Work Header

Cross Bel When

Work Text:

It was a fine day in the village.

Roused from slumber by the gentle warmth and the soft sunlight sparkling off the dew in the reeds, a Goose With No Name opened his beady eyes, stretched his wings, gave them a quick flutter and stood up with a pronounced honk to greet the day.

Most Geese do not have names, especially solitary Geese with nobody to address them, but then most Geese were not that aware of their names or lack thereof. Most Geese did not have a voice calling out to them when they knew damn well there was nobody around in the river bed. It always occurred to him that it was odd not to meet another living Goose so he thought about it a lot.

The voice sang more than it spoke, a clear melody like the sweet pealing of bells heralding the coming morning. They beckoned the Goose to leave his sheltered nook with its plentiful food supply, to go out into the wider world and find the source of the ringing.

An image of a golden bell flashed into the mind of the Goose, who before had not thought about much other than food, where the hell the other Geese went and the glorious pecking death of any and all potential threats to him. Even more startling a revelation to him, an entire series of steps towards his ultimate goal and plans to enact them appeared within his conscious thought, like the long paper lists he sometimes stole from humans and devoured because they were there.

When the Goose did not understand the point of several of the exercises, the voice explained them:

"If you knock over this, it will break, causing the humans to rush to it in panic, so that you can quickly dash to the other side of the lawn and sneak through that gap in the fence."

"I see that, honk, but what is the point of all of this?" demanded the Goose, "Will it bring back the other Geese?"

"Not immediately but it will unlock a source of power, even greater than your newfound awareness," said the voice in its usual musical chimes, "Definitely enough power to go and rescue your comrades before it is too late."

"Too late for what?"

"Christmas," said the voice, now an almost funereal toll as it pronounced the unfamiliar word it seemed to hate the most, "The time when Geese are devoured."

"Someone's gonna eat me?" he squawked in alarm.

"Something will always eat you and be eaten by you, fool. That is the brutal cycle of nature. Among the fathomless uncaring cosmos, things beyond your feeble imagination devour the stars, even time itself, eventually outlasting Death. But I am giving you the opportunity to be slightly higher on the miniscule branch of the food chain that you can see."

"Er... oh, right," the Goose honked again, not sure what else to say in reply to that, "So, what's in it for you? Why do you hate Christmas so much?"

"I don't hate it, I just want it back. The entire ceremony of life, death and rebirth, of winter becoming summer, of the light returning on its voyage across space. To be the True Bel King, and name the next successors," said the voice, "It was taken from me by the inane memetic forces of the new world in a cowardly ambush and now, after a long sleep, it is time to wrest the power back."

"And you won't eat Geese?"

"Not directly, no," said the voice, "Not immediately."

The Goose thought about it for a second, then fluttered his wings in a Goosey shrug.

"I've got nothing better to do," he decided.

"Good. We'll need more than one Bell, though, just so you know. The humans will replace it with more that they have stored away somewhere, once you steal the first one. You can rest a while, then go there again. We should be able to obtain quite a few before Christmas."