Them Through the Ages


They went up to the rooftop of a nearby motel, the one where Cai was staying. A gentle whirring rose from the boiler turbines, down below, deep in the bowels of the building. Sleeping pigeons roosted under the water tower. The rain had stopped, and clouds floated in the night sky, reflected by giant puddles.

Cai had retrieved his long, black overcoat, which swirled around his thin legs. He pulled out a Camel cigarette and offered his lighter to Dan, who took it, and lit up.

The two men watched the retreating cumulus formation, illuminated by the veins of traffic below. Steam floated from thousands of dark rooftops, with myriad HVAC units, vents and tunnels.

Dan glanced at the Dracula-like creature in front of him. “You’re from out-of-town?” he muttered.

The lothario gave him a crafty, cryptic look, “You might say that.”

There was a density to him – that aristocratic nose, that lofty, sweeping brow – that spoke to him, that offered a weight, a depth. He felt himself drawn forward into this man’s orbit, like falling into the path of a black hole – or a runaway bullet train.

“Where did you say you were from?” Dan tried again.

“I didn’t,” the stranger guffawed.

“Excuse me?” Dan also laughed, but he was 100% serious. He really wanted to know.

“Originally, I am from London, but I came here from Seattle,” Cai began.

“Misty Seattle. Hmm,” Dan said, taking a drag on his cigarette.

“Yes; how well versed are you in the mystical arts?” the stranger gave him a significant look.

“The mystical what?” Dan asked, dumbfounded.

“The mystical. Arts.” Cai said, punctuating each word with an action: he dropped the butt and stepped on it – grinding it out – also taking one step closer to Dan, in the process. His massive, intellectual weight was all directed at Dan. The tall man loomed in front of him, looking down on him, his eyes narrowed in that oily, feline slant again.

Dan stepped back, confused, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Cai stood still, as if his metaphysical weight were settling, like a dense ball of dark matter. He sighed, as if confessing something to himself for the first time, “I am the Lightning Avatar. I come from Atev. You’re aware of parallel dimensions, right?”

Dan, a high-energy particle physicist, nodded. He was still baffled, but something Cai said, rang true to him: a bell knell of recognition tolled inside his psyche, on the shores of his consciousness. He didn’t know why. It was a note, the clarion call, of destiny.

He decided he would address that later, and pushed on gamely, “So, what’s your job?”

“Anesthesiologist,” Cai smirked, with obvious relief. He seemed to be standing over Dan less, and the angles of his body opened into a more welcoming posture. Cai’s mien took on the very definition of ease. Dan allowed himself to come closer, into the circle of Cai’s cologne – into the circle of energy that vibrated and emanated from him.

“You would be,” Dan murmured, surprised at how close he was to this man. The nail edge of a crescent moon emerged from a cloud bank and towered over them both.

modern life


Forgot About Dre (Instrumental) – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem

Conscious Thoughts:


D A N C I N’

You Don’t Know Me – Don Henley

First Meeting


Rain poured down, almost slant-wise. The wind howled around the brick apartment buildings, slick with water running off the train tracks. Lightning cut open the sky. Dan turned his collar up against the cloudburst and soaked to the skin, slipped into The Gem.

The bar was packed for a Tuesday night. As the wizened barkeep liked to say, all the rats had come in from the cold. Dan took a seat in the front and ordered one of the pale ales Al had on tap, a cheap, fruity blend from Europe. The buzz of the conversation pressed in on him, everyone in tight, leather coats and black T-shirts, wearing bicycle chains around their necks.

“Interesting choice,” a man at his right elbow opined, in a dry tone. Dan ran his hand through his damp, chestnut hair, and turned to look at the interlocutor, prepared to be annoyed. When his eyes got to the man’s face, however, he came to a full-stop, and then to his embarrassment, did a double-take.

The man’s most distinctive feature was his cat-like eyes – green, blue and flecked with amber. His face was angular, almost chiseled out of stone. He had a tall forehead, but his face still managed to have a gentleness about it, a playfulness. Mischief animated the crinkles at the corners of his eyes, when he smiled, as he did now, with obvious bemusement.

His long, thin fingers toyed with the rim of a glass of whiskey, which he turned at odd intervals. Those eyes were alive with the fires of harmless wickedness, genuine fun. He wore a cappuccino shirt and a black jacket.

“I could say the same for you,” Dan retorted, trying to look cool, only to succeed in appearing daft.

The man, his natural hair color a dirty auburn, almost blond, shook his head, “So what’s your name?” His voice was deep and rich, like rivers in an aquifer.

“Dan,” he responded, managing to pull his tongue off the roof of his mouth just in time.

The man shifted closer, his dark suit flowing into the gloom of the bar. His movements were lithe but calculated. His eyes danced with delight and seemed to burn into Dan’s soul, “Dan, eh? May I buy you a drink Dan?”

Dan blinked, dumbstruck. “Sure,” he got out, “And your name?”

“My name is Cai,” he said, another slow grin spreading across his face. He signaled Al over and placed a tenner on the table.



Forgot About Dre (Instrumental) – Dr. Dre feat. Eminem

Cry Me a River (Instrumental) – Justin Timberlake