Hitgal, still manning her cornog stand at this same Half Moon Airport in Southwest Nautilus, watches a tulip plane coming in from out the front windows, 2 of ’em in fact. Lips are like one pink. She recalls a dream last night where she was floating in such, on a pool shaped like Vermont or New Hampshire, pick your camera angle. Two people sitting and talking at a table perched on the far side of the irregularly shaped cement pond. A mouse. A man. A cane between them, linking them together in the irresolved distance, as if by magic. Someone lost their cane. “Excuse me, miss,” he said after approaching, and then told her what was amiss. He walked with a limp but not badly. Hitgal pondered if the cane was more symbolic than necessary, a symbol of power, an emblem of a man who can point to what he wants before he takes it. She overheard whispers of a restaurant that would manufacture hot dogs out of pig lips. Hmmm, lips again. She speaks to him with her own.
“Over theres.” She points behind her to the left. “Mae Baelias.”
“Maebaleia?” he repeats, wanting to get it right.
“That’s right. Just over theres.” She points again. There could be no mistake. But of course a bigger mistake hid behind this lesser one avoided. Dr. Mouse would spend the rest of the year and then 3 or 4 months of the next searching for his cane on the Satori continent, which airline reservation agent and sometimes lost and found negotiator Mae Baleia directed him toward. The tickets were free and so was the pain. He needed a vacation anyway, but it was not what he expected. Chickens — always the clucking and pecking around, the incessant pecking and clucking. But Dr. Mouse found his cane upon return. Hitgal kept it safe below the cornog roaster at her stand, awaiting the closing of the loop. Tulips are like one pink, she knew, and the plane he took to Maebaleia/Satori would be arriving at the same time he departed. There would be no gap.
(to be continued?)