“How long have you been hanging out in the Protestant graveyard?” said Kempt, standing over Amble — who’d not bothered to unslouch himself, and was thus looking hazily up at Kempt from a largely prone position, his shoulders and neck resting on the slightly backwards-tilted gravestone of John Keats.
“I dunno. A while, I guess. Who’s your beautiful friend?”
Susan, a typical she-troll — petite, svelte, shapely, with soft light-green skin and raven hair, blinked her large emerald-green eyes and extended a dainty hand down to Amble. “Let me help me up, my knight in tarnished armor.”
Amble took her hand and gave a little start upward as she leaned back with all her rock-lugging might. But then he slipped back down to push the full length of his heroic V-back against the gravestone, and pulled her gently to his side. She spun round into the pull, letting him wind his strong right arm around her narrow shoulders. They reclined cuddling against each other and the name and dates of a great but short-lived romantic poet. Kempt put his hands on his hips in leather belt and khaki slacks and tilted his head a little to one side. I guess he was contemplating this new development — how now Susan and Amble love each other forever and always.
Timothy flutter-drifted over and cleared his throat, but magnified 10,000 times and so sounding like a high-pitched foghorn vibrating this clear late-September day in the Eternal City. “Allow me to introduce myself. They call me ‘Timothy’.”
“Should they?,” wondered Amble, still glutting himself on the nearness of a love, on physical affection and heart-consented devotion so long and so lonesomely longed-after.
Tim alighted on Susan’s far knee (the lover’s backs leaned against the worn headstone of John Keats, their rears rested on the trim sharply drying autumnal grass atop the sacred earth covering the bones of that short- but wide-flaming poet; and their knees were drawn up).
“I guess they should. It’s my name.”
Kempt nodded absentmindedly. “Common usage and common decency agree that, all things being equal, it’s best to call people by their names.” Then, still absent minded, or maybe a little surprised but let’s say not say disappointed since I don’t think that’s at all how things had been heading with him and Susan, Kempt looked at his watch. It took a minute or so. Because the watch folds out into a little copper sundial, about one foot in diameter. “Do you have any idea where Bartleby might be?” asks Kempt of Amble.
“No,” said Amble Whistletown to Kempt Whistletown. Amble kisses Susan gently in the nook where soft slender neck meets precious dainty shoulders. In time Amble looks back up towards Kempt. “That guy’s too much anyway. I just want to feel Susan close to me. Bartleby can turn himself into a great raptor and soar his sorry ass over here — if his inclination carries him hither. But what do we care? Let his inclination carry him thither and thither some more, I say! I have to focus on domestic bliss right now.”
Susan giggled. It was like the rippling waters of the most beautiful burbling bubbling bouncing enchanted stream high up in the green forgotten wonderland atop rugged gray cliffs in the cool mist-covered jungle that overlooks the hotter, sweatier, more dank and active groundfloor jungle.
Timothy flew straight up off Susan’s knee, shooting upward about a hundred feet before falling (wings wrapped around him so he looked like a little missile) down towards Kempt. A dozen feet above Kempt’s head, Timothy spreads his wings and then drifted gently down onto Kempt’s shoulder. Then Timothy spoke: “Bartleby’s swimming through the Mediterranean sea as a blue dolphin. He’ll be here soonish.He was rolling around — all flailing arms and incoherent laments — upon the windy plain of gods-deserted Troy when I summoned him.
“Now why’d you go and do that!” exclaimed Amble Whistletown.
Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright Andy Watson