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Author Topic: A Love Story
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Peter Witcomb was a very smart man of seventeen years. He knew what he wanted, and he knew how to get it.

Peter Witcomb was thin, strong, and stood tall. Realizing the power of health and good looks, Peter worked hard to make sure his body was in its best shape and looked its most imposing. He was dressed in a formal navy blue suit with a dazzling red power tie and scuffless, shining shoes. He looked good.

Peter Witcomb knew the power of money. So he did not skimp on his wardrobe, nor did he waste money on extravagances. His money, inherited, was secure, as was his health.

Peter Witcomb knew the power of intelligence. Even as he exercised his body, he exercised his mind. He thought often about thinking, and was wise to the ways of wisdom.

Perhaps it was this thinking exercise that caused the problem.

Peter Witcomb knew about faith, religion, and the power that they held. He also knew about the occult, and its darker power. So on this fine day we find this fine young man standing before a hectagram of chalk and chicken blood, candles and flowers. In its center stood a mirror. It was made of ornate brass, pretty, if a bit to kitchy for the modern elegance of the rest of Peter Witcomb's bedroom.

"I call upon you, Aphrodite, Venus, Ishtar, Love under 10,000 names. Appear I beseech, and answer my question. So I request. So I demand."

There was no puff of smoke. There was no flash of light, or hearts or cupids appearing out of thin air.

Instead, the mirror clouded over, and as it cleared up, on the other side of the mirror, was the most beautiful woman Peter Witcomb had ever imagined.

"This is why I used a mirror" thought Peter. "And only a small facial mirror at that. If she were to appear complete before me I'd be her slave within moments." But he did not say these things. He waited for her to speak, and for his mind to become adjusted to her beauty.

"Well done fair mortal. Thou hast called me present. Thou hast performed the rights. What may I do for thee?"

Peter bowed, for he knew the power that lie in humility. "Oh great goddess, please pardon my presumption in calling you forth. All I seek is the answer to one small question."

"You seek to know if you shall find love." the goddess smiled.

"No my um..." What honorific goes with the metaphysical embodiment of love?

"You seek to know what love is?" she tried.

"Not quite..." Peter began.

"I suppose answering 42 and leaving is out of the question." Love said in a huff.

"Please, my goddess. I just wish to know one thing. What is more powerful than love."

The goddess behind the mirror looked at him. "What?" she asked.

"I demand to know what is more powerful than Love." Now Peter was a bit more demanding, looking the goddess in her beautiful eyes. Green, he thought they were, a vivid bright soul-burning green.

"That is stupidity itself." she answered returning to her huff.

"The question," Peter insisted now that her remark had pushed him away from her eyes. "is not stupid. It is a great question, and by the laws of the ritual performed, you must answer."

"An answer you shall have, but why do you ask this question? Love is the greatest thing in existence. Only a fool would want to know your answer." Love looked at Peter with such sad eyes that Peter's heart almost broke. Perhaps, he thought, I should just walk away.

"No. No." yelled Peter, turning his back from those eyes, and from those lips. He didn't want to begin thinking about those lips. "At church last week I argued with a vagrant in the street. I proclaimed that Love is eternal, it is more powerful than society, than death, than morals, than time itself. Love is the most powerful thing in existence. God is the most powerful thing in existence. So God is Love."

Peter peeked back over his shoulder. Love was wearing the most adorable blush, her innocent yet promising eyes were highlighted by such red cheeks. A dimple appeared on her face for just a moment. "Every petty god and goddess thinks they are the strongest, but it is not so. What good is love in an earthquake? What good is love in a famine? What crops can love water in a drought. Thank you for your praise, but Love is not God."

Peter, turning now fully back to Love shook his head. "I know that now. The bum pointed out that if Love were truly so powerful, how would so many people be living their lives without it? Broken Hearts are universal, true love is not. He got me thinking, and thinking, and I realized that if there is something more powerful than love, I must know what it is."

Love looked sad at Peter. "Would you embrace it, or would you fight it."

Peter thought for a moment. "I could not fight Love, how could I fight something stronger."

Love replied with a small smile on those heart shaped lips, "So many do."

"But then, they are the stupid ones, are they not my Love". This came from an unknown mans voice. Peter, who had almost stopped fighting Love, and her lips, jumped at the sound.

"Who, how,,,"Peter backed away from the stranger in his room. He searched for a weapon to defend himself.

The stranger was a taller, older man, in a pinstripe suit, cane, and devilish goatee mustache. "My name is Mendax." he said, "And I am her husband."

More to follow later. Time for lunch.

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Make it a short lunch, will ya.

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"He is not my husband!" Love argued, her pretty face turning dark and angry.

Peter, moved by Love's anger, started forward.

"I never said you were darling." Mendax spoke quickly. "I said I was one of your husbands. I am a husband, and one married not out of need, but out of love. So, I am a Husband created by Love, hence Love's Husband."

Peter, who prided himself on his intelligence, stopped, confusedly. He looked to Love for the answer.

"This is Mendax. Mendax means liar."

"I know that." Peter was proud of his Latin too. "But what is he doing here and, well, what is he."

Mendax smiled again. He spun his cane. "I am a spirit of mischief. I like to see how big of fools people can be. So when I stumbled across this little gathering, I just had to come in and spread my love around."

"Beware Peter. He lies." Love said.

"Of course I do. I'll give you the secret to defeating me, even if Love won't give the secret to defeating her. Then you won't help but see that I am harmless."

Peter was far from convinced. "I doubt that you are harmless, demon. Go away."

"Ah, my friend, you did not conjure me, so you can not un-conjure me. Is that the right word? Un-Conjure? Oh well, you know what I mean. I am here until you end your summoning spell for Love, and maybe longer. However, I promised you my secret. Are you ready."

"No" Peter said, as he was trying hard to keep up with what Mendax was saying.

"I lie, but the best lies, the most damaging and dangerous, all are 95% truth. So just figure out what part of what I'm telling you is the lie, and you can trust the rest." Mendax found a chair, one Peter did not remember having in his room. Mendax sat with a large smile and waited for Peter to catch up.

"That doesn't matter." Peter said finally. "I don't need you. Go away and let me get back to my conversation with Love."

"Oh, my good man, and by that I do not mean to imply that you are good or a man, Love refuses to help you. You want to know what is greater, stronger, more powerful than love, and all she answers is 'Stupid, stupid, stupid."

Love hated being upstaged. "That's because its stupidity itself..."

"See what I mean." Mendax interrupted. "Let's be scientific. I will show you a vision where we can see why love lost, and you can go from there."

Mendax waved his cane in 4.67 complete circles, and a window opened in the air, showing what appeared to be a rather seedy, sticky, run down bar. The view of the window narrowed in on one young man in a cowboy hat and ripped t-shirt.

"How could I have been so stupid" the cowboy was saying between shots of some strong liquor. "We had everything. It was real. I mean the love was real. Then I got drunk, and her sister was drunk, and...and...and then she came home. Dang. How could I have been...Barkeep. More."

"See." Said Love. "What did I say."

Mendax however, was louder. "And what did we learn from this scene my friend."

Peter, who was always good at tests, answered quickly if not correctly. "Alcohol. Alcohol is stronger than Love. Wait. No its not."

"Perhaps another story may aid in the research." Mendax waved his cane again. The window view moved to a young lady also drowning her sorrows, but this time in some pink drink with an umbrella in it.

"Did I ever tell you about the time I was in love?" she asked everyone and no one. No one responded, as usual. "Charlie was great. He cared for me. He loved me. He was almost perfect. But then Guido came along. Guido was mean. He hit me. He fooled around on me. He was a real pain, but man was Guido sexy. Just looking at him made my legs tremble. Charlie, looking at him made my heart beat, made me smile, made me a better gal, but no matter how hard Charlie tried, he just couldn't get my legs to wobble. I dumped Charlie for Guido. Man, how could I have been so stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid."

Love just shuck her head, sad at the picture presented.

Mendax was laughing. "And what did we learn here?"

Peter's eyes were a bit glazed over. "Sex? Sex is stronger than love."

"No!" yelled Love.

Mendax just laughed louder.

"I don't get it. What do these two things have in common?"

"Care for a third?" Mendax offered. This time the waitress and the bartender stood next to each other, purposefully trying not to look at each other. They were saying nothing.

Peter waited for a moment then said, "I don't get it."

Mendax looked up. "Oh, pardon me. You need to here what they are thinking."

Both the bartender and the waitress stood there, and voices, the voice of their thoughts, came across.

"He/She is so great. What could they ever see in a low life like me. I should just do something about the way I feel. Why am I so scared to ask? What's the worst that could happen? They say no and I lose all hope? What hope do I have standing here waiting? Its stupid. This stupid fear is just...stupid. It would be so great if they asked me. Can't they see I'd say yes?" The two look up at each other, then walk away.

"Fear!" Peter gasped. "Now its fear. Sex, Drugs, Fear. What's next--Rock & Roll?"

Mendax stared at him, then turned to Love. "The kid just doesn't get it. Does he."

Love had that sad smile crossing her lips again. "No, he doesn't. He is afflicted with what he seeks."

Mendax burst out laughing at that one.

Love continued, "My time here is almost up. The answer you have demanded has been given, but you are too blind to see. I need stay no longer. Yet this is the curse I give to thee. Any who seek that which is stronger than love shall find it in themselves."

Peter looked up. Quickly he ran to a pad of paper he had out for just this odd clue, and he began to write.

Mendax walked up to love sighing, "The fool learned nothing."

Love turned to Mendax, "Well spirit of lies, what did you learn from this."

Mendax shook his head. "I learned nothing. Humans are just as closed minded and stupid as I presumed."

Love looked even sadder. "Is that all?"

Mendax smiled, slipping his arm through the mirror and over Love's bare shoulder. "Yes my love, that is all. For have I often said, never underestimate the power and beauty of Human stupidity. It humbles even us."

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My 4% is swimming.
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