86 – VoV

 

“Does Stephen know VoV is here?” Margot asked Kitty.

“I seriously doubt it. I would be shocked if he remembers her at all. I am fairly sure he created, then abandoned her, all alone in the dark.”

“What makes you say that?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know why I know things I shouldn’t know; I just know them,” Kitty answered, staring Margot straight in the eyes. “And it’s not as if it would be out of character for him.”

“Lance is Stephen’s son, isn’t he?”

“Yes. Bastard son. Lance had no idea, until I told him, when I picked him up, on a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha, a few days ago. But how did you know that?”

“There is a mild physical resemblance. It’s hard to pick up, given Stephen’s age, but if you look at old pics of him, which I did when I got home, you can see it. But there’s more than that. They have similar mental characteristics. Impetuousness, prone to jealousy, streaks of arrogance. Not unusual for great writers, of which, I assume, Lance is one.”

“Based on what I have read, so far, of his book, Lance is a fantastic writer. Hilarious.”

“So, you think Stephen created VoV, as a character, a long time ago, and then just abandoned her in the dark. And she has survived, through God knows what horrors, and made her way to here and now, to protect us, as we endeavor to bring more light to the world?”

“I would bet a million bucks on it.”

“Lance was with you, when you met her. Both times. Does he know who she is?”

“No. And I told him not to ask. He took no for an answer. He has, more than once, so far,” Kitty said with a smile.

“You and Lance are made for each other.”

“Yes. But he barely spoke in your presence, and you’d never heard of him, or me, for that matter, until what, yesterday? So, how can you tell?”

“Because I…”

“come from the light,” Kitty finished the sentence.

“As do you, Kitty. As do you.” Margot paused, and contemplated for a second. She was going to start asking for Kitty’s back story, but knew it would take a while for that tale to be told, so she dismissed the idea, and doubled back, instead. “What else do you know about VoV, if anything?”

“Well, Lance was sure she was a he. I am sure she is not.”

“So, she looks androgynous.”

“And old. Weathered. Battle scarred. But not ugly. Not scary. And she radiates… a slight sense of serenity. Perfectly calm. Cheerful, even.”

“Are you sure she radiates those things? Or could she be reflecting them? You are feeling those things, and she is absorbing them, amplifying them, and sending them back at you.”

“I don’t know, but that may be rigt. We only met her twice, and only briefly, both times.”

“I have read of such beings, if VoV is one, but never encountered one, or even met anyone who has. It was a long time ago, time being a relative term, but let’s just say it was before you were born. So, I don’t recall much about what I read, but I do seem to recall that they come from darkness, to the light, just as you say of VoV.”

“Then you know more than I, Margot. But I think we will find out more, as we wind on down this road.”

“Do you have any idea why you spell it like that? With capital Vs, and a small o in between?”

“What? I didn’t know I did that?”

“I can see it, in my mind, whenever you say her name. Capital V, small o, capital V. VoV. A simple anagram. Kinda like Bob. Actually, no. VoV is a perfect anagram, with caps on either end, because it looks exactly the same front to back, and back to front. BoB does not, even if you spell it with two capital Bs. And it seems to be an acronym, too. And it makes sense that a writer, a logophile, would create a character, and give it a name that is both an acronym, and an anagram.”

Eyes wide, Kitty said, “Yes, it’s true. A writer with a love of alliteration. An abiding love of alliteration. A writer, with an abiding love of alliteration, would create a character with a name that is both an acronym, and an anagram. And what beautiful girl could ever resist such a cunning linguist, no matter how old, and ugly, and poor he is?”

“Not you, apparently,”

“That’s fascinating. Do you have any idea why?”

“Why Stephen would do it?”

“Yeah.”

“Because he’s an amazing, astounding writer, with an abiding love of alliteration, I assume!”

Laughing, Kitty said, “Of course. But why VoV? What is it an acronym, and anagram of. Or for? Do you have any idea?”

“No, I don’t. I’d never even heard of VoV before you mentioned her, a couple minutes ago, and didn’t realize the name is a perfect anagram until just now. I’ll give it some thought, but I think you’d better talk to Stephen about this. She is his creation, after all. I suggest you do so as soon as you get back to Valhalla. This is likely to be of no small import.”

“Agreed. I will.”

Looking at her watch, Margot said, “Moving along to other strange characters, you wanted to know something about Brian.”

“Salmi. Yes. Yes, I do. Tell me.”

87 – THE JOKER IN THE DECK

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