#ThisSLantedLand Chapter 1 ~And So It Begins~ recap conclusion

In an instant Lis and Thorne picked themselves up off the bench and were on their way down the road to the Village.

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The sun had completely laid itself to rest and the crescent moon had taken its place as Lis and Thorne entered the Village. The Village, which had basically become their second home was a small rectangular cafe with wooden booths running length-wise. As they entered the front doors,  voices raised in a smoke filled haze that created conversation.

Lis stopped at a booth to say “ Hi” to her friend, Rina…. Rina and her roommate, Beth. They had already started on a pitcher beer, a proper beginning to the evening. They were giggling as they talked about another friend’s failed attempts to woo some girl. Lis figured it must have been a funny story, but their conversations was running together. She was yet to be at their heightened state of humor, yet….

As the cauldron of this place and time was about to be mixed with

mayhem…time & darkness,,,

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The Village cafe was alive with the evening’s eager.

Lis was a bit lost as Rina and Beth, reveled in their heightened states of happiness with their tell – all – tales. Unable to keep rhythm of their ripple of words  fast and flowing in laughter and libations, she bid them farewell for now.

Lis then made her way to a  back booth and joined Thorne at the table. Within minutes, Brett, their waiter, accustomed to this pre-festive stop, arrived with two cups of coffee in hand. Lis ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. Thorne, rice and beans and Brett with pace was back about his way.

Looking around then addressing his watch Thorne said,“ Kiefer is suppose to meet us. But you know how casual he is…”

“ Casual, ” Lis countered with a smirk, ” Yeah he’s probably with Deanna so you never know.”

“He’ll be here,” Thorne said confidently as he sipped his coffee.

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Lis and Thorne had met Kiefer, notoriously known and named for his striking resemblance to Kiefer Sutherland and his nocturnal behavior that was oh so   Lost Boys, at one of his gatherings in his off campus apartment.

Kiefer was one who optimized the lifestyle of a Richmonders.  He had been in college for the past three years searching for his major and or just majorly searching.Thus, he was a student of liberal arts, “liberal” being the operative in those words..

 They were drawn to him for this charismatic glimpse of excitement, a sort of light that laid behind his eyes. Whether it was the light at the end the tunnel or a depraved bottomless pit, no one knew. He was a sort of mismatched wanderer lost on the edge, living in his world of touch and go. It was questionable if he knew himself. Yet, he was always smiling and his unbalancement made him a good night’s companion. Whether it be a evening of philosophizing or the next rage’s find,he was tapped into the what ever you’re into grapevine.

He seemed to know everyone and everyone seemed to know him. His name proceeded every party as he seemed so to be in sync… Though, in the darkness it was easy not to be seen…

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Suddenly a bright smiling blonde haired boy aka Kiefer entered from the side door of the Village and called out to Lis and Thorne, “ Howdy kids! What’s the haps? So happy to see two of my favorite people. Oh hey, Brett,” he said to their waiter passing by as he took a seat at the table, “ Can I get a coffee and , uh… potato with butter and sour cream? Yeah, that sounds good.”

“You got it,” Brett replied.

“ Kiefer,” Lis started with a smile and little sarcasm knowing she was fueling a fire ,                 ” Where’s Deanna tonight?” Deanna was Kiefer’s  girlfriend and or his girl-friend he was friendly with often.

 Kiefer slyly countered with a great grin, “ Well…we’re kind of… taking some time. I really need to… breathe.”

“ I guess so, cause it looks like a vampire has been sucking the life out of your wind pipes,” Thorne said eyeing the obvious, a huge red bite like bruise on his neck.

For a snap second Kiefer’s eyes lost their luster. Then just as quick he re calibrated recalling the wound and replied with a low tone chuckle,

“Hence taking some time… Speaking of time, ” he continued deflecting, ” I’ve been spending it with, well… I’ve been kinda hanging out with this Theatre major girlie named Kristine. You might know her… She’s got brown curly hair, cute, and lets just say healthy looking in an upper torso way. I hear that she might be… well, she has this roommate named Wendy…We’ve all been spending some ‘time’ together. I know, you know, what I mean. And, lets just say I’d like to spend some three on three time with both of them,” Kiefer said having now regained a broad arrogant glare.

” Time,” Thorne repeated with snicker.

” Yes,” Kiefer replied as his glare turned to a  dark deadpan daze,

” Time is what you make of it…”

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 Mocking into mayhem,

Lis and Thorne could always count on Kiefer for an honest summary of his “care free” time.

“ Well, I guess you could say you’ve got the ball rolling, no pun intended, “ said Thorne.

“ Yes,” Kiefer said with a wink,” And pun appreciated. They are, in motion… in all the right ways.”

“ You planning on broadening your horizons?” Thorne sarcastically sung.

“Something like that, corner pocket combination…, “ savored Kiefer… “

Lis, amused just shook her head at their witty riddled words.

“So what’s in cards tonight kids? Party on Franklin? Should be pretty all right! ” Keifer said in advertisment.  “I was talking to Charles today. He says Zagman Zig is playing. They’re such a cool band. Seen them so many times. Known them since they first got together. I even went to one of their first shows when the Metro used to be Rockets, “he continued living in the glory.  Man, miss those days. I wish you guys were around then. It seems like yesterday. Everything keeps changing in this town…. “

Kiefer’s words trailed off into a moment of reflective melancholy.

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“Zagman’s Man’s playing on Grace?,” Thorne said as an abrupt attempt to reroute Kiefer’s side-track train of thought.

“ …Uh yeah, “ he said finding his focus.

“ Cool, I hear they’ve got a raw funk thing goin’ for them. Funk is good,” Thorne euphorically stated. Music was his life as he had passion for it’s intricate understanding.

Brett returned to the table with their food along with a small pitcher of Black and Tan, and another of Bud Light and three glasses. “Here you go guys. I thought I would save myself a trip. Angel, the Bud Light is for you. I know how you are, “ Brett said as an aside to Lis. He had seen her one to many times puking in the alley on dark beer nights. Lis smiled, she couldn’t deny the truth and appreciated Brett’s concerned yet under toned humor.  “ Everyone cool?”

“ Cool, “ they replied as they started in on their dinners for the evening. A light meal, one that was formulated to enhance the buzz of a night that was just beginning ***

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A glass of beer into her pitcher , Lis looked up, the special’s board caught her eye. It was one of those electronic billboards with the running words. It had a black backing and red dotted letters. Her eyes came into focus and she realized what was scrolling across.

HEY BAGEL HEARD YOU GOT YOUR TEST RESULT BACK.  HOPE EVERYTHING CAME OUT POSITIVE.  REMEMBER NO ONE LIKES SOUR CREAM.

This message made Lis laugh. Noticing, Thorne and Kiefer turned to the billboard. Making out the words, they both smiled.

“ Man, Bagel must have really pissed Amy off, “ said Thorne.  Amy was one of the waitresses at the Village and one of Bagel’s latest conquest. Bagel was another Richmondnite, like Kiefer. He had made a name as a  premier art student yet it was  his gigolo coined persona that preyed on the girls of the freshman class that made him infamous.

“ Wow, won’t that guy ever learn?” Thorne said poured them all beers.

“ But he’s so sensitive new age, in touch with his feminine side as we all should strive to know ourselves , and others, together. There is no wrong action just experience. Moments to remember and learn from, “ Lis dryly repeated from memory the sentiment Bagel had bestowed upon in their first meeting. She half understood and believed his words until she realized that half of the girls on her dorm floor also found comfort on different occasions in those very same statements from Bagel’s mouth. She knew at that point he was someone to know, and knowingly she kept her distance. “ Oh and I think he’s learned. Although I think he should change his major to Human Sexuality. I think that would be a more proactive choice for his past present and future goals,” Lis said rolling eyes with her final two cents on the subject.

“ Sounds like you and Bagel shared something very special,” Kiefer said in a mocking manner.

“ Lets hope it wasn’t to special, “ Thorne said pointing to the board and joining the tease.

“ I don’t know, he’s a special guy, that Bagel, “ Kiefer continued, “Tell the truth he almost got you. Lis?”

She gave them both a non-amused look.

” It’s ok, you’re with friends, ” Thorne said as he and Kiefer stared at Lis pleasantly with hidden humor.

“ …You guys are so funny and so original, “ Lis mocked back, trying but not succeeding at keeping a straight face. ” …Stop staring at me! Nothing happened!”

” It’s ok you’re amongst friends.”

” This is a safe circle.”

“Shut up!” Lis laughed with pointless denial unable to hold it in any longer.

Kiefer and Thorned joined her giggles as they “cheersed” and downed their pitchers. The Pavlovian preparation process had begun. Coupled with their silliness it set the night off right with a rising high.

When SUDDENLY a screech pierced through their ears,

 “ WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THIS?! PLEASE SOMEONE STOP, DON’T LET HIM GET AWAY!”

Silence filled the air as the room was frozen.

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They “Cheersed” and downed their pitchers. The Pavlovian preparation process had begun. Coupled with their silliness it set the night off right with a rising high.

When SUDDENLY a screech pierced through their ears,

 “ WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THIS?! PLEASE SOMEONE STOP, DON’T LET HIM GET AWAY!”

Silence filled the air as the room was frozen.

   Within in an instant a middle-aged hippie man came crashing out of the bathroom located a booth away from them. Flailing to the floor in a scuffle with a teenage boy.

Silence overflowed the Village. Nobody moved. They just stared as if in a trance of a mass conscious main frame. Witnessing, registering but not reacting to  what was happening…

Swiftly,the boy pushed the man away, pounced to his feet and flew out the side door. “ Don’t let him go!” the man cried out gasping for air.“He has my wallet!”,

Abruptly tripping the trance, Kiefer jumped up and started out the door and after the kid. In a chain-reaction Thorne and Brett snapped-to and assisted the man back to his feet. Then a delayed concerned delirium rumbled the cafe patrons back to business.

Within minutes Kiefer returned catching his breath, “ He’s gone. I’m sorry”

Shaking off the  shock, the Hippie man took the news in with a deep sigh and replied ” I can’t believe he was so desperate…There must be a reason.”

Pensive in his state he explained that he knew the boy. He had helped him from time to time. But had never seen him this bad. He held out his hand to Kiefer , “Thank You,” he said looking him straight in the eye,” At least you saw enough to try.” Kiefer nodded as if he knew, understood, something being said silently.  Calmly in good faith, the man then left as his words trailed behind him, “All things will be handled peacefully when time is right”…

Lis still lost in her paralyzed moment of  pause watched the oddity of his exit. As he left it was as if he took the mass memory of the current present past with him. Seamlessly, everyone’s attention had completely returned their to their tables as if the now overlapped time never existed..Was no one wondering What just happened and why?

Thorne took his final gulp of beer. “ Well…we should go?” he said prompting Lis’s return to reality.

“…Uh, yeah,” she replied.

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“Yes! We shall we go. ” Kiefer said eagerly, adrenaline still pumping. He was ready for whatever to begin.

Dropping money for Brett on the table the three sauntered out of the Village. A slight beer buzz made their cheeks rosy, but a long way from the numbness, the destiny of the evening.

“ Oh hey, lets stop by my friend’s house.” (Everyone was a friend to Kiefer) “I have something to pick up,” Kiefer said with sleuth leading the way. In the light of the full moon, Lis and Thorne followed him.

Walking up Franklin street, they found themselves at an apartment building next to the party. It was like many of it’s kind in Richmond, historic and harassing. Approaching with pace, Kiefer punched in the door code and they were in.

All of the apartment buildings in the fan had their own special door code and knowing them was knowledge that came in handy. Kiefer knew them all. They reached the first door on

Then, the door crept opened as the glimmering glow of candle light danced about its entrance.

A wistful whisper beckoned them from the darkness, “ Entrez visitors.” Lis felt these words like a cold shiver up her spine. “ Don’t be shy, you are welcome and…expected….”

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ination. His sight soothed Lis’s silent startle. It was Brian.Then, the door crept opened as the glimmering glow of candle light danced about its entrance.

Then, the door crept opened as the glimmering glow of candle light danced about its entrance.

A wistful whisper beckoned them from the darkness, “ Entrez visitors.” Lis felt these words like a cold shiver up her spine. “ Don’t be shy, you are welcome and…expected….”

A seductive long black haired boy emerged from the listless illum

A wistful whisper beckoned them from the darkness, “ Entrez visitors.” Lis felt these words like a cold shiver up her spine. “ Don’t be shy, you are welcome and…expected….”

A seductive long black haired boy emerged from the listless illumination. His sight soothed Lis’s silent startle. It was Brian.

Brian was a daring dark eyed art student that lived on the 9th floor of Lis’s dorm. They shared a few classes and an unspoken understanding.   Lis was drawn to Brian, not for his nicely Indian featured face but more so for his alluring charm of “off-balancement” . She often found herself just staring rather observing him as his mad genius mischievousness fascinated her.

He, like his work had a presence of abstract realistic uncanniness. Stories intertwined with soul, visibly invisible to the rest of the world, telling truths that no one like to be told.

Some nights they would sit in his room with all the windows open so the air flowed un-braced but not brash. Shooting back Jack Daniels, discussing what kept them grounded and their need for connection. His insights prompted Lis to see two sides to a coin and the randomness of its flipping motion. One moment he was lost in the histories of his fantasies, and the next he was explaining Newton’s law of gravity, all the while his outlandish thoughts were thrown into conversation. But, no matter how outlandish his thoughts when linked together they unveiled an intellectual, spiritual eye-opening vision of view.

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   “ What brings you these ways travelers? A cup of fear, a cup of hate, to stir up our line of fate on this full crescent night?” Brian said, with a melodic rhythm to his voice. Kiefer’s eyes a blaze locked to Brian’s look. In response, Brian chuckled a bit,   “ I see, “ he said taking a swig off of a red wine bottle, the nectar he held in the hand of his heart while with a small gesture he motioned them in with the right.

Kiefer entered immediately. Thorne looked to Lis sharing a glimpse of intrigued and followed suit.  Lis facing the doorway fell shy of movement. Was she scared?

Taking notice Brian held out his hand, “ Come, do not be held by your hesitation. in order for the journey to unfold you must first cross the threshold…”

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Taking Brian’s hand Lis allowed her self to be led. In a moment’s flash she was blinded by the blunt of blackness. Joining her friends her focus was found in the flicker of candle lights that lined a now lit living room revealing a mini masquerade of madness: two blond girls, Lis knew in passing, and a guy, she may have shared a joint with.

In Lis’s shadow of vision their faces appeared to be in distorted animation. Unaware of onlookers the cast of craziness were lost in low laughter echoing  devilish tones. It was as if they were playing a game of telepathic-telephone, passing secrets of mischief and passive aggressive mayhem as their empowered prowess was projected at another girl, Lee left alone across the room in a red round chair.

It was obvious the coffee table coven had offered her an initiation of cruelty that surely she accepted without question.  Acceptance was what Lee was always seeking. Her effort must have been unsuccessful as she sat silently in solitude staring at the ceiling. Her eyes wide & 
watered as if she were a deer downed on a cold dark night…

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Lis, Thorne, and Brian stood in stare of the table tyrants as Kiefer slipped away in to the back bedroom.

“ You three planning to partake in the soiree next door? It seems to be the source of this evening’s malice,” Brian inquired.

“ Yes,” replied Lis, “ but I believe the malicious are among us now”.

“ Touche, “ Brian agreed following Lis’s line of sight, “ Well said and or observed my golden-winged one. They are indeed playing the methodical crystal game tonight.”

Suddenly the bedroom door slammed shut shaking the group from their gaze and for a minute the mad were muted.

In the silence Lis could hear a hum… She didn’t know what, but something was coming..

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Brian, breaking the awe, as the table coven gaggle began to giggle again, spoke.

“ Might I offer you all a drag off the pipe of peacefulness or a glass of red wine to…say, brace our balance?” he asked Lis and Thorne.

“Indeed, I do believe my heart is in need and could use a drop to quench it’s thirst, “ replied Lis falling into Brian’s whimsical rhythm.

“ Yeah, a glass of red would be great man, thanks. “ Thorne said.

“ And so it is, “ Brian said with a deep grin as he gracefully went into the adjoining kitchen to pour the glasses of wine.

Lis looked to Thorne a little weirded and whispered, “Where is Kiefer?” as he was no longer with them.

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Brian returned with the scarlet beverages in hand as Kiefer emerged from the back bedroom bright eyed. “ Thanks man, appreciate it, maybe we’ll see you out and a about, “ Kiefer called back with anxious excitement.

“Not a problem friend. Enjoy,” replied a happy-go-lucky unseen male voice. “ Oh and angel try to keep your wings attached, “ he said with a warm warning directed at Lis.

It was then Lis found the voice was familiar. It belonged to Jay,  as it now dawned on her that they were in his apartment.  Lis and Jay were childhood friends. Though they knew each other more so in passing through the years. Yet, both found comfort in the other’s company after meeting again on campus during the first week of classes.  Jay was an even-tempered, even keeled, good kind of guy that you could hang, talk, laugh and enjoy an afternoon toke.

Until the day, mid semester when he was somehow pocessed to take eight hits of acid in one sitting and then proceeded to sit for the next forty-eight hours. Lost moments of his life leaving him lingering gliding guileless between the planes of the here and now. With his soul flailing,  the only thing keeping him from floating away was a silk thin thread cord of conscious.

“ I will, “ Lis replied endeared by his protectiveness.

“ Good, cause there’s a whirlwind is coming around…”Jay said as his words went faint…

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Energy abundant, without a moment to waste, Kiefer motioned Thorne and Lis into the other bedroom. Glasses of wine in hand, they followed.

Kiefer, Thorne and Lis entered the community room and or a dark dank bedroom lit by a single lamp decored with a couple of milk crates, and a huge ashtray.

Kiefer snickered glowingly as they took a seat. “ I have gifts kids, and it’s not even Christmas, “ he slyly announced and held his hand in the air.

“ Always love gifts,”Thorne said as he opened his hand ready to receive the tiny white paper square Kiefer placed in it.

“And you haloed one, would you like some candy too, little girl?” Lis opened her hand timidly. Kiefer placed a white square in it. Lis, looked to Thorne with a wide-eyed uneasy masking grin. Acid, she had only seen it once before.

“ Now when you place it on your tongue, do not swallow,” Kiefer, instructed intently. “ The strychnine will give you a stomach ache. Just hold it in your mouth and in a couple of minutes spit it out….”

Kiefer, continued with his tweeker tutorial with oblivious excitement as Lis’s mind was flooded with memories that she had not let in for a long time. Just a year or so before, Lis had shared hit with  her childhood friend Molly.  To Lis, it was not that big of a deal, a little more drinking, perma-grin for a day and some involuntary audio level changes. But, Molly…                  she changed…1540

Knowing where Lis’s head was, Thorne placed his hand on hers letting her know he was there.  “ So Whatdaya say, shall we take a trip?” Thorne whispered.

Comforted with trust she replied,“ A time and place for everything?”

“ Indeed, you and me,” he confirmed.

Lis, smiled slowly with consent.

This Slanted Land Chapter 1 ~ And So It Begins ~

Check back next Thursday for NEW

Chapter 2

~Rewind~