Lord of the Butterflies (2002)

By Flibble

Episode 1

Butterfly collecting is a rewarding sport. It’s masculine: powerful, tough and the ultimate challenge, but at the same time feminine: soft, graceful and enchanting.

What does all that mean? I don’t know, I just ripped off the cover of a booklet on ballet I found.

Anyway, in my glory days, I was one of the best. I had millions of butterflies, all the ones I could find. This story takes place in March 1996, a highlight of my seven-year career (I was sidelined by injury two years later, but that’s a story for another time).

This charming little story is my quest to capture a rare African Swallowing Venomous Butterfly. We start the action on March the twenty-first.

On that day, I was feeling a bit down and out, as I hadn’t caught a butterfly in over a week. So, I decided to go catch one, instead of trying to steal them off other people, or waiting for them to die (I was a bit slack at that point, as I remember).

I grabbed my net, jars and toothpaste (butterflies can’t resist toothpaste – just one part of my extensive knowledge) and boogied on out to the local park, and started to set up camp. As I had barely finished my igloo (which melted, but still…), I looked up and saw… the rare African Swallowing Venomous Butterfly!

Now, there were only about a hundred left at that stage, and I think they’re extinct now. They have this nasty habit of swallowing their own venom, and that’s where the original name came from. Guess where they’re from? Yep, that’s right! Ghana!

Well, it WAS an endangered species, so my first thought was, of course, "I’ll catch it and kill off all the other ones and sell this one for a small fortune!!!" So, I leapt at it…

…And landed in a wasps nest.

Damn.

"I’ll get you, butterfly!" I yelled at the top of my lungs. "Ow," I added, as I was stung repeatedly.

That night, I snuck back to the park, and crawled around for a good part of the night, and discovered a WHOLE NEST of the butterflies!

Unfortunately, I’d left my net and toothpaste at home, so I vowed to return the next morning. Oh, I was also bitten by a werewolf, but that’s another story.

Well, I was walking home, and… STOP!

 

Episode 2

Welcome back, everyone.

When we last left… uh, me, I was walking home at night, vowing to return to a nest of rare and valuable butterflies. It seems a lot of you out there secretly want to kidnap little girls, so… Where was I? Oh, yes...

That morning, after some porridge and toast (separately, of course) I went back to the park. At the park (this park has no name, for those who were wondering) I ran into my old arch-nemesis, Evil Guy.

“So, Flibble, we meet again,” he said. Evil Guy was seven feet tall and quite strong, but I was determined to put on a brave face. I stood up tall.

“Eep. Well, I have to run, ahehe…”. As I turned to run, Evil guy suddenly spoke up.

“Looking for THESE?”

“Your keys?”

“Damn, wrong pocket. Hang on a minute… ah, here we are. Looking for THESE?”

I gasped at the contents of the jar. “The African Swallowing Venomous Butterflies!”

He laughed. “Yes, you fool! I found every last one in this park! Now, I’m off to sell them.”

“You can’t do that, you cruel monster! That would… be…” I said, as I remembered I was going to do that as well. “Well, it wouldn’t be THAT cruel, really… Hey, how did you find out the butterflies were here, you scoundrel?”

“You’ll never find out, Flibble! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!” he said, then vanished into thin air with a puff of smoke.

“Wow,” I said (it was a pretty impressive exit, after all). Then I said, “I must get those butterflies, but how?”

Then I thought, “I know. I’ll kidnap his four-year-old daughter, Hendricka, and hold her for ransom! I’ll need a cunning plan, however…”

Later that day…

“Dinners ready, Henny!” Dianne Guy called to her daughter, Hendricka, in her house of many years. Henny entered the room. “What’s for tea, Mum?” she said.

“Gas man,” said a short guy with glasses, entering the room. “Just checking the gas,” he said, hitting Henny over the head with a fireplace poker and stuffing her in a sack. “So, I hear your husband got some rare butterflies…”

“Why, yes!” Dianne said, looking proud. “He’s hidden them, though, so his arch rival can’t find them.”

“Do tell,” the gas man said, grimacing. “Well, bye,” he said, and ran off out the front door frantically.

“Typical council-worker. They never do a job properly. I bet he can’t look after his own kids… Henny?”

Meanwhile, at Flibble’s house… “Flibble, what’s in that sack?” Mum said.

“Oh, nothing…” I said, but Mum ripped the sack open.

“A small girl! You haven’t killed her, have you?”

“No, I just…”

“And now you’re going to go bury her in the yard, aren’t you? Flibble, how could you do such a thing? I thought we raised you better…”

“She’s not dead, Mum. I just kidnapped her to make a small fortune.”

“Ah. Is this something to do with that butterfly thing?”

“Yep.”

“Oh, sorry. I thought you were doing something wrong.”

“That’s all right,” I said, going into the basement.

I tied Hendricka to a chair, and sat down to write a ransom note, when… STOP!

 

Episode 3

The Shrine of Insanity presents the long awaited & long overdue…
Lord of the Butterflies – Episode Trios
Now with 14 percent more oats!!

Welcome back, folks! After that long hiatus, it’s time for me to earn my position here at the Shrine, so here it is – the next part in the glorious saga of my quest to catch butterflies! (Note: I recommended you read the first two parts before you plunge into this. Seriously)

In any case, we last left me in my basement, and it been requested I get attacked by moles. The things I do for you guys…

 

I cracked my knuckles. The ransom note was proving hard.

“Dear Mister Evil Guy… nah, too personal. Hello, Mister Evil Guy… no, that won’t work.” I sat back and scratched my head. Writing letters had never been a strong point – when we learnt it at school, I put it in league with algebra and gymnastics in the uselessness stakes.

“Ah well, I fancy a mug of cocoa. Would you like some, Hendricka?" I asked. No response from my hostage. I turned to face her, and she was gone - so was the chair, the rope, and the bag that had been over her head, in fact. Where she had been restrained, a note now sat.

“Huh,” I said, slightly surprised, “I never knew you could do that! You could have saved me a lot of work by turning into a note earlier when I had to lug you arou…”

“It isn’t her, you simpleton,” a voice said from the shadows, making me jump, “it’s a note. A ransom note to be precise, one that took hours to write.”

I nodded. “They’re a bit like that, aren’t they? Now, who are you?”

“I,” said the voice, as a shadowy figure scurried forward, “am the Reaper of Souls, the Ultimate Evil, the Scourge of Humanity, and the Destroyer of Worlds.”

I looked at the mole sitting by my feet. “… I see”.

“No, really!”

“Alright, fine, you’re… whatever-it-is” I sighed, starting to get annoyed, “Where is Hendricka?”

“You’d better read the note, I spent hours on it, you better like it” said the Reaper of Souls, the Ultimate Evil, the Scourge of Humanity, and the Destroyer of Worlds, laughing nastily.

Hey, you, {*Pfffffft*, I thought}
We have your hostage. We will only give her back when you have the butterflies. You will then give them to us, we will return your girl, and then you can hold her hostage for something else.
Regards, the Reaper of Souls, the Ultimate Evil, the Scourge of Humanity, and the Destroyer of Worlds & his brother Johnny.

“So you see, Mr. Hunt, it is an elaborate double-bluff, one we have been waiting days to put into motion.”

I snorted. “Can’t be a very good bluff, pal – Evil Guy’s got the butterflies. That’s why I’ve got his daughter as a hostage, to get back the butterflies I can’t get for you as I don’t have a hostage anymore.”

The Reaper of Souls, the Ultimate Evil, the Scourge of Humanity, and the Destroyer of Worlds scratched his head. “I’ll take your word for it. But, in any case…” he said, as he snapped his fingers.

I whirled around in surprise as a legion of the Reaper of Souls, the Ultimate Evil, the Scourge of Humanity, and the Destroyer of Worlds’ best Attack Moles™ jumped out of a hole in the corner. I took two hits to the head, several to the groin and a poke in the eye, and I was down for the count.

When I woke up some time later…

“Ugg”, I murmured, nursing my throbbing head(s). I looked around with my blurry vision. Still in my basement. Good.

The moles were gone. They had taken my last shot at the butterflies. My last shot at fame!! Riches!! Fort… hey, look, a note.

You,
Find another way to get the butterflies. Or else.
The Reaper of Souls, the Ultimate Evil, the Scourge of Humanity, and the Destroyer of Worlds & his brother Johnny.

I looked at the hole the moles had sprung from. “Right”, I said to myself, grabbing a shotgun that just happened to be lying next to my desk…

STOP! Alrighty, folks, let’s do it a bit different this time. No poll, just skedaddle onto the forum and say whatever you want to happen next! Freedom has never been so great! Be as weird, risqué or unoriginal as you like!

So, until next time, it’s goodbye from me, and my sock puppet Lieutenant Fred! Say goodbye, Fred.

“Goodbye, Fred”.

 

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