A Time Travel Clyde Mini-Epic!
THE IDIOCY AND THE ODDITY
(with apologies to Homer, the ancient Greek Gods and Heroes,
and lovers of great literature everywhere!)
--Part II --
The ODDITY: An Epic Adventure!
THE ISLAND OF CISSY
True to his word, HURRIES, the Messenger God (whom we met in the previous chapter), arranged for a big wind to come along and blow Roe Boat to the Island of Cissy the Sorceress The trip took hardly any time at all, as is often the case when you are in a hurry.
Clydesseus and the Meowing Kitties had never heard of Cissy, and since the beach where they landed looked perfectly normal, they did not suspect that they might be heading for trouble.
The Sorceress had been living alone for a very long time. Well, she was alone except for her ever-present sea-nymphs, an ever-present from Poseidon, her old boy-god friend. But, they were on vacation, so we won't meet them here. Neither would Clydesseus.
Cissy lived on a nicely landscaped tropical island where, thanks to her magic, weeds looked like beautiful flowers, and the weather was always nice. It was as close to paradise, in appearance anyway, as an island could get. But this only belied the real nature of the place.
This came from a really bad habit she had. As a sorceress, she loved practicing magic and was very good with potions. She had a passion for bacon and used to eat it all the time!
Sadly for her, the island had run out of pigs because Cissy had a rather large appetite. Being the resourceful sorceress she was, Cissy worked up an incredible magic potion that would turn anyone or thing, into a big fat pig. This potion was called, a "milk shake", and it worked remarkably well.
Poseidon, who wanted her near him and had trapped her on the island, took pity on her and caused many sea vessels to run aground on her beaches. The results were always unfortunate for the sailors, as you can imagine. But if you can't, don't worry, this part of the story will explain it.
Clydesseus and the Meowing Kitties didn't know any of this background information when they arrived on the island. There was a lot they didn't know, this was just part of it. Anyway, when they arrived on schedule (according to Poseidon's timetable, thanks to Hurries) at the shore, the intrepid band (well, actually it was a MIDI band) were very, very hungry. So, Clydesseus sent some of them to search for food, or a gig where they could earn the money to buy food. He sent out two at a time.
The first two went off into the woods, and disappeared. The next searched for the first two, and then, with the faint echo of a squeal, they disappeared. The pair after that positively grunted upon their disappearance, and Clydesseus was growing concerned. He was running out of band members to send, and he was starving!
Thinking it better to all go in one final volley, Clydesseus led the remaining members of his band into the dark and tangled woods. They had hardly gotten very far when the path they were following led them to the beach on the other side of the island. And, there, high in the distance, they saw a dark castle, surrounded by a dark green lawn, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea.
They rushed on, convinced that this castle would be full of wonderful things, because it was so very unusual. But this was a magical beach, and for every step they took, the path they were on grew longer. No matter how hard or fast they ran, the pathway to the castle continued to grow. And all that running made them thirsty.
It was then that they noticed soda fountain glasses filled with foaming coffee milk shakes all along the side of the path. They did not stop to question the remarkable convenience of soda fountain treats placed strategically along the path, but simply quenched their thirst using the brightly colored peppermint straws. All but the clever Clydesseus, who suspected that there was no such thing as a free lunch.
In no time, the Meowing Kitties began to change, morphing as only those living in virtual reality can, from cats into pigs, mewing, mewing, squealing, squealing, oinking and OINKING! Clydesseus looked on, horrified, and determined to get to the bottom of this. Then, he smelled the most elegant fragrance; barbecued pork ribs, cooking in the distance. The aroma was so enticing and insistent that he had to follow the scent, completely forgetting his hapless band, who were now quite content to wallow in some muddy sand.
Because Clydesseus was following his nose, and not his eyes, the path no longer grew with each step he took, and in a few moments he found himself at the castle, scratching on the kitchen door, mewing plaintively.
The door creaked open, and there stood an elegant woman, dressed in a beautiful toga, which she had bought from a 'going out of business' sale mail order catalog.
"Oh, what an adorable cat!" She exclaimed, clapping her hands and licking her lips. The instant she saw Clydesseus, she fell in love with him. He was that adorable.
Clydesseus noticed the hint of a snarl on the sorceress' face, but was overcome by the heavenly scent of sizzling pork on the fire in the kitchen. He didn't bother to be asked in, he bolted through the door for the roasting meat.
"Who's for dinner?" He mewed.
"No one you know." She replied. Because she was a sorceress, she could understand cat language perfectly.
"But this mortal food is not fit for a beautiful kitty like you." She continued, going to a cupboard and taking out a brightly colored box. "I have something even better! Here then, have some supper." And she placed a bowl of "Piggy Bits for Kits - Sizzling Bacon Flavor", especially formulated for adult cats, in front of him.
He sniffed at the bowl and was about to take some when he suddenly remembered what had happened to his band. With a hiss and growl, he fluffed his fur and tail and backed away from the odious offals. He would not have any part of his band! Sometimes he had their mewsical parts, but that was the extent of it.
Cissy looked amazed, and realized that her tricks would not work on Clydesseus, he was too smart for her. She sighed and said, "It's okay, I got it on sale at 'Shop Forever--Grocery of the Gods'. They deliver! It's safe. Go ahead. You are too adorable for me to harm you."
But Clydesseus did not trust her, so he licked his paw in indifference.
"No, really, it's okay." Cissy urged, being more and more captivated by the adorableness of the cat. "Look, here on the box, it says '...made entirely from artificial ingredients.' There's nothing organic in it at all!"
Clydesseus eyed her in mid lick. "Mew!" He demanded.
"Okay, okay, I'll turn your band back into cats, or whatever you want, just please, oh please come purr in my lap!" The sorceress pleaded, sitting in a ladder backed chair and patting her lap invitingly.
She could not believe how easily she had fallen in love with him at first sight. She even wondered if somehow, she had ingested some of her own love potion, the one she used on Poseidon. Little did she know that the Fates, scamps that they were, had influenced her thinking!
Clydesseus eyed the bowl, eyed her, and then let out a little purr, not enough to satisfy, only to entice. The sorceress almost fainted with glee. "More, please more! Don't stop!" She cooed, basking in the glorious sound. She squirmed so at the sound that she almost fell off her chair.
Clydesseus turned up the volume, and as the sorceress writhed in ecstasy at the mere sound of his purrs, one by one the members of his band popped into the room, cats once more. But something was odd; they looked remarkably young and fresh, not like the tired and travel worn kitties that had arrived. Clydesseus wondered at this but he was so hungry that he just had to try the food Cissy had offered. It tasted delicious, and soon all the kitties were eating until they were quite full.
Clydesseus felt so much better that he was tempted to jump in Cissy's lap. She was, after all, very beautiful, and her smile was so inviting. Thinking it could do no harm, he sprang and curled up in her warm and soft lap, purring loudly and gazing into her wondrous eyes. They were the last things he saw before he, and the other kitties, fell into a deep and tranquil sleep.
Cissy was so absolutely thrilled with the turn of events that she passed out from ecstasy and also fell into a deep sleep.
Some time later, Clydesseus awoke, and something in his heart warned him that they were all in danger, that something had gone very wrong. But as he looked around from his perch in sleeping Cissy's lap, he could not detect anything. Yet a still silent voice inside him urged him to make his escape.
He quietly hissed to the Meowing Kitties to quickly slip out the door while he softly licked the sorceress' ear with his sandpaper tongue to lull her into a deeper sleep. She giggled once and scratched her ear, and Clydesseus lithely jumped from her lap as she began to snore.
A moment later, Clydesseus joined his band outside and hurried them along the castle path. He told them that Cissy was sure to notice the absence of his purring and wake up very soon and they must be far away from her influence.
Fortunately, the path through the woods worked the opposite way on the return; it got shorter as they went along. They arrived back at the beach in literally no time.
They looked for Roe Boat and found nothing.
"I'm sure we left it here." Akitties said.
"Then where is it?" Demanded Clydesseus.
"Beats me." Shrugged Akitties.
They wandered the beach for hours, seeking the lost Roe. Finally, tired and exhausted, they lay down to ponder their situation while having a wash. As all cats know, you can think of many wonderful things when you are licking your paws. Cissy appeared on the battlement of the castle above the beach.
"Return to me, return and purr for me!" She called. "You have no where to go, and nothing to do. Stay here, and purr, and I will grant your every possible wish!"
The offer was tempting, but Clydesseus, warned by his hero's heart, resisted. "Where is Roe Boat?" He demanded.
"Where are your purrs?" Cissy responded enigmatically
"No purrs until I find my ship!" Clydesseus growled. He didn't trust her, even if she was a very good cook and had a remarkably inviting lap.
"I repeat, Where are your purrs?" Cissy smiled, not in the least bit angry. She was so in love with Clydesseus, she couldn't trick him, even if he would not return her love.
"As I explained, no purrs until I find my ship!" He yowled.
"Oh, Clydesseus, you're supposed to be so clever! Think about it. I didn't ask you TO purr, I asked WHERE your purrs are!" Cissy explained.
"That's a silly question. Since the purrs are mine, they must be with me." Clydesseus replied, not understanding her riddle at all.
"And that is exactly where you'll find your ship." Cissy snapped, now irritated at his denseness. "Come back and have more food. You must be hungry again by now, and I have so much that I can give you."
"Stop trying to trick me!" Clydesseus hissed. "Where is my ship!"
"You are standing on it." Sighed the sorceress finally giving up and muttering to herself, "The legends are exaggerated, this cat isn't very bright at all!"
All the kitties looked down, but there was nothing but sand. They were very confused until they heard a wicked sounding laugh from the sea. In the roar of the waves, the voice of Poseidon boomed.
"Did you think, foolish Clydesseus, that time stood still while you idly purred for my sorceress? Your precious Roe Boat is there. You just can't see it because it's buried! Buried in sand and time! Cissy's castle is magical. There, time stands still, and for every moment you spent with her, years passed elsewhere.
Oh my, the years have passed you by! Did you think I was so powerless, or dull, that I could not fool you, you who are are supposed to be so very clever?
On this island, my lovely Cissy never can grow old, and when I look or think upon her, I too am young again, as you have been while you remained in her presence. But out there, in the world, years and years have passed.
Clydesseus, your kitten Telephoneous was weaned and perished long ago. He is but a memory, and your Queen Penelopuss hardly remembers you. At last, I have my revenge upon you!"
The Meowing Kitties looked at their feet and noticed the very tip of Roe Boat's mast sticking out from the sand. They realized with horror that what the Sea God had said was true.
Akitties approached Clydesseus and said, "I once had a cassette tape called 'Symphonia Felina and Other Mewsical Masterworks'. I really enjoyed it. On it, this wonderful computer named Arthur G. Mactell made some very interesting comments. I am reminded of something he said just now."
"Yeah, what's that?"
"He said: 'Time and tide wait for no cat.'
"Guess it's true." Shrugged Clydesseus. "Where'd you get the tape?"
"I bought it through the Internet."
"You'll find out." And Akitties winked, though he didn't know why.
(The preceding dialog was a subliminal commercial, in case you hadn't noticed.)
The intrepid band dug and dug until they uncovered Roe Boat and even the beach ball of Pollywallydoodlededoo that they had stolen. The sand had preserved them as they were when the kitties had arrived on the island, though they were a bit gritty.
That evening, when dusk had once more clothed the earth in her dark mantle, they finally got Roe Boat back into the sea. With the sounds of Cissy crying and demanding their return and the laughs of Poseidon from beneath the waves echoing in their pointy ears, the intrepid cats launched the beautiful pea-green boat into the surfy waves and made their escape.
But, glad as they were to leave the place, it was with heavy hearts they sailed. For, if Poseidon had told them true, the innocent Prince Telephoneous had perished.
Clydesseus uttered a silent prayer for the lost soul, a prayer of sorrow and mourning, and, somewhat surprisingly, of self reproach. He realized that he never should have left Hissica; his prime allegiance was to his family; yet his hero's heart had misled him towards adventure, and the cost of this was paid by his son. Clydesseus felt terrible sorrow and remorse. It was the start of a change in attitude that Poseidon had been hoping for all along.
Quite uncharacteristically, the Sea God rose from the waves. The kitties were amazed at his appearance, for far from the angry old man they expected, they found themselves looking into the glowing green face of a Sea God in his youth. His face seemed to shine with benevolence, and looking upon him made them almost want to worship him for the divine being he was. But beauty is sometimes only skin deep.
"I have heard your prayer, my Clydesseus. And being in this place has reminded me of my youthful days, when love came easily to me, and my worshippers were less impertinent. I am moved to some degree of mercy upon you. Therefore, I will allow you to sail upon my waters unharmed. Return home now, your debt to me is paid by time. Your sorrow satisfies my revenge. Too bad about Telephoneous though."
The kitties were dumbstruck by this speech and hurriedly made sail, slowly leaving the sight of the Sea God musing over his youth.
But Clydesseus started fuming over the loss of his kitten, and secretly in his heart planned a revenge of his own. "Sea God, or no Sea God, he had no right to kill my son! I don't care how beautiful he looks, I will get him for this!"
Clydesseus vowed that upon his return to Hissica he would order the destruction of every temple to Poseidon. He would order all the statues and images of the Sea God destroyed so that his subjects would forget him entirely. The Sea God had denied him his lineage. Well, he could do something worse. He would deny the Sea God that which Gods most crave and need to survive, the adoration of their worshippers!
Sometimes, a thought is like a prayer, and Poseidon knew what was in Clydesseus' heart. It made him furious. And as he grew more angry, he grew older! "Of all the impertinence!" The angry old Sea God growled. He was about to raise a huge wave to capsize them when Hurries, whipping in on his sky surfin' board, intervened and stayed his hand.
"Stay thy hand!" He demanded.
"Huh? Why?" Old Poseidon asked.
"It is the will of the Gods. The Fates have another destiny in mind for them, and Mighty Zeus, King of the Gods decrees that you can no longer interfere!"
"We'll see about that!" Bellowed Poseidon. "I will not tolerate impertinence! This kitty threatens my worship, and he obviously still needs a lesson. I'm going to give it to him!" He then slapped his hand upon the waters, and a rushing wave whisked Roe Boat far out to sea, right in the direction of the Island of Yodeloleus.
Poseidon muttered, "Oh, nuts, hook shot!" He raised his powerful arm to strike yet another wave when a roll of thunder in the sky warned him, "I saw that!" This warning came from his brother, Zeus, King of the Gods.
Grumbling, and not wanting a confrontation, Poseidon slipped beneath the waves, once more the angry old Sea God so familiar to them all, while on shore, at the castle, Cissy yelled, "Will somebody PLEASE bring me a kitten?!"
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