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Chapter 4

     The Story The Authors
All manner of strange thoughts and fantasies like this flitted through her head as her body continued to shrink to the husky measured pace of Gregor's sibilant voice... At one point she floated out of her body and looked down the the scene in the kitchen, the vast hole in the floor giving way to the dark hive of the cellars, the huddled, expectant, goggle-eyed gaggle of Jewish mothers over in the corner, clucking their tongues and whispering, oy vey, amongst one another at the bizarre effect they'd had on this strange schicksa who'd waltzed into their kitchen... Adam and Pooter and their... er... talented little friend... And where was Assistant Principal Hadley, eh? And how were they ever going to get out of this mess and this strange place? It was a school night, after all... She felt herself floating, floating above all of this, and the call of a distant place and a great white light, pulsing, drawing her to its epicenter with a gravity that was soft and warm and milky and forever... Se knew she could go to it and never have to return to the trap of her still-shrinking body and its incessant hungers... And she almost did and then she remembered something and she said it sharply to herself and the words tasted of tin and coffee and glass upon her tongue and she kept saying them as she sank back down into her body. "My name is Geraldine," she said. "So don't call me Nefertiti..." Sleep washed over her then like a wave of sun-warmed Dr. Bronner's all-one all-God all-natural liquid peppermint soap...

Gregor brushed his hands off on his tuxedo trousers and commenced retwirling the ends of his now bedraggled moustaches. "I tell you, you friend she have ze problem zat only ze French can feex, the sweet tongue of ze French language lapping in her ears and ze French invention of ze psychic leeposuction. And zees " he held up the thick blue erlenmeyeer flask in which swirled the dense gaseous distillation of Geraldine's guilt "Zees, how you say, Box of Pandora, eet weel fetch me ten meelion francs on ze Black Market. And zen poor Gregor can retire from too many years as ze head waiter and never making ze promotion to ze maitre d'hotel... Ah, it weel be nice..."


Exhausted by metabolizing all that booze from a few chapters back, not to mention a general lack of sleep and food, Muff Potter fell asleep standingt up. He fell to the floor with a crash and commenced snoring. Meanwhile, those empresses of both Judaica and the kitchen, the Bagel Gnomesses, the suddenly found sufficient reason to make themselves scarce. As they made their diminutive, matronly way form the kitchen, Edna Benlevi was the first to burst a seam. A tirade of curses spewed from her thick, rubbery lips. "I don't care whose fucking fault it was," she ranted. "We lost her! Now you, Ruthie, you owe me! When you needed a schicksa, I gave you my own maid for Joey's bar mitzvah! And you promised me! Now, my Hymie's bar mitzvah! is Saturday that's two days, Ruth and I am serving Gentile! I will not have those menus reprinted, do you hear me? So you find me a Gentile, and soon the meat has to marinate overnight, and that doesn't even begin to fit in the amount of time it'll take to clean and skin the thing! Oy, and all this with my Hymie snooping his nose into the kitchen every five minutes, and me trying to surprise him with his favorite dish! Not like if we'd done it today, as we were supposed to, Ruthie, and I could have gotten the whole thing taken care of while he was at his Little League game and then at Hebrew School... So I'm telling you, Ruth, you ridiculous hag, you get me a fucking Gentile by noon tomorrow or or or you won't live long enough to regret it!" She blew a thick jet of smoke straight in Ruth's ashen countenance and stormed off down the hall.
Oh well, thought Ruth. Guess I don't get to keep the principal for myself.
Unless...That was when Ruth spotted Muff Potter snoozing by the now empty doorway. Geraldine had lost nearly all of her guilt weight so Adam was able to carry her limp body away from the dangerous kitchen of the gnomesses but he had to leave Potter behind until he could get Geraldine to safety. Ruth smiled at her own cleverness.
I'll just give this old drunk to Edna, and I can keep the principal for myself after all!

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