Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 19)


Well upon the recently-formed volcanic island, ‘firm’ wasn’t a problem: but ‘flat’ proved to be an impossibility – as the crew soon found out on their first Extra Vehicular Excursion…

In fact it was so rocky and uneven that Susan was in danger of toppling over and crushing her friends…

So, ever eager to supplant Magnuss as the moist heroic of the Earplug Brothers, Chester volunteered to act as their scout, and try to find an alternative route of passage. But he hadn’t taken more than a few steps into the unknown, when he fell into a depression that seemed to open up beneath him.

But, being young and nimble, he landed on his feet, and was soon calling out to the others…

Strangely, or so it seemed to Chester, no one seemed capable of hearing his demands for help. He paused to consider the fact…

Susan, utilising the logic of a creature born into a future era, decided to send her secondary sub-unit in search of the earplug most precious to her…

She simply couldn’t understand how he could have disappeared so quickly and without trace. Meanwhile Chester continued to stand in the depression…

…and sing a solo version of Los Caballeros Stupido – ever hopeful that someone – including members of the Galactic Court of Justice – might be offended and come to silence him, thereby freeing him from the hole – but without any obvious success. It was then that he noticed a hitherto invisible exit to his left…

Passing through it, he immediately found himself upon a high ledge…

And when the passageway through which he’d only just waltzed, disappeared he knew two of two things. One: he was stuck on a ledge. Two: the Supreme Being was either testing him, or having a laugh at his expense. Either way, the young earplug was not impressed…

Especially when some non-existent pit-props gave way and the upper ledge shelf slipped downwards and threatened to crush him…

…which impressed him even less. By chance, Susan’s search took her to a similar ledge just a few measures above where Chester now stood holding up a cliff face…

“Oh Chester,” she wailed, “be strong and resilient. I like you far too much to see you squashed like a worm beneath the heel of a cruel and tyrannical monster.”

“Me too.” He grunted his reply…

In doing so he noticed a ledge immediately opposite his own. For a moment he couldn’t understand how he hadn’t become aware of it earlier. Then he considered his location and quickly concluded that anything could be brought into existence without a moment’s warning: this was, after all, the Supreme Being’s realm. So he quickly hopped across, and gave thanks to Mr and Mrs Stenchlinger for all of the lessons they gave him on Precipitous Ledge Walking…

Naturally – the test (or joke) complete – Chester was returned to the others…

…and Susan couldn’t help but tell Valentine just how pleased she was to have Chester back. Chester, now consumed in a sulk, marched on ahead. But as the ground levelled off, his bad mood passed, and he slipped back through the group to walk beside his huge green object of desire…

…leaving Miles to find the best path for them. Then, having dropped a short distance behind the others…

…Chester told Susan about the famous discos that were often held in celebration in the Museum of Future Technology. She was fascinated by his tales of the turntable bravado of their resident funk-master, Hambledon Bohannon. He even taught her a dance made popular in 1975, called The Bump.

“Oh, how delightful.” Susan responded. “I had no idea that anything of value came out of 1975. When we’ve defeated the Wonky SB, do you think we  might enjoy doing this to a funky rhythm at the celebratory disco?”

“Hambledon Bohannon’s a friend of mine.” Chester boasted. “And I know the Trumptations too. I’m sure we’ll ‘get down’ ‘til dawn.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

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