A Visit to Brief Appearances where we meet the Hexiled One.
There is a place of rest between worlds where discarded minor characters from various dream woven mythos can rest while waiting to be reshaped by some dreamer into new characters. It is a realm of shadows and mists and odd areas of unexpected solidity where mountains are islands and seas are drifting clouds. One of those areas was occupied with, perhaps even stabilised by, a building with a large walled garden surrounding it on three sides. The front of this structure seemed rather like a palace of several stories plus or minus floors and wings as required, and had a strange and unconstant variety and number of windows. It had a very grand entry way of ramps and steps in granite and marble, sweeping up to a columned portico, and yet more steps leading towards pleasantly inviting shadows. Over the doorway in very elegant dark bronze letters on a white gold metal plate were these words
A RESIDENCE FOR MINOR CHARACTERS IN WAITING
There were also many comfortable yet manly chairs and in one of the deepest and coziest of these chairs reclined a young male. He had the sort of generic Middle European coloring that manifests as light brown hair, somewhat indefinite in color, and eyes that varied from green gray to dark brown. He was reading what seemed to be a newspaper, which despite its appearance of being printed on paper, was actually a holographic display for downloaded reports from popular e-zines on the antics of various producers and actors. The young man’s name, which usually started with a Jay and an O at least, was, for the moment and quite a while, JonaHexed, since he was currently appearing in a series of parodies and satires. He was quite relaxed until he heard a powerful deep yet female voice ring out across the width of the reading room.
“YOO HOO! JonaHexed where are you? We need your help!” yodeled Sassy.
This was accompanied by affectionate greeting gargles from Goldie.
“Gaghgagrrrhak? Argellalahak! Argle?! YOOOooo!”
which translates roughly as
“Oh where are you JonaHexed Dear! AH is that dear boy? Guess who! Us!!!”
Several residents looked up from their reading material and glared at the spectacle of a talking dachshund and a Goullawk, who had chosen to ride on a skateboard painted gold and purple, instead of flumping across marble flooring in the hallways, entering their sanctuary. JonaHexed however pulled his legs and his head down and made a futile, desperate, and foolish attempt to hide behind his paper. However from somewhere near the ceiling a rainbow serpentine streak with wings descended and hovered over his head giving away his location.
“Thank You Dragonfly!” barked Sassy who then trotted over to JonaHexed’s chair and pulled on one trouser leg, then smiled up warmly at JonaHexed who slowly lowered his legs to the floor and his paper to a table, sighed, and asked, “What do you want NOW?” Goldie with surprising agility rolled her skateboard around and over the floor rugs and parked it alongside JonaHexed’s chair. Both of them leaped onto the broad padded arms of the chair while the Dragonfly descended onto his shoulders and did an excellent imitation of a piece of Art Deco glass statuary depicting a rainbow colored wyvern. Sassy delicately but firmly placed one paw on JonaHexed’s shoulder, stared at him soulfully and stated, “Well we seem to have a problem getting home. Teckelstein keeps fading in and out and trying to become unreal!”
“Teckelstein is unreal!” snarled another occupant of the room who had previous experiences with its citizenship, of the negative variety. A few others nodded their heads in surly agreement but some persons with a well developed sense of irony simply smiled knowingly. Sassy ignored that comment and went on describing the situation to JonaHexed who nodded now and then. He knew from watching other folk try that about the only ways to shut up Sassy, or most dachshunds, sentient or not, intent on making what they regarded as meaningful noise, for extended periods involve muzzling, duct tape, or sheer bribery, and never lasted long anyway. Goldie warbled a steady background warble of agreement as an accompaniment to everything Sassy said. Several residents left the room to complain about the noise, and those few who did understand Goullawk about the inane banal remarks.
Goullawk communication can best described as noises made by an organic rubber flute, involving a series of arglings, titterings, and buglings, with an occasional shriek, whistle, or honk and odder noises, at various pitches and frequencies ranging from the infra to the ultrasonic. Possibly only H.P. Lovecraft could have transcribed it even partly. It is one of the multi-verse’s stranger languages and being polytonal appears to have hurgle as a major vocabulary component. It is not a soothing language to listen to unless you are cetacean, or if not, really truly like wind instruments and ambient music!
JonaHexed’s probability deflecting power cut in and the residence management was mysteriously distracted by a fight in the cellar, caused by vampire residents from a recently cancelled TV Series, who had only just moved in, clashing with minors from an a erotic horror novel series. There were also several ongoing arguments loudly echoing up the stairways from the lower levels.
One group were arguing over redecorating the crypts and how weapon collections and trophies should be displayed on the walls. Sword play was involved and much name calling about combat techniques from the sidelines by European traditionalists who did not approve of hybrid Eurasian fighting styles. Another group was abusing the imperative and the subjunctive while exchanging demands about which fabric colors would match both blood stains and candle light. There was an intense discussion involved persons of several sexual orientations being extremely feline about other people’s taste in humans, blonde or brunette.
While this diversion was taking place, JonaHexed, Sassy, Goldie, and Junior left the reading room and quietly proceeded towards the main entrance hall. A nearby secondary atrium was full of Roman historical mystery characters orating about whose author knew the most Latin. The edge of that crowd mingled with another consisting of a group of people busily congratulating a character who had miraculously survived a whole season of being the love interest of a certain USAF major in a SF series without being killed, tortured, or exiled and lost in distant space, and was about to graduate to recurring character status.
Wandering through this crowd and winding around their legs and other limbs was a small confused being with short satin smooth red fur, a manly calligraphic whip of a tail, powerful forelegs tapering to diamond shaped paws, and dark hound eyes. This elegant example of dachshund masculinity spotted Sassy and run over to her stopping a few paces away from her, hesitating as if confused yet intrigued by the sight of another dog.
“Hello I am Marcus Rubius Teggellus” he stated by way of introduction, “ and et and que that’s all I know about myself. You seem to be a similar kind of being to myself. The first thing I remember is a white space and a voice saying my name and then I was here? Dear and elegant lady whether you are of my kindred or not could you explain to me where I am?”
“This is Brief Appearances!” replied Sassy, “and it sounds like our scribe or someone who loves dachshunds just thought of a minor character. Do you recall what fictionality you’re from?” asked Sassy.
“Lovely Domina,” responded Marcus, “I … ego sum … I seem to know … Linguam Latinam cognosco! and fortunately English too! This is the atrium of some kind of palatium or grand mansio of a powerful magister?” he asked, clearly confused.
“Oh dear we can’t take you to Teckelstein!” sighed Sassy, “You’ll have to have your birth orientation here! Where’s that Roman Terrier? Mistress Night are you here?”
A small terrier of very indistinct but vigorous breeding trotted over to them followed by a group of Roman children.
“Mistress Night could you introduce young Marcus here to the orientation committee? He’s new. I have to go save Teckelstein!”
Sassy glanced back at Marcus who called out to her as she and the others left.
“Can’t I come with you? What’s Teckelstein? Wait dear lady!”
A welcoming committee of fictional pets moved towards Marcus and Sassy took a deep breath and focused on the task at hand hoping she could meet Marcus again soon!