Deal 1279: Three

The man sits with a puppet on his knee. The puppet is wearing a blindfold, and the man is gagged. The parrot on his shoulder is wearing earmuffs.

And yet, they manage to see, hear, and speak no end of evils.

It is one hell of an act.


Deal 1263: Mastery

The scene laid out before me was a rush of sound, colors, flavors, and smells.

At the center of the storm was a man dressed in crisp chef whites. He hardly needed to speak as his kitchen operated like a well-oiled machine around him. As he reached for each part of the elaborate dishes he assembled, they were always at hand. The choreography perfect, the timing impeccable, and the finished presentations works of art. At the outer fringes, interns worked frantically, hoping one day to be noticed and brought into the inner circle.

Almost as an afterthought, the finished works of art were whisked away by the perfectly attired staff for delivery to the patrons.

No movements were wasted. Each player knew their part in the larger dance, and each arrived on their marks exactly on cue.

And yet, somehow, each managed to make room for the kitten that wandered from station to station as if inspecting everyone’s work, and who seemed to be giving the final approval to each dish served.

I knew without asking that no one would admit the kitten was there, that the kitten was the real master of this kitchen.

But of course, she was.


Deal 1231: Music to slaughter by

Ah, my pretties. Play wonderous music for me while I work. For whilst I may strike my victims dumb with terror, and turn them into little more than silent puppets dancing to my tune, I need my music to keep my own sanity.

So play on, my pretties, play on.

Play well, and you may go free to pursue your own desires and dance to your own tunes.

Play poorly and join my victims in their fleeting lives.

But either way, play.


Deal 1227: Which frog

“There’s only one prince in this story, and that must be me.”

“Hardly. You are, as we can plainly see, just a frog.”

“I could be a prince among frogs.”

“Unlikely. Amphibians are not known for monarchy. You are just a frog.”

“And that is true. So you would agree that if I am a prince, I am not a frog.”

“Perhaps. But it is plain to see that you are, in fact, a frog.”

“Did you not see the witch leaving the stage?”

“Oh. Not that again.”

“There you go. Because of the witch, I, The Prince, am now in the shape of a frog.”

“Nope. There is no witch. Therefore, no prince. You are merely a frog.”

“Who is that standing behind you? One clue: it is not a Crocodile.”