Seven miles later, Francis came to the outskirts of ModosharromoG.
First a brief history of this illustrious town:
A city after Nero's own heart, built brick by brick, stone by stone, street
according to a large blueprint left in care of his horse, excavated by a
of depraved monks in the middle-aged ages...a rather vast city made of canals
most of it underground, tunneled through sandstone....a place where fiddleheads
abounded, as well as every other kind of creature... and all kinds of sofas.
Sofas to lie down, to fornicate, fifthicate, divide and embellish, to puncture,
mutilate..couches for holding a pin up in front of you, couches that wriggled
and wriggled and wriggled...in spite of this, the population was dwindling.
Here he saw four fiddleheads playing boules on the dunes. He had never seen
any fiddleheads other than his mother and father....and this sudden stripping
away of uniqueness pleased him. Perhaps his actual quest was that of becoming
ordinary, of learning how to fit in.
"Who are you?" they asked, tightening their heads.
They said,"You smell different," and went back to playing boules.
Immediately one of them started sinking into the sand, shrieked, and dissolved
completely. He was swallowed up by the sand before anyone could even move
"It happens here quite often," said one fiddlehead. "Because
of the quicksand."
"Well," said Francis,"why don't you play somewhere else?"
"Play somewhere else?" one tittered. "Skirting fatality is
our sole pleasure in life."
They turned their backs on him and continued playing until another one shrieked
and dissolved into the quicksand.
So Francis bid them goodbye and went towards the heart of the city.
But he too fell into quicksand. He could not get out. The hole around him
got deeper..until he
realized that Modomsharramog was something you fell into, that it simply
happened. And you were there.