WOSSNAME -- JULY 2007 -- PART 6 OF 7 (continued)
====Part 6 - WEIRD ALICE, CONTINUED
22) CLACKS LOG, CONTINUED
22) ALICE'S CLACKS LOG: THE REST
The Show!Boat! is exactly what it sounds like - an old retired
paddlewheel steamboat that's been drydocked, hauled ashore, and
permanently stationed near the riverbank - but inside, things
aren't exactly what they seem to be. Or they're exactly what they
don't seem to be, if you take my meaning. The Show!Boat! has
entertainment every night of the week, or in the words of its
copiously exclamation-marked billboards:
ENTERTAINMENT!!! EIGHT NIGHTS! A WEEK!!!!! FEATURING GENUA'S! BEST!!
AND EXOTIC!!! GUEST!!! PERFORMERS!!! FROM THE FURTHEST! REACHES! OF
THE DISC!!!!! SPECIAL AUDIENCE! PARTICIPATION! NIGHT!!! EVERY
The week we were there, their EXOTIC!!! GUEST!!! PERFORMERS!!! were
Lavender Beer, all-singing, all-dancing troupe from the Continent of
EcksEcksEcksEcks. I have to say they were exotic. Three of them -
Letitia, Darleen and Noelene - and their manager, a nice young lady
called Neilette who invited me back to their cart for drinkies when
she heard I was a Bard, and oh yes their pet sheep. Answers to the
name of Rinso, the real Rinso being some kind of Ecksian hero or
criminal (I get the impression they're the same thing there). They'd
been booked to lead the Fat Tuesday Parade, since they have so much
experience leading parades back home. I have to say their singing is
dreadful but they have the best costumes I've ever seen, the sort
you'd expect at the Opera House in A-M. At one point Letitia was
dressed as Madame Cupidor, the mistress of Mad King Soup II - and
complete with the wig with the replica linguini shop and water clock
in it, and six-inch heels, she topped seven feet. I asked Neilette
(good voice by the way, but won't sing with the troupe for some
reason) if they'd be willing to gig in Lancre, but she said she
didn't think Lancre was ready for their unique approach to woman-
hood, song and beard stubble. Hah! She should see the beards on some
of the old birds at the Witch Trials, and those old ladies are old
ladies who came into the world as young ladies!
All in all, an unforgettable time. Like I wish this one was!
Over and out.
Third clog: "Pining on the fjords"
We dropped anchor in NoThingfjord harbour this morning. Blackstrap
says the slave auction will be held on the docks at noon tomorrow.
He also said "Nurr, nurr" a lot. I'll be glad to see the back of
him. I'd be gladder to see the back of him if I had a sword I could
stick right through to the front of him!
NoThingfjordsbergen is very wooden and very hairy. Great strapping
hairy wooden-faced men and great strapping hairy wooden-faced women
and great strapping hairy-roofed wooden longhouses. I can't imagine
why they'd want female slaves when every woman I've seen looks well
capable of carrying a full-grown heifer under each arm. Maybe I'll
get lucky and get bought by someone with a goat farm. I like goats.
I even like milking them, though I can't say I wanted to spend the
rest of my life doing nothing else but milking and mucking out, I
mean, I've had books published, I'm famous in Lancre and Uberwald
and and Genua and arrgh arrgh arrgh PANIC!!! is it time yet?
Rum for all last night! I know it's the same sort of thing as a
condemned prisoner's last meal, but who cares? Rum! Got stinking
Blackstrap just threw a bucket of water over me and told me to
"pretty yourself up, nurr, nurr," and laughed when I asked if there
was any soap. Good thing Gimpy was out of range. I'd be lost without
him passing messages between me and Cert. Wonderful imp.
They decided to keep Cert as Ship's entertainer. Gimpy just told me.
This is hopeful, I think. At least he won't be up there on the
auction block with me!
WE'RE FREE! FREE! FREE FREE FREE!
And this is how it happened - when we slaves-to-be were standing on
the little stage they use for auctions, I heard whispers from
underneath the boards:
"No, hung over."
"Yerss, I was seriously pissed last night. - oh, it's you!"
"It's time yet. Hold out your wrists. And close your eyes, there may
be some bright lights..."
I was already seeing more bright lights than I wanted to, but I did
as told and there was a sort of quiet sizzle and a funny tingle
around my wrists and suddenly my manacles turned into a pair of
little snakes, non-venomous little snakes, praise Io, and slithered
away. As did I. Not so much slithered as dropped like a stone,
rolled off the back of the boards and hit the ground running. All
three of us, running for our lives and freedom. And I'll cut this
short by just saying that we got very lost on the docks, but it
didn't matter because we ducked into a warehouse that was full of
silks and hides and a rolled-up carpet in one corner and Cert
yelled aloud because it looked like one of *those* carpets, you
know, and it was! We unrolled it and there was a stamp on the
underside that read PROPERTY OF EAT CARPET AIRWAYS, AL KHALI,
KLATCH, and Cert said "Quick, I know how to drive these things," and
we grabbed a pile of silk cloth and some hides for keeping warm with
and Gimpy got some string and hopped up and tied it to the door-
latch and then Cert and I got on the carpet and he said some wizardy
words and we rose up smooth as glass and Gimpy pulled on the string
and hopped on with us and then we flew through the entrance and we
were free free FREE! There was a lot of shouting and pointing from
the NoThingfjorders and the pirates and Captain Aie waved his iron
hand at us and a few of the quicker ones fired crossbows but we were
rising fast. One crossbow bolt did go through the middle of the
carpet, but Cert said that was no problem because magic wasn't about
aerodynamics, and off we went, over the hills and away! The only
thing that would have been even better was if we'd had some rum.
Time to cut the trip short and go home, or at least back to
someplace civilised. Food! Hot baths! A change of clothes!
Here endeth this post.
Fourth Clog: "What do you mean, 'it's on autopilot'?"
Apparently, we have to fly two-thirds of the way across the Disc
before this damned carpet will let itself be landed. Arrgh!
My guidebook said the Hublights are especially lovely at this time
of year. That's good news, since we'll unavoidably be passing right
through them. The other good news is that what with Cori Celesti
being a no-fly zone for non-divines, the carpet at least won't
strand us in the middle of the Hall of Io. The third good news is
that this carpet is *fast*. Cert says it will only take us a few
days to get to Al-Khali where the Eat Carpet home stable is. Now if
only we'd thought to bring food and water...
Well, the Hublights were especially lovely after all. And the flight
is wonderfully quiet. And our week and more of travail and
tribulations aboard the good ship Lalip-Ap have given Cert a lean
and hungry look that rather suits him. And we're getting to know
each other better all the time. And...oh. So *that's* why wizards
aren't allowed to have families. "You mean you can't...?" "Afraid
not. And certainly not while we're 1,500 feet up above what look
like very solid mountains. But if I, you know, could, um, I'm not
saying I wouldn't..."
I'm at one end of the carpet and Cert is at the other. I can see
this is going to be a long flight.
Note for Roundworlders: the original lyrics for Weather With You can
be found at:
End of Part 6, continued on Part 7 of 7.
If you did not get all seven parts, write: interact@...
Copyright (c) 2007 by Klatchian Foreign Legion