“Well,” Jimmy says, “not as such.  Once we knew of oceans, we knew of ships.”

“BRACE YOURSELVES!” the King urges them.

“You’ve got to be kidding!” the Captain exclaims as he falls backward, his body summersaulting and rolling before coming to rest on its back, crunched up.  Except for Labaguette hovering and the King hanging upside down from his seat held by a tight seat belt, all are lying on the roof of the upside down bus, just below the Insatiable Princess, amidst tree branches.

Then they notice the soldiers, crouching or standing on branches around them, a menace scrutinising them, arrows and tentacles ready to fly, maim or kill.

“We’re done,” Chloroph utters.

“What did you say about oceans and ships?” asks the Captain.

“Spinostress!” the King exclaims.

A satisfied snarl greets them.

“Knew it,” Labaguette says.

“Now,” Chloroph continues, “our knowledge includes planes, rockets and flying objects of all kinds, including—”

“—untie the rascal,” Spinostress orders, the third monkey sitting on her shoulder, chained at the neck to one of her tentacles.

In the universe, balance and all things fair are ephemeral words.  Relativity and its siblings stand as gods.  Two monkeys jump on an evil queen’s shoulders to greet their long lost brother and are turned into slaves, bound by their genes, brotherly love and, on the face of it, naivety.  Silence takes over, a deep, rumbling, roaring and unalterable silence whose significance and weight increase by the second.

“Jimmy,” Spinostress says, “I can’t thank you enough for your world of shadows, it’s been an eye opener and a life saver.”

To be continued…


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