The Four Carpet People of the Pop Eclipse

The following is an excerpt from a very silly story I wrote for July NaNoWriMo over ten years ago which I felt like posting because it has something vaguely to do with the eclipse. (This is from the same story as the dreaded “Nate Cookingham.”)

Bart ate his barbeque sandwich as they stood around the twins’ car in the parking lot of Butch Cookingham’s Pork and Beef Barbeque. The sun went behind a cloud. The traffic thinned and suddenly the streets seems deserted, even the parking lot they were in was emptying out. “Something’s happening,” said Kadee.

They noticed a masked man in dark clothes prying up loose floorboard in the sidewalk. A cat chased a dog down the street. A mouse howled at the moon which had come out early and passed in front of the sun. A flock of red herrings flew over their heads. They watched as a portal from another world opened up and out of it came three four spectacular beasts. First came a black pregnant hog, second was a gorilla with hair the same color as Tim’s, and the third was a midget minotaur which was no more than five feet tall. The fourth beast was a depressed zebra.

The sun re-emerged from the clouds. Cars started coming to this part of the road again. The masked man and the loose floorboard had disappeared. Everything was back to normal except for the four beasts which were walking up to them.

They watched in awe and apprehension until the four beasts were standing in front of them. The gorilla smiled and handed them a flower. The minotaur was wearing a chef’s hat. The hog had a lit fuse for a tail, and with its solid black color it looked like a bomb. The zebra spoke in a language none of them knew.

Kadee didn’t know what the zebra said, but she recognized the language, “How did you learn the language of unicorns?”

The minotaur answered the question. He was the only one who spoke English, “He is a unicorn who’s lost his horn.”

“Looks like a zebra to me,” said Carl.

“Yup, he’s got two ears,” said Tim, “so he surely can’t be a unicorn.”

“What happened to his horn?” asked Kadee. Bart was dumbfounded by the things had just happened and couldn’t bring himself to say anything. He just stood there
holding the last few bites of his barbeque sandwich in his hand.

“Well,” said the minotaur, “Accually he never had one, but he insists that he’s a unicorn (he does know the language) and we’ve been looking for a horn to give him.”

“Hey Tim,” said Carl, “The things that Kadee called unicorns were those horseys with seashells on their heads.”

“Yeah,” Tim put two and two together, “The zebra must think it’s one of them, and I have a seashell that looks like one of those horns.” Tim got the seashell out of his backpack and gave it to the zebra. They never noticed before, but there was still a sea animal inside the shell. It bit the zebra’s nose, attaching itself to the zebra’s head. The zebra winced at first but then whinnied happily and did a little dance.

The hog, the ape, and the rather short minotaur watched the zebra receiving its unicorn horn. Then they looked at the twins and Bart and Kadee with renewed respect. The zebra spoke again in the Xafeni language. “You have done us a great service,” said the minotaur, “How can we repay you?”

“Who or what are you?” were the first words out of Bart’s mouth.

“We’re the four unofficial carpet people of the pop eclipse,” said the minotaur.

“Cool,” said Tim.

“What?” Bart wished he hadn’t asked. Kadee laughed.

“Is there any official carpet people of the pop eclipse?” asked Carl.

“Um, no,” said the minotaur chef, “We just got together about a year ago with some help of a powerful raymet named Quick Nickle, but we’re not official.”

“That’s our grampa!” said Tim.

“Quick Nickle is your grandfather?”

“yeah,” said Tim and Carl together.

“Wow, you finished the work that your grandfather started.” The gorrila made some apelike noises and waved a flower around, the hog stomped its foot, and the zebra said something more in the unicorn language. “Ah yes,” said the midget minotaur, “We have to introduce ourselves. This is Miracle Cure,” the minotaur gestured at the zebra, “The hog is called Baby Boomer.” The black hog with the fuse for a tail showed them six little piglets hanging on to her underside. “This is the Peace Ape,” the gorrila handed them another flower, “And I am the Short Chef.” The hog made a noise, and the minotaur continued, “No, not the Short Order Chef, the Short Chef.” The hog made the noise again, arguing. “I’ve been having trouble coming up with an appropriate name for myself,” the minotaur explained, “We have a counter for Pestilence, Death, and War, and I’m supposed to be the counter for Famine, but my name should also have something to do with what I look like. I started out as the Puzzled Chef because a maze is a kind of puzzle and minotaurs live in giant mazes, but they didn’t like that. But I’m even shorter than most adult humans, not to mention being short for a minotaur, so I thought of being the Short Chef, but I’m still trying to think of something better.”

“How about the Amazing Chef,” Tim suggested, “It has the word ‘maze’ in it.”

“That’s what I wanted to use first,” said the minotaur, “But there’s a show on the cooking channel called ‘The Amazing Chef,’ and I didn’t want to copy it.”

“You should be The Amazing Feast Beast,” said Carl.

“The Amazing Feast Beast,” the Minotaur thought it over, ”I like it. Again our thanks, how can we repay you?”

“Help us find the man who killed our Grampa Quick and stole his second place trophy,” said Tim.

“Someone killed Quick Nickle?” asked the Minotaur. The hog made an angry noise. The zebra unicorn snorted and reared up, pointing its seashell horn. The gorilla wasn’t paying attention, it was busy tying a flower into Kadee’s hair. “We must find him and teach him not to steal and kill people,” said the minotaur, “..and make dinner for him too.”

Bart braced himself for another bizzare answer, but he was too curious not to ask, “Why do you call yourselves carpet people?”

“If you ride horses you’re called horsemen,” said the Minotaur, “So since we ride flying carpets, we must be carpet people.” Each of the four beasts got out a persian-looking flying carpet.

Bart hid his head in his hands and started to cry because he felt that his brain had finally turned into marmalade jam. They weren’t in a fairyland anymore. These things couldn’t possibly happen in his country. He closed his eyes and convinced himself that when he opened his eyes there would be no four carpet people of the pop eclipse. He took a deep breath and opened up his eyes, and there were the black hog, the flower-waving gorilla, the zebra with a seashell horn, and the vertically challenged minotaur. Bart hid his face again.

“What’s wrong?” asked Kadee.

Bart upper body shook with his sobbing. The gorilla tapped him on the shoulder. When Bart looked up, it smiled and gave him a flower. It didn’t help. Bart sobbed into his hands again.

“I think he needs a nap,” said Carl.

“We can’t take him home,” said Tim, “We have work to do.”

“Let’s take a short break,” said Kadee. She started singing in the mysterious magical language fairies use for healing songs. Simply translated, the words meant, ‘Don’t panic, you’re not going crazy, ..really you aren’t.’

Gradually, Bart’s crying stopped. Now, when he looked up, it wasn’t so bad to see the four presumptuous beasts there, as long as he knew that he didn’t have meatballs in his noodle.

“Come on, Bart,” said Tim, “We’re going to ride over the town on their flying carpets and look for Mr Cookingham.”

“He can’t be too far,” said Carl, “If it was him that gave us the bag with the chickens and it probably was.”

So each of them shared a flying carpet with one of the four carpet people of the pop eclipse. Kadee was with the unicorn zebra, Tim with the minotaur cook, Carl with the Peace Ape, and Bart ended up with the big black pregnant hog.

They flew around the area of Johnny Appleseed’s Fruit Shop, which was Mr Cookingham’s last known location, looking for their villian. As the flew, they saw two high school boys fighting. The Peace Ape flew down on his magic carpet, stopped their fighting and gave them each a flower. Soon afterwords, they saw a homeless man with a sign saying he was hungry, so the Amazing Feast Beast flew down and gave the man a twenty dollar gift certificate to each of five different nearby resturants. When the minotaur had took to the air again, Bart asked, “Aren’t you supposed to cook him some food?”

The minotaur snorted, “Sure when I can, but I can’t take my kitchen with me everywhere.”

They saw a sick woman who had been having to blow her nose about every two minutes. The Miracle Cure zebra flew down and somehow cured her, touching the seashell on its head to the woman’s face. Bart thought Quick Nickle must have given that power to the zebra, but he didn’t know how the seashell could have had anything to do with it.

Bart looked down at the hog he was sharing the carpet with and wondered what it could do. “The gorilla can try to stop fights, the zebra-“

“Striped unicorn,” corrected the minotaur.

“..the striped unicorn then,” Bart continued, “can heal sickness, and you can give people food (or a means to buy food), but what can this hog do? I mean, if you’re trying to counter the four horsemen, shouldn’t the counter to Death be able to bring people back to life or something?”

“Well,” said the Amazing Feast Beast, “The counter to Death itself is a tough one. We can’t bring people back to life, not even a raymet can do that, so obviously Quick Nickle couldn’t give us that power. And feeding people, stopping fights, and curing sicknesses is already saving lives. So we had to think of an alternative for the counter to Death to do, and, you see, some things have more than one opposite. When you think of the opposite to death, the first thing you think of is life, but birth can also be an opposite of death. So the specialty of our counter to death is giving birth.”

The hog suddenly made a booming sound like a bomb had gone off. The carpet shook and Bart had to grab hold of the Baby Booming hog to keep from falling off. It started making excited noises and it momentarily turned on its side to show that it now had seven little piglets when before there were six.

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About David A Justiss

a fantasy novelist.
This entry was posted in My Stories, Silly and/or Weird stuff, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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