THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 225

“You don’t need to eat to live;” they insist, “you don’t need air to breath.  You don’t need thoughts to see where you’re heading, just follow your heart.  The answer to your fate lies in your dreams… Come, come and follow us.  We’re what is best for you.  We’re your all and everything.  Don’t let us go by.  You never know what is around the corner.  Come, come and follow us. Dreaming your life is no way to live.  Come, come, listen to us, we’re your best friends, we’re your all and everything.  Come, come and follow us.”

“Have you ever been tempted?” the Captain asks.

“What are you talking about?  I’m busy.  Hold the driving wheel tight and push on the pedal hard to get us moving while I try and stop the nonsense.  Whatever you do, ignore them.”

“But—“

Jimmy scrambles out onto the roof of the bus and clings to it, hoping that if he can throw a rope far up above him he’ll be able to ensure their safety back through the hook they came from.  Inside, dreams are making themselves more enticing, funnier and more attractive.

“Hey Captain!” a familiar squawking voice utters, “why stay inside when you could enjoy yourself on the outside?”

“Labaguette!” the Captain exclaims watching his companion flying back and forth in front of the bus window.

“See?” the dreams carry on, “what did we tell you?  Nothing is that bad after all.”

“You admit you’re not that good, huh?” the Captain retorts.

To be continued…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 224

“What was in your can?” the Captain asks in amazement.

“Oil.”

“What type of oil?”

“No miracle ointment, no organic product. Oil.”

“Engine oil?”

“You know nothing about engine oil.”

“But—“

“—Get real, Captain: it’s nothing new, it’s been done before.”

“It’s not you first time here?”

“We all have bad dreams, not just you and me.”

“Huh? Oil is a monster in a monster’s nightmare? How did—?“

“—Brace yourself!”

Without warning, Jimmy slams the driving wheel to the right and the bus turns back in the upright position, throwing the Captain onto the floor.

“Could you warn me next time?”

“I did. Brace yourself!”

“Again? But—“

This time, the Captain slides as far back as the rear of the bus while Jimmy pulls the bus up in an almost straight vertical line, climbing hard and the Captain struggles to make his way back to the front of the bus to sit by Jimmy’s side, fastening his seat belt.

“We’re headed back to the Hook’s entrance?”

“Its exit.”

“Is it far?”

“Give me a hand. See what’s behind us?”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 223

Ahead of them, a humongous mouth opens threatening to swallow them, its tongue inviting once more the Captain to pull it but, seeing no movement and hearing none, passes them by ignoring them, proceeding to gobble up a wobbling and coughing well of dissatisfaction.

Underneath them, a cloud of particles of unknown origins attempts to attach itself to the upturned bus’ roof but find no reason for as Jimmy and the Captain keep still, barely breathing.

Why is it that nightmares act like some predators, the Captain wonders, seeing and sensing movement and fear, preying on their potential victim’s fears, knowing exactly how to make it tick without it being aware of it?

For now, they’re stuck in time and in space:  they can’t move, they can’t do anything to improve their plight.  Besides, there’s no time left to think: all around them massive jelly fish, clouded in thin veils of subtlety, loom, preparing to battle with each other, unsure which one of them will have this bus and its content as a treat.

The Captain looks at Jimmy, frightened: the jelly fish will eat anything, dead or alive, moving or not moving and if there’s ink involved, best not to think of the immediate outcome.  Jimmy reaches under his seat and pulls a tool box from which he grabs an oil can.  Swift on his feet, he opens the bus’ front door and waits on the steps for somes of the jelly fish to come near.  When one tentacle is almost upon him, Jimmy squirts oil out of the can straight on the tentacle which recoils, a scream of extreme pain filling the air.  All of the monsters disappear as quickly as they’d come.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 222

“You don’t fit the criteria,” the Captain retorts, “unless you’re acquainted with the Syck Monkey.”

“There are shadows and shadows,” Jimmy continues, “the shadows we live amongst are for our protection.  We feed them and they protect us.”

“You feed them?”

“The shadows here are malevolent and intent on catching you unaware, seeing, observing how you dream, think and act.  They work on their own evil agenda, enticing you to fall until you can fall no further and become own of their own.”

“I fell.”

“That wasn’t a fall, a mere introduction to falling.  Your friend, Chloroph, he—

“—Not my friend, not any friend.”

“He needs help.  You know he means no harm.”

“He invented these hooks, he—“

“—He’s only trying to improve worlds.  He’s a seeker, an inventor, a genius who could get there.”

“Meanwhile, the shadows derive their fun from observing creatures’ falls and their reactions?”

“You’re over-sensitive,” Jimmy says as he swerves abruptly, stirring the driving wheel hard.  The bus takes a dive.

“Hold on tight!” he yells.  The bus slowly begins to turn sideways and before they know it, tumbling and rolling several times upon itself before settling on its roof, in the empty space, on top of the invisible road.

“Fuck!” the Captain screams.  “What do you think you’re—“

“—Hush!”

“Don’t you hush me, you—“

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

It takes one look for the Captain to understand what is at stake as he stares where Jimmy’s finger is pointing.

Outside the windows, dreams of the never-never of all shapes, colours and intensity float about, suspended and seeking hosts of all kinds.

Jimmy brings his forefinger to his lips, begging for silence, a strong fearful and disapproving frown lining his forehead.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 221

The rumbling comes closer and closer until it is all the Captain can hear reaching out beyond the confinement of his ear drums. The noise becomes so insistent that it invades his every thought and that he feels haunted by an endless stream of raucous nightmares of his own making. In fact, it is now so loud that it is a reality in the Captain’s head. This is the Hook of real bad dreams come true, what you wish, you can’t have the Captain thinks.

“Step in, Captain!” a voice commands the Captain. He squints his eyes trying to spot through the mist where this familiar voice comes from.

“Step in! There’s no time to spare!” the voice reiterates, “if you don’t want your dreams to turn wicked for as long as you shall live and worse.”

Here, a shady yellow-grey bus in this world of sad realities galore passing by, a driver at its wheel, his yellow dungarees covered with the dust of unwanted, discarded and errant specks of unborn and deformed sparks of ugly thoughts that commonly fill the universal bins of doom.

“Jimmy?” the Captain asks, “How did you find me?”

“C’mon! C’mon! C’mon!”

In goes the Captain as the bus’ doors close behind him and Jimmy presses hard on the speed pedal and the bus skids on an undetectable road.

“Don’t look at me like this,” Jimmy says, “I know a thing or two about the book of shadows.”

Once more in this universe of the unexplained and nightmarish splendour, the Captain thinks, Jimmy saves us. After all, only the Syck Monkey is known to seek, catch and retrieve falling creatures.

“There’s always a way out,” Jimmy insists, “and it needn’t be the same as the way in.”

To be continued…

(Sorry folks, I’m experiencing Internet connection trouble since I’ve moved… Soon, the posts will be back to normal and appear every 3 to 4 days)

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 220

Thinking of miracles, what is it that his scanned library of almost infinite knowledge, he wonders, could suggest?  All around him, images of thoughts and imaginary worlds present themselves, realities not willing to be ignored as their existence demand acknowledgement, even compassion.  But the Captain isn’t ready for compassion or acknowledgement; all he wants is pure thoughts along with answers.

Maybe, it would be easier to switch off.  Let doubt creep in and remove any thinking that goes around in circles.  He’d give anything for a single glass of rum or for less grey matter to be contained within the walls of his skulls.

To know or not to know…  unless… unless it is to know what to know and ignore?  He muses, wishing for dreams he knows he can’t have, hoping these won’t turn into nightmares although the chances are that they will.  A thick, humid fog begins to filter through and pervade all around him.  It has been too long now that real and unreal mean the same.

The Captain sits there, waiting for the present to pass, hoping to stop the thinking once there are no more thoughts to be had and until the time comes to give up for lack of food, lack of rum and lack of good company, perhaps in a different order.  It’ll be all right, he tells himself, it’ll be all right.  He closes his eyes and imagines the sound of a rumbling engine, that of a train, one contained within his scanned library, or that of a plane, or a yellow bus that could come and get him out of here.

To be continued…