This is a story about one Mr. Chatbury. I was given it by a faceless man yesterday in the twilight hours at the edge of the city where the law is not what it is in other parts of town. On ragged paper it was written, as ragged as the man’s beard; beautifully curvy handwriting, black ink – like they used to write in a time long gone.

Though the story is brand-new.

Talk to me the man did not. He had disappeared into the boundaries of dreams that only the wafts of early morning mist provide, long before I had gathered my senses and formed a question in my mind.

Mr. Chatbury lived in a world frightfully similar to ours. One of those worlds that reminded you that nothing was certain and things could be ever slightly so different if only a few circumstances or determinants changed to the effect that outcomes became less
desirable than what could have been expected.

As this is the beginning of our story it would have been logical if one might have wanted to ask what kind of person Mr. Chatbury was and one would have gotten the following unsatisfactory answer: Mr. Chatbury was all nose; all nose and a little bit of hair. But since nobody asked, this valuable piece of information shall be withheld for just a little while longer which can, no doubt, only benefit the unfolding of the narrative.

Mr. Chatbury was all nose; all nose and a little bit of hair. Behind his enormous olfactory organ all other facial features seemed to vanish like on the magician’s stage rabbits and innocent virgins. So far he had not regarded this as a major problem, though he was a bit
worried about the virgins. Sure, other people made fun of him.

Children in particular were outrageously cruel, unabashedly pointing out his shortcomings wherever he went – though shortcomings was

probably the wrong choice of words. Penisocchio was still one of the nicer names that kids called him by.