Saturday, December 27, 2014

Three Loves Seven , Chapter 21, Part 3 - "Water Wears Down Even the Hardest Rock"

Dear Gentle Readers,

We are still on Saturday, and as the seaweeders cut leaves, and Wen and Qin Qin slog through their decoding work, Clete just lazes about, trying to sleep out his sentence.

In today's installment, we switch back to his point of view in a personal journal entry, mostly centered on activities in the evening. If you wondered who would crack first in a test of wills between Qi and Clete, was there EVER any doubt on the part of our clueless, socially inept professor who has the capacity to absorb punishment and brush it off?

Thanks for reading, and a happy 3rd day of Christmas to you all!


And so the story continues ...

Personal Journal entry – recalling
U.S. Time: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Island Time: Dragon, Month 7, Day 2, XingQi 6
Project Time: Week 8, Day 7

Saturday marked the start of the second full day of my incarceration. The seeds were sorted (my power sieve made short work of that task), the coconuts were as bald and as smooth as billiard balls, and a nice bundle of coconut fiber was dried and ready for spinning to rope. I looked around for minor repairs I could make on the Hall of Justice, but it was remarkably well maintained. I mean, really, for the comings and goings of animals and vermin, Qi and Fei may have been better served just living in a car port. They had no need of walls. Why even bother? This household harbored no modesty in the sense that I understand it, and clothing was purely optional. If Lum was a girl as crunchy as granola, Qi was rock candy.

I had suggested to Qi that she take me with her in the morning, but she declined. “Whatever you do, stay in perimeter!” she ordered. I never thought I’d find myself volunteering for slave-boy duty to fan her while she worked, but I think I knew that I would be bored hanging around with nothing to do. But that is what I literally did. The hammocks were in shade so I just crawled in and lay about daydreaming. For all of Qi delusions about maintaining a karma-free property, I had to admit there were no blood-sucking flying insects about. I suspect it had more to do with what plants were cultivated, efficient drainage, the relative size of the predator community, and the variability of the wind more than anything else. Still, her yard delivered what many tropical resort commercials promise but fail to deliver, long naps under trees, unmolested by pests.

Of course, my bar had been lowered on the standard of pest molestation. Having big centipedes hang on you would creep most people out. I didn’t have to avoid accidentally crushing them. They just moved about all over me instinctively knowing how to dodge death by crushing.

And then there were the pangolins—the weird little, foot-long anteaters, looking like they are dressed in chain mail suits at a Renaissance fair, made from toenails. The little critters would come out of the trees onto me, lapping the salt off my face with their worm-like tongues. They had taken a liking as well as licking to me. I was not sure what was worse, my continued profuse sweating, or their constant ministrations. They are but mere bush meat to some of the oil-field work crews I’ve been out with in southeast Asia. They only supply you a few mouthfuls when cooked—I always just stuck to my nutrition bars and MREs when those “dragon rats” were on the menu.

As midday passed and we approached Western quitting time, I realized I had only to hold out another 24 hours and I’d be free to return to work. My sentence would officially end at sundown the next day.

Wen came over again with dinner cooked by Feng. I was disappointed that Feng again did not join us. Today’s repast was something very different. She had prepared hard, crunchy-crispy crackers that you would then top with seaweed and some kind of nut-and-bean-based protein paste. They were quite tasty.

     “My cousin is quite the creative one to come up with such a dish,” said Qi.
     “Mother also makes a shellfish paste for these that is quite tangy,” said Wen.
     “Tell her they are excellent for me,” I said.
     “I especially like her shrimp paste morsels,” said Faye.
     “When have you had those?” asked Qi.

Qi’s tone was nonchalant, but the conversation came to a dead halt.

     “I don’t remember exactly,” said Faye after a long pause.
     “Maybe, the 15th day of this month?”
     “That’s funny. You guys don’t look Jewish,” I said, hoping to lighten the mood. The joke only caused puzzled looks. Qi then glared at me.
     Faye continued. “I am not a strict vegetarian like you Mother.”

This announcement had the quality of a “coming out” admission. Qi almost seemed to tremble to me at those words. College professors and residence administrators get to see these “tender” family moments more than they would like. I suppose I should feel flattered. Faye evidently decided to bring up her major break with her mother’s ethical system in the presence of a rational adult (me) whom she expects to back her up—except that she forgot to tell me about it. As if I didn’t have enough things on my list for Qi to hate me for. Just as I was expecting Qi to explode, I thought maybe I should create a diversion.

     “This cracker-and-paste cuisine reminds of a unique seasoning I was introduced to by a gas field crew I was with in Cameroon. They had this same kind of dish we were eating for lunch.”
     “What was it?” asked Wen. Good girl! Smart girl! She was following my lead.
     “How about I show you? I’m going to need an escort outside of perimeter, Princess?” I said, looking at Qi.
     “Put all the crackers on a platter. And I’m going to need one of the pangolins.”

We gathered up the food, left the grounds of Justice, and I set my chosen pangolin buddy down on the ground to find us an ant colony. To his credit (I assume it was a guy), he not only found a lively hole teeming with residents, he restrained himself, staying karma-free, and did not eat a single one. Bill W. would have been proud of this guy.

I set the platter of crackers on next to the colony exit and ants began to crawl onto the morsels, getting themselves stuck in the paste. I picked one up.

     “My crew called it God’s pepper,” I said, popping one into my mouth. “Wow, not bad. Just as pungent as I remember. Try it.” Wen and Faye both took crackers and ate them, ants and all.
     “They ARE spicy,” said Wen.
     “It’s food that bites back,” said Faye.
     I turned to Qi. “I would offer you one, but,”
     “Clete,” she said, pulling me aside, “what is your point with all of this?”
     “I think you know. So, I’m going to eat one more, but I’ll donate the rest of my share to the ants. How’s that?”
     “Do whatever you want Clete,” said Qi. “Look, they are swarming over here. Their young queens are ready to take flight.” We all went over to take a closer look. “That’s odd. One of the males has a silver leg.”
     “Oh, that’s one of the fellows Dr. Wong equipped yesterday,” said Faye.
     “Equipped?” said Qi.
     “He was putting prosthetic limbs on all of our resident bugs.”
     I took a close look. “Sure enough, that’s one of my guys there having sex with a queen. I guess Plato was right.”
     “Don’t the males engage in combat to have the right to mate with the princess?” asked Wen.
     “Unless I miss my guess, I think that’s a pile of dead bodies there. Wow, from Omega to Alpha in one day. Dude! You are one bad-ass! Fuck yeah!”
     “What kind of limbs did you put on the bugs?” asked Qi.
     “Titanium. It’s a very light metal, but sturdy.”
     “You gave them weapons!”
     “I thought they were more like canes and wheelchairs myself.”
     “I CAN’T believe this! You are the devil. What have I invited into my house? This is all your fault isn’t it? Is it any wonder that my daughter has become corrupt? Girls, leave that food for the ants. I can’t stand any more of this. I have to go home and lie down and think.”
     “Aw Auntie! Aren’t we going play cards again tonight?” asked Wen. “I would like to win back my $80 thousand. Don’t you want to get out of Sensei’s debt?”
     “That’s enough of that young lady!”

After returning to Justice, Qi sent Wen and Fei with the cards off to play with any of the other girls they could talk into it.

     “I am so upset at you. I need to be alone for a bit.”
     “I was just trying to be helpful. I’m going to be punished aren’t I?”
     “Just … get out of my sight.”

I went to the back of the cottage to await my next summons. I whistled and in an instant the pangolins were around me. While Qi’s back was turned, I grabbed a couple of handfuls of ants out of the swarm, squished them and brought them back with me. “OK kids,” I said to my little friends, “your favorite food. I’ll take all the karma lumps for you. Eat up and enjoy,” I said, crouching as I dropped the bounty of ants into a pile before them.  I got up and turned around. Qi was right behind me.

     “You had ants crawling all over your arms. You are so obvious. You think I’m an idiot.”
     “No. But I do think you’re a religious fanatic..”
     “Why do you keeping showing me such contempt? Why won’t you respect me?”
     “Qi, I don’t know. Sorry, it’s not you. I have a lot of problems with authority. Frankly I’m surprised I’ve lived as long as I have. If it makes you feel any better, I have these problem with police and courts in other countries too. But they’re easily bribed. Your problem in dealing with me is, is that you have integrity and moral standards. If you ask me you are this Guardian of Justice job a bit too seriously. Lighten it up, you’ll live longer.”
     My comments seemed to only exasperate her. She pointed to the bin of coconuts. “Explain how the coconut work has been completed so fast.”
     “Automation. The seeds are sorted too, each into coarse, medium, and fine grades. I was hoping to surprise you.”
     “Maybe I do need you follow me around fanning me.”
     “A suggestion? Why don’t we just sit on the porch quietly, and you can do something like embroider, like I do with Lee. That works! I promise I’ll be still.”
     “NO. I refuse to do anything that reminds you of Lee.”
     “Why? We have our differences and we put on a show about arguing a lot, but you know what I really like about her … ?”
     “I … do … not … want to talk about Lee.”

She grabbed me by the hand and took me to the porch.  She motioned me into a chair and then sat in a stool with her back to me and then let loose all of floor-length hair. “For the rest of the night you will brush and detangle my hair. You will do it without causing me any pain. THAT will keep you busy and out of trouble.”

It was tedium, of course, but that was the point. The process reminded me that Rico used to have me do the same thing on Sunday nights, back when we were together. She would watch Japanese-language TV on UHF as I worked her hair by hand—her hair was extremely fine and it tangled very easily.  I knew enough this time to keep my mouth shut about Rico.

     “I just noticed. All of your lice are gone.”
     “I told you I sent them away for now.”
     “You won’t believe me, but I really want to be a trouble-free prisoner.”
     “My advice is try to do nothing. I can accept that as proper behavior for the balance of your term. I have decided that you cannot learn anything new. There is no point in trying to rehabilitate you.”
     “I think I can manage doing nothing.”
     “If you do anything tomorrow, remove deadheads in the garden. That will be your job. Do no more than that.”
     “Aye aye ma’am.”

I worked on in silence for a time. The light started to die on us, but it was a task that did really didn’t require sight.

     “Water hurts me.” She said. Her tone was confessional.
     “Excuse me?”
     “Fresh water. Unless it is falling from the sky, it irritates my skin. Gives me sores and rashes. That is why I do not bathe.”
     “Water is a light acid. Carbolic acid. The longer it is exposed to oxygen, the more acidic it gets. You must be hyper sensitive.”
     “I am. I wish I was not this way.”
     “I am sorry. It must make life difficult for you.”
     “I manage.”
     “You would probably like mineral salt baths.”

The lights went out and I retired to my hammock. Just as I was dozing, Qi climbed in and lay on top of me, resting her head on my chest.

     “Qi. You got in the wrong hammock.”
     “Mmm. Sh.” She started to snore.

I guess she was exhausted, remembering how hard they work on this island. I was an unnecessary and bothersome distraction on top of all of her day’s stresses. The ropes of the hammock creaked rhythmically as we swayed, both from the momentum she created and in the breeze.

     I said, “I just had a memory. It was an image of sleeping with you in a hammock like this, but on a boat. Like in a past life.”
     She murmured as if in a dream trance, “Oh Wong, shut up. You never were a good Buddhist. Always too worldly. Don’t even try.”

As we lay there, a warm storm came over us, continually dowsing us with rain.  I shifted so that we were side-by-side, but covering her a bit. She was apparently accustomed to sleeping in the rain. However, the driving pulse of raindrops kept me awake.

When the call of nature came upon me as it inevitably did three times a night, I did not bother to rouse us out, as it seemed irrelevant to do so sleeping essentially in a rinse cycle with a woman who herself always smelled of sweat, stress hormones, pus, vaginal discharge, smegma, tonsil stones, tooth decay, shit, and urine. And if she had night sweats that night, who knew? I used my hands and my fundoshi to gently scrub her. She responded by shifting her posture as I pushed her, but never gaining full consciousness. When we arose the next morning, she was probably the cleanest she had been since I’d met her. She actually smelled pretty good to me.

© Copyright 2012 by Vincent Way, all rights reserved.

Next week: Clete breaks perimeter before his sentence is up and trouble is a-brewin' ...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Malibu morning picture of the day - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

Here is your last picture of Malibu for 2014 ...

The tops of Catalina Island are rising from the mist on the left. Clear blue skies here, the wind is strong--Santa Ana winds are blowing and it's expected to get up into the 80s in these days leading to Christmas in L.A.

Today's Second Look is on campus with a look at our 2014 Christmas tree in Joslyn Plaza. The man on the bench in the lower right is a life-size bronze of founder George Pepperdine. The tree has sort of a droopy quality at this point. The brown spots you see are branches that have dehydrated in the normal course of being long deprived of water.

There's kind of a sad look to a Christmas tree, outdoors, in morning light. Like a person who slept in their party clothes.

My employer gives us worker bees the week off between Xmas Eve and New Years, so the Malibu picture will disappear the rest of this week and all of next. So if you just tune in for the picture, come back January 5. However, I suspect I'll probably post something in the intervening days. Nobody wants to see East Hollywood every morning.


This pic is as American-Iconic now as
the Coca-Cola Santa
If you are a musician pro or amateur, Christmas standards of any sort at this point  on the calendar make you gag, because you've been playing them and hearing them so much. Regular people are a bit tired of them too.

My Ex had a rule that NO Christmas was to be played, sung, or even hummed in the house from the start of fall until then end of Thanksgiving. So, since we were usually at her parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner, we'd be driving home late, and at the stroke of midnight we'd put the Mannheim Steamroller tape in and start off with their heroic rendition of "Deck the Halls."

I offer a few antidotes (all still Christmas music) but with some antibody elements mixed in to fend off nausea and other effects of overindulgence:

This is something I want to get my band to play next year (if you like this, there is a No. 1 that you can find on your own):

At "Tuba Christmas" nearly 100 tuba and euphonium players play carols together and its sounds great. If you've got a trumpet player in your life, you'll enjoy this:

And of course, to cleanse the palate, this classic:

Love to you all. Have a wonderful rest of the week, Christmas included,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Malibu morning picture of the day - Monday, December 22, 2014

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's Christmas Eve(otherwise three days before Xmas).

It's clear out on the coast. Not too chilly for the 2nd day of winter--the kind of day that makes everybody else in the U.S. in snow country want to move here.

Today's second shot shows fog sitting behind the ridge which is where I believe Malibu Canyon Creek empties out into the bay (the fact that there is fog probably indicates that there IS a running creek there).

Last night was a particularly red sky, but my camera does not faithfully render sunsets as I have mentioned before (it puts too much yellow in).

Which is odd, because it does sunrises well enough. Why one is different from the other photographically I will probably have to have a landscape photographer tell me.

Nevertheless, when I crop out all reference points, it gives me something that I can call an "alien sea of fire" and I will actually believe myself. I want to go there in a dream.


I've noticed that several people that I know (generally people without children) seem to develop an aversion, or at least an annoyance, with the overall enforced cheeriness and joyousness that comes with being surrounded by the images and music of Christmas which start up after Halloween.

When you have kids, there is a responsibility to commit to the underlying premise of secular Christmas to be nice and generous to each other.(BTW: The real religious Christmas story is followed up in short order by tale of mass-murder of children by an insecure governmental authority--ask your Sunday School teacher about that one...).
An L.A. Krampus

A few years ago, reading one of my favorite webcomics The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, I was introduced to the Christmas Krampus, who has been enjoying a resurgence, at least among a certain ironic subculture. He has made appearances on The Colbert Report and American Dad I believe, so he's kinda hip right now. L.A.'s Echo Park district even has a parade which I missed (dammit).

He is basically the wild man archetype character (hairy, horned, long-tongued, tailed, strong, aggressive, noisy, probably smelly, etc.) who travels alongside Saint Nicholas in the Alpine cultures, dispensing punishment to bad children as St. Nick dispenses goodies to the good. If you've been bad, he'll beat you with his rusty chain, toss you in his basket-rucksack, and take you to Krampus-land (hell, I presume?). Read all about him at
Santa and Krampus by artist Steven Austin

My Chinese yin-yang soul really responds to this guy as the antidote to keep Christmas cheer in check. Thank you Austrians and your pagan forbears for understanding the balance of light and dark in such frighteningly and kooky way.

I'm going to have to design my own Krampus holiday card next year (I can hardly wait, so I'll do it on my Xmas vacation here from my employer ...).

That's all for today.


Personal postscript: This is my newest relative, who was born Saturday. Granddaughter Henrietta Sojourner Pickering (and I thought her mother's name was long when we named her ... I've been done one up!), born in the waning Year of the Wood Horse. Welcome, you are loved. Goong-Goong.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Three Loves Seven - Chapter 21, Part 2 - Why, It's a Qing Dynasty Audio Recording Device Made Out of Wood and Silk

Dear Gentle Readers,

AUTHOR'S NOTE: A couple of weeks ago I tried putting a "adult content" marker on my blog because Clete has such a foul mouth, but it made access cumbersome and middle-school boys talk just as dirty as he does, so I removed it. 

Those of you who are reading this story know that its content is pretty G-rated otherwise (it's a romantic comedy, really!). There are no detailed scenes where I describe pulsating, glistening body parts as they are employed in the physiological functions for which they are designed by God and nature (that is the definition of obscenity, right?). Nor is there great treachery and murder (there may be mayhem, I haven't decided yet).

So, there will be warning of foul language henceforth. Those wishing to avoid such language are invited to read and just make the following mental substitutions and you'll be fine:

A Clete Wong glossary:
Fuck! Shit! (exclamation) = Oh my! Rats!
Holy shit! = Now that's something! Would ya look at that!
fucking (adj) = friggin', very, exceptionally, unusually excessive
Goddamn (adj) = gosh-darn, very unpleasant, wholly disagreeable
Goddamn it! (exclamation) = That displeases me no end! So frustrating! You are in error.
What the fuck! = It's hard to believe that can happen so.
Go to fuckin' hell! = A moment please? I need to gather my thoughts.
Fuck off! = Not to worry, I can handle this.
Go fuck yourself! = Thank you, but your assistance is no longer necessary.

You get the idea. Hope this is helpful. Vocabulary Corner is now over. Back to our regular programming.

We pick right up in chronological order from where we left off last week. Remember that the conceit of this part of the story is that it is a mash-up by the island historian of various journal and diary entries and recalled conversations that she has preserved and collected.

Last week was a recollection by the eldest of the Second Princesses, Ling, daughter of Lee, the Guardian Princess of the Water Element. It falls to the oldest Seconds to deal with the occasional seaweed harvest. Qin Qin pulled Wen off after discovering that the old manuscripts from The Outside, which may say something about the Island's history, were written not in literary or numerical code, but rather in musical code, tablature corresponding to markings left on an old guqin (zither) by an early noble inhabitant of Dog Island.

If that all sounds like nonsense to you, you're just going to have to go back and read all the past entries... I'm sorry. Ain't no way I can easily recap everything.

There will be three major turnings coming up. We are getting close to the first turning, but we've got to get Clete out of jail first, and he has to interact with Ting-Ting (they've met briefly) and the Sea Witch. So hang in there.

Thanks for reading.


[Reporter’s note: building upon Ling’s recollection, I have added the conversation that Wen and I  had when further researching how to further decode the Outside Manuscripts. –Q]

We went to Wen’s house to pick up her guqin. My plan was that we would go from there to the lab where all of the Outside Manuscripts had been scanned. However as we approached we heard Wen’s mother Feng working in the classroom.

     “The instrument is in there,” said Wen.
     “Good. Run in and get it.”
     “No. Mother will question why I am not with the seaweeders.”
     “Just tell her I needed you more.”
     “Like that will work. Be serious.”
     “What’s the problem?”
     “Dereliction of duty is a major offense to her. Aren’t you afraid of getting beaten?”
     “It happens to me all the time.”
     “You have no sense of shame. I’m different.”
     “We need to get her out of there then. I’ll set the shed on fire. That will be easy. That will distract her.”
     “Qin! No! Why are you like this?”
     “I”ll help rebuild it later. I promise? This is important.”
     “I am not going to cooperate if you do things like that.”
     “Awww. We’re going to have to wait until tonight then! This is awful.”
     “What’s the hurry?”
     “I’m sorry. It’s just that when you get close to finding something out, you really want to get it done.”
     “I am building my own instrument. It’s not fully sanded and lacquered, and there are no pearl insets yet, but I think it will play if I string it up.”
     “It’s probably in your house too then?”
     “No, it’s at The Shrine, which has that nice workshop room. Aunt Ting Ting gave me space to work there. I like to think building it there from wood grown in the grove will give it special powers.”
     “Will Aunt Ting Ting question why you are not seaweeding?”
     “No. She always welcomes me, asks how the project is going, and never asks other questions. She is so easygoing. Jie is so lucky.”
     “I don’t think she’s the same way with Jie as she is with you.”
     “Oh? Why?”
     “Because you’re Feng’s daughter.”
     “Why would that make a difference?”
     “You mother is more important.”
     “The Tortoise Guardian isn’t any more important than the Phoenix Guardian. They are both on the Security Council. I don’t follow.”
     “You are too close to the subject. The only one more important than your mother is Mu. Never mind! Let’s just go the The Shrine and get YOUR instrument.”

We arrive at The Shrine Workshop and came upon Jie and Ting Ting  at work on preparations for the festivals for Seven Seven and for Lost Souls. As Wen had said, Auntie Ting Ting welcomed us warmly.

     “So nice to see you Qin Qin. And thank you for dressing properly to attend business in The Shrine.”

I looked down at myself. My hair had dried out somewhat and was loose about me and I had on nothing. I ran off the beach totally undressed. How had I not noticed? Thank goodness I had my glasses. AND I had my new boots on.

     “Umm. I’m a little cold? Do you have something I can throw on?” Auntie Ting Ting’s smile turned into a frown. “Never mind. I’m fine, Auntie,” I said correcting myself as I put my head onto the floor, kow-towing in apology.  Auntie gave me a satisfied nod and moved off. I rose and Wen gave me a questioning look. I whispered to her, “For your information, Temple Guardian is more important than Fire Guardian. You are SO uninformed about our real hierarchies because you’re at the top. I swear.”

I had drawn a diagram of all the characters that were inscribed at all of the standard stops on the antique guqin. I had a copy of the opening page of the Outside Manuscripts and we went slowly converting each tablature symbol into its corresponding character ideogram. This gave us a string of words where some of them made sense next to one another, but mostly it was nonsense.  We then had to search our vocabularies of all the possible sound-alike words and substitute them in until we had a phrase that made some sense.  It was mentally exhausting. After a few hours we had to take a break. We had not even cracked the first complete sentence.

     “Qin. This is going to take months, don’t you think?” said Wen. “Maybe years?”
     “I know,” I said dropping my head down. “Why did she write like this? Why not just write what she wanted to say in classical Chinese?” I said.  We were working on the floor of the workshop.  I flopped back and stared up at the ceiling. I shut my eyes.

Wen took up her instrument and sounded the notes we had spent time on. At first she just played the notes, teaching her fingers where to move from one to the other. And then, she tried to make shape them into a tune.

     “What are you doing with the notes?” I asked.
     “Tablature only tells you what notes to play. It doesn’t tell you how to play them with each other. No lengths, no expression, no dynamics. The player must make those choices. I’m making some choices.”
     “Sounds complicated.”
     “It can be.”

I shut my eyes to rest them as Wen worked out a rhythm. As she played the sound fell into the cadence of a spoken phrase. She did it over and over. And then, I thought I heard fragments of sentence:

     “Gr______, m__ d___r, ____er granddaugh____ …”

     “Wait! Did you hear THAT?” I said.
     “It’s odd. When I play it like that it almost sounds like someone whispering, muffled, with no consonants. Like they are talking behind a wall.”
     “What did you do?”
     “I am just  trying to shape the notes into a pattern that makes sense.”
     “Try harder. Think more conversation. Not song.”
     “Greetings, m___ ____r granddaughter …”
     “Still fuzzy, but I could hear two definite words. Can you do it all like that?”
     “I just had a thought. She composed this using her own instrument. And supposedly we have her instrument. The Ancient one. If you played it on hers, I wonder if it would make a difference.”
     “A plucked string is a plucked string. How different could it be? And anyway, I’m not allowed to touch the Ancient Instrument. Only the Sea Witch and the Court Musician may handle it. It’s so old it might fall apart.”
     “But you’re the Apprentice Court Musician, and we’re here anyway, so it’s just in one of these cupboards right? The Sea Witch allowed me to touch it that one time. It seemed sturdy enough to me. I’m sure it’s fine.”
     “Qin! Restrain yourself.”
     “Hang on. I’m just going to look in all of these cupboards. It won’t hurt just to look at it again. Where did Natsuki put it again …”
     “SIGH! The closet. To the right. Fourth shelf from the bottom. I feel my own bottom hurting so bad—oh the caning we are going to get … ”

© Copyright 2012 by Vincent Way, all rights reserved.