I give his bit to you now:
Thursday, 8:27am. The Wise Owl Cafe, Walter Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
I like this library. It’s really just a science and law library. Not much in the way of real books. But it does go down into several layers of stacks. And there is a door, marked “Staff Only” that leads to the occult section. Between that and the Rare Books Room, there’s some actual value to this place book wise. But more importantly, it has a cafe. A place for coffee. And for cookies.
Right now, I have both. I’m not eating or drinking though. I’m a little bit in shock.
You see, I sat down to enjoy my cookie and drink my coffee. I was all set to do that. Then this guy sat down across from me. He’s got a little goatee that curls up at the bottom, is wearing glasses that are just a pair of sqaure like lenses connected by wire somehow sitting on his nose, and is wearing a smoking jacket, pajama pants, and slippers. His hands are in fingerless gloves that look both like they are hand knit and like they’ve seen better days.
That’s not the weirdest part. The weirdest part is what happens when he sits down.
“How goes the search, Sammy old boy?”
“What? Who are you?”
He laughs. It’s a friendly laugh, but there’s some weight to it. Some age. “Who am I? Come now, you must be joking.” Then he pulls out a pipe.
Wait. No. He pulls out the pipe.
“Are you the seller?”
He laughs again. “I have been called many things over the years, dear boy. Sorcerer. Charlatan. Devilishly handsome.” Here he pauses and gives me a sideways smile. I swear his tooth twinkles. “Magician, The worst accountant in history,” now he’s counting off names on his fingers. “A peasant, A congressman, even called god by a fair number of women.” He winks at me. “But never have I been called ‘the seller.’” He scratches his chin. “Perhaps I’ll add it to the list. Sounds better than Atomic Jackass. Rolls off the tongue quite a bit better.”
I’m still unsure what to say. “Okay. So you’re not the seller. How did you get the pipe?”
“Oh this old thing?” He asks, tamping down something that I’m pretty sure is not tobacco. “Why I got it from you, Samuel Wellington Mcgarnigal Trellis Beuford Archer.”
“That’s not my name.”
“I know. But you never told me your middle names, so a man is forced to guess, isn’t he?” He snickers a bit and puts the pipe in his mouth. Unlit.
“Who are you?”
“Shall I go through the list again?”
I shake my head. “Just the name, please.”
“I am Sir Walter Madrass Zarathustra Mohamed Billy-Bob Fucia Starflower Reginald.” He chuckles again. “Just call me Sir Reginald please, Sam.”
“How do you know who I am?”
“I must say, you look quite good for a man recently deceased.” He doesn’t seem to be paying all that much attention to me.
There’s a coin flipping down the fingers of one of his hands. It appears to be gold on the first side, silver on the second, and black on the third. Looks to be a quarter.
“When did I give you that pipe?”
“A while ago, I’m quite sure. Long before you died.”
“I died? I don’t remember that.”
“Indeed. Say, is Stacy in there? Hello Stacy.” He waves at me, bending down a little bit to get a look into my eyes.
You know this guy?
I don’t think so. Do you?
“Of course you know me,” Sir Reginald says. “We have been friends for quite some time.”
“I’m glad to hear we’re friends,” I say, “But I’ve never met you before.”
“Have you not?” He sits back and looks a bit put off. Then he reaches into a pocket of his smoking jacket and pulls out a pocket watch that would barely fit in my hand. He flips it open. “I see,” he says, taking the pipe out of his mouth and biting his lower lip. “It appears I am quite a bit too early. Well, no matter.” He closes the watch. The pipe is gone. I didn’t see where it went.
“What are you talking about?”
He takes a sip of my coffee. “You have terrible taste,” he says, putting it down with a look of disgust on his face. “Remind me to fix you a good cup of tea when we meet.” He scratches his chin, where mutton chops seem to be slowly sneaking up on his goatee. “I think number eleven will do you best.”
“Um. Sir Reginald?”
He stops and looks at me with his full attention. His eyes are different colors. Not from each other. “Yes Sam?”
“Who are you, and what’s going on?”
He nods. “This is why I hate time travel,” he says. “Aside from the whole killing doppelgangers and forcing Hitler to take sick days thing. It’s so imprecise. Personally, I blame the butterflies.”
He chuckles again and stands up. “Let’s mess with the space time continuum one last time, shall we old friend?” He takes a piece of paper from under his hat—which I just notice he’s wearing—and pulls a golf pencil out from the inside of his knit gloves. He dabs the pencil on his tongue and writes something on the paper. Then he folds it up.
“When you’re finished doing whatever it is you’re doing,” he says. “Come and drop by. We’ll not have met yet, so it will be fun for all around.” He walks towards the door, then turns towards me one last time.
“Oh, and Sam? Do be sure not to show up before noon. I believe I had a rather pressing appointment with the apocalypse this morning. Beautiful day.” He tips his hat towards me. “My best to Stacy,” he says. Then he walks around the corner.
I suppose I could have followed him. But I still don’t know what just happened. So maybe it’s better if I don’t.
That was fucking weird, Stacy says, Even for us.
And no, that's not Reginald's Real Name. :)