|I am standing here today to speak for Furl Begucet, our friend and entertainer. The most delightful and seductive man that has ever supped upon a cup of tea, “No cream and a dollop of honey if you could.” Oh how those words still echo through my head. But I will only serve to verbally transpose, for Furl has, as never before, been prudent and left us a commentary for this unfortunate service.
Oddly enough I remember when, just over a year ago he read me the following stories and said in his playful voice, “One day Blake you will have the prestigious honor of reading these wonderful records of mine to a group larger than that which attends those pretentious presidential speeches.” Which he chased quickly with an even more playful laugh.
And how right he was! He has asked one thing of us all. “Those who absolutely cannot stay for the whole reading, please, do so. That is until you grow weary of Blake’s Dulcet Tonality and perfect pronunciation.”
Embarrassing as it is to read such flattery he has asked only one thing of me. “Please, with concern for all listeners, do not skip any words, phrases, or sentences.” And I will do as asked. But now before I begin reading, I will give, for those who never had the pleasure of meeting Furl, a quick description of him and his ways, for then the stories will be more comprehensible. He was…
Actually, in regards to what I just said, I apologize. To Furl and to those who do know him well. I will let his words speak for him, as they have always done, for I cannot out do his style, especially when it pertains to a subject he knows so well, himself. His records are sure to paint a most fascinating picture and he will persuade us to remember him as he pleases. So I shall now begin.
- - -
I Furl Begucet have recorded some of my more interesting experiences with clients at the request of various friends. They were delighted when I told them just a few and expressed how wasteful and selfish it would be not to put pen to paper and make them eternal.
I started immediately and when I exhausted my articulative powers I stopped writing and treated myself to a sweet glass of that bitter liquid. And I think I should note that I exhausted said powers on a nightly basis and never actually finished my compilation.
Instead I worked upon this, my post mortal tale. It didn’t take all that much effort, all that had to be done was collect the best stories and put them together, as well as write this introduction. How fun it is to speak from the grave, most interesting! At least I think so, hopefully you all do as well.
But yes, now that I have given one introduction I cannot give another, that would be in bad taste. I will not speak of how my profession came about, for it was an arduous thing to acquire
I will start with my first extra-ordinary night with a young lady named Anastasia. She first contacted me through the postal service, with a beautiful letter written on pink stationary, which was lined with a delicate white lace. A rather dated method I thought, but she commented on this in her post script. “By the way, I thought you would appreciate this letter, if you would like to continue in this form the return address is correct, if not my email is written below.”
Yes, appreciate it I did, and I told her so in my emailed response… I never trust the letter carriers; I fear they will steal my words when they smell my envelopes, for all of my paper is scented with peppermint and lavender, a seductive combination. Anyhow I would have been sending her the wrong idea had she read my words while inhaling that intoxicating vapor and this was not our business. In fact we were going to do something much more forbidden and mysterious in my eyes. She was to fly in from California, L.A. I believe, and pick me up at the nearest airport, I was going to be visiting friends at the time, near Miami. From there we were to fly to Buffalo, New York where we would be picked up by a driver and taken to our final destination, being, Lilly Dale, New York. All of this flying mind you was in her private jet, and with all due respect, had it been any other way I would have refused.
Our introduction was a rather splendid one; a man met me in the airport and led me to her jet. When I entered she was sitting “Indian Style” as they say, her hands in her lap, palms up, and appeared to be meditating. The position was just enough to cause interest, but her dress, her dress was more than enough to cause…alarm. Her legs, which were contorted so eloquently, were clothed to the knees with skin tight black leggings, in the right setting they could pass for sportswear, but here they were oddly mysterious. He legs were twisted perfectly as to hide the rest of her skin and expose only her black footed socks. From there the vicissitude was extreme, her well covered dark bottom clashed strongly with her lightly veiled top. She was draped in wonderful white lace, the pattern closely matching that of her letter. As it fell over her shoulders, it rested on her silken white skin, and through the tenuous fabric I could see her dark nipples. Her mien was entrancing and lascivious, and though I knew I had already been staring too long, my eyes were insatiable. A few moments longer and I cleared my throat loudly as to make my presence known. She made no response, so I continued up her body, her face was small and gentle, her eyes closed and her skin sleepy. Her long oak hair was tied up with a black lace ribbon, which was close to unnoticeable. Knowing it was quite rude to leer at any woman, even one as provoking as her; I cleared my throat again, shuffled in place and dropped my bag. Presently she awoke from her trance, as did I and her face blushed with a vibrant blood red, making the surrounding skin look ghastly pale. Quickly she covered her body with the towel she had been sitting upon and disappeared behind a curtain.
I took a seat and admired all the minor luxurious details of the interior, trying desperately to find something that surpassed her ineffable beauty, or, something to help omit the last few seconds of her ephemeral spectral appearance, both were in vain. At this time I didn’t connect her ghost like resemblance to our destination, which was, as I stated, Lilly Dale, New York. Lilly Dale is a small village inhabited primarily by psychic mediums, fortune tellers, and spiritual gurus. In retrospect I must admit, I feel a bit daft for not suspecting anything at this point.
As quickly as she disappeared she was back, fully dressed and mentally composed. Her movement was languid and comfortable, as was her speech. As she talked her hands moved slowly yet naturally in front of her, yet again she seemed hypnotic.
“I am sorry we were introduced in such a hasty manner, please believe me when I say I did not intend for you to see me in such a state. Every day at 6:33 I begin meditation, but today the change in altitude proved to enhance my trance greatly. I had planned on meeting you in the airport myself.” Still slightly distracted by her gestures I began my response.
“No, not a problem, your man, Henry was it? Greeted me as soon as I walked into the building and led me straight here. As for our meeting-“
“Let us speak no more of it, my name is Anastasia, and you are respectively, Mr Furl.”
“Just Furl, if it pleases you.”
“Well Furl, I am pleased… to meet you. And your attire, it is classy yet modern, this as well, is pleasing… to my eyes.”
“Ah, thank you.” Were the only words I could match with, for I was still thinking of her attire only moments ago… I have always made it a point not to become attracted to my clients, a rule which I almost always broke, but never so uncontrollably, I could not wipe away her beautiful figure which fogged my vision.
Conveniently a loud bell distracted me and we prepared for takeoff. We traded a few words and in minutes fell asleep mutually. How long it was before I started dreaming I do not know, nor do I even know how long the flight was. The whole thing was a blur, other than her meditative form and my occult dream that is. The latter which still replays in my mind, which upon death I hope I forget.
I was sitting on a dock that led out to a small lake, I was not in my body, but watching it from a detached perspective. My face was painted white and there were two large black dots, one on each of my cheeks. It was similar to clown makeup, but was not as merry or inane, and I looked rather devious swinging my feet over the water. As I did so, a slow fog crept across the surface of the lake and seemed to consume the whole. I reached next to my sitting self, picked up a burlap sack, and quickly put it over my head. It closely resembled those which are adorned to men who are standing at the gibbet. After it was securely over my face I stood and began balancing on one foot, leaning far off the dock over the water. The fog then dispersed and I was left standing, no longer on the dock, but on the edge of a tall building, nothing below but a dark endless trench. I screamed to my body, I told him to back away, to gain his footing, but I could not hear myself. Right as i began falling I woke to Anastasia’s soft touch upon my shoulder, I must have winced as I awoke, for she asked if all was well.
And although if anyone would have understood my dream it would have been her, I kept quiet about it and just nodded.
“Do you know why we are going to Lilly Dale ,Furl?”
“I could come to some conjecture but I would rather you tell me.” Was my response.
“Madam Raizey, a well know spiritualist and medium has 12 acres of land, on this land there is a small pond. This pond is known as “The Vile Flask.” At hearing this name I chuckled and was about to continue with a joke when she stared into my eyes with the austerity of a retired commandant.
After considering what I was usually hired for I almost proceeded but weighing my situation and Anastasia’s mood I ceased to act flippantly and asked her to continue.
“One must stand in the Flask for 8 hours, from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m., when this time has passed and the being emerges, all evil will have been washed from the body and the person will leave innocent and anew. Do you understand this?”
“I must say yes…” The whole situation was now a bit awkward, though I understood what she said, and I can even go as far as to say I understood how those with faith in such things could believe this would work. I did not understand why, pretty young Anastasia needed to do this, nor did I know why she needed my assistance for this trip. It sounded like something you go at alone or possibly with a close friend who you could stand in the Flask with and hold hands. But me? Discourse I knew, exorcism, well that is information I was devoid of, and honestly happy to be so.
She looked as if she was going to explain further when the jet’s wheels met the concrete and gave a shocking screech. The next time we were free to speak was in the arranged car. The driver, as well as Henry were separated from us by a thick black pain of glass. After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, which I am strongly opposed to, as well hired to help avoid, she spoke. Oddly enough, this whole trip I felt inferior to her, as if I needed her, not as if she had called for me.
“Come Furl, I would like to avoid such talk but I believe I am paying you good money, why do you let my mind grow torpid and my thoughts dull?”
“Yes, sorry, I have been in a haze, it has been a while since I have flown, it was a bit much for me. But now that I have apologized and we have gotten some fresh air we can move on.”
“I am glad to hear this.” She said while pulling out a small glass bottle that enclosed a clean green liquid. “Would you like some?” She asked with a beguiling smile.
“No thank you, I do not drink.”
“Do not drink what?”
“Alcohol, of course…”
“Well that is a decision, but this is not, that, I promise.” Normally I would have continued to refuse as I have done so many times before but I felt I could not.
After a shot or four we were both feeling the effects of the drink, each bump tickled my body most agreeably, and the touch of Anastasia was excessively pleasurable. She told me ghost stories from her youth and I let slip my admirations of her beauty. I don’t remember much from that long car ride, but I do remember a short phrase I created: So craven are we, so depraved, with all of our furtive vice, yes, pleasure is decadence.
Although I must admit, finding something you scratched on a scrap of paper is not exactly recollection.
It was only after years of craving this sweet liquid that I discovered it was Absinthe.
- - -
We arrived in Lilly Dale around 11 p.m., until this point I had no idea what time it was, in fact I had not known since before my flight. But everything must have been planned out perfectly for we had only 2 hours until Anastasia was to, “Stand in The Flask”.
The car dropped us off right in front of Madam Reizey’s home, a small, broken looking little house, nothing like a flashy mystics, no Yin Yang wind chimes, no peace symbol greeting mat, only a broken porch and a rusty door. Anastasia was looking more and more anxious by the minute, as well as pale. As she knocked, the door opened immediately and the woman I came to know as Madam Reizey answered. She looked shocked to see Anastasia, which was odd for everything else had been planned so meticulously, did she not expect us? The Madam started speaking very quickly in what I think was Latin and her tone seemed overly concerned. The conversation that followed will forever be unknown to me, as is much from that night. Based on body language Anastasia was explaining and the Madam was continually scolding.
I received a few glances as well as some short instructions, nothing more than “come, come.” We wasted little time and began walking through the woods behind her house. Ahead I could see two lights, one almost as bright as the other. As we came closer I perceived them to be a fire and its reflection off of a pond. This pond, as one would expect, was The Vile Flask. Their conversation continued in Latin, and English words became aberrations. At the pond Anastasia must have been told to disrobe for as I looked at the fire and then back again, her pale skin was glowing in the moonlight. She was one luminescent brush stroke with the dark pond as her backdrop, shivering in the cold ether. Never had I, nor have I since seen a more astonishing sight, such magnificent beauty. I was practically brought to madness by the convulsion of her flesh.
Anastasia walked 10 steps into the pond, the water came just above her waist and her hair was one with the night. Madam Reizey threw all of her clothes in the water, save, the black lace ribbon that was tied around her hair. She brought the ribbon to me, and asked if I drank the vile, which I responded to with a short “yes”, after which she tied it around my neck. With one hand on my head and the other stretched out towards Anastasia she chanted a few words in Latin and then asked me to sit by the fire.
I sat with fixed eyes upon Anastasia, half waiting to see an evil spirit leave her body, half confused and completely fascinated. My thoughts became strangely happy and my body was practically floating with pleasure as I felt the fire lightly whipping my face. The last thing I can recall was my body, pulsing, in complete ecstasy.
When I awoke it was light out, the strange pond now seemed dull and normal and Anastasia was no longer standing in it. The Madam must have been waiting for me to wake because she was speaking before I had opened both eyes.
“You are to go now my boy, go back home.”
“Where is Anastasia?” I asked earnestly.
Too much evil… But now, you must go.”
I persisted with my questioning for quite some time, but I was endlessly met with the same terse command, “You must go.” I was soon assured by Henry who was looking rather melancholy, that I would receive my payment and that again, “I must go”.
To this day I still am in possession of Anastasia’s black lace ribbon, and every time I hold it I feel that same intense pleasure I felt in the car as well as the last time I looked upon her body in the lake. Yet I have never found out what happened that night, or why I was even with her in the first place. And it is with no avarice, only more confusion, that I say, I was handsomely paid with an inordinate sum of money, for, shall we say, this experience. Forever I will remember the glowing figure, and the elegant quiver of young Anastasia.