Below them, deep into the darkness, there’s a pale halo of light with its edges blurred.

“What you see is her mouth,” the Commander says, “it’s wide open.  She won’t bulge till her hunger is satisfied.”

“What did you do?” Labaguette insists.

“Never mind your sins and tribulations, Commander, this monkey’s dying,” the Captain says, “can you help?  Have you got to do with it?”

“I went free-falling,” the Commander says.

Free-falling they all muse knowing what it entails.  They’d heard of it before but never before had they met anyone who’d tried it and survived.

“It took me many a number of Elabrium years,” the Commander continues, “but I got lucky in the end.”

“Lucky?  With your burned out face?” Labaguette tries as the Captain seizes the parrot and shoves him inside his jacket’s pocket for a while.

“We were all trying to please Spinostress and find the rope’s recipe.  I knew it could be done, you know, being here at the right time and at the right place.  We all dream of it.  There were so many attempts.”

“I don’t understand,” the King says, “how can you free fall and come back from it at all?”

“Our tentacles, they’re part of Spin-to-Kill’s scheme of things.  Combined with the threads and ropes we make, we’re able to transpose the stretching ability of what we make onto our hair.”

“Hair and tentacles are one and the same?” the Captain asks.

“The tentacles are considered hair to protect our head from the weather but the tentacles aren’t hair when they come to be put to use.  They have in common that they can grow back indefinitely if pulled out of the skull.”

“Your body and hair should be burnt” the Captain remarks, “you look like you’ve recovered.”

To be continued…


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