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The Misadventures of the Venerable Mister Pinker - Chapter Two

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The merchant cart rolled away down the horribly rutted, muddy road. Behind it the merchant left one very short person and two bizarre steeds. Their horses (for they appeared as the body of a horse) were made of iron, with scale mail covering their sides and plate mail making up their armored heads. They were beautifully crafted, complete with the visage of a true horse. However, instead of legs each had two wheels and instead of a tail they had what looked like miniature smokestacks that billowed black smoke. As they stood there, the air was filled with a reverberating roaring sound.

“Mister Pinker! Mister Pinker!” shouted Max scanning the tree line with his eyes.

Pinker returned from his little “scenic tour,” buttoning up his breeches. “What was all of that about?”

“It was a noble merchant.”

“Noble?” Pinker blinked, looking at the ragged and ill-kempt backside of the distant cart. “What, like king of the beggars.” He chuckled at his own joke.

“Laugh all you wish, Mister Pinker, but I pulled a real number on him. I got a bag of holding for two gold pieces!” Max beamed widely.

Pinker again blinked, in disbelief. “Two gold? What’s wrong with it? Does it hold negative weight?”

“No, it holds a great deal! I already put some of our other equipment in there.”

“Well done, Max. You actually did something right.” Pinker said, patting Max on the shoulder. “Let me see it.” The young apprentice handed over the red bag. Indeed it was a fine looking bag in magnificent shape, the red sides had an almost slimy appearance and the gold trim around the top of the bag was still in tact. “Only two gold pieces?”

“Yes, although he seemed very eager to get rid of it. I thought it would be perfect for putting your extra black powder in, Mister Pinker.” Max said. He was genuinely pleased with himself. “It fit all of the powder and then some.”

Things weren’t adding up and Pinker knew that the bag was involved somewhere in the equation. “All of the gunpowder?” he stuttered. Quickly the half-gnome threw open the bag and looked inside. It looked like a normal bag of holding. Then cautiously he slid his hand inside the bag. Instead of feeling the satchels that would contain the black powder he felt something wet and slimy, like a tongue. Now that he thought about it, the clasps that locked the bag shut looked a lot like teeth…

Pinker’s eyes grew wide with realization as the bag snapped shut around his arm.


Chapter 2: Bag e’s ins!

“Good morrow, Daishio!” Came the cry from the group of assembled girls.

Blinking open his eyes, Daishio rolled over in his bed looking out the now open window next to him. There was a congregation of almost a dozen young women standing there, smiling at him. Dammit, he thought, they forced the window again.

“Morning, ladies,” Daishio said climbing out of bed and giving them his best charmer smile. The smile faded quickly as he realized was only wearing his breeches. Blushing slightly he grabbed his bed sheets and wrapped them around his shoulders.

They didn’t really seem to care and had already gone to talking among themselves.

“He’s so cute.”

“And handsome.”

“Look at those muscles.”

“He said ‘morning’ to me!”

Taking advantage of the moment, Daishio sorted through the pile of clothes on the floor and dug out one of his ratty cut off shirts; it was several sizes too small and the hem hung just above his navel. Daishio had won it off of some kid in a game of strip poker. He was hardly the richest person in town; in fact, he was probably the poorest, but at least he had something to wear.

“How did you get it open this time?” he asked, coming over to the window again. It was then that Daishio noticed that not only was the window open, but the shutters were completely missing. The fact that they had completely removed the shutters without waking him made Daishio wonder if one of their numbers was a thief. He checked his pockets quickly before he realized that he had nothing of value to steal to begin with.

“Joan ‘ad a lock pick set and Francis hath a knack for the usage of crowbars. ” one of the girls explained.

Daishio couldn’t help but shake his head, knocking his alien, white, ear-length hair over his eyes. “You know He is going to be when he sees this.”

Then he heard a commotion upstairs: the Elder must be awake. Almost instantly the door to the basement swung open and the outline of an old man appeared in the doorway.

“I thought I heard voices.” The man said.

“Good morning, Elder.” Chimed all of the girls.

“Good – gravy!!” cried the old man. “How did--? Who? I—but—I—“ he stuttered. Finally the man regained his composure. “I thought I told you to leave Daishio alone! Now you’re breaking into my house – AGAIN! I should have you all thrown in the brig.”

At this outburst the girls screamed and fled, leaving Daishio alone with the Elder.

The Elder chuckled in his high-pitched cackle (i.e. clichéd “heh heh heh”). “Stupid girls.”

“Oh come on,” Diashio said. “They’re not that bad…wait, yes they are.”

“Yea. Kids these days; dunno what to do with them. Why it reminds me of when I found you as a baby on my doorstep. You-“

Daishio rolled his eyes. “Yea, yea, yea. Heard that story a million times on every single Super Nintendo RPG in existence. My parents are unknown, you raised me from a child after I mysteriously appeared on your doorstep, nobody knows my past, strange omens, blad-de-frickin’-blah! You know…” Daishio said, his eyes widening,

“They only ever bring that up in the game when something bad is going to happen. When my entire way of life will change. Tell me something bad is not going to happen.” Daishio pleaded, grabbing hold of the sleeve of the Elder’s robe.

The Elder, who’s mind had begun to wander the moment Daishio opened his mouth, was jerked back to reality by Daishio’s whining.

“Hmmm? Oh yeah, exciting. Anyways, you’ve been kicked out of the town.” The Elder said casually. “But before you leave I was wondering if you could cook up another one of your omelets, you know how much I love those. With the cheese and ham…yummy. Oh yea and the lawn needs another mowing and I could do with a-“

“Hold up!” Daishio shouted. “I—kicked out? But—“

“Yes, you kicked out.”

“But why? I mean, I’ve done everything perfect. The whole town loves me (at least their daughters do) and I like it here.”

“Which is exactly why we’re kicking you out. Erm—the daughters part anyways. Apparently one of the local village girls, who had a crush on you, went missing. Some evidence pointed at you and so we held a tribunal and voted to kick you off the village. Besides, I was hoping to do some expansion work here in the basement but your room was in the way.”

Daishio was completely shocked. “What evidence?”

“Oh - I don’t remember. But that’s not important. Just pack your things and get, before the tar and feathering crew show up.” The Elder said turning his back and starting to walk away.

“Wait!” Daishio cried out, completely lost. “Aren’t you going to give me some ancient artifact or weapon to help me when I leave? It’s a dangerous world out there and I don’t own any weapons or anything else for that matter.”

“Sorry, kid. I gave my artifact to the last kid who I took in: a sword called Mesamune or something like that. Now skedadle before they come for you.”

Still unable to believe that something this absurd would happen to him, Daisho just stood there in the basement as the Elder left. What the heck was that? He was being kicked out of a town? Just like that?

Still shaking his head, he left behind the Elder’s hut, completely without any possessions. What would he do? How would he make money? Suddenly an idea struck him. If those girls loved him so much he might be able to take advantage of their good intentions. Hopefully word had not yet spread around the village of his banishment.


Chuckling to himself, Daishio left the girl’s house. What had her name been? Daria? Dot? It didn’t matter; he had gotten what he had needed, from her and almost seven others. ‘Do you want a boyfriend?’ he had asked. They had all answered yes, dreamily looking at him. Well then, in return for fifty gold he would go on a date with them in a week. Now his only hope was that he would be on the other side of the world in a week. Otherwise there would be hell to pay.

His pockets laden with ill-gotten gain, threatening to pull his trousers down around his ankles, Daishio had to stop in his tracks. He had been walking down the main street on his way to the city gates when he spied a most peculiar boy. Daishio called him a boy because that is what he looked like. Short, with fat cheeks, freckles and a very large midsection; Daishio was tempted to call the boy a female dwarf except that he was definitely a male.

The boy was waddling quickly up the street in a frantic pace with a wild look in his eyes. He was babbling something incoherent and waving a red purse around in front of himself. Daishio had to fight with himself to keep from laughing because apparently the boy was in some distress. So caught up in his blathering was he, that the boy plowed right into Daishio’s legs. Not expecting such force to back such a tiny person, Daishio was knocked sprawling.

Dropping the purse with a start, the boy leaned down to help Diashio up. But all the youth could do was sit there and stare: the bag had cried out when it had been dropped.

“Max? Max? Are you still there? Digestive fluids, boy, nawing on my still quivering flesh! I am dying here! Do something!” the bag was shouting.

“It-it-“ Daishio uttered.

“Bag e’s ins! Bag e’s ins!” the boy was shouting as he picked up the purse again and looked about frantically. “Pinker…bag… eat! Big teeth! Bag! Bag! Bag!”

“Riiighhht.” Said the fallen boy, staggering to his feet and stepping away from the half-mad dwarf, for he had decided that it was indeed a dwarf. A very young one. “I’m just going to walk the other way and pretend that I don’t know what is going on.”

Stopping his gibbering, the boy gathered his thoughts. “You have to help me! Is there a magic shop in town?”

Daishio pointed in the direction of the shop. “You got a cursed purse or something?”

“DYING!” screamed the bag again.

“Or something!” was all the boy had time to say before he ran in the direction of the store. His curiosity peeked; Daishio followed the dwarf to see what was going on with the possessed handbag.

The magician’s shop was a rickety old building, with a porch and an overhang to keep the rain off. It was on the porch, in a rocking chair, that the old shopkeeper, Issicar, did business and other functions. Ever since Daishio had discovered the man’s “fire golem” was really a tinderbox and some firecrackers he had begun to disbelieve the magic that the man controlled.

“He got et’ by a bag o’ holdin’, ya say?” the man was asking the dwarf, looking doubtfully at the boy the whole while. “Riggghhhttt.”

“No! Really! The bag ate him!” the boy shouted, waving the bag at Issicar. “Listen! Mister Pinker, tell him you’re in there.”


“Mister Pinker?”

Still no answer.

“Oh dear, I’ve taken too long! It’s killed him!” the boy wailed, throwing his hands up in despair.

Issicar shook his head. “Too bad. I couldn't have helped anyways: I only specialize in ordinary magic items. You, know, swords of +2 and such.

"So you mean you only deal with mundane unique items?" Daishio was puzzled. "Where's the market for that?"

"In this town apparently, Now go away, you’re scaring off the customers.”

Suddenly the bag screamed, very loudly and very much like a human. “Maaaaaaxxxxxx!” Totally surprised by this outburst, Issicar could only sit and stare. Then, as if realization finally settled on him, his eyes got very large and he clutched at his chest. Gasping for air he stumbled backward into his chair and collapsed to the ground, not moving.

“Is he going to be all right?” the dwarf, whom the bag kept calling Max, asked Daishio.

Daishio shrugged. “Dunno. You say that is a bag of holding?” Max nodded. Among all of the traders who passed through town Daishio had heard tale of such bags, bags that could hold ships and other enormous objects inside of them. But never had he heard of a bag that ate people.

“What can we do? I have to save Mister Pinker or he’ll never forgive me!”

There was always something about the idea of a bag that bothered Daishio, now was his chance to test his theory. He quickly grabbed the bag out of Max’s hands and drew his own dagger. Fabric shredded as Daishio raked the blade across the bottom of the sack, cutting a round hole in the bottom. Daishio and Max had to throw themselves aside as the bag’s contents flooded out onto the ground.

Hundreds of gold coins poured out. Shining swords and other manner of glistening battle weaponry fell out along side casks of wine and spare wheels. Jewels without number, of differing sizes and colors spilled all over the muddied ground. Golden statuettes, bronze shields, exquisite mirrors, potions in bottles of every shape and size, a talking sword, the skeletons of cattle, dogs, sheep, fish, sand, rocks and stomach acids all spewed forth from the now bag. A lengthy tongue lolled out the hole in the bottom of the bag. The most predominant thing that was disgorged from the bag was an impressive number of hands; some rotting, others only skeletal remains.

A little boy with pointed ears and thick, square glasses rolled out of the opening, dripping with goo. Next to him were nine barrels labeled “gunpowder.” His hair had been bleached white by stomach acids and his clothes were ratty and torn now; one of his arms had teeth marks on them. He just lay there, sprawled out on the ground.

“Oh, Mister Pinker!” cried Max, running to the kid’s side. “Are you all right? We saved you! We saved you from the terrible flesh-eating bag!”

Daishio knelt down next to the boy. “Are you alright, kid?”

Eyes fluttered open and the boy sat up straight. “You cad! I am not a kid! I—“

Max cut him off. “Now be nice, Mister Pinker, this is the boy that saved you! If it weren’t for him you would be dead.”

Mister Pinker muttered something under his breath that sounded like, “Thanks.” Then he noticed the enormous treasure laid out before him, filling most of the street and the shop. His eyes grew wide with greed before he returned his gaze to Daishio. “If you’re looking for payment you’ll find it in the fact that I have not killed you for calling me a kid. Now go away!”

“Mister Pinker—“ Max urged.

“Well, alright.” Pinker looked about the mound of gold and precious items. “You can have the talking sword, I know that is going to start annoying me right away.”

Daishio’s eyes lit up. “An artifact! Now it is certain, I’m a main character!”

“What are you talking about? Its just a stupid sword.”

“No, no! I every SNES RPG the main character gets some ancient artifact or a magic sword before he sets off on his great quest. This confirms it! I won’t fade into nothingness as soon as you leave town!”

Pinker rolled his eyes. “Well, in that case, give the sword back. You can have a couple gold coins.”

“Too late.”

“No, its not! Put the sword down!”

Max interrupted again. “Mister Pinker…”

“What is it, Max?”

The dwarf pointed at a growing crowd of people surrounding them and the treasure.

“Start stuffing your pockets, quick!” Pinker said, grabbing at gems and gold coins. “Every time a crowd shows up something bad happens!”

Daishio noted one of the people in the crowd was talking to some of the city guards. “That’s the same bag!” the man said, waving his stump where a hand should have been at the bag. “And that’s my hand there!”

“We have to get out, now!” Daishio said. “For some strange reason, people keep jumping to extreme conclusions in this town and then act on them. If we don’t get out now, we are dea—“

“Its obvious that these kids are using the bag to help them get our treasures! Look at all of this stuff! Why there is Grixby’s cow!” The main shouted. “And Daishio’s in cahoots with them; I knew that boy was a bad seed!”

“Now, now, people.” Pinker said, waving his arms in a soothing manner. “There is more than enough treasure to go around. I am sure that we can strike up a deal on this.”

“There’s no buying your way out of this, you rascal.” The guard responded. “I am placing you all under arrest for theft, witchcraft and fraud.”

With an evil twinkle in his eye, Pinker laughed. “You’ll have to catch me first!” He slapped the sides of his spring-loaded holsters, launching each of his pistols a good twenty feet in either direction, striking down members of the crowd before going off noisily. Blushing brightly he muttered, “Stupid mechanisms…”

“Get them!” came the cry from the crowd. With one accord they surged forward towards the troupe.

“You’ll never take me alive!” Pinker cried, standing behind Max. With a deft motion he shoved the young dwarf at the ravening mob, turned tail, and fled.

Daishio gapped at this sign of extreme cowardice but said nothing. Instead he grabbed his sword and took to his heels as well.

“I’ll just stay here then, Mister Pinker.” Shouted Max’s faint voice.


The Misadventures of the Venerable Mister Pinker - Chapter Two © Christian Goodrich

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