Lord Swagger Jack Cometh

The Diary of Magnus Cray Day 5 — Continued

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Photograph by Magnus Cray

ord Swagger Jack isn’t any older than 16, and that’s being generous. He claims he’s 18, but I’m positive that’s a load of crap.

Frickin’ kid was there, though, just as his text promised he would be, sitting in a beat-up old Ford pickup on a single-lane dirt road atop a berm running through the bayou. The truck reeked of manure, and the kid’s jeans were filthy brown with the stuff, but the techno-tribal music blasting out of his speakers made me feel like I was in an Eastern-bloc disco just after the fall of Communism.

“How’d you get my phone number?” I asked the kid after giving in to his demands that I call him Lord Swagger Jack.

He snaked around a sharp turn in the berm smoothly at 50-per. The thing was barely even a road, and I’d call driving it at 35 stupidly too-fast.

“You’ve got your magic, I’ve got mine,” Lord Swagger Jack said (and with that I will hereinafter just call him ‘Jack,’ dear diary).

“Okay, and how do you know about my magic?”

“I was tracking you for almost a year before you went rogue, bro. I was going to take you out, honestly. You got lucky joining the good guys. Now I can help ya’ rather than ether ya’.”

“Good guys, huh?”

I took a deep drink from a gallon jug of warm water he’d had waiting on the floor for me.

“Funny,” I went on, “I never have met a group that didn’t think they were good guys.”

That wasn’t actually true, honestly. In my line of work I’ve met lots of people who admitted freely that they were the bad guys. Downright evil, even. Still, my sentiment was true-ish and sounded snappy.

“Well, first time for everything and all that, right?” Jack said.

“What’s this outfit of good guys called?”

“Nothing, bro. No name. The age of groups with names is over. We just read each other’s signals and work towards a common goal.”

“And what goal is that?”

“Freedom, bitches.”

Jack seemed to get a charge out of his own bravado and slammed down on the gas.

gripped the door handle and tried to hide how nervous he made me. Little prick like that would only be emboldened if he knew he was freaking me out.

A simple little bronze cross hanging from his rear view mirror bounced against the glass and swung around wildly with every bump in the road.

“You Christian?” I asked it mainly in hopes he’d slow down if he had to converse.

“Yep,” he said, speeding up. “Gnostic.”

“Gnostic Christian?”

“Wow, you’re really good at putting two and two together, bro. Making disparate connections and all that.”

“You know, I’ve been friends with Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Luciferians, Voodooists, Satanists, Atheists, Pagans, people from religions that don’t even have names, but you, my friend, are the first I’ve ever met who referred to himself as a Gnostic Christian.”

“I’m leading a Revival.”

“Revival? The Gnostics have been dead for a couple thousand years.”

“Well, I just may have to remedy that.”

The kid grinned at me this cocky, crazy grin, and I couldn’t help but like him. I’d also be ass-deep in gators by that point if not for him.

drove maybe twenty miles through a maze of berms and low dirt roads and finally parked outside a dilapidated double-wide trailer. He led me inside. An old television played Patton. Sleeping on a recliner in the television light was a heavy set man wearing an American flag tank top, cut-off jeans, and fluffy Scooby Doo slippers.

“That’s my dad. He’s cool. Old school patriot. Reads Louis L’Amour like it’s scripture.”

“I like L’Amour.”

“There’s hope for you yet, then, magic man.”

He led me to his bedroom and tossed a sleeping bag on the floor for me.

“Rest up,” he said.

“If you don’t mind, I’d prefer some answers. I appreciate you saving me and all, but I have no idea who you are or how you hacked into one of the most secure smart phones on planet Earth.”

“All in good time,” he said. “We need to rest. The next stage of the plan is going to be tricky. We’re going to have to fake our deaths.”

“Peachy. It’ll be the third time for me.”

“Sweet, but that’s the easy part.”

“What’s the hard part?”

“We’re going to ether those two men in black dorks that were looking for.”

I slid into the sleeping bag and closed my eyes.

“You ever face a man in black?”

“Nah,” Jack said.

He flashed a smile at me in the light of his smart phone as he crawled into bed.

“First time for everything and all that, though, right?”

Honestly, dear diary?

I like Lord Swagger Jack. I like him a lot.

Written by

I’m not in the Matrix. I AM the Matrix.

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