Monday, December 18, 2006

Man Of The Worlds, Part III

"Is that bad?" asked Soot.

"It could be. Who is this boy?"

"Why, my son. My only son."

"You told me you only had one son, Soot."

The old man opened his arms toward the boy. "And here he is."

"You told me your only son had been eaten, Soot."

"Look here then," said the old man and he proceeded to take off the bandages, during which time the Journeyman Exterminator's mood grew exceedingly dark.

"There," said Soot, turning the boy^s head so that its left side faced the Blue Man. There was a large scabby clot where the child's ear used to be.
"You told me he had been eaten!"

"Well, not entirely!", he said, as if it should have been obvious. "Do you think I'd have let my whole family stay in that house if some monster had come along and swallowed up my son as simple as that?"

The Blue Man turned back to his mount and called, "Good-bye, Soot. "

"Wait! Just a minute!" called Soot. "You can't deny that thing is dangerous. You just said yourself that it could be a nasty situation. "

The Blue Man turned back. Soot was right and in his anger he almost let himself forget. Yet Mariah still tried to convince him:

"Look, I'm still paying the same amount as I was last week, whatever that is. It's still the same job. Oh, so an old man exaggerates. Are you going to let this beast terrorize the countryside because of that? Are you going to let it bring humankind to its knees because you only exterminate the lethal variety of monsters?"

Soot's voice was harsh, but there was pleading in his eyes. "It came this close to biting his whole head off." Soot held his hands apart the width of the boys head.

"Save your breath, Soot. I'll do it. Get your family out of there now."

"Thank you, sir. Thank you. It will be my pleasure, Journeyman Exterminator."

(To Be Continued)

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