The Goose Chase Begins


7/9/20232 min read

For a moment, Fitt and I just stood there, frozen in the heart of the bustling bar, staring blankly at the discarded keychain. Reality was catching up fast, and as it did, our hangovers were rapidly replaced by a sense of urgency.

"Dude, we gotta chase him down!" Fitt blurted out, snapping out of our trance. He picked up the keychain gingerly, as if it were some relic of immense value. It was, in a way.

Navigating the winding streets of this alien town, we raced in the direction the bearded man had disappeared to, fueled by adrenaline and the desperate need to reclaim our ship.

The town was a sprawling maze of stucco buildings and haphazardly placed markets, and the locals moved in a dizzying, chaotic ballet. To add to the confusion, the bearded thief seemed to be surprisingly adept at covering his tracks. It was almost as if he'd vanished into thin air.

Fitt and I bickered over directions, each turn resulting in another argument. Left, right, forward, back – every decision only seemed to plunge us deeper into this labyrinth of frustration. But, beneath the arguments and the urgency, there was a strange sort of camaraderie building. We were in this mess together.

After what felt like hours of fruitless search, we stumbled into a clearing filled with a riot of colors. It was a local festival in full swing. Music filled the air, punctuated by laughter and the cheerful hum of conversation. Puppets danced, food vendors called out their fares, and performers painted their bodies with vibrant hues.

And in the heart of this beautiful chaos, we spotted him – our bearded thief, swaying to the beat of the music, blissfully unaware of our presence.

Fitt and I locked eyes, a wordless plan forming. Slowly, we began to weave our way through the crowd, eyes fixed on the man. Fitt, with his infectious charm, started blending into the festivities. He drew attention to himself, dancing, clapping, joining the performers. As the crowd cheered him on, all eyes were on him, and that’s when I made my move.

I was almost there, within arm’s length of the thief, when a grotesque, reptilian creature suddenly blocked my path. Standing on hind legs, it was draped in colorful cloth, its jaws opening and closing mechanically. It was a puppet, part of the festival entertainment, controlled by several performers. The crowd roared in approval as the puppet stomped and twirled.

Cursing under my breath, I tried to sidestep the puppet, but it mirrored my every move, its gaping mouth snapping at me playfully, the crowd roaring with laughter at my predicament.

Fitt, catching sight of the situation, attempted to draw the puppet away. But in his enthusiasm, he bumped into a tray of paints. The contents went flying, splattering the puppet, the puppeteers, and half the crowd in a riot of colors. The festival music skipped a beat, then descended into chaos.

In the ensuing pandemonium, I lost sight of our thief.

Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse, Fitt, now standing beside me, covered in multiple shades of paint, picked up the remote and pressed the alarm button in desperation. The faint beep echoed around us, coming from the very outskirts of the town.

"Dude..." Fitt looked at me, alarm evident in his eyes. "Our ship is moving."