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Ermingard and Katrina vs. Vikings

by on September 26, 2012

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had just set off on a glorious new quest to find Mlrning, the Shovel of Thor, and rescue her true love Perry from the clutches of Utgarda-Loki, who keeps getting confused with the other Loki, and is irritated by this to no end. Meanwhile, Ermingard and Katrina were off on their own adventures….

“Okay,” Katrina said. “Here’s the plan. We’ll sail around on the Discourteous Shark until a band of ninjas attacks us. Then we’ll steal a time-travel device from the ninjas, and go back to the 12th century to track down the villainous Dr. What and protect Catrina’s kingdom. Although why I’d want to do that, I’m not sure, because, like, I’m a villain too. Whatevs.”

“I knew all that,” Ermingard sighed. “And you didn’t need to exposit that to the readers, they could figure it out just by reading the last episode but two. These stories need an editor.”

“These stories need ninjas,” Katrina retorted. “We’ve been sailing  for days. No ninjas. Not even ninja turtles. All I’ve seen so far is a cow pooping in the river. And may I say, ew.”

“And just whose clever idea was it to make a boat out of Winnie-the-Pooh floaties and go sailing off for ninjas in the first place?” Ermingard asked frostily.

Katrina didn’t bother to answer; she only gave a huffy sort of sniff and turned to scan the river, in hopes that a ninja might suddenly appear. She would even have been grateful for a mysterious ship inconceivably piloted by a man in black. But, alas, no ship materialized round the riverbend, and no ninjas either. Katrina was beginning to think her brilliant plan hadn’t been so brilliant. “Maybe it’s because it’s daytime?” she ventured hopefully. “Ninjas only work at night, right? Of course right. So maybe they’ll come after dark!”

For the hundredth time, Ermingard asked herself why she was on this pleasure cruise. All she wanted to do was find a quiet place and work on a sad nautical ballad about a lost crew of a tragically sunken ship. She had no interest whatever in staying up half the night to wait for ninjas she was pretty sure weren’t going to show.  She was just about to express this to Katrina when a wooden mallet whomped her in the back of the head, sending off her into happy dreams of pink elephants in cowboy boots and tutus before she had time to be surprised at this unexpected development.

Katrina saw Ermingard collapse into a pile and instantly whipped out her Sporksaber. “Ah-ha!” she cried, as the electric hum of green lolzmic energy filled the air. “Ninjas! Yay!” But her yay was premature. Instead of ninjas, what appeared to be storming towards her in a small flotilla of boats was a roaring band of savage Norsemen waving battle-axes and shouting in Danish. “Vikings?” Katrina exclaimed in shock. “But…you’re not ninjas!”

They weren’t. Ninjas would’ve been much more stealthy. It is also unlikely that one of the ninjas would’ve launched a spear into the boat, puncturing right through one of the Poohs and causing an alarming hiss as air rushed out. The Discourteous Shark began to tip to one side, and Katrina realized that she was in a bit of trouble. Vikings sailing towards her, her boat on the verge of capsizing, Ermingard clean unconscious….”Crap!” Katrina said. “This isn’t how the story’s, like, supposed to end!” Then she flourished her Sporksaber. “Oh well. If we die, we die with sporks!” Whereupon she flung herself towards the Vikings, yelling a fearsome war cry, or something as close to it as she could muster. Unfortunately she flung herself a bit short, and splashed into the river. Katrina failed about wildly, having never learned to swim, and by great good luck one hand closed upon the side of a boat. It wasn’t the Discourteous Shark, though; it was, in fact, one of the Viking boats. Katrina smiled fiercely, swung herself over the side, and tore into the Vikings, her Sporksaber slashing like mad. She wasn’t quite as good a swords-person as Catrina, though, as she hadn’t practiced nearly as long, and so it was only about five minutes before another wooden mallet thwacked into the back of her head, and she dropped off into a lovely dream about musical manatees.

When Katrina opened her eyes again, she was tied to a wooden post. So was Ermingard. They appeared to be in an underground chamber of some sort, which had a large metal cauldron in the center. A fire crackled happily under the cauldron, and steam rose from inside. The Vikings gathered gloweringly about it, chanting an ominous Danish chant. Katrina had a very bad feeling. “Ermingard!” she hissed sharply. “I think they’re cannibals! Viking cannibals! They’re going to eat us!” she clarified, in case Ermingard didn’t know what cannibals actually did.

“No they won’t,” Ermingard said skeptically. “People don’t do that in this modern age. Or so I would imagine.”

“Yes, they will,” came a new voice, sad and weary. Twisting their heads around, Ermingard and Katrina saw that there was a third post off to their left, and to it was tied…a penguin. “I am Lord Reginald of Pirtle, once the greatest penguin house in the land. Alas, House Pirtle fell upon dark times. I and my butler, Benjamin, were captured by yon foul fiends only a fortnight ago. When I refused to reveal the location of my family’s hidden treasure, they…well…they served my butler for lunch. It was a tragedy.”

“I’m sorry,” said Katrina in a voice that sounded like she was trying to restrain a giggle, “but you’re a penguin aristocrat? A talking penguin aristocrat? And…they ate your butler? The Vikings ate your penguin butler?”

“Actually my butler was a turtle. He had worked for a family of dolphins before he entered my employ; but the dolphins turned to evil and he felt he could no longer serve immoral porpoises.”

Katrina would’ve facepalmed if she hadn’t been tied up. Given that sad reality, she decided not to ask anything else about Lord Reginald’s tragic history. Instead, she ventured a more pertinent question. “You don’t happen to have an idea of how to get out here, do you?”

“No one escapes the cannibal Vikings,” Lord Reginald said drearily.

“You sound totally like Ermingard.”

“He does, come to think of it,” Ermingard said. “Excuse me, Lord Reginald, but I don’t suppose you’re a writer by any chance, are you? I’ve penned a few ballads myself, and I thought-”

But before they could explore the delightful avenues of emo literary criticism, the Vikings finished their ominous chanting, and fell silent. One of them, whom Ermingard and Katrina took to be the leader mainly because he had a bigger battle-ax than anyone else, raised said ax and waved it at the captives. He boomed something in Danish. Ermingard had only studied a bit of Danish; Perry was the character with the language skills, not her. But she made out his meaning well enough. It was lunchtime.

Will our heroines ever escape? Or will they meet the same sad fate as Lord Reginald of Pirtle’s turtle butler? We’ll find out in the next episode of the Catrina Chronicles, coming soon! In the meantime, you can read past episodes by clicking here. You can also find a novel about Catrina that does not have aristocratic penguins but does have space hamsters by going here. Thanks for reading!

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2 Comments
  1. Entertaining segment. (Well it’s all entertaining until someone gets eaten :))

    Chuckled at this: “felt he could no longer serve immoral porpoises.” nice!

    • “It’s all entertaining until someone gets eaten.” That is so true. I think I want that on a bumper sticker. 🙂

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