42 – Save The World
It was little more than eight years after the conversation, and Joe and Mare had been inseparable in all that time, that Joe and Mare were bewildered by the site of a colt gamboling towards them “It’s human”, Mare said. Joe nodded. But even so, nobody should be able to enter their world without their approval or knowledge or some sort of request. Mare, was at the very least concerned with the situation. It may have been many things, but it wasn’t normal even in the abnormality of the Aftermath. She didn’t move towards or away from the colt even though it was bowing its head in the correct manner. She didn’t care why it was there, she didn’t want it there and was considering running or fighting but Joe stopped her. “Let’s see what is going on.”
Mare calmed down. And then, almost instantly, felt concerned again, felt as though there was something not to do with her going on that would take Joe away if she let it but for how long? For a day? Might he never return. The colt was Susan. The mare seemed concerned, brayed her worries.
“Please don’t be concerned Mare, I am sorry to come in uninvited.”
“I thought it was impossible.” Mare replied.
“Nothing is impossible but you are right, it is very very rare.”
“Then why are you here…”
“Joe, we need you.” Susan replied.
The two horses looked at each other.
“Why do you need my Joe, go find someone else.”
“Yeah, why me. I must be forgotten by now.”
“You know that isn’t true.”
“I don’t know, I mean my wife and kids but…”
“You know how you are remembered Joe, we can’t use humble now.”
Mare looked at Joe again, and it dawned on her that he may have been, in effect, playing down his time on earth, that hierarchy wise, it was Joe who was slumming but nothing in this delightful, playful, thoughtful horse made it possible. “Stop messing around”, she snarled at the colt. “What is going on. It has to do with the Blue Eye’s bet, doesn’t it.”
Joe realized that was what it was the moment it was said. “That’s it, you want me to play with the Stones. Well, fuck that, I ain’t going, get David Bowie.”
“It is about the bet, but we don’t want you to perform with the Stones.”
“Whatever, it isn’t my problem.”
“In two days the Universe will come to an end, your children and your children’s children, and any and all people and things everywhere will not be if you don’t help us now. Do you care?” Susan had been working on this for years now and was frankly sick of explaining herself time after time. “I can’t believe you’d even question it. I don’t have time to argue, you are to come and help me now. I don’t care what you know or what you think you know, you are needed and you are the type of thing that comes when the Universe needs you so stop playing hard to get and come with me.”
So what had been missing was now here for Joe. The need to help, to make a difference, to matter, everything that the Aftermath had to offer And here he was again, “a nuclear error but I have no fear” he muttered to himself, and Mare caught it but didn’t understand it. “What’s that…?” she asked
Joe didn’t reply, “Will you come with me?” Joe asked instead and Mare felt her heart jump into her mouth and nodded her head vigorously. “You’ll have to be human, you know.
“I’ve never been human. Except for you, I despise them. When I first died I simulated slaughtered millions… ”
“Well, maybe not that many but ten at least…” Joe became the 24 year old Strummer of legend and Mare looked at him. “Should I look like your wife?” she asked.
“Neither of them” He replied.
“Then who” Mare thought back. “I was owned by an English Princess for awhile, till I grew too old. Will she do?” Joe nodded his head and after some change of costumes and aquick fix of her teeth, Mare was human. Joe smiled at her. “This is very strange you know. “
“You mean me?” Mare replied, in a voice that was, well a voice.
“Nah, I can feel your Mareness, kid. This who deal. I don’t like this at all,” Joe said. “I thought we got left alone”.
“We usually do. Okay, let’s go.”
“Let’s get a drink first.”
They went to BB Kings and watched King, a youthful forty year old again, with Muddy Waters, playing blues standards. “What is this?” Mare asked.
“Do you like it.”
“I haven’t really heard like this before. Is this what you used to do?”
“More or less.”
“They had a scotch and beer chaser and then another and Mare began to giggle and wonder what was happening to her. She had never felt this good, and she took Joe’s hand and wondered what would happen next. She wanted to change her being and she had changed her being but now what? Where would they go? Suddenly a thought came to her. “Joe, Am I attractive?” she asked.
“Actually, you are very lovely. Not perfect, but you look imperfectly beautiful, really you couldn’t have chosen better.”
Mare smiled and they had another drink and then Susan was back among them.
“Let’s go,” she said.
Fatou was waiting at Keith’s home with Mick and Keith when Susan, Joe and Mare arrived.
Keith smirked: “No elvis, beatles or the rolling stones…?”
“No heaven either”, Joe replied as Mare and Joe sat together on a sofa. Mare thought “So now we know…”
“What may I do for you kind folk?”
“Mick?” Susan said.
“I am guessing you have heard of the big bet?”
“Everything has… “
Mick explained it in as few words as he could manage. “If we can’t perform one last time and so well that the entire city of New York hears us God loses his bet and the Universe ends”.
“Why is this Mike guy so important?” Mare asked, with just the faintest of whinnies in her voice.
“It’s complicated but believe me, he is necessary. He is chosen, you know, why me and not you? Why anyone, anything, anywhere. It is the way it happened.”
“I don’t see how I can help you, I am enjoying myself with mare, I don’t want to come back.’
“We need you, Joe. We need somebody with your moral heft to get through to these kids.’
“Maybe the kids would be better off forming a band.”
“A month from now they can fly to the moon on gossamer wings for all I care but right now , I need them.”
“None of this makes any sense…. Why would they care so much that they’d just quit?”
Susan spoke up, “We don’t know but we think it is some sort of cosmic pushback. A sort of levelling out of the bet by some mass decision in contradiction to Blue’s wants. Essentially, he built it but he answers to it the way we all do, and there are two idea fighting with each other.”
“So we may not win?” Mare asked.
“Yes, we may not win and now we need Joe to come through for everything he has ever believed in. He must get through to Mike above the Cosmic interference.”
“Wait a second”, Joe said. “We’re going back to earth?”
“Well, not earth, New York City…”
“Mare comes with us.”
Susan looked at Fatou, “Not in the plan, you know.”
“You stay here, Susan, I’ll work with New York, and once it’s fixed I’ll work with the Stones and you stay with New York.”
Fatou looked at Joe and Mare, “Ready to save the world, guys?”
I bet Soho got some great tips!!
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