"Hello, hello, my feline lovelies! And welcome to the Wheel of Destiny! I'm Ecaflip, your divine host and the narrator of the adventures to follow. But tell me… Have you gotten over our last tale? The plight of an Ecaflip with no fur on his body… I hope whoever's featured today will have better luck. Alright, let's get started! Spin that wheel! Here we go… Wait for it… Ooooh! This one's purr-fectly delightful… Fortune and woe are the two sides to this flamboyant hero. Now, get ready to discover the story of Dodge!"

The tale I'm about to tell is completely true. It takes place in 354, the day after the second Crimson Dawn and the death of King Clustus. Far removed from such matters, the events of this story happened in a rather exotic place, on a little island right in the middle of the Back-Then Sea: the idyllic Arob-Arob.

Since he became a sailor, Dodge has spent plenty of time adventuring… and laying about as well! With spring coming to an end, in between trips out to sea, our Ecaflip asks his crew to cast off at the edge of the atoll. Equipped with the bare essentials – including his white blade and black blade, both forged by Pussycat – he winks at his friend Ejipe one last time, before jumping overboard to swim the rest of the way.  So begins his pilgrimage: He washes away all the fights, all the harrowing things he's experienced over the last few months, as if absolving himself of his sins before stepping on the island (this is also the only time, as a disciple of Mine, he won't be opposed to taking a bath). Each time, he takes the opportunity to observe the coral reef below the surface, so vibrant and meowlti-colored. This brief voyage is a transition. After sailing the seas all year long, Dodge will be taking it easy on the islet for the next few days.


Two days later, the fortunate hero is transformed. The relaxation is written all over his becalmed face. His treatment is strict: nothing but kokonut mimilk cocktails and long naps! This experience is the bow meow's whiskers for him. His routine has slowed to the pace of his gently swaying hammock. Then suddenly… splat!

Dodge slowly raises his paw up to his head and notices an off-white substance with flecks of green dripping on him. Albatrocious droppings! And after he'd come all this way to avoid being disturbed, to make everything just so, this is the reward he gets… He wipes off most of the excrement and looks for his feathered assailant in the trees.

"I'll let you off this time, filthy creature!" he says to the dumbfounded bird. "But you'd best not hang around if you don't want to be roasting over my fire tonight…"

The Ecaflip gets up to shower only a stone's throw away, in his traditional bungalow. He enters the bamboo cabin and pulls the cord for fresh water, waiting for it to stream out. But nothing happens. As he pulls harder, he hears something heavy… which then lands on his head! In complete darkness now, he hears a worrisome buzzing noise… It's a wasp nest!

He dashes out of the cabin, only to collide head-on with the trunk of a kokonut tree. He takes off his aching cap and rushes to the nearest beach to take cover in the water. Barefoot, the poor wretch steps right on an urchin… His shriek pierces the silence of the idyllic island.


Limping and swollen from insect bites, the vacationing buccaneer lies down for a moment on the warm sand, now in a truly pitiful state.

"It'll be alright, Dodgey," he says to himself. "Just a little incident… A chain reaction… Been quite a while since you've had that happen. You're not used to it anymore, that's all."

Saying this, he looks up. Something just occurred to him. He then hurries back to his bamboo dwelling to check…

"I knew it!"

In the entryway, next to his favorite fiip-flops, his shining Pussycat-made black blade sits… by itself. Still puffy from the wasp bites, Dodge winces while investigating the area around his rental as best he can.


A rustling sound. Without hesitating, Dodge sets off to pursue the robbers. He runs into the foliage, grumbling at the branches smacking him as he goes. After a while, he stops to catch his breath. When he looks up again, off in the distance he sees a diminutive Masqueraider wearing a mask that's nearly as big as him.


Instantly, like lightning bolts, disjointed memories play in his mind: on being welcomed to the village that first night, the little Masqueraider who reserved the last massage right in front of him; at the cafeteria the first morning, the little Masqueraider who snagged the last kokonut cake ball; and in the afternoon, the same little Masqueraider waved as he rode off on the last dragoturkey for the island tour. But this morning, Dodge got his revenge! At breakfast, he was the one to grab the last kokonut cake ball as the little Masqueraider looked on, aha! His white blade, which he'd thought to take along, brought him luck! His newfound rival then approached his table (just in case, Dodge gobbled up the ball sprinkled with kokonut). He slipped a piece of paper under his meal tray before making a two-fingered gesture, pointing to his eyes and then to Dodge to imply he was watching him. The Ecaflip, still chewing, unfolded the note and read: "You'll pay for that." It was signed "Tikiki."

After this quick recollection, the Ecaflip fixes his stern gaze on the masked adversary, who is prancing around irritatingly beneath a kokonut tree, triumphantly brandishing the precious white blade of Pussycat…

"That little rat…"


Dodge must endure a mad dash through the tropical forest and its swamps, an arachnee bite, falling kokonuts, and a swarm of moskitos to finally reach Tikiki's place. The Ecaflip, frazzled and impatient, kicks in the front door. Or at least, that was his intention – the door remains shut despite the impact, and a floorboard gives way under Dodge's weight. After wriggling out of the hole, the adventurer bereft of relaxation politely knocks on the door before opening it. He thinks he must be hallucinating when he counts seven Tikikis of varying sizes in the room! They stare at him.

"Jeez, did I stumble on a family of Kanniballs or something?"

  • "That's him, Mama!"

At the other end of the living room, Tikiki is hiding behind his mother, a hulking Masqueraider.

"What do you want with my five-year-old son?!"

Five-year-old? That would explain his short stature…

"Uh… Well, he started it!"

Addressing her brats, the matriarch points to the intruder and then slams a fist into her palm. The message is clear. But then Dodge's eyes light up: In the entryway, next to a row of different-sized flip-flops, lies the white blade of Pussycat! The adventurer snatches it and takes a step outside the house before doing a backflip, during which he unsheathes his second blade.

Maintaining a defensive stance in front of the bungalow, he sees Tikiki's seven brothers and sisters walk out wielding blowguns and staves. The oldest child swaps out his mask for one that clearly says "I'm very angry," then raises an arm and opens his hand. At this gesture, three younger brothers jump forward and blow into their blowguns. Dodge sweeps aside the shower of darts with two reverse movements of his blades before moving back into position. The elder brother lifts his other arm up and clenches his fist. The four big sisters charge toward the Ecaflip to strike him with their staves, but he parries and slices their weapons into toothpicks. Finally, it's the mother's turn to come out. She cracks her neck one way, then the other.

"Prepare to suffer the wrath of Mama Bigmak!"

Dodge gulps. Clad in a flower-pattern sarong, the female Masqueraider gets into attack position. But just as the Ecaflip is bracing himself, the family patriarch arrives from the forest:

"Whoa, whoa, whoa… What the heck is going on here?"

He is wearing the friendliest mask, with a big grin on it.

"This character means to harm our son! So I'm going to squash him like a moskito…"

  • "Hey now! Your son is the one who's been doing harm so far – just look at me! I've been stung, bitten, and scratched up so bad I look like a bunch of grapes!"

All the Masqueraider children burst out laughing.

"He does look pretty banged up, dear…" concedes the father.

  • "Tikiki stole my lucky white blade, and I've had nothing but trouble ever since. I only came to get back what's mine…"
  • "Is that true, Tikiki?" the father asks.
  • "Yes, Papa…"
  • "Well then, would you please apologize to him?"
  • "I'm sorry… bunch o' grapes."

The siblings giggle. Dodge cracks a smile. Well, either that or he's having a heart attack. Hard to tell with his face in such bad shape…


Later that same day, the Bigmak family and their thoroughly swollen guest are gathered around a fire. They've just had a huge meal, and Mama and Papa are playing ukuleles and singing. Dodge begins to feel happy and relaxed once more. He reaches toward to the last kokonut cake ball on the platter in the middle of the small table. Across the table, Tikiki is doing the same.