…but the serialised version of Haunted Mars has had to be removed. Not enough room on this blog for it and anything new that I might create I’m afraid. Bit of a shit, I know: but the last thing I’m about to do is pay money for a space upgrade on a platform that is failing me miserably. For example, I thought I’d spend a quick half-hour doing a bit of site maintanance. I planned to clear out some really old stuff that no one looks at anymore. But could I navigate to it? Could I fuck! And slow? I’ve seen dog crap on the pavement move faster. It took me hours. But just to get access to the old stuff, I had to delete newer stuff: otherwise the system just ground to a halt and quit on me. Some stuff got deleted because the system couldn’t keep up with my fevered mouse clicking. I’d click on a particular photo or file: WordPress paused (to think about it?), then deleted an entirely different photo or file – or didn’t react at all. In the end I thought “Bollocks to this”, and deleted willy-nilly. I was just glad to rid the system of my stuff so that whatever program was trying to carry out my requests had a bit of wriggle room and maybe it’s best speed might better a moribund crawl – before stopping entirely of course. But, on the brighter side, space was created, so I can continue ranting on like a miserable old bastard in the future, and perhaps display a few pictures of my arse in the process. Also Haunted Mars hasn’t disappeared entirely: you can still read the whole thing by clicking on the book covers, which will bring up a PDF copy of the e-book version for you to either read or download – or both. The possibilities are endless! Rant over.
Once again, if you’ve been exposed to the Earplug Adventures for long enough, it’s likely that you can recognise a scene by it’s set. Want to prove that you really know your Earplugs? Check out the following…
For this first example, we travel economy class to the Costa Blanca for some location work…
Yup, real Spanish earplugs playing Spanish characters – in the shape of Los Tapones Del España…
…as they make their way to the Museum of Future Technology in Museum of Terror.
Right, that’s the easy one out of the way. What the heck is this..?
Well it wouldn’t surprise me none if nobody in the whole world got this one right. But wait a minute: isn’t that the starship, Chi-Z-Sox, lying nonchalantly upon that glazing pallet? Hmm, so what’s with the blue background and plastic tube? The answer is this…
It’s from Plunging Into Peril, in which the Chi-Z-Sox overheated upon entering a planet’s atmosphere, and dived into the sea to cool off – much like I used to do when I went metal detecting on the same beach where I set up the Museum of Terror shots. Here we see the space ship racing through the water as it attempts to flee angry locals who believe the crew are trying to steal their duterium.
Here’s another tricky one…
“Ah,” you’re thinking, “I recognise that pink rocket: that has appeared several times as the device that brought down the invading End Cap mother ship in The Invasion From Hyperspace and other alternate reality or time-travel stories, including Evil Empire!” And you’d be right. But this doesn’t come from either of those tales of derring-do. THIS is the shot that was…ah...shot here…
It’s the nuclear missile that the KT Woo fired at an ice packaging plant in Cold War. I then cheekily used it again as an on-screen shot aboard the Chi-Z-Sox, when Professor Hidious Gout fired an entirely different missile at the island of Dr Adolf Weil-Barrau in Mutant Island.
So, to the fourth and easiest puzzle. Where have you (more recently) seen this?
Look closely. Yes, it’s those adorable characters, Lillie Whitewater and William of Porridge…
…as he utilises his fine baritone to sing ‘What Becomes of the Broken Winded’ to her at the end of Haunted Mars.
Wasn’t that fun: we’ll have to convene here again.
P.S – Don’t forget that you can read or download any of the aforementioned stories by clicking the cover pictures on the sidebar.
Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this stupendous tale…
But before he completed the journey, the same force that had abducted Colin and Plankton, turned him into a side conduit, which was very long indeed, and only when he reached the extreme limit of the conduit, did he finally emerge into daylight…only to discover Gwen, Neezup, and Bob waiting for him in an area of mountainous wasteland.
“Hi, darling.” Gwen said. “What a relief: you’ve been possessed too!”
At first the foursome were happy to wade through the peat and lichens of the wasteland, even if the squeeze, through the long conduit, did cause Cuthbert to become a little windy. But before long tiredness and boredom set in, and despite being under some form of mental control, they began to get a bit fed up. In fact Cuthbert and Neezup became so bored that they began singing extracts from an operetta, which didn’t please Gwen too much because she was more into classic soul/funk fusion. But Bob didn’t care: in his haste to comply with the demands put upon him by the unseen power that pulled him along, he’d forgotten to replace the batteries in his hearing aids, and so couldn’t hear a bloody thing. But he was almost thrilled when, eventually, they too discovered the secret wharf, and a nice sailing raft.
“Everybody blow really hard.” Neezup instructed the others. “We have to fill the sail with air.”
So they did, but by the time they had gained the open sea, night had fallen, and a squall had blown in from the north.
For Colin and Plankton ahead of them, the squall was quickly escalating into a storm.
“Flipping heck.” Plankton yelled above the roar of turbulent waters and lashing rain. “My underpants are soaked!”
“That’s nothing.” Colin replied. “My farts have dried up: we’re dead in the water!”
And it was in this moribund condition that the others caught up with the two friends.
“Isn’t it horrible!” Gwen shouted across the gap between the two vessels.
“It certainly is, Madam.” Colin replied hoarsely. “More horrible than you can imagine. My friend Plankton and I have been vomiting hugely for the past three hours. We have nothing left inside us, yet still we feel absolutely ghastly.”
“You think that’s bad.” Neezup retorted. “This heavy swell forced my darling Bob to stumble and catch his knee against the mast. It’s all swollen up now.”
“Yes.” Cuthbert perked up from feeling rather unwell himself. “And the lovely Gwen slipped upon a length of storm-tossed seaweed and fell upon her arse. She’ll be pulling splinters from her shapely buttocks for hours to come!”
And so the conversation continued, whilst the rafts were buffeted hither and thither – their destination lost in the whorl of dark skies and unquenchable seas.
Slomo should have been hurt by Daffney’s vicious usage of the earplug language. Mortified, even. But, because of her nervousness at meeting the unrequited love of her life, she didn’t hear her cruel words.
“Daffney De Mauritania, it’s me; your biggest fan: Slomo Chewings.” She said through her idiosyncratic lopsided smile. “I’ve disconnected the alarm system, so you can take your friends wherever you want.”
“Why would you do that?” Magnuss inquired.
“Because…” Slomo answered hesitantly. “Because, during my time here I feel I’ve come to know Daffney – if only from a distance. And, I’m not sorry to say, I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with her.”
Daffney coloured instantly.
“You’re in there, Daffney.” Magnuss joked.
“All I ask,” Slomo continued, whilst looking directly at the flushing Daffney, “is that when – whatever this is – is over, you allow me to buy you a coffee from the machine in the canteen and maybe chat awhile. Any subject: motorcycles, turnips, bras. Anything.”
“You’re on.” Hair-Trigger replied upon Daffney’s behalf. “Now keep an eye out for us whilst we visit the Sterile Area mutants. You’re now officially our look-out.”
From that moment on Daffney had been practically useless. So taken with her adoring admirer was she that she simply couldn’t think coherently. ‘She’s so cute.’ She would muse to herself. “And that lopsided smile is so endearing. And to think; she thinks I’m wonderful. Pretty, even. Oh, I’m all of a dither; I don’t know what to do!’ She didn’t either. It was pure instinct, muscle memory, and a few kicks up the arse that allowed her to lead Magnuss and Hair-Trigger back to the Sterile Area.
Naturally the two heroes left her at the door and proceeded to the habitat area alone.
It became quickly apparent that they had arrived during a sleep sequence. Speed was of the essence, so Hair-Trigger didn’t waste a moment. She began singing her favourite extract from an opera by Anton Twerp, very loudly indeed. The effect of this was a mob of mutated beings came barrelling out of their slumber pods – wondering what all the bloody racket was about.
“Line up.” Magnuss commanded them. “Come along, hurry, hurry. Line up. Line up. That’s a good band of…er… mutated anomalies. We have something very important to tell you. So perhaps we should consider telling each other our names. That’s always been a relatively good ice-breaker. I’m Magnuss Earplug. My beautiful partner, here, is Hair-Trigger Provost. She’s a bounty hunter, you know. Have you ever heard of a bounty hunter? They’re very good you know.”
Magnuss realised pretty quickly that he was running off at the mouth. So he slowed both his thought processes and his oral muscles. “Hello.” He said to a red-faced female with strange yellow eyes. “What’s your name?”
“Starry Knight.” The reply came in a pleasant contralto that reminded Magnuss of his grandmother – Granny Windbag.
“Most apt.” Magnuss said, almost condescendingly. ‘Cripes, at this rate,’ he thought, ‘this is going to take hours.’ “What about everybody else?” He asked no one in particular.
And so began an exchange of names.
The first to speak was a severely undersized rubber bung, who introduced himself as Cowpat Carlson. “Yeah,” he next said, “I used to be big and strong, but incredibly thick in the head. Now I’m tiny, but an intellectual giant. Ask me anything: I’ll give you an honest and immediate answer.”
“Can you tie your shoe laces?” Hair-Trigger inquired.
“Sorry.” Cowpat replied with a sigh. “We haven’t reached that level of development yet. But when I do…wow, my fingers will become a blur.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the Mutant Island cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file.
Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this remarkable tale…
A week was to pass before the K T Woo made its next encounter. This time it was a robotic interplanetary space freighter of unknown origin. As they watched the vessel upon the main viewer, Sinclair asked Hakking: “What do you think of that piece of out-dated space junk?”
“It’s an ugly sod – and make no mistake.” Hakking replied. Then added, with a chuckle: “But not as ugly as I once was, of course.”
“Does anyone have the first idea about what it’s doing here and where it came from?” Sinclair asked his bridge crew.
“Sensors suggest that it’s full of ice, Sir.” Poxy Pilkington chirped up. “Millions and millions of ice cubes. The sort that you’d drop into a rum and cola, Sir. Or perhaps down the back of your girlfriend’s knickers when it’s a hot summer’s day and you’re a bit bored.”
“How strange.” Sinclair said as he stroked his chin intelligently. “Why would anyone go to the unbelievably vast cost of transporting ice cubes across interplanetary space?”
Elsewhere other members of the crew were asking the same question as they watched through the panoramic window as the vessel plodded along at sub-light speed…
And those who, because of their lowly rank, had been reduced to peering through skanky little port holes didn’t give a fig what it had aboard or where it was going: they just wanted to see it explode spectacularly. But even they were surprised when the freighter initiated a sudden course change.
“Hey,” Sinclair complained. “What gives, man?”
“I know.” Hakking suggested keenly. “Let’s follow it. It might lead us to something…er…really interesting.”
Sinclair then displayed surprising insight. “You mean Ship Number Fifteen?” He replied. “The Earth ship that left Worstworld without you aboard it?”
“I might do.” Hakking said defensively – suddenly aware that the captain understood his motivation and the true reason for his creation of the project that culminated in the construction of the K T Woo.
“Okay.” Sinclair said as the freighter accelerated away in a blinding cascade of ion drive power, “Let’s see where it leads us. Ahead full!”
The ice cube-carrying space freighter wasn’t particularly fast, and soon the crew grew bored with the uniformity of space. In fact many of them became depressed and began skipping their duties. Sometimes Captain Sinclair Brooch was astonished to find himself alone on the bridge.
“Holy heck,” his voice would echo around the empty room, “do I have to do everything myself?”
And even in the engine room the lights were kept dimmed so that no one could see how properly cheesed-off everyone was becoming. Then one day – no one was quite sure what day it was, because they’d pretty much given up the will to breathe – a bright light appeared dead ahead. Some jaded crew members became trepidatious. But in the engine room the resilient former end cap space pirates brought the compartment back to full illumination, because they had detected a world surrounded by huge rings of water vapour. Soon the freighter was racing across its sky – making an approach for some distant landing-place. After so long in space, the K T Woo’s bridge crew stood and stared at the view on the main screen.
Somewhat surprisingly Sinclair was the first to regain his wits: “Quickly.” He snapped at the helms-plug. “Follow that freighter!”
So minutes later the K T Woo plunged into the watery world’s atmosphere – levelling off at thirty-seven thousand feet, and Sinclair and the others gazed in wonderment. But then Serendipity Mollusc’s sensors detected an in-coming object.
“Tactical!” The Captain boomed above the flurry of terrified farts that erupted from so many nervous crew members. A split second later Serendipity placed this image upon the main viewer.
“Explain to me what I’m looking at.” Sinclair instructed Serendipity.
“Er, that’s us flying over the sea.” The subordinate replied. “We’re headed for a sandy coastline.”
“It appears to be huge island.” Hakking observed. “But where’s this in-coming object?”
As Serendipity adjusted the scope of her sensors she said: “Actually there are two objects approaching. Helms-plug: take evasive action!”
“I don’t like the look of this.” Nancy Brooch said from her chair beside her husband, as she watched two fighter jets, in an attempt to make an intercept of the alien craft, thrash their engines to within microns of self-destruction.
“It might be a welcoming committee.” Poxy Pilkington said hopefully. But she didn’t really believe what she was saying.
Well, to say that Clancy was thrilled at the turn of events would be an understatement. He was cock-a-hoop. He’d never met such a wonderful being before. Neither had he saved anyone’s life either. And, most definitely, he’d never been so enthusiastically kissed before. “Gosh, Wendy,” he said, once he’d learned her name, “would you like to warm up in my snow buggy?”
Wendy found the offer tempting. In fact she found it so tempting that she said: “Yes please!”
So whilst Wendy’s soggy knickers dried in front of the heater grille, Clancy took the opportunity to show-off and duly raced the snow buggy around at break-neck speed.
It was during a barely controlled downhill slide that Clancy had a wonderful idea…
“Hey,” he shouted above the din of icicles breaking free from Wendy’s duffle coat, “why don’t I take you to see our wonderful city below the ice?”
Initially Wendy was hesitant to accept: visiting foreign cities sans winter coat could be considered a social faux pas. But when Clancy informed her that no one wore duffle coats in the pale earplug city, she relented instantly, and began to enjoy the sensation of a stiff breeze blowing around her ear holes. Naturally Clancy hit the after-burners, and before long they were almost in sight of the frontier defences. But such was Clancy’s speed that he was upon the border guards before anyone was ready to mount a meaningful challenge or dive for cover…
“Out of the way!” Clancy shouted above the whine of his buggy’s turbine.
“Does that blue female have a duffle coat on?” One of the incredulous border guards shouted back.
Clancy didn’t have enough time to respond. Instead he leapt the buggy into the air, and shouted, “See for yourself.” as they soared above the defences and then roared away – leaving the guards deeply bemused, because they’d had no idea that blue earplug knee caps looked very much like pale earplug knee caps – only bluer, of course. Of a snorkel there was no sign. And they began to doubt the propaganda they’d been force-fed their entire lives. Not that Wendy cared one jot; because, by the time the guards had collected their thoughts and placed them into some kind of order, Clancy’s snow buggy had carried her all the way into the city.
“It’s lovely.” She gushed as she looked around. “So mysterious and cloaked in elegant shadows.”
But later she discovered even more impressive sights.
“What are these strange, yet remarkable, machines?” She asked her vertically-challenged host.
At first Clancy was confused by Wendy’s question. It hadn’t occurred to him that another civilisation might not have municipal jukeboxes. Once he’d gathered his wits, he told her. “They’re free.” He said. “Choose a song; press the button; and you can listen for as long as you want.”
“Gosh.” Wendy responded enthusiastically. “Can I choose one? After all I am a blue earplug, and it might not be allowed.”
“Go ahead.” Clancy said with a smile.
“Pick one for me.” Wendy said coyly. “Make it a love song. A really smoochy one.”
“Don’t mind if I do.” Clancy replied with a big grin spreading across his youthful face. “How about ‘Hot Soup’ by Heavy Breathin’ Bertha’?”
“Oh that’s lovely.” Wendy said as they slow danced together. “I think I’d like to live here for the rest of my life.”
Clancy hid his surprise well. “Come with me.” He said as the repetitive chorus faded into silence.
Moments later they were scurrying along one of the seductively lit corridors. Then, abruptly they burst into a busy thoroughfare. Then it was onwards for a meeting with the Personal Secretary of the Prime Minister and his assistant and his assistant’s buddy.
“Yeah?” The Personal Secretary grunted when Clancy introduced himself. “Whadda ya want?”
“This is my friend, Wendy.” Clancy replied. “She’s a blue earplug!”
“Tell us something we don’t know.” The Prime Minister’s Personal Secretary’s assistant said acidly.
Clancy chose to ignore the mealy-mouthed git. Instead he spoke directly to the Personal Secretary: “Wendy wants to come here and live with us pale earplugs.” He said. “She thinks our city is lovely.”
The Personal Secretary eyed Wendy up and down. “I’ve heard some weird stuff about blue earplugs.” He said. “Apparently the females hold their heads up with a trellis-like assembly that bolts on to their shoulders, and are given it on their fifteenth birthday.”
“And both genders hide their chocolate chip cookies inside their Wellington boots!” The assistant’s buddy almost spat the words.
“Oh dear.” Clancy said as he turned to Wendy. “I’m ever so sorry, but if you want to live here you’re going to have to refute a whole slew of ridiculous preconceptions.”
“Yeah.” The Personal Secretary growled. “Good, innit?”
Well Wendy wasn’t the sort to take offence easily, and her sister’s duffle coat didn’t fit her anyway: so a short while later she and Clancy were being guided towards the Prime Ministerial chamber, via a frighteningly precipitous walkway.
The journey to the Prime Ministerial Chamber also involved walking down a long corridor, towards a concrete-hardened atom-proof bunker, where important decisions were often made.
For a brief moment the young lovers paused. Were they really ready for this?
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2016
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the Cold War cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file.
Early days yet, but I’m getting a few ideas. Watch this space!
Methinks the time is right for a splash of rude, ribald, and disgustingly funny Hamster-Sapiens. On this occasion we delve into the last of the series -namely this magnificently naughty e-tome…
To introduce this snippet I should explain that (as she was in the act of disembarking a submarine and boarding a cross-channel ferry mid-channel) Road Safety Technician Amy Crumpet has been cast into the waters of the English Channel. Thinking quickly she had struck out through the chill, dark waters towards the very object that had caused the accident – a surfacing turtle. As the last of her breath escaped her cheek pouches she managed to climb into (what she thought was) the sanctuary of the reptilian’s anus…
Before long the darkness and solitude began to affect Amy. Sitting alone upon cold unyielding flesh made her feel unwelcome and utterly alien. She tried talking to herself, and tried to compose a love sonnet to P C Gravy. But it was no good: She needed to be able to see her environment, and possibly explore it. So she stood as best she could in the low-ceilinged reptilian rectum, took out two freshly-minted seven Rodento coins from her waist band, and struck them together. She was rewarded with a shower of sparks that briefly illuminated the immediate area. And what she saw amazed her. It also informed her that she’d missed the turtle’s anus by some distance – for all about her she could see egg upon egg upon egg – stretching away into the staccato shadows. And the ceiling wasn’t half as low as she’d expected either.
“Cor.” She said gleefully, “I certainly won’t go hungry. And it also explains the total absence of excrement upon my silken fur.”
But then another thought intruded: “But I don’t know this turtle’s destination. If it’s about to lay its eggs, then no doubt it will seek a warm, sandy beach – and that could take weeks to find.”
For the second time Amy screamed shrilly.
“And there can’t be enough air in here to keep me alive indefinitely.” She added after calming herself once more, “My only chance to live comes with the vain hope that she surfaces regularly, rolls upon her back, and exposes her minge to the air. And what are the chances of that? ” It was a rhetorical question, but Amy answered it anyway. “None. Zero, Nada.”
So she screamed some more – until her voice went hoarse, and she was finally forced to stop by a burning desire to suck a lozenge – a small packet of which she fortunately carried in her waist band.
But it appeared that not all of her despairing screaming had been in vain. Water conducts sound extremely well, and when the slow-witted ocean-dweller heard unmistakably strange high-pitched mammalian sounds emanating from her private parts she became curious. Curious enough to stop swimming purposefully forward, and allow herself to bob to the surface.
Deep within the turtle Amy felt the floor heave as internal ballast shifted. Then she felt the undeniable sensation of ‘going uppy-ness’. She let out three rousing cheers.
The female turtle was surprised when her minge apparently gave forth with sounds of delight. In fact she was so surprised that she found it necessary to pass comment…
“I say, oh personal chasm.” She said in her best ocean-reptilian, “What gives in the vocal department?”
Amy heard this gargled utterance – not as comprehensible words, but as the sounds produced by a sentient creature.
“Hello out there.” She cried out as she struggled towards the exit. “I’m an air-breather – just like you!”
Had the turtle possessed eyebrows it is certain that they would have arched alarmingly.
“Is that an egg speaking?” She inquired. “If so please remain quiescent until such time that I am able to bury you in some deep warm sand.”
Although Amy didn’t speak turtle, something in the turtle’s tone told her that the noises she could hear outside came as a form of admonishment.
“Oh, if only I was telepathic.” She wailed almost inconsolably, “Then this stupid language barrier wouldn’t be as impenetrable as a belch. Oh if only Joan Bugler had been swept away with me!”
Perhaps it was something in the way that Amy composed her thoughts at the moment, or even a stray neuron firing out of sequence inside her cold-blooded head; but the turtle comprehended the hamster’s meaning, and in a moment of epiphany she mentally squealed, “By the length of a Ragworm’ tadger – I can read the strange furry being’s mind!”
And indeed the turtle could. Deep within her body the small hamster received this thought. For a moment she suspected that she’d gone quite mad, but when the turtle’s subsequent message amounted to thrilled surprise combined with a powerful mothering instinct, Amy was certain that the thoughts couldn’t possibly have originated in her own brain: She hated pathetic mewling babies with a passion, and possessed the mothering instinct of a well-armed death squad.
Fortunately this latter thought had no turtle equivalent, so the huge creature had no reason to feel ill-will toward the parasite within her.
“I’m on my way to India.” She informed Amy directly.
“India?” Amy’s thought came to her like a distant, slightly panic-stricken voice upon a gentle breeze, “But that’s on the other side of the planet. It’ll take yonks to get there. And when you do you’ll just drop me into a big hole on the beach, and then bury me. And how would I get back home again afterwards? I’m just a hamster. No-no – this won’t do. This won’t do at all!”
The turtle was surprised at the vociferousness of Amy’s thoughts.
“Ooh-er.” She thought in response, “You have a powerful personality. I get the distinct impression that if you stay in there much longer you could eventually overwhelm my simple psyche, and take control of both my mind and my body. And that won’t do either.”
Amy was used to thinking on her hind paws. As a road safety technician she had to be: Early morning go-kart drivers could be unpredictable, and Amy had been forced to leap to the side of the road on many occasions since taking on the job at Hamster Heath high school. She thought now – like she had never thought before. In fact she thought so hard that the turtle began to swoon from the mental energy discharges that erupted invisibly from the rodent’s cranium.
“Please,” the turtle cried out both verbally and mentally, “you’re torturing me beyond reasonable tolerance. Stop please: I’ll do anything that you want. Do you wish me to eject you into these cold northerly waters?”
Amy wasn’t sure whether the last remark was meant as a threat, but she quickly realised that if the turtle wished it could be rid of its uninvited passenger with just a single spasm, and that she – Amy – would surely perish as a result. So she guarded her thoughts much as an evil pick-pocket guards its ill gotten gains.
“Oh, most certainly not.” She replied to the turtle’s inquiry. “But I do have suggestion that I think will satisfy both of our needs. But first – tell me: Can you swim upside down?”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
Ah, they don’t write ’em like that anymore!
Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this fantastic tale…
Meanwhile, in another part of the museum that was yet to be consumed by the terrible Zinc Machine, the four former monks of the Order of the Holey Vest from Lemon Stone, Pedro Agonista, Flaccidus Aroma, Augustus Belch, and Rodney Bunting, had rented a workshop. Now they set to work inside it. For hour upon hour they toiled – fabricating, checking stolen blueprints, hammering, welding, occasionally going to the toilet. That sort of thing. But when they reached the end of their labours, the four exhausted former monks wheeled out a ‘pirate copy’ of a genuine Punting-Modesty Sputum GT250A-Attack Cycle.
“This’ll knock ’em dead down at the cavalry stockade.” Pedro said confidently.
But he wasn’t entirely correct.
“It’s a bit big and heavy.” One of the troopers dared utter.
“Yeah, and it can’t carry passengers.” Another observed.
“Just give it a try.” Rodney pleaded. “You never know – you might find it most satisfactory. And the saddle is really easy on your bum – especially if you suffer from piles – a particular problem with cavalryplugs, or so I’ve been told. “
Joe Frayzer, who didn’t like to confess to having problems with his butt, replied gruffly: “Yeah, alright; we’ll give it a run ’round the block. It couldn’t hurt none.”
So he leapt aboard; made himself comfortable; and twisted the throttle as far back as the cable would allow. Initially the Staff Sergeant was highly impressed with the GT250A. “Cor,” he yelled above the whine of the lifting motor and the roar of the propulsion engine, “it goes like stink!”
But when he rode it over uneven ground his smile quickly transformed into a grimace.
“Sorry,” he said upon his return to the stockade, “but the machine gave my false teeth a really hard time. They were shaken so thoroughly that they’ve swapped sides inside my gob. And contrary to your verbal sales brochure, the seat gave my arse the worst pummelling since my troop was chased down the side of rocky gorge on Worstworld by a whirlwind that had sucked up a whole bunch of scorpions and tarantulas, and thrown them at us. You’ll have to build something that’s much more comfortable with better protection against wind, rain, ice storms, and high-velocity rifle bullets.”
An hour later the four former monks returned with a replica Punting-Modesty RD400F Command Buggy.
“Hmmm,” Joe hummed after giving the machine a thorough examination, “but it isn’t very offensive is it? And it comes up short on good looks, speed, and endurance. Close, but no banana.”
So ten minutes later…
“The XS360 has a ram-scoop engine.” Pedro explained. “It collects dust from the air, and burns it for fuel. Primarily it’s a long-range patrol vehicle.”
“Great,” Joe replied, “but the driver is a sitting duck in a roll-over situation.”
So a half-hour later…
“Fabulous – a TX500.” Joe said, after casting an engineer’s eye over the latest version of the war buggy. You’ve chucked out that poxy, gutless eco engine. That’s good: I always vote for a balanced combination of BHP and torque. But, ah, where’s the offensive capability?”
“Holy heck.” Augustus exploded in response. “All you had before were a few flea-ridden plugmutts and some dried-out saddles that were years old and as hard as rock. You should be grateful for anything!”
Despite this atypical outburst, the hermaphrodite chums went away again – to return a short while later with…
“There you go, you pedantic arse hole.” Flaccidus growled. “The cannon’s off the Nosepuncher XL5 by the way.”
This time the Staff Sergeant was more impressed. Turning to a surprised Fanny Skidmarx. He said, “Right, Private; you may have the honour of flight-testing the machine I hereby designate P1-5S Assault Buggy. Carry on.”
Meanwhile, far away upon the dusty plain that stood at the foot of the mountain range upon which Lemon Stone stood proudly, hard-working pea farmer, Bucksome Whelk, was greeting the new day even before the sun had risen. He was a hyperactive workaholic, and there was nothing he enjoyed more than getting out of bed really early to do a long day’s hard labour in the pea fields. He kept a sign in his bedroom to remind him that he should never grow lax and become like his idle idols, Las Chicas De La Playas, a picture of whom he had pinned to his wall as a constant reminder. So no one else was around to see his porch light illuminate…
(A picture of a mud building appears here)
Neither was there anyone present to see him step out into the pre-dawn – in the full expectation of finding his beautiful crop of young pea plants. But what Bucksome Whelk actually saw, in that dim light, made him stare disbelievingly like a startled gazelle caught in the headlight of an approaching trans-continental locomotive; because, laid out in front of him like some terrible manifestation of a tortured mind, sat the largest, most humongous, pile of steaming manure that he had ever seen – or ever wanted to see. But if this wasn’t enough for the simple-minded pea farmer, the situation grew rapidly worse. As he finally circumnavigated the immense turd, Bucksome discovered that his pea seedlings had been swept away by some unimaginable force.
His work gang rushed from their quarters when they heard his scream of horror.They watched in disbelief as their employer stood so still among the ruination that he appeared to have been petrified. For Bucksome it became horror heaped upon horror as the lightening sky revealed that the entire crop had simply ceased to exist. Or, to be more precise, it had been transformed into excrement and deposited on the lawn of his farm-house.
“Right, that’s it.” He said as a grim determination swelled within his chest,”I’m gonna talk to the guys about this.”
So, after Bucksome had returned to the farm buildings his staff were expecting to hear that their services were no longer required, and that they could return to the bosom of their families in the former communist states from whence they had come to the dusty plain. They even conjectured upon the size of the severance cheque. But they were to be disappointed.
“Right then.” Bucksome said. “I want you to re-plant with seeds from the store. I intend to learn the identity of the miscreant who had attempted to destroy my life’s work. I’ll be back when I’m back. Now get to work.”
With that he strode off across the newly barren landscape.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2016
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the Unity vol 1 cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file.
Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this tantalising tale…
So, whilst Magnuss and Benjamin began their sojourn in search of the museum’s inhabitants, the showgirls stumbled across the crashed time ship. Of course, being entertainers, they didn’t recognize it for what it was, and instead thought that it might possibly be either a crashed aircraft or an invasion from outer space. They preferred the former explanation, and duly set out to find the absent occupants. Naturally, to cover more ground quickly they elected to break up into three groups, each comprising two showgirls. Delia Stodge and Poki Kitchener set off in an easterly direction. Belle Ching and Wendy Rucksack headed north by northwest. And Ragi Half-Nelson and Nokaks Newbold dropped several floors to the basement and thence to the sub-strata upon which the original museum had been built. Upon reaching the rock bottom – literally – they were bemused when they discovered it utterly devoid of life.
“I’m bemused on at least seventeen levels of bemusability.” Nokaks informed her dancing co-worker. “I may only be an attractive young female who can step in time and kick her feet high above her head; but I really expected to find signs of a frightened populace cowering in the shadows from whatever it was that happened whilst we were in a drunken stupor. How about you, Ragi?”
Ragi didn’t reply immediately: she was too busy fretting about something that she’d just realised. Eventually she said: “Nokaks, you’re not going to believe this; but I got so drunk last night that I forgot to remove my sequined dancing knickers. Now they’re chafing the heck out of my thighs – and I’m not enjoying it!”
Meanwhile, out and about on their own earplug hunt, Belle and Wendy stumbled upon the Nul-Space Power Generator, which, they noted, whirred quietly in hibernation mode. Naturally they turned the dial up a few notches; then waited to see what would happen.
The effect of Belle and Wendy’s action wasn’t immediately obvious as Ragi and Nokaks quickly made their way back into the more modern regions of the museum. But the dancing duo nearly wet themselves when they were caught in the blinding glare of a security light.
“Oh Nokaks,” Ragi yelled only semi-coherently, “I really wish that dingbat Belle hadn’t woken us up so darned early this morning: we could be all tucked up nice and warm in our beds right now. When this terrible adventure concludes – hopefully with a happy ending – I’m going to join another ballet!”
But, in order to accomplish her ‘happy ending’ Ragi knew that standing around whilst wailing like an air raid siren would get her nowhere; so the two girls pressed on with their search. With no clear plan to follow, they soon found themselves upon a wide plain, where a small sign informed them it was intended that more exhibits from future eras would appear sometime in the…er…future. It was very wide and very flat, and both girls felt intimidated by its vastness. But although they hated the place with a vengeance, their feelings of loathing were put aside, and their quest for the truth continued – eventually leading them to a green impact splodge.
“Ugh?” Ragi said intelligently. “It looks as though something fell from the sky and went splat. What do you think it might be, Nokaks?”
Nokaks might have been an expert at wearing spectacular headdresses and performing the opening act and exciting finales in variety shows; but something falling from the sky and going splat existed in a mental environment to which she was an alien visitor. “Um,” she replied, “I’m not sure, but it looks to me like it might be evidence of some form of chemical attack. Something was dropped here, and it spread to other places…through the ventilation system, maybe? The result of which is what you see on the other levels.”
Ragi wasn’t sure what impressed her more: Nokak’s remarkable improvised theory, or the effect that sudden dread can have on a female earplugs’ ability to retain intestinal wind. “Gosh.” She said. “I wonder if the chemicals smelt as rotten as my gas.”
Magnuss had been grateful for Benjamin Booger’s local knowledge. It was the green earplug who informed him that if they really needed to access the Wide Blue Yonder, they didn’t have to cross the Woven Expanse to get there. In the alternative universe the faux desert extended much farther, and with the use of a desert sled, which was powered by a mighty three cylinder air-cooled two-stroke motor, they could cross it in short order. Unfortunately mighty three cylinder air-cooled two-stroke motors consume fuel at a prodigious rate, and its tank showed empty just as the party arrived at the Wide Blue Yonder’s outer edge, which really cheesed-off Magnuss because he really liked two-strokes and was hoping to ride it all the way to the arboretum. So, stumbling through the last of the desert’s fake sand, Magnuss led the others to a vantage point that overlooked their next task. To say that the Wide Blue Yonder looked daunting was an understatement of seismic proportions.
“We’re doomed if we try to cross that.” K’Plank opined loudly. “We’ll stand out like a vicious sore on an otherwise pristine porcelain buttock. We’re sure to disappear without warning or trace. Give me back my Sheath of Unseeableness, you rotten swine!”
But then Poki had an idea. “Delia and I work in the theatre.” She said. “We know how all the wonders of show-biz work. It’s all the workings beneath the stage. That’s where the magic is made.”
“Of course.” Magnuss bellowed as hope surged within his silicon chest. “Maintenance access tunnels. They must criss-cross the Wide Blue Yonder at a thousand points. Poki, if I didn’t love Hair-Trigger Provost with every fibre of my being, I’d take you ’round the back of the nearest bike shed and give you a great big kiss. Well done: I think you’ve supplied the answer to our problem. Let’s go find an access hatch or something similar.”
Meanwhile Cabbaggio and Vortexia Di Bikini were receiving a lesson in Blue End Cap technical superiority.
“Yeah,” Flutter sneered, “when we decided that we wanted to control the Museum of Future Technology, we didn’t come in with all disruptor weapons firing. No; we were much too smart for that. We infiltrated a small combat party – complete with our patented Matter Transporter – and began our work from a hidden sanctuary. We’ve been slowly removing the population of the museum – and no one can do anything about it. First we took out the big guys: the curators, the agents of TWIT, and those pinky-orange bums – the Earplug Brothers: then we took out everyone else – except you two of course. But you don’t matter: you’re nobodies. Then, tomorrow afternoon, at about three-thirty, the invasion ships arrive. Then I will lower the defensive screens and the museum will be ours!”
“Gee-whizz.” Vortexia said as she apparently swooned. “That must be one heck of a hidden sanctuary. Where did you say it’s located?”
“In the arboretum, of course.” Flutter replied without thinking. “No one would think of looking for us there.”
“I guess you’re right.” Cabbaggio said with an admiring lilt to his slurred voice. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we need a drink.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the The Missing cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file.
Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this terrific tale…
So, with trepidation evident, the threesome ventured out of the superfluous alcove. Naturally they followed the convenient signage, which, unsurprisingly, led them into a pleasantly lit corridor. Then, having traversed the aforementioned pleasantly lit corridor, Magnuss, Nennigross, and Lucian discovered the desperate occupants of the flying saucer assembled in the engine room, trying desperately to metaphorically kick-start the fuel pumps. But before anyone spotted them standing there like a bunch of lemons, the reality of the situation struck the three galactic travellers.
“The situation couldn’t be worse.” Nennigross whispered to Magnuss. “With the ship out of gas, it’ll float onwards through space unimpeded – until the wheel of eternity grinds to a halt. Death will hold dominion over all of us.”
But Lucian had more immediate concerns. He’d picked up a urinary infection in the Upper Realm, and desperately wanted to piddle.
Despite his personal fears, Magnuss plucked up the courage to ignore Nennigross, and forced himself to be positive.
“Guys.” He said loudly, “Quit all that panic-stricken arsing about: fate has a task lined up for you.”
This bold statement caused all activity to cease abruptly. Of course (being aliens from far away) not one of the prospectors recognised Magnuss: but Catford and Julian did. Their confident smiles proved that they had never doubted that their friends would return, following their unexpected disappearance. The appearance of Magnuss Earplug was a bonus, and both felt certain that an incredible adventure was bound to follow his arrival. Questions flowed like raging white water rapids, and filled the air with so much mental viscosity that anyone other than Magnuss would have sagged with brain-exhaustion beneath its intellectual weight.
“It’s like this,” Magnuss began his explanation for his opening statement. “We’re stuck up in outer space, and we’re whooshing away into deep space at huge velocity. It seems to me that the only course of action open to us is to embrace the situation and turn it to our advantage.”
This confused the heck out of his audience, but Magnuss’ apparent confidence filled them with some of their own.
“Tell us more.” Julian and Catford demanded.
“Well,” Magnuss replied, “not many people know this fact, but I once read some of the technical logs from the Museum of Future Technology’s sole star ship, Spaceship Number Fifteen – before it was destroyed in the Battle of the Museum, of course…”
“And?” Buddy Napalm demanded.
“And,” Magnuss replied, “what I discovered was,” Magnuss paused – less for dramatic effect; but more to draw breath – before continuing: “that when the ship was returning to Earth, the crew discovered a wormhole in space – exactly half-way between Earth and the Moon. They considered it so important that they left a warning beacon orbiting the event horizon. All we need to do is use our communication equipment to locate it, and then blast in its direction by using the manoeuvring thrusters. Then we enter the wormhole; travel through it; and end up somewhere else completely – possibly somewhere nice and safe – like a planet. We can worry about getting back to the museum later.”
It was a brilliant plan, and everyone who heard it said so. Except Wilhelm Von Schnottgobbling: “We don’t have no fuel for the thrusters either. We can’t steer.”
Magnuss was horrified at the news. “But, but,” he stammered, “without thruster fuel my plan won’t work! Whatta we gonna do?”
Plopper and Benjamin looked at each other – the same thought passing through both silicon brains at the same time: Holy heck – they’re gonna steal a flying saucer: what are we gonna do about it? Well what they did was call the T.W.I.T headquarters, Swotten Hetty. Just a few minutes later Major Flaccid called several operatives into his office. Unfortunately he’d been at a sherry sampling seminar, and as a result of this his memory failed him. He could remember who his operatives needed to find, but couldn’t recall what Plopper and Benjamin had told him that the prospectors intended to do.
“Look everywhere.” He said with a slurred voice. “All at the same time – twice. Leave no stone unturned, and no…things un…er…thingy.” Then he burped very loudly, and produced an enormous fart that stopped his agents in their tracks.
Naturally the operatives didn’t have a bloody clue what their leader required of them, except that they find, and presumably arrest, eight aliens in silver suits. So without enquiring further, they turned about and began their search.
By chance the prospectors had called into a public urinal for a pee, and watched as the agents of T.W.I.T passed by the window.
“Oops,” Brock said quietly to himself. “Looks like we’ll have to step carefully. It’s time to go into extreme stealth mode.”
This reaction was to save their endeavour, because RoboSecGuas were also on their trail. And Brock’s extreme stealth mode paid dividends when EvilRoboSecGua led a squad into the grand hall. But Brock was ready for them, and had already hidden around the corner.
“Right then,” he said, following the RoboSecGuas departure, “Let’s have a look at that map Mister Plop drew for us. I feel it in my bowels; we’re getting close.”
But little did any of them know, but Nennigross and her friends were following museum protocols strictly, and were in hot pursuit.
It was Galve Mullion and Torsten Gobbfist who took the lead as the prospectors made their way through a labyrinth of corridors through which the map guided them towards their goal. And they continued to lead, even when the museum security decided to go the emerald alert.
“Holy carp,” Galve exclaimed, “that nearly made me have an accident in my boxer shorts!”
Torsten would have been equally startled, but the thought of Galve experiencing a lavatorial accident in his company took his mind off the subject of the emerald alert like an unexpected kick in the groin or being hurled from the deck of an aircraft carrier.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the Natural Selection cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file.
Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this magnificent tale…
Waiting until another law enforcement patrol had passed by, Erroneous and Hellfire sidled up to the door, where they duplicated the coded knock that the burglars had given only minutes earlier. A half-second later they had disappeared from the street. Not surprisingly they found themselves inside the burglar’s den – where the night’s paltry booty was being shared out over mugs of coarse ale and out-of-date Cornish Pasties, served to them by a pair of disgruntled end caps.
“Ho, ho, ho.” One of them erupted. “We’ll feast tonight, and make no mistake.”
Another concurred: “Aye, we’ll all have two pasties tonight. And maybe we could stretch to a celebratory flagon of ginger beer. Or maybe a half carafe of the house lemonade!”
This was more than Erroneous could stand. “Enough idle banter!” He roared.
Everyone turned to look at him – except the end caps, of course: they couldn’t give a hoot what he had to say: they had Cornish pasties that needed de-furring.
“Yes, enough!” Hellfire supported his friend ably.
“As burglars,” Erroneous continued, “you’d all make excellent bus drivers. In other words…you’re all complete…” He paused before adding a very rude word indeed.
To say that the burglars were shocked would be like saying that the enormous poop that blocked the Museum of Future Technology’s sewage system, and thereby saved it from an iron-fisted dictatorship, was…er…enormous. They were also stunned: no one had ever slipped past their security and called them crap before. This was new ground.
“Oh yeah?” One of them replied belligerently. “Who sez?”
Hellfire quickly selected a driving rock theme upon the juke box, before following Erroneous’ lead as he leapt upon a table.
“Erroneous Bosche, that’s who.” Erroneous growled.
“And Hellfire McWilliams.” Hellfire added. “Just out of Sloshed Antlers Mountain Penitentiary: we’ve been professional burglars for our entire lives. There is no place safe from us. We know a lousy burglar when we see one”
“That’s right.” Erroneous fired off those two syllables like bullets from a twin barrelled gun of some description – though he wasn’t sure that such a weapon actually existed. “We got past your security like phantoms in the night. So when we say you’re rubbish burglars, you’d better listen.”
“Especially,” Hellfire delivered the punch line, “since we can do something about it. How’d you like to be the first intake of The Whatever This Town is Called Academy of Burgling?”
Naturally the incompetent burglars were keen to join such an organization – though most of them thought that they could have authored a better name for it. But that didn’t matter: they were all ears.
“Well,” Erroneous said, once he knew he’d snared his audience, “we’ll brush quickly over the rudiments of burglary; then it’ll be on to the refinements – like lock picking; drain pipe shinning; glass breaking; how to help yourself to the contents of an alarmed fridge; and, of course, using a victim’s lavatory without them knowing about it, or leaving your DNA behind.”
“Sound’s great.” The previously doubtful oik who had spoken last yelled in joy. “When do we start?”
“Just as soon as you’ve signed up to the course; made a blood oath; and promise to give us – that’s Hellfire and me – twenty-five per cent of your booty.”
“Where do I sign?” The useless burglar said through a broad smile. “And whose blood?”
As a result of this huge success, Erroneous and Hellfire soon had the burglar gang fully trained and back to work. But they knew that efficiency in burgling wasn’t enough: they had to get the local law enforcement officers ‘on side’ as it were. So after several successful burglaries that netted the couple a considerable hoard, they led the gang to the nearest Cop Shop, where they left one gang member to keep watch.
The police officers were surprised when several known villains entered their establishment.
“What’s this,” they said, “come to hand yourselves in, have you?”
The remand prisoners in the cells were surprised too – particularly when the ‘look out’ entered as well.
“Not exactly.” Erroneous replied. “We’ve dragged ourselves all the way here so that we – that’s you and us – can come to some sort of accommodation.”
The police officers weren’t particularly well educated: the meaning of Erroneous’s words eluded them. So Hellfire handed them their recent takings.
“Does this explain better?” He said.
At this the Chief of Police replied, “Who said that?”, as he pocketed the booty and gave Hellfire a knowing wink.
By chance, the ‘new boss’, Mister Zinc, was taking the evening air with his biological android girlfriend, Blue.
“What’s wrong, darling Zincipoo?” Blue enquired when her delusional beau became silent, slightly moody, and reticent to elucidate his inner turmoil.
“This Father Superior stuff isn’t half as satisfying as I thought it would be.” Zinc confessed. “And it’s a bit boring too.”
Blue was about to author some banal and pathetic response, when this happened.
“Ye Gods.” Zinc blurted uncharacteristically. “You’ve been targeted by the Angelic Targeting Laser that sits atop the Holy Sniper Rifle!”
Mister Zinc wasn’t particularly surprised when the targeting laser shifted its aim. He tried to remain philosophical.
“I think someone is dropping an enormous hint, Blue. I also think I should react accordingly.”
So when Chester, Miles, and all the others arrived, they found Mister Zinc open to persuasion.
“Yeah, of course you can stay here until morning. Stay here as long as you like.” He responded to their request for lodgings. “You can join the order, for all I care. Find your way to the kitchens, why don’t you. Just don’t expect Blue to do the cooking: We’ve got bigger concerns to worry about right now.”
He then informed the attentive earplugs of the recent incident with the Angelic Laser Light, which Zak and Bolah both knew was utterly bogus, and who whispered this information to the heroic duo. Zinc then called all the monks of the Order of the Holey Vest to listen to his words.
Of course Dilbert and Gilman were among the crowd. They’d only just arrived in time, after hiding the Holy Sniper Rifle behind a low stone wall in the cemetery. They smirked because they had a pretty good idea what was coming.
“Monk guys.” Zinc called out. “I got a call from a higher order. Ya know what I mean? It’s time I took a hike. I just aint quite figured out the direction I should go yet.”
Naturally Dilbert and Gilman couldn’t help themselves: They offered to show him. Equally naturally everyone was thrilled, especially Chester and Miles, who knew what a lousy git and a silicone turd Zinc was.
“Off you go, then.” Chester said, unable to disguise his broad smile. “I’m sure they have somewhere lovely in mind for you.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the Those Magnificent Earplugs cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file.
Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this fabulous tale…
Like a soggy blanket, time hung heavily upon Hakking Chestikov’s shoulders whilst he waited alone on the fringes of the mystical mountain kingdom of Kah-Ki-Pu. But as dusk finally arrived, Hakking knew that he must do exactly as the Advice Shop computer had instructed him. That instruction was that he should stand directly beneath the huge vent pipe that protruded from the very bowels of the mountain upon which Kah-Ki-Pu stood. Once in position he must empty his mind of all thoughts bar his greatest wish. So, as deep impenetrable shadows slipped across the mountain like an approaching swarm of quiescent locusts, Hakking felt a strange sensation in the end of his nose. It quickly spread throughout his body, and he began to sparkle. Then the world seemed to spin out of control like a gigantic un-balanced ceiling fan, and he became disoriented. Although he had no mirror to hand, he felt absolutely certain that a great physical change had occurred. And he wasn’t wrong. So five minutes later he arrived back at Lilac’s – out of breath and sweating like an aging boar in a duffle coat.
“Look, Glenda,” he cried as Glenda Bootstrap emerged from the bar, “it’s me: Hakking Chestikov!”
Glenda was nothing short of amazed. “I’m nothing short of amazed.” She squealed with delight. “You’re so devilishly handsome; if you hadn’t spoken I’d never have recognised you. Not sure about the vaguely excremental hue though: that could take some getting used to. But at least you don’t smell.”
Hakking was very pleased with Glenda’s reaction. It allowed an idea to form inside his curator’s head: “I wonder,” he began nervously, “since I’m no longer the most repulsive male earplug on the planet…”
His request trailed off into silence; but Glenda knew what he wanted to say: “You’d like me to take you inside for a nice cup of tea and a round of crumpets, wouldn’t you?” She said.
Hakking nodded. “Please.” He said. “If you don’t think I’m being too bold.”
“Not at all.” Glenda assured her new-found chum. “It’ll give me the chance to use my new gingham table cloth.”
“I don’t know,” Findlay said with a sigh, “it’s almost as if they don’t want to be found.”
“I think you’re right.” John-Douglas grunted as he pulled himself through a roughly hewn hatchway that led to another level. “This place is deserted.”
But as they crept around in the subdued lighting, neither prospector was aware that any number of eyes were secretly trained upon them.
As they entered a vast hall, John-Douglas said: “I vote we go back and tell the sheriff that he’s a face-ache.”
Although John-Douglas was keen to quit, Findlay wanted to continue the search. “Sheriff Brooch swears that he saw movement and heard voices.” He replied. “In any case, what would the girls think of us if we just gave up?”
John-Douglas agreed regretfully, and so only half-noticed that the great hall was carpeted. Instead he was more concerned with the opinions of their girlfriends, Lillie Whitewater and Kirsten Sponduli. “If we return empty-handed, so-to-speak,” He squeaked, “do you think they might spurn us?”
Findlay nodded. “Lunch would be off the menu, that’s for certain.”
John-Douglas took a second to digest this. “Oh, right.” He said as he stepped forward. “Let’s get at it then. Leave no stone unturned and that sort of thing.”
So they did, and after only a short while they discovered a modernised section that included pre-stressed concrete as a major construction material. Then John-Douglas thought he heard voices accompanying a rather funky rhythm. So it came as no surprise when they turned the next corner to find a disco in full flow.
Some girls called to them: “Coo-ee,” they shouted above the insistent bass line of ‘Everybody Wear a Disco Hump’, by Hambledon Bohannon, “why don’t you join us? You can dance around our handbags if you want to. Let’s get down – huh!”
But, as it happened, neither Findlay nor John-Douglas really enjoyed disco music: and prancing around a dance floor in platform shoes was an absolute anathema to them. They preferred traditional folk, barn dances, and sensible sneakers. So they made their farewells – despite the fact that the girls were in imminent danger of falling off their high heels and showing their knickers as they sprawled gracelessly across the disco floor – and departed with the news that the catacombs contained a thriving and intellectually advanced society.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2016
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the Stepladder to the Stars cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file.
Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this wonderous tale…
Elsewhere – that is aboard the X1 – Magnuss and Nigel decided that it was probably a good idea to practice some emergency procedures.
“There’s a hypothetical space pirate vessel approaching.” Magnuss suggested. “What do we do?”
“Open hypothetical fire?” Nigel replied.
“No weapons – remember?”
“Oh, yeah, no time to fit them. Okay…swerve.”
“Correct. Now we’re about to encounter space turbulence: our seatbelts are in the wash: What do we do?”
“Easy.” Nigel answered, “We don our see-through helmets.”
Magnuss was most pleased with his colleague’s grasp of procedures. “Very good.” He said. “But what should we do if the landing engine fails?”
“Other than poop in our pants, you mean?” Nigel responded. But before Magnuss could speak, Nigel had flicked a few switches. “Inflate the giant transparent air bag.” He answered.
At much the same time, the Joyfulettes were finally having their audition with Ootis Wolliums. Much to their surprise Ootis had invited the other Trumptations – those being Dunnis Idwards, Cory Valentine, and Shat and Beeki Spitoon – along to the museum’s Grand Hall. After a relatively formal greeting, Ootis had some technicians wheel out the stage upon which the three girls would perform.
Naturally Beeki had a few words of wisdom to impart: “Don’t whine or shriek.” She told them. “And don’t sing in a higher key than Cory because he’s the group’s falsetto lead, and in his deluded mind no one on the planet can sing a higher note than Cory. Oh, and try to keep in step with each other: Ootis can’t stand elephantine dancers.”
And so their chance at the big time – a permanent act at the Museum of Future Technology – commenced. Initially all went well for Blinky, Piper, and Swetti. Piper and Swetti, in particular were admired for their ability to keep up with Blinky’s gyrations whilst delivering pitch-perfect Doo-Waps and Ooh, Baby-Baby. And any reservations Ootis might have harboured for Blinky’s vocal talents were extinguished when the act slipped down from the stage and Blinky fluttered her huge eyelashes at the ageing soul group leader. After clearing his throat several times, Ootis was finally able to deliver his opinion.
“Piper,” he addressed the smallest girl in the group, “you’re a short-arse and you don’t match so well with the taller girls – but it’s nothing some boosters in your high heels won’t fix. Blinky; you can’t sing for toffee, but we have machines in the studio to put that right. You look great, so any shortfall in the talent department can be disguised by fish net tights and a girdle. Swetti, with you I have a problem. You got a great voice – we all recognise that, girl; but you’re a little…how can I say it, Dunnis?”
Dunnis looked awkward when he answered in his rich, gravelly voice: “Homely?”
“Yeah,” Ootis continued. “Homely. Not so much the girl-next-door: but more the girl locked up in next door’s basement.”
“What he means,” the blind performer, Cory Valentine, interjected, “is that you should be seen and not heard. Well let me tell you, Ootis: I can’t see the girl, but I sure can hear her good. You know where I’m coming from, man? She’s best singer here today – and that includes Beeki – or you, for that matter, ya mealy-mouthed tonge. So if you pass on her, you can pass on me too – butt-wipe: the Trumps can perform without the best falsetto the world has ever heard.”
Cory had been one of the founding members of the Trumptations. Ootis had found, throughout their career together, that it was wise to heed the pink-ish earplug’s council.
“Yeah, alright then.” He said brightly to the girls. “You can all join us in the show tonight. Anyone who falls short gets shown the back door. Okay?”
Of course it was ‘okay’: Blinky might be no singer: Piper might be a little short: and Swetti might look like a barn door; but in show business any shortcoming could be hidden behind a half-decent backing band, ladled-on make-up, and subtle lighting. For the Joyfulettes the show was on. And they couldn’t wait!
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the The Masters of Scroton cover image above to bring up the full PDF file.
….then I must be some kind of bloody saint. It has taken me (what feels like) forever to strip out sufficient megabytes from this blog – to make room for that mass of book covers (and their contents) on the sidebar, to your left. But the task is done. From this moment forward any Earplugger can access and download all forty volumes of the Earplug Adventures. In fact some already have! These…
…wondrous works of literary brilliance, boundary-pushing photographic techniques, inspired model-making, and vast artistic merit are available ABSOLUTELY FREE AND GRATIS! The early volumes are a bit, you know, ho-hum – I was, after all, finding my feet, so-to-speak – not really knowing what I was doing, so’s best avoid them, at least initially: you can always go back to them later and giggle at my inepitude. But, whatever you choose, enjoy this load of ridiculousness. I had fun creating them: you enjoy reading them.
It may have escaped your notice, but Tooty has been rather quiet of late. Some of this is due to his dislike of the cumbersome new system at WordPress; but much of his slowness to post is down to something else entirely. Yup, he’s been working on all his Earplug Adventure stories in preparation to post them as FREE PDF copies on HamsterBritain.com. In the process he has dropped the ‘Junior’ from the group title, and, in doing so has been forced to create new ‘covers’ for the PDF files. So he aint had a whole bunch of time to do much else. Oh, how he suffers for his art! Here’s a collection of pictures that display how the ‘new’ versions look…
Now all he has to figure out is how to make them available for you to download and read at your leisure. It can’t be difficult: just give him time.
The time is due for another excerpt from one of my…er…fabulous...Hamster-Sapiens books. It has been a while since I last entertained you with a snippet from this book...
…so it seems logical to do that right now. And here it is – and chosen entirely at random by pure chance…
Horatio became aware that Beryl was tugging at his sleeve, but tried to ignore it. So Beryl was left with no alternative but to knock off his novelty fedora if she wanted to gain his attention. So she did, and it worked wonderfully.
“I’m not native.” She whispered, “Who is that pompous ass-hole from which distain drips from every pore?”
Acknowledging the indisputable truth that Beryl wasn’t going to remain quiet unless Horatio gave her the information she required, the trepidatious young hamster decided to acquiesce to her demands.
“His name is Henderson Dangerpimple.” He spoke as quickly as he thought Beryl’s brain could assimilate the information, “He is a professor of Pox and Pustules at Chunderford University. He was the owner of the seafront fondant shop in the same town. Unfortunately his shop was destroyed by a mini-tsunami caused by a huge propeller that fell into the sea from the airship Dragon Slayer.”
Beryl was confused. “And he blames you for it?
“I was one of the passengers.” Horatio shrugged his shoulders, but instantly regretted the act lest the subtle movement reveal his location to the ethereal sniper.
“But still,” Beryl persisted, “that seems a little unreasonable.”
“Well I stole his wife too.” Horatio added slightly shamefaced. “They’d only been married a few hours. They hadn’t even consummated the union. But it wasn’t my fault: I had a really snotty allergy: An allergy to life without Colleen Slapper it turned out. So I told her that I loved her, begged her to leave Henderson, and she did. Now he hates me. I guess I can understand his motivation.”
“Is that tale in your autobiography?” Beryl inquired. “If it isn’t it should be.”
“Yes.” Horatio turned to regard the female beside him, “Haven’t you read it properly?”
“Not everything.” It was Beryl’s turn to look shamefaced, “Only the rude bits when you talk about your massive scrotum and suchlike. I just like to browse when I read.”
Horatio nodded. Once again he found himself capable of understanding the motivation of someone else – and it made him feel good. The Horatio Horseblanket Chronicles did run to three volumes after all. And there was the illustrated version too of course: That even included the famous photograph of his personal area that appeared on the cover of The Bucktooth Times. “Yes.” He said, “So I imagine that you’ve read all about how the President of Europe had a Particularly Popular Peoples Party pamphlet inserted into my anus and then set alight?”
“Oh yes.” Beryl assured Horatio, “It’s one of my favourite bits. And the episode where the famous Hamster-French three-wheeled go-kart race, Norbert Disentangle bit you in the…”
But Horatio was no longer listening: Instead he was regarding the TV monitor as a
cascade of whooshes and fizzles gave way to an actual picture…
“Yeah.” An unknown pilot yelled as he struggled with the controls of a recalcitrant military dirigible, “He’s my first-born. I named him after the first thing that I saw when I entered the delivery room in the hospital. His name is Legsakimbo.”
Further conversation with an unseen comrade was interrupted as the airship bucked and yawed in the turbulent night air.
Below searchlights scanned the heavens – sweeping across the night sky like photonic brooms. Every so often anti-dirigible explosives would be sent hurtling into the air from gigantic catapults – to cause mayhem and consternation amongst the crews that flew high above enemy territory.
“Legsakimbo Dangerpimple?” the comrade struggled from somewhere aft in the gondola with a huge cup of tea and a slice of lemon drizzle cake for the pilot. “That sounds almost exotic – like something from Deepest Jungle Land or somewhere similar.”
“Totally accidental I assure you, old chap.” The pilot gratefully accepted the gift of delicious comestibles, and began stuffing his face.
The comrade checked his fob watch. “Hmmm.” He muttered, “I think I’ll check with Marius: We should be just about there by now.”
But he didn’t need to. Instead a voice crackled over the intercom…
“This is Marius Moonvictim, Skipper: Time that we said ‘bye-bye’.”
“Roger that.” The pilot responded into a huge brass microphone that hung above his pilot’s seat. He then clicked on a radio transceiver. “This is Pilot Officer Brandenberg Dangerpimple to base. We’re having some difficulty with our navigator. Request permission to break off the attack, over.”
“Your navigator?” A distant voice floated in and out of audible range, “What the fluff’s wrong with Moonvictim this time? Over.”
Dangerpimple didn’t hesitate to lie. “Bad case of the shits, I’m afraid, over.”
It took a few seconds for the distant voice to become audible again, but when it did, the owner sounded exasperated.
“Tell him to hold it in, and get on plotting your course. The target for this bombing raid was chosen by the Prince himself personally.”
“Too late, base.” Dangerpimple couldn’t help but smile wickedly as he spoke, “I’m afraid that he’s soiled the navigation equipment. When we get back it’ll need a complete overhaul. We’re virtually flying blind up here. I think we can just about make it to the emergency landing tower at Mollusk by dead-reckoning if we turn back now. If we try to continue – then I think that we’d probably get horrendously lost, and fly right off the edge of the world. Over”
He knew that this last line was a certain winner. He needed only wait a paw-full of seconds before a radio acknowledgement was received.
“Right’o, Marius.” He shouted, “Plot us a course for you-know-where.”
He heard a laugh in response. “Already plotted and on the board, Skipper.”
And Brandenberg Dangerpimple’s response to that was a sharp twist of the wheel to starboard, and the instruction to his nearby comrade, “Okay, Flight Sergeant Binge Tanning: You know the ropes: Prepare for borders.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
With so much Earplug Adventure stuff appearing here, I thought it would make a pleasant change to see some Hamster-Sapiens rudeness. To this end I have delved into this e-book…
…and pray that the resulting random excerpt pleases you beyond measure. And here it is…
It was cold, dark, and down right nasty beneath the surface of the River Turgid, as it ambled between Prannick’s twin towns of Near and Far Kinell with all the pace and alacrity of a bout of constipation. But Perfidity Gallowsmith had scant moments to consider such discomforts: Her immediate concern was the severe depletion that had taken place to the air reserve that she’d managed to accumulate in her hamstery cheek pouches moments before being knocked unconscious by a huge torpedo-shaped cavy-dropping, and falling into the river. Since then she’d been forced to ditch her famous chainmail knickers and leather breast-hammocks in order to remain above the mucky goo of the river bed, and now she was feeling distinctly naked both outwardly and inwardly
It was difficult for her to judge whether the onlookers upon the bank were still ‘on looking’, but she couldn’t take the risk of being discovered by them: In Prannick the vanquished leader was always put to death in a most public exhibition. She would rather drown than face that ignominy. Then, as she drifted with the river’s flow, the town’s sewage out fall pipe seemed to crawl past at a snail’s pace. It was dark and foreboding; but it might also supply a temporary sanctuary for her.
“With any luck,” she spoke to herself through lips that were clenched so tight that they might have been hermetically sealed, “there’ll be air at the top of the tunnel.
Striking out for the circle of black in an otherwise colourless environment Perfidity tried to gauge the time of day: She must be in and out of the tunnel before sixty-three minutes after thirteen o’clock, when the Town Ka-ka Release Officer emptied the slurry pit below the public toilet into the river: An ignominious departure into the hereafter was preferable to Death By Excrement. But as she approached the outfall she became aware of a subtle change in its appearance. It seemed to have become somehow blacker. A more intense black. A negative-light sort of black. She blew-off several times to dispel the intense feeling of fear that was threatening to steal her reason away. But despite these gaseous out-pouring, the darkness seemed to be drawing her to it. Then, as she began to struggle against the impossible pulling sensation that seemed to be acting upon each and every atom that made up her rather large, but surprisingly curvaceous body, the darkness seemed to leap forward to engulf her. She had just sufficient time to break-wind once more, and then scream incoherently.
Upon the bank Felicity and Roosevelt were walking paw-in-paw. They were chatting excitedly about the day’s battle, and their triumph. They also wanted to find a nice warm spot in which to perform some form of warm, cuddly, sex-act. Felicity noticed the bubbles as they burst from the surface of the water. The first few were rank and foul, and were immediately dismissed at ‘swamp water’: But the final few smelt far sweeter, and, much to their surprise contained a sound, which went, “Arrgh!”
“I’m sorry,” Roosevelt said apologetically, “is it alright with you if we pass on the vaguely-planned activity that would undoubtedly have culminated in non-reproductive sexual intercourse? Those mysterious bubbles have quite put me off.”
Felicity had to agree with her chum: Under these altered circumstances she didn’t even think that she could stretch to heavy-petting: It was a documented fact that drowning hamsters and their talking farts had a nasty habit of utterly deflating libidos.
“May The Wheel bless you, my son.” Brother Algy Tumbler would say to each an every injured lawman and militia-hamster that he treated, “And may the glorious light of The Rim shine upon your wretched bulges, and make it feel much better in the morning.”
The chubby hamster was pretty much sick and tired of this oft-repeated litany; but each time that he found the need to say the words he was simply amazed at the paucity of any real injuries, and marvelled at the Hamster Heathens’ ability to project their will by the simple administration of high-speed sods and custard pots to the vulnerable squelchy parts of their enemies. He also doubted that the forces of The Wheel would have been as magnanimous and kindly to their vanquished foes had the situation been reversed.
A short distance off Algy Timber was helping the Heathens as they reloaded the team buses. He couldn’t help but notice how incredibly similar he and Brother Algy Tumbler looked. He said as much to Joan.
“It’s like we’re twins.” He added, “I think I’ll engage him in conversation: P’raps we share the same interests. I wonder if he chews his own privates during periods of great angst?”
Joan put out a paw to stop him. “Best not, Mister Timber.” She said.
Algy wasn’t to be put-off. “But I want to.” He said with an almost petulant air, “He’s my inter-dimensional double.”
But he could take no more than a couple of steps before Rootley leapt from the roof-rack where he was strengthening the paw-holds, and grappled him to the floor. “No, Mister Timber,” the small hamster squeaked – his face contorted with dread, “Don’t go near him: There is a great danger. I can feel it.”
Algy pushed his assailant aside. “What do you mean?” he said as he dusted himself off, “Am I allergic to his smelling-salts, or something? Does he smell something awful?”
“I don’t know.” Rootley confessed, “I just know that it’s dangerous.”
“I think I can guess.” Joan said as she assisted her boss to tidy his dress, “It’s probably a space/time conundrum, or something. Two identical people from different dimensions probably can’t exist in the same place at the same time. I expect that they’re mutually exclusive. No doubt the result of contact between you would be utter devastation.”
“And you know this because?” Darkwood inquired as he appeared around the corner of the vehicle.
“The experiments at the Institute:” Joan replied, “They’ve intensified my brain power.” Then she added, “And I’ve been watching Rat Trek on TV too. The self-same thing happened to Mister Splatt in the episode No Coypu is an Island. It was very good. Two characters very nearly exploded; but Captain Perp managed to finagle a small piece of his anatomy between them, and stopped them from touching. It was very exciting. And more than a little moving too.”
“Indeed.” Darkwood nodded, “This small piece of his anatomy that you mentioned: It wasn’t his willy, was it? I rather think I’d have liked to have seen that!”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
There, are you pleased beyond measure? I thought so.
Are you one of those who, upon watching a DVD check out the extras, which often include a Making Of clip. I used to; but I don’t anymore: I don’t like to see the illusion spoiled. But just in case you are, here’s a little Earplug Adventures illusion spoiler.
If you’re an Earplug Adventures photographer, one of your best friends is the humble material known as cardboard. With a little imagination and a bit of jiggery-pokery, it can become anything you bloody well want it to. Take, for example this empty insulation pile reel…
Hmmm, lots of potential there. Now let me see; what can I turn THAT into? Well there’s this very nice dungeon/kitchen…
…which appeared in Return of the Prodigal Earplug. It looks like a dungeon – especially with those flaming torches (burning matches) set into the wall. But the story said it was a kitchen: so I guess it must have been a medieval themed kitchen. It appeared again in Return to the Museum of Future Technology as Wilton Carpetti and Vinkie Vinkleton’s test facility – only dressed more futuristically…
And again as Ballington Cork’s temple in Return of the Prodigal Earplug…
Oh look, it’s those flaming torches again. In fact these reels have appeared in so many stories that I’m spoiled for choice. But I’ll make the last example this one…
Yes, it even featured as the K T Woo’s engine room in Stepladder to the Stars. Very versatile, cardboard reels.
But cardboard comes in many guises. Like these strips – wot I cut…
These utilise that old perspective trick that was taught to us in school art lessons, all those millions of years ago. This is how this particular duo of strips looked in the story, Cometh the Earplug…
Hair-Tigger wasn’t sure if the building was small and quite nearby, or huge, but a long way off. So she altered her focus, and…
…the latter proved to be the case. Silly, but I like it.
The following picture has been used over and over – almost every time that I need to show the city of Scroton Prime. It was a semi-perminant set at my old ‘studio’ despite the fact that I constructed it in the main warehouse of the factory where I worked. Everyone knew what it was, so left it alone – even the management. I was blessed to work there…
But I often re-dressed it – either physically – or later (when it was history, and all I had were some pictures of it), electronically for different stories. Here’s how it appeared the first time, in Plunging Into Peril...
It was then re-used a hideous number of times, culminating in (at present) the most recent tale – Haunted Mars...
Will there ever come a time when this shot doesn’t appear ad infinitum? Hope not.
Those cardboard inserts you find in, say, vacuum cleaner or microwave oven boxes are a God-send as well…
If used as interiors, they make excellent caves – as seen here in Stepladder to the Stars, where Sheriff (later Captain) Sinclair Brooch makes an astonishing discovery…
And as exteriors, all you need do is cut a couple of openings…
… and they make perfect mud villages…
…as seen here in The Grand Tour. All in all, a jolly useful commodity for a creative genius, like wot I is.
Of course there are many other cardboard items which are extremely useful for a Earplug Adventure shooter: but I’ll leave them for another time.
Are you one of those who, upon watching a DVD check out the extras, which often include a Making Of clip. I used to; but I don’t anymore: I don’t like to see the illusion spoiled. But just in case you are, here’s a little Earplug Adventures illusion spoiler.
Yup, it’s the interior of a street light. Several years ago a street light rusted through and fell down at my place of work; so, as a precaution, a small number of them were replaced. Naturally I grabbed a couple. And what a treasure trove they were. The outsides became obsolete space tugs – seen here in Return of the Prodigal Earplug – or other hulks in another story, the title of which eludes me right now, but it featured the creation of the starship Chi-Z-Sox *
And the inner parts became the exterior of The Future Museum of Mars in Martian Interlude and several others…
…AND the interior of the same edifice in several more, including Haunted Mars...
Unfortunately I was forced to leave my larger sets behind at the old building when the company moved to new premises. But I was smart enough to shoot a whole library of pictures before we departed to pastures new. The main Future Museum of Mars prop amongst them.
*I’ve written so many stories they begin to blur. Is there an earplug fan out there who can tell me which story it was?
…it is five minutes to midnight, and I have just completed the processing of the seven hundred and sixty-first photograph that I have chosen to be included in Haunted Mars. I didn’t take 761 photos for this story, of course: I can’t imagine how many there must have been before I began hitting the delete button: but it was a heck of a lot more than 761! Many pictures have pictures within them – like this one…
…which has wall art and a window added. So there’s three in one shot. Of course I had to create the scene visible through the window – being a star and outer space. And the wall art? Well I only use originals – mine.
What about this one…
…which is a composite of a garden solar light, shot through a pane of glass, with a real cloudy sky behind it; which was added to a shot of a sheet of burnt industrial accoustic insulation – before being stripped of its colour and made to appear like a rocket traversing a glacier Pretty good, eh? I’m rather pleased with this one.
I tell you, if I’d paid as much care and attention to work as I do to these bloody earplug stories, I’d have made it to Managing Director.
But don’t let me make you think it isn’t fun: it is. Who couldn’t have fun cutting holes in milk bottle tops and turning them into sombreros for a mariachi band?
And converting the interior of a street light into a domed museum on Mars?
Or even contructing sets out of absolutely anything I can lay my hands on…
And just coming up with the beauty shots…
But the best fun comes when I draw them all togther and discover the story they tell me – before I write it for you.
Old, stupid, but still creative.
Once upon a time I knew which book was supposed to supply the next excerpt, but somewhere between R.i.t.R 1 and now I’ve managed to become completely flummoxed. My default position is to jump straight to this book…
…partly because it’s the best book in the world, and partly because it’s the best book that has ever been written by anyone, anywhere, at any time. So today I’m going eschew my fall-back position and go for this book…
…which isn’t any of those things I said about The Psychic Historian, but is entertaining, and without the prior existence of which the best book in the world would not have been written. And here is the random excerpt. Hope it’s good…
Although the elevator was slow, the anti-mould snail had kept it pristine. Consequently both hamsters felt not the slightest discomfort as it ascended at a moribund crawl. And when, eventually, the door slid open on reasonably well-oiled sliders, Tonks had managed to shed much of the muck and filth of the lower floors, and was able to lead Colin on to the ground floor with a certain amount of pride.
The first thing she did was prick up her furry ears, and listen intently. Satisfied by the silence she then took her sidearm in her good paw, and made off for the Sentinel Robot bay. As she did so she couldn’t help but notice that the CCTV camera panned around to follow her progress.
“I didn’t know that your security system worked.” She said to Colin.
“It works fine.” He replied. “It’s just that Boney can’t be arsed to use it. He prefers the Sentinel Robots.”
Tonks asked the obvious next question. “So why is he using it now?”
Colin had no idea, so he decided to be creative. “Perhaps he’s trying to look down the front of your uniform.” He suggested. Then as supportive evidence for this theory he added, “Your breasts do jiggle pleasantly. Not that I’m an expert or anything. I never was much of a letch. Or a letch of any kind, come to think about it.”
But Tonks wasn’t listening: Another shudder was in the process of passing through the building, and the lights dimmed momentarily.
Meanwhile, in the Security Office, the monitors were being shaken dramatically. Not because of the apparent earthquake that was in the process of giving Fanangy’s epiglottis a hernia due to excessive nervous gulping: But because the cameras that fed them had gone out of focus.
“Damnation from the Great Angler Herself.” Boney cursed as he thumped the ageing cathode ray tubes with frustration, “I could’a sworn I caught a glimpse of a nipple just then!”
“Probably a shadow.” Lionel attempted to quell his employer’s enthusiasm for the sergeant’s mammary glands, “Army regulation vests would never allow loose titties in a potential combat situation. They could block the view of a rifle sight. ”
Boney was forced to accede to Lionel’s almost-pure logic. “Yeah, I s’pose you’re right.” He grumbled.
Then the screens settled, and a clear view of the corridor returned. But of Tonks and Colin there was no sign.
“Try the Sentinel Robot bay.” Fanangy croaked, “It’s the next door along.”
Naturally Fanangy’s suggestion was the correct course of action. This was because of two quite disparate reasons – at least in Lionel’s eyes. The first was that she was utterly gorgeous, and therefore incapable of being in error upon any subject, whether corporeal or esoteric: And secondly because Tonks and Colin now found themselves staring with bewilderment at a Sentinel Robot bay completely bereft of Sentinel Robots. Instead, at the cavernous room’s centre, a device that simply defied description seemed to crouch like a defecating toad.
“It looks like an oddly mottled huge steel box with flashing lights all around it.” Tonks exclaimed breathlessly.
“And a vast array of cables reaching from it, and disappearing into all four walls, the ceiling, and the floor, in a manner most redolent of things most creepy and crawly.” Colin added.
“What do you think it is?” Tonks inquired.
“Beats the shit out of me.” Colin replied helpfully.
Tonks asked another question. “Was it there when we departed for the Artefact Room?”
This time Colin’s response was a little more forthcoming with information. “No.” He said.
“And imagine the remarkable engineering skills required to have constructed this stupendous device in such a short time.” Tonks said admiringly.
Any further utterances were silenced before they could be properly composed. Once more the building shook, and a loud hum of harnessed energy filled the air.
“Yikes.” Tonks managed before a loud booming voice spoke…
“Who dares speak in the presence of The Overmind?”
Colin was quick to respond. “Oh, that’d be us. Sorry. Didn’t mean to offend or anything. The name’s Colin by the way. I’m an android.” He then indicated Tonks, who appeared to have entered the trance-like fugue that hamsters in general, and startled females in particular, enter at times of extreme stress. “Oh, and this, apparently inanimate, life-form is Sergeant Tonks. I don’t know if she has a first name; but she’s a hamster. I don’t know the Latin for her species: hamstery-hamsteritious, or something, I expect.”
“Cease this infernal noise!” The voice of the Overmind boomed.
Despite owning the best pair of electronic ears on the planet, Colin couldn’t be sure precisely where the sound was emanating from. He suspected that it might be the large device in the centre of the room. “Sorry.” He said quietly.
“Bring me your mobility.” The Overmind demanded.
Colin’s aim was to please at every opportunity: But this demand required too much of him. “You what?” He enquired eloquently.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2012
P.S I wonder if I’ll ever write another Hamster-Sapiens book. Do I still have the ability? Oh, I don’t know; there are so many books I’d like to write, but I simply can’t be arsed.
At the time of writing this post, five months have passed since I lost my wife to cancer. Rather annoyingly I’ve discovered that I’m no nearer getting over her death today than I was at the time it happened. Then I had so much to do – all the legalities and stuff – that my mind was completely occupied. Most of every day my mind is still occupied. Thank goodness for my writing and photography: I can escape into those slightly off-beat worlds. But today (like every day) something from the real world – from the past – impinged itself upon my cocoon: in this case a letter from The Tax Man, stating that she had over-paid income tax during 2020, and that, as her ‘legal personal representative’ (read; grieving husband), I am entitled to the rebate. My initial reaction was ‘Oh, that’s good; I’ll use that to buy a get-you-home spare wheel for the Skoda.’ Then it struck me that even now she is still helping me provide for our Special Needs daughter – which is what she would have wanted – in the form of her company pension; discounted food at my favourite supermarket; and now this. But rather than bouy me up, this thought just reminded me of my loss. But then I made a poor decision: I sat down at my computer to take my mind off the subject. Automatically I reached across to the stereo and switched it on. It auto-played Michael Buble’s ‘Home’, which is a sad song about how his career took him away from the woman he loved. Being in a heightened emotional state I found the song depressingly sad, but I was determined to sing along – until the line ‘And I feel like I’m living someone else’s life; it’s like I just stepped outside’, when I went into meltdown – slapping at the OFF button in desperation. I never really understood grief before – despite losing both parents and two brothers. I wonder if I’ve been storing it up all these years: it certainly feels like it. But at least I have a release valve: it’s called The Earplug Adventures; and right now I’m going to pour myself a coffee; sit myself down; and write the next episode. It won’t be poignant: it will be funny. I’m determined.
What with the global pandemic and everything that has followed, I felt that, during this difficult period, I should refrain from promoting my two ‘Silent’ books – they are (after all) set in a post-global pandemic world – though (hopefully) far worse than the real thing. But then, months on, I thought: ‘But they’re a good yarn: why not let people read what they bloody well want to?’ So here I am, presenting an excerpt from this book – the second of the literary duo…
As the cover suggests this book isn’t my usual comedic fare: just the opposite – with death and destruction possible at any moment. Anyway, here’s a random extract…
No one had come running at the sound of the shotgun blast. I for one was most grateful that we were all inside the compound; the door had been reattached; and for a while we had a degree of seclusion. But not for long: “Whomever set that booby trap might still be here.” Karen warned.
“I’d say it’s odds-on.” Colin agreed – recovered now that Wayne’s body lay hidden beneath a bus company tarpaulin.
“I certainly hope he is.” Shane spoke menacingly as she fingered the trigger of her shotgun.
“Me too.” Kylie said as she withdrew her pistol from its holster. But when she released the empty clip into her free hand she added, “That’s if I had any ammo left of course.”
“Likewise.” Karen and Colin said in unison; then giggled nervously at the coincidence.
Dexter meanwhile was worrying the escape door at the rear of a double decker bus.
“I guess we’ll have to take his.” He said as he nodded in the direction of the depot office building.
“His?” I queried.
“The bloke who set the booby trap.” Dexter explained. “That’s if he’s got any. Those might have been his last two shells.”
“Why do you refer to him as ‘him’?” Karen asked.
“Yeah.” Shane sided with her leader. “Could’a been a woman. Well a girl anyway.”
“A woman wouldn’t do such a thing.” Kylie said – rather naively I thought.
“What makes you so sure that ‘he’ is still here?” I asked the youngest boy in our group.
Dexter had the bus door open and was in the process of climbing aboard. Again he nodded towards the office building.
“Saw some movement in an upstairs window, didn’t I.” He replied.
‘So we’re not alone.’
“Tasman?” I asked.
Tasman looked across at the building. “As much as I admire the concept of vengeance,” he said, “I really don’t think we have the time or manpower. And like Shane said – we can’t go wasting any more lives. Irritating as it is, Wayne’s murderer will have to go free.”
‘If you call this place freedom.’
“Agreed.” I said in a tone that I hoped suggested finality, “He’ll face his accusers in a higher court than ours.”
Tasman cocked his head upon one side at this. I recognised it as a look of puzzlement.
“When he faces his maker.” I explained. “God.”
Tasman appeared to accept this. But clearly Colin, Shane, Karen, and Kylie were not about to be easily dissuaded. I could understand this. I didn’t know how long they’d been together, but they’d been through a lot with Wayne. They were almost family. They were certainly the only family any of them had left. Now their big brother lay dead beneath bus company property. Tasman and I wanted to continue with the task at hand: The others had other ideas.
It was Dexter who chose our path.
“No keys.” He shouted from inside the vehicle. “Probably hangin’ on a hook in the office.”
“Can someone check the other buses?” I suggested; but I knew my hope was forlorn.
As the only two present with decent weapons, it fell to Tasman and I retrieve the keys.
“Couldn’t we hot-wire it or something?” I whispered to my friend as we crouched en route to a parked car that stood half way between the bus and the office building.
The concrete ran with water as the incessant drizzle didn’t let up for a moment. As we closed upon the abandoned three-door hatch-back, Tasman answered.
“Could you?” He said.
‘No. And if I can’t, then by extension neither can anyone else. Great!’
We’d left our haversacks with the others, but not before donning our hand guns, and removing the hidden suppressors, and fitting them to our Heckler & Koch MP7s.
“If we’re going to have a shoot-out,” Tasman had explained, “at least our side won’t be making any noise.”
‘Hard to explain away the sound of two military weapons in a civilian town.’
As we settled behind the cover of the car, Tasman ran an attentive eye along the length of the building that faced us. The lower floor consisted of mostly solid brick wall, broken only by a door and a large observation window. The upper floor had smaller windows set into it at regular intervals along its length beneath a flat felt roof. A shot could ring out from any number of them, and we’d never be able to guess which one until it was too late.
“This is ridiculous.” I grumbled into Tasman’s shoulder.
“It is, isn’t it?” He chuckled. “Here we are – trying to save the world, and all we’re doing is fighting one of our own kind. Well your kind.”
“That’s good old Earth humans for you.” I replied as I patted him on the other shoulder. “Always ready to put a spanner in the works. So what’s the plan?”
Tasman didn’t answer immediately. Instead he verbalised his thoughts for my benefit.
“Since our enemy booby-trapped the pedestrian entrance,” He spoke softly, “logic would dictate that he would likely repeat the act with the office door. Any other door for that matter, including the back one – assuming there is one.”
I nodded agreement.
Tasman was continuing:
“Access to the upper windows are unobtainable without ladders; therefore they’re probably unprotected by semi-automatic devices like the booby trapped entrance.”
“Fine,” I said, “but we have no ladders.”
“We don’t need ladders.” He replied. “In fact we don’t need the windows either.”
He then held out his MP7 so that we could both see it. “We are going to behave as though we really know how to use these.”
I didn’t understand, and said as much.
“How would U.S Navy S.E.A.Ls get in without taking fire?” He asked.
It was a metaphorical question, but I answered it anyway.
“Down ropes – out of helicopters. Big problem: No ropes. No helicopters.”
“Doesn’t matter.” He said as nodded to a part of the building just beyond the huge observation window, “We have a drain pipe.”
I felt a nervous, girlish giggle coming on. The situation was becoming intolerably silly.
“Don’t be daft.” I said. “We’d have to get past the window – and if it’s booby trapped…”
I left it hanging there.
“What’s that white plastic thing mounted on the wall above the door?” Tasman asked in what appeared to be a complete change of subject.
I peered through the drizzle. “Um, I think it’s one of those motion detector things.”
“It detects motion.” He said. “How interesting. Why is it here?”
“It’s an anti-burglar device. When someone gets detected, a big light comes on, and everyone can see them – usually on CCTV.”
“So where is the light?” He asked.
I looked around. Several lights sat atop tall metal poles around the perimeter wall, but none appeared to point in the direction of the office. Then I noticed an unused wall bracket above the large window.
“It’s been taken down.” I said.
Tasman nodded knowingly. “How quickly do they react?”
I thought back to the security lights that Father had installed in our country home. He’d mounted several in strategic positions around the grounds, and all of them had been fabulous at illuminating various forms of wild-life as they found their way into the garden and out-buildings. I recalled that many were the times that my sister and I had watched in breathless wonder as badgers, foxes, deer, and suchlike took advantage of the food that we had laid out for them.
“A couple of seconds.” I answered, “That’s assuming that these are anything like the ones my father had fitted at home.”
“Slow.” He observed.
He then indicated the cast-iron drainpipe that he’d referred to earlier. It climbed the full extent of the two storey building, and was attached to an equally sturdy gutter at roof level.
“That is our destination.” He said.
He then turned to wave in the direction of the bus. Dexter’s hand appeared fleetingly at one of the upper windows. Moments later the plastic ‘glass’ was pushed from its rubber recess, and fell with a clatter to the concrete below. Then Shane’s single barrel appeared over the lip of the window frame. But it wasn’t the small girl who held it: It was Karen.
“Covering fire.” He explained. “Doesn’t hit much, but confuses the hell out of the enemy. Now when I say ‘run’ we run towards the drainpipe together. Don’t pull ahead of me, and whatever you do don’t lag behind me. We must be one. Understand?”
‘No – not really.’
“Yes.” I replied. “Together as one: got it.”
“Right then, my beautiful Earth female,” Tasman said, “run!”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014
P.S I really should write a third book. Everyone likes a trilogy, don’t they?
Since I began posting these extracts from the Hamster-Sapiens series of e-books, I’ve been really pleased with everyone’s reactions to them. To date only one extract needed to be deleted – due to lack of interest – and I thank every one of you who clicks the Like button whenever you read one. For this excerpt I’ve delved into the abyss that is this book…
Hopefully you’ll like it as much as the others.
Upon this command the monks fell back to a position behind the drunken mob. No sooner had they done so – when the gate gave way abruptly, and with a loud splintering sound it crashed to the ground. Instantly the army of rogue Stix bandits came pouring through the gap – to be met with a sight that they couldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams: Monks of The Wheel – drunken and debauched – and showing them their personal protuberances! And what frightful willies they were too – every one of them. Or rather they weren’t: In fact they were outstandingly average. But with Primrose’s hypnotic powers at their fullest, every member there appeared to match Brother Alfonso’s in sheer frightfulness to the nth degree.
“Argh.” The first wave of bandits cried, “Frightful willies everywhere: Back, damn you! Back!”
But heedless the second wave pushed them onwards, and they were almost within striking distance with their knives and cudgels before they too succumbed to the apparent sight.
“No – The Rim preserve me.” They would cry out in despair, “My mind is in turmoil!” And then they too would turn aside, and try to beat a hasty retreat.
But no one had considered Lucas Cleats himself. Something had obviously changed in Lucas Cleats since he’d come to the attention of Stubby Collet as a young, up-coming, Stix member, because not only did he recognise the monk’s private parts for what they really were; he also recognised Primrose as the alter-ego of Stubby Collet.
Raising his mailed fist he marched resolutely towards Primrose. “This is your evil work!” He growled menacingly.
“Ah-ha!” Brother Alfonso yelled as he leapt into the space between Cleats and Primrose, and raising the hem of his habit to chest height, “Their danglies may not be real – but mine is. Retreat immediately before I club you to death with my mighty truncheon.”
Under certain circumstances this ploy might have worked. Indeed Brother Alfonso had once tried such a gambit before. The result that time was a sharp slap with a chain mail glove, followed by excruciating pain, and his instantaneous surrender: This time didn’t go any better.
“El Diablo.” Brother Alfonso cried in abrupt and unexpected agony, “Mi Guillermo burns like the fires of The Hub itself. No mi gusta chain mail gloves!”
Cleats then pushed the stumbling giant aside, and withdrew his blade from it’s scabbard. “Let’s be done with these illusions, Stubby.” He spoke calmly to Primrose. “Out of respect I’ll make it quick for you.”
In one fluid motion both Darkwood and Quentin bravely stepped to intercept him, but were cast aside by invisible mental bolts that sent them sprawling.
Joan, Felicity, and Algy Timber all tried flinging empty custard pots in his direction, but Cleats avoided them all with ease, and barely broke the pace of his advance.
But then lady luck stepped in as Joan cried out, “Oh if only we could introduce some custard to his gullet, we would be saved!”
And outside the gate, still recovering from being used as a battering ram, lay Cleats’ enormous bull cavy.
“Custard?” The enormous cavy said – his ears pricking up. “Did someone mention custard? I absolutely adore custard. Let me at it. Let no rodent stand in my way!”
He then leapt to his feet, and charged through the broken portal. He took a brief moment to ignore all the wayward private parts and fleeing bandits, and then locked his gaze upon the last remaining pot of custard, which as luck would have it, stood upon a trestle table beside the shapely form of Primrose Pickles.
“That mother-fluffer is mine.” He bellowed loudly whilst charging blindly – oblivious to the fact that his master stood between himself and the tantalising custard.
Well what happened next was horrifying beyond belief. Even the drunken monks paused in their synchronised posing to gasp in awe, and the others openly cringed. Lucas Cleats had been caught from behind by the massive lowered head of his mount, and was flung bodily high into the air, where he landed with an “Oof” upon the steep slate-tiled roof of the gatehouse. He then quickly slithered downward in a terrifying cascade of dislodged tiles and startled grimaces. He would have inevitably fallen to a grisly death upon the shattered remains of the wooden gate below, but somehow his scrotum managed to become ensnared in the gutter, and he was left dangling above the precipice by his private parts.
“Oh I wish I’d brought my digital camera.” Algy Timber spoke into the resulting silence, “I could really liven up my personal web site with pictures of that.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
Now you can see why I call this Revel in the Ribaldry. Fun- what? Of course the e-book is still available – after all these years – at most stockists, some of which are mentioned beneath the header and on the sidebar.
More ribald tales from the Hamster-Sapiens now. Well an excerpt anyway. And this one comes from none other than this e-book…
As is my way, Mr Complete Random once more selected the excerpt. Let’s hope the non-existent devil has chosen well…
Joan, Darkwood, Rootley, and the gargantuan Brother Alfonso Dos Fresas had emerged from the sewer outlet that overhung Weasels Pit’s Lake Effluence like some evil giant urethra. They’d closely resembled an army of frozen zombies. Only when they gained the sanctuary of Rootley’s disgusting hovel atop the hill that over looked the putridly medieval village, and were embraced by the considerable bulk of Margarita Hummingbird, did they finally thaw sufficiently to converse in words of more than one syllable.
Finally, as evening drew on, they settled about the smoky fire and discussed a possible constitution for Prannick – once the power of The Wheel had been overthrown, of course.
“So tell me, Joan,” Darkwood spoke between draughts of a foul ale that they’d purchased from an inebriated chipmunk whom they encountered on the road that led towards Knackered Dobbin, and who was selling hot baked beans and treacle tarts to passers-by, “since you know Sponx is ruled by an absolute monarchy, and Prannick is a religious mono-culture, how well do you imagine that your land’s concept of democracy would fare in this obviously more culturally-primitive dimension?”
Joan’s reply was short and sweet. It was also a question. “Capitalism, or Socialism?”
Darkwood pondered this subject for a moment. He then asked the obvious question, “Is there any real difference?”
Now if anyone had asked Joan this question just a paw-full of days previous, then it’s likely that she would have responded with, “You what? Socialism? Duh…” But the new Joan now used parts of her brain that hadn’t been dulled by an upbringing in the company of a moronic gerbil, and the ever-present aroma of custard. Just as Darkwood had done moments earlier, Joan too pondered the subject. When she spoke is was with precision and clarity…
“In ideology and theory – a difference so vast that it could lead to war:” She informed him, “But in practice – they are barely discernible. They’re both highly proficient in the art of corruption, but only one of them is capable of running a country long-term without bankrupting it or causing civil unrest. Well that’s if Hamster Britain’s government is anything to judge by. The same goes for dictatorships and police states: In the end you can’t tell one from the other. Except for cornflakes, of course: There’s always a greater choice of cornflakes and cereal-based products in states where free speech is the norm. Otherwise they’re much the same. Even the pornography looks remarkably similar. So I’ve been told: I’ve never actually indulged…”
She turned away to cover the brightening of skin beneath her youthful hamstery fur.
“Not doing well, are we Darkwood?” Rootley returned from prodding the smouldering fire, “In any case – aren’t we being a tad premature? We have the fluffin’ Wheel to overthrow first.”
“And I have a trabajo to find, if you recall.” Brother Alfonso spoke from inside a hammock that he’d fashioned from a huge sheet of muslin that was usually used for containing the village pudding, but had been washed and left outside to dry overnight by the village pudding maker, and which had been subsequently stolen by Brother Alfonso as he sauntered past en route from Lake Effluence to Rootley’s hovel, “As a monk my professional days are over.”
It was late at the Institute of Hugely Important Studies, and Flotti Pañuelo had only just put on her hat and coat, and departed the establishment on her ex-Horatio Horseblanket race-prepped motocross foldaway scooter that she’d won in the last year’s Hamster Heath Annual Winter Farting Contest, when Fabian Strangefellow’s rare and expensive go-kart rolled onto the grounds with its pedals feathered for complete silence.
The machine didn’t stop; it just merely slowed sufficiently to allow a black-clad Roosevelt Teabiscuit the opportunity to leap from the passenger seat, roll spectacularly across the pavement, then spring, like an over-eager flea, up onto the flat roof of the foyer, shinny up a drainpipe, then dive through an open window upon the fourth floor.
Elsewhere upon the fourth floor, the three members of The Royal Institute for Psychic Rodent Research were once more putting Felicity Bugler through her paces. And once more she was failing like a talentless tart.
“You know, I’m at a total loss: She was fine earlier.” Doctor Rambling Bramble spoke in his most frustrated tone of voice as he stood behind impervious plate glass beside his assistant, Primrose Pickles. “If I had my way I’d have her put out of her misery. Lethal injection ought to do it.”
Primrose was feeling more charitable. “Perhaps if I gave her really good spanking…” She suggested.
Bramble’s whiskers twanged like an ill-tuned banjo. “Do you really think so?” He said, suddenly breathless, “Can I watch?”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
I don’t need to tell you that this book is available at most e-book stockists: you already know.
It’s no good; when it comes to selecting which book supplies the next extract, I’ve completely lost the plot. But, rather than adopting my default position, which always results in me choosing The Psychic Historian, this time I’m going to plump for this slightly underrated e-book…
Okay – VERY underrated e-book. Maybe this extract, whatever it is (because its always random), will make people think again. Let’s hope so: I worked hard on this (all those years ago) and I really would like to sell a few copies.
“You miserable failure.” Wetpatch thought he heard someone say as he rematerialized beneath the emergency raffia mat.
“I’m no such thing.” He responded in his most indignant tone, which was very indignant indeed because he’d been studying Indignancy as part of the school curriculum, and had been practising upon the village green with his pal Algy Piecrust for weeks.
“Oh Wetpatch.” Amy squealed with delight as she whipped back the covering, and then quickly averted her eyes in case time travel did nasty things to people, “You’re back!”
Immediately everyone began fussing around the young hamster – asking all sorts of questions, and checking to see if he retained most of his more obvious body parts.
Naturally, after learning from Desmond that time travel can sometimes be disorientating, and can often lead people to hear things that weren’t actually said, and were usually the product of their sub-conscious, Wetpatch made his report.
Everyone was delighted, though slightly appalled by the news that both the crew and passengers were due for a pasting by the volcano’s shockwave, and that vomiting would be commonplace.
Desmond was particularly thrilled that Tutu would be safe, and was probably half way to Chunderland by now: But was slightly disconcerted when Wetpatch informed him that Tutu was a brilliant navigator, and that the lanky creature possessed a natural flair for the science, and could actually wipe his bottom with the bathroom light off.
So now, it seemed, it was just a matter of trying to survive the shockwave when it hit. And Wetpatch knew exactly where he intended to ride it out…
After securing Kevin to the wall with a pair of extremely large bolts and a length of braid from the lounge drapes, Wetpatch settled himself into a harness that swung lazily from a spring that was attached to the ceiling.
“It won’t matter how much the ship bucks about.” The youngster informed the education computer, “I’ll be cushioned from its effects by this. Of course I’ll probably empty my stomach all over the place, but I’ll remain fundamentally unharmed.”
Kevin, despite being a machine, was less than enthralled at the thought of being puked over.
“Hey, dumb-ass hamster,” it spoke as eloquently as it could, “How’s about stuffing me in a cupboard or up the extractor fan? I can’t stand no thoughts of messy stuff getting in my innards. What you wanna have me ‘round for anyways?”
Actually Wetpatch had a very good reason for having Kevin around when the shockwave hit. Amongst its many talents, Kevin could double as a DVD player, and it just so happened that during the rapid descent into the deeps, several box sets of Rat Trek had fallen from the hold of the Disemboweller into the Bargebutt, and Wetpatch had collected them, cleaned all the filth and bodily wastes from them, and now intended to spend his time on a sci-fi fest to end all sci-fi fests: Hour upon endless hour of Rat Trek re-runs – with popcorn. He simply couldn’t wait
“It’ll take my mind off my recalcitrant balance mechanism.” He explained after Kevin demanded an explanation for the inclusion of audio-visual stimulation during a period of extreme physical and mental stress. “And if I position a mirror on the opposite wall – you can watch too!”
And so it came to pass. Almost exactly three hours, sixty-two minutes, and ninety seconds later, the S.S Bargebutt found itself in the grasp of an invisible monster. Joints creaked, bulkheads bristled, and transfer hoses wobbled horrendously as the vessel was dragged across a sizable portion of the globe by the racing volcanic shockwave. Up became down, left became right, and somewhere in the middle seemed like it might end up on the outside. All in all the mighty sub was tested far beyond its builder’s design expectations, and was not found wanting. Regrettably the same couldn’t quite be said of its crew however. As promised by the earlier form of Tutu – vomiting abounded, and a great gnashing of teeth could be heard throughout its endless corridors. Recriminations were commonplace, and many a rodent said things that they feared they might later regret.
In his cabin, Wetpatch was riding the storm quite well. Although he was bouncing around the room on the end of his spring like an expiring house fly, his brain remained active, and his stomach surprisingly calm.
Kevin was doing less well. The two bolts turned out to be made of inferior shit-metal, and the braid had been manufactured in a country where quantity was generally preferred over quality, and had duly snapped at the first serious tug. The education computer now lay in the corner with both its display unit and solitary ‘eye’ camera facing the ceiling. Its tracked wheels spun helplessly, and oil was leaking from places that Wetpatch never imagined Kevin possessed. But like the obedient automaton that it was, Kevin continued to play Rat Trek, Episode Seven of Season One, ‘With Winter Comes a Nose Warmer’. And Wetpatch was doing his best to watch it even though Kevin couldn’t help itself from rolling from side to side as the vessel bucked and weaved like a conquistador’s cavy.
It was just as (on screen) Mister Splatt had finished explaining some complicated science stuff to an uncomprehending Captain Perp that a thought suddenly intruded upon Wetpatch’s enjoyment of the action adventure television show.
“Hang on a minute.” The adolescent hamster cried out over the general cacophony made by a ship that was being pounded to within microns of tolerance, “That can’t be right!”
And he wasn’t talking about Mister Splatt’s pseudo-science either. But it was to be another hour before the storm had passed, and he could put his resulting inspirational theory to Professor Desmond…
“Fluff and bollocks!” The wild-furred scientist bellowed moments after listening with great intensity to Wetpatch’s worrying tale and his most recently posited theorem.
“Fluff and bollocks?” Inquired Sally as she strode into the control room, paw in paw with Mister Ho, and with Amy in tow. “It’s not like you to swear gratuitously.”
Desmond apologised and then explained exactly what it was that had brought out the beast in him.
“I don’t think that Tutu was really Tutu.” He began, which confused the heck out of all three listening hamsters.
“What Professor Squealch means is…” Wetpatch decided to explain upon Desmond’s behalf, “…due to some unexplained interference from either the high pressures experienced in the depths. Or possibly somebody using an illegal cell ‘phone. Or perhaps electromagnetic activity from deep within the planet’s crust – his time machine didn’t send me back to the right time and place.”
“But…” Sally began; but she quickly realised that she knew next to nothing about temporal translocation, and duly shut her gob.
“But…” Amy tried more successfully, “…if it wasn’t the proper Tutu, in the proper place, at the proper time: Who was he, where was he, and when?”
The question had been succinctly put, and Roman, who had been snoozing beneath a pile of laundry, openly applauded her before joining the group.
“We think,” Wetpatch continued, “that I was diverted through a sub-atomic maelstrom into an alternative dimension in which everything appeared to be exactly the same as this one. But we can’t be sure that it actually was the same – so now Professor Squealch is all worried about Tutu again. He thinks he might be dead!”
“Fluff and bollocks!” Ho verbally ejaculated. “Some real bad shit!”
Indeed it was ‘some real bad shit’. “If our conjecture transpires to be proven,” Desmond came close to wailing, “then we can’t even be certain that Wetpatch is the same Wetpatch that we sent through time. And he can’t be certain that we’re the same bunch of miserable rodents who sent him. Oh this is unbearable: I’ve never felt more out of my depth – even when compared to that time when I went potholing with Tutu and Horatio Horseblanket, and there was a cave-in, and the river began rising, and we had to grasp the tunnel roof with our incisors, and converse through our nostrils!”
For several moments the situation looked extremely grim. Then Wetpatch had an idea…
“Send me back again.” He suggested chirpily, “Only this time I’ll take a camera. We can check the resulting photos for anomalies after I get back.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
Well what a load of sci-fi cliches and quasi-scientific bollocks that was. But it was fun too, wasn’t it? Unbelievably this book is still for sale at most e-book retailers. They don’t give up, do they! And neither should you. Visit the sidebar or Tooty’s Books Available Here beneath the header, and buy it now. Like straight away. Immediately. This instant. You know it’ll be little money spent well. Bargain of the week.
The opening episode of Earplug Adventures: Haunted Mars used re-worked stock-shots. Today I began shooting originals and generic stock-shots with serious intent. It’s slow and sometimes frustrating. And, as you can see, a little cramped too…
It has been four months since my wife, Linzi died, and (as you can probably imagine) I haven’t really been in the mood (Tooty the Chef aside); but the bug is finally biting again. And, for the first time in my life, I don’t have to create the time to do it. If I feel like it, I just clamber up into that attic and get going. Here’s a shot from today’s work – as seen in the making-of shot (above). It features an (as yet un-named) engineering robot that has been discovered by Folie just staring out at space from a view port set into the side of the Gravity Whelk…
As regards the Gravity Whelk: I can’t wait to start telling tales featuring that old tub again…
So hopefully you won’t need to wait too long for Episode Two!
Oh dear, look at Tooty the Chef…
Doesn’t he look sorry for himself? What could he have done to cause such shame-faceness? Shame-faceness? Is that a real word? It doesn’t look right. But then that’s the beauty of the English language: you can say or write something that’s completely wrong, but people still know exactly what you mean. But I digress: back to the shame-faced chef. Look what he created recently…
Doesn’t it look yummy? It even featured red cabbage and lemon sauce. I mean, by God, it must have been some wonder recipe! But there’s the point of his misery. He was so busy in the Attic Studio (fabricating some interiors of the re-fitted Gravity Whelk for the ‘Haunted Mars‘ photo-novel) that he didn’t realise how late it was. So he had no time or inclination to pause for photos of his wondrous gastronomic delight. Instead he could only spare enough time to actually snap this single shot of the finished product. And he’s so ever so ever so sorry about it. But, looking on the bright side; he did actually get something done on the third floor: look…
…a green deck, sparkly gold wall, blue inter-compartmental air-lock, and a very nice lavatory with a pink light to show that someone is inside having a poop! Clearly it was worth all the misery.
For this fabulously random extract from the world of the Hamster-Sapiens series I have delved into the hallowed cyber-pages of this magnificent e-book…
And very nice it is too – as you will now discover…
Felicity Bugler, Joan Bugler’s diminutive dormouse adopted sister, stretched hugely beneath her cosy duvet atop the bunk bed that she shared with the slightly rotund hamster. She listened minutely as tendons popped into their allotted slots, and joints nestled together in the time honoured way that young joints generally do. Then she sniffed the air, and came to the instant conclusion that her sister was absent.
Perhaps in any other household this situation wouldn’t have raised more than a slightly inquiring eyebrow; but this was the Bugler girl’s bedroom, and there had been no recorded instance of Joan ever rising from her bed before the trim and nimble Felicity did. Not one eyebrow even so much as quivered upon the pretty forehead of the female dormouse: No: – alarm bells rang loud and clear inside her head, and inaudible klaxons all but deafened her. She was off of the top bunk quicker than you could say ‘Horatio Indigo Transvestite Horseblanket’. A second later she was in the corridor calling Joan’s name in her most frantic manner.
Felicity’s immigrant gerbil mother, Brenda, appeared at her bedroom door.
“Felicity.” She bellowed in her strange accent that no one had ever been able to place, as she entered the corridor whilst rubbing sleep-filled eyes, “What’s you doing girl? You’s gonna wake them neighbours, and make ‘em all mad as heck. What you shoutin’ Joan’s name for anyway – aint she layin’ in that bunk of hers like some lazy tart kind’a thing?”
It took a few nanoseconds for Felicity’s reply to penetrate the gerbil’s sleepy brain.
“What?” She shrieked in alarm, “She aint in no bed? Her day-clothes aint been took outta the closet? She’s done gone outside with no knickers coverin’ her shapely hamster ass? Where’d she go?”
It wasn’t a rhetorical question, but Felicity’s expression told the middle-aged gerbil that it should have been.
“She been kidnapped?” Brenda offered.
Again the look from her adopted dormouse daughter.
“You mean she gone to that weirdo place in that other dimension kind’a stuff?” She suggested less hopefully.
“Can you think of any other plausible explanation?” Felicity asked – more in desperation than hope. “Or even a whimsical one?”
“But her knickers, girl.” Brenda tried to argue. “She don’t go nowhere without her sturdy cold-store kind’a pants on. Nowhere!”
“I know.” Felicity suddenly wailed, and tears began to form in her eyes. “It must have been some sort of terrible trans-dimensional accident.”
Then a thought struck. She spoke as the thoughts grew in both numbers and intensity…
“Let’s think – this is a socially rented apartment that belongs to the local socialist government: What could be different about this particular edifice that might cause Joan to have a trans-dimensional accident?”
Both rodents placed their metaphorical thinking caps firmly upon their metaphysical craniums; but after fifteen minutes of intense thinking, Felicity came up empty.
“Nada.” She said dejectedly, “I’m calling Police Constable Gravy: Perhaps he can shed some light upon the situation.”
“You just hold your stag beetles.” Brenda held up a paw to thwart Felicity as she reached for the wall ‘phone. “I just thunk of something.”
Moments later both rodents were hammering on the toilet door, and calling Joan’s name. Felicity tried picking the lock with the end of her tail, but it was too furry. So Brenda set about the hinges with her powerful incisors. Within moments the door fell outwards into the corridor, and they raced each other to be first inside. Naturally, being small and nimble, Felicity won, and duly tripped upon the new mat, and, with a wail of dismay, disappeared out of the open window.
“Felicity, girl,” Brenda called down to her adopted daughter as she struggled amongst the briars below, “You gone done forgot your own knickers too. Ya just gave the post-hamster a heart attack. But ya done good: Ya found where Joan went. Now ya can call that P C Chest guy to come find her.”
But Felicity wasn’t so sure. As she struggled to regain her modesty by tucking her nightdress between her knees whilst giving the aging post-hamster the kiss of life, she called back, “I don’t think so. I’ll tell you all about it after you’ve ‘phoned for an ambulance.”
Felicity didn’t actually explain anything to her mother until she’d called her boyfriend, Roosevelt Teabiscuit. Naturally the equally diminutive dormouse had rushed around to Brenda’s apartment, and was already unbuckling his novelty sporran as he walked in.
“Sorry, Roosevelt,” Felicity had said moments after Brenda had screamed in horror, “I should have told you that mum was here, and that I needed you – not for your amazing powers in the rampant non-reproductive sexual intercourse department – but for your equally amazing talent as a psychic catalyst.”
Roosevelt had duly apologized for being presumptive, and now they all sat around the dining table to discuss Felicity’s remarkable discovery.
“As I fell through the window I remember distinctly hearing the words – ‘Honestly, if you spent a little more of the church’s coffers on constructing roads, we wouldn’t be having this difficulty’, which in itself isn’t proof positive that Joan has crossed over into Prannick, but the reply – ‘Never mind that, just keep pushing: It makes your powerful buttocks go all shapely’ – kind of tears it. Those voices belonged to Darkwood Dunce and Quentin Blackheart. I’d recognise them anywhere.”
“You heard all this while you was fallin’?” Brenda squealed with disbelief, “But it only took one of them seconds. That kind’a thing don’t sound right to me. I’m tellin’ ya – you’s took a nasty knock on your noggin, girl, that’s what you’s done. You’s aint heard nothing but the post-hamster droppin’ to his knees and praisin’ The Saint of All Hamsters for the sight of your wotsit.”
As theories went Brenda’s was a very good one. Unfortunately it was also entirely incorrect.
“Mummy, dearest,” Felicity responded kindly, “shut the fluff up, and listen.”
She then made her proposal to prove that she had really heard what she thought she’d heard.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
There, didn’t I tell you it was nice! This book remains available at most e-book stockists. Some are mentioned on the sidebar and beneath the header in Tooty’s Books Available Here. But you can get it at all sorts of places in many countries of the world. If you liked the extract, you’ll adore the book. Oh yes: it’s also a bit rude – so no children to see it, okay?
Well I seem to have lost my way slightly regarding which book should supply the next excerpt. So, in an attempt to bring you some of the most wonderful Hamster-Sapiens work available, may I present you with a random extract from this book…
Yes, the divine ‘The Psychic Historian’. The best book ever written in the history of the world. You don’t believe me? Read on…
Now one of the major tenets of Betty was coined from the words of a popular religious song of that era, which had been miss-transcribed by a probationary nun during the earliest years of the order of Our Lady of the Tilted Cervix. No one knows what the true wording of the ancient song was, but in her miss-transcription the probationary nun scribbled ‘When I get that feelin’ – I want sex on the ceiling’ and the ways of Betty were set (if not in stone, then certainly) in bold black print. The result of this error meant that the nuns of Our Lady of the Tilted Cervix then had to live up to their name by indulging the locals in high-altitude sexual intercourse.
Naturally there was no shortage of volunteers from a country plagued by internal strife and external war. In fact the recruiting office was so overwhelmed with would-be nuns that its recruitment officers had to beat them off with a sharp tongue and a big stick. Eventually a select number were then handed their habits, and duly packed off to the island of Impetigo. And for a while all had gone swimmingly. Then one day a nasty case of Poor Sore Willy was discovered in Deepest Jungle Land, and blaming the nuns for this worsening condition as it ran riot through the population, the convent was placed out-of-bounds by the elders of the nearby villages.
With no income and nothing to do, the nuns began calling the outside world upon their huge radio set. They searched the ether for inspiration. After weeks and weeks of twiddling dials they finally discovered what they sought.
Hamster-Britain had a severe shortage of fondant icing. What little could be manufactured domestically exchange paws for quite incredible amounts of Rodentos. It was beyond the pocket of all but the very rich, and if the situation remained, it was quite likely that the poor would rise up in some sort of confectionery revolution, and possibly bring down the government and behead the royal head of state. It was immediately clear to the nuns where their duty lay. They must save their country by the only known means possible: They must produce copious amounts of fondant icing, and ship it, by whatever means, to Hamster-Britain.
The first part of the problem was easily solved. They turned their creative talents away from inventing news means of sexual gymnastics – to the production of fondant icing. Sugar bearing plants were multifarious and many-fold: And beating them into a fine white paste-like material merely took physical effort. But the problem of transporting the resulting product to Hamster-Britain confounded them utterly.
“Fluff and bollocks!” The Mother Superior was heard to shout loudly from the privacy of her window in frustrated despair, “Arse holes and piles!”
But then fortune fell upon them from the sky – in the form of a lost dirigible pilot who had been blown off course by a particularly nasty gust of wind. His name had been Pilot Officer Brandenberg Dangerpimple. For a share of the profits, and some ‘sex on the ceiling’, he was willing to transport the fondant icing for them until either he was caught and hanged as a profiteer; the war ended; or he grew too old to either fly a dirigible or indulge in sexual intercourse.
“Marvellous.” The Mother Superior exclaimed, and threw up both her paws and the hem of her habit in joy, “But what might we do if any of those three possibilities were to transpire?”
“I’ll teach my future son to fly as soon as his rear paws can reach the rudder pedals.” Dangerpimple had assured the chief nun. “And any other sons that I might acquire en route to an old age.” He added with a wink of his eye.
But that was all in the past. Now Brandenberg Dangerpimple was being taken upon a tour of the new fondant production facility.
“As you can see, Brandenberg, this line is entirely automated.” Sister Serendipity Clone waved an all-encompassing paw to include the interior of a huge bamboo shed, into which a considerable amount of modern production equipment had been recently installed.
Dangerpimple was impressed; but he also foresaw a problem. He smoothed back his head fur and released the air from his lungs in a single rush. “I think I’m gonna need a bigger airship.”
Serendipity looked concerned. “Is this a problem?”
“I’ll have to be promoted to Flight Lieutenant.” Dangerpimple replied. “That’s going to mean a lot of greased paws. I’m not sure I have sufficient funds…”
Serendipity smiled, then reached under her habit and brought forth a huge wad of Rodentos. “I was saving them up for something nice – but needs must and all that.”
Dangerpimple snatched the offered cash, and rammed it down the front of his flying trousers. “There.” He said, “All safe and sound. And in a secondary role they can protect my wanger from anti-dirigible fire as well!”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
See? Did I not tell you the truth? Where have you read better than that? Naturally this book is available at most e-book stockists, and for the best eReaders – including the more famous Kindle, iPad, Nook, and Kobo. Wonderful tales; witty prose; and cheap as chips. What more can you ask for!
For R.i.t.R 22 we visit, once again, that great well of ribaldry – Fanfare For The Common Hamster. This is what the e-book looks like…
And this is what a tiny portion of the script looks like…
Joan was surprised to find Stubby Collett alone upon the path that led away from Far Kinell by the most circuitous route possible. Of the Abbot there was no sign, despite the fact that he’d promised to tend Stubby’s wounds in their absence.
The others – Darkwood, Rootley, and Brother Alfonso, weren’t though, and nodded sagely as Stubby explained that the Abbot’s nerves had become frayed to within one micron of total mental collapse, and that, in an effort to free the poor hamster from his inner religious turmoil, he had pretended that they were being stalked by a wild mutant weasel, and in an effort to dissuade the beast from consuming them Stubby had apparently transformed into a mythological homo sapien once again, and frightened the imaginary monster away.
Naturally the Abbot had sought, and found, solace in his beliefs, which ran counter to the sights that his eyes beheld, and so, in an almost catatonic state, the former Farley Dunnock had taken the only course left to him (other than madness) and had returned to the town – presumably to reassume the role that he believed he was born to do – that being The Abbot of The Wheel.
“I didn’t like him anyway.” Stubby concluded, “He smelt funny.”
Then his eyes alighted upon Felicity, and despite his grievous injury, his trousers flapped alarmingly. “Cripes,” his voice half-said/half-trilled, as he surveyed the dormouse’s non-curvaceous hips, “there’s a sight for sore eyes, and make no mistake.”
He then introduced himself to the two newcomers.
“I’ve always wanted to meet a brilliant illusionist.” Felicity informed him, “A really crappy one visited our school once, and appeared to turn into a bowl of pitted cherries. He looked delicious; but I saw right through his visual subterfuge: It was quite obviously a hologram.”
Stubby bristled, “It was no such thing!” He bellowed his best – which with his chest seeping blood all over the place was really quite impressive.
For some mysterious reason no one seemed to notice the incongruity of the small harvest mouse’s outburst – except Roosevelt. And he spoke in a manner that greatly impressed Rootley Farnham.
“Excuse me,” he said, “How the fluff would you know? Were you there?”
Now under normal circumstances it is certain that Stubby would have denied ever having been anywhere near a school for girl rodents, let alone within Joan, Felicity, and Roosevelt’s continuum: But these weren’t normal circumstances: He was grievously hurt, and he was also in the company of a psychic catalyst. So he said, “Yes. I’ll have you know that appearing to turn into a bowl of pitted cherries in front of several hundred young females taxed me enormously, and I had to have a lay down afterwards.” Then in a more aggrieved tone he added, “And to think that they believed that it was nothing more than smoke, mirrors, and advanced laser technology: Well it offends me greatly.”
“I’m sorry.” Felicity whispered as she reached out to comfort Stubby, “But why were you giving an exhibition of advanced illusionism to a bunch of girl hamsters and one dormouse?”
Stubby sighed. He then informed them that prior to becoming a psi-cop field agent; he was a talent scout for them. He’d hoped to promote an interest in psychic abilities amongst the young persons of several alternate realities.
“Sadly with scant reward.” He sighed again. “We met with little success. Except for Joan, of course.” Then he coughed a bit, and everyone knew that the interview was over.
The timely arrival of the Abbot – Farley Dunnock – at The Rancid Maggot Inn might have saved Perfidity Gallowsmith from a lynching by outraged ‘Wheelists’, but The Law Master quickly realised that she must regain their trust and loathing by being seen to act as a Law Master should, and stop behaving like the drunken, exhibitionist, trollop that she was.
The primary reason for this sober summation of her current situation was that only moments after having made his grand entrance, the Abbot had strolled to the bar, downed a flagon of ale, touched up the barkeeper, and then slumped to the floor – where he began speaking gibberish, and attempting to unravel the coarse raffia mat that Mooney kept for soaking up his customer’s sweat and vomit. Clearly something had happened to the Abbot, Perfidity reasoned well enough: Now she must grasp the nettle: This was just the opportunity that she’d spent the last thirty seconds praying for…
“Right then,” she announced, whilst slipping into her best chainmail knickers, and strapping on Jock, her favourite dagger, “who’s feeling ready for a punch-up? I’m looking to form a posse.”
The small group of rodents had been prevaricating over a decision concerning Stubby’s immediate future for some time, and were no closer to a solution regarding his welfare, when Rootley gasped, and hissed, “A posse departs the Rancid Maggot Inn. We must act – in haste if possible.”
Stubby forced his trembling eyelids to flutter open. “You have a talent too, I see.” He then added, “Do you have more details concerning this posse?”
Rootley shook his furry little head, “ ‘Fraid not.” He said.
Stubby then shook a wavering finger in the approximate direction of Roosevelt. “Touch the puny hamster, young dormouse: He has need of your energy and ministrations.”
Everyone’s expressions asked the same question: What energy’s that then?
“He’s a psychic catalyst.” Stubby explained as quickly as his trembling lips would allow, “I sensed it the moment he arrived. He resonates with such power that my buttocks haven’t stopped clenching for more than ten seconds at a time.”
Feeling rather embarrassed by the attention, Roosevelt coloured beneath his fine mantle of fur. He then straightened his tie, and did as he was bid.
Immediately Rootley’s buttocks constricted so violently that he squeaked in alarm. But then his pinched expression was replaced by a look of serenity. “I can see them.” he breathed, “Not my spasmodic buttock muscles, you understand: The whole posse. They’re on their way to the Hoopla Hall. The Law Master leads them. She’s carrying her favourite dagger – Jock. And her knickers…they’re her best chainmail ones. Fluff it – the bastards’ll be passing straight through here in just a few moments!”
Then a nearby horn could be heard blaring into the night. It sounded like a cavy giving birth to a weasel inside a tin bath.
“Cripes.” Roosevelt squeaked as he jumped and released his grip upon Rootley.
Darkwood began to panic. “What are we going to do?” he said, casting his gaze first one way, then the other. “I can’t get caught hanging about outside a gent’s bog-hole again! Not so soon anyway.”
“Run, muy rápido.” Alfonso suggested.
“Bog-hole?” Stubby’s tremulous voice cut through the type of mass-apprehension that is so taught that it almost audibly twangs like the whiskers of a champion weightlifter, “We’re in close proximity to Far Kinell’s almost-famous public bog-hole? By The Saint of All Hamsters – salvation stands before us upon cast iron feet and rough wooden shingles: There’s an inter-dimensional cross-over portal inside it. I’ve used it several times before. Quickly now, despite the agony – get me inside.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
This magnificent example of hamster fiction is published by Lulu.com, and is also available at most e-book retailers, including the one that best suits your e-reader, tablet, or whatever
Due to some over-enthusiasm with the last episode, I’ve managed to get out of whack with these excerpts. So,this time I’m taking you back to the first volume – being this…
So, if you don’t mind, here is the excerpt…
Then Lionel took a sip of the steaming-hot tea. If it hadn’t been wet it would have set his bifurcated lips aflame.
“By the Great Angler’s Enormous Tit,” he bellowed, “that’s certainly cleared out both my sinuses and my cobwebbed mind!”
He then went on to explain that he’d been deep in thought. But before he could actually explain anything at all, Boney interrupted…
“It’s about the pretty lass, aint it, son?” he said – which surprised both Lionel and Boney because he was so rarely this insightful.
“Yes it is.” Lionel replied. “And it’s all to do with that day, long ago, when I arrived here.”
“Nose-surfing on an ocean of filth, I seem to recall.” Colin piped up during a break in the game for TV advertising and a desperately needed lavatory break for the players.
“That’s right.” Lionel turned to his android colleague, “And who was it that caused me to slip and fall into that vile ocean swell of slurry?”
Boney had no idea where Lionel was going with this train of thought, but he figured it best to humour the youngster, “A tractor driver, weren’t it?”
Lionel smiled. “And what happened to said tractor driver?” he inquired metaphorically.
Boney recognised the inquiry as being metaphorical because Lionel answered his own question before there was time to so much as suck a lower lip in contemplation, “He was taken to Chunderford General Hospital!”
This last point was obviously very important; but it was still early in the day, and not all of Boney’s neurons were facing the right way when they fired.
“Hmm,” he said, “nasty business. Nasty, nasty business.”
“Would that be his perforated scrotum that you’re talking about there?” inquired Colin.
“Indeed it would.” Lionel turned his attention back to Boney. “And whose teeth left those deep, painful, incisions?”
This final question stumped both flesh and blood, and non-flesh and blood hamsters alike.
Eventually Boney mumbled, “Well it was Fanangy, weren’t it? But ‘ow can that be? She was with us the ‘ole time. But she wouldn’t lie about somethin’ as important as biting down viciously on some poor unfortunate tractor driver’s ball-bag: That’s a pretty major to-do, that is. Grievous Bodily Harm at least. What d’ya reckon the answer to this conundrum is?”
“Time travel!” Lionel blurted the words more loudly than he intended to.
This was not received well by Boney: He was certain that it was a well-publicised fact that time-travel was impossible, and would remain so until the end of…er…time. The best argument against the existence of time-travel was the fact that no one had yet met someone from either the future, or the past: Ergo – time-travel was impossible. Boney said as much.
Now Lionel was quite adept at constructing illogical responses to random ephemera whilst playing his beloved computer games; and since he was rapidly becoming an expert on the television science-fiction show, Rat Trek, he thought that he could see a hole in this line of reasoning so vast that he could sail an ocean-going raft through it at top speed, with microns to spare.
“But what if they didn’t let on that they could travel in time? He said.
For a moment this fabulously reasoned argument stymied Boney. He was forced to fall back upon a stock answer to such difficult questions…
“It aint my place to think about such stuff,” He said, “Better minds than mine ‘ave got ‘emselves all tied up in a knot over simpler things than time-travel and suchlike.”
He may have got away with such a poor response just a few weeks earlier; but Lionel had gained much in mental stature, even if he hadn’t physically. So Boney was forced to retreat into his mental castle’s inner keep.
“Arse-holes,” he said as Lionel scoffed, “I’m going for a shit!”
This verbal bombshell exploded in Lionel’s lap like a packet of bursting Grainobisk Crappettes. He was stunned at his employer’s bluntness. In fact he was so stunned that he utterly failed to see either Boney make for the lavatory, or Colin quietly depart for destinations unknown. Eventually, after taking several heartbeats to recover his decorum, he elected to merely sit by himself for a while, cogitate, and sip his scalding tea until it stopped hurting.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2012
Obviously I don’t need to mention that this e-book is available on most platforms, including those mentioned on the sidebar and on Tooty’s Books Available Here beneath the header: you already know. Well if you didn’t, you do now.
That last excerpt from The Abduction of Wetpatch Wilson was so divine that I thought I’d include an extra one. And here it is…
Only the Saint of All Hamsters knows how many slimy tunnels that the delightful Sprightly was led down by the floundering Wetpatch Wilson. Wetpatch certainly didn’t. He’d given up counting almost straight away, and even the normally observant field mouse had retreated into a world of her own. So when they literally stumbled upon a gang of huge mutant woodlice – each emblazoned with rather faded examples of the emblem of the Crustacean Collective upon their tough, segmented carapaces – both rodents were very surprised. Wetpatch was well aware that woodlice couldn’t speak – even huge mutant ones – but he was reasonably well-versed in the semaphore language of the local woodlice that lived amongst the rotting mushrooms and other disgusting detritus of Hamster Heath’s famous Danglydong Dell. So, despite being an insolent youth, he attempted to convey his thoughts in the time honoured fashion of sign language.
“Hello.” He said by waving his paws above his head in much the same manner that woodlice use their antennae to communicate. “Can you show me the way to the Federation Council?”
Unfortunately the mutant woodlice that lived within a vast series of tunnels that had been burrowed into a submarine mountain didn’t speak Danglydong Dellish. All they read was, “Herpes. I’d like to show you something that bounces.”
Well naturally, having little contact with mammals, the woodlice had no conception of herpes. But the idea that there were things that bounced intrigued them.
“Show us. Show us, oh damp furry thing.” Their leader implored, “Bouncing things are simply marvellous.”
Unfortunately Wetpatch read this as, “Bow to us. Bow to us, you damned flaccid thing. Dancing will sting my mother’s anus.”
Wetpatch looked to Sprightly for help. Fortunately, being a servant of the Federation, she recognised the creatures for what they were – terrestrial woodlice that had been deliberately bio-engineered for use as construction workers in areas that were too hazardous for both mammals and water-dwelling crustaceans. She had instinctively spoken fluent mutant woodlouse since the day when she bounced upon the knee of her lesbian aunt – the strange Uncle Daphne – and now turned that talent to good use. So in order to placate them she picked Wetpatch up and shook him so violently that his swollen testes bounced with sufficient vigour to satisfy the woodlouse leader’s request, and added “There, was that what you wanted?”
“That was lovely.” The leader woodlouse signed. “Thank you vastly. How can we repay you for such intense entertainment and a profound sense of fulfilment?”
“Well what we’d really like,” Sprightly signed carefully lest a stray finger might suggest that she wished to procreate, “is to be taken to the Head Council Member with almost infinite alacrity.”
To her surprise Sprightly watched as the entire group of mutant woodlice bristled angrily. “Have I said something out of place?” She enquired.
Then, to her dismay, she watched the lead wood louse as it signed, “Sorry, no-can-do. Think of something else.”
“I can’t think of anything else.” Sprightly complained. “We’ve come here on a mission to save the Crustacean Collective from tearing itself apart with petty rivalries and stupid empire building. Why can’t you take us to the council, you foul multi-legged abominations?”
“Because we’re runaways.” The leader replied in an agitated manner that made his antennae difficult to read. “We don’t work for the lobsters no more. We work for ourselves now. We’re building our own empire. It’s not very big yet: But you know what they say – from substantial tubas giant rhubarb trees grow. Not that any of us have seen a real rhubarb tree of course: But we’ve felt the Braille descriptions, and they seem majestic and desperately moist.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
Like I’ve mentioned countless times previously, this magnificent e-book remains available at most e-book retailers (including the one of your choice), despite the fact that, in seven years, not one bloody copy has sold. Please do something to recify this desperately unfair situation!
Revel on the Ribaldry 18 featured an extract from The Psychic Historian. So, mathematically the next extract should come from this less-than-successful e-book…
And so it does – purely at random too…
Cecil staggered aboard the Disemboweller upon unsteady legs. He took a moment to check fore and aft to see if he’d left anybody upon deck; threw up over the side; then dropped into the conning tower, and sealed the hatch shut behind him.
In their tiny submarine that was parked directly astern of the huge former-pirate vessel, Tutu and Gloria sighed with relief. Finally they were about to get underway.
“Now am I right in thinking that Cecil understands about the Z-Drive?” Gloria asked over Tutu’s shoulder from her position upon the spectacularly embroidered pillion seat. “I mean – he does realise that the field that we generate might not encompass his entire vessel, and that it may be torn to pieces by seismic sheer, or whatever the computer called it?”
“I imagine so.” Tutu replied coolly.
Actually Tutu was having second thoughts about taking the Disemboweller along. His original plan was to find the Bargebutt – which he was certain would be desperately damaged by the exploding volcano, and utterly unserviceable – and carry everyone to safety aboard the pirate ship. But now that he’d had time to consider his plan, he now thought that it might be total cak.
“My plan is total cak.” He verbalised his thoughts. “The Disemboweller is a rust-bucket, and Cecil Seasalt is a drunken tit. What was I thinking? The mission is clearly doomed from the start. We might as well give up now, and go live in the woods.”
Naturally Gloria blamed herself. Her beauty had obviously dazzled Tutu into a state of intense ‘thickicity’ and ‘twat-ness’. Due to the unexpected sight of her scanty bikini, he’d obviously lost his power of proper reason, and only now was he really showing signs of recovery. She cursed her genes. Then she cursed her skin-tight denim jeans, because they were giving her a right royal ‘wedgie’, and she wasn’t enjoying it.
Then the computer said, “Engaging Z-Drive.” And it didn’t matter anymore: Gloria was screaming too loudly in fear to worry about chafed labia majora.
Quite how the computer knew where to point the two vessels as they transited null-space no one knew: But one moment they were bobbing up and down alongside the quay at Chunderland – the next they were bobbing up and down somewhere else entirely. Although inebriated Captain Seasalt grabbed the periscope and turned it through three hundred and sixty degrees. He was greatly relieved to find that the submarine had remained intact, and that none of it was now slipping forlornly to a watery grave upon the seabed immediately alongside the quay in Chunderland harbour.
“Any idea where we are?” He asked of the navigator – Gustav Grossemember.
“Nein.” The former pirate and rock group roadie replied. “One sea is looking much like another to me. I am usually navigating by chasing smaller vessels, capturing their crew, and asking the way.”
Cecil nodded: It was good system: Certainly he would have employed it – had he ever been a pirate of course. “Not much help to us here though, is it?” He responded in a most ‘captainly’ way.
“Sorry; Kapitan.” Gustav looked down at his huge feet in shame. Then a thought occurred, “Hey, maybe those two on the really titchy submarine are knowing.”
Cecil nodded again, but wished that he hadn’t. Unfortunately his sea legs appeared to have remained back in his office in Chunderland, and it made him feel decidedly nauseous. “Yes.” He said, “Pop across and find out, will you?”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
Okay, this book isn’t the great work that the 3rd book in the Hamster-Sapiens series is; but it isn’t total ‘cak’ either. How about you break it’s duck and go purchase a copy. The Lulu logo on the sidebar will take you to the publishers. Or, alternatively, click on one of the book covers (also on the sidebar) and you can get it for your Kobo, Nook, or Kindle. Doesn’t that sound like a really good idea? iBooks also sell it. And others too numerous to mention.
So, in an effort to maintain continuity, prepare yourself for an excerpt from this magnificent piece of hamster fiction…
…which, as you probably already know, is the greatest hamster book ever written – even if I do say so myself. Selecting an excerpt at total random has produced the following. Please enjoy…
Soon the weeks passed, and Missus Dazzlepaint quickly learned the routine of visiting multifarious communities of desert-dwellers, and making everyone feel much better about themselves. Then one day they discovered that the road upon which they travelled approached the city of Al Kaboom.
Naturally Missus Dazzlepaint was reticent to enter the city from which she had been so forcefully ejected. She said as much – in such a vociferous manner that Missus Nozzlejet blanched, and Missus Muzzleflash covered her ears and began to sing a tuneless song very loudly indeed. But she needn’t have worried – because just as their stag beetles began pulling the caravan in a crawling advance towards the main gate – a vast metal sailing vessel materialised out of thin air, and came crashing down to earth right in front of them. The materialisation of an advanced vessel within range of the city’s defensive archers was normally enough to start an all-out war; but before the inhabitants of Al Kaboom could react, large portals were opening in the sides of the vast vessel, from which a host of armed and armoured cavies disgorged. They were through the main gate before anyone could say much more than “You what?” and the city had fallen before its inhabitants even knew that it was under attack.
Hidden in the shadow of the huge sea-going craft, the Trinity’s caravan became almost invisible. Consequently no one bothered to investigate them, and they found themselves free to do some investigation of their own. Creeping about in night-black underwear, and smothered in their own concoctions that rendered them aroma-less, they slipped into the city – only to be amazed at the sight of sentient cavies everywhere.
“They must be demons from hell.” Missus Nozzlejet opined intelligently.
“Or creatures from another world, where cavies aren’t dull-minded beasts of the field.” Missus Muzzleflash suggested in a moment of inspiration.
But Missus Dazzlepaint made the most accurate appraisal of the situation.
“They must be mutations from an alternate universe.” She said adamantly. “Someone, or some thing, has created them. Presumably whomever, or whatever it was – was then overthrown by his/her/its creations, and they subsequently commandeered a vessel with inter-dimensional capabilities.”
Missus Nozzlejet nodded in agreement. “With new-found intellect, and a superior technology, it must be as easy as pie for them to run roughshod over any number of inferior civilisations, and possibly enslave them.”
“A piece of piss.” Missus Muzzleflash confirmed her friend’s hypothesis.
“What can we do about it?” Missus Dazzlepaint rolled up her sleeves preparatory to combat.
“We?” Missus Nozzlejet replied, “Nothing, dear. But you most certainly can.”
Missus Nozzlejet then outlined a plan that was so audacious and unbelievable in its simplicity that it wasn’t just bound to succeed: It would become the stuff of legend.
The next day Missus Dazzlepaint slipped unseen into her old apartment in Al Kaboom. She was grateful that no one had replaced the lock or had moved another tenant in: She had no wish to utilise her karate skills upon some poor unfortunate who just happened to get in her way. Crouching behind the balustrade of her former balcony she took out her charcoal and papyrus, and settled down to draw.
The day after that two burly cavy guards escorted Missus Dazzlepaint into the presence of their leader – Lord Mutor the Mutant Cavy.
“So, inferior gerbil-being, what’s got you so fired up that you just had to come visit?” The mutant cavy boomed in a most mutated manner that fairly shook plaster from the walls of the Sultan’s palace, and made the massive throne’s gold leaf pucker and curl.
“These.” Missus Dazzlepaint replied as she withdrew a sheaf of papers from a satchel that bounced lazily upon her hip. She handed them to the self-imposed new Sultan.
To say that Mutor’s eyes bulged so alarmingly that it looked like his head was about to explode would do his appearance an injustice. Beneath his dense facial fur the skin turned red, and super-heated steam could be detected escaping from his anus.
“What is this supposed to mean?” He inquired as his index claw drew Missus Dazzlepaint’s attention to a charcoal drawing of a naked cavy as he lowered himself into the stench pit. “My gonads are far larger than this artist’s impression suggests. Correct it – or I’ll have you eaten.
“I only draw what I see.” Missus Dazzlepaint remained calm in the face of death, “I could no more alter that drawing than I could stride purposefully across the desert with my knickers ‘round my ankles. And that’s only a copy anyway.”
Lord Mutor started at this information. “Whatta ya mean – a copy?”
Missus Dazzlepaint raised her snout deliberately until her eyes were locked with those of the super-intelligent cavy. “You’re a super-intelligent cavy.” She snorted, “You work it out.”
Well, if nothing else, Lord Mutor was a super-intelligent cavy – due in no small part to genetic experimentation carried out upon him by an earlier version of his dimension’s equivalent of Professor Desmond Squealch – and could extrapolate significant ramifications with only the merest hint of data.
“Where are they? The other copies I mean.” He demanded, “Speak – or I’ll eat you myself – and I’m normally into herbaceous borders.”
“Wherever you’ve stationed your troops.” Missus Dazzlepaint replied calmly. “I am a master potionist as well as being an absolute whiz with the charcoal and papyrus. Disguising myself with various potions that have been created to confuse and mind-boggle, I have infiltrated to the very core of your mobile empire. There I have secreted facsimiles of this charcoal misrepresentation: At an appointed hour they will become visible. When they do – your empire will implode.”
“It’s not a foregone conclusion.” Mutor sounded defensive.
“I think it is.” Missus Dazzlepaint retained her cool demeanour, “What cavy army would follow a leader whose private parts were so shrunken and insignificant? I’ll tell ya: None.”
Mutor could find no reasonable counter-argument, so he said, “Ah, but they’d know the truth when I got out my personal protuberance and associated doo-dahs, and showed them!”
Missus Dazzlepaint merely smiled wanly at this. “Do you really think that would work? Would they really follow Mutor the Exhibitionist? I don’t think so. Or Flasher Mutor. Perhaps they might consider obeying the commands of Mutor the Insecure: But not for long, and with little enthusiasm. Face it, Mutor, your days of ruling Al Kaboom are over.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
You know, it’s been too long: I really should try writing another of these Hamster-Sapiens books. But until I do, this (and the other e-books in the series) remains available to all and sundry. Check out the book covers and the Lulu logo on the sidebar to access them. Really, it’s a good idea.
Up to 17 already: gosh how time flies. So it’s time for an excerpt from this fair e-tome…
I can’t think of a better choice. Talking of choice, let’s allow random chance another go at selecting the excerpt this time – after all it’s worked pretty well so far, with the possible exception of Revel in the Ribaldry 16. And here it is…
Algy Timber had been waiting patiently outside Tybrow Mooney’s lock-up garage for longer than he cared to recall. His bladder was sending urgent messages to his brain, but fortunately his conscious mind had found a way to override this information – if only temporarily. This new-found skill had allowed him to remain seated in the passenger seat of Fabian Strangefellow’s fabulous sporting go-kart, and watch the small brick-built construction with an intensity rapidly approaching that of a Garden Cross spider as it awaited the arrival of a myopic fly.
Fabian Strangefellow shifted in the driver’s seat. Like Algy he too had spent many hours watching for any sign of either Felicity or Roosevelt’s emergence. But an important difference between the two hamsters made his experience so much more bearable. He was vastly more experienced in ‘stake outs’, and had chosen to wear voluminous trousers that allowed him to keep a large plastic bag fastened to the end of his willy without anyone seeing it. Consequently his comfort levels were several pegs higher than those of Algy, and he hummed a pleasant, if repetitive, little tune.
Algy butted in on the forty-second chorus. “Are you sure this is the right garage?” He demanded – not for the first time in the many hours of the youngster’s mysterious absence from Hamster Heath.
“My dear chap,” Fabian replied – apparently unable to show any sign of irritation, “I assure you that this is the very spot to which I tailed my dear, dear, assistant, and the lovely Felicity. They went in: They never came out: And they’re not inside there now. Now why don’t you pop around the rear of the vehicle, and relieve your tormented internals. You know that you’ll regret this stoicism in later life if you don’t. Have you never heard of enlarged prostate glands? They play merry hell with your water works.”
Algy was about to take his new-found associate’s advice, when to his utmost joy he watched as the up-and-over door of the garage began shaking. In fact so taken with this was he that he failed entirely to notice something about Strangefellow – but the strange hamster’s superior air seemed to dissipate for a moment, and his expression betrayed concern. Then Algy’s bladder kicked in, and he creased up with agony. In that moment his gaze fell, and locked, upon Strangefellow’s visage.
“You look like someone’s just cloned your bank details.” He squeaked to ward off the pain, “What’s wrong?”
Of course Strangefellow couldn’t admit that his secret desire was that neither Felicity nor Joan return from the parallel universe – at least not until he was ready to ‘courageously brave the void between worlds, and save them from certain doom’. Then he thought of the adulation that he would receive: And the television interviews that were bound to follow of course: Along with the book deal and personal appearances.
“Wrong, my dear Mister Timber? Wrong? Why nothing at all.” He lied.
Then the garage door opened, and Joan appeared – squinting in the day light.
“Bollocks!” the strange hamster bellowed – his wide-brimmed hat billowing gaily in the morning sunshine, “Fluff and bloody bollocks!”
But Algy wasn’t listening: He was already out of the car, and running towards his portly young employee. But, as he approached upon legs so desperately crossed that he feared he might stumble, fall to the ground, and accidentally urinate copiously inside his Kool Kustard company-jodhpurs, he noticed that Felicity was there too – with Roosevelt Teabiscuit holding her paw. And then a whole bunch of others as well – including someone with chocolate all down the front of their jacket.
‘Or is that blood?’ He thought.
Of all those standing in the doorway of Tybrow Mooney’s garage, it was Joan who spotted Algy first.
“Cooie.” She called, and waved theatrically, “You look like you need a wee. How did you know we’d be here?”
Algy was about to reply, when his bladder got the better of him, and he was forced to dash behind a huge dandelion.
Naturally Fabian Strangefellow stepped into the hurriedly vacated breech.
“Logical deduction, my dear Miss Bugler.” He offered a limp paw and a half-curtsy, “It comes from a life-time of experience.”
He then cast several ethereal daggers in Roosevelt’s direction.
Roosevelt’s response came in the form of body language. It was a form of body language that Fabian had learned many yonks previously when he was captured by a tribe of Pygmy Shrews whilst on a caravan holiday in The Republic of Darkest Pongo, and almost eaten. Only the sight of his shaven, and heavily tattooed genitals had saved him from certain death at the time: But their language was forever burnt into his consciousness.
“Things got out of control.” Roosevelt had also learned the subtle moves well, “Our plan was skuppered from the beginning: It’s far more dangerous in Prannick than we’d assumed. I barely got out alive. If it hadn’t been for the skills and knowledge of Stubby Collet – chances are we’d all be pin cushions by now. Talking of which – Mister Collett desperately needs a doctor.”
In the few fleeting moments to took for Roosevelt to impart this information, both he and Strangefellow had fallen silent. It came to the attention of Felicity, but she assumed that the great private detective was having a hamstery fugue, and that Roosevelt was experiencing some sort of ‘episode’ caused, no doubt, by the trauma of his experiences in Prannick.
The others merely stood and waited patiently, which suited them just fine because it gave them the chance to regain their breath, their composure, and their dignity – the latter of which being very important to a hamster – especially one from a semi-medieval society, and particularly one with royal blood coursing through his veins, and who has mislaid his favourite cavy.
“Ah,” Strangefellow suddenly reanimated, “this must be Stubby Collett: My word, Stubby, you look like someone threw you into the path of an omnibus. Perhaps we should convey you to a hospital. I have a fine example of the go-kart builder’s art: If you would care to…”
“No hospital.” Stubby interrupted rudely, “Too many questions asked. Get me to an experienced military surgeon who just happens to have left the forces, and is readily available within close proximity to Hamster Heath. But do it quickly: My life ebbs away.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
There, wasn’t that nice! Of course the e-book is even better. Were you interested, you could purchase it, for a very reasonable sum, at most e-book retailers. Or you could click on the cover pictures on the sidebar. You could, if you felt particularly daring, click on the Lulu logo on the sidebar and be transported to my publishers directly. It’s all good fun. It’s worth it just to have a look at all my pretty book covers.