The Ingenious One

Embedded Correspondent Reveals Ingenious One’s Dark Hole, Part II

He started.  He’d heard a thump, hadn’t he?  He roused from bed.  It was late, well past midnight.  He groped through the dark hallway, bumping into a small table, before finding his father’s bedroom.  There was someone standing over his father.  “Who are you?” he yelled in shock.  The man, dressed in black and wearing a face wrap, turned and dashed passed the Ingenious One, knocking him over.  He jumped up and made to go after the mysterious man, but he heard gasping breaths billowing up from his father’s bed.  He rushed to his side.  “What is it?”  The old man caressed his son’s face.  He was breathing with great effort.  “What?”  “I—,” his father stopped, composed himself as best he could, and continued: “remember…the hard thing,” blood was trickling from his nostril, “and the right thing,” his breath was fading, “are often…the same.”  He closed his eyes.  They didn’t open.  The Ingenious One stood over his father as the sun crawled up the Mediterranean sky.  At midday he called for an ambulance and notified the police.  “Did you see anything else?” the inspector inquired.  “No, nothing.”  There was an awkward pause.  “Do you know who did this?”  “Yes.”  “Who?”  “I must leave.  For the person, or rather, persons who did this are after my soul.  They will not stop.”  The inspector, raising an eyebrow, asked, “The Dictatorial Duo?  They would do such a thing?  Surely not.  It’s just a game!”  “Them, among others—rotten like pomegranates.  I will go back.  I will win.”  “Will you not seek justice?”  “No.  It will be enough to wrest control of the Fantasyship from them.  After all, in their small corrupted lives, it is all they have.  It will be a kind of death for them, and for the others.”  “Others?”  “Ah, yes, it is a conspiracy, you see?  They are all against me.  They cheat, they manipulate, they kill.  And now?  Now I will dominate them.”  The inspector shook his head and walked out the door.  Later that evening the Ingenious One climbed down among the reef.  Navigating the moss-covered rocks proved difficult, more difficult than he’d remembered from his childhood.  Once at the bottom, he found what he was looking for, a medium sized ball with the letters “M,” “L,” and “S” stitched on the side.  He placed it in his seabag, turned, and slowly made his way back to the dock.  An hour later he watched his hometown shrink in the distance as his boat cut through the Mediterranean Sea, slowly creeping towards the Atlantic.

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