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We Three Blokes of Orient Aren't

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Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
6. Queen Barbaria.


“Follow me, gentlemen,” Twonines led us out of the Throne room, and bloody glad I was to get out of there alive.

“They’ve crowned her Queen, then,” whispered Jollyrei. “Do you think she’s married Herod?”

“I hope not, for her sake,” I muttered, “a girl could only stand a finite number of limericks!”

We walked through the Great Hall, down steps, and through a succession of increasingly dingy corridors. Across a courtyard, and Twonines rapped on a barred door.

There came the sound of a bolt being drawn, then a second, a third, and a key was turned.

“Worried about burglars?” asked Jollyrei.

With a creak, the door opened. “Mr Twonines,” said a man.

“Mr Migoz,” said Twonines. “His Majesty King Herod bids you to escort these gentlemen to visit Queen Barbaria. May I leave them in your capable hands?”

“Queen… ? Oh yes. You may indeed. This way, good sirs.”

Any remaining doubts vanished. Barbaria’s accommodation was clearly less than regal. The sound of moans and screams rang out ahead of us, we felt as though we were heading into hell.

Eventually Migoz brought us to a stand outside a cell. “Gentlemen, Queen Barbaria, and their Royal Highnesses Princess Messaline and Princess Kathy.”

“Oh, cut it out, Migoz,” came a voice. We peered into the gloom. There, manacled to a wall, were three women, all completely naked. They were dirty, bloodstained, and showed evidence of less than royal treatment, but one, with dark hair, did have a crown on her head. I’d never seen anything like it. Savage thorns bit into her scalp, and her wrists were so tightly restrained that she seemed powerless to remove it.

I’d been right. Queen Barbaria’s reign was not running smoothly.

“That’s right, have a good gawp!” Messaline called out. “Like what you see?”

I wasn’t quite sure what form of address was called for under these circumstances. Certainly gold, frankincense, and myrrh seemed superfluous to their requirements. But Bob, as always, took control.

“Are you Barbaria, Queen of the Jews?” he asked.

“I am,” said the dark haired girl. “I have more right to sit on the throne than that usurper, Herod. I can trace my lineage back to King David!”

“I see. Well, my name is Bobinder, and these are my fellow travellers, Jollyrei and Wragg. We were guided here by a sign in the heavens.”

“Ah, so you are the Three Wise Men from the east?”

“Um, well, yes,” said Jollyrei.

“Good. I’d heard you were coming. As you see, we don’t need your gifts. Hang onto them, if I were you.” She looked meaningfully at Migoz. “There are thieves about!”

People seemed worryingly well-informed about our trip to Jerusalem. This was the second time in less than an hour that I’d been called a ‘Wise Man’ which, for a professional twit like me, seemed odd.

Bob let it pass. “I am very sorry to see you here, we’d thought you would be a new ruler. We are very sorry to disturb you at a time like this.”

Migoz cackled with laughter. He wasn’t used to people being polite to his prisoners.

“Its OK,” replied Barbaria, “it passes what little time we have left. You know we are to be crucified tomorrow?”

“Like Marcella?” I asked, insensitively.

“Oh no!” wailed Kathy, “Please don’t say that! Barb! They got Marcella!”

“I’m sorry, Kathy. I sent her for help, but she obviously didn’t get through. We have to prepare ourselves for our crosses.”

“I wish… I wish there was something I could do?” I couldn’t help myself. “Maybe we could appeal to Herod?”

“What? Tell him a few limericks? Think that’ll help?”

“No, but…”

“You can do nothing!” Migoz cut in. “These women have been found guilty of insurrection and will be punished accordingly. Your sympathy for them has been noted and will be reported! It is time to leave, Gentlemen.”
 
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Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
I’d been right. Queen Barbaria’s reign was not running smoothly.
Seems to be a bit of an understatement. :confused:

Oi! I'll have you know my jail ranks in the top five on the Jerusalem Tripadvisor!*

Air-Dungeon-BnB. Book online or be thrown in one by the authorities.
 

Madiosi

Depictor of Dreams
Staff member
“Oh, cut it out, Migoz,” came a voice. We peered into the gloom. There, manacled to a wall, were three women, all completely naked. They were dirty, bloodstained, and showed evidence of less than royal treatment, but one, with dark hair, did have a crown on her head. I’d never seen anything like it. Savage thorns bit into her scalp, and her wrists were so tightly restrained that she seemed powerless to remove it.
Madiosi-2020-131-carcer.jpg
I’d been right. Queen Barbaria’s reign was not running smoothly.
 

Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
“Oh, cut it out, Migoz,” came a voice. We peered into the gloom. There, manacled to a wall, were three women, all completely naked. They were dirty, bloodstained, and showed evidence of less than royal treatment, but one, with dark hair, did have a crown on her head. I’d never seen anything like it. Savage thorns bit into her scalp, and her wrists were so tightly restrained that she seemed powerless to remove it.
View attachment 940489
I’d been right. Queen Barbaria’s reign was not running smoothly.
Incredible, Madi! :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
 

Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
7. Golgotha.

They crucified Barbaria, Messaline, and Kathy the next morning. Once again, we sat on our camels, faces covered, and watched as the three women, each bearing a cross-piece, came out of the city gate and struggled up the hill to their execution. Migoz urged them forward with a lethal-looking whip each time they stumbled, and a squad of Romans made preparations for their arrival.

Marcella was still alive, and groaned as Barbaria came closer. “Barb, I’m…. sorry! I… failed you!”

Barbaria looked up at her, “You did your best, Marcella. We all did.” I saw that she was still wearing thorns on her head, and they had given her some kind of a tattered robe to wear, though the other women were nude. She had a sign around her neck – ‘BARBARIA: REGINA IUDAORUM” The others, too, had signs, ‘MESSALINA: SEDITIO’ and’ KATHARINA: SEDITIO’.

They made Barbaria stand and watch as they crucified the others. She flinched as the hammers beat on the nails, wept as the naked, helpless, screaming women were dragged up their crosses and had their feet nailed into place.

They pulled the robe from her, and I thought how beautiful yet so vulnerable she looked. She did not protest as they pulled her down and stretched her arms out onto the cross. I glanced at Bob and Jollyrei, but their attention was rivetted onto the drama before us.

No human being can remain silent during crucifixion and Barbaria, despite her courage, was no exception. Her cries of agony tore into my very soul. What crime could justify the infliction of so much torment upon a woman like her?

Her agony wasn’t over, She bumped and crashed against her cross as they lifted her, and they practically threw it onto the top of the stipes.

“Don’t they have any humanity, Bob?” I asked.

“I don’t think so, Wragg.”

Another wall of sound hit us as they smashed nails through her feet to complete her crucifixion, and she hung there, gasping, between Messaline and Kathy.

“We’d better go,” even Jollyrei was subdued.

“No, wait a bit,” said Bob. “She may say something worth recording.” Words uttered in such extremis were often valuable.

For about ten minutes she said nothing intelligible, but then she raised her head, and looked straight at me.

“WRAGG!! COME HERE!!” Not quite the words I was expecting.

I looked down at the sentry, who looked at his centurion, who shrugged and nodded. Migoz looked furious.

I patted my camel to bring him back to the present, and we picked our way through the crowd, coming to a stand in front of Barbaria. She coughed and howled as she forced herself up, and then, with me on my camel and she on her cross, we looked straight into one another’s eyes.

Hers were very, very, angry eyes.

“You call yourselves ‘Wise Men?’

“I… er… “

“Shut up. I haven’t got breath to waste. You come blundering in here, asking Herod for directions to a new ruler of the Jews! That camel’s got more wisdom and common sense than the three of you put together!”

“I… er… “

“Do you know why I’m up here?”

“Because you wrote off Herod’s chariot?”

“No, you prat! Because he didn’t like my limerick!”

“Really?”

“They tell me of Herod the King
That he has a very small thing
It makes the girls snigger
He wished it were bigger
To make all his concubines sing!”

“But that’s very good!”

“Herod didn’t think so…”

She fell down onto her outstretched arms, and I had to wait while she took a rest. This gave me opportunity to look elsewhere than into her eyes. Suddenly, belly dancing seemed a bit mundane…

As I watched her hang, she looked to her right and caught Messaline’s eye, at which Messaline put up a cacophony of howling, shrieking, and wailing. Kathy caught on and did the same.

By the time Barb had struggled back up to my level nobody, except me, could possibly pick up her words.

“Anyway, you said… you wished… you could do something.”

“I did, and I meant it.”

“Go to Bethlehem. You’ll find a newborn baby in a manger in a stable around the back of the King’s Head pub. He’s the actual King of the Jews. Give him your gifts. For God’s sake don’t let Herod or his cronies know where you’re going, or he’ll slaughter every kid in the district, whether or not they can tell limericks.”

“Oh, and Wragg….”

She paused for breath, and I waited in silence.

“When you get to the stable, give my love to my sister. Her name’s Mary. Mary Davidson.”



Gentle Reader, by now you’ll have half a dozen Christmas cards that demonstrate that we did as Barb asked. It’s all been a bit embroidered in the telling, so it has been nice to set the record straight. We’re not kings nor particularly wise, we’re three ordinary blokes who are at least wise enough not to attempt to follow a star that half the time is hidden behind cloud, but to follow the directions of a woman. Particularly when it involves a pub.

And it’s a damn shame that the courage of Queen Barbaria has been lost to history, because she’s the real star!

Merry Christmas! :Saeufer:
 
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Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
“Do you know why I’m up here?”

“Because you wrote off Herod’s chariot?”
Well, that too ... but more importantly and as it turned out, deadly ....


Because he didn’t like my limerick!”

“Really?”

“They tell me of Herod the King

That he has a very small thing

It makes the girls snigger

He wished it were bigger

To make all his concubines sing!”

Giggle snort!!! :duke:

I hereby proclaim thee by the powers invested in me, despite my present crucified situation ... Sir Wragg, King of Limericks, Go forth!
 
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