Greetings and salutations, faithful readers! Welcome back to Story Time With Tim once more! Here we have the third part of my fan fiction novella GNR Illusions! True, I never really finished it, but it serves as a strong indication of my development as a writer over the years. And, it isn’t great. But, I still have a soft spot for it. Anyhow, no need to really go real in depth here. I’ll just let the story speak for itself. For better or for worse.
Thanks for reading and enjoy this offering of Story Time With Tim!
“Now people say Ah’m jinxed…Ah got some kinda voodoo hex. Life is so complex. There’s no telling what can happen next. Life on the edge, fuels the sickness in mah head. It imbeds the type of thoughts that got a lotta brothers dead. The smarter brother knows ta keep his foes close. And Ah’m the type of brother– Sister!! Hehe!– that’s smarter than most. A cold hearted overdose of lyrical antidotes! The cure to make sure mah karma can’t take me down. Up ta the same ol’ tricks. Bet he is…Ah wonder if Ah’ll stick around. Is a penny really lucky if ya find it on the ground? What’s the problem wit’-With-this town? Ah can’t figure it out. Mah karma’s crashin’ down…tell me ’bout it…In the form of a Black Cloud…*whistles and hums loudly and sings*
“Ah’ve got a little black cloud that follows me. Everywhere Ah go, it takes over me. Oh yeah, baby!! Ah’m sick. Ah’ve got a real ill disposition. Mah intentions are pure but there’s a cure for mah condition. Mah decisions!! …put me in the wrong positions. Chasing pipe dreams– still chasing!– of fame and recognition. The Epic. Not only a name, a definition!
“Mah game remains no matter the pain. Ah stay the charmer. The Don of Karma. Ah navigate it like the Dalai Lama!! *Pounds steering wheel with enthusiasm to the beat.* Ah ain’t a saint. But Ah’ve got joie de vie– Ahh! The joy of life!…Ah wish…And Ah’m the one to blame if the cloud rains on me! Ah can’t complain about it or even let regret provoke the energy it takes for me ta get upset. A bad boy– *ppppht!* GIRL! since birth so Ah can’t forget what goes around comes around and it ain’t got me yet! Probably won’t take too long t’ough…ugh, THOUGH!
“Ah’ve gotten wise in mag age and tamed the threat of mah rage. Ah’ve got a lot ta learn and Ah’ve got money to spend and more than ya think! Ta pretend is reaping more than sewing ever could mend. *singing chorus yet again* Trade mah torches for a dime the pressure’s fading away now Black Cloud’s lifted for the light the pressure’s fading away now keep fading.
“A thousand cigarettes could use a smoke—WHAT am Ah saying!? Won’t change the way we feel Nope The pressure’s fading now can ya bare the thought of knowin’ truth? *Stares off into space with a vacant expression* … …*short silence* Knowin’ truth. Ah was rappin’ in the rain, hopin’ that mah luck would change. And if there’s any truth ta all those old sayings. Cuz if Ah killed a spider, would mah house catch on fire? If Ah walked under a ladder would it matter? Ah tend ta laugh when black cats cross mah path. Break mirrors in half *frowns* yes…Ah have…just ta test the aftermath now here comes the rain. Ah project mah pain. Tryin’ ta make sense of these crazy things! Ah’m a diamond in the rough. Could Ah suffer enough? *Tears begin to roll*
“Ah’m getting high for a living, not givin’ a – *coughs*– These hard times got me stuck…Stuck in a jam. Ah’m the monkey on ya back and the crack in the dam. Disastrous took time ta master this! And the past is just a map ta capture this. In the darkness. Ah’m forced ta adapt ta this. Ah would change the past if Ah could have one wish…*Sings the chorus over again and goes silent, deep in thought*
Ah can’t stop the tears…and ah’m afraid of de truth…
What am ah doin’ out here?
Within the state of Illinois…
Just after Noon…
Pushing the speed limit and faster, of or at or maybe even above seventy miles per the hour, Rogue sits behind the steering wheel of an incredibly well kept-up convertible, Dodge Viper…black…top down. And the fresh air pushes through her hair, forcing it to flow backwards, making her enjoy the car even more. She had borrowed it from the X-mansion’s garage. Rogue was positive that Scott Summer’s wouldn’t mind. Sure he’s got more pressing matters…what after the battle with Apocalypse and everyone assumin’ ‘e was dead an all…
The entire trip into Illinois, Rogue had been listening to her new CD…one featuring Crazytown, and watching the world around her zip by without a care. And she was happy for the most part listening to the music. And one of her favorite songs on the CD was Black Cloud…yet, it brought to her not just joy, but also a painful reminder of Remy Lebeau. Several of the lines within the song reminded her of her on-again, off-again lover…also known as ‘Gambit’.
Now, here was Rogue driving as quickly as possible into Illinois…and the exact destination on her list was in Cairo. She hadn’t the faintest clue as to why the thought of heading into Cairo would have even occurred to her, let alone slipped by her carefully construed defenses. Despite having kissed and absorbed her lover’s powers so long ago, she still had no idea how he managed to remain ‘hidden’ to telepaths and their mental probes. Not even the Professor had been successful in breaching his mind. Even so, here she was…subject to every crazy thought to have pushed through his skull at any given moment in his life and still having next to no idea of how his mind worked.
Last night’s nightmare had left her exhausted and flustered. Where was Remy? And why, for the love of God, did she think she was him? Rogue could have sworn…but there was something on the edge of her awareness then. Something summoning her to Cairo. And here she was. Responding to God knows what, if anything.
Thirty miles…almost there. The road sign was a godsend on her long drive. And Rogue’s tush was on the verge of ripping out her tailbone. Something that, despite being invulnerable, was eating at her flesh from the inside. Rogue desperately needed to get out and take a walk. Yet…she was so close. So she continued the last bit of the way. It was then that the thought occurred to her…I should have just flown. Oh yeah! That would be brilliant! Something that leading the X-Men has taught me, an dat’s to keep hidden an expose yerself only when the urgency necessitates. And after that flying thought occurred to her, she knew it would have been wrong. It wasn’t but fifteen minutes later, when she entered the town of Cairo.
It stood still…still and as silent and as dead as a tomb and had remained the such for the last four years. Since before he had joined the team. The green and oxygen hungry vines spread and poised themselves within most and all of the cracks and crevices of this old mansion. The design itself hidden by the savage vegetation. Though, if one looked hard enough, the cliff side residence would gleam its Euro-American architecture. Once, this place had been the sole property of one man– Jacob Reisz, an investigator. Once, they would have a said a ‘good one’…course, that was before the ‘crime spree’ that took the small riverfront town by storm those many years ago. That was me…wait! No!!
Agony and grief play across the face of the dreamer stuck yet again in one of many of visions…and still being driven, urged, to respond to some irresistible force. And her hands flail to her head and to her face and cover her eyes. She resists the building want to scream and scream loud. Then, Rogue regains her composure. Her white eyes, surging with dissipating energy trails, fade back into their rightful and bright green color of before and take in the mansion sight yet again. Ah DIDN’T raid dis…this town. That was ‘Ro. But…why? Why’s all this still happenin’ to me? Ah took care o’dis matter matter months ago!! And here we go agin!
Rogue cautiously approaches the darkened mansion and enters its massive front doors. A slight creak emanates and sends an echo out and into the equally massive interior. A stray thought forms and sticks into Rogue’s mind…one she hadn’t even thought to consider. In four years? How did this mansion get so grown over with all that vinery? Face it, girl, dis place…!…Mon Dieu! Le Roi d’Ombre!…The Shadow King!! ‘E is…non…was…non…that, that was long ago! God, fille, pull it together! Ya ain’ Remy!
She shakes her head from side to side trying to shake the other persona out and away from her. Rogue is tired of playing. Gambit had rescued Stormy from this place! Oh, wait, Ororo hates the term ‘Stormy’..hmmm, hafta keep dat in mind next time she annoys me. This is worse den the whole ‘Wolverine’ debacle Ah put mahself through before Ah got it tagetha. Tagetha…right.
Darkness starts to ever so slightly give way to some light shining from an unknown source. And she enters into the light. Before her, lies what used to be a pool and suddenly, Rogue feels mournful of a past she never lived…The pool no longer contained water, but a layer of black soot and dirt. Around her, pottery lay broken and discarded, as if destroyed by some cataclysmic force. Fixating her gaze everywhere and nowhere at once, she took it all in with her peripheral vision and ‘felt’ out with her seventh sense…and there returned a tremor. Not large…almost undetectable.
Rogue’s eyes refocused on the cracks lining the emptied pool and allowed herself a slight absorption into the light glinting down from the darkened ceiling where large holes permeated its depth. It was then that she discerned it…and it was unwelcome. Her eyes sharpened to slits and her vision forged into the dark beyond as if staring at an invisible creature. Then, she verbalized her rage.
“Ain’ no sense hidin’! Ah know yer dere.”
“Ahh…perfect. There it is. As I required.” responded the darkness.
And Rogue stared…stared hard to try to see. She knew him…knew his evil well enough that it had become her own. That evil surged through her body as she stared through the impeding darkness. And then she felt…nothing. The pain and discomfort and confusion and dissolution…gone. Just like that…All the hurt and all the pain that he had given her, suddenly just vanished. And her heart, her lonely, lonely heart that that thief had stolen…shoved right back into place. SNAP. Just like that. It was like he was never there.
“Don’t you have…a mission to complete?”
The invisible voice purred to her mind in delight and she couldn’t resist its gentle pull. How?
“How? The ‘how’ is as inconsequential as the ‘where’…or, mayhaps, my darling Rogue, ‘when.'”
Rogue could sense the deepening and evil grin from where she stood. She needn’t even look upon the evil one’s visage. She already knew it too well. Ah hate you! Ah hate ever’t’ing ’bout you! Hate you fer remindin’ me, how much Ah hate d’taste of who Ah was! Who Ah am! Hate you…cause…worst o’all, of WHO Ah will be…
These words, Rogue finds very familiar, despite a bit of vary and word placement. For, they had been relatively spoken before…about her and about him. And, as Rogue turns to exit the building, random thoughs of her own generate within...Ah wish Ah’d never kissed Remy that night…wish Ah’d never heard the gentle whisper of his name! Ah wish…god help me…that he’d never been born!One lone tear runs gingerly down her left cheek as she walks slowly away and out the mansion’s front doors with a straight back and rigid stride. Then it is, his voice again, this time, in her head…
“Such ill-mannered thoughts! It matters naught…even if Remy had never been born, I would have come. And as it were…Remy has been the ONLY obstacle in my way! So, Rogue…or shall I…dare I say… ‘GAMBIT’?…I shall leave to you that particular loose thread…in your, capable, and reliable hands!”
Rogue feels a rush of blood behind her cheeks and a feintness in her heart. She would love nothing more right now than to awaken from this atrocious nightmare…She had never considered, never thought….Oh no….Never had a clue, until the panic set in and she strode to her car and turned the ignition and looked in the mirror upon the windshield and saw the face that haunted her past…and his. Hers.
Somewhere in Northwest Montana…
Only three days had passed since Gambit’s encounter with Sinister at the old mansion. At first, it was an eager trip down memory lane…however, the business of Sinister’s summons had brought the Gambit, Remy Lebeau’s mind, back to reality. He hated the dark being with a passion not even surpassed by his love for Rogue. Love for Rogue? Hmph…With a quick snort, Remy grabs his glass of red wine from the table in front of him. Dat how you do loved ones? Love ’em…leave ’em….pack it up an’ screw ’em? Good t’ing Minnie didn’t care for relationships. She do t’ings Rogue ain’ got no idea ’bout t’oh. Like I know! Dat night in Antartica…Red eyes grow cold for but the briefest of moments. No mistake. Wouldn’t know it f’r hav’in lived it t’oh.
Not far ahead on this speeding train’s tracks, lay in wait the Canadian wilderness. It was unusual for Gambit to take the back route into a country he was hardly eager to see again. Let alone, try and attempt to tolerate the terrain in Canada that went on endlessly. Not too much unlike the forever country of Montana or *gasp*, Milwaukee Wisconsin!
As much as the Cajun liked to joke around in his own mind, he knew the train wouldn’t go into the borders of Canada. So, once at the station-which would be just a few miles south of the border-, Gambit would discreetly make the trek by foot into the surrounding forest. It wasn’t that he couldn’t make it through the rather ‘blande’ customs…it was just in case someone recognized the wanted poster of him plastered up on every wall in all of creation. He was a hunted man. Hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. And they wanted him dead, or alive…Gambit assumed ‘dead’ would be more to their liking. It was a desire he had no intention of fulfilling.
Hunted. Now, I’m de hunter? Gonna ‘ave to do dis quick… ‘fore de ‘good guys’ show up. Good t’ing I know de back way in. Know it? Yes, and like the back of his hand, he would show every trick that a proper thief brought up could show you. And then some.
A single, tingling sensation grips his mind. Sacre…Gambit stares out the window, away from the direction of the station, of Canada…and stares out the window opposite him, leering out towards the unknown. He sets his wine down…and pulls off the shades he many times wore. And impetously ignored every side-longed, shocked glance of the half dozen ‘guests’ sitting in the dining room car.
Gambit rose to his feet and swiftly crossed the short distance across the aisle to the table on the opposite side of the train. He leans over the table and braces his body weight with his left arm. And in his right hand grasp remained the sunglasses. With his ‘evil’ eyes he spied…all there was to see, the expansive prairies. And that sense…he knew it was there and coming closer. Venir et jouer, mon Papillon…for indeed, we ‘ave a long day a’ead of us.
The mutant thief sees no one…and the train pushes towards its destination mere miles away.
Once more we reach the end of Story Time With Tim. Another week down and another week to go. Stay tuned for the final part next week and, if you will, feel free to check out my author’s page on Amazon.com:
Timothy S Purvis <–Click here!
See you next week!
~Timothy S Purvis
Since you’re here, why not also check out one of my books published in recent years? I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!