Monday, August 12, 2013

Day Five-Hundred-Six: Sign language gone loopy

Well, we have traffic in Pubton again. That's good. And many of the newcomers seem content to remain here permanently, so that's…  even better.

News of the Grand Chasm being filled in by a strange new landmass? Not so good. Probably not so good. I can only imagine that the Non are responsible, since the world went to hell once they appeared, and I'd like that big, black pit back again.  Knowing that there was nothing to the east was oddly comforting.

I suspect Dragomir has some answers regarding the Grand-Chasm-That-Was. Unfortunately, he continues to play the mute when he appears, which is still seldom. So today I went looking for an interview with the next best thing: his apparent partner-in-crime, Plato the Platypus.

To put my stance mildly, I don't trust this little twerp. I don't trust him at all.

Every time he emerges from his home, Dragomir instantly becomes the talk of the town. Even the news of the Grand Chasm isn't enough to eclipse his appearances. But nobody, and I mean nobody, ever bothers to discuss the flat-footed dope that's always following him. It's as if Plato isn't really there. He's an imaginary phantom who only concerns Harold and myself.

"Plato is small, / and Plato is new, / but Plato is loyal, / and Plato is true." This is Edmund the Bard's stance. Apparently he knows the punk from his earlier travels. I don't buy it.

Dragomir spends little time outside his house, but I noticed that Plato comes and goes regularly. So today, during one of the platypus's sojourns, I stepped up beside him and joined him on his walk.

"Good afternoon," I said.

"…" replied the platypus.

"I think we need to talk." I noticed the big W on his tail for the first time, wondering what it signified. A code?

Plato fidgeted and carried on his way. It wasn't an invitation to join him, but it wasn't a refusal either. I fell into step beside him.

"You've been with Dragomir a lot lately."

"    "

"Everywhere he goes, you seem to follow."


"I even heard a rumour that you were with him after his daughter died. When he was… talking."

Tense silence.

"You know. Talking. With the head. And the… head… was talking back."

"    "

"Yes, I agree, it sounds crazy. But so is, say, the sudden appearance of a new country, where once there was a giant fucking pit. And that happened, we think."

Plato blinked. A tear? I wasn't sure.

I stepped in front of the platypus. He's small and stodgy, so it's easy to outpace him. "The last talking bird I saw in Pubton was planning to kill us all. And while Kierkegaard may be a little more intimidating than you -"

Plato winced visibly at the name, pulling away from me.

"- I'm not about to trust you any more than I trust him, unless you give me some ruddy answers. And in case you were wondering, I trust him as much as I trust my mother, which is not at all. So start gabbing. What are you and Dragomir doing that's so important? Why the hell won't he talk to anybody?"

"They'll tell you in time."

I whirled towards the voice. It was one I'd heard many times while I was locked up. Less flirtatious than usual, perhaps even a little tired, but there's no mistaking a woman like Bora.

The barmaid ushered Plato inside. The moment of distraction gave him the time he needed to scuttle by me. "Don't worry, Eva. When he's ready, he'll tell ya. There's no need to bother little Plato over it."

I glared at her. I have no problem with Bora… so long as she's not getting in my way. "He knows something. And I suspect you know something. As co-mayor of Pubton -"

" - you have the authority of a flea," Bora finished, though she smiled. "In case ya hadn't noticed, people around here pretty much do what they want. Same goes for Dragomir. Trust in 'im. He hasn't steered us wrong yet."

Bora turned away and closed the door on the Beefiary, which, I suddenly realized, I was standing outside of. I could have pressed the issue, could have charged in and attempted to interrogate Plato regardless of Bora's words…

… but I suppose I do trust Dragomir. Enough to give him at least a few more days to get himself in order. He's earned that much.

Dammit, I just realized that platypuses aren't birds. I'm an idiot.


Evangelina the Co-Mayor

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