On the third day they crossed the Mazzambimbi at Monk’s Fjord and found themselves in the badlands. Trudging through the sand on zir two pairs of legs, stepping gingerly over the rotting carcasses of dead donkeys, even JillJack found it heavy going. “Stop pissing in my ass” ze told zirself crossly.
One man, one woman, one hermaphrodite, one soul-sucking alien monkey and one soul-sucked zombie Albanian ex-organ-grinder: the outcast mutant outlaws were on the case. Their mission? Hugh knows, but he's not saying. Something to do with recovering the Scroll of Cthulu from the Barbarians, and returning it to the Tomb of the Old Ones, from whence it was took.
Clad in a voluminous robe speckled with dust and sweat, the miserable wizard, mangy mage Selestin felt pain and discomfort in all limbs and body parts, and via all perceptual modalities. His nostrils were full of the reeky stench of rotting donkeys. His eyes were sore and gritty and dazzled from squinting into the dazzlingly bright desert sun. His sensitive ears rang with the constant squawking and shrieking of desert mole-hawks wheeling and diving in great thousand-voiced hawkfleets in the cloudless skies above.“Stinks to high heaven,” he opined, between pants, in his surly high pitched whine.
Perched in zer customary spot upon the shoulder of a weird little man once known as Bernardo of Albania, was Dire Lord Cappuccino. The Dire Lard appeared to be an organ-grinder’s monkey, but that was just the physical shell of what in reality was an alien soul-sucker from the depths of deepest space.
Cappuccino was in good spirits. The heat and dust reminded him of his home planet, Fumigator. As did the stench of corruption that permeated the badlands. Death was a way of life on Fumigator.
Trudging in the rear was a young woman of great beauty and presence. Clothilde — she of the Gift of the Tongue — wondered why the outcast mutant outlaws were even permitted to live, let alone be sent on a top secret mission. Heaving a deep sigh over her shallow shoulder, she wandered in the direction of reasons why she had been dragooned into acting as navigator and translator to the motley crue in the rear of which she trudged.
“Pathetic bunch of losers,” she thought to herself as they made their motley way across that naughty landscape, trying to ignore the mysterious segues that pulled them hither and thither like bats entangled in the hair of Rapunzel.
Mental as anything she silently berated her fellow travellers, resenting the responsibilities that had been thrust upon her by the evil grand Vizier himself, Hobartion of the flamboyant moustaches.
Fearlessly they entered the territory of the Funnee tribe. A cheerful bombing people, sunburnt and sweaty, the Funnees wore their famous Shaydee hats everywhere, including on their many missions of miscellaneous misbegotten malarkey if not mayhem.
After the customary pleasantries, negotiated without mishap by the fluent and ultra-emo Clothilde — she of the Tongue — humbly the outcast mutant outlaws entered the tent of the Funnee leader, Shake Islimiri. Inside it was dank and dark but they made out the bearded, hatted figure of Islimiri all dignified and manly in a loose burnoose.
The Shake lurked in a musty corner on a rustic rug — a fine exemplar of a Funnee Buttcloth, to use the technical term, of the classical era, Jerkwad dynasty.
Assuming the required meekness of posture and demureness of bodice, Clothilde gently hinted that “thy masculine assistance in this matter would be most manfully regarded as the sign of a true mailman’s manhood...”
Islimiri looked away haughtily, turned and snot-snorted with gusto into the southwest corner of the tent, then turned to look at and address the pasty-faced qazzukerie smelling up his tent. Qazzukerie was a Funnee word impossible to translate or articulate but which is often used in Funnee social settings such as when a host wishes to disparage newly arrived visitors.
Turning once again, the Shake began to spin around and around in the tarantella-like Dance of Welcomings. With each revolution, Islimiri uttered a word or a phrase, sometimes even a clause or two, but only ever directed at the drekks — a Funnee word that translates literally into “non-female denizens of this fine Tent”, as they were called in those peculiar days.
Waxing full loquacious, Islimiri quoth and spake as centripetally as protocol demanded, She of The Tongue translated his spinning words as follows:
“First, we eat. It is hard to think on an empty stomach. Though full richly strewn with camel droppings may be thy untrod path, nor yet thy inner jackal doth appease-ed be. As mine olden Great Grand-sleeper in death’s cold embrace maiden-blessed houristically...”
The outlaws exchanged sidelong glances with each other. Sarcastic eyebrows lifted quizzically at the trustworthiness or otherwise of Clothilde’s translation of Islimiri’s bizarre musings.
Pretending not to notice, the gimlet-hearted Shake nodded hospitallistically. Thrice clappeth-ed he his shaky hands together above his lousy head. In immediate response, the first of a succession of tribespersons entered the tent bearing platters of delicacies such as…
…sand-ripened scorpion-hearts in sticky date sauce with an infusion of triple-boiled turban-sweat
…heat-seared date-hearts in sticky scorpion sauce, slow-served in a dune-buggy crankshaft case
…a frisson of blackened hart-heart inside-out tart, tossed into a chiffonnade of excruciated palm-palm fingers
…tripled-smoked battered hart-hoof melt-balls, roiling in a transcendent decoction of slow-chilled camel’s milk broth, served upon a bed of evaporated Mugga-mugga shoots.
But that was just a dream, a mirage if you like, wrought of hunger and SSD, (sand-sadness disorder) as some prefer to refer to it, bye.
What really happened was...
What really happened was... ...
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