At 7AM Bartleby Willard turned himself into a seagull and flew from the Southern shore of Manhattan to the North shore of Staten Island.
At 7:30AM Bartleby Willard floated with the Staten Island Ferry out of Staten Island, direction Manhattan.
At 8AM Bartelby Willard arrived at the bottom of Manhattan and disembarked from the ferry.
At 9:05AM Bartleby Willard sat down at his desk in the common office (for commoners) of Wandering Albatross Press in the WAP Building in Somewhere Sometime Wallstreet.
Alors, il ya soixante-cinq minutes dont nous ne pouvons pas tenir compte.
“Bartleby, you’re late!” cries Tun Whistletown from his red-velvet and purple-sage office.
“Bartleby, you’re late!” bellows Arch Skullvalley from his zebra-hide and laquered-bamboo office.
“Hey Bartleby!” says Amble Whistletown from the desk directly across from Bartleby’s.
But you, you know why I’m here.
I’m not here to exchange pleasantries with you.
I’m here to twist your head until your neck breaks with a sharp sudden, “Crack!”
I’m here to toss your corpse to one side, the top of your jangled jutting backbone gouging a mean hole into the side of your neck.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t get away with it.
I’m here to tell you that year after biding year is not so long — not when you have a goal.
Tun and Arch, in accidental or arranged uniform stride tall and immortal simultaneously and with a shared rolling rhythm out of their side-by-side mega-suite offices with panoramic views of the Hudson, the East River, the NYC Harbor, and all of TimeSpace.
I’m here to tell you that you’re going down.
“Bartleby,” one of them begins.
“We’ve got an assignment for you!”, the other concludes.
It seems that neither Thundration Whistletown nor Archangelbert Skullvalley, despite a literal eternity of poking around into the question, have ever made much progress with the question of
What is it?
Where does it come from?
What’s wrong with it?
What’s to be done against it?
They just don’t know.
For all they’re lolling around in eternity.
They got not idea.
And so they pass it off to Bartleby Willard, self-told story and self-made daydream.
But what does he know?
I was there. I was made to understand where I stood, what I was worth, how I fit into the grand scheme of things.
But now I see.
That this kind of tawdry, salty, fat and boring evil.
Well, it ain’t no kind of thing.
The real evil is much worse.
So never mind.
Go in peace.
Leave me alone while I focus on the real question.
How do we stop the blood from running everywhere?
They should put Bartleby Willard on it.
He’s a tenacious, a driven, an imaginative, an indefatigable reporter.
He’s sure to get to the bottom of things.
And that’s exactly what they did.
They assigned infinitely resourceful newsman Bartleby Willard and his loyal editor Amble Whistletown the story of Forever.
Read all about it!
Get it here first!
What is Evil?
Where does it come from?
What is wrong with it?
What’s to be done about it?
Read it here first!
A SAWB exclusive!
Bartleby shrugs his thin shoulders in a thin red cardigan.
Amble sways from side to side, head side-nodding on the way to and fro, to music in his wrap-around headphones. In his greens and off-whites thick-cotton metal-snap-button plaid shirt.
This is the big one, boys! Succeed here and no one can stop you because you live forever in the immortal fame of mortals. Fail here and you go the way of the flesh, like the rest. Succeed here and no one goes that way anymore, and this solution is retroactive so even those confused hairy primate-rodents with bushy side-swaying tails that we once were — even they regain their innocence, even their panicked conflicts, with sharp little canines bared turn soft and gentle, go weak and never-mind.
I know who you are. I can open your front door. I can shove open the flimsy hollow-core door painted to look like a solid piece of real earth wood. I can toss a spear through your flabby, wrinkled, wisp-hairy chest.
But you know what?
I step aside.
I let you die of years of self-indulgence.
I let you die in the arms of those who still believe in you.
I don’t even tell them they are wrong.
I don’t even tell them who you are.
I don’t even take them back to the squishy places you’ve inhabited.
Because you are small-time evil.
And we’ve got an assignment.