The Tale of Dander Claus, cont.

3. Interlude 'Neath the Aurora Borealis

Dropo's most excruciating act had been to force, through cruel promises, an audience to watch as he painfully attempted to translate three stanzas of Spenser's Faerie Queene into Volapük. When he subsequently re-staged the works of Christopher Marlowe for silent, deformed actors wearing wax lips and nothing else, no audience came, and Dropo's career effectively ended.

Dander Claus was remarkable only for his dislike of order. That was why he insisted on crushing as many of my mineral specimens as possible: they represented orderliness, and he couldn't stand that. His raison d'être, if you will, was to introduce, into every possible juncture, nook, cranny, interstice and isthmus as much particulate matter as possible. Thus his name.

On May Day I sat stranded in The Orange Doorhinge, a bar at the top of The Hill. Dander Claus had sprinkled hot foot powder all around my door, and I couldn't go home, couldn't cross that juju line segment, that ray of fire. So I drank, cursing him, and cradled my bottle and a couple of geodes I kept at the bottoms of my jacket-pockets. The light was a pink-purple. It was about the time when the dowel carts would start going by. There was a lot of solar activity and the aurora was noticeable over the hump of the distillery across the street. Clouds soured and I tumbled my rocks in my pants, absent-mindedly, thinking of vanadinite and chrysoberyl.

Press NEXT for the next installment.