Bangsian Fantasy

Around the long table the dead are playing cards.

Hieronymous Munchausen smiles so the ends of his moustaches curl up. “There was this one time,” he says, and coughs wetly.

“Save it,” snaps Leopold Sacher, and absently backhands the shade bringing him his drink. “Next time bring it before the ice has melted.”


“There’s no call for that.” Donatien Francois has mild, soulful eyes and a mouth utterly depraved. “You didn’t even pay any attention to her.”

“What do you care how I treat my servants? You’ve done as bad and worse.”

Donatien shrugs. “It’s no affair of mine.”

Howard Philips is dealing, long aristocratic face mournful. “Your bets, gentlemen and ladies. Your bets.” He snaps cards across the mouldering boards nervously, hesitates every time he comes to Freud.

“Someday,” says Freud, “we will talk. Your universe and mine are not so different, I think.”

Philips says, “There are things,” blinks, “there are things deeper than what we see, which would drive even the dead mad.”

“Hrm, yes.” Freud nods, draws on his cigar. “Yes, just so.”