Great Urban Novel with Magical Realism

Book Excerpt:  The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead

 

The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead

 

Chapter 1: Help When You Need It

Welcome to the Circle City; crossroads of the Midwest. A major goal was to stop being a place that New Yorkers laughed at. Finally this had happened. The new Mayor was Jason Boggs. He was the city‟s record youngest municipal leader at the ripe old age of 32.

Mayor Boggs had found the debriefings he received from the local law enforcement agencies to be sobering at best and rather disheartening. He told himself in the office after hearing over an hour about some of the local semi-organized crime, “It‟ a good thing I was born cynical or I would be incredibly depressed after that.”

Jason had managed to get elected because he was an innovative leader with a combination of intense drive, profound kind heartedness, was very clever and able to handle subtlety.

A local law enforcement leader had just informed him that he suspected that they had a cocaine dealer in the area who was moving goods at the international level and doing possibly up to a billion dollars of business in a year.

The worst part about cocaine traffickers, was that once they „went big‟ they tended to have more firearms than some of the smaller time dealers, and they tended to be slick, and they often had a lot of „respectable‟ customers.

Jason thought about it. Yuppies living in his own city‟s cherished condominiums dressing professionally and working decent jobs were equally or more liable to be supporting this villain than the blue collar working class. The 3 other thing about cocaine is that like credit cards, most poor people cannot afford it.

He determined that because of all this, he wanted to get rid of the villain as quietly and subtly as the customers made the most of the available drugs.

He had a long think in his office and then played 4 hours of video games in a row at home that night before finally falling into a fitful slumber. He muttered as he tossed and turned, “get rid of them”…”don‟t make a scene”…”no, it‟s not okay actually”…”the police”…”voters”…eventually he drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Jason Boggs woke up and wrote briefly in a notebook that he kept by his bed. Then he went through the normal waking and dressing routines and set out to help his fair city once again. He breathed cheerfully and deeply into the fresh morning air because, dear readers, he had a plan to tackle this beast of a local problem.

He called around to people who, well, it‟s better if you don‟t even know Reader. That‟s how secret the information is. They responded according to what they knew. It took Jason hours and well over thirty phone calls to start to find the kind of information that he really needed. After that, he had to schedule in some meetings and attend to less volatile local matters such as the budget, upcoming taxes and how to improve the fitness level of public school students during school hours. 4

Someone who works „back stage‟ in the local government, gave the Mayor one super important number. This was the magic number to a lone lawyer: a man named Thomas Smith. He was your basic „white guy wasp‟ being predominant ly Americanized ethnic Englishman. He was in his 30‟s. He was very powerful. Financially stable, sharp as a brand new kitchen knife, and imbued with esoteric knowledge and wisdom, Thomas was so much more than just an attorney. He was on a spiritual path that leads men into wizardry, even in the New Millenium.

The next batch of people you meet Reader will be another part of this whole story.

* * *

Skilleas Fog was his Internet name, but he had come up with it playing darts in a pub with people from the Society of Creative Anachronisms. He had a very unusual working life. The main reason for this was that Skilleas liked to fight and he was very good at it. However, he was also often hard pressed to take orders constantly from anyone, but he wasn‟t really sociopathic so much as he was simply highly eccentric.

Skilleas had a wide variety of ways of earning money fighting. He was very gifted in this area. He had managed to make some money wrestling, and a little prize fighting cash as a boxer; he had even managed to come by more than enough to put a down payment on a house by cage fighting.

This is incredibly rare, that Skilleas could do so well at so many different forms of combat. He also knew his way around fencing, and shooting. He could bow hunt quite well and he was a keen shot with a hand gun. He had learned to 5

hunt as a boy and he served eight years in the military. They had hoped he would stay in the Marines but he left because he got into too much trouble. He would simply shrug and admit: “They‟re too strict. That‟s all it is. I can‟t handle that kind of environment.” Skilleas had considered law enforcement, but he rejected the idea based on the same problems: consistently complying to higher ups was abnormal for him and he felt it was too restrictive.

Well, perhaps you can tell by now that he‟s not exactly a „cop hater‟ type of fellow. Since this is true, and because he had such an intensely independent nature, Skilleas also tried his hand at bounty hunting. Like many of his other successes, he didn‟t do it a lot.

By that I mean, while a rock solid career professional wrestler would train and win for decades, Skilleas would train for two years, win some money, but then often get restless and do something else. This lifestyle caused him to have a breadth of talents but at times prevented him from getting very far with any one thing. Like his other efforts, the bounty hunting went alright. The trouble with that was that he had to learn to sleuth or find good detectives to work with. One of the good parts was that his fighting skills came in very handy. Another downside was the length of time he had to put in before he could get paid.

Skilleas had a few pet favorites that he felt awkward about when he dealt with other people. One of these was that he preferred hand to hand combat over armed even when it led to hospitalization or death. Most people in his generation aren‟t like that. 6

Another little tidbit was that he knife hunted, not „knife fighting‟ in some gang, but wild game hunting with only a knife as a weapon. He believed that hunting was intended to be challenging and so as a grown man he hunted animals the same way that he acquired work, in a noteworthy, successful and peculiar manner.

No one knew, he often felt, how much wisdom he had come into by doing „wild things‟ such as hunting an adult raccoon without weapons. Very few people he believed would understand or accept why he felt so gratified that he had managed to hunt and kill white tailed buck during deer season with no weapons. He ate these animals and kept their fur. He was very old fashioned in that respect.

When hunters would gather at a place during the season with their rifles and their tree stands they would tell each other how they had done. Most of them agreed that Skilleas was not much of a hunter as he would tell them truthfully at the end of the season, “I only got one with only 6 points” but would never mention that he had in fact done it either with no weapons at all or in one instance a rope trap, and in another case, a knife. Nature, he thought, has an amazing power to balance all forces. When he did it that way, he could kill enough that, with curing or refrigeration he had enough meat to last him the rest of the year, but that was only because he was a childless man.

Despite these noteworthy peculiarities, Skilleas managed to do alright socially. He was actually very kind and obviously had an intensity about fairness 7

that often seems in society to have gone quietly extinct. He was moderately handsome, very graceful and charming but not much of a talker.

It was not terribly rare for him to sulk every now and then about this. Bar maids would occasionally address this issue with him. “I know, I know,” he might grumble when a woman went off with another man.

The bar maid would look quizzically at him, “I honestly think she was more attracted to you.”

I know, but did you hear that guy?” Skilleas would pout, “He‟s kissed the Blarney Stone, he has, whereas I haven‟t. I can‟t tell you how often that happens.”

One day, Skilleas received a telephone call from someone who really was one of his friends. The man was a very strange fellow also. If you have read old comic books, then think Dr. Strange. The man calling was a genuinely good man, but he was also decidedly „different‟ in that he was a long practicing modern day magician. He had a proverbial bug up his you-know-what regarding the truth that he was not what he called „a stage illusionist‟ but rather an actual wielder of the real thing.

This other man‟s name was Thomas; Thomas was an attorney. Skilleas had no idea how Thomas could like books so much or computers for that matter. However, this man Thomas was also rare. He had a shrewdness that, like his mind, was incredibly sharp. Yet he was a gentle man, who was hard pressed to arm wrestle, let alone even contemplate something brutish such as wrestling or 8

American football. Nevertheless there was something ferocious to his manner, and maybe that‟s why he was able to succeed as a lawyer all by himself.

Thomas was not evil, but there were times in his life when he had been confused about this. He was born a Roman Catholic and he liked Church reasonably well except that by the time he was ten years old he had figured out that most other people were, relatively speaking, idiots when compared to him. As it happened, this was true. Thomas was a genius and there was little point in pretending he wasn‟t. Due to this, he learned early enough that he might earn a living more by his wits than anything else.

He had a funny temper to him, and through it he had grown towards what some definitely called „evil‟. At some stage in his childhood he had realized that he could hurt people by focusing his energy and directing it. Now this is pretty normal, whether you use fists or simply harsh words, or treachery. However, none of that was how Thomas did it. He had sent someone to the hospital by using the raw power of his mind and an angry malicious intention once when he was fifteen. That scared him so badly that he had been unsure as to what to do about his „personal weirdness‟ for some time.

Also while a youth, Thomas had suffered from two other notably bizarre types of experiences. One of these was that he would occasionally look at people and just „see‟ with his mind‟s eye, what was going to transpire in their lives. He had only been about eight years old the first time that it happened, but it just didn‟t go away. So, when he was seventeen he confessed to the Father through the grate that, “he had the sight.” He wasn‟t comfortable about it, since it had so 9

often been associated with the Devil, with whom he did not wish to be acquainted. The other was that ghosts would appear to him out of nowhere and tell him things. Now, this was not so easy to learn to take well. In some ways it had been easy, because at first he had just been a boy. One of the strengths of childhood is the open mind without fear. So, okay, ghosts would show up in his bedroom at night or when he was camping with his scout troop or with his parents. That wasn‟t really bothersome, but it had taken many times for such entities to earn his trust so that he might learn certain skills. You must understand how much Thomas‟s reasonably happy Catholicism helped him to get through these kinds of things. He would confess all of this stuff at church, which helped him to work with a professional cleric to weed out the good ghosts from any demons and to snuff out any evil before it got even a chance with Thomas.

Those were rough times for the sensitive, slender youth. He did his best to lead as normal a life as possible for a very clever modern man. He considered himself very lucky that he lived in the era of „gifted schools‟ and public education and the mass media. He didn‟t have to live in constant fear of being taken down by brute force, and he was actually thankful for this. He would have been very popular except that he was a conscientious student and that he was even more hypersensitive about having the „sight‟ as the Irish call it, than he was about sexuality. People liked him, but he felt so easily that those others wouldn‟t really understand him and a bit too often he was right. He liked other people but tended to emit an air of arrogance produced by a very heartfelt sense of superiority. He was very kind and compassionate by nature and through religious and social 10

training so even the hard edge of his condescension was tempered by these other advantageous qualities.

Once he was a young grown man, Thomas delved into religious and occult studies while an undergraduate, but he loved the sciences to and daydreamed about being a true renaissance man, able to have high levels of knowledge in all the important matters in life. Still steady in his religious practices, he began to move out beyond the limitations placed upon him by his clergy Father and took up the challenge of what he had learned to call his magickal will, and what he also had learned were known as „spells‟. It was once into his twenties that he had begun to really come to terms with why no one „messed with him‟ in general but on those rare occasions when someone did he often would get extremely riled up but not physically violent and within twenty-four hours something undeniably deleterious would befall whomever had upset him in the first place. Of course this made anger management a serious matter with a whole different dimension to it. The whole thing made him feel a bit odd on an all too frequent basis and it was possibly because of that feeling of being distinctively peculiar that he had somehow just „hit it off‟ right away with the very different Skilleas Fog.

Thomas was quite a good attorney, and he enjoyed making connections with people who often intimidated the general public such as politicians. Through his work, after years of law school, he had made friends with several people in the Mayor‟s Office and had become known as a bit of pinch-hitter in certain touchy situations. 11

In fact, over a dozen years or so, matters grew most unusual indeed, but to tell it all would take far too long. Suffice it to say, that Thomas developed a well deserved reputation of being one man who could help to clear up troubles that went far beyond the kind of „touchy situations‟ that he had initially handled.

If you asked him how, he would readily admit that there was more to it than just his Church Fathers, though he maintained a high level of intimacy with his

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The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead