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By Sarah Hapgood

The following day they weighed anchor from the pincer and set sail in a north-westerly direction around the island. Although the weather was bright and fresh it was obvious, from the cloud formations, that another storm was brewing.

Ransey and Hillyard took advantage of the sunny lull to do some hurried emergency repairs around the ship, and then afterwards sat up on deck for a rest.

“There’s nothing here“, said Ransey, as they scanned the relentlessly barren landscape of the island “We’re wasting our time. It would be a grim place to try and forge an existence from”.

“I’m surprised there are any trees here at all”, said Hillyard “Not that they ever seem to amount to anything”.

Joby came up on deck, sauntering along with his hands tucked behind the bib of his pinny.

“It’s old cheery chops”, said Hillyard “Have you come to overwhelm me with gratitude for fixing the hole in your roof?”

“I haven’t inspected it yet“, said Joby, dourly.

“Kieran has”, said Hillyard “He said we’d done a first-rate job”.

“What would Kieran know about roofs?” Joby exclaimed “He wouldn’t have noticed if the whole thing had caved in on us!”

“Is there any chance of you doing ours before the day is out?” said Julian, appearing from the other direction.

“Can’t it wait 5 minutes?” Ransey snapped.

“No it can’t”, said Julian “Hoowie is not feeling well. He’s got a sore throat”.

Both Ransey and Hillyard broke into a unanimous snigger at this news, but even they were brought to heal by Julian glaring at them.

“We’ll fix it before the storm breaks”, said Hillyard.

“I sincerely hope so”, said Julian “Joby, could you fix up a cup of honey tea for the invalid?”

“That’s gonna taste horrible”, said Hoowie, eyeing eyeing the cup Joby was holding out to him “I don’t like sweet drinks”.

“Oh get it down yer”, said Joby “It’s to soothe your throat. Make a nice change from having Julian’s \massive cock stuffed down it anyway!”

“Hoowie, drink it”, Julian ordered.

“I’m confused”, said Hoowie, sipping at the scalding hot drink “I seem to be the only one who’s got this thing”.

“Oh if it’s contagious, no doubt it’ll spread like wild fire”, said Joby, with gloomy relish.

“What’s up with Tinkerbell?” said Julian, following Joby to the door “He seems to have been particularly quiet since you got back from that blessing trip. It seems to be only Bardin who can provoke a reaction out of him”.

“I think he’s just tired that’s all”, said Joby “Those 6 weeks were quite gruelling. That, plus spanking deprivation I expect”.

“You’re falling down on your job!” said Julian.

Kieran had been sweeping the floor in his cabin, but had stopped and leaned against the wall, looking for all the world - Joby thought when he came into the room - as though he had been punched in the stomach.

“What’s up?” said Joby.

“I’m fine”, said Kieran, sounding even more fey than usual.

“You’re not”, said Joby “Even Julian’s noticed you’re not being as talkative as normal”.

“You’ve been having one of your cosy little chats with Julian have you?”

“What’s got into you?” Joby exclaimed “I’d been sent in there to take Hoowie his tea, that‘s all! You’re not getting jealous of Julian are yer?”

“Why not?” said Kieran “He’s got a far bigger dick than me!”

“You would be way out of proportion if you had a dick his size! A skinny little Munchkin like you. You’d be dragging it on the floor between your legs, and God help you when you got an erection! You’re not serious are you? This isn’t REALLY about Julian is it?”

“No”, Kieran peeled himself away from the wall and played with the broom in an absentminded way “I was euphoric when we left the monastery and sailed out here. But now I feel as though we’ve, in a way, left the job half done”.

Joby felt like hitting the wall in frustration. Kieran’s immense capacity for feeling guilty was well known. Joby had never before found it be so infuriating as he did now though.

“God, you really need your arse smacking!” he said.

“Joby”, Kieran began to protest, but Joby pulled down his pants, bent him over his knee, and belaboured his backside with great vigour. Joby’s hands were rough from where he had been preparing mounds of vegetables, and Kieran yelped under the onslaught.

“Shuddup”, said Joby “You stupid little Irishman and your daft ways, always getting yourself in a twist about fucking nothing all the time!”

“I’ll get me own back on you!” Kieran yelled.

He wasn’t going to get much chance in the near future though. When Joby had finished spanking Kieran’s behind, he shoved him onto the bunk and began to remove the rest of his clothes.

Kiean calmed down and remained passive whilst Joby undressed too and climbed in next to him. He then teased Kieran’s arsehole, ready for use. Neither spoke through what followed.

Kieran suddenly sat up, leaned over and bit Joby firmly on the backside.

“Now I’ve put my mark on you”, said Kieran, when Joby hollered “Just as you’ve done to me”.

“You put your mark on me when we very first met”, said Joby.

“Shame you didn’t how me that at the time”, said Kieran.

“I know”, said Joby, flopping back against his pillow “It’s that old thing hindsight again innit? I should have taken you somewhere quiet and given you a bloody good hiding to let you know you were mine!”

“Tamed me I suppose?” said Kieran.

“In my dreams!” Joby laughed “Although I did read in a novel once, a long time ago, where someone said if you give an Irishman a good hiding he’ll be your friend for life”.

“Who wrote that?” said Kieran “Julian?!”

“He would apply it to everyone”, said Joby “Not just Irishmen. And I can’t speak for the rest of your lot, but it certainly applies to you!”

“Depends who’s doing the thrashing”, said Kieran “And perhaps I should’ve clouted you when we first met, thumped some sense into you”.

“No, I’d have just sulked”, said Joby.

“Well you were a sulky little bastard and no mistake”, said Kieran.

“Behave, or I’ll spank you again”, said Joby “Christ, that wind’s getting up outside”.

“I heard a bit of thunder earlier too”, said Kieran.

“I spose I’d better get back to work”, said Joby “I’m surprised Adam hasn’t been along reading me the riot act, I was only sposed to be gone a few minutes. Get dressed and come with me”.

“Why?” said Kieran “Do you need protection in case YOU get a walloping? Mind you, I could watch then I suppose”.

“No, I want you where I can keep an eye on you”, said Joby.

“Well well well the wanderer returns”, was Adam’s somewhat predictable response when Joby (accompanied by Kieran) finally reappeared in the galley.

“I was beginning to worry in case you had fallen overboard”, Adam continued.

“You can’t have been THAT worried”, said Joby “’Cos you didn’t come looking. Anyway, I was busy”.

“Beating me up”, said Kieran.

“I’m sure you richly deserved it”, said Adam “But I still don’t see why it has taken Joby so long …”

“Then he buggered me you see”, said Kieran, bluntly.

“Oh for heaven’s sake”, Adam sighed “I’m surprised we ever manage to get anything done around here sometimes”.

“I’ve come to give you a hand now in any case”, said Kieran.

Bengo gave a moo of delight at this news. He was in the middle of getting Kieran all pinny-ed up, hen the galley door was flung back against the wall, and Bardin stood there in his oilskins, completely sodden.

“Blimey, it’s Moby Dick”, said Joby.

“Is it raining then, Bardy?” said Bengo, innocently earning himself a tut of impatience from his partner.

“Don’t stand there dripping all over the floor, Bardin”, said Adam, chucking down pieces of sacking around him.

“I’ve come to tell you that we’re turning back”, said Bardin.

The other 3 looked dismayed.

“What?” said Bengo “Back to the monastery”.

“No”, said Bardin “Just back round to the front of the island again, and tomorrow we’ll try and get ourselves back on course. We’re not sailing any further into this storm”.

“Have we become such a big bunch of fairies now that we’re afraid of a bit of weather?” said Joby.

“It’s not just that”, said Bardin “I increasingly don’t like the look of this place. It feels cursed to me. I’m astonished you haven’t picked up anything, Kieran. I can only assume you’re blocking yourself off”.

He turned and swept out of the room.

“I’m doing no such thing!” Kieran exclaimed indignantly to the others.

“Adam, do you mind if I go and help Bardy to undress?” said Bengo.

“Can’t he undress himself?” said Joby.

“I’m sure he’s got more to tell”, said Bengo “And this is a good moment to try and find out”.

“Oh very well”, Adam sighed “It seems no sooner than I get one member of staff back then the other disappears. Sometimes I think I’m working in a weather clock!”

“Oh Bardy”, Bengo laughed “This reminds me of when we used to do the burning house sketch, and you always got completely soaked!”

“Don’t just stand there goggling”, said Bardin “Hand me a towel”.

Bengo did as he was told, and began to towel-dry Bardin’s hair, whilst his partner finished peeling off his sodden clothes. The storm was now overhead in earnest, and sheets of lightning periodically lit up the room.

“Fat lot of sympathy I got from Adam”, Bardin grumbled, now seated on the sofa as Bengo dried his feet for him.

“He’s a bit cross at Joby”, said Bengo, in a distracted fashion. Bardin had fairly small, demure feet for a man, and Bengo was too busy admiring them to pay much attention to anything else. “He went to take Hoowie a cup of tea and was gone for ages and ages”.

“Why?” said Bardin.

“He went to see Kieran afterwards and gave him a good hiding”, said Bengo.

“That’s the best news I’ve heard all day!” said Bardin.

Hillyard came unannounced into the room, and Bardin hastily grabbed a towel to cover his private parts.

“Oh for God’s sake, Bardin”, said Hillyard “I’ve seen what you’ve got more times than I’ve had hot dinners!”

“We get precious little enough privacy around here”, snapped Bardin.

Hillyard privately thought this was a bit rich coming from a man who seemed to specialise in appearing suddenly in rooms when people least expected it.

“I’m going to spend the night down in the hold”, he said “This storm’s going to unnerve the horses”.

“I’ll send someone down to relieve you in a couple of hours time”, said Bardin.

“No need”, said Hillyard “Ransey’ll come down and join me”.

They managed to get the galleon moved back round to the pincers, and dropped anchor there for the rest of the night. The storm was of such violence that the occupants of the galleon got very little sleep.

Julian had even thrown an impromptu open-house cocktail party in his cabin, complete with gramophone to try and drown out the sound of the wind. Hillyard called him an “insensitive old swine” for doing his when Hoowie was ill, until it was pointed out to him that it had in fact originally been Hoowie’s idea.

Daybreak brought with it that strange calm that so often comes after a violent storm, as if Nature has whipped all the aggression out of itself. Julian went up on deck to have a smoke, and the clowns gathered round Hoowie’s bedside for breakfast.

“What do you lot think you’re doing?” Bardin barked at them, when he found them congregated thus “We haven’t got time for all this, the deathbed scene’s been cut. We’ve got to make plans to sail off”.

“Can’t we have a bit of sleep first?” said Hal.

“Do you want to stay at this blasted island?” said Bardin “It’s not the kind of place I fancy being shipwrecked on!” He indicated for Bengo to follow him out of the room, and then had a go at him in the corridor.

“Stop pandering to Hoowie. He’s only got a sore throat, not bubonic plague!”

“OK, Bardy”, Bengo sighed, wishing that Bardin would develop a sore throat too.

“Try and get your brain kicked into gear”, said Bardin.

“I’m sorry, Bardy”, said Bengo, helplessly “But I find it very hard to think straight when you’re pressing your body up close to mine like this!”

Bengo got his wish, as Bardin didn’t know how to reply to this. Bengo walked away in as dignified fashion as he could manage, considering the circumstances.

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