Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Crisis Most Considerable, With Tragedy Abounding.

Today Was A Day Of Heroes, Noble Sacrifices, And Loss Of Life...

I spent the night in my barefoot wife's bed, watching Barefoot Abby sleep peacefully. Then I reconsidered my position on King Toad. Perhaps retribution is the incorrect course. The prisoners in my tree will continue to be fed and attended. Nerk and Sissy Bob must be added to their confinement space, every opportunity for redemption will be offered, though complete rejection of this mercy is fully expected from the careless monsters. Doubtless, if they remain in the Prison Tree long enough, the Spectre will come for them. Like a predator to it's natural prey. Then this burden will become a non-issue. For a moment, my thoughts were again distracted, this time by an unusual pre-dawn light outside of Barefoot Abby's window.
I pulled opened the drapes and saw what I expected to see. The Batman had at last located Brother Eye in the heavens, and his allies' greatest battle against the OMACs was about to begin. The conflict was masked visually by the coming of dawn. I would not bear witness to it, only to hope my decision not to aid the Batman in his efforts was the right one. As I left Barefoot Abby's bedroom, she still slept peacefully, covered warmly with a blanket of leaves and grass. It has been a few months we have been together again, and a year before that. I did not tell Barefoot Abby of my appointment with the Shadowpact at Stonehenge. No need to worry her unnecessarily. As I returned to the swamp, I thought about the helicopters that passed over Houma last Thursday. They did not find the site of King Toad's gruesome rampage. But they came close. So I took the opportunity to dispose of all evidence of it, simply to protect the environment of the swamp from further intrusion. At the Prison Tree, King Toad reminded me of the harshness of the situation. He has nothing but contempt for me, calling my values a weakness. I hope the Spectre comes to wreak vengeance upon him, and soon. As I approached a meeting of the Cajun elders, discussing their options of moving away or sticking it out, I remembered my appearance at Stonehenge was due. So I went to England, but also retained my essence in the Louisiana bayou. A most complicated process, but one well within my ability. I assure you. At Stonehenge, Barefoot Suzy was in the air, guiding others toward the site. She landed at my side and graciously thanked me for coming. Constantine walked up, smoked his cigarette, and said, "The end is nigh this time, Chief. A sure sign of it is when the bloody Spectre is involved." Barefoot Suzy sighed and called Constantine the perpetual optimist. The Stranger alerted everyone to attention. He said we were the last hope for our world, Earth-1. He reminded everyone of Nabu's sacrifice, how it bound the Spectre to a new host. But Sabastian Faust insisted invoking the Spectre was a bad idea. Blue Devil and the Barefoot Enchantress berated him. As Barefoot Zatanna invoked the Spectre, my attention was diverted back home. I did my best to comfort the Cajuns, to regain their trust. Then, Barefoot Susannah De Le Beau, a young barefoot Cajun woman suddenly turned on me--her baby was missing, lost in the swamp and now, tragically long-dead. I vowed to find the infant's body and make amends. But then back at Stonehenge, the Spectre emerged violently from the undead corpse of his new host. The Spectre ignored the Stranger's attempts to communicate with him. He turned against the surprised Barefoot Deborah Camille Darnell, the Barefoot Lady Star Sapphire and destroyed her utterly in vengeance for her crimes, before departing Stonehenge. I left as well, much to Barefoot Suzy's fearful protest, pleading me not to go. But I had to leave. My full attention was needed back home. I soon found the child. As numbness overcame me, Nightwing and Superboy were joined by the Barefoot Wonder Girl in their attack on Alex Luthor's tower in the cold Arctic northlands. They were attacked by the young Luthor's OMACs as they began their effort to free the prisoners. Meanwhile, the Batman's team infiltrated Brother Eye and their own mission was underway. Back home, I was overcome with grief. I screamed in a fit of rage, tearing the laptop from it's concealment from my chest. Fortunately, I did not damage it, but the digital camera activated and doing it's job, took this picture above of me in my pain. Then I took the baby inside of me. As penance to myself for this dreaded failure, for my sin of arrogance, I absorbed the lost essence into myself. The result was horrifying at first. I welcomed it. At this time, another deserving of punishment was getting his due, for Alex Luthor was attacked by the heroes freed by the Titans. In the swamp, I could hear the young barefoot mother's scream echoing in her memory, as she did when she had been separated from the child. The anguish was unspeakable. Meanwhile, the Crisis battle at Luthor's tower continued. Black Adam slew the Psycho-Pirate. Superboy-Prime returned to Earth-1 and joined the battle. In reflex, the heroes not belonging to Earth-1 returned to their respective worlds. As Martian Manhunter fought Superboy-Prime alone and fell, Alex Luthor sought to acknowledge his companion's demand that Earth-1 and Earth-Prime be merged. A sudden relief came to me back home. Reliving the baby's tragic passing came to an end. He was in Heaven, and everything was as it should be for him. His final reward: an eternity of pure innocence and peace. As bliss and solace overcame me, the Batman confronted and shut down Brother Eye. As the disabled satellite plummeted to Earth, the selflessly brave Conner Kent began his death-duel with Superboy-Prime. The Batman and Green Lantern raced to the scene, as did the Barefoot Wonder Woman, along with Superman and his elder Earth-2 counterpart. All to attempt to save another good life from ending in tragedy. Back in the swamp, I gave the young barefoot mother what she needed to cope with the loss of her child, the essence of her offspring, distilled in a tuber. In the same moment, Luthor's tower was destroyed, the barefoot girl sat nude and began to eat the tuber and experienced the glory that was the life of her child. As Barefoot Susannah splashed her nude body in the nearby water, I told her to hold her breath, submerged with her, and took her down underwater for a refreshing much-needed bathing and exercising swim. I could feel the alternate Earths restored into one, as we emerged. This, combined with a sense of purity I have never felt before. It has changed me. As Conner Kent died victorious in the arms of his beloved Barefoot Cassandra Sandsmark, I held the wet nude young barefoot Cajun mother in my own, and she thanked me. As heroes mourned their fallen, I sat there in the swamp and thought of Barefoot Abby and her suffering last month. When she comes, I will comfort her too. Purity is a precious gift. We must do everything in our power to regain it, as is humanly possible.

The Aftermath.


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