What ho, my aimless bounding quadrupeds! Cease all of your useless gabbling and gallivanting instanter and, pray, attend me. It is I, Asperitus, the bard of bafflement, bewilderment, bamboozling and befuddlement, with just a dash of balderdash thrown in for good measure. It is the month of awful August and I have prognosticative thingies to deliver, of a vile and bitter sort, let me add! Here is the cup! Now drink the dread draught!
Last time we left, you were in both a parlous and a joyous state. Inheriting money rescued you from poverty but saw you skittled by an ambulance, which act, in turn, led to you're being flown into the land of Thrace, and the Black Hills thereof, all of which was the accomplishment of the mission upon which you had set out! Very Tao! Who knows what is good or bad, eh, my graceless cretins? Certainly not you!
You were set upon a journey to the land of Thrace in order to find the lost congregation of the god Gobhole, an elder deity whose worship you had taken to your maidenly bosom, due to general disaffection with the world at large. Now, before I lose the thread and my mind as well, we shall describe the cosmic phenomena set to assail you. First cab off the rank is mischievous Mercury as he slips the pointy end into lackwit Leo. Thus do you set out with your lunatic Thracian blood brother towards the ruins of Abdera, an ancient centre of commerce and religion. There is a great deal of wild talk, low humour and exhausting leg work, especially difficult for you as you're recovering from being run down by a beer truck and being flown by a pilot high on hairspray and bone enemas. Certes, there are better things in life that one can do, but few more bizarre than these more recent accomplishments in your imbecilic life. As the great Sol Invicti rogers the living daylights out of cranky Chiron, you find you chat away as you head for the hills, entirely unaware of what you're talking about as your companion speaks only Thracian now and you speak only nonsense.
But what's this? By my sainted aunt, it's marauding Mars, grunting and groping as he steams into nitwit Gemini. Your companion performs a series of highly acrobatic and sexually suggestive actions as he trots along the road. As jolly Jupiter moves forward in your sign, you drink too much, eat too much, talk too much and laugh even louder and more idiotically than usual. Egad, little loonies! It's as if a strange and seductive force has possessed you. You stop for a moment, gazing into the distance where the Black Hills loom and glower, drawing you forward with a kind of mystic glamour. But every road has its twists and turns and hidden bends, and so it is you come to a bend in the road on this journey of yours. From the bowels of a nearby rocky canyon comes a peal of hideous laughter, transfixing you while your boon companion disappears round a turning up ahead. Odds bodkins, little types! What can be happening?
As vamping Venus clutters up the sign of lackwit Leo with her sleazy presence, an ancient female appears from behind a rocky outcrop. As mischievous Mercury then runs it up the flagpole for cranky Chiron, the hag tells you she is a fortune-teller, serving only the great god Gobhole and the ancient Thracian way. Egad! Right on the button for the Gobhole seeker, one would think! As the New Moon comes in the lackwit sign of the Lion, she offers to tell your fortune, as you clearly are a true believer. Entranced, you sit atop a rock and wait for the pearls of wisdom to fall from her grizzled lips.
'We've met before,' she croaks at you, 'but that was in another life when Gobhole still ruled the hearts of men'. You beg her to foretell. She does.
'You are a true seeker but you will be stuck down and for seven days you will wander naked and friendless whilst in a state of confusion'. So speaks the hag. You're just about to ask whether this is a metaphoric reading or a literal one when she takes out a small club, knocks you unconscious, strips your clothing, takes your money and then disappears into the canyon while you wander aimlessly on the road, friendless and nude, just as she predicted. There, you see! Fortune-telling does work, occasionally.
Seven days pass, also as predicted, while ghastly planets too hideous to name fart in nasty aspects too tedious to recount. Suffice it to say that, during this time, you wander alone but eventually reach a small village. There, locals hurl nuts at you and flick you with rough and primitive towelling. Eventually, on the seventh day, you are arrested for public nudity by the local constable, as the great Sol Invicti rolls and clatters into vexatious Virgo. As there isn't actually a jail cell and the constable is also the local tailor, the officious creature sews you to his work bench. By day, he chatters constantly about the laws of Thrace, in particular those violations related to donkey theft, adultery and the poisoning of wells. By night, he departs, leaving you to thrash against stitches that would stop a charging donkey, a description he himself has volunteered, largely due to what increasingly appears to be a grim obsession with the equus asinus. Soon, he makes meaningful references to the ritual sacrifice of the donkey god, celebrated annually in the village as the season of Spring approaches. He permits the locals to enter his tailor's shop, for a small fee, and proceeds to put false donkey ears on your head, a tail on your behind and, with a briskly applied needle, encourages you to 'heehaw', a performance that regularly elicits much joy and approval from the audience, as it should.
What does this portend, my silly sods? Myself, I think it's clear enough for even you to grasp. Thus it is that, as a Full Moon brings a Lunar Eclipse in wretched Pisces, you decide to vacate this enforced residence. During the course of a particularly long and vexing lecture on the Thracian punishments for adultery with a donkey, you manage to secrete a scissors about your person (aargh) and thus escape in the night to, once again, set out for the Black Hills and the lost congregation of the great god, Gobhole.
What further perilous adventures will you have along the way? As I'm bored to screaming sobs and overcome with creeping ennui, you'll have to click here next time and see. Toodle pip, my centaur twits!