Doctor Lorelei on Demucking Day

Lorelei was exasperated. Very early in the morning he had been roused by the belching reports of Ungulen’s motorbike, accompanied by Drutherstone screaming something about “demucking day,” whatever that was. But just as soon as that ruckus had died down and Lorelei thought he might sleep again, another disturbance visited itself upon the doctor. All of a sudden there were tents and small encampments just outside The Emerald House. It was almost as if they had cropped up like mushrooms. Carnies, lever boys, shrill musicians and jugglers strode around the hilltop having loud conversations and practicing their circus tricks. Not to mention the light odor of under-bathing bodies.

Realizing that he was exposed for all to see through the open windows, Lorelei shot up from his cot and peevishly flicked all of the curtains closed. Still outfitted in his pajamas, he stormed around the house, preparing a little coffee and toast. But the ritual brought no comfort and Lorelei remained vexed even as he sat down to his desk, trying to begin a meaningful day of blueprinting.

An hour stretched by like tar. Lorelei could not concentrate on his models. Twice he had accidentally shocked himself while repairing the circuitry of a mincing contraption and had also nearly lost his nose when he — forgetting he had ingeniously amplified the device’s horsepower — turned it on.

Profoundly irritated, Lorelei sought to stretch his legs. He dressed and stepped out the front door of The Emerald House. The rude stench and drivelrous conversation of drunk morning carnies overwhelmed him instantly. He had half a mind to chase them all away with one of his larger knives but realized that still more of them were hiking up the hill to perch on his property.

“What are you all doing here?” Lorelei demanded of a lever boy in moccasins.

“Demucking day, sir.”

“And what — in Christ’s sanctimonium — is that?”

“When they dee the muck away, sir?”

Lorelei nearly kicked the young boy in the head but instead strode down the hill in search of a more satisfying breakfast.

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