I have only just learned of my state and as I admire my frame in the stately mirror within my bedchamber, the small curve that has begun to show upon my belly fills me with inordinate pride…
Many months later, my stomach grown great with child, I sit in the drawing room of the Van Rensselaer Estate, a warm fire before me to remove the harsh chill of winter, knitting the mittens that my fine boy shall wear…
The midwife attempts to calm me but I give up a great shout, I have never felt so alive! The head of this new life bursts forth from my loins and though slick and sad with the pains of the birth, I wrap it up in it’s swaddling cloth and press it to my bosom…
Suddenly locomotion returns to my frame and I stand as the creature hovers above me, it’s harsh gaze a weight upon me such as I have never felt. It begins to speak but then seems to hesitate… then spins about such that I am faced by an entirely different set of eyes which stare silently at me for a few more seconds. The sound of bells chimes almost laboriously from the angelic emissary, as though straining somehow. Then as quickly as it appeared, the self-styled Djinn dissolves from sight and I am once again alone in the square. My great thirst rises up once again and I look about for some sign of water.
Opening the door of my bedroom I step out into the hallway. With my frog-doll in hand, I think that Mummy can get me my water. As I stand before my parent’s bedchamber I hear the queerest cacophony emanating from behind the closed doors. I sit down on the floor and meditate for a moment, "Mummy and the Colonel are fighting, but I am very thirsty." I tell Froggy.
I open the door cautiously and am greeted with a strange, savage scene. The Colonel in his dress shirt but no pants is riding about on Mummy like a cavalry charger, a bridle and bit are inside of her mouth and he smacks her bare-skinned bottom with the leather riding crop that I hate so much. Mummy neighs and I laugh to Froggy for they are playing a game, so relieved am I that they are not fighting once more. Suddenly the Colonel takes notice of me and his cheeks puff up and I know that he is mad at me and I run from the room as fast as I can.
The door slams shut and I am so thirsty, I sit down on the floor and think that perhaps Mummy will come and see me. But the Colonel is yelling and he thought I was in Switzerland still, and Mummy is crying now, softly at first and then loudly and the Colonel is making a heaving sound and then Mummy is clawing at the door and I am very happy for I feel as though I may perish of thirst but then there are loud noises and then she is crying again and there is a dreadful repeating thump as though cogs of meat are spinning slowly one against the other and then the Colonel is laughing and I am so very tired, I take Froggy in my arms and lay down upon the doorstep and hope that Mummy will get me a drink soon and then I am asleep.
I awoke with a start, peering about me and see only my private cabin, the gentle rolling of the room assuring me that I was once more onboard the Infinite Bravado and that my strange adventure was nothing more than a fanciful and entirely meaningless dream. Wiping the thin veneer of sweat from my brow, I determine that a midnight constitutional upon the deck might do me well, the fresh sea-air clearing my thoughts and then I remember that with so many crew lost to the bird that I might draw extra rations of water, for I was very thirsty.
As I stared out upon strange stars, I found my thoughts once more drifting towards the magical lamp. To what foul purpose does Du Pont seek to turn it’s strange powers? Breathing deeply, I sought to banish the unwelcome pontifications from my brain, when who should I see before me but Confucius, the swarthy sleepwalker has taken to the deck as well. I stepped over towards him and said with great displeasure, "You rough-shod ruminant, you slowly simmering simian, what are you doing above deck at this time of night? Are you so contrarian that you now forsake day for night and affect the manner of a Slavic Vamp-pire? Or perhaps your Negro passions have at last overwhelmed you and you seek to betray the goodwill I have borne you with murder most foul? Well I warn you my asinine assassin, in Kermit Van Rensselaer you will find no easy prey, for far finer men than you have died in the attempt!"
But the diminutive dark devil only stared up at the sky and with a wistful sigh proclaimed, "Confucius… Chicken." Somewhat chastened, I realized that even ignorant little gluttons such as he have their desires, and though they may affront God and his sacred law, I felt no pressing need to berate the heart-broken halfwit and instead turned my head back towards the salty sea. Tomorrow we would land in Jaffa and so begin our overland journey to Far Araby and the City of Brass.
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
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