The cabin – next to the library and under the salon – creaked shipishly. The party sat around a wisp wood table. It was a rather poor table as it floated above their heads and was wholly unusable and out of reach. The bakawk was nesting on it quite happily mind you. Reza looked at Felix with her huge zircon eyes.
“My Queen, I…”
“Reza!” Reza insisted.
“Reza. I am honoured that you wish to accompany us on our journey.” Felix said.
She smiled broadly.
“Felix, you can’t mean to bring her with us. She may be the Queen but she’s only a child” Dojima said. “Who knows what could happen to her?”
Responsibility cracked his/her knuckles loudly.
“Wow!” Jack said. “Didn’t that hurt?”
“I’m sure she knew of the dangers when she sneaked aboard the ship.” Siphokazi said glancing up from her book. “Furthermore, I doubt she will come to any harm, Responsibility appears capable in that regard.”
Responsibility cracked Jack’s knuckles loudly.
“NUAARGH!” Jack shrieked.
“Then it’s settled.” Felix said. The learner captain’s voice played through the speaking tubes.
“LAND BRO!”he bellowed.
“No. No. It’s LAND HO. I’m afraid that’ll count against you.” the instructor said.
Dats Les Loco was a place you heard before you saw it. And, it was a sound you felt before you heard it. The music was so much a part of the place that the doctors measured their patients heartbeats not in beats per minute but beats per bar. The crew and passengers of the Queen’s Own Galleon felt it in the rippling of the wind as they entered the port. They heard it in the voices of the people greeting them. “Yooshidnoubainau!” they called.
Brief History Lesson:
A famous Molish sailor named SnrGnrsh attempted to be the first Molish to circumnavigate the Gnome Archipelago. She started at Brow Island and headed south towards Nose Island. Her voyage was challenging and daunting but she was unperturbed. After many ocean-stained moons she arrived at Dats Les Loco. She asked the Dats Les Locons where she was and they replied: Dats Les Loco. She was so keen to complete her journey that she left Dats Les Loco without stopping for refreshment. She headed north to Hat Island with great speed and haste. However, Hat Island’s Magix was inhospitable and treacherous and spat her back out. She arrived back at Dats Les Loco in a bewildered and windswept state. She asked them where she was and they replied Dats Les Loco. Once again she headed north without rest and once again she was got lost and ended up back at Dats Les Loco. The original port was constructed because she kept coming back and damaging the coral reefs with her anchor. After many reunions with the Dats Les Locons they began to shout “You should know by now!” whenever her boat returned. It has since become the quintessential greeting of Dats Les Loco.
“Yooshidnoubainau!” greeted a man with an umbrella sized hat and a face well-creased from smiling. “Nem’z Dizzy Lion, you good?” he said.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Dizzy Lion. Nem’z Felix and I’m quite well.” Felix called from the boat. “We’ll be down in a second. The Captain just has to do his parallel park.”
“Shoes on the side please please, friends.” Dizzy Lion said pointing to a vast stack of shoes at the entrance to the village.
“Do you have many visitors?” Siphokazi asked, as she took off and placed her shoes alongside the pile.
“No people tend not to leave.” Dizzy Lion laughed. He walked onto the sand and beckoned them. They saw, felt and heard it when their bare feet touched the sand. The music seemed to have always been there. It was as if they had only just started listening.
“What’s this lovely sound I hear.” Jack said.
“Dats Les Loco sound you hear.” Dizzy Lion replied.
“Speaking pattern, changed I fear.” Siphokazi noted.
“Body’s shaking, oh, my ear!” Dojima said.
“Do not worry, dance and cheer.”
At those words, everyone started dancing. It was like nothing they had ever done. It was as involuntary as breathing. They danced after Dizzy Lion who led them to his establishment: “Dizzy’s Oasis” The building had a thatch roof held up by tree trunks. The tables were large chunks of jumboom cut into table-sized pucks. The bar was another such puck that was hollowed out for Dizzy Lion and his brews.
“What I get you, maybe tea?”
“What sort flavour in these parts?” Jack asked.
“Sandy Tea, Special Tea, Golden Tea from the Sea, Home-made Tea, Dancing Tea, Dizzy Tea made by me, Chilling Tea, Chilled-out Tea, Par Tea, that one’s free, Rooibos Tea, Taste Tea, w’ever you want it will be.”
Dizzy brought them their teas of choice and they sat and danced together at the tables. He stopped at Responsibility.
“What I get you, armoured friend?”
“And you ever so blue one?”
“Rooibos tee sal lekker wees.” Reza said.
“Right away my friendly friends.” Dizzy said. “Where you going, after here?”
“To Hat Island, over there.”
“Cold cold place this time of year.”
“Rhyme convergence it appears.” Siphokazi noted.
“What is it like living here?” Jack asked.
Dizzy cleared his throat and sipped some Dizzy Tea.
Note: To be sung to Costa Del Sol – Nobuo Uematsu.
“Let me sing you history
Dats Les Loco’s on the beach
We belong eternally
Your feet touch here, you’re free free
Many people come from strife
Here they start a new new life
Shoes abandoned at the door
We welcome all the rich, poor
No matter the background yours
dance forever evermore
and more and more and more and more and more and more”
Several other Dats Les Locons, all barefoot, danced in and joined in the song. The party joined too. They sang the Dats Les Locon anthem for who-knows-how-long. Responsibility hummed along, he/she couldn’t quite get the words.
The party left Dizzy’s Oasis and danced down to the center of the village. The dancing crowds were made up of everyone. There were young, old, plants, animals, friends and enemies all dancing together. As they neared the center the urge to dance became ever stronger. The crowds grew denser and more jovial as they approached a figure at the center of the festivities. It appeared to be the source of the music. Somehow a whole host of sounds was coming from this solo musician. At this range it would have been impossible to resist dancing. They were listening with their hearts now because their ears were on vacation in auditory heaven. They had become instruments of the music. But then a flash caught Felix’s eye. The figure had been playing a ukulele but in a flash it had transformed into a djembe. The ability to change shape: that was the power of Valiant’s mighty weapon, Vis.
Who could this mysterious musician be???