Junior Earplug Adventures: Winning Numbers (Part Nine)

Vera wasn’t alone in her distrust of good fortune’s promise. Jed Perkins felt much the same way…

“Ah, shut ya stupid gob,” He snarled at the television as the A.I appeared.

Meanwhile, in the Maintenance Suite, Charles and Wolfgang, despite buying several tickets via a direct debit system, were yet to become aware of the lottery draw…

“Flipping heck, Wolfgang,” Charles said grumpily, “even the maintenance system is letting us down: it’s working fine. We are surplus to requirements – you know that? We could be at home, enjoying a cup of cocoa and some chocolate chip cookies or chilli con carne; but no, museum rules demand that some poor unfortunate earplug and his pal keep a watchful eye over this totally automated system whilst it checks out the museum’s doo-dads and gizmos to the twelfth decimal point.”

“Out of the way, Charles.” Wolfgang growled bad-naturedly. “Let me give it a kick. That should alter the dynamics of the system check. You never know, it might find a fault, which will give us something to do.”

But even a well-swung steel toe-capped boot couldn’t tip the balance in the maintenance crew’s favour. The program checked out as A-OK. But the resulting stunned silence allowed both earplugs to become aware of an audible imminent transmission warning.

“Hello, Charles and Wolfgang.” A cheerful A.I cried…er…cheerfully, as the familiar (and sometimes terrifying) face of the Museum of Future Technology appeared on the maintenance suite monitor. “Better buy yourselves some space sickness pills, boys: you’re going places!”

It was much the same story for Vera Glovebox. “Vera.” The A.I said smugly. “Dig out your anti-vacuum cacks – just in case you snag your space suit on a stray nail.”

Naturally Vera looked both ways as she exited the video booth: despite her happy smile, she was in no mood to explain to a passer-by why she kept a sealed pack of space panties in her knicker drawer.

And for Jed the news came as a complete surprise. He ran around his sitting room in a state of utter excitement, the like of which he’d never known – in all his years of hiking all over the place…

As he leapt aboard his dining table…

…he thought of all the money he might make – taking earplugs on hiking holidays upon strange alien worlds and in distant nebulae.

Charles’ and Wolfgang’s thoughts weren’t that dissimilar…

…except for the hiking  and strange alien worlds thing, of course: they’d already turned away – the pre-written resignation letters in their trouser pockets screaming to be presented to their supervisor.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017


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