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Chapter 7

     The Story The Authors
The Iron Sausage began to extend -- slowly, like a woman unfastening her garters and peeeeeeeeeeeeeling down her stockings, one, by, one -- its various utility tentacles. This is who I am, it seemed to say. Love me. My band-saw tentacle. My polyrhythmic wisdom tooth extractor. My electric flensing-knife. My holographic projector. My automatic banana-peel dispenser...
It wasn't until the banana-peel dispenser that something in the taxi seemed to stir. Its windows may have only cracked the barest hint of a smile, but inside it was thinking: Automatic banana-peel dispenser? Automatic banana-peel dispenser! Why didn't I come with one of those? I thought I had all the extras and options. Power everything. Airbags. Ejector seat. But automatic banana-peel dispenser -- wow. I want one....
Philip Welsh
Just then the Sausageís digital phone tentacle sounded and as programmed, the Sausage answered. It wasnít a telemarketer this time it was "an internationally respected national polling organisation". As the minimum wage representative on the line fidgeted in his tiny cubicle in front of the aging, dirt stained monitor, he struck the connection box on the floor with his heavy boot. He was just about to confirm the information appearing in the call display window when the screen went blank. This was accompanied by a wisp of smoke curling around his pant leg and a weak "electrical smell". The screen sparked and went blank again. Little did he know that he had triggered a shower of unintended algorithmic computer signals which instantaneously entered the Iron Sausage, triggering itís carefully shielded doomsday self-destruct program. Four seconds later the Iron Sausage blew up like a weenie in the microwave. Ignacious
It was just too much for Janice's taxi. The taxi had witnessed its own Daddy and Mommy (respectively, a cherry-red 1958 Edsel and an early test-model of the standard 1960s CitroŽn, if you must know) junked in a brutal manner befitting a spent Dodge Dart with 287,000 miles on it -- it had never gotten over this gruesome sight and in the ensuing years had masqueraded as a police cruiser, ever fearful of discovery. It had taken the loving, tender, all-seeing gaze of the Iron Sausage to really see the taxi for what it was, a proper Checker Cab, a bit old-fashioned it's true, but graceful in its lines, steady and accommodating and eminently roadworthy. And now it was gone. Never to be loved. Never. A long, hard sigh expressing purest futility escaped from the taxi's muffler; it shimmered in the air before settling back down into its former shape of a police cruiser with a resounding, metallic cludddd which said that something in its heart had broken as completely as poor Humpty when he fell off his wall.
Back upstairs, however, things were going quite differently without the Iron Sausage.
Philip Welsh
Kurt surveyed the scene before him with a grim mute satisfaction. Demetrius whimpering in a pool of his own congealing blood. Kiki in her cage, hair askew, garments rent and softly swaying back and forth to the lilting rhythm of the cracked rendition of "You Give Love A Bad Name" that slid from between her numb lips like a piece of rancid calf's liver. This was the sort of moment he lived for, blood, screams, insanity, all the pain and suffering his nefarious soul could summon and still twice the entertainment value of a Poison video. If only Janice would appear and complete the scene. He'd be able to finish his dastardly work and still have time to catch both episodes of Simpson's reruns at five and five thirty just before Frasier. He started pacing distractedly. "Just like a woman to be late" he mumbled," Can't even be bothered to show up on time when lives are at stake and the fate of the world is in the balance. harumph, women." Kurt decided he may as well divest Demetrius of another appendage just to kill some time. Janice, for her part and ever the optimist, dicided that now was her chance. Lanark


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