Sunday, January 23, 2011
Leah is awakened by the sound of a knock at her door. A glance at the clock suggests it’s around 5:30 or so in the morning. When she goes to investigate, Maps-to-the-Stars Jimmy is outside her door. She decides to not let him inside, instead communicating with him through the door. He knows he’s supposed to be dead, but he’s not; he awoke a couple of days ago. He came to her because he heard she was Clark’s apprentice, and might be able to help. When he complains of being cold, she tosses him a blanket from the second story window, then calls Clark. The call obviously awakens Clark, and he knows nothing about Jimmy being back from the dead; he says he’ll be over as soon as he can.
After that initial shock wears off, they decide two people against one is probably better odds, so they let Jimmy into the house. Jimmy indicates he’s been wandering, and has spoken to a couple of people in the underground. Knowing that Leah is Clark’s apprentice, he wondered if she would be able to retrieve a box Clark has. It’s apparently an artifact from the Midwest, and gives you information if you look in the box. He’s hoping he can use it to find out where he’s been, and he intimates that maybe Leah could grab said box. She recommends he asks Clark about it, especially since Clark is on his way.
After further conversation, Jimmy notes he has a car, parked around the corner, and he needs to grab something from it. He leaves.
He doesn’t return.
Clark arrives within forty-five minutes or so. He asks Leah about what happened, does a quick walk around the block to see if he can see anyone, and indicates that Jimmy is not only gone, but by described, he suspects that wasn’t Jimmy. He offers to take the blanket Leah lent Jimmy and see if there’s any information to be gathered from it; she stuffs it in a trash bag and hands it to him.
Before he leaves, Kevin and Leah tell Clark about the auction, in case there’s anything he would want to buy or sell. He thanks them, says he’ll help if he can, and leaves.
Kevin and Leah agree to work on auction stuff later in the day. However, for now, Leah goes back to bed, and Kevin hangs around her house.
When Jones leaves work, he has two messages. One is from Detective Willett, indicating that Eli is parked outside Jones’ house. She has an officer following him around, though, having suggested that it’s part of another case. He should call her back in case she wants to do anything in particular.
The other message is from Mabel, indicating she had a dream about Jones. In the dream, Mabel is standing behind Jones, who stands on one side of a bridge. Jones is holding the American flag, raised high like at Iwo Jima. On the far end of the bridge is another woman — she is wearing a cloak that obscures her face, but is otherwise nude and literally radiant. She stands silently, her arms outstretched. In the middle of the bridge is a nun; upon awakening, Mabel can no longer recall her face, but she is radiant. She seems to be trying to decide something. Mabel hands Jones a feather, and Jones holds the feather out to the woman. The nun looks back and forth, and starts to move when Mabel awakens. Hopefully that means something to Jones; he can call if he has any questions.
Once he’s sitting in his car, he calls Detective Willett. He indicates he’ll handle it himself, and she says to call if there’s any trouble. He drives past his house, parks a little way away, and walks up to it trying to approach Eli’s truck from behind. (Eli’s truck, he notes, is a very large Ford F-150 with a decal of the U.S. Constitution across the rear window and a SovCit sticker on the back.) Eli apparently sees him and steps out; he apologizes for their earlier meeting, saying maybe they got off to a bad start. Eli wanted to clarify that Jones caught his attention because the shooting incident occurred at the American Café. Jones says he got the message loud and clear. Rather than meeting like this, would Eli be willing to call him, maybe grab a beer? Eli gives Jones his number and then drives off. Jones waits a moment, then sees the unmarked police car up the street also drive off. He then returns to his house.
He finds Jane in his kitchen, wrapped in a bedsheet, trying to tame bacon and eggs for breakfast. After greeting her with a kiss, he asks if she had any trouble while he was away. She says she did not, and he explains that he has a gun enthusiast following him around. After a bit of description, she asks if it’s Eli; she apparently went on one date with him before learning he was nuts, and offers her condolences.
Over breakfast, they agree to meet again in the afternoon at one of the local malls and go people watching. She says she’ll go back to her house to change and such, but Jones can call her when he awakes. He agrees, and she takes her leave.
Before going to bed, Jones calls Mabel to clarify details. He asks if she often acts as prophetess, but she indicates that odd dreams occasionally come with the whole avatar thing. He asks what manner of feather she gave him, and she thinks it’s a dove or pigeon. In the dream, she told him, “Take this, perhaps it will help,” and when he held it out to the woman, he said something Mabel doesn’t recall, but might have been, “Stay!” Jones indicates he doesn’t know about the nun, but thinks he knows about the woman on the other side of the bridge, as he suspects that’s Jane. Knowing that Jane is involved, Mabel indicates that Jane is actually probably the nun, and the woman on the far end represents her patron, the Naked Goddess. Perhaps she has some manner of choice? For that matter, maybe Mabel is offering the patronage of the Flying Woman. Jones mulls these things over, and notes that he holds no illusions about where this might be going. Mabel similarly suggests that, as a devotee of the Naked Goddess, there is a likelihood that Jane will disappear at some point. The tales say that the Naked Goddess is recent, an anonymous porn star who ascended to godhood in 1996, but the symbolism is strangely ancient, stretching back from the Black Dahlia and femmes fatales to the Mona Lisa and feminine mystery cults. In the late 1990s, it was somewhat in vogue to refer to the Naked Goddess as the Woman Everyone Can Have But You — someone available to men, but mysterious individually. Avatars of the Naked Goddess are weakened if they are too well defined, so yes, Jane is likely to leave eventually. Or at least be less than truthful.
With that, Jones thanks Mabel and goes to bed.
Kevin and Leah spend their day determining auction stuff and contacting additional people. With Leah’s permission, Kevin calls Edna to invite her if she wishes to buy or sell. Kevin also asks for Leah’s advice regarding whether or not he should inform Otis of the occult underground. She thinks it’s a bad idea, and considers keeping Bex and Lorenzo in the dark as doing them a favor, but it’s ultimately up to him.
Later in the day, Leah drives Kevin home, then she returns home to continue working on auction stuff. Kevin goes surfing with Otis.
Jones awakens in the afternoon, calls Jane, and meets with her. They people watch and eventually go and get coffee. Over coffee, Jones brings up the fact that many things he’s encountered are probably secretly mojo-related. Like The Flying Nun, for example — what if instead of high winds, she secretly had access to flying magick? Jones continues, noting that he knows a little about what she does. As he delves into that and their relationship, she gets rather quiet, and somewhat flustered. She ultimately indicates that she doesn’t know quite where this relationship is going, but she likes Jones. He has an earnestness that one usually only finds in ignorant people, but he seems like he has a good head on his shoulders. He’s honest, possibly the only honest person she’s met, and she respects that.
After some awkward silence, she asks if they could return to his house. She shows up maybe fifteen minutes after he does, and still seems rather unlike herself. While they’re talking, Jones is interrupted by calls from Kevin, prompting him to toss his phone, which does elicit a laugh from Jane. He says he’ll get it later. After some discussion, they decide to watch some dumb comedy movie. She’s still very quiet, but after the movie ends and she gets ready to go home, she tells him that her name is Jennifer Paige, and she’s originally from Arkansas. She wanted to make sure to tell him something true before she left.
Returning Kevin’s call, Jones explains that everything is fine, that he was spending time with Jane. After Kevin has the opportunity to fully process that, he explains about the encounter with Maps-to-the-Stars Jimmy — Jones has some pointed questions about how Clark ended up there — and further asks if he should bring Otis into this madness. Jones is against it, but notes that if he does, Felicia has to be allowed to tell Otis on her own; Kevin can’t mention her being part of this without her permission.
After getting off the phone with Kevin, Jones also speaks with Leah, and gets the story from her. He again asks how Clark got involved, and after some waffling, Leah explains that he was going to help with finding her father. Leah is also pleased that Jones has been spending time with Jane. They both indicate that they’ll meet tomorrow morning to meet with Brigid Ruskin.
The evening progresses uneventfully for everyone. Jones gets ready for work, Kevin continues contemplating and hanging out with Otis, and Leah continues working on auction preparations.