THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 284

“You’ve been busy,” Labaguette adds, discerning the engraved shape.

“What do you think of it?” Mouton Blanc asks, pointing to the carved, dark bird engraved on the Insatiable Princess.

“This isn’t err….,” Labaguette retorts, “Did you draw it with me in mind?  Looks more like some crow, some doomsday raven than I, parrot of—“

“—this is as good as it gets.”

“—All right, all right, all right, man!  Not bad.”

“You get what you deserve.  I put my heart and—”

“Listen to me, I said: it’s all right.”

“Too late.”

“I’m sorry,” Labaguette says, then admitting to himself that Mouton Blanc hasn’t quite got the tools to draw as well as he could, “it’s not that bad, now that I look at it in detail.  I mean it.”

“Not that bad?”

“As good as it gets.”

“It’s better than that.  It’s a clear picture of all that you represent.”

“Your interpretation.”

“A replica.”

“Impossible.”

“It’s a mirror image.”

“Let me find a mirror so you’ll understand, so I can better describe myself to you and we can improve your picture of me.”

“No need for a mirror.”

“I am a colourful, fearless and proud descendent of sparkly eyed, shiny, coloured and lustrous feathered birds.  Mirrors crack upon our looking into them.  All the same, you need to understand what I understand.  You have to see what I see.  You have to be what I am.”

“You’ve no idea of the true meaning of beauty.”

“Mouton Blanc, you only need look at yourself to understand that… err.  Tell me the truth, have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror?”

“What’s this all about?”

“You’ve never bothered, have you?”

“I don’t understand.”

“You’re ugly as sin.”

“What’s your point?”

To be continued…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 283

Back on deck, Labaguette is posing once more with Mouton Blanc, allowing the creature to draw him, promising that this time he will not let him down and fly away.

“You talk too much and you act irrationally.  You can’t be trusted.  My pen is only for those who deserve it.”  Mouton Blanc asserts.

“You draw me, you colour me, you make me look good.  Then, I’ll tell all, everyone, and you’ll get the artistic license you deserve.  Once I talk, and you know this don’t you? There’s no stopping the word spreading and everyone out there will know of you.  Your talent, through publicity, will be sought after and—“

“—Who’s out there?  Who’s everyone?  Does everyone exist?  And if so, why me?  Posthumous fame isn’t what I wish for, I—“

“—you’re obsessed with death.  You’re not going to die.  It’s good for—“

“—you had me condemned.  Is your memory so short?”

“C’mon now, Mouton Blanc.  Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.  Cheer up, will you?  We’ll find new pins for you, you won’t melt and you’ll regain immortality.  Look at it from my perspective, be happy, be compliant, do as I say, will you?  Also, the Captain has a wealth of knowledge, no doubt he’ll find a way.”

“You don’t give a shit, you, senseless bird.  You’re—“

“—Stop talking and keep drawing!  Soon you’ll be the toast of this whole wide web, and—“

“—web?“

“—I mean all universes with a thread between them.”

“Sure.”

“Elsewhere.”

“Some other place?”

“Somewhere else.”

“We’re prisoners.”

Nowhere, Labaguette thinks, we’re fucking going  nowhere as he flies off and perches onto Mouton Blanc’s shoulder.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 282

The Captain unlocks the latch and opens the small wooden trap door that leads underneath the ship.  There, Chloroph’s net hangs underneath the ship with a thick tree trunk whose branches and leaves sprout in all directions.  Below… well, below the trunk thins out a little and transforms into an infinitely long thick flexible pole or rope, it is hard to tell from a distance as it extends so far its end cannot be seen.

“Chloroph?” the Captain asks, “Chlroph?”

Here, on the net where Chloroph had been resting are his clothes but no sign of the gardener.  The Captain turns the pockets of the empty jacket upside down and a few crumbs fall along with a small rectangle piece of white cardboard which the Captain retrieves in time before it falls in the void beneath.  It reads:

Pro-life Seed Hook

Gives birth to plants, expectations and exceptions alike.  Gives life to anything anyone wishes in its first few seconds of its life.

 

Chloroph Greendominion

                                                                     Master Plant & Hook Creator

                                                                     Phone: +999.456.567.678

                                                                     Email: Ch+1@DomDom.plant

Then, elusive words, words that come as you read them and disappear as soon as you’ve done so appear on the piece of cardboard:

“…if you have found my business card then I’m gone for good.  I’m out of your life forever.  Be pleased.  Face the consequences.  Be who you are.  Find out who you are just as shocking, deplorable and wicked this truth may be.  So long Captain…”

“Damn this plant breeder of misfortune!” the Captain says.  “We are in another Hook situation after all.  Knew it.  The creep, the mongrel, thief, the—“.

Captain Traumatic’s words are lost in space as he falls fast asleep.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 281

“It’s Chloroph’s idea,” the old woman says, show some respect.”

“I’m the Captain here, why did you follow the order of a good to nothing plant merchant?”

“Yes, Why?” the parrot repeats.

“LABAGUETTE!  By the God of devilishly unfortunate feathers!  You left Mouton Blanc on his own?  Weren’t you having your picture taken? GET OUT!”

“What is wrong with my feazers?” Labaguette mutters, trying his best not to appear alarmed nor displeased.

“There can only be ONE Captain on this ship!” Captain Traumatic continues, drawing his sword as if he might slice the bird in two equal parts.”

“Cracks, there are cracks in holes, tiny holes, holes, more holes, holes everywhere,” the old woman explains.

“ARE YOU STILL HERE?” the Captain asks the parrot who at once flies off never to come back, at least for now, knowing he’ll enjoy Mouton Blanc’s company more than he’d first thought.

“There wasn’t another seed left in Chloroph,” the Captain continues.

“Chloroph would have an emergency,” the King tries, “he would have had at least one seed hidden underneath his skin.”

“How?”

“I know.”

Down in a spiral the Captain walks, then runs.  Down, down to the bottom of the ship.  Clarity and cleanliness will be gotten.  No one in a healthy frame of mind hides anything under their skin.  It’s ghoulish and disgusting.  Best is to confront the treacherous lunatic who led the Insatiable Princess where it’s at now: full of invading, pervasive plants of unknown origin that could entrap them here for eternity.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 280

Surrounding them are white ropes, most of them smudged with green, others having transformed into long, large green stems sprouting, flourishing with foliage.  Intermingling are ropes that remain white, untouched, evolving into buds, cocoons and knots.

“Hmm,..” the Captain says, “you’ve undoubtedly created a small universe within this ship.  It isn’t one connecting us to any outside world.  Get rid of it, it’s a stifling environment for the Insatiable Princess!  She’ll perish under her own weight.”

“She’s floating, she’s experiencing weightlessness in all its glory, Captain,” the old queen says, “the ropes are extraordinary, they—“.

“—we need more room inside the Insatiable Princess, discard all that is green and useless and throw it overboard, what you will!  Don’t keep it here.  This ship is rotting from the inside out.”

Three Monkeys stand before the Captain, the King and Labaguette, gesticulating, trying hard to explain, in silence, what is happening.

“We don’t need a vegetable patch,” the Captain tells them.

“I know a veggie when I see one,” the King whispers.

“A jungle, this is a jungle,” Labaguette says, “there might be others like I.”

“For heaven’s sake!” the Captain says, swiping at the passing bird once more.

One by one, the Monkeys jump and swing from rope to branch, to tree and back.

“We’ve been weaving towards freedom,” the old woman explains, “it’s the work within that counts.”

“Shut up!  The last thing we need is some mystical fool.”

“It doesn’t look so bad,” the King utters, stroking his chin in wonder.

“It’s wild, it’s ugly and it’s adding unnecessary weight to my beloved.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 279

One monkey cuts a piece of rope, unfolds it and there’s paper.

“Use your dirty fingers and nails to draw,” the King says.

Mouton Blanc nods, “sit still!” he orders Labaguette who eventually settles, posing, Madonna style.

“Make sure my feathers look smooth, will you?”

“I’ll draw what there is to see.”

“What do I look like to you?”

“My vision is limited.”

“Remember, I’m the One who dropped your pins and saved you from a lifetime of misery.”

“Err…”

“Hmm?”

“Well…”

“Yeah?”

“Something like that,” Mouton Blanc concludes.

This is when an unexpected sense of peace descends on the ship.  It’s almost as if Labaguette and Mouton Blanc were related, from opposite ends but related all the same, the Captain thinks.  Funny to think that Mouton Blanc’s appearance should hide such couth as an ability to draw, even if simple.  The Captain hopes that by the time all issues are argued over, the status quo between creature and bird will reign for good.

The King, the Captain and three Monkeys enter the hull, except for Chloroph who remains stranded in his net under the ship, weary of the Captain’s moods and intent.  No doubt the Captain will discover what should remain hidden for a little longer.

There, inside the Insatiable Princess’ entrails a surprise awaits them.  All appears altered beyond recognition.

“What the blazing fuck is this?” the Captain asks.

A majestic old queen advances towards the Captain and the King, the Monkeys hiding behind her ragged, green tinged velvet dress.  Behind her also are her two guards, their garments covered in green, fresh leaves from neck to toe.

“We’ve been binding threads, uniting this ship to this galaxy and beyond,” she says.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 278

“Mouton Blanc,” the Captain says, “we need to deliberate about this.  Wait here for us to return, it won’t take long, and we’ll come and get you.”

“You invited me.  This concerns me, I should be included.”

“It’s to do with re-organising ourselves and looking after your safety.  It’s no secret but it’s more to do with not hurting your feelings needlessly.  You’ve suffered enough, don’t you think?”

“Fuck,” Labaguette musters, “since when is this lot capable of feelings?  This isn’t Switzerland, we don’t need more voting refugees.  Look at him!  Seriously, he’ll never crumble, he’ll never melt.  Solid as anything.  One more dead weight we don’t need on this ship.”

“When day time comes, I will die melting and the unlocking of the door will never come about.  You and I will never know freedom.”

Here we go, Labaguette thinks, a demented master whinger keeping us here longer than necessary.  Can’t ever be happy, if you ask me.  Why can’t the Captain see this?

“You’re dramatizing,” the King says.

“The night started not so long ago,” the Captain says, “be good, be safe and wait here.  We’ll be back for you.”

“Give me a pen and a piece paper!” Mouton Blanc orders, “I agree to stay here while you deliberate and I’ll draw a picture of Charlie Ruffle-a-Feather here provided he stays still.”

“Who the fuck is Charlie?” Labaguette screams, “My name is LA-BA-GUETTE!  Can’t you pronounce that you, MOUTON-BLANC-WITH-FUCKING-SERIOUS-PINS-ISSUES?

The King looks at the Captain and the Captain looks back at the King.  A pen?  Paper?

“We’re travellers.  There are no pens and paper here,” the Captain says.

“I don’t want my picture taken,” Labaguette says.

To be continued…