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6. Certain Responsibilities Accrue


"My name is Izzy Molson," he told me over watery coffee from a machine at a rest stop outside Amarillo. Sarvaduhka was looking at magazines. "Some people think Im psychic, other people think Im psycho, but Im here to tell you that Im just an ordinary Joe with his ear to the ground. Im currently employed at the Gibson plant in Lockport, New York, setting up tool machines, which I got because I lied about my medical history, which you would too if you had a back like mine, and Id appreciate it in consideration of which, if you didnt wrestle me quite so vicious next time I do you a favor."

"Sorry." I sipped my coffee slowly, just to feel the warmth spread, like dye staining the part of my world that was me.

"Forget it. Anyways, I happen to be able to see inside things, like your noggin for example, past, present, and future, regardless of distance?sometimes. Certain responsibilities accrue. Which is why I am spending half of this vacation, which I only get two weeks of at my present level of seniority at Gibson, and my next vacation also, when it comes up, on you. Gawd, I guess theres no limit to how bad you can make a cup of goddamned coffee." He wrinkled his nose and swallowed the rest of it at a gulp. Then he squashed the Styrofoam and threw it down with a shiver.

"Spending your vacations on me? Whats going on? A guy did something to my mind"

"Shaman."

"Yes! Then you fixed me somehow. Thats all I know."

"How can you drink that stuff so easy? You look like you like it! You know, you can tell a lot about various civilizations by the kind of coffee they put up with; thats what I find Listen to me. Shaman is trying to set you up to be his pabulum, Mel boy."

"He wants to eat me?"

"Yes, Mel, he wants to eat you, farm you and eat you. Hes tired of hunting and gathering, lets say. Hes been living catch-as-catch-can for five, six thousand years, and now he wants to cultivate, raise a family, like. Between you and me, he doesnt know what hes in for in that department, but try to get Shaman to listen to my say-so.

"Now, Im just a little guy, see, but we can play the star guys off against him, because they want you back on Sanduleak."

"Ah."

"Listen. Shamans gotta start fertilizing now to plant seeds next year and harvest the year after that, when his larder gets echoey. This is why I have committed two vacations, though God knows there are things Id rather be doing, named Fay in East Tonawanda. You kapeesh, Old Lower Forty?"

"Why do I believe youre not crazy?"

"It is written."



5. The Temporary | Izzy and the Father of Terror | 7. Shaman s Farm