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Addams and Avon

By Ellynne G
Page 2 of 2

Part Three: New Beginnings

       Vila stared at the beer can, trying to get it to move. The man in the movie made it look so *easy.* Concentrate on the object and move it. Didn't matter if it's a can, a penny, or the keys on one of those extremely old-fashioned computer terminals that had been so popular during the retro phase a few years ago. Just concentrate and it would move.

      He looked up from the bar to the TV screen. They were showing the - what was it called again? Oh, yes, the music video that went with the movie. Ah, the pottery scene. Strange, he'd never thought of pottery that way while he was alive. Amazing the clay wasn't all over the place, really. Oh, well, he'd never known any potters like that either.

      Behind him, he heard a drunken voice treble weakly, "I'm getting married in the morning..."

      Vila finally tore his attention away from the beer can. "Avon? How are you doing?"

      Avon looked up from his drink and regarded Vila blearily. "Am I still alive?"

      "Yes."

      "Then I'm awful." Avon turned back to his glass, picked it up, then realized it was empty. He stared at it in confusion, obviously having no idea how it got that way. Eventually, he picked up the bottle standing beside it and tried to pour himself another one, but the bottle was empty too. "Hey, Sam," he called to the bartender, "Fill it again, Sam." Then he laughed as if he'd made a joke.

      The bartender turned. Vila seriously doubted his name was Sam. The whole bar was supposed to be a recreation of a famous one from sometime back in the dark ages. Everyone who worked there wore ridiculous clothes, hairstyles, and name tags identifying them with the legendary staff of the original. Like the television set, it was all supposed to be period authentic.

      "I thought you hated tacky theme bars," Vila had said when Avon proposed coming here.

      "I do," Avon said, a cold, empty light in his eye that Vila had only seen once or twice before - like when Avon had just sort of accidentally killed a best friend and really didn't mind if he picked a fight with twenty armed men who knew they would collect the same bounty on him dead that they would for bringing him in alive, those sort of times.

      "What about that other bar down the street?" he'd suggested.

      "Hobson's place?" Avon said. "No, besides, he knows too much."

      Vila didn't follow that, especially since Hobson always seemed to have his nose in a paper - when he wasn't running in and out the door on all those 'errands' he seemed to suddenly remember, but Vila decided to humor Avon, mostly because 'humoring him' always sounded better than 'giving up'.

      The bartender brought over another bottle before going off to have one of his regular fights with 'Dianne' - another bit of period color - leaving Avon to contemplate the liquor drearily.

      "Avon," Vila said, "You've got to snap out of this."

      Avon snorted something undecipherable.

      "I mean, Cally's a nice girl. It's not as if -"

      Avon groaned.

      "Well, it's not as if she's *dead.* I mean, not *really* dead. I mean, not like, well, you know. I think it could be worse."

      "Dead. Alive. It doesn't matter." Avon said. He began to sing again, "I'm getting married in the morning/ Ding dong the bells are gonna - " He stumbled. "Going to - the bells will - Ding dong the witch is dead/ Which old witch? The wicked -"

      "Look, Avon," Vila interrupted, "You've got to stop this. If you don't want to go through with it, then don't."

      Avon looked up, struggling to focus on him. "Vila," he said irritably, "You are standing in my drink."

      And he was, too. "Sorry," Vila said, drifting out of the bar, "I'm still getting the hang of this ghost stuff. Being dead's not as easy as it looks."

      Avon shrugged, "Want to bet? Anyway, no one says no to my mother."

      "How hard can it be? You've said no lots of times, especially to Blake. Are you telling me she's worse than he was?"

      "'I carried you for nine months,' 'I still have stretch marks,'" Avon mimicked, "Did Blake ever blame me for stretch marks? 'I don't care if it revolutionizes physics, you shouldn't have built it in your father's torture chamber. That rack will never work the same again.' You think Blake even cared about torture chambers? Oh, and let's not forget, 'I could have traded you in, you know. Your brother never would have done this.' Like everybody doesn't have a few accidents. And, I don't care what she says, the radiation level didn't have anything to do with what happened to her souffle."

      "You're right, no one could ignore radiation levels like Blake, especially when we were the ones who had to go in. Reminds me, I haven't checked for tumors for a while..."

      "You're dead, Vila. You don't have to worry about tumors."

      "Oh, that's right. I keep forgetting."

      Avon snorted, "You don't have to worry about tumors, you don't have to worry about my mother, you don't have to worry about getting married..."

      "Please, Avon, don't start singing again."

      "Why not?" Avon said, finally opening the bottle and pouring it into his glass. "This is a party, Vila. Tomorrow's the big day." Morosely, he picked up the glass and swallowed it in one go. Avon blinked. "Oh, boy, that's awful." Then, he poured himself another glass. He began to warble, "I'll go where the goblins go, below, below, below. Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to church we go - No, that's not right." He tried to think of the right line, gave up, and picked up his drink.

      Before he could swallow it, the bar door flew open. A desperate looking man ran in. "Somebody, help me!" he yelled, "I need to get out of here!"

      Avon turned around and squinted at him. "You need to get out? The door's that way." he said, pointing inaccurately.

      The man ignored him, concentrating on the sober ones. "Is there a back door out of here? Please, I need some help!"

      "Why should I help you?" Avon asked slushily, "You're not Blake."

      That got the man's attention. "You knew Blake? I was with the resistance. The Federation's after me. Please, if there's anything you can do -"

      Something cold and completely in control of its faculties lit in the back of Avon's eyes. "The Federation?"

      "I escaped - they'll send me out on a prison ship - please - I need help -"

      "You already said that," Avon commented. He reached into his pocket, pulling out a small medicine bottle. "Sobriety Pills" was scribbled across the label in Avon's mother's distinctive hand. Oh. He thought he'd seen her insisting Avon take something with him, he just hadn't known what. Vila supposed Avon had a point about her being bossy.

      Avon swallowed a couple. The sudden, stone cold intensity of his gaze made the newcomer stumble back a couple steps as if he'd been hit, but Avon wasn't letting him go. "What do they want you for?"

      The man opened his mouth, either to explain or stutter, Vila wasn't sure.

      "Never mind," Avon said, "there isn't enough time." He pulled out a portable computer, grabbed the man's hand and forced it into the I.D. reader. He scanned the readout.

      "Slandering government officials, holding an unauthorized rally, and five unpaid parking tickets. This will only take a moment."

      When the Federation guards arrived a few seconds later, Avon was quickly identified as the escaped criminal. A few hours later, they were in the brig of a prison ship. Avon sat back and relaxed. The only woman within lightyears was another prisoner, a blond smuggler who already hated him. He probably didn't think life could get any better, Vila reflected as he hovered in the vicinity,

      Then a note was unobtrusively handed to him by one of the other prisoners. Avon read it then put it away in his pocket. Curious, Vila concentrated. He concentrated *hard.*

      And the note came up just enough for him to read it.

      "Uncle Cur,

      Grandmother is very angry, but I told her you were last seen heading towards Hobson's Bar. She hasn't started looking in the right direction yet. She says to tell you, 'You can run but you can't hide,' which is what she always says when you do this.

      Be more careful who you shoot this time.

      Love, Wednesday"

      Vila discretely slipped the note back. Avon just smiled.


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