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2020-11-24T13:35 [writing/story age/highschool]

Umberland Adventure

a story of Humour and of strange Going-ons

As Written By:

Xerkcys Elias Quinar


As written by the author, Xerkcys.

Hello, everyone, this is a forward to let you know a little bit more about this story, and how you should read it.

The main thing you ought to know is that the style of writing here is a bit odd, insomuch as this entire story is filled with Odd. Remember, Odd is very potent, especially in this concentrated form, and should be handled with care. If you have any problems with reasoning ability, vision-perception ability, or thinking ability, you should avoid this work of fiction. This story is also very, very Silly. If you have even a hint of stomach problems, allergy problems, or a pregnancy problem, you should avoid this story like it’s the plague. The fact that this story is both Silly and Odd, it is a big turn-off for overly sensibly-minded people, but then again, what overly sensibly-minded person could ever write a silly story, an odd fiction? In other words, what overly sensibly-minded person ever wrote a good book?

If you don’t feel you are going to be handicapped by the presence of Odd or Silly, you should one congratulate yourself on not being an overly sensibly-minded person, because they spoil a great deal of Everyone’s fun. Secondly, you should then be told this: The writing style and much of the humour in this story dictate that you pay close attention to not just to what the words are saying, but also to the words themselves. The main reason why this story would be funny at all is the way the words are situated, and then do acrobatic tricks within their syntax. Very few got this fact when I first showed them this story, and I believe this is largely my fault. I’m soory. So anyway, I wrote this note as a way of preparing my audience, so that they might be able to actually get this story, to understand why I thought this story was funny.

Thanks muchly,

Xerkcys Elias Quinar

| Preamble 1

Once upon a land, called Umberland, there lived a little boy named Yelts. Mind you, that doesn’t sound like a good name to any of us, but it’s plenty good for Umberfolk. Today was going to be different for Yelts. Normally, he would wander the forests of his home, the Rtani swamps, looking for some good Chwit mushrooms, but today as well the last few days, he was on an expansive Errand. He was now climbing the Foothills of Broolry, going south-west-up, heading towards the Plains. “What?” you may ask, “No odd label for this geological feature? No made up name for to confuse us?” No. The Plains speak for themselves, as you will see when the time comes.

He meandered down the Foothills, avoiding all the Broolrybranch vines, which would take off his leg if he wasn’t careful. He contemplated the advice in relation to his Errand that he had gotten from the Umberfolk of Er’Oip, the last town he visited (Er’Oip is known for its sponge baths, Broolrybranch stew, sword fish fights, dentures, and some of the natives have a really bad dialect of Umberspeak). This is a comprehensive list of all of the advice he received:

  1. “What?!? Acro sthe Plain sgo? Wha tma kyuoo doothat?!”

  2. “Pray to Veronica for safe passage, and surely it will be granted.”

  3. “The Plains have not been successfully traversed since 7489 yCGL

(years since the Conquering of the Gvrittn Land)

  1. “Pray to Veronica for safe passage, and surely it will be granted.”

  2. “Whydo ntyuoo triisome ovthi smedi-cine foronly ‘>| ](‘1

Xwgys!” (Yelts was verily temped, but then he remembered that Xwgys were illegalized by Umberlaw)

  1. “Pray to Veronica for safe passage, and surely it will be granted.”

  2. “Triius ingthi sleaves ova Gondi-Creackly leaf ‘tween yur toes.”

* So, with mud in his hair, and jam between his toes (no Gondi-Creackly leaves to be found) he finally arrived at the Plains. Mind you, these aren’t the kind of plains we’re used to. On Earth, our plains can be surmised as a flat area of the lithosphere, covered with hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of trillions of grass blades, with a tree or two here or there to break the monotony. A simple Euclidian plane with two directions: left-right and forward-backward (Sideways is what happens when you mix the two directions together in a cocktail shaker. Euclid was a Greek philosopher who studied the shape of things, and wore a toga).

But not these Plains. These plains were multi-leveled. What I mean to say is: Imagine that you took the normal plains you know, take a scissors, cut them into several irregular shapes, place them into varying levels so that none of them are on the same elevation, wrap them in an enigma, and tie a pretty bow. Not only do you have a very attractive knot, you also have a wrapped enigma, and no one can ever figure those sucka’s out. As you can now see, the Plains aren’t easily tackled, or walked upon, either. And you may ask, “What about in between the levels, what’s there? Hmm?” Well, I’ll tell you: Absolutely nothing. “Huh?” That’s right: absolutely Nothing.

Yelts looked upon the Plains, in awe of the Nothing, the surrealism, and the pretty bow. He couldn’t begin to comprehend it. He turned the advice over in his head, turned his head over, and then he started to feel the blood rush to his head. At first he was afraid, but then he realized that the influx of circulatory fluid to his cerebral cortex was allowing him an influx of oxygen to feed his gray matter which further allowed him an influx of smarts. He contemplated his dilemma with this newfound genius, added in the advice of Er’Oip, looked at his last tax return, weighed the pros and cons, found the pros to be a little overweight and told it to get more exercise, it did, and he solved his problem, within budget, too.

Yelts took to knee and began to pray to Veronica, because, hey! “Surely it will be granted”! And thus he began the ceremony…

Yelts gathered before him the sacred relics: the Glass Cylinder of Toop, the Fermented Chwit of Wre, a Gondi-Creackly leaf (as I have said before, not between his toes), and finally, a spoon. Placing them upon the ground before him, he began to chant:

“Oh, Veronica, Purveyor of the Stew, Giver of the Light Lunch, and Promissory of the American Way2 I rejoice in your Choosing of me, and now I must ask of you for Guidance! Show me the Route through my perilous Path, and bind me to my Fate!”

Yelts then threw himself down of the ground, rolled around a bit, and got up (grass was mixing with the mud in his hair, for a rather amusing effect). He squeezed the Fermented Chwit of its fermentation into the Glass Cylinder. He then proceeded to wipe the rather amusing effect out of his hair with the Gondi-Creackly leaf. Finally, Yelts used the spoon to mix the Messy-Creackly leaf and the Fermentation in the Glass Cylinder.

He then drank. The alcohol (Fermentation of the Chwit) from the shot glass (for that’s what the Cylinder is) started it work on his brain, and the Messy-Creackly leaf (nasty!) began to work on his digestion, and thus he began the Divination Process (because, as you know, you have to be either really crazy or really drunk to talk to God).

Yelts sat for a while, swaying back and forth, the material world swirling about him. As he waited for the Divination, he took a trip down Memory Lane, going all the way back in the Rtani swamps…

* * *

; Rtani/The Method 2

Slosh. Bubble. Splech-Squish. Swi-i-i-im. Slosh-bubble-burp-swish swi-i-i-m.

These were the sounds that surrounded Yelts as he made across the myre. “What? Swimming across the myre?! Gross!!” you may shout, insinuating that I do not know anything about swamps, hygiene, or swimming. I present two arguments: (1) A myre is only gross if you don’t shower before and afterwards, and (2) swimming is the best kind of transportation they had! Mind you, this is the equivalent to having motorcars on Earth, because for the longest time, Umberfolk in Rtani couldn’t swim. It took a traveling swimming instructor from the North-East-Down to give them this new technique. You may ask, “How did they?–” I’ll explain!; keep your pants, dress, leggings, tunic, etc., on.

They got around by using the infamous Gor’Didas. “What’s a Gor’Didas?”

Well, for the best description, without bias or stupid comments, we go to the Umberbook All Living Things That’s Been Encountered Ever Since We Have Started To Write This. But that is a completely different book, so we’ll skip that. For my opinion, which is much more important here, the Gor’Didas is one of the most ugly, stupid, and dangerous Umbercreatures ever to come about. Its strong point is that its ugliness and stupidity is great for an insulting reference to other people, and its poison is useful for removing rust stains from carpeting. Other than that, completely horrible brutes, and definitely shouldn’t be used for transportation. But it was, and so, there you are.

As Yelts approached his destination, he heard odd sounds coming from his adobe. What were those sounds? He reached the front door, kicked it open, and was quickly blinded by the brilliant darkness. Then, a voice spoke to him, in calm, divine tones; “Yelts, ye who is so vastly Stupid.”

Yelts recognized the voice as that of Wre, the first Prophet-Drunk.

“Ye hast been Chosen.”

Yelts thought: Wre helped in the conquering of the Gvrittn Land, over 10,000 years ago. How could I recognize his voice?

“Ye musth pay attention!”

Yelts thought: Sorry

“Good. As I hath been sayething, ye hast been Chosen. Veronica Chose ye to run a grand Errand, so that ye may assist, nay, greatly assist, in the Clockwork of Orange3! Ye Directions to thy Destination hath been mailed to you. Expecteth 5-7 week delivery.”

Thus the voice of Wre moseyed off, bringing the dark brilliance with him. Yelts regained his sight; however, his toes were numb for the next few hours. The experience he had would have bothered him a bit longer than it did, but he found it hard to walk with numb toes. Yelts struggled to get to his bed, hoping his toes would feel in the morning, and hoping his Gor’Didas removed the rust stains from his carpeting. When he got there, he climbed into the bed, sealed it, turned on the air freshener, and clapped twice. When it got dark, he drifted into slumberless dreams…

* * *

When he woke up, he launched himself out of bed, and hit a wall. Being fully awake now, he went to the front porch to wait for the Directions to arrive. After what seemed like four minutes, but was really two, he began to feel dispirited. Why did Veronica Choose him to wait 5-7 weeks to begin the Errand? Wouldn’t it need to start now, if not earlier? Maybe a weed or two earlier… Then Yelts got an idea. He took a jog down Memory Lane, and then got stuck in traffic, for all of the other Umberfolk were using this very road to get shopping lists, reading lists, hit lists, blackmail, ‘urgent message’ mail, postage stamps, toothbrushes, all sorts of other things. The traffic was even more congested than usual. A Father, flailing about, was trying to remember where his missing child was in the Shopping Mall. Knowing that he had more pressing matters than that of lost children, he jostled his way through. He went to the Umberbook section and got exactly what he was looking for: All Historical Things That’s Happened Ever Since We Have Started To Write This. He looked through the many, many sections in this volume, like the theories of Existence, the discovery of Intelligence among the early Umberfolk, the loss/abandonment of Intelligence, the invention and construction of the Wheel of Fortune4, and many other unanswerable quandaries. Yelts flipped right through these pages of probable ideas right to the beginning of fact: “The Mythical Journey of the Explorer Emer Ica Nyuckimatie and his Comrades” as written by Wre the Prophet-Drunk and Toop the Glass Maker. He skimmed through the entire work, trying to find the clue he had thought might be here. And finally, he found it.


“ The Bridge to the Next World was found then. We had no idea how we would cross it. It was an impossible task to be sure. According to the Naddaland Astronomical Textbook, if you were to travel between any two Space Rocks, one must pass through an area in Space without Rock, and a journey just through Space would really suck (the life out of you).

Basically, what that meant was the Bridge wasn’t and couldn’t be made out of Rock, so we were doomed to die. At that point, Toop stated that this whole journey was for naught. Then Emer reminded us that our journey is for Naught, and that is why we should keep going. Wre concurred, and stated that Veronica would take care of us. Wre suddenly went into a trance. We knew what that meant: Divination Happy Hour. And this is what Wre spake:

“Emer Ica Nyuckimatie, ye who is so vastly Obtuse. Ye and thy comrades hast been Chosen to cross the Bridge to the Next World. Ye mayest believe thy Errand is at its end, but ye be incalculably wrong insomuch it maketh us Here laugh and pointeth our Fingers. (Oh don’t looketh so downtrodden; most Everything maketh us giggle) As part of thy Contract, our Liability causes us to helpeth ye. Behold, we present ye with the Intangible Symbol!”

After that drunken spiel, the Intangible Symbol appeared, and it was implanted on Emer.

“This, thy Intangible Symbol, shalt be carried throughout the future history of the Next World, and when 10,000 years after yon death hast past, it shalt resurface to do its work again.”

Silence. After a few moments of anticipation, Emer told us that he understood what Veronica meant for him to do. He then proceeded to take the Naddaland Astronomical Textbook, looked up the passage that we referred to earlier, and looked at it with much concentration. Then the most amazing thing happened: The letters began to glow with a strange energy. The phrase ‘Space without Rock’ was the highest luminosity out of all of them. “This event you are about to witness is called ‘transmorgifaltercation’”.

Wondering what that word meant, we waited with much anticipation. Suddenly, with the most obvious subtlety, the phrase changed, that is, the words ‘without Rock’ shifted to ‘with Outrock’. Toop had the pronounced pleasure of asking “What’s Outrock?” right before the question was answered by its sudden appearance, forming a Bridge to the Next World. Its base, on the surface of where we were standing, was that of a pyramid, with stairs leading up the side. Instead of a point however, the stairs just kept going, forming a helix-shape, spiraling through Space. Toop then said “Well, the Bridge couldn’t be made out of Rock, I guess it’s made of Outrock!” With these words, the Bridge became even more stable, crystallized with the new realization. Out of all of the perils that we have endured so far, we must say that this was the coolest thing ever! We end this section of notes by saying that Outrock is quite easily the most beautiful Non-Rock around, especially when the stars are translucent through it. ”

Yelts had found the information he was looking for. According to the text, and his own theories of what happened those many thousands of years ago, all he had to do was transmorgifaltercate the memory of ‘5-7 week delivery’ to ‘5 – 7 week delivery’, and the directions will have been mailed to him two weeks prior5 Brilliance!! He jostled-ran back up Memory Lane towards home, and he was pleasantly surprised when he found out that the poor Father looking for his lost child was fortunate to find him, in the Fancy Underwear section (with today’s Umberfashions, the lost child was not very happy being there). He arrived back at his adobe, just in time to find a two-week old delivery appearing at his door. It worked!

^ The Plains/Tuesday 3

As you now know, the Plains aren’t ordinary, but the journey there was. Yelts had opened the Directions to have them say “Go across the Plains. Stop” before they disappeared. He swam across Rtani with out problems because he knew the way, and he made it across the Kink-broo because he didn’t stay for Tea. The town of Er’Oip was next, and we have already discussed what Yelts did in there, in the ‘Preamble’ chapter (the only thing that has happened there since we last talked about it: the champion Sword Fish Fighter, Sockeye Pimble, had gotten himself into a bit of trouble, or as they say in Er’Oip, ‘had gotten himself into a bit of fish-netting’). In order to not repeat myself and to have you not lose your place, go back and read the Preamble again, starting at the * in the third paragraph, until you get to the ***. When finished…

**GO HERE **

…But he didn’t get to the Rtani swamps, for the voice of Veronica dragged him back from Memory Lane.

“Yelts, ye who is so vastly Drunk! Ye calleth of Guidance. What is it ye want?”

“Oh Veronica, I need to know how to get across the Plains, like you asked me to.”

“Yelts, ye already know yon Method. Useth it!”

“But I already have! I used it to make the Delivery travel back in time! I am so soory I have been so impatient!”

“Yelts, yon Method is to be usethed several times, not justh once!”

“Veronica, I looked in the ‘The Mythical Journey of the Explorer Emer Ica Nyuckimatie and his Comrades’, and had found he only transmorgifaltered the Bridge, and nothing more!”

“Oh Yelts, ye hast been deceived. The ‘The Mythical Journey of the Explorer Emer Ica Nyuckimatie and his Comrades’ never mentions the Other Times. Ye seeth, after the Bridge was crossed after a 13 month walk (of which I provided them with several Light Lunches, and a nice, restorative Stew), we arrived at the Next world, which is in fact here, the Space Rock Orange. Aftereth that, he causedeth the Bridge to return to its natural ‘without Rock’ state. Many more times did he open the Bridge to the people of Naddaland, and it is they that were yon Umberfolk ancestors.”

“Were is Naddaland, oh Veronica?”

“Naddaland is the big Moon-thingy that orbits Orange.”

“Umberfolk come from the Moon-thingy?!”

“Yes, but don’t ponder it too mucheth. Naddaland wasn’t really a goodeth place.”

“Well, what about the Other Times you spoke of, Veronica?”

“Those Other Times were when Emer interactedeth with the aboriginal Gvrittn. The thingeth is, the aboriginal Gvrittn were largely a perverted people, not given to polite conversation. The ultimate Downfall for Emer had much ado about double entendres6.”

“I don’t know what that means, Veronica, but I am sure that is part of your Wisdom. Thank you for the information, it has solved the Problem.”

Veronica’s Presence left Yelts without another word. Yelts now faced the Plains with a new Perception, cracked his knuckles, spit for dramatic effect, and pulled at the pretty bow. As the pretty bow became untied, the newly unwrapped enigma fell away, and the Plains pieced themselves back together to form the Plain. Yelts crossed it with ease. Interestingly, the last time the Plains were successfully traversed was in 7489 yCGL, and that was because that particular Umberdude, following peculiar advice, had hopped across, using Gondi-Creakly leaves between his toes.

* * *

After quite a bit of walking, Yelts crossed the Plain, and reached the Umbermegalopolis: Nerophilosopherstallionb’Ookedtilltuesday (residents, as well as everybody else not involved in Umberlaw, call it Tuesday for short). An Umberpoet once wrote: “Tuesday, it/ Nearly spanned/ Quite a bit/ Of land” and although it isn’t very good, it became the Patron Poem of the Umbermegalopolis, and is always quoted with a bit of wonder. Some say “I wonder why ‘it nearly spanned’, Tuesday’s huge!”, while others ponder “How did this poem get to be Tuesday’s Patron Poem?!”

Nevertheless, Tuesday was a big place, and it was full of and filled with people; a handful of interesting people, a pocketful of important people, and a landfill of uninteresting, unimportant people. It was brim-filled with buildings, too. It was here that we find the Observatory of Space, the Observatory of Social Behavior, the Observatory of Political Happenings, and the Observatory of Holidays. The biggest merchant area is here also, called the Shopping Mall. But the most impressive of them all, and more impressive than the Mall, is in fact, the Ludicrously Huge Clock Tower of Orange (it is here, many Umberfolk say, that Time began). This overlarge location of cogs, gears, and, well, clockwork, has put many in awe and some Umberfolk reason that this Tower is why the Umberpoet said Tuesday nearly spanned a great area as opposed to all of it.

Yelts traversed through Tuesday, vastly interested by the boring people around him, mainly because he has never been here before, and has never seen this many boring people in one landfill. When he had his fill of boring-people-land, he meandered through the Shopping Mall, impressed the most by the musicians, magicians, and mime-icians that performed in the Checkout Boulevard7

Yelts left the Shopping Mall after a few hours and proceeded to the Observation sector of Tuesday. The Observatory of Social Behavior showed him the interesting new fads, fashions, and flavors that the citizens of Tuesday indulged in: “The red, white, and green Razzberry smock that everyone loves is now in town!” read an advertising poster. A person who was reading the poster at the same time as Yelts thought aloud:

“Interesting, and a shame, too. Looks like my Technicolour Dreamcoat with its dazzling many colours and its Licorice flavor is out of style now.”
After the fashion update, the Observatory of Political Happenings held for Yelts a new bulletin he was interested in; its ‘Election Section’ showed the newly elected and official Poem-Reciter-of-Nerophilosopherstallionb’Ookedtilltuesday, Chuk Nu’pice.
(He isn’t the prettiest fellow to come from Tuiyam, but the article did say that he could recite Tuesday’s Patron Poem ‘ô <’ times within ‘|’ minute whilst deep asleep8)

The Observatory of Holidays was far more interesting, for it is in this building that most of the Holidays were, well, observed. The Observatory of Holidays was the place that all the Holidays happen at once, and all the time. “What?” you may blurt out in disbelief, “All at once, all the time?” In fact, that very phrase you the readers might have said is the very slogan of the Observatory: “Holidays: All at once, All the time!” The reason why they are occurring continuously all year round, as opposed to one day at a specified spot, is because it fits in with Everyone’s schedule so much more easily. Just imagine if the Groople-Diddy-Munchin Umberholiday was during the course of one day! The meticulous Planning and the Expense involved! What a laughable thought! The Observatory gives you all the time you need to spend it on celebrating your favorite holidays: eating Remi-Snarklemort candies, participating in Mequill-Tambulputty games, and, of course, riding the ceremonial Goat-cow of Buh-Zar9. The only thing you are really required to do is to go to the Gift Shop, which is of course the place you give a gift of money to the Observatory so they don’t have to resort to using admission tickets.

The Observatory of Space showed him colour photographs of the white-pale and shadow-dark Moon-thingy hanging upon the night sky. Yelts verily remembered what Veronica had told him about Naddaland. Just think: All civilization on Orange had, in fact, not come from Orange at all. However much Yelts thought about it, he felt disturbed by it. Yelts pondered whether or not the Conquering of the Gvrittn Land was a justified legal action when he suddenly realized that he had forgotten about the Directions in the buzz and bustle of Tuesday. He stopped to try to remember what—and the Directions appeared! (Remember, the Directions had said “Go across the Plains. Stop”, and Yelts hadn’t, until now) The Directions said “Proceed to Tuesday and Survive the Attack” before promptly disappearing again. Yelts went over the new instructions in his head. He had already got to Tuesday, and then it said “Survive the Attack”…

) WHAM!/Pets 4

The initial blow came from behind, knocking Yelts to the dirt-pavement, and as he rolled onto his back to face his attacker, he knew by pure power of deduction that it had nothing to do with domesticated animals. The attacker wasn’t of course, which goes to show where the pure power of deduction can take you. Before Yelts could truly see who or what it was, another WHAM! knocked him aside. Yelts struggled to get up, only to get–WHAM!–high into the air. Yelts landed on top of one of the many telescopes in the Observatory and, finally, he had the opportunity to take a good look at the attacker.

He was much older than Yelts; his size gave that away pretty easily. How much older Yelts was unsure about, but that didn’t matter now. The other most distinguishing feature that Yelts noticed immediately was the black-and-silver battle armor that he wore, exposing no skin whatsoever. That was a disconcerting fact, when there was no Umberbattles going on; now that Yelts thought of it, he had never seen that design before. He took another trip down Memory Lane, and visited the Military History section. He found that there has never been an Umberwar. This was a good fact for Umberhistory, but this didn’t offer Yelts any help at the moment. He went back in the volumes, and found the Umberbook All The Different Types And Colours Of Armor That Have Been Made Ever Since We Have Started To Write This. This is precisely what Yelts was looking for. Upon looking through the Table of Contents, there were apparently many examples of black-and-silver armor, for it took a considerable amount of the Umberbook itself. It stated that the black-and-silver style of armor was the first type ever made, way back to Vrik’til10. He flipped through the pages, looking for the type that his attacker was wearing. When he did, he was verily surprised to read the following startling entry:

“ Kink-broo Traditional & Ceremonial Armor – worn during Tea.

HISTORY: It is said that the Umberfolk of Kink-broo are a little bit loony when it comes to their traditional, ceremonial Holiday, which is known as Tea. The actual ceremony involves drinking a strange brew derived from strange herbs from a strange, smallish, almost childlike bowl, with a side handle and flowery designs. They perform this ceremony at almost the same time every day (they don’t follow Umbertime, so we can’t say when), and the worst part about the whole business is that anyone who doesn’t participate in Tea, even passerby, they are subjected to the most horrible tortures, of the nature of Udo Ntwanto No.”

Udo Ntwanto No! Yelts quivered at the thought. And, to take his panic further, he realized that earlier, he did go through Kink-broo without partaking in Tea! Yelts was fully aware of the danger he was in now, and he had to go face it very soon. He only had few seconds to think of something before he was whisked away to the Present Reality, and unfortunately, he didn’t think of anything.

And so Yelts was, once again, face-to-face with Peril. Yelts hadn’t had a good start with Peril; the entire discourse of their interaction was full of danger. He especially didn’t like the part with all the–WHAM!–pain in it. And as Yelts sailed through the air yet again, he found himself reasoning this way: If I discovered that this is in fact not Peril, then perhaps I won’t be in quite as much danger, and there wouldn’t be as much–WHAM!–pain in it.

“Uh, excuse me!” Yelts tried out his plan at the same moment Peril decided to try his: hold him down for the abuse. “I wouldn’t–WHAM!–mind if–WHAM!–you’d sto–WHAM!–p for a–WHAM!–second and we could–WHAM!–come to terms with–WHAM!–a better method–WHAM!–of communicating!” It seemed that only one plan could work at a time. After a minute or two of some horrific and gratuitous violence, Plan #2 (Peril) decided it needed a coffee break, and thus Plan #1 (Yelts) could follow through.

“Uh, excuse me! I wouldn’t mind if I knew why I am being attacked, and, as a matter of fact, I always make it a point to know who is touching me, whether or not it is soft.”

The black-and-silver figure sifted his weight around for a few seconds, as if deciding how to respond. But it wasn’t; its feet were tired. And because it wasn’t enacting the horrific and gratuitous violence, Peril’s brain started to work, and realized that, hey!, maybe he could at least try the communication thingy.

“I am a Guardian for the Keeping of Tea. You did not participate in our most sacred and hallowed tradition and ceremony, and thus, by our most sacred and hallowed by-laws, you must be subjected to the Udo Ntwanto No!”

“What if I do want to know?” Yelts attempted.

“What?” came the reply.

“What if I do want to know what the torture is?”

“Oh, I get it; you can’t see it written down. That’s not what it looks like. It is an ancient language attempting at a modern phrase.”

“Well, what does the phrase say?”

“It says: ‘Worse than Husq’Var11 And further more, I am called Ta B’cawtt!”

Within Yelts’ mind, throughout the fog of despair, hopelessness, and general melancholy, the name didn’t transpire as “Ta B’cawtt” but as “Tabby cat”. Barely had those same words cross his lips when he saw the black-and-silver warrior undergo the transmorgifaltercation into a common Umberhousehold pet.

* Anti-Preamble 5

Incidentally, the Tabby cat of Umberland is almost identical to Earth’s, except for the glow-in-the-dark fur and antenna-style eye stalks. When he realized that Peril was no longer dangerous, Yelts’ mind fog cleared up, and thankfully with no traffic accidents. The Directions appeared––“Go to the end of the World. Bring the Tabby with you”––and directly disappeared again. It is a well known Umberfact that the end of the World isn’t hard to get to; he only wondered what the Tabby cat had to do with anything.

So, after an uneventful journey to the end of the World with the cat, Yelts reached the east-southern-down shoreline of the entire Continent. He looked out to sea, and then, looked out the see the Directions––“Good job, Stupid. Now, WAIT”

And so, Yelts waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Yelts waited for a good long time, minutes even, before he realized that WAIT is the common abbreviation of ‘Whelshing Antonio’s Irate Tango’12. Yelts went into full throttle then, bounding up and down the coastline, flipping off trees, and generally going about. He swung the Tabby around and into the air, and then the Tabby did the same to him. Indeed, it was a good bit of Tango.

The Directions showed long enough to say “Cross the Sea of Infinity”. Yelts puzzled this new bit of information long enough to sit down, only to have the strange phenomenon rear its ugly and tacky head.

* * *

The Sea of Infinity stretched before Yelts, very much like any other object that has infinite properties. Yelts has seen many things that have confounded him, and this definitely was one of them. Unlike all of the other impossibilities that we have encountered in this prolonged journey, this is the only one that he didn’t understand. How could an infinite water mass exist on his world? How could any infinite mass exist; where would all the rest of the world be? There would be no where to put it!

This was beyond any sort of comprehension, anywhere. “How? HOW??” you could ask an infinite number of times, and still you wouldn’t get a good answer. Not even I know how it works, and I’m telling the story! So anyway, Yelts was sitting there, the entire infinity of the Sea of Infinity stretching infinitely before him, and it would take infinite energy and infinite time to cross, not to mention the infinite swimmer’s ear. Yelts could sit there for infinite minutes, counting infinite water molecules, and only wonder when in the infinite past he had a good breakfast. In mathematics, whenever you use infinity, the sum/product will always be infinity; it doesn’t make any difference! No matter what you do, all the answers will be: ∞. “How can you have an Infinite Sea?” you must be asking by now. This is Umberland, that’s why! “But!–“ No, shut up, you’re wrong, get over it.

So, if you have something that you can’t get across as a barrier, how can you?

However, Yelts is a clever lad, and after a while he figured out how he would cross:
he would use himself as a boat. “WHAT?!?!” you may ask, adding some foul language to boot, but before you go on about it, let me explain. Think in this way: Swimming requires energy. Using a boat saves energy. So if one were to simultaneously swim (the boat using energy) and ride (the person saving energy) the net gain would be zero. The bonus that this mode of transportation provides is that the idea, logic, and execution of it are so entirely absurd that the Sea of Infinity would let it through (laughing, naturally).

So, amidst infinite laughs, guffaws, giggles, and general chortling, and with the Tabby cat resting upon his shoulder, Yelts traversed the entire expanse of the Sea of Infinity in less than two hours. The main thought that lingered in Yelts’ mind was this: “How does this Sea exist, and no one knowing about it?” This then lead to the question of the entire purpose of his Errand, “Why?” so to speak. And Yelts sailed on, not knowing what lie ahead.

* * *

Yelts was astonished. He didn’t expect that when he reached the other end of Infinity, but there it was. Yelts was at the legendary Elevator Down. (This is an equivalent to the Stairway to Heaven of our world, or is it the Highway to Hell?) The Elevator Down was made of the purest materials, and it was relatively clean. It just stood there, waiting.

Yelts alleviated the Elevator’s waiting, and took it Down. The only thing to accompany him was the Tabby, and the Elevator music. Time seemed to lose all meaning…then the Elevator stopped. Yelts stepped out, and found himself gazing upon the Clockwork of Orange itself. There were ten hundred billion trillion semi-metallic parts to this mechanism, and exponentially more interactions. Some of them made sense, however, as he looked on, many of them didn’t. With no time to explain even more nonsense, a vastly brilliant darkness impressed upon Yelts.

“Yelts! Ye hast madeth it! Veronica smileth upon ye, and now addresses thy Errand. The Firsth task: Giveth unto us our needed Tea.” Yelts was confused on the mediocrity of the task, but he followed through without fail; he let the cat do it.

After the Tea was drained from its pot (the process of draining seemed to look like rapid evaporation, but really was a multitude of invisible spoons) Veronica spake again, “Thanketh ye for the Tea, and now for the Secondeth task: Replaceth our Tom cat with thy Tabby cat. Oh Yelts, ye don’teth understand. The only thing that we can’t maintain ourselves is a cat, and a cat is integral to the Clockwork.” Yelts then observed a very old and pathetic Tom cat, tugging feebly at a shiny Tassel that stretched far above them. “Even Veronica can’t keepeth an animal alive for eternity— we are far too lazyeth. We hast managedeth 10,000 years, and it’s timeth for retirement.” The Tabby, completely on its own, went up to the old cat and saluted him. The old cat then immediately vanished, the air making a burbing sound.

The dark brilliance spake again, “Yelts, the Thirdeth and Finaleth task: Go home. And when he was about to be off on his way, Yelts asked the question “Why? Why was I chosen? Why me?” To which was the reply: “Why not?13

The reason why Veronica is defender of the “American Way” is because the accounts of Emer’s comrades show that he depended on Veronica for safe passage from his home, Naddaland. It changed from ‘Emericanyckimatie’ to ‘American’ during a 2000-year-long game of Telephone.

“Ǒraa nga Gģg” means (respectively) “Really, very big rock”, “Swings in oval”, and “Pregnant”

  1. The numbering system in Umberland is very incredibly hard to translate, let alone read. Just as a point of interest for the number freaks out there, their numbers are in base-87, so you ain’t gonna wanna even try to do arithmetic with them. I tried: I got a nosebleed. ↩︎

  2. Mind you, this definitely isn’t the American American Way, as in the “Godbless” America, no no. The Explorer Emer Ica Nyuckimatie found and conquered the Gvrittn Land, and thus began modern history. ↩︎

  3. No, ‘the Clockwork of Orange’ has nothing to do with A Clockwork Orange, the Anthony Burgess novel, or any other kind of oranges for that matter. “Orange” is a corruption of ancient Gvrittn “Ǒraa nga Gģg” which roughly translates into “large space mass that spins around in an elliptical orbit which is liable for life”. Direct work-for-word translation: ↩︎

  4. The Wheel of Fortune is a big mystery indeed. Many hypotheses exist to explain the reasoning behind the mammoth circle of stone; perhaps it was a religious construction that connected to part of an ancient temple, or maybe it was an astronomical tool to measure the stars movements, or even a major role in a very large transportation project (most of these conjectures point towards a ‘Giant Unicycle Railway’). However, the connection between their Wheel of Fortune and our Wheel of Fortune, which the Umberfolk don’t know about, may be validated with more research… ↩︎

  5. You may have a couple of questions by now, like, “How the [explicative] does Yelts read a story about making Bridges of Outrock (whatever that is), and be able to come to that [derogative] conclusion?!? And how could he do it!?! He doesn’t have the [something really demeaning] Intangible Symbol!!!” Well, I’ll give you that; I really didn’t explain it, but I will now: (1) Yelts was taking a trip down Memory Lane, which means that he was drawing his conclusions from within his own mind, that is, he had read a number of other parts of “The Mythical Journey of the Explorer Emer Ica Nyuckimatie and his Comrades” before, and within those parts, they had theorized on the nature of transmorgifaltercation. Using the arguments, he had come to his own conclusions. (2) Yelts got the Symbol implanted on him some time ago. He only knew about its existence the morning afterwards, during a particularly painful hangover. ↩︎

  6. A ‘Double entendre’ (the e’s are pronounced as ‘aw’) is a phrase that has two meanings: a normal one, and a very perverted one. Mind you, double entendres are mainly used in sexual jokes. The implications of a transmortifaltercation on a double entendre are very, shall we say, delicate. ↩︎

  7. The Checkout Boulevard is by far the worst Umberpublic institution that has ever been established. It is worse than the awful Chicken Pelvis Restaurant. It overshadows the infamous ‘Slip-n-Slide-into-a-Giant-Bucket-of-Various-and-Nasty-Lipids’ Fun Park. It contains more Umberfolk daily than New York, the Vatican, Tokyo, London, Mexico City, and Antarctica combined. Many have used the Checkout Boulevard as a metaphor; phrases like “the Train of Impatience”, “the Path of Purgatory”, and “the River of Bodily Stench” are heavily associated with it. Mind you, the rest of the Checkout process is extremely efficient. All the items that are placed in the carts are automatically price checked, added on to the current price, and each cart is assigned an Identification, so that when you get up to the Checkout Register, you can have your Umbermoney ready to be taken by the Tuiyam-raised Umbermonkeys, so you can get out of there. As for how many times one goes through the Checkout Boulevard, many people treat it as a biannual event of getting everything you need for the next three years, consisting of a gargantuan feast before and afterwards (left-overs) for the entire neighborhood. “Why does the Shopping Mall exist in one area, as opposed to all over the place in little buildings?” you may ask. Well, apparently, since shopping is a necessary evil in modern time, the Umberlogic follows thusly: ‘If shopping is a necessary evil, then it is both necessary and evil. Because it is necessary, we must have it. Because it is evil, we must not encourage it. Following the former statements, we must have it, but not encourage it. Therefore, it must be in as little area as possible’. It seems that they never had to endure that pain that it is of driving down a major highway and only noticing towns with the current popular retail chains that are there.. That kind of thing really depresses me, even more so than the imprisonment/enslavement of the Tuiyam-raised Umbermonkeys. ↩︎

  8. Now that’s what I call talent! ↩︎

  9. It is interesting to note that Umberfolk celebrate Holidays that aren’t from Umberland, from all other eras as well: Brimp Holidays, Vrik’til Holidays, Gvrittn Holidays, and even Preinvasionory-Land Holidays. The Holidays that Umberfolk celebrate are very interesting to study, each celebration more bizarre than the other. The Umberholiday Groople-Diddy-Munchin is a week-long feast dedicated to the brave Umbersouls who first founded the Groople-Diddy, the best source of Groople in all of Umberland. Remi-Snarklemort candies are made from Remi, fried toad-like creatures. Classic Mequill-Tambulputty games include ‘Pudding Masher’, ‘Push-the-Magic-Dragon-Up-the-Cliff’, and ‘Hit-the-Guy’s-Head-and-Run-Away’.
    Riding the ceremonial Goat-cow of Buh-Zar is almost completely self-explanatory. ↩︎

  10. That particular Umberbook further mentions the many other colours and styles of armor. The inventor Tiddlywinks “Ezr” Membrane-Buttucks (very silly name to Earthlings and Umberfolk alike) came up with a whole new configuration: Polka dots! The now widely excepted standard is, of course, green, yellow and mauve Umberplaid (which is worse than Earth’s; it’s pentagonish). Not just for battle, either: there are also the armors that made you look much more muscular, armors that made you look much more fashionable, and armors that made you look much more like a Cocker spaniel. ↩︎

  11. For all of you who aren’t well versed in Umberentertainment, here’s the scoop: Husq’Var is infamous. He started out as one of the mime-icians at the end of Checkout Boulevard, and slowly worked his way to the beginning of it. People loved him; they always threw him a bone. Eventually, he got so good at miming that he was featured on the Late Morning Variety Umbershow! His Umberfans cheered him on all way through. Finally, at the end of his act, when he was asked to tell his life long dream, he proudly said “To always be on the Late Morning Variety Umbershow!” Mind you, the point of the Variety Umbershow is to have Variety, as in, no repeats. What young Husq’Var was asking was to break down the entire system of Umberentertainment. Point number two: Husq’Var had really bad teeth, mainly because of all the bones that he got. Point most Impertinent: Husq’Var was a mime because his voice was at the precise frequency of annoy. It was only by the efforts of the marketing genius at the Late Morning Variety Umbershow and her specially designed ‘Annoy-Proof Earmuffs’ did Husq’Var ever get anywhere. Not to mention that he wasn’t that entertaining when he wasn’t a mime. Unfortunately, a freak accident occurred, and it allowed him to achieve his dream. Another freak accident occurred, this one prolonging the first one, which is the real tragedy. ↩︎

  12. Whelshing Antonio was a semi-popular Umberrockband about 42 years ago. The group only had two songs: one was a tune named “Chamita, We Hardly Knew Ye” (it was about a fish); the other was the Irate Tango. Over time, the Irate Tango took the hearts of all the listeners. Of course, it was apprehended for its crimes, but everyone forgave it. ↩︎

  13. THE END ↩︎