"I would like my pudding now nurse. And then I think I'd like to... write... something... I don't remember what."
Standing in the corner, he waits. The sand slowly flows, but it nears it's end. The old man still glows, as thousands of threads spread away from him.
I AGREE. IT IS A SHAME TO SEE HIM THIS WAY.
NO. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN.... BUT I CANNOT WAIT TO ASK HIM HOW IT ALL ENDS.
The old man looks up, through them at first... and then he sees them. For once, the smile on the hooded figure's skull is genuine.
"I... I remember you. The anth... ant..."
"Yes, that. We knew each other?"
ONCE. AND WILL AGAIN, SIR.
He so rarely said it, and these feelings... remembering his young aprentice, and beloved daughter. The beautiful child they have.
"There... is a girl, yes?"
SHE IS SPEAKING TO THE AUDITORS, SIR. THEY ARE UNWILLING TO LISTEN.
"Well then. You know what they say, two things you cannot avoid. Taxes and..." He looks into the firey blue eyes, and becomes aware.
"Quite right. Is it time already? I have so much left to do."
YOU HAVE GIVEN ALL YOU CAN SIR.
"No, not cancer. Alzheimers."
I AM AWARE.
"So, where is the boy? I remember a boy."
"Ahh. Never much trusted cars. Or horses."
THEY GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.
SOON. BUT WE MAY SIT HERE AWHILE.
DO YOU HAVE ANY BISCUITS?
"No. Shame really."
"Is it truely turtles?"
ALL THE WAY DOWN. I HAVE SEEN THEM.
"Ahh. I would love to see it. Perhaps a small trip before?"
IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE.
"The light is slower there... and there's a monkey...."
ORANGUTAN. SAME PRINCIPLE.
"Yes... will they remember me?"
"What was that? I could not hear you."
HE SAYS WE WILL, SIR.
"I never much liked the trouble people had with you. You seem like a nice fellow."
I HAVE MY DAYS.
"Don't we all?"
SOME LESS THAN OTHERS.
"Is it quick?"
YES. AND I BROUGHT THE SWORD. CEREMONY DICTATES IT.
"Ahh. How about a cup of tea?"
I WOULD ENJOY IT. DO YOU PLAY CHESS?
"No. how about checkers?"
And so they sat, two old friends regaling each other, though the old man could not remember all of the details, the cloaked man and his rat filled him in, when it was needed.