Monday, July 18, 2005

Brief Passages From Nonexistent Books

  • ...but underneath her frills and frippertronics, she was as cheap as a cancelled three-cent stamp. "Well, Meestair Preevah" she said softly, her bosom heaving like a novice sailor, "we meet at last." She flashed her baby blues and pointed her luger straight at my navy tattoo. I laughed, tossing my bottle into the hotel umbrella stand. "Look, toots," I said, edging my way to the flamingo oils on the velour walls. "You might be a hot toddy in Delly Ware, but here in Eye Town we play with a different deck of cards." She leaned backwards lazily, insolently crossing her gams and kicking off her shoes, until she realized she was standing up. A shot rang out as several bellboys dove for the pool. I wondered what the sticky mess on my forehead was before the laughing cyclone spun through my brain, scattering emeralds and bric-a-brac. From somewhere I heard the scrape of a late Beethoven quartet: too late for me...
  • "...serviette?" he asked, but Bron dismissed him peremptorily, turning his attention airily to Lady Flounce's creaking bustle. Lady Flounce retired to the armrest, her hair teetering momentarily before settling into a coiled squat. The several servants who had rushed forward stopped abruptly, then backed away, their eyes on the carpet where they stared blankly back. "This wine," announced Lady Flounce, instantly stopping a dozen conversations and two clocks, "is dismal." A single bejeweled hand glittered in a thousand winks as she upended her goblet haughtily into the lap of her dress. But before Bron could offer her his sash, he heard the tittering whispers echoing down the gallery: "His majesty." Bron quickly took a powder to his wig as he snatched a mask from a nearby celebrant, affixing it over the others. If there was ever time to act, he thought with a cruel grin, that time will pass...
  • ...the rise of the steam-powered automaton, which resembled a human being perfectly, save for its elaborate clanks and whistles. Their banning in Schleswig-Holstein in 1902 proved a blessing in disguise, as fashionable trendsetters throughout Europe bought up the excess models, influencing everything in the coming decade from the fine arts to rhetoric, not excluding dance, labor relations, sexual mores, and military preparedness. Clouds of change were gathering beneath the horizon, and soon the massed forces of aggression would seize this opportunity to rain on a few parades...
  • ...when she felt the snapping of his brute bronzed thighs against the delicate fringe of her comely sarong. Could this be the virile sweep of the true love she had longed for, those many dusky days tethered to a single gleaming elephant tusk in the desert canopy of that dimpled, drooling fiend of cruelty unbound, Ibn Bin Ib Nbi? Or was it merely the soft whispering of the wine as the orchestra swirled around her in one final tweet, the dancers in their finery all but oblivious to the puddle gathering at their fashionable ankles? Her mind drifted away to that singular moment in the first golden flush of womanhood when, gathering berries in her lute, she had tumbled into the ancient ruin beneath the cucumber bushes, where her long-lost cousin Ralph simpered in the heated clutch of that woman...