“The Syck Monkey caught me falling and brought me to Jimmy and his yellow bus where I was reunited with the Captain,“ the King adds.

“You’re the exception.  Being a King might have something to do with it unless you have something they want.“

There’s another mighty crash above them and the remainder of the mast lands on deck.

“STEADY NOW!“ the Captain yells, “STEADY!“ as the Insatiable Princess comes to a complete stop.  There’s no sight of what is just above them, be it whale or monster.  The Captain pulls out the Doctor’s stick and beams it up towards whatever it is that did so much damage in an attempt to paralyse it for the time being.

“Belchiore’s tail,” the Commander informs at last, “monkeys, send your ropes above and launch them until you catch her tail!” the Commander orders, but the monkeys turn their gaze to the Captain and hold his stare.

“Do as the Commander ordered for this once only!” the Captain decides.

Labaguette flies off and lands on the King’s shoulders, his eyes begging him to untie his beak and then flies back to the Captain’s shoulder, whispering very fast:

“I’m your counsellor, your wise man, your fool and you’d be well advised to remember it.  There’s one thing you can do to shut me up and this is just to listen to me right here, right now: watch my lips: I wouldn’t trust the Commander if I were you.  I repeat, I wouldn’t trust his sort.”

Now they feel a jolt and the Insatiable Princess is moving forward once more, still climbing, but smoothly this time, as if no damage has been incurred and as if the ship is capable of moving by itself.  The white monkeys have disappeared below deck.

To be continued…©



“C’mon Princess,” the Captain insists, as if reading her thoughts, “you can do it.  Up you go.  We’re on our way to meet Belchiore.”

Refreshed and ever so grateful for that exceptional symbiotic moment, the Insatiable Princess climbs with renewed vigour towards a whale none of them has ever met, not knowing what to expect, except for the Commander.  On earth, a whale looks like a whale, but in the darkness, an invisible space whale is difficult to imagine.

Now thunders cracks just above them.

Now the Captain runs to the Commander and frees him from the ropes that hold him prisoner as the top of the mast smashes in hundreds of sharp debris that fall and crash onto the deck just where the Commander had stood, tied and gagged, a second earlier.

The two monkeys scurry above to check the damage and unravel more of their white ropes to secure what is left hanging.  Quickly, with speed, they fold any sails in a bid to slow the ship down and bring it to a halt.

“You’ve reached Belchiore!” Jimmy exclaims, “mission accomplished!” and just as he had appeared earlier – out of the darkness, out of nowhere and anywhere – the driver and his yellow bus vanish into this strange, inexplicable and deadly universe that has become theirs.

“HEY!” the Captain yells, “Wait a second!  If you can get out of—“

“—It’s no use,” the Commander says calmly, “I told you, you can’t trust a yellow bus driver, you can’t trust Jimmy, it’s a fact, we all know this.  Stick it in that weird brain of yours.”

To be continued…©


Whereupon a plate of rum soaked bird seeds is thrown at Labaguette who eats them all, unable to resist this gourmet food until he can no longer stand.

“Beware the tail!” Jimmy, the driver warns, “I can feel Belchiore”.

“I’ve no tale to tell,” Labaguette answers, burping.

The Insatiable Princess is lost in some day dreaming of her own.  She isn’t satisfied with whatever it is that’s happening to them all.  Her wood is creaking and cracking in all directions.  Her whining is incessant.  After all, climbing the uneven and rugged hill of darkness isn’t exactly what she’s accustomed to, even if, by now, she has seen and endured much.  She feels as if she’s being blamed for everything that happens and that some undeserved twist of fate has come to haunt her for no reason at all, really, none at all.  The battles that took place on and around her earlier have left her weak and pining for some tender loving care, which, under the present circumstances, she cannot dream of having.  Life must go on.  The climb must go on.  How could it be that even the Captain appears oblivious of her predicament and needs, he who loved her, he who tried to take care of her his own way, although unsuccessfully?  Perhaps, it occurs to her, she has been ungrateful after all.  She misses earth.  She misses earth’s waters.  Enough is enough.  She might fall apart for all she knows and, were it not for her wood disintegrating into space and the crew being doomed to disappear with her, no one would notice or care at all.  There’s no way she can escape her own destiny, with or without white monkeys.

To be continued…©


“Belchiore is your last resort, that’s what.”

“I can’t see it on the map.”

“She’s a whale.”

The Captain’s knife is merely scratching the Commander’s throat, but scratching it is.

“Belchiore is the equivalent to living in limbo.  If you know your religion, you might as well consider yourself dead, committed to an afterlife between heaven & hell, with no way out unless Belchiore takes a liking to you.  Prepare yourself.”

“How do you know about all this?  You’ve been here before, huh?  That would be right.”

But the bus is struggling up a seemingly rocky path and the strong movements are making the Insatiable Princess moan and cringe as insidious doubt begins to creep in this crew’s minds.

“There can’t be worse than your planet and Spino.. or whatever her name is,” the King states, “you’re an embittered fool and just like Spin-To-Kill, you don’t really know who you are; you inherit this from where you come from.”

“Yellow buses works within the world of shadows: when they appear, you never know where they come from or where they’re headed.  The drivers suggest that you come and visit their families but in truth, you never get to see their houses, their spouses or any of their friends.  Once you meet a bus driver, then you’ll never meet any of the others because only one bus driver can be allocated to you and it’s as if you were married to him: for better or for worse.  But mostly, it’s for worse.”

“ZIP IT, GOD DAMMIT!” the Captain yells as he gags the Commander’s mouth and frees Labaguette entirely.

“I knew it,” Labaguette says.  “Now, suppose Belchiore is a whale.”

To be continued…©


Now a silence that speaks of a soundlessness one can’t escape from and dreams that can’t be had surround them and envelops them as they travel through an area darker than they’ve ever seen before.  It’s not just that it’s dark, it’s that the light of stars no longer reaches them and that the top of the masts can’t even be seen any more.  In no time, the darkness thickens, the darkest of veils, until they can no longer see what is in front of them at all, not even their own feet.

“I know where we are,” the Commander says.

“Bet you do,” the Captain says, “bet you can get us back on the road, no?”

Then, the Captain, the King and Labaguette hear the familiar sound of an engine approaching and soon a yellow bus shining of a thousand lights is travelling by their side.  The monkeys tie their ropes to it.  Its driver secures his seatbelt and waves to them pointing the direction he’s going to lead them.

“Be safe, fasten your seatbelts!” he yells at them.  The engine roars and they begin to climb at a 45% angle.

“He’s taking us to Belchiore,” the Commander adds knowingly.

“Wherever he’s taking us is safe,” the King retorts.

“Ha! Ha! Ha!” the Commander continues, “safe as you and I fighting till one of us is dead.”

“Spill your beans!  C’mon, open that ugly gob of yours and make yourself useful!” the Captain commands, pointing a knife at his throat.

To be continued…©


“Let’s get your brother back,” the Captain tells them.

“Do you know where we are?” the King asks.

“The third monkey is missing; these two will lead us there.”

“He’s just fine where he is, for now,” Labaguette maintains, “why don’t you untie me?”

The Captain unties the King.

“You’re damned.  I curse you, lot!” the Commander says.

“I’m a hero,” Labaguette continues, “I deserve to be free.”

“What?” the Captain asks.

“The sails are down and cruising along with the wind, we’re not going back there,” the King continues.  “Look at the monkeys, they’re leading the ship, even in the dark.  Do you know where we are?”

“I’m a courageous crew member who believes he can do anything he applies his minds too,” Labaguette continues.

“No idea where we are, no matter what map I use,” the Captain says.

“The three white monkeys are no miracle,” Labaguette insists, “I badly wanted them to come and help us and out of despair they appeared.  You’d better recall that I was momentarily encased in stone too.  I had three wishes: I wished for three white monkeys.  I’m a living miracle.”

“Cut your crap, will ya?” the Captain tells him.

“It’s rather dark,” the King adds.

“Impossibly dark.”

“I could enlighten you if you—“

“—I told you to shut your gob!”

This is when the Captain grabs his own rope and ties the beak of the unfortunate bird.

“Listen, you foolish bird, you’ll never be the great parrot of wisdom you’re dreaming of so don’t you even try.  Do you get it?  Do you?”

To be continued…©


Now the monkeys tie the Captain, Labaguette, the King and the Commander to the masts as they struggle to understand why.

“Mutiny aboard!” the Captain shouts “God dammit, foolish monkeys!”

“Fuck zem bastards!” Labaguette continues.

“Some call it fate,” the Commander snarls.

“It’s a monkey’s business, it’s a strategy,” the King retorts as the Captain, Labaguette and the Commander look at him, all raising an eye brow or two.  The Captain shakes his head in disbelief.

Above and beneath the Insatiable Princess, a deadly battle is taking place and spinners are dying until, unexpectedly, two white thin cords thinly stretched that reach out deep into space, giant elastic bands, are released, launching the Insatiable Princess fast into space and beyond.  The stormy wind it creates blows all soldiers out of the ship and all that remains are the tied up crew with the two monkeys.

“Did we escape?” Labaguette asks.

“We’re still prisoners,” the King says.

“I’m free,” the Commander says.  With the help of his own arm spinning facility, he has managed to undo the ties that held him to the mast.

“I’m your Captain, untie me!” Captain Traumatic orders, “we must get back.”  The two remaining white monkeys shake their head as if to say no.

“I’m in charge now,” the Commander states.

So the monkeys attend to this urgent business and, not to be outdone, move swiftly to tie the Commander once more, this time disabling any loose arm he might have hidden aside.  Then, the Captain is freed from his ropes.

To be continued…©