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Deal 1262: Haiku

Lies, hiding within
bed of truth, like skunk among
the flowers, still smells

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Deal 1259: Framed.

The cage hung from a hook in the corner of a perfectly appointed room. It was gilded, as one would expect from the level of taste and sophistication shown throughout the other furnishings; gilded and ornamented to the point that any songbird kept inside would die of shame. The rest of the room was a riot of silk brocades, tapestries, rugs, tables, and decor. The room did not even attempt to speak with a coherent voice. It had no story to tell beyond the obvious “my owner has no taste.”

The cage was empty, its door standing open, a single yellow feather the only memento of its occupant.

No cat was evident, other than from the feather.

Not that finding the cat in this room even if he was sitting in plain sight would be easy.

The room alone is not the whole story.

Or even the whole storey. Wandering the rest of the house, there is indeed a cat. He is not happy, as the bird’s owner is convinced the cat ate the bird. Cat claims innocence. but struggles to explain a second yellow feather found on his jaw.

Meanwhile, in the attic, a small yellow bird gloats.

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Deal 1244: Empty

The room was dark, except for the corner. There, a fluke of lighting picked out the empty birdcage.

The empty birdcage.

The empty gilded cage, whose door was standing open, and whose occupant had fled.

Or had been eaten.

Either way, the empty cage was in the spotlight in the dark room.

It took a while to notice, but more than just the bird was missing. The prince, whose palace this is, is missing too. At that, the general alarm was raised.

And here we are now.

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Deal 1235: Orange Ball

The ballroom was a grand and elegant space, dominated by a pair of elevator cars that seemed to move freely as their gilded birdcage structure cleverly distracted the eye from their much more utilitarian components. Their landing back to back in the dead center of the room enhanced their sculptural contribution to the architecture.

Three stories up, they opened on to a catwalk landing that encircled their virtual shaft and spanned the space to a balcony that itself ringed the entire room, providing astonishing views of the crowd, and leading to various sitting rooms and other private spaces that could only be reached by this very public pathway. Adding to the spectacle, and to the scandalous delight of all, the catwalk was made of what appeared to be a thick sheet of glass with nearly invisible handrails.

The main entry delivered attendees at the top of an elegant stair down into the ballroom proper. Descending the stair they had a clear view of the dynamic of the crowd, and of those sneaking off to the elevators.

For the romantically inclined, the gilded elevator to the nearly invisible catwalk was a metaphoric trip to heaven.

For others, the whole thing was nothing but an elaborate cage that would hold them imprisoned for the amusement of society, then strip away any remaining dignity at the first opportunity.