No matter matter what type of critterly critter you are, I have learned that all of us like to feel most safely safe. Something else I have learned is that Kev Kev's imaginary lands of Interterrestria are always semba safe...at least they always have been been. At least for many eras of ages. And maybe they probably still are, but then again, maybe not. From what Kev Kev tells me, this chapter is going to get kind of scary--yikes yikes! Maybe even the next couple of chapterly chapters will have some scaries in them too as well. Double-double yikes yikes!!
Anyhoo, you, thank you all for giving me this lovely lovely opportunity. Oh, and my muy bonita Reigna Reigna Rellena says "Hola, hi!" And we bothly both love you. I will let Kev Kev get on with the story story now! Adios amigo-o's!
Enter Kev Kev:
"Thank you, my dear Caw-Caw. A most excellent job by you! So very proud of you. You kids have fun, and I'll meet you later on at the Sacred Pub after I finish this chapter. Please tell Olga, Shelellabee, Rhianka, and Baquara the Mighty I said hello."
For those that wondered after reading the previous chapter: yes, my dear gatekeeper Caw-Caw and the Bonita Salsa Dog, Reigna Rellena, do seem to legitimately be in love with one another--in a most Sacred Garden-ly sort of way. Honestly, I'm happy for them, and they indeed make such an adorable couple! Anyhoo, back to the story now:
By the time Gemini Cricket and I had finally woken up from our nap upon the Persian Rug, Van Halen's 1984 was playing quite loudly from near the garden gate, and we decided we should check on dear Caw-Caw and his new lovely Salsa Dog lover. Thankfully, they had finally stopped chugging cans of beer, but clearly they had already had too much. Just off to the side, we could see that Cousin Eddie's little cart had been completely emptied of beer cans, and we could hear lots of snoring coming from inside his little garage constructed of empty beer cans. It sounded like the snoring of a single Raven, along with the snoring of about 5 Poetic Waxwings.
Gemini Cricket (though I couldn't see him, of course) finally hopped off my shoulder and landed on dear Caw-Caw's back. Then he began to chirp at the proud Stellers Jay, though I couldn't comprehend a single word of his chirps.
Dear Caw-Caw could understand perfectly, as he replied, "Yes, you are muy rightly right of course, Gemini Cricket Cricket. You are siempre always right. You have my wordly, word--bonita Reigna Reigna Rellena and I have no intention of making this a habitly habit. We have muy learned an educating lesson."
While my gatekeeper and Gemini Cricket conversed, I took a few moments to welcome Reigna Rellena to our beloved Xanadu Forest and to assure her what a pleasure it would be to have her and her Los Poetic Waxwings here with us. I also explained to her that our county clerk's office had just become vacant, and that I believed it would suit their needs well. The lovely Salsa Dog was most appreciative, and asked if it would be okay if her new guapo chisto-bird could help get them settled into their new home. "Oh, that's a spectacular idea, lovely Reigna," I finally replied, then I gestured for Caw-Caw Carl to hop down from Achilles' Last Stand and walk with me to Cousin Eddie's beer can garage.
"Gemini Cricket Cricket says he will stay at Achilles' Last Stand stand and gatekeepingly gatekeep for me," dear Caw-Caw spoke, "because he says you will needly need to talk to me me."
"Yes, my dear Caw-Caw, he is most wise," I replied, and continued, "We need to wake Cousin Eddie and Los Poetic Waxwings, and we all need to head over to the Sacred Pub. After that, you can help get Reigna Rellena and her bandaleros situated in the old county clerk's office."
"Oh, pardon me, Kev Kev, but we have already hadly had too much too drink I muy believe," dear Caw-Caw protested. "I'm not surely sure the Sacred Pub is such a muy goodly idea."
"It is the perfect idea right now, my dear gatekeeper--the ONLY idea, in fact," I replied. "You see, my dear Caw-Caw, they have a magical drink there called After Ale--it's the only place in our beloved forest where you can get it. Though it does contain trace amounts of alcohol in it, it magically makes one completely sober almost immediately...after one drinks it, of course. You guys might all need a couple of them each this time...you had quite a sun and moon greeting!"
"Oh, indeedly indeed, Mr. Kev Kev! But it was so muy fantastically fun," dear Caw-Caw spoke. He continued, "And thank you you for letting me have my muy momently moment. I will muy chisto enjoy showing my bonita Reigna Reigna Rellena the old county clerk's office. They will likely like it very much! And you know what, Kev Kev? I had no no idea love felt so nicely nice mismo this. I'm so happy happy."
"Well I'm happy for you, my dear gatekeeper. Enjoy it," I replied, and tapped him lovingly on the beak a couple of times. "Come on, let's get these borachos moving, huh?" Dear Caw-Caw chuckled...I'm guessing because he was enjoying that we were all finding Reigna Rellena's Pigeon Spanish a bit contagious. Certainly it was fun and adorable.
We did finally manage to get everyone rounded up and heading over toward the Sacred Pub somehow. Dear Caw-Caw and Reigna Rellena were so cute to watch, walking side by side, stride for stride, surrounded on the rear by a semi-circle of stumbling Los Poetic Waxwings. There was a true--but unique--regality to the whole affair, it felt, and it made Cousin Eddie and I smile at each other warmly. Gemini Cricket had kindly agreed to stay behind and gatekeep for us while we were away...or so dear Caw-Caw told me. It occurred to me, just that instant, that this is the first time Caw-Caw Carl had been away from his invisible friend and mentor, Gemini Cricket. "My, how he is blossoming!" I believed I had said silently to myself.
I was wrong again, of course, as Cousin Eddie simply replied, "Indubitably," and he stumbled and wobbled his way to the front door of the Sacred Pub, and held the door open for us all.
Once our whole gang was inside, I did a headcount to make sure no one was left behind, and Cousin Eddie wasted no lack of time at all in ordering rounds of After Ale for everyone except for Kev. Olga the bartender kindly and quickly obliged, though she couldn't help but inquire, "You aren't bringing me trouble, are you Kev? I've had a long sun-greeting already, and I'm not in the mood for your foolishness."
"No, no, my dear Olga," I instantly replied, and extended my finger for a finger hug from her [No one gives finger hugs like Olga! She's a feisty and tough one, but a bigger heart cannot be found anywhere in all of the existences, I assure you, dear reader. Just don't piss her off!] Once Olga had poured the last After Ale, she returned to my corner of the bar so that we could further converse. I explained to her about Reigna Rellena and Los Poetic Waxwings...that they would be staying in our beloved Xanadu Forest permanently at the old county clerk's office, where their band could rehearse and possibly give Salsa dance lessons.
Cousin Eddie the Raven hopped up on a stool next to me and began chugging a second After Ale. "They're good people, Olga," he exclaimed. "I can vouch for them personally."
"Oh!" Olga exclaimed. "So you're into band management now, are you, blackbird? You all show up needing After Ales just like that--not even a moon-greeting since their arrival. Sounds like winners all around, eh? Sounds like a lot of foolishness waiting to invade my pub."
While Cousin Eddie and Olga the bartender fairy continued their chatter, I drifted off to check on dear Caw-Caw and Reigna Rellena, who were now foreleg in wing in front of the jukebox and discussing the best songs with the word "Love" in the title. T-Yay the Record Retriever and his bestie, Ptolemy the Gentle Boxer, were standing back awkwardly, staring at the jukebox, and wondering if they'd ever get the chance to pick a few songs. I greeted the two canines pleasantly, then introduced them to Reigna Rellena. I winked at Ptolemy the Gentle Boxer, and he used the brief distraction as an opportunity to select some Bachman-Turner Overdrive songs. Off in the distance, and to our right, I could see some of the Poetic Waxwings shooting pool, and other of the Poetic Waxwings shooting darts. Apparently this wasn't their first Los rodeo. I continued scanning the bar, as T-Yay and Reigna Rellena discussed their favorite rare record pressings by The Damned. My dear Caw-Caw finally interrupted them to proudly announce that they would have their own turntable inside the old county clerk's office, as well as a "top top notch vintagely vintage sound system." Insecurity is apparently universal, I silently observed. Most graciously, T-Yay, ever the gentleman, passed on the opportunity to offer Reigna Rellena use of just about any record album she could ever name...since he was, of course, the proprietor of our own beloved Record Emporium. The Record Retriever was looking out for my dear insecure gatekeeper, I could feel it. And it felt very nice nice. Our beloved Xanadu Forest is such a lovely place indeed!
Rooted in insecurity, though it may well have been, my dear Caw-Caw had raised a valid point: we still needed to introduce Reigna Rellena to Olga the bartender fairy. We did so, and it was a most happy occasion.
"Blackbird, here tells me you have a talented salsa band," Olga began. "Though I could use some foolishness around here, I'm not sure salsa music would go over well with the clientele here. I'm sorry."
"Salsa musica?!!!" Reigna Rellena exclaimed. "Whatever gave you that pendejo idea, Papi?" the feisty bonita Salsa Dog further exclaimed, burning a stare into Cousin Eddie's little Raven eyes.
Cousin Eddie set down his 3rd flagon of After Ale and shrugged his wings, "Well, the dress. The Salsa dress...and you told Caw-Caw you are a dancer. I just assumed..."
"You know what assuming gets you, pendejo Papi?" Reigna Rellena went on, and she began chugging the After Ale he had just set down on the bar in front of him. "Yes, we can bailando muy bueno for sure, blackbird, but we don't play Salsa music. Remember los combat boots, pendejo? Look!" And she pointed down to her combat boots. And Cousin Eddie sheepishly looked down at them. "And look again! We play rock and metal musica, pendejo!" And Cousin Eddie looked down at her combat boots again, but not so sheepishly this time.
Before Cousin Eddie could apologize for his foolish assumption, Olga the bartender fairy broke in and spared him the embarrassment, "I'm glad to hear that, Reigna Rellena. Salsa dancing to rock and metal...now this is exactly the sort of foolishness I can use around here. You're hired! However moon-greetings you'd like." Then Olga poured two shots of Twilight Shimmer--one for herself, and one for Caw-Caw's beloved bonita Salsa Dog.
Bartender fairy and Salsa Dog clinked their shot glasses together, sucked down the magical whiskey, and smiled. "Oh, thank you so muy muy much, lovely Olga," Reigna Rellena almost shouted. "We will not disappoint. You are even more simpatico than Kev hablas you are."
Olga smiled, "Don't push it, Toots." Then she laughed, and we all laughed too. When the laughter subsided, the bartender fairy finished, "You and your bandaleros get all the Minute Meads and Second Sodas you want on the house...when you play. Midnight Shimmers and Twilight Shimmers are half price...again, when you play. After Ales are always free to anyone who needs them, but I'm trusting you won't need them too often, if you get my drift."
"Oh yes, si, lovely Olga!" Reigna Rellena exclaimed. "We will not need After Ales very muy often, you have my palabra. You are bastante generous, bonita bartender fairy. We take our musica very seriously. Thank you gracias, once again."
Then Olga flew over to Reigna Rellena's ear and whispered inside it, "One last thing--and this is between me and you: you break that Stellers Jay's heart, and I break your face. He's very special to me. Comprende?" Salsa Dog nodded understandingly, and Olga added, "You are not the only feisty one here. Be nice, and we will get along muy wel. And you and your bandaleros will always be welcome here." Then Olga flew back over behind the bar and poured a Twilight Shimmer for herself and Regina Rellena. They toasted and winked at one another knowingly. And downed their magical whiskey in unison.
I was about to order a round of Minute Meads for everyone to celebrate the new official Sacred Pub house band, Reigna Rellena & Los Poetic Waxwings, when a most sudden and troubling interruption fell upon us.
Bahroz the Brown Bear rushed in through the Sacred Pub's front door, yanked me off my stool, and held me standing with his massive arms as he spoke, "Kev, you have to come outside right away. It's bad...I'm sorry. A dragon...big, big dragon. Not Justin or Douglas. Hurry!"
Before I had the chance to process any of the multitude of thoughts that raced through my mind--and without knowing exactly how I even arrived there--I found myself standing before the largest dragon I have ever seen. Justin and Douglas, the dragon life-partners, would look to be but younglings in the presence of this mighty dragon...and they are by no means small or un-mighty.
"I didn't wish to frighten you, Kev, but I'm afraid this is most urgent--and there is no lack of time for questions right now," the great and mighty dragon bellowed. "I am Adamna Comnandra, of the Comnandrai. You must come with me now to hold council with my brothers and good King Midas LeBottom upon the top of Dew Mound." The great and mighty dragon lie down upon the ground and gestured for me to climb up onto his back.
"But," I stammered. "I'm confused."
"I will explain on our flight to Dew Mound," the great and mighty Dragon replied. "Please, we must go now. War may well be upon your lands."
My heart sank deeply. My first thought was of dear Caesar Emeritus, and how he should be joining me on this journey. "Great and mighty Adamna Comnandra, may I please bring our dear Ceasar Emeritus with us? He is in the Library Tree now. I can have him here very quickly. My heart speaks loudly that he will be a tremendous service at the council. I will not feel comfortable without him."
"Yes, Kev, that is a good thought from your heart," the great and mighty dragon replied. "But DO hurry...hurry like you've never hurried before, for lack of time is of the essence."
To be continued in Chapter 45
Thank you, dear readers, for joining me on this journey.
Life is still beautiful beautiful.
We love you. Semba.