A note from the author (not being me, I did not write this book, "This is MY story; it is MINE. Please read it, then kindly leave it where it is. In the name of artistic integrity, for god's sakes; write your OWN god-damn stuff, dont go around stealing and then pretending it is yours. I beg----nay, I plead for your wisdom; do you NEED this story? Will taking it and selling it for yourself give you a sense of pride in your work? This is something i've spent my time on for quite some time; please give it what little respect it deserves and leave it alone."
It was the middle of nowhere. It had all the features of the middle of nowhere….trees, hills, very small rocks, larger rocks, big rocks---It had a very large variety of rocks, indeed. As typical of the middle of nowhere, very little happened there. In fact, it is rather generous of me to state that anything ever had happened there at ALL.
However, this particular middle of nowhere refused to conform with the rest of the crowd. It shunned the other nowheres, and was called upon by a collection of odd strangers, all happening to meet there for no apparent reason. This was widely regarded as a bad move by all the other nowheres in the world, and they soon kicked our plotting plot of land out of the nowhere union.
In spite of all this, the adventurers adventured their way through many an interesting plot twist. The land had several things awaiting them, and the adventurers, while not HAPPY with their predicaments, were up for the challenge. They were ready for ghosts, demons, dragons, and even the occasional man-eating white fluffy thing, also known as a rabbit.
But now, by request of several un-named representatives of the government, here is a list of things I, by law, am NOT allowed to include in this book:
|oh really, fool.
||Like a pudding….
||STOP LOOKING AT ME SWAN!
||Oh look, a flying octopus…..
||……and the amoeba congregated in little rows, and they began to
sing….”nearer, my god, to thee….”
||It’s still good!|
Of course, without any exception, I will break all of these rules, and many more. Unfortunately, I may (and probably will) omit something from this incredible book, and for that I am truly sorry. However, since I am writing a book, not a bloody ENCYLOPEDIA, you can hardly expect me to write just EVERYTHING.
I have a very fun storyline to abide by, thank you.
Now, without further delay, is the story…………………( I’m sure you can expect some delay at a later time in the story, but rest assured, no further delays will be inserted here)…………………………………………….(really, there won’t be) ……………………………………….
Zoot was a very good fairy. At least, by her own standards. She always did as she was told, and whatever was expected of her was done. She could not, for the life of her, understand why none of her past masters wanted her. They all seemed to run from her at their own convenience, and she would chase them for hours on end, playing a game of hide and seek that never really seemed to end until she gave up trying.
What she didn’t understand is that she is the sort of fairy that humans don’t take kindly to. Most humans have a very low tolerance for having their head set on fire, or any other area of their body, for that matter. For, you see, Zoot was a pyro fairy.
Zoot had a very un-natural and rather un-fairylike tendency to start fires. She rather enjoyed them, and since she was very proficient at throwing magical fire, she would frequently use any available object as target-practice. This upsets humans quite excessively, she found, when all their worldly possessions are used as low-quality campfires.
As a result, she was soon shunned by the rest of her fairy community, and was forced to live in exile. This made her quite prone to excessive wandering, which often resulted in her losing her bearings, and becoming lost. It is at this precise moment that we shall have our first encounter with Zoot; in the forest, lost and confused, searching for more interesting subjects to desecrate with her fiery presence.
“Hmm….I say, I believe I’m lost.” The sage words of the fairy were lost upon the trees; they had no comment. However, by a remarkable and entirely unimportant coincidence, a very small rock became animated with a temporary life force, and responded.
“Yes, I should say so….” The rock replied that low, rocky voice that rocks would most likely have if they talked on a regular basis.
Zoot, however, had never seen such a remarkable thing, and found it difficult to respond.
“ umm…well, yes, actually……..,” Zoot stumbled, “……say, I wouldn’t suppose you would know how I could get to the next town….”
“No, I’m sorry, I can’t help you there……perhaps if you asked one of the larger rocks…” The very small rock now looked around. Immediately it was shocked to realize that it was the only living of it’s kind. This revelation required a few moments of philosophical thought about the meaning of his existence. He could not accept the reality that he would be unable to reproduce; he was not willing to become a necrophiliac merely for species survival, and he was unsure as to whether rocks could reproduce asexually.
He resolved the matter by committing suicide.
“ What an absurd creature,” Zoot commented, of course unaware of the rock’s untimely end. “ Well, I’ll just---carry on then, shall I?………good.” and with that, sped on it’s way.
Unbeknownst to Zoot, a dark, shadowy character had been hiding behind a tree, observing the whole scene as it unfolded. He looked around to be sure it was all clear, and headed out towards the very small rock. He picked it up and examined it. At this point, another un-natural coincidence occurred, and the very small rock was reborn anew:
“Hello there, whoever you are,” the rock related cheerfully, “ perhaps I should get used to this----animated, for lack of a better word…..yes, animated will do just fine, I think. All right, let me start over: perhaps I should get used to this animated sort of existence!”
“OH REALLY, FOOL,” was the response from the man.
“I think so, yes.” The happy rock said.
“ STOP LOOKING AT ME,SWAN.” Was the response from the man.
“Swan? You’ll have to pardon me, but what is a----“ The rock’s response was cut short, because the man had ended it’s life with a fatal throw at the nearest tree.
“OH REALLY,FOOL.” The man chuckled.
The shadowy man had gone. He had carefully covered his tracks, making sure nothing was out of order. Unfortunately for him, nothing could stop his words. For, you see, as he opened his mouth and said the words “ OH REALLY FOOL!” a temporary audio wormhole opened in space. The wormhole sent the message to a small planet in the vicinity of Betelguese, and disappeared forever.. This small planet, by coincidence, had a large population of intelligent life forms, called the Zargs, for lack of a better description
The Zargs were a proud race, who would accept any sort of bet, wager, or challenge, no matter what the consequence. As a result, any insult by anyone (no matter where they happened to live) would be responded to with an exploding firearm. This may help explain why after the whole planet heard the words “ OH REALLY FOOL” broadcast loudly through the air, the largest war ever fought on that planet was waged, resulting in the near extinction of their whole race. Several days later, the survivors had banded together and launched a starship to kill whomever the bloody bastard was who said it.
For, you see, the Zargian translation for “OH REALLY FOOL” is something rather bad about your mother, and that would not be tolerated by the Zargs.
However, at this time, by another extraordinary coincidence, a small herd of butterflies fluttered across the area. Working as a team, they picked up our newly deceased friend, the very small rock. They struggled mightily against the powers of gravity, but failed. Ashamed by their failure, they landed on a larger rock and re-evaluated their plan.
“Hmm, what are you thinking, James?” One butterfly said.
“You know, I’m not really sure, Charles…….perhaps if we had a very long lever, and a fulcrum……scientists always say anything can be moved with a long enough lever…” James pondered. Then Charles said:
“No, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong, you see!….It’s physically impossible for us, 5 butterflies weighing an average of 3.2 grams, to move even a very small rock such as that. We would have to find a tree branch that is at least 4.5 meters long, and besides, how would we bring it over to the rock in order to lever it up? Surely you are not suggesting that we should go off and lift heavier objects, purely for the benefit of lifting lighter ones? What an absurd thinker you are, to be—“
“SHUT UP.” James was not a patient butterfly.
“You can’t possibly expect the 5 of us to, simply by our willpower, lift a object with more actual weight and mass, simply for the uses of deflooring a fossil far fairer in weight!”
“ I mean, if I was going round, barking orders like, carry this insanely large wooden plank over to a comparably small rock so that we can all jump on top of it, I’d have my wings pulled out in a but very few moments, believe you me…”
At this point, James was busy signing a contract with Satan, and was giving no heed to anyone else.
“Anything to make HIM shut up, that’s all I ask.” James explained.
" Well then, I think we have a deal,” Satan replied.
“Sounds good to me……” James signed the contract.
“Thank you and good night.” and with that, Satan vanished.
“…..and here you are, making deals with all sorts of shady characters, eh? Boy, you sure are fit to be our supreme leader, aren’t you? You just do whatever you feel, and—“
“THAT’S QUITE ENOUGH FROM YOU.”
A very large claw-hook came shooting out the edge of James’ shoulder. James’ eyes were a glazed-over blood red, and his wings were a metallic silver shade.
“Oh, what are you now, warrior butterfly? Trying to intimidate with your powerful presence, eh? You don’t scare me, you little---“
And James wasted no more time. Poor Charles was ripped into countless shreds. When the brutal deed was finally done, James reverted into his normal state. The other butterflies commented on just how effective that was, and resolved to get similar weaponry.
“……Hello?……warrior butterfly?…..I could just pick it up for you, if you wanted…”The butterflies turned around, and much to their surprise, found a human resting on a large rock. He was a broad shouldered man, with handsome features, muscular build, and dressed as if African in origin, with the skin color to match.
This confused the butterflies, for they were not anticipating such an odd occurrence. No one thing alone set them down amidst their confusion, but rather the collection of the absurdity. Muscular African men rarely pop up in this area, or so logic reasoned.
What the butterflies did not understand was that logic had no applicable laws pertaining to this story. In fact, logic was recently kidnapped for ransom, and then slaughtered by a lynching mob of angry politicians, who were sick and tired of logic’s intrusion into their affairs.
They were curious, however. They decided to inquire as to this man’s identity and intentions.
“ Oh….I say…..who are you?” James questioned. “What do you want…?”
“ I am from the great African tribe of Tiki. We have traveled far to come to this place, and are very, hopelessly lost. Many of us have died in our travels, and today only two of our men have survived. I was wondering if perhaps you would be willing to make a trade: I pick up the rock and bring it to where it is needed, and then you, in return, help me and my people on their journey…..” the Tiki man knew He had a good offer.
The butterflies considered this for a moment.
“I think we have a deal.” James said.
“ I am very pleased,” said the Tiki man. “ I go to tell my people. I will return soon to carry your rock.”
“…..yes……you do that….” James called after the Tiki man, who was already leaving. “ AND BE QUICK ABOUT IT!”
The town was as new as the morning dew, and the homes there reflected the former. They all seemed as if they just popped up over the weekend, and decided to find people to live in them.
……..I’m sorry, that’s hardly an interesting description.
In fact, wait, scratch that, it’s far too bubbly and generic. Here, let me try that again…the town was………….
Look, I know you don’t actually CARE what the town looked like. I’m not going to waste anymore of my precious time on it.
The aforementioned town, named Dorman by the villagers there, was buzzing with the reluctant work of the imprisoned. For, you see, the people residing in the town were not a pleasant bunch. They all had been summoned here by something, and came eagerly. They were expecting adventure, and gold, and beautiful women everywhere. Instead, they found a large collection of very small rocks, larger rocks, and very large rocks. They pondered over what this could mean for days on end, and concluded that the rocks had no significance whatsoever. Many people were very angered by this, and grudgingly went home. The rest stayed, believing that it was only a test, (given by god) to see who was God’s true servant and would stay the longest.
Those who believed this stayed, and built the town because they were tired of being rained on. No one in Dorman trusted anyone else in the town. The general feeling was one of uneasiness, a famine of mistrust and ill will.
There was one person in Dorman that made everyone else particularly angry:
A small, kind, elderly lady who ran a small candy shop in town. They didn’t like her for various reasons: some didn’t like her because she had the appearance of being happy with her position in life…………
Those who thought this reasoned thusly: She was summoned to Dorman, which is the middle of nowhere……. since then, she has done NOTHING….. No adventure or excitement of any kind. All she HAS done is bake COOKIES, and seems to make a good living off of it, too. The oddest thing, however, was the fact that (what with the town being filled with rugged, adventurous types) no one ever actually went IN to the store and BOUGHT cookies from her………..Hence, they concluded, she must ALSO be a drug dealer.
Others reasoned as such: She must be hiding a few things in that candy store of hers….. Being the only one in this town with such a big smile that it simulated smugness was the dead give-away, they all agreed. She obviously held the key to whatever it was that was going on around here. It could easily be hidden in her basement, which always seems to be-----actually, no, her basement is always unlocked, and they had all been invited to come in and look around in the basement. In fact, they went down to her basement just the other day, to make sure that it was, in fact, still a basement.
Even though they all knew she wasn’t hiding anything in her basement, she still had that happy look that everyone knew was a cover-up for SOMETHING.
They had all agreed on one thing: she was far too happy to live. They had resolved to take the first opportunity to kill the witch……The only reason that her execution was indefinitely delayed is due to this: The villagers were afraid that by killing her, God (or whoever is responsible for summoning them) would judge them unworthy of the gold and fame that they had waited here so long for!
As a result, they proposed to get the next idiot who came wandering into town to do it FOR them. They were unsure what form of coercion would do the trick, but they were determined to do whatever necessary to use any compulsion, any intimidation, or short of that……….well, they would just have to cry.
The thing they didn’t consider, however, was the thought that the old lady couldn’t be KILLED. The fact is, she couldn’t. You see, the lady was the satanic servant of a highly powerful being known as the Madame Monarch Butterfly….
Madame Monarch Butterfly would have none of this casual lynching of her servants. She preferred her human servants, who were few and far between, too have certain protections that she could not afford her other servant’s……..She was very proud of her butterfly servants. Their contract with the devil gave them the benefit of weaponry, and she still maintained control over them, as long as they were used only for evil. This, she concluded, was a perfect deal. She resolved to make James her Butterfly–in chief when he returned with the very small rock.
Madame Monarch Butterfly lived in the house NEXT DOOR to the candy lady-let’s call the candy lady Beatrice, just because it’s rather important that she have a name, don’t you think? I mean, I could very easily go through this whole story without naming such an important character, but that is hardly fair to her, now is it?
Anyway, Madame Monarch Butterfly had positioned Beatrice in the house NEXT to her in order to keep the suspicions of the town focused away from herself, and fixated on Beatrice. This plan also seemed to be working rather well, and she wouldn’t stand for a few village idiots ruining it for her.
However, she was unprepared for two improbable coincidences that made it impossible for her to protect both her secret AND her pretty ones: those coincidences will be relayed in chapter 4, and rest assured, it will be coming to you soon!
It was to this unfriendly town of Dorman that a knight called Galahad happened to come upon. Galahad was a noble knight, always willing to defend the weak, and considered himself to be a good, nice, and clean person. In fact, he was recently nicknamed Galahad the Pure by the king of Spain, who he met at a very nice dinner party in Madrid.
He was strong in figure, with the gallant features that knights typically have, and the broad shoulders and muscles of a knight as well. By all educated. He was unmarried; he had no time for the burdens of matrimony, and no patience for the pains of being a patriarch.
He was a very popular knight; favored by his king, adored by the common people……….generally loved by all. That is why he was very upset, disheartened, and confused by the villager’s response to his arrival:
“Oh look, we’ve got another one…” one villager glanced at Galahad, and continued on.
“Go away, you thief! We were here first!” screamed an old man.
“…….I say……I don’t quite know what you are talking about…….” Galahad was stunned by the lack of hospitality amongst these people.
“ Look here…could someone tell me who is in charge around here?” Galahad asked nicely, as befitting of his character.
This, however, gave him no adequate response. Determined not to waste anymore time, Galahad tried again.
“ HEY YOU!” Galahad yelled at a villager. The villager turned around.
“You don’t have to yell. God, these bossy knights, always coming around, demanding this, wanting that, what the hell do you want now? All the other knights that I know have run out of anything original to say, so you’d better think pretty damn hard, I’m sure. Don’t even bother with looking for a few good---“
Galahad wasn’t going to take it.
He took out his sword and slashed the villager’s head clean off. This had the effect that Galahad was expecting; the other villagers DID take notice of the sudden execution.
“ Look, he killed Jeremy!” The old man shouted.
The villagers paused for a moment, and turned in silence towards Galahad.
At this point, Galahad was wondering if maybe he should run away.
“…………Thank you, sir! God bless you!” A chorus of cheers echoed throughout the town. A crowd of villagers gathered around him, with smiles upon their collective faces.
Galahad was quite unprepared for such a positive response from the crowd.
“………What, you mean,………” Galahad stumbled. ”………You mean, I probably don’t have to run away now?……you aren’t mad about your friend’s death?” Galahad puzzled.
“Oh…him?” The villagers looked around at each other for a second. “…….No, no, we didn’t like him anyway…..”
“ Yeah, we were going to kill him ourselves, but now that you’re here….”
“ Hey…..would you be so kind as to kill another person? There is someone in particular who has been giving us some trouble for quite some time….”
Galahad considered this.
“ No, I couldn’t possibly…Knight’s code, and such….I hope you understand…..” Galahad explained.
“ Oh, please?” one villager said.
“No.” Galahad replied firmly.
At this point, an 8-year-old boy spoke up for the cause:
“ Please, sir, please help my daddy and mommy. Please kill her so we can be riches….please?” The little boy opened his puppy dog eyes wide, and they glimmered in the sun.
By an astonishing coincidence, the young boy’s puppy dog eyes took upon a life of their own!…..Soon, they ALSO began pleading with Galahad:
“………..Please, kind and gentle sir……..I wanted a horse and thousands of toys for Christmas, sir………..I’ll cry…….I swear I’ll cry…….” The eyes filled up with tears, and threatened to downpour.
Galahad was defenseless to his puppy dog eyes. He had fought several foul demons in his lifetime, but never before had he met such a powerful nemesis. This boy was quite too much for Galahad. He just gave in.
“ Oh, well, I suppose I might…” Galahad reconsidered the terms. “ But, when after I do, you are to bring to me to your leader immediately!”
The villagers agreed with this wholeheartedly.
“ RIGHT! WHERE IS THE OLD HAG??” The crowd up roared.
“ She’s in the shop over there!” Galahad got off his horse and went into the shop, sword drawn.
To his surprise, the store had the appearance of being a candy shop.
A cheerful old lady stood at the counter.
“ Would you like some cookies, dear? It’s taste-testing time!” The old lady squealed with delight.
“ umm….well, yes, actually……cookies sound rather nice right now…..” Galahad uncomfortably sauntered up to the counter.
“ we have chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter or sugar cookies.”
With that, the old lady lifted out a large tray full of cookies.
“ That……..looks good!” Galahad was impressed by the quality and selection of the cookies.
“Chocolate chip, please!”
“of course, dear!” The old lady gave him a chocolate chip cookie.
Galahad took the cookie, inspected it, and nibbled it lightly. They were, quite possibly, cookies of a caliber currently unknown to science! It was a beautiful thing, this cookie. Galahad quickly ate the rest of it.
“Hmm, that was poisoned, wasn’t it?” Galahad dropped to the floor.
He lay there for quite long time.
He got back up, and wiped himself off.
He eyed the old lady. She eyed him back.
“I’m sorry for the display….” Galahad was very uncomfortable.
“ Oh, no problem….come with me now…” She lead him out of the room. Galahad, too embarrassed by the oddness that just occurred, followed simply out of courtesy.
They went out the back door to the house of Madame Monarch Butterfly.
James was not a patient butterfly. He could remember a time when he was a good butterfly, who never wanted to hurt a soul. He remembered a time when all he did was the normal amount of fluttering around… He never used to talk much…in fact, there was a time when no butterfly could talk at all, he seemed to recall. He wondered when it all changed to this complicated mess of a life.
He felt quite a good deal of remorse for his losses, but that wouldn’t deter him from the problems at hand. Madame Monarch Butterfly wanted the very small rock, apparently because it was quite the anomaly, being a living rock and all. He was determined to bring it to her; the butterflies had nothing but love for their master…
However, they felt a bit out of sorts about the contract with Satan that they were in the process of signing. Waiting for the Tiki man was taking too long, so they all formed a line and wrote their signature on the contract, and began testing their new weaponry. A shroud of silver fluttered in the air; the extendable claws slashed at trees. They were very happy with their new armaments. They were filled with gratification, because they sensed that their master was very pleased with them…
“ Hello again, warrior butterflies…I have returned to fulfill our bargain…”
The Tiki man had returned, and brought with him the remains of his tribe. They were a depleted tribe, obviously suffering quite a great deal from their journey to get here. The tribe of Tiki sensed how close they were to their destination, and they would let nothing stand in their way now.
James was pleased to see them. He retracted his claws, and his armor disappeared mysteriously. The other butterflies did the same.
“….It took you long enough. It’s good to see you again!” James pointed at the rock. “That is what must be carried. You must carry it to the town of Dorman, and then we will guide you to wherever you were looking to go. Is this acceptable?” The Tiki man nodded, and picked up the rock, and put it into his pocket.
“Wonderful. Shall we go?” James set off.
“Oh, I suppose..” the Tiki man followed, and so did the rest of his tribe.
The caravan of butterflies and the Tribe of Tiki continued their journey for several miles. During this time, an improbable coincidence occurred; The very small rock became re-animated again. He was a very scared rock. It was more than just the fact that he was the ONLY living rock, to his knowledge. It was the fact that he has been alive and then killed several times now; he was not secure in his status. Did God want him alive or not? He wished that God would make up his mind. The rock decided that if he was going to live, he’d better get another name because ‘very small rock’ wasn’t cutting it. He was rather fond of the name Dennis; thusly, he decided to be called Dennis.
Dennis decided to talk to someone. However, from this desire arose a large amount of difficulty; to whom can he talk to from inside a pocket?
He attempted to converse with a nearby piece of fuzz.
"Hello." Said Dennis.
The fuzz had no reply.
This upset Dennis; he felt the urge to talk to someone all the more strongly now. Then, in a sudden burst of realization, he remembered that he was inside the pocket of a being with fully capable vocal chords. He decided to get this being's attention.
“Hello.” Dennis’ muffled voice came out of the Tiki man’s pocket.
The Tiki man had great difficulty reacting to this anomaly.
“umm……hello?…….” The Tiki man pulled the rock out of his pocket slowly.
“ hello.” Dennis was taking this conversation slowly. He had come to understand just how high the risk of accidental death was when conversing with humans.
The Tiki man was confused, but not afraid. He had long since learned that fear was an inappropriate response to danger. Besides that, he could see no danger in talking with this very small rock. It was insane, but not dangerous as such.
“ My name is Dennis,” Dennis introduced himself, “please do not kill me.”
Dennis knew that a direct approach might help his situation.
The Tiki man had no desire to kill Dennis, and said so.
“ Rest assured, Dennis, I have no interest in your death. I am curious; how is it that you are living?”
Dennis pondered that question for a moment.
“I don’t really know, but I like it a good deal!” Dennis answered. The Tiki man laughed.
“Well good, I’m glad you do, because you seem to be a very important rock.”
Dennis was unaware that he was of importance to anything. On further revelation, he figured that being the only living rock must make him quite an attraction.
“ Yes, well, fame comes and goes, don’t you think? I’m sure that in a few years my novelty will wear off…….” Dennis contemplated.
“ That’s a possibility, but I’m not so sure…a large horde of warrior butterflies are the only thing that seems to care about you at all.” Dennis looked around a little. A giant pack of butterflies surrounded him.
“ They don’t seem like the warrior types to me…” Dennis didn’t quite understand, but he was sure he would. At this point, they reached the village of Dorman, where Madame Monarch Butterfly resided.
“Oh, really fool.” The shadowy man interrogated.
The tree did not reply.
“Oh, really fool?” The shadowy man asked.
The tree, as typical of trees, did not reply.
“Oh, really, fool?” The shadowy man asked.
The tree did not change his mind on the subject.
“OH REALLY FOOL!!!” The shadowy man began attacking the tree with what appeared to be a spoon. The tree, being peaceful, would not defend itself to this act of war. Instead, it took the abuse. This went on for days and days, yet still the tree would not repent its vow of silence. Finally, at the end of the week, the tree could take no more of the shadowy man’s insults; it began attacking the shadowy man with falling leaves, twigs, and smaller branches. The battle would’ve never ended, if a fairy named Zoot hadn’t come speeding by.
“....I say.....what are you two doing?” Zoot tapped the shadowy manon the shoulder. He turned around at looked at Zoot. Zoot, in turn, looked back.
“STOP LOOKING AT ME, SWAN!” The man screamed at Zoot.
“What?....I’m not sure what swans have to do with anything......”
Zoot was rather confused by this man’s odd behavior.
“OH...REALLY,FOOL!” The shadowy man took a swing at Zoot with his spoon.
The shadowy man was not expecting that Zoot was a pyro fairy. Zoot was very disturbed by this man’s attempt to hurt her. She saw this as an opportunity to have a little fun. She began working up her energy levels.
The shadowy man hid behind a tree. He was quite scared of Zoot. Hedidn’t think that she could turn bright red like that.
Zoot was ready for playtime now. She had all the energy she could hold, and attacked the tree that hid the shadowy man with a fireball.
The tree disintegrated, leaving the man out entirely in the open.
He decided to run to another tree. He did so. It, also, blew up in a puff of smoke.
He was unsure what was happening, but he didn’t like it.
He ran to the nearest tree. It blew up before he could even get there.
He looked around wildly. Zoot was flickering not twenty feet behind him. He broke into a flat-out run.
Zoot was having more fun with this than she had ever had before. She followed him slowly, setting fire to the trees near him, but never actually hitting him at all. She just wanted to scare the hell out of him first. It was working rather well.
“OH……………REALLY………………FOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!” The man screamedwildly as he ran hurriedly away from Zoot. To his surprise, he saw a village violently from side to side, in hopes of avoiding a fatal fireball.
Zoot liked the idea of scaring him, but she was not a ruthless killer. She killed only the non-sentient. Although she was unsure as to whether THIS individual was in fact a member of the sentient, she was going to operate as if he was for now. She resolved to let him go. She continued after him into the town, but had stopped shooting fire at him.
He ran quickly into the local tavern and hid under a chair. She, no longer being the metaphorical hunter chasing the retarded rabbit, wandered about the town. No one seemed to care that she was there; in fact, they all seemed a little more upset for having seen her at all. This she was unaccustomed to. She usually had people swarming her with questions about being a fairy. ‘what’s it like?’ and ‘how do you become a fairy?’ were the typical questions. No one here seemed interested at all.
Suddenly, a large herd of butterflies came swarming into the town,followed closely by a tribe of Africans. That was, quite possibly, the most random occurrence that ever happened in this town; of the things they might probably see entering the town at any given day, this was the most improbable thing on the list. There was no warning, and a giant herd of butterflies just invaded the town. This turned many of the villagers into panicked idiots, and very soon the town square was cleared. The town square was now bereft of all life that was not flying, with the exception of the small tiki tribe and the rock called Dennis.
They all headed towards the house of Madame Monarch Butterfly. This prompted Zoot to follow; she found that she blended in well with the colors of the butterflies, and she was rather intrigued by this anomaly.
This, in fact, was a rather large anomaly indeed; it was the first time that all of the main characters in this story were in the same town. Chap 7 will relay the adventures of the one who has not yet been introduced.
Obviously I will save the introductions for next chapter.
Princess Lara was a very happily newly wed princess. Although her father set up the marriage, Andrew seemed to be a wonderfully interesting person, and promised to be an equally interesting king someday. Princess Lara was not one to let the concerns of love control her. She knew her place, and had always been happy to fill it. She was in a beautiful new carriage, with four white horses to pull, and everything was wonderful in her world. Andrew was bringing them to a wonderful resort town by the ocean, where they would stay (as guests of honor) at Sir Galahad’s castle, since he seemed to be away on a quest at the moment.
Prince Andrew of Spain was a powerful commander, a caring person towards his subjects, and a loving husband thus far. He was a gallant figure, with a muscular build and a handsome smile. He was quite the warrior type, indeed. His father, being the ruler of Spain, was a very powerful man, who had supplied Fortunan with quite a few of the things that were needed for Fortunan’s survival in the past; Lara’s father felt the need to repay him, and did so through this marriage.
Lara’s father was the King of Fortunan, which is a very large country indeed. Her father’s name was Arthur. Entirely by coincidence, he presided over a town called Camelot, although the country of Fortunan was far from England. England and Fortunan were in a bit of a quarrel, you see. King Arthur of England had demanded that his name should NOT be used by King Arthur of Fortunan, and Fortunan would not stand for it. As a result, a large war had erupted between the two. This war is still being waged.
Galahad was one of the few knights that was not sent to lead on the battlefield; he was kept in Fortunan to help in the defense of England’s armies.
This made Galahad largely unavailable for being contacted; hence, his castle was being used as a vacation spot for the royal family.
“ So, Andrew…..” Lara happily questioned, “Have you fought in many wars?”
“YEAH.” Andrew eloquently stated.
“………….So……..Andrew……….have you killed many people?” Lara was in awe of his powerful presence.
“YEAH!!” Andrew roared with overwhelming intellectual prowess.
“…….was it……..fun?” Lara drooled over Andrew’s shimmering golden armor.
“YEAH!!!!!!” Andrew stood up and shouted loudly.
At this point, something odd appeared on the horizon…..a butterfly sped through the air, and landed no more than 50 feet from the carriage. A puff of smoke clouded the air, making it impossible to see the butterflies movements……When the smoke cleared, all that could be seen was a dazzling lady-like figure, on a beautiful black horse. She was a true beauty, and she attracted ANY man’s eye.
That is why it is not surprising that Andrew saw her, through the window, and could think of nothing else. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. He had very little room for big thoughts in his tiny mind, but he knew he was going to follow her.If you had asked him who he thought was the most beautiful woman in the world but moments ago, he would’ve said Princess Lara, for she was one of the fairest beauties in the land. But so thunderstruck was he by this magnificent unknown beauty that he knew naught but to follow her.
“Carriage driver! Follow that lady on horseback!” Andrew roared.
“……but…sir…..your destination is in the other direction, sir…” The carriage driver shriveled in fear of Hurricane Andrew.
Andrew said nothing…..he was far too focused on the rapidly disappearing lady to speak with anger. He merely picked up the carriage driver and threw him off the carriage. The driver landed in a puddle of mud.
“Well……I suppose I’ll just…….stay here, then?” The driver called out to the disappearing carriage, now being driven by Prince Andrew.
“Right……thanks a lot, then…..” And with that, the carriage driver sat back down in the mud and began to cry.
Andrew was unconcerned with the affairs of the driver; he was focused entirely upon the mysterious lady who always seemed to stay just beyond his reach. Andrew urged his horses to go faster, but this seemed to gain him no ground. He urged them to go faster still, but no improvement was made. The lady seemed to be uncatchable; yet Andrew would not settle for the loss.
All of these things happening for no apparent reason gave Princess Lara quite a shock; she was confused, worried, and quite upset by the whole ordeal. She resolved to discuss this with Andrew.
“umm….Andrew……honey?” Andrew had no response.
“Honey, do you want to talk to me?” Andrew seemed to be focusing on something on the road ahead of him; Lara looked around.
She saw a person riding a horse not too far in front of them; the town of Dorman was off in the distance. The stranger seemed be slowing down now……the stranger had stopped by the side of the road. A butterfly landed on the stranger’s shoulder.
“Fair young lady!” Andrew called out to the strange, mysterious woman.
“I have traveled far to see your beauty! Please, let me glance upon your exquisite features! Please, I am the prince of Spain, who would gladly become divorced for the sake of your loveliness! Please……would you marry me?” Andrew pleaded for the lady’s affections.
What Andrew did not know was that this fair young lady was but an illusion, created by the sorceress Madame Monarch Butterfly. The beautiful woman was but a figment of Andrew’s lack of imagination, mixed with M.M.B’s magical powers. The Madame needed the royals for her own mischievous designs; now she had them here, by the town, in her grasp.
“ Eh? What did you say, young man?” The old man turned around to see Andrew.
“ I said: dear lady, please show me your beautiful……..oh wait, never mind….” Andrew had noticed that the fair lady was neither fair, nor a lady.
“No, you said you wanted to marry me……” The old man winked at Andrew.
“ I ACCEPT!” The old man began to get off his horse.
“No, I didn’t. I never asked YOU to marry me……” Andrew countered with an embarrassed expression.
“Yes, you did! You said I was a beautiful lady and a sight to behold! You asked me to marry you!!” The old man was off of his horse now.
“NO—I NEVER----STAY BACK!” Andrew pulled his sword from its sheath and pointed it at the old man.
“ I’LL HAVE YOUR HEAD! I SWEAR……I’LL STAB IT CLEAR OFF!!!!” Andrew swung violently at the approaching old man. He missed the old man by several feet.
“I know you love me! I’ll have your hand in marriage yet!” The old man continued towards the carriage.
“GO AWAY! PLEASE!!!!!” Andrew swung again and again. On the third swing, the old man’s love song was silenced.
Andrew paused for a moment to reflect on the horrors that had been committed in the past half hour.
He decided that perhaps running away would be his best option.Andrew, knowing full well that Lara would soon have HIS head for his profession of faith to another man if he didn’t leave now, ran off into the woods.
Lara stood for a moment to reflect on the horrors that had been committed in the past half hour.
Lara, being quite furious by the ordeal, did not know what to do…..She was rather confused about the sudden change of events….Her perfect world image was shattered like a large quantity of small mirrors all shattering at once……or short of that, one VERY LARGE mirror being shattered. She called after Andrew for a while, but it was of no use. The bastard had left her once and for all. She stomped off into the strange town of Dorman, hoping to find someone to help her…….
Madame Monarch Butterfly had waited for quite a long time for this. This town was built only months ago, but Madame Monarch Butterfly had felt the summoning long before the rest of the world. A certain small no-where was throwing a party, or so it seemed, and Madame Monarch Butterfly was the first one invited. She and the no-where (This particular no-where decided it wished to be called Bob) had struck a bargain with each other; he would summon many adventurers to him, and she would supply the mayhem.
She had quite a good deal of things planned for a few choice individuals, indeed. Bob had created a cave towards the back of the town, where no man had courage to enter.
Madame Monarch Butterfly was going to have a marvelous time with sending the aforementioned choice individuals into it, and then creating all sorts of hellish creatures to dwell in the cave. A good time would be had by all………………………………
No……. actually, only Madame Monarch Butterfly would have a good time, but that’s most irrelevant to her manner of thinking…
Madame Monarch Butterfly had several magical powers; the power to create all sorts of demonic organisms, the power to discharge fiery projectiles with pinpoint accuracy, and several other powers that witches typically have. Those several other powers will go un-named, mostly because I can’t think of other powers that she could have………rest assured, though, that many of her un-mentioned powers may be critical to advancing the plotline, and will therefore be employed at that time.
Here, however, is ONE power the Madame Monarch Butterfly does NOT have: she does not have the ability to portend. She had NO psychic abilities of ANY kind; This made it hard for her to be a really EVIL sorceress….She was very upset about her lack of telepathic communications.
Therefore, she had to find certain beings to do the cerebral scanning for her. She had searched far and wide for a being who had that capability…..by a remarkable chance, she found a GOLDFISH with the said improbable ability. He was found in a small pond near the town of Dorman. He had named himself Chris, mostly because the author needed a character in the story to call his own. Chris the psychic goldfish swam in a bowl on the right side of Madame Monarch Butterfly’s throne.
It is at this point, then, that we find the two characters in Madame Monarch Butterfly’s throne room. They are discussing politics; I will wait for them to finish their rather inconsequential conversation before I begin writing…………………….there will be a slight delay at this point……….I will give you an overview of the conversation…….Chris is philosophizing as to why, in light of the costs of living, living still remains rather popular. Madame Monarch Butterfly is in deep thought; she is wondering if invisible cats drink evaporated milk………..As you can see, none of their conversation was relevant to the plotline in any form. I think I will take a short intermission now …………………………………………….(Please feel free to listen to a little light music) ………… ……………………………………… …………………………..… ………………………………………………… ……………………………..Beatrice opened Madame Monarch Butterfly’s door, and went inside. Galahad found that to be rather rude behavior; however, considering his loss of composure over the cookie incident, he was glad to follow Beatrice. Beatrice descended the basement stairs. Galahad followed. Beatrice went towards the throne of Madame Monarch Butterfly, and prostrated herself before the throne. Galahad was a knight….he felt very uncomfortable with the idea of kneeling before this unknown person, and stayed upright.
“ Galahad. Knight of Fortunan. Welcome.” Chris spoke with the sort of watery, gargly voice that fish would have if they talked more often.
Galahad was a little un-nerved by Chris’ salutations. It was more than just the fact that a goldfish was TALKING; this was not impossible, just highly improbable. It was not only the fact that the FISH seemed to know his name and where he resided; That could be easily deciphered by anyone….his armor was the tip-off about his profession, at least. What REALLY un-nerved him about the whole situation was the fact that despite the greeting, he certainly was NOT welcome in this place. He was wondering if perhaps now is a good time to run away……..
“Now is not a good time to run away.” Chris coldly replied to Galahad’s thought.
“…………..oh…….well,thanks…………..hmm……..I don’t suppose you’d have any suggestions as to what IS an appropriate action, would you?” Galahad questioned.
Madame Monarch Butterfly had now decided to take control of this conversation.
“ I have a proposition for you, Galahad….” Madame Monarch Butterfly grinned darkly. “However, perhaps you would be interested in seeing an old friend, first………go down to the tavern…a friend of yours is hiding there, I think…..”
“Oh. Well fine……….if that’s okay…….I’ll be back shortly……..bye now!”
Galahad disappeared. He crossed the street and went into the tavern.
“LAUNCELOT!” Galahad was pleasantly surprised by the chance meeting.
“OH, REALLY…..FOOL!!” Lancelot appeared to reciprocate Galahad’s feelings.
“How are you? I haven’t seen you in ages….” Galahad reminisced.
“Oh……………really fool…………” Lancelot explained.
“Yeah, that’s how I’m feeling too.” Galahad agreed.
“Oh?……..really fool?” Lancelot was concerned.
“Yeah, it’s not too bad, but it gets on my nerves, you know?” Galahad replied.
“Oh……………..REALLY FOOL.” Lancelot was still a bit afraid from the encounter with Zoot, and was a little on edge.
“Oh, really fool.”
“Oh, really, fool…”
“Stop looking at me………..Swan……..”
Both Galahad and Lancelot were glad to confess their problems to a trusted individual, and were both relieved that this conversation was held. They went outside and headed back towards the house of Madame Monarch Butterfly.
Lara was very surprised by the lack of movement in Dorman. She wasn’t expecting a welcoming party, for her arrival was unannounced, but she was expecting the normal amount of movement that a town usually makes…….She was quite confused over the whole thing.
She did not realize that all the townspeople were hiding in their houses, because they were still deathly afraid of the large horde of warrior butterflies that had recently invaded Dorman. She decided to knock on a few doors to see what was going on.
“Hello?” Lara banged on a door.
"GO AWAY.” A villager from inside the house yelled.
"I am your princess, and I command you to open this door immediately!” Lara was not used to having commoners deny her anything at all.
“No, I’m sorry, but I can’t really do that. Thanks for your time, though.” The villager refused.
“Open the door!!” Lara was not tolerant of the denial.
“Look here……….I would if I found it prudent to do so……… but what are my guarantees that you’re not really a butterfly, coming to chop my head off?”
That statement so out of sorts that Lara paused to digest it.
Butterflies, she thought. Butterflies......... they’re harmless, aren’t they? Mostly harmless, anyway. She could think of a few improbable situations in which a butterfly could kill a human being. She didn’t suspect that any of those situations could occur, but they were a possibility.
“Oh………well fine then……….look, could you at least tell me what’s going on around here?” Lara very calmly requested.
“Hmm………I suppose…….A few thousand warrior butterflies are flying around out there…….I don’t suppose you’ve seen them yet……..” The villager kindly explained. “ Trust me, they’re there……..they’ll be around anytime now……..you’d better get inside somewhere, my dear, or you’ll be hacked to death, I’m sure………” The villager warned.
Lara was not tolerant of such an obvious lie, but did not wish to pursue the matter further. She said goodbye to the villager and set back out into the town.
At this point, Galahad and Lancelot exit the tavern. They wander out into the street. By a remarkable coincidence, they see Princess Lara. They are happily surprised by the chance meeting.
“GALAHAD!! LANCELOT!!” Princess Lara shouted.
“PRINCESS LARA!! What are you doing here? Weren’t you honeymooning at my castle this weekend?” Galahad was very happy to see her, but most concerned for Lara and her newlywed husband.
“Oh, really---fool?” Lancelot shared Galahad’s concern.
“Yes, well, Andrew and I have---issues---to discuss…..Why is there no-one in the streets? I was talking to the most bizarre fellow just a minute ago, and he seems to think that a large group of butterflies will soon attack us with large claws……I wonder what’s really going on around here?” Galahad and Lancelot had no idea why the town was empty; they had been in the tavern discussing various things at the time.
Galahad was very disheartened to hear that her marriage was falling apart after such a brief period, but his mind was filled with other questions to ask her.
"How is the King? Is he well? How goes the war in England? I have not heard news of it in ages...."
" Father is well, yes......the war is the same as it has been for some time now.....My father is sending more troops to England tomorrow...." Lara explained briefly.
“I am glad that all is well……We don't really know what is going on around here...we know but one person who might be able to explain what's going on around here.......she lives in that house over there.....would you be interested in meeting her?" Galahad pointed at Madame Monarch Butterfly’s house.
“ Oh, really? Fool?” Lancelot agreed.
“ Oh, if you want………….. I probably would be safer with you two to protect me……” Lara despised having guards all the time, but she was too confused to object.
“Very well then……..shall we go?” Galahad offered his hand to Lara. Lara refused to be led in such a manner, but walked off with Galahad nonetheless. Lancelot also followed.
Inside Madame Monarch Butterfly’s house, the Tiki man had just given Dennis the very small rock to Madame Monarch Butterfly. She was very pleased indeed, and James was given a job as her adviser.
The Tiki man had completed his side of the bargain. He felt that it was time for the butterflies to do the same. The oddest thing, though, was the fact that he seemed to feel as if THIS town was where they belonged…….
“………..warrior butterflies……..the tribe of Tiki is an honorable tribe, and we have done our part for you. However, I feel as if you have already done your part, by bringing us to this town of Dorman. We thank you for your assistance, and hope that we remain friends in the future. We will take our leave, if that is acceptable…..” The Tiki man headed for the door.
“This is not acceptable.” Madame Monarch Butterfly replied sternly. “I have further plans for you. The rest of your tribe may go now, but you will remain.” The Tiki man was not frightened by Madame Monarch Butterfly’s obvious power, but decided it was wise if he remained.
The rest of his tribe left the house.
“I have a few people that you should meet. They will all be arriving in but a few minutes. Please, make yourself comfortable.” The Tiki man looked around. There was no furniture to make himself comfortable on; he decided to sit on the floor. The floor was quite hard, but he was not uncomfortable as such.
Galahad, Lancelot, and Princess Lara were just outside the front door of the house, when thousands of butterflies fluttered out of the house, closely followed by a small tribe of Africans. Our heroes stood and pondered this for several minutes; That was, to them, the most random occurrence they had ever seen. Think about it. You are about to enter the house of a complete stranger, and then, for no discernable reason, a thousand butterflies and a small African tribe walk out. They were obviously doubting their sanity.
Several hours passed; The Tiki man was rather uncomfortable with his position on the floor, and the Madame Monarch Butterfly was getting anxious for their arrival. She sent Beatrice to go out and get them.
Beatrice stood in the entrance of Madame Monarch Butterfly’s humble abode.
“ All right, you guys……….get in here…….”
Our heroes remained frozen.
“ HEY YOU! WAKE UP!” Beatrice snapped, which was rather unbefitting of her character.
Still, they retained the appearance of perpetual sleep.
Beatrice did not know how to get their attention.
She hopped up and down.
She imitated a monkey.
She rolled around on the ground.
This only seemed to frighten them into further depths of coma.
Beatrice formed a new plan.
She walked over to Galahad.
Solemnly, she brought back her right arm.
She punched Galahad square in the face.
This had the desired effect; Galahad fell to the floor like a brick.
“OWW……..what’d you do THAT for?” He cradled his jaw, and balled himself into the fetal position.
“ Now, wake the others and come inside, dear….” Beatrice went back into the house.
Galahad slowly got up, and surveyed the situation.
“ All right you two, let’s get a move on…..” Galahad said.
“HEY YOU! WAKE UP!!” Galahad suffered from the same predicament as Beatrice.
He jumped up and down.
He impersonated an Eskimo being attacked by a polar bear.
He stared at them. They stared back.
He decided to pursue an avenue similar to Beatrice’s.
He brought back his right arm and punched Lancelot in the face.
The desired effect was once again found; Lancelot fell straight to the ground.
“OWW……..REALLY FOOL!!!” Lancelot rubbed his jaw.
“Yes….look, wake up the princess and come on inside, will you?” Galahad disappeared into the house.
Lancelot was not about to go around punching princesses for fun, but he could find no other realistic possibilities.
He walked over to her and threw a punch.
To his great surprise, Lara awakened prior to being hit, and she caught the punch in mid-air!
“How un-chivalrous of you, Sir Lancelot…” Lara twisted his arm, and threw him to the ground. Lancelot howled in pain.
“OH REALLY FOOL!”
Lara dragged him into the house by the arm.
Madame Monarch Butterfly was most relieved that Beatrice had been successful in her mission. She was very pleased that everyone was finally here…
For, you see, her psychic goldfish Chris had informed her that a certain fairy named Zoot was hiding behind a curtain on the far side of the room.
Zoot had no idea that her presence was known; she thought that she had taken all the necessary precautions to stay un-noticed. She was unaware of Chris’ powers. She thought she was merely here to observe, and then leave at the first opportunity.
Madame Monarch Butterfly had other plans for Zoot; she decided to call Zoot from her hiding place, and alert Zoot of her destiny.
“Oh, please, Zoot…….you’re not fooling anyone, you know….” Madame Monarch Butterfly sighed.
Zoot was frightened for a moment, but decided to remain calm….perhaps she meant some OTHER Zoot….
“ Zoot, just come on out…….Look, I know you’re hiding behind the curtain back there…..”
Zoot still remained quiet. Maybe she was talking about some OTHER Zoot, hiding behind a DIFFERENT curtain…
“ For crying out loud…..” Madame Monarch Butterfly was getting angry now.
“Beatrice, go over there and get her, then…”
Zoot was sure that she was found now. She resigned herself to fate, and fluttered cautiously out into the open.
At that precise moment, Galahad, Lancelot, and Lara entered the room.
“Good…….now that we’re all here……look, perhaps you would be more comfortable sitting down….this may take a while…”
They all sat down on the uncomfortable floor. Zoot continued to flutter in the air in quite the same way that cement doesn’t.
Madame Monarch Butterfly began.
“ I have a request to make of you. I have summoned you here because….”
Madame Monarch Butterfly hesitated. She didn’t like it, but it had to be said.
“I need your help.” She spit out the words in quite the same way as one would vomit out effluent.
Our heroes were taken by surprise with this statement.
“hmm…….well I, for one, am flattered………why? I mean…..I thought you were some incredibly powerful evil being……” Galahad puzzled.
Madame Monarch Butterfly prepared herself for one of the largest lies ever told.
“ What I would ask of you requires the strength of a group. All of you have certain abilities that I…….do not possess….” She managed to hold her
contempt. “The danger is great, but the reward is most profitable indeed…”
“Yes, but what IS IT exactly?” The Tiki man asked.
“Oh, really fool?” Lancelot also asked.
Madame Monarch prepared her speech once again:
“In a cave to the north of Dorman lives a powerful sorcerer. He has greater power than even I possess…” Madame Monarch Butterfly shuddered to think about ANYONE with more power than her.
“ He has been devising a plan to take over Fortunan, and become it’s ruler!”
Madame Monarch Butterfly knew exactly what strings to pull…it had the desired effect.
Galahad, Lancelot, and Princess Lara (being very loyal to the king and Fortunan) were very upset to hear about any plots to overthrow the country.
“ You aren’t serious, are you? We must go at once to fight him!” Galahad roared.
“ OH REALLY FOOL!!!!” Lancelot’s battle cry resounded through the room.
“ Yes, we must defend my father’s domain!” Lara stood up tall.
This is too easy, thought Madame Monarch Butterfly, with a smirk.
The Tiki man and Zoot, however, were not so easily won over.
“How do you know all of this?” The Tiki man said
“Yeah……” Zoot agreed.
“ I am Chris. I am a goldfish. I have psychic powers.” Said Chris.
“Oh really? You guys can’t possibly believe that, can you? Prove it…” The
Tiki man said.
“Your sign is Taurus. You were born on April the 8th. Back home, you had a spider named Sparky. He died a tragic death on the trip over to Fortunan. You held a funeral in his honor, and then set him in the water and continued-“
“NO—PLEASE STOP---I CAN’T BEAR TO HEAR IT!! MY POOR, DEAR SPARKY, YOU DIED SO HONORABLY!!!” A tear rolled down the Tiki man’s cheek. He fell to his knees.
Madame Monarch Butterfly knew that the Tiki man was won over to her cause; now only Zoot remained.
“And you want US to go kill him for YOU….? All of you are prepared to fight and die for this?” Zoot said.
They affirmed the statement in unison.
“Well……I suppose I have nothing more exciting to do…” Zoot joined them.
Madame Monarch Butterfly could hardly restrain herself from laughing maniacally.
“ Good! I suppose you’ll be on your way, then?” Madame Monarch Butterfly slowly inquired.
“RIGHT! LET’S FIND THE BASTARD AND CHOP HIS BLOODY HEAD OFF!!” Galahad roared. The battle cry was cheered by all.
Madame Monarch Butterfly laughed maniacally.
Chris the goldfish bubbled maniacally.
James the Butterfly fluttered maniacally.
And so it came to pass, that our heroes meet one another. Madame Monarch Butterfly had planted the seeds of adventure well, and they were determined to follow the path the Madame Monarch Butterfly laid out for them. They trudged their way steadily towards the cave to the north.
It was a hard trail and a decent journey to the cave. Galahad and Lancelot had horses; Lara and the Tiki man doubled up behind them. Zoot fluttered in front.
Lancelot was scared out of his mind.
“OH….REALLY FOOL!” Lancelot pointed at Zoot, in fear.
He still remembered how she attacked him, and was unwilling to forgive so quickly.
Zoot turned around.
“look………….I’m sorry, Lancelot….I had no idea that I was scaring the hell out of someone IMPORTANT…….I thought you were just a wandering village retard…..” Zoot was not a politically correct fairy, but that was of no consequence. Being politically correct would not be an issue of debate for another 200 years yet…she was unaware of her inconsiderate remarks about the mentally impaired.
Lancelot also had no previous introduction to political correctness; he took the apology for what it was worth, and accepted it in his own particular fashion.
“Oh, really, fool?” Lancelot accepted the apology happily, since he was not one to hold a prolonged grudge.
“Stop looking at me swan..” And with that, the matter was resolved.
Galahad had the map of Dorman and it’s outlying areas. He took this opportunity to examine it.
“Hmm…..says here that it’s about 15 miles or so away now…” Galahad bounced slightly as he rode on his horse, the Tiki man sitting behind him.
“Here now, would you be so kind as to tilt that map up a little? I can’t see it from back here….” The Tiki man asked politely.
“Oh, here, look, I’m done with it now, if you want it…….” Galahad passed the map back to the Tiki man.
The Tiki man, upon further examination of the map, shouted loudly for the group to halt.
“HEY! Wait, can we stop a minute here?” The group stopped and waited for the explanation.
“ I think that there is possibility that we took a wrong turn back at Albuquerque…” The Tiki man explained.
“Look, don’t stop us for pranks like that. Albuquerque? Look, quoting nonsensical, fluffy, white, animated rabbits will not be tolerated around HERE.” Galahad was very displeased by the Tiki man’s obvious prank. He snatched back the map.
To his surprise, a place named Albuquerque did, in fact, exist.
To his further surprise, they did appear to have taken a wrong turn at precisely said point.
Now, Bugs Bunny was a very well known cartoon character to those living in Fortunan; the well-known artist Michelangelo drew Bugs Bunny in his spare time. It was previously believed that Albuquerque was a fictional area; no previous cartographer had ever found an area named Albuquerque in Fortunan.
Galahad took this as a sign from the heavens; they were meant to take the aforementioned wrong turn.
Everyone else, however, thought that he was a real idiot.
They all turned back around and headed towards Albuquerque.
They reprimanded Galahad fiercely for his bad directional skills, and mocked him further still because he had no inclination towards stopping and asking for directions.
“ You idiot!” said Zoot.
Galahad cowered, in fear of Zoot’s deathly fireballs. Zoot was glowing an ethereal red.
“ Save it, Zoot….” Lara said.
Zoot’s red drained slowly away.
“You’re right, it’s not worth it…”
The Tiki man was given the map; he obviously had the skills for effective map reading. After all, he did manage to find his way all the way from Africa to Fortunan......
They headed back in the direction of Albuquerque. It was getting late; there wrong turn had cost them time. They did not think they would need shelter. They were previously under the impression that they would reach the cave before nightfall. That possibility seemed out of the question now; they resolved to stay at an inn in Albuquerque.
They reached Albuquerque just as the last moments of sundown began to fade out of the heavens. The brilliant jet-black sky began to take the forefront; the stars took center stage in god’s magnificent passion play. The Tiki man guided the group into the town.
They found the inn towards the center of town; it had a robust, cheery appearance. This inn was the only venue left in town that was not yet asleep; the light in the window still glowed with the promise of the mattresses waiting inside.
They moved quickly towards the entrance of the inn. They had no idea what to expect, when they first opened the door to the inn. They had no way of knowing that the innkeeper was a servant of Madame Monarch Butterfly’s archrival, a powerfully evil being known only as…………Charlie..
This sorcerer Charlie was very distraught by Madame Monarch Butterfly’s most recent attack force. He was hoping to settle their dispute in a more direct manner; an all out sorcerer’s duel. Madame Monarch Butterfly seemed to be avoiding such direct confrontation, and this made him very annoyed.
These pesky pawns of yours, thought Charlie, will do no harm to me. Why did you send them? What weapons could they possibly hold that I cannot counter? Charlie waited with wicked anticipation.
“ Come to me, my precious army…” Charlie summoned his hordes.
An infinite number of midgets crawled out of a hole in the wall that used to belong to a family of mice. They were but inches tall, but they had a ruthless appearance.
“Are you prepared for the upcoming battles? Have you anticipated the dangers that lie ahead?” Charlie asked.
The midgets responded in their language. Their language is one of the more interesting languages on the planet. For, you see, their language had no audio; it was comprised entirely of body language. For example, the phrase‘I’m riding the 10:00 train’ is composed of the midget lying on the floor and beating himself over the head with a paperclip.
Here, however, is the one unfortunate side effect of having a language composed of bodily movement: the movement that signals a ‘yes’ is comprised of killing other midget and eating him whole. This means that when you ask your army if they are ready for battle, you’ll find that your army has suddenly cut it’s numbers by half.
Oddly enough, this cannibalistic response had never caused great problems for Charlie in the past. He was certain that they would never cause problems in the future as well. He kept using midgets as his primary choice of soldiers for one reason and one reason alone: they were the most abundant living creature in Fortunan. Even in spite of their constantly depleting numbers, they remained in abundance due to their quick reproduction.
For, you see, midgets are typically asexual, and they reproduce by mitosis. This causes an unnatural coincidence to occur: when a midget eats another midget, the eater reproduces spontaneously. As soon as a midget dies, another is reborn. The midget who was eaten dies; however, a new midget is made. This process takes but a few minutes passing time before the cycle is complete. The new midget is given 3-4 minutes to adjust to its surroundings, sign all the necessary legal papers, and then it functions as a normal member of the midget society.
It was a perfect plan for Charlie; an everlasting army.
Our heroes entered the inn non-chalantly. They did not suspect this inn of holding any sinister characters; they had no reason to believe it did. On the left, there was a counter. Standing behind said counter was a man.
He was tall, but lacking any muscular appearances. He stood straight, which gave him the appearance of being rather like a tree on a calm day in autumn. In fact, if you looked rather closely you are sure to see his roots rather firmly planted in the ground behind the counter. This was not an un-natural occurrence, for in the country of Fortunan ANY individual who stood in one place long enough would eventually revert into tree form.
In fact, this occurrence is often used as an alternative to being cryogenically frozen. Any individual who has some sort of life-threatening disease is simply told to stand perfectly still. When a cure for whatever ailment the patient had was found, they would (in theory) un-tree them and heal them of their disease.
Unfortunately, there is a crucial problem with this theory that has never been thought about: there is no currently known way to revert a being from tree to human……so even if a cure was found for whatever the ailment was, there is still the problem of un-treement. Scientists have not even begun to THINK about how that would be accomplished.
Disregarding that major tangent, however……………the inn was well lit, and there were several people cavorting in the tavern area. Immediately, the eyes of Galahad, Lancelot, and the Tiki man were permanently attached on the tavern----their spirits arose, and thoughts flooded into their minds for the first time in a long time.
“………………beer………………” Galahad mumbled.
“………………beer………………” the Tiki man concurred with a drool.
“……………oh really fool…………………” Lancelot stared dumbly.
“Wait,---hmm. Oh, yeah----BEER!!!” Galahad rushed towards the tavern.
The Tiki man and Lancelot quickly followed suit.
Galahad had already begun ordering as the others made their way towards the counter.
“ Hello.” Galahad nodded at the bartender.
“ Hello.”The bartender replied.
This is actually a rather well tested phenomenon; when a person says “hello” to ANOTHER person, the typical response would ALSO be “hello”. Therefore, it is very easy to see why Galahad’s salutations were returned. The bartender was merely extending the degree of courtesy that is standard for human individuals in modern times.
Galahad desired a beer. He, therefore, asked for one.
“ A beer, please……” Galahad ordered.
The bartender stood frozen in a state of disgust for a brief moment; a momentary look of confusion blinked on his eyes.
“ I have none of THAT foul brew here. God be praised, I’ll NEVER serve it here!” With that remark the room shattered with cheers; glasses were raised in celebration of the fine words.
Galahad stood stunned. He pondered this thought a moment. Tavern, he thought. Do taverns serve beer?………………yes, he was sure of it, they did. He said so.
“I don’t understand entirely. You don’t serve BEER???” Galahad questioned for clarification.
“We serve no alcoholic beverages of any kind in this establishment.” The bartender’s straight face replied rigidly.
Galahad stared at him a moment.
The bartender stared back.
“Oh really fool.” Said Lancelot.
“ Wait a minute now, this IS a tavern, correct? Am I wrong in thinking that TAVERNS serve BEER?” Galahad was confused, and confusion fueled his temper.
“No sir, you are incorrect. This establishment is more commonly known as a PUB, not a tavern. Please note the difference from now on.” The bartender replied harshly.
Galahad was dumbfounded.
“ TAVERN is synonymous with PUB, you idiot! Would someone please get this man a thesaurus immediately! Now, to re-assert my previous position; GIVE ME A BLOODY BEER!” he pounded on the counter.
The bartender remained calm.
“ Sir, I regret that if you do not calm I must ask that you leave. We sell no beverages that the lord god would disapprove of; anything else that you may be interested in is available here.”
Galahad was in a pure state of frenzy.
“Well, what in bloody hell DO you sell then?” Galahad tapped patiently on the counter.
“ Fruit juices, all natural mountain waters, and mochacino………perhaps you would rather have a glass of pineapple blend?” The bartender reached into an unknown cupboard.
“-----NO!----no, that’s---that’s really not necessary, thank you, no.” Galahad quickly rejected the drink with a sour mood.
The bartender put back the drink with no expression upon his face.
“Well, perhaps you all would join us in prayer tomorrow? It is the day of celebration for the coming of the lord, the Holy Sabbath.” The bartender invitation rang like a church bell.
Lancelot looked at the others. The Tiki man seemed very interested in attending; he had a strong curiosity for foreign cultures. Galahad did not seem as enthused by the prospect; he was already familiar with the structure of the prayer service and no longer thought of it as his weekly communion with Christ and the father.
However, Lancelot observed that it was most definitely out of their collective hands. For he saw the two females of the group approaching, with what appeared to be a room-key. Apparently they had done something useful whilst the males were angrily splashing salt on their own wounds.
Lancelot, being the observant thinker he was, rationalized that they were more than likely also offered a chance to attend the church service. Furthermore, he rationalized that the good Princess Lara would never miss a chance to forgive herself the sin of self-indulgence.
“ Oh really fool.” He said.
“ Yeah, I know what you mean.” Galahad replied.
Due to the fact that the number 13 is well known to be an unlucky number, no writing will be done on it. Instead, why don’t you go for a walk in the park or perhaps enjoy a little light music for the next few pages or so, and the story will be resumed shortly. Thank you for your time.
And now for some subliminal messages:
-----------you really want to jump up and down like a bunny rabbit on a cold day without a jacket and scream while happily hopping like a madman “I’m a little bunny rabbit”------------------
------------you wish to commend the author on his cleverly disguised subliminal messages-----------------------
Thank you for your patience, the story will resume now.
Galahad was very perturbed by this new predicament. He was a church-going citizen, indeed---but he was not fond of it. The church had never done anything for him. He thought; why then is he required to give the church anything in return?
However, he had to concede his defeat; Princess Lara had made her decision. Here, for your examination, is an excerpt of the conversation that was had in the tavern of the inn shortly after Galahad’s misfortune with the bartender:
“ Hello again, Galahad---I see your search to attain alcohol has proven unsuccessful.”
“Yes, my lady, our endeavor has proved unfruitful—however I see that you do not come back empty-handed.” Galahad noticed the key, which he believed belonged to a door in this particular inn.
Which was in fact a rather astute observation; Lara had a key to a room in the inn, where they may rest for the night.
“Yes, we have returned victorious; we have a key to a room---may I recommend that we retire for the night?” Lara recommended.
“I believe that sounds like an excellent idea.” Galahad abruptly replied.
“Also, we will be attending the local church service tomorrow morning---it was recommended most highly by the innkeeper.” Lara commanded.
Galahad’s face grew pale.
“Oh, no----certainly we must continue our journey as soon as possible---please?” Galahad pleaded.
Lara pondered this thought a moment.
“No, I still think we should pay a visit to the church tomorrow—even in spite of the urgency of our quest.”
“Oh---oh…………hmm………well, if you command……………my lady…………” Galahad’s defeat is well shown on his pale and disheartened face.
“Oh really fool……” Lancelot’s face was downcast, perhaps even further than Galahad’s.
“Well, I think we should get some rest now………” Zoot began to flutter in the general direction of their room.
“Indeed we shall.” Said Lara.
And with that, our heroes retired to their room.
Little did they know that a certain suspicious individual had been spying on the group since they entered the inn; a small shriveled man in the corner of the tavern had his eyes peeled on them intensely, hidden in the shade of a cloak.
A small mousehole was carved into the wall there; and if you looked ever so closely, you would swear you could see a midget’s head pop out of it every minute or so---to examine the room.
The shriveled man smirked when he learned of our heroes’ plans to attend the morning church service. In his mind a plot to defeat and destroy said party was forming. He could barely refrain from laughing.
Chris the psychic goldfish had been monitoring all of the events of the tavern as well; he knew that Charlie, shriveled as he was, had formulated a plot to kill Lara and her company. He told Madame Monarch Butterfly of this event.
“blub, blub” said Chris.
“Oh really?” Madame Monarch Butterfly.
“blub.” Chris replied.
“Chris please speak in English, I know you can, all of the readers know you can, you are just making a fool out of yourself.”
Chris floated a moment.
“I’m sorry, you’re right……anyway…………” He proceeded to tell the Madame of Charlie’s ruthless plans.
“that will not do at all, I’m afraid.” Madame Monarch Butterfly was concerned for a moment.
“Well, I suppose I will have to go there and help them from danger………” Madame Monarch Butterfly sighed intensely.
“Why me…………………this is so unfair.” Madame Monarch Butterfly whined.
Chris began singing.
“I see trees of green, red roses too---I see them bloom…………… for me and you…………”
The room began to shift, and Madame Monarch Butterfly’s eyes rose to meet Chris’ floating fish face.
“And I sez to myself, whatta wonderful world…………………”
Chris’ melodic harmony filled the room with a peaceful glow………the lights in the room faded to a happier silence.
“I see skies of blue……………………and clouds of white……………………The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night…………And I sez to myself, whatta wonderful world…………………”
At this point, Madame Monarch Butterfly could hear the background music echoing through the room. Chris paused a moment from his song.
“Shall we dance?” Chris asked.
“That we shall!” Madame Monarch Butterfly accepted happily. Seeing no better way to dance with a fish, she merely picked up his bowl and began to waltz around the room with it.
“The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky…………………Are also on the faces…………………of people going by………………………”
Then something truly magical happened; Chris’ singing of this particular song had caused a disruption in the space/time continuum……………so, by what seemed to be an absolute absurd yet magical moment, Chris had actually summoned the immortal Louie Armstrong through his singing of the magical words.
This would’ve been quite a disturbance for all involved, because such a conjuring was bizarre if not entirely impossible.
However, the immortal Louie Armstrong was not to be discredited for his valor. Even in spite of his obvious confusion regarding his new existence, he saw two young people (or one witch and a fish, but even still) dancing and falling in love. Deep inside his heart, only one choice remained; he began to sing as well.
“I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' “How do you do?"……………………..They're really saying "I love you"……………………I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow…………………………They'll learn much more than I'll ever know……………And I sez to myself, whatta wonderful world…………………..”
The music slowed down now; the lights faded in and out as the reverberations of emotion grew to a climax.
“Yes, I sez to myself……….”
The room slowed even further, quaking with anticipation of the final words of a true sage.
“whatta wonderful…………….. world…………..”
The final notes rang and shimmered through the minds and ears of all involved.
The immortal words of Louie Armstrong penetrated deep with Madame Monarch Butterfly’s heart.
”You are right, Chris---it IS a wonderful world…..”
At this point, Louie Armstrong felt the need to better understand his surroundings.
“………ex---excuse me there, you two---um……………do you have any idea where I am right now??” He asked politely.
Chris turned non-chalantly.
“Oh look, it’s Louie Armstrong.” He said. He turned back to face Madame Monarch Butterfly.
“Indeed it is.” Madame Monarch Butterfly said mundanely.
“Hmm………I wonder what on earth he’s doing here………” Said Chris.
“I don’t really know……………but perhaps he will be of some use later………”
With that, Madame Monarch Butterfly began to cast a spell. She pointed her finger at Louie, and chanted the word “ekk bekk” at him several times.
So many was the number of the “ekk bekking” that Louie Armstrong began to shrink……………soon he was comparable in size only to a midget, or perhaps I very small rock.
Madame Monarch Butterfly picked him up from the ground. After examining him briefly, she shoved him in her pocket and teleported to the town of Albequerque.
Stay tuned for Chapter 15, coming to you soon………
The night was uneventful for our sleeping wanderers; the inn was inviting, the beds were comfortable, and even the frightening knowledge of tomorrow’s church service was not enough to deny suitable rest for all involved.
Galahad awoke first; followed shortly by Lancelot. The others were up and about soon after. It was rather early in the morning yet; the sun was just beginning to pop its sunny head over the trees. For all intents and purposes, it promised to be a glorious day for travel.
Lara, being awake and ready for church, made the request that they head in the direction of said worship.
“We really should be going now,” said Lara. “The service is sure to be starting any moment now.”
The Tiki man and Zoot agreed, and they dragged the reluctant Galahad and his compatriot, Lancelot, out of the inn.
Several menacing figures lurked in the shadows, watching our heroes every step as they exited the inn.
Madame Monarch Butterfly and the Miniature Satchmo followed Lara and the troops from behind as they went toward to the church. Madame Monarch Butterfly did not want to be seen by them; she did not want them to know how seriously their lives were in danger.
The other spies were not so kindhearted in their intentions. They peered out from a trench dug beside the path leading to the church. Every once in a while and miniature head could be seen popping out of the hole, and hurriedly ducking back in, presumably giving reports to their midget leaders. The midgets watched intently; their master wanted these people killed violently and with much gnashing of teeth, and the midgets were there to do as their master commanded.
But there was no time for violent devouring at the moment; the road was busy with churchgoers, and it would not do to have their cover blown. So, for now, they merely watched and waited for their opportunity.
Lara entered the cathedral, followed by Zoot and the Tiki man. Galahad and Lancelot shuffled into the church a few minutes later. They seated themselves near the front of the church. Galahad tapped loudly on the pew, anxiously awaiting their departure.
Madame Monarch Butterfly came into the church and took a seat in the very last pew. She let Satchmo out of her pocket; he crawled happily up to Madame Monarch Butterfly’s shoulder.
The church service was just about to begin; the worshippers all had arrived and been seated. All that was left was the appearance of the choir and the minister.
The choir shuffled in. To the great surprise of our heroes, the choir consisted of a variety of either eccentric or currently deceased famous people. The tenor section consisted of a disheveled Bob Dylan, the most certainly demised Duke Ellington, and Kris Kristofferson.
The soprano section consisted of Cyndi Lauper, Barbara Striesand, and the upper portion of Mama Cass. Now, the reason why only the UPPER portion was allowed to sing in the choir was because there was a certain weight ratio of all the choir sections to be maintained, and the lower portion of Mama Cass would most certain offset the delicate balance. So, in the interests of preserving the ratio, Mama Cass’ lower sections and appendages were cut off. Never the less, the vocal areas of Mama Cass were still entirely functional, which is a rather good thing considering the fact that SINGING was in fact what she had set out to do today.
The Bass section consisted of Tom Waits, Peter and Paul from the vocal trio Peter, Paul and Mary, and a sperm whale. To this day, no one is entirely sure why the sperm whale was chosen for the choir; several guesses have been made but none have been confirmed. One guess is based around the idea that the greater the size, the lower the voice, however this opinion is highly inaccurate. Certainly the whale is massive enough to represent a deep bass sound, but he does not necessarily have one.
The other belief was this: the sperm whale was placed in the bass section to offset any further disturbances in the weight ratios caused by Mama Cass’s upper areas in the soprano section.
This lead to the belief that the whale was merely a representation of what a deep bass sound SHOULD be; sort of an ornamental gesture.
Having resolved THAT particular puzzlement, one would then puzzle over the mysterious lack of any form of alto section in this particular choir. Apparently, hiring such well-known stars for the choir had spent the budget in its entirety; there was quite simply no more money for further purchases.
In any case (and despite the above tangent), the choir did, indeed, shuffle in.
The Minister came in soon after. The crowd hushed in anticipation of the minister’s opening remarks.
What was said will be relayed to you on chap 16.