Hieroglyphic Graffiti » Journey to the West: HandBasket

Monday October, 2 2006

Journey to the West: Book 1, Chapter 2

Filed under: General, Journey to the West: HandBasket — makani @ 10:28 am

Finally, I have another Chapter. This will be going up at The SunTemple soon.
Book 1 Chapter 3
Monkey builds an army, gets his Ringed Wishing Staff and erases his name from the Book of Death


WU’CHEN EN
So Monkey King returned home after slaying the King of Havoc.MONKEY KING
Hey, kids! I’m home, and I’ve got a nifty Scimitar! Let’s play army!

MONKEY KING teaches all his little MONKEYS to make WOODEN SWORDS and march around in formation.

MONKEY KING
This is all well and good but we need real weapons. What if we get attacked?MONKEYS
Umm, we live up on a mountain? We could all just hide behind the waterfall.

FOUR SENIOR MONKEYS
We have privileged knowledge. It’s easy to get real weapons.

MONKEY KING
Oh?

FOUR SENIOR MONKEYS
Just go buy some from the kingdom that’s two hundred miles away.

MONKEY KING
Good idea! Wait, how do you know about a kingdom that’s two hundred miles away?

FOUR SENIOR MONKEYS
We read the book.

MONKEY KING
I should do that. Ok. You kids play, I’ll be right back.


MONKEY KING uses his CLOUD SOMERSAULT and flies two hundred miles to the Kingdom of question.

MONKEY KING
Hmm, there are lots of weapons here but why buy them when I can just steal them?

And so MONKEY KING makes a MIGHTY WIND that stirs up more POETRY but also makes everyone in the Kingdom run into their homes.

MONKEY KING
There, now I’ve got the armory all to myself.

MONKEY goes into the Royal Armory and making little monkeys out of his hair, steals all the weapons. He flies back to FLOWER FRUIT MOUNTAIN.

MONKEY KING
There, now everyone has real weapons.

Other Demon Kings are impressed by all this and bring MONKEY KING TRIBUTE.

MONKEY KING
That’s right. Honor me for I am wonderful. Except for this Scimitar, it’s not so wonderful.FOUR SENIOR MONKEYS
Why don’t you go visit the Dragon King of the Eastern Ocean and ask for something else?

MONKEY KING
You’ve got to give me a copy of this book, it would speed things up.


MONKEY KING goes down to visit the DRAGON KING.

AO-KUANG
High Immortal, what brings you to my home?MONKEY KING
I need a weapon and I heard you must have some spares.

AO-KUANG
Let’s see, I’ve got a scimitar, a nine pronged fork, and a giant halberd.

MONKEY KING
Scimitar is no good and this fork and halberd are both too light.

AO-KUANG
The fork weights three thousand six hundred pounds and the halberd weights seven thousand two hundred pounds!

MONKEY KING
Too light! You must have something else!

DRAGON MOTHER
Psst! Honey! Give him that piece of magical iron!

AO-KUANG
But it’s just a magical ruler, what use could he have for it? Do Monkey Generals often find the need to measure the square footage of their throne rooms?

DRAGON MOTHER
Who cares? Just get him out of the house!


AO-KUANG takes MONKEY KING to see the MAGICAL IRON.

MONKEY KING
Ohh, shiny!

MONKEY KING picks up the COMPLIANT GOLDEN-HOOPED ROD, which is labeled as such along with its weight of thirteen thousand five hundred pounds.

MONKEY KING
It’s handy having all these things labeled. And damn handy that this thing is compliant! Thanks, neighbor. And would you look at that, I can make it shrink and grow. Neat!AO-KUANG
Please, don’t mention it.

MONKEY KING
Now, how about some new clothes to go with this new staff?

AO-KUANG
I’m afraid I don’t have anything suitable. Why not try someplace else?

MONKEY KING
Nah, I’m too lazy. You know, this is a nice place, it would be a pity of someone smashed it up with thirteen thousand pound staff.

AO-KUANG
Let me go see what I can find.


AO-KUANG sends a TURTLE GENERAL to beat an IRON DRUM and GOLDEN BELL to summon the other Dragon Kings to the Palace. They arrive quickly.

AO-CH’IN
Hey Bro, what’s the big idea ringing the bell? I was in the middle of dinner!AO-KUANG
I’ve got this Monkey here and he won’t go away. I gave him a weapon like he asked but now he wants clothes! Give him some clothes so he’ll go away!

AO-CH’IN
Let’s just raise our armies and knock him into next week.

AO-KUANG
Maybe I wasn’t clear enough when I said I gave him a weapon. A piece of Heavenly Iron to be exact. Do you want to fight a monkey with a staff that weighs thirteen thousand pounds?

AO-CH’IN
Well that wasn’t too bright of you now was it?

AO-KUANG
I was trying to be a good host.

AO-JUN
Let’s just get some things together and then send a formal complaint to Heaven before people lose track of who we are. Our names are all very similar you know.

AO-SHUN
Why, I just so happen to have a pair of cloud-treading shoes.

AO-JUN
I brought this yellow gold chain mail.

AO-CH’IN
I have a red gold cap with phoenix plumes.

AO-KUANG
That’s wonderful! What a perfect coincidence! How did you know to bring these things?

AO-JUN
Four monkeys came by and said they might be useful.


AO-KUANG and his SIMILARLY NAMED BROTHERS present MONKEY KING with some new clothes in the hopes he’ll GET THE HELL OUT!

MONKEY KING
Now I’m looking good!

MONKEY KING leaves, creating HAVOC as he goes. The FOUR DRAGONS brood and write to HEAVEN to complain. MONKEY KING returns to his mountain, SCARES THE CRAP out of all the other Demon Kings nearby and forms a BROTHERHOOD of sorts. All is FINE AND DANDY until one day WARDENS from the UNDERWORLD come to arrest MONKEY KING.

WARDENS
Let’s see, this is the Flower-Fruit Mountain so that must be the Water-Curtin Cave, so that must be the Monkey.MONKEY KING
Who are you?

The WARDENS drag MONKEY KING off to the REGION OF DARKNESS, which despite what the name implies is not a Goth Bar, but the home of the KING OF HELL.

MONKEY KING
Hold up, what am I doing here? I’m Immortal!

Never being one to ask for explanation, MONKEY KING draws his staff and beats the crap out of everybody until the TEN KINGS OF HELL come out to see what the fuss is all about.

TEN KINGS
Hey, dude, chill out. Lots of people in the world have the same name; it’s probably just a mistake.MONKEY KING
I want to see the register of births and deaths and give me a writing brush while you’re at it.

Never ones to argue with a MONKEY with a really heavy stick, the TEN KINGS bring MONKEY the REGISTER. MONKEY KING promptly crosses out his name and the names of every other monkey he can find.

MONKEY KING
There, that takes care of that! I’m getting out of here!

Even though NO ONE has threatened him in ANY WAY, he fights his way out of HELL. The TEN KINGS sulk for a bit, before they decided to TATTLE on MONKEY KING.

TEN KINGS
Let’s tell The Jade Emperor about this, he’ll fix that punk!

MEANWHILE, MONKEY KING trips and then WAKES UP.

MONKEY KING
What do you know; I was asleep the whole time.FOUR GENERALS
You must’ve been really drunk; you’ve been asleep all night!

MONKEY KING
Silence! Monkey King does not get drunk! Anyway, I went down to Hell and crossed all of our names out of the Register of Death, so effectively we’re all immortal.

FOUR GENERALS
Sounds like a great reason to have a party!


And so they party, meanwhile, the DRAGON KINGS and TEN KINGS OF HELL complain to the JADE EMPEROR.

DRAGON KINGS
We gave him gifts and he didn’t even say thank you!TEN KINGS
And, on a more serious matter, he erased all the monkeys’ names from the Register of Death, so now we’ve got a pack of immortal monkeys on our hands!

JADE EMPEROR
Hmm, I guess we can’t have that. What shall we do about it?

LONG-LIFE SPIRIT OF VENUS
Let’s bribe him. Have him called up here to Heaven, we’ll give him a job and then we’ll be able to keep our eyes on him.

JADE EMPEROR
Make it so.


And so GOLD STAR SPIRIT OF VENUS was sent down to tell MONKEY KING to come to Heaven.

GOLD STAR
Hey, Monkey King, you’ve been offered a job in Heaven.MONKEY KING
It’s about time! That’s a good reason to have a party!

GOLD STAR
No time for parties, the Jade Emperor is waiting and he’s cranky if he has to wait long.

MONKEY KING
Fine with me. You kids be good while I’m gone.

WU CHENG’EN
Want to know what his job is going to be? You’ll have to read the next chapter.

Wednesday December, 7 2005

Journey to the West Handbasket: Book 1 Chapter 2

Filed under: General, Journey to the West: HandBasket — makani @ 10:39 am

Today we’re taking a break and heading back to China for some more Journey to the West but don’t worry, our favorite king and sidekick will be back tomorrow.

Book 1, Chapter 2
Monkey gets Tao

And so MONKEY KING begins to learn the TAO, which involves all sorts of CHORES and eating PEACHES. Seven years go by until one day SUBODHI gives a lecture about which there is more poetry.

MONKEY KING
Now that is some good shit!

SUBODHI
Ahh, you appreciate the Tao and you’ve been here seven years already. What would you like to learn?

MONKEY KING
How to be immortal.

SUBODHI
I could teach you any one of the three hundred and sixty divisions of the Tao.

MONKEY KING
Only if they can teach me to be Immortal.

SUBODHI then gets mad and hits MONKEY KING on the head three times, and then walks away with his arms folded behind his back, closing the main doors behind him.


OTHER STUDENTS
You idiot, now look what you’ve done. Who knows how long he’ll be in that hissy fit.

MONKEY KING
That’s ok. I’ve already solved his riddle. By hitting me three times, he means he wants me to wait for the Third Watch; by walking away with his arms folded behind his back through the main door, he wants me to enter by the back door to receive his instruction in secret. It’s simple really.

READERS
… Huh?

And so MONKEY KING goes and sees SUBODHI by sneaking into his room.


MONKEY KING
Come on, Master, wake up, I can’t just wait around all night.

SUBODHI
I see you solved my riddle.

MONKEY KING
It was pitifully easy, Master.

READERS
… It was?

SUBODHI
That means you truly are a creature born of heaven and earth.

MONKEY KING
Immortality makes you slow on the uptake, Master?

SUBODHI
I guess it’s time to start teaching you those immortal arts.

MONKEY KING
Finally!

MASTER SUBODHI teaches MONKEY KING all about immortal arts. Surprisingly there is no poetry but there is a hell of a lot of alchemical symbolism thrown about. Over the course of SEVERAL MORE YEARS MONKEY KING learns how to walk on clouds and masters seventy-two transformations.


MONKEY KING
Am I good or what?

STUDENTS
Yeah, you’re pretty good, how about showing off?

MONKEY KING
Ok, watch this, now I’m a pine tree.

MONKEY KING does indeed turn into a pine tree, at which all the STUDENTS laugh, disturbing SUBODHI who comes out and scolds them all for being too loud.


SUBODHI
You kids these days don’t take anything seriously. Wu’Kung, who told you to go and show off?

MONKEY KING
Aww, come on, it was just some fun.

SUBODHI
Humph! Off with you! Get out of here!

MONKEY KING
What? But, I owe you for all that teaching and food and stuff.

SUBODHI
No, you don’t; now go on, get out of here! And if you ever tell anyone that I was your master I’ll hear about it and believe you me, I’ll skin you alive, break all your bones and banish your soul to the Place of Ninefold Darkness!

MONKEY KING
Ok! Ok! Geez! I promise already!

And so MONKEY KING returns to his home, spouting poetry along the way.


MONKEY KING
It’s kind of catchy really. Hey, kids, I’m home!

MONKEYS
Well it sure took you long enough! Here we’ve been, oppressed by a demon who kidnaps our children, steals our stuff, and you never call, you never write!

MONKEY KING
What? A monster on my mountain?

MONKEYS
Yeah, he calls himself Monstrous King of Havoc and he lives north of here.
MONKEY KING
I’m the only king on this mountain. You kids go play; I’m going to go kick ass.


And so MONKEY KING flies off to find some more POETRY. He finds another mountain amidst all that poetry and starts throwing his weight around.

MONKEY KING
Hey, King of Havoc, or whatever, come out here and get your butt whipped.

KING OF HAVOC
Did you hear something? Don’t I have a cool name?

IMPS
There’s a Monkey outside who claims he’s the Lord of that cave you’ve been pillaging. He doesn’t have any weapons and he’s dressed funny.

KING OF HAVOC
Well, get me my armor and I’ll have a look.

The KING OF HAVOC dons his armor amid more poetry and steps outside.

MONKEY KING
Prepare yourself for a can of whoop ass!

KING OF HAVOC
You don’t have a weapon, here I’ll put down my sword and we’ll box.

MONKEY KING
It’s your funeral.


They fight and MONKEY KING succeeds in righteously kicking ass. When the KING OF HAVOC tries to cheat and get MONKEY KING with his sword, MONKEY KING uses his hair to make thousands of little monkeys who assist with the serious ass kicking. MONKEY KING wins the battle and kills the KING and all of his IMPS.

MONKEYS
Yay! We’re free! But how do we get home?

MONKEY KING
Got you covered.


MONKEY KING uses his TAOIST MAGIC to transport all the little monkeys home.

MONKEYS
YAY! You rock! Let’s have a party!

MONKEY KING
Sounds good to me, oh, and we have a surname now. We’re all Suns.

MONKEYS
Works for us! Let’s party.

They all party.


WU’CHENG EN
Unless you know the story, you’ll have to wait and read the next chapter! I told you I was going to say that each time.

There you have it. It might be a few days before I have more Monkey for you but I think Gilgamesh will tide you over.

Friday November, 11 2005

Journey to the West Breadbox: Book 1, Chapter 1

Filed under: General, Journey to the West: HandBasket — makani @ 2:24 pm

I said I was going to do it, and here it is. Book 1, Chapter 1. The idea is stolen with permission from the lovely and talented, Evadne_noel.

Consider this a preview of sorts, it will be going up on the Monkey Shrine sooner or later.

Journey to the West, all the fun you can fit in a handbasket

Book 1, Chapter 1

WU’CHENG EN
Here, have some information about how the world was created. It’ll give me a chance to show off my knowledge of the Tao, Buddhism and throw around vague alchemical symbolism at the same time. Aren’t I clever and smart? Oh, I’ll also throw in lots of old poetry. Did I mention that I Iike poetry? There’s this one poem…

STONE MONKEY
Hello? Can we get to me here?

WU’CHENG EN
Right. Right, I’ll tell you about that poem later. I’m going to give you the precise measurements of a stone that was created at the beginning of time. Please ignore the fact that there wouldn’t have been anyone around at the time to measure it. Are you sure you don’t want a poem? There’s a poem about how the stone egg gave birth to a monkey.

STONE MONKEY
Cool! I’m alive, and made out of stone. Rock on! That pun is very much intended.

STONE MONKEY bows to the FOUR QUARTERS because at this point he is still polite, opens his eyes and flashes beams of golden light at HEAVEN.

JADE EMPEROR
We have a really long title. No really, it’s long. Anyway, what is that golden light that reaches us as we sit in our Cloud Palace of the Golden Arches, in the Treasure Hall of the Divine Mists? Think about it, if the name of our Throne Room is that long you probably don’t want our title.

THOUSAND MILE EYE and FAIR WIND EAR
Over at Flower Fruit Mountain an immortal stone has given birth to an egg that in turn gave birth to a stone monkey who bowed to the four quarters and then opened his eyes. That caused the golden light.

JADE EMPEROR
Oh, well that’s nothing to worry about then.

The JADE EMPEROR and other IMMORTALS go about their business as if NOTHING is wrong. THEY will regret this later. STONE MONKEY wanders all over the mountain and makes friends with everybody, including lots of other MONKEYS.

WU’CHENG EN
Here’s another poem about what the Stone Monkey and his new friends did. I’m so clever! I’ll also imply that these monkeys are Buddhists! It’ll be important later, why I’ve got a poem about that too!

MONKEYS
You know, if we don’t do something there’s bound to be way too much poetry. So we’ve been hanging around this stream, let’s see where it goes.

The MONKEYS follow the stream and find more POETRY, as well as a WATERFALL which they think is grand.

MONKEYS
We’re easily amused. So who wants to jump into it and see where all the water is coming from? Whoever does can be king!

STONE MONKEY
Now that’s right up my alley. I’ll do it.

STONE MONKEY jumps through the waterfall and discovers a bridge that leads to a strange CAVE, which turns out to be “The Blessed Land of Flower-Fruit Mountain, the Cave Heaven of Water-Curtain Cave,” which is a fully furnished house-like place. STONE MONKEY calls for the other MONKEYS and no one thinks a fully furnished cave is strange.

STONE MONKEY
You all said I could be king, so I’m king. I’m now Handsome Monkey King.

MONKEYS
Whatever you say, king.

The MONKEYS enjoy a peaceful existence of about FOUR HUNDRED YEARS until one day MONKEY KING sheds a few TEARS.

MONKEY KING
Someday we’ll all die.

MONKEYS
Gee, it only took you four hundred years to figure that out? Immortals, Buddhas, and Holy Sages don’t die though.

WU’CHENG EN
See! See! Buddhas! There it is again! I’ve got this poem…

MONKEY KING
Ack! No, no poetry. Ok, tomorrow I’m going to go off and find these people and I’ll learn how to be young forever!

MONKEYS
Ok, we’ll give you a party. Any excuse for a party!

The MONKEYS give MONKEY KING a party.

WU’CHEN EN
I’ve got a poem about this too! You want to hear it?

MONKEY KING
Ok, enough of that! I’ve got my raft, bamboo pole and some fruit! Off I go!

And so MONKEY KING sets sail for the Lands of the Immortals. He gets a good tail wind and makes to land in record time. He finds humans on the shore going about their lives.

HUMANS
AHHH! It’s a short monster… thing… RUN AWAY!

MONKEY KING manages to catch one and steals his clothes. He then wanders around trying to find IMMORTALS. There is a lot more POETRY.

MONKEY KING
Hmm, no Immortals here, just greedy humans, but look here’s another ocean. I’ve already crossed one under improbible circunstances, what’s one more?

And so MONKEY crossed the ocean and came to a new land. He finds beautiful mountains there and because it’d be a really short story if he were afraid of heights, he climbed right up to search for IMMORTALS.

MONKEY KING
Greetings, Immortal.

WOODCUTTER
Huh? WTF?

MONKEY KING
You were singing, and that means you’re either an Immortal or the author who has this strange fixation with poetry and since you can’t be the author, you must be an Immortal.

WOODCUTTER
I’m not an immortal but my neighbor is, because here ordinary people have Immortals for their next door neighbors. This is the Mountain of the Heart and Mind, my neighbor lives on the Cave of Slanting Moon and Three Stars just in case you wanted the long name.

MONKEY KING
What’s the short name?

WOODCUTTER
Mountain number 3,472.

MONKEY KING
I see why you go with the long form.

WOODCUTTER
Anyway, follow this path south, you can’t miss it.

MONKEY KING
Thanks!

MONKEY KING follows the WOODCUTTER’S directions and encounters more poetry and a CAVE.

MONKEY KING
Ahh, this must be the place but the door is shut, I’ll just sit up in this tree and wait, someone will come out eventually, otherwise this will be a really short book.

MONKEY KING sits up in a pine tree until a YOUNG BOY, who appears to be an IMMORTAL, opens the door.

YOUNG BOY
Who’s raising a ruckus out here?

MONKEY KING
That would be me. I’m seeking the way of immortality, got any of that around here?

YOUNG BOY
Boatloads. Come on in, we’ve got a fresh pot of the stuff brewing.

MONKEY follows the YOUNG BOY into a GREAT BIG CAVE with lots of rooms and windows. They finally reach a platform made out of GREEN JADE and the IMMORTAL SUBODHI and of course, some more poetry.

MONKEY KING
I shall now bow, which shows I really respect you. I came all the way from the Water-Curtain Cave on the Flower-Fruit Mountain in the Ao-lai Country of the East Purvavideha Continent, if you want the long name.

SUBODHI
What’s the short name?

MONKEY KING
Way the hell far away in the east.

SUBODHI
You came a long way then. Do you have surname?

MONKEY KING
No, and I have no parents. I was born from an immortal stone.

SUBODHI
Well, that’s certainly special. Since you look like the kind of monkey called hu-sun I’ll give you the surname Sun. As well as explain a very deep meaning to this name by breaking down the character that forms Sun into…

MONKEY KING
Don’t get started or we’ll get more poetry. Since you’ve given me a surname, how about a personal name too?

SUBODHI
Ok, let me explain the division of my students, in a rather long winded manor.
(He does so)
Now, for reasons I shan’t reveal, or perhaps because the author is just clever, you belong to the tenth generation, blah blah blah, so your name will be Wu K’ung “Awakened to Emptiness,”

WU CHEN’EN
Which is perfect for Buddhism!

MONKEY KING
Great, I have a name. Let’s get down to some serious studying of the Tao, baby.

WU CHENG’EN
And so the Handsome Monkey King was born, secured a kingdom and got a name and I was clever with poetry and allusions to Buddhism and alchemy. If you want to know anything else, you’ll have to read the next chapter. I plan to end every chapter that way; it’s a pretty standard ending in Chinese writing. Get used to it.

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