Chapter 6:

Knob Knocker Springs!

I'm Engaged! ...To Death's Designated Thread Cutter

Guillotine and I walk through a long corridor.  It is incredibly apparent that he no longer wishes to continue with what we were talking about before.  He does not want to answer any questions.  That was how it was from the beginning though I guess...I guess.  Rather, before it felt like he wanted to tell me stuff but just was never altogether sure if he should.  He was back and forth.  He was like this corridor or hallway I guess you could call it.  Apparently this is the way to the Master's dining room, which is entirely separate from the dining room of the three (as so far as I've seen) servants.

Zig zaggy.  Yeah that's it  It doesn't make so much sense to say that a hallway is back and forth, but it does make sense to say that it is zig zaggy.  Every few seconds I have to pivot on my right foot and turn right and then pivot on my left foot and turn left, or some other combination of feet and direction.  

"Ya know..." he starts talking.

"Oh, are you actually gonna talk to me now?"

"Yes.  That's why I said 'Ya know.'  Now, may I tell you what it is 'I know?'"

"You mean what YOU know."

"That is what I said."

"No, I mean 'ya' is another form of...You're messing with me."

"You'll never find a time when I'm not....Well, perhaps I shouldn't say that.  Saying that would breed distrust.  And I would like to tell you something fascinating and it makes it easier to not have to argue back and forth about its validity.  Of course, it can simply be tested."

"What's that?"

"Did you know that you can walk in a single straight line through this entire hallway?"

I had wondered if this was something that could be done, but the more I walked through the hallway the more I came to realize that that was not the case.  The zigs and zags were not at all angled in such a way that it would allow someone to freely walk in a straight line through the whole area.  I wanted to say all this but instead I said:

"Show me."  Sometimes all you really need to say is show me.

"You got it."  He stopped in his tracks.  "Keep walking forward ahead of me, I'll tell you when to stop."

I do as he says and keep walking. Doing as I have been doing up until this point I pivot to the right to the left and right and left, right, left, right, left.

“Stop!” He says. I almost didn’t hear him. I’m kinda surprised that we still haven’t reached the end of this hallway yet as well as amazed that Guillotine knew we wouldn’t anytime soon even though we haven’t really seen anything like markers that identified the distance we traveled.

I turn around to see Guillotine. He waves his arms in salutations like I am being whisked away by a luxury cruise liner, like he expects that he will soon be nothing more than a moving dot in my vision. That is not the case though and he knows it.

He’s just being cute.

“Now watch me go!”

He walks forward. Already I can see that he is on a direct collision course to the corner of the wall. He will touch it soon enough. He has to remain on a forward course otherwise what would be the point.

Part of me suspects that he will somehow, through some intellectual fannagling that I am far too young to grasp, do the impossible and keep on his mary straight way even though the wall remains right there. And another, more loud and somehow more reasonable part of me suspects that he will just use some sort of advanced ghostly ability to faze himself through the wall before he touches it.

“Aaaaaan touch….” He says. He does no such thing.

He grabs onto the wall’s corner and slides along it. He flips a leg out, the opposite of the one he lead with, and spins like an old ballerina around the corner of the wall.

“Well I could have done that!” I yell.

He responds, deliberately speaking each word with each individual spin.

“Then (spin) why (spin) didn’t (spin) you (spin).”

The most frustrating part was there was still like an empty silent 5 seconds in between each of his spins which somehow made what he was doing more obnoxious. The obnoxiousness of it though seemed to lessen when I realized that Guillotine must have thought that he would reach me face to face upon a fifth spin on a wall’s corner (the spin punctuated by the word ‘you’). He punctuated each spin with a word for that very reason, so that he could artfully conclude his mocking with a final spin in the direction of the mocked. But he miscalculated and now he had to fill air time, or rather, spin time, with more words,…

apparently random words.

“Knob (spin) knocker (spin) springs (spin)."

At his final spin, as expected, he faces me.  Given his appearance you would expect him to be out of breath from both spinning and adlibbing, but without missing a beat he continues.

"Beneath these waters lie many things."

"Wow, nice rhyme.  Or rather, nice save."

"Ya think so, huh?  Ya think it was a nice save?"

"No, cheater, I do not."

"Who cheated?"

"You cheated!"

"I cheated?"

"Stop that!  And if you say 'stop what,' I'm gonna clock you!"

"I feel no pain, sweetheart.  And I feel no shame.  I had said, what was it, something along the lines of "I can walk straight through."  That's not the same as saying "I can walk straight."  Sometimes taking the shortest and easiest route requires just as much dancing and just as much pinache as taking the long routes."

"Was this some kind of teachable moment."

Then Guillotine, I am not kidding, started to skip through the hall.  And as he did so, he chanted:

"Knob knocker springs!

Beneath these waters lie many things!"

"Saying it again isn't gonna make it any less bullcrap."

"Knob knocker springs!

Beneath these waters lie many things!"


"Come on, do it with me!  Chant with me!  Dance with me!  Skip with me!  Lock arms with me!  Come on!"

For whatever reason I cannot help but bend to his flight of fancy.  Perhaps I have something for cheery old men.  Not a perverted something, but a something all the same.  I come up to him, lock arms with him, and we start to skip down the hall all the while chanting his new chant.

"Knob knocker springs!  Knob knocker springs!

Beneath these waters lie many things!

Knob knocker springs!  Knob knocker springs!

Beneath these waters lie many things!"

And so on and so on and so on.

And so on.


Guillotine stopped in his tracks.  Not realizing, I skipped forward.  Equally unaware that my arm was no longer intertwined with his, I chanted two more times, or I should say one-and-a-half more times, with the half part sounding like:

"Knob knocker springs!  Knob knocke--"

I turn around and say:

"Hey, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, just hold on a moment."

He then starts speaking, not to me, but to someone else.  I don't heart this someone else, but he apparently does.

"Okay, wouldn't you say that's enoug then?


"Yes, we've resolved everything.  Not that there was anything to resolve.


"We were not fighting okay.  Gosh, you need to interact with people more, we were just having a bit of a disagreement about things and it left her a little, I don't know, disappointed.


"Who are you to talk about my people sk--look will you just straighten the damn hallway?


"Will you please just straighten the hallway?


"Sigh, yes I know that you should never go to dinner angry.  Alright, and we're not angry so can you please just bring the door here?"

There was a bit of silence for a few moments.  

"Uhm," I say.

"Turn around," he says, interrupting me.

I turn around.  My nose almost brushes up against a very large ornate double door.  On it were scrawled numerous intrictate patterns with a what looked like golden paint.  It would be gaudy anywhere else, but here it seemed to match just right.

"Now turn around again."

I turn around.  The entire hallway is now entirely straight.  No more zig zags.

"What was--"

"It was Gallows."


"Had I not told you about him?"  He genuinely thinks for a moment.  "Maybe I didn't.  Well, it was the guy that did this."  He holds his ponytailed beard up in his hand.  "And I'm guessing he's the same one who did that."  He points at the pony tail that has since been wrapped around my neck.  It had become such a natural part of my style that I had basically forgotten about it.  And, I guess, likewise forgot about the man who crafted it.

"And he also--"

"Yes.  He did this."  He extends his arms out with flair.  "He zigzagged the hallways and pulled the door away."

"That guy, huh."  I briefly think back to when I had saw him.  He had interesting and intricate eyes, but he seemed to divert them from me the moment I saw them.  And then ran off leaving me hopelessly curious about him.  "Gallows."

"Yes, one of the three servants."

"And he can do stuff like this."

"Yeah, more than pony tails darling.  Basically he has a talent for manipulating anything he comes into contact with.  Stretching things out, shortening them, making them wavy, prime stylist talents.  There are limits, since I know there are some with mine, but I don't really know them."

"And what is your power or talent or whatever?"

"I have the power to avoid questions that I don't really want to answer."

" certain do."

"Right.  But anyway, he's a bit of a stickler for manners and decorum, keeping up the appearance of things, stuff like that.  So, I guessed that when I saw that the hallway was all weird and the door seemed to never be closer, that Gallows had probably saw that we were a little bit upset with each other and so decided to put us in a scenario where we can make up and have a jolly old time."

"Wow, that's kinda..."



"Damn, really, I thought a woman would think it was sweet."

"Not this one.  But why didn't you say anything earlier?"

"Would you have behaved with genuine joy if I did?"

"Did I behave with genuine joy."

"You at least scampered with the appearance of genuine joy."

"Ugh, don't say scampered.  Now I'm embarrassed."

"Well, let's get going."

"Wait!  One last thing.  Can he just, ya know, see us all over the place?"

"No, he's just really sneaky."

"There's no need for sarcasm."

"No, I mean he really is just really sneaky.  Probably he came to check on us at some point, peaked through some door, saw that you were a little bit mad that I was a little bit dishonest and so decided to make a game out of helping to reconcile what honestly probably didn't need reconciling.  Although, he would never consider it to be making a game out of it.  I do like that, at least, all his pranks aren't really pranks.  He's like a--"

"A caring Loki."

"...sure.  A shy caring Loki. He has a bit of trouble expressing what it is he wants to express and istead goes about it in overly thought out and roundabout ways."

I rub my hand against my ponytail.  "Is that so?  Hm, I wonder..."

But, uh, ya know, you don't have to worry, none of us in here are clairvoyant or anything like that.  We can't see everything that it is you do at anytime."

"Well, isn't that what someone who could do those things would say?"

"It's what someone who couldn't would say as well?"

"Touche.  But don't I still have to worry about this Gallows using his sneakiness to sneak a peek so to speak."

"You could have twisted your tongue off with that one.  No, you don't have to worry about that.  We're all perfect gentleman here."

"I hope so."

"Well, that's enough chat."

"Enough stalling."

"Let's go and eat."

"Yes, let's."

We open the door and go in.

And everything begins.