May 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm #110EricKeymaster
“Whatever you proclaim as your identity here in the material realm is also your drag. You are not your religion. You are not your skin color. You are not your gender, your politics, your career, or your marital status. You are none of the superficial things that this world deems important. The real you is the energy force that created the entire universe!”
― RuPaul , Workin’ It!: RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style’
August 13, 2014 at 9:07 am #3440
“If only they realized it was for their own good” thought Anna Purrna, not for the first time. “They tie themselves in knots all the time with ropes of their own making and beat themselves senseless with canes of their own dictates ~ and then rail against the reflections, and I get the blame”.
It wasn’t easy playing the roles of victim and dictator simultaneously.August 14, 2014 at 1:34 am #3441
Dark clouds had gathered in the sky, the temperature had dropped of several degrees, making the breeze feel colder. The group had been walking for hours in the bog toward the elusive temple. With the darkness of the clouds, its mirage had begun to fade away. Greenie had said they’d better stop when the image was gone because they could become lost.
They had managed to make a wet campfire, and were trying to get warmth from the fleeting flames.
“I had a strange dream last night”, said George to Arona who was sitting next to him.
She smiled politely, not sure she wanted to hear about the winged man dreams. She considered standing up and being rude.
“I was a teenager”, he continued, wrapping himself into his wings.
Arona rolled her eyes inwardly, looking around for help. Mandrake was sleeping under her cape.
“An island appeared one day on the coast, people thought it was an ancient magic island and feared to approach it. It was visible only for a couple of days. It was such a weird dream.”
“Maybe you should write it down”, said Arona.
“Oh! Probably not, if the P’hope gets hold of it, I have the feeling it’s not in my interest.” He grinned like a kid. “Anyway, I knew in the dream that the island was still there, it was still reachable. So one day I took my father’s boat. It was a small boat, not made to go too far from the coastline. I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. I went into the mist, completely trusting I would find this island that everybody feared. It was rising tide, and I had to fight the current pushing me to the shore. I think it’s a dream who brought me there, a dream of a girl calling me in a garden. George”
“Is that all?” asked Arona after a moment of silence from George.
“Yes, it’s most certainly a silly dream, I’ve lived in Karmalott my entire life.”
“You’ll have to work on your dream telling, pal”, said Mandrake, “the punchline is missing.”
Nobody noticed how the flames of the fire were dancing into the green girl’s eyes.August 14, 2014 at 6:40 am #3442
The P’hope could be seen everywhere: leading the Builders to work double shifts to strengthen the collapsing structures of the flying City, exhorting the Magi to contain the failing beliefs of people back to virtuous resilience by ways of special masses held throughout Karmalott, and ensuring with the Sentries that all tremors of civil unrest was properly contained and the ring leaders properly admonished into good conduct.
The situation at the secret political prison known as Gazalbion was alarming. With most of the dangerous interlopers free to roam Abalone, and no walls to contain new prisoners, it could take a while to rebuild its walls, and the P’hope didn’t have the luxury of time on his side. It meant that no civil and belief dissidents could be brought there at the moment, and any spark of disobedience could spread like wildfire.
The P’hope dreaded what could happen if, despite all the efforts, the beanstalk was beyond repair. He knew his faltering belief in it could only hasten its fate, but even so, he wanted to be ready for the worst.
Considering the limited amount of rescue storks which were available off the walls of the city, it was likely that the result would be of apocalyptic proportion. Nevertheless, he refused to consider evacuating for the moment, even knowing it would take days for those on foot to climb down the bean’s tendrils.
Especially, as he was now in the perfect position to be the hero of the day.
He had been robbed of his share of light many, many years ago.
At the time, a young boy had arrived from the sea and from an outside world to Abalone. Jube, who was not yet the P’hope, was a striving leader of a group of survivors of the island. The bog’s dangerous and foggy emanations and its wild life were a threat of all instants, and he had soon realized there was strength in numbers. Many lost souls had gathered, but didn’t have the strength on their own to remain focused on a reality they wanted, a dream made reality.
He, Jube the Brave, had such strength in himself. But even so, they were only less than a few dozens of men and women in the camp, and the reach of what they could create was only good enough to sustain them for short periods of time.
But the boy named George had arrived from afar, and things had changed gradually. Jube had found out pretty quickly that the boy had the great potential to bring people together, and hold their beliefs like a mighty rope made of the thinnest of strands of hair. So he had offered to mentor him, while at the same time working his words into suggestions, and shaping the boy’s future to fit his own dreams.
That’s how the beanstalk started. The first sprouts were so tiny and frail, but the more people came and believed in the leadership of the one who was to become their King, the more it grew, and lifted them above the clouds and the fog of their minds.
Years had passed, Prince George became King Artie as another suggestion of the P’hope which had the side-effect to cloak Artie from his memories. The P’hope grew in power, always in the shadows however.
For a while, people were happy. Truly happy. But progress was inevitable, consciousness had to move and grow, otherwise their dream of a City would have been another foggy and soul-numbing projection of their feeble minds.
The first real threat happened when Abalone, in one of its inexplicable changes of time and space, drew to them a stranger. True to their principles, they had welcomed her, nursed her, and given her a place of choice in the Magi’s ranks despite her young age. But she could see clearly between the cracks and the varnish of order. Worse, she could see the P’hope’s intentions were not so pure.
So it become soon apparent to Jube that the young Gwinie had to disappear, and her followers had to be contained. For the sake of the great Karmalott, and to shield everyone from the impending chaos, the same chaos they had came from victorious many years ago.
He and his minions had struck in a very swift and coordinated movement. Gwinie was tragically lost in the bog during her rite of passage. A truce was arranged with her followers, and they were allowed a concession, with enough resources to survive. They ultimately built Gazalbion, which also became, in a mutual arrangement, a political prison for Karmalott, unknown to virtually everyone in the City. The Processor, one of Gwinie’s former followers, was glad to receive prisoners who would add to the strength and mass beliefs of his encampment. The P’hope in return, was glad to be rid of difficult problems.
That was so long ago, but it rang like a warning from no further than yesterday.
They had never found out what the old temple’s ruins were for, or by which civilization before them they were built. They were as old as the island itself, and seemed to be doomed, full of an ominous power he couldn’t and feared to harness. If anything else failed, he would go back there. Maybe that was his only solution.August 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm #3443
“I found it!” shouted Pseu. “This is the tile I’ve been looking for! The Golden Portal Tile, what a miracle that this wasn’t destroyed!”
“Well thank fuck for that” replied Lisa, wiping the sweat off her brow. “Can we go now? How far is it to the old temple and how are we going to get there?”
Pseu clasped the tile to her chest. Beaming with pleasure, she ignored Lisa’s question.
“If I might offer a suggestion,” said Lazuli Galore, “The overland route is a minefield of dangers, what with the current situation with the beanstalk and the bog. It would make more sense to head south immediately to the coast, and travel by sea into the heart of the Bay of Beliefs. Once we reach the extreme innermost coast of the Bay, it’s just a short journey to the Old Temple.”
“Good idea!” said Sanso, affectionately slapping Lazuli on the ass.August 15, 2014 at 6:31 am #3444
In an effort to shake off the troubling feelings that lingered long after she awoke, Mirabelle went to find Jack to tell him about her dream. She found him hunched over his computer, frowning.
“Ah, Mirabelle, pull up a chair and let me tell you about the strange dream I had last night.”
Intrigued, Mirabelle listened, saving her story until after he had finished relating his.
“There are too many coincidences for this to not mean something ~ something important. The parallels are everywhere! Look!” he said pointing to the screen.
“Crumbling cities, structures smashed to smithereens and clouds of dust, facades of houses blown off revealing ordinary objects and furnishings in hideous juxtapositions, and crazy angles. And look here” he said, “ nothing as far as the eye can see but rubble, but one wall left standing, almost intact, with the map still hanging on the wall.”
Jack turned to Lisa with a tear in his eye, and with a shaking voice he said, “I dreamed of a city like this last night, with all the facades blown off the constructs, and all the people were faceless as if they were wearing masks, but no! not like masks, there were empty holes where the faces had been, like bottomless black holes that made me dizzy to look at them.”
“But it was just a dream Jack” replied Mirabelle, wondering if she was reassuring Jack or herself. “It doesn’t mean anything, probably that cheese you had for supper.”
“Lisa was in the dream” Jack replied. “And Ivan, and Fanella.”
Mirabelle shivered. “They’ve been gone a long time, do you think something’s happened to them?” she paused and then added, “I had a disturbing dream too. It was my parrot, HuHu. He was calling me, oh! he was calling and calling, but I couldn’t see him in the fog, as I tried to follow the sound of his squalking in the swirling mist, I’d hear him behind me ~ no matter which way I turned he was always behind me, as if I was always facing the wrong way.”
“Well” said Jack, squaring his shoulders. “Faced with these two dreams, and with the delayed return of Lisa, Ivan and Fanella, I think we should face up to it and send a search party to the island. Now, enough of that long face, Mirabelle! Run along now and find Igor, and tell him to prepare for teleporting. He can go with you.”August 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm #3445
“It’s been years since we ‘ad a bloody ‘oliday Glor, fancy a nice vacation somewhere?”
Sharon and Gloria were watching a documentary about changing landscapes ~ lakes appearing in the desert, islands emerging out of the sea, giant holes appearing in the tundra, rivers coursing along new and unexpected routes and other such things that were appearing with increasing regularity. So much so, in fact, that there was enough material to have a weekly programme on the topic. It was Gloria and Sharon’s favourite show, and they always made a point of sitting down together to watch it.
“Oooh I dunno, Shar, me back’s always playing up these days, what if I ‘ad a bad turn in some foreign place miles from anywhere?”
Sharon nodded in sympathy. “I know what you mean, it’s like me and my night turns. I have to get up in the night and eat ice cream and walk about a bit, bit awkward when you’re away.”
“Like me and my stomach” piped up Mavis, poking her head round the door.
“What oh, our Mavis! Didn’t ‘ear you come in. How about you, fancy an ‘oliday?”
“Wouldn’t dare, not with my stomach, I have to have special foods, and what if I had a trapped wind while I was in a strange place with nowhere to go?”
“Listen to us!” shouted Sharon, suddenly standing up and glaring at her friends. “Just listen to us, will yer? What’s become of us!”
“Age?” asked Mavis drily.
“Are we washed up then, over the hill, is that it, is it? Too old for a bloody holiday? Well, I tell you, I’m not done yet, oh no! I’m going on a holiday, even if I have to go on my own!”
“Calm down, Sha, bit emotional, int yer?”
Sharon sank down onto the sofa again, and replied quietly, “I been thinking about it a lot just lately. Wondering where my get up and go went. We used to do so much more!” She looked imploringly at her friends. “We was always off galivanting and ‘aving adventures.”
“Yeah, and remember what you said after the last one? Never again?” Mavis reminded her.
“I think she’s right,” Gloria piped up. “I think we should give it a go. What’s the worst thing that could ‘appen? And what difference does it make where it ‘appens?”August 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm #3446
“…you will find out that the island named Abalone has some unexpectedly aware people tucked away in secluded pockets of their own dreamlike experiences…”
“Oooh, I like the sound of that one, Sha, and it looks like it’s got plenty of attractions and theme parks; we might get bored with the secluded pockets.” Gloria replied.August 16, 2014 at 3:41 am #3447
Sadie tucked her legs up under her body and snuggled down into the large armchair in the lounge. Her wet hair was twisted in a towel; her skin smelled like tropical coconuts from the body butter she had slathered on after her shower.
Just because no one can see me doesn’t mean I have to turn into a bag lady, Sadie told herself sternly.
She turned the television on and the wall became alive with one of her favourite home makeover programmes—a series on portable home design. With the light building materials nowadays, it was pretty common to transport the frame of a house in a backpack, just printing out the additional materials to construct it as required. Sadie set the screen to view only—sometimes it was fun to interact with the programmes, but right now she needed to think.
Her own home, built early last century in an industrial area which had long since been converted to residential housing, was sparsely furnished, but tastefully accessorised with soft colours and rich textures to give it a homely feel.
I love to touch and feel things, she thought, stroking the mossy green velvet arm of the chair.
In a world of so much clutter, her peaceful apartment was a haven of tranquility. She enjoyed silence, or maybe it was just that outside noises could so rudely interrupt the conversations going on in her head. Her boyfriend, Owen, an architect, was currently working on a big development project on Mars and not due back for at least another few months. So, other than when she was on a job, she had spent a lot of time alone lately.
She felt bad about scaring poor old Finnley, remembering her wide and terrified eyes darting around the room before she took off out the door.
She has probably gone to see that strange Elizabeth lady she works for. I hope they don’t think she is losing it and fire her.
Being invisible wasn’t so bad.
Not now that she had got over the initial shock. In fact, the possibilities were starting to seem rather intriguing.August 17, 2014 at 10:00 am #3449
The Master Builder’s verdict was hard to swallow.
The P’hope knew his options were limited, but somehow he had hoped, in spite of the King’s disappearance, in spite of the odds, that somehow he could manage to keep the City afloat.
But the beanstalk’s wilting was not something that could be stopped, and the aphids were just one manifestation of the rampant symptoms. Like all living things, there was an expiry date, a deep-rooted belief in death that trumped all the efforts.
The only thing they could do was to prepare for a difficult landing, and salvage what could be salvaged of his beautiful City of Karmalott.
“I heard you the first time, Downson.” The P’hope carefully removed his silver zucchetto and put it aside.
“We need to prepare for evacuation. Have the Sentries prepare all the storks and cranes they can find. Send a detachment of Magi to secure an encampment at a safe landing spot. Then give orders to evacuate all the people you can.”
“What about you, Your Holiness?” Downson’s question was likely to be pure formality, but Jube answered nonetheless
“I’ll go to an ancient place, the source of power of this island. I wished I could avoid it, but if there is a glimmer of hope, it is my holy duty to follow it.”
“Shall we send people to escort you?”
“No, I would prefer to go there alone. It is the kind of powerful places one would prefer to visit alone than badly accompanied.”
“Then, good luck to you.”
“As well, Downson.”August 17, 2014 at 10:42 am #3452
“There is a secluded pocket that would be an ideal safe landing spot on the north coast of the Bay of Beliefs” was the message that Downson received from the Magi. “El Refugio; it was a private shamanic holiday camp, but it was abandoned years ago. There are empty cabins and some basic facilities that could be restored and repaired.” And it’s not too far from Karmalott, Downson thought, It will have to do, for now. At least for the first batch of evacuees.August 17, 2014 at 10:48 am #3453
The mirage was no longer a fleeting evasive picture.
They could see the pyramid’s top quite clearly, drawing them to its spot. By the robot’s estimation, they should already have reached it two days ago.
But it stood there, unmovable, and somehow still out of reach, an always moving horizon line.
“May I suggest a drumming session?” Jeremy asked around the campfire.
Arona raised her head silently but intrigued. The rude cat jumped on a flat stone and questioned him “What do you know about drumming, young boy?”
“Well, obviously that place is protected from intrusion, and we have to find the key to its entrance. I found drumming can help align our intents and give us inner clarity. Maybe one of us will find clues.”
It took them some time to discuss about technicalities, assemble a drum with a piece of Arona’s cape, and silence out their chatters, but after an unmeasurable and undetermined amount of time, they were all drawn into a pridanic journey to the rainbow world.
When they came out of the trance, Jeremy looked at them, amazed and excited by what he had seen.
First, they had travelled, guided by a herd of unicorns, to the heights of Karmalott, only to find it deserted, with faceless spirits leaving it.
When they shared their accounts, it seemed they all had seen in some form, the old City descending, with the wilting beanstalk bearing its weight with increasing difficulty. A flight of storks guided many to a safe place, and they’d seen most people would be fine.
It was then that they saw the P’hope mounted on a creature flying awkwardly like a bat, descending towards the pyramid. Greenie recognized him and with him painful feelings of betrayal came back. George as well remembered old secrets, and why he was the King, and how his departure had precipitated Karmalott’s fate.
As for Irina, riding on a spirit zebra, she’d found that people from her past were after her and her dear Mr R, and had followed her on the island. Using the teleporting boxes of the temple could send her to a safe place. Maybe on one of Mars’ posts.
Arona realized, there was little hope she could claim her bounty, as there was no longer a City to bring Greenie back to. But then, a spirit tortoise showed her the Cup she was promised was lying deep in the underground clear lakes under the temple.
Jeremy was quick to point it out. “That’s it! The entrance is from below, we have to follow the underground currents.”August 17, 2014 at 10:51 am #3454
“How about this one, it looks like one of them safari parks or petting zoos” said Sharon, pointing to a photograph of El Refugio in the Abalone blurb.
“Those little cabins look cosy” agreed Gloria. “And all them animals to take photos of.”
“On the coast too, the beach looks nice,” added Mavis. “Are we all agreed then? Shall I book the flight?”August 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm #3455
“I feel awfully responsible for the downfall of Karmalott, Godfrey,” Elizabeth said. “If I hadn’t mentioned aphids this disaster might never have happened to those poor people.”
“Yes, a few wooly aphids does seem to have snowballed into a crisis, doesn’t it?” he replied with a lopsided grin.
“It’s as if I transposed the crisis onto Karmalott to save my plants, somehow. As soon as I mentioned that the beanstalk had aphids, I haven’t had any aphids on my plants. Which is great, don’t get me wrong!” she added, “But I do feel a bit guilty.”
“But no feelings of guilt about all that debris from the beanstalk flattening the walls of Gazalbion?”
“Er, no. No, that feels fine.”August 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm #3456
Trudging along being Sanso and the others on the way to the coast, Lisa’s feet began to blister. “Lazuli, how much further is it? What I don’t understand is why aren’t we teleporting there? I mean, why are we walking when we could just teleport?”
“Yeah!” agreed Fanella, limping from the dog bite on her foot. She had accidentally trodden on the little mongrel while traipsing around the ruins of the tile factory. “Why aren’t we teleporting?”
“That’s a good question!” answered Sanso. “And there is a very good answer! If we teleported everywhere, we would never encounter strangers on the journey, nor would be find any unexpected clues.”
“Not only that,” added Lazuli, “We will soon be coming to some watery lowlands with plenty of bamboo growing, and we need some sturdy canes to make a raft to sail across the bay.”
“I thought we’d just hire a boat!” said Lisa with some surprise. “We have to make our own raft? I’m starting to wish I’d stayed home.”
“You can teleport back home whenever you want to, Lisa” said Sanso. “But then, your island game would be over. Are you finished playing yet?”
Lisa thought about it. Eventually she replied: “ No. But I’ve had enough of all this walking. Why don’t you and Lazuli shapeshift into something useful that Fanella and I can ride?” and continued to mutter something under her breath about chivalry and the good old days.
There was a slight disturbance like a whirlwind of dust, and then Fanella clapped her hands in delight. “What a lovely pair of asses!”August 18, 2014 at 6:03 am #3458
Rene has been lonely. He stopped counting the centuries long ago, long after his creators had left Abalone. Long before the first settlers arrived and began to plant seeds of discord. He had been appointed by his creator to be the guardian of the threshold. He had long forgotten what it meant. He only wanted friends.
When the first humans arrived, it seemed that they could be great friends. But they didn’t see the beauty of the temple, only its ruin. Which was sad, very sad. And so Rene stood alone in the old temple, the new temple, the middle aged temple, depending on the time corridor he took.
Now, for the first time in eons, people were on their way to the temple. He would meet them with might and glory. He seemed to remember that most humans revered unicorns as symbol of purity and fairy tails, at least that’s what Rene heard from the mind of one of the newcomers. Lost in between aphids, Jack and asses. He didn’t know who was Jack. Anyway, he had chosen his sphinx shape. Rene would be a unicorn.August 19, 2014 at 7:47 am #3460
Lisa felt constipated and feverish. It was the first signs of nicotine withdrawal. She shouldn’t have used so many patches before they left for the Island. And she hadn’t thought of bringing some for this journey. With the monotony of the landscape, her attention kept drifting away from their goals. She was thinking of Jack again. Was he able to manage all the dogs ? Had he neutered all the cats ? She had dreamt that he was bitten by Flint.
When they arrived near the coast, she felt disappointed. It was kind of greyish. And the drizzle, which started falling shortly after they left Gazalbion, felt cold on her cheeks. This wasn’t helping cheer up her mood. Besides, despite all the fun of ass traveling, after some time, your own eventually hurt.
“Where are the bamboos?” asked Fanella.
Lisa was shivering, the wind had become stronger, which oddly reinforced her feeling of isolation, and the sea looked agitated.
“Yeah! where are the bamboos?” she said, allowing her irritation to blurt out in her tone. Although, in a way she was relieved that they wouldn’t have to build their own raft. Maybe they could even rest a little. She looked at the greenish sand. Maybe not.
Her ass brayed something unintelligible, emitted a small surprised bark, then cleared his throat.
“Sorry for that, after a while, what you shapeshift into begins to run into you”, said Lazuli Galore.
“You must be shapeshifting quite often”, added Sanso pensively.
Lazuli didn’t know how to take that and decided to snort.
“I must have lost track”, he continued, “or the island have changed since the last time I went there, which was when I arrived on the island, and… that’s funny I don’t remember when. Anyway, I can still shapeshift into something else and carry you on the other size.”
“A whale!” said Fanella, excited at the idea.
“Not a whale!” countered Lisa, horrified. “He might think he’s one and make us sink with him.” Her teeth were chattering, she didn’t know if it was because of the cold or because of her withdrawal.
“A duck would be perfect”, she said with a resolute tone. “Ducks float quite well and we could get some warmth under the feathers. We should have taken blankets when we left.”
The ass looked at her, a bit puzzled. “Have you ever seen a duck ?” he asked, “they are quite small.”
Lisa was going to retort something she could have regretted, but Sanso spoke before she could.
“According to my experience, size is not an issue for you, Lazuli”, he said.
Fanella frowned, then put her hand to her mouth and tittered.
Before she could say Jackass, Lisa felt the ass grow between her legs. Soon enough, they were all comfortably settled on the back of a giant mandarin duck, floating away from the grey shore into the unknown.August 19, 2014 at 8:43 am #3461
Lisa sneezed. She had forgotten she was allergic to fluff.
“Are you sure that the temple will be there ?” asked Sanso who’d been thinking about those strange properties of the island.
“I’m not sure”, cackled Lazuli Galore, “but that’s worth a try, don’t you think ?” He was wagging his tail, obviously happy to swim in the sea.
Fanella had long stopped thinking about goals and directions, she didn’t mind where they were going. She was enjoying the fun of the ride, and even the rain seemed welcome. She was looking at the plum dolphins who had been following them since their departure. One of the young ones was particularly playful, he was swimming around the giant duck, and jumping out of the water each time he passed near the young maid.August 19, 2014 at 10:09 am #3462August 19, 2014 at 10:16 am #3463
Glancing up from watching the plum dolphins, while cresting a wave on the mandarin ducks back, Fanella imagined she saw a zebra motionlessly watching their progress from the shore. The duck dipped down with the next ebb and she lost sight of it. Rising on the next wave, she could only see the streaked shadows of the mangrove trees along the beach. I must have imagined it, she thought. But the image of the watching zebra lingered in her mind.August 20, 2014 at 3:34 am #3464
As distance grew between the P’hope and the city, the damage to the beanstalk had seemed to diminish. Funny how insignificant it seems when you looked at it from a distance, he thought. Unfortunately storks weren’t strong enough to fly above the clouds, and he had to go through a heavy rain above the Sea of Beliefs. Even if it was over now, his already heavy P’hopal robe was soaked, yet his mount was flapping its wings bravely to fulfill its duty.
Jube could see the temple ruins. Sandwiched between the coastline and the bog, it was surrounded by wall of mist. Inside, old stones and broken columns were scattered around a lake, a stepped pyramid in its center. It looked like the mist was dissipating following a trail near the south. The P’hope squinted and saw a bright orange spot where it would open. He took his magnifier made of calcite crystals and looked through it. He clenched his teeth. The King was there, two great wings on his back. Spoiled brat, why don’t you never do as you’re told, he thought. He looked at the others and almost fell off the stork when he saw the little green one.
Despite the change of skin color, he’d recognized her. So, Gwinie was alive. There was no time to lose. He suppressed a strong desire to confront them straight away, it would be counterproductive when he still had time to weave his web. He put the magnifier back in his bag and steered his mount toward the ruins.
There didn’t seem to be any entrance on the pyramid’s faces, the P’hope tried to make his mount land on one of the step, but the animal didn’t respond to his orders. Instead, it glided over the water toward the top of one of those big columns still standing, missed it, slumped down on a patch of grass, and decided to stay there. Ranting about birds and incompetence, the P’hope managed to extricate himself from the mess of feathers and legs. He sniffed with disgust. With the humidity, a strong smell of wet fowl had impregnated his robe. Feeling stuck and heavy, he considered getting undressed, he still had his silk gown underneath.
“Happy bird day!” said a cheering voice behind him.
The P’hope felt a sudden rush of panic, the voice sounded like his aunt Ursula. He looked around, guilt on his face as if caught a hand in his pants. He had forgotten it was his birthday, he had never liked birthdays. Who could possibly know ? It took a moment to his mind to make sense of what he was looking at. It looked like a pink zebra with a melting candle on its forehead, but the form seemed yet uncertain of itself. That was disturbing.
“I’m Rene, I hope we can be friends,” said the pink zebra. The creature fidgeted as if it had drank too much from the moat. “We can begin the party now, or wait for you friends to arrive. I’m so excited !”
Jube shuddered, the animal had a crazy spark in his eyes that made him feel uneasy. He looked at the stork which hadn’t moved since the crash landing. No h’ope from Heaven.
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