In September 2015, I wrote a short piece I called ‘Assimilated‘. A short while later, I wrote a sequel titled ‘You have nothing to fear, but …‘, which I produced in response to a challenge at esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com that asked for a story about fear.
Using those as a start-point, we now follow Victor’s adventures after his exposure to Martinus mendax.
Let’s run with this for a few weeks, to see where it takes us.
I will welcome storyline suggestions or even complete scenes, as long as they fit the overall scheme (which I hope will emerge before too long).
Catch up on earlier episodes of Martinus mendax at this link
The part of me that was Victor Sullivan was supremely nervous about taking this holiday with Gina. I didn’t know her all that well, and I wasn’t sure we had that much in common. The part of me that was Martin de Bayonne, otherwise known as Martinus Mendax, was beyond excited. Although I was dimly aware of his excitement, I knew that I would only find out why, when I made a decision or a choice that was out of character for me.
When he entered my mind, Martin told me I would never be aware of his presence; I would never be conscious of his influence. He assured me that I would only know of his control by the decisions and choices he made through me. Like a fool, I believed him. Gullible idiot that I am, I failed to put his name in juxtaposition with those promises. His very name means Martin is a liar.
Christians and, I imagine, people of other faiths, speak of the ‘still, small voice’ that guides them. Some equate that to our own conscience, the angel that sits on our right shoulder, countering the wiles of the devil seated on our left; others believe it to be the gentle prodding, as it were, of the Divine. Those without religion use phrases like ‘something told me not to do it’. To follow one of those analogies, Martin is the demon on my left shoulder, who is immeasurably more powerful than the angel on my right.
Shortly after it all started, I purposed to seek psychiatric help, hoping that some form of therapy could rid me of my lodger. Failing that, I would prefer to be kept in a padded cell where I couldn’t harm anyone. You guessed it; as soon as I started to entertain those thoughts, I made a firm, clear decision that I shouldn’t go through with it. I think that’s when I began to be sensitive to his presence. It’s as though he needed to reinforce his power; to subdue my will to his. Since then, when a choice comes before me, I never know which way I will go, until after the event.
That’s how I came to be planning to travel to France; to Rocamadour in the Lot Valley; with Gina. I can’t tell her, for obvious reasons, but it was not my decision. Not my choice. After what happened to me last time, I didn’t even want to go back to that place again. Not unless I could somehow send Martin back to… to…
Strangely, I had lost that train of thought. Where did I want to send Martin? Why would I want to send him anywhere?
I called around to Gina’s house, next door. I didn’t ring the bell, I just walked in. Jack and Jill, her two Jack Russell Terriers, came bounding out to me and jumped up to my legs, begging to be picked up. It’s not an easy task, at my age, but I managed to have one on each arm, and walked into the lounge where I expected to find Gina. She was in her favourite armchair, knitting.
“Hi, Victor,” she said brightly, looking up from her knitting pattern, “you look like you’re carrying two toddlers there.”
“Feels like it,” I replied, “not what a man in his seventies should be doing, if you ask me.”
“Pop them down then,” she suggested. I did. “What brings you around?”
“Just to compare diaries,” I replied, “I’m ready to book the tunnel crossing and hotels en route, but need to be sure you are okay with the dates.”
“Victor Sullivan. When have you known me to be away from home? Or busy, for that matter?”
“Nonetheless. Shall we agree some dates?”
Gina stretched out to the coffee table in front of her, and retrieved her filofax from its lower shelf.
“I didn’t know you used one of those,” I said.
“Better than your computer. Doesn’t need electricity to work, doesn’t cost anything to run, and it can’t be hacked or get a virus. But there’s one thing about it that trumps all those.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“I know how to work it,” she replied with a faint blush.
“Can’t argue with that,” I said, “How’s your September?”
She made an exaggerated pretence of studying the pages in her diary. “Do you know, Victor? I seem to be clear all that month,” she said with a giggle.
“Okay. Let’s say… out on the fifth; that’s a Saturday; and back on the nineteenth. Two weeks long enough for you?”
“I haven’t been away on holiday since Henry… you know.”
“I know, Gina. I’ll book those dates then. Once it’s done, I’ll print off a copy of all the tickets and hotel bookings for you.”
“Fifth of September, eh? That’s not long now, is it?”
“Is it too soon?” I asked.
“No,” she replied, “not at all. I’m actually looking forward to it.”
“Fifth of September then.”
“It’s a date,” she said as I left.
What’s with the victory leap and fist-pump again?