Category: Martinus mendax

Martinus mendax part 10

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?

 

Martinus mendax part 9

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

“Fancy a trip to France, Gina?” I asked over coffee one morning.

“What, with you?” she asked.

“Yes, with me,” I responded, “Why not?”

“Where in France are you thinking of taking me?”

“Not taking you, Gina. It wouldn’t be a case of my trip with you tagging along. I thought we’d go together, as friends. Take turns deciding where to go, what to do.”

“Okay. I didn’t mean taking me like taking me. But you’d be driving, if we were going by car, and you’d be booking hotels and stuff. I just want to know where you had in mind.”

“I’ve told you about the Lot valley, Rocamadour in particular. It’s a fascinating old place, and from what you’ve said about the travels you had with your late husband, in the diplomatic service, I thought you’d love it.”

“Yes,” she said wistfully, casually flicking her fringe away from her eyes, “Henry and I did visit, and live in some wonderful places.” She became more serious, “But what about sleeping arrangements. I hope you don’t think, just because I’m a widow, that I’d be looking for—”

“Gina, Gina, Gina,” I interrupted, “that is nothing like I had in mind. Of course, we’d have separate rooms. We’d just be company for each other, that’s all.”

I think Martin joined us then. I felt a stirring in my loins that I hadn’t felt in many a year, and my heartbeat increased by an order of magnitude as some particularly salacious images flashed through my mind.

“And,” I added, “Jack and Jill would be there to protect you if you found yourself in a situation that wasn’t to your liking.”

Gina laughed heartily. “Firstly, there is no way those dogs would protect me against you, if that’s what you’re thinking. You’ve seen the way they are with you. Ever since you trained them through their barking thing, they’d do anything for you. I’ll tell you what – let’s try it. We’ll both call them at the same time…”

We called their names. The two dogs ran into the room and jumped on my lap, barging each other to make space.

“See what I mean?” Gina said, still laughing, “Some protectors. Anyway, I can’t see you putting me in a situation that I wasn’t comfortable with; you’re far too much of a gentleman.”

It was those pictures again. One of the dogs, Jill I think it was, moved around and started sniffing to see what had just poked at her underside. I shooed both of them off, whereupon they relocated to Gina’s lap.

Gina looked down at the dogs and started stroking them, to their obvious delight. Angling her eyes up to me, coquettishly I thought, or maybe Martin thought, she quietly added, “And sometimes, you can find something you weren’t looking for, and not be sorry that you found it.”

I swear she winked when she said that. I’d never seen Gina like this; never seen her wink; never heard her say anything that could be construed as remotely suggestive.

“W-what do you mean by that?” I asked, hesitantly.

“Oh, I didn’t tell you, did I? Sorry. That must be so confusing. When I was tidying out some drawers last week, I found my passport; and it still has two years left on it.”

If this is ever made into a film, the directions at this point would be to show a flag being lowered down a pole, or a tall chimney yielding to gravity after a series of controlled explosions at its base.

“Victor, are you blushing?” she asked.

“No, I don’t think so.”

“You are. Victor, you are blushing.”

Of course, being found out like that only makes it worse. I could feel the blood rising in my cheeks.

“It’s too hot in here,” I lied, “I think I need to go out for some fresh air.”

“I think a cold shower’s in order for you, Victor,” Gina replied with a giggle, “We’ll talk later.”

Gina rose from her chair and carried the coffee cups through to her kitchen, leaving me in my seat watching her. She looked back at me and smiled the way a mother would smile to her child, or maybe… It may have been fanciful thinking on my part, or it may have been Martin’s doing, but I’d swear there was a lightness, an unusual gaiety in her gait as she walked off.

I left her house and walked around the dividing hedge back to my own. Once I had closed my front door behind me, I felt moved to jump a little, touching my heels together to one side as I did so. Why on Earth was I doing a victory leap? And why did I follow that with a fist-pump?

Martinus mendax part 8

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

It was becoming ever easier to know when a decision was mine and when it was Martin’s. For starters, I was never surprised by my own decisions – well, hardly ever, anyway. The majority of events that bore the stamp of Martin’s influence were totally unexpected, completely counter to my usual way of thinking.

At the start of our relationship, if that’s what you can call it, Martin had said to me, “I shall be your motivator. Every choice you make, every decision you face, will be my choice, my decision. You won’t know that, but it will be so.” I should have known that what he said wasn’t likely to be strictly true. Not for nothing did he go down in history as Martinus mendax – Martin is a liar. He didn’t make every decision for me, only those where he thought he could have some fun, do some mischief, or further his or the horde’s agenda. Frustratingly, I could never contact him, ask him to intervene or even know in advance when he planned to step in and decide things for me. This was a one-way transaction, and although I had no choice but to accept it, it still rankled.

Possession is a strange beast. As he has done with me, with my personality and psyche, Martin’s control by the horde, while absolute, was not total; not to the exclusion of his self, that which made Martin the mason who he was; the product of his genetic heritage, his upbringing and his life’s experiences. Those aspects of him may have been subjugated, but they were not totally overwhelmed. Some part remained. In the same way, Martin’s mastery of me was absolute, but not total. In fact it was probably less complete than the horde’s influence over him.

The result of this, was that I couldn’t get a handle on who Martin really was. That he was a capable mason, working on a shrine that was being built as part of the religious complex at Rocamadour in France, nine hundred years ago was a fact of history. So, too, was his list of wrongdoings; offences for which he was incarcerated, by some manner of sorcery, inside the statue from which he escaped and infested me. However, whether he or his masters; I had no way of distinguishing between the two; the result was not totally, completely evil.

I had lived with the daily fit of barking from Gina’s terriers for some years, as had Jim. Neither of us had ever thought about doing anything other than putting up with it and moaning quietly to ourselves. The decision to get involved didn’t surprise me, I was learning to expect that, but the nature of the intervention turned upside-down everything I thought I knew about Martin. I anticipated no more than to be a spectator at the horrific demise of the two dogs, and had visions of spending a lot of time comforting and consoling Gina afterwards. I certainly didn’t foresee Martin using me to desensitise the dogs and leave them, and their owner, more calm, balanced and tranquil. I can only assume that was the work of the real Martin, the humble, hard-working and highly skilled stone-mason, not of the evil horde.

Things remained quiet for some weeks after that. Gina and I became friends as well as neighbours and, although I never liked the idea of living in another’s pockets, I was more than happy to spend some time with her. Gina was a kind soul, a widow of some years’ standing who lived alone, save for her dogs. Her life, she told me, had become more pleasant, more relaxed since I, or rather since Martin had worked with them, and she was embarrassingly effusive in her gratitude. Whether the decision to offer for her to accompany me on the trip to Rocamadour I was planning was mine or Martin’s, I couldn’t tell. Was the decision to continue to befriend Gina after the episode with her dogs mine or Martin’s? I was, honestly, unsure. It had always been my nature to be friendly, to help people when I could, and to enjoy cordial relationships with my neighbours, but I always kept a certain distance, a certain – some called it aloofness, although I was never happy with that charge. Gina was different. I held no romantic aspirations, but was actively pursuing a friendship deeper than any I’d known with a woman in a long time. Perhaps, and this was a most interesting possibility; perhaps Martin was using her to deal with nine hundred years of enforced solitude. Perhaps he was lonely, and craving female company.

Perhaps, I dared to think, nothing bad would befall Gina as a result of this…