17 October 2007
The Battle of Cockshaft Canyon
“I am sorry, Lordy,” wailed my treacherous half-brother, Ludlow, doing his utmost to avoid my rage-filled stare. “Business is business, you understand that, don’t you? I mean… you would have done the same thing if you were in my shoes, right?”
“If I were in your shoes,” I hissed, “I would have thrown myself onto that ruddy camp-fire right now, and ended my worthless, miserable existence.”
Ludlow scratched the back of his head nervously, and stepped back behind Captain Huw Anchor, who was looking rather too pleased with himself.
“Well,” said Anchor, smiling a sickeningly broad smile, “that was a really touching family reunion. It really was. I think I’m getting tearful, honestly.” He cackled loudly, then in a trice he was standing toe-to-toe with Lance, my other brother who, despite his criminal leanings and penchant for bestiality, had so far proven to be far more trustworthy than that worm Ludlow.
“Now listen here, cowboy,” Anchor jeered, prodding Lance in the chest with a fat, stubby finger. “You are going to tell me exactly where the gold is buried, or else…she gets it.”
On cue, the crowd parted to reveal one of Anchor’s burly henchman holding a pistol to the head of a horse, who was lazily chewing some grass, completely unaware of how precariously it’s life hung in the balance.
“NO!” screamed Lance, struggling to break free from his captor. “Not Jezebel! I love that horse!” He turned to me, and in a hushed tone added, “I really love that horse.” I winced.
“Tell us where the gold is, Lance, and we shall not harm a hair on this creature’s head, you have my word,” Anchor said.
“Your word, sir, carries as much weight as a malnourished street urchin,” I cried, desperately stalling for time so I could plot our escape.
“Oh, your lordship, do shut up,” Anchor snapped. “If you so much as utter another word, or interfere with proceedings in any way, HE gets it,” the captain motioned behind us, where my man-servant Botter was crouched on his knees, hands cuffed behind him, while another rugged rapscallion held a gun at his temple, grinning proudly. I raised an eyebrow, and turned back to Anchor.
“Oh, go ahead,” I smirked. “Shoot him. He is really quite useless to me, and he does smell rather like an old boot filled with feces. I dare say you would be doing us all a favour.” I turned back to Botter, and gave him a sly wink. He nodded slowly, and smiled.
“Your false bravado does not fool me, your lordship. I know you are bluffing. Maybe we should see what happens if we go ahead and pull the trigger…” said Anchor, his voice trailing off as he looked back at my man-servant, who was now standing up, hands freed, clutching the gun that had been held to his head, while his captor now lay on the ground, unconscious.
“You are a perceptive man, Anchor,” I said. “I was bluffing. Botter is not entirely useless, you see. He is rather adept at picking locks, for one thing, and he is also excellent at felling men with a straight shot to the plums. Although I do maintain that he smells like an old boot filled with feces.”
“Nobody move, or I’ll…um…shoot you,” Botter ad-libbed, trying his best to sound vaguely threatening. His shambolic act somehow seemed seemed to work, and some of the roughs in Anchor’s employ, sensing the tide was turning against them, surrendered and allowed themselves to be seized by the resurgent Red Rump tribe, led by Chief Spurting Cock. Meanwhile, other members of the captain’s posse decided that they were not going down without some semblance of a fight, and attacked the tribesmen, quickly leading to a full-on battle breaking out in the camp. Guns blazed, arrows sailed through the air and tomahawks sliced through flesh, with one particularly depraved Indian busying himself with the removal of the fallen men’s todgers, waving them above his head with triumphant glee.
As chaos and confusion reigned, I seized my chance, and flung my head back sharply, cracking the nose of the henchman behind me, a maneuver that caused me slightly more pain than I’d anticipated, and which left me slightly stunned.
Lance, meanwhile, followed my heroic lead and broke free from his guard, and lunged at Anchor, who managed to sidestep the attack and caught my hapless brother smartly in the small of his back with his elbow. Lance fell to the ground, while Anchor smoothly drew out his own gun and held it to Lance’s head.
“Lightnin’ Lance Likely!” Anchor snorted. “Lightnin’? I mean, honestly, that little stunt may as well have been sent by telegram, it was so painfully slow. Pathetic.”
Still nursing a sore head, I rushed to Lance’s aid, but was met by the barrel of Anchor’s pistol.
“I should blow your smug, stupid face clean off,” Anchor snarled as I skidded to a stop. “But why get my hands dirty, when I have a perfectly wiling lackey to do my dirty work for me? He’d kill to get his book published, you know! LUDLOW!”
Ludlow stepped forward, and Anchor placed the gun in his hands.
“I want you to shoot Lord Likely. I want you to do it, now.” Anchor barked. Ludlow looked at the crazed captain, then raised the gun back up to my head, and pulled back the hammer. Anchor clapped his hands excitedly. “Oh-ho! A Likely killing a Likely! How very poetic, don’t you think, your lordship?”
I did not answer, as I was to busy fixing Ludlow with my most sternest of looks, a stare so utterly penetrating and powerful it has reduced grown men to weeping like babies, then filling their trousers like newborns. Ludlow could not look directly at me.
“Treachery, skull-duggery, back-stabbing and greed,” I whispered. “I must admit, father would actually have been very proud.”
Ludlow looked up into my eyes.
“Shoot him!” Anchor screamed. “For the love of God, shoot the bastard!”
Ludlow pulled the trigger.
The gun exploded.
Captain Huw Anchor fell to the ground, clutching a fresh wound on his arm, howling in pain. Ludlow lowered the gun, and turned back to me.
“Some people have no manners, do they Lordy?” Ludlow beamed.
“Spiffing job, old boy,” I said, very much relieved. “But do not think for one moment you have ingratiated yourself with me so easily. I would still very much like to have a thousand wild horses trample your scrotum, you know.”
“Understood,” Ludlow nodded. “I’m so sorry, Lordy. I almost forgot who I was. I am a Likely, dammit, and I’m darn proud to be one.”
“Quite as it should be,” I returned.
“Hey, ladies,” Lance said, gingerly rising to his feet. “I don’t wanna alarm anyone, but I think our man’s gone an’ fucked off,” he explained, pointing to the ground where only moments before Anchor had fallen. All that was left was a pool of blood, with smaller puddles leading haphazardly away from the spot, and out of the camp.
“Hmmm,” pondered Chief Spurting Cock loudly, appearing suddenly beside us like some kind of homosexual phantasm. He knelt down and sniffed at the blood, stood up, stroked his chin, then licked his finger and held it above his head. He made a few more loud hums, then faced us again. “I think that your man has gone to Mount Penis, at the top of the canyon.”
“Amazing!” cried Ludlow, impressed. “How on earth do you know that?”
“He’s over there, look,” admitted Spurting Cock, pointing up to a path leading out of the canyon, upon which the figure of Huw Anchor could be seen, staggering towards a cock-shaped mountain above.
“Remarkable,” mumbled Ludlow, clealrly feeling like the utter fool he was.
“Right!” I cried, clapping my hands together loudly. “Chief, how are your men coping with Anchor’s thugs and goons?”
Spurting Cock grinned suggestively. “They are coping with the men tremendously well, ” he said. “And by ‘coping’ I mean ‘buggering’.”
“Fine! That was more information than I would have liked to have been given, but still, good work nonetheless. Botter!” I cried, swiveling around to face my man-servant, who was still clutching his pistol and trying to maintain an air of menace. “Botter, you stay here and keep an eye or two on Dirigible and Lunettes, here,” I said, pointing to Anchor’s two miserable co-conspirators.
“Why? Where are you going, milord?” asked Botter, keeping his pistol trained on the pugnacious pair.
“We Likelys,” I said, putting my arms around my two brothers. “Have got an Anchor to toss out.”
- Lord Likely.