Jun. 4th, 2006

mistersmith_tm: (i walk a lonely road)
Markus listened patiently to the story while working very hard to keep his skepticism from showing in his expression. Mister Smith sat across from him, a mug of rapidly cooling coffee sitting forgotton in the table between his hands. As he spoke of the first time he had heard (or rather, as Markus suspected, thought he heard) the Voice of God, his hazel eyes seemed to look through Markus and beyond. Or perhaps he was looking inward.

"My Voice will be heard," Smith was saying, his own voice soft yet clearly heard above the buzz of the cafateria. "You will be my Voice." His words fell to silence.

Several minutes passed. Enough time that Markus began to wonder if perhaps Smith hadn't fallen asleep with his eyes open. "Then?" he gently prodded, his tone even and measured, giving nothing away of his own thoughts or opinions.

"Then." Mister Smith looked down at the mug between his hands as if seeing it for the first time. "What happened then. I don't remember. Not really. I was in the water. Drowning. And then I wasn't."

"Just like that?"

"Just like that."

"Did you swim to shore?"

"Not exactly."

"Not exactly?" Markus frowned. What did that mean? "How did you reach land?"

"A wave picked me up and dropped me on shore." He picked up his spoon and began to stir the dark liquid in his mug, making small laping waves as he did so.

"So you didn’t swim?"

"I can't swim for shit," he confessed. "That's why I jumped into the lake."

"Then why . . . " Markus suddenly frowned. "You jumped into a lake?"

"Roger that."

"A lake. With a wave big enough to pick you up and wash you to shore." This time Markus was unable to keep the skepticism from his tone.

"Dropped." Mister Smith corrected, his expression placid. "It just dropped me there. From about 7 feet. Hurt like hell." Stirring, stirring, making a tiny vortex in his cup. "When I woke up the next morning . . ." He released the spoon and watched as the plastic utensil was caught up in the whirlpool and continued circling without him.

"The Voice was there," surmised Markus.

Mister Smith nodded, watching as the spoon began to slow with the failing momentum. "I'm not crazy," he said softly. So softly that Markus nearly missed the words.

"I never said you were," he said placatingly.

"No. You didn't." The spoon finally slowed then settled to a stop. "But you thought it."

Markus arched an eyebrow. "Do you read minds, too, Mister Smith? Or was that just a guess?"

"No. I don't read minds." He gave a little laugh, sad and self deprecating. "Not even my own."

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