November 12, 2010

Long before Bekka’s time in the bramble bower hedge on Boad, the first chronicler Harpo wrote a story featuring her distant ancestors. A tale well known to Bekka, it was in fact the direct inspiration for her journey with Kar into the Woeful Wanderers’ Wasteland.

a standard bendo dreen chonka

Jellies, the finest, bowl quivering. Thorns, catalogued and arranged, small to large, thin to thick, and, come to think of it, sour to sweet. Cappmelons, split into crescents, leaking white sugary dribbles onto stony smooth slabplatters. The bower cleared of twigs, swept of leaves, and ready for the dance. Excited bramble dwarves rummaging through nests, donning finest fripperies, pantaloons and all, admiring the perfection of their precious tambourines. chinka. A test. chunkachankle. An answer. Of a sudden, of a moment, the bramble thorn border hedge bursting alive with chankachanka chinkachonk chinkling. The hedge sways. kachunka. The march to the bower. chinklechanka chinklechanka. Nests abandoned. chankle. Bramble dwarves, highbooted, jacketed and pantalooned, tambourines shaking in red gloved hands, wind the paths down thorny briar tunnels in single file columns on their way. On their way where? Why, to the bower. The bower cleared of twigs, swept of leaves, and ready for the dance. chunka chunka chunka. The march. The rhythmic chankling of chinkle. No other sound. Had the Festival of Tambourines gotten off to its traditional start there in the bramble briar border hedge marking the westermost boundary of what then was known as, I do believe, the Queeendom of Fiddleeebod? Yes, on second and third thoughts, I am certain of it. The Festival had commenced, and Fiddleeebod was a Queeendom. I mark the time. It was during the time of the Queeendom. Yes.

It was morning, early morning. Streaky sky. Sunrise. Orange. Purple. The bramble dwarves assembled, circle within circle, there in the spacious, well-prepared bower. Younglings, barely containing their need to leap about and shriek, gazed with shining yellow green eyes at the quivering jellies, the leaking cappmelon crescents, the sweet and sour thorns. Oh, it was hard, hard work to remain standing still. The chankle and the chinkle of the tambourines ceased. The circles stood quiet. Minutes passed. How did they pass? Like hours. A cough here. A throat cleared there. More time passed. What were they waiting for? The creaking of a crank. They waited for the creaking of a crank. The crank creaked. Aha. Lowering from the bower roof came the 5-sided Mirror, spinning slowly. 5-sided Mirror? The 5-sided Mirror, when lowered and spun, signaled the dance to begin. And it certainly would have, had not something else happened at that very same time.

What happened? As the 5-sided Mirror began its descent, a strange figure slipped into the bower and dashed to the center of the bramblewalled room deep in the heart of the hedge. Shocked at the unexpected, even unlawful, downright rude intrusion, the bramble dwarves were rooted in place, transfixed, their yellow green yellow green faces registering alarm. And not only alarm. Dismay, too. Copper colored eyebrows were raised. And when the strange figure tossed aside the hooded Ibbler cloak it had been wearing and showed itself for what it was, the dwarves, as one, shrank back and gasped. Tambourines dropped, all of them, from red gloved limp fingered hands. chanka. Some rolled a few feet before falling chonk. chinkle chinkle chonk.

Leave a Reply