This is the Black Orchid, darlings, and I am expecting a most eminent guest, Dr. Lazardo. He always comes when the new buds are on the trees and the grasses are blowing like waves in motion. He is a lizard man. That is to say has the head of a lizard on his manly body More tender hands I have never known: he is a healer, and the shaman of an ancient race. He always travels at night so as not to terrify little children or get trapped into a circus sideshow.

A kinder man I have never known. He was a physician to Caligula in 28 Ad who succeeded Emperor Tiberius .He took over the throne much to the populace’s dismay for his practices of cruelty and pervasion. Thankfully, he only lived for twenty years. I was a poor fisher woman and beggar when he found me, a young girl, and made me his slave. I was till rather young and did not know the ways of evil, perverse men like Caligula. I did not know I was immortal at the time but Dr. Larado did when he saw my lion’s eyes and the tuft of hair on my ass. He knew my history that my mother was a shaman who begat me by mating with a lion.

Caligula was fair of face and kingly in meign while Dr Lazardo was oppressively ugly yet good inside. I was the finest of the lot so Caligula chose me often. I would be thrashed with his whips and taken up the backside by his soldiers as he stood by and laughed. He would choose me because i was tougher than most and better at hating. He relished my hatred like a sweet liquor. I spat at them and cursed then in ancient Sumerian, my original language. And I raked more than one across the face with my talons. I have talons instead of fingernails.. Yes, he knew I was special and he relished my humiliation and degradation. Never once did I shed a tear. Never once. They used to beat me senseless but I would not break nor beg for mercy. I was legend. It gauled their manly pride. For I will cry never for any man good or evil.

Dr. Lazardo would come after his men had finished and apply poultices to our wounds and bring us sweet wine to dull the pain. Never once did he take advantage of his position. We called him, “Father Lazardo.” And now Dr Lazardo is my “gentleman caller” as Tennessee William would say. How I love this man and take him in my arms like a new born bride. I am his only love as most women are fooled by a pretty face.I go by the soul of a man. I who am 2000 years old.

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