The Catalog: Prologue
- “Ah! Mr. Palmer!” Shouted the well-dressed gentlemen, greeting his potential client with excitement.
- “Why hello! You must be Eliot? The one I’ve been coordinating with, yes?” Palmer replies as his driver shuts the limo door behind him.
- “You’d be correct! Glad to finally meet you Mr. Palmer.” He adds, reaching his fist toward the other man’s for a handshake.
- “Please, call me Ryan.” He states, gripping Eliot’s palm and shaking it firmly.
- “If you insist. So “Ryan”… Shall we begin?”
- “Aha! Excellent.” Eliot cheers, holding the door open for Ryan to step inside. “After you.”
- Ryan takes a few cautious steps inward as he’s met with a massive, beautiful lobby decorated in mounds of wealthy artifacts. The sound of a large water fountain in the center along with the sweet aroma of vibrant flowers placed about was enough to throw any sane man into a trance. Eliot, following closely behind, nudges Ryan to pull him from his daze.
- “This way, Ryan.” He continues, motioning toward a door near the end of the hall.
- “Of course.”
- The two make their way through the building toward the door and enter what seems to be a standard looking office. Obviously one meant for the higher class, but nothing more than two chairs on one end, a desk in the middle, and a fancy executive swivel chair on the other.
- “Have a seat right here, Ryan. I’ll be with you in just a moment. Would you care for any beverages? Water? Soda? Wine?”
- “A glass of water would be nice.”
- “You got it. I’ll be back in just one second.”
- Ryan seats himself at one of the smaller chairs, obviously meant for the client, and fiddles with some of the desk toys as he waits for Eliot to return. He gazes about the room to occupy himself when something on the wall catches his eye. A bulletin board, chock-full of pictures featuring happy ponies and their owners. Without warning, he almost instinctively elicits an audible “d’aww”. Pretty soon he’d be one of those happy owners, and hell, he might even end up on the same bulletin board.
- His thoughts come to a halt as Eliot re-enters the office.
- “Sorry about the wait.” He continues, placing a glass of water if front of Ryan.
- “Oh no worries.”
- Eliot takes a seat in the larger swivel chair and places a hefty looking binder on the desk.
- “I assume you’ve already had a look through the catalog?” Eliot asks.
- “I have.”
- “Did you have any questions? Are there any that stood out to you? Have you already made a choice?”
- “Hmmm… I did have a question about a mare on page… 9, I think?”
- Eliot opens his binder and flips through a few pages.
- “Do you remember her name by any chance?”
- “Yes, it was ‘Breezy’ if I’m not mistaken.”
- “Ah, Breezy. This is actually her first month in the catalog believe it or not.”
- “Mhm. So what was your question?”
- “Oh, right. Is she uhm, is she still available?”
- “Yep. At a good price too.”
- “How much are we talkin?”
- “Twelve million. Unless you want her delivered, that’d be an extra $300k to evade the feds.”
- “Oh, haha. You don’t have to worry about that, I want to be the one to take her home.”
- “I completely understand. We also like for the owner to be here during training, it helps the two of you build a stronger bond. It’s not mandatory, but highly recommended.”
- “How long is training?”
- “Well, the transformation usually takes about 3 weeks, then a week of training on top of that.”
- “So I can just chill at home for 3 weeks then fly back out when she’s ready?”
- “Yes sir.”
- “Sounds easy enough. Am I allowed to know who this person is before the transformation takes place?”
- “I’m sorry, but we keep their prior life completely confidential.”
- “That’s understandable.”
- Ryan sits for a few moments pondering, resting his head on his fist. He really had nothing to lose. Twelve million dollars was a drop in the bucket to him, and in return, he’d be getting an insanely adorable, life-long companion. Soo… why the fuck not?
- He raises his head and looks back at Eliot.
- “You’ve got yourselves a deal.”
- “Excellent! Glad to hear, Ryan. Now, just a few ground rules I need to lay out before we exchange services. Since the ponies ARE living beings, we do like to check up on them. We’ll fly an inspector out every other month or so just to make sure things are alright (at no cost to you of course). It’ll be less frequent the more we get to know you. If for some reason your pony falls ill or injures herself, contact us IMMEDIATELY. We have the proper personnel who know how to handle their anatomy. Lastly, you’ll be receiving a kit full of instructions and medical gear, just in case anything should go wrong.”
- “Sounds good.”
- “Are there any more questions I can answer for you, Ryan?”
- “Nope, that’s about it. If I think of any I’ll be sure to give you a call.”
- “Absolutely, feel free to contact me anytime.”
- Ryan then lifts his briefcase from the ground and rests it on the table. He grabs a key from his coat pocket and uses it to unlock the case, revealing countless wads of freshly printed cash.
- “I’ve got ten million here with me today and I’ll give you the remaining two when I come for training.”
- “Wonderful. Since nothing here is enforceable by law, we tend to seal our deals with a handshake.”
- Eliot reaches his hand out once more and it is quickly taken by the opposing male’s into another firm shake. Ryan wasn’t the ‘strong’ type, but he definitely knew how to give a handshake.
- “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you Ryan, we look forward to seeing you in a few weeks!”
- “You too, Eliot. I’ll be sure to keep in touch.”
- And with that, the two rich mother fuckers part ways.
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