, its moldy face partly exposed. He cannot help but stare at it.
"The mummy can teach me much about the human form and mechanism," explains Daedalus. But don't tell anyone," he whispers to Dagon-Jah. "It's a sacrilege in Egypt even to unwrap the mummy. To dissect it is against the law of the land. I would soon be a mummy myself if they found out."
Daedalus offers Dagon-Jah a seat and calls an attendant, who serves them bread and wine with olives. After giving Dagon-Jah time to refresh himself, Daedalus says, "Dagon-Jah, why has Jah sent you to see me?"
Dagon-Jah smiles with pleasure. "Because I am Dagon, name of the fish-god. I am a follower of Jah. His name is Jahoveh but his friends call him Jah. His sign is that of the fish. He saw me making pottery shaped like a fish so he spoke to me. He gave me his name and he told me to make an image of his masterpiece. He told me how to make the furnace to preserve it and he told me it would not be consumed by the fire. He told me to take it to you. I have only done as Jah has told me to do."
'What is Jah's masterpiece?" asks Daedalus.
"Jah's masterpiece is the fire that does not consume the disk of the world. He created the fire, then he created the disk of the world and he put it into the fire. The disk of the world is burning and so are all the people and things on the disk, but they are not consumed. This is Jah's Masterpiece." He removes the masterpiece from his roll-away.
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