“—I KNOOOOW!  I KNOOOOOW!” Labaguette squeals from underneath the Policeman’s hat.

“What is it profaned bird?” the Policeman asks, annoyed, removing his hat, picking up Labaguette by his wings between his finger and thumb and raising the bird to look at him in the eye, “what is it you know?”

“I’ve seen it, I’m sure, I’m positive.  I know.  There’s a river.”

Startled by this revelation, the Policeman loses his balance and falls underneath his stand only to find himself standing upside down, his shoes sticking to the podium, still holding Labaguette.

“Let go of me!” the bird implores.

“No longer afraid of endless falls?  How can this be, you, senseless bird?”

“The River, I—“

“—The River?  You—  Stop your swinging guards, it’s uncomfortable,” the Policeman orders.

“Let us out,” one guard interrupts.

“Say again?” the Policeman says.

“Let us free!”

“Why, of course,” he says, opening this guard’s cage wide open.  “Step out will you?  C’mon!  What are you waiting for?”

“I don’t want to fall,” Labaguette insists, fearing for his own fate.

“This isn’t about you!”

“The River,” Labaguette whines, “The Golden River.”

“Bugger!” the Policeman exclaims, “look at what you make me do!”

With one flick of the wrist, the Policeman throws Labaguette back up towards the ship, rightfully expecting a monkey to catch the bird.  Then, he unclips the guard’s cage underneath the podium and sends it to its perpetual fall.  The cage disappears below them, with this guard’s long scream echoing through the skies, in unison with the crew’s stunned and deafening silence.

The remaining two cages stop swinging.

“Why?” Spinostress whispers.

“Resistance, insubordination and ultimately rebellion.  Do you understand?”

To be continued…


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