All the while, one agile monkey is atop a mast attending to the sails and keeping a watch.  The Captain, Labaguette and two guards are paying attention to Birdseye’s guidance and are helping look after the Colonel’s every needs.  Lying on the floor with his lips apart, Colonel Loga is painstakingly swallowing drops of rum which is being poured bit by bit from Birdseye’s only remaining flacon.  One guard is rubbing the Colonel’s feet, another is keeping his head cool with damp, rum soaked cloths.  Chloroph is holding a scented seed under the Colonel’s nostrils.

“Not one of your tricks, Chloroph!” the Captain thunders.

“Shut up and do something!”

There is Labaguette squawking:

“My wings are too heavy,” he complains, “I should be the one being looked after, don’t you see?”

One movement of the chin from the Captain and one of Spinostress’ guards takes out a glass jar and unceremoniously catches Labaguette, now a mosquito in the making.

“Get to the bottom of it,” Birdseye says.”

“He can’t hear you,” the Captain says.

“Get to the bottom of it, Captain.”

“I?  Me?”

“We need more rum.”

“The bottom of what?”

“Follow me!” Chloroph says.

“I don’t think this is a good—“

“—Do as he says!” Birdseye adds.

Inside the ship’s hull, layers of unfolded ropes have been stretched and extended from one end of the ship to the other and are soaking in the golden liquid.

“Was a hook used?” the Captain asks.

“This is Spinostress’ work.”

“I’d recognise that smell anywhere.  What is all this?”

“The materialisation of Rum.  Spinostress collected some when the river surfaced and volcanoes erupted on RythmaRymosthesis.”

“Is she still trying to emulate the Syck Monkey’s rope?”

“She was.”

To be continued…


When the Insatiable Princess rises and fades into the orange mist, a group of abandoned and aggrieved monster-worms looks lovingly towards the skies and their new found leaving leader.  Well then, they think in unison, it is better to perish than to live without Spinostress’ command and ways.  This is why, in an instant, this particular breed turns into ochre and yellow stones of the strangest shapes, and this is how the legend of the worm-stones of a far, far away planet is born.  Only, this legend isn’t part of this story.

Aboard the wind swept Insatiable Princess, all it takes is a gentle caress by the Captain’s palm over his ship’s smooth wood for them to feel the immediate pang of their bond re-born and sealed once more.  The anger, the resentment, the hate and sadness between them disappear as if they’d never been there in the first place.  And in spite of the ship having been abandoned to her fate, alone in the ruthless universe and especially, at the mercy of a Colonel who threatened to have her destroyed and who came close to it.  It takes only one whisper from Captain Traumatic:

“Travel light Princess of the skies, I am yours forever,”  he says to his beloved ship for her to gain speed and, for now, to follow every direction Spinostress gives as if her life depended on it.

Spinostress, her hair and tentacles floating freely in the wind in a way that reminds of half boiled calamari legs, leads the creaking yet euphoric ship in the right direction, towards RythmaRymosthesis’ capital city.

To be continued…


“Put yourself in my shoes, Captain.”

“You know the Colonel.  Why hiding it for so long?”

“His being boxed in his bare attire was a revelation.”

“His face?  His voice?”

“We were young.  It took him some time to recognise me.  Captain, I did everything right by the Insatiable Princess’ book and in that process, I did everything right by you, by your damned chatter box, by—“

“—I’m a pirate.  We’d agreed to a truce you and I.  I saved you and your guards, you old fool but you’d rather forget.”

“And I’m returning you the favour.  What else could you want?  Surely I can treat myself to a pat on the back?”

“And reward your person with disproportionate feelings of entitlement over what rightly belongs to me.”

“It’s about limitations.  There was no other choice available.”

“You must give it back to me.”

“What for?”

“What are your intentions?”

“To conquer.”

“You’d given up on all this.”

“T’was a mistake.  Look at you, Captain: a lost soul roaming the universe and greeting all whom you meet with open arms.”

“Lost my way, nothing more.  I repeat once more: I’m a pirate.”

“No shiny red shoes to take you home, huh?  Thought you’d squeeze extra rum from that dying decadent creature?” she says, pointing at the Colonel.

“He won’t last long,” Birdseye insists.

“ALL ABOARD!” Spinostress commands once more, “let me handle the Colonel, the monkeys’ ropes inside the hull will keep him alive for as long as needed.”

“Where are we going?” the Captain asks.

“To the Colonel’s headquarters, in search for the King and—”

“—to conquer,” Birdseye mutters, knowingly.

To be continued…


“—THE INSATIABLE PRINCESS!” Birdseye exclaims.

All faces turn.  Looking at him.

“You’ve never met her, how—” the Captain says when an approaching shadow envelopes them and the whistling sound of hell have all eyes look up to the skies.

“ALL LIE FLAT NOW!” the Captain yells when the Insatiable Princess, plunging, passes them by with a deadly intent and smashes the Colonel’s cage to smithereens before rising again.

“She’s angry,” the Captain Traumatic remarks.

“You’ve trained her well,” Spinostress says.

“Never thinks for herself, always answers to orders, why—”


They are interrupted by Colonel Loga moaning feebly, his body leaking a white substance that comes out of a thousand cuts.  Birdseye is kneeling by him and with one finger collects a sample of the whitish blood before tasting it.

“I know what he needs,” he says.

“Me,” Spinostress adds, “he needs me.”

“I’m the Captain, I—“

Spinostress suddenly ululates stridently.

“You’ve lost your mind, Captain,” she says, “the Insatiable Princess belongs to me.”

“You’re delusional.”

But the Insatiable Princess dives towards them calmly this time and parks hovering a few centimetres above the ground.

“To the exception of this planet’s monster creatures, all ABOARD!” Spinosstress commands.

“I AM THE CAPTAIN” the Captain thunders.

“HE IS THE CAPTAIN!” Labaguette reiterates.

“I nurtured this Princess, Captain,” Spinostress says, “let it be known that I repaired her rudder, attended to her every need and gave her the tender loving care she deserved like no one before, Captain.”

“I fixed, painted and sweated over her rudder but it was too late, nothing in the universe could ever retrieve the sense of direction she has lost, it is irrecoverable.  Your assumption is ludicrous.”

“Not an assumption, Captain, you saw for yourself.”

“Luck, nothing more.”

To be continued…


“—Drew strings around you only to release you later in the name of freedom and independence, with his own spin on what constituted a womb, its usability and purpose, didn’t he?”

“Shut up, BoyBird!” she commands.

“Colonel, we’d agreed we’d be able to meet on the isolated planet I’d moved to in order to be closer to you and that I’d spin thread from webs waiting for you to easily drop by.  But the visits became scarce: you were too busy searching for the Golden liquid and the boxes ‘demanded’ you performed ‘exciting’ experiments on them.  Little did I know until eventually you needed time to ponder how to get organised to introduce me to my long dead in-laws!”

“It can’t be!  Princess Sparks?!  You’ve changed, you—”

“Still in my prime, Colonel, still in my prime.”

“You did rather well for yourself, you’re in charge.  Consider this: if it weren’t for me, you’d—”

“—Perhaps I did, perhaps I didn’t.  I self-empowered, meditated and minded every moment.  I followed the trends of the times.”

“Well done, you’re a queen now.”

“I’m everything and everyone ever attempted who got anywhere and came out on top.”

“When all you’d ever wished for was a sparkly crystal shoe and ten kids to fulfil your lifelong ambition: braiding hair all day long.”

“Instead I plotted, planned and conquered.  I got creative juices flowing through, but unlike you, my life long ambitions didn’t imply the fertilisation of podiums by means of batons.”

“I don’t annihilate, I create.”

“Huh!  You arrogant, despicable, lying cheater!”

“Mind your wording!”

“Oh sweetheart, this is about mini-dong-a-dance-me being just that, minute.”

“—S’cuse me,” the Captain interrupts, “Is there any chance we could—”

To be continued…


“You hide it well, Ma’am.  I meant no offence.  I sense now that you’re no box.  My name is Birdseye to better serve you.  Your presence has been eagerly expected,” Birdseye says while Spinostress is looking at him, eternally suspicious, checking him out from head to heel and back again.

“LOGA!” she calls then.  They all turn to stare at her, dumbfounded, while a snake-worm simultaneously pounces to gobble her in one gulp while the old woman warrior raises a tentacle, stopping the creature in mid-air, melting it, popping it and… you know the rest.

This is when a multitude of spidery, sticky nets are thrown over several groups of snake-worms and more of Chloroph’s powder disperses, neutralising the beasts, melting them and leaving them there to be devoured by their own kind until the defeated monsters finally recognise Spinostress as being their ultimate leader.  All prostrate, begging for mercy and pledging allegiance to her by inviting her to mount them and travel with them.

“There, there,” she says, patting a mother snake-worm and her young, “I’ll feed you with the flesh of your disobedient and non-deserving peers for the remainder of your lives,” she promises before sending them to spread the good news.

“Who are you?” the Colonel asks Spinostress, “is my notoriety beyond the beyond such that—“

“—Don’t flatter yourself, Colonel!”


“I remember a youthful, vigorous and valiant Policeman whose honourable intentions were to bring me no disrepute.  Wasn’t he going to sweep me off my feet and use my womb so that together, we would procreate and raise a new kind, a better kind, a super kind instead of… instead of—”

To be continued…


A colony of giant snake-worms surrounds them, ready to pounce were it not for some of its leaders deterring the less powerful creatures from this tempting, juicy food being miraculously presented to them.  Colonel Loga is crouching inside his cage, curled up in a foetal position.

“Gimme a sign Birdseye!” the Captain mutters, hoping, desperate.

“All will be well,” Birdseye says, standing impassively.

“A sign, not a statement.”

It is to no avail: Birdseye’s strength resides in his silence.  A shadow has settled and hovers above them.  Then they hear it:


Ropes from above drop down and, sliding down spinning, are Spinostress, her two guards, one Monkey all grown up and…

“The fallen has arisen” the Captain says.

“Judgement day?” Birdseye inquires.

“Chloroph!” Labaguette calls.

“No.  No, no, no, no,” the Captain says.

“Si, si,” Labaguette answers.


“—Count your blessings, Captain!” Spinostress yells, as she comes crashing down atop a leading snake-worm, melting it before it pops and then spreading its ashes into the dim lemony mist while the others beasts look on, unconvinced.

Chloroph, still hanging from a rope, sprinkles some powder which falls to the ground.  Snake worms rush to feed from it while others decide to feed on the feeding monsters.

“Is the creature that descended friend or foe?” Birdseye asks.

“A second ago you—“

“—It has two sides to it.”

“This is the side you’ll enjoy, Birdseye.  You of all birdmen creatures, surely you realise appearances can—“


To be continued…