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Kevin`s Point of View - Prologue

by  Colonist

Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Word Count: 1619
Summary: From Kevin’s Point of View the material and fantastic weave and intermingle and tangle and snarl together to form a world that somehow makes sense. Life continues this way until an unexpected package arrives at his door. But the owner of this package, the very nasty Devin Talon, will do anything to get it back. With his brilliant imagination as his only defense, Kevin must outwit his pursuers to keep himself and his friends alive, and maybe save the world while he’s at it.

Kevin's Point of View
By Del Shannon


William “Pudge” Lovejoy scurried in a short, round way down West 81st Street in New York City. Pudge, a nickname which had stuck with him since grade school when he was the catcher for his Little League baseball team, carried a package wrapped in brown paper tightly under his arm as he walked. The weather on this April morning matched his mood perfectly – rainy, cold and thoroughly unfriendly. And adding to his gloomy disposition, his expensive overcoat was doing a very poor job of keeping him dry. From his shoulders up and from his knees down he was nearly saturated. With each gust of wind his flimsy, pop-up umbrella pitched violently, letting frigid raindrops splatter his balding head and squat neck before running past his collar and seeping into his shirt like slithering icicles. His shoes were worse. They were nearly overflowing with water, which squished and squirted through his toes as he slunk down the shiny sidewalk toward his apartment.
He was hurrying on this gray morning after working all night, and now he was expected to hand-deliver what he’d been working on – the Influxitron – to Colorado where Devin Talon waited for it. A shudder rattled through him as he thought back, now nearly five years, to when all of this started. He had forgotten how he met Devin Talon. Had it been a chance encounter? One day he was just there and the next, it seemed, he was telling him about the Influxitron, what he hoped it could do, what he needed to test, and the obscure warehouse in New York where they would do it. Within a month of their meeting Pudge found himself working alongside Devin performing bizarre experiments with the Influxitron, a small box no bigger than a television remote control.
At first he had been horrified. He even took the Influxitron one night and toyed with the idea of destroying it. He wandered through New York for hours and, while riding through the dark tunnels of the subway, thought of throwing the Influxitron under the subway’s wheel, pulverizing it with the other garbage that littered the underground tracks. But in the end he returned it, ultimately unsure of why he took it in the first place.
As they immersed themselves deeper into the experiments the once sinister testing began to seem cartoonish. Push a button, travel through time. “Absurd,” Pudge mumbled under his breath, remembering their first attempts. All they seemed able to do in those early years was either blow up or cut smoking gashes into the dummies and mannequins they were working with. He allowed himself a small chuckle as he remembered sweeping up thousands of nickel-sized pieces of plastic or wood or Styrofoam, or whatever else the mannequins happened to be made with, from the seemingly hundreds of failed tests.
As the time passed, and the edge to his conscience dulled, he found he was more concerned with the challenge of making the Influxitron work than its intended use. He recalled the last several weeks of testing and the signs of promise they were noticing. There were times when they were still only able to cut holes in things, but there were other tests where it seemed like it may be working. One test, performed just a week earlier, jumped into Pudge’s mind. Late one night they had placed a small child’s ball on a metal stand in the center of their warehouse. A short burst from the Influxitron, combined with its quick, downward movement, had, it appeared, exploded the ball. But a few minutes later, while they were writing notes about the experiment in the next room, a loud roar, like a strong wind forced through a narrow opening, filled the warehouse. Rushing back into the warehouse they found the intact ball rolling to a stop on the floor but the metal stand on which it originally rested on was now missing. Pudge had been sent home after this test and Devin continued to work through the night on what he later called The Rebound Problem. Pudge only understood about half of what Devin was talking about, something about bouncing back and forth between two times, but he could tell from his excitement that Devin was convinced they may be getting close. But as Pudge continued to fight his way through the rain the memory of this experiment was shoved out of the way by an overwhelming wave of fatigue.
“The Influxitron,” Pudge sighed lowly as he shifted the now soggy package to his other arm and swam his way through the current of people beginning their morning routines. “It’s always the Influxitron. Never mind I haven’t slept in over 24 hours. Never mind me, the only guy who’s been with Devin from the start. I’m just expected to keep going, as usual.” Pity and fatigue swirled through his head as he walked, head down now, eyes locked on his soggy feet. With each step, water nearly spouted through the seams of his shoes. Pudge groaned loudly at the sight and quickened his pace.
As he neared the next intersection and the underground entrance to a subway, the stream of people swelled to fill the sidewalk. Searching for a way around the jam, he glanced behind him, looking for cars before he jumped across the street, when he noticed two men. One wore a green, hooded parka and the other a tan raincoat, and, at the sight of Pudge turning to face them, seemed to stop abruptly, as if startled, before walking quickly into a restaurant 75 yards behind him.
Panic swelled through Pudge’s now ashen face as he realized what was happening. He was being followed. Whirling his head back, his sleep deprived mind ground quickly on the problem of what he was supposed to do in this situation. Devin had told him hundreds of times, and Pudge had listened patiently through each lecture, but now that it was real he couldn’t remember the plan. And then, staring at the people coalescing near the subway, he remembered. “Head for crowds,” Devin’s words echoed loudly through his brain. Not stopping to look behind him for his pursuers, he pushed himself into the crowd and descended the stairs to the subway, lost in the middle of the morning rush.
He emerged from the subway a half-hour later downtown, still clutching the wet package under his arm. He couldn’t tell if he was still being followed, he hadn’t seen the two men, but he suspected he probably was. Flying to Colorado today was definitely out. It was crucial their place in Black Hawk remained secret. But it was also imperative he get the Influxitron out of his hands, before he was picked up, and safely to Colorado. Devin could wait a few more days for the Influxitron, but no more. And he had to find somewhere safe to stay for at least a week until he was convinced that his shadows had been shaken from his trail.
He scampered west down Canal Street, staying as far from the street as he could, when an U.S. Post Office directly across the street caught his attention. Even with his mind foggy from fatigue, a plan locked neatly into place. Not waiting to reach the intersection he bolted across the street, weaving through the stopped taxis and delivery trucks, and ducked into the post office. To his amazement there was no line and he walked briskly to the counter.
“May I help you?” the blue uniformed woman asked cheerfully when he reached the counter.
“I just need to borrow a felt-tipped pen,” quavered Pudge.
“Sure,” the woman answered, pulling a black pen from her pocket and handing it to him. Pudge took the pen and, with a wavering hand scrawled
Devin Talon
1635 Maple St.
Black Hawk, CO 80422

on the front of the wet package. Finishing the address he returned the pen and slid the package across the counter.
“This is going to…Colorado?” she asked, placing the package on the scale while straining to read the sloppily written address on the wet paper.
“Yes,” Pudge replied, his body turned away from the counter scanning the lobby.
“And you want this sent first class?”
“Do you need insurance?” she continued, running through her standard questions for packages.
“I don’t think there’s enough insurance in the world for this package,” Pudge mumbled as he continued his search of the lobby.
“Excuse me?”
“No. No insurance,” Pudge answered abruptly, turning back to face the counter. “How long will it take to get there?”
“Oh, about three days, is my guess,” she answered. “Will that be okay?”
“Sure, that’ll be great.”
“Good. That will be $8.75, then” the postal worker announced, placing the postage on the package.
Pudge pulled a soggy $10.00 bill from his pocket and pushed it across the counter. Taking the bill she opened her cash drawer, pulled $1.25 in change and started to reach across the counter when she noticed the strange, wet man she was helping was now racing out of the room. Shrugging, she put the change in her pocket, picked up the package and tossed it into the outgoing mail bin. Almost immediately the address, difficult to read in the first place, began to smear and fade as the ink it was written with ran randomly through the wet, brown paper. Within an hour the only discernable part of the address now read
evin T n
35 Map St.
B , CO 8 2.
It was now the responsibility of the United States Postal Service to see that it reached its intended destination. It would not.

End Prologue