Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 13)


Well Susan’s words – not to mention her dimensions and acting ability – altered the whole complexion of the argument…

Cushions smiled falsely through her great wall of white gnashers. “Oh, it’s like that, is it?” Then to Barcode Betty she said: “Where are the K T Woo, the Chi-Z-Sox and the Brian Talbot currently located?”

“Bloody miles away.” The mottled curator answered. “All on deep-space assignment. Neither of them can get back here for weeks – even at maximum velocity.”

“I was afraid you were going to say that.” Cushions mumbled in response to the bad news.

“What about the ship-building yards on the recently refurbished Mars?” Winston Gloryhole offered…

Cushions sucked on her considerable teeth. “But the new ships aren’t finished yet.” She complained. “And the Mars shuttle is down for its annual safety inspection. We can’t ride roughshod over the Health and Safety Commission you know.”

Magnuss could tell that Cushions was holding on to her metaphorical purse strings as though her life depended upon them remaining tightly closed. “We can use our flying saucer.” He offered.

With an obvious sigh and a great slumping of shoulders, Cushions finally succumbed to the inevitable. “Okay,” she said in a whisper, “I surrender: we’ll go to Mars. Give me a half-hour to get my affairs in order.”

Susan decided to spend the next half-hour productively, so she re-entered the Age of Stone to check on her firewalls. Chester volunteered to accompany her. Having quickly concluded that all was well, on the way back to the museum Susan decided to give Chester the same ride that she’d given Magnuss…

“What do you think, Chester?” She inquired. “Is it fun? Oh, by the way, my olfactory nerve bundles are located up there: you won’t break wind, I hope?”

Chester was far too in awe of Susan to insult her with a surreptitious fart, so it was a happy green blob that returned them both to the museum, and resumed her huge earplug-like appearance…

She couldn’t help but notice that Chester’s expression showed concern – and perhaps a little sorrow. “What ails thee, Chester?” She asked in a kindly voice.

Chester was reticent to reply, but after a couple of kicks in the shin he decided to answer: “I…I…really like you, Susan. But…but I’m feeling really sad we can never really be anything more than heroic friends. You’re so big, and I’m so small. Why – even if you were to agree to a big sloppy kiss behind the bike shed – I couldn’t even reach your chin. And worse still – you could only kiss the top of my head. I’m so depressed – I really am!”

Susan responded well to this emotional stimulus…

“Oh for flip’s sake,” she yelled, “haven’t you forgotten that I’m a shape-shifter? I can become whatever I can imagine. Look at this.”

“Er, lovely.” Chester replied, “But hardly a turn-on.”

“I’m not finished,” Susan said tetchily. “Regarde.”

“Aah, oh, you have two pin-prick eyes. Is that good?”

“Keep watching.” Susan answered.

So Chester did…

…and what he saw quite surprised him…

“Golly,” he said, “That’s a pretty earplug shape you have there.”

But he said no more as the pretty earplug shape grew prettier by the second – before detaching itself from the rest of the body entirely…

Chester looked around the apparition’s shoulder and remarked: “Pity your sister’s are so plain.”

He then took a backward step as the pretty earplug shape advanced upon him…

“Oh, but look, Chester,” the part of Susan replied, “look where my lips are now: just the right place for a big sloppy kiss. And there’s no one else around, so we don’t even need a bike shed to go behind!”

A lump formed in Chester’s throat. He didn’t know what to say. So Susan jokily responded thus…

“Or would you prefer to kiss a cabbage?” She offered.

But, of course she couldn’t be so cruel, and in next to no time…

…she had reverted to her multi-earplug form. “And if you don’t happen to like green,” she said through a smile so wicked that it gave Chester the goosebumps, “I can become any colour or hue you wish. Okay, Chester – pucker up; you’re in for the snog of your life!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Was that final spoken line couched in a degree of metaphor? I leave it for you to decide.

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