November 7th, 2004



We were just west of Chicken Butte, Arkansas, crossing the Lower Almanack Bridge when I saw them.
I leaned over and nudged Henry T. Miller awake.
He had been grinding his teeth that last 50 miles anyway.


“Henry T., open your eyes and look up there.”
“What? Why? What is it?”
“I’m not sayin’ anything. I don’t want to influence you. Just look up there and tell me what you see.”

Henry T. rubbed his eyes and leaned towards the windshield.

“I see a dashboard covered in hamburger wrappings, a scratched up blue hood, the tips of a water buffalo skull wired to the radiator...”
“Not us, ahead on the road.”
“OK, OK, I’m getting there. I see a red car, two bikers, a portable parking lot.”
“Look closer at that one.”
“A portable parking lot... a semi pulling a load of cars...”
“A semi loaded with... what is that? Um, pull a little closer. OK, that is seriously weird.”

Henry T. Miller turned towards me.

“That’s why you didn’t want to describe? OK, I see a semi pulling a trailer that would normally be filled with cars or trucks, but which in this case is filled with pink and purple elephants. What time is it, anyway?”
“It’s 3 am. Now that you have seen them too, you can go back to sleep. I just wanted independent verification.”

Henry T. Miller took a couple of swigs from the warm coke he’d been cradling in his crotch and went back so sleep.

“Wake me again if you see any flying pigs.”

There's also this:


My name is Hugo de Morville and I’ve been dead eight hundred years.

I was born in 1143 in a little town called Burgh-by-Sands. My father was Simon de Morville and my mother was Ada de Enguine. Or, maybe I was born in 1140 in Appleby to Hugh de Morville and Beatrice Bello-Campo. Things have gotten a little confused over the years.

In any case, I’ve been dead eight hundred years. I died surrounded by my family in 1204. Possibly I died alone in the Holy Land in 1179. I am definitely dead though, don’t you worry about that.

Things were a lot less confusing when I was alive.

Well, not a lot less. For one thing, everybody seemed to be named Tom, Dick or Harry; Saint Thomas, King Richard and King Henry on formal occasions..

My brother Rick (or possibly my cousin, Richard) and I first met Henry Curtmantle when I was six. You may not know Henry by that name, most people call him King Henry the Second now. When I met him, he was just Henry fitzEmpress, son of Count Geoffrey of Anjou. He wasn’t even a knight yet. In fact, he became a knight the night we met.

synopsis of a later chapter

King Henry walked barefoot through the filthy streets to Canterbury Cathedral to do penance for his role in Thomas’ death and the same day his forces in the Border Lands captured William the Lion, King of the Scots.

They captured two of my castles also, so I decided it was time to hit the road. First to Rome to negotiate with the Pope. He recommended 14 years on crusade as the appropriate penance for an accomplice to martyr.

So I toured the Holy Land, joined the Knights Templer, and two Popes later I faked my own death and returned to England. The heat was off, so I settled back in Knaresborough and married the widow Stuteville. I had been attracted to Helwis ever since she married my brother’s brother-in-law.
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