The Literal Genius shook his head and slowly stroked a finger along a thin curling mustachio.
“Mad they are, these mortal humans,” he said. “The things some of them ask for!”
One hand held up a thick pastrami-on-rye sandwich. The Genius regarded the deli menu staple, sniffed at it, then took an experimental bite.
“Hmmm,” he murmured, slowly chewing, then swallowed. He plucked up an “I Love NY” t-shirt , complete with a big red “heart” symbol, from a forlorn little pile of clothes sitting on the deserted stretch of beach along the Jersey Shore. He used it to wipe his lips.
Half sunk in the sand near the discarded clothing was an ancient and ornate brass bottle. Its barnacle-encrusted stopper rested nearby, washed over by the incoming tide.
The Genius took another bite of pastrami and rye. His lips pursed in a slight frown.
“Perhaps,” he mused, “a little more mustard next time.”
Gregg Chamberlain is a community newspaper reporter with four decades in the trade, who lives with the missus in rural Eastern Ontario with five cats who allow the humans the run of the house. He boasts more than half-a-dozen prior fiction publications in the sf/fantasy/horror/mystery fields which range in length from microfic to novelette. Most of his published and soon-to-be published fiction is humourous in nature, with a few serious exceptions.