Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day Six-Thirty-Seven: Out of the blue

Oh, for fuck's sake, life. That's just cruel.

We woke up this morning to a light bit of strangeness. We'd parked the Dauphine in a shallow, even valley the night before, and I expected a bit of digging-out time would be necessary to get us back on our feet. That's kind of the norm in winter, even when the snow's not so harsh. So imagine our surprise when we got up...

... and found the Dauphine virtually bare of snow.

Not only that, we awoke to the sounds of jangled merriment outside.

The gypsy caravan is perhaps twenty people strong. Traveling in a small wagon train formation, they'd set up camp outside the Dauphine sometime in the night and, for a wonder, scraped our transport clean of snow. The whole troupe was waiting when our front ramp clunked open, their tambourines out, their winter clothing covered in decorative cloth veils, their voices bouncing off the sky.

"WELCOME, DEAR FRIENDS!" the lead gypsy bellowed shrilly from behind his mask, perched atop an enormous 'snow hippo'. He has quite the voice for a midget. "Dear, wonderful friends! This is the best of days, surely, that we find ourselves upon! WELCOME TO THE CIRQUE DU MAGNIWONDERFUL, the greatest travelling show on this fine planet!"

Libby, Fynn, Logan, a dozen other workers and myself all paused at the exit of the Dauphine, bewildered. We exchanged confused glances and said nothing.

The lead gypsy - Ramone, he says his name is Ramone - launched himself off of his hippo and hit the snow, clonking towards us in enormous black boots. "BE NOT AFRAID, dear friends, dear allies in merriment! We have come to entertain you! Are you not entertained?!"

Grimacing, I took in the motley assortment of figures arrayed before us. A thuggish orc in a clown suit. A one-eared goblin with a fistful of leather balloons and the silliest beard I've ever seen. A pair of teddy bears, one rotund, the other slight - and wearing a box on its head. A three-headed jester, the heads consisting of a unicorn, a lion, and a lemur. Plenty others.

Though I obviously noticed the rest, one stood out like a festering wound: a bard. Not a chocolate bard, not one with thick black hair - he was bald, in fact, with a piratical eyepatch - but a bard nonetheless. He strummed his lute rather discordantly and hummed a few bars of a terrible ditty I did not recognize.

"Come, come!" Ramone beckoned. He gestured for us to descend the ramp. "We've travelled far in search of patrons, and here you are. We have chosen! We have food! We have music! We have the finest in fortune... telling... where are you going, kind, kind sir? Please, after all the time we spent cleaning your transport for you -"

"Didn't ask ya to," I grunted over my shoulder, heading back inside. "Fuck this. Let's go."

But Libby, whom I expected as an instant ally, hesitated. "Well, no, hold on. Maybe we could use some good times for a change. I mean, what with -"

I shook my head adamantly. "We have better things to do. Pack up. We're clean, we're outta here."

Libby protested. So, too, did Logan, who insisted we spend at least a bit of time with the gypsies. (I suspect he was just eyeballing the buxom bobbing-for-pineapples attendant.) Nagi pushed past me and slithered down the ramp, apparently overjoyed to have some new faces to con. I was ultimately outvoted, and I left the rest to their fun, giving everyone strict orders to be packed up within the hour.

Twelve hours later, we're still here.

We're being grifted, I'm sure of it. Those stupid gypsies are surely dipping into loose pockets even as they put on a show. They prance around, they tell tales and sing songs, they play games, they yell at one another for the amusement of their crowd. There's even a big strength-testing game, where you smack a hammer against a catapult release and see how far you can launch the midgety Ramone into the surrounding snow banks. He seems to love it - though I wish they'd stop aiming him at the Dauphine. The thumps of his body against the hull are irritating.

Fucking gypsies. Fucking people having fun. Fucking snow. Fucking wife, out having a fucking good time without fucking me. 


I'm gonna go play some one man poker. At least there I'll have a say.


Dragomir the Wanderer


  1. "The thumps of his body againt the hull are irritating." Should againt be against?
    On a side note, good to see Dragomir is back... Sort of.

  2. Um...this all sounds like a very elaborate ploy of Doc and the Non (featuring Titan Blue as the hippo) with the help of those damn bounty hunters...there is only one three headed "person" in this story and that's Bernard, Cedric and Driscol...and we all know what THAT means...