Chris Knapp was six-foot-two, which is pretty tall, really, but he seemed taller. Maybe he levitated then. We called him “Zeus” for he birthed designs and goddesses from his golden-locked noggin on a semi-regular basis. It’s true, or else it seemed true, which is nearly as good.
On Friday nights, Zeus would hold court at his parents’ house, and we’d gather ‘round drunk and starry-eyed like, well… what’s the word? Acolytes, maybe. Devotees. Young flesh everywhere. We were drawn to him!
But when I saw him last month, he was ordinary. A man. He was just like me, or maybe less. Did this guy even remember his former divinity? Did he remember 1990? I don’t know.
It was disappointing.
I looked for Nicky but when I found him, where the wonder had been, there were guns and conservative memes. No light lived there. And Richard – beautiful, angelic Richard with the violet skin, I swear he was like that once – looking at him now, you wouldn’t know.
Where does charisma go? I wondered. One only meets so many people who glow in a life, the statistics weigh against it. My glowers had all gone dim.
Gerber was my last chance.
I tracked him down to a cul-de-sac house, I won’t bore you with the details. The street was boring. The yard was boring. The house was nondescript. But when the door opened, that all changed, you see. I was pulled within on emerald waves. It was hot and it smelled like lions.
Gerber sat on a peaked gold throne and every time he moved, all that was metal flew at his hands.
He beat on drums and the people surged around him and he might have had wings. “This is unnatural,” I said and it was. Dark shadows lurked at the top of the stairs.
He was like a prism. Like precious stones. I said, “What have you done? What did you do with the others’ light?”
Gerber said, “They weren’t using it.” Then the people – there were two dozen of them, I guess – all bowed to him and I knew I’d have to kill him and take back the light. Chris Knapp deserved it. Nicky and Richard deserved it. Hell, I deserved it.
But before I killed him, I had another question because I always have another question. “But… where did you get it all from? This is more than you and Chris and Richard and Nicky. This is more!”
Gerber laughed and it was Asif’s laugh through Veva’s teeth and he said, “Lots of old celebrities. I drained them dry.”
He said, “To be honest, it was mostly Bono and Johnny Depp.”
Bono and Johnny Depp, I thought. Yeah. Yeah, that made a lot of sense.