A Slice of Life

Part twelve

So reports of my madness, as they say, were greatly exaggerated. Not that I give a bugger either way.

–– David Icke

Two weeks later;

Neon beer signs glowed enthusiastically in the dark windows of Vincenzo's favorite watering hole as the bar-maid set down two frosty glasses in front of two men. Kolchak ran his hands happily down the sides of the glass savoring the anticipation. He took a careful taste, then drank deeply. The larger man beamed.

"Almost worth the wait." Kolchak wiped foam from his upper lip. They grinned at each other. The reporter was once again sporting the hard-lived straw hat that had thankfully been found safe and sound in a locker at the hospital with 'C. Kolchak' written on tape across the door. "So, what made you change your mind? When you left the courtyard that day, I thought the priest idea was out of the question..."

Vincenzo took a long contemplative sip of his beer. "The next week when I came, you were raging again... I..." Tony swung his head from side to side uncomfortably. "... I just couldn't watch. That was always so hard on me... Anyway, seeing that once more, especially after having seen you so rational the times before, I realized..." he searched for the right words. "... I would grasp at any straw. I turned right around and drove to the closest church I could find and collected Father Wilmer." He chuckled. "Poor Father Wilmer! The old guy didn't know what hit him."

Kolchak smirked. "He'll be telling the story for years."

"Harrelson found us in the hallway, halfway to your room, and tried to stop us..." he trailed off.

"I can see it now! Vincenzo as an Unstoppable Force!" Kolchak grinned and raised his glass in salute.

Vincenzo chuckled. "There may have been words spoken... there may have been some pushing..."

"The right hook got a lot of comment among the orderlies later." Kolchak mentioned smugly.

He chuckled again in response. "Anyway, he ended up in the room with us, as well as a number of others attracted by the spectacle."

Kolchak drank from the smooth amber brew. "Once the Good Father began, I'm assuming the spectacle really started."

Vincenzo fell silent. Kolchak watched him over his glass, his chin resting comfortably in his palm, giving him all the time he needed. With a quick motion, his boss drank a long pull on his beer. His eyes looked haunted, "I'm going to actively work on convincing myself the part that followed never happened."

"You're in luck; I know a doctor who specializes in that. And, as I understand it, he's looking for work right now."

Vincenzo studied the pin-point bubbles rising in his glass. "I have a question for you."


"When I said no priest, and you wanted... to kill yourself because of it, were you being serious, or were you just yanking my chain to get me to change my mind?"

Kolchak smirked. "I plead the fifth." He drank again and closed his eyes as he swallowed. The malty brew had never tasted so sweet.


Part thirteen


The greatest healing therapy is friendship.

––Hubert Humphrey

Twelve months later:

The visitor arrived on Sunday –– just like every week.

He was allowed into the patient's room by the orderly. "Our project had born fruit, my friend. It's here. Tell me who you are." he said.

Danny swayed excitedly and he actually grinned at the floor. "Good Morning You are Carl Kolchak and I am Danny Belger Pleased to meet you What do you want to know?"

Kolchak smiled broadly, and held out a shiny new hardcover book. "What I want to know is this: how does it feel –– to finally see your drawings in print?"