A quick honk of the flatbed Ford’s horn announced the arrival of Kitty and Daisy at Thunder Babe’s ranch on Canady Mountain. Margot came out of the barn to greet them, “Welcome to Anarchia, girls.”

“Anarchia? Like Antarctica for anarchists?” Kitty asked.

“Very good!” Margot commended Kitty’s clever deciphering of a puzzle that many found imparsable. “A little slice of silence and serenity, far from the madding crowds.”

“You should have a little robot penguin, with a circled A on her chest, running around,” Kitty joked.

“I used to have a sign, at the entrance, and another along the road in from the highway, of a penguin with a circled A on her chest, but the kids kept stealing them, so I gave it up.”

“It was probably some Linux geek,” Kitty reasoned.

“Kinda goes against the spirit of it all, doesn’t it?” Margot asked, rhetorically.

“There are mouth-breathing anarchists, and their first rule is, all property is theft,” Kitty pointed out.

“Well, they should make their own damn signs,” Margot countered. “They’re always the ones trying to make the rules. The Ayatollah Anarchists.”

“The Ayatollah Anarchists! Love it!” said Kitty.

“Let’s get down to it, shall we?” Margot asked. “Stay here a second, please and thank you.” She disappeared into the barn, came rigt back out with a horse, and asked, “Are you shy, Kitty/?’

“No, Miss Kitty ain’t shy,” Daisy answered. “You should see her stretching routine before she goes for a swim!”

“You saw the recording,” Kitty wanted to know.

“Recording? No, I was watching from the boys change room.”

Kitty smiled, and didn’t bother to ask what Daisy was doing in the boys change room. Then she thought about it, and asked, “Were you in there with Lance?”

“Oh, no, Miss kitty. I would never mess with your boyfriend… unless you was there.”

“Girls, you have a whole hotel full of empty rooms to continue this, or you’re welcome to use the barn, if that’s your thing, but I do have places to go, and people to see, so if you don’t mind…”

“No, I ain’t shy,” Kitty said, unnecessarily. “What can I do for you?”

“Great. Get your clothes off, and get Daisy to help you up on my girl, Karma. Don’t worry; she’s as gentle as can be. I’ll go get my camera.”

“What a beautiful name,” said Kitty. “I guess you named her that, because if you’re sweet to her, she’ll be sweet to you?”

Still walking away, Margot turned her head, and said, “That’s true, but that’s not why I named her Karma. I named for a girl I knew in Vancouver. Karma Leroux. She had a leonine mane of cascading, black curls, the body of Venus, and the soul of an angel.”

By the time Margot got back, camera around her neck, and a tickle trunk in hands, Kitty was mounted on Karma, stroking her, and singing softly in her ear. Margot stopped to admire the scene for a second, then put the tickle trunk on the ground, opened it, and started going through an assortment of hats. Settling on one, she handed it to Kitty, and said, “Lady Godiva in a cowgirl hat? What do you think?

Adjusting it on her head, Kitty asked, “What do you think, Daisy?”

“I think I’m gonna go see the Prime Minister soon as I can, and get you a maple leaf passport, Miss Kitty. You’re so hot!”

Margot gave her opinion by snapping off a dozen quick shots, and moving to catch Kitty’s beauty from another angle. “Daisy’s rigt, you’re gorgeous. Those Wuhan boys are gonna be gaga for you.”

“Are you really gonna go to Wuhan,” Kitty asked.

“Yes. Why not? Is there a more interesting place o the planet, rigt now? Wuhan’s where it’s at, and where it started. We may discover something of crucial importance there.”

“You’re not afraid?” Kitty inquired, as Margot continued to shoot her from different angles.

“Afraid? No. I come from the light. I’ll be alrigt. And Steve… Steve is from… somewhere else. He has Nanibijou watching over him.”

“Steve is your old, high school flame, I take it?” asked Kitty.

“You mean Steve Collins?” Daisy wanted to know.

“Both correct,” Margot confirmed.

“Who’s Steve Collins?” Kitty asked. “Sounds like a local legend.”

“Oh, he is, Miss Kitty.”

“He is a local legend. World class ski jumper, way back then. When he was little, before he even started jumping, he would take the tunnel to watch World Cup competitions. That’s how he got hooked on the sport.”

“Wow! I bet you’ve had a few really interesting boyfriends,” Kitty guessed.

Margot smiled, and replied, “Well, maybe one, or two.”

“That’s so cool, Miss Margot,” Daisy said. “I’ve seen pics of him, when he was a jumper. He was beautiful.”

“Yeah, he really was,” Margot assured Daisy.

“And you’ve spoken with him about this? And it’s all systems go?” Kitty wanted to know.

“Lift off tomorrow morning, brigt and early. He’s all about it. Says he hasn’t been on a tunnel adventure for decades, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the last girl he took into that timeless tunnel of love!” Margot clicked through the dozens of shots she’d snapped, and said, “Yeah, the Wuhan boys will be all woohoo for you, girl. I have all I need. You can climb down, Kitty.

Daisy rushed over to help Kitty dismount. Understanding that Margot had other things to do, and needing to talk to her in private, Kitty said, “Daisy, can you give us a minute, please? I have to talk to Margot in private.”




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