Upon being rescued, all Charles had said was its
well known that stupiditys class cleans shoes. He hadnt meant
to sound ungrateful, but he was disappointed.
Although Charles appreciated Doris freeing him and his sister,
and although Charles esteemed Doris ability to voyage with verbs, even to
the point that he knew he was confusing his besotted feelings for her
manuscripts with a weird variety of love for her, he found her lack of wings
confounding. It made no sense that a creature would have but a singular prowess
and that such a lone gift would be acuity with words! At least she ought to
sprout some sort of fangs or have corporeal vessels that flowed with some sort
of toxin. He maintained, mostly to himself, that it had been highly improper to
have been rescued by such a being.
After all, though Doris could overturn editorial strictures with
a handful of her descriptive language, she was powerless to use her nails to
shred squirrels or gophers. While Doris could predict publishing trends with
enough accuracy to have everything from literary novels to experimental poetry
accepted, she spoke only five languages, none of which were arcane, and she
never, ever, had attempted to nestle in the tree tops. Plus, she singed easily.
Furthermore, Doris still harbored a niggling concern, bordering
on mania, about Charles role in Wilsons incineration. Charles was
thrown; although that lout, Wilson, had abandoned Doris, and had done so after
impregnating her, Doris had remained incensed that Charles kin had
toasted him. In Charles mind, sometimes even bookish beasts could be
If it had not been the case that Doris essays focused on
distinguishing among the differences in rhetorical patterns in any given
communication as well as on the ways in which those forms might be used for
suasory ends, and if it had not been the case that, for the sake of art, Doris
felt compelled to experiment with speculative fiction, Charles might have been
impelled to eat her. As it were, her authentic discourse, driven by the engine
of her heart, made for a restful respite to Charles manner of living.
Hence, he had looked aside when she had unlocked his crate.
Later, Charles defended his shortage of violence by explaining
that the other hatchling, Jessica, had been of no help. Despite her superlative
intelligence, Jessica had failed to realize that most people dont own
torture manuals, and, consequently, had made herself vulnerable to being
reappropriated by the then disfigured-by-fire Hichkins. Charles also complained
that even without his sisters wisdom or his own, ordinarily reliable,
combustion abilities, he could have clawed himself to freedom had it not been
for the signal-emitting collar ringing his neck.
As for Jessica, who had tut-tutted over the matter of their
being rescued by a human, she was otherwise occupied within Hichkins
laundry closet, In that locale, where Jessica had covered the floor with
clothes, with newspapers, with bags of garbage, and with pharmaceutical aids,
Jessica, experimented with enthoegens and opiates, both of which were in ample
supply in Hichkins home and both of which aided Jessicas
degustation. The female chimera chick insisted that hallucinogens made books,
which she had also sequestered, taste better figuratively and literally.
Per Doris, she had frowned at the young chimera upon releasing
him. Just days earlier, she had discovered the male brute sullenly regarding
the festoon which hung, in all of its fire resistant glory, in front of his
enclosure. That substrate-based material, which delayed heat penetration and
which barricaded against flame penetration, had deprived Charles of sleep, of
appetite, and most importantly of pep.
The monster Doris had found in the cage in Hichkins
library had been no exemplar of ferocity. That depressed reptile had seemed
more a rapidly fading myth than a glorious legend. Charles had tried to
compensate for his deficiency in bravado by daydreaming, aloud, but Doris had
Charles soliloquy had begun with house cats offering up
their viscera to him and had ended with small snakes and medium-sized birds
queuing so that he could rip open their throats. As Doris had unhinged his cage
door, she had shaken her head at Charles compromised imagination; a hound
dog could have created more vivid images. Nonetheless, she had agreed to spend
alternative Thursday afternoons with that young freak and had even willingly
freed his sister.
One such afternoon, while Charles prowled for skinks in
Hichkins garden, his heads floating like balloons above the hop goodenia,
rock correa, and pale flax-lily, Doris commented that she had originally
doubted her moms reports about chimerae taking over the hamlet.
Doris had also regarded her own initial sightings as either fantasy
wrought from too many typed pages or as simple delusion. Had it not been for
the well-bandaged Dr. Hichkins visit to her home and his subsequent
attempt to relieve Mom of Moms shot gun, Doris would not have known about
the unfortunates that Hitchkins had captured. Mom would have continued to
insist on Wilson marrying Doris, too.
Suddenly, Charles heads vanished from view. A small burp
sounded over the abruptly still grasses. A moment later, another burp wafted up
from that glade of stems and leaves.
Doris fire-breathing friend would soon need new hunting
grounds. In the interim, she planned to continue to benefit from that scaly
lads opinion of her writing. She meant to continue to gift the world with
her creativity for years to come.