|Trouble at the Valencommune:
The End of the Matter
It was a beautiful midsummer's evening, and the Valentines sat at the kitchen table admiring the sun's dimming handwriting scrawled in blood red on the clouds. Habanero and Karma lay in a warm, contented pile on the deep windowsill, contributing an aura of comfort and tranquility to the room. From under one of the chairs came the sound of purring as Anita and Fili experimented with new levels of cuteness. Piquet, Sage and Todd sipped their coffee, while Kalaleq and Syren failed to notice much of anything else. It was an evening of relaxation, and all problems seemed remote and unreal, something from another lifetime.
Suddenly, this idyllic scene was shattered by a brain-rattling shriek from outside. The Valentines looked at each other, eyes wide.
"That came from Christine's house!" said Piquet concernedly.
Cats galloping ahead, the Valensextuplet raced over to Christine's lovely gingerbread house which bordered one side of the common garden. Racing into the house, they followed the sound of crashing furniture into Christine's tea-room, where they encountered a terrifying sight.
Christine stood at one side of the table, her chair knocked over and forgotten behind her. At her feet lay...
A broken teacup.
"Whew!" breathed Todd, wiping his perspiring brow in relief. "I thought something terrible must've happened!"
"You don't call that terrible?" said Ellen, pointing in horror at the teacup.
"Well, yes," admitted Kalaleq. "Still," he continued, lost in thought, "somehow I was almost certain we were going to witness some sort of disaster that would lead to a seemingly endless stream of misadventures as we once again tried desperately to save the world from the evil clutches of... of..."
"Of whom?" asked Mr. Saaa, from the third chair. "'Again'? I don't remember ever saving the world from the evil clutches of anything..."
"Hm?" said Kalaleq, snapping out of it. "Hm, yes, you're right... I don't know what came over me there."
"Kal, sometimes I wonder about you," said Syren, fondly.
"Ah well," said Christine, "it could be worse. After all, it's only a teacup. Whaaaaaaaaat?" she said innocently, as the rest stared at her in disbelief. "I do have more, you know. Speaking of which, would you all like to stay for tea, now that you're here? The Email Fairy should be along shortly, too."
"Oo, yes please!" said the Valentines in chorus, and a loud sound of synchopated purring came from underfoot. "Wet fud!" beamed Karma.
And as Christine busied herself finding extra chairs and table extensions, Sage smiled quietly to herself.
From: Sage <sage @ valencommune . net> To: email@example.com Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: A tip Date: Undefined X-Target-Date: A few years ago X-Temporal-Warning: Sender owned process doing -limbo Dear Ellen Cairo and Mr. Saaa: You don't know each other, and I know neither of you knows me, but I think I know something that may save you both a lot of future grief. To put it bluntly, you two are made for each other. I suspect that if you get together now you may find that your incredible compatibility will make you both happier, healthier individuals. Please, I know this sounds weird, coming from a complete stranger, but you have each other's email addresses now, up in the header... please, please write each other. You will thank me. Your friend -Sage PS - if you ever need a bunch of good friends, please feel free to visit us at the valencommune... we'd love to have you! .