A barrel of laughs

Down by the dock, there is a commotion. “Here; come here. We see something”. The fishermen came to see what it was. In the water was a barrel. “Hey said one of them. It’s more loot from the sunken ship!” “shush,” said another. They worked together to hoist it out of the water.

Once it was out they opened the lid. Inside was a man with a jesters hat on. Lifting him out thinking he was dead with a leap and a bound he rolled across the floor. “Greetings he said, I’m Japooli The Fooly.”

With this, he picked up some rocks and started juggling with them. Pretending to drop one on this head. The fishermen laughed. “He must be a survivor from the Shalapoon.” Shouted one of the fishermen. “Shhhh! We don’t want everyone to know, especially the Doc” said Captain Drew.” Come with us Japooli we’ll get you some dry clothes, food, and water.”

Japooli continued to make them laugh all the way back to Captain Drews house. The captains’ wife found some clean clothes “While you bathe I’ll prepare food for you.” she said.

Quickly the fishermen gathered outside and decided that none of them was to discuss this with anyone else. The Captain explained how the Doctor had paid him to be quiet about the sinking of the ship. With that, the fishermen went back to work agreeing that Japooli would stay with the Captain.

Japooli wasn’t a fooly at all. He became the Jester at the palace for King and Queen Parucha. After his family had all been slain in a raid on his village while he was away on the battlefield. He was in fact a Lord (Lord Viscum, from Eagle Island). He had a breakdown having to see his family hanging in their home with all their insides hanging out. This image tormented him day and night. He could not bear returning to his village and to that house.

When he was a child he would act like a fool to make his parents and siblings laugh. They would call him Japooli the fooly. So he decided to put on his mask disappearing as Lord Viscum. Becoming the fool helped him forget his trauma. He loved making people laugh it made him feel happy.

While Japooli bathed he listened to what the fishermen were saying about the doctor paying the Captain to be quiet about the Shalapoon sinking. Japooli thought this was strange yet he never brought it up.

He ate the food that was prepared for him while drinking a tankard of beer. The captains’ wife washed his dirty wet clothes. When they were dried Japooli wanted to wear them once again. They had been his mask for the last 5 years. He did not want to be anyone other than Japooli. The captains’ wife said ” No Japooli – you can’t have them. No one must know you are from the Shalapoon.”

“Why?” japooli asked. “I don’t know she replied. All I know is my husband the Captain says the Doctor has paid him to be quiet about the Shalapoon.” The captain’s wife couldn’t hold her own water and just blurted it out. “Oh,” said Japooli, “I guess then it is time?” The captain’s wife replied “time for what?” “Never mind” stated Japooli.

Inside he knew it was time for the mask to come off. It was time for him to become Lord Viscum once again. But just for now, he would just pretend a little longer. He felt in his bones something wasn’t right about this whole situation and especially with the Doctor.

♫ Relax & listen to music from this story ♫

Music: Landskab | Vocals by Alexander Nakarada (www.serpentsoundstudios.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons BY Attribution 4.0 License
Scroll Up