THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 51

Here is the Insatiable Princess, that indomitable spirit, caught in the tangle of a web and once you’re caught like that, you can’t stop thinking of the giants spiders who’ll eat you alive, stomach contents first, eye balls last.  But first things first: at least, the falling has stopped.

The Insatiable Princess and its crew are caught.  As they bounce, the web sticks to them and brings them back, and then again, it stretches back and forth numerous times until the elasticity of the web’s design has all but receded into its threads.

Now the crew is free to walk again and look around.

“Fuck!  Look ahead!” Labaguette yells, “zere is ze goddamn monkey!”

The King, the Captain watch as the Syck Monkey too looks glued to the giant web.  He isn’t just glued, he is tied to it and he is not alone: there is a multitude of objects and creatures a go-go glued to the web as other, barely discernible creatures scurry around, busily carrying away anything caught or eating them, dead or alive, object or creature.

“Where’s Jimmy?” the King asks in a panic.  Then he takes out the stolen stick and, without further ado, begins to melt the strings that tie the Syck Monkey to the web’s sticky thread.

“Why free him?” Labaguette asks.

The King ignores him and continues his task.  Each time one string is destroyed, the Monkey takes one step forward towards the ship.

To be continued…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 50

And upon these words, the Insatiable Princess dives deeper, faster than ever before, down, down, down into the darkness, into the Syck Monkey’s asynchronous path to nowhere.

It seems that their fall will never end.  It might be days, weeks, months or perhaps years, it is hard to say.  They keep falling, not feeling hunger, thirst or passion, just wishing that the falling would stop and fearing their end might be slow and painful.

The King doesn’t fear death but most of all, he fears he’ll never see his kingdom again.

Labaguette fears he will soon be smothered by the stench of his Master’s putrefying body, unable to get out of his coat’s pocket for the sheer speed of the fall.

As to Captain Traumatic, he fears dying without ever understanding how he might have put his second brain to some good use.

When you fall, life and death catch up with you.  Air breezes past your face fast.  Your eyelids are so wind swept that you can’t close them and you catch dust, crying until there are no more tears.  You can watch your own thoughts pass you by, one by one, for what is the use of them when you’re stuck?  One might crash into a bus, one might crash into the oncoming destiny of a monkey.  The beginning of nothingness seems near and there’s nothing King Crackskull, Labaguette and Captain Traumatic might be able to do.

But life in the Universe has its own twists, and into its delicate intricacies the Insatiable Princess and its crew happen to fall, at last reaching a destination on their way to nowhere.  It is a giant web, so large it’s never been seen or its size estimated before.  Its threads spread, tightly and not so tightly, tied to planets far, far apart and that seem invisible, unless they’re not planets.  Who knows?

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 49

But already the ship is leaning at such an angle that the Syck Monkey, still unconscious, begins to roll over, roll, roll, roll and to fall, fall, fall, down, down, down into the Universe as they all watch stupefied how a monkey fades away into a little grey spot fast disappearing into the darkness of his own fate.

“Who’s gonna catch us now?” the King asks.

They stand baffled and unable to understand what the Universe holds for them and what its rules are.  Who will catch them now, should they fall?

“You lot is fucking dangerous!  You’re a threat to security!” Jimmy shouts as he clambers back onto his bus still in upright position, just above the severely compromised ship.

“That’s right, Mate, abandon ship!” Labaguette yells.

Jimmy drives away, a stranger, as the Insatiable Princess finishes her roll sideways under the weight of some destiny the monkey has left lying on the ship.  She loses control and ends up upside down her bow increasingly tipping downwards.  The Captain, the King have securely tied themselves to masts, ready for the brewing storm, as Labaguette hides in his Master’s warm pocket.

The Insatiable Princess begins to free fall and spin while Jimmy’s bus disappears into the night towards the bus depot inside Jimmy’s Town.  The Insatiable Princess gains in speed.

“STOP THIS!” the Captain orders her, commands her, begs her, “we can’t carry on like this, us, at the mercy of your every whim.  You’ve got a rudder now.  Make use of it instead of being the winging, whining, sulking and skulking spoiled Princess you’ve become.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 48

“Will you introduce me to your family?” the King attempts as Labaguette whispers in his Master’s ear: “Jimmy doesn’t like to meet people, he’s a loner, he loves the secluded life.”

“I can’t have you in,” Jimmy says, “you know that.”

“I’m insulted,” the King answers, a ferocious dark light shimmering in his eyes.

“I’ll leave my sword in your bus if you’ll take me to your family,” the Captain continues.

“I won’t talk,” Labaguette adds.

“And I’ll treat your family as if they were royalty,” the King finishes.

“I FUCKING CAN’T, CAN YOU UNDERSTAND?”

The air becomes thick with heavy breathing, dark looks.  Weapons are grabbed, the end of one world is near.  The King, Captain Traumatic and Labaguette surround Jimmy, threatening.

As fate has it, a mighty thump is heard as something heavy has just crashed onto the Insatiable Princess’ deck and already, the ship is leaning on its side.

“My Princess!  My beloved Princess!” the Captain exclaims, rushing out to care for his ship.

Now there’s a crowd leaning over something lying over this ship’s deck that is covered by a cape.  But an object it is not.  Suspicious, Captain Traumatic pokes at it with his sword.

“It’s breathing, it’s alive, it’s unconscious,” the King says, as Labaguette takes a corner of the cape into his beak and lifts it.  Already, they’re holding on tightly to anything they can or else they might soon fall into the vast Universe as the Insatiable Princess is tipping dangerously over its side.

“THE… THE SYCK MONKEY!” the King yells.

“The Acrobat!” Jimmy exclaims.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 47

“The shadows are our homes.  They hide starlight and any other light so as not to be seen by any potential enemy.”

“But shadows can be seen,” the Captain adds.

“Shadows frighten any stranger approaching.  Shadows are the stuff nightmares are made of.  And for the initiated, it may also be dark matter, best left untouched.”

“Dark matter?” the Captain asks.

“Don’t ask too many questions.  We’re all bus drivers here.  That’s our mission.“

“Your answers are full of holes,” the King says.

“And the women in the houses, they stay inside all day?” the Captain continues.

“They’re bus drivers’ wives.  Don’t you get it?”

“That’s awful,” Labaguette comments, “at least I have wings, I’m free.”

“That’s our lives,” Jimmy says looking at them as if they must be stupid, “bus driving is a mission, it’s honourable, it’s one way to face life, it’s better than nothing and better than being a King.  The kids ask me when they’ll get there, the workers read their newspapers and our wives keep themselves and the houses clean and invisible.”

Now the King scratches his head.  “Clean and invisible?  Driving buses…. Better than being I?” he asks.

“And when you drop dead having followed the guidelines, you go to heaven, right?” Captain Traumatic continues.

“Yeah, no fucking falling off the horizon line for you, Mate!” Labaguette tells Jimmy.

“We’re here,” Jimmy says, as he parks his bus at the bus depot.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 46

“Where do your passengers travel to and from?”

“To school, work and back.”

“So where’s school, work and home?” the Captain insists.

“Well, there’s the School planet, there’s the Work planet and—”

“—and home is the Home planet,” concludes Labaguette.

“Home is Jimmy’s Town.”

“Isn’t Jimmy’s Town a giant bus depot?” the King inquires.

“It is.  You’ll see for yourselves, we’ll soon be there.”

“I didn’t see any School planet or a Work one on the way,” the King comments.

“They’re hidden.  It’s for security reasons, for privacy.  Everyone is very protective of their lives.  You don’t want your school, work or home address to fall into the wrong hands.”

“I know I’m hell bent on getting hold of rum delivering ships, but do I look dangerous to you?” the Captain, asks, interested.

Now Labaguette can’t help a sneer but the Captain’s sword threatens to cut him up.

“As I said: security.  Like you, lot.  You’re a threat.  You came out of nowhere and crossed my path,” Jimmy says.

“Even I, a King?”

“Especially you; you are a political being.”

“For the same reasons as the the Syck Monkey left you on top of this bus,” the Captain retorts.

“But I’m no threat” Labaguette says, “I’m a bird.”

“The whole lot of you, I said,” Jimmy adds, lighting up a cigarette as they slowly enter Jimmy’s town – a gigantic criss-cross of pathways and roads made of yellow buses, warehouses.  There are no houses to be seen.

“I see no homes,” the King remarks, “only shadows.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 45

“What’s this?” Labaguette asks.

And as Labaguette moves, yellow spray paint reaches the King’s coat.  It could be, they all think, that the King is going to get the bus back to its damaged state, kill or explode in some dangerous rage.  But…

“I miss Fur Coat, I miss my planet,” the King says, a desolate man in a king blue coat.

“I’d like to meet the Acrobat” The Captain adds.

“…all in a day’s fun…,” Labaguette continues as a spray can nearly misses his beak and smashes against a seat, sending a plume of yellow particles all around.

“Are we there yet?” the Captain continues.

“All you lot think about is the destination, never the journey,” Jimmy answers.

“Well, when I deliver rum to my destinations,” the Captain adds, “the quieter the journey, the safer.  All that matters is the destination.”

“The bus is fixed and you’re a distraction.  You’re not mentioned in the guidelines.  It makes for an interesting journey,” Jimmy retorts.

“Aren’t we a threat anymore?” the Captain asks, disappointed.

“I transport passengers in my bus according to the guidelines of the Bus Transport Authorities under the Jimmy Federation.  Mostly, my passengers are school children.  Outside school hours, they’re workers returning home for the week-end.”

“Err.  Where are your passengers today, Jimmy?” the Captain asks.

“There’s none as I’d finished my day and was on my way home.”

To be continued…