Kitty’s phone rang. “Speak of the devil,” she said, killing the music, and hitting the ANSWER icon. “Meow.”

“Hello, Kitty, how are you, and your boyfriend?”

“Ah ha! I take it you have access to the same spyware the Israelis are using. You working with Shin Bet?”

“No, Kitty, not working with them. But I have friends in weird places.”

“That you do.”

“That I do. And they tell me the ultra orthodox faithful are trying, once again, to gather at the Western Wall, to pray the virus away.”

“I am not surprised. I guess it is time for them to finally become acquainted with Darwin’s theory of natural selection.”

“Wait. It gets batter. Mossad intercepted a wannabe suicide bomber.”

“I thought they all got laid off. Their built in obsolescence had finally kicked in.”

“Apparently, not all of them. But you’ll love this one. He was wearing a germ mask when they put a bullet in his head.”

Kitty laughed. “Did his suicide belt and germ mask colour coordinate? If not, was it the fashion police that shot him, not Mossad?”

“Good question. I’ll ask.”

“I guess those 72 black-eyed virgins ain’t giving it up for any martyr who shows up without a mask! Hey, do you think those virgins wear burqas? ‘cause, if they do, and I were a martyr, I’d want a refund.”

“Funny Kitty! Anyway, you are in good company.”

“I am. And we are on the way.”

“Good Kitty. Get him to give you a scratch for me. Let me know if any problems arise.”


Lance, who had only heard Kitty’s half of the conversation, looked at her, and raised his eyebrows.

“That was your father.”

“No shit?”

“No shit.”

“Say hi for me, next time.”

“You’ll have that pleasure, yourself, face to face, in about… twelve hours, if all goes according to plan.”

“No shit?”

“No shit.”

“Where? Where are we going?

Kitty pulled over, and parked. She picked up the book that sat between them on the seat, and showed the cover to Lance.

“The Riff n Raff Rebellions Volume 1. Any good?”

“Brilliant. Your father says it’s the best book written in the past hundred years.”

“High praise from Caesar himself. Okay. I will give it a read. What does it have to do with this.”

Kitty opened the book, to book three of the trilogy. Chapter 17, Enter Sandman. Page 84. “Riff n Raff are trying to save the world, for a third time. Two of their friends are lost in a labyrinth. One of them is an Indian, the other a Gypsy. Boy and Girl. Basher and Taffy. The Gypsy girl, Taffy, has summoned Basher’s grandfather, Sandman, from the other side. That’s why they are in the labyrinth. Sandman was buried there. Sandman tells them what they need to know, and the kids have to level up on their mission. But they don’t know which way to go. Sandman tells them, ‘Take that tunnel, over there. It will take you wherever you want to go.’”

“No shit? That’s some tunnel. And that’s where we are going?”

“And that’s where we are going. To meet your father. Maybe Sandman, too.”

“No shit! And where is this tunnel? Where is this labyrinth?


“The border is closed.” Kitty laughed. Lance understood. This has all been foretold. “Canada’s a big place. Where, exactly?”

“Two hundred miles from Duluth. Up the north shore of Lake Superior. In the book, it’s called Thunder City. In the real world, it’s called Thunder Bay.”

“Cool name. Both of them. Sounds loud. Why there?”

“That’s where the tunnel is. The one that will take us anywhere we want to  go.”

“Just in this world.”

“Good question. Don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not.”

“And that’s when, and where all will be revealed?”

“Don’t know if all will be revealed. That’s up to your father.”

“And maybe Sandman?”

“And maybe Sandman.”

“How much do you know?”

“I don’t know. Not much, probably. More than I can tell you, though.”

“Is it all the Q-Anon stuff? JFK Junior faked his death, and has been guiding Trump, from behind the curtain, all along? Now, he will reveal himself, as the forces of good battle the forces of evil? And he, Fuscas/Kennedy, will reign. King of the World? Or some such shit?”

Kitty knew that wasn’t the case. But she wasn’t cleared to tell the boy that, so she just smiled and said, “Nope. Not Kennedy. And that plotline falls apart spectacularly. That dog don’t hunt. If the cabal, or deep state, is as close to omnipotent as the Qs say, they could kill Trump easily enough. The President doesn’t exactly hunker in a banker 24/7. If he were about to round up and execute tens of thousands of the world’s biggest power brokers, and death mongers, do you seriously think they’d hesitate, for a second, to kill him? Kill him mercilessly, and openly?”

“No. That dog don’t hunt. If they, who or whatever they are, owned the banks, and damn near everything else, they wouldn’t have to turn to a pissant like Kim Jong-Un to build nukes. But that makes sense to grown men who grew up on a steady diet a Hollywood war glorification films, still play with their GI Joe action toys, and have wet dreams about burglars breaking into their houses, so they can’t bust eight or twelve caps into their heads. In fact, that stuff not only makes sense to them, it very much appeals to them.”

“Goebbels would have loved the Internet,” Kitty laughed. “Once in a while, more frequently since he virus became all anyone is talking about, I get stuff in my Facebook messages, or email inbox, from people i don’t know, telling me I have to understand this this, because it’s what is really going on.

“I got one a couple days ago. A video, of course, because the intended target audience, illiterate semi-tards all, cannot be bothered to read. Bullshit has to be spoon fed to them.

“The vid opens with a disclaimer, written in two point type, which disappears in less than two seconds

“Then some guy appears, and starts making his case that the Coronavirus is part of a deep state plot to take away our freedoms. Who is this guy? Fucked if I know, the vid doesn’t say.

“The guy starts presenting his evidence. He never cites the sources of the alleged evidence. Not once.

“A couple times in the vid, the words KEEP WATCHING UNTIL THE END flash on the screen. They remain on the screen longer than the disclaimer at the beginning of the vid did. So, I did what I was told, and dutifully stayed riveted to the screen, expecting some kind of spectacular money shot at the end.

“No money shot.

“One day i may get around to making a similar video. At the end, some authoritative looking figure will appear, maybe wearing a lab coat, or some such shit. And he will say,’Scary isn’t it? Scary that you believed this shit. Did you notice that no citations were given for the alleged evidence to this bullshit? Scary that you didn’t bother to read the disclaimer at the beginning. Scary that you just swallowed it hook, line and sinker, and spread it, like a virus, to all your simple minded friends.

“Then these words will appear on the screen, accompanied by a very loud air raid siren:


“Gawd knows I am not dismissive of all conspiracy theories. The opposite of conspiracy theory, after all, is transparency theory, which is the amusing notion that everything is exactly as it appears to be. But for fuck’s sake, this shit is out of control.”

“Trump’s core,” said Lance.

“Correct. All this Q-Anon stuff has been cooked by Trump’s people. Quite ingenious, really. Bondesque. Fuscus is not JFK Junior. The Age of Camelot is not ready for a sequel.”

“Who, then?”

Kitty said nothing.

Lance pondered. “Wait. My father. Stephen King. King of the World.”

Kitty said nothing. She was tempted to say that a better writer than Lance’s father had been tapped for this thriller. And she wondered if maybe, just maybe, Shakespeare himself would be summoned from the other side, along with Sandman, when they convened, and revealed the plan to save the world. But she simply smiled, and said, “Meow!”

Kitty smiled at Lance, but did not tell him that he was the boy who would be King. Lance Stephen King Lear, King of the World. And she, Kitty kaboodle, would be his queen.




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