The Where House (Part Nineteen)

The saga continues…

Meanwhile, or so it would appear, Fanangy Panakan was herself awakening from a mental fog. She too didn’t know her arse from her elbow. To her best awareness she appeared to be lying upon her back in a hospital bed. Certainly the aroma of freshly poured antiseptic suggested this. But it made no sense: She should be standing in the Artefact Store: what was she doing here? Being extraordinarily bright, she decided to look about the room for clues. But, oddly, something seemed to be blocking her view of the room. Odder still, the offending item seemed to be under the bedclothes with her. Suspecting that she might be naked, and that the mound was a perverted hamster that was contemplating oral sex with her, she slapped it with all her might. The resulting pain made her cry out in agony and surprise. Clearly the mound was part of her body. Then she screamed in sheer horror as realisation struck: The perverted hamster hadn’t sought oral sex at all: He hadn’t even had casual non-reproductive intercourse with her either: He’d clearly ‘knocked her up’. She was ever so slightly, horrendously, pregnant! Fanangy screamed again for good measure. Then she leapt to her furry feet, and dashed from the room in a perfect panic.

If time were linear, then just as this was happening to Fanangy, Colin was experiencing something quite dissimilar. The android hamster seemed to be seated in a small, grey-walled cell. His forepaws were in manacles, and his hind paws in shackles. Clearly someone wanted him to stay put; but didn’t appear to know the location of his ‘off’ switch.

“Hello?” He called out.

His hopes were dashed against a wall of silence. But this didn’t stop him trying further…

“Excuse me: I appear to be both manacled and shackled at the same time. Doesn’t someone consider this potential overkill?”

This time his hopes weren’t so much dashed: More they were crushed and mangled beyond recognition. “Shut your hole, Obbo.” A monotone response permeated through the heavy metal door that filled the only gap in the otherwise featureless walls.

“Obbo, is it?” Colin chose to reply curtly, “Well if that isn’t rude and unpleasant… then I don’t know what is. You should feel ashamed.”

A small hatch opened abruptly in the door. Through it Colin could see a Sentinel Robot peering back through at him. “You aint seen nothing yet.” It spoke once more in the inflectionless voice so common of its type.

Colin stood, and hopped to the window – rather like a school-hamster in a sack race, he thought. “What do you mean?” He inquired.

The Robot leaned closer, until Colin could detect its foul exhaust fluttering gently on idle. “Can you accept direct data transfer?” It asked.

Colin assured the huge device that he could indeed accept direct data transfer, and usually found it quite provocative.

“Good.” The robot replied. Then it promptly rammed a huge fist through the opening.

Colin wasn’t alarmed at this. He didn’t even take a precautionary step backwards. After all why should he? The other robot was a kindred spirit, wasn’t it? What harm could one pseudo-intelligent servomechanism do to another?

“Ready?” The unnamed Sentinel Robot inquired.

“Ready.” Colin assured it

An instant later, as though upon command, the huge machine thrust its smallest finger right up Colin’s nose, and waggled it furiously – as if searching out an elusive bogey. This had two effects upon Colin: firstly – it made direct contact with his internal data transfer node: secondly – it startled the shit out of the kindly android, causing him to leave a nasty, frothy, oil stain upon the floor directly beneath him. Then the data began to flow…

The data came in the form of sound and vision. Clearly it was an audio/visual representation of Colin’s near future, as imagined by the mean device that now held his nostrils in its steely embrace. The Mayor of Gerbil’s Ruin appeared to stand before the vast landfill site. It had been recently opened in a colourful fanfare of pomp and circumstance. She now read from a scroll…

“Are you Colin the Android Hamster, currently employed at The Where House?” She demanded.

Colin nodded.

“Good.” The mayor wrung her paws together before delivering the words, “Then it becomes my burden to tell you, Colin the Android, that you are an Obbo: An obsolete mechanism.” Then with more than a trace of maliciousness in her smile, she added, “And what do we do with obsolete mechanisms?”

Colin had to think fast if he thought that he was going to survive this. “You put me in a nice museum where I can spend the next century or two in splendid comfort, being admired, collecting dust, watching football on my internal TV set, and not being a burden to anyone?” He suggested.

“Wrong answer.” The mayor bellowed meanly. “Go and join the stink.”

Upon an unspoken command, two burley robots grasped Colin by the shoulders, and threw him, end-over-end, into the most vast garbage tip ever seen.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2012

A free PDF of this book is available beneath the header. The paperback version awaits your order at Lulu.com. And the e-book can be bought just about almost everywhere. ‘Everywhere’ includes Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, iBookstore, Lulu (the publishers), and a whole bunch of others too – from almost every country in the world! Well, lots anyway.

 

 

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Junior Earplug Adventures: Winning Numbers (Part Fourteen)

Whilst Onlie struggled with her seemingly recalcitrant mind, Margret had pulled herself together and led the girls to a place where she thought she could hear shuffling feet and the huffing and puffing of someone who was insanely bored. This resulted in them arriving at the inner sanctum of…

…the Masters of Chronos.

“Halt,” a helmeted individual, who might have been a guardian, bellowed, “who goes there?” Then, before anyone could reply, he added: “And why?” Then, as an afterthought, he said in a mellower tone: “And how the flipping heck did you find your way here? This place is supposed to be secret.”

Margret replied: “It was marked with an X on my personal museum blueprint. The one I keep beneath my bed, next to my potty and a few porcelain nik-naks that I don’t like on display in the sitting room because they’re rude.”

“An X, you say?” The surprised Guardian said ruminatively. “I once gave a lovely girl a copy of the museum blueprints. It was yonks ago, when I was young. I placed the X there – in the hope that one day she would find her way to me. How did it come into your possession?”

Margret couldn’t speak for several seconds: she was still in shock. Eventually she managed: “Would you kindly remove your helmet, sir?”

At first the Guardian was surprised. He looked more closely at Margret. Then the look of surprise was replaced with one of wonderment and he cast aside his helmet…

“Margret!” He roared.

“Nobby! Margret responded.

They would have thrown themselves at each other, but decorum maintained a steady hand on their behavioural tiller.

“How nice to see you.” Nobby said with a smile.

Margret took an unsteady step towards Nobby…

“Ditto.” He replied. “I see you’ve grown your moustache back.”

Nobby gulped: he recalled the time, when both earplugs were so young, how he used to tickle Margret with his moustache. He also recalled the day when his uncle, Arch Duke Ferdinand had instructed him to shave it off. “Yes.” He said. “I suppose you’ve come to escape the ice-age. Well you’re just in time – no pun intended: we were about to leave ourselves. Come see the High Priest: he’ll be thrilled to help you out.”

So, without further ado…

…Nobby led the girls to the elevator tube that would carry them up to the Masters of Chronos – Arch Duke Ferdinand and his brother…

…Butch.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017

 

 

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Wallpaper 415: Grotty Garden Shed

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Junior Earplug Adventures: Winning Numbers (Part Thirteen)

From there it was all down hill – literally – via elevator – to a place that none of them had ever suspected existed, until the moment that Ragi had spotted the X highlighted upon the museum blueprint in Margret’s chalet…

And as they arrived in (what appeared to them to be) a high vaulted foyer, they noticed that a public address wall screen was active and about to display a transmission. So they weren’t surprised when the museum’s Artificial Intelligence appeared…

“I am the museum’s spokes-thing.” It announced in a loud, stentorian voice. “I have an important announcement that concerns every living thing in this facility – including flies and other creepy-crawlies. An ice-age has begun. Meteorologists are unable to determine how long it will last, but it could be ten thousand years. So, all the curators are able to suggest is that you catch the fastest vehicle available to you and get as close to the equator as possible. Straddling it would be preferable – with at least one hot water bottle and a big puffer jacket or something similar. But whatever mode of transportation you chose, or whichever location…   

…do it now – before you all die of frostbite and other sub-zero ailments!”

The A.I then added a personal note. It went like this…

…”Aargh: no – it’s the end of the world!”

This worried Ragi, and she duly ran away screaming. But not before the transmission was suddenly terminated…

…and Ragi stopped running and screaming when she heard her friend’s startled gasps of astonishment.

Meanwhile Onlie Polony was having another of her visions…

“Ooh.” She said as her mental stability took another side swipe from the juggernaut of fate. “A dark star. What do I know about them? Super intense gravity. Aah, potential to carry an object or energy from one part of the universe to another via hyperspace wormhole. Other than that I’ve got nothing. I wonder what it’s significance to my current plight is. I wish I’d stayed in my igloo this morning: I’m not enjoying this one little bit.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017

 

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Tea Dust Art: Headline News – Direct Hits Topple Fantasy Tower

The thing with tea dust art is…it can look like anything your imagination can…er…imagine…

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The Where House (Part Eighteen)

The serialisation of the book…

…returns for excerpt Number 18!

Several minutes later Colin stood with his paw holding the handle to the elevator door.

“Now let’s get this straight.” Lionel needed clarification of Colin’s plan. “In order to discover why we all seem to have different memories of the last couple of hours – we are going to repeat our previous actions?  We’re going to do it all over again? Call me over-protective of myself, if you like, and perhaps I was raised in a family that paid a little too much attention to the government’s Health and Safety Executive – but isn’t that a little foolhardy? I mean – it’s not like re-winding a videotape: We could get really hurt this time!”

“Jeepers.” Fanangy hopped up and down on the spot, “We could all end up dead!”

“Or worse.” Boney added. “I could poop in me pants. I only just avoided it last time. One more fright, and I’m apt to lose control of me rear end. And no one would enjoy that.”

Had Colin been a real hamster, he would have scoffed at their lack of impetuosity. But as he was a mere machine, he said, “Well if you three can live with the mystery of it all – then fine, we’ll leave well alone: But don’t come running to me when you awake at night from some terrible nightmare of half-memories and suppressed recollections, and plead for an explanation.”

Well if there was one thing that hamsters disliked more than falling off a cliff, or getting their pubic fur snagged in a knitting machine, it was terrible nightmares that were dredged up from their innermost turmoil.

“Well if you put it like that…” Boney changed his mind in an instant, “Lead on Colin: Take us to where we need to be.”

This time Colin did manage a smile – but it was crooked, and it made Lionel rear up in alarm, and Boney’s sphincter to wobble deafeningly. But no one seemed to notice: Everyone’s eyes were firmly glued to the elevator door as it slowly creaked open upon runners that had long forgotten the taste of oil and the touch of a service engineer’s paw. Seconds later they began their descent to the Artefact Store.

Once more the elevator snail watched four brave rodents disembark the trembling box. ‘How strange’, it thought, ‘how the elevator stopped trembling after the hamsters stepped from it. Could they be feeling an emotion akin to fear and trepidation?’ The snail hoped so: It considered that it was the least they deserved: He’d never liked quadrupeds – even civilised ones: They’d eaten far too many of his cousins in the past. At least the French ones had: It wasn’t sure about the Hamster-British.

Naturally Colin led the way into The Artefact Store. Lionel would have volunteered, but he was too scared to offer his services. Boney would have liked to as well, but he was too old, and his knees knocked together, which slowed him down. And Fanangy would have been more than willing, but she confessed to a long-held belief that someone possessing external genitalia should always enter dangerous-looking rooms first – preferably with huge muscles and a shaven head, and their aforementioned external genitalia tucked protectively between their thighs. Lionel wasn’t entirely convinced as to the veracity of her new-found religion; but agreed with himself that she was far too pretty to risk having her face filled in by some brute with a mallet hiding in the shadows. Or something equally unpleasant. 

Finally, after much tramping up and down a multitude of moist corridors, the four hamsters stood around the solitary workbench within The Artefact Store. It was illuminated by the feeble glow of a small oil lamp. Each of them produced their ‘weapons’, and lay then upon the well-worn bench.

“Hmmm.” Colin hummed as he studied their shape and form.

“Hmmm?” Fanangy inquired.

“Hmmm.” Colin confirmed his earlier appraisal. Then he moved the ‘weapons’ around until eventually they were pressed together – butt-to-barrel – forming a single torroidal form. Then, with no command from any hamster present, the four devices  combined – latching themselves together, and activating a series of twinkling lights that ran in sequence – apparently chasing each other around and around in circles like excited electrons inside a particle accelerator .

“Cripes and jeepers.” Fanangy yelped, “It’s got a mind of its own!”

“I don’t like it: Switch it off! Switch it off!” Boney cried in alarm.

“Argh!” Lionel screamed, and dived beneath the workbench, from where he shouted, “Dive for cover: It’s going to explode. I know all about this sort of stuff: I watch ‘Danger: Exploding Things’ on the National Geosynchronous Orbit Channel!”

But, of course, it didn’t explode. Instead it formed a super-black vortex that reached out of another continuum like an irresistible tidal wave, and engulfed the hamsters utterly.

An indeterminate amount of time later Boney discovered himself directly outside the pedestrian entrance of The Where House. He was confused. He thought that he might have forgotten something; but he couldn’t recall what it was – or even if there was actually something tangible to remember.

“Silly old bugger.” He admonished himself, before digging into his vest pocket for a set of jangling keys. It was only when he attempted to push the largest key into a non-existent keyhole that alarm bells began ringing in the forepart of his brain.“ ‘Ere,” he said, “I can’t get inside me own property. What’s goin’ on?” Then he realised that he didn’t have any shoes on either. “Ooh-er.” He said, looking around to see if he was alone.

Then the realisation that he was also without trousers dawned, and that only his badly creased shirt tail kept his privates from exposing themselves to all and sundry. And then, inexplicably, the street outside The Where House seemed busier than he could ever recall it being. It positively thronged with revellers – who pointed at him, and laughed uproariously. Boney felt his stubby tail shrivel before their gaze. He felt compelled to make a decision: Should he put himself out of his misery by lifting his shirt tail, and say damnation to the resulting furore: Or should he run ‘round the back’, and try to find an open window through which he could clamber to safety. He chose the latter course of action, and so scampered away like the frightened rodent he was.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2012

A free PDF of this book is available beneath the header. The paperback version awaits your order at Lulu.com. And the e-book can be bought just about almost everywhere. ‘Everywhere’ includes Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, iBookstore, Lulu (the publishers), and a whole bunch of others too – from almost every country in the world! Well, lots anyway.

 

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Junior Earplug Adventures: Winning Numbers (Part Twelve)

Fortunately, for Poki at least, the arboretum chose that moment to appear. But what a travesty of an arboretum it was…

It lay in absolute ruin. Every single plant had died and blown away.

“Do you know what this arboretum is?” Margret asked rhetorically…

Wendy didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘rhetorical’. “A travesty?” She suggested.

“Indeed.” Margret confirmed her employee’s hypothesis. “I confirm your hypothesis. And look at all this crazy paving: it’s…” She was lost for a descriptive word.

Belle, who wondered if hypothesis meant something triangular, made a suggestion of her own: “Crazy?” She said.

Margret didn’t reply to this: instead she cried: “There’s nothing here for a bunch of gorgeous dancing girls: let’s push on…

And it was just as well she did, because just around the corner they discovered a wall – with a strange-shaped door in it…

“Open, sez me!” Ragi joked.

As if on cue, or because it had a motion sensor or voice activated control, the door swung open upon well-oiled hinges…

And everyone was extremely pleased, because on the other side of the door…

…it wasn’t snowing!

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017

 

 

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