An epic saga involving space, time, and no sense of direction.
The Saga of Bjorn Bottlesson and Leatherpants the Lost
Pt. 2. Second Bit: Size Matters, or a Matter of Size
The longboat pulled away from the stricken Lady of Luck. The spoils, rather scant as it turned out, were stowed away and the mighty oars manned once again. The ship cut through the icy waters, pushing aside orange life jackets and a raft of polystyrene coffee cups.
Their voyage unexpectedly halted twenty minutes later as the huge grey bulk of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Well Mannered pulled alongside.
"This is Admiral William Grace of the Royal Canadian Navy hailing the erm, hailing the historical, erm vessel. Sorry for the inconvenience but please put up your oars and prepare to be boarded by my Officers."
A rain of axes and throwing knives bounced uselessly off the steel might of the destroyer.
"NOW LOOK HERE, THIS IS A ROYAL NAVAL VESSEL AND WE WILL NOT..." Grace's public address system dissolved into static as a lucky throw severed the lead cables.
It took just four and a half minutes for the destroyer to gently swing about, carefully target the longboat and politely launch a rather small missile. As the smoke cleared Admiral Grace sipped his tea, shaking his head at the impertinence of some people and their complete lack of respect for maritime etiquette.
Thor was not a happy bunny. In much the same way as his lunch was not a happy bunny, one minute hopping around the fragrant fields of Asgard, the next shot in the back with an arrow, the same bloody arrow used to promptly spit the poor beast and place him unceremoniously over a roaring fiery portal. Not even properly seasoned and not an herb in sight. Pathetic!
"Pathetic!" Shouted Thor around a mouthful of half chewed rabbit, "Absolutely bloody pathetic!" Mjolnir quivered as it sensed the god' anger. Thoughts of earthquakes, tsunamis and slightly chipped ceramic ware shivered its very being.
"We need something bigger, something truly awesome, I'm sick to the back teeth”, he paused to pluck some stringy rabbit sinew from his back teeth," of these stupid bloody boats!"
His mighty hand gripped Mjolnir, the vibrations entered his fingers and quickly imparted visions of apocalyptic mayhem into its master’s head.
Surprisingly, Thor discounted the large-scale death and destruction bits, his mind singling out the memory of a small blue Wedgewood jug gently tipping over onto a mahogany shelf in the dining room of a small restaurant in Totland Bay.
"By my Father's mighty beard, that's it!" He roared, rabbit-flavoured spittle sizzling into the flames.
He set about finding the temporal mist which had, over the centuries, migrated to the south Atlantic, sitting in a rather triangular fashion just off Bermuda. A few pokes of the fire brand and the disgruntled mist was soon back in the chilly north.
Thor settled back in his throne, pleased with his plan, casting his gaze Eastwards, settling on a rather unassuming island the Britons didn't really need.
He stroked the positively purring Mjolnir, "No boat shall be fitting for this Saga, my old friend, no fleet even, I, Thor shall send the very earth to this Canadia and watch my Vikings rewrite history itself!"
Face it, mate, we're bloody lost again, aren't we?
"What about this one Luki?" Bjorn thrust his magenta facial hair towards his friend.Glancing up from his ale, a simple, "prat!" Before resuming his drink.
Bjorn drunkenly fumbles through a chest of recently pillaged items and recovers a large blue glass container. Tipping the contents into his meaty hands before rubbing the gloop into his beards.
A quick admiring glance into the polished steel of his axe, and he was rather pleased with the result!
"And this?" He grinned hopefully.
"Now that, my friend, is cool! You look like a frozen grizzly!"
Bjorn gratefully accepted the compliment, dancing drunkenly around the room making growling noises, "Fear me, Britons, for I am Bjorn Bottlesson, the Blue Bear of the North come to eat your priesties!"
He slumped into a chair and began fashioning his beards into hopefully fierce looking electric blue braids.
Luki laughed at his friend’s good fortune, and went back to trying to find which way was up on the small map he'd liberated during their latest raid.
"This time next year, Bjorn, we may be able to afford a proper ship and our own crew," he mused, idly rubbing herring oil into his cracked leather pants.
"This time next year, you might've worked out that stupid mop, my foul-smelling friend!"
"It's a map, not mop, you blue fool, and I smell as sweet as the fishmonger’s cat!"
That evening, the intrepid raiders set out to invade Lindisfarne, but with the mop ...map...sorry...well and truly upside down and backwards to boot, they soon found themselves on a small rather unassuming island that the Britons didn't really need.
Vern gets the Needle
Whale watching was becoming, well, a little boring if he was perfectly honest. Vern sat in the small cockpit, miserably cupping a mug of lukewarm coffee, desperately trying to stop his pudgy fingers going numb again. Two hours in choppy seas on the Hudson Bay and so far, he'd been summonsed onto the cold wet deck no fewer than eighteen times by his new bride Cindy. Two hours of filming seagulls, plastic bags and abnormally dark waves.
Not one beluga, not even half an orca.
He was beginning to regret caving in about her choice of 'green' honeymoon. In addition, ever since boarding the Lucky Lady that morning he'd had a strange sense of impending trouble. Frequent checks behind him proved fruitless but he was half expecting to see...well something troublesome that he just quite couldn't dredge up. This boat gave him the creeps.
"Vern, honey, come quick, you really gotta see this babe!"
He dutifully switched the camera to video mode and forced himself out into the incessant grey drizzle.
Cindy was hopping up and down pointing out into the cold mist. He trained the viewfinder on her fingertips and watched disinterested as the screen verified more cold grey wet waves, not even a plastic bag.
"No, over there, sweety!"Cindy gestured left.
Vern was unimpressed as he zoomed in and out, that is until the wall of slightly greenish fog came into shot. Ok, quite impressive, but fog? Not exactly Jaws or Moby Dick, was it?
He zoomed in on the fog, just as the white-cliffed island came looming out of the fog. Vern registered the huge dragon head carved into the cliff face and two men, fur clad and hairy shouting unintelligible things down at the whale watchers.
"Must be those French Canadians, hon, wow these guys can put on a show!" Vern beamed. For the first time in a week he had at last found something in Canada he could relate to – that Disney, Universal, Vegas style razzmatazz!
He zoomed in further and saw that one Frenchy was sporting a rather scary electric blue beard, the other an equally scary looking pair of oily black leather pants. Both swung very, very scary-looking battle axes.
"Take the camera, honey, get these jokers in the background with me!"
Cindy dutifully recorded Vern gesturing wildly as the boat came perilously close to the cliffs. Spray flew as the cliffs loomed close.
She had just enough time to realise that the boat was actually dead in the water and it was, in fact, the island that was bearing down upon them. Then everything went black.
The Isle of Wight ploughed majestically on, leaving a wake of orange life jackets and a raft of polystyrene coffee cups.
Tune in next week for more action!