Claude sat down on his stool abruptly, and rubbed a hand back through his scalp. “This is insane. Every time we’re about to do something, or we think of something to do, another thing happens, and we still do nothing and can’t think of what else to do.”
Maude, who spelled her name Maud but pronounced it as Maude, laid a hand on Claude’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, Fraud. Something will be done soon.”
“I’m Claude,” said Claude.
Maude turned, pointed to Fraud. “But he’s — ”
“No, I’m Fraud,” said Fraud.
Maude darted her gaze back and forth between Claude and Fraud, confusion on her face, like a straight man in a vaudeville act having been hit with a cream pie. “But when we were about to begin our spontaneous creation of the mind in the parking lot of the bank, you said — ” she pointed to Fraud — “that you were both named Claude.”
“Yes,” said Fraud.
“But why?” said Maude, the confusion on her face giving way to a look of determination, the straight man wiping the cream from his eyes and demanding an explanation for the affront.
“Because you had asked us to play roles for your spontaneous creation of the mind,” explained Fraud. “And I thought that if I was going to play someone who wasn’t me, it would be more effective for me to be called by a different name.”
“Ah,” said Maude, sounding impressed.
“Oh,” said Claude, sounding depressed.
Suddenly, music was heard, coming from the direction of Maude’s pocket. Listen as the wind blows from across the great divide. Maude reached into her pocket, retrieved her phone, pressed its smooth surface, and raised it to her ear.