Chapter 5: Problems, Great and Small

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 119

On the way to the island of Clover, Calvin was told that there would be another stop because of some cargo that was loaded late and had to be delivered to the Port of "Fishbowl". The port is located at the seaside city of "Big Town", on the Isle of "Round".

The cargo just happened to be seven cargo-boxes full of Feather Wavy-fans; word travels fast around these islands, especially when the sales staff can fly.

Calvin had never heard of the Isle of Round and wondered why it wasn't famous for something. So thinking that it was a mysterious place he hoped to have time to look around, at Round. So he asked the Ship's Master how long they were going to be in port.

The Ship's Master thought for awhile and replied, "Three suns-rises; one to load and unload, one to file tax tallies with the Tax-Master, and one waiting for the Tax-Master to approve the tallies. We will sail on the fourth suns-rise, if the Tax-Master does not reject the tallies."

So as soon as they set to port and all tie-downs were tied up, Calvin loaded Doolittle with provisions and off they went.

The city didn't seem to have any exotic or mysterious things to see or do, so Calvin told Doolittle, "To the island's interior, my noble Kerryme, let us see what mysteries will be found beyond the hills."

The two curious onlookers traveled until they reached the top of a high hill. The rather tall hills were part of a chain of hills that surrounded the city like a crescent moon.

When Calvin reached the very highest point he stopped Doolittle to have a look-see at the valley below, but he could not believe his eyes. --- It was empty!

There were no houses or barns; nor were there any farms, roads, or businesses. There was just a whole lot of nothing out there, and not one something or another.

"Oh my," exclaimed Calvin, "there sure isn't anything to see in that valley. However, it does present a mystery, that's for sure. How does a valley turn into something without life?

Oh well, Doolittle, I guess we had better turn back and see what we might find in the city."

Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, two large Razor-toothed Gobbling Lizards appeared and took a classic attack stance; feet spread wide, head in the air, and their tongues spinning around like whirligigs.

Calvin didn't have to tell Doolittle to run, because she was already doing that!

Down into the valley Doolittle ran, with Calvin doing everything in his power just to hang on! (Doolittle had never ran before.)

When the lizards tried to outflank Doolittle, she zigged, and when they tried to cut Doolittle off, then she zagged!

Calvin already knew how good Doolittle was at evading work, now he was pleasantly surprised about how well she was at evading the lizards.

But all good things must come to an end, so they say, and in this case they were right. The lizards managed to Zig when Doolittle Zigged and that trapped them. Everyone came to a halt in the middle of nowhere! 

And as the lizards moved in for the kill, Doolittle buried her four eyed face in Calvin's chest and whimpered. Calvin wrapped his arms around her head and closed his eyes as well. The two explorers would die together.


Calvin waited, and waited, finally curiosity took over and he found the courage to look around. There was no lizards anywhere (?)!

"Where did they go?" Calvin questioned, without expecting Doolittle to really answer. "They were right there and now they are gone (?)! 

A Yabber-bird flew down from its hovering place in the sky and said, "I could tell you where they went, yes I could, yes I could, I saw the entire episode, I did, I did!"

Calvin told the bird, "Please calm down, Yabber-bird, there is no need for such panic attacks. Just say what you saw and be calm about it."

The bird, dancing around as if it was walking on hot sand, replied, "I guess that I should explain it all, that I should, maybe I should! But it happened, oh so quick, very quick, exceedingly fast, far too fast for me to have seen everything, (Maybe?). Maybe I missed something; even a little thing would cause a distortion of the truth. I hate distortions of the truth, yes I do, yes I do! So I'll not say another word!" And off the Yabber-bird flew.

Calvin looked at Doolittle and said, "Yabber-birds, it seems that they are the same no matter where you go. They Yabber and Yabber but never really say anything; oh well.

"I can tell you what the bird wouldn't," said a voice from a nearby rock, "but it will cost you."

Calvin looked around, but really couldn't tell what or who was talking, so he said, "I do not make deals with shadowy figures, so reveal yourself or this conversation is over."

The voice laughed and replied, "Shadowy figure, are you blind? My presence is as obvious as your Karryme!"

"Oh really, then why can't I see you?" Calvin questioned further.

The voice snickered and said, "You need to focus a little harder and to look at the top of the rock!"

So Calvin moved towards the rock and as he did it became clear enough that he was talking to a flea; a flea with a big voice and an ego to match.

"So, there you are! I was expecting someone larger based on the voice I was hearing."

The Flea laughed hardily and replied, "I know, I just love doing that, it just blows everyone away!

I let you off easily, sometimes I don't tell them where to look for me and then when they start getting close, I jump to another spot and start talking again. It is hilarious!"

Calvin frowned and said, "I don't think that you are very funny."

"Maybe not," replied the Flea, "but I still know what happened to those two ravenous lizards and that information will cost you."

Calvin frowned again, and then said, "Cost me what?"

"Blood, of course," replied the Flea, "just a little blood for me and my immediate family, that's all. Then I'll tell you everything you want to know about the lizards."

"Oh no, that’s not going to happen," Calvin stated, "everyone knows that if a flea hops on then they never get off unless you drown them in mud!

So Thanks, but No Thanks, the lizards are gone and that is good enough!"

The Flea made a load Clicking noise and about 40 Gazillion fleas came out of everywhere, and they were all looking at Doolittle!

"That's a shame," said the Flea, "we hoped that this would be a voluntary donation. But sense it is not, well, we'll just have to make it an involuntary one."

Calvin jumped on Doolittle's back and off they went with about 40 Gazillion fleas in hot pursuit!

After a short while Calvin saw something that could save them both from In-flea-station, and he aimed Doolittle right towards it.

In just a blink of an eye he and Doolittle were in the middle of a very large puddle of mud; large enough to gobble up about 40 Gazillion fleas and still have room for the two of them.

"Wow, I wonder where they went?" Calvin exclaimed while laughing and pulling himself out of the mud.

Doolittle, of course, was in a dither. The poor beast of burden was up to her snout in the same slimy mess.

"Oh what a sorry state we are in," Calvin said while digging Doolittle out of the goo. "We somehow survived the lizards and fleas, but how are we going to survive this mud? It will soon dry and when it does it will not allow us to move; we will become statues out here in this wasteland.

Oh Doolittle, if only we had water to wash the mud off."

"Water; did I hear someone say Water? We never deny water to travelers!" a voice said from somewhere in the mud puddle.

Calvin replied, but he didn't know to whom, "YES, I said water! Do you have some?"

"Well of course I have water! How do you think I made this mud puddle?" stated the voice.

Calvin thought that he should treat this situation with a little diplomacy; after all, he did not know who he was dealing with. So Calvin replied, "We have your Mud all over us and we don't want to just carry it away; that might be stealing. After all, it must be very important because you have gone to so much trouble to make such a lovely puddle."

The voice replied, "That is true, it has taken me oodles of time to craft this beautiful puddle. And you are also right; I don't want you to take any of it away. --- So stand still!"

Suddenly, almost magically,  jets of water came from almost all directions and washed the two mud-caked travelers clean.

After the shower was over Calvin stated, "Well, that was certainly refreshing. Thank you, whoever you are."

Out of the center of the puddle rose a hulk of a creature, two Karrymes tall and muscles all over its upper body.

Calvin took one look and blurted out the question, "What are you?"

"I am a manipulating Mudnipulator and my name is Burp."




Submitted: April 25, 2018

© Copyright 2020 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.


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