Skip to content

Dog Shouting

Out on the Salt Sea, the Princess Leaves smacks bolts aside with her father’s sword, but they hit the deck of the yacht and leap immediately to flame. Dog Shouting dangles from the deck of a skiff while the hideous mouth of the Garbage Killer snaps blindly toward her. Rotten Gamble and Dragalong try to haul her up, when over their shoulders she spies a man wearing blue armor and a demon’s mask.

“Splitting Scar!” snarls Dog Shouting.

He raises his crossbow.

“Splitting Scar?” gasps Blow the Skin, “Splitting Scar? Where?” and knocks a pile of convenient fireworks into the flames.

The Princess Leaves

The Burning Armory is four fathoms tall and its stubby fingers are pierced with sharpened bone. Its half-blind eye searches out the Princess Leaves as she coughs sand and struggles to her feet; above, Dog Shouting grips the pit’s edge, and the Papa Bosom’s mottled crew cheer and place bets.

Very few of the bets are in her favor.

The Armory snacks on a guard-turned-victim, and the Princess closes her eyes. The Wish Power is with her. The enormous portcullis rises; the Armory tries to follow her under it; the portcullis falls.

“Oh dear,” says Blow the Skin.

Kid Rabbit

“Of course I’m worried,” snaps Blow the Skin. “And you should be too! Rotten Gamble and Dragalong never returned from this awful place. If I told you half the things I’ve heard about this Papa Bosom–”

Grit squeals in Kid Rabbit’s exasperated gears. Once again he’s trundling through the desert with a message in his heart, but the place seems crueler now than it has before: dawn pinks the sand like blood in the water. They crest a dune and come upon a crenellated maw, blind ancient iron, too dry to rust.

“I’d better knock, I suppose,” mumbles Blow the Skin.

Dog Shouting

“Why you slimy, double-crossing, no-good swindler!” growls Rotten Gamble, stalking toward them down the pier with guards at either side.

“Me?” mouths Dog Shouting, like a bad actor.

They embrace, then, laughing, until the caped man glimpses baleen scars down the flanks of Loveblind Bird. “What have you done to my ship?”

Dog Shouting’s eyebrow quirks. “Yours? You lost her to me fair and square.”

They pause and eye each other for a moment, grins a little edgy now.

“Well, he seems friendly,” remarks Blow the Skin.

“Yes,” says the Princess Leaves, watching the two of them. “Very friendly.”

Kid Rabbit

“I really thought she’d changed,” says See Me, watching as Dog drags the coffer away.

“She has her own path,” says the Princess coldly. “No one can choose it for her.”

“I wish Ratio Tile were here,” See Me mutters.

Workers are fitting Kid Rabbit into the brass-lined slot at the back of See’s proa, connecting its spring drive to the boat’s paddlewheel. Rabbit twangs excitedly.

“Seems a little beat up,” says the dock chief critically. “You want a new one?”

“Not on your life,” chuckles See Me.

“Hang on, Rabbit!” cries Blow the Skin. “You’ve got to come back!”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.