Suggested Audio Candy
 Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force “Planet Rock”
 Ollie & Jerry “Showdown”
Waking up with the legs of a mountain goat is something of a shock to the system by anyone’s standards. My Grandmother always used to comment on my shapely legs and I have to concur that they’re a fairly fancy pair. Hanging just south of my buttocks, they resemble a pair of upside down Brunswick bowling pins, the seven-ten split if you like and I wear them with pride. I’ve never been particularly hairy and they barely contain enough fur to fashion a mustache from their off-cuts. However this day they appeared to have succumbed to an overnight growth spurt and were covered in a sheet of shag which I was not particularly enamored with.
What are you gonna do? I decided to take my treatment on the chin and marched them straight downstairs as though it were any other lunchtime. Something felt different, aside from the fact that I had transmogrified into a mythical creature of sorts, and it was a feeling of trepidation. I recalled my nightcap with that dastardly voice in my head the dusk before and he distinctly mentioned another day of lunacy. I really didn’t fancy any more surprises after my under-valued turn at the boot in the sky and would rather have settled in for another day of the norm but knew this wasn’t on the cards.
Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I found one distinct plus to the whole sorry debacle and that was the donation of my very own udder-set. Such glorious bagpipes they were and my hot beverage tasted creamier than ever thanks to their wholesome lactose. Sadly they had replaced my regular fuzz-orbs so any coitus was looking unlikely. I sucked it up as it was only likely to be a temporary arrangement anyhoots and, besides, they really bulked out my jockey hammock. As for the cloven hooves, well I was starting to get used to them too, they made a delightful sound so I cantered up and down my garden path a few times to break them in.
A little downtime seemed fitting before my expedition but the ominous threat was constantly looming. That voice had been so stern and was clearly disgusted at my feeble efforts to swipe that cursed teapot. I knew I dare not disappoint him a second time as he had come good on the goat’s legs. Waking tomorrow with a halibut’s head or the arms of a chinchilla was not a notion I was prepared to entertain. I had to man the hell up and take my medicine as the sickness would invariably persist until I did. So I made my way to yesterday’s briefing room and remained there while awaiting further instruction.
“Keeper. You’re skating on some pretty precarious ice I have to say. You disappointed me, I expected more to be perfectly frank. Now that you are aware of me meaning business, I shall expect a vast improvement today. Fail me again and your next challenge will be severe. Satisfy my whim however, and you will be afforded your miserable life back just how you left it. By the way, before we go any further, go and express me some milk will you, I have a real weakness for goat’s cheese.”
It was time to tweak the teats and, all things considered, I rather enjoyed myself doing so. As he asked for a thicker consistency I decided to search out the most erogenous teat and commenced milking it hell for leather. Fuck semi-skimmed, I was damned well gonna give him something to froth on his lip. Maybe then he would think thrice before getting me to do his dirty work. I’m no man’s skivvy, Keeper works for himself goddammit, this vile corporation was not going to get the best of me, the man could suck my donkey dipper.
I returned to my briefing and sat down with hooves firmly clenched, ready to boldly go wherever was required. “I see you’re sitting comfortably. So here’s how it is going to play out my good man. You shall go down to Number 73, break into their front garden and access the rabbit hutch. Not the one on the left, the smaller one with the lucky rabbit foot hanging against its mesh. Choose wisely as the repercussions are severe to taking deviation. This acts as a portal which will take you to your next location. It is here that your primary objective shall play out. May I ask…how are your dance moves?”
I cast my mind back to my last hip-wiggle under the disco ball in McCluskey’s tavern. I suffer from an affliction which has hung over my ass since I was an adolescent. My right knee enjoys breaking formation and pops out of its fixing on occasion, to devastating effect. The last dance for me was a catastrophe; said kneecap performed its great escape midway through the mashed potato, sending me careering to the boards and crowning the laughing-stock of the entire village. I’d been living it down ever since.
“I have moves that defy gravity” I stood firm. “That’s the spirit Keeper. Then you will relish your main challenge. Your moves shall be put to the test in a no-holds bar Breakdance burn with Rubber Limbs McGinty, three times champion and inventor of the Centipede. Beat him fair and square, pluck his elongated nasal hair and make your way back to evac. Couldn’t be simpler, needless to say you have until 8.30 to meet these terms. This should be a stroll in the sand for someone of your prancing prowess. You old twinkle toes you. By the way, this goat’s cheese is delicious, has a real nutty zing about it.” Damned right it does!
I agreed to his terms and set of to No. 73 to locate that portal without procrastination. It was now or never, a fitting task to overcome my fear of fancy footwork. On arrival I scouted my surroundings and the coast appeared clear so I made my way to the front gate. To my astonishment they had left it off the latch so I slid through the recess cautiously and hugged the fence until which time as I found sufficient foliage to lease. just as the voice had said, there were two hutches on exhibit and I headed straight for the smaller unit as he requested. This was all going without a hitch but, in the back of my thoughts, Rubber Limbs McGinty was practicing his Centipede and nailing it every time.
I climbed inside and, no sooner had my nose touched the back wall, than I was teleported to my destination exactly as forecast. I used to get a kick out of clubbing, back in the day when my knees still had that sleek sheen. Now they resembled a pair of battered bum-bags and moved independently to the rest of my body, just to throw a spanner in my gears. This was going to take every droplet of resolve, a moment of precise dexterity, and a shit bucket of alcopops if I were to stand any chance of coming out top dog.
I made my way to the dance floor and congregated solo at the side like any hopeful move-buster. You can’t just dive in there, the sideways shuffle is all that is allowed until the fifth shot has passed the lips. McGinty was nowhere to be seen as yet so I trod water like a regular douche. I was fine with that; there seemed no reason to get ahead of myself, didn’t wish to go all-in before the flop when clearly holding a pair of two left feet. I needed to lull him into a false sense of security and then hit him where it hurt. The Centipede; potentially the most perplexing of all Breakdance shimmies.
Suddenly all audio ceased and I knew the time was nearing. A spotlight burned its insignia into the hub and my wobbly opponent slid straight into its gaze. Clad in the finest eel skin platforms, bell bottoms, butterfly collars and tank-top and brandishing a cane carved from finest willow, this dude was a magnate of cool. Holy shin splints, I was about to be soundly dismantled by this dancing queen. Fortunately I countered this fashion throw down with a statement of my own.
For Keeper it was all about the Lycra; aerodynamic and silky sheened, I wore it like fine mink and adorned it with apparel evocative of the epoch. Sweat bands, fat gold chain, NY Yankees baseball visor and aviation shades; my shit was tight. I was forced into giving leg warmers a place on the bench as they irritated my fleece but I knew the first battle had been won in the mind. There was to be blood on the dance floor and I was defiant that it wouldn’t spill from this begrudging donor. “Let battle commence” was my battle cry and everyone gathered around excitedly waiting for the sparks to commence flight.
Who could it be? Herbie Hancock, Man Parrish, Ollie & Jerry? None of the aforementioned actually. I don’t know, you get yourself psyched, bust out your gladdest rags, limber up and the DJ stumps on Radiohead’s Creep as showdown audio. It’s hardly anthemic, more the kind of music to sever your tendons to. Nevertheless it wasn’t me spinning the vinyl so I put up, shut up and bucked the fuck up. The voice had been most adamant that all terms be adequately met and I was starting to get heel blisters from the hooves. I grooved over to the famous fifth shot and necked it without so much as a shudder.
Rubber Legs let his body do the talking and broke into an unwarranted windmill. Not bad I thought, actually it was a little hypnotic but no less than I had expected from one with his jellied jive sticks. The sideways shuffle was evidently no longer going to cut any mustard so I began body-popping like a human rice krispie instead and, to my deep gratification, my snacks, crackles, pops and locks resonated with the crowd. I swear some of them even started chanting my name.
I was buoyant at this point as it appeared McGinty may be heading for the ropes so I moved into phase two of my intergalactic spectacular. The Centipede. Only ever performed successfully on three occasions and only by Rubber Legs, all other attempts had ended in heartbreak and leg casts. I laid out flat and remembered the wise words of Dee-Lite. Groove is in the Heart. You’re damn right it is, and it just so happens, I watch Rocky IV bi-daily so I know a little about plucky never-say-die spirit. I looked at McGinty and he met my searchlights. “I must break you” was his sole retort and he too assumed position. A Centipede-battle; the first in history, this was to be my royale with cheese and this Goat was ready to express himself.
To begin with my Centipede left a little to be desired and McGinty was the one doing all the milking. Then something occurred which ordinarily would be considered a bummer but not on this occasion. My troublesome right knee left its post and I arrived at a mad fit of convulsions. The agony was unbearable and every nerve ending was screaming its discord but, to my stimulation, the crowd went into hysteria. This provided all the encouragement necessitated to crank it up another notch and I gave them what they came to see. That fifth shot must’ve contained the worm as my confidence was soaring alongside nausea.
It was over. I had won the bout. My Millipede was a move too far for my gelatin opponent and had him in knots. This provided my one opportunity so I brushed myself down and strode across to claim my trophy. I would have preferred a diamante cup or crystal-strewn emblem but I had come for the nasal hair and I intended on leaving with it too. One pluck was all it took and I scarpered clutching my token. All that was left to do now was to find that portal and the adrenaline was buzzing so much that I couldn’t recall where I’d left it.
Meanwhile, my dance adversary had managed to unravel his limber limbs and was in hot pursuit, furious at the theft from his follicle. There was simply no time to be choosy so I leapt into the first portal I come across and made my getaway. Before I could say wascally wabbit I was back in the hutch although this time the fit was far removed from snug. A quick glance at the mesh wiring confirmed that I had returned to the wrong coordinates as there was no lucky rabbit foot this time round. Surely the voice wouldn’t pull me up on a technicality after what I’ve just achieved, he couldn’t be that harsh could he?
I delivered the excess from McGinty’s nostril and, considering my Millipede had already amassed a million plus YouTube clicks, I considered this a job well done. Encouragingly, the voice seemed contented with the offering and it was only 8.17 pm so I had crossed the line with time to spare. It was finally over; soon my cloven hooves would be a distant memory and normal life would resume uninterrupted. The fateful words “I’ll see you tomorrow Keeper” stole the wind from my sails and the crest I was riding smashed like a porcelain hymen.
“What do you mean… tomorrow?” I inquired, knowing the answer full well. “Come now. Don’t insult my intelligence. You came close, I’ll give you that, and your Millipede had me out of my seat. But you really should learn to follow golden rules my boy. For my next magic trick I shall rustle up a punishment fitting of your crime. but you shall have to wait for tomorrow to find out what that is.” Great, a poxy cliffhanger, I dance the night away, create a new dance floor craze, and this is the gratitude I receive. Something tells me goat legs will be the last of my problems when he comes good on his threat. Fuck it, I think I shall pour myself one last extra-creamy latte for the road.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014