Fuck, the Captain thinks, everyone will see them.  But Spinostress’ voice echoes in the large edifice:


“Your majesty, I—“

“—You do not have my permission to whisper, not even a single word.  You, Captain, are a blasphemer of the worst kind.”

Labaguette perches on the Captain’s shoulder, proud again and ready to defend his master with his would be knowledgeable words.

“You promised,” Spinostress continues, “that the Syck Monkey’s rope could be reconstituted from the scraps I gave you permission to get from the stoned monkey above your ship.”

“The recipe may just need some adjustment,” the Captain says, “I could help you if you’d—”


“It’s just a matter of time until I—.”

“—YOU’VE WASTED MY TIME!  If you must know, Captain, the recipe worked for a day.  Then, the loyal and trusted Spinner who submitted himself to the trial fell into a slumber from which he hasn’t yet recovered.  So unless you can wake him up right here, right now, your fate and that of your friends is sealed, Captain.  This is a fool’s game, your game, that of a cheat, that of a liar.  You called the shots then.  Now, I do.”

“I have the answer you seek,” Labaguette insists, smoothing his feathers with calm, cool and unusual collectedness.

Now the King lowers his eyes to the ground.  A pearl of sweat begins its descent on the Captain’s forehead.  The Commander appears overly contented.  Spinostress’ eyes, although still invisible, emit a ray of light out of the mane’s inscrutable depth, in a manner never observed before.  There are times when even fear must be feared and Labaguette’s calm might have been a mere flicker of hope that died with her stare.

To be continued…©


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