Steampunk to hellearliest post first | most recent post first
If you've never been on top of an airship in flight, then you should know it's a scary thing.
For one, you should always have a safety tether. And even when you do, it's still very unnerving, sitting on top of a great taunt gas balloon, curving away in all directions below you, smooth and slippery and gray with nothing to hold onto, nothing to help prevent you from slipping away over the side and falling, hundreds of feet above the surface of the earth.
I can say this now, as this all happened many years ago, before I was acquainted with the ways of the air and the Steampunk to Hell specifically -- when I was only a young hedge witch building full size gingerbread houses, and had only first met Anything Owl.
But at the time it was terrifying. And I had no safety tether. Instead, I lay spread eagled on the top of the Steampunk to Hell, holding onto the skin of the envelope with my mere fingertips, knowing that were I to release my gecko-like pawing of the membrane I would fall hundreds of feet to my death, or at the least a very uncomfortable mashing.
And it was there that I clung for dear life for what seemed an eternity, as the ship slowly made its way from the woods, and leaving ol Hexy, my trusty mount, no doubt placidly nibbling the forest grasses below.
@Jonesy Morgan was really getting on my nerves. Obviously a made up name for a pirate, dressed like a cartoon of a pirate, who had a big twiggy nest instead of a pirate ship.
"Oooooh arrrrrgh!" @Jonesy Morgan said, just to annoy me.
I had no obligation to him OR the ridiculous giant owl who started all this in the first place. I had my Impossibag back and it was time to leave. And ol' Hexy was faithfully waiting for me at the foot of this giant tree, no doubt.
Rather than make a scene, I just quietly slipped over the side of the giant nest...
and landed on top of an airship.
"Aye! Ye better suck your lemon, lest ye get the SCURVY!" the pirate captain said.
I didn't have a lemon. And I didn't see any in the big twig nest.
"That's because yer not thinking hard enough. About lemons! Har har har har!"
The rest of the pirates kept busy around the nest, with great energy, moving twigs around and sticking the big ones up like masts. But no sails.
We still didn't seem to be going anywhere. There was a breeze in the trees but the stars were staying in their places.
"What did I say about about not thinking hard enough, little missy? Har har har har!"
"Wait, are you the Pan? Isn't that what the Pan says? The 'straight on till morning?' stuff?"
The pirate looked disgusted. Then spat.
"Naive little nobbin!" he said. "Total idiot. Self-absorbed twat. Stubbornly ignorant of the big picture," he said.
It was then I noticed other pirates in the big twig nest, making themselves busy arranging the twigs, building little huts and walls and towers.
"Let go the halyard!" called the pirate. "Sheet home the sail! Make all!"
The pirates got busy, but it was a sort of pantomime.
"Arrrrrr! Don't that feel good to be out on the sail again?" said the pirate.
The tree tops of the forest swayed lightly in the breeze, and the stars stayed in their places.
Aye! You're a pale one! Some kind of goblin, are ye? Some pallid minion of the owl's I presume?
Ah, no! Ahoy! What's this? A witch by the smell of ya. And a baby witch at that. The owl has never been afraid of a bit of child labor now, has he?
It's no matter. You're too late, anyway, and missed all the fun.
Because I've already taken full control of this nest and claimed her for myself and crew.
Avast, me hearties! Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning!
At least Anything Owl gave me back the Impossibag 3000.
"PLEASE. AND TAKE IT WITH YOU," said Anything Owl.
I didn't really intend to fight any pirates for Anything Owl. What would I care? It was Anything Owl who stole from me, with zero provocation, forcing me to spend all this time climbing the tallest tree in the wood, getting scratched by twigs, waiting in waiting rooms, and enduring some weird tirade about interlocking tables and fruit dynasties or something. Frankly it was all getting a bit hazy, but here I was with the Impossibag on my back and picking my way up through the twigs of to the very top of the mighty nest.
And, sitting there on the edge of the mighty nest, I found a pirate in the moonlight.
PIRATES! PIRATES IN THE TWIGS!
THIS IS, IN FACT, ONE OF THOSE AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD NEST I WAS TALKING ABOUT, LUZ DUNKEL.
THE POWER OF ANYTHING OWL IS AWESOME AND MAJESTIC, BUT THERE ARE SOME THINGS IT'S BETTER TO LEAVE TO A TRUSTED AVATAR TO TAKE CARE OF.
QUICK LUZ DUNKEL! CRAWL UP TO THE NEST! DON'T MIND THE SCRATCHES. YOU'LL GET USED TO IT.
"BUT WHAT I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IS YOOOOOOOOOOOOO," hooted Anything Owl. "WHAT ARE YOOOOO DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? WHERE DO YOOOOOOO SEE YOURSELF IN SIX AND A HALF YEARS, FOUR MONTHS, AND THREE DAYS? WHY ARE YOOOOOOO OUT ALONE ON SUCH A MOONLIT NIGHT?"
I really didn't know where to begin.
"You stole my Impossibag," I said. "I was just out... riding my horse. He was chewing the gingerbread furniture in my dorm. We were letting off steam. I'm probably going to build him a corral. Out of something other than lebkuchen, or anything coated in sugar."
"HAVE YOU CONSIDERED TWIGS?" asked Anything Owl. "TWIGS ARE STURDY. TWIGS ARE SUPPLE AND FORGIVING. TWIGS SUPPORT THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD CHAINS."
"Twigs are scratchy," I answered. I lifted up my arms to show him.
"SO THEY ARE! SO THEY ARE! HOOO HOOOO HOOO HOOO!" Anything Owl seemed to be chuckling. "AS INTERIM MANAGER OF THE PLANAR NEGOTIATION ROUNDTABLE AS WELL AS THE INTERREGNUM MEET YET TO COME IN ABSENTIA, I AM A BUSY ANCESTRAL ENTITY. I NEED HELP LOOKING AFTER THE AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD NEST, AND THE WORLD TREE IN WHICH IT RESTS."
"So?" I asked.
"SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....." continued Anything Owl. "WHAT I AM ASKING IS, LUZ DUNKEL, WON'T YOU BE, WON'T YOU BE, WON'T YOU BE, MY AVATAR ON THIS EARTH?"
The Impossibag 3000 was right there. Hanging on a hook on the wall.
Right behind the giant owl at the desk.
"HELLO, YOUNG PERSON. YOU MAY KNOW ME AS ANYTHING OWL, MASTER OF NESTS, SWOOPER OF SWOOPS."
It did ring some vague bell, deep in the back of my mind.
"MOST RECENTLY I SERVED AT YOUR SCHOOL AS THE INTERIM MANAGER OF THE PLANAR NEGOTIATION ROUNDTABLE AS WELL AS THE INTERREGNUM MEET YET TO COME. YOU CAN LOOK IT UP. NOW I AM ON SABBATICAL, TENDING THE WORLD NEST, KEEPING OLD FLAMES ALIVE, AND RUSTLING DREAMS."
The owl's feathers fluttered, and the twigs in the nest fluttered too. The owl's beak was sharp.
"AND YOU HAVE A LOST ITEM TO REPORT?"
"Uh, yes. That's my bag, there on the wall behind you."
"AND SO IT IS," said Anything Owl and wings unfurled and feathers curled and with a little SWOOP the bag was place in front of me.
Then I sat there for a long time looking into Anything Owl's great big eyes.