Jimmy No-Hands sat on the boardwalk, feet dangling above the horseshit and mud and dead birds, waiting for the wizard to bring him his payment. The air was hot and it hurt to whistle. Jimmy sat, looking at his hands, wondering why the wizard had started calling him No-Hands in the first place.
“Because I see the future, Jimmy.” The voice seemed to come from his hand, and yes, there it was, the smallest etching of the wizard’s face, right between his life-line and heart-line.
“I will find a damn centipede and have it eat you outta my hand, wiz. Where’s my money?”
The etching grew in detail. Jimmy could discern a stern look in the wizard’s eyes and a hard set jaw. “I don’t have it. Money means nothing to me on this plane. Look for your riches on crude Earth, Jimmy No-Hands. I no longer exist in the physical realm and can tell you nothing more.”
“Bullshit. Imma get that centipede.”
“No. Do not get the centipede,” the wizard sighed, “I will tell you where I left the money.”
“Then tell me then already.”
“First, I will need you to cut off your hands and burn them in the Brazier of All-Sight…”
So came the Greasy Man, sliding down the hill over the grass on lard engulfed feet, falling the last few inches to the sidewalk with a sucking sound. His eyes fried perception. His tears salted the golden crust of his cheeks. I wanted to leave before he opened his mouth, but there it was, a cauldron of oil, bubbling, waiting for a word to float to the top and be done. I saw it coming.
“Hello,” came out, a bit overdone. I couldn’t imagine what this lipid little man could want with me. I had only come outside to throw away my missing father’s mustard collection.
The Sun itself up and got lonely one day, all of its peers being but twinkles in the great black nothing. Lonely and fed up with the order of things. In the beginning, it had puffed itself up with pride at the slow dance of the planets around its orbit and bragged about how many moons reflected its light. When other thoughts arose from the planet of seas, the Sun was astounded to find that it occupied a great deal of these. The strange creatures that moved down there couldn’t help but to look out into space in awe and write prayers to the Sun in the language they had invented for just that purpose.
But then the language clogged up the minds of the creatures and never ceased, just became an unending, nonsensical murmur of pseudo-realities, blabbered inanities, and foodsexdeath. The Sun had nothing left for these creatures who had talked their way out of the peaceful drone of galactic existence. It needed another star.
When the sky went black, there was no one left to question why.
The moon began to shiver, throwing dust into the vacuum. From Earth, it looked as if a galactic, invisible hound had gotten hold of a dusty tennis ball. When the silver dust cleared, it was apparent that the moon had flipped inside out revealing a long, pitch black tunnel into space.
Immediately, I rummaged through the garage for the rocket crank. I knew I had one somewhere. If I could get to the City Rocket quickly, I stood a good chance of finding a free hole for my crank. I had been moon gazing when the shaking began. I had to have been one of the first to see the morphing and act on the information. I could feel it.
The crank lay shining in the red tray and I picked it up, smiling.
The streets were filled with mud. I looked up to see the moon-hole convulse and vomit onto the planet. Onto the City. The crank hung at my side. No one would want to send the rocket up there with all of this going on.
I could only sigh, and let go my dreams for one more day.