September 22 Lucifer

YELL-SUCH AN INNOCENT-SOUNDING WORD! A sound you coo to a beloved or a substance spread on toast. How'd it take on for me such insidious associations? But not for always . . . today my yelling spins out of control and alienates unequivocally my favorite hoofservant. And yet it pales to something quaint, precious to be cherished, when measured alongside the way the yell consoled me through rebellious youth. Ah! yelling! I'd never have become the curmudgeonly, lovable, old man S'tan I am without your fitful intervention.

"Why didn't you take care of him?" This is bellowed through pits and caverns of an after-work quarry outside Pleasanton, shaking the foundational beams and raining clumps of dirt and dust on our modest inquisition. It was Xin's mission to give the wunderkind an inexorable warning to consult me on the incidentals of the upcoming tour.

"Sire, I delivered your missive, and indeed entreated him to come with me. . . ."

"Speak! Xin!" I shout.

The pause practically begs a beating. Whatever it is he has to say heknows will yield a blow, pitiful pixie, and so he coils and steelshimself for the hit. "He hoped, Your Heinousness, that--seeing asacting, recording, and preparations for the tour are rendering hisschedule somewhat unwieldy--Jagger hoped that you might meet him inLondon--."

The gall! To attempt to make Lucifer come to you! So infuriating arethe circumstances that the next yell comes out a blast of blue dragon'sbreath, in a flash burning my most trusted charge to a curled a wispycrisp.

Xin? I utter, incredulous at the instantaneity of the outburst which soutterly and irrevocably terminates his entity, our relation. I take andhold the fruit of my ire delicately between two claws: a little like arose petal, but more like pork rind. Leaving me lonely and alone, dismaland dejected at having carbonized my one friend, the rage is displaced inone smooth sweep of hatred to the object of my shame-- M. Jagger must pay!--and, turning to areliable old disorder that at dire times has helped distract if notprovide any real relief, I absently, impulsively, drop Nix's saltyremnant on my forked tongue and gulp him down with a draught of bull'sball brew.

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