Randy Land Ch. 04byFlowsnake©
Off the Path
The twins slept long and awoke refreshed. Miss Jollies had already prepared breakfast and was scribbling on their map. "Good morning, my dears. Eat up! Now I have penciled in some hazards you should be aware of. It is late in the season so some of the ice ridges melt and come tumbling down. Best for you not to be under them when it happens. So I suggest you skirt the mountain tight to the left and come down the slope just here." She pointed to a spot near the trail. "Then pick up the path once you have cleared the mountain."
The twins finished eating and looked at Miss Jollies awkwardly. They felt they had behaved most crudely towards her. She winked and hugged them both. "You are almost clear of the mountain pass; you did most of it yesterday. You should be clear of the Gumdrop Mountain Range by lunchtime and on your way to... wherever it is you're going." She handed each of them a tote bag with the words "Gumdrop Mountain Welcome Center" emblazoned across the side. Sue dropped Mister Cane's cane into her tote and slung it over her shoulder.
Billy and Sue left by the front door and went down the ramp. Miss Jollies waved goodbye, calling to them to come back any time. Then they were back on the trail and walking between giant drifts of snow.
In a couple of hours they came to the place on the map where Miss Jollies had recommended they leave the trail to skirt around the melting snow ridges. Just as they were debating whether to follow her advice, the twins heard an ear-splitting crack. Moments later the ground trembled from an impact. Sue shrieked and Billy yelped aloud; they clutched each other for support.
When the shock of the avalanche had passed the twins left the trail and hugged tight against the slope of the mountain. The deeper snow was uncomfortable and wet, though not as cold as Billy expected. Nevertheless, the twins were soon chilled and desperate to get off the snowy pass.
The sun was nearing its zenith when the slope grew less steep and they could see flat plains on the horizon. Far off the twins saw where the trail emerged from Gumdrop Mountain Pass and they started to move towards it. But as they walked something curious happened. The firm ground beneath their feet grew jiggly. The more they walked, the more the ground swayed. Another step and Billy's foot pierced the surface and was absorbed by the sticky ground.
He tried to remove his leg and step back but Billy was well and truly stuck. Sue grasped him under the armpits and heaved. After a few tries his foot came clear with a congested slurp of melted gelatin.
Billy shook his leg to remove the icky reside but it clung stubbornly. "Great," Billy said in disgust. "We can't go this way, that's for sure." The twins tested the ground in all directions and found that only the southwest slope was firm. So they went that way, hoping to clear the muck and rejoin the path.
As they walked, the air grew warmer and drier. The chill left their bodies. Around them were drifts of sparkling sand. At least it seemed to be sand, but it shone with a translucence that ordinary sand did not have. On a whim, Billy scooped some up and tasted it with his tongue tip.
"Sugar!" he said in surprise. "Or more like crystallized gumdrop residue. Must be runoff from the Gumdrop Mountain Range."
At any rate the twins were now walking in a desert and were soon glad for having their clothing soaked through earlier. It acted as a swamp cooler, buffering them from the intense, arid heat around them.
Billy took off his damp sweater vest and wrapped it around his head. Sue dug around in her tote back and was grateful to find a jumbo plastic bottle full of water. "Gumdrop Gulp, indeed" said Sue wryly, reading the side of the bottle. She took a gulp and the pair kept walking.
Only now they were turned around. The sun was directly overhead and their footsteps were quickly swallowed by the sinking sugar. They walked in the direction they thought they had been going, but they were off by a step or two. Those two steps became four, then eight, and soon the twins were walking in another direction altogether. That's when Sue spied the creatures.
Small at first, flapping their leathery wings against the sun, the creatures circled lazily in the sky. But then they stopped circling and hung still. "Oh, no!" Sue exclaimed. "We are near that awful looking black castle! We must have gotten quite turned around!" Sue took a sharp turn to the right and started walking north when she realized that the creatures were not hovering still in the air. They were growing larger and larger with alarming rapidity.
"Run, Billy!" Sue cried as she leaped forward and started to run. It was no use. Behind them the twins heard leathery rasps and then they were knocked to the ground. Over their heads swooped massive, cruel bat creatures with wingspans the size of small buses. Billy was caught up by one around his shoulders and lifted into the air. Sue was likewise caught, writhing in vain and almost losing her tote bag.
The twins were carried high aloft. The ground spiraled away and they saw wondrous lollipop forests and cotton candy hillsides. The Randy Palace gleamed in the distance. Sue spied a caravan of covered wagons to the north, inching their way through the sugar sands towards the palace. Looking to the south, with a pang of longing Sue recognized the Gingerplum Orchard. Fluffa must be there even now. Could he see her?
Soon they descended towards a most evil looking place. Its black towers gleamed in the afternoon sun like burnished obsidian, curving menacingly into the air. Atop each were domes of rose-tinted copper. The tip of each featured a cruel twist. A massive archway, painted blood red, covered a door set into the facade.
But the twins did not enter the castle this way. The bats flew to an arched window high above the ground. It was wide enough to accommodate their broad wings. The bats dumped the twins unceremoniously onto the stone floor, which was covered by a thick layer of straw. Then the creatures wheeled and rushed past the twins, out the window, to flit around in the sky and continue their patrol.
Before the twins could properly get their bearings a heavy door opened and two guards walked in. They were shirtless, with criss-crossed chest bands of studded leather. Their bulging muscles were oiled. One carried a whip, which he cracked menacingly while the other pushed Billy into the wall and strapped his wrists to iron rings set deep into the stone. Sue was pushed face first onto a leather pommel horse and likewise strapped. The guard cinched the leather around her wrists then buckled them tight.
As soon as the guards left, a foppish dandy strode in. He was clad primarily in skintight leather which was the color of black plum. Patent leather gauntlets and greaves of cherry red protected his forearms and shins. His shoulder armor was also red and striped with dark streaks; curved spikes protruded from each shoulder. A chest plate of burnished leather protected his broad, muscled torso. Cherry red spats with jangly laces dominated his leather shoes. A similar flourish accented the man's hat, which nearly consumed his entire head. Made of dark plum leather, its jaunty brim swooped in a wide arc above his well coiffed, dark red hair.
There was something elfin about the man. His ears and nose were dramatically pointed and his foot-long beard spiraled like a unicorn horn from his chin. The laconic slant of his eyes and his cheerful smile belied a cruel streak lurking beneath the surface. His warm brown eyes sparkled, projecting a mask of innocence.
He grasped a wicked cane which spiraled into a point. It flexed against the ground as he leaned on it; it seemed like more of a riding crop or a whip. With a dramatic flourish the man swept back his cape, which was actually a curtain of braided whips, then tipped his hat.
"I am Lord Lickerish," he intoned drolly. "I would ask you to sit, but... you seem tied up at the moment."
Lord Lickerish moved around, taking in the twins. He gripped Billy's chin and peered at him passively. Lord Lickerish stared long into the deep blue depths of Billy's eyes, seeking something which he did not find.
He tweaked Billy's face aside in disgust and then dug through his Welcome Center tote bag. "Oh, you've visited the welcome center. How very pedestrian of you. Well, let's have a look. A water bottle, good... a map, naturally. What is this light reading here? " He pulled out a paperback with a doe eyed blonde on the cover in a lacy bra holding a lollipop. The title 'Candy' ran above her in psychedelic pink letters. Lord Lickerish sighed and then pulled out some oddly shimmering gumdrops. "Best be careful with these, you dreadful boy."
Finally, Lord Lickerish reached deep into the tote bag and withdrew a conjoined pair of massive gumdrops which were shaped precisely like breasts. Life sized, in fact. Capped by gummy nipples, a deep channel of cleavage ran between the gently giggling globes. A note tied to them, scrawled in Miss Jollies' meandering hand, read "Something from the gift shop for when you get lonely."
"How positively boorish," Lord Lickerish sneered. "And you dress like a poster boy for the five and dime." He untied his cape, hung it from a hook in the wall, and went over to Sue. "Your sister, on the other hand..."
Sue was face down and straddling the leather pommel horse. Its slightly acrid tang filled her nostrils. Her wrists were bound on each side but her legs were free. Her red skirt draped on either side, just meeting her knee socks. The strap of her bra bulged against the thin cotton of her blouse.
Lord Lickerish ran his hand over Sue's back, then down the curve of her spine and across her bottom. He leaned in close, so close she could feel his breath on the back of her neck. It smelled faintly of cinnamon. His pointy beard tickled her cheek as he whispered into her ear. The sound caused goosebumps across her back. "You are a delight. I'm going to have my way with you."
Lord Lickerish eased his crop under the hem of Sue's skirt. He lifted it high and peered at the secret flesh underneath. Then he flipped the skirt across Sue's back and pulled her panties down to her knees. Lord Lickerish ran a gloved fingertip across Sue's exposed pussy lips then snapped the riding crop down hard on her bare buttocks. She cried out in surprise and pain.
"Stop it!" Billy yelled as he struggled against his straps. "She doesn't like that!"
"How does she know if she's never tried it?" Lord Lickerish asked. He whipped her ass a few more times with stinging spanks and then caressed her cheeks lovingly. "There there. The pain will be gone in a few days."
"You are such a prick!" Billy spat at him. Lord Lickerish drew himself up fully and squared off against Billy.
"A prick, you say? My boy, I am all prick. I have one, naturally. I also have this," he indicated his riding crop with its bulbous head, "which has filled in more than once." My fingers are like ten little pricks." Lord Lickerish wriggled his fingers in Billy's face. "And have you seen my nose? Well, let's just say it suffices. Why even my beard is a prick if I use the right pomade."
Lord Lickerish leaned in close to Billy, staring at him with menace. "And if you don't watch your tone, I shall use each and every one of them on your sister while you watch." Billy's eyes grew wide. "Or better yet, I shall use them on you while your sister watches."
Lord Lickerish stood and came to a decision. "Your arrival caught me off guard and I haven't properly prepared. I must see what rooms we have available. Excuse me." He peered into Sue's teary eyes and smiled. "Fear not, my sweet. I shall return in a wink!"
He strode from the room and slammed the door behind him. The twins heard a lock clicking into place and then heard his footsteps recede.
"Oh, Sue... oh Sue, I'm so sorry! I don't know what we are going to do!" Billy was utterly grim as he surveyed their situation. Both of them tied up, and locked in a room whose only window led to a stories-high drop to the ground. Fifty, maybe sixty feet? Even if they did get down, they were in a desert, in broad daylight, with prowling bat sentries. Through his angst Billy saw that Sue was attempting a solution. She had worked her legs both on the same side of the pommel horse and was using her foot to release the restraint from her wrist.
It was working, too, right until the moment that a shriek erupted above their heads. Twittering angrily, three of the leathery bat creatures batted at her face with their wings until Sue stopped touching the wrist strap. These were smaller than the creatures who had born them here, juveniles perhaps, but no less nasty. When she tried again they swooped on her, raking her with their claws and causing welts of blood to appear across her back.
Sue screamed and stopped working at her restraint. She huddled against the pommel horse and sobbed. The bats retreated to their perches while Sue tried to assess the damage to her back. "It doesn't look too bad from here, Sue." Billy tried to sound more encouraging than he felt.
Then Sue spied something and was inspired. "It just might work," she thought to herself. Quietly, slowly, Sue inched out her foot until it curled around the handle of her tote bag. She dragged it towards her, inch by inch, stopping whenever a curious bat flew near. Finally the tote was right below her face. Peeking lewdly from the top of the sack was the tip of Mister Cane's whistle. Sue gripped it in her hand and slid it out of the bag. She raised it upward until she could wrap her lips around the head. When she was all set Sue blew sharply on the whistle. The sound echoed off the stone floor and around the chamber. Sue tossed her head to and fro, whistling loudly and sharply. The bats could not pinpoint the source of the sound. They flew frantically about while Sue whistled.
And then the birds came. They chirped merrily at first, flying in pairs, then an entire flock poured in. The birds became angry at the bats and started pecking at them, driving the bats from the chamber. Sue continued to whistle, a merry tune this time, as she worked at her restraint. She finally got it free.
From there it was quick work to free the other wrist and then unbind her brother. Sue continued to play while Billy looked around the chamber for something to use to get out. He spied Lord Lickerish's cape hanging on the wall and snapped his fingers. "That's it!" Billy said as he started unmaking the garment. He separated each whip into an individual rope and tied them together end to end. Before too long Billy had a makeshift rope of about seventy feet. He tied it around the leg of the pommel horse and then tossed it out of the arched window to the ground. Only it didn't quite reach the ground.
"We're gonna have to jump at the bottom!" Billy said with trepidation. "Let's hope that sugar sand is soft!" Billy slung his tote bag and Sue's over his shoulder and shimmied down the rope. Sue followed close after, whistling and tooting with all of her breath to keep the birds nearby.
When Billy reached the bottom of the rope he clung to it and then let go. Billy watched the ground rush to meet his feet. To his relief the sugar sand was quite forgiving and he landed without incident.
His drop caused the rope to spring and sway, which tossed Sue around. She dropped the flute and then fell. Billy caught it and started blowing while Sue landed. One of the whips from Lord Lickerish's cape came free and fell into the sand. Billy picked it up and then took Sue's hand.
The twins ran south, guarded by a flock of jealous birds who pecked at any creature who came near. The bat sentries finally gave up and let the twins go. It wasn't long before they caught up to a caravan of traders in covered wagons who had stopped at the sound of the whistling. The twins poured themselves and their tote bags into the back of a wagon and the train set off across the sands.