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Deep in the Land of Frogwod
The Land of Frogwod
Son of Essex chemists, Phlogiston left England for America as soon as he had saved enough from his paper round. With nothing but a rucksack and his guitar, he planned to board the first Greyhound bus to Nashville, until an old man approached him at the bus station. and told him he needed to learn the ways of the Wasabi People. Something about the unlikeliness of the situation appealed to Phlog and he followed the old man to New Mexico.
For seven years Phlog learned with the Wasabi. He learned control of his mind, his body and his environment. He learned about power plants, especially horseradish, which he still grows today. Watching Phlog standing over an acrid, eye-
After years of apprenticeship, the Wasabi allowed Phlog to participate fully in rituals which were claimed to give control over time, the weather, and distance. Things began to go wrong when he became energetically entangled with an unpleasant inorganic being, while making experimental sonic excursions involving his guitar, the sounds of various power plants and several magical creatures. He had been warned against being too imaginative by his teacher, but he persisted in wanting to go further, to know more than he was being told. When he began to show signs of corruption in his energetic, the Wasabi threw him out, expecting him to die. But his teacher, appalled by the state of his former apprentice, took pity on him. “Now you reap the harvest of being too imaginative!” he said, handing one last gift to Phlog, a ticket to Europe and a card with the Stosenstein address in gold letters. “Seek this man,” the old man told him, “Tell him you come from the Wasabi. He may help you.” And so it was that Phlog, wearing only a loin cloth, his body painted with mustard and horseradish, found himself on the steps of the Stosenstein Clinic.
As Dr Stosenstein himself puts it:
Phlog is a classic delusional of an intensity that I have rarely encountered. Nothing remarkable has ever happened in his life, yet he manages to maintain the delusion that he is some sort of medicine man. I have had to restrain him on several occasions, from making vile potions of horseradish in the staff kitchen. There was a real danger of someone being blinded. This man should certainly not be allowed to mix in sane society. He has no grip on reality and is likely to harm not only himself -