Ridiculous Rodentia 3

Okay, here goes with another flagon of hamster fiction…

The moment that the gangling young hamster, Lionel Flugelhorn, first suspected that something was amiss was when the crockery fell from the draining board, and shattered into a thousand pieces upon the kitchen floor. This was accompanied by an insistent whine that seemed to boggle his eyes, and turn his insides into outsides. Then the time-storm’s wave front hit, and Lionel didn’t care what his eyes and insides were doing; he just hoped that the invisible force that was pinning him to the ceiling would soon stop jangling his private parts like a two-stroke outboard motor with a jammed wide open throttle.

In the latrine Boney had much the same sentiments, except that he also fervently wished that the contents of the lavatory bowl would quickly allow gravity to do its work, and get back to where they belonged – leaving him alone to his agony.

And in the Artefact Store – at the very epicentre of the time-storm – Fanangy and Colin were doing excellent impressions of untrained amoebas, as they utterly failed in the task of avoiding being squashed into incoherent blobs of biological, and mechanical, jelly. Or at least that’s how it felt to them.

“Yeech,” Fanangy managed to force past lips that vibrated with a resonance frequency slightly higher than suspension bridge support cables in a hurricane, “you never mentioned that it would be this bad, Colin!”

Colin was having difficulty accessing his speech centre information transfer nodes. “Gugh,” he replied.

Fanangy agreed utterly: “Gugh” seemed to perfectly sum up their situation. Then she noticed a Sentinel Robot trundle into the room – swaying from side to side violently, with peripheral parts, like ears and radar dishes, being scattered to the four quarters. It was making scant headway against the impossible energy force that was emanating from the Time-Storm Machine, but somehow, centimetre by centimetre, it waded through the invisible molasses that was the Time Storm.

She wasn’t sure, because her eyes refused to focus properly, but she thought she could just make out the Piss Bowl cradled gently in the iron grip of the simple, if very scary-looking, automaton.

“What are you doing here?” She demanded in a tone, that although horribly distorted by the forces of temporal relocation, sounded both concerned and halfway hysterical at the same time. Her next line explained the reason for this, “Colin never mentioned that the Piss Bowl came with us!”

Either it couldn’t hear, because its ears had been torn off, and thrown into the wind-ravaged corridor outside, or it didn’t care: But the Sentinel Robot continued its advance upon the Time-Storm Machine with a remorselessness that beggared belief. The watching hamster simply couldn’t believe that drive wheels could grip that hard, and she promised herself that if she survived this particular adventure, she would seek out the manufacturer of those tyres, and have some fitted to her go-kart – irrespective of the purchase price, or the ghastliness of the tyre-fitter’s half-exposed bum crack.

“I wasn’t shouting at you:” She aimed this at the Sentinel Robot, “It’s the Piss Bowl that I’m bellowing at like an idiot.”

Fanangy then screwed up her eyes in an effort to resolve the almost-frozen tableau before her. She wasn’t sure, but the Piss Bowl appeared to be attempting to eject a sheet of paper from its lower slot. It was difficult to tell, but there might have been some words printed upon it.

Fanangy couldn’t have known it at the time, but although “Gugh.” was the best verbal articulation available to Colin during these moments of high anxiety, his ocular zoom lens remained in perfect order. All that was required of him to read the Piss Bowl’s printed message was that he point his eyes in the correct direction. And, despite his metallic cranium coming under all sorts of electromagnetic and gravitational stresses, this was exactly what he managed to do.

“Gugh!” he managed to shout above the din of displaced air and ruptured space/time, and rattling waste bins. “Gugh! Gugh! Gugh!” With ever-more desperate eye movements and ocular semaphore.

Fanangy was no empath, but even she could tell that something was alarmingly wrong with her co-worker.

“What is it?” She screamed at Colin as the ceiling plaster began to dissolve, and then be carried away by violent eddies.

She answered herself on Colin’s behalf. “Gugh: Yes I know.”

Then the sheet of paper was torn loose from the Piss Bowl’s timid grasp, and, as strange luck would have it, it was swept upwards until it came to rest in Fanangy’s left ear.

Against the almost unimaginable forces that were acting upon her finely boned skeleton, Fanangy heroically yanked the sheet of paper from her ear, and quickly scanned it with her boggling eyes – before it was once more dragged from her rapidly tiring fingers, and torn to shreds by the wildly oscillating ceiling fan.

“You what?” She screamed eloquently at the Piss Bowl, “You can’t let me go? Go where? What do you mean – you can’t…”

But she said no more: The Sentinel Robot had brought down its massive steel fist upon the fragile form of the Time Storm Machine.

In the blink of an eye everything simply stopped. It was like a moment frozen in time, or a huge sachet of freeze-dried peas jammed into the blades of a public lavatory hand drier. The passage of time simply ceased. Then the machine slouched into a pile of parts, and time re-commenced. Or rather it didn’t: It started afresh – as though all the most recent events had never happened. Not that anyone knew it though.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2012

Yes, this e-book remains available at most e-book retailers. To check out Amazon, B&N, Lulu, and iBooks see either the side bar or beneath the page header.

 

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Ridiculous Rodentia 2

More Hamster-Sapiens excerpts? Surely not? Surely so! This time the temptation comes in the form of this stunningly hamsterish e-book…

Once free from the close company of the others, Roman made haste for the cotton candy machine. Naturally, since he’d been invited to attend, Wetpatch went in scurried pursuit.

“Why do you need me along?” The school-hamster inquired of the young police constable as they made best marching speed along one of the SS Bargebutt’s many corridors. “I know I used to be really insolent and everything, but I don’t know anything about becoming introverted and disappearing up my own rectum. Surely I’m entirely superfluous?”

Roman didn’t break his stride despite the fact that he had his neck craned around to look at Wetpatch, who was having difficulty keeping up. “Oh no, Wetpatch.” He said with a mirthless chuckle, “If there’s one thing that you’ve proved during this voyage – it’s that you’re far from superfluous. In fact I don’t think we could consider the idea of success without you. You have a secret talent, young male hamster – for being in the right place at the right time, and saying the right words in the right order, or doing the right thing when the wrong thing is the far more obvious course of action.”

It had been a long sentence, and the young police hamster had almost run out of breath. Fortunately they had arrived at his chosen destination at the same moment that he’d uttered his last syllable. As a result he was able to sit himself down upon the cotton candy operator’s stool, and take a few moments to recover.

Wetpatch set the machine in motion, and within moments a miasma of sugary goo began to form inside the spinning drum. “Want some?” He inquired of Roman, as he began prodding at the confection with a smooth thin stick that he’d taken from a packet of many more such objects upon the counter.

Roman was still feeling quite groggy from lack of oxygen to his brain, but nevertheless nodded enthusiastically. So whilst indulging their taste buds in the delights of spun sugar, the two hamsters spoke of things esoteric. Roman’s opening gambit was, “Have you ever read The Horatio Horseblanket Chronicles, Wetpatch?”

Wetpatch was well aware that it was a rhetorical question: No one born this side of the Year Twingo, and lived in Hamster Heath, could possibly have avoided reading those twin tomes that charted the life of Horatio Horseblanket – from pre-pubescent dipstick to Hero of Hamsterdom. But he nodded affirmation anyway – just to be polite.

Roman continued with, “What about The Where House? Are you familiar with the name?”

Wetpatch was now a little less certain where Roman’s verbal trail was leading him, and duly frowned. Did the constable mean The Where House in the literal sense – that being an emporium just outside Gerbils Ruin – in which were housed the wonderful artefacts from the formerly-lost continent of North America’s legendary Area Ninety-nine? Or did he mean the serialized diaries of the same name that were often reprinted in the local paper – The Bucktooth Times?

These questions must have appeared as transparent as a fairy’s gossamer condom as they marched across his face, because Roman said, “You know – the diaries of Lionel Flugelhorn’s adventures in The Where House, and all the weird shit that happened to him after his mum threw him out of the family hovel, and he was forced to move in with Boney Legge.”

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.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Distant Land (part 34)

Shortly Princess Cake returned to the royal chambers…

…where she returned to her fretting…

…about all of her surviving subjects who were out in the cold of the resulting nuclear winter. She even felt a smidgen of pity for the four scientists that had caused the disaster, and who now helped the search teams in their quest to bring those survivors into the bosom of the museum…

“You gits.” One particular survivor shouted at them from the deck of passing hover truck. “You’re lucky this truck is moving: if it wasn’t, I’d leap from this deck and give you all a good kick up the arse!”

Knowledge of this made Princess Cake almost wistful…

“Why, I do wish I’d thought of that: I’d have loved to kick Whoops Brannigan up the arse.”

Meanwhile, the loud-mouthed (but essentially harmless) survivor’s twin brother arrived from the opposite direction aboard another hover truck…

But he was too traumatized to say anything. Instead he avoided eye contact completely.

“Whoo, lucky.” Frutilda whispered to Dido. “I was certain that one was going to kick us up the arse really hard.”

Despite her eagerness to conjure up a brilliant plan to save the population, Princess Cake seemed singularly incapable. This concerned her…

“Honestly.” She complained to herself. “What kind of nominal ruler are you? Surely it can’t be that difficult to save the world!”

Meanwhile, out in the cold, word got around…

“Really, I think its lamentable.” Whoops said to Dennis. “That female is getting ideas above her station. If anyone is going to think up a brilliant alternative to a slow dissolution into extinction, it should be us.”

And Dido said to Frutilda: “I don’t know so much: maybe a good kick up the arse would give us just the impetus we need to activate our genius genes. Tell you what: I’ll kick you first: then you kick me.”

Naturally Princess Cake had secret microphones everywhere; and when she heard this, she felt confident that, perhaps, the day might yet be saved…

“They’ll think of something.” She said with a relieved sigh. “I’m sure they will.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Distant Land (part 32)

For a short period, after their return to the Museum, Whoops, Dido, Dennis, and Frutilda tried to live normal lives in a changed world…

But deep down inside each of them suffered…

…as they tried to ignore the curator’s attempts to save the survivors of the disaster that they had caused. Although they were aware that search teams traveled far and wide to aid desperate earplugs…

…they chose, as best they could, to enjoy life within the huge edifice…

And while they looked out upon a world that had slipped into nuclear winter, the curators dispatched rescue craft…

…into the mountains…

…where members of isolated communities were invited to return to the safety of the museum…

“Nice vessel.” Some would say. “Where are the passenger seats?”

To which the welcoming crewplugs would reply: “Sorry: standing room only. We need to pack you in like small silver marine creatures in tomato sauce.”

On one occasion, Frutilda and Whoops fell into a sullen conversation…

“You never know.” Frutilda said optimistically, “the Gravity Whelk...

…might yet return with the answer to our world’s ills.”

But Whoops was far less hopeful: “I think I want to go outside and suffer a little for my hubris and egotistical stupidity. You’ve been a bit of a turd too, Frutilda: care to join me?”

Naturally Frutilda, concerned for Whoops’ state of mind, duly slipped through a side window with her boss…

But even she was surprised by what Whoops did next, which was to jump into a deep drift and sink up to his bum in freezing snow…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

 

 

Distant Land (part 31)

And he was very nearly right, because the parched land soon gave way to scorched desert. But fortunately, for the gallant foursome, their route took them to an outlying public lavatory that, by a freak of geography, had been protected by the blast of the energy spill from the alternative universe…

“Hoorah.” Dido cried out in relief and joy. “I’m an expert on public lavatories. This model has a reserve water tank in the roof space: we can have a wee, wash our hands, and have a drink – almost simultaneously!”

“Excellent.” Whoops replied. “The mere presence of this ingenious working class bog proves that we’re on the right track. The Museum of Future Technology believed in spreading futuristic toilets far beyond its borders, you know – as part of a public service. This can only be one of those; I can feel it in my bowels.”

“Great.” Frutilda grunted. “But will the toilets flush?”

“Who cares?” Dennis answered. “I’m desperate: let’s go!”

So, two minutes later…

“That was disgusting.” Dennis complained. “The heat evaporated all the water. I had to wash my hands in sludge!”

But Frutilda was made of sterner stuff. “Come on boys.” She said as she departed the lavatory. “Get over it. The museum’s this way, by the way: I can almost smell its vaulted towers above the stench of that vile toilet.”

And she was right too…

…because soon an artificial walkway replaced the desert. Relief quickly joined to joy when they realized that the museum pathway illumination system was still active…

“Oh goody.” Frutilda said, as the pedestrian guidance system glowed invitingly. “The museum has power. Hopefully the security system will recognize our passes.”

Dennis wasn’t quite so optimistic…

 

“What if someone bolted the door before going to bed last night?” He argued. “We’ll never get inside!”

But his pessimism was unwarranted: the designers of the building from the future had…er…designed it well, and built it even better. Soon Dennis stood at a peephole…

 

…and snatched his final glimpse of the barren, burning land that lay beyond the museum’s limits…

and felt unadulterated gratitude to his mother, who had insisted he give up his job at the sewage works, and go to university.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019

Cardboard Dreams Become Reality (part 1)

Okay, maybe that title does overstate the usefulness of cardboard slightly, but as the creator of the Earplug Adventures I can tell you, I wouldn’t be able to visualize half of what you see in these dippy tales without it. Wonderful stuff; and free too!

If you’ve been following the stories for a while, you might recognize this circular item. It, and many very like it have appeared over and over. Check out these examples…

Looks like the engine room of the early version of the K T Woo to me. And what about this?

A scientific lab, obviously. It makes for a charming religious establishment too…

Just look at those burning torches. Attention to detail – or what!

Cardboard tubes and rings can come in handy too…

This is the ‘before’ shot of Scroton Prime – capital city of the Cable End’s home world, Scroton. Note the use of plain cardboard sheeting as a background and as sharply-angled ‘buildings in the foreground. This is how that locale appeared on the cover The Masters of Scroton

And in a segment of the story…

Cardboard blocks are groovy too. Especially those items perched on the top of this pile of tubes…

With the help of a length of insulation material, a canvas backdrop, some bits of sticky-backed paper, a sheet of plastic laid on top, and a nice example of perspective…

..something starts to take shape. Here’s a ‘before’ shot of Don Quibonki and his side-kick Panta Lonez in situ…

But to see the resulting pictures from the story, you’ll have to come back for Part Two of Cardboard Dreams Become Reality!

What a rotten git I am.

 

Distant Land (part 30)

But those ungrateful, mealy-mouthed gits were mistaken. Because, out on the plain, Whoops’ portable force field finally dropped – exposing the scientists to the glaring light of the sun for the first time in three days. And they were gasping for a drink and the use of a toilet too…

Checking their location, they quickly set out in, what they hoped was, the direction of the museum…

As they proceeded, their eyes adjusted to the brilliant light. Step by laboured step, the world seemed to grow darker…

“Right.” Whoops said through cracked lips. “Let’s try to figure what happened, shall we?”

“The world ended?” Dennis suggested.

“Don’t be facetious.” Whoops snapped. “I know the world ended. Or at least this part of it. We need to understand why.”

“I would have thought that was obvious.” Frutilda spoke through a stiff breeze that chilled them all uncomfortably. “A huge burst of heat and energy erupted from the alternate dimension through the wormhole and seared our planet’s surface. Putting two and two together, I’d say that when we checked out the alternate reality, our probes missed something really important.”

“Based on what little evidence is available, what would you estimate that to be?” Whoops inquired.

Well Frutilda began to explain that she believed that the huge electrical energy content in the other world’s atmosphere had been created by an interaction between clouds formed from excessive evaporation caused by the heat of the planet’s primary star ending it’s life by expanding in size and boiling the planets that orbited it, when suddenly…

…Whoops sank through the crust. “Argh!” He cried. But no one…

…felt particularly inclined to risk falling through themselves.

“Sorry, Whoops.” Dido said. “You’ll have to stop being a big Nancy, and pull yourself out.”

Actually Whoops was in no hurry to extract himself from the hole, because it still held the residual warmth of the cataclysm. It also allowed him to go to wee without anyone noticing.

“Now all I need,” he sub-vocalized to himself, “is a nice cup of tea, and everything will be tickety-boo.” Then he pulled himself free, and duly set out upon firmer ground…

…which was quite nerve wracking because it vaguely resembled a low altitude form of Precipitous Ledge Walking, which had always been popular with the inhabitants of the museum who were zombies or those who enjoyed a lower intellect…

…but to scientists, and the smarter earplugs of the museum at least, was a complete anathema.

“Yuk.” Frutilda spat…

…”this is ghastly.”

But it soon became considerably more ghastly…

…as a fog bank rolled in.

“Stick out your tongue and lick the air.” Dido suggested. “This might be the last moisture that we ever encounter.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019