Aftersocks: Part 3: In which a vague figure becomes less-so


The considerable, but not too considerable, length of time that passed between leaving the bench and meeting the vague figure was uneventful. The ground remained flat and unmoist and the air remained thick and also unmoist. Tragically, for she had become a loyal friend, Thrumplestance appeared more and more delicious with every step I took and I decided to eat her. I would carve her into bite-sized donkey nuggets at the next resting point, which was near the vague figure.

Thank Bog, I never had to that.

The figure, no longer vague, was an old man. I did not eat him either, but started a conversation.

“Greetings, Formerly Vague Figure, why have you been standing in this spot for so long and what is it that you do while standing here?” I inquired.

“I am a pious Flaninite doing his sacred duties. We must all travel to remote and unmoist location three days into our 72nd year to juggle flans for a considerable length of time. So says The Flansman.”

“What are flans, old friend? And who is this Flansman?” I said.


Flan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You may call me Wilbert, for that is my name. As for your questions, flan is much like pudding. It has become a local specialty of Rooster’s Edge ever since The Flansman arrived long ago. It is the fervent wish of all Flaninites that his teachings and desserts spread throughout the land and grow as would mushrooms.” I observed a glow of absolute conviction in his mustache and eyebrows, which somehow did not interfere with his juggling.

“Wilbert, you have shown me the truth and I wish to join your cause. I am Jephrold and this is Thrumplestance,” I said. “We have traveled far for a considerable length of time. May I have some flan to eat.?”

“You may indeed. It is the will of Flan that flan be shared with hungry travelers.” He raised one knee to catch one of the flying gelatinous masses and motioned for me to take it. I cautiously took a bit and found that it was flantastic and filled me with flantescent wholesomeness. I later learned that it was mostly sugar, but the effect remained powerful.

“Thanks for this kindness, Flaninite Wilbert,” I said, “We will now continue our journey to Rooster’s Edge. Hopefully, we will meet again.”

“If Flan wills it, yes,” was his response and returned his attention to his sacred task. He had never stopped juggling, but until now, he was not watching it, which seemed to make no difference. It looked however, that it mattered to him. He seemed to be silently talking with the flying holy globs as I left him and continued east.

The bench on which I write this is what I found some considerable length of time after abandoning the Formerly Vague Flaninite and by my estimate 42 seconds from entering the town. Great things were surely to be found here.


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