Written by shnoswald
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Monday, 30 August 2010

Chapter 4

After locating the book Sebastian had a few days left on the island and was intent on gathering the ingredients for his cheesecake. I don't imagine you have any idea how difficult it is to watch a person waste three days looking for ingredients to a centuries old recipe. The best way to describe it is that it's similar to having the enamel scraped from your teeth while listening to Carmina Burana performed by The Greater Austin Area Bagpipe Choir. Well... that may be a slight exaggeration... perhaps not all of your teeth but you get the point; it was arduous. Most of the ingredients were easily obtainable at the small market in Antsirabe, however there was an ingredient, a simple vanilla bean, that was quite elusive and apparently it was THE bean needed to complete the recipe.

Madagascar is known for its vanilla. With a sweet flavor and an aroma similar to tobacco, the vanilla is a delightful addition to many dishes. I personally enjoy gnawing on one of the pleasant beans in the afternoon with a pint of beer and a plate of grilled bananas. Yum. But if all that was required was a vanilla bean, then that would have been easy; the beans litter the streets. The bean that Sebastian needed was special. Of course it had to be or I would have been in the states reading Chaucer and licking my nuts to the fine poodles roaming - crap - I need to stop thinking out loud. I digress. Yip yap.

The bean had to come from a specific ombiasy named Barry... Barry Schmelly. An ombiasy is consulted by families to help with planning their future and he typically looks at astrology, acts as a traditional healer and takes after family affairs. However this ombiasy was a recluse, nice... right? Again, if it were easy then his damn cheesecake would be an ordinary cheesecake and I wouldn't be stuck looking for a freaking bean when I should be... I'm doing it again. I really need to stop ranting, I need a drink, unfortunately if I drink anymore this afternoon I may actually end up with that ferret next door, she's a screamer and that would not be good right now.

* * * *

"This story is about a vanilla bean?

"Ummm... You need to listen and it's apparent that listening, contrary to your position, is not what you're very good at. Listen and learn. Right now it's about finding the vanilla bean needed for the cheesecake. It is all about the cheesecake. Can you keep up with that? Your iconoclastic perspective is not helping the situation at all. Open your mind and stop being such a nitwit."

"I'm really trying but this story is so bizarre."

"Yeah, yeah... I know. But if you don't listen to the story without interrupting, you will never figure this shit out. Hell... I'm still trying to understand this crap. Just hang on for the ride."

"I would if the ride wasn't so convoluted. It is very confusing and appears that you are making things up as you go along. How much of what you're telling me is real and how much is just coloration of simple events with your less than eloquent story telling."

"I'm going to ignore your last comments and simply continue the story. If you're not going to say anything productive then stop talking."

"Hmm... I see. Okay... please do continue."

* * * *

Where was I? Oh... the vanilla bean form a specific ombiasy named Barry. Where he lived was any ones guess. He was apparently four-hundred plus years old - yeah right - and raised vanilla beans for sacred rituals with a process dating back to the Code of Hammurabi. His vanilla has been a treasured resource for many shaman and spiritual healers the world over. Unfortunately we had no idea where he was and if we do find him the chances of acquiring one of his beans were slim to none.

Sebastian was excited and continued to giggle like a girl. I oh so wanted to slap him up side the head. I didn't. He had crackers and well... I like crackers. But the giggling had to end soon, crackers or not. "Look. If you really want to find this guy we will need to head North again. Possibly even touch base with Artemis." I was being as direct as I could.

"I am not going to do any more errands for that gun runner!" Sebastian was way off base, we ran Sambuca.

"I know you're not too keen on working with him but he'll know where to find this guy. Regardless... I need to get some things from home before we leave for the States and all my crap is in Mahajanga." I was done with his attitude. If he wanted the stupid vanilla beans it was on my terms. As nice as he was he could not make a solid decision without wiping his nose first which became as you know, a serious issue. Twit. He gave me a cracker.

"Fine. We'll head up the coast to Mahajanga and get your things. If you think Artemis can help we'll chat with him but I am not making any more deliveries for the guy. He freaks me out!"

* * * *

"Sounds as though Sebastian has issues with 'Artemis'. I find that really odd. I'm sure he dislikes the guy but how do you justify more and more comments about him." The tone of his voice was overly sardonic. Almost to the extent that I wanted to walk out of the session.

"Why yes... yes he does. 'Artemis', as you put it, was way outside of Sebastian's comfort zone. Sebastian was under the impression that no one else was needed, that getting help of any kind was a sign of weakness. For him, hiring an Aye-Aye was tantamount to a service animal and that was okay. I was fuzzy and oh so cute, not a threat to his fragile psyche. However getting help from a 'person' was a much bigger challenge. He can't speak very well with others and gets awfully messed up."

"So you're there to help grease those wheels?"

"Yeah... I guess... I'm his social guide. Ya happy? I need to continue." Idiot.

* * * *

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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