By Aribella Lafleur
The onerous task of firing my new Sherpa team was simplified by the fact that I now had a much lighter load of luggage. My remaining porters had abandoned all semblance of civility and become the pirates that I knew them to be. One had even found a very seedy looking stuffed parrot, which was perched precariously upon his shoulder in a ridiculous manner.
We found ourselves standing in the shadow of the towering wooden effigy of a man. Enthralled, I stared up at this icon which symbolized the festival’s transience. I knew that in a few days hence the man would be set alight and the land would be returned to its former barren state. After a last glance up at this overshadowing presence, I maturely resisted the urge to get out a blowtorch or flick a few matches, and we moved off into the wild world of Burning Life to further our explorations.
Our next alien encounter was with a giant simian who bore an uncanny resemblance to King Kong. The dark monster looked down upon me, and reading the glint in his eye, I could tell he was sizing me up as his latest Ann Darrow….
After a slightly tricky extrication from the giant ape’s clutches we found an abandoned space pirate vessel, which my pirate gang immediately assimilated as their own. Armed, and slightly less than harmless, the pirates stood guard over their new spaceship like a pack of slathering hounds…
In disgust, I wandered off, leaving my luggage in the clutches of my unscrupulous band…. and found myself in a Narnian enchanted realm, full of fir trees and crisp white snowflakes. Within this chilled forest I was startled to encounter a penguin, who appeared to have lost his way and meandered out of the desert wasteland into the frigid woods. I vaguely wondered why a penguin would be in a desert, but after seeing many weird and a few wonderful sights I did not offer the matter a great deal of speculation.
Drifting through this entrancing land I came upon the Ice Queen’s snow palace. I crept quietly through the draughty halls and out through a secluded courtyard into the trees, where I chanced upon an unattended campfire. In my wearied state I sunk down, basking in the warm glow of the flickering tongues.
Hearing the calls of my errant attendants echoing through the trees, I arose and went in search of their company. Finding one of the blackguards in some kind of all-terrain vehicle, I was relieved to see my remaining luggage intact and only slightly more dilapidated…
Glimpsing the evil glint in his eye, I darted for the cover of an ice-walled maze, as he swerved to try to run me over; still half-crazed from the bottle of rum he had been imbibing. I scooped up and balled some snow in my fists, then threw with all my might, aiming at his face. The icy shock brought him to his senses, and I convinced him to exit the vehicle, relieving him of the keys.
With drunken pirates in tow, I forged onwards, stopping at a frozen lake where we slid around on the ice. Finding some skates lying on the bank we attempted to gracefully glide across the frozen surface of the lake. After much drunken, and somewhat acrobatic looking tumbling I realised that pirates under the influence of alcohol are even less graceful than in their rare sobered state, and persuaded them to remove the skates before someone’s limb was severed by the sharp blades.
We adjourned to a sheltered rose garden, where swans were battling to swim in a frosted pond. The perfume of the fragrant roses wafted over us, its enchanting narcotic spell lulling us into slumber…..
Barely escaping from the Ice Queen’s evil lethargy snare we ran out from her domain and into a verdant paradise where we stopped, transfixed by the altered landscape. A portal under a giant glowing orb inside the hollowed trunk of a forest giant caught our passing attention…
Stepping onto the device, we were transported to the roof of the world… an elaborate tree house overlooking the idyllic scenery below. We gasped as we realised there was an entire citadel perched in the swaying treetops.
In such a luxurious location it was an easy decision to make our night’s lodgings in the tree house. With eager thoughts of the next morning’s experiences we slipped between the silken sheets which covered soft feather mattresses and quickly drifted into the land of dreams….
Copy and images (c) 2007, Aribella Lafleur. All Rights Reserved.
Space Pirate image (c) 2007, Must Packbiers. All Rights Reserved.
Produced with the editorial assistance of Must Packbiers.
Burning Man Pirates image produced with the graphic design assistance of Jays Munro.
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