Chapter I

Mewsy Fran Stone raises her head from between the pink cheeks of the latest to’ve given it a go, and she has herself a thought.

She thinks, Here I Am.

She looks out across the gentle splayed form in her foreground, and beyond to the satin walls, the fuchsia fringed lamps, the stains all over which give the establishment its old world flare. The scene appears fully rendered, as though in an uncannily life-like painting, and Mewsy thinks, I am not merely going toward life. This is my life.

Mewsy blinks quickly and she seems to see, perhaps for the first time ever, in three dimensions.


This is my life. Time passes.


“My turn,” Mewsy sings out, jangling his perineum with her fingertips.

Salvation rolls over and proffers the saddle horn for his lady of the moment.

“Oh, no, darling, please,” Mewsy breathes, “Times are we need the dead weight of a man to press out our troubles. Wouldn’t you be such a dear, my dear Mr. Crane…?” She rolls over prone and the rest of her speech is absorbed in the bedclothes.

Salvation Crane takes satisfaction in obliging, especially for the capricious Ms Stone, and he eases his corpulent frame out across her delicatesse.

Mewsy barely moans as the bed springs complain, and Salvation whispers, there, there, little butterfly, my Toast, let Salvation take you right deep, let ol’ daddy Sal fuck you far from here.

And she is obliterated.


“I hear your man’s back, Mewsy,” says Salvation, a little while later. He smokes as she drapes herself, juicy, across his front curves in a glow. What luxurious roundness, she thinks; what volupté.

“Venomous fishwives’ chatter,” mumbles Mewsy. “But vis-à-vis your goings-on — tell me everything, Sal, tell me everything everything.” She guides his warm, sensitive fingers to where they’d be most comfortable.

Salvation smiles, humouring her and effacing himself with the same easy gesture. “Nothing that’s out of the ordinary, much.”

“Oh, do me ordinary. Je l’adore, Sally papa, je l’adore, l’ordinaire.”

“Well — you know some of the goods have turned out to be highly compromised,” he says.

“Alas, yes,” she sighs, more to make him go on than anything, and she rolls over til the back of her head rests upside-down against his flank and her arms tumble down past her ears.

“We can’t make heads nor tails of what’s supposed to have been inside some of those crates — I mean, it was all packed up so shoddily all that time ago — but others, won’t you be pleased to know, specifically and quite unaccountably some of the garments, have survived as if kept airtight in a museum.”

He thrums her with curious fingers.

“Oh the ravages… the ravages… of time,” Mewsy gasps, never more at ease than when thrown across a gentleman of such competence.

She sits up slightly, nearly bringing her fallen head in line with the rest of her. “Is everything unpacked, then?”

“Dear, no,” Sal says, “This is positively archaeological. Two toothbrushes and a couple of squatting functionaries scrutinizing every knob and furrow.”

“I though we weren’t going to talk about my marriage,” says Mewsy, instantly as proud to have restrained an ungainly guffaw as to have done the quip in the first place.

“Certainly you’re under no obligation to the brute,” says Sal seriously.

“Tybalt? Hot Holy Water…” Mewsy sighs. “How starved for beef would I have to be…”

“Maybe, maybe,” Salvation murmurs. He is juicing her like a warm lemon now. “But you turn to hot buttered cakes for that man. You think I don’t know, but I know.”

“Salvation… darling…” Mewsy drawls — but leaves it. Talk can only be troublesome. If Tybalt Onan-Stahl has reared up onto his hind legs and is snuffling around swinging sweet burning meat, well then… Mewsy will drip, drip, drip. Nothing to be done except suffer one’s fate. But later… later.

“Oh Sally,” she moans, and gives herself over, all over, “You do know how…”