Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

Old Hand’s Babylonian Voyage-The Escape

Attention! Attention! Tsunami alert! Tsunami alert!

The speakers on the church walls crackled over the dismal howl of sirens.

Dust of crumbled masonry rose from the collapsed reliquary amid screams and prayers for deliverance. I ran into the streets and made for Old Hand. I leaped onto the dock as the engine roared to life above the frenzied tumult of the throng. McWhirr had just cast off the dock lines when a repulsive splog pirate wielding a cutlass grabbed my monkey jacket and said in a malodorous, rasping tone: “Are you sure you want to close your Babylon account?”Awilda

A blast from the ship’s deck sent him sprawling into the rank harbor. McWhirr threw aside his smoking musket and hauled me over the rail before jamming the ship full throttle and steaming for deep water.  A glazzy spam-bot, with wires dangling from her stove-in side, gushed at McWhirr as we bore away from the pier-head: “Look! It’s Gregory Peck! I saw you on MeTube.  Can I have your autograph?”

We headed for open sea just as a group of cyber-ruffians thundered onto the wharf with a volley of deprecatory oaths and small arms fire.


Once clear of musket range, I lifted my head above the rail to inhale the sea air. It lay calm and of a such a limpid sheen that I fell into tranquil revery. It felt as if all the fetid smog of Babylon were dispelled by the sweet Levantine zephyrs that wafted over the sun-dappled main like Mother Gaia’s beneficent caress. I silently offered a prayer for the gentle hand that had rocked the Adamic cradle of mankind. It was as if I quaffed from the verdant spring of the mystic Green One of Araby-that master of masterless souls who wander the globe’s Byzantine seaways seeking the vivifying elixir of immorality.

“Look sharp, Mister Spencer.”

McWhirr’s cautionary words roused me to behold the distant horizon demarcated by an edge of deep ultramarine blue that advanced steadily upon our gallant ship.

“We’re in for some fun and games now.”

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

Old Hand’s Voyage into the Babylonian Heart of Darkness

“Eh shipmate, stand us a pint,” the sleazy drawl of the villainous sploggy reeked at us with an air of imperious command.

McWhirr slowly turned: “Say, do you boys ever ship out on real seas, or are you afraid of getting tar on yer nighties?”

At these words and the atmosphere grew thick with menace.File:Morgan,Henry.jpg

I saw the miscreant clutch tighter the marlin-spike in his beefy fist and hastily interjected:

“My good sirs, may I introduce Saturnius McWhirr?”

At this, the lout grew pale as an albino baluga, saying:

“Pleased to make your acquaintance Captain,” and retreated to his piratical laptop with an obsequious bow.

“Nice Chaps…” said McWhirr, “for a couple of grog-blossomed bottom-feeders. Since we’re stuck in this god-forsaken port shall we splice the main-brace?”

He hailed the barkeep.

Soon, having to pump the bilges, I sought the urinal of the rank Stygian pub and passed a distinguished, bearded gent who sat before an old Underwood typewriter. His gaunt frame seemed mummified in musty, moth-eaten tweeds while his ponderous brows were wreathed in a smokey corona of amber light. On closer inspection, I saw he was merely one of the automated fortune-tellers found in the gaudy theme parks of Babylon. His face was vaguely familiar. On the table front was displayed a sign which read:

The Great Marlowe. Your fortune 25 cents.File:Joseph Conrad 1916.jpg

I dropped a coin into the slot. There was a slight sound from under the table which again halted, began again and increased in speed and volume until the music of bellows and steam pipes sounded over a cacophony of grinding gears like the high registers of Saint Mark’s Cathedral organ. The machine then sputtered to a wheezing halt and ejected a sheet of paper at my feet. I held it up in the murky glow to read:

The horror! The horror!