Message-ID: <thomas.944167061@bubba>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: FTSD (Belated): 4.
From: (Rollin Thomas)
Lines: 53
Date: 2 Dec 99 20:37:41 GMT
X-Trace: 944167086 (Thu, 02 Dec 1999 14:38:06 CST)
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 14:38:06 CST
Organization: The University of Oklahoma

Matilda Cook's mother was Margaret Cook, the last of fourteen children
born to Cornelius and Claudia Cook.  All of her thirteen older
brothers died in the Great War on various missions of peril.  Hardened
Claudia gave birth to her in the middle of the night, on a lunar
eclipse perhaps as late as 1912.  By that time the hill over the grave
of Madam had grown to a reasonable size.  With Margaret's birth it
stopped.  Both of her parents died within a year of her birth.

Anthony Hayakawa (the son of Samuel Hayakawa, a former bank robber who
actually believed himself to be Chinese instead of Japanese) and his
wife Anita adopted her and raised her as one of their own children.  When
Samuel Hayakawa II seduced her, she became pregnant and gave birth to
Matilda.  Samuel Hayakawa II was struck by lightning on top of Madam's
Hill on a Thursday, when the lightning always struck.

The sound of a cat wailing in agony constituted the first true memory 
that Matilda Cook would record in her mind.  The full moon high over 
the mountain south of the town illuminated the bedroom of her 
childhood in a ghostly glow.  Curious, frightened, young Matilda went 
to the window and peered over the edge.  Years later she remembered
herself not as she was at that instant, but in a simplified caricature
of childhood: a doll clutched tightly to her chest, ruffled pink
pajamas.  In fact, Matilda had been bare naked, for the heat of that
summer had not yet released her town from its grip.

The Moon smiled down upon her as she rested her chin upon the 
windowsill, and as she looked up she believed she saw not the face of 
a man, but rather a woman with long hair, or a rabbit perhaps.  Just 
as her mind converted the play of shadows and light on the surface of 
that celestial orb to the traditional and acceptible face, a coyote 
sprang to the window and breathed heavily upon the glass.  Startled, 
Matilda fell backward to the floor.  In her memory, she thrust the 
doll at the window in a simple reflex, a defensive move thwarted by 
the pane that had truly protected her.  

``You look good enough to eat,'' the coyote breathed in a dangerous 
whisper.  He was joined by another as Matilda slid back against the 
bed, too petrified to cry out.  The other coyote looked in to 

``Remember the agreement, my friend.  Back to the cats.''

For years dead rabbits had been turning up at doorsteps and under parked
cars in the town, inexplicably, especially during times when cats
disappeared.  Mystified, the Platillans simply deposited them outside
the town.  About the time that Margaret Cook died and her young
daughter Matilda took over her roadside restaurant, Salvador Aaron
took up responsibility as rabbit collector.  He and the local sheriff,
sheriff Sargeant, would deposit them on the opposite side of Madam's
Hill from Aaron's tarantula farm.
  Rollin C. Thomas - -
               "Good job, You.  Now back to work."