"Eye Remember" by Richard F. Yates
( last edition )
Tony the Devil Imp Eyeball traveled the brainwave wastelands of a certain author's head---laughing at missteps, poking the fading memories of poor decisions (so they popped to the surface of his mental soup), and generally causing as much psychological chaos as possible. Tony worked overtime, every week, because he loved … (read more)
Tony the Devil Imp Eyeball traveled the brainwave wastelands of a certain author's head---laughing at missteps, poking the fading memories of poor decisions (so they popped to the surface of his mental soup), and generally causing as much psychological chaos as possible. Tony worked overtime, every week, because he loved his job, so much!
But he wasn't the only imp in the brain! There were also spiders and ghosts and bunnies galloping around in the author's mindspace---and of course the SPECTER OF ETERNAL ETERNITY, who scared poor Tony more than any other concept. Tony avoided Eternity whenever possible (often sitting as far away from him as he could at the Annual Figment Company Picnic, and trying as hard as he could to never be in an elevator with him.)
Eternity was tall and dark and listened to Big Band Jazz, which also scared Tony.
And one day, Tony, while kicking a cluster of painful memories back to life, stopped dead in his tracks---he'd had an epiphany---he'd epiphanized. He realized why Eternity was so scary---and it WASN'T because Tony knew he would some day ride the neuro-express to Exit Town. All figments eventually vanished into Eternity. He'd come to terms with that. It was the fact that Eternity didn't seem to have a SENSE OF HUMOR!
Tony was a trickster, a tripper, a gum in the works guy, a prank phone-calling, balloon popping, water-bucket over the door placing, graffiti painting smart-ass, but he'd never heard Eternity laugh! NOT ONCE! And he was afraid, since Eternity was the only concept that was still going to be around once he (and all the lesser figments and ideas) disappeared that Tony was afraid he was going to be FORGOTTEN... So he made the decision that he needed to take action, and he came up with a plan. A desperate plan. An INSANE plan. The most diabolical, monstrous, ridiculous plan he could think of.
He was going to throw a pie in Eternity's face. (Worse case scenario, Eternity killed him on the spot---but remembered him, for all time, for his impertinence!)
The monthly Figments Union Meeting was being held at the Imaginary Hollowday Inn, this time, and Tony made a few calls---making sure that the caterers included a Boston chocolate cream pie in the dessert buffet. (If Tony chickened out, he'd still have the pie to eat! He loved chocolate cream pie.) As the meeting was wrapping up, and Bossy McGee (head of the Figments Union) banged his gavel releasing everyone to the buffet line, Tony followed Eternity up to desserts and then pushed his way in front of the tall, black cloaked figure. Tony grabbed a paper plate, piled four slices of pie on it, scooped so much whipped cream onto the top of the chocolate pie that the stuff was dribbling over the edge onto the floor, then turned toward Eternity.
Tony yelled, "Hey, Eternity!" then cocked his arm back... Just then, Eternity sneezed, bending forward and covering the flying liquid coming out of his unseen face with his billowing black cape. As Eternity accidentally moved out of the way, Tony launched his pie---which splatted directly against the side of Anger's face!
Anger exploded in a tirade of cussing and abuse that would go down in Figment History as the most violent outburst at a meeting in over seven thousand years! (Since the days of Ugg the Bloody and his famous Flaming Stone Hammer!) As Anger was eventually restrained and carried out of the Hollowday Inn by two burly Patience Policemen, Tony heard something unexpected...
Eternity was chuckling...in a low, unsettling voice that sounded like two tectonic plates rubbing against one another. He reached out a black cloaked arm, and a skeletal hand patted Tony on the top of his head (right between his horns), and Eternity said, in what was most certainly the iciest, most horrifying, terrifying compliment Tony had ever received, "Good one!" Then he floated across the room, through the wall, and disappeared...
Tony was nearly catatonic---being touched by Eternity can be extremely unsettling---but pleased. Eternity didn't hate him after all! Shaking and sweating and filled with pride, Tony made his way back to his imaginary apartment, sat in a chair, and listened to Tom Waits' songs---in the dark---all night long. He'd done it... He'd made eternity laugh...
(But he was still so freaked out the next morning that he called in sick instead of going to work. Understandable, if you ask me)!
---Richard F. Yates (Holy Author Fool)
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