I think this is the ninth installment of Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother. When we last left our intrepid crew (I’ve always want to write that,) Ono, has just encountered Lustavious Brachenhun, the libidinous, importunate (two more words I’ve always want to use,) Lightbringer, who has pegged her for one of his longer-termed relationships – perhaps an entire hour.
Stuff You Learn
There are several tricks you learn if you live long enough. I have lived long enough to learn a few of them, and to identify several more that I have yet to learn. Some tricks come to you naturally, though the only way to learn others is to go to the right school.
Characters learn to fly in books from the childhood tales of Ffefferfoph the Bblupbblsuph (who hasn’t read that one?) to Jonathan Edwards Seagull Looks for Chicks. What does this mean? There is a trick to flying, and humans can learn that trick if they live long enough – or find where it’s taught.
The same is true for trans-dimensional transport, a common skill in many stories – so common that anyone who’s lived long enough would surely learn how to do it. It is a skill that Ono, at this point in the story would find very useful.
And also a skill I never learned.
“You,” sang Lustavious Brachenhun with a catchy pop tune with a syncopated beat, “you may be the next one! You maybe the one-and-only of this hour! (or maybe one of two.)”
I disliked Lustavious Brachenhun on sight, but I admired his ability to make up a song extemporaneously like that. Dirk could do that – even when we weren’t unusually old. As a matter of fact, Dirk was doing that when we were children.
“You’re the Babe for my bed,” sang Lustavious, “and it better be soon or I will SWOOOON to the moon!”
All right, that section wasn’t so good.
Lustavious was tall. He was the tallest Light Bringer I’d ever met, and his hair was pretty amazing. His blonde coif was the equal of Luxcurious Bidden, and it wasn’t even stapled to his head.
As he got closer I stood up. Why do men always stand up when they are approached by tall men? Maybe it is to see if the other man is taller.
Lustavious was taller. I still stood. So did Ono with Swampy firmly rooted to her shoulder. She nudged me out a step and slipped behind me so I blocked Lustavious from her.
“Oh, hi,” said Lustavious. “You must be the brother of that conniving bastard we are going to blast into oblivion for all time!” He thrust out his hand. “I hope there’re no hard feelings.”
I found myself taking his hand, and even more incredibly, saying the words, “of course not; think nothing of it.”
“Jerrrrrrk!” said Swampy, sounding more bird-like than I’ve ever heard him before.
“We are all happy,” said Akwar in a disturbingly seductive tone, “to do anything you want, Lustavious. ANYTHING.”
I didn’t remember Akwar being in the room. She did what may have been intended as a bump and grind routine with a chair, which had it any free will, might have ended it’s chair existence right there and opted for cremation.
I put selective amnesia on my list of skills I needed to acquire.
“Noted,” said Lustavious, who had been fortunate to miss the more disgusting thrusts of Akwar’s routine because he was focusing on getting past me and into close proximity with Ono. He reached across my body and fastened his manicured fingers onto Ono’s arm.
Ono said something that might have been yelp, or help. I couldn’t be sure. Mage-e-not’s head was missing, though there wasn’t any food floating above his collar. I remembered my boast about just drawing the line and felt shame.
“Just a moment,” I said, and felt conflicted saying even that much.
“Yes?” said Lustavious, staring down his perfectly straight nose and over his strong chin to meet my gaze.
I trembled. I really trembled. Not even Lenny Bruise had made me tremble and that guy was pretty powerful when he wanted you to feel small.
“You don’t what?” asked Lustavious.
“I don’t know…”
“What don’t you know?” he sang in a suspended minor chord that sent shivers up my spine.
What didn’t I know? I didn’t know! I couldn’t think. My mind was blank, my knees were shaking. Something was important, but I had no idea what!
“I know,” said Swampy, and sunk his rat-muzzle beak right into Lustavious’ arm.
Lustavious bellowed, and within moments, seven Showr Rinn monks skipped lightly across tables, chairs, and people’s heads, surrounding Lustavious, Ono, Swampy, and me.
“A problem?” asked a slightly damp but glistening Lip Ton Tease.
For a moment we all stood there frozen. It reminded me of the day Grandpa McFarland caught Dirk and me smoking one of his cigars behind the potting shed. It turned out that Grandpa had no trouble with his ten and eight-year-old grandsons smoking, but he gave us each a whipping for not buying our own.
Grandpa loved his cigars more than his children or grandchildren, an attitude I’ve come to understand over the years.
Tease stood there watching us with patient intensity. Monks live for the moments when they can display patient intensity. Everybody else on the planet experiences either patient boredom, or anxious intensity. Monks hum for years to acquire this skill, then display it whenever they can.
Yes, monks love to show off.
Ono was the first to come to her wits. She ignored Lustavious’ bleeding forearm, and the bits of gore hanging from Swampy’s beak.
“You glitter and bubble, Lip Ton Tease,” she said. “Did you splish and swoosh?”
Tease turned his head in the pose that monks make when they don’t know what to say, but want to look wise. “Loofa brings wholeness to a shower,” he said.
“Ding dong,” said Ono. “You monks vroom.”
Tease straightened in a non-monk-like, but very guy-like way. For all his training, Tease was a guy, and Ono was a pretty female. Guys, be they 2-years-old, or about to fall in the grave, always like to impress pretty girls.
“Poop and boo-hoo,” Ono continued, “we can’t peep as you roar and rumble – to see you whoosh and jangle.”
A female novice, who though a female, may have been among that percentage of females who, like males, live for impressing pretty girls, said, “but you can watch us! I mean, it is permissible if you wish to observe and so find peace.”
“Ker-ching?” asked Ono. Her eyes, which I noted were a rather pleasant shade of green, fastened on Tease, like he was the great hero, and the bleeding Light Bringer was nothing more than a face – a face turning rapidly red – in the crowd.
“Yes,” said Tease, “Lap Er Gud, speaks truthfully – though training exercises here might disturb the peace of brunch. We would not harm anyone, but those who have not attained cleansed emotions might fear the fear that disturbs digestion.”
“Wham zing!” said Ono, accepting an invitation that was not strictly given. “May Swampy swoop and peep as well?” She gently slipped her free hand under Tease’s arm. Lustavious still held her other arm in his large hand connected to his large, albeit savaged arm.
Tease looked on Lustavious’ wound and produced a loofa from his robe. “You should clean that before you have it bandaged,” he said.
Lustavious let go of Ono’s arm who strolled out of the cafeteria between Lip Ton Tease and Lap Er Gud.
Maybe Akwar was right; she was a wizard.
A perfect drop of blood released its hold on Lustavious’ arm and hurtled out into space. Its shape elongated as it fell, whether stretching for the floor, or reaching back for its erstwhile home. Though it accelerated as it dropped, time slowed and tiny fragments of the drop refracted in the cafeteria’s sterile and unappetizing light. As the drop found oneness with the puddle below, twin crowns formed at the top of the drop, and at the point of joining. The first crown dissolved into harmony with the puddle while the second rapidly expanded its corona before rippling through the many droplets that had lost themselves in a completeness which was…
Yech. That’s what it was, a puddle of blood. I never much liked blood. I looked up at Lustavious whom I still detested.
“You need some help with that arm?”
Lustavious looked around sheepishly. Sheepish was not an expression his face knew well, and it didn’t suit him.
“I suppose,” he said, putting down the loofa as if it were a dangerous snake.
Mage-e-not’s head did not reappear until after we left.
Come back next week to see the doings in the broom closet! That came out wrong. I mean there is a broom closet involved, and stuff happens, but I don’t write “doings” very well. So come back next week to read the non-salacious events that occur in the broom closet.
(Way to go, Headley. Now nobody’s coming back next week.)
And now this message from one of my favorite sick song writers, Tom Lehrer