The puppet-boy hurried down the staircase of the palace as did Byron and Shelley,
and like them found the secret entrance into Palazzo Scarlotti, in its mirrored halls,
in the tapestried pavilions, he was profoundly alone. There were no others here in
all the palace.
Botwobbles were known to live around porcelain fixtures of certain houses. They
were cheerful, winsome balloonlike animals playful as otters. Their play attracted
the puppet-boy who clicked in to just below the edge of the tub and was drenched
for his curiosity.
The Botwobble eyes shone down like beads. They saw a small boy with a
porcelain head, hands and feet wearing a now wet sky-blue suit beneath them.
“Have you seen anyone or anything like me?”
The Botwobbles gestured with their tiny snouts: up and to the right.
She sat in a curiosity case elegant in burgundy. “My lovely creature, you should
play with more spirit!”Her Maker repositioned her hands and mallets over the
strings of the harpsichord, bent over, kissed her, “Let us begin once more.”
The Puppet wondered at her playing.
At one point she seemed to peer at him during her performance.
Yet her eyes were closed. She was so beautiful, he stood entranced.
He was spotted by the Maker. “You have an admirer, Josephine!”
“Come in, little man. Care to play with us? It can be arranged.”
The puppet-boy nodded his head. His strings had led him here.
He had not wondered how he had become lost, but upon seeing her beautiful
porcelain face done with the finest strokes of the brush,
in his empty head he could not imagine anywhere else as his home.
Papers were signed and the trunk which contained Gainsborough when he was not
being operated brought in. The boy in blue was now in the household of his new
Maker; Giuseppe Fantomas and his Fantastic Phantasmagoric Circus of
Mechanical Arts and Sciences.
All that remained was for Gainsborough to become animated by
wire and gear, not the string which had held him up for so long.
The puppet-boy would miss the freedom of the strings, but while he was within
sight of Josephine, he would be content to play with her.
---Purple Mark 010612
- "I have walked down the staircase of the palace as did Byron and Shelley, and like them I found the secret entrance into the Palazzo Scarlotti where the nightly debauches are still being carried on by the sons of Fottia, in the mirrored halls, in the tapestried pavilions. All of the city was open to me, and I was profoundly alone.” Samuel R. Delany. Driftglass. (Signet Books, 1971). page 196.
- "Botwobbles were small, balloonlike animals that surfaced in bathtubs. They were cheerful, winsome creatures, as playful as otters, delighting small children whose parents would never have been able to get their progeny into a tub were it not for the prospect of playing with these good-natured water babies." Zod Wallop. by William Browning Spencer, (Borealis/White Wolf Publishing, 1995). page 122.
- “'My lovely creature, you should play with more spirit.' He repositioned her hands and mallets over the strings of the harpsichord, bent over, kissed her. 'Let us begin once more.'" Allen Kurzweil. A Case Of Curiosities. (Ballantine Books, 1992). page 109.