A flash of lightning tore across the suddenly dark sky splitting a nearby rock in two.
Another struck the path behind the party crumbling a few boulders down into the smoking crater.
There was a sound like distant thunder.
“That sounds like godly laughter,” said one sailor.
“It sounds evil,” replied another sailor nervously..
“That laughter don’t half sounding like be evil it is,” observed the captain.
“Hic,” said the Bos’n agreeably.
Another streak of lightning zigzagging across the sky.
A voice closer by.
“You will kneel down and worship me.”
To a man, and woman, the party knelt. Except for Emmet who was lying, the Bos’n who was floating at an odd angle, and the button.
Madi, setting aside her fear, piped up. “Where are you exactly, oh god of the volcano?”
“Over here,” came the voice.
Members of the party ventured to peep left and right, but couldn’t see anything looking like a deity.
“No, over here,” the voice spake again. “I’m the shadow on the rock in front of you.”
“You are not very clear,” ventured Madi looking at the silhouette of a piggy shaped head with horns cast by the red glow of the lava.
“Well, you know now!...
Bring forward the sacred drink and leave it on the rock.”
The captain gave Madi the little umbrella. She inserted it into the rum and ginger drink and deposited this on the rock, before returning to her place.
“Good, good. Now bring forward the one to be cured,” the voice continued in its terrible monotone.
Emmet was fetched and left. He started to stir.
“Now, the fresh faced maiden must cast herself into the volcano!”
Madi heard a wheezing puffing sound from behind her. Followed by a loud pop and cursing.
“Quickly!,” The voice insisted.
“What if we haven’t got a woman in the party?” demanded Madi hopefully.
“You know you have. She’s disguised as a man!”
Madi’s moustache twitched so rapidly it almost took off and mated with a passing butterfly.
Everyone in the party looked around, scratched their heads, and then pointed at Emmet who was just getting up and yawning.
“I knews it all being along. Yes, Emmet is a woman,” The captain concluded.
Emmet was suddenly alert and looking frightened. “I’m not a woman, really I am not.”
Madi ran forward. “Emmet dear, you are alright. I’ve been so worried.”
She gave him a hug.
Just then, one of the piggy god’s horns fell off.
“Oops,” came a voice.
Madi gently let Emmet go and purposefully strode round the back of the rocks.
Moments later she returned with the old crone who’d met them at the entrance. She was wearing a piggy glove puppet with a horn missing.
Madi looked at the old woman quizzically. “You have some explaining to do old crone. I get the bit about Emmet being cured by the sulphur… but why all the god stuff? And why did you need a young maiden? Not that we have any.” She said in the deepest voice she could manage.