“Welcome aboard,” Chloroph says, “join the crew, we all understand the deeper meaning of ‘stuck’”.  Three monkeys scamper and disappear back inside the hull.

“What, who are you?” the Captain asks.

“I’m a prisoner.  I lost my keys.  Can’t open this gate.”

All look at him bewildered.

“But,—“ Labaguette begins.

“—Really?” the Captain interrupts, joining the creature on its little pad, circling the gate with his hands behind him in a tight fist, an irritated smile on his lips.

“That’s right, mate,” the creature answers, “I too can walk around this gate.  All the same, can’t be opened.”

“Because you lost the keys.”

“Because I did.”

Now the King scratches his head and rolls his eyes to the sky as Labaguette listens assiduously, trying to understand, trying to follow his Master’s teaching even if there is none.

“Where do you come from?” Chloroph asks.

“We lost keys too,” Labaguette attempts, “they weren’t ours, they fell out of his pocket.”

“Fell where?” the creature asks.


“How far down?”

“Down below there, bottomless.”

“Whose keys were they?”

“Never mind.  Irretrievable.  Where did yours go?”

“My keys have been missing since the beginning of time.  This is why we’re prisoners.”

“You’re alone,” the King says.

“You’re my prisoners, I am your prisoner.”

“We’re lost, that’s different.  We’re not prisoners,” the Captain retorts.

The creature resumes its crying louder than before.

“What’s your name?” Labaguette asks, “Are you creature or are you mortal?”

“They all say that,” the creature continues, “they never listen.”

“Now, now, then.  They?” Captain Traumatic asks in an attempt to soothe the creature.

To be continued…


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