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Chapter 2

     The Story The Authors
The real dammage was to Muffy's career as the Taco Bell Poodle. The commercial was never to air and the dog mascot/ad campaign was shelved.
Another thing Joselito didn't realize, nor did Barbara, was the greater symbolism involved in Muffy's death. As Barbara was driving down the street she had been unconsciously pestered by the persistent needling of Joselito and was subconsciously looking for a way to lose her higher power. It could be argued that little Muffy running into the street and being hit by Barbara was actually Barbara's Freudian attempt to snuff out Joselito, or at least pawn him off on another creature. Nonetheless after hitting Muffy Barbara felt free from the subconscious naggings. Though she felt devastated at hitting the small animal, and hadn't done anything consciously intentional.

Muffy had been wearing his usual leather collar with steel spikes that day. That combined with the metal pin in his leg was enough such that when William inadvertenly flipped the huge helium cooled magnet into fluctuation, the dog began to fly wildly about the room. Joselito, higher power that he was, never payed attention to any of that physics stuff, and was thus terribly confused.

Dr Phibes took the last slug of her manhattan with a grimace. In the corner of the bar a cocktail trio was doing its best to strangle what little breath remained in the already much battered corpse of "Body and Soul". The alto player gulping notes like a dying fish. Tepid applause spilled from the scattered drinkers absentmindedly by reflex.
Dr Evelyn Phibes was having a difficult time reconciling herself to the passing of her beloved dog. How could he be gone? So quickly and mercilessly gone. Another drink and she'd return to the laboratory. She still had the body to dispose of, perhaps a plot in the back garden, under the camelias. And then there was her work. She decided that the only course of action for her grief was to plunge herself deeper into her study of electro-magnetic energy fields and haitian voodoo. She was close to a breakthrough. It seemed that the latter involved the ritual manipulation of the former. A few more months of controlled study and she'd have a paper to introduce at the Symposium on Metaphysical mechanics in Aberdeen next July.
So it was after another bracer of Manhattan's and with a heavy heart and a shovel that she at last opened the door to the lab. (Under the camelia's being decided upon as the final destination.) There was a whoosh and a flash of movement past her and with a muffled Marrrroooooo Stumpy was out the door and flying down the corridor. "Bad Dog!" yelled Dr Phibes after him

...It is situations reflecting this degree of complexity where perfectly rational explanations overlap each other and pass like ships in the night of our ignorance, each representing only two of a necesaary three (if not more) dimensions it is situations like this in which (wo)men's faiths are tested... For one is either obliged to open one's eyes to the wonder and grotesquery of something entirely out of the normal, or one shuts one's eyes and sees only what one wants to see.
It was the latter tack which was taken by most of the San Franciscans out perambulating through that humid but fogless evening who had the (mis)fortune of being passed by Muffy as he speed along over the sidewalks, keeping himself at a constant level of approximately four feet off the ground, rising or descending when obstacles made it necessary, offering small yips of displeasure at the airborne hindrances of a child's kite, a withered swami levitating six inches above his grassless front yard, a remote-controlled helicopter (this the dead dog crushed in his jaws and spat away) and other wise drawing attention to his matted presence only once: a late express-mail postman had the misfortune of crossing the dead dog's path... Muffy snapped up the postman's mailbag and flew up into the top of a great old maple, where he paused on a high leafy bough for a famished five minutes and devoured all of the mail before resuming his bloodhound bee-line for the Easter Island Ti-ki Lounge, where even now our moon-eyed potential lovers, Barb and Adam, share a brimming triple-sized scorpion bowl while relaxing to the exotic island sounds of Martin Denny and his Tse-Tse Combo.


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