Deal 256: Tina, always Tina

Michel had a sense of impending deja vu.

The woman stepped into his tent at the fair and immediately commanded attention. If pressed, he couldn’t say why, just that her presence seemed somehow more real than the actual tent, or his actual hunger for lunch. As usual, he motioned her to sit down, and paid attention as she did so.

She was average height, slender build, coal black hair, and pale skin. The hints of shadow at her eyes and cheeks worked with her apparently plain white dress to enhance her presence. On top of that, she moved like she owned whatever space she was in. Which was currently Michel’s tent and waiting at his table so he’d better remember why he was there.

“You come with questions. I’m here with answers,” he said. She smiled, and nodded, giving up little information for free.

He offered the deck, she cut the cards. He dealt a few to the table and looked up.

“You are confident of your place in the world, and clearly are familiar with the finer things in life. You have had good fortune in the past and will in the future. You have seen conflict and peace, and desire the latter more than the former. That said, you are no stranger to conflict. In the conflict to come, you with dare to act with honor despite pressures from all sides to do otherwise. Through this difficulty, you must conceal the more obvious clues to your identity, especially the various animals that do your bidding such as the deer at the edge of town and the owl watching this tent from the trees.”

She nodded again, and produced a bag of coins.

Michel had a sense of impending deja vu.

He noticed a coin purse on his table, and a spread of cards. He swiftly stowed the purse, and cleared the table for his first client. Or his next client. He shook his head, and took a sip of tea to cover his confusion. The tent was empty, and he couldn’t quite recall if he’d had a client yet today to explain the origin of the purse.

He decided that coins were coins, even if they were provided by secretive clients that left him wondering what day it was.

Michel lived with his a sense of impending deja vu.


Deal 239: Cat life

I died the other day.

No, really. Kicked the bucket. Bought the farm. Went tits up. Assumed room temperature. Died.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and I can’t answer that. It’s against the rules. Don’t press me on that, I’m bending them as far as I can just talking to you right now. And I know you aren’t receiving this as clearly as I’d like. That talking board thing just isn’t the ideal medium, but all the real mediums are busy and I can’t afford to bother them.

It just bothers me because I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist. I hate not being understood, and I fear that when filtered through the random muscle movements of several strangers, this message will end up rendered as little more than “Hello.

So after several tries at the human condition, I think it’s time for a break.

Cats seem to get all the good press right now. I think I’ll try that on for size. I don’t know how literally I’ll take the nine lives thing, however. Apparently all the lives after the second are optional.

All in all the deal seems much better than that time I spent as a deer once. My ending that time was much more public, being rendered on film by one of the greats of animation. But again, I can’t talk about that, and really have said too much.

So, I am what I am, and I am going to be a cat, and no, I have no idea if he loves you, if you will be successful, if this board is evil or just silly, or any of the other questions rolling around in your minds just below the surface.

In the end, all I can really say is “good bye” and eventually “meow.”


Deal 194: The plot thickens

It was with good grace that I wandered downstairs to find out what was up. The rat that had fetched me was puttering around nervously, the rest of the animals were calmly waiting.

I wondered who had really called this meeting.

“Come in, Michel, make yourself comfortable.” I startled, then realized that George was seated in a shadow. “Tina really wants us to put our cards on the table and work together. I’ve come around to agree with her. When you moved in, I admit I paid little enough attention. Since then, I should have noticed you and at least dropped some overt hints about my crew.”

“I wasn’t paying attention to you and your crew either,” I allowed. “Perhaps it is past time for that to change. How should we proceed? Hi. I’m Michel, and I’m not what I seem.”

“Hi Michel!” they all chorused.

“I’ve been many things, but I seem to gravitate to this persona. I’m probably best known for writing under the name Nostradamus, I’ve never really lived that down and the fact that those works have never been out of print has rubbed my nose in that particular indiscretion even since. Ever since then, the presence of an impending doom leaves me reacting more like deer in the headlights, nearly paralyzed with fear of taking the wrong action, and recognition that inaction is also often the wrong action as well.”

They all sat there, attentive.

“So I am here, now, hat in hand as a gentleman, asking what we need to be doing.”

The animals all turned to George. I was coming to recognize that they all deferred to him. “Welcome aboard, Michel,” he began. “I’m currently known as George, and as a small-time stage magician. As you see, the animals and I work well together. We’ve learned over the years that this is a good cover, and allows me to be a little eccentric and keep a wide range of animals without drawing too much suspicion.”

“I’m always suspicious of coincidence. I’m guessing that my moving in to this building was actually a result of someone’s manipulation.”

“You probably aren’t wrong there. I’m sure we are imagining the same party. I don’t actually know.”


“Yes, Tina as she’s calling herself now.”

“She clearly has some explaining to do.”


Deal 188: Stag didn’t teach Newton

Deer in the headlights
frozen risky position
Hope you go the other way
before inevitable impact
converts you into roadkill

Apple walks the land
leaving Children all over
bullying orange trees
pink grapefruit no match against
pink lady in my lunchbox

Deer love Apple trees
rough bark summer shade fall fruit
inspired theory
Isaac Newton stole from stag
also taught him integrals