Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

The Flashing Ogres of Iwishah

Ivory @2011 Karla Fetrow

By Madama Mama

In the wonderful land of Iwishah, where imagination runs wild as there is nothing to stop it; where the tundra tumbles and the reindeer ramble; the dancing spells of the Northern Lights produce magical creatures unseen by televised man.  The tiny fishing village of Chugincrak was no different than any other part of Iwishah, no stranger nor less filled with wanton, wintry whimsies.

Thirty-seven igloos lined neatly the coastal banks, each with a brand new matching set of dog teams, and each with a dazzling display of ice penguins sculpted into their yards. The economy was bustling with the discovery of the dolittle rock.  The dolittle rock got its name because apparently it had very little to do.  It couldn’t be pounded into a metal, shaped into a spear, piled into a chimney or polished into a shine.  It just sat there along the banks of river sliding into the ocean, but because it did so little, its reputation grew.  Anxiously people waited for the brief spring thaw, then came from miles around just to view it.

still water @2011 Karla Fetrow

It wasn’t long before major companies were asking for dolittle rock.  Since the inhabitants of Chugincrak had an abundance of rocks that did little, they opened a warehouse of stationary stones.  Arriving at a profit margin did have its drawbacks.  Now that they were affluent, the village lived by a building code.  Each autumn, the coast line was subdivided into careful plots, and the space for each igloo was calculated for acceptable footage and overhead room.  All snow bricks were measured by a mason for corresponding thickness, color and texture.  Each year, a new theme was decided upon for their ice displays.

The trouble began when they chose the flashing mountain ogre one year for their theme. In the past, the flashing mountain ogre had contributed greatly to the economy.  Their favorite food was the rainbow hued lichen, a dazzling, colorful plant, that, when consumed, produced a great deal of gastric distress that could only be relieved through liberal farting.   While this might sound unpleasant to some, ogres take a great deal of pride in their gastric release abilities, which make them very good politicians.  What was remarkable about the flashing mountain ogre’s consumption of the rainbow hued lichen, however, was not their inflated legislative abilities; there were actually a great many ogres vying for the position; but that their flatulence was rainbow colored.  As soon as a closed session was opened to the public, the gaseous displays leapt into the sky, creating the aurora borealis.

For many years, the main source of income generated from this remarkable ability to pass gas.  Not only did the flashing mountain ogre influence the energy commission, world renowned climbers struggled to the tops of Chugincrak’s peaks to get a rare view of the wild flashing ogre.  This however, was before the village had been billed with the Petition of Proper Conduct for Prosperity. Among the list of improprieties, which included child coddling and foot rests, was the categorization of ogres.  It was determined that the light mountain ogre, whose name was given for its pale color, could technically not be called light as it was several times over the weight limit for cholesterol free ogres.  The species would here after be referred to as the mountain lime ogre.

The light mountain ogres were not at all pleased with being referred to as limeys, and staged a protest.  They invaded the rainbow rich lichen of the flashing mountain ogre, and began flashing the tourists, accompanied by their admittedly rather unpleasant, lime-green flatulence.  The tourists were indignant and petitioned that all ogres should be banned from their designated viewing spots.  “We all have the right to view dolittle rocks without distractions from offensive indigenous species,” they declared, and threatened to boycott Chugincrak as a prime vacation spot if they did not comply.

The villagers were understandably unhappy, but were reluctant to let go of their new-found prosperity.  If gaseous, flashing ogres violated the Rules of Proper Conduct, than they must be outlawed.  Fortunately for the ogres, most of Iwishah remained outside legal jurisdiction, save for a few die-hard in-laws, who promptly filed for moral bankruptcy when they learned that ogres had violated their amendments.  The migrant ogres had only to circulate among the corrupt bachelor’s club for awhile before being directed to the Arena of Adult Entertainment, a highly lucrative business of Inter-galactic proportions.

The proprietor of this illustrious property, was a woman of renown and influence, aide to the articles of the constellations and inner-species rights reformer, Busty C. Cleavage.  At first, Busty was at a loss as to what she should do with 123 flatulent ogres, other than to cut down on her natural gas heating costs, but soon it became apparent that some of her entertainers were developing quite a fondness for ogres.

Busty was a sophisticated woman.  She acknowledged that attractions could be stimulated by a variety of factors, not all of which had been explored by the Endowment of the Arts.  There was really very little that was known about ogres beyond their flashing tundra exposure, which couldn’t be called a very stimulating sight at all.  To make the matter even more puzzling, the most popular ogre didn’t seem to be very well-endowed; in fact, he was the smallest of all the tundra ogres.

Not only was he small, he was short, soft and plump as a pillow.  He had not yet acquired all the bumps, warts, snarls and callous remarks that defined a properly endowed ogre.  She finally called in her consultant, Dancing Delta Dawn, who also seemed to have acquired a strange attachment to this underdeveloped ogre.

“Delta,” Busty began severely, which immediately caused the anorexic dancer to shake uncontrollably and look up with large, tearful eyes.  Busty cleared her throat and softened her tone.  She had forgotten about the sensitivities of artists.  “A very peculiar matter has come to my attention.  Your conduct toward a certain ogre…”

“Ebiskweezi,” filled in Delta readily.

“Ebiskweezi,” Busty amended.  “It could readily be interpreted as a breach of statutes that disapproves of the coddling of children.  That is, Ebiskweezi could be classified as a child, couldn’t he?”

“He is youthful,” admitted Delta.  “He only has two hundred and forty-five years.”

“That would put him in the youthful offender clause, provided of course, we were legally binding, but we are not.  Therefore, coddling is not our concern.  What is our concern is why you have this strange attraction for coddling Ebiskweezi.  Is it a marketable fetish?”

Delta sighed.  “The only way you can understand is to dance with him.”

This answer surprised Busty.  While she had imagined a number of attributes for an attractive ogre, an ability to tango was not one of them.  “That’s not my area of expertise,” she said.  “There must be another way to establish connections.”

Delta assured her there was not.  “It doesn’t have to be a public performance.  If fact, you don’t really even have to participate, just be receptive when he puts out.”

“I think I’ve never had a problem with that,” murmured Busty.  “Does he put out a lot?”

Delta gave her a strange, knowledgeable smile.  “Oh yes, he puts out a lot.”

Busty was just a little nervous, and even a bit excited about her first contact with Ebiskweezi.  She sent Delta off immediately to find her favorite ogre, and rummaged through her files to find the most tantalizing music.  When Delta returned, Busty looked at her new tangling partner with skepticism.  He really was quite pudgy, rather short and a singularly unpleasant shade of green. “How can I tangle with someone half my size?”  She complained.

“Oh no,” corrected Delta.  “You have to cha-cha.”

“One-two, cha-cha-cha,” said Ebiskweezi eagerly, and did a spin.  When he spun, he also produced a soft wave of colorful gas.  As the fumes passed over her, they were not at all repugnant.  In fact, they produced a slight tingle of emotion.  Her foot tapped automatically on the floor, then followed up with the other one, irresistibly followed the ogre’s dancing tune.  “One-two, cha-cha-cha,” she sang, while the ogre bounced and spun, his gas filling the air.  This new emotion inside her soared exuberantly higher and higher.  “What is this I’m feeling?”  She cried.  “Is it categorized in the psychological health index.”

“Maybe not, I don’t know,” said Delta.  “I think you’ll find it under rare emotional disorders.  The ogres call it happy.”

“Happy,” agreed Ebiskweezi, and spun around, his arms held wide.  Busty spun too, and reflected this was exactly the right word to describe how she felt; happy.

It wasn’t long before word spread around about this new found emotion the ogres were able to incite, and soon Busty’s Arena was filled with clients from every planet in the galaxy who wished to feel happy.

dark inlet @2911 Karla Fetrow

In the meantime, the town of Chugincrak was going through a great deal of distress.  With the absence of the ogres, there were no longer borealis displays shimmering over the village in the winter.  They also discovered it had been the ogres who had given the lichen its wonderful, bright colors.  Without their gaseous emissions, the lichen was all a flat, dull gray.  Their village had nothing left of color, only the gray beach, the gray tundra, and the gray flowing head waters of the river flowing across gray, stationary stones in the summer, and a blanket of snow in the winter.  As happens to all novelty items, tourists eventually lost their interest in stationary stones, and the village returned to fishing, without one flash of color or happiness to help them along their way.

One day, the mayor sent a petition to Busty, asking for the return of the ogres.  She placed the petition in front of the orgy commission, which promptly replied they did not wish to let go of their happiness, but being libertarians, they would take the matter up with the flatulent ogres.  The ogres felt they were at liberty to digress.  They’d disperse their happiness throughout the village of Chugincrak, provided they could dance wherever they pleased.  While many chose to remain within Busty’s Arena for Adult Entertainment, a handful agreed to perform for the town.

On a very still night, when the stars palely shone on a dismal landscape covered in sleep, the ogres arrived in Chugincrak behind a dog team of a hundred nine Chihuahuas. They were immediately fined for double parking and taken before the orgy commission.  It took a great deal of paperwork to straighten out that they were ogres not orgy specialists, but eventually the commissioners bent to their will and gave them a platform to stand on.

Their position straightened out, the ogres began to dance.  The air immediately lit up with their gaseous fumes and shimmered across the sky.  The villagers cheered.  At last their dancing lights had returned.  Their feet began to tap, and they bounced around with happiness.   They bounced so much, they jumped right on top of their igloos, their feet still tapping.  They raised out their arms and shouted.  They danced on the hall of Proper Conduct, the house of public relations, the stock market and the warehouses filled with stationary stones.  One by one the structures began to tremble.  One by one, they began to cave, yet still the villagers danced.

“We’re experiencing a housing collapse,” warned the administrator of financial affairs, and the brokers scrambled to salvage the remnants.  Still, the villagers would not stop.

Happy Dance @2011 Karla Fetrow

The warehouses of stationary stones began to creek and groan under the pressure of so much unrestrained happiness.  The rocks began to jiggle.  They began clattering.  Soon the rocks that had done so little for so long, began to roll.  The people who had been cha-chaing suddenly stopped with amazement, then cried out, “look.  It’s time to change our tune.  We’re rocking and rolling.”

This was how rock and roll got started.  The rest is history.  All of Iwishah surrendered to the dance of rock and roll, the little town of Chugincrak regained its shimmering borealis, its tundra filled with brilliant lichen, and became famous as the town that heard the very first music of the rolling stones.  The ogres took up scuba diving, accidentally fumigating some fish, later to be known as rainbow trout.  Delta Dawn and Ebiskweezi continued working for Busty C. Cleavage, teaching anger management classes on the side.  The rules of proper conduct were buried under an avalanche of legal footwork and everyone was happy; except the in-laws.

By karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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One thought on “The Flashing Ogres of Iwishah”
  1. Ogres have always had a bad rap. I remember Busty C. Cleavage and would gladly work with her as a PA 😉 I always wondered why rock and roll songs seem to permeate so many fairy tales. Good to know the origin of that. Happiness? It figures, I’ve rarely been happy and never break out into song or dance. That’s one part of the human species I’ll never understand. Apparently though, other species also break out into song and dance, and it’s quite mind-boggling why they all do that.

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