This is how, in the heart of a timeless nowhere-everywhere zone, the entire crew, friends and foes alike, settle in a routine that appears normal.  They begin to attend to their daily activities as if they were home.  Wait, home?  It’s just that, after having been through such eventful times, confronting obstacles and having faced and survived incredible challenges, that state of peace Chloroph contemplates, is felt by all: the King leads the old Princess and her guards inside the hull for a rest.  And before he has time to get in, the Monkeys take the lead and push him back out, signalling that from there on, they will take care of Spinostress and her companions.

Kings too need rest: suitable thrones are on demand: wouldn’t it be nice to sit on a throne where one leans forward, holding one’s forehead with one hand, elbow resting on the armchair?  King Krackskull ponders.  But there is no such throne on the Insatiable Princess, let alone a chair or a stool, and the corner where mast and bridge meet will have to do.  There, King Krackskull sits, securing himself to the mast, in the most likely event that the ship unexpectedly dives, because that’s what ships travelling through high skies do, before taking a nap.

Captain Traumatic is merely concerned with counting the few remaining rum barrels hidden under part of the ship’s bridge.  Now is the time for abstinence, now is the time for cherishing what is left and not indulge into a single drop of it for fear the adored and revered beverage becomes extinct along with its owner, this at least until the Captain gains certainty that more is on its way.

To be continued…


“ENOOOOOOUUUUUGGGGHHHH!” the Captain yells, exasperated.

“I like women,” Labaguette continues, “especially when they make jam.”

The King takes Labaguette off his head, looks at him grimacing, and sends him off flying:

“Go flap about stupid bird!” he says.

“Spinostress could reveal useful, once rested,” Chloroph insists.

“I’m going to erase you, to rid of you once and for all.  I’ve had enough of your ideas and creations and as far as my expectations are concerned, you should never have existed.”

“Do not do unto others what others have done to you,” Chloroph sneers.

Now the Captain lifts Chloroph by one ankle, as if he were a mere puppet, and dangles him above the starry emptiness below the ship, seeds, petals and a multitude of keys falling out of Chloroph’s pockets.

“What are those keys for?” Labaguette inquires.

“Put me down!” Chloroph demands.

At the wink of the King, the monkeys have formed a net that extends and stretches beneath Chloroph, underneath the ship and as the Captain lets go of his ankle, Chloroph falls.

As he screams fearing a never ending fall in the emptiness of it all, he lands safely inside the monkeys’ net.

“Peace will be had,” he mutters, almost content, settling in the net for a muse.

To be continued…


“I’m no prisoner.  Never will be.  No ties.  No strings attached.  I’m the Captain of my indomitable ship and soul.  I’m Captain Traumatic, King of the Rum Trade, King of the Thieves & Pirates Association (KTPA) and King of My Own World and for as long as I live, I shall be free, a free pirate at that, a free rum trader and I will free you from whatever God damned fucked creative juices and peculiar beliefs holding you back.”

“I’d like to retire in my quarters,” Spinostress remarks.

“Your quarters?” the King asks.

“What’s with her?” the Captain continues, “we don’t need any women on this ship.  This is her fault.  We were her prisoners not that long ago and she wouldn’t have hesitated to eradicate us.  Get rid of her and her old suitors.  Throw her off the ship or let her choose one of the doors.”

“Steady, Captain!” the King retorts, “you owe us,” as the Monkeys lead the old woman and her guards into the hull, for some rest.

“We’re creatures of different worlds and we’ve all been exposed to universal wrath in various ways.  Spinostress used to be a princess.  She could prove useful.  Let her be and let her rest for now.  We shall discuss her usefulness later.”

Labaguette sits atop the King’s head and remarks:

“Words of wisdom, King Krackskull, let me be your crown for a while.”

“That’s all we need,” the Captain remarks, “a woman on board and a tired one at that.”

“You’re a bully!” Labaguette remarks, “haven’t you heard of Hermione’s speech at the United Nations?”

“Who’s Hermione?” Chloroph asks.

“She’s from another tale,” the King remarks, “another era.”

To be continued…


“They are doors or portals.  We can’t select one of them to get out.  In truth, these are trickster doors and before you commit to even opening one of them, the rules have it that one must wait for an event and to learn from it in order to deduce, conclude and move on.”

“Rules?  What rules?”

“Hook’s rules,” the King explains.

“When the correct door is selected and we’re able to step onto the other side, our lives will be saved.”

“I’m alive!” squawks Labaguette, “I’m alive.”

“Only just,” Chloroph retorts, “and to maintain that state, we must solve your riddle, Captain.”


“We’re prisoners, you said.”

“Is this a closed universe, some prison?”

“You can get out of it but—

“—But what?”

“Told you, you’re the cue.  We’re all waiting for you.”

“The way home?”

“A direction, a map, a GPS,” Labaguette remarks as the Captain’s flying boot comes close to slamming into Labaguette’s face.

“Problem is your lack of faith,” the King remarks.

“Yes or no?” the Captain asks.

“We’re your prisoners,” Chloroph informs the Captain.

“You’re free to go as you please, jump out of my beloved ship and see where it leads you to; why would I want to keep you here when you’ve proved your uselessness and dangerous ways?  Just because I said we were prisoners doesn’t mean that—“

“—exactly.  You created a prison.”

“Weren’t we done with nightmare hooks?”

“This is the pro-life seed Hoo.  It gives birth to plants and expectations alike.  It gives life to anything anyone wishes in its first few seconds of life.  You wished for a prison.”

To be continued…



“Captain!  Captain!” he says, slapping his face to bring him around once Chloroph has been tied securely by the monkeys, “we’ll get out of here, I know.  It’s not as bad as it could be.  Look at the bright side.”

“We could be on our way,” Chloroph states, “there’s always one.”

“He couldn’t have known,” the King answers.

“Are we there yet?” the Captain asks.


“He means home,” Labaguette says.

“Are those grids parts of a beehive?”  The Captain asks, his eyes looking brighter, “giant bees to come through? Some monstrous insects of your own making, huh?”

“There are no insects to come through these,” Chloroph insists, “although you’re not entirely wrong.”

“I’m listening.”

“Untie me.”

“Can’t trust you.”

“I’ve no seeds left, I can’t produce anything anymore and I’m far from home too.”

“You attacked me.   I don’t have time for unprovoked and unnecessary battles.”

“You should think before you speak.”

“’Sticks and stones will break my bones’, my mother used to—”

“—It may have been suitable where you came from, but in these universes, you should reconsider.  Besides, you of all creatures, with your whopper of a double brain, why is it that you can’t muster a single intelligent grey cell to speak for you when it is most needed?”

“I don’t have psychic abilities.  I can’t second guess everything I do or say or think.”

“Free me.”

Captain Traumatic needs only bat one eyelid for the Monkeys to conform.

“What can we expect from those grids?”

To be continued…


One monkey zips up the hook before it disappears behind them.  Some of the white ropes holding the Insatiable Princess in a cocoon metamorphose into sails of fortune as the others retract and disappear back into the hull.  Soon, they’re cruising through pink and mauve skies that deliver them with a cool breeze and, possibly, a sense of independence, as if they might be heading somewhere, anywhere.

“Some illusion…” the Captain snarls.

“A pro-life seed”, Chloroph says.

“Deadly,” the King adds, “but worth it, we made it through.”

“Another nightmare of your own making?” the Captain continues.

“It’s to do with expectations,” Chloroph answers.

“Are we alive?” Labaguette inquires.

“Unusual skies, the old woman remarks.”

“All the same,” the Captain continues, “whatever we do, wherever we are, and regardless of what we may think or dream up, we remain prisoners of your creations.”

“Grow up!” Labaguette says.

“You just set the tone,” Chloroph remarks angrily to the Captain, “we’re in it because of you.”

“That was uncalled for!” the King adds, looking at the Captain, as if he’d committed some wicked and appalling act that would bring them all misery and ruin.

Then, without any warnings, Chloroph attacks the Captain, who receives a well-placed punch onto the cheek, loses his balance and falls unconscious onto the boards.  Now the King is onto Chloroph before he finishes the Captain entirely.

“Spinostress!  Get what remains of your guards to hold Chloroph,” he commands, realising when he looks at her that the old woman looking haggardly at him is barely able to stand and that her guards are a few bold men with grey beards.

To be continued…


Freedom.  The King lets go of Labaguette who flies off boasting:

“I’m an actor!  I’M AN ACTOR!  I’M—“

Chloroph cuts Labaguette’s cocky words short by throwing a seed at the parrot who catches it in flight and brings it to the King before he splits it into two, causing a gigantic hook to inflate.  It takes less than a second for the monkeys to toss more ropes and tie them to the Insatiable Princess, reaching deep inside the hull where their precious cargo is held.  A cocoon of white ropes forms around the ship.  A Monkey reaches for one of the guards’ swords, knowing he must seize this instant and that this is now or never.  His timing is impeccable, how else could it be?  This is the son of the Syck Monkey: at last, his inheritance is at play for all to witness and heed and as Spinostress loses her mask once more and mutates back into what remains of the old queen she once was, he cuts the hazardous and lethal ties that hold him and his brothers bound to her neck, will and wants before freeing the Captain, the King and Chloroph.

“Hold it!” the Captain exclaims, unable to follow fast and faster; but this isn’t the right time to stop, the Monkeys know this: they jump through the Hook, pulling the Insatiable Princess through it, along with all still aboard.

Before they know it and before the Captain or the King or even Spinostress can merely utter another word, they’re on the other side.

To be continued…