Crazu the Brave
Crazu the Brave wasn’t very brave. In fact, he was positively cowardly. He would hide in a corner and cry at the sight of a balloon. And other things.
He looked the part, though. His outfit consisted of an assortment of animal skins, a helmet with big pointy horns and a leather belt, on which was sheathed a great big sword, to go with the massive warhammer slung on his back.
An impressive figure, without a doubt, but it has to be said that he did stand out somewhat in the Accounts department of Fischer and Frank, where he worked.
“Where are we with acquiring authorisation for the maintenance invoices, Crazu?” said his boss, Mr Frank.
Crazu flinched at the sound of Mr Frank’s voice, engaged as he had been in updating the profit and loss spreadsheet.
“Sorry to startle you, Crazu,” said Mr Frank; “but we’re approaching month-end, and I really need to see progress on those invoices.”
“I’ll get onto it right away, sir,” said Crazu.
At that point, the phone rang, and Crazu nearly leapt out of his seat.
Thankfully it was not his phone.
Crazu’s heart only stopped racing when Mrs Muhulu in Accounts Receivable answered it.
It should be mentioned at this point that Crazu the Brave did not belong in the 21st century. Literally. Whilst out hunting beetles for his tea, with his wife and Protector, Trazu, he had accidentally fallen through a crack in spacetime and been transported 5000 years into the future. To 8:33am on the 9th of May, 2018, to be precise. That was the when. The where was the office of the Accounts department of Fischer and Frank. Upon his arrival, it had admittedly been something of a shock to all present, but as the company was currently short-staffed and the recruitment process was unbearably laborious, they decided to give him a month’s trial to see how he got on in a mid-level clerk position. This was two weeks ago.
Surprisingly, given his background, Crazu was a bit of a whizz on spreadsheets.
“Can you give me a figure for the profit and loss vector, recalculated to account for the hypothetical integration of the Willbury-Marsden account?” said Crazu’s other boss, Mr Fischer.
“Okay, sir,” said Crazu - then after a bit of nifty tapping and clicking, he said, “£37K, sir, rounded to the nearest thousand.”
“Thank you, Crazu,” said Mr Fischer; “I don’t know what we would do without you.”
An email message pinged onto Crazu’s screen, and Crazu fell out of his seat (literally).
It wasn’t an email he had been expecting...
Subject: Where have u been?
Is that u, Crazu?
It’s your wife & so-called Protector, Trazu.
Since u went away, I have acquired a taste for meat - on account of the fact that I no longer have to limit myself to hunting things smaller than a pebble. I’m not complaining about having to eat beetles all the time, and gather fruit that isn’t likely to terrify you by squirting you in the face, but the expanding of my dietary options has certainly made my life more interesting.
I’m not saying life with you is boring or embarrassing or anything. Okay, I am - I don’t want to repeat what some of the other wives of the Tribe say about you - but I can’t deny that your Coleoptera-sorting skills are unsurpassed. This is the sort of thing that keeps us together.
Anyway, onto business...
When you left, I considered remarrying and starting a new life with a genuinely brave husband, who would actually be MY Protector, but then, out of what was probably a misplaced sense of loyalty, I decided to embark upon a daring rescue attempt instead. So, after killing and skinning a bison, tanning its hide and making a nice coat out of it, and butchering and salting some of its meat for the journey, I leapt into the crack in spacetime into which you had fallen. Some would say brave, others stupid, but the upshot is that I’m now where and when you are and, after looking on this ‘Google’ jobbie, I’ve found where you work. Clever eh?
So how about meeting at Costa for a coffee and deciding what to do next? I’ll be there at 1, but let me know if you can’t get out for lunch or whatever.
Your eternal and faithful (for what it’s worth) spouse,
Crazu closed the email, looked around nervously and checked the time.
He had a flexible lunch hour, which so far he had always worked through, because he was terrified of asking either of his bosses anything. But it was either that or not see his wife again, who, despite being a bit scary, he did actually love.
So he mustered all the bravery he could muster.
Which wasn’t much.
In fact, as far as such things are quantifiable, if you gathered together all the bravery of Crazu the Brave, put it in a pile, next to which you put a pile of all the bravery of the average squirrel, the shadow cast by the squirrel’s bravery pile would render that of Crazu almost invisible.
But muster he did.
And he stood up. Pushed back his seat. And started to walk. Towards the office of Mr Frank, which was the closest of the bosses’ offices by approximately four feet. As he walked, he started to sweat. His sweat was pretty stinky. It was made moreso by the fact that the animal skins he adorned had not been changed in over a month (not counting the 5000 year time jump). His heart rate increased. His palms tingled. He felt like that bison must have felt when confronted by his scary wife. Mr Frank’s head, which had been facing his computer screen, turned to look at Crazu. His expression was not an encouraging one. Crazu’s vision swam out of focus. His legs felt like the jelly of a rancid pork pie. He didn’t realise he had stopped moving, until Mrs Muhulu asked him if he was alright.
Crazu the Brave opened his mouth, but all that came out was a sound not unlike that of the aforementioned squirrel, had it been sitting on a tree stump, surrounded by half a dozen ravenous sabre-toothed tigers. Who were feeling particularly grumpy, due to some kind of feline hormonal imbalance or something.
Crazu crumbled. Not literally, of course, but the rancid pork pie jelly transformed into sand and he found himself travelling rapidly floorward.
Everything turned black.
And that was that.
There was a crash, a bloodcurdling yell and screams from all present. The smell of urine filled the air, and a little bit of poop, as there was stomping, more yelling, more screaming and the occasionally wet squelchy sound.
Crazu opened his eyes. And despite the horror that he saw around him, he smiled. It was abject terror at the unidentifiable sounds that had caused him to regain consciousness, but the wonderful-scary visage of Trazu that had raised the corners of his mouth.
Trazu the Gentle.
So she was known.
And what a sight she was.
Long, wavy, red hair, tumbling over her back and shoulders. Fine, chiselled features. Powerful in stature, yet lithe and undeniably feminine. All encased in well-fitting strips of fur, which covered her modesty, yet were revealing enough to make any red-bloodied male come over all unnecessary. Speaking of blood, she brandished a sword of such magnificence, dripping with the red stuff, that it could only have been forged in the very furnace of Odin Himself.
“Watcha,” said Trazu the Gentle, as she spotted her husband, who still lay on the floor, limbs arranged in the most undignified positions, a tumaceous cocktail of sweat and wee and other unmentionable fluids emanating from every pore. And a bit of dribble on his chin.
Crazu came over all unnecessary and fell back into unconsciousness.
Crazu and Trazu sat in a cave, on a pair of big stones, Crazu nibbling on a beetle, Trazu gnawing on a lump of salted bison flesh.
After explaining to Crazu that she had decided to expedite the daring rescue attempt, after he had stood her up for their lunch date (because he was unconscious), Trazu offered him a handful of raw meat and said, “Go on, try some; it’s good for you.”
“Nah, I’m alright with this beetle, thanks,” said Crazu.
“What are you afraid of?” said Trazu.
“That the bison’s mates will smell it and come for us.”
“Well that’s impossible.”
“Why? If something bad can happen, it probably will.”
“In some ways I agree with you. But look outside the cave.”
“But the bison...!”
Trazu took hold of Crazu’s arm, yanked him off the rock and pulled him to the cave entrance.
“Trazu! Stop! Please! I beg of you!” said Crazu, but his feeble attempts at extricating himself were no match for his wife’s brute strength, not to mention her determination to get him out of the cave.
The sunlight hitting Crazu’s eyeballs was almost enough to cause him to faint again, but for a slap from Trazu, which soon raised his alertness levels.
“See?” said Trazu.
“But it’s-” said Crazu, as an aeroplane roared overhead.
“Not our home cave, I know.”
“Stop whining, ya feckless inverterbrate, why d’ya think?”
Crazu started to feel tears dribble down his quivering cheek. “I dunno,” he said, as his legs gave way and he collapsed to the ground.
“It’s one thing to stumble into a randomly placed crack in spacetime,” said Trazu; “but I’ll be buggered if I can find one to take us back home.”
“What shall we do then?” said Crazu, who was now lying down again.
“I’m sure we can make a place in this world,” said Trazu; “not at Fischer and Frank, though.”
“No, not at Fischer and Frank,” said Crazu.
“Come on, Crazu, let’s go hunting.”
And so they did.
[ the end of the first tale of Crazu the Brave ]