Walking through corporate headquarters, I smelled the odor of dissections clinging to the air. Pictures of an exhibition on the motor skills of the paper wasp lined the walls. Strange, for a firm that manufactures tea pot cleansing devices. I was walking through corporate headquarters with nothing on my mind and a miniature Irish Schnauzer in my arms. His tongue was hanging out like a long, moist stocking. I came to the room of indignant toddlers and put Chico on the couch, where he was instantly swarmed. Someone had smeared graffiti all over the strangely out-of-place Ray Bradbury collection. The cage with the bars on which the nightly stripper rubbed her pudendum up and down had been broken into, a little post-it note like a sliver of light stuck to a corner proclaimed "I'm gonna shoot up this place 10/22." A small girl kept bashing a toy radiator against a mound of bean bags. A senior analyst took the note, muttered "Yeah, you and who's army," and with the most brilliant smile I'd seen in years ripped the sliver of light to shreds.
to an Acheulean hand-axe competition. The nonhomonid carcasses were all set up and the players grouped in their respective circuits. Taunts were already being thrown, some indecipherable. The ref shook the rattle, and the teams released themselves with various garbled cries of war, assaulting the carcasses with terrible ferocity. The axes thudded into the un-smoked hides, and the carriers began their grueling race back and forth, hauling slabs of meat. Lou was slicing off an ear piece when I caught sight of a measly morphologist with a tinder box messing around our camp. I paused, grabbed Chervil, our head guard, by the shoulders, and pointed at the creepy saboteur. "Get him!" I ordered and watched as Chervil leaped across the field and mauled the tinderbox wielding villain with animalistic grace. There will be no end to this now, I snarled to the stinking wind.
The man held the knife out for all of us to look at. It was big, shiny, and seemed to reflect our expressions of amazement and concern. The man walked over to the table where the specimen was lying down, its third limb twitching like a stuck insect. Someone made a thinking gesture; this specimen is conscious, the gesture seemed to suggest. The man with the knife paused, located the guilty one of us who had let loose the thought, and ripped the knife into his abdominal region, letting loose a small torrent of blood. That settled, the man with the knife stepped over the dying form and returned to the business at hand. Looming over the specimen with the resolve of one unsure of what must be done exactly, the man raised the knife; then, again, he paused. It had done it! The adorable little specimen had blinked its eyes. Someone let loose a hushed cheer, which brought the man with the knife rushing back to our group, where he tore into one or two individuals, leaving them with their last breaths dropping like ping pong balls into the dirt. Returning to the table, the man lifted the yellow horn and blew it. A few minutes of silence ensued, followed by the changeling and his bowl of mashed fruit. Forcing a gob of the stuff into the specimen's throat tube, the changeling began to croon, softly at first and then with an annoyed crescendo, as the specimen did not seem to be buying it, this whole scenario in the glen, the man in the white robe holding the knife, our ungainly, miserable little group, the doves and chickadees pacing along the branches of the trees.