This is the 15th installment of Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother, an unpublished novel I had to give up due to the Donald Trump Ubiquity Law or 2015. If you’re just starting in, the hero is Elmer McFarland, or Elmer Destroyer, or Destroyer, or Hey You. There are no villains, though I can’t say I like some of the characters too much. For instance, I sure am glad we don’t have that Jonma Claim guy in our universe.
(I lost track – look it up.)
Nobody got up to relieve me, so I didn’t feel so bad about falling asleep. There were sheep all over the campsite, eating Carry’s beans, Mage-e-not’s shirt, and two of my precious store of matches. I asked Lustavious for a light, but he was in a grumpy mood, probably because Swampy wouldn’t leave Ono alone, and Swampy seemed to be the only being capable of stopping Lustavious from moving on Ono.
“Ono and the bird are inseparable,” Lustavious sang to me in a low – Leonard Cohen-type drone.
“I understand,” I said to Lustavious. “If you want, I can ask to talk to Ono and you can have time alone with Swampy.”
That really wasn’t a way to get a light from the Light Bringer.
“Say,” said Mage-e-not, awake now and looking at the state of his shirt. “You still using that bag?”
I looked into my cigar bag. I had smoked enough that there were only a couple cigars left. I managed to cram them into my fanny pack and handed the bag to Mage-e-not.
“Thanks,” he said. “I wonder how I can use this to patch my shirt without thread.”
I shrugged my shoulders in the universal gesture of, beats me.
“It’s just that I don’t look so good shirtless.”
I had to agree.
Tip Ton Tease was meditating while balanced on a slender branch twenty feet above where Jonma Carry had been sleeping. The tree was missing all its bark close to the ground – probably from sheep grazing.
“Why are you up there, Tease?” asked Lustavious.
“The thirty-fifth idea.”
“Oh… What do you see?”
Tease put his thumb and forefingers to his earlobes before responding, though it was hard to see how he might have gotten water in his ears up in a tree. “Sheep,” he said.
“What-do-you-mean, more sheep,” sputtered Jonma Claim. “Light Bringer, lift me up so I can see.”
The awkward little man waddled over to where Lustavious – reluctant, but obedient, lifted him into the air.
“Higher!” barked Jonma Claim.
“Top floor,” grunted Lustavious.
Suddenly the annoying host of Uriculous Wisehind began to rise.
“What kind of…” sputtered Jonma Claim… with a few spasms thrown in. “Destroyer, what are you doing?”
“You squawk for upsey,” said Ono who was clearly working very hard to keep the doughy Jonma Claim airborne.
“It can’t be!” Jonma Claim spitted.
“What?” asked Mage-e-not who had somehow found a way to join the bag to his shirt making an astoundingly ugly garment.
“There are sheep,” said Jonma Claim crossly.
“Isn’t that what Tease said?” I asked.
“But so many!” sputtered Jonma Claim. His body began to sway to the east. “Stop it,” he barked, but his body began moving even faster to the southwest.
“Whoop, swoon, swish,” said Ono.
“As High Priest, I command you!” commanded Jonma Claim... with a sputter.
“I would put him down, Ono,” said Mage-e-not.
“Squeak, sway, thump, thud!” said Ono, clearly distressed.
“Destroyer!” barked Jonma Claim. “Do something!”
“But you’re always telling me not to do things,” I said to him not helpfully. I enjoyed the look on Jonma Claim’s face, but then I glanced at Ono, and saw both panic and betrayal etched across her features.
“Hold on,” I said, and I tried to bring my limited telekinetic powers to bear. If I’d been a better telekinete, or if Jonma Claim had not been a moving target, I might have had more success. Whether it was my effect, or Ono’s magic, Jonma Claim’s swooping went from two dimensions to three, now shooting up near the treetops, then crashing down to within a couple of body lengths from the ground.
“Can’t you let him go when he’s low?” asked Mage-e-not.
Ono, her face set in determination, shook her head no.
“It would probably kill him, anyway,” said Jonma Carry in a tone that showed that wouldn’t bother him overly.
“This is unacceptable!” blustered Jonma Claim. “I will not have this!”
I almost gave up trying right there. Why should I care if the dead man died again?
“To me,” said Tease, still up in his tree.
Adding Tease to the equation, I came up with a plan. Instead of trying to grab Jonma Claim from Ono’s magical grasp, I started to build barriers of compressed air, herding the bouncing Jonma Claim closer to Tease’s location. Tease jumped from branch to branch, many of them too thin to support my fanny pack, much less two men.
“Let go,” called Tease, as he lunged for Jonma Claim. Ono swooned falling to the ground. Lustavious was about to catch her when Swampy hissed at him. Quickly, I brought loam and soft earth up to cushion her as she came to ground. She bounced gently as she might on a good mattress.
Tease landed moments later, Jonma Claim in his arms.
“Just like your brother!” Jonma Claim sputtered. “Thank the really good ideas that the world will soon be rid of you both.”
“I did my best,” I said.
“To get me killed!” he replied reproachfully with both a sputter and a spasm.
What will the Fellowship of the Bring do surrounded so completely by a seemingly endless flock of sheep? Me, I’d just push my way through and watch my step for doo-doo, but on the Planet 2, the thirty-fifth Really Good Idea might not allow that. We’ll find out next Friday… (Actually, I already know. I’m just trying to establish community here.)
For some reason, ELO kept running in my head as I wrote this.