Baron Bar and The Jolly Wind –
Wild laughter and chuckles came above from the Barons quarters, a group, perhaps three or four strong were above me. Feet were shuffling, the wood bending beneath their stampedes, the sound of a hammer hitting a wall furthered by more rambling, their voices parading over each other, perhaps a small crowd had gathered? Incoherence filled the estate; we were well and truly in the late early hours.
Just how long had I been down here and what had I been doing all this time?
They must have forgotten about me as much as I had them. Oh well.
I was pleased the Baron was having the fullest of times – Though I could not help but find alarm in the banging. The noise, the bangs and crashes were repetitive repulsive thuds reassuringly followed by laughter. The walls of my chambers rumbled as I fumbled around for my gold sack.
“Where on earth have I put my fucking coins?” I had been searching for some time, I think.
Perhaps I lost trajectory of my goal. It had been a colourful evening. Certainly so, in my eyes at least. I can’t remember how it began – though it became evident the Baron was in the highest of spirits, why question this now?
WOOOSH – The sound of a great wind, a blast as if a Musket powered by gale forces screamed its way into my ears. But of course! Dominic of Stroud, a Balloon master, THE balloon master.
He had made rest at our residences – The Baron was a generous host.
The great wind above got my cogs turning once more, a sharp electric bolt made its way to the correct place, my coins, my purse.
I found my coin and proceeded upstairs, the quarters were vibrant – walls further away than they should have previously been when they were the way they weren’t before or after the day before yesterday. ?
Or was it tomorrow? Never mind I couldn’t tell you if I tried to, especially at the time.
I was nervous and unsure why. I had coins in my hand but I couldn’t tell what they added up to nor differentiate them, they could have been faux chocolate coins for all I know. Dominic may appreciate the comedic gesture. Tonight has been very funny after all. There had been plenty of drinking – and the travelling Balloon Master Dominic had revealed upon entry that he had begun to dabble with Chemistry.
He told us as he laid down his belongings a number of hours or days ago,
“I have been inspired in my quest to perfect the ‘rush’…” He had certainly had gained that reputation a year or so ago – “…the wind never lasts long enough, but with this little square sheet, it will pass on through you and through you like a mile long sword” – And so on.
He described the sensation a number of times in varying ways like a politician answering the same question in an incredibly crafty and similar way over and over. Perhaps I had not paid attention or I asked too many times. I’m not sure.
The stairs were simple, yes, classic stairs. Fortunately, upwards they went. Up and up.
Breaching a barrier of sound I had previously been underneath, fumbling under the rumbling.
The laughter it did belt out and belt out it did; anyone sure to be exposed to such infectious vibrations were to catch the fits of chuckles, I had soon collapsed on the stairs momentarily trying to gather my noodles and get to my destination. This had taken quite some time to do.
I have coins, Dominic has already distributed the wealth of his chemistry and now is dealing his wind.
That was it. To get the wind, to ride my kite higher with hopes to be dragged high enough to allow for a longer fall.
Please oh please, surely the baron can spare coin if mine do not add up, or chocolate is not enough for Dominic and his wind.
The Baron cries out. “ANOTHER! YOU FUCKER I WANT ANOTHER CRATE”
I creep through the door to the quarters of Baron Bar. Two faces I knew, three others I didn’t and couldn’t.
Dominic is stood, a flashy silky robe he wore, draped to the ground, exquisite in its presentation, crafted surely in a distant land where the wind had taken Dominic. He had certainly travelled.
The Baron is sat in his robe, a red robe, crimson with white furs, again draped to the floor. He wore a great crown. When did he get that crown? He has never worn a crown in his life – not one of his own anyway. A gift from the Chemist merchant of Wind and rib cracking laughter?
The other faces, the others, them. They sat on the side of the Barons bed pinching paper, sweating, gathering materials for a communal smoke. They remained shadows, no eyes, no souls.
‘Ah, just in time’ I thought. What a gathering this was turning out to be.
I search the room, the edges and ceiling. Just from where oh where did the mighty banging come from?
The walls, the floor every inch covered in mess. The Barons belongings scattered across the floor, across they way, all the way and further beyond. Who is going to clean this up?
Masses of clothing piled in corners of the room; perhaps the chemist’s sheets were not particularly domestically friendly. They laughed more, I searched harder. I was a shadow for now.
And there I saw it, the source of the noise. A wall filled with knives, peppered across a great map of our Terra Firma. Perhaps the chemistry had gone a little too far for Bar, the Baron.
A conquest of the world was certainly something we had never considered, at least not at this stage.
The fucking maniacs have lost the plot. I turn back to Dominic, standing proud reaching into his loot bag. He pulls them forth, two great crates, forty-eight dispensers of wind.
Gusts for the brain, the dome.
Breathe them through his balloons and permit the vibrations, the fizzle and euphoria to rush through your grey matter and pray for another second there.
The chemistry was strong. Dominic pulled forth a two of his silver shining bullets of wind from their case, and proceeds to fill a device that allows the wind encased within the silver bullets to be ‘cracked’ into the device and then, us.
He laughs, the Baron laughs and I laugh. Even the wretched shadows giggled. These chemicals of the Master Ballooner, they had warped my perception of time.
“Ah Pleb! Where were you? We weren’t going to start without you but then we forgot about you” Dom explains.
Those fuckers, they did forget.
Fuck me I forgot too.
“Dom, if I may, I have no idea, these chemicals of yours, quite strong”
The words fell poorly from my mouth like a clumsy child dropping their lunch box.
“You did a double dose Sir Pleb, and here, anyway have a double dose of my wind!”
The wind is blasted into the ‘cracker’, two great big ones. I grinned ear to ear. This is what it was all for, I hold out my hand with coins gripped tight and moist with sweat. Dominic gestures my hand away, folding my fingers before me.
“This one is on me alright” He says.
“Too fucking right it is mate” I say.
WOOOSSSSSSHHH. The Balloon is full, expanded to an unsafe size, quickly Pleb, before the icy cold wind blows the lid of this rubber delight. I purse my lips over the balloon, and hold the back of it with my left hand. I breathe in and out in and out, flexing the wind through my blood stream. The vibrations are coming on strong.
My fingers extend and grow, the balloon decreases in size, I hear little noise and all senses merge as one. Common sense is long gone. Just breathe it all in Pleb.
I come to, from what I wanted to be an eternity. Chemicals and wind eh? Fantastic stuff.
And so the process repeated, over and over.
Until all was done.
Until legs stood no more.
And minds began to seek solace in places the chemicals, nor could the wind find them.