Heights never really bothered me, being a tall guy myself. But hanging upside down from a lighthouse does induce a teensy bit of crap-my-pants fear. It wasn’t of my own volition, of course. I’m not that enthusiastic about adventure, even though I could use some as opposed to the drab of my village – “some” being the operative word here. I had an unexplainable hankering for ice cream though. Being upside down gives you that feeling, I discovered freshly.
‘Hold on, Dark Lord!’, the red-headed giant yelled, who at this moment is the one in possession of my leg and, consequently, my life. His name was Thrabador. I got to that conclusion a few minutes earlier, when he disturbed my daily siesta here while announcing, ‘Here I be, Thrabador, the mightiest of the Gondars and Lord of Istafa. Here I be, to reclaim the Gauntlet of the Flint Empire and conquer the mortal realm for Istafa, to end the Dark Lord’s tyranny. I will end you, Dark Lord.’ My first thought at that moment was, ‘Is it okay to call someone the Dark Lord nowadays?’ My immediate, more appropriate, second thought was, ‘Aaaaaah’. I started running haphazardly when he readied himself to strike with the twin swords he was wielding. That’s where I tripped over the cables and was almost over the edge when Thrabador caught me.
‘Hold on, Dark Lord! You cannot die before I kill you! That’s not what was prophesized. You’re doing it wrong!’
He pulled me back up and held me aloft with one hand and drew one of the swords to my neck. ‘You are too puny to be the Dark Lord and you smell nice. Dark Lords don’t smell nice. Nevertheless, I will end your evil reign.’ he raised the sword.
‘Wait! Wait, Mr. Thrab, I’m not the lord of anything. I’m Bondu. Just your regular not-a-lord Bondu.’, I started squeaking for my life.
‘You’re not the Dark Lord? The bearer of dark days? The soulless destroyer? But this is the Dark Tower, isn’t it?’
‘Um, this is a lighthouse, that’s like, totally opposite of a dark tower. I think you might be having some visions. What do you remember last?’
‘I was chasing the Ruffians in the forest over there and one of their sorcerers put a spell on me. When I awoke I headed to the tower I remembered the Ruffians were leading me towards.’
‘Oh! You were frozen in time! For what you described sounds like ages ago. No Dark Lord here.’
‘But I was Istafa’s last hope! That would mean the Dark Lord has succeeded in his nefariousness. My existence has been worthless. The world has ended.’
Thrabador sulked, his brooding figure a distant shadow of the murderous giant that wanted to annihilate me. I softened my stance, as if there was a stance to be softened, and sidled upto him.
‘Listen, I guess the world was saved somehow. We’re still here. And we have ice cream. It’s like, the best ’
‘The best what?’
‘Just is. It’s sweet, cold and full of joy. Let’s go have some. Okay?’
‘I can’t assess if this is one of your nefarious schemes or not. But this ice cream you speak of sounds good.’
‘You’ll love it.’
So that’s when we decided to go for ice cream, descending down the spiral steps with my new red-headed giant friend Thrabador, the mightiest of the Gondars and Lord of Istafa and me behind him, for I was still not convinced that he won’ t try to separate my head from my body.