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Ancient Credit Cards and Wall Hangings

“Hey, René?” “What?” His thoughts were elsewhere. “Have you seen statues of Ištar, René? You know, out and about, at the places where you’ve gone. I remember you told me you saw my statue.” “Oh, yeah. At the tavern in Ninevah.” He grinned. “They were obscene, pornographic almost. But, it was a tavern. Why are you asking?” “Well, do I look fat? In those pictures, those frescos you saw? Do they make me look fat? Do you think I’m fat, René?”

— Of Gods and Mortals (Jim Aarons)

He looked at her open-mouthed, like she had gone off the deep end. He had a dreadful feeling and knew he must proceed very carefully. “Katie.” René took a moment to think.

“Do I think you’re fat?” He repeated the question with no good answer to gain time realizing “fat” probably wasn’t a good word to repeat right now. He hesitated, as his mind searched for a nicer way to say fat, but panic set in, and only blankness came upon him. He stopped talking, and shook his head no, hoping against hope this would be the end of fat worries. “No, Katie. I don’t think you were fat in those pictures.”

And that was all she needed, just a reassuring pat, an acknowledgement she was still a hottie. “Oh good. I thought they were trying to fatten me up, feeding me here all the time. I want to know what I’m supposed to look like. Maybe I’ll go with you to the tavern when we get back to Ninevah.” Chapter 4.

The hardened cylinder on the left is rolled onto soft clay to leave an official imprint, elevating any piece of news to royal status.

People carried their cylinders in pockets or threaded them onto leather lanyards and wore them around their neck.

Chapter 6: Hey Katie, I need another favor.”

She closed her eyes and scrunched her face in hard thought. He hasn’t heard one thing I said, she told herself in total astonishment. “What, René?”

“Remember that credit card cylinder seal thingy that we rolled onto the clay at the tavern to pay our way? Well Rabea took mine away. And Cedat says she took his away as well. I was wondering if you can find those cylinders before we get back to Ninevah, please?"

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