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Our tiny but very distinctive caravan of animals and wagons wends its way down the lush meadow from the Tea Room
Several worthy citizens just about to enter the Castle Gates cheer us on our way and we wave encouragement back at them to succeed in their endeavours
We cross the moat and then begin the long slow climb past the town and onwards to the East
Keeping to the southern side of the inland waterway we pass by the Realms of Atlantis and East situated on the opposite bank.
The lush pastures begin to disappear, and more scrub and rock lies in our way. The path now twists and turns as it begins to make its way upwards towards the Bone Kingdom.
There is a distinct chill in the air now and everywhere is so SILENT.
Where have all the birds gone, I ask myself?
This is not a welcoming place.
We round a bend in a dip in the road and Nose comes scurrying back and leaps onto Charlie.
After a few seconds of silent communication, Charlie using her amulet tells us that a bit further on our path is blocked by some large logs strewn across and sitting on them are three or four armed large men.
Cap’n Bob takes command!
He has been fretting at the lack of action and now is his time to see if his sai is still effective.
“Cap’n! Wouldn’t it be less risky for our quest if we solve this problem using peaceful means?
“Afterall if all they want is a little gold, then the problem will be solved and we pass on our way.”
All I get in return is a grumbling assent and so we continue towards the now visible barrier
We pull up and a very large uncouth thug slouches forward:
“What have we here then? Some nice goods and chattels and lovely fine clothes we could do with.
“Oh! And a fine comely young lady to entertain us – if you see what I mean”
As our Cap’n’s face is turning an ever deeper shade of puce and his hand hovering over his sai, we all get an urgent message through our amulet.
It is from Charlie.
“WARNING! there are two hidden archers with bows drawn hidden in those gnarled trees over there.”
The Cap’n goes into full battle mode as he barks silent instructions out to us all.
“Angel disappear – you have no weapon!
“Roo now is the time to use your skills and cut the strings of those two bowmen
“Charlie – time to leash our canine friends on the enemy”
He then saunters over to the ruffian and says:
“You have one minute to stand down and let us pass peacefully or else we will be digging your graves for what small pieces of you that are left to be buried”
This is answered by loud guffaws as he pokes a long pike at the Cap’n
The Cap’n says just one word: “ATTACK!”
His sai sizzles past the oaf’s guard and slashes his pike hand causing him to drop it.
Charlie has unleashed Sugar and Spice and they leap forward towards the men behind their wounded leader.
It is a terrifying sight for them to behold and they flee for their lives.
In the meantime, Roo has expertly thrown two razor sharp dirks at the hidden bowmen slashing their bow strings and followed by two more which slash their bow fingers.
Within the space of a minute we have dispatched the whole enemy group without so much as a scratch on our own side.
Charlie then brings forward Beau and we watch as the enormous beast takes the logs in his tusk and tosses them into the scrub as though they are Scottish cabers!
“Almost time for a cup of tea!”
It is Katt emerging from her wagon with a tray of pastries for the hungry warriors!
After we get under way and head towards the Bone Kingdom we head towards Jacob's farm and drop off Riddler , Charlie helper Gnomes and Blue sorry boy you will stay here with Ridler and protect the farm ,,, Ridler has an Amulet and if any trouble comes I can be back in a heart beat.
Blue looks mournfully at Jacob and BAYSSSSSSSSSS ,,, Jacob takes his old hound his friend n his arms and they both shed a tear ot two but Jacob finally gets Blue to understand this is an important mission for him to protect Riddler and to be there to welcome Jacob and the family back home.
Blue Bays but he understands and flops down in his favorite sun spot we head out.
Man that sure was a good feeling to be in battle again and I must say I am very proud of you all ,, job well done and Roo excellent arm and eye there , now we have to clear this mess up we can not leave any blood trail for othere to see or we will be the battle of our lives,
I call Frost,,, Brave one make sure those uggies get far away in the other direction then incase them in ice so they can not give us away,,,, **** YES RIDER IT WILL BE DONE****.
Oh thank you Miss Katt this is perfect and loks and smells fantastic.
As we eat the great patisseries and the scumpus Tea and Coffee (for Charlie who is feeding and giving water to her Zoo)
I say between bites okay we have come this far and this is where the hard part begins so I think this is the time to set up the Circus and make it look real we need this distraction and as word has spread there is a Circus around we must give them one,, so lets set up ,,, Angel where are those flyers??
Angel hands me a bundle ,, Charlie I need o few of your winged ones to spread these around ,, have them fly over the places we marked on the map so the readers will know where we are ,,, I have a feeling this is going to be a huge crowd so lets get ready,,, Nose ,, Ghost Pup recon the area to make sure it is clear .
WE all set to work putting up the tents ,, food wagons ,, the main tent , the main ring for the Lion Tamers act ,, the Fortune Tells tent,, the wheel for Roo and her knives , hours later and we are all set up.
Nose comes running and lets Charlie know there are crowds coming,,, OKAY GET READY ,,, Jacob on the ticket Booth please
Sign was hung over the Ticket Booth ** Enter **** For one gold coin see the greatest acts in the world, have your fortune told, watch the worlds greatest knife thrower hit the moving targeta and if you are brave enough hold objects for her to hit.
OKAY GANG HERE WE GO ,,,
My heart is racing as the first group comes through the curtain door.
I look at Roo ready ??? she nods yes ,,, OKay 2nd in command go do your thing and you do look the part and rather dashing if I may so ,,,
We all hold our breath as PTG enters the main Tent then takes center stag................
I SEND THE CALL FOR POE, WHO AND HOPE TO COME AND JOIN US CAP HAS A JOB FOR THEM. SINCE THEY TRAVEL IN A STRAIGHT LINE THEY ARRIVE IN A FEW MIN. IT TELL THE TO EACH TAKE A POSTER AND FLY AROUND THE AREA AND SEE IF THEY CAN FINE CROWDS OF PEOPLE AND DROP THE FLIERS AMONG THEM. WHO AND HOPE ARE STILL A BIT SLEEPY SINCE IT IS DAY. BUT POE GRABS ONE AND IS OFF, HE RETURNS AND ANNOUNCES THAT IT IS EASY TO FINE GROUPS GATHERED. GRAB ANOTHER AND IS OFF. THEY EACH DELIVER AT LEAST A HALF A DOZEN THEN RETURN. HUNGRY AND THIRSTY. I FEED AND WATER THEM AND TELL THE CAP THEY HAVE DONE THEIR PART.
NOW IT IS UP TO HIM AND I TO DO THE LION AND ELEPHANT ACTS. WE MAY NOT BE BIG BUT WE WILL GIVE THEM A SHOW.
We continue onwards and upwards along the winding path towards the looming Bone Kingdom without any further incident.
Before long we are almost alongside the walls and now search for a flat piece of ground near to its entrance where we can pitch our small festive camp.
Time to unload the wagons and get some semblance of order in our offerings.
The main entrance to the Kingdom is but a few yards away from us.
Cap’n Bob bellows out orders as is his want, but the real organising is being done by the ladies of the group.
I am there with my broom to make sure that the place is kept neat and tidy.
A few of our aerial friends soar off with bunches of leaflets to distribute them all over the Kingdom.
These will surely attract the citizens to come and see what we have to offer?
Several worthy MC citizens visit us on their way, stopping to see what we are up to and giving us encouragement in our endeavours by donating a little gold.
All goes well!
That is until Nose comes bounding up and burrows itself into Charlie’s blankets.
Trouble once more!
But this time it is not a bunch of ruffians in our way but a phalanx of well-armed soldiers emerging from the front gates and rapidly approaching our little camp.
We go into defensive positions but leave it to the Cap’n to prevent any trouble through diplomacy!
A large gnarled fist holding one of our leaflets is thrust at the Cap’n.
“You in charge?
”You can’t come in here!
“We don’t like strangers and we particularly don’t like animals!”
I see a little gleam in the Cap’n’s eye as he replies.
“Good sir! We are a travelling circus and come only where we are wanted
“We always camp outside the walls of the realms we visit to keep the places clean and tidy
“So we have no intention of coming into your Kingdom
“We rely on your citizens to come out and visit us for the fun and festivities”
This reply seems to mollify the man and his fellow guards now relax.
One or two of them even stroll over to our offerings and get their fortunes told by Angel.
Our wily Cap’n unfolds his plan.
“But good sir. As you see we have a few pets to feed and we are running out of food for them.
“We need to replenish our stocks. We have gold and diamonds to pay and we pay well too.
“Everywhere we go the local traders welcome us with open arms.
“In particular our big cats are getting a bit hungry and we daren’t let them forage for themselves as they find human flesh rather tasty!”
The head guard who had at that moment been idling stroking Spice’s head hastily moves back.
Spice of course had been purring loudly at this and I mutter to the man
“That is because she is hungry and you smell nice!”
The Cap’n continues:
“So kind Sir, can just myself and the cats keeper enter to sniff out the best meat from one of your worthy butcher’s shops?
“The rest of our menagerie will stay outside and entertain all who come to visit.”
We get our agreement to enter the Kingdom and wander its alleys “in search of pet food”!
Yes! Our Cap’n has succeeded.
As I am talking to a very smelly angry oaf with a crumbled flyer in his hand I reach for my Sai just in case but I have to be careful he is not alone.
After a talk to him/it I get his jittery nerves to settle down
Now good sir I hope this makes our journey here clearer and to show we are of no threat to anyone just going from place to place doing our show and perhaps spread some joy entertain everyone and along to way repair old wounds and make many many friends.
I thank you for allowing my assistant and myself to enter The Bone Kingdome so our Lions can hunt as you see they get kinda cranky when hungry but are big kitty cats when there bellies are full is there a way you could give me a pass to enter and have them hunt if they get hungry late at night ?
It would make it easier for us and the dwellers inside your gates and I promise both my assistant and I will make sure they cause no trouble there is also a little dog who is very attached to one of the lions and they never travel apart if you see our show you will see the lill dog is in the Lion act as well he rides the bigger lion and does tricks on his back .
I have an idea have you ever had Honey Rum?? the big oaf shakes his head no ,, well kind sir you are in for a real treat please join me in my tent for a sample and let me know how you like it .
I shudder and my skin crawls thinking I have to have this in my tent ,,, I will have to burn it after to get of his stench.
He downs the drinks faster then I can pour I want to say slow down ,,, I do not need this mess passing out in my tent *** just the thought makes my belly want to hurl.
In no time I see his eyes rolling in his head now is that from the rum ??
Any way his tongue gets very loose and in no time I get a lot of information ,,, Draw things on the table cloth and when he slams his huge fist on the table and growls WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? I calm him by saying I kind sir am just marking the areas you have told me that will be good for our Circus to preform and where we will be allowed to enter we do not want to cause any trouble nor go where we are not allowed and you sir are being very helpful ** as I refill his glass,,, a huge stomach churning belch fills my tent it is all I can do NOT TO HURL.
I am saved by the bell so to speak as one of his buddies charges in saying he is needed inside,,,, it takes three of his buddies to walk him out ,,, I say thank you kind sir for your company and here take this as a thank you and share it ,, I hand him a jug of my Honey Rum diluted of course .
I give them a few minutes run outside and *THERE SHE BLOWS and gulp massive lung full of fresh air then turn and find the boys and tell them take my Tent and burn it .
They look at me and I say yes burn it and every thing inside I will never get rid of that smell ,, thankfully my bags where still on the cart and I had the table cloth in my hand ,,, ewwwwwwwwwwwwww here copy this and burn it to.
Where can I find water to wash this stench off of me??
A mud pound good enough I strip and jump in,,,,,,,, NOT thinking about when I get out ,,,, OH DEAR the gang will love this a neekid Cap AGAIN I grab my clothes on the shore gag then bury then deep in the mud.......
I slather myself in mud hair and all oh craponacracker my mooseiestach and my fake scars what to do what to do ,,,,, Nose spy's me and barks or is that laughing at me *** if dogs can laugh *** he boy it is okay it is me Da Cap I need some help here can you go get PTG for me ???
Good boy as he heads back to the main Tent,,,,, I sit and wait mud getting a tad cool,,,
I wait behind the temporary curtain as PTG reads the announcement I had already prepared for my entrance.
"Ladies & Gentlemen, we travelled many lands & at great expense have procured the delectable & enchanting Bloody Mary to entertain you.If you are of a nervous disposition might I suggest now would be a good time to partake of our reasonably priced refreshments".
The crowd moves in closer as I walk up & curtsey to the applause.PTG is still frowning at the speech.I raise my head & suddenly there is silence as the crowd notices the Eye Patch over my right eye!!!
I whip off the cover from the Fortune wheel & ask for a volunteer from the audience as my knives are set on the little table by my Reliable Helper.As previously instructed he then disappears behind the wheel.
The crowd quietly mumbles but no-one is eager to join me, hmmm.....
I see the Little Match Girl in the corner trying to earn a few coins so I purposefully stride over, take her hand & walk back to the wheel.
"Have faith in me sweetie" I whisper into her ear.
"Will you gamble with me on the wheel?" I say to the girl but loud enough for the crowd to hear.
"I have nothing but matches & 20 coins" the girl replies.
I call out that we will gamble for 3 boxes of matches.The girl places them on the table next to the knives & stands to the side.I ask her to pick two items on the wheel so she chooses the Plain Stamp & the Blood Lotus which she badly needs.I pick Ancestor's Spirit then call out to my helper to spin the wheel.
I pick up three knives, cast an Almighty Luck spell under my breath & throw the knives in quick succession!
The crowd roars when the wheel finally stops spinning to reveal that I have hit all three items on the wheel.
I thank the Little Match Girl & give her 20 Plain Stamps, 3 Blood Lotus & an Ancestor's Spirit which can be sold for 2000 coins.
I take a bow & disappear behind the curtain with PTG at my heels.
"How did you do that?" He asks.
I laugh as I turn the wheel around to show the magnets that had been positioned by my Reliable Helper,behind the three items selected.
"I never leave it to chance when playing the Wheel of Fortune ha ha".
Before PTG can reply he is distracted by a little dog so I leave him to it & go to find a nice cup of tea.