|The Story||The Authors|
|Still curled on the floor, a slowly recovering Jake felt his heart begin to race a little bit faster. In all the years he'd heard about this famous book, and planned on reading it, and flipped through Simone de Beauvoir's interminable book of essays on it once at a party while sitting glued to the host's toilet seized with a bout of fearsome diarrhea, he'd never imagined that The Story of O. would be so...spiritual. So visceral and full of unpleasant details, yet so at the same time so... ethereal. His cheeks felt flushed. He read on...|
|"The acorn does not fall far from the tree," croaked the Mother Superior, her cane tapping malevolently close to O.'s manacled feet as she walked round and round her in excruciatingly slow, geriatric circles. "Until, of course, it is brought elsewhere by a thieving magpie, by a rabid squirrel. Especially if it is a --" here she smiled, a most horrible sort of smile, revealing those impossibly lengthy yellow possum-teeth O. remembered so well from her girlhood -- "a shapely sort of acorn. A pret-ty little acorn, prettier than all the rest." She then turned to address the rest of the chamber. "And who is that thieving magpie, that tainted chipmunk?" She scanned their (if it must be told) somewhat confused-looking faces, before dealing O. a savage thwack across the shins with her cane to annunciate her point: "The devil! Satan, Old Nick, the Serpent! Evil! That's who that magpie, that rodent really is! That is who has stolen our pretty little acorn, and gnawed upon the juicy meat of her soul!"|
"I doan't untershtand --" said Fritz Katzenjammer. |
"Ja," chimed in Hans, his brother. "Me neider. Der magpie und der chipmŸnk are de shnake?"
"Oy," said Fritz, "Und vich vun ate der acorn?"
"Ja, und I vant ein acorn too!"
"Ja, ja, me too also! Und some corn-chipsen! Und candy!"
"Ja, candy! Shocolate! Erdnussbutter!"
"Ja, ja! Und a pony!"
Madame LaRoux shot a silencing glance at the mischievous children, then clapped her hands again thrice -- one! two! three! -- as she did whenever she issued commands. "Wing, Wong -- would you take the boys downstairs and let them play in the Iron Sausage until supper." |
The two eunuchs nodded, and left with the Katzenjammers. As their tongues had been removed along with their manhoods, Wing and Wong were unique among the household staff of Chateau LaRoux in not having to answer the their mistress with a "Yes, respected Mistress" under penalty of three days and three nights locked inside the Iron Sausage. They had seen what Etchings, the head butler, had looked like after his stint in what at the Chateau amounted to Solitary, and the sight had not been a fetching one, to say the least...
|"I knew I should have left those rascals with Der Captain," said Madame LaRoux, seemingly to herself. "If it weren't for my poor sister, God rest her soul..."|
"And now for our little pea-shooter," she mused, turning back to the Mother Superior and O. upon the dais, and Ursula off to the side bent over her stenograph. "So she is possessed of devil, is that what you would have us believe, my dear Clothilde?" |
"Precisely," replied the wimple-and-habit-swathed crone, tapping her cane on the floor for emphasis.
"And how, in the methodology of the Church, are such devils driven out? How are we to get our good girl, our sweet, obedient O. of bygone days back?"
"Torture," replied the Mother Superior in a voice whose sudden matter-of-factness thrilled and surprised the helpless O. as much as it terrified her. It was as if her old Mother Superior had been waiting the length of an entire career for such an opportunity. And -- O. had to be admit -- oh, but wasn't it thrilling to be part of such a drama, such a venture -- an exorcism! Jumpin' Jeepers, what would Laurent think?
"Yes, torture," repeated the M.S. "The devil has a firm hold upon the girl's soul, even the untrained eye can see that. He has dug in deep. He has spread roots. He has tunneled in her intellect, made excavations in her heart, and run one of those sleek silver Metro lines underneath the pavement of her psyche. And he will not, I think, give up such sizeable holdings without the administration on our part of extreme pain..."
"I was hoping you'd say that," said the Madame, and the two of them exchanged a reptilian smile which seemed to O. to encompass not only a punishment, but her whole Fate, her past present and future. Her soul. Her self. Her very existence, the cogito ergo sum she'd worked so hard to memorize notwithstanding. And she felt herself filled then with a greater, deeper fear than she'd ever known before...
On the floor, Jake could barely contain himself. He was prudent enough now to stand, limp to the door, and lock it. His trembling fingers fumbled with his fly as he unzipped it, ever-mindful of the bruised orbs within... Ah, Pamela! he thought -- I'll have you yet, if only in my dreams...