Suggested Audio Candy:
Booker T & The M.G.’s Green Onions
A funny thing happened as I climbed out of bed this lunchtime. It appeared no different from any other day at first glance; midday sun was beating down relentlessly and neighborhood Cerberus growling his discord as he does every day without falter. I’m not convinced as to what this particular hound’s beef is but someone has clearly shit in his cereal. Every day the same sorry tale; barking away like somebody actually gives a flying monkey about his frustrations. Nobody cares Benji. Now why not go and lick your balls clean as I can smell them over the fence you mangy mutt.
I stepped outside in exactly the same formation as I do every day; one foot in front of the other tends to work best in such situations, especially given the fact that I wake up with the balance of a newborn foal. If only I had its penis. I meandered along the garden path, extending a cursory glance to the crime scene where Cornelius met his lonely demise. Choking back a solitary tear, I continued towards my intended destination. At this juncture, nothing appeared untoward and another day of thankless grinding appeared to be on the cards.
I slumped in my office chair and sucked in the exhaust fumes from my mother’s gas guzzler. Now I’m not sure whether this played a small part in what played out next as the next thing I knew things had taken something of a turn for the bizarre. I heard a whisper saying “Keeper. How do you feel like bucking the trend?” I’m a creature of habit so ordinarily I wouldn’t entertain such a ludicrous notion but, I must confess, something about this ethereal voice had me compelled. I took a good look around my surroundings and there wasn’t another soul in sight. Was my grip on reality finally beginning to slacken?
A quick fondle of the frontal lobe confirmed that all eggs were all still in the basket so I put it down to a momentary lapse of reason. Then I heard the voice again and this time there was no mistaking it. “You’re wasting your time searching for me you know. You’ll never find me that way.” This had my feathers a tad ruffled, after all, my solitary confinement showed no signs of forced entry. “Show yourself heathen” I implored, puffing out my chest as best I could and assuming my most formidable pose so as to appear overbearing. I even gritted my teeth for added effect and cocked the trigger on my imaginary firearm.
“I’m inside you right now” was the next retort and I instantly clenched both buttocks for fear of the worst. Nothing doing there, no inanimate objects blocking the path. “You’re looking in all the wrong places Keeper. Clambering atop your colon never particularly appealed. Were you aware that there are more stars in the night sky than grains of sand on the Earth by the way?” This had me turning my frown the right way up. “No I hadn’t ever really spared it a thought. Your point being?” My brow continued to crease. “No point dear boy. No point at all. Now come closer and let me tell you what I have planned.”
Now I knew he was pulling my plonker. Come closer? To where? Inside myself? It’s one thing to slide one well-oiled inquisitive digit into one’s rectum for a spot of getting to know you but quite another to climb inside and entrust the autopilot. “I’ll stay right here thanks” was my stern response. “If you won’t come to me then perhaps I shall come to you Keeper.” With that I felt a twinge inside my left temple and discerned the sound of running water. “Hope you don’t mind but I thought I’d prepare myself a drink. Your cerebral liquid has the most wonderful zing.” The bastard wasn’t lying, he was indeed well beyond my mental perimeter.
“What do you want from me?” I rasped. “My dear boy. What I want from you I already have. It’s more of what I can do for you.” What a cryptic rejoinder; he was playing a patient game and waiting for me to cast the line. I decided that I had nothing to lose so played along. “Tell me mysterious one. What can you do for Keeper this day?” After a momentary silence he continued “Well I think it high time that you take a little walk dear fellow. One on the wild side. Leave what you’re doing, it shall still be here on your return. Take a chance, live a little. See how the other half live.”
I pondered his suggestion and decided to throw caution to the wind. “I’m all ears” I replied. “Excellent choice sir. Okay, here is your itinerary. In around seven minutes you will be picked up by your chauffeur for the day, Roger the Goose. Don’t worry all expenses have been paid. He will fly you to your next location, a giant boot in the sky. There you shall share crumpets with an old woman named Beryl. You’ll know it’s her as she will be wearing a name tag which says Hi I’m Beryl. Now Beryl’s is a most hospitable host and will see that you come to no harm. After beating her at Uno and stealing her polystyrene teapot you will return back home and be in bed no later than 8.30pm. Is that understood?”
“Clear as dog shit thanks.” What an absolutely ridiculous proposal. Who the hell calls a goose Roger anyhoots. Everything else he said seemed pretty airtight but credibility was pulled somewhat taut with the Goose-cab. Nevertheless, I did as he suggested. To my astonishment my ride turned up not a moment tardy and it was admittedly the finest looking bird I ever did see. “Hi I’m Roger. Try not to make a mess back there, I just got a valet.” That voice was right all along, I was off to see Beryl in the old boot in the sky. What a turn-up for the books. With that being the case I had a teapot to pinch.
We flew high above the clouds and I felt more invigoration than I had done for some time. It’s hard to experience something so breathtaking and not feel moved and, for just an instant, I felt like I had found my very own Falkor. Roger spoiled the moment soon after by suffering a violent spasm which almost upended me. “Sorry about that. I suffer from the most horrendous twitch. I got it in Phuket when I challenged a street vendor to a game of air hockey and took the puck full speed to the sternum. It’s just a little turbulence I can assure you.” I’d gone out on a limb for this guy as, traditionally, geese fly nearer the ground. To his credit, the rest of the journey was smooth.
Once we had arrived at the boot in question and Roger docked on the insole, I felt far more relaxed and ready for my appointment with Beryl. “Care for a round of Uno?” I glanced at her name badge and it corroborated the voice’s claim. “Yes, a game of Uno sounds exquisite, but may I be so bold as to request a cup of tea? It has been a long flight and I’m frightfully parched.” Beryl couldn’t dip the tea bags in quick enough and, by the time she dealt the cards, it was already on the simmer. I couldn’t help but keep glancing over at the teapot. “You seem very interested in my teapot young man. Is there something about it which interests you?” She’d scuppered me, clearly I was wearing my intentions on my sleeve.
“Nah, I’ve got one at home” I played the nonchalance card in an attempt to regain her ebbing trust. “You do, do you? You have a teapot made of polystyrene.” I shrugged my shoulders and played it as cool as I could, given the fact that she was beginning to unnerve me. “Yeah, got two actually.” She instantly rose to her feet and her facial repertoire found a far meaner slant. “That is the only polystyrene teapot anywhere in existence. You’re a filthy SPY aren’t you? AREN’T YOU? Thought you could come into my boot, beat me at Uno and steal my teapot did you?” I checked my hand and, considering I was holding three wild cards and a pick up four, I knew she had me hook, line and sinker.
I’m not proud of what happened next and, if I had the chance to go back and change things, I wouldn’t have kicked her so hard in the shin. That voice in my head had been very clear on my instructions and their importance but it just wasn’t worth the hassle. Instead I fled straight back to Roger who was halfway through an apple schnapps and nowhere near ready. “Quick Roger. Rev your engines. We have to leave this place pronto” I cried. Roger took one look, ascertained that I was not in possession of said teapot and blew a slobbery raspberry in my general direction.
“I ain’t flying you anywhere pal. No teapot, no dice. Were your instructions not clear enough?” He returned to his citric refreshment and left me floating upstream with no discernible paddle. So I kicked him too, square across the beak, and commandeered a nearby pigeon called Kirk. “Where you heading?” the pigeon asked. “Take me home Kirk, take me home” was my weary response. Furious at this rival airline poaching his passenger, Roger peeled back his feathers to reveal a fully armed Banana cannon. He then proceeded to fire off a few speculative skins as we took flight. And to think I was never even offered a crumpet.
The journey back was one of few words; Kirk dropped me back at the house by 8.24 and, after a quick hot beverage, I snuck straight upstairs to bed, hoping that my misdemeanor hadn’t been noted. As I laid my head down, convinced that I had gotten away with it, the voice returned and he didn’t sound the least bit amused. “You failed Keeper. I see no polystyrene teapot and Beryl remains undefeated at Uno. Roger told me everything. By the way he required three stitches on his beak after you chose to assault him. What do you have to say about that?” There wasn’t much I could say as he had clearly caught me with my pants round my knees. “Your punishment will need to be extreme you know. You have to be made an example of. It’s out of my hands you understand?”
“Understand what? That you’re a fucking fruit loop. Or that I just dreamed this whole shady debacle?” If I was going down I was damned well going down with a tweak in my nuts. “Until you learn the act of taking orders you shall awaken each morning with a new task and I assure you they get a lot tougher from hereon in. Complete said task and you shall be afforded your ordinary life but, until that penny drops, you shall continue to learn your lesson. Tomorrow you shall awaken with the legs of a mountain goat. I shall brief you on your instructions when we meet again.” With that, the voice subsided. What a crock of shit; that had nightmare written all over it. I certainly wouldn’t be losing any sleep over his preposterous threat. Baa.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014