He wore not a scrap of clothing as he lay on the grimy dirt within the coffin, so I could see that his entire body bore a ghastly green pallor. His toes and fingers were abnormally long and thin, and the toes even seemed to taper to points as the nails had grown back deformed. His ears too were long and tapered. The serene and contented smile on his face struck me as obscene.
“I have a story to tell you that you will not believe,” the fly said.
I listened. Because if I believed that a fly could speak, then I was more than ready to hear what she had to say.
And I did believe, after a fashion, when I realized that the tiny voice I’d heard whispering my name was coming from the fly that was perched on the edge of my mantel.
“We only allow guests to stay in the master suite for one night. Any longer than that and some begin to experience issues with their health.”
“Psychological issues, you mean?”
When I first entered the jungle, I walked forth into the unknown. I had no map, only a general direction. So I could say I stumbled upon him, but that would be misleading. I have been searching for him for a long while. Since before I knew his nature or his name. Since before I was born.
“We know where it is. We’ve known for a while. We just can’t get to it. It would require some fairly fancy flying.” The secretary crossed his arms and gazed at the faces of the officials surrounding him.
“My homunculus is malfunctioning.”
I could feel it, shifting around in my chest, as I waited for the on-call doctor to respond. The doctor’s badge indicated that he didn’t have one, so I didn’t think he would understand, but as I began to speak, to describe what had been happening to me over the past few weeks, his questions and observations revealed that he understood quite well. And he came to this conclusion.
My homunculus was malfunctioning.
Six fools ran from the dragon’s fire, but only one of them was her husband.
There was the wizard in blue robes with a green-jeweled magic staff. There was the armored knight who bore a shield that guarded against flame. There was the jungle barbarian and the mystical fire-cat. There was the sprightly archer. And then there was the mustachioed scoundrel, who had assembled them all. His beloved wife had been lost to an enchantment, an enchantment that was impossible to break. Impossible, that is, for a single man, even if he were a devoted spouse.
Once, there were five magic beans.
The king is the hound and the hound is the king.
The feasters come and eat, but they don’t suspect a thing.
It’s a feast like none they’ve seen, a spectacular repast.
They never e’er suspect that the meal will be their last.
Shortly before the world lost contact with Tranenbloud Island, the research team reported that an islander and a member of the team had gone missing, a man and a woman. Both were later found dead and with their reproductive organs missing, presumably devoured.
A few days after that, all communication from the island ceased.