An Interview with Lord Graystone, the Jungle Lord
By John Pirillo
For those of you who are just jumping into this interview, a brief review of the first one.
Lord Graystone is the survivor of a horrible accident, who grew up in Fairie, raised by a bull dragon. Much of his physical prowess and sensibilities come from living in those fierce jungles, which are not only enlivened by lions and crocodiles, but also prehistoric beasts straight from Jurassic Park. This is no surprise, considering that stories that originate here usually take on some kind of physical substance in that parallel universe, which I have named The Baker Street Universe in honor of its heroes.
The man, for surely he is, though quite a remarkable one, is fiercely loyal, powerfully strong, and has a brain as finely tuned as Sherlock's, with a memory equally as daunting. Not a man to make an enemy of. Fierce in battle, fierce in loyalty. Those are his attributes.
When last we spoke, I was about to ask my first question of the interview. I had a certain reluctance at the time, because of his known fierce nature, and surely wanted to accord him the respect such a powerful man of jungle and city deserves.
I pressed the record on button of my phone app, and then leaned back in my chair.
"It is my understanding that you were abandoned as a child. Is that true?"
I waited for him to explode in my face, for it was a very, very personal question and what I had written about him, as you will see, is far different from what actually happened, though close in some ways.
He considered my question a long time, his face clouded with emotion, and then he spoke clearly and precisely as those of a Victorian Manner are wont to do. "Sir."
"Call me John, please." I requested.
"We have not known each other enough to be on first names, sir." He answered, his face bewildered by my boldness. I had asked of him a question as equally as important as asking a fair young maiden of her virtue. Not appropriate. My first mistake.
But to his credit, he smiled. "I will call you, Mister Pirillo. You may address me as Jungle Lord." Here his smile broadened. "Or Lord Graystone."
"Very well." I agreed.
He nodded, and then spoke. "My mother and father were quite famous during the early reign of Queen Mary, who was merely a child at the time, ruled more by her counselors and advisors, than by her own hand.
"I was born to them during the siege of the Demon City."
"Yes. The Demon City was raised from the depths of Qwan Chi, an island off the coast of the mainland by a dark wizard for the purposes of using its inhabitants to terrorize and control the populated world."
"I am not familiar with that war." I said. "Perhaps you could enlighten us with more information about it."
"Is this relevant to my interview?" He asked, his face studying me for honesty, as he usually did to all I have noticed over time.
"Yes. It will put into more perspective how you have grown up and the effect of your childhood upon both your physical stature, as well as your intellectual prowess."
He almost laughed, and then stopped. "You're beginning to sound a lot like Holmes."
I blushed. "That would be an honor."
"Indeed." He agreed, saying no more.
He looked out at the Eiffel Tower, his hand holding a glass of the sparkling grape juice I had given him. He sniffed it, his eyes rolling with pleasure.
"My father and mother met during the war. She was a nurse, and he was a...how shall I describe him...a scientist of the dark arts."
"He practiced dark magic?"
"Oh no." He quickly shook his head. "No, merely the equivalent of an archaeologist or historian of your times. He went there to survey the ruins, and to understand how it had been raised. It was important to her majesty's armies at the time, as they feared the Chinas would rise from the ruins of that dark place to take on the world in another war, as they had in the previous three."
"There have been three wars?" I asked in astonishment. I had no idea.
He frowned. "Yes. Horrible wars. As you know they far outnumber our own Europes by a factor of ten. We could slay them by the millions and hardly make a dent."
He frowned even deeper. "But such slaughter has never been our intent, or that of the queen, as young as she was. We merely sought assurances."
"And what happened next, after your father arrived on the island?"
"He met my mother." He answered, his face brightening with that memory. "It was love at first sight. I remember that much of their history, though everything else, I'm afraid, is taken from other sources, other memories."
He looked sad momentarily, then took a deep breath and resumed his story.
"It was the middle of April, a time when the island would become freezing cold. The natives there used that time of year to catch fresh fish and store them for the summer and spring months, trading them for valuable supplies from the mainland Chinas."
"So how did your parents meet?"
He smiled. "In a dig."
"Really? Doesn't sound very romantic to me."
"Oh, it wasn't. From what Challenger's father told him..."
"Challenger's father was there?"
"Oh yes, indeed. He and Watson's father served in the military. Both men were highly decorated and renowned during that time."
"That explains how John entered the service then." I assumed.
"Oh no. John entered for his own reasons. To serve. He has always led a life of compromise and service. I honor him for that, and that is one of the biggest reasons I have joined the fellows of Baker Street in their administrations of justice throughout the realms."
"I see. So the dig then..." I urged.
He went on. "My father was young and foolish. She was also young, but very, very smart. Bright as the moon at night and the sun during the day. It was told to me that she had memorized every page of the Gita, a famous biblical yarn from the India Isles."
"That's remarkable. It's quite a dense book to read."
"You've read it?"
I nodded. "Yes, but a lot still remains a mystery to me."
"And rightly so, as it has arcane knowledge within it, meant only for the enlightened."
"Wizards and magic?"
At that point of our conversation in the interview my cell phone battery chooses to run out of charge.
I shall post further of this interview after I have had time to digest and review what was said later on.
I remain your humble and loving author and interviewer.
(New) Tarzan, King of the Jungle! Edgar Rice Burrough's Beasts of Tarzan Audiobook, Chapter 20, fractals, stories, artwork at www.johnpirillo.com
(New) The End nears. Who will live or die? Edgar Rice Burrough's Beasts of Tarzan Audiobook, Chapter 20