“Follow me!” the echo says.
“Who talks?” the Captain asks.
“Silence!” Birdseye commands.
“Here lies your way…” the echo suggests.
“Here?” the Captain repeats.
“I know your name,” it insists, singing softly into the Captain’s ear, “the Insatiable Princess awaits you over there… up, up and away.”
“Where are you going?” Birdseye asks.
“My ship awaits me. This is the way to it, I must—.”
“—I see no ship.”
“Don’t be such a party pooper. I’ve been told—“
“—Keep steady and follow the only path forward, that which I light up, will you?”
“Can’t you hear them?”
Birdseye’s pauses for a brief instant. Then he resumes his walk following the path they must take.
For the Captain, the sound of wings flapping echoes again and whispers:
“Captain! Captain! It’s me, Labaguette. I’m in the cavern on your right, five chambers ahead.”
“We’ll find him, Captain.”
“You’ll die if you stray.”
Here, in the entrails of an orange planet plagued by out of control policemen and monster worms that reek of rum and body parts, a pirate and a dancing birdman become separated in the darkest tunnel of them all. Here is Birdseye, following unseeingly a path being opened up before him by metallic roots hungry for more. Here is the Captain blindly following the voice of his parrot from hell down another corridor. It is too late when Birdseye recognises that the Captain has given up the certainty of his protection for the sake of a parrot’s fleeting and fluttering sound of wings. Birdseye should have known better, he who knows.
To be continued…