153 – COME AGAIN?

 

The Staals were waiting in the parking lot of their family compound, when Margot arrived. Once again, they were decked out as the Hanson brothers, and playing with their remote control cars. “You guys are such a bunch of goofs,” she laughed, exiting her vehicle.

Eric feigned umbrage, “Just because we’re goofy, doesn’t mean we’re goofs.”

“Valid point.” Margot agreed. “I retract my statement. You gonna promise to make Sid an honourary Hanson, if he agrees to go to Montreal with you?”

“He ain’t exactly Goldie Goldthorpe,” said Marc.

“Or even Wally Pressenger,” laughed Jordan.

“But Sid can chuck ‘em,” said Eric.

“Oh, I know it,” Margot agreed. “You think he’ll ever drop ‘em with Ovechkin?”

Eric was the first to respond, but he spoke for his brothers when he said, “That’s what everyone wants to see! When we stomped the Russians, in Vancouver, we were all riding him, saying all that was missing was him rag-dolling Ovechkin.”

“That would have been the icing on the cake, for sure,” said Margot. “You think Sid could kick his ass?”

“It would be a Hell of a fight,” Eric said.

“Would so,” Jordan agreed, “But, yeah, Sid would beat him.”

“Especially if he got the first shots in, which he tends to do. Sid don’t do much dancing when he’s gonna go. He just drops ‘em, and starts chucking.”

Imagining the possibilities, Margot said, “It would make a great preliminary fight for McGregor and Mayweather. Maybe you should dangle that in front of him.”

Rubbing his hands together, and laughing, Eric said, “Now, there’s an idea! Not in a cage, though. Open ice, full equipment, but no helmets!.”

“I’ll leave it to the three of you to propose the terms,” said Margot. “In fact, I think I should leave this whole overture to the three of you.”

None of the brothers said anything, so Margot continued. “You guys know him; I don’t. I’d just be a fifth wheel. I understand Sid’s a gentleman, so having a woman in the room would just cramp all the dressing room bullshit you guys spew at each other.”

The brothers looked at each other, and nodded. “Good call, Thunder Babe,” said Marc.

“I’ll go with you, as far as the hub,” said Margot.

“You heading to London, then?” asked Jordan.

“No. Not rigt now. I do have an appointment there tomorrow, so I’ll go tonight. But I wanna take a peek-a-boo at something rigt now. You goofs ready?”

When they got to the hub, Margot cautioned the brothers, “Maybe it’s not a good idea to show him, or even tell him about the tunnel, just yet. See if he’s interested in going to the Habs, at all, first. If he sorta kinda is, and it will take access to the tunnel to clinch the deal, then use it. But if it’s a non-starter, if he wants to retire with the Penguins, there’s no point telling him. We don’t want to turn this into a freeway.”

Again, the brothers looked at each other, and nodded. Again, Marc said, “Good call, Thunder Babe.”

And with that, the Staals were on their way to Pittsburgh.

Margot went to check in on Daisy, just to make sure she was not suffering through a crippling acid hangover. Seeing the girl curled up in bed with her cat, both of them sleeping peacefully, the guru’s maternal apprehensions were quelled.

She noticed that Kitty’s copy of The Riff N Raff Rebellions Volume 1 was sitting on Daisy’s nightstand, with a book mark buried about a third of the way in. By the time Daisy returned to her duties at Valhalla, she will have finished the book, Margot knew. Thus, she would be aware of the tunnel. But would the girl believe the tunnel actually existed? Would Daisy figure out that that was how she managed to appear in the dining room, out of thin air? Would she believe it?

Concluding that the possibility was best dealt with if and when Daisy started asking questions, Margot turned and headed back to the hub. As she stood in the centre, debating whether or not she should go take a peek at the others, Margot heard a voice. She not only heard a voice, she felt the presence of a tortured individual.

Focusing, she discerned that the voice was coming not from the tunnel to anywhere, but from another tunnel, that lead to God knows where.

She had never dared to enter the labyrinth, having been warned that one could get hopelessly lost, never to be seen again, Margot was hesitant to follow the sound. But the voice was filled with anguish, and Margot’s maternal instinct dictated that she investigate.

Using her flashlight, she walked into the labyrinth, following the sound. The whimpering got louder, and more coherent. By the time she’d advanced a kilometer or so, Margot could clearly hear the words:

I’d have to know, I’d have to know, my Lord,
Have to know, I’d have to know, my Lord,
Have to see, I’d have to see, my Lord,
Have to see, I’d have to see, my Lord,

If I die what will be my reward?
If I die what will be my reward?
Have to know, I’d have to know, my Lord,
I’d have to know, I’d have to know, my Lord,
Why should I die? Oh why should I die?

The guru was gobsmacked. She knew who it was.

When she came to a fork, it became evident that the voice was coming from the tunnel on her rigt. But that could lead to another tunnel to her rigt, then one to her left, then one to oblivion. Margot had zero desire to wonder off into oblivion, so she stopped. The voice repeated, and she was certain it was not an echo:

I’d have to know, I’d have to know, my Lord,
Have to know, I’d have to know, my Lord,
Have to see, I’d have to see, my Lord,
Have to see, I’d have to see, my Lord,

If I die what will be my reward?
If I die what will be my reward?
Have to know, I’d have to know, my Lord,
I’d have to know, I’d have to know, my Lord,
Why should I die? Oh why should I die?

“Hello!” Margot yelled into the tunnel on her rigt. The voice stopped. All was quiet. “Hello?” she yelled again. This time her call was answered… with a scream of terror.

Then there was another scream of terror, and another, and another, each one less loud than the one before, further and further away, until only the faintest echo reached her.

“Jesus Fucking Christ,” Margot muttered to herself. “Jesus Fucking Christ.”

154 –

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