Chronicles of the Sworse: Halloween conclusion
“A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance”
Ramon had broken in to song, which made the Sworse very uncomfortable. He was now in a socially awkward situation and he really, really did not like those.
“Hey, Don McLean, get to the point. Where’s your freakin’ soul?”
“I was getting to that part, mate.” Ramon replied, slightly perturbed that his serenade was interrupted. “As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted, it was a long, long time ago and music did used to make me smile because boy did I make those people dance. They were like me own personal puppets and I was their puppet master. It was all going great, they’d coo and tell me how adorable I was as I stole their wallets out their pockets.”
The Sworse was unimpressed. “Your being a pick pocket does not explain the lack of a soul.”
“Getting there, mate. I had the perfect set up. Moving on to the next town every three days so no one was the wiser. It happened when I was leaving one town in the middle of the summer. Can’t remember which town it was, you may recall, this happened a long, long time ago.” Ramon taunted the Sworse by breaking in to song again. “So, I’m walking along, just off the sides of the road – keeping to myself. Mostly travelling by night soz not to arouse suspicion. Lone penguin of a certain age, travelling by himself… It don’t look so good, if you know what I mean. Alright, walking along, whistling to myself, when I hear a rustling in the brush. That’s not unusual, it’s mostly wilderness between towns but a penguins still gotta be careful – we’re not exactly at the top of the food chain, ya know.”
It was at this point of the 5 act, 1 penguin play Ramon seemed to be acting out before him that the Sworse started to bang his head against the side of the house.
“Alright! Alright! I’m getting to the good stuff. Jeez. You’re a horse, hold yourself! Haha that was a good one,” Ramon chuckled to himself and literally slapped his knee – or where his knee would be if he wasn’t a penguin and therefore without a knee to slap. “So I’m walking, minding my own business when out of nowhere this old shoe cobbler pops out of the shrubbery, holding a shrubbery, saying something about the Knights of Ni. Dude was totally bonkers, but we had a good laugh and travelled along together for a ways.”
“Next you’re going to say you ran into the Black Knight or the Rabbit of Caerbannog!”
“Really! You’re really going to tell me that the Rabbit of Caerbannog ate your soul?! I don’t have time for this.” The Sworse got up to storm into the house (he was actually going to go watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail but no need to tell Ramon that).
“No no no, I’m just messing with ya mate! It was actually the were-rabbit from Wallace and Gromit!”
“ ‘May contain nuts’ my ass! You are nuts!” quipped the Sworse. “And the were-rabbit was only a danger to veg!”
“You got me there, mate. Well, on with the story in that case. So the cobbler and I were walking along. That’s shoe cobbler, not peach.” Ramon gave the Sworse a sidelong glance but the Sworse refused to acknowledge the remark. “Ok, we’re walking along and the cobbler trips over a stick or a root or something. We take a look to see what it is and low and behold it’s a skeletonised human arm sticking up from the dirt. The long bones are scored as if an animal had been gnawing at it except the teeth marks weren’t made by any known animal. By the way, I used to be a forensic anthropologist. I actually had a guest spot on the TV show Bones but they cut it. C’est la vie. Soz the cobbler and me are staring at this arm, right, postulating as to what could have possibly performed this abominable act. I look up and the cobbler is gone! Just vanished! From right beside me! So at this point I start to panic a bit. I’m just a penguin, I don’t even have opposable thumbs! What can I do against something that can take a grown cobbler without a sound! As I’m standing there, slightly dumbfounded, desperately trying to decide on the best course of action: fight or flight. Well flight’s out of the question because I can’t fly and I can’t even really run; it’s more of a waddle. So I stand there, waiting to face my fate, whatever it may be. And out of the darkness of the trees slinks a beast so terrifying, so hideous, so ghastly in visage it’s more horrifying than Gary Busey!
And as scary as this thing is, it’s almost a beauteous marvel in the way it moves. It flows from the trees, completely soundless, it moves through them as us penguins move through water. One moment there I am, marveling away, and then next I’m on my back and it’s lights out for yours truly.”
“What happened? What happened?” The Sworse found that despite himself he was engrossed in Ramon’s story. He was desperate to know what happened!
“Dunno dude, I woke up a little bruised but none the worse for wear, considering. I was a bit sore all over. And I seemed to have some sort of scrape or wound on my neck but, now that I think about it, it actually healed really quick. Almost too quick… But the days go by, as they tend to do, and I healed. I found I was a little faster, a little stronger but that’s about it mate. Really not such a big deal, as it turns out. Oh and the cobbler? I found him a few days later – he had just wandered off while I was examining the remains. There I was, thinking he had been eaten and really he was totally fine! Ha! Life’s funny sometimes, ain’t it?” Ramon stared off into space, reminiscing about his good friend, the peach cobbler (sometimes Ramon gets confused).
“Great story, but it still doesn’t explain the soulessness!”
“Oh, right. That. Ok well once a month I sprout fangs and have uncontrollable urges to engorge myself on blood and flesh. The beast turned me into a freakin’ were-penguin”
“So when the moon is full you turn into a mindless beast, killing, rampaging and terrorizing in general?” enquired the Sworse in earnest.
“Ya, pretty much. I have a little bit of control, but really it’s taking all of my concentration not to nibble at your leg again mate. I hope you appreciate what I’m doing for you here.”
“Yup, definitely, you got it. Totally appreciative. What did this beast look like exactly?” The Sworse’s brain cogs were turning a mile a minute.
“Like I said, scarier than Gary Busey!
He had a round face, partially obscured by a cowboy hat and carried with him a bridle with a twisted wire snaffle and a large whip.” For the first time that night, Ramon looked truly afraid, his Aussi bravado gone.
“Was this the man that attacked you?” The Sworse whipped out a photo he carried with him at all times.
“Oh my god.” And with those final words, Ramon fled into the dark of the night.
“Wait! Come back!” the Sworse screamed in the direction he thought Ramon had gone. “I need to know more! You have to tell me more!”
But Ramon was gone.
(click the photo of Randy Byers for the story on him from the Fugly Blog)