Hey guys, and happy Sunday to all of you.
Seeing as it's my birthday in a few days, I though it only right to give you, my faithful followers a present.
For months now I've been harping on about how great my new book "Dwayne Hickenbottom and the Journey to the Centre of the Birth" is, well now's your chance to find out as I give to you free the very first chapter.
Being dead had no advantages. He’d thought long and hard about that statement. The grim possibility of a slow and gruesome death had often crossed his simple mind, not because he was suicidal, sadistic or even just a bit strange in the head; just really really clumsy. If there were a way to blunder through a situation and escalate it to its most volatile point with the minimum of effort, he would find it. Jebediah was a Tanglefoot.
Tanglefeet are a people so awesomely unlucky, that they don’t even get entered into the Readers Digest special draws. As a species, they generally keep themselves to themselves. Partially because they are a simple folk, taking pride in the joys of the old world, such as farming and raising cattle. Long hard days ploughing fields and shearing the Yakkal are the stuff of dreams for the Tanglefeet. They’d be the first to entertain any guest who’d wonder onto their land they are as kind and hospitable as they are simple. More often than not though, the rest of the galaxy tends to keep well away for fear of their bad luck and sudden uncoordinated physical movements being contagious.
Not a day would pass without Jebediah blundering into some form of compromising situation or another. Growing up on the farm back on Heekal Seventeen, his unfortunate knack for getting into the most unlikely and unpleasant predicaments was considered ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’ by his toothless old Grandmother. Though in all fairness, Grammy was a few peanuts short of a full jar and could often be found talking to her toes.
The journey to the palace had been relatively uneventful. Unless you count the incident in the marshlands when two female Fillokrackens misinterpreted his request for directions as a three way wedding proposal. The ceremony itself was ‘just darling’ he remembered thinking. Although the buffet and dance went on a little too long for his country tastes and Jebediah was short on time already. The suns were already beginning to set and he was carrying precious cargo.
‘Well?’ The King’s voice boomed out through the Kingdom. It was that kind of deep throaty voice that could almost be considered sexual, if it wasn’t being projected from such an unpleasant smelling creature. ‘My mother has how many noses?’
‘Three.’ Assured Jebediah. ‘Three. Each of them is as beautiful and pert as…’
Thinking on his feet was just another of life’s little skills that had eluded poor little Jebediah. The tatty looking farmer’s son was as swift and inspiring with his tongue as a man with a mouthful of a cheese and gravy sandwich, chewing through his best speech on paint drying times. ‘…Your nipples.’
‘Nipples..?’ Taking a break from her usual pastime of kicking him when he was down, Lady Luck sided with Jebediah on this one. The King was a very proud ruler and was increasingly conscious of the battle against gravity his chest had been fighting these past few years. No longer was he the muscular young dragon he had been in his youth. Old age had snuck up on him and turned him into middle-aged and portly ruler. He was well aware that he had to appear strong to his court, and a sagging chest could be seen as a sign of weakness. Having Jebediah compliment his body like this pleased him greatly.
‘Very well. I will excuse your rudeness this time.’ He snorted, flexing his chest slightly. ‘Just mind you watch your words in future. Or perhaps next time I might not be so forthcoming with my mercy.’
‘Thank you your Majesty.’ He coughed. The oxygen rushed back into his lungs as the King removed his body weight from the Tanglefoot’s chest. ‘You’re very kind.’
‘I know.’ The King looked down his noses at Jebediah, not once offering to help him up from the marble floor where he’d thrown him.
‘Now tell me again farm boy, who are you and why shouldn’t I have you beheaded?’
‘Ah’m Jebediah Dirtyknees.’ He dusted himself down, trying not to wince when he saw how the King’s thigh scales had scratched his arms during the scuffle. ‘And ah bring eggs from the farm.’
‘You bring eggs?’
‘From the farm. Yes.’
‘Yes thank you.’ Jebediah smiled, his bloodied lips framing all five of his wooden teeth. ‘And how are you?’
‘Dandy.’ The King snarled, bemused at the simpleton before him holding out his hand expectantly.
‘I’m not shaking your hand.’
‘Why ever not? That’s not very gentlemanly of you.’
‘In case you’d not noticed it, I’m not a gentleman. I’m a Dragon. The King of Dragon City, master and chief of all Dragons. The strongest and most fearsome ruler this world has ever known!’
‘Besides, you spat in it.’
‘To clean it.’ He continued to smile, gesturing again how he wanted to shake hands.
‘So where are these eggs?’ This was all becoming too frustrating for the King.
‘Yes, you said you brought me some eggs.’
‘I did?’ The King nodded in disbelief at the delivery boy. ‘Oh yeah, there they are, back yonder.’
Jebediah and the Dragon King turned to look at the pool of broken Yakkal eggs that oozed together at the other side of the hall. The green and yellow mess glistened in the sun.
‘Ah.’ The toothy grin faded. ‘It’s not my fault!’
‘You dropped them!’
‘You attacked me!’
‘No I didn’t!’
‘Yes you did!’
‘You’re right. I did.’ The King agreed. ‘But you shouldn’t have said that about my mother!’
‘Ah didn’t say any such thing.’ Jebediah protested. ‘Ah walked in the room and you passed wind.’
‘I did not!’
‘You did too.’ Jebediah grinned. Like all simple-minded people, there was nothing he liked better than to talk about bodily functions. Flatulence was a personal favourite of his. ‘That there guard back there done introduced me to you, then you done let out a royal bottom burp.’
‘Infidel!’ The King exclaimed, outraged at such a suggestion.
‘It’s true, your Majesty.’ Seconded the guard, who had been eaves dropping the whole conversation. ‘And truth be told, it did kind of sound like a voice.’
‘Are you saying…?’ The King folded his large scaly arms in disbelief. ‘That when this scruffy looking Tanglefoot entered the royal hall, that I, the Dragon King, passed gas?’
‘You done farted.’ Jebediah nodded, still grinning like the simpleton that he was.
‘And that…’ He continued. ‘I mistook the sound of my own royal gas, as the voice of this hayseed insulting the number of noses that my mother has?’
‘It is possible, your Majesty.’ The guard stood to attention, praying that the King didn’t notice that he wasn’t really a guard, but the janitor. The real guard had taken the day off to see his girlfriend in the next village over. He’d just offered to step in for the day because he liked the uniform.
‘Infidels!’ The King threw up his arms in rage as he commanded the guard to remove Jebediah from his presence. This came as quite a relief to both Jebediah and the guard, as dragon gas can be quite potent. In fact, it is thought that long ago a whole flock of Skyshark were once wiped out after they came too close to the rear end of a Dragon Warrior after eating a rather hot and spicy meal. The story goes that the force of the offense was so strong that their nostrils exploded, causing them to all fly into the side of a mountain. This was particularly embarrassing for the Dragon Warrior as his intended mate was perched upon the cliff of said mountain and received a broken wing from the sudden fall.
Jebediah started back out on the road home to Heekal Seventeen. A wasted journey you might think, not him though, in his mind everyday was an adventure and every step a new beginning. A somewhat simple and childlike view on life you may think; yet this is the way of all Tanglefeet. So what if he’d failed to deliver the Yakkal eggs to the Dragon King and because of this, forfeited his earnings? The guard he’d met had been very kind, not as rough and demanding as the guards who usually eject him from such places. Plus he had that wonderful smell of disinfectant that he found so agreeable.
He knew he’d done it. Naturally, he’d deny it until he was blue in the face. He’d done it though. He knew it. They knew it. Everyone would know it. He’d deny it though, over and over. No one would ever question him though, not to his face. They never do, never to his face. Behind close doors they’d talk though. They’d talk about him, and what he did. The disgrace. But it was natural! Everybody does it. Even him, even the Dragon King. Should he have the guard and the farm boy silenced? What if this got out? He’d be a laughing stock in his own Kingdom. Somebody would have to pay. Who though? Who was to blame for what had happened? He’d not eaten anyone who hadn’t agreed with him. Well, that wasn’t strictly true, if they had agreed with him he wouldn’t have eaten them. That wasn’t the point though; somewhere down the line he’d eaten someone, or something that had upset his stomach. What was it? Who would pay?
His eyes searched the throne room for an answer, as if one would suddenly appear written across the wall. None did though. Usually answers came quickly to him when he sat here. It was his place to meditate on the events of the day and make sense of everything. His time to be alone within himself and be at one with everything around him.
Then it came to him, last Tuesday! He’d been out on a royal visit to one of those peasant towns that his public relations advisor kept telling him to visit. ‘Smile. Wave. Kiss the baby.’ He hated those, it took him forever memorise those motions. In his first year of rule he’d accidentally eaten four babies. ‘Well’ he remembered arguing with his Public Relations Advisor, ‘If they put them that close to my mouth at lunchtime, what do they expect?’
Lunchtime. That was it! They’d stopped off to get lunch at a local fast food restaurant before meeting the public. Something about making sure he was fed before greeting the new mothers.
That had to be it! He must been given a bad burger at the fast food restaurant. That’s what caused his lower intestines to feel like they’d been spin dried. Holding his gurgling mid region and swearing under his breath, the King made a silent promise;
Whoever had sold him that burger would pay. After all, he was the Dragon King! He had been poisoned and not only was that treason; it was the direct cause of him to be flatulent in public. The whole event had to have been premeditated by a sinister mastermind. There was no other way it could have happened. Fast food employees are heavily trained professionals, skilled well in their craft. The notion that one of them could let a bad burger make it out to the public was unheard of. He had been intentionally poisoned, and there would be hell to pay!
He knew if he sat on his throne long enough everything would become clear. It always did. With new motivation and a plan of revenge in mind, he stood up and flushed.
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All the best.