[Several days ago…]
I was dragged unceremoniously from my sick bed by a rough gentleman by the name of Camouflage Fellover. I protested most sternly at this unwarranted treatment but he would brook no entreaty from me. I had a very bad headache and the room he took me to smelt unpleasantly of cat vomit.
“Listen,” the ruffian send menacingly, “this whole Jor-Dan story is going nowhere! The previous chapter was just you tripping on catnip!”
The uncouth fool has no appreciation of literature. The genre I am writing, the great authors of the past whom I am emulating do not just simply leap to the point! This style of writing necessitates some degree of perambulation before getting to the point.
“I’ll preamble you, if you’re not careful,” said the brutish man, his unkempt eyebrows bristling like over fed caterpillars with stomach cramps, “you’ve a deadline!”
I indicated that I was far, far too tired to write and that I appeared to be suffering from a case of feline distemper and that he should send for a physicians forthwith as I might surely die from the strange ague that had affected my tiny cat skull, as if tiny crystal gnomes, with delicate geological hammers made of finest porcelain where hammering rail spikes into my skull like I was an inside out Phineas Gage.
“‘You’ve a deadline’,” I muttered, “the man is not merely a scruffian and a layabout but he is an illiterate too.”
However, I was mindful that this creature was an unbenighted soul and had not the same capacity as a gentleman that I did to control my base instinct and temper. A well brought up cat, will occasionally indulge the whims of his inferiors – not as some allege because we want to be fed but rather to set example of good manners and refinement.
I wiped the dried yellow bile from my smoking jacket and dusted the bird poo from my fez and set myself to my typewriter to continue my tale.
Which, of course, I’d forgotten.
From what I could recall from before my extended interlude considering the nexus of herbal pharmacology and the feline subconscious, I had set off on a quest to discover what was in the deepest part of the sea. My quest had led me to a local drinking establishment, there to speak to an old nautical type by the name of Penny (probably).
If those details are incorrect then fix them up yourself you lazy bum of a reader.
I headed to the pub.
I mean, I was at the typewriter obviously, typing this but what I was typing was that I headed to the pub. That was the story that I was writing and in the story I headed to the pub. Keep up.
The pub was dark and…I did this bit already didn’t I?
OK, at the pub, etcetera etcetera, found the old nautical type etcetera exchanged pleasantries etcetera.
Long story short she then told me the following story (“Thank grud” said the unpleasant fellow in the corner).
“My name be Penny the Sailor,” said Penny the sailor, “ and I’ve a tale to tell you, a tale that will curl your hairs and shiver your…”
“Timbers!” I said, hoping to make a ‘Tim’ reference.
“Barnacles.” She completed, “There’s only one man who’s truly seen the deep, deep sea and lived to tell the tale. That man was known as Jor-Dan, king of the lobster men!”
I gasped appreciatively.
“My story begins nigh on twelve years ago. I was crew on a former Soviet spy trawler. It had fell on hard times since the end of the Cold War and could barely make ends meet. Fish stocks were low and modern intelligence gathering had moved to hacking email severs so there were few buyers for antiquated radio intercepts from a rusty factory ship. The crew were a scurvy bunch due to the captain being a strong believe in homeopathy and the ship’s supply of vitamin tablets had been replaced by placebos and by ‘placebos’ I mean Tic-Tacs (and not even citrus flavoured ones).
‘It’s no good Penelope,’ said the captain to me over a glass of homeopathic rum which he sipped slowly to keep a clear head, ‘there’s no money in fish or fishery based espionage. I’m going to retire once we make port.’
I nodded in agreement and poured myself another shot but before I could take another sip, there was a shout from the deck. Gathering my wits, I leapt up to see what was going down.
The crew had rescued a man from the sea!
Covered in sea weed, the man wore the sodden remnants of a three piece suite.”
I interjected at that point: “A three piece suit surely?”
Penelope shook her head “I spoke right the first time. His garb was the fractured remains of lounge chairs, cunningly recrafted to provide both coverage for his body and buoyancy. Initially he was incoherent but after a quick gulp of homeopathic water to cure his dehydration, he quickly became more lucid.
His name was Robert R Roberts of Robert & Robert the well known shipping firm that specialised in frozen seafood. We quickly reassured him that he would be fine and that we would sail to the nearest port as quickly as we could. The bedraggled man merely shook his head. ‘I am dying,’ he said, ‘poisoned by the venom of the sea scorpion. I have only sought your aid so that I could tell you my tale.’ And with that he told the most extraordinary story.”
With that Penny took a long sip of her beer.
Next time: The Testament of Robert R Roberts.