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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

Barbed Wire Divider

Prologue Infinity

It was a busy night at the Olive Garden. Newell sat at his usual table in the corner munching on his fourth helping of bread sticks and salad. A waitress, who suspiciously looked a lot like Kayla, dropped a hot plate overflowing with pasta in front of Newell.

"Thanks. Can I have some more Coke?"

"Sure. Would you like cheese on your pasta?"

"Ummm, ok. But just a little."

The waitress proceeded to turn the crank on her portable cheese grinder and dumped a small helping of Romano on top of the dish of pasta.

"I will be right back with your refill of Coke," she said as she took off to the kitchen.

Newell was in a happy mood. While the last five years had been fairly quiet ones, his long term plots had all come to fruition. The mess with the Crystal Egg of Ogg worked out better than he expected, the political developments all across Ataniel were going along nicely and, as he planned, the Mithril Dagger Inn was looking to expand into a franchise.

In the middle of his musing and a mouthful of pasta a cold glass of Coke was dropped in front of him.

"How is everything?" the perky waitress asked.

Newell quickly gulped down the moth full of pasta. He always wondered why waiters and waitresses always asked you something when your mouth was full. Maybe it was one of those cosmic truths that would drive someone mad if they found it out.

"Fine. Everything is fine. While you are here, can I have the check?"

"No dessert?"

"Tempting, but no. I am in a bit of a rush."

"Ok, I will bring it right out."

The waitress disappeared into the back rooms of the restaurant to summon forth the bill, as Newell greedily sucked half of his Coke through a straw. He then proceeded to finish off his plate of pasta and another bread stick.

The waitress reappeared beside him with a small billfold and a chocolate mint.

"Here is your check. I will take it up when you are ready," she said as she placed the folder containing the bill and the mint on the table.

Newell dismissed her with a nonchalant grunt. After she left he opened the folder to look at the bill. Suddenly Newell experienced a feeling he was not used to, surprise. Along with the bill was a small black envelope with the name "Newell" written in silver ink on its surface. Curious, he opened the envelope and read its contents:

"You are Invited to a Reunion of Old Victims.
Two days from now, the Twenty-Second of Maye
at exactly Nine of the Clock, Post Meridian
at the Mithril Dagger Inn.
Be Not Late."

"How curious," he muttered under his breath. "This deserves some of my personal attention," Newell thought as he dropped a ten dollar bill on the table.

Getting up from his seat and walking out the door Newell mused, "Yes, my personal attention. After all, I could use some fun."

Barbed Wire Divider

Right back at you, Doug!

(Jeff Hersh)

'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

Modern Indian art * Cherokee nation * Buckskin pants * Chippewa nature center * Native American