The Snake's Eye

From the Story Arc: The Wayward Spiral

Previous Story in the Arc: Striking Sparks by Sturmfront (Tuesday, June 21, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Patience by Sturmfront (Tuesday, July 19, 2005)

(posted Sunday, July 03, 2005)

"Someone particular? Never did take you for the ladies' man, but seemingly you are. Every time you come in here, some girl is involved it'd seem." There was no need to hide the grin. The tone of Little Pat's voice was telltale.

The first response he got to that was a mere grunt. "I knew how you would react..."

"Jealous?" Another stare from Pat. Sheer disbelief. Was that a joke he had just heard? A pointed remark at the very least.

"You are trying to distract from the topic..." Pat paused. "You know what? You've come in here for almost a year now and I got no idea what you're called."

"Stur..." His turn to pause now. "Wolfgang. Wolf will be alright."

"Nice to finally actually get to meet you, Wolf. Now, back to the actual story. What about the girl?" Pat would not let him get away this time, it seemed.

There was an awkward moment of silence, then Wolf finally relented with a shrug. "Hard to tell." It was as honest an answer as he could get.

"I kind of look up to her, and at the same time I pity her. She is stuck in a similar situation as I am, just different. It is rather silly, really. Feels like looking into a mirror, only that she is less reasonable than I am. But then she is a woman." This brief summary really told everything and nothing. It was sufficient -if confused- for Sturmfront, but Little Pat probably only understood half of it. If that.

"She is my friend. Something I have very few of. Admittedly, that is because I chose it so and nobody else's fault. But for whatever reason, she made an effort to break through to me and she did..." At this point it was time for the next cigarette, and a solid sip from the beer, before it grew warm or evaporated or so. Another shrug later, Wolf continued.

"So now I am kind of stuck with her. The real problem is that I cannot help her as easily as she could help me, because, well... her problems are physical, and will require a physical solution. Which kind of brings me back to where I began."

More silence, from both men this time. Then Pat just shook his head, a mixture of amazement and amusement showing on his face.

"To they breed you to be rocks over there in Germany, or is that just you?" Pat's tone of voice was good-natured, but of course, Sturmfront would be offended anyways.

"Discipline, if that is what you mean, is paramount when faced with a challenging situation. One cannot simply give in to whatever urges come up." Matter-of-fact, to the point, and blunt. You could take the German out of Germany, but that was about it.

"Urges?" He spoke and immediately turned around, drawing more drinks, though no-one inside the bar had ordered any.

"Not those kinds of urges. Trust me on that, Pat. If that was what I needed, I am sure I could find me a groupie... or three..." Wolf began to hum a soft tune, then told Pat its name: "Marry the Sea. I was a sailor. Well, a seaman by your terms. Navy. But I already told you about that..."

At least Little Pat had seemingly forgotten about his original issue about rocks. Instead he kept pestering Wolfgang about his blue-skinned friend, though the answers would frustrate him time and time again.

As the night passed on, one of regular patrons even mustered the courage to ask Wolf over to join their game of poker. Unfortunately, it turned out that the German's face might as well have been chiseled from stone. When he could not resist pointing out that he never bluffed, he had the whole table near tears, but at least he had stories to share, of the sea and the Navy, and so they did not seem to mind too much.

It would be his best night in years. Maybe for years to come.