THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 139

“These are all impossible tasks,” the King continues, “jobs, cash, candles and kids are just one hell of a vicious circle; I mean, if you only get the candles right and don’t drop any of them, then no one gets burnt except that everything else falls apart in spite of heat and light being fundamentals.  On the other hand, if you only get the cash right, the kids won’t grow to get a job unless they do it out of passion and if they do, they’ll run out of steam on the burn out thread mill eventually because no one wants to see them work, ask the dwindling candles.  Now, if you don’t get the jobs right, the kids simply won’t grow to look for gold or carry any candles.  As to handling the kids right, well if you fail at it, then there won’t be anyone to get a job, or cash or candles.”

“It makes no sense, I don’t understand it,” the Commander concludes.

“Talk about riddles,” Labaguette adds.

“What a waste of time,” the Commander insists, “all this proves my point: you’re an idiot, a fool, a naïve crownless and ridiculous King.  How can you even be King?”

A breeze lifts as the Insatiable Princess takes some speed and Belchiore begins to enjoy a smooth, fast ride inside the darkness.  Nothing has changed within that space, nothing except a faint feeling of exhilaration that infiltrates their skin.

“Not bad, not bad,” the Captain says, “if only the air smelled of the sea.”

“Not bad, not bad,” Labaguette adds, “if only I could smell fish.”

Now they all look at Labaguette, suspicious of a fish eating jungle bird.  After all, what if he ate meat?

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 138

“I understood.  I went over to him meaning to help.  I caught the red ball and started to throw it up in the air at regular intervals, pretending I was juggling too.  Then he threw me the gold to catch and juggle.  Before long, the children came until I found myself juggling all he’d been juggling a minute earlier.  He watched me, stared at me.  I could do it, I could really do.  There was an air of puzzling satisfaction etched on the corner of Yeo’s lips and his eyes smiled, somewhat relieved.”

“And?” the Captain asks.

“And?” Labaguette adds.

“And?” the Commander concludes.

“He left.  I was focussing on the task at hand with great pride.  I never dropped one of them skittles and balls.  But he went away and left me there to juggle it all by myself.  It was more than I could bear and I wasn’t used to it at all, not at all.  He never returned.”

“Huh!” the Commander exclaims.

“Did you lose any jobs?”  the Captain asks.

“And the gold?”  Labaguette continues.

“You’ll never have any kids,” the Commander says.

“Well, I found the task impossible.  Yeo couldn’t possibly have done it all either, just as good as he was at his craft.  Had I known then what I know now about candles, jobs, cash and kids, I’d do it differently but I had no choice then and I dropped them all to feed She-Coat who needed my attention.  Besides, he was hungry.  He gobbled them all up and gave us the biggest belch I’d ever heard him have.”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 137

“I offered you shelter on my ship and freedom whenever you choose and now you dare throw it back at me?”

“Shut the hell up!” Labaguette says, “Are you two finished yet?  I need to know what happens to Yeo.”

“I said,” the King continues, ignoring Captain, the Commander and Labaguette’s entanglement, ‘what do you want from me?’”

“’Can’t you see?’ Yeo said, ‘Some relief.’”

“’I can’t juggle,’ I said, ‘too much to bear; no way I can do what you do.’”

“’But you’re a King’ he said while juggling.  ‘You can do anything you want, anything you set your mind to, just because you’re royalty.’”

“’Just because I want doesn’t mean I can,’ I said”.

“’You rule this planet, you can just about do anything,’ he said.”

“’All right,’ I said, putting myself in his shoes to try and give him some satisfaction, ‘I juggle people, creatures and things of all sorts, which comprises all those who merely visit or live here.  It is a tough job but I manage.’”

“’You have no vassals, no knights, no people.  You’re all alone.  Can you even manage to look after yourself?’ he continued.”

“’Look, you asked if I could do anything such as juggling, insisting that I could do anything I apply myself to and now you question the very ability you granted me with such good heartedness.  What is it you want from me exactly, why are you here?’”

“’Ah but you’re entertained now, aren’t you?  Look, come by my side and try and catch the red ball, it’ll relieve me of day jobs.  Can you catch it?’”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 136

“You came with us and—” the captain interrupts before being in turn interrupted as well:

“—But before leaving,” the King continues, “he tried to juggle too many possessions at the same time trying to impress me with magic tricks he barely believed in.”

“He didn’t want to end up as fodder to your She-Coat, remember?”

“He began to juggle children, candles, cash and jobs.  That’s what did it.  The magic was gone.  Sometimes he dropped one of them and would carefully kneel down without any pressure showing, cool and smooth as an ice bloc, to pick it up while maintaining the balance of the juggling act and then kept going.”

“Has ‘a job’ got anything to do with Jove?” the Captain asks, “was he some venerable deity?”

“For fuck’s sake, Captain, look it up in your library!”

“Why cash, when gold is all that is needed?” Labaguette adds after having spent some time earlier salivating and eating away the ties that had kept him from speaking.

“—I don’t expect any bird or creature to answer this.  It’s a rhetorical question,” the Captain says, embarrassed.

“Children needn’t be juggled,” the Commander adds, “they can pick themselves up.”

“Why?” the Captain continues, “how could anyone fall without being picked up again?  Besides, how could any creature be kept in that juggling game as if their life depended on it?”

“It’s a bit thick coming from a scoundrel, a rogue without a home, without direction, and without heart, ain’t it?” the Commander retorts.  “Now, let’s talk about your name, Captain, shall we?”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 135

“Sometimes, he used fat speedicooms which he’d trained to keep tight in a bundle, tied by a single colourful scarf, until he’d signal them with the mere flap of an eyelash to untie themselves and fly away as colirepta-butterflies.”

“C’mon, King Krackskull,” the Captain says, “it’s all very pretty but we’ve all seen and experienced more interesting magic than what you’ve just described.  I mean why even bother wasting your time to watch such a creature performing?”

“It’s entertainment,” the King retorts.

“You may thrive on entertainment but it influences you for the worse,” the Commander carries on, “it entices you, charms you and before you know it, you’re hypnotised, under the God damned spell of any suspicious creature that comes to your Kingdom, dreaming of nothing else but to dis-enthrone you and send you flying into the empty space for as long as it takes.”

“What?” the Captain asks, “as long as it takes?”

“As long as it takes for you to reach someone else’s kingdom and do to them what was done to you.  The whole God damned Karma-processing engine if you ask me.  I know a fool when I see one,” the Commander concludes.

“I’m a King.  I was born a King and I shall die a King.  I know all the tricks any folks, as smart as they may be, as deceptive and malicious may their intentions be, will use to have me thrown out and take my kingdom over.”

“What did Yeo try which had you chase him away if he was so innocent in the first place?” the Commander grimaces.

“He left of his own accord.  One day, he picked up his bags where he’d left them and moved on like they all do, like you did.”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 134

“Didn’t your guards get rid of him at once?” the Commander asks.  “Aren’t they trained to kill on sight?  They can maim, kill or torture, don’t they?  That’s what guards do, or do you call them knights?”

“The King lives alone,” the Captain interrupts, “all alone on the strangest planet of them all, stranger than where you come from, Commander.  He rules alone over his Kingdom, that encompasses the entire planet really, and this he does as if it were heavily populated.  The only presence there is that of his ‘She-Coat’ that more or less gobbles everything that is organic and any eatable creature that comes her way and that becomes a threat which is more or less just about everything.”

“You’re the fool, your majesty,” the Commander concludes.

But the King continues:

“Yeo was your everyday magician: clever, sensitive, gifted, very gifted.  He could play the violin, the piano, harp and anything he set his mind to and without training, such were his abilities.  He could juggle along while performing his magic and this added to his tricks being out of the ordinary.  See, he didn’t merely juggle balls and skittles and words, he juggled small frogs too, and they were tiny, six or seven at a time up in the air.”

“In what kind of world did you live?  You like perfection but I don’t like cute,” the Commander can’t help.

“He juggled them, oh he juggled them.  They always appeared with their head up looking content, keeping their legs tight and close to their bodies until the last minute when they turned into parakeets that just flew away.  He used osbitarium’s eggs that turned into bokabas, jelly balls that turned into platybuzzers.

“I don’t do cute,” the Commander insists, “where is this leading?”

To be continued…©

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 133

As the ship continues its ascent in the darkest corner of the universe until Belchiore decides that the time has come to have destiny turn for better or worse, there’s a crownless King who majestically wraps his blue coat around his shoulders.  His eyes shine with the intense need he feels to reveal who he is to his friends, perhaps because he’s never been given a chance to tell them, perhaps because he feels he must lead by example, and now might just be the time.  Deep, deep down, he fears dying destitute and crownless, but he is unsure why.  He is a King after all and he is aware that he may not have long to live as a member of the high universal order.  Besides, he has a story to tell.

Above them, crouching, their eyes scarcely shining through the darkest of fogs, two white monkeys are listening intently.  One of them yawns; the other one makes impossible knots with the ropes, for practice or out of boredom, it is difficult to tell.

“His name was Yeo, sometimes Yea as he was both, male and female depending,” the King begins.

“Depending on fucking what?” Labaguette interrupts.  “No one’s male and female at the same time; zat’s all bullshit!”

“All you have to understand is that he chose who she wanted to be, and vice-versa.”

“Vice-versa?  God dammit, what iz this—”

Now the Captain’s speedy ability to tie a bird’s beak is nothing short of unprecedented and bewildering.

“He was a magician but most of all, he loved to juggle,” the King continues, “he juggled, balls, skittles, words and many articles and utensils you may not have heard of before.  He came to my court unaccompanied.”

To be continued…©