Kitty could hear Lance playing KILLGOD! next door. His frustration was obvious by the shouting and screaming, which Kitty found amusing. She wondered how long t would take for him to figure it out.

While the boy who would be King was trying to solve the puzzles presented to him by the girl who would be his Queen’s game, she was imagining how Commonwealth could be exploited for the betterment of most, and to the detriment of the few, too rich to feel sorry for.

The more she explored the concept, the more she loved it. To her, it was like a river system, but a very unusual one. It would have countless tributaries feeding it, but it would, in turn, feed countless smaller streams that would span the world. A whole new ecosystem that would be sustainable, because it was beneficial and equitable to all involved, and even to many who were not.

The girl wondered if Lance had already seen what she had seen, in the fewer than 24 hours since the basics of the idea were first explained. Probably, she concluded, but she resisted the temptation to bang on his door and ask. Leave him be to find the fable buried in her game, and the meaning of it.

When Lance lapsed into silence, Kitty wondered if he’d gotten it. So soon? Could be. He’s a bright boy after all. But, no, he’d have banged on the door, eager to announce his cleverness, eager to impress her. So, what was he doing, she wondered. Oh, well, let him be.

But when Kitty heard one explosion of laughter after another, she had to see what was so funny. Once again, Kitty was in awe of the power of laughter. She pounded on the adjoining door.

Lance sprang to attention. “It’s her!” he laughed out loud, to himself. He rushed to the door, and opened it, hoping she was naked, and panting. She was not.

“What’s so funny?” Kitty demanded. “Share the funny, honey!”

“C’mon,” he said, leading her to his laptop, which was sitting on his bed. Kitty pulled herself in tight against him. “Ever heard of Ken Copeland?”

“”The Jesus nut?”

Yeah. Watch this!”

The two of them howled, watching it three times. Lance said, “Wait! Check out the metal version”

“Again,” Kitty demanded, and again they roared laughter.

“The insanity of it all,” Miss Kaboodle said in wonder. “What a strange species

What a mad, mad world.”

“Funny you should say that,” Lance said. “I was playing KILLGOD!. Loving it and hating it, because I really can’t get far. It will take forever.” Kitty grinned knowingly. ”So, I put it down, and was thinking of the madness of man, throughout the entirety of our species.”

“Excellent!” Kitty said. “That’s one of the things I am hoping the game will accomplish. Get people to think about the madness of man, not just how they’re gonna level up.”

“Well, it does that. For me, at least. I was thinking about all the people who are going insane rigt now, because of this pandemic. I was thinking that they have probably never been far from madness. Just numb, waiting for a dry twig to snap, shattering their fragile illusions of reality, and triggering their downward spiral, into total insanity.”

Oh, Kitty was liking this! He was wording!

“And I could see them, in my mind. I’ve been on that road myself. The road to madness is long, dark, lonely and cold, and though the charred and broken people you pass going in the other direction are still smouldering, and vibrating, you keep staggering along, because crazy is where you are meant to be.”

“Or so you think, when you are all alone.”

“Aren’t we always alone?”

“No. At least we don’t have to be. Not all the time, Lance.”

The boy stared at the girl. The girl stared at the boy. They were both tired of being alone.

Lance hadn’t a clue what to say about what he was feeling, so his mind moved him out of that unfamiliar, ethereal territory, back to well trodden terra firma. “And what have you been doing? You enjoyed your swim?” he asked with a coy smile.

“Very much enjoyed my swim, thank you,” she answered, with a coy smile.

Once again, Lance got lost in the maze of Kitty. Once again, his mind moved him out of that unfamiliar, ethereal territory, back to well trodden terra firma. “What are you gonna do with your million bucks?”

“I’m gonna put it into Commonwealth, silly boy.”

Lance was delighted. “No shit?”

“I shit you not. I’ve been thinking about it. The possibilities It beggars belief.”

Lance was delighted. “It does.”

“I can see what it means for artists. What it can do for them, For us. Let’s say you…”

Lance cut her off. “No. Hold that thought, those thoughts. They should be shared with the old folks.”

“Sure. Where are they?”

“They should be back from their walk, by now. Let’s go see.”




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