Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 4)


But worse was about to befall the heroic Magnuss. Much worse…

In fact it was only when he discovered that the massive monstrosity bore no teeth and that his apparent consumption didn’t hurt that he realised the situation wasn’t quite as bad as he’d anticipated. But it wasn’t much fun poking out between a pair of suffocating gums…

“Oi,” his muffled voice cried out, “I can’t breathe in here. I’m becoming oxygen-deprived. If you insist on carrying me off, maybe you could place me somewhere more spacious?”

“Oh, sorry.” The hulk of green stuff responded. “I didn’t realise. Want a room with a view? Here, park your rear up there.”

  

Although alarmed at the sudden increase in altitude, and wondering quite how he got there, Magnuss gulped in a lungful of air. “Thank you.” He said. “Um…where are we going?”

“There.” The answer came.

Magnuss looked on in horror from his elevated position. “Up that steep ascent, and into that mysteriously dark tunnel?” He inquired shrilly, before adding: “If I fall off, I’ll break my stupid neck. And, surely it’s odds-on I’ll catch my forehead on the roof of the tunnel.”

“Nah,” the green thing replied, “I’m adaptable. When we get to the top, I’ll duck.”

As so it was; but that didn’t make Magnuss feel any cheerier: the tunnel truly was dark…

And it kept on being dark…

…even as Rudi arrived at the bottom of the steep climb…

Scenting the air with his sensitive nose, Rudi checked the area for any whiff of his missing brother. Immediately he detected at least three of Magnuss’ characteristic fear-fuelled farts. “Magnuss,” he bellowed, “where are you at?”

As Rudi’s stentorian tones filtered along the tunnel, Magnuss was in the act of being returned to the floor…

“Up the ramp and down the dark tunnel.” He shouted back. Then he addressed the mound before him…

“You’re a cheeky sod, you are.” He snapped. “Abducting me and all that: it’s well out of order. I’m not impressed. Who are you and what are you doing in the Age of Stone exhibit?”

Well naturally the reply came instantaneously. “I’m Susan.” Susan, the big green thing answered. “I’ve been employed to accompany this artefact back through time from the future. I’m a sort of owner’s manual and customer guide all in one. But I couldn’t take a chance on you being so frightened by my appearance and size that you ran away and became injured in a terrible accident. I felt your fears and uncertainties, even before you opened the door. So I grabbed you before you panicked and did something you’d regret.”

Magnuss was impressed. “You sensed my fears and uncertainties?” He said, full of wonder. “You…you’re an empath from the future?”

“Uh-huh.” Susan replied. “Good, innit?”

Meanwhile, and having now located Magnuss, Rudi chose to use his brotherly telepathic link to convey the news to the others…

He concluded with: ‘So get your selves here pronto.’

The command given, Valentine, Chester and Miles vacated the phone booth alcove immediately…

“What a groove.” Valentine was heard to utter beneath the sound of incessant snowfall. “Let’s get down.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

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