lunedì, febbraio 14, 2005

Sawto Voase

Sawto Voase
By Eddie G.

The window was wide open when I entered the bedroom. Of course, I hadn’t gone in through there. After all, only idiots who can’t even fathom the principle that underwear should be worn inside the tights come in from windows despite the fact that doors make that job so much easier. My apprentice plodded quietly behind me. The fact that the night air was still and humid probably explained why our client slept with his windows open. Perhaps it was also out of fear. Fear of… the unexpected.

“Bloody dark in here,” muttered my apprentice as he stumbled in.

“Shh!” I whispered softly but intensely, “remember what Rule 4(C) of the Handbook says.”

“Oh that’s right!” he replied, his volume dropping sharply, “‘Always speak in sawto voase’”

Sotto voce

“That’s what I said.”


I made a quick scan about the room which, lighted by the pale moon, had a gothic and dreary feel to it. My eyes squinted in the darkness, trying to single out some salient and noteworthy items. A family portrait hung precariously above the king size bed where our client lay snoring.

“Ah, brings back memories, doesn’t it?” I chuckled grimly as my gaze leveled on a stern-looking old man sitting squarely in the centre, “Lord Jonathan Winters, my former client. A very unpopular character indeed if memory serves. And here, lies his offspring and our current client.”

“All I see is Darkness,” intoned my apprentice solemnly.

“That’s because you’re hood's down, you fool! And whatever the hell are you wearing that for anyway?”

“I thought it was part of the uniform?”

Sure I’ve had my share of greenhorns in the past, but I was quite confident I could wash my hands behind the ears of this one.

“Take off that silly hood and listen up; it’s time for a pop quiz,” I ordered. “Rule 12(6) of the Handbook says ‘Take a quick check at the objects strewn about the clients’ room, so that you shall gain insight on his/her interests’. Why is this necessary?”

“‘So that the journey won’t be riddled with bouts of uncomfortable silence.’”

“Well done. At least you’ve been doing your homework,” I nodded in approval. Pointing to the gramophone by the side wall, I asked, “What does that tell you about our client?”

“Uh… he likes music?”

“Look closer, fool!”

“Oh… it’s only for display,” my apprentice realized after seeing the broken needle, “he must be a collector of sorts.”

“Close. He wants his peers to think him cultured and refined. As a result, most of his clutter of relics here are nothing more that white elephants. Take that grandfather’s clock for example,” I said while directing his attention to the corner where a huge towering clock sat, gathering dust and cobwebs.

My apprentice however was eyeing a bagful of sticks.

“What are these for?”

“Oh these,” I coughed, “he uses those to hit the ground and scream expletives while attempting to knock around little white balls. They call it ‘golf’, and every time he plays it, he gets a tad older and a lot grumpier.”

“Then why does he play it?”

“For leisure. Don’t stare at me like that. It’s not as if you’ve known humans for the first time.”

We spent the next few minutes probing around for more telltale odds and ends, each find having its own story to tell. Take for instance a cigar case with the word “Winters” engraved on it resting on a bedside table, a probable family heirloom handed down from one chronic smoker to another. And then there was a priceless Ming vase which our client was witlessly using as a spittoon. And then there was the thong. No comment.

“Alright. Time has expired,” I finally announced, “Do you want to give it a try this time or do you want me to show you how it’s done again?”

“Uh… once more if you don’t mind,” my apprentice pleaded.

“Very well,” I sighed, "But this time shall be the last!" Without warning, I raised my scythe and in one fluid slash, drew the soul of our client out of his body.

The soul of the sleeping man stared at us, and then at his body. In stunned silence, his mouth was wide agape, but did nothing more.

“I’m sure this won’t be easy on you Mr. Winters, but my apprentice here will fill you in on the nitty-gritty while we head for the nearest purgatory. This way please.”

As my apprentice ushered our client out of his former room, I took one last look around. The body of the last of the Winters lay motionless in its bed. Fate had long decided this family line to end in most abrupt fashion. That of course, was none of my business. As I turned to leave, the bag of golf clubs caught my eye once more.

I suppose I could use some work on my swing.

Ye who seek for audience, let ye speak now!

And so it came to past that at 19 febbraio, 2005 14:26, in the presence of The Eddie G., Blogger imprisoned_soul had spoken the following...

they have driving ranges in purgatory...? count me in den!

And so it came to past that at 29 aprile, 2005 06:27, in the presence of The Eddie G., Anonymous tsewei had spoken the following...

Somehow this story reminded me a great deal of Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series. anyway, came upon your blog by chance, n it's a pretty interesting read. :p


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