'Seriously peculiar happenstances'
It was a bitter night.
Why Itwazza did this was not the concern of a mere Storyteller like Mordwyn Freizennolt, nor was asking the reason behind her parents gracing her with such a regrettable name, especially as Mordwyn was presently much more concerned with the whereabouts of his left boot. Itwazza and her beau, Sir Forthendwyte, were too engaged in other matters to share words with Mordwyn, let alone help him in his arduous quest for the missing lower extremity accoutrement.
Stroking his long beard, Mordwyn pondered this peculiar growth jutting from his chin and decided to shave it off - too itchy, and the food that unceremoniously became entangled within was without question wearing his nerves thin and rather difficult to get out. A boot, on the other hand, is meant to be worn on the foot and generally doesn't have a beard unless it is lined with fur.
This, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with rock melons, bat guano, or cave-dwelling life insurance salesmen; neither in fact does this story.
The boot in question was presently resting somewhat uncomfortably on the gout-ridden foot of King Hieroneous Thrinklehoff the twenty-first. A rather rotund little regal of rosy-red cheeks and rough mead breath. How he managed to acquire said boot is still under investigation by his own Sheriff. The resulting legal ramifications will be duly recorded and placed in safe keeping in the royal treasury two miles deep within the heart of an active volcano, which, coincidentally, lays seventy-seven miles northeast of Mithingard Tower, and of course just so happens to fall within the borders of the King’s summer sovereignty.
Gonard the not-quite-red in the meantime, was out stretching his wings when he happened upon a peculiar thing. The thing bowed its head and went on its merry way before colliding beak first with a somewhat unforgiving bramble bush. The fact that the bramble bush was actually floating three hundred feet above the ground never entered Gonard’s mind, which, at present, was engaged on more pressing concerns. Namely the high-pitched shrill (sounding not unlike a castrato in the Mithingard boy’s choir as it turns out) which, regrettably, he recognised only too well as being the shrill voice of his Mother, Sharlene the gingham. ‘Not so much a colour as a chosen way of life’ she would always say. No one would argue the fact that it happened to be neither, simply because Sharlene was at a fairly sensitive age in dragon terms, and the fact that she had a very nasty temper of course may have helped dissuade further discussion on the matter.
Flatulence, as everybody knows, can also be very nasty. Mordwyn knows this only too well as he has been afflicted with extremely offensive flatulence the greater part of his long existence. Dragons of course have not, nor do they – especially those of the ‘Draconicus Australis’ variety – have frills or beards. Gonard the not-quite-red, Sharlene the gingham and Gonard’s father Kevin the puce, all belong to this aforementioned variety and have not met Mordwyn the Storyteller at this juncture. Mordwyn, on the other hand, has.
In what can only be described as a seriously peculiar happenstance, Mordwyn Freizennolt quite literally bumped into himself whilst taking one of his morning constitutionals. Mordwyn the other looked at the other Mordwyn while the other looked back at him. And so it goes, so utterly confused by the sight of Mordwyn and Mordwyn that it decided to leave this story and start an entirely new one. ‘A nice little family comedy mayhaps’ it thought.
Meanwhile, Mordwyn and Mordwyn poked and prodded, sniffed and snorted, licked and tasted, bit and swallowed the meager rations they carried on their persons then turned their attentions towards each other once more. The tenuous fabric of the space/time continuum had been cut open by King Thrinklehoff’s wayward heir again . . . I mean for Buglebrot’s sake, who gives their seven year old son the entire collected works on quantum physics, the encyclopedia of relativity, and the soft cover abridged version of ‘Nuclear power can be your friend’, I ask you. The last time the ‘Parallax Construct’ was toyed with, three dogs became one, a turtle sprouted elephants on its back and Sir Forthendwyte was a madam.
The garden gnome in the meantime had absolutely no idea where it was, had no idea where it had come from and was presently in a state of total petrification. By a somewhat unfortunate coincidence, Gonard the not-quite-red rather like petrified garden gnome – the dragon equivalent to a boiled lolly – and very rarely did such a sweet treat find its way into these realms. The poor garden gnome as a result of this misfortune, never got the chance to grow a strong beard that he could stroke, ponder, or shave off if found to be too itchy. Fleas and food of course didn’t care either way. Hair today, gerbil tomorrow.
Enter Destiny. As fickle and unpredictable as Destiny is, the Storyteller Mordwyn Freizennolt and Gonard the not-quite-red were destined to bump into each other rather painfully, will also manage to disrupt all the combined realms with a simple sneeze, and, moreover, in the next chapter. Thus our story begins . . .