Request Mondays

Hit a bit of a snag on how to approach Richard's sudden loss of faith. Hoping what follows works even though it's literally one of those 'I wrote myself into a hole now I have to dig myself out.' situations.



[13]
Time passed slowly for Richard. He was allowed to work again. New bodies, new puzzles, and thankfully no children on his work load. He worked efficiently but joylessly. Members from his coven had called but he wasn't having any of it. Maybe later. He told himself whenever anyone from his old crowd would drop by. Not now though.
A few calls he couldn't put off though. They were his friends, and they had gotten concerned. what to tell them though? Nothing felt genuine to his mind when he considered his options when somebody was banging on his front door. He had missed services. They were just checking on him.
"I'm fine. Go away!" He heard himself yell as he dressed. The pounding wouldn't stop. He breathed deep and exhaled. "Be there in a minute." He didn't want to see anyone but in his mind it would be quicker to get it over with than to have to wait until they left on their own.
Door open. Ricky was staring out at the door knocker in little more than a half-unbuttoned flannel shirt and sweatpants.
His visitor, in contrast, was dressed in a three piece suit straight out of the turn of the last century. His features were different, but Ricky recognized the eyes. Gambler's eyes. Dancing merry one moment, somber and severe the next and just the hint of the always changing mind at work.
"Well?" The man asked. "Can I come in?"
Given everything Ricky had experienced so far his sour look at the over-dressed stranger might be understandable. "I'm not sure, can you?" Mocking tone. It was a gamble, but one he felt was safe given how much almost everything on the supernatural seemed to agree on unwanted creatures and critters needing an invitation.
"Ah," The man grinned wide as those dancing changing eyes looked Ricky over. "The wayward child has an ounce of sense after all." Approving tone, but the man shoved past Ricky into the apartment anyway. "Not that it keeps our kind away entirely. Oh sure, my effects budget is cut by barging in," The man's words felt almost carelessly tossed aside as he swept through Ricky's home. "You would be a fool to think me powerless though."
Laughing Man, yes let's call him that for the time being, was in the middle of making himself a sandwich when Ricky swung a baseball bat at the backs of his legs. On impact the bat cracked down the middle and Ricky's hands went numb from the jolt.
"Can't even depend on a good Louisville these days." Laughing Man commented right before taking a bite.
Ricky grimaced and managed to work his fingers enough to know that they were still attached, but they wouldn't do anything else for the next while like that. "Get out." Steady voice, but against this intruder the words felt small.
"Oh I think not little duck blue." Laughing Man picked Ricky up by his shirt collar and dropped him in the living room couch. "We have things to talk about," He leered before pouting, more a caricature so overblown that it would have been more at home in a bad stage play than a person's home, "It isn't like we can do that if I'm not here? You want me here don't you?"
"No." Monosyllable. Sour.
The Caricature that was Laughing Man's face instantly went from pouty/sad to happy/maniacal grinning. "Your head says No. No." He reached over to grab the top of Ricky's head, which was a feat in of itself since he was still in hiss kitchen, and made him shake his head. "But your heart says Yes. Yes." He made Ricky nod before letting go.
"You feel like yesterday's newspaper. Used and discarded once all the interesting tidbits are read through. Right?" Before giving Ricky a chance to respond Laughing Man continued. "You want to have faith, but now that we've all been knocked off our shiny unapproachable pedestals having fallible icons of worship isn't as nice as you thought is it?"
Silence was Laughing Man's only answer so far. He didn't seem to care and took Richard's silence as approval to filch more from the kitchen. "Have to say, even with all the bugaboo over the environment have to like all the progress you apes've shown in the past couple hundred years."
"Get. Out." Ricky stood, glaring at the intruder. "You are not invited. You have no Power here. Get. Out." He trembled and shook. That's how angry he was at what was going on.
"Pfft. You and who else? You gave mutt-boy the middle finger, so i doubt he'll answer any bleating for help." Laughing Man snorted. "And what of the White Christ? So Impersonal. So... distant. 'Help those that help themselves.' Kind of charming way of saying 'You're on your own kid.' Hope you haven't traded in with those lot on account of a little rudeness now-"
Ricky punched him in the face.
"Hey! You can't go doing that sort of-"
Again. Fist. Face.
"YOU WILL STOP THIS INSTANT MORTAL!" Laughing Man hadn't changed a single bit, not physically. He held himself straighter. Proud. Confident. Every inch of him was a God and he would not take any lip from a mere mortal.
"Either blast me into a grease spot, sign me up for a few thousand years of torment, or Get Out." Ricky stood there. Mortal man. no special protection (that he knew of anyway) and very much afraid he'd finally gotten himself in deeper than he could dig out of. At the same time though he stood there, waiting for the intruder to make his move.
Laughing man glowered at Richard. His gaze penetrating and all-seeing. "I can see why he thought you would be helpful. Pity you took yourself out of the game." He snorted dismissively, "Pity but oh well."
Gone was the regal commanding preassigned and back with the dismissive living cartoon comedy face. "Taa!" Gone. No special effects just. Here. Blink. Gone.
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