Merc-Hades And The Horn

By:
charles.stayton@gmail.com

Damn the engine, let me hear the horn! If it does not speak, it dare not lay claim upon this realm we stalk with hoary breath and padded foot! Set free the voice that casts disgust on us bereft and lonely creatures — the voice that sends exalted cries of benediction to those solemn Lube clerics of Jiffy. Let the thing grumble or squawk, blare or croon. Let it sing out above the fragile quavers of our mortal indecision.

No, no I won’t have that one — it’s much too shrill.

Ooh, this one here. Unleash the bowels of this bestial apprentice of the wind. Let us hear the rugged bellow of a thing unfurled from the very fabric of valor. Let that fiend cry out!

Nope. Definitely not. Sounds too much like Dean Lawrence when he used to — oh never mind, let’s have a look over here.

Yes! Bring forth the rumble that no doubt stirs in that fuliginous, neglected baron. Born from the earth’s pure metal heart, but over-seasoned on our mongrel plane of salt, sweat and excrement — vent the chords of discontent lying deep in its many-chambered heart!

Oh goodness, no. Don’t want to sound like we’re apologizing, now do we?

Are you sure you don’t want to take a test drive, sir?

A man should be judged by his voice alone, for it is that, and only that, which shows his erudition. I will uphold the same standard when appraising the manner of my conveyance and be the prouder for it. I am a man of letters through and through! Retired and emeritus, but forever a man of letters. Now let us on. I should like to hear what that sedan there has to say. A sober, firm voice, I imagine.

Ah, at last! That is the one! Those impish, staccato bursts would ensnare any soul that ventured close enough to the siren shores from whence it came. Such cheekiness but also tenderness and folly hidden underneath. It’s like we’re kindred souls, but there’s still some heat there. Some fire in the — what would my wife have said? — ah, yes! Some fire in the pelvic floor! How much for that fine steed?

That one there? I’d say about $2400, but I’d have to check with Robbie. 

Oh, dear boy, you take me all wrong. I merely want to use it for a brief period until it no longer sets my loins aflame and then send it along to…well, back to you all, I suppose. If you love something, set it free! How much for such an arrangement?

Like a lease? I’m pretty sure we don’t do leases, but Robbie’d know better. Let me just-

Oh no — there’s no need for all that. Is there any charge for an occasional call upon this ethereal creature to hear its hoots and jeers?

Uh, I don’t know what you mean.

Can I visit and use this horn sometimes?

Uh, you can test drive it anytime, so I guess so.

Can I visit after the last sparks of Apollo’s chariot have fluttered out and night has settled?

Uh–

When Mephistopheles walks his hound and the moon beckons to our briny mother?

We’re closed–

Alas! When the helm of Hades descends and emboldens the crickets, opossums, bats, raccoons, and other souls of the shadow!?

Dude, you can’t come in here in the middle of the night and honk this horn. Sorry, man. 

Surely you could prosper from the services of a night watchman! I’m full of riddles no mortal can solve — I’ll make a fine sentinel!

Well, we have–

Yes — it’s settled! Does that dog have a name? Never mind, he’s Cerberus now and he’ll be my companion. I’ll go by Merc-Hades. Deal?

Let’s go talk to Robbie.

 

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