Wil is still visiting Abudali. He's decided to leave, thinking that there are more urgent, pressing matters to deal with. He's really talked himself out of staying. Could it be fear keeping him from exploring his mind with Abudali?
Wil's announcement that he was leaving fell on deaf ears. Abudali ignored what he said and smiled.
"I'm really going," Wil told him. "I have things to do. I have a schedule to keep."
"Of course you do. Go then, I won't keep you." Instead of arguing, Abu was giving him the brush off.
"Don't you want me to? I thought for sure you'd try to make me stay."
"How could an old, feeble man like me make a strong, virile man like you do something he doesn't want? Go if that will make you happy. Don't find out the answers to your burning questions. Go!" He shoved Wil toward the door, nearly knocking him back a step.
"All right, Abu. You win."
"Excuse me? You wanted to go five seconds ago."
"But maybe you're right. I should stay and find out what they did to me."
"Now he acts like he's doing me a favor! You don't have the dedication! One minute you're leaving, the next you want to stay. Which is it?"
"May I stay, Abu?" Wil asked him, much subdued.
"Since you ask, then yes. But you have to agree to do what I tell you, even if you think it's silly."
"Good. We begin in an hour. Now is a time for eating."
"You're not going to feed me anything that gives me the shits for over two hours, are you?"
"Or makes me puke, or anything like that?"
"Of course not. Whatever gave you that idea? Really, Wil, you're entirely too paranoid."
"I wonder," Wil mumbled as he ate and drank sparingly.
Abu pressed another cup of tea on him. It wasn't until a few minutes later that Wil realized it had been a bad idea to take the other cup of tea.
"What did you put in that?"
"I might have added a little Dimboloo Root."
"What? Are you trying to kill me?"
Dimboloo Root was another highly toxic weed that had mind expanding capabilities. In the wrong dosage, it was lethal. Even his body would have trouble metabolizing it.
"You said you wouldn't argue with me," Abu told him as his ears wiggled and his nose exploded into purple flowers.
"I know what I said," Wil struggled to stand. "But that was before my mouth went to sleep and my knees urinated pink frogs. What the hell is in that stuff? My fingers. Look at my fingers, Abu! They won't work like this. How can I hold a guitar pick and strum the monkey?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Wil."
Abu's ears now looked like pontoons and his nose hair had grown at an alarming rate. It hung down to his armpits.
"You can't strum the monkey, you have to pluck it."
"Right." Wil sat heavily, knowing something wasn't right, but not sure what it was. "Why do my eyes feel like they're melting into my kneecaps?"
"It's the Dimboloo. You'll be fine soon."
"Make my pants stop burning, will you? I can't seem to put it out."
"Certainly, my son." Abu patted Wil absently, spreading the flames instead of putting them out.
Wil wasn't worried anymore because a flock of birds hovered over him with buckets. "That's better. The ducks put it out. What are we doing?"
"Listen to me, Wil. I'm going to go into your mind now. You mustn't fight me. The Dimboloo will help you relax. I don't want you to fight me. Don't attack unless I tell you to. But I'm going to give you a special code word. If I say the word barnacle you will attack whatever target I give you. If you don't hear barnacle you will not attack. Is that clear?"
"Yes. You'll say barnacle. Is that before or after I eat the ice cream?"
"Forget the ice cream."
"Then how about the ducks."
"Piss on the ducks. It puts the fire out."
The conversation would have gone on like that awhile longer, but Wil felt as if someone had driven a steel spike in his hand. He knew how that felt, because someone had done that to him once. He didn't like it much then either.
An old lady sat in a rocking chair wearing a brown dress and a tan shawl. She had really long ears and sharp teeth.
"Abu, if that's your wife. . . . Whoa!"
"Don't be ridiculous, Wil. I have no wife."
"I do, don't I?" Wil tried to put on a blue flowered hat, but it melted. "Is that her?" He shuddered. "I've got sick taste, man. She could be my grandmother."
"Wil, focus! You're letting your mind wander. Enough of that!"
He slapped Wil sharply across the cheek. Wil's head snapped sharply back and his eyes crossed. When he refocused, he was able to get a grip on what he was seeing. No, the walls weren't melting into puddles of cotton candy. A camel wasn't passing through the eye of a needle and his fingernails were not sixty-two inches long. However, he did feel and see Abu walking slowly through his mind, exploring.