A bit of a pause again but we find ourselves at the penultimate chapter of the adventures of Flapjack and Cannibal Corpse.
Hopefully soon they will find Flapjack’s parents – they must be close by now.
As I sit cutting tapes for the final chapter and running through the script in parts, it feels odd that I am coming to the end of this project. It’s fun to come home and hear the voices of friends come alive in digital wave forms to tell the story.
I’m looking forward to writing all about them at the end of the final chapter. It’s funny how listening to people’s voices that closely changes how you see them subtly.
Well, we must go on, otherwise Flapjack and CC will never get to the end of their quest. So make a hot drink and curl up somewhere comfy, it’s time to go.
Chapter 7 Audio
As flapjack and Cannibal Corpse get closer to the city they realise that it was much bigger than they had thought. “Must be a distance thing,” observes CC wisely.
They approached a set of tall metal gates with “Arachnopolis” written across them in glittering web letters. To the right and left of the gates stood some odd looking soldiers. Their bodies and heads were stalks of wheat. They had spindly arms and legs and appeared to be armed with pea shooters. “HALT!” shouted the one on the right. “WHO GOES THERE!?” shouted the one on the left.
“I’m Flapjack, “ said Flapjack. “And this is Cannibal Corpse.” The Wheatmen soldiers peered at them. Flapjack wondered if they would be able to get past the pea shooters into the city at all.
“WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS HERE?” demanded the Wheatsoldier on the right.
Flapjack was about to answer when Cannibal Corpse stepped forward. “We’re on holiday,” He said. Flapjack kept his mouth shut and nodded. Trying to look like a tourist arriving at a web spun city at night. The Wheatsoldiers looked at each other and then at the unlikely pair at their gates.
The Wheatsoldier on the left shrugged. “Okay then,” he said. “Welcome to Arachnopolis, we hope you enjoy your stay.” He pulled a cord next to the gates and a series of cogs and gears squealed and turned as the enormous gates opened inward toward the city.
“How did you come up with that?” asked Flapjack. “No point declaring war outside of the gates,” replies Cannibal Corpse.
The friends pass through the cobbled streets of the city. Spider Ladies in long skirts wearing many shoes tap around them. All of the shops are open and there is a general hustle and bustle as fruit sellers shout out their wares. Arachnopolis is a city of night. So the citizens are up and about, getting on with their lives in the soft moonlight and gas lamps.
All of the main streets seemed to lead to a large and ornate tower. As Flapjack and CC get closer, they realise that the music is louder. Flapjack’s parents must be inside. They walk around the building slowly, trying to act like tourists. There only appears to be one door at the top of a set of stone steps. More Wheatsoldiers are standing to attention at the doors. Flapjack and Cannibal Corpse look at each other without much hope. “This might be better attempted when everyone has gone to bed,” says Cannibal Corpse. “We should find somewhere to take a nap and come back in the daylight when everyone else is asleep.”
The pair find a guest house with a vacancy and sign in to get their room. As Flapjack puts his bag on the floor to sign the visitor’s book, he fails to notice a tiny creature that jumps out of his bag and scuttles off out of the door into the street. Flapjack and CC wearily climb the stairs to their room, the daytime night will be an active one for them and they will need to be clever and quick if they are to get into the tower.
A pale blue light is touching the room when Flapjack awakes. He can hear a tiny voice urgently saying “Hello! Hello-goodbye! Hello!” There’s a scuffling noise on the edge of his bed and something scampers over his pillow right up to his nose. It’s a mouse, from the library. It peers into his sleepy eyes and says “Hello-goodbye! Flapjack!”
Flapjack sits up. He has been sleeping top to toe in bed with Cannibal Corpse who appears to still be asleep. He gives the doll a nudge. The mouse jumps off the bed into the floor and drags something to the side of the blanket. It’s a key.
Cannibal Corpse wakes and mutters something about chicken Wellingtons. Flapjack gets out of bed and kneels down next to the mouse. “What’s the key for?” he asks.
“Key to the tower, yes!” says the mouse and runs in a circle around the key and then twice around Flapjack.
“Where did you get this?” Flapjack asks the mouse, turning the key over in his hands.
“Sleepy guards!” squeaks the mouse, “Hello-goodnight, goodmorning!”
Flapjack looks up at Cannibal Corpse. The doll looks impressed. They have a scary task to hand but now at least it seems they might have a way inside the tower at least.
Flapjack packs the key and the mouse in his bag and he and Cannibal Corpse creep down the stairs and out of the Inn. The morning light is pale and the streets of Arachnopolis are deserted. They head toward the tower in silence as the town sleeps on.
As they approach the stone steps to the tower door, they see the two guards asleep on either side. They are wearing blindfolds, to keep out the light of day. “Not terribly secure,” observes Cannibal Corpse. Flapjack agrees. They hesitate, unsure about how deeply the guards might be sleeping. “How are we going to get in there without waking them?” wonders Flapjack.
The mouse with the key jumps out of his bag and streaks up the steps before them. Flapjack and CC freeze as it dashes over the foot of one of the guards. Miraculously, he doesn’t stir. The pair hold their breath as the mouse scales the rough stone work up the side of the doorway, the key wound up in it’s tail all the way. It perches next to the keyhole and in a feat of gymnastics flicks the key up and pushes it into the lock with a deft paw. It jumps over the key, snagging the handle on the way and turns it in the mechanism. With a soft click and a whine, the door opens inward and the mouse hits the steps an inch away from a guard. Still frozen, they watch the mouse disappear into the tower as one of the guards snorts in his sleep but does not wake.
Flapjack feels like applauding their little friend. They tip toe up the stairs and into the tower after the mouse, Flapjack removes the key and locks the door behind them. They stand for a moment in the dark, they can hear that the mouse is scratching around nearby. As their eyes adjust to the shadows a voice says, “Welcome. You tiny friend here shows merit and bravery, but I think you should not be in here and that is a matter for the King and Queen.”
A flame sputters into life and a candle is lit. The mouse runs back to Flapjack and climbs up his leg and back into the bag. A Wheatman stands before them holding a sword and candle before him. He gestures for them to take the stairs ahead of him and they gloomily start their journey to the top of the tower.
To be completed…