THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 60

“Is the recipe in one book or in all of them?  Your word is vague,” the King retorts.

“I can’t read,” the Captain says.

“You’ll find a way,” Spinostress replies as she lets go of the Captain’s ankles.

“I repeat for the last time: do you know how the Monkey broke his rope?”

“Does it matter?” the Captain asks.

“How many books?” the King insists.

“Go spin!” Spinostress commands.

Now, the King and the Captain are being spun at high speed by the weaving queen’s spinners.  Now, they’re reels of thread unravelling down, down, down at tremendous speed until they reach the planet of Books.  It has taken at least a week in earth counted days to get down to their destination and when they reach it, they are sound asleep.  The constant whispering of unrelated words and sentences hovering and lingering in the air wake them up.  They’re on the planet of Books, where only written words matter.  The spiders, with one sharp movement of one of their front paws, cut the ties that hold the King and the Captain and disappear back up into the darkness.  Captain Traumatic and King Krackskull are greeted by a giant, hooded creature wearing a long cape carrying a lantern.

“Welcome,” the creature musters almost inaudibly as he leads them along a corridor with unending shelves of books.  “I’m Spinostress’ humble servant.  I will help you.”

“I can’t read,” the Captain says.

“This planet looks rather large,” the King states.

“The Planet extends continuously as books are written.  Each time a writer, anywhere in the Universe writes a book, we get a true copy of the original, signed by the Lord of Books himself.  All books contain recipes for something, one way or another.  You must follow your instinct to seek what you must find.

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 59

“All right,” says the Captain, “time may be of the essence.  Why should I care?”

“You’re going to find the recipe for new types of thread, including ropes, to end my spell on this Kingdom; one where I’ll regain the lost years I’ve spent weaving, weaving and weaving without knowing why or what for any more.”

“What’s in it for us?” the Captain dares.

“Find the recipes or die,” she says.

“And if we succeed, you’ll give us back our freedom?”

“With the recipes, you’ll recover my original name and bring it back to me.  Then, I’ll consider rewarding you.”

“You forgot your name, you’ll forget to reward us” the King says.

“Do you know who you are?” the Captain continues as Spinostress, a hateful and vengeful witch at best, once again snaps her finger and threads attach themselves to the Captain’s ankles, lifting him up in the air and pulling him up upside down.

“You must find out my real name for me.  You’ll find it down below there, on the planet of Books.  You’ll attend to that planet and tidy it up.  You will find the recipe for the thread together with my real name and bring them back to me.”

“I’m getting a headache” the Captain says.

“A clue would go a long way to—“

“—you’ll find the threads’ recipes in one book entitled ‘the thread of all-things-that-matter’.  By reading all the books you’ll be able to find the one & only recipe that will save us all.”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 58

“Is that so?” the old woman continues, “it seems that your destiny and mine are linked by some similar evil malediction that must be broken.  By holding on to the Syck Monkey we’re able to call upon our own free will to act and help ourselves.  His being bound and gagged allows us not to fear the unexpected.  That way, nothing that we don’t want can or will happen to us.  Besides, he broke his rope.  Do you know how he did this?”

“He brings hope, he holds synchronicity in his heart, he must be freed,” the Captain says.

“Miracles are bad for any living creature; it takes away from free will.  One must be free to change the course of one’s destiny.”

“Hope goes a long way to—“

“Silence!  You, illiterate drunk thief!  You know nothing of philosophy.”

“I resent that.”

“ANSWER ME NOW: HOW DID THE MONKEY BROKE HIS ROPE?” the old woman yells.

“Where are we?” the King asks.

“Huh?  Oh. Yes.  You’re on Webdom.  I’m queen of spin and tension, Spinostress for short.  I wasn’t always called that way.  Memories are exceptionally short here.  The trouble with this world is that it can’t remember its own history unless a link is weaved and this is where we come into play.  You see, if there is a now, there must be a yesterday, but yesterday is closely related to today, today is almost tomorrow and with yesterday being made of tomorrow gone past, you understand the confusion that arises now, don’t you?  There are too many ropes, too many threads weaved.  Still, we keep the weaving incessant, because we have no choice, because we must connect with what was, what is and what will be, and that, in any order.”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 57

“I can help you find your way again,” the old woman continues, “but first, you must do as I say: you must accomplish a mission and re-establish balance in the Universe to help me rebuild what was lost.  I need to get control over the thread making business again.”

“Ma’am,” the Captain says, “it seems to me as if you’re in charge, as if you know what you’re doing, you don’t need us.”

“My spinners here will get you down there.”

“Your spinners?  Where?”

Beside the old woman stand several fat, very fat spiders all made of thread with only arms and legs protruding.  There’s no telling what their faces might look like in that tangle, should they have any.

“Where?” the King reiterates.

“Silence!” she commands once more, “You’ve been brought here for a reason.  You will break the spell that keeps me bound to an unfortunate destiny or you will die.”

“Your Majesty,” the King says, cautious and bowing, “all we want is to get home and be left in peace.  It’s just that someone or something is stopping us, call it fate, and if you don’t call that a bad spell cast upon us too then I don’t know what else to call it,” the King insists.

“It’s hopeless,” the Captain whispers.

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 56

“Are you human or are you beast?” the King asks.

“What brings you here, fools?” the old spinning woman retorts.

“Your army, your Majesty,” the King replies.

The old woman unleashes a thread out of one finger and in a flash second the King is hanging upside down, her thread weaved around his ankles, holding on strongly.

“I said, ‘what brings you here?’” the old woman reiterates, now addressing the Captain whose eyes are revolving in all directions.

“Destiny,” he answers.  She unceremoniously releases the King who falls onto the floor.

“Hmmm.  There is no such thing as destiny,” she says as her commandant spider whispers in her ear.

“Your ship won’t follow your command.  Is that true Captain?” she continues.

The Captain remains silent, ashamed yet proud.  The King stands, wobbly, coughing.

“In this case,” she adds, “you’re a nobody, you don’t exist.  Is that man-who-used-to-be-king your servant?”

Humiliation has the better of the Captain and the King.  Silence is their best option as embarrassment and seething anger rise inside them.

“I repeat for the last time: what brings you here?”

“The Insatiable Princess,” the Captain utters, “she needs direction.”

“I knew it.  You’re no Captain, no leader, no pirate, no nothing.”

“I concede, Ma’am, I’ve no control over my ship and my destiny and both are now in your hands.”

“Why admit to any weaknesses?” the King whispers in the Captain’s ear.

“The faster she tells us exactly what she wants from us, the quicker we can get out of here,” the Captain retorts.

“Strategic planning, huh?” the King retorts, impressed.

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 55

Now the Syck Monkey-made-of-heavy-stone is caught and tied in a barely noticeable net that lifts him off the ship’s deck and hangs just a little above it, held by two strings attached to a remote location that can’t be seen.

“That’ll do,” the leader says.

The Captain and the King are tied up and brought far from the Insatiable Princess, her destiny hanging just a few centimetres above deck.

They are brought onto a dark planet seemingly made of strings, threads and ropes of all kinds.  Some are made of silk, some are made of steel, some are short, some are long, some are large and some are so thin you can’t see them.  From the depth of the planet, a deep sound, that of a heartbeat can be heard and felt through the threaded grounds.

And now the creatures-spiders bring their victims-to-be before the seamstress of their world, a thick, mingling and weaving kind of a world, so entangled upon itself that light can’t get through it.

“Bow to our queen!” a spider says as they are led into a large room defined by the threads around it.  An old woman with a thousand wrinkles is sitting on a wiry stool, weaving threads that spread in all directions.  It is impossible to tell if there’s any furniture around for the webs and strings cover all.  Her small, sparkly eyes shine on an otherwise extinguished, bland, greyish face covered by long, long, long hair as thick and strong as steel.  Her entire being, from head to toe, shoulder to finger tips, is drowned in it as the tough hair falls all around her into a long trail of strings that drop, drop, drop into the emptiness, forever reaching out for and extending into the unknown.

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 54

“Fate?  My ship, the ‘Insatiable Princess’, has all the control over my fate” the Captain says, “she brought us here by wandering aimlessly and if that’s not fate then I don’t know what it is.”

“Fate has turned to stone.  He is a coward in need of a new rope.  Without it, there’s no hope,” the spider says.

“Fuck.  What kind of riddle is that?” the Captain asks.

“It’s to do with the Syck Monkey,” the King answers, confident.

The Syck Monkey and Labaguette are brought down a long, strong thread weaved from far, far above.  They’re heavy.  They’re lowered onto the deck, becoming heavier and heavier as they reach the deck, the Syck Monkey’s eyes unblinking but alive, his stare beaming into the darkness.  He takes turns to look into the eyes of the Captain, moving to the King, the Spiders and again, blinding them.  Labaguette’s eyes are closed, his eyelids are made of stone.

And once more, the Insatiable Princess begins to tip forward, the weight of the Sick Monkey-turned-to-stone on her deck, being more than she can bear.

“We’re going to fall again!” the Captain warns.

The spiders try and lift the Syck Monkey, but to no avail.

“That’s what it is,” the Captain utters, “the weight of destiny, it can’t be carried, it can’t be shifted.”

“Silence!” the fat spider orders.

“The Syck Monkey’s load is too much for anyone or anything to bear; he carries the Universe’s past disasters, its looming present and unfathomable future, that’s what I mean,” the Captain insists, “we’re going to fall again.”

“Bring on the bosonic thread!” the fat spider commands its soldiers, not to be outdone.

To be continued…©