An Oddity Within Goats

January 6, 2011
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The water was still, the wind was whispering of times long ago and long forgotten. These times are when our story begins...
“Oy,” said the viking, as the ice broke around him and he was reintroduced to the world he had long known. His captain, an old and fortuitous man who used words that didn’t make sense in context because he was not half as sane as the fictional goat that he said haunted him, had just struck the ice with a large hammer after a line had appeared from nowhere (“‘Tis the spirit of the goat!”) and cut the larger ice chunk the viking was frozen in into smaller chunks the captain could break up. The captain had a mustache.
“Sponge,” said the viking captain as he investigated his shadow that had recently morphed into his goat. His mustache quivered in fear, but the captain soon put an end to that. The captain did not tolerate cowardice and he had a certain dislike of his mustache, but would not shave the mustache, as murder was - in his opinion - the most cowardly thing one could do, especially when the victim can not defend itself.
“Sir, we’ve spotted Erikson’s armada a short distance from here,” said Leif. “I’m going back to my armada now.”
The captain replied with a grunt.
Erikson mounted his kraken and rode to his armada; his roar soon sounded over the frozen waters with a challenge. “Your men are tired, or dead. Your ship is struggling to float. Your very soul yearns for freedom from the prison that is your hatred. You will surrender your life, or you will die. And yeah, you’ve raised question on the irony in the past. But we mean surrender your life, like, legally. We get your assets!”
The captain had a third solution. As he fitted the noose around his neck, the chair slipped out from under him, and he rose above the world as his ship transformed into black and was dispelled by white.

“The captain is gone, sir.”
Leif rose in rage. How had they lost him? His ship was less than one ship’s length away from them when he had gone under deck. They had actually had him surrounded, so what had the captain done?
These were the questions he asked himself; the same questions which he begged for the answers from the crewman.
“His ship is in our command; but we can’t find the captain.”
And Leif knew. He had been searching for years, and still the captain had beat him.
The goat had led the captain to... The Goat Dimension! Doooooo-dOOOOO-do0oOo0o!!

“This creature is not allowed in our world,” decreed the goat lord. “You are a plight upon this culture for bringing it.”
The captain had found the goat hiding in the attic, and the goat had had only one place to flee to.
“But father!” cried the goat. “It was you yourself who requested I explore their world, and it was even your idea to follow this exact human; did you not know at the time that his condition would allow him to see me?”
“And if he were to catch you,” screamed the goat lord, “he would be thought insane as he already was! But this is not the question raised now, instead the question is why you broke protocol and fled to our world without a secure departure.”
“Am I to believe you actually expect me to anticipate him finding me for the first time in a 5-year period precisely as I depart his world?”
The argument continued, and the captain watched with a detachment.
Perhaps he has earned a description at this point. Our friend here goes far beyond his mustache and stupidity. In fact, he was not actually stupid (although he did actually have a mustache). He was unintelligent for human purposes, but he was far beyond most vikings of the time in perception and intelligence as defined by the goats. He is Margyom.
Though the light shone through the pavilion, the mood of all was dark. Margyom was interested in exploring their world; not in hearing their awed description of his. He wished to revel in their culture; not to hear them argue over the conditions of his. He yearned to...

Leif was frustrated; his cause was delayed, but not forsaken. Margyom was the fourth viking that Leif had followed, and Margyom would be, Leif knew, the last one. Leif had learned, through years of winning lottery tickets and winning those games where people say “Pick a number between one and ten,” and who ever’s closest loses, that he should follow his gut. Thus he knew that he needed to continue with Margyom.
“Detain the captain’s men! I’m going to question them personally!”

“Goatunra, our lord, has concluded the case. Citizens may now discuss issues they would like to raise.”
Citizens clamored for Goatunra’s attention, and Goatunra’s son knew from experience none would raise any matter of importance.
Margyom was approached by Goatunra’s son, who introduced himself as Goatunsun.
“We’re stuck here together, and I have always thought it best to make the most out of a situation. So why don’t we go someplace that doesn’t carry the stench of the Assembly and discuss our plan?”
Margyom replied in a rare state of confusion. “Plan for what?”
Goatunsun rolled his eyes, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
“What, did you think they would just let us go?”

Goatunsun escorted Margyom through hallways which steadily decreased in occupation. Soon Margyom was sure that they had to be in a completely different area of the building which he assumed was the goat capitol. Finally, they reached an end of the hallway, and Goatunsun immediately and confidently turned right, then left, and they soon met a barrier scrawled with the ominous message of “Condemned.” Scenes of death and plague were drawn, obviously by no official goat. They were sloppy and looked as if they had been written in haste; yet most disturbing of all, they were scrawn... scro, scro-scrollen? Scru, scrawn, scrawled, SCRAWLED! Yes, scrawled in blood.
Goatunsun drew in a deep breath and shambled awkwardly toward the door, soon bowing. In silence, the barrier... stayed exactly the same. Goatunsun walked into the door, and even though Margyom couldn’t tell if he had simply walked through or the door had slid apart, he suddenly found himself in a new area entirely.
Margyom looked around, expecting to see a solitary camp with sparse resources that a desperate person (or rather goat) might use in an even more desperate situation. Instead, he saw an entire town, a community of creatures not limited to simply goats, but he saw, instead, what looked essentially like a train station, kind of like in the end of Men In Black II when they open that locker and look down on a bunch of aliens walking in a brisk, official matter and K’s like “Ours is not the only world,” or something like that.
However, the creatures weren’t as alien-y as that. Margyom searched for a long moment for anything he didn’t recognize on sight. Eventually, he came across a unicorn and a pegasus playing horseshoes and thought that it seemed kinda like one of those jokes, maybe like “Priest and a rabbi,” where if you said it around a priest or a rabbi the guy’s friends would get all angry and be like “That’s offensive, durdurdurdurdurdurdur,” but the priest/rabbi himself wouldn’t really care... ya know? Then Margyom thought it was weird that two supposedly non-existent creatures were playing horseshoes in what he was thinking of as a center of commerce or something.
As these thoughts raced through his mind, Goatunsun’s mind raced with anxiety and sleep-depravity and... and, oh my goat, his fiscal situation was an absolute mess! With his ex, and his mortgage, and-and-and-ohmygoat! Ohmygoathewashyperventilatingandwhatwasthat- thinghisdoctortoldhimtodo?!?!?!?!? Andnowtoaddtoitallhewasafugitiveinwhatwouldhavebeenhis-
kingdomifthishadallhappenedtenyearslater! Ohmygoatohmygoatohmygoat!
But he had to keep calm. His friend Tomayur, she would have helped him through all this. He could’ve been married to her by now, and he would never have gone on that mission. If she just hadn’t moved away, he would’ve had a chance.
His mind kept racing, branching off where he should be thinking, planning. That idiot, Margyom, would be of no use to him. He was off talking with a unicorn and a pegasus - Goatunsun knew them, what were their names again? - who were apparently teaching him horseshoes.
He had to act fast. It was late, they should, could and, Goatunsun decided, would, spend the night with a friend. He knew Margyom wasn’t stupid, but he also knew his father was smarter. They would need help to get to a new place, any place! The problem was, he knew where to get the help. And most of him would rather be caught then go there...

End of Part I

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