Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others
and a love within recall that alters you.
He went to his cubical and there was the latest Mac.0Z lap top with a note – “We heard that yours got fried and there’s no way we’ll let you leave home without one.”
Next stop was Plaza Place.
“Mr. Stevens welcome home.” The concierge at Plaza Place went up in the elevator with him. “We’ve had maintenance working twenty-four hours a day to get your place cleaned up. I’m sure it will be to your satisfaction.” He followed Harris into the condo.
This time it smelt of fresh paint.
“Looks like we matched your color pretty well.”
“Not too well I hope. It was time to repaint I think.” He looked around. “It’s fine. Thanks.”
“And this arrived while you were gone.” The concierge left.
It was a large crate from Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe.. He pulled off the envelope stuck to it.
“Harris – you are my hero – hope this replaces Andy – sorry it’s still male – we’re still working out the difficulties with the female lady parts. Daria”
He wanted the old Andy.
He called Grandest Tours to confirm that his reservations were still valid. They were not. The extension was only good for twenty-four hours and there was nothing they could do a such short notice.
Fuming he called the airline. There was nothing they could do either except make sure he wasn’t charged for the flight he missed, if he sent them supporting police documentation. He bit the bullet and booked the first available flight the next afternoon. Carlos at Casa Della was most happy to shift the dates of his stay. News of his amazing rescue by the sex toy was all the talk of the island and would he consider bringing it with him. Harris promised to only if Casa Della would pay shipping costs.
He next called Alex to meet him at Mug Thuggs cafe.
“Harris, you look okay for a guy who was nearly tossed of his balcony.”
“Thanks, I guess.” He had hoped that shedding the curse would dispel the ambivalent feelings he had about Alex. “You know in a way you helped save me.”
Harris explained about sampling his voice to use it for Andy. “You should have seen his face when you, via Andy said ‘Is that the best you can do. I can take it a lot harder than that.’”
They both laughed. Alex was handsome. There was no denying that but Harris didn’t feel any sexual attraction for him.
“I’m getting out of town, out of the country to recuperate. Aruba.”
“I …. I’ve been considerin’ what went on between us, ya know. That time when we … I … you … we made out at m’ place and I …. ”
“Spooged all over me?”
They both laughed.
“I kinda enjoyed that. Ya didn’ though.”
“I was never into it as much as you were.”
“But how can ya be sure, ya know, if we’re both under this spell.”
“Alex, I don’t know. I don’t want to know.”
“Yeah but I never ever thought of being with a guy. At least not outside of the ring.”
“Look we’re been through this before. The only abs I ever coveted were the Cyclops’s.” Harris said.
“He’s a comic book character. It’s not that I dislike you or anything like that Alex, but there’s nothing between us.”
“Right. That’s what I reckon. It came t’ me the other day. I guess while ya were fightin off that guy. That curse thing of yours is what put us t’gether, right?”
“Exactly. It wasn’t as if we were consciously physically attracted to each other. The curse is broken.”
“Somethin’ has changed. I can look at you, be with you and not feel that crazy itch for you that was driving me the other times.” Alex nodded.
“Right. That sense I had of ‘I don’t want but I have to’ is gone.” Harris resisted reaching over to give Alex’s hand a sympathetic pat. “We’re free of it and each other.”
“So you’re off to Aruba?”
“Oh yeah. Can’t wait. Sun. Fresh air. All that will heal more of me than my skin.”
“Sounds like a relaxing time.”
“One of my thoughts while I was being tasered was that I hope I don’t have to cancel my trip because of this asshole.” He laughed. “But I sure missed that flight. Spent a hour on the phone before I called you to get another one. At three times the cost. It better be worth it.”
“Oh yeah. First flight with a seat was mid-afternoon. At least I don’t have to hustle out in the morning. Casa Della here I come.”
Harris sensed this was the movie moment for a kiss but stuck out his hand. They shook and Alex got on his bike. He watched Alex peddle off. He felt a sadness to see Alex go, to have this part of his life over. It was unresolved but Harris saw no way to resolve it. With the curse broken there was no need to resolve it.
Trevor picked him at Plaza Place the next morning.
“Ma needed her car but Nalisha was happy to let us use hers.’
Harris tossed his bag into the back seat and got in.
“It is not often I get to help a spiritual warrior.”
“I know the battle you waged. When I came to your house with Trevor your mother told me you had been talking about Lazarus in your delirium. You’re familiar with the story of Lazarus?” Nalisha asked.
“Jesus raised him from dead?” Trevor answered.
“Yes. Jesus had a great love for Lazarus and pleaded with God to let Lazarus live. Lazarus could not die. At least not in the way humans died. In his wanderings it occurred to him that if he could give his blessing away he might die. He wrote various blessings, sealed them with his blood and gave them to his children to share with people who needed to blessed, as he had needed to be blessed by Christ.
“To a poor man he give the blessing of abundance, to an ugly man he gave the blessing of love and so on. As he gave each blessing he weakened. He had written seven of these but by the time the fourth had been bestowed was dead.”
“What were the seven blessing?” Harris asked.
“No one knows. We only have records of those two in particular. The blessings have more layers than an onion. It goes through many levels of a person’s life, and of human history.
“Like Rowell, who gave the blessing to your family tree. It freed him of the blessing but as a result he had to pay a price for giving it away. His price was his life. To be fully free it was not enough to give it away. One had to give it back to …. Lazarus.”
“That’s what Rowell meant when he said ‘I have gifted the wrong man’ when he was burning at the stake.”
“You see Harris! You are a spiritual warrior. Only such a warrior could make that connection.”
“Yeah, whatever.” He laughed as he got out of the car at the airport. “Just don’t say it’s a blessing to make that sort of connection. I’ll send you a post card.”
The airport had new security checks so was glad he’d kept his luggage very light. The ticket agents were cool and efficient. No problems with his flights. No one with that gleam in their eye as they glanced at him.
He got a coffee and a toasted caraway rye bagel with a lite cream cheese and sat in the waiting area. He relaxed as he blended into a mass of strangers. None of whom would make any demands on him. No one was tailing him, protecting him. He hadn’t been by himself, alone, like this for ages. He could indulge in sweet, simple thoughts about white sand, look at a couple of time-shares. Was this was the time to make that down payment?
The flight boarded on time. The seat next to him was empty after the plane took off. The only ripple was a crying baby.
The stewardess stopped to tell each passenger that infants often reacted to the change in air pressure but once they got used it the child would quiet down.
He declined the planes headphones. He didn’t want to watch movies or keep up with the news. He wanted to start his vacation by leaving all that behind.
As soon as the plane had taken off Harris put in his ear buds, reclined his seat and drifted off to the Song of Venus on Tomita’s Bermuda Triangle. He was woken from his sleep by the stewardess.
“I’m sorry to disturb you sir. But would you mind it if one of the passengers took this empty seat. He’s stuck in the seat by the cranky child.”
“Sure.” He put his earbuds back in and was drawn quickly back into the music.
He kept his eyes closed as he made room for the passenger to get past him. The man smelled strongly of peppermint.
“Thanks.” the man said.
Harris could barely hear him though his earbuds. “No problem” he replied.
“M’ first time to Aruba.” the man spoke a little louder. The voice was familiar.
Harris opened his eyes. Alex was sitting next to him.
“Holy fuck!” he pulled his ear buds out.
“Didn’t reckon ya could get rid of me that easily? Did you?”
Yes! The end of this serialization. But it’s not the end of Lazarus Kiss. I will be doing another, more final draft before publishing the PDF & then hunting down someone to create the mobi version. The next draft will expand the Lazarus mythos itself . What are the other Lazarus Kisses? Will our heroes become Kiss Hunters to rid mankind of these ‘blessings’? Will Harris realize he misses his Kiss & want to get it back? Will he Alex ever go beyond rubbing each other the right way?
Can’t wait to read the whole thing? pre-order the PDF for $5.00 – paypal.me/TOpoet – say you want Kiss
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