Gentlemen of the Emperor

“I’m bored bored BORED BORED BORED!!!” said Cunning Love and slapped her own face, so hard she broke a nail. “You spent so much time painting those nails and now you’ve broken them.” said Thinking Wolf and stretched his legs out in front of her as if he were bowing at the feet of Cunning Love, but he was not — he was only stretching. ‘I wish I broke them all! I wish I had a nuclear bomb and I could blow up everything!” “Not me, I hope.” said Thinking Wolf and got up and trotted over to the dish where he had been given a treat – a fat baby.

“Doggie?” said the Fat Baby who had just learned to talk. It was his first word, and as it happened, his last.

“Oh you’re horrible.” said Cunning Love.

“You just wanted to blow up everything and you are shaming me for taking my breakfast?” said Thinking Wolf.

“Don’t you dare throw my words back in my face!” said Cunning Love and sucked on her finger. The broken nail had torn the quick. She tasted a little blood on her tongue. It was good. “What if he had grown up to be my lover?”

“What if he had grown up to be my breakfast AND dinner?” said Thinking Wolf “Times change and we are changed by them.”

Cunning Love smiled. She was happy that she owned Thinking Wolf. The other servants of the emperor did not have one. She did.

“Come, let us go to the Hall of Moral Cripples and mock that one with the huge nose.”

“We always do that.” said Thinking Wolf. “I thought you were bored.”

“I am.”

“So why don’t we do something new?”

“What would you suggest.”

“Let’s sneak into the seraglio and bite people.”‘

“You always want to bite people.”

“I know what will make me happy.”

“You know you cannot simply go biting harem girls.”

“What if I do it in a complicated way?”

“And just what would that be?”

As Thinking Wolf explained his plan down to the smallest detail — which was what to do with the blood and what threats would be used to quiet the victims — Cunning Love felt her dark mood lifting. The sun passing through the diamond shaped panes of glass painted rainbows on the marble, and the tinkling of the fountain seemed to both mock her and suggest that this whole scene before her was unreal; that like the water from the fountain it was issuing forth from a deeper source, becoming a thousand momentary jewels, and then returning. And yet it was as real as anything, as real as Thinkng Wolf’s pink tongue.


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