Resurrexit Sicut Dixit (Tales from the SSC&B)


{ Denise gracefully hosts Six Sentence Stories; where writers unleash their magic under one simple rule: in no more or no less than 6 sentences.
This week’s prompt word is : EDGE   }
Continuing from Why Exit Now?


Some say the recipe for the potion Nick Windward aka the Wizard aka the Gatekeeper employed to induce a death like state originates from the ones used by the Mystai at Eleusis.
(Compelling details recently discovered by a team of archaeobotanists and archaeochemists at various archaeological sites, have broadened our understanding of the past).
So could it be possible Nick used salvia, black nightshade and…∂…powdered into an incense stick?

There were no other options; he and Ford faced an evil so significant, certain retaliation would be rained upon the Proprietors and all those he cared for; he did not hesitate, for no sacrifice was too great to suffer for those he loved.

So, we are now at the Six Sentence Café & Bistro where  the NOLA Second Line, organized by Mimi   (Jenne managed to have a couple of bagpipes also…’cause it is pure dead brilliant…) and having rattled the neighboring city blocks, made land fall for the in memoriam party; the crowd filled the SSC&B to the brim.
Loud music plays, an abundance of alcohol flows and story after story is told about the bearded figure known as the Gatekeeper, now absent from the leather chair within the booth outside the Six Sentence Café & Bistro.

Ford’s main goal though, is to use the Lazarus potion, kept safe till that moment by Finlay at her vault at Milton & Blake LLP.
The only thing that stands in the way of your-friendly-but-not-always-Gatekeeper becoming barbeque is the Mage, Ford, administering the Lazarus to him.

He creates the opportunity as he asks for a few moments alone with the coffin placed at the center of the Manager’s office.
Time is running out as Ford observes the black hearse parking outside the SSC&B to carry Nick’s casket for cremation unaccompanied – the only thing Nick would like to carry on, Ford said to the crowd, is the party.



[Ford holding the Lazarus potion above Nick’s lips]
” One drop for the living, Two drops for the dead, Three for the mysteries of the road ahead”.

Silent lucidity incepts to penetrate every cell of my body, every neuron of my brain, every thought of my awakening being as my cramped muscles ache with every heartbeat in an agonizing effort to say with each contraction: I am alive.

Even inside the solemnly dim lit office, my eyes hurt as they struggle to open; I close them and something ancient inside me sings like a Siren: Come back to me, come back to the serenity of oblivion… but then a familiar voice, filled with love & agony, whispers: Come on mate, you can do it; come back to us.

The first thing I see is Ford’s face over me, he has an expression balancing on a sword’s edge between despair and relief; imagine the burden on one’s shoulders as he is trusted completely and unconditionally – a trust of one’s life or death.

” That is not Ronnie James Dio I am hearing; therefore, either you lost my playlist or… I am dead for good and my torments have already started with that pop 90s_hit”
… Ford barely contains a mixture of tears and laughter: “You magnificent bastard…welcome back dear Wizard!”

We are almost out of time” Ford now serious as he helps me out of the coffin, replacing me with – ( you don’t want to know what – let’s say it involves a doll and sand); “Thank you my friend” I pause looking at Ford’s relieved eyes, “If you die before you die, you won’t die when you die-
I will see you in London”
I whisper as I enter the portal…the office door begins to open, the casket now sealed & all that remain of me in the office  are cosmic particles dancing in spirals.



As I stand by the huge rocks of the seawall, I cannot help but to think Nyx does have a sense of humor after all.
What else can you call the fact that She “brought me back” at my favorite spot facing a strong wind, messenger of a coming storm, while waves are pummeling the rocks?
Embracing the storm wind ( anyone said Windward?) her final words are etched in my soul: “Man of Sorrows, you are needed and need be no more.”

I guess that Efpeh Waytes, since (now) he hasn’t written that article, has probably joined the media circus about the trial between J.Deaf & I.Overheard. Nothing to report about an ordinary, cigar smoking, bearded Gatekeeper.

The sound of Bruce’s song “Man of sorrows” fills the air; Oh, that’s too much even for you Nyx!
Turning to face, (I have no idea what), I am greeted by a familiar face in a Selenite gray convertible parked at Ocean Drive; speakers at full volume as Dickinson sings: “Is your journey over – has it just begun?”.

It takes a few seconds to realize it is Denise speaking, no, shouting to me over the song :
You planning to stay here ‘till the waves carry you to the Café?”

Still feeling out of sync with space and time, I approach her car.
The passenger door opens; “You look like you could use a drink…or two, get in“, her voice, an echo bouncing off unseen walls found no resistance and I got into the vehicle; as she drove away from the seawall, she’d occasionally glance over at me with an indescribable intensity, it was almost as if she was looking into my soul.

We both remain silent during the drive to the Six Sentence Café & Bistro; until we, not the car stereo, are emitting the sound waves tumbling out of the vehicle’s windows as, in perfect harmony, we sing… “Caught Somewhere in Time” (up the Irons!).

Denise parks in her reserved space and we move towards the entrance, stopping on the first step leading down to the SSC&B; a woman passing by opened her umbrella, the T-shirt she wore showed a large cloud with the caption beneath reading: Noah’s fine. He’s got a boat!®

Neither of us move, despite the rain; I look at the small booth attached to the Café’s entrance, its comfortable leather chair reserved for one person only, empty.

With a swift move Denise takes hold of the 1971 half dollar coin I have all this time moving back & forth between my fingers…

“Heads or Tails?” her voice, charged like the first dealanach of an autumn storm at the Isle of Skye, chases the coin high up in the air.
She is standing right in front of me, completely indifferent… to the rain, not to what happens inside me.

Without taking my eyes off hers, I catch the coin midair: “No need to call it, Denise.”

The rain is soaking us wet …time stands as still as we are, amidst people running for cover from the storm… without a flinch, Denise replies with renewed confidence in her voice: “No. Not anymore.”

We smile at each other, this time moving every muscle in our faces.

After you” – I push the door under the etched transom window as Clark’s voice, not yet distracted by the sight of two familiar figures advancing, fills the Six Sentence Café & Bistro: “Isn’t Nick on door duty today?”






About Spira

” The eternal part of our being is conscious of the timeless essence of life & is aware that the past is nothing but a memento of the present and tomorrow a dream of the now. The very thing meditating & singing from within, remains always inside the boundaries of the primordial instant that scattered the stars into the cosmos.” Kh.Gibran

20 responses »

  1. Epic! The life, times and death of Mr Windward spun in three parts. I use the word ‘times’ not lightly… because Mr Windward gets to live on, along with his many other names and adventures-in-waiting.

    Bravo Nick, you spun that tale superbly, and used many, many elements to bring us to…

    … Nyx!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you Ford.
      {As I recently said, to the relief of many, my Nolangitis is cured!}
      Glad you liked it so…it was a bit tricky to weave in and out but the response thus far seem to point to a measure of success.
      Couldn’t do it without ya…literally LOL

      I am using this opportunity to clarify a bit the timeline, for any one still reading and even reaching the comments section.
      In a nutshell, me and Ford orchestrate my “death” to avoid retaliation towards my loved ones from something extremely sinister we are going to face…that “battle” will be a story that starts in the environment/time of the SSC&B (see until the resurrection scene) but will venture out autonomous, possibly under the title Nyx.
      The Epilogue has Nyx bringing back Nick the Gatekeeper (after whatever happened during the Nyx story) at the “current” SSC&B timeline, albeit a slightly different one from what you have read so far. Reason being, now Nick’s death and everything around it has not occurred. The point when Nick and Denise enter the Six Sentence Café & Bistro is key. That could be better realised if you could read a prologue chapter of The Tales from the SSC&B [work in progress].
      The time loop closes, the Gatekeeper’s death has not happened and the rest of the plotlines can and will carry on without further entanglement!
      As I said, blame the disease Nolangitis…not the patient.
      Thank you for your…patience.(commence throwing eggs, vegetables and other memorabilia)

      Liked by 4 people

  2. “If you die before you die, you won’t die when you die-” Makes perfect sense, Spira.

    Let’s hear it for the return of the Prodigal Gatekeeper! And so the myth shall live on.
    Your Six is compelling, laced with levity, love and compassion. Loved how you ended it.

    “…cosmic particles dancing in spirals…”

    I enjoyed the Introduction but the Epilogue? That, was epic 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • And no more goin’ AWOL!

      Laced with levity, love and compassion…humbled, Thank You.

      They do, always have, always will.

      As Ford was for my resurrection, you were also instrumental for the Epilogue; therefore:
      Couldn’t do it without you!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. so I remember reading about Duane Allman once, a long time ago (when I played guitar rather than qwerty), it quoted him as saying, “It took me six months to learn to play Statesboro Blues”.
    And I was (then as now)…”wait a minute! I can hear the song in my head, standard 12 bar blues, outstanding slide playing… but the guy was a world class/studio guitarist … I kinda learned to play it in a few days.” Jeez the thing it takes to play like him on that song, I suspect most of it doesn’t show)
    I’m getting that feeling again.
    Excellent Post.
    (Left ’till last ’cause, you know, try to convince myself I know where all the elements of this steampunk-on-acid story-thing is headed.)
    Very cool though.
    I was saying to someone else this week, there is an effect to the furtherance of the Tale of the Six Sentence Café & Bistro… the more people write about it/of it, the more realer it gets. And the more realer it gets, the less work goes into establishing a backstory.
    (I was not one to get into D&D back in the day. I did however spend time in Second Life. This ‘thing of ours’ is acquiring the qualities of a persistent alternate reality.)
    can’t wait to see what happens next
    …oh yeah, Welcome back
    staying with the music thing love this vid (he apologizes for something at 0:48. ayiiee!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if you ‘ve seen at ladysighs Polite my reply to your comment, where I name the situation ladysighs finds herself as The Clark Effect!
      Well, here I am under the influence of the same phenomenon…

      Thank ye Master Weaver.

      This “thing of ours” has a beating heart of its own…

      Glad to be back.


      • (I forgot to mention: you did press Post comment but it ended up at Spam.
        Curious thing about that is that yesterday I fished out an older comment from Liz- yours wasn’t there…it popped up later!
        I guess I should make a habit of checking the spam files more often)


  4. ok… I know we’re spending increasing time in a virtual world (where everyone/everything is possible, if not probable) and sometimes we lose track… but you can imagine my surprise when I came to read any Replies to the Comment I left…
    yeah, I know, ‘What comment, clark?”
    Don’t know which mental/emotional state that inevitably follows this kind of thing is more uncomfortable: 1) hey, man, you’re busy (cough>old!) you musta forgot to hit ‘Post Comment’ B) Dude! You didn’t write to NSA again, didja? Their idea of a restraining order is a bit more stringent than the everyday “Someone needs to limit this guy’s online time”

    too bad
    it was most excellent and, unless I’m mis-remembering I even pasted an excellent vid to enhance my stunning and cogent critique
    ….and such


    Good Post. This was just what I was searching for.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Delighted ‘your-friendly-but-not-always-Gatekeeper’ is back my magical means and just in time. Hail. Ford, the magician.
    Magnificently told fable. (Thanks for the word, Chris. It’s just right.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Equally delighted to be back among you.
      Thank you so much Jenne…an act of love this was…your praise, yours with the ones before you, warm this driftwood of a man…as I said:
      By the company I keep.


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