Tuesday, August 07, 2007
EDIT: It's finally a complete post now! Sorry for the delay, as I was out whacking crime with my cutlass. I'm a lawful pirate.
Okay! We again return to the world of Ernald the Whiny and his recent acquisition-turned-sidekick, Billward the magic cockerel. The story branch that generated the most interest was:
c.) Ernald and Billward are captured by a roving band of chuckling pirates, and are taken aboard their ship, where they sail all over tarnation, plotting to escape. Ernald does not like the pirates' food.
So we go from there! We last left our protagonist in (someplace) being thoroughly schooled by Billward.
...Billward frowned beakily. "You need training. You have a long way to go before you reach the exalted title of 'marginal.' We start tonight!"
"Now, stand on your head and throw me that knot of wood using only your mind!" commanded the cockerel. Ernald looked down at Billward with an expulsion of latitude on his continents.
"Nay, cockerel! Impossible that is. Do it I shall not. This is not the wars of the stars! Perform your own mental wood-fetching. A deep legume has entered my musculature, and I desire merely to lay here a while in decompose in order that I may rest."
"Then I hereby deem you a grade-A poostain. You'll probably get captured." Billward stalked off in a fudge, and set to sketching the ground a ways off with a talon.
Ernald looked at his friend, and couldn't help but feel a little guilt steal into his ventricles. He paddled over to where Billward was idly blasting pinecones with chickenfire, and sat down. There was a distance of only three chiddles (a mere arm's length!) between them, and Ernald sensed Billward's urgency like a potato in the air.
"What troubles thee, cockerel?" Ernald asked, applying a jaunty forearm across Billward's pinions. "It seems to me that your soul has become filled with a participant sense of dredging. Am I correct or am I veridical? You may speak your predicate to me, for I am your buddy."
"Yes. All true. See that inlet over there?"
Ernald could. It was a narrow bay let into the land, and beyond that lay The Sea.
"Aye. Beyond that bay there is a sea. By what calling does yon watermass go? I consume it has a name." Ernald smunched up his visage in thought, and smoldered apiece.
"That is the Dirty Sea, Ernald. Do you also see the masts of a privateer vessel moored there?" Billward aimed a beak. Ernald squinted with renewed constipation.
"'Tis a gallon, methinks. Doest thou know the harmoniker of her?"
"I don't know her name, but the pirates rowing this way in their jolly boat will probably be more than happy to get us close enough to find out. In chains, most likely."
Ernald's head disappeared in thought. After a number of minutes had trickled by, he reanimated. His face caught fire with the light of a brilliant lotion. He pointed a finger at the advancing jolly boat with firm restitution. He said, in a strong, fearsome voice:
"Flames, I call upon thee to come farth from the Heavens and conspire that vessel! Transbust all that prostitutes her; nails, wood, canvas and passengers! Do it now in the name of me!"
"We're hosed," muttered Billward as the pirate in the bow flopped into the shallows with a honk and hauled the boat onto the gritty shore.
"Transbust! Conflagelate! Burn to spatulas! Roasty toasty!" squeaked Ernald, his eyes clumped shut and his finger still desperately wavering at the waves.
"Heh heh," said the chuckling man who had first excommunicated himself from the boat. "What're ye up to, lad?"
"I believe he is attempting to defeat you," explained Billward.
"Parchment! Blaze forth! Igniterate!"
"Hoo hoo! Odd, that. Come here boys! This wastrel be attempting magic!"
The four other men, all clad in tri-corner hats and barnacle-encrusted tuxedoes with flowing tailcoats and ruffled collars clampored out of the jolly boat and squelched up to the boy and his chicken in their soggy boots.
"Looky what we gots 'ere! Tee hee hee! What say you, men? Galley slave? Ship's cook? Bosun's footstool?"
"Geh!" said one.
"Horph!" said another.
"Giggle!" stated the third.
"Heh heh harf!" ejaculated the last.
"Aye! That settles it. You're with us, lad, whether ye likes it or not. Avast!"
"It appears we're being captured," said Billward with a tug on the cuff of Ernald's pantaloons.
"Hoo hoo! Ye be a, how shall we say, a guest of Cap'n Snortlesmire on board his ship, The Jolly Bastard. Now be on yer best behavior boy, or we'll throw ye in the brig!"
The chuckling pirates bound Ernald with stout yarn and cuffed him to his cockerel. As they were pushed roughly across the beach toward the pirates' ship, Ernald entwined his headfront to Billward.
"The way events are taking frame, it seems to my viewage that we have become well and truly entraptured. Doth thou hav'st any chickenwisdom corned in thy mind that may be of use?"
Billward tilted an eyesocket to the yarn boundaging his talons. He set loose a trumpetous sigh. "No," he said.
"Stow the gab, featherwad!" gronked a lumpy man with a stovepipe hat made of stovepipe. He waved a rusty rapier at the cockerel, and Billward gave him the stink-eye. "Oh ho! We'll see how long ye can keep yer attitude in fronta the Cap'n! Harf haw haw!"
The boy and his magical purple cockerel were dwarfed into a sack and bedraggled onboard, where they were booted into Captain Snortlesmire's cabin with very little in the way of discrepancy.
"'Tis no way to treat the son of a lord!" smattered Ernald, rubbing his boondocks. Then he caught an eyeful of the Captain, and his breath died like frogs in a trundlestorm. The man was easily twelve chiddles high, and as muscular as a beaver! Over one ear, a patch of black silk reposited, while his eyes, like twin spheres of malicious orbfulness, gleered naughtily down a crooked nose of carved cedar. He set forth downward upon his table a mug of grog.
"Meh heh heh," said the big man, taking leave of his bench. Ernald could see that he also had one wooden knee. "Yer th' son of a lord? Har! An' whut, pray tell, are ye doin' on th' coast of th' Dirty Sea, yer lordshipfulness?" He said this last word with such uncircumference, it was like a physical blow.
"I were't questing," tumbled Ernald. "And knowledging the ways of Sorcery from the cockerel yonder." He gesticulated at Billward with an elbow.
"Doo hoo hoo!"
"Cans't thou tell me, Cap'n, where we arth bound for? If I am to be impersonated on your ship, might you at least conside that little to me?"
"Y'arr, that I might lad! That I might. Me an' me crew is bound fer Tarnation!" Captain Snortlesmire said, and punctured his statement with a fistpounding.
Billward gasped, completely carbureted! "You can't be serious, sir!" he splattered. "Nobody's ever managed to find the island and make it back alive! As legend has it, it is little more than one giant fortress ruled with a moronic fist by the Lord of the Nitwits! What can you possibly want to do there?"
"Why, sail all over it," Snortlesmire said with unmistakable briquette. "Me 'n' th' lads is right fond of our sailin', chicken."
"Arr, me word be final!" buffaloed the Captain. "Now get yer scurvy hides below deck. Tee hee hee. We sets sail at dawn!"
It's time once again, time-wasters, for you to choose Ernald and Billward's destiny! Your choices are...
a.) During the voyage, Billward succeeds in teaching Ernald the ways of marginal sorcery, and they escape the pirates by tricking seagulls into carrying them off.
b.) Billward discoveres a submarine in the ship's hold, and he and Ernald drive off with it and have many adventures under the sea, filling page after page describing unimportant marine life, just like in Jules Verne's classic novel.
c.) During the night, Ernald is visited by a vision of Doreen, Queen of Knucklewood Forest, and told to find some elves for some reason.
d.) They arrive at the island, and overthrow the Lord of the Nitwits, and Ernald is crowned in his place. After discovering that the island is rich in natural popcorn deposits, Ernald sets his new subjects to mining it for export, and changes the world for the better.
Posted by Paul FooDaddy Brand at 12:34 PM