Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 18

The bags of trash behind the liquor store were moving slightly… slowly inhaling and exhaling. And if you listened closely you could even hear the bags of trash snoring as well.

The owner of Liquor’s-R-Us brought the day’s trash around and tossed the four full bags on top of the pile and walked back around to the front of the store. The trash bag ritual was his morning wake up call at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Down deep within the trash something snorted and farted. Something shifted. And eventually Gerard poked his head out of the trash pile and squinted at thesun. “Oh shut up!” he yelled at no one and everyone in particular.

Gerard began sniffing out the new trash bags and quickly began tearing open the new bags for breakfast. Finding an apple core and two day old tuna casserole Gerard settled back into the midst of the trash bags makeshift home and began to eat.

Gerard was never lonely. He always had numerous friends that visited. He’d heard others say they were ghosts or phantoms. But they were more real to Gerard than those that laughed when he spoke to them.

“No. No. No. That isn’t what I said,” answered Gerard to the specters. He chomped into his apple and then said, “That is terrible – I can’t eat this! I would have thought this restaurant would have had higher standards than this!” and with that Gerard chucked his apple at the voices. And he chuckled as he watched them run.

At this a rat peeked out from one of the adjacent bags and Gerard continued his conversation with the rat. “You see? Yes. You see. And so the important thing is subtlety. Nuance! Everyone is so blunt these days. Master the Nuance as I always used to say.” The rat acknowledged his wisdom departed with a flick of his tongue and then he scurried back down into the bags and was gone.

The trick was to scour the city while others were scouring for you.

After returning from talking with Barley and Jacob, I decided to announce that the reason I had said we needed to come back to Durango was for one main purpose. I wanted to have a chat with Monsieur Gerard. Bea and Cat knew already, but DJ, Sumner and Yolanda were a bit bowled over by this.
Sumner responded with his normal panache and aplomb. “Bravo! You’ve taken your insanity to such fantastic new levels that you know want to converse with the insane as well. Next step, funny farm!” I chucked a rock from the floor at him at this. Sumner glitched it back straight at me before it had even arrived. I hadn’t seen the glitch coming and it caught me square in the forehead. This had everyone laughing now. “Hah! Finally! I’ve finally laid a single blow on the legendary Bentley of Lore.”

“Sumner, of all people, you definitely have landed THE MOST blows on me. I seem to remember you administering my first dual wherein you beat me like a rented mule.” I continued rubbing the spot where the rock had hit – attempting to assuage my hurt pride more so than the actual wound itself.
Bea interrupted, “Cat was the one who brought up the idea. Maybe we should let her explain her logic. Cat?”

Cat was a bit surprised at this. “Oh, sure. Well, Gerard was known throughout the community as one of the wisest cranials ever. Until, that is, he couldn’t take it anymore and something snapped inside him. But he is the only member of a society to leave without being hunted. He may have ideas for us.”

Yolanda of all people stepped over next to Cat and hugged her and then said, “This makes perfect sense. Every insight we can get before going to the councils will be of the utmost importance. I say this makes perfect sense Cat.”

DJ and Sumner exchanged a glance and DJ spoke up first. “No offense, to you Cat, but what is a bum going to share with us that is going to help us? Or even an ex-council member? What are we hoping to learn that is so important we will search the town from top to bottom to find him?” Everyone could tell that DJ was sincere in his concern over the risk this would put them in.

Ben scrunched up his face a bit and then said in more of a question than a statement, “In the Greek tragedies the great and wise Oracles were normally blind weren’t they? They couldn’t see, but they actually saw what was most important…”

Sumner jumped in, “Tiresias. His name was Tiresias. And some say he was blinded by revealing the secrets of the gods. Others say that he was blinded for stumbling onto Athena while she was bathing. Regardless, he is given the gift of seven lives and is constantly being consulted with throughout Greek mythology. He even makes an appearance in the Odyssey.” Everyone was staring at Sumner now with eyes wide open and funny grins across their faces.

“Seriously?” asked Yolanda. She thwapped him upside the head disheveling his hair a bit.
“The hair! And yes seriously. Greek mythology is an important part of any serious student’s education. Or so my parents always said anyway. I am also your resident expert in Latin, if you are ever in the need of having a dead language read to you.” He laughed aloud at this, obviously making fun of himself now.

“It really can’t hurt to find him and ask him a few questions” interjected Bea.
“Now there is the real glitch.” Responded Sumner. “Finding him.”
“Does he not have places he normally crashes?” I asked, oblivious to the real difficulty before us.
Yolanda thought a second and then responded, “Well depending on the weather I would expect his location would change dramatically. But as the weather is warm now he could be anywhere.”
DJ had a thought, “Well, it would stand to reason that he wouldn’t be too far away from an alcohol source. No? He’s never dry from what I hear.”

I reviewed my memory of the town and could only think of three liquor stores throughout the town not counting the grocery stores which only carry 3.2% anyway. He was certain to not go for anything as weak as that. “I say we split into twos and sit and watch the liquor stores. The first team to spot him wins.”

Sumner laughed at this. “I’m totally in. What is the prize? There is a prize, right? A free oracle from the alcoholic presented in a fortune cookie?” Cat hopped up from her seat and wandered over to Sumner. She put a finger in the air indicating that he should wait for it. And then she began attacking his hair with great gusto. “Ah!” yelled Sumner delighted that Cat would pay him such a compliment.

“Alright, alright.” I jumped in. “So the first order of business is assigning the liquor stores and the teams. The second order of business is finding another place to hole up than the sewers. Any ideas?”

Yolanda was first to speak, “All our connections were blown by Barley. I can’t call in any favors that they won’t already be watching I’m sure.”

“What about the abandoned office complex over by the movie theater?” asked DJ. “They got it half way done when the money ran out. Maybe we could find a more comfortable place to land there.”
“Good, good. I like it.” I responded. Now what about the groups? I had to figure out a way to let DJ let me team with Bea. That had been festering in my mind since I realized there were three locations to scout. But nothing was coming to me and I was desperate to spend the time getting to know her a little better. Maybe I need her invisibility? Or I need her to explain something about the councils? I just couldn’t think of anything that would stick, or hold any water with DJ.
Bea surprised me when she spoke up next. “As for the groups, I will go with Ben.” She said resolutely enough. “And we’ll take Three Shamrocks.” And like that it was decided. I tried to appear as calm as I could, but it was difficult.

Yolanda jumped in next and asked Cat if she would go with her. That left Sumner and DJ to make a number of jokes between themselves about being the last ones in the kickball lines to get picked for a team. They could joke all they wanted, all I knew was that I was going to be hanging out with Bea today.