“A playful one, one that interfered with the others and convinced them to be let in, for fun, to change the daily routine of shadows which consists mostly of hiding, protecting and empowering protégés of all kinds with their cloaks of darkness which, seen from most foreign creatures’ perspective tend to frighten through their mysterious, seemingly threatening ways.”

“Dangerous, treacherous,” the King says, “how can you ever trust your own shadow again?”

“Spinostress came through as a recurring nightmare.  I could not understand its meaning and purpose.  I tried to ignore it at first except that it came back stronger repeatedly.  As time went on, it became insistent and compelled me to listen to it until I understood fully its implications and I knew I had to get to the Hook.”

“We could turn into Spinostress’ worst nightmare!” Labaguette exclaims.

They all look at the bird in wonder.  Who would have thought?

“Nightmare!” Labaguette carries on, “nightmare! Nightmare!”

The Captain snatches the bird and shoves it inside his jacket pocket.

“You should listen to—” they can hear Labaguette utter.

“—No more of that, you rascal!”

“It’s quite an idea he’s got,” the King tries.

“A shrinking peanut,” the Captain retorts, “his brain’s the size of a shrinking, fucking peanut.”

“Size has never been known to matter,” Chloroph maintains.

“Perhaps you have a small Hook to show for it,” the Captain continues.

“It’s all in the wrist,” the King explains, “the way in which your thumb, forefinger and wrist zip or unzip a Hook, resulting in its size.

“the King’s a Hook Master,” he—“

“Shut up or enlighten us!”

“Which will it be?” the King asks, turning to Chloroph.

To be continued…


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