Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Adventures of Flanders the Sea Gnome (part two)

Yesterday, I posted the first half of the story about Flanders, a gnome who went on a fishing expedition alone and who got lost at sea.

Here is a link to part one: link to part one of the (mis)adventures of Flanders the Sea Gnome

Yesterday, the story ended with:
We are nearing an island. I see a group of people. Not gnomes. Not large enough to be storytelling giants. Not the famous seafaring bears. But humans. I think. They are doing a circle dance. A leader guides them. A wave of fear suddenly attacks me. Who are these people? There seems to be something very sinister about them. I must avoid them.

And now... part two of the (mis)Adventures of Flanders the Sea Gnome.

The sea monster gently deposits me on shore. I find myself lying on white sand. I am surrounded by seashells, too many to gather, although I collect a few to bring back to decorate my home garden. There are horse conch, king crown conch, sharp rib drill, junonia, kitten's paw, shark's eye moon shell, colorful moon, and so much more. Just then, I hear footsteps. I see that the people around the campfire are coming toward me, marching in lockstep, as if they were just a group of zombies.
They get close to me and I see that their eyes are unfocused. They move in the same way all of the time, as if they were controlled by some outside force. A wave of terror grows inside of me. I pick up my bag of shells and I run, as fast as a sea gnome could possibly run. Fortunately, because the zombies' eyes are unfocused, they probably never saw me sitting there and they most likely didn't see me running. I race into a cave and run head first into a band of pirates. They are singing "What do you do with a drunken sailor" and are drinking grog and eating massive quantities of shellfish.

"Arrrr! Have something to eat," says the captain of the pirates.

I look at the pirates and recognize them as the pirates who, in one of my previous journeys, commandeered my boat, forced me to get on the pirate ship, and tried made me walk the plank and fall into the shark-infested sea. I don't do anything at all. I feel more fear than I have ever felt, even when Gordon the Garden Gnome and when Little Gordon accompanied me on the journey and Little Gordon got so sea sick that he leaned too far out of the boat and fell into the water.

"We are your friends. Those creatures out there... we have to fight together. Will you join us?" asks the pirate captain.

"Arrr,"I say and join the pirates in song and food. I had forgotten how hungry I was for food and companionship.

I have cast my lot with my former nemeses, the pirates.

I wake up in the cave. My head hurts and the pirates are gone. All that's left of them is a bunch of broken seashells. I don't know when they left. It was a night of drunkenness and pirate songs. It was dark in the cave, and I continued to feel fear. As I step out of the cave, I could see the Zombies running and crying. They do not sound the same. Something had changed in them. I walk past the wailing zombies and find the corpse of the Chief Zombie. A pirate's sword pinned the Chief Zombie to the ground. I turn away from the gruesome sight, my fear growing. The pirates had been my enemies in the past and our brief friendship had come to a drunken halt. Why did I drink so much of that grog? I fall and crawl on the shore, watching and waiting.

I need to go back to sea. The horror of seeing the Zombie Chief, impaled on a pirate sword, is more than I could bear. I have to leave this island of horror forever. I manage to get to my feet and I stagger along the beach, still feeling the effects of the massive amounts of grog that I imbibed. I could barely see, and I trip over something that I can't identify. The sun shines brightly in my eyes. I fall forward and don't try to catch myself. I know that I was going and there is nothing that I could do to prevent me from falling on... I scream. 

My voice stretches out, high and shrill and full of terror and shock. I land on top of the Pirate captain, pinned to the ground by a sword. The pirate captain stares at me with a blank, dead gaze and an evil grin, that will never change. Why is the pirate captain dead? The world spins faster and faster. I could still hear my scream but I am unaware that I am screaming. I open my eyes and everything fades to black... As I continue to crawl on the beach, the thought comes to me that this island is under a terrible curse. I feel a sense of great foreboding. My own doom could come with the next wave... that crashed in with the tide.

Although the island is full of tropical fruit and beautiful lagoons, it is also doomed. Sort of like the Bermuda Triangle. Or a black hole. You come in but you never... I hear sounds and I hide, trembling and gasping for air... I eat tropical fruits that I can’t identify. They are delicate and sweet and juicy. I am still full of terror, however. I watch the water, warily. Where is the sea monster? Everything that I hold dear is gone. My boat, my fishing line, my nets, my superhero cape... I have to catch fish with my bare hands... My family is far away. I hope that they would get the message that I had tucked into a bottle before the storm struck.

A crowd of crazed Zombies and marooned pirates came toward me, their eyes full of blood lust. They want me dead as revenge for the gruesome deaths of their leaders. They had gotten some poor residents of the island to scream for my blood, too. I am sure that I would never see my homeland again. I believe that my fate is sealed. A zombie leans over me, and I could smell his foul breath. On his shoulder is a large bird of prey. The zombie said something that I couldn't hear and the bird of prey sinks his talons into my body. I scream. I know that I would either die a fetid death or I would become a zombie. But, since the Zombie leader is dead, there is no one to zombie-ify me. Just then, a large hawk swoops down and fights the zombie leader and the frightening bird of prey. The large hawk lifts me up and carries me to the sea monster, gently depositing me on his back. I am sore but thankful for the hawk that has saved my life. I would have a vivid memory of those talons for a long time afterward.

I lie on top of the sea monster and realize that I am holding a piece of cloth in my hands. How did that get there? Then I realized that the hawk had given it to me. It is tattered, wet, and covered with seaweed, but it is my superhero cape. I look in the sky for the hawk because the hawk deserved the cape far more than I did. But the hawk had flown away and was soaring high above me and the sea that I love so much. I look in the port direction and in the starboard direction and I know that the sea monster is taking me home. I  look forward to some quiet time in the garden.

I sit on top of the sea monster, heading back to the garden that I love and the family that I adore. I believe that it would be easy sailing when, all of a sudden, we are stuck in a whirlpool, from which we could not escape. We sit on the water, immobile. It is like a black hole, sucking us in and not letting us out. I try to stay as calm as the sea monster, but I fail. I had survived all sorts of dangers from nemeses and, still, I fear. What am I afraid of? I don't really know. It is the unknown that causes me the most terror.

The sea monster lunges forward, and I fall off, into the churning waters. I swim frantically, even though I am sinking in the watery black hole of doom. I fight against the darkness. My gnomish arms feel like lead weights but I push forward... and am out of the whirlpool. And I hear that song again, the song sung in the pentatonic key. Exhausted, I continue to swim, closer to the sound. I am aiming toward the sound. It is all I have. The sea monster is gone. My superhero cape, or what was left of it, fell into the watery black hole of doom. I am prepared to give up, to not fight anymore. I turn my head and I notice a mermaid. A group of mermaids lift me up and carry me through the rough seas. Everything that I ever had was gone, but I still have my magical jacket. I feel a sense of peace. The mermaids set me down gently on the shores of an island. I struggled to my feet and saw... a garden, full of gnomes. My family. My eyes bulged I can hardly believe what I am seeing.

"How is it that they are all here?" I ask a mermaid.

"When you were away, the pirates laid waste to everything in your home. The sea monster and a few mermaids were able to rescue Gnome City before the Zombies arrived to absorb everyone into Zombie hood. We are sorry, Flanders. Your homeland is gone. You will never go back there. But your gnomes are here. Please consider our land to be your land. We make our home in the lagoon."

I had been longing for my homeland for so long, even though I had terrible wanderlust.

It wasn't the place that I wanted; it was the gnomes in the place.

There is no place like gnome.

(the end!!!)


Balaka Basu said...

I have not yet read the first part. I guess I should do that and then comment.

Martha DeMeo said...

Flanders had quite an adventure! I love your photos, such vivid colors.

Esha said...

Very adventurous, must say. Lovely..I'm keen to see how the story progresses.

The Gratitude Guru said...

Wow! What a great story - I went back and read Part 1!

Did you stage the pictures as well?

Great job! said...

I knew I never liked gnomes for a reason!
Looking forward to the story of the gnome and the gnu!