“Hey man, I have a question,” I said.
There was no dilly-dallying on this one. Best to get it over with it.
Ghoul rotated his body around, literally. The rickety office chair cracked more than his flimsy vertebrae.
He asked, “What’s on your mind?”
“What’s Easter all about, anyhow?”
“As in Easter Sunday?” Ghoul sneered.
“I think so, yes.”
He stood, then huffed inaudible grunts before walking away.
“Was it something I said?” I waited until Ghoul’s shrill rage quieted enough before asking, “Was it something I said?”
Two hours lapsed until Ghoul exited his room. He had an afghan in hand, folded into a loose square.
“For you,” he lacked remorse when tossing the blanket onto my spaghetti and extra meat sauce. “I thought you would like it.”
I didn’t know what to do or how the stains would come out of the blanket.
“Aren’t you going to check it out?” asked Ghoul.
“…Sure. I can’t wait.”
Ghoul knocked this one out of the park. The colors were fresh and alive and Easter. I would have called it a lap robe though, but either way, I knew this would do just fine on a chilly morning.
“Anyways,” Ghoul pulled a chair from the table. “I spent some time reflecting on my Easter experiences, which isn’t much when I think about it. I then evaluated what the big confusion on your behalf is, added them together, and came up with this: you’re dislocated from history. Now come on, we’re going on a field trip.”
He drove us to a church, which made sense.
“Let’s go over the basics,” said the man with the white collar.
His name was Herman. If I paid enough to whether he was Priest Herman, or Father Herman, I would tell you. We sat together on slanted pews, butt-sore and heavy-eyed with boredom as Herman reveled over forty days spent in a dessert with no amenities or something equally perilous.
“So, let me get this straight: since he went on a hunger strike to make good on his mistakes or whatever, we now must sacrifice something of ours, too?”
Herman mistook my confusion for vulnerability and I slapped his obvious advances back with a quick strike.
“My son, we must separate our frivolous ways and repent as he once did for his… it’s kinda how I can get away with that,” he winked without care to his own hypocrisy.
“That doesn’t make any sense, and you sir, are a pervert.”
My finger wagged, shaming him with violent pokes to his brow before I stormed down the aisle and through the front door.
We cruised to Doherty’s, Knowlton’s favorite watering hole, where Ghoul promised less weirdos and an abundance of insightful knowledge. regarding the Easter Bunny’s representation of corruption from within our borders
“America is going south quick and it’s all due to Easter Sunday. Do you know that the symbol of the Easter Bunny is synonymous with an ancient order that thrives off corruption? Our government is being manipulated, man.”
The Bell Ringer we met before Christmas of last year—you know, the conspiracy theorist who worked for the Salvation Army and lodged his bell into Ghoul’s forehead—gave us the rundown.
“Oh do tell us more,” I said.
Beer number three arrived and I took off without anyone noticing. Never went far, though. The Adam’s Family Values pinball machine was finally free. I played on, ignoring the absurd background chatter of Ghoul and the bell ringer’s (learned later that his name was Mallet) nonsense until my buzz wore off.
“So what do you say, Sam? Doesn’t this all make sense now?”
“No, not at all actually.”
I went to bed with empty answers to my honest query.
Then there was a knocking, a rapping oh so precise on my headboard and I awoke with a start and a declaration of contempt.
“Hey, get dressed,” Ghoul flipped the lights on. “We have one last thing to do.”
The clock on my phone said it was too early to function, too soon to rise. But Ghoul explained that all my answers will continue to avoid me unless I get my ass out of bed, dressed, and ready to go.
Gannett Manor was close to ninety-minutes north of Knowlton. The antiquated refuge acted as a modern day half-way home tailored for convicts and drug addicts. The estate itself resembled a hybrid mix of Hill House and Wayne Manor, topped with the brooding charm of Hogwarts. I pulled around the back and the Sun painted with orange and gold and the smell of burning wood listed through the chilled morning air.
There was a wooden door leading in to a stone basement. A round fellow waddles out of that door, beckoning to us. Ghoul and the man embraced with an awkward side-hug, then we were ushered inside to a kitchen. I weaved through a bustling mass of sweaty cooks and beyond to a humid dish room before stopping at the pantry.
“That’s a lot onions,” I said.
The pantry was gruff, musty. In the middle of the dirt floor was a table burdened by fresh produce.
“And carrots, potatoes, turnips… are those leeks?” Ghoul added.
“Don’t forget the squash and garlic—those need to be diced. Happy Easter, and thank you both,” squeaked the portly chef.
He left and Ghoul pulled two questionable stools forward.
“Easter is about doing something good and giving a little of yourself while you’re at it.”
Ghoul peeled, I diced, and together we sacrificed a little so others could have a lot.
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017. All rights reserved.