Edited by Hassan Morsy
The Girl was courteously sitting at the sumptuous table.
She was amusedly looking at her two guests: the Rat and the Chameleon.
Every evening after six o’clock, the two old creatures would ring the doorbell and a butler would open and walk them through the door for their usual appointment.
The Girl was never expecting them to carry any gifts for the host but they knew they had to bring a new story to tell, every evening at dinner time.
That was the only thing the Girl ever asked of them.
The two unlikely friends had to thread and weave a story that either came from their faltering memory or make up one at the very last moment, often while eating a delicious soup from precious china and silver spoons.
The Rat had a very nasal voice and spoke in a quick, syncopated fashion. Sometimes he would get confused and blabber, which caused the girl to suffocate her laugh bringing her hand to her mouth.
The Chameleon instead, had a peculiar raspy voice, spoke taking pauses and looking at the Girl with those mobile eyes of his. Contrary to most people who dealt with the Chameleon, she did not find those eyes unsettling.
The Girl treated them rather well, leaving precise instructions with her small court of diligent waiters.
To her it didn’t matter if the stories were not true and both the Rat and the Chameleon knew that their way of telling them played a great deal in the success of the evening and whether another invitation was to be graciously made.
The Girl knew that despite their absent look, her ancestors too were ready to listen, from their gilded frames on the Regency wallpaper, to the Rat and Chameleon’s stories.