Neither of the old folks were worried about Kitty’s state. Although he was wise well beyond his years, Lance, however, didn’t understyand what had just happened, so he was worried about the well being of the girl who would be his Queen, even though he still knew nothing of that business. So, the boy got up and turned toward the door.

Madonna, who understood that Lance was constitutionally disinclined to listen to anything his absentee father had to say that was even mildly instructional, jumped in to prevent what could be a mistake. “Leave her, Lance.”

The boy stopped. And pondered. He was acting more on instinct, than logic; he had no idea why Kitty left. Is it a girl thing, he wondered?

“She’s fine. She’s not angry. She’s not upset. There’s nothing to worry about. Nothing you can do,” Madge assured him. “She had a vision. A flash of one. Something beautiful. Something transcendent. Something unifying. And then it was gone. She’s trying to find it. She’s trying to find her way to wherever it went.

Stephen nodded in agreement. “It happens to all of us. Not just artists. Even the most wooden of dullards gets those glimpses into something better. A look through a pinhole in the fabric of reality.”

“Yes,” said Lance. “I understand. It happens to me. I’ve never thought of them as visions into somewhere else. Just ideas. And I always wonder where all those ideas disappear to. It has to be the most amazing place imaginable. The place where everyone’s amazing ideas go, not to die, but to live, and shine and laugh. I know that place is full of laughter. All the time. Laughter, laughter and still more laughter. Almost like a nadhouse. A madhouse where all the madmen are happy. Really happy, not Prozac happy.”

Stephen digressed a bit, “I had a correspondence going, a few years ago, with a guy who had an interesting idea. Canadian guy, actually. From Ottawa. Accountant. With an imagination, if you can imagine. Told me he’d embezzled a bunch of money from some government agency he’d worked for, and retired to fulfill his dream of being a writer. He had a great idea for a book, could have been a series, in fact, but he couldn’t write to save his life.”

“I love the idea of an accountant with an over active imagination,” Madonna grinned. He has a little friend, a decimal point named Danny. Danny’s got ants in his pants, and loves to dance. Danny the dancing decimal point. And one day, Danny the Dancing Decimal Point dances all over every reconciliation roll on every ledger sheet in the world, and merrily disappears down Alice’s rabbit hole, leaving the world in absolute chaos.”

“Funny stuff,” Stephen aid.

“Sure, but you had the floor. Sorry, please carry on.”

“Yes, so this guy’s idea was that there’s a parallel universe. We all have doppelgangers in the parallel universe. Nothing new, about that, but here’s his twist; the doppelgangers, our twins, get all our karma. So, if we do bad things, they get punished. If we do good things, they get rewarded.”

Lance loved it. “Oh, I love that!”

“Yes, me too.  I tried to encourage him to write it. I gnawed on it for a couple months, sending him suggestions about plotlines. His whole premise, his question, was: if we knew, would we be better people. Fear based behaviour modification, like we were talking about earlier.”

“Wow!” Lance literally gasped as he exclaimed his love of the idea. “That has so much potential.”

“Doesn’t it, just?” King asked rhetorically. “You‘ll like this, Madge. One of his plotlines involved a confessional. A doppelganger finds his way to our universe through a portal in a confessional.

“The doppelganger is the doppelganger of one of the priest’s parishioners. Someone who attends services regularly, tithes generously, but keeps to himself, otherwise. Has never even been to confession before.

“So, when he appears in the confession booth, the priest is surprised. And when he confesses to a murder, the priest is shocked.”

“It’s delicious,” Lance whistled. “So, what happened?”

“Nothing. I couldn’t convince the guy to sit down and write it, on his own, or with me. He wouldn’t sell me the idea. And I have no rigt to abscond with it, so it just disappears. Goes to that wonderful place, full of all the wonderful ideas we get a glimpse at, but never much more than a glimpse. The place Kitty is searching for, as we speak.”

Madonna, who had been waiting patiently, finally interjected. I was picturing a gloryhole in the confessional.” Neither Lance nor Stephen found the confession the least bit surprising. “I’ve always said that we will know we are truly in the End Times when the Vatican puts gloryholes in confessionals.”

“That’s hilarious. It will be the first honest thing the Catholic Church has done in a century, or more,” laughed Lance. “And it will surely queue the second coming of Martin Luther. Luther 2.0”

“I think the Pope is walking the path to meet Luther 2.0 already,” Madonna opined. “I read, a few days ago, that His Holiness was addressing the subject of confession in a time of quarantine. He advised his followers to confess directly to God, all on their own.”

No one had noticed that Kitty had slipped back into the room, so they were all delighted when she said, “If i were Pope, I’d just say, ‘Look, it’s very simple; just stop doing bad things, and we can skip all this confession and condescension bullshit, retard. If you do that, God will look away when you touch yourself, and he will give you a cookie, when you get to Heaven.”




dj jc cover front