Message-ID: <thomas.944166988@bubba> Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: FTSD (Belated): 2. From: email@example.com (Rollin Thomas) Lines: 73 Date: 2 Dec 99 20:36:28 GMT X-Complaints-To: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Trace: news.ou.edu 944167008 220.127.116.11 (Thu, 02 Dec 1999 14:36:48 CST) NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 14:36:48 CST Organization: The University of Oklahoma Deep in the snows of winter while the coyotes frequently made their presence known through fresh pawprints in the powder, while the telegraph line was down and mail service interrupted, the days of the whores consisted of torpid waiting. The occasional traveller would appear at their door, receive service and move on while the ladies lived off rations, collecting firewood only in full daylight, and always in groups with sadly improvised weaponry. In these deep winter days, a sphinxian gentleman with a snow-white beard and thick, manicured eyebrows concealing a dubious countenance knocked on the door of the hotel, a Professor Xerxes at their service, purveyor of cures and medicines, communicator with the afterlife and champion of prestidigitation (et cetera, et cetera.) Seeking brief respite on his way from California on the back of a nameless black horse, Professor Xerxes had underestimated the snowfall at these higher elevations and thus decided to wait out the winter months in the company of these fair maidens. During his stay he never approached the prostitutes for their expertise in the carnal arts. In fact it was the prostitutes which sought his services in the form of magical entertainment, who partook of his fiery tonics and enigmatic lotions, who enjoyed his fortnightly seances (et cetera, et cetera.) It was during one of these seances (in particular one executed to rouse the wandering spirit of one Edgar Allan Poe) that a coyote snatched up a wayward kitten from the porch. As Professor Xerxes asked the spirit of Poe to identify itself, the kitten let out a mind-cracking death screech that momentarily startled even the stony professor himself. Immediately aware of the situation, the protitutes looked at one another as though guarding some more fearsome secret than their latent suspicions that Xerxes was merely a delightful charlatan. Upon discerning the trail of blood in the snow, Professor Xerxes inquired about the coyote matter and was informed, including the brief hunt that ended in the deaths of several prostitutes as retribution. After several long moments of seemingly inappropriate and pensive silence on his part (for the prostitutes could never suspect what he proposed next) the professor stroked his beard and began to make a suggestion in his typical equivocating manner. Now while it is true that only one poor Javanese girl was taken by the coyotes during late night relief, the prostitutes chose to exaggerate the incident. Perhaps they sought to emphasize to the professor the perpetual hazard of frontier life, for such embellishment seemed to impress him. Perhaps they truly believed that more of their number had fallen victim to these wild beasts and they were simply mistaken. Perhaps each of them remembered a different girl. Despite the somewhat outlandish exaggeration on their part, the professor remained credulous. The professor suggested to Madam that, in exchange for assurance that none of them would die and for a share of the coyotes' rabbit kill, the prostitutes would sacrifice some cats to the coyotes per winter month. Unable to believe that he could broker such an agreement with the wild forest creatures and shocked at his suggestion that the cats be given in exchange, the trollops stared at him in silence. Incredulous, Madam asked him why the coyotes had need of cats if they could kill jackrabbits and the like anyway. Professor Xerxes stared at the waning embers of the evening's fire in the stove and informed her that the way of the coyote was a foreign one, and that he himself could not understand the peculiarities of their hunger. Perhaps in jest but perhaps with utmost sincerity he suggested that it was simply a matter of the palate. Without the permission of Madam, Professor Xerxes wandered to the edge of the woods that night and the deal was made. The next morning, a freshly killed rabbit lay at the door of the hotel. Professor Xerxes, guest of honor at the hall of delight, entertainer through illusion and suspense, host of possibly effective seances and incalculable prevaricator (et cetera, et cetera) had departed on his dark, black horse for Texas. -- Rollin C. Thomas - email@example.com - www.nhn.ou.edu/~thomas "Good job, You. Now back to work."