And On His Shoulder A Winnowing Oar

Xenophon was on his way home from work when an unmarked panel van screeched to a halt beside him and four men jumped out.

“Well, hey, fellas,” he said, “what can I do for y’all?”

They punched him in the stomach and threw him into the van.

“I say, I say, I say,” he gasped when he’d finished vomiting, “I don’t call that right neighborly behavior, nossir. Nossir, I do not.” They strapped him to a gurney and plugged something into his arm. “Aw, c’mon now,” he slurred before the world went away.

When things swam back into focus he was sitting on the stoop outside the apartment he shared with Alcibiades and Miletus. “I tell ya, sons,” he began, when Miletus rounded on him with a baseball bat.

“Don’t know who y’are, mister,” growled Miletus, his Miletus, “but y’just turn around and go out th’way y’came in, and there won’t be no problems.”