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Marc L Latham

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Werewolf of Oz Big Battle
By Marc L Latham
Friday, October 05, 2012

Rated "G" by the Author.

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This extract is a part of the Werewolf of Oz: Fantasy Travel by Google Maps book. It parodies Lord of the Rings and The Life of Brian.

  

128.  Welcome to the Jungle: Emerald Forest Beach

 

I grew ever more apprehensive as we neared Emerald Beach; because my last few experiences of green hadn’t worked out well. There was our terrible episode with Smiggin Holes, Lord of the Green; the green ray I’d seen before our awful Swan Lake experience; and then we couldn’t get past Green Point after being boomeranged from Boomerang Beach.

I thought Green would probably have had much better luck at those places, and maybe I just wasn’t cut out for this epic rambling lark.

 

Emerald Beach

 

My emerald cork hat almost dragged me onto Emerald Beach; it seemed to be growing in strength, and I now felt like it was wearing me more than the other way around! I took it off to have a look at it, and was shocked to find I could only see its corks. I put it back on and it pulled toward a crag jutting out of the cliff at the far side of the beach. I looked back at the others, who seemed to share my curiosity. Moreover,
out of the corner of my eye,
in the seemingly faraway ocean,
I thought I saw a commotion,
and wondered what it could be.

It was difficult making our way through all the emerald; like struggling through dense jungle. But my hat was a good guide, and we soon reached the crag. I thought that might be it, but the hat wanted to go farther; it led me around the edge of the cliff. The others followed. I thought I knew what my hat was up to when we turned the corner. Emerald Beach had a secret cave.

 

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Notes

 

The secret cave is inspired by adventure books such as those in Robert Arthur Jr’s The Three Investigators series.

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129.  Life of Brian’s Bane below Brisbane

 

My hat’s excitement continued to grow; it seemed to be in the know.

We rushed into the cave, hurtling through the narrow passages as if time was of the essence. My hat seemed to be getting stronger with every step, and provided enough glow for us to see clearly; it felt like I was wearing a green neon sign pointing ahead.

I started singing ‘Always look on the bright side of life…’ and the others quickly joined in.

 

Brian the Baggy Green

 

We turned a corner, and I could see a colossal cavern complex ahead. It was full of people, animals… and other objects. My hat suddenly flew off and headed straight for a baggy green hat. They met in mid-air, and embraced passionately.

We looked in awe, as the green reunion shone like a golden wonder.

 

Life of Brian’s Bane

 

When they returned to our level, my hat almost knocked me over without touching me, as it spoke for the first time.

It said, ‘Hello Grey, my name is Emily, the Emerald Cork Hat. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk to you before, but it would have been too dangerous for you. I had to wait until I was reunited with my other half, Brian the Baggy Green. It was foretold in historic hatlore that a greeny werewolf Halfling would survive a hat-trick of green tasks before reuniting the hats of hope here in the Emerald Beach cave. The union of green will lead to a top hat age of unpolluted peace and prosperity.’

I said, ‘It’s good to talk, and it’s no problem about the previous lack of communication, but there is just one thing, for I am Grey.’

Emily seemed to smile, before asking me if I’d seen myself lately.

I looked down and was totally shocked to see that I was green all over. I had become green in the Emerald Cave without even realising it. It felt like a landmark moment, and I now felt confident I could achieve anything; just like I always think Green can. I felt like bouncing around the cave like a spring green.

However, Emily quickly brought me down to earth with a warning, ‘There are still great tests ahead, and we will require your services again if you want to remain with us. We are heading north to our destiny; a war to end all wars. For Brian it is the bane of his life. If you join us, I’m sure we can win this one last great battle, and all return to the lives we desire.’

 

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Notes

 

Baggy green hats have been worn by Australian cricketers for over a century. The author first heard of them on the sports quiz show, Question of Sport, just before reaching this stage of the book on the blog; over a year after starting to write it.
Life of Brian was a Monty Python film. It featured an Eric Idle song called ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’
Golden Wonder is a crisp (American ‘chips’) making company.
Halfling is another name for a hobbit in Lord of the Rings.
It’s good to talk’ was a strapline used in British Telecom adverts.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
130.  For the Life of Brian

 

I looked around at my travel companions, and they all nodded in unison. I had not doubted them. I told Emily we would be proud to join her in the battle of Bri’s bane.

She thanked us, before inviting us to join the crowd in the cavern. She told me she thought I’d recognise a few faces.

 

Meeting Old Friends

 

There were indeed some familiar faces. I could hardly believe my eyes when they told my mind that Digger and Aussie, two of the first friends I made on the trip, were standing in front of me. It wasn’t until I’d hugged them that I accepted it as bona fide. After catching up with my canine cohorts I introduced them to Angry, Cathy and Elle; because I hadn’t even met them when I met ol’ Dig and Aus. It all seemed such a long time ago now, and strange to think that I had landed in Oz all alone.

I was just getting over the surprise of Dig and Aus when there was a tap on my shoulder. When I looked around I saw yet another of my dear ol’ friends from early in the journey: the very venerable Vombatus Ursinus. It was great to see it looking swell. Vombat the Wombat joined our circle and soon got to know everybody and everything.

 

Mine’s a Large One

 

I was about half way through telling Vombat about my journey when the walls started to rumble, and some rocks broke off. Everybody looked at the epicentre with anticipation, while beginning to take guard. I wondered if it was a bulldozing blitz by Bri’s bane.

A hole started to appear, and everybody tensed. As more rocks fell a paw emerged, and then the identity of the new arrivals was revealed. Why, it was none other than Colin and Ollie, the collie collier twins from Collie.


131.  Churchilla’s Chinchilla Commandos of Goya

 

Reacquainting with the Collie twins was like digging into the past and striking pure gold; or maybe finding the best buns is a more appropriate metaphor when thinking about Bunbury’s Collie twins. Everybody was enjoying the moment, although we knew that a bruising battle lay ahead with Bri’s bane. We partied through the night, with a band of Beatles starring in the Cavern, and then headed north the next morning.

 

Liaising with the Chinchilla Chinchillas

 

Emily and Brian led us through the green-lit tunnels for ten hours, until we at last reached the safe haven of Chinchilla. The Chinchilla chinchillas were also locked in a perennial struggle with Bri’s bane, so we were warmly welcomed.

Emily and Brian introduced us all to the chinchilla leader, Pancho Churchilla, and he thanked us for our support. When evening arrived, we all ascended into the fresh air, and basked in the Chinchilla sunset chinchilla style.

 

Chinchillas of Goya

 

We rested overnight underground in the burrow barracks of the Chinchillas of Goya (COG); a crack unit of chinchilla commandos that are the teeth of the chinchilla army sprocket.

They gave us their nests and slept on the floor, as their training had hardened them to such inconvenience. I didn’t like to take the nest, but we had been on a long hard journey; as long as the COG could maintain rotation without such self-maintenance.

 

Born to Bask

 

Someone had scrawled a message on the rock next to my nest that haunted my sleep that night. It said: Born to Bask, Live for Task.

It was signed CC, so I guess it must have been Cilla Chinchilla who wrote it; Pancho said she was the one who normally slept there. I thought it was a shame such a chilled chinchilla had to live this way, and dreamt that one day soon the chinchillas would be able to once more bask in peace.

We were awoken early. After a short preparation we started on our final march to Bri’s bane. Nerves, excitement and fear all mixed together to activate anarchic adrenalin.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes

 

The Beatles found fame at the Cavern club.
Pancho Villa (Mexican revolutionary leader).
Winston Churchill (British Prime-Minister during World War Two).
Goya was a 19th century painter, and one of his paintings was named Los Chinchillas. The COG idea was set in motion when Los Chinchillas was suggested as an image on the Werewolf of Oz Wordpress blog by Zemanta.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
132.  The Climb to Bri’s Bane Greenslopes without Ropes

 

Three hours after leaving Chinchilla we received word that a rock fall had blocked the tunnel. Colin and Ollie were informed, and soon raced ahead to clear the way. Their colliering skills meant we surfaced at The Gap gap on schedule. The sun was reaching its apex as the COG led us into the daylight of our destiny. I had faded to grey, and felt comfortable that way.

Emily and Brian led the COG commandos at the head of our line; I had never seen such courage from a pair of hats. Although they shone with a golden hue when first meeting again, nobody could accuse them of being yella in a cowardly way.

Talking of yellow, I was missing Emily not being on my head, with the scorching sun sizzling my sight and cooking my cranium! It was a relief when we reached some tree cover.

We covertly met a covert of coots in the Mount Coot-Tha forest, and they escorted us easterly to rendezvous with a python called Pilly; it showed us a short-cut through a secret door at Indooroopilly.

 

Arriving at Greenslopes for the Battle of Bri’s bane

 

Emerging through the outdoor, a river lay below us. Churchilla said it was Bri’s bane’s main defensive line. I couldn’t imagine how all the furry little chinchillas were going to cross the river. I was in for another nice surprise.

When we arrived at the river I saw that more of my West Coast friends were in it: Winona, Walter, Wendy, William and Dweezil whale sharks; and Dolly the Dolphin. Moreover, there was also a ship moored there that seemed to ooze decorum amongst all the bedlam. I should have guessed who was skippering it, but I hadn’t seen him for a few months.

‘Hello, Grey, my ol’ matey, how’s it going?’ roared a voice from the deck. It was none other than our ol’ skipper, Captain Dec O’ Rum. I told him I was doing fine, and it was great to see him, before asking where Dai ‘on the Seas’ was. Dec said Dai’d sailed in with him the previous day, but had gone into town looking for wine and women, and hadn’t returned yet.

It was a magnificent morale booster to see them all again, and a renewed confidence surged through me. After introductions and hugs they helped us cross the river.

Although it was a relief that we’d all traversed the water safely, arriving on the other side felt like being on the sharp end of a double-edged sword; because we were now at the foot of Greenslopes, with battalions of Bri’s bane protecting the peak.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes

 

The Gap is a Brisbane suburb; as is Indooroopilly.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
133.  Ascending Greenslopes

 

Battle of Bri’s Bane Epic Trilogy Poem 1

Dead men tell no tales
only the competitive fails
in war there is no sport
to survivors the lesson is taught.

We had not long assembled
before Greenslopes trembled
as balls of fire landed at will
shot from high on Cannon Hill.

Our allies the Woolloongabba
met their Waterloo like Abba
falling in multiple millions
history’s cannon fodder minions.

The COG commandos led the counter-attack
up Greenslopes watching each other’s back
chinchillas, dogs, humans, wombats and hats
above us flew eagles, dolphins and bats.

Yes, I did say dolphins above us
for a spirit appeared without fuss
and I’m sure it was Kalbarri Barry
riding the sky waves with his family.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes

 

Woolloongabba is a district of Brisbane.
Abba and song: Waterloo.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
134.  Will a Hat-trick be Enough for Rain

 

Battle of Bri’s Bane Epic Trilogy Poem 2

The COG commandos lost legions
fur and skin torn to lesions
rolling back down the slope in heroic death
Chinchillas of Goya drawing their last breath.

I reached the top after an hour of struggle
and saw Bri’s bane officers in a huddle
Emily and Brian were flying a pincer attack
Emerald from the front, Baggy from back.

My travel companions and I rushed to help
an arrow glanced Aussie and it gave out a yelp
we continued on through a battlefield royal
the chinchillas and allies staying loyal.

As Brian and Emily approached Bri’s bane
the huddle suddenly opened into acid rain
seeming to scent Brian it turned sharply
and flew screeching like a demented harpy.

I shapeshifted into a wolf and raced to Brian
distracting Bri’s bane rain as Emily leapt like a lion
Brian jumped for joy as the hats converged
soaking up the acid rain until it was purged.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes

 

The harpy was a winged spirit in Greek mythology.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
135.  The Aftermath

 

Battle of Bri’s Bane Epic Trilogy Poem 3

I lay on the Greenslopes ground
watched by allies all around
Bri’s bane was no more
the acid rain cleansed from floor.

‘We knew not a wolf you would become,’
said Emily’s voice betraying concern,
‘for the bane was not only of Brian’s
but also of wolves and lions.’

‘So wolfsbane is inside you now
but maybe we can work out how
to make you healthy again
I’ll try counting to ten.’

Emily counted to eight
my mood improved to third-rate
on nine I sensed the right line
hearing ten I was fine.

I rose to join the others
my sisters and brothers
in arms and hats we had battled
and Bri’s Bane together tackled.


136.  Searching for Survivors after Battle of Bri’s Bane

 

I rose into a mix of joy and relief; sadness and loss. Many had given their lives on Greenslopes. I was relieved that Angry, Cathy and Elle quickly joined me, and to see they were all in good health. Aussie and Digger soon turned up as well, and were looking swell; Aus said it only received a flesh wound. Then Vombat the Wombat pushed its way through the crowd, with a relieved look on its face. I could see Brian and Emily with the chinchilla survivors, but where were the Collie twins?

 

Searching for the Collie Twins

 

I asked the others if they’d seen the Collies. Digger said they’d been fighting heroically the last time it’d seen them, which was near the end of the battle. None of them had seen the Collies at the end of the battle. I started walking down the hill, looking through the bodies, dreading finding the Collies in a bad state.

A cascade of cheers rolled down from the top of the hill. I looked behind me and was filled with relief: the Collie twins were alive and well, and being carried along by a crowd of chinchillas. I rushed up the hill to them, and saw they were all eating buns.

I made my way through the munching mass, and asked the twins where they’d been. Ollie was too busy bun-munching above the bunch to hear; but Colin said that after the fighting finished they noticed a rich bun seam had been exposed by all the disruption, so they’d straightaway started bun-mining to feed the hungry survivors. He handed me a freshly mined rough-cut bun.

I laughed and thanked him, before biting into a bun that tasted just as delicious as those I’d eaten in Bunbury.

As I savoured the taste, and memories of Ozyssey evoked, I thought how Bunbury and Bri’s bane were on different sides of Oz, but would be quite close together in a dictionary. I thought there must be a lesson there somewhere, but was too busy bun-munching to brainwave.

       Web Site: Greenygrey

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