“I... was not expecting that,” Naboo said in a low, confused voice, holding the hoover gingerly.
Howard, wobbling in his ridiculous heels, edged closer to Naboo and the comforting bulk of Bollo as they watched, in horrified fascination, as the Spirit of Jazz stretched his new limbs and settled in to the skin that had once been Howard’s and had more recently been Vince’s.
“Well, well, well. I can’t say I was expecting this either, tiny turban man,” slithered the deep, cajun voice from beneath Howard’s moustache. “But here we are. And shit’s about to get real, motherfuckers!”
As the Spirit’s red eyes flashed menacingly the crowd behind them began to scream. They were used to seeing The Mighty Boosh, aka Vince and Howard, making a mess of their sets and getting into some sort of trouble. No one was there for the music anyway, they came to see the Boosh boys in order to watch the deep, molten, sexual tension play out, like a theatre show only without the flowery language. There had been a general fear that once Howard and Vince came to their senses and hooked up their shows wouldn’t be nearly as engaging but the opposite had proven to be true and people had been willing to pay extra to see the way sparks would fly and the air turn rosy when Vince and Howard locked eyes with each other and couldn’t look away.
Now of course there was general pandemonium as the Spirit of Jazz seemed to warp the space around himself, flames flickering into existence in the air around him and the faint sound of trumpets crept into the edge of hearing. Many of those in attendance had heard of the legendary, ‘Kraftwerk Orange Incident’, but the head of Pieface Records had actually been there, and his hysterical shrieking of “Get out before he strips down to the thong!” has sparked a stampede for the door in which hairstyles were being flattened and jeans being ripped in genuine, and non-designer, ways. Howard felt a moment of extreme annoyance that the fear might actually be out of fear of seeing his body in only a pair of tiny pants but he couldn’t hold on to the feeling for long, because the Spirit of Jazz was beginning to walk towards them, his body being moved with a snakelike seduction that even Vince hadn’t been able to manage.
“You can’t do this,” he yelled at the Spirit, over the screaming and general pandemonium, but it sounded shrill and thin through the filter of Vince’s body.
The Spirit just grinned.
“Oh, but I can, my glittery fish finger. I don’t know who was in here first but they was easy to force out, ‘specially with your little magic man sucking away like a rent boy getting paid double time,” he sneered, a chuckle rumbling out of his chest when Naboo blinked in embarrassment. “But now I is free,” the Spirit continued. “This body is mine and there ain’t nothing you can do to stop me. I am taking over this little corner of this dusty old city and it’s gonna be heroin, loose women and hot, hot Jazz for ever more!”
“Does Jazz Freak not know he in Shoreditch?” Bollo grumbled over the crazed laughter of the Spirit of Jazz. “Heroin and loose women nothing new. Loose men and cocaine here too,” he added, nodding to himself seriously. “Bollo not want to be sexist. But no room for this Birdland berk. What we do, Naboo?”
“We have to run!” Howard yelled, immediately falling again in Vince’s ridiculous boots.
“Shit, Howard, no!” Naboo called, “hold still!”
Howard began to argue but stopped when Naboo turned the nozzle of the hoover to face him, his heart dropping like a stone as he stared down the dark, and dusty, barrel.
“Naboo, what are you-”
“There’s no other way,” Naboo spoke over him. “The Spirit of Jazz might be able to survive for long periods of time without a corporeal form but that’s cos he’s a demon from the Fifth Circle of Musical Hell. Vince’s soul can’t survive that long outside of human flesh. Just, I don’t know, brace yourself, yeah?”
Howard closed his eyes against the blast of dust-filled air that hit him square in the face, feeling Vince’s feathered hair ruffle around his neck as the hoover blew against him. A second later he was hit by another feeling, though not of air this time. This felt like being hit with a gallon of warm, sugary, maple syrup beneath his skin. It made him gag, the feeling of vertigo returning with a vengeance, and he worried for a moment that Naboo had forced him out of Vince’s body, dooming him to fade away like a ghost in the ether. But as his mind began to clear he realised that he was still in Vince’s body, but something had changed. He felt different, like his thoughts were rubbing up against something, a barrier, though a soft one, like the edge of a duvet fort, and when Howard pressed himself against it he felt an answering warmth.
“Howard?” came the thought/voice again. “Howard, quick, we have to get out of here!”
“But I can’t- I dont-”
“Just hold it together, Howard! Let me take over for a bit, ok!”
Vince stumbled to his feet, shifting his hips to find his balance before staring down the demon that had taken over Howard’s body.
“Well, look at you,” the Spirit sneered. “The boy/girl’s back in charge of the skin suit. And what are you going to do, glitter prince?”
“Me?” Vince asked, feeling a thrill of glee at hearing his own voice again. “Well, eventually I’m going to kick your ass out of Howard’s body, yeah? But right now? Right now, I reckon we’re going to... run!”