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The Template
Volume 2, Part Three

Wandering. Stumbling. Laughing.

"Hey there, haven't seen you in a few months. What've you been up to, Mr. President?"

Stopping. Looking. Looking. Thiiiiiiiiiinking. "Oh. Oh yes. Let's see. Day one, built a sundial. Day two, realized I was still wearing my watch. Day three, thought to set my watch to local time from the sundial. Also hunted. Skinned, tanned. Soon the new clothes and backpack. Verrrrrrry crude. Then the still."

"Yes, I can see that."

"Portable it wasn't, but soon learned to make quick ones, worthy of abandoning just whenever, you know? And exploring, moving on. Whatever. I wanted to say something to you. What was it now?" Thinking hurts. But it's also funny. Laughing.

Remembering! "Oh yes. It... it um, it must be midnight somewhere on the planet." More laughing. Lots and lots of laughing.

God was silent for just a few moments, then she gave a little laugh and said, "Congratulations. Your first victory! Oddly enough, I had never thought of that. But, that's what keeps the game interesting: my opponents' ability to surprise me, now and then. Thank you. I'd raise a glass to you, but I have none. In fact, I'm afraid I don't even have a bottle. I polished off the slar-eth some time ago. I was thinking of a woman I loved a few universes ago, during one of my mad phases. But that's redundant. To be in love is to be mad. Like a rhombus."

"Come again?"

" A rhombus is... always a square, but a square is not always a rhombus."

"I usually think that: a square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle is not always a square."

"Perhaps that's better. But then you don't get to say 'rhombus,' do you? And I've always liked that word. The point is... one can be mad without being in love, but one can't be in love without being mad. After a fashion. Hmmm."

"What?"

"I've always enjoyed geometry."

"So've I! Have a drink, buddy! On me." Holding out a cask.

God takes it, and drinks, though not without first flinching at the smell. "Hmmm," she says afterward. "Well, the skin's a bit... off... but the drink is... okay, not great. But given the circumstances, far above anything I might've expected. I wish I had your skill in this field."

"Heh. You should, all this time. Damn yer old. You should, you know."

God smiled and said, "I know. Perhaps you'll teach me."

"Maybe. But I think I was mad at you for something. If I was soberer I might could think what it was. Luckily for you I can easily make stills drunk. Luckily for me too else I'd never make one, since the first. I don't think I been sober for long bits of time there. Long time, though less than a blink of your immortal-ass eye. Fuck sobriety sucks. Eternity! I hate you."

"Gosh, you really have done a good job of it, haven't you? Well, I'll teach you something in return, perhaps."

"Stood on the damn device. Didn't tell me nuthin' you din't already, bitch. Immortal, feh!"

God took another swig, and handed back the cask. "Got a name for that stuff?"

"Everywhere."

She looked at him quizzically.

"Everywhere there's fruits, vegetables, grains, whatever. Ain't hard to find. Recipe don't really change, just put in whatever. S'all the same."

"Everywhere," she said quiety. "I like the name. Very nice."

"I always liked it too. Geometry."

"Ah! Something we've in common. We're not so different."

"Let's camp together a bit, pal," said Lucien. "I teach you the stills, you teach me whatever. I don't care, as long as it ain't more Template-shit."

"Of course...."

The Template: The Missing Parts
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All contents of this site David A. Ward