Pearly Hotdish played lovely dirges on that harpsichord in the village square, and it wasn’t until “the condition” set in that she ever had any problems whatsoever. In fact, we all thought that Pearly Hotdish would go fantastic places, do great things, and make a wonderful, wonderful name for herself on the blessed harpsichord.
“Play me some of those old-timey songs,” would screech Rascal Matley as he drew close to Pearly, his dank, reeking breath forming droplets of moisture on her alabaster back (for Pearly Hotdish would only play the harpsichord while entirely devoid of clothing – she said that woven fibers made her weak and tone-deaf). “I love those old-timey songs.”
Miss Hotdish would oblige, of course (How could she resist the four-toothed grin of Rascal Matley? How could she?), and Rascal would leap in the air, sloughing great clouds of dry, dead skin as he pirouetted. Crowds would form. Elderly men and women would dance a small folk dance from a far-off land, and Miss Hotdish would play all the more earnestly and with greater emotion, working herself into such a haze of perspiration.
“I have for you a small treat,” said Rascal Matley, producing a small sugarcube from the folds of the adipose tissue around his waist. The cube was moist, as you might expect, and perhaps just a little foul-smelling. “Allow me to improve upon this fair cube of sweetness,” he did say, turning away and pulling a small brown bottle from the pocket of his loin-cloth. The label on the bottle read “Scramble the Melon!” and Rascal twisted it open, drew out the eye-dropper attachment, and dropped a single spot of the pinkish fluid onto the surface of the sugarcube. The cube drank up the fluid, and nary a stain remained upon its surface.
“For you, the precious Pearly,” said Rascal as he offered her the sugarcube. Pearly stopped playing for a moment and turned around on the bench, her sweat-moistened bottom making a queer squeaking noise as she swiveled.
“Mister Matley,” sighed the precious Pearly, “it is ever so kind of you.” She received the tiny sugarcube into her dainty, outstretched palm, and conveyed it thence to her pink, waiting lips. “My, but it is sweet,” sighed the precious Pearly.
The pinkish fluid worked quickly, and Pearly Hotdish was as limp and flaccid as a Maine Coon in its lover’s arms.
“I can no longer play a delightful and melancholy dirge for you, Mister Matley,” sighed Pearly as she slumped onto the keyboard of the harpsichord. Short, red-haired attendants that were waiting nearby walked up to her and, taking hold of wrists and ankles, carried her to the waiting sedan chair. Pearly allowed herself to be gently tumbled into its seat, where another attendant covered her with a modesty-shawl.
“Precious Pearly,” said Rascal Matley with reeking breath, “you will, no doubt, be my guest at Matley Manor this very evening, where I will feed you shellfish and bitter herbs, and you might delight me with a dirge upon the harpsichord.”
Pearly Hotdish looked at Rascal Matley through woozy eyes and tried to focus on his four-toothed grin. “I do not think that would be prudent,” sighed Pearly as her brother, Captain Traynor Hotdish of the Duke’s Grenadier Guards, walked up to the edge of the sedan chair.
“I believe I will escort my sister to her home,” said Captain Hotdish, his saber and medals jangling.
Rascal Matley let out a great, reeking breath. His face flushed a bright red.
Captain Traynor Hotdish scooped his sister and her modesty-shawl into his arms, and with a turn and shake of his spurs, they strode off toward the Hotdish estate, the plume in his hat bouncing jauntily.
The harpsichord in the village square was quiet that evening, as was the harpsichord in Matley Manor.