“—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…


Then, he taps his red shoe three times against the side of the podium and Spinostress and her guards are neutralised by electronic arms and hands that have been activated from inside the stand.

This is how Spino and her guards’ rise is stopped once and for all and they are held against their will inside tiny cages hanging under the Policeman’s platform.

“You,” the Colonel says, “Spinostress, you halfway mutant, alternating between woman and perpetual monster, are arrested and refrained from acting in such manner as you’ve always done, forever and ever and ever.  I hold you and your guards as my prisoners.  You are under arrest.  You have the right to babble when questioned.  Anything you say or do may be used against you in space and beyond.  You have the right to consult me before speaking to my superiors and to have your guards present during questioning now or later.  If you decide to answer any questions now, you will not have to repeat yourself later as your answers will be recorded on my notepad.  Is that clear?

All stand flabbergasted looking at this Policeman of a kind.

“Look, at what you’ve done,” the Captain says, “the old woman was in a state of redemption before you came along.”

Indeed, Spinostress’ tentacles are now solid, as if frozen and in a state of disarray, half her face still looking like that of an old woman wanting nothing more than tea and scones.

“She’s a permanent crime perpetrator, she must attend a Prosecutor’s court to be judged as a Persecutor.”

To be continued…


“I know not of speed limit and this ship carries no gold, God dammit!  I’ve had enough of buffoons interfering with my travelling, musing and my going back home.  Pass your way or I’ll slice your lungs so small you won’t ever have a shot at breathing again.”

“I’m immortal.”

“I’ve heard it all before.”

“You’re walking on my turf.  I can smell golden beverage from anywhere.  Tell me about it.”

But, in a quick succession of stages, the old woman gathers anger and strength as her hair stands on end and she once again expresses what she knows best: the desire to conquer and win.  Her tentacles rise and signal their discontent with some spark.  Her face turns green, her fingernails darken and extend as her body takes on a more muscular and sinister shape.  Her guards too begin to transform until the three of them, once more embittered and irate, threaten their surroundings with their nauseating breath, scornful words and vile, threatening gestures:

“Wanna piece of me, Colonel?” she says, one of her tentacles reaching for the Policeman’s neck, “try this!”

But a monkey’s rope snaps the air, catching her tentacle mid-way and the Colonel, being exactly who he is, a ranked policeman, well fed, well-liked by his superiors and a talented and skilful master of zen arts with a taste for gadgets and polka dots socks, robs her of her powers in an instant with his precious baton, as is customary with all those who trespass his territory, or turf as he likes to put it.

To be continued…


“I see.  Does ‘Traumatic’ points to what I believe it may point to?”


“Colonel Rythmic, this man’s name points to his uncertainties,” the old woman says.

“Are you the next of kin?”

“She looks like an old tart but maintains she once was a princess,” Labaguette blabbers, “what’s left of it, unrecognisable I reckon.”

Upon those words, the Captain releases Labaguette who is instantly retrieved by the Policeman’s stick.

“Ain’t no bird droppin’ happenin’ here I said,” the Policeman comments, shoving the parrot inside his hat, “this is a conservation strip.  That’s two.”

“Two?” the King asks.

“Answer me Captain, is ‘Traumatic’ South African?”

“I’m not D.J. Hot Dick, does that answer your question?”

“Ah the sweet and sour sound of progress.  Your island—

“—ask him his first name,” the old woman says.

“You again?”

“Doesn’t know who he is.  Can’t remember it.  Isn’t it peculiar?  Isn’t it sad?  Can’t you see?”

“Fuck!” the Captain comments, rolling his eyes to the sky, “you ungrateful—“

“—old women and guards are categorised as cargo items” the Policeman continues, “mostly, they are part of the Dangerous Goods Listing.  Shall I dispose of them, Captain?  Then, we may carry on with our interrogation.”

“Inside this conservation strip?” the King inquires.

“She and company shall be trialled at the next UPPO meeting.”

“How?” the Captain asks.

“Are you one to be deceived by appearances, Captain?  First things first: your island shows no matriculation.  I repeat for the last time: your papers, please.”

“This is a ship.  You are standing before the Insatiable Princess.  She may look like an island—“

“—and three: you were going too fast, do you realise how much this will cost you?”

To be continued…


The Captain looks around scratching his head, still holding Labaguette in the air while the old woman, her guards and the King scatter to find the source of this new voice.  The Monkeys keep still and wait, as if frozen in time and space.

“Monkeys!” the Captain says, what’s the—“

There!  Right there, on a floating podium no larger than two square meters, a two legged being stands upside down.

“What have we here?” this being says, his piercing eyes scrutinising the Captain and the monkeys, delving deep into their souls, as if he knew who they might be already.

They, in turn, examine and inspect this new comer with his peculiarly luminous, plastic pants adorned with bright yellow fluorescent lines which also circle across the end of his jacket, trousers, belt and hat.  He is holding a stick up in the air with his right hand, signalling that they must stop.  A stern vertical bar crosses his forehead and the hostile, bushy eyebrows cover the eyelids entirely.

“Most urgent is to address and redress the order of the matters at hand,” he says as he presses his stick against the ship.  The Insatiable Princess stops and begins to sluggishly roll upon herself, turning so as to match the being’s position.

“I am the Captain of this ship, you have no right to—”

“—Not so fast,” the being continues, “I’m a policeman.  I am Colonel Loga Rhythmic, in charge of universal operations from beyond and above, the UPPO, the ‘Universal Persecutors & Prosecutors Operations.”

“I am Captain Traumatic and this is my crew,” the Captain retorts, pointing to the King, the old woman and her guards struggling to make their way back through the small but dense jungle that has conquered the turning ship.

To be continued…


“This parrot doesn’t mean a word, can’t you see?  A first class liar, a great actor, the best there is, I should know.  Let me show you.  King Krackskull, hand me the wingless prat.  You must see for yourself.”

“What are you going to do to him?”

“To think this bird once had to call you ‘Your Majesty’ at every sentence and now… He and I have been together longer than we can remember.  If I’d wanted rid of him, I would have done it long ago.  Now, gimme my bird, will you?”

“NOOOOO!” Labaguette screams.

“’I beg you, your Majesty’ would not have done it this time around, Labaguette!” the King says, handing the parrot to his rightful master.

“You can’t do it, Captain,” the bird says, “you hold me so close to your heart you’re afraid of what you would do if I disappeared, you’d—“

“—Enough!” the Captain exclaims, holding Labaguette from some height, threatening to drop him.

“By the holly halo of the married virgin, captain, DON’T!”

“Confused and screaming are we?” the Captain snarls, ready to release the parrot to its uncertain fate.

“STOOOOOOOOOOOOP!” a voice yells from nowhere, “I URGE YOU TO STOP!”

“Who the—“

“—BIRD DROPPIN’ AIN’T ALLOWED HERE!” the voice roars, “besides, you’re travelling above the speed limit, you carry dangerous goods and you travel with your head where your feet should be.  Which shall I put on your ticket or is it all of the above?”

All scrutinise their surroundings.

“Who speaks?” the King asks.

“My guards rarely speak,” the old woman answers as the Captain stares severely at her, “not reverting to my old tricks either,” she insists.


To be continued…