The doctor struck a match and passed it before my cousin's eyes to watch his pupils follow it; snapped his fingers at either ear to see if he started. My cousin's joints were flicked and found adequate. The doctor seemed pleased with his recovery."
"Has your appetite been well?" he asked, writing mysterious marks into a notebook.
"Strong as ever," said my cousin. "Stay for tea and I shall prove it."
"And your libido?"
"And how have you slept?"
I saw my cousin hesitate for a slip of a moment before saying, "Never deeper. Never deeper."
"Appetite and libido good?" The doctor's face wrinkled his concern. "And yet you're sleeping deep? Hmmm."
The omnipresent author slipped my cousin a note. His face lit up, and he spoke with a renewed vigour.
"Maybe I've discovered some fantasy dream world the rest of this story will be about, in which I'm some testosterone-fueled centaur laird taking a stand against the nouveau teen vampire chic with hooves a-blazing."
"Might work," said the doctor, tossing aside his stethoscope, "but you reckoned without the Snake Lords of the Preposterous!"
As serpents slid from beneath his Red Cross poncho, I sensed it was time to play my own hand. It roared from my wrist, half Addams Family appendage, half Fireball XL5 rocket propulsion blast, and stabbed a series of alien-looking sigils into my cousin's bare chest.
I SUMMON YOUR ASS
AS AN AMPUTEE WIZARD ENRAGED!
TOGETHER WE WILL BATTLE THESE SERPENT MEDICS!
AND SAVE ALL HUMANITY—
"Ha!" cried the doctor. "Your edict has fallen foul of the terminal navel. If you're gonna inscribe a call to arms on a torso, do it on a giant where there's more room to flow freely."
The omnipresent author slipped my cousin another note.
"Forget the horses and the snakes. Looks like we're going with romance."
No need for further words. The three of us embraced each other on the hospital bed. Then we kissed like harlots, ready to spawn some fantasy love child...
Opening: 150.....Continuation: Whirlochre