It was immediately after the Weirdo in the Willows downed the first shot and chased it with a gulp of ale that the door to the Whispering Fox flew open. The professor of psychology from the university of the town was standing there with a tormented look on his face, the gray weather booming behind him. “I found you!” he cried out, and he closed his umbrella and stepped inside to the center of the pub. “Good townspeople,” Professor Tongo began, moving around in a slow circle as he looked at them. “I must implore you to heed my attention for I have discovered something far beyond amazing!”
A burly and hairy man in the back stood and raised his mug. “Did you find your wife in bed with another man yet again, professor!?”
The pub roared with taunting laughter.
“No, you fool! I’m talking about a great scientific discovery… And it sits right here among you.” He moved toward the Weirdo in the Willows at the bar. He clamped a hand on his shoulder, looked down at him and smiled. “My good people, our little friend here possesses a great gift to benefit all of mankind, but he has refused to let me help him share it. He’s being selfish.”
Another man in the back stood and cried out, “I’m not surprised… He’s a real dick!”
There was a communal murmur of agreement.
The Weirdo in the Willows hopped off the stool and went to the center of the pub, thick hands animated in the smoky air. “Oh come on now!” he began in a furor. “I’m not a dick! I’m just weird, that’s all. There’s nothing wrong with being weird!”
A rotund woman in muddy pink and with a barrelful of intelligent breasts stepped out of the crowd. “He’s weird all right. I heard Farmer Brown caught him in one of his fields having his way with a cantaloupe. A cantaloupe!”
The stewing crowd groaned with disgust.
“It was an experiment!” the Weirdo in the Willows screamed out. “I once read somewhere that the interior of a cantaloupe closely resembles the feeling of being inside a real woman. I was merely curious for the sake of science. It was research!”
The rotund woman with intelligent breasts scoffed. “Weren’t no experiment or research. You were lonely and horny as a toad because no real woman would ever lie down with a weirdo such as yourself.”
The crowd cheered and laughed. Then the professor intervened. “Please, please, everyone! Settle down. This is not the time for mockery. I’m telling you; he has a great gift. I have seen it myself this very day!”
A handsome ranger of the hills and hollows stepped out of a dark corner smoking a curved pipe. He spoke in a soft yet stern voice. “What does this so-called gift have to do with any of us?” he wanted to know. “What do I get out of it? If it were up to me, this weirdo would be banished to the furthest reaches of the world forever and never be allowed to return.”
Another man with a hoarse voice and crazy gray hair shot up from the comfort of a cushioned seat. “He’s right. I say we escort this perverted weirdo out of town tonight!”
“Tonight!” the crowd repeated in unison. And then there was a great howling and roaring and the stamping of feet in heavy boots and shoes.
The professor was determined to sway them his way and climbed atop of the bar and shouted out, “Quiet!”
The noise retreated. “Let me show you what he can do,” Professor Tongo begged them. “I promise, you will all be amazed, astounded, blown away… Please, show them what you had shown me in the forest.”
“And if I refuse?” the Weirdo in the Willows said.
“Then you will have surely disappointed all of mankind,” the professor answered. “No one can live with that heavy of a burden, my friend.”
The Weirdo in the Willows thought about it for a moment. “All right,” he said, and the crowd stepped back and formed a circle around him as he moved closer to the center of the pub. He sighed and reached up to remove his red hat with the limp point.
The crowd gasped when they saw what was revealed to them. “He’s some sort of a wizard!” someone cried out.
The professor addressed them. “He’s not a wizard. I’ve concluded that his mind must be some sort of a portal connected to the entire universe.” He looked at them as he spoke like he would in a lecture hall. “I was being foolish in my search for the brain of the Earth when this fellow right here was in possession of the brain of the universe, the brain of all time, past and present and even the future.”
“It looks like he’s got a crystal ball on top of his head,” someone said. “He’s no wizard. He’s some sort of a warlock! We need to string him up and burn him!”
The crowd roared.
“No!” the professor screamed. “He’s a misunderstood enigma. His mind is sublime.”
“But what does it do?” a young woman called out. “What’s so wonderful about it?”
The professor jumped down from atop the bar and instructed her. “Please, miss. Step over here. I want you to look into the dome, look into his mind, slip deeply into forever and beyond and I assure you, you will be more than amazed.”
The woman was skeptical as she moved closer to the Weirdo in the Willows. She shielded her big eyes as she stood over him and looked down into the glowing half orb protruding from his head. “It’s so bright,” she said.
“It won’t hurt you,” the professor reassured her. “It’s perfectly safe.”
She peered closer into the flickering brain. And then closer still until her face was nearly touching it. She stayed like that for several minutes while the silenced crowd around her looked on in wonder.
Then the young woman yelped and suddenly popped up and stumbled back. “Oh my god!” she screamed.
“Yes! Yes! What is it you saw? You saw God!?” the professor demanded to know.
“That little weirdo indecently touched me!” the young woman said. “I felt his fat little hand on my privates! This is all just a sick charade for a quick feel. It’s insulting and despicable!”
“That’s it!” someone screamed from the gallery. “Let’s get him!”
The angry crowd went wild as they closed in on the Weirdo in the Willows, but he was shifty and quick and dropped to the floor and crawled through the chaotic tangle of legs toward the front door and out of The Whistling Fox. Once in the free of the crisp air, he got to his feet, jumped up with legs already spinning and he shot off into the coming darkness like a mystical and Funkadelic bullet.
It was after, back inside the electrified and simmering snug of The Whistling Fox, that the young woman who was groped by the Weirdo in the Willows moved toward Professor Tongo, sneering, and wagging an accusing finger. “This is all your fault,” she seethed. “You’re the one who brought this weirdo unto us and falsely touted him as some miracle of the universe. I was nearly raped because of you!”
“No. No. It’s not my fault,” the professor pleaded as he too retreated toward the door. “I was deceived as well. I’m a victim just as you are.”
“You’re no victim,” the young woman said. “You’re a charlatan!”
The crowd, now realizing that the Weirdo in the Willows had somehow escaped, directed their anger toward the professor, led on by the young woman who had been so deceptively touched between the legs by a little man who looked like a gnome, a little man who had devised his day of wicked trickery with exact precision… And he seemingly got away with it.
The hotheaded mob chased the professor of psychology out of the pub and into the cold, wet streets, lamplights casting glossy glows of muted blue and gold upon the scape. They chased him for a very long way, eventually out of the town and into the country toward the shore of the cold sea. In the growing darkness, the professor had not realized he was leading them to the edge of a very high cliff that looked down on the crashing waters far below. He suddenly teetered on the edge, barely catching his breath when he saw the blossom of their communal rage bloom larger, glowing with torchlight and coming ever closer.
Too exhausted to run any further, the professor made the daring choice of slipping over the edge of the cliff and clutching precariously to a jut of rock. He clung there for dear life in the wind, the cold, and the uncertainty. He waited. He could hear their growling roars coming closer. He waited and waited more. And then there they were suddenly above him like blue shadows, coming over the cliff and tumbling past him in a shower of terrified screams. The dynamic energy of their clustered rush bred a force of perpetual motion so strong that it made it impossible for them to stop or even slow down. They kept flying over the edge, one by one, or two by two, or even big clumps of three, four, five, or six.
The professor looked down in horror as the bodies soared to certain death below him. Some of the bodies hit the jagged rocks, others the swallowing waters. One by one the screams were silenced with a muffled thud or splash until there were no longer any screams to hear at all.
The professor was beginning to slip from the rock and part of him wanted to just let go and meet his fate with the others at the bottom of the great cliff. But another part of him agreed to hang on, to work his way back up and over the edge to save himself. And this is what he did, albeit with great struggle. When one of his hands finally clawed the edge, that is when the two strong hands of another took hold of his arm and pulled him to safety.
The professor panted and wept into the earth pressed against his cold, wet face. He then turned his eyes upward and there he saw in the glow of the illuminated half orb nestled in his skull, the grinning face of the Weirdo in the Willows. The professor smiled at first, and then he laughed out loud. “You perverted little shit! You nearly got me killed.”
The Weirdo in the Willows smirked and gestured with his hands. “But here you are to tell the tale, professor. I guess that makes me a hero… Not a weirdo.”
Professor Tongo got to his knees and then stood with a groan. “I suppose you’re right. Thank you. But how did you know where I even was? And why did you even come to my aid?”
“I see things. I know things. I feel things. I also pay very close attention to the details of the world… Even when I get accused of being a weirdo. And though it seems I do not possess a heart, I in fact do, kind sir.”
They started walking together, away from the cliff’s deadly edge and toward the small glow of the town in the distance.
“I’m sorry I tried to exploit you… And I promise I won’t call you a weirdo anymore,” Professor Tongo said.
“On one condition.”
“And what’s that?”
“I know there’s more to that glowing brain of yours than you’re letting on, my little friend. I want you to come work with me at the university.”
“Like an associate?”
“More like an intern,” the professor said with a gentle laugh.
The Weirdo in the Willows sighed and then finally agreed. “Okay. I’ll do it. I desperately need a change in my life anyways. All these magical potions are turning me into a weirdo.”
They both laughed at that.
“Good,” the professor said, and he reached down and gently patted the little gnome-like man on the back in a gesture of friendship. Then he half smiled with a curious thought. “So… What was that thing about cantaloupe?”
You can read the previous part of this story HERE, on cerealaftersex.com.