Just so Hollipop has another reason to settle down with a glass of red, here’s another episode from something I’m sporadically writing “TALES FROM THE STANDUP CHAMELEON” From Book One entitled “THE ETERNAL SIDEKICK” It’s not had a final edit yet and it’s as mental as anything else I’ve written.
PLAYTHING OF THE GODS
THE LEGEND OF THE JAGGA
“In the days when King Gabballon Flesh Harrower was ravaging the land. The great stone of power, the Jagga held the world in harmony. Its strength and solidity, its eternal magic prevented chaos and doom befalling the land. Even though Gabballon was a dab hand at ravaging. But dark and into the night…”
So spake Gruntlephart, the ancient Tale Spaker, one who when Spaking spake thus in Spake.
“I Owd Gruntlephart Talespaker Spake of owd, thus…
…DARK! Into the night. Came cometh onward on, riding five horsed Hens aback their beasts. Foul fel fowls of fell and fen underlingly lackeys of the Skinnydark, The Chickenriders crept upon Great Jagga and clucking in evil glee didst cackling smite the stone.
‘Twas Eggsquattler Grim Pie Eater Budbeak that did it with the Evil Dark Henblade Crawreiver.
And Lo, the stone was smitten, rent asunder and into a thousand pieces multi-faceted and each and all a beauty.
Scattered they where, across all lands and pittage, from sky to sea and beyond even this…
In the tiny corner of the pie and beer selling place where the men came sadly and left singing and angry, each fist bringing with it a song and entire battles rang with a choir of voices.
*So began the martial art of BARBARIAN QUARTET.
The pie and beer selling place where old men came smelling of years gone by and many days and leave like achingboys weeping, smilesore and long gone deadsmelling cry out in heartfelt voices of crackling smoke and reedy thin. Where dogs and furry things of all planets greet and embrace all nasal and bum, and gift the ground furnishings with hot wet honour.
It was only the immaculate Swanky Maurice who stood dressed in all his finery that seemed somehow to repel all encroachments by the filth that layered every surface. Shining he stood like a beacon for every women with stirrings in her bosom and heaving for a bit of the old game.
Here sat the small young one, listening as Owd Gruntlephart spaketelt the tale he had heard many times before. As he listened his hand reached inside the bag shaped bag he carried with him at all times. His name for it is important to remember the names of those who make and have their part to play in history, for often the names of the deed doers and the action takers are stolen and turned into changeling names by clever men with paymoney and knives to write and turn history into allwrong, and false.
His name, that you may remember and fling it from your tongue in soft and joyful gladnitude.
His name is Barfittnarkweedjibjib’ A’Clitdrubbmmmnice freakkchatterlinggalongmaxcrapsneezewhittleweedlongwilly. But only in later life when he had a lot of ink and the time to spare! For now, all and everyone called him Narkweed.
*Though great and heroic he became and called by all men Jib Longwilly bearer of the Sword Impressive. That enchanted blade that would only release its potent magic when there was a woman around.
Narkweeds hand felt the cold pebble inside his bag. It seemed to touch his fingertips with buzzing and cracks. Bringing it out into the urinewaft and smellthick air of the pie and beer selling place it burst forth when a pale blue light.
Gruntlephart still the full skyward dancing of the talespaking gave out the ancient rhymingsong….
Darkling cackle fowl and fel
Took the stone to the edge of hell
Reiving cleavers cleft and cracked
Upon The Jagga chickens hacked
The Skinnydark Lord of Saggy Tunes
Had brought about the Egg of Doom
The stone is broken, The pieces spread
Find them keep them, Listen and hark,
Serve the stone not Skinnyda……
…His words trailed into nothing air as for the first time in as many centuries Gruntlephart was spakebound and mouthbackfarted with astonishment, squeekvoicing he gibbled and cried, pointing to Narkweed.
“THE STONE! SEE…. THE STONE! IT GLOWS! IT GLOWS!!!”
And so it was, the blue glow that had soft and paleglimmered had raised its brightness like a fireface and now greeting all it was with shouting BLUE!!!
A pastyear happening it was and taking place as written above for this is a true account honest and nobody has paid in money or otherwise for this true account which is real.
The first Jagga Shard was found therefore, and Narkweed Jib Longwilly its finder. But many are the pieces yet to be found.
Go forth into the world, seek the Jagga Shards! You will know them when you find them.
Jib Longwilly brushed the dust of a thousand days off his coat and climbing out of it left it standing on the flimsy fabric on the floor, thick with dust it was and the trail had been long.
It had been many years and many thousands of pies and pints of beer and Jib had sung at some of the finest battles!
*How men talked of his fantastic rendition of “Begin the Beguine” at the Battle of Tyr’An’or as he cleft the heads of a hundred of The Mad Lord of Chaos Snot’Uygh Vaths mindcarped warriors!
*Also the Patron God of Interior Decorating and Sweet Pastry until his madness descended on him and Chaos sucked his brain into eternal corruption and torment!
The years had not been kind to the pie and beer selling place but neither had any of its customers so it held all the welcome and charm as it had when he was a small child. It smelt bad. A stickiness clung to the floor in the way only sticky things can do and did its best to cling on to Jibs boots, only to be finally deterred when Jib threatened it with hand to hand combat, long sword, small firearms and finally a solicitors letter.
The clientele were the same as he remembered, although now about five or six were long dead. Dry and creaking they propped up the bar eating dust pies and drinking smoke, one or two smelt a bit more than the rest but no one noticed in the stink of the place.
It was one of these that called across, waving so as to catch Jibs eye. This was accomplished when the zombies’ index finger flew off and poked Jib in his left one…
…“NARKWEED! ‘ere Narkweed it is you innit!”
Narkweed! How many years was it now since he had heard that name?
“Narkweed! ‘ere remember me?!” With this, the Zombie struck a pose as if modelling some garment as can be bought from shops in the big cities like Noop or Stabheim. “’Ows that for a clue!”
“I’m sorry, I have no idea…” As he said this Jib noticed that the zombies arm which had been waving up until the point of finger loss began to wave again.
“Pack that in…Pack it IN! Now you little bastard! Not you Narkweed! OI! Leave it out LEAVE IT! OW! OW! Sorry about this Narkweed the agency said I’d have no trouble with it. OW!!! KEERRISSSTYooouu BASTARD!” Each scream of pain was caused by the arm beating itself savagely across and about the Zombies head. The sound of many bells ringing accompanied the screams and it was also now that Jib noticed that the zombies body appeared to have been reconstructed and repaired several times, but every attempt just made the overall look more tragic. Where one leg was strapped up with bits of metal until it had become armour plated with cutlery, various kitchen utensils and assorted plumbing, the other was held by a bit of stick tied on with string.
The pathetic image was enhanced and confirmed by the fact that the zombie was dressed as a Morris dancer, and thus the bells.
The arm was finally mollified when the zombie put a small piece of pie and a banana into his pocket. It was then that Jib saw the cause for the arms outburst, when a small monkey climbed out of the pocket and threw the pie at the zombies head which it hit hard and square removing a lock of hair along the piece of scalp attached to it.
“Pick that up for me will ya Les? I’ll stick it back on later. Cheers.”
The monkey continued to hold onto a stick, which by means of a small piece of string was able to control the arm in a puppet like manner
*PUPPETLIKE MANOR: Home of Lord and Lady Chufftifty. Fifth Archduke of Hazzard.
Thereby enabling the zombie to have the illusion of full mobility, even though it now plain to see that his arm was merely fastened on with string.
“Sorry about that Narkweed.” Said the zombie posing again, trying to look nonchalant. Even though the string fastened arm dangled in an unlikely way towards the floor and angled back round in the direction of his bum, and one of his legs made a high pitched creaking whine. Somehow though he carried it off, and actually managed if it could be said of an undead abomination that walked in a perverted unholy replica of life, actually managed to CUT QUITE A DASH.
“There, that’s better. Any ideas now Narky?”
A light began to shine in Jibs mind; faces and smells long distant in memory began to walk again in the daylight of his brain.
“Of course, how could I have forgotten!” Smiled Jib, “Tommy Piles, you used to eat dung beetles at school.”
“No, never heard of him.”
“Prick Widget, you were done once for diddling a swan!”
“No, not me.”
“Falstoon Mactrickertypoo, The balloon man?”
Gomp Wafterweed piemaster to Lord Hairyphssst of…”
“Then I’m sorry I have no idea. I’ve thought of the saddest most pathetic most depraved most unsightly people I can remember from my days here, each was incorrect I do not know who you are clearly you have mistaken me.”
Again the zombie struck his pose, this time nearly losing an eye but again that panache was there, he knew how to do this.
Jib stared in dumbfound horror. No it couldn’t be.
“The very same, Narkweed ‘ow longs it been since you were ‘ere? Ten, twenty, fifteen years?”
“I thought so, We were talking about you. Oh! Six years ago and you’d been gone twenty then, so yes fifteen years sounds about right.”
Jib could not remember whether Swanky Maurice was known as something of an intellect, but he had an idea that conversation would be somewhat limited.
“OI! Everybody look oo’s ‘ere! It’s only bloody Narkweed! Looking a proper toff ‘n all. A bloody dirty toff, but a toff. Has to be said.”
The rest of the zombies turned and waved at Jib, a few calling out “Well done Narky!”
“I always said you’d do well.”
“I always said you’d end up mucky!”
Good lad, ‘scuse the ooze. Trouble down there, shit!” This from a zombie that lost both his eyeballs as he glanced towards his ‘trouble’.
It was not long before Jib and Swanky Maurice were sitting down to full glasses of beer, talking of years gone by. Maurice took a good long pull from his glass, which was immediately followed by a trickling splashing sound on the ground, and a puddle of beer lazily rolled around Jibs boots.
“Sorry about that Narky.” Said Maurice “I forget I’m not exactly one hundred percent solid, bloody holes everywhere.
“No matter.” Said Jib “But tell me what has brought you to this state, you were someone we all looked up to when I was a child. Your style, your panache, Great Jagga, you were such a one for the ladies. What on earth brought you to this?”
“Ah, there you go Narky. Truth is it was a woman that laid me low.”
“Yes. She was a dancer here Letitia La Titia.” Here Maurice’s eyes took on a sadness and the charisma and glamour that even now gave this sad re animated sub human a certain something had left him. Leaving only the dry shell of the undeath that was now the lot of Swanky Maurice.
“I’m not going to make a big thing of it, it was a long time ago. Usual story, like everyone tells. Handsome and popular boy with money and time meets extremely sexy and curvaceous woman with chronic desire to acquire that money in the form of jewellery, clothes, and alcohol. I realised what was going on of course, but it was too late and she’d already called the Witchdoctor.
Not complaining though, its not so bad being a zombie. There’s a few of us here. We get to chew the fat, in a manner of speaking and we can still get pissed and join in the fights. Sure our voices sound bloody awful and we’re well, a bit more brittle when it comes to fighting so we have to be quite inventive in repairs.
Still never mind eh! Worse things happen at sea.”
“Dunno, never been on a boat in me life. Anyway it’s your turn now, what gets you through the day Narky?”
“To crush my enemies before me and hear the lamentation of the women!”
“There is one thing that’s really puzzling me Maurice.”
“Fire away Narky.”
“Well, when I used to know you as a child. Well, you were Swanky in everyway, including your speech. Now, well forgive me for saying so but you seem to have gone common!”
“Ah well, it’s all to do with a matter of appearance. See, the man I used to be Swanky Maurice, notice the emphasis there Narky. Maur-eece!” His voice transformed itself into the mannered vowels and diction of his former self.
“It’s one thing when you look the part, you can speak how you please. But when your face is pretty much a skull with bits on, well things change, and the whole skull thing plus received pronunciation seems to give the impression of being something I’m not.”
As he said this Jib noticed that other customers of the pie and beer selling place had begun to cast nervous glances at Maurice who had also noticed it.
“See what I mean, people think you’re going to talk in block capitals and I can’t be doing that.”
“The vicar says it gets God into copyright difficulties. So I turned common dinni! Made a few changes, adaptability that’s the key. Even down to the spelling of my name.”
“Yes, or rather no. It’s changed to fit my current status, the clothes are just part of the Swank, some things never change. But you’ll notice that the names spelt different from now on.”
“What do you mean, spelt different from now on.”
“I’ll show you. OI! pass me the book
For the brief moments time that the zombie shows jib the book you are reading you are free to dream free to ascertain your own place in the picture
There is a centre to all things surrounded by a uncountenancable vastness within which infinity swirls upon and under this is a vastness of parallels there is no limit to life
All things play their part
All stories are connected
A tall man climbs down a mountainside to meet another standing by a car, another sits in gloom and anger at some trivial inconsequence, his friend unconcerned is trying to prevent another man from turning into a fish! Nearby there is the sound of many bees buzzing years and miles distant a small boy pulls his bedclothes around him, crying against the dark night that sits like a bully outside his window.
As above so below
The destinies of these and others are all one it is the doom and salvation of all connected to the one you are the one we are the one the one are all as we are all together
Crying against the dark night that sits like a bully outside his window time beyond which a warrior stonebearer looks at the book held by a dead mans hands
…. … . . . ..
.. . . . .
There you go, see MORRIS! Cheers squire! sorry about that but sometimes it’s easier just to go straight back to the text!”
“Just a minute!” Said Jib, who for One, could not understand A: Where the book had come from? And B: How did Morris (even he was doing it now) get it? For Two, what was all that about destiny?
“That book, what is it.”
“It’s the story, don’t worry it all works out well.”
“What do you mean the story?”
“Your story, our story, their story. Don’t worry about it, just enjoy it. “
“Let me see it again.”
“No can’t do that.”
“I haven’t a clue, just can’t. Something to do with God.”
“But I want to, that bit about destinies. “
“Never mind that Narky, it’s got a happy ending that’s all I can say.”
“Not good enough, I want to know more.”
“Sorry Narky, God won’t allow it!
At this Jib reached across to Swanky Morris and pulled him closer by the bells…
“… Never mind God I want to have a look at that book, to read about destinies. I have a destiny to fulfil; you know that’s true ever since I found the Jagga Shard if God has a destiny for me then I want to know fully what it is NOW! So…SOD GOD AND GIVE ME THE BOOK!”
“The thing is Nar….”
“AND DON’T CALL ME NARKY! RIGHT! THE BOOK NOW IF YOU PLEASE!”
“Don’t make me do it.”
“Ah well I tried, don’t say I didn’t bloody warn you.”
As Morris reached to take the book once more a loud whistling sound could be heard, people moved well out of the vicinity of Jib and Morris looking upward with anxious eyes.
“The thing is Na…JIB! The thing is that shit…
The first bomb landed square on Jib who had no idea of the occurrence as he was completely and utterly destroyed before he knew what happened. Then before even the smoke had cleared he was back made whole and wearing an expression of bemused anger.
Jib sat there, raised one finger and opened his mouth to speak.
Seventeen more bombs hit Jib squarely, atomising him beyond existence…
Don’t play dice with god.