Story Go Round 11/29/2009, #3

Butterfly Fruit

I couldn’t guess what time it was from the sunlight coming through the jungle vines and trees. The howler monkeys were no help. They wouldn’t point me toward food or water, and I’d run out two days ago.

Or maybe they would. A whole crowd of them brachiated away from me, howling, and I tried to follow.

Ululating madly, I leaped from vine to vine, swinging through the jungle as if millions of years of evolution had dropped away.Soon, we arrived at a clearing. The howler monkeys dropped from the trees and gathered around a large, coffin-shaped object made entirely of coconut shells.

I fell off my own vine, stunned by the sight. For a good minute, I pinched my arms, trying to wake myself up. It didn’t help.

The monkeys clustered around the thing, grunting and chattering. I approached warily, and they went silent. As one, they turned and looked at me expectantly.

Feeling a sudden surge of determination, I strode towards the object, and grabbed a stick lying nearby. I poked at the coffin with it.

A few of the walnut shells clattered loose at the stick’s touch, but the lid remained stubbornly shut. Shaking my head, I grasped the edge with both hands and pulled.

The monkeys had backed away, into the trees. I could see their eyes staring, but oddly, they were completely silent. They waited for…for what?

I turned back to the casket, and set my shoulders. I grabbed the edge of the lid, and heaved with all my might. With a loud crack the lid fell open, and I tumbled backwards.

"BRAAAAAAAINS,” the zombie unghed [yes, unghed], lumbering towards me. “I want to suck your BRAAAAAINS!”

“I’d really prefer if you didn’t!” I cried, falling back some more.

“There is no try, there is only do or do not.”

“What the crap!”

“Aooweeah!” one of the monkeys screamed, performing a karate chop at the zombie thing’s head. “I am ninja monkey!”

“You talk!” I sputtered, though I shouldn’t have been surprised at anything at this point.

“Yep,” it agreed. “And you are our new Monkey King.”

And with that, they picked me up and carried me off.

I didn’t do anything to stop them, too stunned by the — zombie — and the —TALKING — Monkey.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was still silent and unprotesting, when I was finally set down.

The throne wasn’t half bad, though, and it slowly occurred to me that this meant I had… minions.

“All Hail Monkey King Neville!” the monkeys shouted as one.

As king, my path was clear. My fellow humans had always hated me. Or I had hated and feared them. I sometimes have a hard time now keeping it straight.

But, before anything else could happen, I’d have to deal with the zombies.

I wondered how they’d been made. And if they could be directed. Then the worrying thought hit me. What if I angered my monkey minions? Monkey Flung poo, and things worse than poo. It occurred to me that maybe I could think clearer if I ate or drank something.

“Monkey!” I directed at one of them, “Bring me something to drink!”

The monkey proceeded to pee into a hollowed coconut, bit I didn’t notice. I accepted the rough cup and took a deep swig.

Suddenly I saw zombies in the sky and aliens at my feet and everything went… weird.

I believed I had been partially consumed and then picked over by the monkeys before I came back to full consciousness.

When I was back to full consciousness I noticed the goofy looking man with the hurdy gurdy and another man dressed in the goth attire of necromancer. The goofy looking man who looked like some from Germany smiled and greeted, “Hello, I am Hans, and this is my brother Heinrich. I must apologize for all you’ve been through. My brother’s necromancy got out of hand and my monkeys got loose.”

“And what about the current situation?” I asked.

“Already resolved all the zombies victims have been restored and the monkeys will have a tighter leash on them. Anyway my brother and I were thinking of becoming SUPER ULTRA JUNGLE WIZARDS! Like you…”

The goth necromancer came forward and bowed at my feet. “Teach me, master!”

So — back to the minions. I laughed. So — I own the necromancer and the monkey dude which owns the zombies and the monkeys – I AM KIIIIIING!”

Meanwhile, in a totally different place at a totally different time, a young apprentice who hated being called “grasshopper,” gazed out over the jungle and watched the trees flower and fruit. And he watched the birds eat the fruit and the butterflies spring from the seeds and suddenly everything made sense.