I've just had one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life.
Why such a place exists is beyond me - I'd hate to think that something in
Amber is causing *that* reflection. Surely we have Chaos to blame - I
don't know if I could believe that it was a random Shadow. Never did find
out if it had a proper name. Just as well. It will always be the Land of
the Bull Pops to me.
So, Da Trumps me and says that Caine has gone AWOL, and that
Usires and I are to take over his patrols. Simple enough - until the
Shadow storm rolled in. Worst one I've ever seen. Something really bad
must have been happening out there in Shadow. I think that I lost all of
my ships... and all of the crew thereon. As much as I'd like to, I can't
believe that Usires' patrol went much differently. I was knocked
unconscious as my ship went down for the final time. I awoke to the sound
of arguing. I was quite definitely alive and underwater. I lay there for
a while, feeling much like Gulliver. To be honest, I was afraid that they
were arguing over whose property I was. Thankfully, their discussion was
a bit more abstract. "Are you one of *them*?" they asked. "Are you here
to eat us?" They were never quite as clear as one could have hoped. But,
what can you expect from a society of talking penises?
I'd like to believe that if my penis could talk, it'd have a bit
more common sense than the bull pops.
(I'd also like to take this moment to reflect on the fortunate
choice of my clothing. The bull pops were more than happy to give me
gills, they'd probably have been more than happy to have freed their mute
brother that had become strangely affixed to my groin. Sigh. With my
luck, by the time they were done, my dick would have talked.)
They asked me all manner of things - generally centered around
issues of existence. It was like some horrible combination of Liliput and
Laputa. They eventually turned to some other topic (I think that I
convinced them to go look for my crew), and I was able to escape. I tried
swimming to the surface, but I could only go so high before I passed out,
due to the water pressure. I wandered around the merry little village,
and stumbled upon Usires, who looked about as displeased as I was.
We encountered yet another bull pop, who was concerned if we were
hungry - he was very happy, they had apparently found a new food source
(the rest of our crew, I believe) and he was hoping that we'd be more
interested in eating that than them. Amazing as it seems, I had lost my
appetite - there was little chance that I was going to eat anything down
there. We met some of the other denizens of the realm - a group of
translucent, naked women. They didn't so much talk as moan orgasmically
fairly constantly. Usires was foolish enough to let me do the talking
(scary thought when I'm the "brains" of the situation), and with a
charming smile, and some smooth words, I was able to convince them all
that Usires and I were just really big bull pops - which got the naked
women all excited (apparently, bull pops are their food source - after my
little talk with them, Usires and I must have appeared to be veritable
They started to swarm about us when a new woman appeared - she
looked slightly different, and winked at me a lot. She held her hands out
and looked expectantly, but like the other women, she said not a thing. I
took a chance, and grasped her hand...
She'd come to rescue us - apparently after much prodding by my
father. I was relieved to hear that he'd made it through this without
being caught here. I signaled to Usires to take her hand as well. She
conducted us out of there shortly afterwards, explaining all the way. It
seems the bull pops and the Nimue - or whatever the women were named -
have a very limited view of reality. There exists only "us" and "them."
By trying to tell them that we were from the surface, they'd decided that
we were, in reality, really huge bull pops (yum!).
I am grateful to Llewella for our rescue, and can only hope that I
never get to visit that "fair city" again. I wouldn't even wish that
place on Bart.
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