Mark of the Shadow Part 15: Cezary
“Put that weapon down. What is this a robbery?” asked the man now revealed to be wearing brown slacks held up with suspenders and a plain white shirt. Seemed one of the nicest dressed people I’d seen yet.
“Robbery?” scoffed Rolph. “You’re the grave robber who broke into the Meadows aren’t ya?”
“Oh, is this about that? Listen if he is your relative I gladly return him in order to get another specimen, but please can it wait till sun up? And truly I would be in your debt if you put that weapon down.” The man spoke slowly as if not in full control of the language he was uttering. His voice was high and strange sounding. Not like any others out in the west. I mighta heard something like his voice back east.
“I’ll put down this weapon when I know what the hell is going on,” replied Rolph.
“Now please let not bring the bible into this. Please Mr. you and your daughter can sit down over in the living room. Why don’t I brew some tea? I just picked some flowers out by the brooke. I’m sure you saw it on the way in. It’s a nice little thing, perfect place to put down shop. Knew when I saw it.”
Rolph didn’t put his gun away but he let the man lead us back to his living room and seat us. His seats were uncomfortable. It almost seemed like they was trying to hurt you no matter how you squirmed around. Wherever you moved a sharp piece of wood was sticking out ready to stick in your side.
The man moved into the kitchen. A glow came out of the kitchen and he returned with a candle. Then he moved back to the kitchen moving dishes around noisily.
Me and Rolph well we just looked at each other. I certainly wasn’t expecting this when we came creeping in through a cemetery and followed these tracks all night.
He returned and as there were no more chairs around he simply sat on the floor.
For the first minute we were silent. I looked expectantly at Rolph but he seemed intent at staring down this man who in the light looked very worn down.
His face displayed wrinkles and his eyes tearful memories. His head was covered by a receding crop of hair that shone with a black gleam.
“Perhaps I will go first then?” He suggested rather out of the blue. “I have questions for you…as I’m sure you have questions for me. How did your hand light up like that, hmm? I would very much like to know. These candles can not be our only source of light forever. I foresee that much.”
“I don’t see how your in the position for asking questions,” Rolph said reminding him who held the gun.
“Ah I see. Threats. Threats never got me very far in life. How far will they get you?” He enquired.
“Magic,” I said, “Rolph used magic to light up his hand.”
The man turned to me and smiled. His mouth was a gape, a row of broken and warped teeth lined his mouth.
“Ah, so that is the sort of answer I would get from you is it? Sounds like it is coming from a man who doesn’t know how it worked himself.”
Rolph looked at me for a moment, just enough to show his anger with me.
“Eh, so. You want the body. It is in perfect condition…I eh. I doubt I will find another in such pristine condition out there, but if you must take it then I won’t stop you. I understand how important family is. Was that…perhaps it is better if I do not know, yes?”
“We aren’t here for the body,” said Rolph.
The man looked around, “Ah so I think your here just to visit then? Please, you ask about the grave robbery. What else could you want?”
“Why did you choose that grave?” I asked.
“I was told of its condition. I was given the location, so why not go I thought.”
“Who!” said Rolph getting up from his chair. “Who told you about the body?”
The man got up as well. “Excuse me the tea is done.” He slinked back into the kitchen to arrive a minute later with a tray and cups.
Rolph had eased back into the chair. The man pored three cups but Rolph refused to let me accept it. So the man sipped alone.
“My name is Cezary. Like Caesar, the great and wonderful. My parents had such high hopes for me. You know despite what you may think I am not a dangerous man. You may think I poisoned this tea. Why else would you refuse it?” he paused, and as he talked he made sweeping motions in the air with his hands sloshing tea round his cup. “But then you see me drink it. And yet you still don’t drink it as well. Fascinating isn’t it. Human behavior. What force governs it. What power dictates what we do? Is it god, or some other force beyond god, beyond the veil of human existence.” Cezary became lost in thought.
“Sir, I need you to remember who sent you out to get that body,” said Rolph.
“Ah, yes the body. I am sorry but I have a terrible time remembering people. Brown hair, she had brown hair.”
“She?” I asked.
“Yes, she was here yesterday to pick up some items that were buried with the body.”
Rolph put his head in his hands. “Were too late. One step behind.”
“Have some tea you two, it looks like you could use it.”
“Do you mind if we stay here for a while Mr. Cezary?” I asked.
Rolph looked up at me.
“I think it’s time we took a break from all this running around. Maybe theres some clues around here Rolph. You need a rest.”
“No we can’t rest. Every day you get closer to death. I won’t let it happen.”
“Please tea,” Cezary said lifting the cup to Rolph’s face. Rolph took it and gulped the whole glass.
Cezary leaned over to me, “You can stay here with me as long as you want. That tea should make him drowsy. He won’t want to leave for a bit.” Then he winked at me.
Cezary got up and went to his kitchen. He returned with a large bloody hacksaw.
“Well since you two got me up I might as well do some eviscerating.”