Welcome to Flash Pulp, Episode Nine.
This evening’s episode is brought to you by TwoGayGuys.com.
Chef Buck handles the meat while Louis-Michel mans the camera – visit to watch them prepare and present a variety of enticing dishes.
Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – 400 to 600 words brought to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Tonight, Thomas Blackhall gives up an explanation – as well as his only source of entertainment – while attempting to avoid inhabiting a bear lord’s gullet.
Red Mouth’s Legacy, A Blackhall Tale – Part 3
“John Elliot, to demonstrate his courage, ventured into your grotto and despoiled your drinking stream with the passing of his whiskey. I do not claim it was a civil act, but, at the grievance of a single drunk, your eldest son spent a hellish week devouring every man, woman and child in the hamlet of Marie Amable. Even then, he was not sated: the landscape for fifty miles in every direction, fish-eater and pig-eater alike, has been hewn of human activity.”
Blackhall observed the dark line of trees a moment, then continued.
“Unlike most of my fellow pig-eaters, I do not have the comfort of illusion regarding the true hierarchy of man and the occult, especially in this final bastion of deep woods and deeper waters. Still – they say to the west the rivers teem with salmon so that a man might walk the breadth without wetting his feet. No man would empty those rivers for a single bite of each, to do so would be insanity by any measure, mortal or immortal.”
The animal grunted.
“Oh, there is more Master Bear. I have seen the mania take your brethren before, and I do not think even you will escape it. As the pig-eaters crawl further over the face of this land, you will either have to retreat – an idea that I’m not sure your heart may hold – or you will suffer the rage and froth that befell Red Mouth. Truly, Milord, even now might you not be under the veil of madness? How long will you, Lord and Ruler of this place, rage against the single bee you’ve ensnared in a knothole?”
“Many a flattened bee might gladly testify to my patience – if they could,” the beast replied.
Thomas nodded with resignation.
“Mayhaps those that remain shall build their hive about you in the wait.”
Silence descended until the two black-eyed labourers returned with their burdens. Thomas watched with a steady arm as the pair climbed the barren slope that meant stalemate. His eyes could detect no ruse – he knew many of the Lords of the unknown stretches were bound by a personal code of honour, but he was also keenly aware that he knew little of what honour might mean to a bear. He could see no trickery in the approaching beady eyes however, nor any of the keen intellect that might indicate that all was not as it might seem.
The bandits dropped their bundles at his feet, crouching on their hind quarters, forepaws twittering with anticipation.
From below his captor presented instructions:
“You have your reeds, now send them away with your child’s toy.”
Thomas eyed the reeds – intact as promised – then eyed the night sky, his breath exiting in a thin lipped sputter. Reaching into a pocket he drew forth the jaw harp and tossed it amongst the stones at the feet of his jailer’s vassals. A brief, chittering scuffle ensued before the furry victor scurried down the jagged slope, the loser close at hand.
The noise of their argument carried into silence as they moved down the hill.
His entertainment stripped of him, the passage of time seemed to slow for Blackhall. He felt loathe to complain however: after a brief struggle with a cloud bank, the moon had presented its fullest portion and now flooded the clearing with its light.
An uncountable period passed and the music of the night insects began to weigh heavily on his eyelids.
With a sudden snort he brought himself awake.
Standing, Thomas began to rummage about in his interior pockets, pulling forth a small pungent satchel. After a brief whiff to ensure it had not yet turned, he selected a healthy pinch of the browning herbal concoction within and began to grind it between his molars.
Within moments his eyes were large with moonlight, his limbs reinvigorated.
He knew this crutch would not carry him from the hilltop, but it was some small assurance that he would at least remain awake to see the dawn.
Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm. The audio and text formats of Flash Pulp are released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.