fyn gula cayris had studiously read about frafkuels, his efforts at self-education exposing him to their origins and defining qualities, but nothing could prepare him completely for or compare to, actually meeting one.

when dispiacere, the frafkuel of the north introduced himself and offered a sincere welcome, cayris humbly shook, not his hand, so much, but more so the lamb's wool suggestion of a hand designed to replicate bear fur, as stuffed teddy bears in kemulya are known for having. and it was here that cayris beheld him in closer inspection, felt the plush warmth and yielding softness, witnessed the velveteen rabbit-like, threadbare appearance of his body, and immediately sensed with a balance of acceptance and premonition that this meeting was not only predestined, but its results would completely change his world as he presently knew it.

poj and keggi, like those in the presence of a priest when sin is painted a flashing flourescent orange all over their bodies, stayed a safe distance behind cayris, hands clasped behind their backs. they silmutaneously nodded their heads in respect while inside their souls vibrated with conviction. they kept their mouths closed tightly in fear their own tongues would betray them and blurt out a confession of their recent murderous actions.

"please sit down, all of you," dispiacere urged. and the three obeyed, scraping the high-backed wooden chairs along the pineboard floor. they sat down around the table with three place settings. white linen napkins were wrapped around oneida silverware and lenox crystal glasses were turned upside down. a waitress came in then with a timing, that cayris would later explain in the story as he told it, that seemed choreographed. she was a jackrabbit-girl from montlapine whose buckteeth would be comical if she did not possess such friendliness and self-confidence.

"good morning gentleman," she said without a hint of pretension. she placed three menus in front of them bearing, on the hand-made paper-cover, a child's drawing of the tin man receiving his heart from the wizard of oz. before they could open them the waitress explained the "gradevole colazione" or breakfast specials in such clever detail and pleasant alacrity one would think she had not only memorized them, but was reciting them in a play she had written herself. poj's hunger intensfied at her mention of the various delicasies, stomach grumblings so loud they were embarrassing. keggi, busily distracted by the rabbitgirl's cleavage peeled his eyes away to address the noise and then slapped at poj's belly.
"i'll give you a few minutes to decide," she said, giggling at their antics. "how about some mango puree or a cup of nicaraguan full city to begin?"
"i'll have the coffee please," cayris responded. he opened the menu and began to read, straining to see the small print, wishing he had brought his glasses. poj selected the juice and keggi, his eyes drawn again to the straining bodice of the waitress, said, "just water."
"very good," she said. as she walked away, keggi followed the rhythmical movement of her ass.

dispiacere waited a few moments for his guests to make their decision from the menu and when they had all set the booklets down on the table he spoke. and even though his rubber mouth did not open, the words were clear and distinct as they proceeded out from him, causing no confusion of transmission.

"perhaps you are wondering how it is that you find yourself here," he said, leaning forward, placing his arms on the table. the three looked at him with a curious attention.
"yet, if you were to ask yourself, you will find the answer within you. your soul is a small boat whose mooring has come undone. you float upon the blue river as gravity propels it to the sea. all you have is now."

cayris expected the frafkuel to be mystical and so his symbolic terms did not surprise him, nor were they equivocal. however, he could only guess at why he was led to this place at this time. he asked himself and all he felt was mystery. if he was sailing on a flowing stream, progression had led him to a bend that he could not see around.

"i'm sorry, frafkuel dispiacere," cayris said. "i must ask you why you brought us here because i do not know, yet perhaps it is my willing desire to know that will help me locate the answer within myself."

just then the waitress, interrupted, returning with their requests, much to keggi's pleasure. she brought the beverages on a tray. as she neared the table, it seemed her foot caught on the persian rug. she teetered, lost her balance and fell forward, the entire contents of the tray crashing upon the tabletop, liquid flying in all directions, brittle pieces of glass and china exploding and splintering. the three wolfmen threw up their heads to shield themselves. the frafkuel did not react and if cayris would have seen the look of acceptance he flashed the waitress, he would have immediately grown suspicious of an intentional plot.

"oh my god!" the waitress cried out. "i'm so sorry!" she removed a rag from her waist and began, with what seemed to be a flair for the dramatic, cleaning up the mess.
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