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Chapter #14

Declan 1.1 (The Man in The Mirror)

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I was worn out, tired, and wasted. I lay down and adjusted the cushy
pillows under my head, took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly, and closed
my eyes, expecting to fall asleep right away. Yeah, I was too tired to sleep.
Yeah, right to sleep. That would have been too easy.
I turned to the right. Got up and turned the A/C down a notch or two.
Lay down on the left, then the right. Then I put the pillow down between my
I looked over towards the window as a light flashed stripes through the
closed micro-blinds across Creepmo's freaky, apocalyptic face, which was
staring straight at me in the otherwise pitch black room.
“Ho, QD, get in the closet and close your freaky eyes. Close the door
behind you. Fuck man.”
Wow, that was freaky-creepy. Whew, gave me the heebie jeebies. I was
creeped out to chill bumps on my bones.
I had to get rid of Creepmo and get the hell out of here. I wondered if
Coordvagh-yaugh knew anybody that could fake an ID for me. That’d be some
coincidence, wouldn’t it? I bet Michio could help me. Fat chance, though. I
think he’d rather kill me.
I’m not taking those pills anymore. I know that.
Oh shit, I gotta get some sleep. Stop worrying about everything.
I pulled the comforter over me to block the cool A/C. It felt so nice. My
burn was definitely getting better. I pulled the sheets past my feet and wiggled
my toes. I closed my eyes and started to drift off, dreaming about those pills.
Yeah, they were right over there in the nightstand.

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I rolled over again. Then I started dreaming about what might happen if I
took them without Jose and those freaky eyes of his around.
No, I wasn’t going to do it. Who knows, maybe Peyote Patty was his first
guinea pig, and look where she’s at. No way, no how.
Oh, hum. Yeah. Smk smk. Maybe if I lay upside down on the bed. Yeah,
that’ll do it. I’ll be asleep in no time flat.

Flat, yeah, no time flat…

Ugh, you’d think with as much as I drank tonight and been through all
day and the last few weeks that I’d sleep like the dead. I was so fucking beat.
But no-o-o.
Screw it.
There’s no way I’m going to lie here and let them pills torture me for
Oh Lordy mercy, what the hell am I doing? What the hell am I?
I printed a cup, then let the sight and the sound of running water numb
my brain for a second. It seemed fill the cup in slow motion.
I took a sip and clunked the cup down on the counter as I opened the
They were gone.
I was a little relieved, but then I moved the napkin. It had slid back in
the drawer, along with the pills. I must have closed the drawer a little hard
Maybe I should just take one and save the other one for later. I held one
of them up to the light and examined its black and white, sparkly, crystal-like
surface. I guess one color was the peyote and the other was from the tree that
was always out there in the past. I wondered if it was out there in the present.
I put it in my mouth and swallowed it with a little water. Then I clunked
my glass down again.

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Yeah, I’ll save this one…
Yeah, fuck it. Down the hatch you go.

Hmm. Nothing, nothing at all. I looked at my own eyes in the mirror to
see if they turned to colorful sprockets.
Nope, nothing at all.
I waited several moments, and still nothing happened. I didn’t even feel
that rush or buzzed or anything. It was probably for the best. Mr. Psycho
Stares probably was the key to the hallucinations somehow. Who knows,
maybe he had some kind of past-present transmitting contact lens. Or the
whole thing was probably just more hologram trickery.
Didn’t really make sense, but all I know is that he had some freaky-
looking eyes when I took these pills before.
I decided I’d take a shower before I hit the hay. I was just glad I got that
over with.
It was late, and there was plenty of hot water. I’m sure I went way over
my daily rations, but it felt so good.
I laid my back and neck into it and pinched up the heat a little hotter
and hotter, a little at a time.
Oh yeah, just what I needed. It’d been a long time since I could take a
hot shower. My skin was beginning to peel. Oh, my back was so itchy. Squirt,
squirt. Ah, yeah, that was much better.
I got up and dried off, and then I hit the bed like a ton of bricks. I was
gone, fast asleep.
Hours later, my eyes slowly peeled open. My mouth was so dry that it felt
like a bad dentist visit, like somebody sucked all of the saliva out of my mouth,
or like someone filled my mouth with cotton balls. I desperately needed to
swallow, but there was just nothing there.
The darkness had me pinned down to the bed. It was pitch black. The
only light shining was a dimly lit clock on the nightstand, and its blurry red

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glare read four twenty. The W-cons read clear skies and no moon. I forced
myself out of bed, feeling hungover and groggy.
I stretched and then stumbled my way over to the bathroom sink, feeling
around for the little plastic cup in hopes that I hadn’t reached my cut- off limit
of water rations.
Oh lucky me. The water fell out and filled the cup, and I gulped it down
in one swallow. As I put it down, my reflection startled me.
Great, now I’m scared of my own shadow.
I focused on looking down at the running water. I put the cup down to fill
it up again, but the water slowed to a trickle before stopping altogether. I must
be way over my rations.
I drank the little bit that’d dribbled in. What the fuck.
I looked up again and saw my reflection looking back at me with some
very familiar, freaky sprocket eyeballs.
Scared to death, I stared back into them. I couldn’t pull myself away.
They were mesmerizing, and they sucked me in under a frightfully intense
pressure. I saw a man’s shadow.
The pulling tide subsided, and I saw me telling Jose Enochus earlier,
“Nope, the pills aren’t having any effect on me at all. Maybe I’m all better,” and
I heard someone laughing in the distance.
What a stupid thing to say.
I couldn’t believe I said that.
Then the familiar rush of time, or space, or I didn’t know how to describe
it, just some kind of weird pulling on the fibers of my being, pulled me into a
desert. I saw a serpent slithering by, and he stopped, turned his head around
to look at me, and said, “Look, my tail is like the children of Dan. It leaves a
trail.” Then he turned his head and looked at his winding displacement and
continued, “So easy to follow.”
“Okay, who's Dan?” I asked.
The snake's reply: “Who and what are you?”

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And then I was whisked away again on the winds of time, and I found
myself a powerful king overlooking a mighty people, and yet I felt overly humble
and small as a man in a colorful coat walked by. He was a grandfather holding
a small child's hand and carrying a younger one in his other arm. The older
brother turned and looked at me with my own eyes, and I heard the old
gentleman say, “Come along, Manasseh. We have things to do today, very
important things to do today.”
The vision faded away as vapor, revealing a rich and fertile land with
populations of varying and diverse cultures, large and small.
There were purple mountains and waves of grain, canyons, rivers,
shining seas, and milk and honey. When I looked up, there was a great bald
eagle, and in the next moment, I was flying high and looking down at the
mighty, mighty land brimming with her beautiful people through his eyes. And
I took it all in in a single breath as the rush swirled around again for many
miles across the beautiful, until I was dropped into a turkey standing on a tree
limb above the shoreline of a very long beach that stretched out for miles and
miles in both directions, with long waves curling and gently foaming as they
rolled into the bright, sandy shores.
Gobble gobble. The turkey seemed a bit nervous. I could feel her anxiety
over my presence.
There was a small group of people on the beach. They were fisherman,
and their children were playing in the sand and water some distance away.
They were there with their mothers watching over them, teaching them. I was
sure they were from a tribe nearby.
I looked way up the beach and saw a man running and waving his
hands. I didn’t think the others could see or hear him yet. As he got closer, I
could hear him speaking in his native tongue, but I didn’t understand him at
all. As he got closer to the people down the beach, they started running to him
to see what he was raving about.

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He kept pointing to the sky and talking in his tongue, and the people
were all looking into the sky over the ocean and at each other, shrugging their
shoulders. I looked up there too, but I didn’t see anything either.
I kept checking and watching them, and then after a few moments of
looking out into the bright blue sky, three flying saucers faded into view. I
noticed that the closest one, the one that was landing on the beach, read,
And then I zoomed into one of the boys playing on the beach, and it
made me nervous to be there.
The craft floated down and landed ever so softly just on the other side of
the water line. A huge door revealed four occupants inside, and a forty-foot
ramp rolled out and fell down. It bounced up before hitting the sand again and
settling with a tshhhchk onto the beach.
The aliens were of monstrous stature, strong and bold, and they sat atop
these huge beasts of burden that were like unstoppable, uncontrollable giants
from the days of old.
The white beast walked down the ramp with his rider on top. He was
holding a crooked cross, and he smiled a crooked smile when I looked up at
him. Beyond the riders, a vulture flew by and snatched my consciousness, and
as we flew over the four aliens riding their four beasts, I saw four more behind
And then four more, and behind them four more—and they kept coming
and coming, and the beasts were always the same. And they weren’t black and
white like everything else, but in rich, vibrant, living color, and all the beasts
looked the same as the rows flew by and they stood in their order: white, red,
black, and pale.
The rider of the white beast held different symbols, and all the riders had
different faces, but they were all the same. And the vulture took me back
further and further through the time rush, which kept moving faster and faster
at an ever-accelerating pace, and their line was so long that its stream curled

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into the horizon. And I saw all of them, all the way back to the mighty hunter
himself, standing beside his great, unforgettable tower that seemed to be
reaching into the heavens.
I stood astonished. There was the spaceship with the four beasts and
their riders.
On the side, the ship’s name this time read, ‘The Cycle Of Man.’ The
ramp came out like before, hissing upon sand. The tower of Babylon loomed in
the background on a bright and sunny day.
My heart was about to beat right out of my chest. I’d never been so
scared in all my life.
The great white beast snorted and began his descent down the ramp. I
saw his rider pull back his hood, and his face was the face of the sun, and the
people were all wearing gold and painted yellow medallions with numbers in
columns and rows printed on squares. And there were six rows and six
columns that all added up to 111 in each direction.
As I wondered at the phenomenon, I saw a square head go bobbing and
floating by, and he joked, “Mr. Hawking used a similar tool to prove that there
is no god.”
I marveled at the words while he smiled a sarcastic smile.
I looked back up at the three remaining riders. They were waiting for
their time.
The red one was dripping, and all of those that rode this beast
throughout the succession of history wore robes and capes of blood.
The Grim Reaper himself rode upon the black beast, and atop the pale
one rode Pandemic Influenza. That’s right, the face of every plague, famine, and
disease that ever reared its nasty, ugly head.
In a moment of bravery, or more like temporary insanity, I firmed my
stance at the bottom of the ramp and squinted my eyes to look square into the
face of the descending white rider.

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Neither beast nor rider waned, but I recognized his face. And then it
changed to another, and then another, and I saw every god ever exalted by
mankind as the faces rolled back further and further and faster and faster, all
the way back to the present time.
There I was.
There I was, feeling tall, solid, and strong and sitting atop the great white
beast myself.
Shocked and astounded, I gazed over to my right hand, which was
holding a kaleidoscope filled with prisms and broken rainbows. On the outer
shaft in red letters read the words, “I came to divide.” On the extended shaft,
words scratched and clawed into the surface read, “Then I am a cult of one,
just like everybody else.”
As I turned my head to look back at myself, I burst into flames, returning
into myself watching in the bathroom mirror. I could feel my body going limp as
all of its energy poured out, and I watched my reflection go from bright flame to
cinder and ash. Plump, my body crashed to the floor as I blacked out cold.
â—‹ â—‹ â—‹
Knock, knock, knock.
“Hey, Dubock, you in there?”
Knock, knock.
“Coordvagh, are you awake?”
“Oooh,” I groaned. “Oh fuck.” I groaned again as I crawled into the water
closet and began to hurl.
I heard Pumba-yaugh say something that sounded like, “Lava bully, kot
kock stoordy,” before he burst into clear laughter.
I didn’t know what it meant, but then he said, “Hurdy, Dubock. Get
dressed and meet me in the restaurant. I’ll buy you breakfast.”
Umm, hm, oooh, fuck.

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Ughhh. Aaaghem, hem. Oh man.
Blaaagh, hghhh, spt spt.
I dry heaved until my muscles couldn't take any more.
I lay there with my head dangling over my bile a moment. Then I reached
up with a sore arm and flushed it away. I’m glad it was sanitized for my
I gathered the strength to pull myself up.
I should've only taken one of those pills.
I reached up and grabbed the doorknob, and as I slowly pulled my way
up, I realized, oh, oooh, I shouldn't be taking them at all. My head was
spinning like a tilt-a-whirl inside.
I stood there wobbling till I slowly made it to the sink to clean up.
Putting my toothbrush away, I remembered that I had a robot. Hmm.
“Jizmo! Jizmo.”
I turned around and bumped right into him. He was fast, and sneaky. I
didn't even hear the closet door open.
Creepy Creepmo.
“Clean the mess up really nice right there,” I ordered as I gestured my
hand around the puke zone.
I really needed to get John his money back. Too bad I couldn't trust
Fuckmo over there.
“Will there be anything else, Declan?” QD asked while I shuffled through
the medicine cabinet to find a sharper face blade. I'd use a laser razor, but I
heard they give some people cancer. Ew, I wouldn't want face cancer, that was
for sure. I'd end up looking like stupid Psychmo over there.
Hey, what did he just call me? Declan? I could get busted.
I looked at him and started shaking my finger in his face. “From now on
you need to call me O Great Master. Understand?” Then I told him to go back
into the closet and close the door.

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I finished shaving and splashed on some Old Spice. It always reminded
me of my dad and younger days.
I finished cleaning myself up and walked over to the closet. When I
opened the door to pull out something nice to wear, QD was just standing
there, staring back at me with this blank look on his face. His hair looked like
patches of greasy black weed patches sprouting straight up out of the peach
fuzz that was starting to come up out of his scalp.
I put my hand around his neck and told him, “Don't worry. Pretty soon
there’ll be one less evil robot to worry about.”
Then I grabbed a shirt and closed the closet doors real fast. I didn't know
what had come over me lately. I used to be so nice. Too much stress, I guess.
I noticed Spic and Span weren’t outside my door, or anywhere else
around, after walking out. I noticed a huge gathering in the lobby as I passed
by on the way to the restaurant. There must be something going on, and a
banner caught my eye that read, “Welcome to the World Poker Tour's
Championship Semifinals!”
Wow, that was a lot of money at stake. Especially if it was just the
And as I turned the corner to go into the breakfast bar, I nearly hit
Pumba, who was headed out.
“Hey, Dubock,” he said, still moving. “You’re too late. I have to go help
Jose with a few things to take to Patty's room. Come on up. He won't mind.”
It might be a good idea, let the good doctor probe me for information like
a good guinea pig.
We got up to the penthouse corridor, and I looked out. Wow, what a nice
view of the sandy desert. Yep, sand and sky stretching out as far as the eye
could see. And cacti.
The sun was working its way up the horizon above the vast ocean
How nice.

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We walked down the corridor. Pumba-yaugh was still laughing at me for
getting sick. He thought it was from drinking, and I didn't tell him that he was
only half right.
Jose opened a door, greeted us, and then talked to Pumba for a moment.
Then he gave Pumba some keys and told him to get the bag on the kitchen
table and he'd be down in a minute.
I noticed that Bella Unitooth was sitting in the living room with an isopod
or—no, it looked like she had one of those new Xpod VR halos on.
Nice. I missed my isopod back at Mom's house. It made me kind of
Cherahontas and Michio were having breakfast in the kitchen. She
waved hello to me, but Michio didn't turn around at all. He just said, “My
bartender tells me you had a really good time last night.” Then he just kept
eating. He barely slowed down to say it.
I was at a slight loss for words. I started to say something but was
interrupted by Michio's fork of all things.
The damn thing blurted out, “You’re eating too fast. Taking the time to
chew is good for your digestion.”
I could see they were both a little embarrassed. Then Cherahontas spoke
up, saying, “We paid big money for that rock hard body.”
Maybe you should have purchased a model with some balls, I thought,
but I kept that to myself. After all, I wasn’t exactly known for being the ballsiest
guy in the room. But there was no way I was letting a fork boss me around.
I waved bye and waited by the elevator for Pumba and Jose to hurry up.