Of course, the story of John Ramm has
been told. How he used to be free in the wild, then was captured by nets, and
the well-meaning white faces brought him to the land of tall slab. How he found
himself falling in love with this conventional life, but sometimes still wanted
to go prancing down the sidewalk, bucking at other businessmen. How he
suppressed the urge to sharpen his horns on his large wooden desk.
How they put him in a suit and tie like
it was a jail cell, and all he could do was collect porcelain mugs and read
memes, chuckling at their uninspired messages, trying desperately to make it
through the working world with only a modicum of caffeine.
What perhaps has not been told is the
ordinary Tuesday when Ms. Morgan, his dark-haired receptionist, took off early.
Now, a receptionist taking off early is not exactly a prime time event, but who
she was meeting that day was a matter of some interest. Being the personal
assistant to a mythical beast brought of life and dragged from the wild, she
mused, should have some advantage.
Horace Fast, a less-than-well-known
philanthropist and collector of rare items, met Ms. Morgan at approximately
12:31 that day in a grease-pit café. His hands were already covered with
the overflow of a beef concoction.
What can I do for you? he
asked, his low gut hanging over the edge of his chair. He would have offered
her a hand to shake, but he was busy eating at the moment.
Its what I can do for
you, she said, flashing a few snapshots of her antlered boss. I
know you collect some pretty
interesting things. I thought this one might
be of interest.
It was true, as I have already said.
Horace collected fragments of bones, full-stuffed animals, and figments of the
imagination. He had a special room in his large home dedicated to the mythical
Ill be damned, he
said. Do you know the medicinal properties of horns such as that? And
rare ones on such a
man? A man with horns, what a find.
Not sure I know about all
that, the receptionist said. She was waiting for a numerical interlude in
the conversation, preceded by a dollar sign.
Those horns would have
aphrodisiac qualities, he said, noticing her attractiveness with a new
kind of vigor and promise, eyes fixed more clearly.
Not interested in hearing about
your predilections, she said. Id like to talk cash
Any figure would do for Horace, of
course, and she had just the one in mind. They planned two days later to ambush
poor Mr. John Ramm on his way to work and stuff him, quite literally, so that
he could be a welcome addition to Mr. Fasts room.
John Ramm woke up on the appointed
morning, kicking off his covers to the tune of a Cher song about believing. He
ambled into the bathroom, brushing his teeth, brushing his antlers, and shaving
off the excess fur that made him appear so uncouth.
Just because one was wild did not mean
that one could not appear tame. In fact, that message hung over his lavatory on
a tin sign.
Ramm had made his way down to one cup of
coffee from three so far this week, and was doing better at managing the late
hours his job required. He practiced again how to tie a necktie, looking at the
diagram, as he listened to the saucy little blonde on the television set make
her jokes about the play she was currently headlining.
This was the life, or at least
thats what he had been told.
A protein bar downed, Ramm made his
animal way to the elevator, nodding with familiar disdain to the few neighbors
that were out and about. Two men greeted him wordlessly in that elevator, and
this was a new occurrence. Of course, they worked for Horace Fast.
Something deep in the way of instinct
arose in John Ramm and he noted how the men changed position slightly when he
stepped in. They followed quietly as he exited the elevator, and then the three
creatures found themselves alone in a semi-lit parking garage. Ramms
steps increased, and theirs did the same. His steps slowed and theirs
All of his time in the captivity of
civilization, John Ramm had missed the chance to use his horns and, well, ram
up against anything. It was, after all, his namesake.
When the arms of the men grabbed at him,
he found his wild chance, and went down on all fours. Now, the men did not
expect this. They were, of course, expecting to kidnap a human being with
horns. But how much Mr. Ramm was still tied to the forest, they had not
Two feet shot out, one in each chest,
and both assailants dropped. Sure, they worked out. They pumped iron to the
same Cher song that John Ramm woke up to most mornings. But they were soft and
plush men who had never survived naked in a forest, with only berries to eat.
They had never marked their scent on a tree or scraped their fingernails to
signal their presence.
One of them was down for the count with
one kicking, meditating on the throb in his chest. The other was more inclined
to personal disaster and got back up, which was fine. This second rise gave
Ramm the chance to use his horns.
I am not sure about their qualities as
an aphrodisiac, but they were quite sharp and caused the attacker quite a lot
My goodness, thought John Ramm as he
stood back up, that didnt take long to find again. What was gone was his
necktie, which would turn up later on the person of a homeless creature who
wandered through the parking garage later that night.
Ms. Morgan shook off her surprise when
Mr. Ramm walked in the office, barely disheveled, but recovered quickly and
offered him some coffee, which seemed to be the blood that pumped through the
course of an average day.
Hold my calls, he offered
instead, and spent the afternoon looking for just the perfect meme to cheer
himself up, grateful for the chance to go back to the forest a bit.