Chapter 15: Stop or my Character will Shoot

Adam raised his hands to the air.

“Whoa!  I’m helping, I promise.  Just tell me what to do.”

“I think the better question is, what can you do?  You and this Badger fella seem to have all sorts of powers.”

“Well, yeah, that’s what I thought, until you shot him dead.”

“I’m okay,” The Badger groaned.

Jessica shot him again, and again the bullet went through his skull, causing his head to become nothing more than a steaming pile of red goo.

The Badger decided that now might be the best time for him to sit out for a while.  Adam recognized this and became incredibly angry that he hadn’t been shot.  However, he also decided he wasn’t willing to try it, as he wasn’t sure he would have quite the same fate as the immortal being which apparently resided in his head.

“What are you doing just standing there and staring at me?” Jessica asked, obviously angry.  “Come on, let’s go stop us some monsters.”

“And how do you suppose we’re going to do that?”

“The most obvious way possible,” Jessica said, as though she had read a book or something which would tell her exactly how to get out of a situation like this.  “We go tell the cultists who summoned these beasts to send them back home.”

“So, that might work for the one monster, but Carl wasn’t summoned.  He’s just a boy who is addicted to boogers.”

“What?” Jessica scowled at Adam.  She considered leaving him on the spot, but also realized that this guy’s supernatural abilities might be useful.

“Nevermind.  You know where the cultists are?”

“No, but I can bet we can find them.  Where’s the nearest lighthouse?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t design the city that far out.”

“Okay, well, if you did, where would the lighthouse be?”  Jessica had many questions regarding the odd way this man spoke, but decided to play along so that she could deal with the issue at hand.

“I guess like 50 miles west of here, near a harbor.”

“Then that’s where we’re going.”

“You got a car or something?” Adam asked, noting the motorcycle she had ridden in on and realizing that every time he had attempted to drive a motorcycle he was too short to reach everything effectively.  Not that he was all that short or anything.  Yeah, sure, Napoleon was also 5’7″, but calling him short was historically inaccurate because the average height at the time was 5’5″, not to mention that 5’7″ isn’t really all that short when you get out of the Midwest, and in places like Mexico he feels like a giant–

“Did you hear me?” Jessica asked.

“Um, no,” Adam replied.

“I said climb onto the back of my bike.  We’ll get there in no time.”

“Oh, great.”  Adam frowned.  He hated riding bitch.  Not that it was all that emasculating or anything, but that he hated feeling not in–

“Come on!” Jessica shouted from her seat on the motorcycle.  “Let’s act like we’ve got a city to save here!”

“Wait!” Adam shouted, causing Jessica to stop and turn to look at him, rather interested, but also slightly annoyed, but mostly hopeful that Adam had an actual idea of how to get them all out of this mess.

“Well?” Jessica asked, hoping Adam would elaborate.

“I just realized something!  So, like, humans think we’re special because we can think, right?  So, we figure there must be something different about us, something that matters.  That’s why we believe in the gods, whether or not any of them exist, because we believe there has to be something more because we have all this power to think and reason and create and whatever.  But then humans got all disappointed because they realized that even though they might be special, they spend a majority of their time doing the most absolutely mundane things, like their day job, or folding laundry or whatever else.  In fact, that’s why fiction exists, is so that we can, in some small way, live out our own special lives like we believe we’re owed because we each think there is something special about us, even though, in reality, we spend all of our time doing things pretty similarly to every other animal out there, following patterns and routines and just getting through the daily chores to make sure we survive.”

“And your point?” Jessica asked, quickly coming to the realization that there wasn’t one.

“My point is, even today we struggle with these same thoughts, even though today we’re actually doing some amazing things.  Well, maybe not each one of us individually, but people are right now living in space.  People are traveling to the deepest depths of the oceans.  We took a picture of a friggin’ black hole.  In America especially, most of us don’t have to struggle to eat, or find a place to sleep, or even to find something to do with our lives, as opposed to a majority of the world for most of human history.  Yet we still struggle to figure out how we can prove to ourselves that we’re as special as we think we are.”

“This isn’t going to have anything to do with the monsters is it?”

“That’s exactly my point.  We’re all monsters in a way.  We complain about how little we matter in this world, which is really just a reflection of how unhappy we are that we aren’t as special as we think we are because of how we can freaking think and we worry that we’re not all that much different from the animals, even though we have this one awesome thing that most definitely separates us and–”

“Who says animals can’t think?” Jessica asked.

Adam paused.

“Well, I mean, they can’t, can they?  They’re not really, like, advancing themselves or anything.”

“Maybe that’s because they don’t really think they need to.  Maybe they like how they are.  Maybe they see themselves as special because of how they are doing the thing that only they can do within their given biome and–”

“Holy crap!” Adam yelled.  “The monsters are headed downtown!”

“Right,” Jessica said with a frown.  “The second the woman has a thought about your weird philosophical rant, you’re ready to finally focus on the monsters.”

“Umm,” Adam said slowly.  He didn’t want to admit that he had been stalling and using his own source of depression to sound as though he had had an idea.  And Jessica was starting to make sense.  He didn’t know if he was ready to have a breakthrough in his therapy when he hadn’t even had therapy yet.  Not to mention that he was currently struggling with a pretty severe mental delusion which involved him living out a fantasy world he had created.  “No, you’re good.  I just forgot about the monsters or something.”

The engine revved to life and the two of them rode west.

Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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