My Life Among The People Who Pretend To Be Other People

…and carry around lots of dice

 

The Doclopedia #789

Guardians: Billy the Bear

It was lonely as hell, way out in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where Jonas McCabe had his gold mine. So, when Jonas found an orphan California grizzly bear cub, he decided he’d found a friend, too. Named the little feller Billy and fed him up on milk from a goat, at least for a couple of months. After that, Billy was eatin’ whatever he could get and a damned lot of it!

It wasn’t long, maybe 3 years, until little Billy the Bear was weighin’ just shy of a ton and standing 14 feet tall when he reared up on his hind legs. He was a damn smart bear, seeing as how old Jonas had taught him all sorts of tricks and commands. He was also fiercely protective of both Jonas and the area around the mine…which worked out real nice when Jonas hit a thick vein o’ gold. Hell, he even trained Billy on how to pull a sledge full of ore out of the mine and into a pile for crushin’ & smeltin’.

Now, nobody knows how many people tried to jump Jonas’ claim, but I can tell ya, none of ‘em ever came back with any gold. Hell, fact is, none of ‘em ever came back at all. Old Jonas and Billy neither one ever said anythin’ about claim jumpers, but sometimes Jonas would have a bunch of boots and betlt buckles and guns and such to sell when he came into town.

Anyway, once he was rich, Jonas up and built himself a big ol’ house near the mine. Damned place has huge doors, so Billy can walk into the house and make himself at home anytime he wants to. And at supper time, Billy gets a nice pig or sheep or quarterside of beef. That is, if he hasn’t filled himself up on claim jumpers.

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The Doclopedia #790

Guardians: The Phantom Kitty Cat

In the heart of the city (Which city? Oh, you’ll have to find that out for yourself) is an old building. It is not abandoned, but it probably should be. Down in the basement (or is it up in the attic?) is a door that is always locked…except when it isn’t locked. If you open the door, you’ll see a small room (or maybe a not so small room) with no windows (except maybe 1 or 2) or furnishings (except for maybe a sofa, chair, table and tv). At the opposite end of the room is a door and sitting in front of that door is a small cat. He usually looks pretty bored.

The Phantom Kitty Cat appears differently for each person who sees it. Some may see a Siamese, while others might see a Tabby or a Persian or a Calico. Sometimes he’s fat, sometimes he’s skinny and sometimes he is a she. Regardless of the way it looks to you, it will always be of a small size for a housecat and be semi-transparent. It will stare at you for a moment and then ask you a question. The voice it uses will sound like somebody famous of the appropriate sex.

What the question is depends upon who you are, where you’ve been, what you like and dislike, what you do for a living and what your reasons are for wanting to go through the door that the cat is guarding. Depending upon your answer, the cat may ask more questions…or let you pass through the door…or tell you to leave…or kick your ass. Oddly, the cat never kills anyone.

What’s on the other side of the door? That depends on you. Don’t bother asking the cat, because it doesn’t know or care.

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