Sense & Nonsensibility (VIII) The Black Potato Monster
Episode VIII: The Black Potato Monster
When Benjamin Wildbush, Charlotte’s father, opened his eyes the first thing he saw was that an boar has eaten his shoes and was about to devour his feet. He had been awaken of his comatose state by a dream of a potato licking his feet. He stood up and the startled beast ran away. He felt his nose to check if it was broken and his fingers came sticky with fresh boar feces. He looked to the trunk of the tree and kicked with all his might, forgetting the boar had eaten his shoes and cracking his toe bone. He screamed with pain and a wasp nest fell from the shaken tree in his head. Then he screamed with renewed vigor and ran towards a nearby pond with the angry wasp colony in his pursuit. He jumped in the pond and dived into the water. The wasps left and he nearly drowned because he could not swim but was rescued by an otter that mistook his hear for a fish and dragged him to the shore. The otter saved his life and went away with his hear as trophy. He decided to stay put for a while and rest, fearful that further calamities might befall upon him if he dared to rise a finger.
He stood sitting there for several hours watching the undulating reflection of the forest on the black waters of the pond that reflected the surrounding trees whose mirror image rippled on the surface of the dark liquid that reflected the forest whose refection he could see on the undulating black waters of the pond… it was getting dark when he realized he had been looping and spent the day staring at hole full of dirty water.
He began to walk without shoes, one broken toe, one missing ear bleeding profusely, broken nose, the body pierced with wasp stings and his face covered by a layer of pig shit. He walked all night knocking every other tree in the dark but his will never faltered. In his mind’s eye he saw the lovely head of his daughter who very soon would pay for the calamities her behavior had unleashed upon him.
He wondered what he had done wrong with his daughter’s upbringing. He never understood how such a volatile and ungrateful creature could be of his own blood. Benjamin Wildbush was proud of his name and the lineage that represented. His ancestors had been potato farmers since the first potatoes arrived to Europe and it was said that the first Wildbush had traveled to the Americas were he fell in love with a potato and took her to England. They had weathered public condemnation and the racism of the society of their time and their union had flourished. For many decades his family had been pioneers of potato cultivation but suffered great hardships for the first century until they discovered potatoes could be eaten. Their legacy was Ben’s prosperous potato farm, with his underground house and his extensive potato fields whose beauty never failed to warm his tuberous heart. Charlotte was with no doubt a rotten potato: the black potato of his harvest.
The first lights of dawn had begun to invade the forest when he finally sighted a small inn by a road. He didn’t know the place but once he had read a review in the bar guide Places To Get Plastered In Buttshire . The Grazing Shakespeare’s only got five stars out of fifty because the critic was raped by the owner. At least there he would be able to get something to eat and some beer as would do as medical attention. He walked towards the house and then saw two peculiar strangers gesticulating and quarreling.
They were the count and the priest and they were in the backyard very excited trying to figure out what had happened during the night. Father Vladivicious had just found the well empty and was in a fit of fury. The count had gone in search of missing Charlotte in the henhouse and was petrified by the sight of headless naked man with a beaten chicken impaled in his rigor mortis. It was only the not less bewildering appearance of a limping barefoot earless creature covered in excrement and blood that awoke the count of his stupefaction when he though he was being attacked by a giant porcupine from hell. He panicked and ran behind the black robe of the priest who was much taller and had a cross to protect them for the diabolical beast.
‘ Back off minion of Satan! In the name of God I command you, back off! ‘ thundered the priest brandishing his heavy jeweled golden cross in his right hand and beating the apparition with a shovel with his left at the same time. A very useful trick he had learned when exorcising the daughter of a Polish fish merchant that had been possessed by the spirit of a herring. The fetid potato farmer tried to speak but his tongue was so swollen by wasp bites that his words were incomprehensible.
‘ Plz dnt htm! Plz dnt htm! Plz dnt htm! ‘ he repeated while protecting his head from the shovel
‘ It’s speaking in tongues! ‘ said the count and grabbing a pitchfork joined the beating. Between the two men they drove Ben to the open gate of the henhouse and locked him inside. He fell on his back at the feet of the impaled chicken that in fit of madness picked his eyeball off. ‘ That is why I love potatoes, they are harmless ‘ he thought and then screamed in agony and despair.
Outside the two men mounted they horses and left taking mental note of never advice any of their friends to spend their vacations in England. They headed to the forest in search of Vladimir’s hideout guided by the uncanny internal compass of father Vladivicious.
A few miles from there and at the same time Charlotte had begun to recover consciousness. She was tied to a chair in a dark and humid closed space. She smelled of food and liquor and realized she was locked on a pantry or a cellar, and she was starving. She dragged the chair and reached a piece of something that smelled like cheese. She began nibbling one corner and realized it was goat cheese. Then she heard the clacking of heavy iron keys coming from outside and a door opened illuminating the stone walls of the cellar and her bewildered face buried in cheese.
In the door there was a very tall and slender man dressed as a nobleman holding a heavy key ring. He had a wavy shiny black hair and manicured sideburns that seemed drawn with ink. He was in its late thirties but his skin was still smooth and could have passed for a younger man. His thin handsome face was serene and aristocratic but pale. The eyes were black and piercing as those of a madman. The man smiled and said:
‘ What do we have here? A little mouse came into the cellar to feast and fell into a trap ‘
‘ What mouse?’ said Charlotte while trying to swallow a mouthful of cheese ‘ I can’t see any mouse in here. Who are you? ‘
‘ You poor little foolish lady, you are the trapped mouse ‘ said the stranger smiling then he sat on a really big marmalade jar and with an elegant movement he introduced his leather gloved hand his pocket and produced a small square white envelope.
‘ What are you doing with that? Give it back to me! It is private! ‘ cried Charlotte victim of an hysterical fit fearing the stranger had dumped the other precious contents of the purse. Then she said ‘ That is not yours! You don’t have the right to read it! ‘
‘ Oh little mouse you are wrong about that. ‘ the stranger said smiling sarcastically and put the letter back in his pocket.
‘ Are you not going to read it? ‘ asked Charlotte
‘ Oh, that won’t be necessary. As I said you were wrong questioning my right to read this letter. I have perfect right to do so. It just happens that I don’t have the need because I wrote this letter myself ‘ said the stranger
‘ Who are you? ‘ asked Charlotte again.
‘ Of course! Where are my manners? I must apologize for my ill manners. My name is baron Lazslo Cliche and I am Vladimir’s older brother twin. ‘
To be continued…
What about that? Who could have expected such an unexpected turn of events? What kind of brother forgets he has a twin brother who already has a younger brother? Will this madness never end? Will your brain explode like poor Tom’s? Find out in the next episode of Sense & Unsensibility.