[DEFEAT. is Rendar Frankenstein's truest attempt at fiction. Presented in weekly episodes, the novella tells the tale of Daryl Millar - a hero who dies at the intersection of pop culture, science-fiction, war epic, and fantasy]
The first to go in, Riff found himself wondering why Ray Dean had called her the Woman in Gray Robes. The moniker wasn’t inaccurate. But he thought a far more distinguishing title would have been The Lady with the Eyepatch. He just couldn’t take his eyes off that damn circle of black swatch.
One may be inclined to think that strapping an eyepatch on a beautiful face would be like smearing shit on a painting. But in this candlelit room, the smoke of incense and cigarettes swirling about, it was more akin to adding the cherry to an ice cream sundae.
Necessary to legitimize the entire experience.
Sitting on a small beanbag chair, the fortuneteller waved Riff towards her. “Come, come, child. Sit down with me. You are intrigued by my eye, are you not?”
Riff tacitly nodded as he found his seat.
“Don’t be afraid. I may have a restricted license and Jaws 3D was a waste of time, but I can still see better than most. Much better.”
Rimina flashed a smile, knowing that the teenager before her was opening up enough for divinations. “Lean in,” her sultry voice commanded, “and I will free your mind from the chains of the flesh. The shackles of the material. The handcuffs of the temporal. Come with me.”
Rimina took an extended drag from her cigarette. Held it in. Returned the cigarette to an ashtray. And then she took both of Riff’s hands into her own and exhaled…
Guitars. Lots of guitars, being played by an older version of the antihero. Sometimes, the smoke swirled in a direction so that Riff could see himself playing music on stage. Sometimes the stage was small. Sometimes the stage was large. Sometimes there were huge crowds of people watching the shredder demonstrate his craft. Was that Castle Donington? He wasn’t sure. But it sure looked like it. Other times, the bluish carcinogenic wisps danced in revelation of a guitarist playing a true solo — hiding away in some room, under self-imposed isolation with an acoustic guitar. The fingers of the hazy figure flew over the fretboard with a precision and speed that the world’s best surgeons could only dream of. A quick flash — the tombstone – an enforcer of the law – the father — the tyrant — dead — gone – thankfully — not missed. A return to the guitar, now slung over the shoulder. The guitarist iseen walking on the road. A future of some uncertainty… and some certainty. Hidden hardships in store, no doubt, but with the guarantee of a face pained chiefly by its grin of accomplishment.
“Heed my words — this is but one of the many, a mere sliver of a broken shard from the entire mirror of existence, whose inward reflections of itself far outnumber the outward. This fate has been neither determined nor surrendered. If it pleases you, think of it with cautious optimism. If it displeases you, change yourself so that you may best fit within this world.”