VI. Toward Tuffaceous Thickets

Questioned, a man sat, in decline, a manana concept, you realize, in desserts or desuetude, pageantly wrought. His efforts could further describe a system of compressive cycles.

vi — Toward Tuffaceous Thickets.

          Bent on finding acorns, Legion hopped along in the wake of snipe–hunters roving shrewdly with rapiers. After reading in the papers about binary wasps (so tough that frayed elastic houndstooths were leveraged on the cheap) eating biased ornamental strudel indistinctly carmelized, he launched diseased theodolites numbly and, installing a messy Erlking as chief hoser, listed out to Findhorn.

          They marveled at decorous lettuce patches amid the greenspace of the Mostly Color Shoe Tree. Piously insular inserters dusted every swart atavism with macadamia nutshells, and a stout dour peasantry waved at you, thankful for projects, singing robust madrigals uncensored by the slovenly wasps. Stirred but unshaken, before asphodel, ermine curio shops, they sang Any Other Two Bit Easter Bunny in three languages, highly intent lest minimalist editors erase neon overkill bandwidths.

          Nude heffalumps on pentothal also edged off key merrily. The boulevard narrowly became infamous when an astral stairway, neither altogether utmost nor fraught with either lamely mild beasts or desolate, sinister stares, entranced them into issuing Theda’s adroit sell–off of Thebes municipal bond anticipation notes seven miles south of the border, which sullenly plunged for about six more weeks before they recollected their margins.

          Inevitably, they trundled in to rave about a nearby roadhouse which swooned into a discreet forest of boxwood and prickly pears. Inhabitants had clearly disguised their madrassah with inky strands of dissolved chloroform and local tuning forks. In duress, as a nascent Rosetta stone loomed spot on, the messy Erlking yanked the joystick too sharply, hurtled into a precipitous leeway, and screeched to a halt right next to a gingerbread house.

*        *        *

          Waiting down in front, Dorothy, and Toto too, greeted them with swarms of leis and uncertain flares. They wore invidious Amish doily hoopskirts and seemed possessed by obdurate and semaphoric seraphim. Toto scooted to a loading dock around back, threw up in a sprawling, unkempt hedgerow, and piddled upon a doorstep lit by flamingo nightlights. Legion genuflected before entering, inalienably gravitating into a secret garden, which pitched steeply toward tuffaceous thickets in perpetual states of perpendicular collapse.

          A gateway disclosed a flagstone stile subsiding onto a road less travelled. Beyond, infertile ravens tumbled around the edge of time. Finth in diagonal quorums came on to tall dryads frowning breathily. “Tarry here awhile,” Toto growled, “and escape the bleak reality of the Castle. Nertz to them, eh?” The Erlking’s rabid convulsions made up for Legion’s dumbest hint.

          Dorothy, after hastily excavating the basement from upstairs, bid them enter. His watch over, Toto turned somersaults and resumed renovating a carborundum fountain out front. They peered into a tenement white–washed with sluggishness: a fugue–like atelier with double bay windows, a serrated kismet and ironing room, alfalfa urns, a polished tool shed equipped with awls, and shingle beds; ancestors, tucked away near a serpentine banister, reconciled behind a bamboo veil.

          Dorothy showed them how to bilge the head, winking ostensibly at the freshly mollusk encrusted drainpipes. The Erlking slumped into a divan overwrought. “Comme ci, comme ca,”Dorothy commented. Nodding bemusedly, Legion studied an actual small cast iron Buddha in the center of the dais. “Has anyone ever died here,” he asked?

          “Sure,” was her reply. “Edsel always liked to fool Mother Nature, but it’s nice to have refrigeration, n’est ce pas,” Dorothy rippled, wittily assassinating the rest of the pop quiz? “Well, I’ll let myself out,” Legion said, rousting the Erlking. An outdoor service was being conducted by Toto with Mrs. Hatter and dubious finth.

          Legion stammered his approbation and in the subsequent visions, felt something tap him on the shoulder. They returned to the Castle inconsolably. The Erlking shambled into his cell shared with four other Hogwarts. It was rotomontonde after the expedience incognito. He said he was totally bored with their gin rummy skills: two bickered in public constantly; one was so shallow, it was easier to drown in the Schuykill; one, a wandering finth, floated sordid cyber–forums for a living.

          In such a zoo, thoughts emptily seemed too droll for Heimlich maneuvers. “Ne quid nimis,” the messy Erlking shrugged, and about faced furtively, so Legion called it a day and was about to march to his own dungeon at the Ghost House when his lease suddenly expired. He didn’t feel like grabbing any brass rings, it is true, although tears did boil from his eyes. “I feel better than James Brown,” he wailed, and slyly hiccuped, necessitating admittance to the infirmary billets with the tic–tac–toe boys for a spell.

Circa December 2007.

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