Ebony Jewels

Was sitting here and just remembered the very odd dream I was having this morning before I woke up.

It was about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, two of Fritz Leiber’s fantasy characters from a series of books back in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

They had gotten quite old and had retired from adventuring. The Mouser was in his mid-eighties, still spry but having mental problems. A few years younger than his old partner, Fafhrd was very worried about him. Fafhrd was still mentally sharp but had grown fragile. After breaking his hip when an elevator had stopped suddenly, Fafhrd was getting around in a wheelchair which meant that he couldn’t visit the Mouser in his home which was a third floor walk-up in the East Village. So he called me to go check on Mouse.

“Just be sure the little guy is okay,” he begged me. He was being pushed around his Park Avenue apartment by a black, amazonian beauty half his age.

I took a bus over and met the Mouser’s current thirty-something girlfriend in a Starbucks in SoHo. Leisha told me that Mouse was fine, just a little confused sometimes. The part that made her worry was that when he got anxious he would disappear into the building’s conduits and inner spaces, sometimes not coming out for days. “Sheelba is the only one who can talk him out before he’s ready,” Leisha confessed.

Sheelba I remembered was Mouse’s patron and a class-A manipulator. Whitney Houston was singing “How Will I Know If I Really Love You” on the Starbucks music system and that seemed somehow significant.

Mouse himself showed up about then claiming to have found the Ebony Jewels of Nevernight – a bag of espresso beans. The alarm went off and I woke up wondering what a cup of coffee brewed from the Ebony Jewels of Nevernight would taste like.


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