If flying in an air taxi with the world’s worst pilot was a bad idea, flying with the world’s worst sleep-deprived pilot has to be worse.
“Don’t worry Regi, I’ll make sure he stays awake for the rest of the flight.” No answer. “Regi?” From the front passenger seat, Regi snores.
Also sleep deprived. I brush blond hair from her face and she turns toward the window mumbling “Anatomy, oh, oh!” Looks like it’s up to me.
I’ve got to keep David up. A pool of darkness opens at Regi’s feet and is far deeper than the blackest night. She dives in. It has no bottom
When she wakes up her tongue will feel parched like it crossed the Sahara barefoot and her head will burn like the Hindenburg exploding.
I know the feeling. You plan big, you put all your eggs in one basket and POOF! You’re a shell of your former self and the yolk’s on you.
I close my eyes. The cabin walls of the plane seem to hold the throb of the engines. We climb and climb up the Himalayas and step out on top
Lights move behind my closed eyelids. I am lost in space. I am a gilt-edged sap come back from a vain adventure. I smell like tapioca.
I am a hundred dollar package of dynamite going off with a noise like a pawnbroker looking at a dollar watch. I don’t know what that means.
All I know is I read it somewhere in a book. “Farewell.” I say out loud. “There’s nothing left but prayer.” I stop thinking. I am asleep.
I grab some shut-eye. Up front, Regi entertains the Sandman while David cruises on autopilot. In cargo, Willum Granger sleeps the big sleep.
Regi’s Sandman smiles, closing one eye repeatedly. Just like her to catch forty winks while sound asleep! She’s that sort of dream girl.
From the front of the plane Willum Granger’s corpse says “I spent most of my life in pain and I guess I’ll spend the rest of it being dead.”
I never dreamed THAT before. Constantly convalescing from cloning surgery, Granger’s life was nasty, brutish. And it turns out, shortened.
Wait. Granger speaks from beyond the grave? Now I can ask the question troubling me! “Was it you who sent me on this quest?” “No. I’m dead.”
“I feel your pain!” “I feel no pain now.” “If it wasn’t you who was it?” “My double.” “I know that, but who was it who looks just like you?”
Silence. “Do you know who it was?” “Yes.” “Can you tell me?” “No.” “You’re as good as dead to me.” “Perhaps.” “Don’t make me come up there!”
“My time grows short. Methinks I scent the morning air.” Where have I heard that line before? “Say hello to my daughter for me.” “I will.”
He’s not telling me. If in my dream Granger knows who his doppelgänger is, that means that I also know who it is. I’m not telling me either.
I now know one thing: Willum Granger did not visit me from the beyond the grave. Not his clone, not his reanimated corpse, not him at all.
Generally I don’t’ reach even this much clarity mid-case. I still don’t know who it was, but a huge feeling of satisfaction settles over me.
(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)