It could be the tempting, elusive and flickering light leading to the hidden abyss, the Captain imagines, who is the Colonel?  He sure looks like judgement day may be around the corner the King believes, all this just for rum.  Typical, Labaguette muses, so much pride for having accomplished a day of duty with a rum injection as a reward, stupid law enforcers.

“Captain,” the King mutters, “have you ever tried to—“

“—Isn’t it obvious?” the Captain retorts, “the Colonel has no tastebuds, it’s—

“—WIND!” the Policeman commands, “PICK UP!”

“It’s all about quick fixes for him, he—“

“—you reckon his ruling is too narrow, thwarted and biased?”

“It’s about being human.”

“He’s a Policeman, he looks—“

“—not from my planet he isn’t.”


“CAPTAIN!” the Policeman yells, “GET BACK TO YOUR POST!”

“See what I mean?”

“Well then, do as you’re accustomed to and rebel.”

“Now isn’t the right time, take Labaguette and the Monkeys and tie yourselves anywhere safe that fits.”

“Inside should be safe.”

“Remain on the bridge.”


“This isn’t going to be a smooth trip.”

As the Captain says ‘smooth’, the winds pick up and they run to brace themselves.  He secures himself and commands the Insatiable Princess to take the right direction and point to the right angle, without a second thought.

Ahead of them, giant tornadoes of white, silvery particles appear, threatening to engulf them.  The Policeman’s stand opens up.  His body flattens and neatly folds up inside it.


“—we must follow that path and turn left just as soon as the giant lemon’s orange spray circling it is seen.”

“That lemon, bird, is a green planet surrounded by orange mist and it is home.  We shall stop by it, leave the old woman there and when we come back from the River, she shall be free to go as she chooses, if she does.”

The Policeman, opens the cage under his podium.  The old woman, bearing the seal of what she endured earlier, with half her face and body divided into two beings: harmless granny and fearsome monster, steps out and boards the Insatiable Princess once more.

“With us, you shall recover,” the King promises her.

“Why,” Labaguette retorts, “if she—“

“—First things first, I need a dose” the Policeman interrupts, pulling out a syringe from his pocket, injecting it into the side of one of the barrels trailing behind him, drawing some rum and injecting it straight into his thumb.

“Surely,…” Captain Traumatic says, his eyes as round as cups, “surely…”

“This isn’t the time and place to wonder and ponder about this, Captain,” the Policeman insists, “We have much to accomplish.  Turn your ship slightly to the right and—“

“—onto a 45 upward slant,” Labaguette repeats.

Then, the Policeman knocks his baton against the edge of the ship as it transmutes into a solid hook binding podium and ship as if the two had been built together and were inseparable.  The Policeman stands proudly towards his target, his glistening uniform having gained in fluorescence and his eyes reflecting a light inside them never seen before, certainly not by this crew.

To be continued…


“I’ve given up my last three barrels to you,” the Captain adds, “why the interest in a river made of rum?  You’re a ruler of some kind, a decision maker and a decisive individual.  Surely, bringing the old woman to her prosecutors is the way forward, is it not?”

“Above all, I’m a policeman,” Colonel Rhytmic continues, “I stop all who interfere with the good order of these heavens.  I act in prevention as well as after the fact.  Why, Captain, finding the source of trouble around here doesn’t stop at contraband, counterfeiting and rum trafficking, which would be limited and limiting.  I look for real trouble, I stop it in its track and peace will be had by any means.  Your parrot is too weak to dare indulging in a single lie and if he did, I would destroy him faster than it took me to unclip the guards’ cages to oblivion.  Now, get your bird to lead us to the River, Captain.”

“Labaguette?”  The Captain inquires.

“Oui, mon Capitaine, most certainly.”  The parrot closes his eyes, grimaces somewhat and gathers concentration.


“Gimme some time, will you?”

“Colonel, while Labaguette concentrates, do let the old woman join us on the ship for the trip.”

“When Labaguette spits it out, Captain.”

The Captains smiles, at last, he thinks, a victory.

“It’s over there,” Labaguette says, all wondering where that ‘there’ may be until the bird points his beak slightly to the right and to a 45 degree  upward slant.

“You’re adamant?”

“Aye Capitaine, it’s this way.”

“Can’t be” the Policeman retorts.

“Sure is.”

“We’d be travelling to—.”

To be continued…


“My Captain has led the Insatiable Princess where it is now.  He keeps us alive and safe.  He knows where we must go and how to get there.”

“Can’t find your way home though, can you?”

“If rum was involved, we’d have found our way home way back then.  We wouldn’t even have left had our planet not been so short of supplies.”

“Is that so?” the Colonel asks.

“You’ve heard it from Labaguette’s mouth, his very own candid words” the Captain answers, “how could the truth be any different?”

The King whispers in the Captain’s ear:

“Thought he was gifted with a powerful sense of smell?”

“I’ve seen it before,” the Captain replies, “probably has to do with Labaguette’s belief that his words are true in his own mind as he speaks them.”

“The very purpose of our voyage is you, Colonel Loga,” Labaguette continues, “you’re the source of all riches and the key to the kingdom of endless happiness as well as that of law, order and all things square, and through you, we shall find the River.”

“Oh but you see, Labaguette, although I know the River exists, it is not known where its source is nor where it flows.  There must be a dam, a lake, an ocean it pours into.”

“Why can’t your superior sense of smell detect it?”

“The smell of a lie is surrounding the bottom truth of its very existence.  The River is a treasure for all to want and keep and for that reason it is kept secret.  Someone or something is hiding it from plain view.”

To be continued…


“I’ll have you pay for this,” the other guard says, “I’ll find a way.”

“So you will,” the Policeman asserts, unclipping the remaining guard’s cage.  “You sure are on your way now.”

“Rascal!” Spinostress screams, “When the time comes, I’ll have you partly burned at the stake, revived, healed and fried once more until your body and soul are all dried up, shrunk and unrecognisable, when the time comes, I’ll—”

“—When the time come, huh?” the Policeman snarls, threatening to release her cage.

“Come, come close if you dare.”

“Doesn’t she deserve a fair trial at the Prosecutor’s Court?” the Captain screams, anticipating the Policeman’s next move.

Now, if they were all able to notice such nuance, they could see that the Colonel’s face has darkened somewhat.

“Ah, fairness,” he says walking back up the stand.

“What do you want in exchange for her?” the Captain yells.

“You’ve nothing of interest.  Besides, you grow dishonest.”

“THE RIVER!” Labaguette yells.

“Yes, yes, I heard you damned bird, I’m coming to it, coming to it.”

“I saw it, felt it,” Labaguette says.

“Its source?” Colonel Loga musters.

“You had it in mind,” Labaguette adds.

“Read my mind, did you?  Make yourself clear.”

“The misery of my flightless, earthbound wings coupled with my inoperable legs have added to my understanding.  I’ve acquired remote viewing capabilities and, when inside your hat, I—”

“—Let’s assume you’ve truly seen the River of Rum depicted in my mind.  What makes you think you can locate it?”

To be continued…


“—I KNOOOOW!  I KNOOOOOW!” Labaguette squeals from underneath the Policeman’s hat.

“What is it profaned bird?” the Policeman asks, annoyed, removing his hat, picking up Labaguette by his wings between his finger and thumb and raising the bird to look at him in the eye, “what is it you know?”

“I’ve seen it, I’m sure, I’m positive.  I know.  There’s a river.”

Startled by this revelation, the Policeman loses his balance and falls underneath his stand only to find himself standing upside down, his shoes sticking to the podium, still holding Labaguette.

“Let go of me!” the bird implores.

“No longer afraid of endless falls?  How can this be, you, senseless bird?”

“The River, I—“

“—The River?  You—  Stop your swinging guards, it’s uncomfortable,” the Policeman orders.

“Let us out,” one guard interrupts.

“Say again?” the Policeman says.

“Let us free!”

“Why, of course,” he says, opening this guard’s cage wide open.  “Step out will you?  C’mon!  What are you waiting for?”

“I don’t want to fall,” Labaguette insists, fearing for his own fate.

“This isn’t about you!”

“The River,” Labaguette whines, “The Golden River.”

“Bugger!” the Policeman exclaims, “look at what you make me do!”

With one flick of the wrist, the Policeman throws Labaguette back up towards the ship, rightfully expecting a monkey to catch the bird.  Then, he unclips the guard’s cage underneath the podium and sends it to its perpetual fall.  The cage disappears below them, with this guard’s long scream echoing through the skies, in unison with the crew’s stunned and deafening silence.

The remaining two cages stop swinging.

“Why?” Spinostress whispers.

“Resistance, insubordination and ultimately rebellion.  Do you understand?”

To be continued…


“She’s useful to us,” the Captain maintains, “she’s not your property.  You’ve violated my ship’s rules.”

“She and the golden liquid constitute illegal cargo.  Their category falls under the law of these skies.  Where is the rum?”

“We’re are on our way home,” the King tries, “could you—”

“—Ah, home.  Lost are we?  Your PAPERS!” the Policeman growls, as the cages under his podium rattle and swing violently.

“Papers….” the Captain mumbles, “fuck, rum and papers?”

The King hands a piece of flat white rope to Colonel Loga.  A monkey carries a rum barrel and puts it down with its tail by the Policeman’s side.

“I knew it, that’ll do,” the Policeman remarks, unfolding the empty note, tilting his head, grinning and looking sideways at the barrel, “you haven’t been recorded.  My records show no records of your presence, recorded or unrecorded.”

“We stand before you therefore we are,” the Captain says, “but you do have a a blatant opportunity to ignore us, Colonel.  Why bother with the paper work?  Here, have this barrel.  I’m sorry, it’s almost empty but there should be enough to carry you through the day.”

“I smell more.  I shall confiscate the remaining two barrels and just so you know: I can smell rum like I can smell any lie, from anywhere.  Are you travelling incognito or is your ship truly lost?”

“What would a ranked Policeman like you do with three half empty barrels of rum?” the King asks.

“Have them all, show us the way home and leave us alone, deal?” the Captain insists.

“Even policemen of the highest rank can’t be trusted, Captain,” the King suggests, “are you poorly?  Are you demented?”

To be continued…