Babe Listowel laid a world map over a table in the only corner of a room. He stuck a pin through Northern Antarctica. Hearing a series of knocks on the door, he turned around.
“Who?” he asked.
“Dawson Filter,” a voice answered.
Babe Listowel thought for a moment. Yes, he decided, the timbre of the voice did match the intensity of the knocks. There was no foul play at this door.
The door opened to reveal Dawson Filter.
“Dawson Filter!” Babe Listowel exclaimed, “I didn’t expect you this early.”
Dawson Filter struck a match. “And I didn’t expect your mind to be corrupted this soon. We’re all full of surprises.”
“Well here’s a surprise for you-”
Babe Listowel thought for a moment to find something surprising about the current state of affairs. Finding nothing, he made a sound and threw up his arms.
“Do you even remember our quest,” Dawson Filter asked, “or did you store that bit of information in your mind, the mind that I previously said was corrupt?”
“The quest to find the True Meaning of Feelings? I sent some of my footmen East to see what they could find.”
“The Quest Committee’s holding a luncheon at lunch today. Be at the luncheon.”
. . .
Sylvester Denny passed a pot of spaghetti to Snake Levine, a former lawyer. Dawson Filter laughed, because the letters in the sign for the luncheon were formed out of rocks (lunch from eons ago). Only he and Snake had picked up on the pun, and she cared more for observational comedy, leaving everyone to wonder what he was laughing at, although no one chose to wonder for a particularly long time .
Babe Listowel opened the door to the dining hall, and sat down between Dawson Filter and Twelve-Anne Stradivari.
“Say, it’s Babe Listowel,” Twelve-Anne observed.
Snake Levine released a brief chuckle. She passed the spaghetti pot to Babe Listowel.
“Hello,” he said.
“Hello,” someone else replied.
On the table with the food was a piece of paper. It had ink markings on it that seemed to form words, arranged into a list by the look of things.
Ideas for Things Pertaining to the True Meaning of Feelings
- another survey
- search documents for references to the Meaning
- offer an improbably valuable reward to the person to identify the True Meaning stove Feelings
Sylvester Denny said something with a lot of syllables, and Babe Listowel began to hum to the tune of the inflection at the end of Sylvester’s sentence. Taking a guitar out of his pocket, he strummed the only four chords he knew how to play to accompany his self-described smooth, foxy voice. A small crowd barged through the door to get closer to the magic of Babe’s notes. He nodded to the rhythm of his thoughts, which were Fancy that, it seems feeble Sylvester’s provided me with a bit of sweet, sweet material. I suppose it would be prudent to stay with this group a while longer to suckle off of their talents while I can. Perhaps if I offer them unlimited resources, they’ll let me rock with them. I should probably create a loud noise to get their attention.
Babe Listowel grabbed the table and pulled up, felling it with a single swoop of his mighty hand.
“My, oh, my, do you ever have my attention now,” Dawson Filter observed to Snake Levine’s amusement.
“And you have all of the resources at my disposal as Official Rockstar and king of Murderville, Nevada,” replied Babe Listowel.
“Now that’s the correct spirit,” Twelve-Anne said, “you’re mind’s not so corrupt after all, now is it now?”
“No,” said Babe Listowel, “certainly not half as corrupt as you’d be able to imagine.”