Monday, October 12, 2009

The Unmentionable, Part II

“The werewolf’s …leavings tell us how much humanity still resides in the creature. This is simple to determine, for we just inspect the evidence and see if the werewolf still wipes its ablutions like a human being or if it… um, cleanses itself as in the manner of a dog or a wolf does, my lady,” concluded Dr. Brown. The princess, for her part, maintained a consistent, if somewhat colorless composure, which was in stark contrast to the queen’s vivid coloring. The king had found some invisible, yet deeply compelling object to look at in the upper right corner of the room and pinned all of his attention and hopes upon it.

“And your conclusion?” growled the queen.

“Well, sometimes the prince does …and sometimes he doesn’t,” coughed Brown.

“You are saying then, that my son, the prince, is no more”

“Well, no, your highness. Your son has an intermediate condition as you can clearly see.”

The queen did not condescend to admit the doctor’s exhibit into the royal field of vision.

“The process of changing from a man to a wolf does many things to an individual, but worst of all, to the digestive system, which is stretched and compressed and twisted as the body changes and one’s humanity is lost. The result is these twisty poops that you have been finding all over the palace. But the fact of these changes proves that, at some level, your son is still a man, and the prince still lives.”

“What you are saying is unacceptable. These, these …actions are incompatible with our son the prince. They are the foulings of a wild beast. We will suffer it no more.”

“But Madam, your highness, you must understand me, your son the prince is ill, but he lives, he lives and walks, sometimes on two legs, sometimes on four for he goes his business like a man and sometimes in a ...more natural fashion.”

“No, Doctor, he does not. It is obvious to me that our son, the Prince was killed by a wolf and this same wolf has continued its baleful and soiling presence to this day. It shall be tolerated no longer.”

“But if your majesty would just look at the considerable evidence…”

“That, we shall not do. We fail to see what should be gained by such a prospect.”

“But your madam highness, this is not a matter for prejudice, this is science

“Really, Doctor? And what high science emerges comes to enlighten from your fervid and shameless dung picking? For weeks we have host your mania in the hopes you might bring us the relief we so justly deserve, providing you every convenience and power of the crown. Yet you have used this power to direct every hand, serf and soldier alike picking up refuse. Not only the leavings of beasts, but also the offal of rats, even the droppings of flies you requested be kept and hoarded for your indecent inspection to add to your obscene minging horde of ill-cherished ordure. And what has it availed us? Nothing but the ill tidings of a son already dead.

“And you, Doctor. What does it possibly avail you to shuttle about the countryside with your unmentionable menagerie of awfulness, collecting the countless excreta of creation, retaining what Nature and Godliness compels us to eject? What possible sublime knowledge can come from porting about such an indecent manifest of animal ejecta?”

“Well, only some of it” demurred Dr. Brown, “I mean, a lot of it is mine.”

We were allowed to keep our specimens, but with more than an inference of ill grace on the part of our formerly compliant porters. The master worried that some particular loafs of note might have been omitted, but we were in no position to sit anywhere upon the seat of this throne much longer. The doctor himself was in haste to leave before the proclamation authorizing the hunt went into effect.

Once we were underway, but quite before we left the kingdom, he made clear his judgment to me, and to the departing countryside.

“It’s nothing more than bloody murder,” he pronounced, “and for the weakest of weakness, vanity and shame.” “People think me a brown-stained mad man, but no villain am I. I am a scientist, a man of truth. That is what I unflinchingly collect. To look inside oneself, is to see that one is full of poop. If you cannot see this, what other truth can you see? Blind without, blind within and murder comes easily. A mother murders her son.”

“If they only understood.”

“Understanding is present. The courage is lacking. Miserable hypocrites all. You see, this kind of lycanthropy is invariably hereditary.”

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