It is I, Tomas. There will always be evil---- That is what he communicated. That is what the Red Paint gentleman 'said.' I heard him in my mind. No, deeper than my mind. I heard him in my soul. And I learned other things as well. His people sailed to our shores in ships much like those of the Vikings, or the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Some mixed with native tribes and some did not. They stayed hidden. The woodland sprites of the New World, if you will. And they claim descent from an even older human line. Their stories detail an ancient lineage wrought from those who witnessed the Ice Age. Formed from a people as old as the moon. Fashioned from those whom 'others' term Neanderthals. Yet the resemblance is tenuous at best. If you saw them pricing sneakers in Target you would never suspect a thing. And if their brow ridges are now more refined and their chins a bit more pronounced, that is only normal. People change. Evolution. Get with the program. But somethings do not change. Certain abilities resist transformation. And that can be a good thing. For there are talents which when lost, can never be reborn. And the Red Paint People never lost the 'thought magic.' They never lost the ability to communicate without words. Not like we do. Not even like the cherubs. These individuals converse in a rich and nuanced manner. And they share other remarkable powers as well. The gentleman predicts the coming of a big show down. Is it an apocalypse? --- I ask. He shrugs. He does not know that term. He does not trouble himself with such things. I ask ----- Is it the end of the world? He smiles and we know what he knows. We know that the world will endure for a baby eternity. We know it is foolish to ask such questions. He knows that there will be a confrontation. On one side stand the forces of good. And on the other side, the forces of evil. It has happened before. And it will happen again. But it will happen soon... on the streets of Philadelphia..... on the streets of The City of Brotherly Love. Then he falls back, or rather his mind does. He closes his eyes. Edith and I sit there for a few moments. And then the woman comes in, the one who looks like world-famous-skier, Peekaboo Street, only thinner. She drapes an intricately woven blanket over the gentleman's body. Then she gestures for us to follow her to the door. We do. The portal silently swings open. We hear the slow, final song of late autumn crickets. She asks if we have learned anything. We nod. She tells us she is sure we will be invited back. We shake hands. She slips each of us a tiny, wrapped tid-bit. We descend the steps and retreat back into the woods. She turns and goes back inside. The heavy door closes. We open our palms to examine our gifts. Edith has a small, wax paper wrapped Tootsie Roll and so do I. I laugh and say --- You want mine? I'm kind of allergic. She smiles and takes it. On the way back 'home' I say prayers for Bob. And maybe some prayers for the rest of us too. God knows what is coming.