ARRIVAL
by Francis H Powell
“Mr. Weisler is coming, Mr. Weisler is coming, MR. WEISLER IS COMING.”

The words seemed to swirl around his head like a rampant tornado, sweeping up his thoughts, amplifying ever louder, devouring him.  

What vexed him more was that he could not connect in any way with either the name, or a face that corresponded with the name.  “Mr. Weisler is
coming” but “who”, “when” and “why” were questions that stood still like vast monuments to his painful confusion. For a man with normally
such a tidy mind, such perplexity tormented him. Maybe this Weisler had crossed some coordinates somewhere in his past and he was coming back
with some determined mission, even with some malicious intent, some kind of recrimination perhaps was his motivation. It was like Weisler was
crushing him, absorbing him, smothering him like a prey might be in the coils of a snake, he would not let him go.  Whatever perspective,
whatever way he looked at it, he simply couldn’t place the name Weisler.   

Leafing through his address book proved fruitless,   there were some “Ws”,   namely “Watson”, “Williams”, “Weston”, “Wright” all common
names, but no Weisler.  He started to make lists, to jog his memory. There was a list of his ex bosses.  Lists of his ex lovers and their previous and   
present partners. He made lists of relatives both close and distant, but scouring the family tree, there was no sign of a Weisler, it simply didn’t
feature.  He searched through telephone directories, for the name Weisler, but there was certainly no Weisler in the local area, not even a name close
to it.  Perhaps Weisler could be German, maybe American or Canadian, or was from some far away country?  Was he a Muslim, a Christian or a Jew
or of some other creed? Was he heterosexual or homosexual or maybe even bi-sexual, or perhaps a sexual deviant.  Was he a “somebody” or
perhaps a complete nobody?  

He scoured recent newspapers, maybe “Mr. Weisler is coming” was a headline in some newspaper that had caught his eye, as he walked down the
street, perhaps a loose discarded newspaper that had been caught by the wind, a fleeting glance and the words “Mr. Weisler is coming” had been
imprinted in his mind. But no, there were no references to Weisler, he wasn’t newsworthy.  

“Mr. Weisler is coming”.

“Mr. Weisler is coming”.

“MR WEISLER IS COMING”.

The words kept repeating, incessantly, like a   broadcaster might repeat an urgent warning in advance of some impending catastrophe, some climatic
or environmental disaster in the making.   

When his lover of five years returned, he had decided to broach the subject, perhaps she could shed some light, end this turmoil, this confusion
that reigned,   perhaps she could place the name Weisler.    

“Hi darling, I’m back,” she had called out lazily, while shaking off rain drops from an umbrella.” She was unaware of the suffering that was going
on in his head.  He had tried to act normally, to contain the suffering, suppressing it, trying to cast it away, as best he could.   

“Hi darling, did you have a good day at work” he mumbled, while spread out on the sofa, trying to give the impression he was relaxed.  

“Not so bad” she had replied, in the same voice she normally applied to such a mundane question and not wanting to elaborate.

“Great” he managed to add meagerly to the conversation.  A labored conversation followed and then he chose his moment and asked in a hushed
voice.

“Darling.”

“Yes” she had answered with a voice laced with anticipation, as if she imagined he was about to ask her to marry her, or make some significant life
changing pronouncement.

He looked at her, with great precision and intensity, his eyes bearing in on hers, like those of an interrogator prizing out an important piece of
information.  

“Do you know a man called Weisler?”  The question hung in the air, it could have been an accusation, it had an unknown weight and pertinence.  
She carried on doing some menial task, tidying up.    She was always tidying up, even though the apartment was spotless.  

“No, should I” she finally answered, her face vaguely quizzical.  He felt foolish, maybe he should have kept the name secured in his own mind.  He
wanted to drop the subject, but of course she would not let this happen, he had opened up the vaults of her intrigue.  

“Who is this Weisler?” she demanded, with a frown.
“Well this is my problem, he lamented, “I simply don’t know.”  She feigned a laugh and flicked her long brown hair back.  

“So why ask me about a man called Weisler, she asked with a slight fraught expression, wondering what had possessed him to question her.  Both
their lives revolved around work and a tight close-knit group of friends, mostly couples and had done so for quite a few years. There was no room
outsiders in this tight group, their world was too insular.  

“I don’t know”, he offered weekly lifting his shoulders and drawing in a sharp breath, “the name popped into my head and I simply can’t place it,
it’s been bugging me ever since.”

“Perhaps he was one of your university friends,”   she said pragmatically, shrugging “you have probably just forgotten the name, it happens you
know.”

“Yes, you are probably right.” He responded, nodding gently in accord. She was briskly slipping out of her work clothes selecting other clothes to
wear.   She was obviously going out. He watched her as she pulled some tights up over her long shapely legs.

“What are you doing darling,” he asked, glancing at her from the sofa.    

“I am going out, she called back to him casually, “I thought I told you”.

“I don’t recall”, he said   reflectively, “you saying you are going out.”
“Just a little gathering with some of the girls from work,” she answered him, “there is some food from last night, if you are hungry.”  She was
carefully applying some lips stick. She was making an effort to look beautiful, it was an art the way she got ready to go out, she had a particular
ritual.  She was naturally beautiful anyway. It would be just like her to fail to inform him, to suddenly spring on him some rendezvous, she had
made.  
“You don’t mind do you,” she asked flippantly while hitching up a short skirt.  

“No, no,” he replied, disguising his true feelings, of disappointment “you go and have fun.”    

Before he knew it, she had given him a quick cursory kiss on the cheek, had closed the door. He could make out her hurried footsteps trailing away
down the corridor.  There he was back on his own, a prisoner once again to his own thoughts.  He drew in the strong perfume, that she had
liberally sprayed herself with, just before she made her hasty departure. The strong scent she had   left acted as a ghost, to remind him of her
presence and the void she had left.  
The words “Weisler is coming” abruptly   and rudely re-entered his mind, as ever loud and unrelenting.  “Weisler” was like an uninvited guest, who
never goes away, just sticks around and outstays his welcome and drinks the last drop of your favorite Cognac and smokes your last cigar, the one
you bought while out in Cuba, which you were saving for a special occasion. Such detestable manners and vulgarity stretched to its limit, the sheer
impertinence of the man.    

It wasn’t long before more terrible thoughts began to infest his mind. “A gathering of girls at work” the words began to jar awkwardly in his
mind, their honesty sounding weak and fragile, teasingly incredulous.  Why would she come back from work, dress up and then go back out to
meet girls from work?  He was pretty certain she had never mentioned this gathering before. He had always trusted her.  He had known from the
start of their relationship, that men would lust after her. But until this particular night, he had no reason to believe she would be unfaithful to him.
She was a free spirit, it was true, but she had always had this special way of fending off, unwelcome attention and always re-enforced the fact that she
was in a relationship and out of reach from other men But what if she had put on a big act, while he had asked her about Weisler. Perhaps she
knew him or worse still, she was involved with a man called Weisler. It wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility.  Weisler was now in his mind even
more odious, not only did he hide behind this veil of hidden identity, he was also another kind of threat, stealing his lover, who was so precious to
his world.   
Perhaps “Weisler is coming” was a warning, for him to guard his lover, keep a watchful eye, but what could he do? There was a part of his mind
that urged him to try to catch up with her, to follow her. Surely this was absurd? What if she spotted him following her?   What if she led him to
Weisler, the mystery would be over, but a painful truth might be opened up, like the stitches on an old wound busting open.
The more rational part of his mind dictated, he was being lead on by paranoia, which emanated from his new found obsession with Weisler.  
Weisler was playing mind games,   he could cause havoc, if that was his will.  It was just an innocent night out with some work mates, female
bonding, some drinks, light banter, a few stories about their men, jibes about their boss and then home, all innocent fun, no harm done.   She
would return, they would discuss her night out, over a nightcap,   she would be curled up on the sofa, flashing that smile of hers. She would
undress. Take off her makeup. She would soon be clenched in his arms, in a tight embrace, perhaps they would make love. The name Weisler
would be jettisoned, all but forgotten, dispatched once and for all, this demon off his back.   Weisler was just the folly of his over-active mind.
He decided to eat, even though he was not really hungry. The chicken left over from the previous night, was dry and tasteless and he picked at it
slowly, as if each mouthful was a duty to complete.  A glass of wine, at least had embellished a prosaic meal. He heard footsteps, the heavy plod of
some man,   a ricochet of each advancing step,   they were too heavy for those of a woman. Could this be Weisler, about to ring on his doorbell?  
His arrival at last?  The final unveiling of Weisler?  The footsteps continued their journey, without abating.  No this wasn’t Weisler. It could have
been anybody, but it wasn’t Weisler.   

The food he had eaten felt heavy in his stomach.  In fact in time he began to feel terrible stomach pains.  As they started to be more and more
unbearable, he decided to lie down.  He had rifled through his medicine cabinet. There was nothing to aid him, perhaps his lover had finished off
the pills they usually kept, in case of stomach pains.  It was like there was this pressure building up inside his stomach, like an entity was trying to
force its way out, to externalize.  He lay on his back on his bed, screaming in agony, unable even to make a call for assistance.  The buttons on his
shirt began to unfasten, as his stomach became more and more bloated.  He had lost control of his body, there was a new force within that was
now in the ascendancy. He looked at the naked flesh of his belly.  He felt increasingly so plump and bulky and something was jostling inside him.  
Suddenly he saw the sharp point of a scalpel slicing its way out of his stomach, from within. It glistened as more light hit it, it worked its way
forward in a neat precise line.  He then saw a pair of hands, about the size of a baby’s hands appear, from within his now punctured stomach.
Blood was oozing out, soaking his bedding, this huge incongruous plume of deep red, the colour of geraniums.  Then a bald head, again the size
of a baby’s head appeared, forcing its way out of the neat incision, the scalpel had made.  The eyes of the head looked at him blankly, without
recognition, like the eyes of somebody who has just woken up.  Though the head was the scale of a baby’s head, it was developed, like that of a
thirty-year-old man, there was even signs of stubble and wrinkles brought about by age.  With the use of its hands, the entity slithered out of his
body and as it did so, it began to stretch and enlarge its self to that of average height of a fully developed man. He could hear him gently panting.
He was becoming more alive, animated and mobile. Once this act of   “giving birth” had come to its conclusion, he slipped out of consciousness.   
When he came round, his body ached but was back to normal, without a scar or blemish, there was no signs of blood, his sheets blindingly white.
He was not alone in the room. His head throbbed. His eyes were bleary. He tried to focus on the other person in the room, this man who had
come out of his stomach, who had intruded into his world.  The man was now clothed, wearing a somber dark grey suit, but with a flamboyant
tie. He now had a thick head of black hair, which he was meticulously styling in front of the mirror, making sure that not a single hair was out of
place.  His shoes were polished to a dazzling degree, so that light would simply bounce off them. The man had the kind style and panache, another
could not fail to admire.
“Do I know you?” enquired the intruder casually, still in front of the mirror, with a strong Germanic accent, with a feminine tilt. He was still
preening himself, his eyes searching for any imperfections. There was an agonizing silence.   

“I don’t think so, he responded groggily from his bed, still dazed, still confused, still in torment.  Once content with his appearance, the stylish
intruder,   gracefully turned round and offered a vague smile.
“Oh well,” said the man calmly, “I suppose I should present myself, my name is Weisler.”
Weisler  put out a hand and the two man awkwardly but politely shook hands, as two businessmen might, having conducted a transaction. He felt
two conflicting things for Weisler.   An unyielding strong sense of hatred.  Weisler had abused his body, Weisler had taken possession of his
mind.  In contrast with this hatred he was overwhelmed with a strong sense of love. After all they were connected. Weisler had come from his body
and there was a biological connection, a binding link.  

Weisler drew in a sharp breath.  
“If you don’t mind, I am going to have to excuse myself” said Weisler, affording a quick glance in the mirror to check his appearance one final time,
“I have another engagement.”  He drifted out of the room, like a swan gliding on a still pond.  There was no explanation as to what had happened
and no protests from the man whose stomach he had exited from. He could not mount a protest, even if he so wished, he was incapacitated,
rendered helpless.  Weisler was in control, he always had been.
From his bed, he could hear Weisler’s dainty steps diminishing away.  He felt rooted to his bed, he could not make any sense of what had just
happened.  His body still ached and felt tender and used, if not violated. It had been a vehicle used to transport Weisler into the world. He drifted
in and out of consciousness, all sense of reality was blurred.  An undefined period of time past.  He heard steps approach his apartment.    The
familiar steps of his lover.  A key was placed in the door.  The door opened slowly. His lover entered, smiling radiantly.  
“Had a nice evening darling?” she asked sweetly, while taking off her coat and placing it neatly on a hanger.  He nodded, but no words past his lips.
He could not tell her the truth, how could he? She would think him mad.  He suspected she loved him partly because he was stable and always in
control of situations. He was reliable and level headed, always dependable.  She was less so, but they worked well as couple.  He did not want to
destabilize their relationship with an insane story of another man called Weisler crawling out of his stomach.  He had never had to withhold any
information before, but before this evening had not been a man called Weisler meddling with his life.
He was not even so sure he believed his own mind. Perhaps Weisler was a personage conjured up from the chasms and deep depths of his mind.
Perhaps he had been little more than a cruel sickening hallucination. Maybe the chicken he had eaten had been off.  Weisler had left no evidence, no
signs that he had been present.
“How was your evening”? He enquired, casting a lazy eye at his lover, with muted enthusiasm.  “It was great” his lover cooed, beaming an
enormous smile, her face glowing with pleasure, as she fixed herself a drink.
She looked at him, like a person does when they are bursting to divulge some fantastic news.
“I have something I can’t wait to tell you.” She blurted out, while pulling off her boots.  
“Oh” he said inquisitively, his eyes widening. “You know you mentioned a man called Wiesler, guess what, I met him briefly tonight, he told me
you have met most recently, it’s not like you to forget a name.”  

“Yes that is right, he answered unconvincingly with a haunted look on his face,  “it had slipped mind, we had a most brief encounter.”   

She flicked her long hair back, her eyes were lit up with wonder.  

“He is the most wonderful man, all the girls from work fell for him immediately, she pondered for a moment, “so charming, so unlike the usual
types who hang around that wine bar.”

“I see,” he mumbled unsure of where this conversation was leading.  He was curled up and holding his stomach, like a person might do
defensively, if they feared another was about to attack them with some heavy blows.   
“He was so charming, witty and entertaining” she enthused “I’ve invited him for dinner tomorrow night.”  

“Is he coming?”
“Yes, Thomas Weisler is coming to dinner.”