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Monday, August 10, 2020

Garlic Billy - Part III

Well, I'll spare you all the details of how Billy Garlic finally found himself face-to-face with Johnny Pringle.  Let's just say Billy Garlic proved himself a worthy adversary, and with the help of his Colt Peacemaker he took down Pringle's gang, including but not limited to Friar Obese, Twisted Fletcher, and Michael Billy.  But as he was about to find out, the gang was one thing, Pringle another.   

The two men stared at each other (yes, at that time it is fair to say Pringle was a man).   In the room were trays of Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Shrimp Scampi, Garlic Bread, etc. The smell of garlic was overpowering. 

"There is more garlic here than any one man needs.  Why are you taking it all?" Garlic Billy asks.  

"Why do you think you were able to overtake all my men, even Friar Obese?" Pringle asks.

"Because I'm the fastest shot in the West."

"And why are you the fastest shot in the West?"

"God-given talent and practice."

"Ha! God-given talent is maybe one way of putting it.  Another way of putting it is that you've had more than your fair share of garlic, and you have good garlic receptors."

Garlic Billy didn't exactly know what Pringle was saying, but he understood enough.  Hadn't he always felt a special, almost mystical connection with garlic?  Didn't he know that garlic strengthened him, made his senses sharper?  

Pringle continues:

"Sure, most people like garlic, they'll add it to this dish and that dish.  But only some people are built so that the garlic molecules interact with their bodies to produce truly incredible effects.  I realized this and consumed more and more garlic, until I realized I would need a truly awesome amount of garlic to achieve what is necessary."

"What is necessary?" asks Billy Garlic.

"The way things are, life can be nice.  If you're lucky, you have what you need, maybe you have a family and some children, but someday you will die, someday your children will die, and some day this whole planet will be gone!  Every person, every achievement, every piece of art, will be gone!  But what if there was a way for all of this to be remembered, for it not to turn into a cold, infinite nothingness?  Well, it is possible, but first me, or someone like me, needs to consume an astronomical amount of garlic.  Once I've had enough, I'll pass into the next and final stage of evolution, I will become everything, and I will keep the memory of this planet alive."

"So you're a real hero!  You're doing this for the good of humanity!" 

"I'm doing this because this was meant to happen, or at least it was hoped for in some weird way.  The way the physics works, there's only enough garlic for one person to reach the next level.  I suppose it could have been you if you figured things out earlier, but I happened to discover this before you.  And I'm not sure if you would have had the strength to go through with it, anyway."

"You no good bastard!  You're taking all the garlic so you can have some kind of mystical experience, and all of us are going to just go on without any garlic!"

"You'll all be ok, you can live without garlic, and when your time comes, it comes.  At least I'll be able to take your memory with me, and it will not be as if you never lived."

"It isn't right!  Even if we die, even if there is nothing else, we all deserve some of the garlic, to experience what limited pleasure and meaning we can experience!"

"Anything meaningful that doesn't last is not meaningful.  This is the only way."

I could tell you more, but the rest is details.  It's now many years since this fateful encounter took place.  Garlic Billy is long gone, and so is Timmy Tooka, Blackjack Billy, Sally the Whore, and all the rest of them.  But I still am, and I know their stories, and therefore it wasn't all for nothing.

The End.