The dysfunctional Motorola coughed up puffs of Jatoba dust as Norm
banged it in spasmodic reflex upon the cluttered desktop.
"Tage Frid", he choked into the much-duct-tape-shrouded mouthpiece.
"Tage Frid", came the soft reply.
Nowrecki was positively thunderstruck - the voice on the other end of
the battered Motorola was that of someone thought to have been dead
for eons - in webtime.
"Who is this?",
"I don't have much time, Norm. They don't let us use the out-channel
"Yes, I know, let's try to get beyond that."
Norm put his kerchief over his mouth in an effort to overcome the
Jatoba dust, to which he had developed a severe allergy. In a muffled
cry he said,
"I can't believe that you are still here."
"I'm not here, in your sense, Norm - I'm here - in my sense, if you
catch my meaning."
"OK", said Norm, unsteadily and only half believing.
"The Wreck is in terrible danger."
"But I got rid of all the trolls, I've chased all of them down, even
the one who wrote about, "Living Turd".
"Yes, and you are to be commended for that - but this danger is from
"What within? A troll from within? Oh…"
"…You know who I mean."
"…He who must not be named."
"But he's just an asshole - I'm not an asshole tracker, I'm a troll
"But this one is both."
"…Don't argue with me, Norm. Remember that there aren't really any
batteries in that Motorola."
"Yeah, well, I have to give you…"
"…That is exactly the point. From our perspective, he is the worst of
the threats that we face."
"Well, I guess you have a pretty good perspective from up there."
Norm started to chuckle, then pulled himself back.
"He is the single most destructive force to hit the Wreck since
"But the Cabal got rid of BLeeds."
"No, he was killed by his own children."
"But this one is incapable of having children, so we can't rely on
"I see your point."
"And the Cabal and the Cabal Emeritus can't use their Klownhammers on
"Klownhammers were made to strike at fellow Wreckers who had gotten
out of line. They were born to strike fear into the hearts of those
who might troll us from beyond. They were not intended for the
careful work of pruning within the group that must now be done."
"So, what you're saying is that…"
"…What I'm saying, Norm, is that we have a cancer in the group that
must be removed and you are the man to do it."
"…It may seem that way from your perspective, but…"
"…Norm, I'm in heaven - where are you?"
"I see your point."
"Get on with it, man."
"Will you guide me?"
"I will, from time to time, visit you and try to encourage you. Right
now I have to try to convince Gabriel that his harp needs refinishing
- and that this time it should be for all eternity - with shellac."
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)