“Have you noticed, your Majesté, how this Captain is contorting on the floor, at your very feet, in pain and ignored by your good will?” Labaguette says, having pre-empted the King’s next action.

And it is true that the Captain, after being spat out by the fur coat, stands on wobbly legs for a little a while only to fall back on to the ground, sweating profusely, his face a pale yellow, as if he’s just been drinking a little too much, but hasn’t, really.

“FUR COAT! —“ the King yells.

“—He’s traumatised,” Labaguette insists, “Captain Traumatic-tic is traumatised.”

Now the King is silent.  Now the Captain vomits.

“You see?” Labaguette continues.

“Ha!” the King admits, smiling at last, “when Fur coat swallows, it coats its victim in a sweet substance that renders its victim happy to die.  I’m not a bad King.  I don’t chop heads off the way it is done where you come from, Labaguette.”

“Not having a guillotine,” Labaguette, unable to contain himself, “makes you a soft King.”

“Consider this, you bird, people who die at the fangs of Fur coat die happy and go on living, in a way, by joining the multitude of particles Fur coat is made off.  They keep on living in that way and then it is their turn to swallow any other living creature on it upon my order.  It is much better than losing one’s head and going to hell or nowhere.”

“Labaguette,” the Captain musters, in pain, “stop arguing, for fuck’s sake!”

To be continued…


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