The Time Tamperer (part 33)


Duncan’s brain slipped into overdrive: “You sent for us.” He blurted.

Piggies was surprised by the small black earplug’s response. He also doubted the veracity of his statement. “Yeah?” He said. “Are you sure?”

Wilson was a fast learner. Quickly cottoning on to Duncan’s improvised plan, he added: “Wilson Bucket, man.” He said to Piggies. “We got a contract. We signed it…oh…about…when was it, Saxon?”

Saxon was less able in the quick wits department; but after blowing out some air through pursed lips he offered:  “Ooh, I dunno; must have been eighteen months ago.”

“That’d be in our era, of course.” Duncan interjected. 

“That’s right.” Wilson took up the brazen attempt at subterfuge. “But, of course, in your future. Hey, man, I just had a thought: maybe you don’t remember it because you aint done it yet. Wouldn’t that be something!”

Piggies opened his mouth several times before finding some words to say. Eventually he said: “So why are you here?”

“Kitchen staff.” Duncan responded in an instant. “The hats kind of give it away, don’t they? Wilson and Saxon are chefs: I’m their kitchen porter. We’re here to keep you well fed and watered.”

Although he couldn’t recall ever having the idea of hiring some cooks from the future, Piggies now considered the idea. “You’re hired.” He said as he began walking. “Follow me…

…I’ll show you to your work place. It’s nearly tea time: can you knock me up a nice lemon drizzle cake in about twenty minutes?”

Saxon was no baker: he tended to specialise in seafood. “Sure.” He said. “Do you want it round or square?

Meanwhile, in another region of the vast edifice, Jeremy Farton and Chickweed Gubbins had resumed their search for the missing customers…

“You don’t have to look at me that way.” Chickweed grumbled. “I know you’d prefer I was your lovely girlfriend, Pixie: but I’m not; so get over it and do your job. Are you an agent of T.W.I.T, or a miserable, moping teenager?”

Walking along an almost identical thoroughfare, Neville Scroat drew Pixie’s attention to the alternating lighting. “Isn’t it annoying?” He said. “One moment its this brilliant tungsten blue: the next its a dull flat white. I wonder if it has anything to do with temporal instability.”

Pixie was no expert in temporal mechanics. In fact she’d never heard of the term. “Yeah.” She replied. “I suspect so.”

By sheer chance, the two zombies, Clux and Grimnax, were walking in the opposite direction…

The flickering lights were upsetting the undead duo too. So much so, in fact, that they decided to cheer themselves up by going into denial and whistling a little tune. And they continued in this manner until they almost collided with Pixie and Neville…

“Ooh.” Neville said with a slightly nervous sigh. “Zombies. Have you come to convert us – or eat us?”

Pixie wanted to say: “Don’t go giving them ideas, Neville.” But instead she said: “Erk!”

But it didn’t matter because…

…Clux and Grimnax were pleased to discover that they weren’t alone.

“Are you agents of Twit?” They asked as one. And as the young recruits replied in the affirmative, the zombies added: “We’ve got something to tell you. It’s really, really important.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

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