“You’ve got to be kidding.”

“See, bird, every GPS has an unbuilt signal that can recognise, chase and retrieve a rogue rebel.”

“I knew there’d be a disclaimer.”

“Not a disclaimer, an agreement to see things through as best intended for you: a new home, a safe home, an organised home.  No need to think for yourself.  There won’t be a brain cell spilled or lost.  Your focus and drive to the committed task will improve without you even realising it.”

“This is about rum, is it not?”

“In theory.”

“But, what I saw—“

“—a mere suggestion using remote viewing. The River exists, but not where your ‘under the hat’ moment pointed at.”

“I’m a free bird, you can’t—”

“—First, let’s talk about your most precious legacy: your genes.”

“Legacy?  What legacy?  I’m mere potential hero in the making.  My beak, my tongue and grey matter may be large but my paws remain small and my wings in a mere state of revival mode, I am a gentlemanly parrot.”

“Modest indeed, bird, but you see, this is about your feathery make-up.”

“Gorgeous aren’t they?” Labaguette affirms, smoothing any feather within reach with ever growing pride.

“Not bad, not bad.  Err—”

“—I repeat: rendered useless.”

“Genetic material with great potential.  Mingle feather and flight genes into a Policeman’s shoulders and the Policeman will grow wings.  I’ll make you commander in chief, CEO, circuit clerk or principal parrot.”

“My feathers?”

“They match.”

“Not fluorescent they’re not.”

“Colourful is all that is needed.”

“I thought I was going to fly again.”

“Oh but you are.  Flying policemen and you in charge of them is the reward.”

To be continued…



“You’re mine, bird.  I’m your new Master, get used to it!  Forget about being dropped and dying!”

“What do you want from me?” Labaguette whispers, emerging from his stupor and coming back to life in surroundings made of lemon green hills and caverns, orange mist and colourful, fluorescent policemen.

“Why is everything so bright here?”


“I’m wingless, legless and brainless.  I couldn’t adapt even if I tried.”

“Wanna fly again?  Think about it, Labaguette, I could give you back your flight ability.”

“You can fix my wings?”

“Can do.”

“Name your dodgy deal.”

“A fresh set of brand new mechanical wings, newly bred, mixed and melted into your own.”


“No pain, no gain.”

“Then WHAT?”

“Guaranteed ‘NO FALLS’, EVER, no matter what the circumstances or the pressure you’ll find yourself under.  You could fall asleep, you—“

“—there’s a fall, —”

‘—you could pass out and your new wings would sense danger and deploy all by themselves to lift and carry you anywhere safe and secure within the nearest vicinity.”

Labaguette’s eyes light up.

“Fall and fail proof, huh?”

“These wings will take you anywhere you like.”

“A sense direction?”

“Inbuilt GPS.”

“Beg your pardon?”

“Global Positioning Scheme.”


“Ye of little faith: you’ll know your way home and from anywhere.”

“Too good to be true.”

“Of course, you must give something back in return, the ‘deal’ as you so well put it.”

“Being your lifelong prisoner and confident is enough, non?”

“Tut, tut, tut.  Who spoke of prison?  You’ll be free to fly anywhere on my planet and beyond.”

“I’ll fly home.”

“So long as your home is RythmaRymosthesis, there won’t be any obstacles to your wills and wants.  Your wings won’t take you anywhere else unless allowed and regulated to do so.”

To be continued…


It must be he who misled the Captain onto the flat, mundane and immoral path.  Unless, it takes two?  Hey, who needs guilt when survival is essential?  As to the burden of one’s feathers, it is far too heavy.  To hell with death, he attempts to convince himself once more.  I shall be the hero the Captain’s always wanted me to be but didn’t know I could be.

Yeah, the Books Planet had something to do with it and there might have been more letters to the alphabet than thought in the first place.  Besides, the Hooks were heavily involved and he shouldn’t have dreamed of anything.  Then, there was Mouton Blanc, he shouldn’t have, you know?  He didn’t do wrong.  Pas ma faute.  Not my fault.  Nopey, nope, nope, nope.  Non.  By now, had everything gone well and truly better, he could be feasting on his favourite rum soaked grains from the comfort of the Captain’s small, damp cabin or from atop his preferred wind swept mast, and this from the beginning of time as he’d been meant to, right?  Good food and a roof to protect him from the elements, from the wilder than wild wilderness that required action, heroic action.  One day, Mum will witness my star rising high above the skies of the Hexagonal Holly Woods I was born into, wherever she maybe: it shall brighten her skies and she will seek me.

“You on drugs?”  The Policeman inquires, knocking Labaguette back into this unanticipated, horrendous reality.

“I’d—“ Labaguette starts, staring into Colonel Loga’s eyes looking for certainty and comfort and finding none, preferring to close his eyelids and give up.

To be continued…


“BRAVO!” Labaguette insists, “BRAVO!  MORE!”

“—what is there to laugh about, you, inadequate, brain dead bird?  Maybe you too shall fall after all!” the Policeman adds, the parrot instantaneously grinning as if he were now in heaven.

“Quickly changes his mind, doesn’t he?” the Captain says.

“Far too quickly indeed,” Captain Loga remarks, ensuring he holds Labaguette firmly.

“But—” the parrot exclaims, only to realise the Captain is about to do it.

There, here is his Master, his Captain taking the very next step on the edge of his beloved ship, his right hand on his heart and, after throwing his pirate’s black hat ahead of him, plunging after it, head first, giving Labaguette one last glimpse.

“So long Labaguette!”

And just like that, the Captain is gone.

“CAAAAAAPPTTTAAAAAAIIIIIN!” the shameless bird screams, desperately twisting and contorting body and neck in a bid to be released to a fall he never envisaged in the first place.

This is too much to bear, it’s impossible, implausible, can’t be happening, non, non, noooooon Labaguette thinks: I am not in denial, this isn’t true, NOT TRUE AT ALL.

It takes the Policeman to stand and tower over the parrot along with a dozen and more policemen whose heads bend to catch a glimpse, eyes blinking, curious, for the full blown reality of Labaguette’s present and future life to wholly dawn on him.

Nothing’s ever gonna be the same, he muses as regrets assail him.  The earth is a globe, was a globe, if it still there, where he left it.   Tis’ round, truly round…  Et rond et rond petit patapon…

To be continued…


And so it goes that the old woman, in a yet unmatched fit of rage, remembers, recollects and re-creates the past mixture of strength and fury which once generated her power.  Spinostress’ name isn’t forgotten.  She turns green, purple and all colours of anger, hate and vengeful intent.  Parts of her skin spark, begin to scale and bubble only to breed more sparks.  The half side of her face that had remained that of an old woman turns back into the Monster she’d once been.  Her nails enlarge, lengthen and sharpen as she aims for anything that is within arms and tentacles’ reach.

In less time than it takes for the policemen to try and seize her, the electrical storm Spinostress engenders confuses and resets the very mechanisms underlying the policemen and their stands: protruding electro-mechanical arms and hands erroneously connect to each other, melt and fuse in a mass of metallic scraps that is rendered unstable and inoperable; all that was fluorescent loses brightness and all colours fade.

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!” she laughs defiantly before plunging into oblivion, leaving five policemen standing precariously on a mass of entangled stands, unemployed and as good as their pedestals, ready for the reject shop.

Colonel Loga observes with some degree of incredulity as she falls and her tentacles grow to unsuspected lengths, covering her entire body, and all he can see is some indistinct ball of cluttered and knotted strings falling.

“BITCH!” he yells.

“That’s my girl,” the Captain scorns, “Ain’t that a waste of wombs Colonel?”

To be continued…


Now the King takes his next step, echoing the Policeman’s wish and although crownless, it is not without majesty and pride that King Krackskull gives up on all he has known up until now.

So this is what glory and heroic mean Labaguette muses, stretching his neck to look at the King’s body turn upon itself until its bulky head takes the lead, in a desperate bid to seek what was once lost.  Before long, this parrot’s attention returns to the actual: the monkeys are holding each other by their tails’ tips inextricably entangled, for better and for worse, but especially for worse.

There it is, two Monkeys being monkeys pull faces at the Policeman and jump.

“Could it be that—“ Labaguette begins.

“—What?  Surely you—” Captain Traumatic interrupts.

“—The Syck—“

“—No doubt he will,” the Captain retorts looking Labaguette in the eye.

“LET ME GO!” Labaguette commands, becoming conscious of his mistake.

“Too late to change your mind!” the Policeman carries on, “you stupid, meaningless creature of despair.  You’re staying with me now, understood?  WATCH!  Whether you like it or not, you’re gonna WATCH!  D’you HEAR me?”

Down below them, a faint scream can be heard:

“Fooooouuuuund it!” it says from afar, “foooouuuuuunnnd it!”

Spinostress stands smiling as if she’s been waiting for this moment all her life, as if she’s found her true calling, that of jumping into oblivion and, with startling gusto, enjoying it.

“Now, now,” the Policeman remarks, “we can’t have this.  Guards!  Stop her!”

Five policemen on their podiums surround the instantaneously irate old woman.

“Jump on her and seize her!  Have her hands, feet and tentacles firmly tied!  Allocate a spare dungeon and take her there!”

To be continued…


“Very well.”

The Policemen are closing in on them and threatening to stop them but Colonel Loga gestures to hold it and picks up Labaguette.

“Best is for you to enjoy the view.  Look,” he insists, “they’re all gonna jump and you’re gonna be left all alone, all so terribly alone.  See?  A penny for your thoughts, stupid bird?”

The Insatiable Princess creaks and groans, some of her boards cracking under the pressure of her now all too uncertain fate.  She understands that from now on, she will be left on her own to roam universes as a ship lost in space, without purpose, without goals, a ghost ship travelling unrecognised and unrecognisable, without a Captain to lead it, without her Captain.  She too will fall, in her own way, uncared for and careless.  Once a wild and barely tamed sea roamer, now, these skies’ eternal vagabond.

Labaguette watches the Captain and his friends of a kind with unmatched intensity.  He recognises a will not to surrender imprinted on their faces.

“You fearless mongrels!” he exclaims, envious. “Mercy! Mercy!” he then yells hoping for a miracle, hoping his captor to change the course of this impossible fate.

There, for ¼ of a second or so, it seems time is suspended.  Everything stops.  All is silence and stillness and it may well be that in this bird’s mind, all thoughts and beliefs are deferred too, unsure where to go from here.

“Shut up and watch!” the Policeman commands.

“Ready?” the Captains asks.

“I’ll do the honours,” the King says.

“You darned fuckwits!  Taking turns?” The Policeman remarks as Labaguette, dismayed, distressed and with his wits disintegrating fast, shivers and shivers more until some of his feathers detach and fall.

“Huh!  I sure am gonna enjoy this.  Watchya waiting for, King?” Colonel Rhytmic asks.

To be continued…