Deal 1303: Phoney

It bent. Oddly, very little of it is visibly broken. But it is bent into a smooth arc, with a fairly short radius.

It doesn’t work as a phone any more, either.

A small bend might be explained by leaning against a railing with the phone in a pocket.

But this is a much larger scale bend. It is almost bent through ninety degrees.

It must have been subject to a lot more force. More than I should be capable of delivering with bare hands.


Unless it was present when I was poisoned.

I don’t remember.

I do remember feeling strange, and coming back to myself later with sore hands.

And no phone.

Perhaps that is what happened.


Deal 1291: Assylum

That damn chicken outsmarted me again. I expected that from the foxes. But the chickens were worse!

By day it was all clucking, pecking, and thanks for all the eggs.

But at night, it was if there was cabal among them planning.

Always planning.

And sometimes building.

We’d come out to the yard in the mornings and find that things moved around in the night, or whole new structures were built.

Then they would be gone the next morning.

That was the point where I began to think that perhaps chickens were not something I wanted to be responsible for, and began to entertain thoughts of just starting over. Starting over with something less clever and less able to run amok. Like corn.

This morning I awoke to find I was tied to the bed.


Deal 1280 Ribbit

The cluttered studio just left a clear space around her most recent work.

A rollers on a stand held a large beige expanse of Aida fabric stretched for the work in progress, and her work was well underway. She had skeins of the best floss neatly arranged by color, and needles, scissors, threaders, magnifiers, and other less obvious tools neatly arrayed where they could be reached.

The scene was in a swamp, and depicted moonlight reflecting off the still water. Selectively leaving out stitches achieved a shining light effect, letting the light fabric and change of texture contrast with the dark blues, browns, and purples of the water. The stitching technique was impeccable, with every cross formed the same way and pulled exactly flat without puckering the fabric. The back side of the work was as neat as the front, and it was possible the work was intended to be seen from either side.

The technique involved to produce perfectly even stitches on both faces was unusual and difficult.

Especially since it is clear that the two faces are not actually the same image. One is the scene by moonlight. The other is the same scene by sunlight. In each scene, the plants are nearly identical except for different placement of the sprays of tiny lavender flowers, but the critters found in and around are typical of each time of day.

The frogs on both sides are striking yellow and black, with the distinctive markings of D. leucomelas. Not a frog you want to mess with casually, and they know it from their willingness to sit out and bask in the sun where any predator could make the serious mistake of eating them.

The embroidery really is exquisite.

One might expect that the frogs could almost hop right off the fabric.




Deal 1172: Unity

Much like wheels within wheels, there is always a new inner circle to aspire to enter. Only the most dedicated to the cause may enter and partake of the next level of the hidden truths. The Unity is a very effective organization. And very secretive. So secretive that many of its members are unaware of its nature.

A nature that it goes to great lengths to conceal from both outside and inside.

Official stories of its origins and founding vary by region, and by circle. Each local group above a certain level is encouraged to find its own origin story, and to act as if they are at the innermost circle.

I’m coming to believe there may be no “innermost” circle. But rather an elaborate labyrinth of memberships and rituals designed to hold the attention of those whose hearts are not pure.

And I think I might just be on to something, as new instructions have appeared in my notebook overnight.