Insect poop dripped from 5-Year-Old Con’s face, but his relief overshadowed the foul stench. His joy began to drain, however, when he saw Lord Doodle Head slumped against the tree he had crashed into. “Doodle Head!” he cried, as he ran to his side.
“Moustaches – tee hee – moustaches!” said Lord Doodle Head, his eyes swirling about in a rattled mess.
“Are you alright?” asked 5-Year-Old Con.
“Peachy – moustaches – splendid – moustaches – never been better – moustaches,” blurted Lord Doodle Head.
“Snap out of it, brother! You’re all gassed up!”
“Mouuuuustaches,” he howled, before exhaustedly giggling. The giggles released small, quiet burps, quite similar to hiccups, but the gas was still inflating his insides. 5-Year-Old Con pinched Lord Doodle Head’s nose and covered his mouth, which gave the excess gas only one way to go. Lord Doodle Head convulsed under the pressure of the migrating gas then released a long drawn out fart that straightened his eyes. He looked up to 5-Year-Old Con and in a casual tone said, “You, dear brother, have poop on your face.”
“Well, can you cast a spell or something and clean it up?” asked 5-Year-Old Con.
“I’m afraid it’s out of my powers . . . but he might be able to,” said Lord Doodle Head, pointing at the stunned centipede that was just starting to regain consciousness.
5-Year-Old Con winced as he picked up the wiggling centipede, disgusted at the paradox that he would still be offering the overgrown worm a meal. “Can you talk to this thing?” asked 5-Year-Old Con.
“I refuse to. Centipede is the most despicable, not to mention harsh, languages spoken in Fiddlewood,” said Lord Doodle Head, as he twisted the whiskers of a black moustache that had landed above his lip.
“Then make him talk to us,” said 5-Year-Old Con.
“Is that entirely necessary, Con? Can’t we just squish him and be on our way,” said Lord Doodle Head, as he fingered the whiskers of a blonde moustache that had landed on the black moustache that was above his top lip.
“Yes, it is necessary if we want to save Camille,” said 5-Year-Old Con, annoyed that he had to state the obvious.
“But his squeaky voice will just make a mockery of our language. I’m sure of it. I’m sure we can find the way ourselves,” said Lord Doodle Head, while twirling the whiskers of a red moustache that had landed on the blond moustache that was resting on the black moustache that was above his top lip.
“I never took you for such a pompous wizard, Doodle Head,” said 5-Year-Old Con, while trying to tame the wiggling centipede.
“I simply hold a strict belief that you can’t trust anything with more than 99 legs,” said Lord Doodle Head, while twirling the whiskers of a brown moustache that had landed on the red moustache, which was resting on the blonde moustache that was on top of the black moustache that was just above his top lip.
“Yea, that’s true,” agreed 5-Year-Old Con before a thought popped into his head that solved the problem and saved him the trouble of arguing with Lord Doodle Head any further. He looked at the wiggling centipede, blinked, and then looked to his brother before popping off one of the centipede’s tiny legs, “There – 99!” he declared.
“Well that solves that,” said Lord Doodle Head, while stroking a ghostly white moustache that had landed on the brown moustache that was sitting on the red moustache that was resting on the blonde moustache that was on top of the black moustache that was just above his top lip. He stuck his tongue out between the layers of moustaches accumulated on his lip and licked the face of the centipede.
“My leg, you ripped of my leg!” squeaked the centipede in high pitch English.
“That is correct,” said Lord Doodle Head, twisting the whiskers of the five moustaches together completely unbothered by the savagery.
“Why?!” cried the centipede.
“So we could trust you, of course,” said 5-Year-Old Con, shrugging his shoulders at Lord Doodle Head as if he was stating the obvious yet again.
“It hurts!” squeaked the centipede.
“C’mon, it couldn’t hurt that bad,” said Lord Doodle Head.
“Yea, you have 99 more. It’s like if I were to pluck a hair from my head,” said 5-Year-Old Con. He turned to Lord Doodle Head to demonstrate the point, and plucked a loose hair hanging out of his bonnet. The great wizard howled painfully and jumped to the sky before scratching his head to alleviate the discomfort.
“See…” squealed the centipede.
Leaning in towards 5-Year-Old Con, Lord Doodle Head said, “He’s right, that really did hurt. The roots run deep.”
“Good. You have 99 more reasons to tell us where you took Camille,” said 5-Year-Old Con, as he tightened his fingers around another leg.
“What’s a Camille?” asked the centipede.
Without hesitation 5-Year-Old Con squeezed the centipede’s leg and made a plucking sound with his mouth then held up a tiny dismembered leg for it to see. The sight of the missing appendage sent the centipede wiggling with terror, squealing at the top of its tiny lungs.
“This is getting a bit demented, Con,” said Lord Doodle Head, stepping in to stop the torture. “I mean this is crazy even for you.”
“Shhh,” said 5-Year-Old Con, with a wink, “It’s the same leg as before.”
“Ah, placebo effect – nice,” said Lord Doodle Head.
“98 left. What’s it going to be, centipede,” shouted 5-Year-Old Con.
“They took her to the Witch Queen!” cried the centipede. “They took her to Undercrest.”
“Where is this place?” demanded 5-Year-Old Con, as he pinched the next leg between his fingers.
“I know where this place is,” interrupted Lord Doodle Head. He pocketed the ghostly white moustache and shooed off the rest before a shiver crawled up his spine.
“Can you take me there?” asked 5-Year-Old Con.
“Well . . . technically . . . yes. But wouldn’t it be so much easier to find a new girl to love? A nice moustache perhaps – I can introduce you to a few,” said Lord Doodle Head.
“Not a chance, Doodle Head. Camille is my true love and nothing can change that. Not even Undercrest,” said 5-Year-Old Con.
“You drive a hard bargain, Con,” said Lord Doodle Head. “We best get to walking, it’s a long journey and we have no time to waste.”
“Can’t your moustaches just fly us there?” asked 5-Year-Old Con.
“Not to this place,” said Lord Doodle Head. “Just as you want to rescue your love from this place, I would never bring the things I love there. It’s simply not suitable for warm hearts,” and with that he began to dump moustache after moustache out of his pockets and from under his bonnet. He removed all of them except for the ghostly white one, which was unlike the others, and told them to enjoy themselves until he returned.
“You have what you want, now let me go,” squealed the centipede.
“Not just yet,” said 5-Year-Old Con, “There’s a matter of poo to attend to first.”