The Time Tamperer Volume One is finally released…

…upon an unsuspecting public. Yes, this e-book…

…now appears on my Lulu.com page and is available for a paltry sum. Go take a look.

Volume Two will follow shortly.

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Millions Can’t Be Wrong

Every day millions of readers write in to say: “We want more Psychic Historian”. Well, actually, it was one – and she was far too polite to demand. But numbers don’t count. It’s not quantity, but quality that matters. So, in order to keep the several million (and one) happy – here is another extract from this wondrous e-tome…

A young male hamster – perhaps only a short while out of his adolescence – sat upon the seat of a busy train. Like the passengers around him he was peddling furiously, and hating every second of it.

“I think that it’s disgusting.” A middle-aged female of huge dimensions spoke haughtily beside him, “It’s not enough that we have to pay for our seat: Now we have to power the train as well!”

The young hamster nodded sadly. “Indeed madam,” he replied, “but you know what this socialist government’s like: Any popular bandwagon – and they’re aboard – with bells ringing and whistles blowing. The Eco-Green Liberals said that steam, electric, and diesel trains were abominations: The government thought that everyone agreed: And here we are – peddling for all we’re worth.”

“Yes,” the middle-aged female gasped, “and when people stopped using the trains as often – the same idiot government decided that since fewer trains were running, they could cut the services, tear up all the tracks, and melt them down to make bombs and suchlike. It’s lunacy: Sheer lunacy!”

“Are you going all the way?” The young hamster inquired.

“To Poxford?” The middle-aged female responded after taking a few puffs upon an inhaler. “Yes – if I don’t suffer a myocardial infarction before we get there. My litter lives there you see. I’m visiting – possibly for the last time.”

“The last time?” The young hamster was suddenly alarmed, “Do you expect to perish soon?”

The middle-aged hamster tried to laugh, but she couldn’t spare the oxygen, “I don’t plan to.” She managed, “It’s just that this is the last train to Poxford. The line closes tonight. And I can’t drive a go-kart because I don’t know my left steering string from my right steering string. And the principle of breaking into corners confounds me mightily. Until some brain-box starts up a bus service, or I evolve into a non-corporeal being with the ability to teleport, I’ll have to stay at home and pine for my offspring.”

This information came as quite a surprise to the young hamster. “If this is the last train to Poxford – how will I get home again after completing my business there?”

By now the middle-aged female was close to collapse. “Fluffed if I know.” She gurgled before slumping unconscious in her seat.

Moments later the conductor entered the carriage. Spotting the comatose female he barked, “This simply isn’t good enough. We can’t have slackers slowing down the

train: We have a time-table to keep to.”

He then stopped the train, and had the poor unfortunate female lowered to the side of the track, where she was rolled down an embankment by several members of the galley staff, and left sitting upon a roadside bench with a sign around her neck that read ‘Useless Slacker’.

“She can find her own way to Poxford.” He spat.

Soon the train was underway once more. Several disgusted passengers had chosen to disembark with the comatose female, and gesticulated rudely as the train pulled away. As a result of this there were far fewer legs to power the train along, and so it was an age before it finally drew into the station at the beautiful university town of Poxford.

Soon the young male hamster found himself walking along a colonnade of (what appeared at first sight to be) market stalls. But rather than being the purveyors of fruit, vegetables, unpleasantly sweating meat products, and sunglasses of dubious origin, the stalls were actually the point of contact between any would-be students, and the representatives of the town’s universities.

“Come and scrutinize our literature. Study our informative prospectus.” Those who manned the stalls would cry out. “Look how nicely we’ve laid out our campus.”

The young hamster was impressed by their entrepreneurial skills. He stopped and chatted with several before finally settling upon a college that enjoyed the moniker, ‘The Chunder Bellows School for Blistering Idiots’.

“Hello.” He smiled as he introduced himself to the ageing wood mouse behind the counter, “I’ve checked-out all the other colleges here today, and I’ve decided that your college is the one best suited to my needs.”

The ageing wood mouse took up a quill made from the tail feather of a wren, and dipped into a pot of ink. He then prepared himself to write upon a large sheet of headed notepaper.

“Name?” The wood mouse inquired in a disinterested tone.

For a moment this seemed to stump the young hamster. Then realization struck, and he smiled: Obviously the old mouse was almost blind. “It’s there – at the top of the page.” He informed the wood mouse.

“Ugh?” The wood mouse responded in puzzlement.

“Chunder Bellows School for Blistering Idiots.” The young hamster nodded pleasantly – pleased to have been able to help.

“You what?” the wood mouse was now even more perplexed. “Your name is the same as the college you wish to join? That seems more than coincidental.”

Now it was the turn of the young hamster to be confused. “But my name is Lancelot Ballesteroid!” He cried out in surprise.

In an instant the ageing wood mouse understood. “Ah,” he began to write the words Lancelot Ballesteroid in the box marked ‘name’, “it appears that you have indeed selected your college well: For certainly you are a blistering idiot.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Well, Will I Do This Again?

The ‘this’ to which the title refers is writing. Sure the sentences between the photos in my Earplug Adventures is ‘writing’: but it isn’t proper writing. Proper writing is when the author describes the scene. Proper writing is the sort of stuff I used to live for. The sort of stuff I used to dream that (one day) I’d be really good at. The sort of stuff that comprised these four books…

The sort of stuff that looks exactly like this…

An extract from Silent Apocalypse.

Horse knew the way to our destination. Without any input from Driver, he turned across the road. By dawn’s early light we could make out the shape of a service station. Weeds grew through the cracks in the concrete, and rust had rotted the pumps. It had obviously been abandoned long before the plague had struck. Driver pulled us up in front of a plate glass window that had become opaque with dust and grime. The remainder of the building was coated with neglect also, and at some time a graffiti artist had immortalized himself. All in all this was a place that no one in their right mind would give a second glance. It was because of this very reason that the building had been selected. But that was something we were to learn later. An up-and-over door rattled open. Before us stood our man in black or at least someone who looked very much like him. Their isolation suits made each of them indistinguishable. Only body language could tell them apart. He beckoned us from the Crag Bus. I looked at Driver. He nodded.

We disembarked. Taking instructions from our mystery-man, we hurried into the dark recesses of the service station. I turned to watch him return to the Crag Bus. For some reason the acoustics of the building allowed me to catch their conversation. Driver leaned forward to best see the other man:  “Cosgrove, is it?”

The man, whom Driver referred to as Cosgrove (and quite clearly hailing from somewhere in North America), spoke without preamble:  “We’re not exactly packing them like sardines.”

“Can’t help that.” Driver replied flatly.

“It’s not like we have unlimited time…” Cosgrove spoke as though this was a well-worn conversational path.

“P’raps if you made them Whispers of yours easier to understand…” Driver suggested.

“Whispers, is it?” Cosgrove might have been amused if he hadn’t been so worried about something, “That’s a new one. No, we can’t make the message any clearer. We can’t take every urchin we find. We have to be selective – you know that. Only the brightest and the best…”

Driver finished his line for him. Obviously he had heard it many times before: “Only them what can decipher the hidden message. Yeah, I know. Aint too sure I agree with it: we could missin’ an awful lot of good’ uns.”

Cosgrove appeared weary. Perhaps this made him reply snappishly: “You don’t have to agree with it: Just do your job.” Instantly he regretted the outburst, though Driver appeared to take no offence. “I’m sorry, old-timer. Forget that. You’re a brave man. We owe you a hell of a lot.”

“You don’t have to go payin’ me compliments: It aint no bother. You’re the brave  ones so far as I’m concerned: I don’t need one of them isolation suits. But you…if you get just one nick in it…”

He left the suggestion hanging. Obviously it meant death-by-virus. Cosgrove clearly was a brave man.

“Well you’ve brought us another six: That’s six more than yesterday. If I get a little unreasonable once in a while, you’ll forgive, won’t you?”

Driver took up his reigns, “I’ll forgive you anything ‘cept failure.”

Cosgrove gave Driver a long, lazy salute. “I won’t fail. Our future depends upon it.”

Driver gave him a wink. Horse then turned the Crag Bus around, and they disappeared into the dawn mist.

Cosgrove quickly made his way to us – sliding the door closed behind us. Electric lights came on. We were all taken by surprise at the cleanliness of the buildings’ interior.

“Kids.” He said, (I hated the term) “Follow me.”

Without a word from any of us, we followed him to a door, which for all the world resembled an airlock. It hissed open, and we entered behind him. I felt a little trepidation run up my spine as it closed behind us once more. There were two small doors opposite.

“Right,” said Cosgrove, “I’m going to take the left-hand door: You take the right. One at a time, please.”

Then without another word Cosgrove promptly disappeared, as promised, through the left hand door. We all looked at each other. No one seemed eager to take the first step.

Lee put it into words. “Hey, we’ve come this far together: I aint too keen on breaking up our little team.”

“Yeah,” Wayne agreed, “Why should we separate? I say we all go through together.”

‘Is it camaraderie? Or are we just frightened kids who’ve been whistling into the dark for too long?’

We strode to the door as one. Donald pushed a green coloured button, just as he’d observed Cosgrove do. A lock was heard to ‘clonk’ open. He pushed upon the door. It swung silently open upon well-oiled hinges. Inside was a small room, not unlike an elevator. It was just large enough for us to pack ourselves in with a little room to spare. There was yet another door leading to somewhere else. The door through which had entered closed. The ‘clonk’ was heard again. Locked in. I didn’t like it.

“Thank you.” An electronic voice spoke, “Now please remove all of your clothing.”

Everyone erupted with varying degrees of colourful expletives. Unfazed, the voice repeated its instruction. It then added, “Decontamination will begin in one minute.” Now it dawned on us why Cosgrove had wanted us to go through one at a time. Donald tried the door, but there was no green button to press. In fact there were no controls of any kind. This was a one-way door!

“P’raps we could be decontaminated with our clothes on.” Lee said in desperation.

“Perhaps if we hammer on the door.” Katherine suggested.

I looked from one to the other several times. “Which door?”

“Both.” Wayne yelled.

Three to a door, we began hammering upon the hard metal, and shouting at the top of our voices. The electronic voice informed us that we had thirty seconds to prepare. At ten it began a countdown. When it reached zero we heard the now familiar ‘clonk’. Donald dared push at the door. It swung open into the ‘storeroom’, where Cosgrove stood waiting for us. It was difficult to make out his face behind the mask, but his eyes told us that he was not best pleased.

“Now that was a painless lesson about doing what you’re told, when you’re told. Ignore me again, and the next time it’ll be a whole lot less agreeable. Now go through one at a time.” He emphasized this last line. With that he re-entered his own door.

We shuffled about awkwardly for a moment or two. Finally Kevin made a decision, and approached the door.

“Need a bath anyway.” He said as he entered the room. “Bye.”

The door closed on his cheerful wave.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

A rather inactive excerpt, I think you’ll agree; but you can’t expect to have action-action-marvel-mystery-and melancholy at every turn – can you? No, of course not. By the way, this book, and those appearing above, are all available as paperbacks and e-books at Lulu.com; and as e-books at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and many other suppliers.

And to answer my question in the title of this post: God, I hope so!

 

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 24

It has been a significantly vast while since I posted an extract from one of these books…

They are, of course, the legendary Hamster-Sapiens series. And on this occasion I have chosen a random extract from Danglydong Dell Diaries.

Fanangy Panakan had lost neither her great beauty nor her foreign exoticness during the years since she arrived in The Where House from a distant land that was lost in time. She was scrumptiousness personified. She was delectable upon fifteen levels of gorgeousness. Every heterosexual male hamster in the dell that night would have gladly taken her home and placed her upon a pedestal at which they would have worshipped. Only Lionel Flugelhorn knew that she suffered the occasional spot on her bum, and that she farted really badly if she ate celery. But for once in her life it wasn’t her stunning good looks that most of the audience were now giving rapt attention: It was the story that she had to tell. So with the voice of a helium-fuelled angel the lovely Fanangy Panakan spoke…

Noodlesday, the Forty-fourth of Plinth. Boney hadn’t been entirely correct when he’d assumed that the interior of the hangar was going to be warm. Certainly it was warm when compared to the exterior temperature, but Fanangy Panakan’s spectacularly erect nipples told the true story. And the intense moisture of the returning fog was making the whole affair look like a decidedly seedy ‘wet T-shirt’ competition. Had his teeth not been chattering so badly that they interfered with his vision, Boney might even have enjoyed the view, but since Gargantua had discovered the ‘close doors’ button by accidentally sitting upon it, the light levels had dropped below his personal levels of ocular acuity, and he was rendered virtually blind. He could still feel his way about of course, but after tweaking the same nipple three times, the act was beginning to wear annoyingly thin with all three females present.

They had Sergeant Tonks to thank for the brilliant idea of boarding the giant dirigible that floated above them like some sort of bobbing-up-and-downy spectre of doom.

“We can climb up a mooring rope.” She’d first suggested.

“You can.” Boney had grumbled. “I can’t. I’m too old.”

“Me Too.” Gargantua piped up from the darkness. “It’s not that I’m too fluffing old: I just can’t climb. I’m a cavy: Cavies can’t climb. It’s a well-known fact. We’re real ass-wipes at it. And paddling canoes too.”

Fortunately Adjusterming recalled his one and only trip aboard a dirigible, and in doing so saved the day. It had been aboard the airship Dragon Slayer as its crew had attempted a non-stop circumnavigation of Hamster-Britain. Unfortunately one of the propellers had fallen into the sea just off the coast near Chunderland, and the seafront fondant shop that belonged to Henderson Dangerpimple had been utterly destroyed by the mini-tsunami that followed.

“This is fascinating, Mister Boficals.” Colin had politely interrupted, “But how will your pointless reminiscing gain Boney the sanctuary of the vessel above us?”

In response to this Adjusterming had looked down his considerable snout at the android. “The Dragon Slayer had a service elevator.” He sniffed.

And so the problem had been solved.

“Cripes, if it hadn’t been for fog hiding the ground, I’d have been really scared. I might have vomited with fear. Heck – it’s a long way up!” Fanangy said as she peered over the railing and watched Gargantua arrive upon the service elevator, which was actually little more than a square wooden platform with a rope attached to each corner, and which was usually pulled upwards by a squad of burly crane operators. But in the absence of the aforementioned crane operators this particular night the gigantic cavy was forced to endure the stress of being hauled up by his new-found friends, and he wasn’t entirely certain that they possessed sufficient strength and stamina.

Eventually, though, all nine rodents made it to the sanctuary of the warmer air at roof level, and the protection from the fog offered by the passenger gondola. Sweating and gasping, the hamsters and dormice either dropped into chairs or directly to the floor. Only Gargantua was unaffected by any physical effort because he’d basically just sat there and let everyone do all the hauling. But even so he still managed to eject several nervous pellets before he could bring the inner turmoil, caused by his ascension to the gondola, under control, and finally to relax. And, of course, Colin – who was an android who never sweated or gasped; but whose internal power supply had reached critically low levels, which meant that he had to place his higher functions in ‘hibernation mode’ before he lost all sentience.

It was during the release of the fourth cavy missile that an idea formed inside the fertile mind of Lionel. He’d already watched pellets one, two, and three ricochet off a roof support stanchion and tear themselves to fragments, and so merely enjoyed the aesthetics of the spectacular display of excremental destruction. He considered how pretty they looked. But the fourth missed, and duly sailed across the void like an airborne torpedo. It seemed to him that the scene resembled a world in miniature. The fog was a bank of clouds: The turd was a dirigible. The very sight of it brought out the wanderlust in him.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Naturally this book is available at most e-book stockists – including all those mentioned on the sidebar (to the right) or – should you be using a phone or tablet – above, beneath the header. Equally naturally – were you to actually purchase this wondrous tome – you would adore every page. So off you go then.

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 64)

Magnuss considered it a fact that when he spoke he spoke for all present and many life-forms scattered across the Galaxy…

“Well first I’d like fiscal security for the Museum of Future Technology until the end of time itself.” He said.

“You got it.” The Supreme Being replied cheerfully.

“I’d also like those slimy Air Heads kicked off Scroton and it’s people freed from subjugation.”

Again the Supreme Being didn’t hesitate…

“There you go.” He said. “They’re a bit bemused; but they’re free.”

Magnuss wasn’t finished: “I’d like the Earplugs who evolved here back where they belong. This is their planet after all.”

For a moment the Supreme Being baulked; but a look from Magnuss made him cave in: “Oh alright. Anything else?”

“Yep.” Magnuss cheered up. “It’s been a long voyage. I’d rather like it if the Chi-Z-Sox and all aboard her were transported back to Earth in no time at all.”

The Supreme Being was clearly relieved by this last demand. “You got it, baby!” He laughed. And in the next moment…

…everyone was back from whence they started the Grand Tour.

“Strike up the band.” Magnuss shouted.

Naturally the museum’s resident soul group, the Trumptations, were close at hand…

“Let’s party!” Magnuss bellowed. “Huh – get down!”

And so they did…

Mandy, Candy, Vic, and Bob even put on a spectacular celebratory farting show…

But there were a few dissenters. Those who couldn’t quite believe their luck…

Earplugs who lived in perpetual fear that good times never last. And they had good reason to feel this way. Because, far out in the depths of space, evil eyes kept watch…

“I’ll be back.” The Wonky Supreme Being promised a disinterested cosmos. “And next time I’ll be wearing a reinforced jock strap!”

The End (until next time)

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 21

As per usual with this wondrous series, I bring you an excerpt from one of the following Hamster-Sapiens tales…

And today it’s the turn of The Abduction of Wetpatch Wilson!

Divine inspiration didn’t strike Wetpatch very often. In fact he couldn’t recall it ever happening before. But he was in receipt of it now. “Rat Trek!” He blurted.

Roman was mightily impressed with this. “That’s right.” He said with a smile so broad that he resembled a wide-mouthed frog that had been smoking the magic mushrooms of Danglydong Dell. “Mister Horseblanket was well versed in the science fiction genre, and would often utilise the events that took place in episodes of Rat Trek during periods or crisis. And like his hero, Lionel Flugelhorn made the best use of the fertile minds of those far away script writers. He freely admitted in a recent interview on Heathen Radio that without a thorough grounding in sci-fi, he and his friends would surely have perished in one of those frightening scenarios thrown up by the alien artefacts from Area Ninety-nine.”

Wetpatch didn’t know what to say when an auditory vacuum formed during the period that Roman spent trying to re-gather his breath following an ill-advised second extended sentence. So he fell back on old ways. “Yeah? So?” He grunted.

Like some sort of truncheon-wielding biathlete Roman drew in sufficient air to calm his tortured lungs for just long enough to say, “You’re a fan of the show. You have a box set of DVDs. Have you seen an episode that might pertain to our current situation in any way?”

So whilst the young police officer rolled about the carpeted floor gasping for his life, Wetpatch considered the question. It was patently true that science fiction had often pulled Horatio Horseblanket out of the metaphorical shit and probably saved the lives of countless hordes. It was equally true that Lionel Flugelhorn had also utilised his knowledge of the genre for the betterment of his situation on more than one occasion.

Wetpatch had once met Lionel at the grand opening of a rather graceless unicycle ballet, and couldn’t help but be impressed by both his girlfriend, and the copy of Fantabulous Stories that protruded from his back pocket. And he had at least seventeen copies of Horatio’s autograph: So he could see no logical reason why he – Wetpatch Wilson – shouldn’t duplicate the efforts of his illustrious predecessors. So he set to work, and quickly began running titles of Rat Trek: Season One past his inner eye.

Roman was well into his third cup of coffee, and probably his Nth spool of cotton candy, when Wetpatch looked up from the floor where he was ruminating, and waved for his attention.

“I think we shall have to conduct our search using an amalgam of science-fictiony scenarios.” Wetpatch informed the slightly older hamster. “No single tale of the much-loved TV show relates directly to our situation. But I believe that if we behave in much the same way that the helms-hamster, Mister Lulu, did in the second season opener ‘The Death Ray of Dork’, we shall take the first step upon the road that will carry us upon our great crusade to bring stability to The Crustacean Collective.”

“Wonderful.” Roman clasped his paws together in glee. “Good old Mister Lulu, whomever he is. What did he do?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Wasn’t that lovely! It didn’t tell you a bloody thing about the story, I know; but that’s the problem with random excerpts: they’re a bit…you know…random. Also as per usual, this e-book is available via the links on the side bar to your right. If you’re on a tablet it’s probably down the bottom somewhere. But it has to be somewhere. That’s the trouble with tablets; the screen isn’t big enough. On the plus side, my earplug stories look really nice on them though.