Tag Archives: novels

Perfectly Imperfect

I figured that if I exhibited a sample of one of my Causality Merchant books, I would be remiss if I didn’t do the same for the sequel…

So please accept this extract from Present Imperfect.

Janice looked about her in wide-eyed wonderment. The interior of the Courtney’s home was like a living museum. Snatching a look into the kitchen from the sitting room in which she now stood, she caught sight of an open cupboard – complete with boxed food stuffs that included Bisto Gravy and Kellogg’s Cornflakes, and unbelievably a plunger-capped bottle of Corona Lemonade. Mavis removed a tea caddy from the cupboard, and closed the door.

Looking away Janice noticed a quiescent television set in the corner of the room. She hadn’t recognized it at first because of its apparent disguise – that being its construction of lacquered wood, and its subsequent vague resemblance to a piece of furniture. She was reminded of her earliest memories – of visiting her grandmother in her house of brown-on-brown décor and yellowing picture rails and dull whitewashed ceilings. Of wall paper that dated from before the Second World War.

“Oh, I see you have a television.” Janice tried to sound impressed at the presence of a piece of ancient technology.

“What’s that, dear?” Mavis popped her head around the doorframe as the kettle began to whistle.

Janice nodded towards the TV. “I don’t suppose everyone in the village has one of those?” She said.

“Oh, the telly.” Mavis all but dismissed the device. “That’s George’s pride and joy, that is – though I don’t know why: there’s hardly anything on it, and when there is you can’t see much of what’s going on. Me – I like the cinema. Those Technicolor pictures are wonderful. I can’t see telly ever catching on.”

Any further discussion on the merits of cinema verses television was interrupted by the sound of child coughing upon the floor above. Janice automatically looked heavenward.

“Oh that’ll be Wallace.” Mavis answered Janice’s unspoken question. “Poor little mite – he’s had that cough all day and all last night. If he’s not showing signs of getting better by morning I’ll take him to see that lovely new doctor at the surgery. He’s quite a dish. Have you met him? I think his name’s Doctor Traynor.”

For a moment Janice forgot herself, and lowered her guard.

“Doctor Traynor?” She blurted. “He’ll still be here in forty years time!”

Janice couldn’t quite describe the look she received from Mavis. But after a moment she said, “Oh-no, I shouldn’t think so: he intends going places. He wants to be one of them Harley Street specialists.”

Janice felt that she should try to explain her outburst.

“What I meant was – I expect he’ll fall in love with the village, and decide to spend the rest of his life here. I’m sure I would: it’s a lovely place. So tranquil.”

“Some would call it a bit boring.” Mavis returned to the kitchen to pour the tea. “I know George wouldn’t mind leaving if the right job came along. Take sugar, do you?”

Mavis wasn’t aware that Janice had risen and followed her into the kitchen, so she was startled when Janice spoke from directly behind her.

“Two please. Is that a new gas cooker?”

Quickly recovering, Mavis replied proudly, “Isn’t it smart? It arrived this morning. George had it fitted before he went out. Bob Langtry did it in a bit of a rush: George’s the treasurer of the Ancient Order of something-or-other, and had to be off a bit sharpish. I’m not really supposed to use it until he’s a had a proper check – but with the old electric stove unplugged, and sitting in the garden, I couldn’t boil the water for Wallace’s hot water bottle and our cup of tea any other way. I’m sure it’ll be alright.”

Janice thought back to her childhood. She tried to recall the distinct aroma of the gas used during that era. She couldn’t, but she was certain that she’d recognise it when she smelt it. As surreptitiously as possible she scented the air.

“Would I be right in thinking that they use piped town gas here?” She inquired. “It doesn’t come in a steel bottle or anything like that?”

“We’ve just been connected to the mains.” Mavis informed her knowledgably, “They spent a fortune extending the pipe up from Crampton. Funny, isn’t it – us country-folk using town gas? Don’t seem right somehow.”

“Perhaps they should re-name it. They could call it Coal Gas.” Janice pretended to agree with the young mother. “But aren’t you worried that it might be dangerous?”

“What – compared to electricity? No of course not.” Mavis exclaimed. “And it’s a sight better to cook with too, I can tell you. My sister swears by it. Instant heat – instantly off. No more milk boiling over. Now that has to be a safety feature.”

Janice nodded, but she looked about as convinced as she felt.

“Well doesn’t the thought of suffocation worry you?”

This was obviously a subject upon which Mavis had conversed before.

“George says that as long as the equipment’s working fine and there’s no blocked flue, there’s no chance of that happening. Next you’ll be suggesting that it might explode in the middle of the night!”

This thought was foremost upon Janice’s mind. She bit her lip with indecision.

Mavis noticed this.

“You do think it’s going to explode, don’t you?” She spoke in a puzzled tone. “Now why on earth would you think that?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

One of these days I’ll write the sequel to the sequel. It’s not like I don’t have time or anything. But for now both Causality Merchant e-books are still available. You can access the better-known suppliers by clicking on the images on the side bar.

 

Captive Audience

I can’t recall the last time that I posted an extract from this e-book…

…but suffice to say it’s been a bloody long time. Too long: people will forget that I ever wrote serious sc-ifi mysteries. So, in an effort to re-set the creative balance of nature, here’s a smidgin of Captive Echo…

Wozniak’s bank account was still far from overflowing, but the future appeared rosier for him than it had in a very long time. His new secretary may have had a great deal to do with the resurrection of his self-confidence, and many of his friends had taken to Janice Gale in a big way – none less than his agent, Wallace Courtney, who was speaking with Janice over the telephone.

Janice was perched upon the end of a sofa in Wozniak’s small flat overlooking London’s Docklands. From her vantage point she could look out over Old Father Thames, and much of the city beyond. She was a country girl born and bred, and at first she’d found it difficult to adapt to the hustle and bustle of the capital of England. But with Wozniak’s help, and more surprisingly – her mothers’ blessing, Janice had done so, and was enjoying life more than at any time that she could remember since leaving behind the innocence of childhood.

Her laughter was light and gentle as she conversed with Wallace.

“Are you kidding?” She was saying. “I couldn’t hold him back. He wants to get started on another script as soon as he can. But first he wants to complete the tie-in novel that will accompany the show.”

She listened to Wallace’s cheerful questioning for a few seconds before replying, “No, he doesn’t have any firm ideas on future stories at the moment: but he knows that they’re bound to come. It’s all about location, location, location – or so he says.”

Once more she paused to listen.

“No – he’s gone on ahead. I have a few details to go over with Tommy down at Clarridge Productions – you know about the interview with Peter for the special edition DVD re-release of Clash of Symbols. Then I’m going home too. You realize that it’s almost a year to the day that Peter and I got together. Yes, we’re going to have a quiet celebration: Then with luck he’ll have my drawers down quicker than you can say ‘alternate reality’, and we can commemorate the occasion in the time-honoured manner that any two horny bastards should.”

Laughing loudly at Janice’s lewdness, Wallace signed off, and Janice replaced the receiver. She considered calling Wozniak, then looked at the time. She chose to wait until later: she had business to conclude.

Wozniak strolled into the grocery store in Brambledown’s main street as though he was the prodigal son returning home. He rubbed his newly grown beard absentmindedly before picking up a shopping basket. It looked so strange in his huge hands, and he wondered what he’d been doing the last time he’d carry one. Certainly life hadn’t been half as good as it was now.

Miss Witherspoon appeared from out the back. Wozniak’s beard was no suitable disguise against one of his greatest fans…

“Why if it isn’t Mister Wozniak! Oh I’m so glad to see you again.” She cried out gleefully

“Hello, Miss Witherspoon.” Wozniak responded – giving the older woman a smile that was guaranteed to melt her heart. “How’re things in the great rural metropolis?”

Things’ seldom changed much in the sleepy village of Brambledown –usually for decades. One year was much like another. People grew older, and new children were born into the village. It was all perfectly reciprocal – that is until the year previous…

“They never did find out what happened up at that scientific place, you know.” Miss Witherspoon informed Wozniak as he approached the cash register.

“Thank goodness for that.” He replied. “I’ve just written a make-believe story about what happened there: I’d be ruined if they found out the truth.”

“Oh, so you’re writing again? That is good.” Miss Witherspoon tried to reach across her cash register to hug Wozniak. “I s’pect that lovely Janice Gale has a lot to do with that. I always wondered if some lucky man was going to find her out one day. I’m so pleased it was you.”

Wozniak winked at her.

“You and me both.” He said. “I’m in The Peaks for a few days: I just need the basics. You know – caviar, champagne…”

“Ooh, I don’t know about them.” Miss Witherspoon responded. “How about milk, tea, butter: that sort of thing?”

“Sounds like heaven to me.” Wozniak replied – his smile widening as he felt his heart go out to the women standing before him.

At that Miss Witherspoon began scurrying around, filling Wozniak’s basket with the necessities of life.

“Janice with you, is she?” She asked.

“Still up in London. She should be along tomorrow.” He told her.

“That’s good.” Miss Witherspoon grinned cheerfully. “Send her round when she arrives, won’t you: I want to know all about life in The Smoke. Do you want this on your tab?

Wozniak opened his wallet. He was about to say “No Need,” but, as usual, it was lighter than he’d hoped. “Ah, yes,” He replied – his smile falling. “Perhaps that might be a good idea. Jan will put you right tomorrow.”

With that he made his farewell, and climbed into his large estate car.

Wozniak felt an intense blast of wellbeing as he drove through the village. Several people recognized his car. He felt quite like royalty as he returned their waves.

Turning into Pikes Lane he was half-afraid he might spot a small sports car sliding toward him. Although a year had passed, but now that he’d returned to the scene of the crime, events suddenly seemed all too fresh. Perhaps writing about it time after time – honing his work – had kept it very much alive in his mind, even if most of the people involved in the incident were now dead. With a spine-chilling sense of déjà vu, he caught sight of Tom, the now ex-postman, pushing his bicycle. He had no choice but to pull over.

Tom responded to his hail with, “Blow me down – if it aint Mister Wozniak. You aint got one of them manuscript thingies for the missus to send off by any chance, have you?”

Wozniak recalled the last time the older man had asked that question.

“Well you never know, Tom.” He said cheerily. “There’s always a chance.”

“Hope it’s better than that one they showed on telly the other day.” Tom said – climbing aboard his bicycle.

“One of my old shows was on television?” Wozniak was thinking of the royalty cheque he could expect in the post. “Terrestrial was it?”

“Nah – on me satellite dish.” Tom seemed almost dismissive. “Detective show, it was.”

Wozniak’s shoulders slumped. His one foray into police drama had not gone well for him. The results hadn’t been quite what he – or the production company – had hoped for. The story had been weak, and the director inept.

“That was an old one.” He said. Unable to avoid a critique – even when he knew it would be bad, he added, “What did you think of it?”

“Honestly, Mister Wozniak?” Tom responded sadly, “I thought it was one of the biggest load of bollocks that I’d seen in years. I hope yer next one’s gonna be better.”

Wozniak gave him a sickly grin. “I think we can safely assume that. See you later, Tom.”

With that he drove on.

The action of steering his vehicle into the grounds of The Peaks brought back his sense of well-being. It was only when he parked, and the gravel of the driveway crunched beneath his feet, that the memory of Katherine Marcus’ strange little sports car came back to haunt him once again – dismissing his lightening mood in an instant.

‘Is it really a year since that unbelievable night?’ he asked himself silently.

He began to wonder if somehow he’d managed to blur the line between fact and fiction in his final script: Could it all have been true? Really? Wasn’t there a chance that he’d allowed his imagination to run away with him? That his script lay somewhere between fact and fiction? An amalgam of both perhaps? He shook his head: he knew the truth.

The Peaks was just as he remembered it. Mrs. Wilkins had changed nothing – not that she needed to: the house came as close to perfection as it is possible for any edifice to come. His step was jaunty as he entered it.

After stocking the fridge, he went for shower. The water heater was still giving trouble.

Even paradise isn’t perfect’, he thought.

By the time he’d dried himself off and dressed, he was surprised to find that the time was well past six o’clock.

Too late to call Jan now,’ he considered, ‘she’ll be over at Connies’.

“I’ll catch her later.” He spoke aloud to the room.

The sun was far from setting, so Wozniak treated himself to a walk about the garden. This killed perhaps a half-hour. A year in London had altered him. He could no longer lounge about doing nothing: he needed to entertain, or be entertained. Normally his word processor would prove sufficient for his needs – but that required unpacking – and he remained as inept with wires and sockets as he’d always been. He sought solace elsewhere.

Entering the Muck and Bullets public house, Wozniak was disappointed to find it devoid of clientele. Claude, the landlord, stood alone behind the bar watching the television news. He jumped when Wozniak asked for a pineapple juice.

“Well if you aint a sight for sore eyes, Mr. Wozniak.” Claude grinned “Wait ‘til I tell the wife: she’ll be over the moon. You sure a pineapple juice is strong enough? I seem to remember you’re a brandy man.”

Wozniak couldn’t remember which one of his many middle-aged-to-elderly female admirers was married to Claude; so he said, “I’m here for a short break, Claude: she’ll probably catch me in the street sometime. And yes – the fruit juice is fine. Whichever one you have to hand: I kind of went off brandy.”

Claude rattled some ice cubes into a glass, and handed it to him. He opened a bottle of pineapple juice, and emptied half of it into the glass – placing the half-empty bottle beside it.

“Well you won’t go making my fortune with that.” He half-stated – half-complained.

Wozniak looked about the empty bar.

“Quiet tonight.” He observed.

“Like the blinking grave.” Claude nodded toward the television, “Footie’s on tonight: England against somebody. These days blokes like to stay at home with a few cans from the supermarket. Times have changed: it aint so much fun runnin’ pubs no more.” He lamented. “If you aint got satellite TV and a full-time restaurant, you’re well and truly buggered.”

“I suppose you are.” Wozniak responded – casting his gaze about the dark half-lit room.

‘Cutting down on electricity consumption?’

He had no wish to sit alone; but neither did he want to spend his free time lamenting the end of civilization with a morose bartender.

“Still,” he continued, “being the only surviving pub in the village, I suppose you have something of a captive audience.”

Then he noticed a pair of well-worn steel toe-capped boots protruded from within a snug. He indicated the direction to Claude.

“So I’m not entirely alone, then?”

“That’ll be Len. Len Peters.” Claude replied, “Funny bugger he can be sometimes. Believe anything – he will. Reckon he’s a bit keen on them flying’ saucers and stuff like that. Don’t talk to him much, m’self.”

“Sounds like my sort of man.” Wozniak grinned – taking his purchase, and making for the snug.

It took little more than a handful of paces for his long legs to carry Wozniak to his destination – a semi-enclosed area featuring a central rectangular table, with high-backed benches to either side.

From Claude’s description he had expected a man of few years – slightly spotty, wearing spectacles and an anorak; so he was surprised when a bearded septuagenarian looked up from his beer.

“Hello.” Len said gruffly. “Thought you’d turn up again. Figured you couldn’t stay away.”

“And a good day to you.” Wozniak remained unruffled. He responded with, “Have we met?”

“Not so much that you’d notice.” Len’s cryptic reply came.

Wozniak didn’t like being manoeuvred into asking questions. Nevertheless he was instantly intrigued.

“You’re right there.” He said, turning away – hoping that Len Peters wouldn’t let him leave without finishing what he’d started.

“But you will.” Len stressed the last word.

Wozniak couldn’t help himself:

“Will?  As in a future tense? I thought we just did.”

“Depends,” Len took a sip from his glass, “on what came first: the chicken or the egg.”

Wozniak allowed his eyes to narrow. Len looked straight into them. The big man chose to sit.

“Okay,” he said – lowering his large frame onto the bench that faced the mysterious elderly man, “you’ve got me snared. I don’t know a damned thing about you; but you obviously know something about me.”

“Do you believe in dreams?” Len asked obliquely.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

I really should get back to ‘proper’ writing. Naturally this book remains active in the market place. Should you be interested, some of the better known retailers are mentioned behind the book covers on the side bar. Just click on the image.

Revel in the Ribaldry 35

Too much time has passed since our last delve into the world of Hamster-Sapiens. So on with an extract from this masterpiece of ribald hamster fiction…

Once again good old randomness has chosen the extract. It’s this one…

Everyone crowded around the education computer as it parked itself in the centre of the lounge. Its single ‘eye’ looked up into the face of Ho. “Ya been callin’ m’lud?” It said in an inquiring tone.

“Yeah.” Ho hissed urgently through excited incisors. “Tell Ho how Crustacean guys perhapped.”

“Cripes, dude.” The machine replied, “You’s askin’ a whole lot from the merest education computer-thing. I aint got the words whatta make no sense to guys like you guys is. I got the real shitty talk, y’all.”

Ho looked to Wetpatch for a translation. But instead of responding, the school-hamster addressed Kevin directly…

“Can you produce a computer printout instead?” He asked.

It didn’t matter how many times that everyone pored over the resulting computer printout, not one of the hamsters present was sufficiently qualified in computer-speak to fully understand it, or even begin to. It was just so much ‘Gahg’ to them. Or even ‘Yalg!’

Even Branston had been instructed to drag himself away from the Security Camera Office to cast his expert crew-person’s eye across the multitude of barely decipherable figures, icons, and multifarious digital crap. But all Branston could conclude was, “Well it looks to me like the ocean is criss-crossed with sub-atomic Trans-dimensional Conduits. Where they are, and how we access or navigate them, is beyond me. But that’s how the council perhapped: They contemplated their way into a potential alternate reality, and were taken there in the aforementioned web of quasi-existent tunnels that permeate our reality.”

Blur, who had left her post as the controller of the captain because she was bored and lonely, had never really noticed Branston before. To her he was just a fat little voyeuristic geek with a false sense of omnipotence about him whenever he was seated upon his ‘throne’ in the Security Camera Office. But his summation of the computer printout suggested that he had hidden depths: That he was more than the sum of his few parts.

“Ooh Branston,” she breathed into his ear after he’d left the room, and was half way back to his duty station, “you were so masterful just now. I can’t say that you’ve particularly impressed me previously; but I can’t help thinking that you have hidden depths. Perhaps we can exchange plumb-bobs? I believe that you may be more than the sum of your parts. I’d like to feel some of your more private ones.”

Branston smiled inwardly: He was indeed more than the sum of his parts. He’d had the foresight to pre-empt Ho, and had already visited Kevin previously. He’d managed to interview the education computer for almost a full five minutes prior to Ho’s beckoning. From the resulting verbal diarrhoea that was excreted from Kevin’s voice box, he was able to comprehend just enough to impress everyone when the inevitable call for his assistance came. He could no more read a computer printout than he could insert the prow of the Bargebutt into his rectum: But he could certainly act well enough to convince everyone – including Blur, for whom he’d had a ‘thing’ since joining the crew – and now his foresight was about to bear fruit.

“Yummy.” He said.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Naturally this e-book remains on sale at most respected e-book stockists. Check out the sidebar book cover shots to access some of them. Be bold.

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 34

Time for some more rude Hamster-Sapiens book extracts. Well one anyway. Today we delve into the intellectual abyss that is this e-book…

Great book: you should buy a copy.

And the extract that has been selected by random chance is this one…

“Tell me.” Dung roared as he dragged Algy to his feet, “Why are the Stix so frightened of Brother Alfonso’s willy?”

“Coz it’s scary, I guess.” The puzzled monk replied.

“And custard.” Dung continued, “Does it affect everyone like it affects you?”

“It’s banned by The Wheel.” Brother Algy gave a whimsical smile, “Guess they banned it for a good reason.”

“Hmmm.” Dung went.

“Hmmm?” Brother Algy queried.

Dung decided to explain his thought processes – not so much for Algy’s benefit, but to confirm in his own mind that his sudden inspirational plan was devoid of errors.

“Joan Bugler’s plan was to bring this load of frozen custard into Prannick, where she hoped to engage the talent of a powerful psychic that would mentally convince the Stix bandits that we were the Hamster Heath Heathens Sod-ball team. They were to be convinced that those huge roustabouts were about to attack them with shovel-loads of rock-hard confectionery – just as they did to the forces of The Wheel during the Battle of Weasels Pit. Theoretically the mere threat of the infamous Heathens would make any band of recalcitrant Stix bandits turn tail and run. But the custard has thawed horrendously: No amount of psychic fooling around will convince them now. What we need is a completely new plan: And I’m the one to supply it. Me – Arthur Dung – the most despised rodent in Hamster Heath – except that insolent little shit Freddy Ringworm down at the Institute of Highly Important Studies, that is. This is my one chance at populist immortality, and I’m gonna grab it with both paws, my dumpy little tail, and my skinny cleft buttocks!”

“Oh.” Algy almost seemed interested,” You’d better be along then, and tell ‘em all. But be quick about it: I wanna have a wee, and I don’t like someone looking.”

But Brother Algy was talking to thin air: Arthur Dung was already slithering his way towards the exit – and his destiny.

Joan had just finished apprising everyone in the Abbot’s quarters of her plan to fool the Stix into fleeing, when in staggered Arthur Dung. He was exhausted – not only from the long climb from the lower latrines, but also because he’d been forced to keep taking side trips to ask the way. Consequently he was too out of breath to speak immediately. But he didn’t really need to: Everyone could see the tell-tale stains of liquidised chocolate custard that had adhered to the hem of his trousers, and they all recognised the fact that Joan’s plan lay in ruins.

Joan wailed almost inconsolably for perhaps five or six seconds before pulling herself together, and facing the problem by quickly trying to conjure up an alternative plan from inside her fertile young mind. Unfortunately she came up empty.

By then Dung had recovered sufficiently to say, “Don’t worry, Miss Bugler: I think I have the very alternative plan that you’re desperately wracking your brains to find.”

He then explained it.

“It’s a bit of a long-shot, isn’t it?” Stubby seemed unconvinced a few moments later. “Your plan relies entirely upon some pretty spectacular physiological differences between the people of Prannick, and the people of Hamster Heath, which, quite frankly, I think are rather unlikely. Take the two Algys for example: They are so identical that we don’t dare let them touch each other in case they explode.”

“Ah, but there’s a good case in point.” Dung counter-argued by grabbing Algy, and dragging him to the centre of the room. “Are they so identical?”

It was a rhetorical question, so no one responded. Dung continued by addressing Algy directly…

“Mister Timber,” His tone was quizzical, “Do you like custard?”

A shudder ran through Algy as though someone had just slipped a large slug into his underpants.

“Can’t stand the stuff.” He said. “It’s bad enough that I have to work with the muck five days of the week: Eating it would be like adding insult to injury. I’m a porridge person myself.”

“Hmmm,” Dung nodded sagely. “But if someone put a gun to your head, and shouted, ‘eat it – you snivelling cretin, or die’ could you, in fact, eat it?”

It was a ridiculous question, and Dung knew it – yet he shook Algy several times in order to force a response.

“Yes of course I could it eat it, you stupid hamster.” Algy retorted, “And I wouldn’t need a gun to my head to do so either. A twenty Rodento note would be enough.”

“Could you keep it down?” Dung urged.

“Of course.” Algy retorted again.

“How much could you eat?” Dung pressed, “A cup full? A bowl? A flagon? A family tub?”

Algy was becoming weary of what he considered a pointless interrogation, but Joan must have had an inkling of where Dung was going with his questioning, and duly urged Algy to answer.

“All of them.” He replied. “One after the other. Or all together if they were different flavours, and one of them was dandelion and lemongrass sorbet.”

There appeared a definite light of passion in Dung’s eyes when he then asked, “Would it make you drunk?”

“It might make me vomit uncontrollably,” Algy sniggered as he adjusted his Kool Kustard company tie, “but I think I can hold my dairy products with the best of them.”

“By the Rim!” The Abbott cried out in revelation. “The big-nosed hamster makes perfect sense: The reason that custard never became popular in Prannick was because of its pseudo-alcoholic effect upon the population.”

“That’s right.” Joan began bouncing with enthusiasm. “Don’t you remember, Mister Timber – how we tried to open a custard store in Weasels Pit just after we’d helped free it from the tyranny of The Wheel, but…”

Quentin Blackheart took up the line…

“…I had to close it because of all the bad behaviour it was causing with the youth of the town. And many of the patrons of the Stoat and Wanger public house were too drunk to walk there, and the landlord almost became bankrupt overnight.”

“Of course.” Darkwood threw up his paws. “That’s why I get so giggly and show complete strangers my shaven buttocks when I eat custard in Joan’s realm: I’m always pissed as a fart!”

Then everyone began relating tales of how they’d seen custard have detrimental effects upon the cognitive powers of Prannick-folk. Only Stubby and Dung remained silent. Stubby indicated to Dung that they should speak alone.

Moments later they stood together in the corridor.

“You realise what you’re suggesting?” Stubby began. The warning tone in his voice was clear – even to an insensitive bastard such as Arthur Dung.

“What – does getting drunk infringe upon the monk’s religious beliefs, or something equally trivial?” Dung sneered.

“It strikes directly at the heart of their beliefs.” Stubby replied. “These monks are the spokes of The Wheel. They keep separate the evil that is at The Hub, and devote their lives to assisting the ordinary rodent of Prannick to attain a higher state of being – that being ascension to The Rim.”

Dung shrugged his shoulders. “So they fall off the wagon every so often: They’ll get over it. Besides – would they prefer being gutted by a bunch of mad-hamsters instead?”

©2013 Paul Trevor Nolan

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Revel in the Ribaldry 31

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

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 30

It’s been a while since the last bout of ribaldry-revelling. Since this e-book…

…gets the lion’s share of my affections, I chose, this time, to delve into the rude wonders of this one…

…which is a double sequel – to The Psychic Historian AND this e-book…

So, you could be forgiven for thinking that it must contain all the qualities of both. And you’d be right. Here’s a random excerpt…

The next reader didn’t arrive in a cloud of smoke; appear from thin air; or present himself in an imaginatively spectacular manner as many had expected: Instead he merely ambled into view upon rickety legs from his perch upon a roughly-hewn log at the rear of the audience. But when he spoke everyone was absolutely certain that the being that now stood with his be-whiskered snout to the microphone could only be, without the faintest doubt, the elderly owner of The Where House – Boney Legge himself.

“I aint much good at public speakin’.” He announced. “In fact I aint much on speakin’ at all. I just likes to ogle and complain – in that order; or, dependin’ on me mood, goin’ for a shit at inopportune moments. But like the rest of us what live hereabouts I keep a diary, and for some reason the ghost of Freda Bludgeon took mine and made somethin’ out of it. She had no choice of course, coz it’s me what wrote the next bit of the story. But coz as an orator I’m total crap, I’m gonna ask my android friend, Colin, to do the talkin’ for me. How does that sound to you lot?”

“If it means that we don’t have to listen to you mangle the Hamster-British language anymore, that’s just fine.” Molly Horseblanket yelled from her seat beside her son, Horatio.

Boney nodded enthusiastically. He then waved to someone in the shadows. Moments later the tall, handsome, artificial hamster strode to the dais; hopped aboard; and gave the audience one of his toothy smiles for which he was almost famous.

“Well isn’t this a lot of fun, Boney?” He said. “I do love a nice chin wag on a sub-zero evening.”

Boney wasn’t sure that he would describe the current situation as ‘fun’: He’d rather be tucked up nice and warm in front of the brazier in his foldaway scooter park; perhaps playing darts at the Mouldy Lectern public house; or even watching nothing happen on the CCTV monitors in his security office whilst wrapped up in his favourite duvet, and supping on luke-warm cocoa. But he had to admit that it wasn’t exactly the worst type of torture that he was experiencing right now, and he consoled himself with the thought that his mere presence there that night might inspire one or two of the audience to spend a couple of Rodentos, and visit his emporium of alien artefacts, and possibly keep him financially solvent for another week.

“Yeah.” He replied, and tried a patently false smile that somehow came across as a lecherous leer, which frightened Farmer Niblet so badly that she squealed loudly, and instructed her husband, Farmer Tablet, to “skewer the deviant with your pitchfork, my dearest”.

Fortunately for the evening’s proceedings, Farmer Tablet seldom did as he was instructed. Instead gave Boney a cheerful ‘thumbs-up’.

Colin didn’t really need to clear his throat in preparation to speak; but he found that generally it got everyone’s attention rather well, especially when he turned his volume control up to ‘ten’ – nearly frightening people stupid in the process. And so it was that evening in Danglydong Dell – when he accidentally wound up his volume dial to eleven, and instead frightened Wendy Nuthatch stupid.

Blubbersday, the Forty-sixth of Plinth. Like the other two parties before them, the group that was psychically protected by Primrose Pickles entered Far Kinell through one of the four main gates. In their case it was the rickety old Historic gate, where market stalls had been set up that sold ‘old fashioned’ or ‘retro’ stuff – like woollen bloomers; clogs; wooden false teeth; earthenware bed-warmers; beetroot wine; and a plethora of multifarious strap-on dildos.

For a brief moment Colin was quite taken by the latter, and even went so far as to study one or two of them minutely.

“Ere,” Boney called down to him from the broad back of Gargantua the giant cavy, “leave them fake dicks alone. Nothing good can come of tinkerin’ with the unnatural.”

“But I’m unnatural.” Colin reminded his current owner. “There isn’t a natural product in my body. And I was just wondering if I could utilise one of these as an addendum to my ‘special tool’. It could be fun. I could frighten sailors with it.”

Boney had to think about this for a few seconds. “Yeah that sounds alright.” He replied finally, “Maybe we can mass produce ‘em too, and sell ‘em as advanced alien trinkets. They don’t have no patent laws in this world, do they?”

It was a brilliant idea, and Colin duly flicked a few coins in the vendor’s direction, and snatched up the largest, most impressive specimen on his stall. It wobbled alarmingly in his paw as he walked away, and appeared almost too real for comfort. “Indeed they don’t.” He said quietly.

Primrose, meanwhile, was reconnoitring the immediate area with all six senses. She cocked her head upon one side – as if listening to something that no one else could hear.

Gargantua noticed this, and immediately he began mimicking her.

“What are you doing?” Primrose inquired.

“Hoping that whatever you’ve got rubs off on me.” Gargantua replied. “Maybe I can

be the first recorded psychic cavy in history.”

Primrose was instantly fascinated. “Do they keep such records in Prannick?”

Gargantua shrugged his shoulders, which almost flipped Boney from his elevated perch. “Somewhere in some secretive cubby hole of The Wheel they do, no doubt.” He said.

Primrose’s fascination dissipated. “I’m trying to sense Tybrow Mooney’s presence, or at least his spore.” She spoke sternly, “Don’t interrupt with mindless trivialities.”

Colin arrived. He waved his wobbly dildo in Primrose’s direction. “What do you think of this, Primrose?” He asked politely.

Primrose wasn’t really paying much attention. “Lovely.” She said absentmindedly.

“Would you like me to go back and buy one for you?” Colin offered generously, “There was a sign that said ‘One size fits all’. Obviously I wouldn’t know what that means, but I’m sure it must be a positive attribute.”

Primrose then noticed the dildo as it wobbled like an elongated jellybean. “No!” She screamed. “It’s disgusting. Put it away.”

“You know those are exactly the same words that a police-female spoke when I got out my special tool during our last adventure on an alternate world.” Colin chuckled. “Lionel and Fanangy had to break me out of jail just a short while afterwards.”

“Hey!” Gargantua suddenly bellowed, “Maybe I aint no psychic, but my nose is smelling real good today. I smell cavy. One of ‘em is a foreign cavy too. It’s got the unmistakable pong of Sponx royal finery about it.”

“Margarita?” Primrose cried out in hopeful wonderment.

Again Gargantua shrugged his mighty shoulders. “Do I know this Margarita?” He inquired from behind suspicious eyes.

As Boney scrabbled to retain his tenuous grip upon the flanks of his mount, Primrose mentally slapped her wrist. “No, or course not.” She answered. “Silly me. Now tell me – does your sensitive nose detect the aroma of a Law Master’s saddle?”

Gargantua scented the air. “Yeah,” he answered in surprise, “I do. All sweating ass-hole stuff. You know it reminds me of the time when I was a Law Master’s mount. Great days. Great days indeed – what with all that driving peasants from their hovels, and chasing Stix across the countryside until they dropped from heat exhaustion or threw themselves down holes. Then I got sold to Lucas Cleats of course. It was still fun after that – but a different kind’a fun. Not so much Stix chasing; but loads’a abbey crushing and Law Master mangling. But it quickly palled, and I became disillusioned. So when you lot came along I saw it as a perfect opportunity to right some wrongs. As a result – here I am. Ta-dah!”

“Don’t he go on!” Boney complained. “It’s enough to make me ears come out in sympathy with me aching knees.”

But Primrose hadn’t been listening. Instead she strode forward through the market place, and headed straight for the only building in town that had rented rooms with adjoining stables.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Obviously I don’t need to remind you that this e-book is available at various outlets – some of which are mentioned on the sidebar. They include the publishers Lulu.com

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 28

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.

Revel in the Ribaldry 27

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.

 

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 26

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.

Revel in the Ribaldry 25

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.

Revel in the Ribaldry 24

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.

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 22

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

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 21

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.

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 18

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.

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 17

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.

 

Casual Causality 2

Since I posted an excerpt from the first of my Causality Merchant science-fiction mysteries, I see no reason why I shouldn’t do the same thing with the second. Namely this piece of wonderfulness…

…which features the same central characters. It too remains available as an e-book (but no longer a paperback) at Lulu.com and most other outlets – see the sidebar Lulu logo and book covers, or the Tooty’s Books Available Here page beneath the header to access the better known ones. Right, enough of that mercenary stuff: on with the excerpt…

Wozniak greeted the Brownings in the hallway, and invited them to follow him to the study where they could make themselves comfortable.

They chatted for a while. Wozniak reminded them of how he came to know them, and they in turn related the tale of how they became friends of his brother.

“You know,” Connor said twenty minutes later, from behind a large glass of brandy, the contents of which he swirled admiringly, “we joked that you could be Tom’s double – that time when we watched you win on the coconut shy during the summer fete. Of course we had no idea that you were brothers at the time: We knew you only as Peter.”

“Well that’s fair enough.” Wozniak smiled. “I’m hardly on the electoral role, and I wasn’t sporting a beard at the time. You’d no reason to know my identity. I don’t exactly bandy it about. Of course if you’d spoken with Miss Witherspoon at the general store, you might have put two and two together. I’m known as ‘That Nice Mister Wozniak’ to her and her friends. I know – I should be embarrassed; but I’m not.”

Janice had paused in her preparations for dinner to meet Connor and Amanda, but once the preliminaries were completed she had made her excuses and returned to the

kitchen. Now she returned – shucking off an apron as she did so, and tossing it upon the telephone stand in the hallway before anyone noticed her arrival.

“Ladies and gentlemen.” She announced. “Luncheon is served.”

“Oh goodie.” Amanda was upon her feet first. “I’m absolutely starving.”

No one had turned up their noses at the sight of a hurriedly prepared Prawn Cocktail. It may have been old-fashioned, but under the circumstances – once Tom had explained them to the Brownings  – their guests were most complimentary.

Gwen, Dave, and Judith had joined them. Fortunately the dining room table was huge, and they were all able to fit around it with ease.

An hour later, with Judith’s help, Janice was in the process of removing the last of the empty plates to the kitchen counter when a clap of thunder made both women jump. Judith took a look out through the kitchen window.

“Strange.” She said. “It looks like a perfectly clear evening out there. There’s not a cloud to be seen.”

In the dining room a puzzled Wozniak had made the same observation.

Gwen remembered the dog.

“Oh Tom, I’d completely forgotten Wolfie. I left him in the orchard. You know how he hates thunder.”

Tom was dismissive. “He’s a big boy. He can’t run off. He’ll find his way back here if he’s desperate enough.”

Gwen was less certain. “Perhaps I should go fetch him.”

Abruptly the sky lit up for a brief moment – illuminating the interior of the dining room like a thousand flash bulbs going off simultaneously. A deafening clap of thunder followed a split second later.

Gwen’s keenness dissipated. “On the other hand…” She said nervously.

Again Wozniak scrutinized the empty sky. To confirm his observation he opened the French doors, and stepped out onto the patio. Turning through three hundred and sixty degrees he scanned the heavens.

“Not a cloud in the sky.” He said in a puzzled voice. “Tom, you’re more into meteorology than I am: Is it possible to have thunder and lightning without clouds?”

Tom was amused by this. “Since when have I shown the slightest interest in meteorology? I run a small chain of gay bars: I don’t forecast the weather. But in answer to your question – no I don’t think it can.”

Connor Browning spoke up. “I’m no expert, but surely cloud formation is an absolute prerequisite for electrical activity in the atmosphere.”

Janice and Judith chose that moment to enter from the hallway.

“This is a strange to-do.” Janice said. “What peculiar weather we’re having.”

“Unless it isn’t the weather at all.” Dave’s tone sounded ominous.

Judith shot him a warning look.

Wozniak too wasn’t ready to share their secrets with their guests, and quickly made light of the situation.

“Of course – it’s probably the RAF flying low, and trying out some new gizmo. Let’s not worry ourselves about it any more.”

“I’ll second that.” Tom clapped his hands together. “Right – who’s for coffee?”

Seven hands, including Tom’s own, responded by thrusting skywards.

“Excellent.” He smiled warmly, and made for the door. “Amanda – you can assist me.”

Amanda immediately fell into line with him.

“I am at your command, oh master.” She said cheekily.

Then, to the surprise of Janice, she ran a finger down his spine. And as they stepped from the room the same hand completed its journey by gently squeezing a well-toned buttock.

Janice looked to Wozniak. Her message was clear. I thought your brother was homosexual?

Wozniak merely shrugged his reply. You can never be sure of anything with Tom.

No one else seemed to have noticed, or if they had they were playing dumb.

“Oh I do worry about Wolfie.” Gwen fretted by the window. “He could come over all catatonic.”

“Tell you what,” Connor chirped up, “let’s go take a look shall we. If there’s another ungodly bang we can always come scurrying back inside.”

Gwen was most grateful for this support, and readily agreed to venture outside through the French windows.

“See you soon.” Connor waved cheerily to those who remained. “Send out a search party if we don’t return by dawn won’t you.”

Wozniak, Janice, Dave, and Judith all responded with a wave and a smile, but Wozniak felt a chill run down his spine, and his smile fell away.

The others noticed this.

“Causality Merchant alert, Peter?” Dave surmised.

“Maybe.” Wozniak’s expression grew grim. “Two claps of thunder – without a cloud in the sky? It doesn’t feel right.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

Ooh-err, what could this all mean? Sounds ominous. And what about Wolfie – the Rottwieller/Doberman cross? Where has he disappeared to? Could he be….dead? Killed in a most grisly manner? Or am I giving too much away? Buy the (inexpensive) e-book to find out!

Casual Causality 1

Since I posted excerpts from my pair of ‘Silent’ books recently, I thought, “Bugger it: I’ll give ’em a taste of my ‘Causality Merchant‘ books too!” So here I am, hoping you’ll spare a few seconds to peruse a snippet from this book…

Oh yes, if you didn’t know: I also write under the pen name of Clive Thunderbolt. Well I did: I might again too. It all depends on whether I can bother to get my arse into gear and write the third book that I started in 2016 or whenever it was. Unlike the ‘Silent’ books, this pair of e-books have third person narratives, which (in hindsight) might have been a mistake. I think it’s so much better if the character is telling the tale in his or her own words. But it’s too bloody late now: I wrote this (and it’s sequel) years ago. Here’s the excerpt…

Later that evening, in the drawing room, Wozniak and Marcus reclined together upon a large, sumptuous sofa. Soft music played; and because the evening had become a little chill, Wozniak had a small fire crackling in the hearth.

Marcus was sipping at her whiskey and soda. She stared into the dancing flames. Upon the nearby coffee table an almost empty whisky bottle perched. Wozniak, one arm around Marcus, lay against the arm of the sofa, with her head reclining upon his shoulder. In his hand he also held a glass of whiskey. But his was full, and had remained so for most of the evening. Though he appeared to Marcus to be at complete ease and at peace with the world, this was an entirely false impression – just as Wozniak had planned it. Where Marcus had drunk freely, Wozniak had been more circumspect. Where Marcus’ cognitive abilities were being impaired by ingestion of alcohol; Wozniak’s remained fully intact. He had quickly realized that if he was to discover anything about the activities at Carstairs Research & Development, it would require every advantage he could think of, and then some. She was smart and as sharp as a razor, and he wondered if alcohol could truly blunt it.

He broke the silence:

“Work must be really agreeing with you lately: that’s two days on the trot that you’ve come here full of the joys of spring. What gives?”

If he’d expected her to open up to such a gambit, he was to be sorely disappointed.

Marcus waved an admonishing finger at him, “Ah-ah-ah; remember the old war-time maxim: Walls have ears.”

Wozniak remained good-natured about the setback. It was still reasonably early: the situation wasn’t irredeemable.

“Hey,” he seemingly complained affably, “I’m not talking shop here: I’m just…well maybe I was just a little.”

“Of course you were.” Marcus slapped his free hand playfully.

Under normal circumstances Wozniak would have backed off at this point: but today he needed to press on. He had nothing to lose after all.

He took up the mantle again. “Hell, Kate, can you blame me? Look at me. I sit here all day dreaming up stories that just don’t come – whilst you go gallivanting about doing who-knows-what, and having a hell of a time doing it. I’m going stir-crazy, Kate: tell me something I don’t already know. Tell me something of your life. If I can’t experience it first-hand, at least let me enjoy you recounting it to me. Let me get involved in some way. Tell you what – I’m a pretty smart fellow: bounce some ideas off me.”

Marcus pulled herself upright. She placed her drink upon the coffee table.

“Peter Wozniak,” she began sternly, “anyone who knows anything about you – knows that you are a fantasy and S.F writer. Since I’m someone who knows something about something, I know exactly what you’re up to – and that’s looking for inspiration: and you don’t care where you find it.”

Wozniak couldn’t find argument with this summation. So he said, “Is that such a bad thing? It is my stock in trade, you know.”

“Yes it is.” Marcus responded adamantly. “Exactly. And what happens when the powers that run Carstairs Research and Development see one of your shows on TV? They’ll say, ‘Hello, hello, hello – now where did he get that idea from? I wonder who might have told him about that little project. Might it possibly have been that lovely Doctor Marcus?  We know he’s been slipping her a length or two. And he did ‘phone the office that time…’ Am I right?”

Wozniak adopted his most indignant pose. “No, you’re not: It’s not like that at all!”

Marcus laughed out loud at his hurt expression.

“Come on, Peter, please – let’s have a little honesty here: you’re like a Nineteen Seventies reporter from the Washington Post: what wouldn’t you give for a good story? I’m sure shagging the arse off me wouldn’t be deemed above and beyond the call of duty…”

Wozniak’s face showed amazement. But it wasn’t Marcus’ words that caused it: it was the inference.

“You mean there’s actually a story to be had?” He grinned and narrowed his eyes.

He then joined in with Marcus as her laughter increased. He wasn’t even put off when he received a playful slap around the face – with the line, “Peter Wozniak – you are incorrigible!”

She then punched him on the shoulder – spilling his whisky down the front of his trousers.

“Oh deary me!” She exclaimed through a fit of giggles, “I’ve gone and made your nice clothes all wet.” Her hands delved into his moistened groin, and started tugging at his zipper. “We’ll have to find a place in the washing machine for them. Now let’s see – how do we get them off?”

But her inebriation made her fingers fumble, and Wozniak was able to fend her off with ease. He took her hands in his:

“Oh no you don’t, Doctor Marcus.” He scolded. “Not until you tell me what’s made you so damned cheerful. Come on, you: spill the beans, or you’ll go home tonight a spinster.”

“You do realize that your ghastly threat constitutes emotional blackmail, I hope?” Marcus replied as she regarded the tall man through narrowed eyes. “I could have you shot, or something equally unpleasant.”

“Oh yes.” He grinned, “But when needs must, even the perfect gentleman must lower his standards.”

Marcus regained her whisky – all the better to ruminate over Wozniak’s words. After a few moments she winked.

“Well as long as it’s not only the aforementioned gentleman’s standards he’s lowering.” She whispered.

And with that Wozniak was certain he had won the day.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

As with many of my books, this one was originally published several years previous to the copyright date, but was updated that year and re-published to coincide with the sequel. I can’t say that it’s nice: a lot of people get killed. But that Peter Wozniak is a good guy: you’ll like him. Naturally the e-book remains available (though I’ve discontinued the paperback) at Lulu.com and other outlets both major and minor.

More Time For Silence

Now you didn’t think I was going to post an excerpt from Silent Apocalypse without following it up with the same from Silent Resistance? Surely not? And you’d be right…

By the way, do you think that little girl who appears beneath the letter N in the word Resistance looks a tad dangerous? It was that look that made me choose this image as the cover. I even wrote a passage to include the scene. Any way – on with the excerpt…

As the Land Rover pulled alongside us, we could barely hear the driver’s cheerful hail above the din of its clattering diesel engine.

“Hello, you two.” He shouted from the side window of the two-seat cabin, “You’re from yon farm along the way, aint ya?”

I raised an eyebrow at this; I was somewhat surprised that the young man of (I estimated) eighteen or nineteen was aware of us. We’d chosen a well-hidden spot in a shallow valley that was all but invisible from the road.

He must have read my mind because he tapped the side of his nose, winked, and said, “Spent all me life ‘round these parts: pays to know who the competition are – ‘specially during times of plague and pestilence.”

“Yes, I imagine so.” I said as I extended a hand towards him. “Felicity Goldsmith.”

“Graham Perkins.” He replied – cutting the engine, and taking my fingers in his huge, calloused hands. “It’s nice to meet someone’s what’s civilised for a change.”

I was surprised at the coarseness of his hands. They felt like those of a man three times his age that had spent a lifetime tilling the land.

‘A farmer’s son. I think I can trust this man.’

Tasman then introduced himself as Brian Wilkins. I was glad that Tasman had slipped in a pair of his contact lenses; explaining his oblong pupils would have been problematical.

“I hope you don’t mind,” Graham spoke to both of us, “but I’ve been keeping a bit of an eye on your farm. I figured everybody’d be here when I found Soverton empty a few months back.”

I nodded; it was from the village of Soverton that we’d recruited the members of our co-operative.

“If you don’t mind me saying,” Graham was continuing, “you could use a bit of expertise down there.”

Although I bristled inside, I said nothing to the older boy. I merely looked at him with what I hoped was an inquiring expression.

“Them winter crops in the lower field.” He went on, “You need to sow ‘em further up the slope.”

Tasman threw me a glance. I could read nothing into it, and so wished that he could have used his telepathy upon me.

“Would you be interested in joining our co-operative?” He asked the young farmer.

Graham pretended to pause for thought.

“Well I wasn’t exactly planning on something quite so bold.” He replied eventually.

Tasman continued as though the other boy hadn’t spoken, “It’s just that Felicity and I have business elsewhere, and it’s…you know…”

It let his words trail off into nothingness.

Graham grinned. “And you’d like someone what knows what he’s doing to take over?” He said hopefully.

“Pretty much.” Tasman replied.

I was surprised at the sudden turn of events.

‘Hey, this isn’t part of the master plan!’

I was concerned that we were in the process of giving away the fruits of many week’s labour to a complete stranger.

‘But wait a moment, Fel: Tasman might be too polite to read your mind, but you can bet your last…whatever…that he’s read Graham’s. Now would be the perfect time for two-way silent communication between us.’

I tried ‘sending’ Tasman a thought, but I expected him to be too busy concentrating his attention upon Graham to even begin to ‘hear’ me.

“Is this boy the real deal?”

Tasman’s eyes flicked in my direction: I detected the minutest of nods.

Graham appeared to be prevaricating, though I was certain it was just an act.

“It’s not every day that a lad your age gets offered the manager’s job on a working farm, complete with live-in staff.” I pointed out to him.

Graham’s head tipped to one side slightly in agreement. He then added, “No, and it isn’t every day that world ends either.”

I wasn’t absolutely certain what he meant by that remark. Perhaps he had more work on his hands than he could deal with. Maybe running our farm as well as his own would be too much for him.

“Could you give me a tour?” He inquired.

Had he asked the question twenty-four hours earlier, Tasman would undoubtedly have agreed to his request: But today wasn’t yesterday. Although no one at the farm knew it yet, Tasman and I were Absent Without Leave. Or in Lee’s parlance, we’d ‘done a runner’. We couldn’t go back; it would require that we explain the reason for our departure, and then face all the arguments that would no doubt be intended to keep us there.

“Tell you what.” Tasman said, “You know where the turning to the farm is: If I write a quick note of introduction, you can find your own way there. Ask for Carl, and show it to him. He’ll gladly show you around. He knows the farm isn’t nearly as efficient as it should be, and could use some pointers. And if truth be known – we’re a little over-manned: Perhaps you could take a few kids back to your place?”

‘Brilliant!’

This must have been exactly what Graham had wanted to hear.

“I accept your kind offer.” He said whilst shaking Tasman’s hand.

He then produced a dog-eared note pad and an almost blunt pencil from a cubby-hole in the dashboard of his Land Rover.

I watched as Tasman used the wing of the vehicle as a writing desk.

Dear Carl,

This is Graham Perkins. He is a professional farmer. We have invited him to tour the farm with view to taking a managerial role there. If favourable he would like volunteers to help him at his farm too. It would definitely benefit both farms, and widen our co-operative. I can vouch for his authenticity.

Regarding Felicity and myself; please do not be alarmed by our absence. We both have very important tasks to perform elsewhere that are not connected with the co-operative. I think you can guess what they might be, but please keep the truth from the younger ones. Rest assured we both intend to return one day.

With love,

Tasman.

I then added my signature to it, and handed it to Graham, who ran a cursory eye over it.

“Tasman?” He enquired. “I thought you said your name…”

“A nick-name.” I blurted. “Everyone knows him as Tasman.”

Quickly changing the subject, I added, “You know the way: Down the lane a while; then down the dirt track on the left.”

Graham nodded as he folded the note into a tight wad, and placed it in the breast pocket of his waxed cotton body warmer.

“So where are you two off to know, then?” He asked.

“We’d…um…We’d rather not say.” I replied.

Graham tapped the side of his nose for a second time. Winking, he said, “Don’t want me letting the cat out of the bag to Carl and the kids’ eh? Well that’s fine by me: We all got agendas what need seeing to. Now I aint exactly overflowing with the stuff, but I’m willing to spare a little diesel if you’re a needing a lift somewhere.”

 

It had been a kind offer, but we politely declined, and made our farewells. We watched as the Land Rover trundled away along the lane towards our former sanctuary. I felt buoyed by the encounter. It gave me hope for the future success of the farm. I also took it as an omen for what we were about to do.

“He’s not even considering turning down our offer, you know.” Tasman said as at last the vehicle disappeared from view, “He may not have mentioned the fact, but he and Carl went to school together. There was two years difference between them, but they knew each other well.”

I smiled at Graham’s ineffectual subterfuge. I stopped when Tasman added, “What’s an omen?”

“Hey!” I complained, “I thought you said that you wouldn’t read my thoughts?”

Tasman laughed. “I didn’t: You were leaking all over the place. I had to fight to keep your thoughts out. And yes, despite the terrible hair-do, you really are quite pretty.”

With that he ran off along the lane. With mock indignation I went in pursuit.

©Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

The problem with this story is that, very often, the random extract gives too much away. A spoiler, if you will. Fortunatley this is not one of those. I think it’s rather nice, and makes no hint of the blood-letting that is to follow. Oh, was that a spoiler in itself?

Anyway, this excellent tale of plucky youths fighting insurmountable odds is available at most e-book outlets. Check out the sidebar book covers or Tooty’s Books Available Here beneath the header

 

 

Time For Some Silence

Since I do a bit of writing – and I once wrote a couple of books, the titles of which both began with the word ‘Silent’, I expect you’ve figured out what comes next. Yes, it’s a snippet from the venerable (and vaguely YA) Silent Apocalypse…

  …which was my best book, until I wrote the sequel, Silent Resistance. Of course that doesn’t include The Psychic  Historian: but how could it? Nothing compares with The Psychic Historian! Anyway, that’s by-the-by: on with the excerpt. Naturally random chance did the selection…

That evening we’d resumed our places at the table. From our vantage point we watched the sun dip below the horizon. It was an elegant but desolate place now. Nothing much appeared different, especially in the failing light.

What was it that told the eye that things had been altered forever?’

Lee was watching me, although I wasn’t aware of it. He must have been thinking along the same lines.

“Vapour trails.” He said, and I knew he was right. “The day we see a vapour trail again is the day we wake up from this nightmare.”

Katherine had been paying attention too:

“Until then the sky is the province of the clouds alone.”

We said no more and watched darkness march across the land.

Kevin broke the silence:

“I don’t want to hear The Whispers, Flissery: Can I go to bed now?”

I told him that he could, but he insisted that I take him upstairs.

Donald warned me, “Be quick: They’re coming on soon.”

Having tucked Kevin in I was barely back in time to catch the first ethereal sounds. There were indeed voices, buried by other voices, submerged beneath static or something else we couldn’t identify.

Lee put words to my thoughts; “Ya know – it’s like we’re supposed to understand it, but someone won’t let us.”

“It’s almost musical.” I opined. “Though I agree with Donald – it is spooky.”

“Lousy rhythm section.” Katherine added.

“It’s always the same, far as I can tell.” Donald informed us.

“Like its set on an automatic loop, you mean?” Lee asked.

Donald remained noncommittal.

“We need to record this.” Lee said, looking about the room, “I don’t suppose..?”

Donald answered Lee’s incomplete question, “What would I want with a tape recorder: Keep a Captains’ Log?”

“Then we’d better find one.”  Lee urged. “Where’s the nearest town?”

“Not now, Lee.” I scolded him for his impetuosity. “It can wait until morning.”

“If it’s really that important.” Katherine added doubtfully. “I thought we were avoiding towns. Remember – gangs, violence, and disease?”

I tried to curb Lee’s enthusiasm. “Let’s not rush into anything: it’s not like we’re desperately short of time: we’ll probably find a village store somewhere…”

Lee recognized the good sense in this. He changed tack:

“Here, Don, mate – so what’s so special about this lake that we’re not looking for?”

Don gave him a long appraising look. “You’re really not looking for our island?”

“Cross my heart, and hope to fall in a bucket of pig muck.”

Donald wasn’t particularly forthcoming. He simply said, “It’s protected.”

“What – by razor wire? Dobermans? Machine guns?” Lee demanded.

“A snake pit?” Katherine chirped. Then she added, “Crocodiles?”

“Dunno.” was Donald’s even briefer reply. Then, “I haven’t actually seen it. I know where it is – roughly: But I haven’t been there. I don’t know what protects it. Maybe it’s God. Maybe it’s a psychic bubble. Gaia. I dunno. I just know that all my family’s people have gone there, and they reckon they’re gonna be safe.”

I could see that Donald was becoming upset; but I thought the subject might be too important to drop. I eased the conversation in a slightly different direction:

“You said that you’ve lost contact with them…”

“Yeah, that’s right. It’s been a while.”

“And that concerns you…”

“Yes it does.” He took a deep breath and dared to utter the words to us that he might never have said to himself, “I don’t reckon they made it.”

‘Reality check’.

I took his hand. “Donald, I’m sorry, but I think you’re right. You would’ve heard…”

He nodded without speaking.

“Would you like to know – I mean for absolute certain?” I asked.

He shook his head.

Katherine stood and placed a hand upon each of his shoulders.

“I think you need to. You can’t go on in vain hope. It’ll drive you quite potty eventually, you know.”

Donald brushed Katherine’s hands aside, and blurted angrily:

 “You want me to take you to the island: I knew it all along!”

“No.” I assured him. “Not at all. We want to take you.”

Lee shrugged his shoulders at Donald’s enquiring look.

“There’s no such thing as grown-ups, these days, Don.” He said quietly. “Not anymore. Not even the Chosen Ones. Sorry.”

Donald nodded minutely. We left it at that. He’d come around.

©Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

This book was actually written in 2004, when I was much younger and considerably more handsome and virile, with a good head of hair and firm buttocks. In fact it was whilst writing this book that they went all flabby. Clearly sitting around on your arse in front of a computer screen isn’t good for one’s backside. But it’s too late now. This is the tidied up version that I produced to accompany the release of Silent Resistance.

Naturally both books are available at most e-book stockists. See Tooty’s Books Available Here beneath the header – or click on the cover photos on the sidebar.

Revel in the Ribaldry 12

The excerpt on this occasion must come from this book…

It’s the rules. As per usual  the selection is made by random chance. Good old random: you can always rely on him. Oh, look, here it is…

As per instructions from Fabian Strangefellow, Roosevelt Teabiscuit duly intercepted Felicity Bugler as she exited The Institute Of Hugely Important Studies, and was not surprised to be invited to walk the young dormouse home. Only when he discovered that they were well on their way towards the wastelands that bordered the petrified forest and The Green Mucus Home For Old Bastards did he begin to have misgivings concerning his employer’s plan. It was most decidedly the ‘wrong’ end of town in which to be found at night. But not all was doom and despondency for the small male dormouse: En route they encountered several roadside rhubarb trees, and despite her obvious attraction to him, at no time did Roosevelt feel the need to fight off Felicity’s ardent sexual advances because, of course, there were none. The reason for this became clear as they skirted the industrial estate: Felicity paused to ignite a thistle cigarette, and by the light of the flaring match Roosevelt could see that she was very slightly younger than himself, and was yet to be influenced by the persuasive aromas of hot young bodies and the presence of strong, silent, rhubarb trees.

Roosevelt was about to introduce the subject of her mental exercises at The Institute for Psychic Rodent Research when Felicity cried out in gleeful surprise…

“Well fluff me: Would you look at that!” She said, pointing toward a row of lock-up garages, “That’s one of Joan’s crossover points into Prannick: I wonder if I can see through the wall?”

This was almost too much for Roosevelt. His plan was working so well that it came close to making his trousers flap with joy.                                                                “Indeed.” He said in a calm tone that perfectly disguised his excitement.

It never occurred to Felicity to try out her potential psychic skills by attempting to see inside the garage. Instead she simply broke the ageing lock with a single karate chop, and let herself inside.

Fortunately Roosevelt always carried his favourite Timmy the Twonk Engine wind-up torch. Most young people of Hamster Heath did so since it had become known that the town’s only Hero of All Hamsterdom – Horatio Horseblanket – was very keen on them, and owned several of each model in a multitude of hues. It took several twists of the large blue knob on the side to fully charge the capacitor. But when at last the meter read ‘full’, Roosevelt unleashed a beam of such incandescence that he thought it might actually burn its way through the wall, and advertise their illegal presence to all and sundry. He needn’t have worried. The sudden arrival of Tybrow Mooney through the same wall placed the tall hamster directly in the beam’s way, and instead of devastating the brickwork, it ravaged the mean rodent’s eyesight so badly that he screamed incoherently, and cast a huge bowl of gold coins in their direction.

Naturally neither dormouse waited to see what would happen next: Instead they fell to the floor, and began sweeping the fallen coins into large internal pockets that Dormice always have stitched into their coats, and sometimes their cardigans too. They didn’t see Mooney turn about in a eye-streaming panic, feel his way back to the wall, then disappear though it. But they did hear the almost inaudible ‘pop’ of displaced air as he receded into the alternative dimension. Suddenly heedless of the great wealth dragging at her, Felicity hauled herself and her bulging coat to the wall, whereupon she placed her forehead to the rough surface, spread her fingers as wide as her tiny paws would allow, and concentrated…

What she ‘saw’ upon the other side of reality could only have occurred because of the close proximity of the psychic catalyst – Roosevelt Teabiscuit. She saw Mooney race from his bedroom, then barrel down the stairs that led to the bar, screaming, “Law Master: Law Master: They’re back!”

Perfidity Gallowsmith, better known to the residents of Weasels Pit as The Law Master, was carousing in a most unladylike fashion in the Rancid Maggot Inn. She had already shown her knickers to various members of the clientele several times, and was in the middle of exposing one of her huge furry mammary glands to Quentin Blackheart, who was equally drunk (and secretly hamster-sexual) when Tybrow Mooney burst into the bar from the back room.

“Law Master – come to my room:” He bellowed as he pointed back along the way he had just come, “I have something to show you!”

Perfidity Gallowsmith spluttered with great mirth at this exhortation. “No,” she waved a drunken finger in her best admonishing manner; “it is I who has something to show you!”

With that the huge furry mammary gland appeared from inside her leather jerkin – slapping Blackheart about the cheek pouches as it did so. She then proceeded to jump up and down several times to increase the shock-effect.

The Law Master knew instinctively that in the morning she would regret this brazen act, and that her pectoral muscles would ache abominably. But she also knew that Quentin Blackheart would ‘lean’ upon any witnesses, so that no one beyond these four walls would ever learn of her disgusting weakness of the flesh.

Mooney paused to savour the moment. He licked his lips appreciatively. Then he then took a few discrete photographs with a digital camera that he kept hidden behind his Official Booze Purveyor badge.

‘Perhaps’ he thought quietly to himself, ‘I can use this as evidence against her. Maybe I’ll get that roll in a shallow ditch with her after all.’

Then it was back to business for him…

“You don’t understand,” He cried out plaintively, “They’ve found me again. The prisoners must have escaped. If we go now we can slay them like the curs they are!”

In her drunken state Perfidity didn’t realise that Mooney had misidentified his pursuers: She assumed, reasonably enough, that The Abbot had assumed his duties as a spy for her against the Stix. But she was too inebriated to think coherently beyond this point.

“Thank you very much, that won’t be necessary.” she slurred whilst popping her wayward tit into its cosy chain mail chest-hammock, “But you can lead me to the bog-hole? I think I’m about to puke vastly.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

This e-book remains on sale at many outlets – some of which are mentioned on the sidebar and on the Tooty’s Books Available Here page beneath the header. As you can easily see – it’s…ah…fab!

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 5

The fifth and final book of the Hamster-Sapiens series is the source of Revel in the Ribaldry’s fifth excerpt. It is, of course, the classic sequel to both The Psychic Historian and Fanfare for the Common Hamster, ingeniously brought together in one wonder-tome! And that wonder-tome is this…er…wonder-tome…

A book so ridiculous that you will read it out aloud for friends and family to hear. Well maybe – if you have that sort of sense of humour. Here’s the extract…

Few of the rodents present had ever been inside Saint Belchers. Kneeling upon hassocks had gone right out of fashion, and these days most hamsters did a bit of gardening, or had non-reproductive sexual intercourse instead. Whereas previously they would have been singing the praises of the Saint of All Hamsters and his right-paw assistant – The Angler Herself – now only hedonism and reckless scooter riding ruled. Some even worried about it, and thought that civilisation might fall as a result. But so far all had gone well, and even Miss Gultrot had opened her Vegetable and Foul Broth shop upon the hallowed day without any thunderbolts and lava bombs smiting her out of existence. As a result none of them knew the interior of the building at all well. It had been yonks since their school outings and scout prayer meetings: So now they found the time to study the ornate architecture and colourful stained glass windows, and wondered why they’d ever stopped visiting the real thing: It was beautiful.

“Is the real Saint Belchers like this?” Primrose inquired of Mooney.

“No.” Mooney shook his head sadly, “It’s quite the reverse, I’m afraid. It’s utterly shabby and uncared-for. In fact the official church magazine of the diocese refers to it as ‘a complete shit-hole’. I reproduced it because I needed somewhere to hide from Perfidity Gallowsmith after she’d gone quite mad, and blamed me for everything. She chased me all over the fake Hamster Heath for weeks. I thought that a church that apparently spat in the face of The Wheel would keep her at bay.”

“And did it?”

“No – it just made her angrier.” Mooney turned sallow as he recalled the past. “She pursued me right into my sanctuary.”

“How awful.” Primrose actually sounded concerned.

“It was then – when the situation was at its’ direst – that I thanked the Saint of All Hamsters that I’d read Horatio Horseblanket’s autobiography. I recalled the tale in which he hid beneath the grating that fed warm air into the main aisle.”

“Yes, I recall that one.” Primrose interrupted rudely, “Horatio was forced to blackmail the Reverend Lewd so that he could return to Hamster Heath. He inserted a baby carrot up his anus and took a photograph of the result. He threatened to publish it in The Bucktooth Times.” Primrose stopped abruptly. Then she continued, “Which is presumably when you got the idea to photograph us in the nude.”

“A clever lad – that Horatio Horseblanket.” Mooney winked.

“Perhaps I’m being ever so royal,” Darkwood held aloft a limp paw, “but I don’t understand how shoving a baby carrot up the mad Law Master’s jacksey could save you from her wicked blade – Brian.”

“I didn’t use a carrot.” Mooney stated with an evil leer, “I used an electrode. I planned to electrocute her, you see. But I couldn’t get the second terminal through the grating in time to finish her off. So there she was with an electrode up her backside, when suddenly she noticed me hiding beneath the grating. Well she dropped to her knees, and tried to bite me through the metalwork. Well that’s when I struck: I rammed the second electrode down her throat.”

“You killed Perfidity Gallowsmith?” Quentin wailed, “I always considered her loathsome – especially when she acted so rudely by dropping her knickers in the Law Master’s office whenever I walked in, and then filing my important paperwork provocatively in the crack of her arse: But she had such a powerful personality: To think that she’s dead…well it makes me want to vomit.”

“She isn’t dead, Quentin.” Primrose spoke quietly.

Quentin’s expression lightened instantly. “She isn’t?” Then it darkened again. “Shame – the world would be a better place without her in it. Oh such dichotomy within this fevered cerebrum: I simply don’t know what to think!”

“Would you like to see her?” Mooney offered.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

P.S As I wrote the final scene of this book, I realised that I had written all I could on the subject of the fine upstanding citizens of Hamster Heath. I inferred, in those last few lines of prose that the story continued; but I couldn’t write anything else. I was done. But who knows, maybe one day, before my diabetes finishes me off…

P.P.S This book is still available at all good e-book stockists. Well most of them anyway. It would be money well spent – even if I do say so myself. Check out the sidebar to the left, or the Pages beneath the header.

Revel in the Ribaldry 4

As in the time honoured fashion of Revel in the Ribaldry, for the fourth extract from the defiantly different Hamster-Fiction series of e-books, I have delved into  the fourth book. Well it makes sense to – doesn’t it? Actually, in some ways, it doesn’t. And that is because this book…

…is the forgotten book of the series. For some reason I cannot fathom, not a single copy of this book has been bought by anyone anywhere. That, or my stats are faulty. But whatever – here comes the promised extract…

“Big tits and arse holes!” Desmond roared when he received Wetpatch’s subsequent report. “Space/time has gone to buggery!”

Everyone crowded around the lounge table in order to study the sheaf of photographs that Wetpatch had brought with him from the recent past.

“Are those Bermuda shorts that Tutu’s wearing?” Amy inquired. “A little out of character I would have thought.”

“And regard that calendar, if you will.” A madly-pointing Roman gesticulated towards the photograph of his choice. “I thought we were supposed to be saving the Crustacean Collective: Not the Cephalopod Emirates. If that’s not a naked octopus waving its tentacles in a most provocative manner, I’ll eat my police truncheon!”

“And look at this picture of me in the showers.” Amy squealed. Then she thought better of it, and quickly changed her tune. “No, on the other paw, perhaps you shouldn’t.”

But it was too late: Everyone’s eyes turned to regard the picture with rather less than entirely intellectual interest.

“Oh I see what you mean, Auntie.” Wetpatch called above the resulting clamour. “Your nipples are protruding through your silken chest fur like cigarette butts, which obviously means that you’re taking a cold shower in this picture. You never take cold showers, Auntie: Never in a million yonks. You like ‘em hot ‘n’ sweaty – like your sex. That can’t be the real you!”

“Now perhaps you’ll understand why I shouted ‘Big tits and arse holes’:” Desmond bellowed, “This is an utter disaster. As a brilliant scientist I am mortified. This is probably the lowest point of my career. I was going to retire when this particular adventure is over – but now I can’t possibly. Now I’ll have to spend my dotage producing ever greater works, if I’m ever to live this down. I’d like to kick myself up the arse if I could.”

“It wasn’t your fault that there was some sort of weird interference.” Sally tried to placate the desperate genius. “You’ve never made a time machine at the bottom of the sea before.”

“Indeed.” Cringe put on his most enthusiastic voice, “At least the youngster came back alright. At least we know that he’s really him this time.”

The enthusiasm turned out to be infectious.

“Yes, that’s right.” Roman added his two Rodentos-worth, “I can vouch for that.” He said adamantly.

“You can?” Desmond’s tone had turned hopeful once more.

“Of course.” Amy stood foursquare with the police constable. “Roman and I took Wetpatch into the toilet, where we drew a huge cross upon his buttocks with a felt-tip pen.”

“Yes, that’s right.” Wetpatch chirped happily. “And just to prove it…”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

P.S Its hard to believe (isn’t it?) that this book has a sales figure of zero. I mean – seven sodding years, and not one copy graces someone’s e-book reader. How about putting that terrible wrong to rights? Why not visit an e-book stockist – like the ones mentioned on the side bar to your left, or that area beneath the header – and purchase an e-copy of The Abduction of Wetpatch Wilson right now? Its jolly good you know – in a slightly whacky way. It’ll probably make you chuckle.

 

Revel in the Ribaldry 3

Time to revel in some Hamster-Sapiens ribaldry again. Since this is the third extract, it’s only fitting that it should come from the third book in the series – namely this tome of significantly fabulous short stories, all pulled together in one wonderful narrative. Or something like that…

Of all my books, this is my favourite. I don’t know what it is about it that so pleases me. Maybe it is the way it almost wrote itself. I can still recall – I think it must have been back in 2008 – sitting at my desk top computer, hoping for inspiration. I’d written the intro – explaining the significance of the Psychic Historian character – Sorbresto Titt – and why he was visiting The Where House. But, having done so, I had no story to tell. So, rather than stare at a blank monitor screen, I closed my eyes. And there it was: a dry dusty track through a desert landscape. Then an ageing hamster, with a pack thrown over her shoulder, shuffled into view. In that moment I had my opening story.  So, being desperately logical, I’ll show you that opening scene right now…

If the audience had been impressed before – now they were stunned to within a micron of sentience. For indeed the huge monitor did show the contents of Flotti’s genetic memory – as filtered and reconstructed by the dazzling advanced-brain of Sorbresto Titt. They all went “Oooh.” as the screen cleared itself of some momentary static to show an ancient crone staggering along a dusty trail that led through a rocky gorge. She was dressed in sackcloth, and upon her back she carried a heavy pack.

Of other life there was no sign. Nevertheless she whistled a happy tune, and would break into a little jig each time she reached the surprisingly infectious chorus – not that anyone had heard it thus far.

“Oi, where’s the bloody sound?” someone chirruped from the watching audience.

“Oh, that’d be my fault.” Colin apologized, and quickly found an errant jack plug, “I completely forgot to plug it in – which just goes to show that computer brains are just as forgetful as organic ones. So, as you can see, none of you are inferior to me in any way, shape, or form: Just different.”

He then remembered to insert the jack plug into the appropriate socket, and everyone could hear the old crone’s melodious singing.

“She’s bloody good.” The same chirruper made himself heard once more, “She could make the top of the hamster hit parade, she could. I’d sign her up to a record deal right this second – if she wasn’t long-dead and turned to dust – and I was a record producer of course.”

But no one was listening: They were too interested in what was happening on-screen…

“Hola, buenas dias.” The old crone spoke to someone off-screen, “Como estais?”

This caused consternation to flow through the assembled ranks of seated hamsters like a nasty dose of influenza. Generally speaking foreign languages were an anathema to them. Some grew fearful: Others angry.

Noticing that he was in danger of losing his paying customers Boney acted quickly.

“Colin,” he yelled across a rather loud conversation in Spanish, “You’re a walking encyclopaedia: Can you interpret?”

Well in response to such a reasonable request from his employer, Colin said, “Boney, I do believe that I can do better than that: How do you fancy sub-titles?”

Then he did what any good-natured, self-aware, servomechanism would do. He got out his special, multi-purpose, tool, and indicated what he intended to do with it.

Now this action surprised many in the audience. Well actually it amazed them. Some it even astonished. And fourteen found themselves capable of being overcome by the thrill of the moment, and simply fainting.

This was because Colin kept his very unusual tool in a very unusual place. Now, having extracted it from beneath his special celebratory sporran, he proceeded to walk up to the TV monitor, and shove his tool into an especially prepared socket just beside the on/off switch – where he would remain standing awkwardly for the rest of the evening – almost certainly with a fixed smile upon his handsome face.

The result of this audacious action was the appearance of words along the bottom of the screen. And after a quick wiggle of his hips they became recognizably Hamster-British.

“Where are you bound?” the voice off-screen was asking the ancient forebear of Flotti Pañuelo, “And by what name are you known?”

“I’m bound for the twin cities of Sod’em and Begorrah.” The ancient crone replied. “And my name is Flappi Pañuelo.”

A gasp ran around the audience like a Mexican wave.

“Blimey,” Horatio Horseblanket exclaimed, “she must be Flotti’s great, great, great, great, great, great…”

But he got no further because he suddenly fell silent after receiving a severe backhander from his mother – accompanied by a hissed reprimand that went something like, “Shut it, you gobby twat: You may be the youngest-ever inductee to the Hamster Hall of Heroes, but I don’t like being shown up in public.”

And, whilst rubbing the back of his furry head, Horatio replied rather indignantly, “What about that time I showed those old black and white pictures of your enormous peach-like bum to people waiting at the bus stop? You didn’t seem to mind that at all!”

“That’s because the bald hamster at the back was a famous pornography producer.” Molly shot back. “I thought he might have a part for me.”

“Oh he had a part for you alright.” Horatio leaned as far away as possible whilst still remaining seated, “A very private one I seem to recall.”

“It paid the rent that month, didn’t it?” Molly snapped. Then she realized that no one was watching the ancient tale of Flappi Pañuelo anymore: They were paying her more rapt attention than she felt comfortable with.  “Just carry on.” she instructed Sorbresto, “Now!”

Well what then transpired upon the TV monitor was a revelation. The psychic camera seemed to pull back to reveal that Flappi was speaking with a heavily-built male Jerboa – who rode upon a chariot that was pulled by a team of armoured praying mantis. Beryl Bogbreath screamed shrilly. Fanangy Panakan was only a heartbeat behind her.

Fortunately for Flotti she was in a trance, and so was unaware of the hideous spectacle that emanated from deep within her genetic past. This was just as well because she’d held a life-long aversion to the preying mantis ever since one fell from a balcony in the Spanish seaside town of  Bunnidorm, and landed in her strawberry blancmange – utterly destroying it; the table; and the evening in the process, and very nearly biting her mother’s head off. Only the timely arrival of the Spanish waiter carrying a huge bottle of fizzy cola – with which he proceeded to hose down the panicking creature – saved Mrs Pañuelo from a ghastly fate.

But that was by-the-by. Sorbresto Titt was accessing the moment that followed…

“You are a hamster.” The rather haughty Jerboa said.

“That I am, Sir.” Flappi was forced to concede.

“But this is Sandy Desert Land.” The Jerboa stated the obvious once more.

“So?” Flappi stood as insolently as she could muster under the weight of the pack upon her back.

“Your inflatable cheek pouches will do you no good here: There is very little water in which to drown. In any case we Jerboas find your stubby little tails most distasteful: It almost looks as though you have a willy poking out of your arse hole. Do not be surprised if some tribal chieftain takes umbrage at your hamsteriness, and has you flogged, jailed, or dispatched to the next realm of existence. You’d do well to find your way back to that far-off place from whence you came.”

“Thank you very much, but I’ll take my chances.” Flappi replied. “I’m here to visit the holy shrine of Freda Lung, and maybe take in the existential frisson of the sunken city of Bilge.”

The Jerboa appeared confused. “Ugh?” He grunted. “But you told me that you sought the twin cities of Sod‘em and Begorrah.”

“Well they’re on the way, aren’t they?” Flappi showed the first sign of doubt.

“In a ‘round about sort of way.” The Jerboa agreed.

Then he made a sudden decision. “Hop on board, you absolute sex-goddess,” he smiled for the first time, “I’m going that way myself. Perhaps we can attempt procreation en route? Better still – let’s a have a go now – right here – in the open – where there’s a chance someone might see us. What do you think?”

“Well…” Flappi began, “I’m not entirely sure…”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

P.S The © date of 2013 represents the later – improved – version of this book. Naturally it is available as an e-book from most suppliers. A list of the better-known ones appears on the sidebar – or in that list of ‘Pages’ beneath the header.

 

No Need to Apologize

When Covid 19 made its less-than-merry way into our global consciousness, I thought it best that I stop promoting this pair of rather entertaining books…

The reason: both tales are set in the wake of a global pandemic. It didn’t feel right to keep promoting them. So I didn’t. But a fellow scribe has told me, in no uncertain terms, that I should make no apologies for the books, and continue to promote them. It is advice that I’ve chosen to take. So, if you don’t mind, here is a brief extract from the original and its sequel…

Silent Apocalypse:

Only Donald wanted to know about the ‘nuts ‘n’ bolts’ of the operation; but that would also have to come later. It was quite possible that in time Cosgrove may have laid all the facts out for him to peruse; but he had information to impart to all of us, that although it wasn’t vital we know, would make it much easier to accept what would later happen to us. He explained that the ‘Intake Centres’ were the first point of contact between the organization that employed him – and the survivors of the virus. He apologized for the apparent elitism within their system of selection, but, because of the physical restraints upon them – time, space, logistics, etceteras – that it was incumbent upon them to select only those who proved themselves most capable. In short – only those who could discover, and then decipher, ‘The Whispers’, and act accordingly.

The organization that he worked for turned out to be a special branch of the United Nations. This information took me back to pre-virus days, and my father bitterly complaining about the inability of the U.N to deal with trouble spots anywhere in the world, whilst trying to solve all of its ills everywhere. At best he accused them of dithering. At other times he called them toothless dogs, or spineless jellyfish – which always amused me. Jellyfish really are spineless.

Cosgrove must have had a similar disposition toward that vast organization, because he added, “But we are a special branch of the U.N: We actually do what we say we’ll do. I think that makes us pretty unique.”

Katherine had replied, “Oh joy unconstrained: Civilization has fallen, and mankind is all but extinct: But we’re still being pushed around by governmental organizations. You truly are unique: There are no others like you. For that, at least, we should thank the plague. You know, I’m not sure that I didn’t prefer a roving existence.”

I was quite shocked. How could Katherine be so rude to a man who was so clearly our benefactor? I think Cosgrove was surprised too. He went to reply, but Katherine forestalled him; or thought she had.

“And don’t show me the door. Don’t say ‘well if that’s what you want…’ We all know that now we’ve seen your little operation, none of us will ever see the sunlight again. We might talk to someone: Let something slip over tea and biscuits: You might be discovered.”

Cosgrove gave her outburst several seconds of thought. He first stroked his lightly-stubbled jaw and then rubbed the back of his neck. Turning his attention back to her he said, “You know – you’re right – about everything. I hadn’t looked at that way before: I’ve been so wrapped up with this place since its inception that perhaps I’ve failed to really notice some of the more draconian measures we’ve been forced to adopt. You are so right. But if you perceive us in the negative…if your perception of us is of a top-heavy bureaucracy full of control freaks, then you are absolutely wrong. We’re not here to control the remnants of mankind: We’re here to, firstly save it; then reorganize it; then set it to the task of retaking our planet.”

Clearly Katherine wasn’t convinced by his words; though I was ready to don the blue beret that very moment:

“You make it sound like a war.”

Cosgrove’s passion cooled. “I was coming to that; but you’ve pre-empted me.”

“Oh – no,” Lee’s voice had taken on the tone of the totally dispirited.

We all looked at him. “What’s that?” Donald asked.

Lee shifted in his seat, “Don’t you see? We are at war: The virus wasn’t no accident, or a terrorist strike gone wonky: It was…what do you call it when someone means to do something in advance?”

“Premeditated?” I suggested.

“It was a premeditated attack.” He continued, “Someone tried to wipe us out. Everything on the whole flamin’ planet!”

Katherine looked at him as if he’d lost his mind, “You’re joking, right? Who would do that? That’s ridiculous. I mean – who would have anything to gain from it?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

Silent Resistance:

I hadn’t been counting the seconds, but I assumed that Tasman would have reached the shattered fire escape door by now. I could only guess how torn he must be now: If he fired upon the dogs our presence would be proven. At best the Espeeg would come out shooting – with weapons that would reload an infinite number of times if necessary: At worst they would call for help or fly away to fetch it.

‘Don’t you just love a worst case scenario!’

My fraught nerves were then pushed beyond their design parameters when our captive began squirming violently – apparently able to slip out of his bonds with ridiculous ease. Worst still he opened his visor and started shouting.

I turned my gun upon him. “Shut up!” I screamed.

But of course he didn’t. I suppose, in his way, he was really rather heroic. In a moment of unforgivable anger I put a single sliver through his open face plate. He stopped shouting, and crashed forward onto what remained of his face.

“Next time do as I say!” I yelled at his still form, “You stupid – stupid – boy!”

Then as good sense reasserted itself I turned my attention to the flying machine and the dogs. The machine remained quiescent, but two of the dogs had begun an investigation of the noise, and were approaching the door. Despite my rising panic I maintained enough self-control to remember that I had a very finite number of slivers in the butt of my hand gun. It took me two seconds to have the MP7 off of my shoulder; into my hands; and ready for action. It took another to step into view. But I never pulled the trigger because from high upon the hillside five eight point nine five millimetre bullets were streaking downwards at supersonic speed. The first two careened wildly off the imperfect concrete surface; the second two entered the body of the leading animal at neck and abdomen; the last crashed into the following dog’s brain through the eye socket. Both stumbled – momentarily unaware that they were already dead – then flopped to the ground.

The courage of the remaining four dogs was undeniable because as one they ran at the door – their intentions perfectly clear. Again Jason opened up from the hillside, but this time the animals were more widely spaced and moving faster. Only one bullet struck home, and that did no more than slow down the powerful beast. It was up to me and Tasman now. The game was up: the battle lost: we’d go down fighting.

The Heckler and Koch MP7 hadn’t been designed as an assault rifle; it was intended for use as a personal defence weapon. And in that I role I doubt it has ever been surpassed. When finally I used it as its designers had intended it didn’t let me down. Its accuracy and rate of fire – not to mention its large calibre munitions – astonished me. The slightest hint of a tug upon the trigger – and a dog went down. Shift, aim, tug, fire: shift, aim, tug, fire. Three dogs were taken out of the fight in as many seconds. But three seconds is a long time in a fight – especially when your targets are fast-moving and headed in your direction. The fourth was almost upon me; I had no time to aim, and nowhere to run. So in desperation I slipped the gun down to my hip and pulled hard upon the trigger. For a brief moment I was blinded by the air in front of me as it seemed to erupt with flame, lead, and white-hot tracer rounds. Taking an involuntary step backwards I realised that less than a second had elapsed and my magazine was empty; but the last dog standing wasn’t anymore. It thrashed about upon the concrete at my feet – blood spurting from wounds to both shoulders – its jaws snapping at me as if hell bent upon revenge.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

If you’re thinking: “He wrote both books in one year? Jeez, they must be crap!” please don’t. I wrote the first one in 2004. I then re-wrote it in 2014 after completing the sequel earlier in the same year, which, hopefully, brought it up to that book’s standard. Anyway, they’re both very readable – if violent at times. I’ve discontinued the paperbacks, but the e-books remain on sale at most e-book retailers. Take your pick. The most popular ones are accessed via the ‘Tooty’s Books Available Here’ page beneath the header of this blog.

 

Any Writer Who Can Think Up the Name ‘Chunder Bellows’ Is Alright With Me

That was a reader’s quote, after his happy reading of this book…

And here’s an extract from the tale that he so enjoyed…

The first few days at Chunder Bellows School for Blistering Idiots were a total blur for Lancelot. Quite literally: The college nurse had filled his eyes with a solution that almost blinded him. It was a deliberate act: The college authorities didn’t want him identifying the persons responsible for trying to free his brain of the millstones of stupidity by beating some sense into him. But it was to no avail. All subsequent Intelligence Quotient tests came up woefully short.

Lancelot himself ached all over, and had there been a train back to Hamster Heath he would have gladly boarded it – even if he’d been forced to pedal solo for the entire journey. But as the days passed from his life – so did the bruises pass from his skin, and in next to no time at all he was well again. He even introduced the sport of Poo-Jumping to the college fitness administrator, and had a huge ramp built on the playing fields so that he could practice running down hills very fast indeed. But eventually he fell afoul of the college founder – Chunder Bellows himself.  Lancelot sat nervously in the corridor as he waited to be invited into Chunder Bellows’ private suite high in the belfry. He wracked his brains as to how he’d managed to offend the legendary hamster. Was it possible that he’d accidentally failed to notice his eminence whilst shopping in the town? He didn’t think so: Chunder Bellows came from European hamster stock, and was almost twice the size of his fellows. He also wore his head fur in a turquoise Mohican cut, and swaggered so vainly that smaller creatures were often forced to dash into heavy traffic to avoid being bowled over by him. So that seemed unlikely.

Over the next hour Lancelot ran scenario after scenario through his head until he could think no more. Only when he was utterly spent mentally did the red light above Bellows’ door finally illuminate. Lancelot had been warned about this. It could mean one of three things. One: I’m free now, please enter. Two: An aerial attack is underway: Run for the shelters. Or Three: The lock on the lavatory door is broken again, and I can’t get out. It was dependent upon the number of flashes per second as to how someone should react to this visual stimulus.

The beat of the flashing light was slow and steady. To Lancelot’s mind this indicated a certain calmness of spirit. It fitted scenario One perfectly. So Lancelot knocked smartly upon the huge wooden door, and entered.

The interior of Chunder Bellows’ suite was hugely impressive – especially to a young hamster who had lived his entire life in a two-room apartment above the town cheese shop with his mother, her aunt, and someone who referred to herself as the Fairy Lesbian. It was huge, panelled throughout with dark wood, and enjoyed a view out over the grounds of the college. Lancelot couldn’t help but notice that it also enjoyed views directly into the girls changing room, showers, and unsightly nipple fur removal facility. But he said nothing.

Bellows stood, and almost filled the room with his bulk. He didn’t offer a paw of welcome. Instead he merely towered over Lancelot until the youngster began trembling. Only then did he re-seat himself, and offer Lancelot a cigar.

“Well, well – you’ve caused quite a stir.” He boomed – not angrily, but not in a friendly fashion either. But it wasn’t neutral either, and Lancelot was at a loss to describe his benefactor’s mood.

“Is it the Poo-Jumping, Sir?” Lancelot inquired nervously, “I know that several students have miss-timed their take-off, and have consequently soiled their uniforms. But I’m sure that with sufficient practice…”

Bellows cut him off with a wave of his meaty paw. “No – it’s not the Poo-Jumping.” He growled. “I only wish that it were. At least I could do something about it. No my problem is far worse. Tell me – how did you get here?”

Lancelot wondered how literal Bellows was being. Did he mean to inquire after the route that Lancelot had taken from where he’d been clandestinely urinating in the mosquito-breeding pool – to Bellow’s office? Or did he mean the college itself? Then in a moment that the young hamster would have considered an epiphany – had he been aware of the word – he realized that during his brief time at Chunder Bellows he’d learned to think in a slightly less linear mode, and could now see alternatives to his first, and usually only, thought. It had been a general question: Not specific to time and place. The grand master of the college was asking after Lancelot’s reasons for approaching the college in order to gain entry to its hallowed halls of learning.

“It was either this – or extermination.” He blurted. Then in a more calm manner explained that he’d actually failed the Right To Adult Existence examination during his last year at school, but was given a reprieve when the mysterious Fairy Lesbian put a spell upon the examination board members, and demanded that they allow him one more chance. If he could prove them all desperately wrong by maturing into a hamster of average intellect, he would be allowed to live beyond his tender years, and not consequently waste millions of Rodentos being housed, fed, and entertained courtesy of the public purse because he was too stupid or bone-idle to get a job.

Bellows nodded sagely at this. Then he leaned forward in his chair, and peered at Lancelot in a most disturbing fashion. “That’s all very interesting – but it’s not the answer I was looking for.”

He then explained that he’d meant ‘how did Lancelot get from Hamster Heath to Poxford’?

“The last train to Poxford.” Lancelot chirped gleefully – fully aware that such a journey would never again be made, and as a result his momentous journey would go down in history.

Bellows peered some more. “Do you recall any of the passengers?” He asked.

Lancelot thought back over the intervening months. Only one person stood out from the crowd. “There was a pretty girl with powerful thighs pedalling on the seat opposite.” He recalled. “She stood out a bit.”

Bellows had a weakness for pretty girls. “Really – in what way?”

“She wore crotch-less knickers. From where I was seated it looked like two sand eels wrestling in a thicket.”

For a moment Lancelot thought that Bellows was going to have a heart attack. And it was this simple act of Bellows clutching at his chest and fighting for breath that brought forth a second recollection of the journey for the young hamster. “Oh yes that reminds me – there was that lovely middle-aged female who might have been having a myocardial infarction!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

 

Book of the Month?

I was surprised, when I checked out one of my books at Barnes & Noble, to discover that these books…

…bore a temporary label that read Book of the Month. Naturally I was pleased, and duly read the sample pages of the latter book. Here is a snippet from those pages…

When next I awoke I knew for certain that the world around me was real and tangible. There was a smell of straw and ancient timbers permeating the air. Once again I lay upon my back, but now the azure sky had been replaced by the sight of the cobweb-strewn rafters of an old wooden barn.

Sitting upright I discovered that I was alone – save only for the company of a wood mouse that searched amongst the detritus upon the floor close to the large double doors. It skittered away as I gained my feet. As it did so I discovered that I wore the combat fatigues from the vision of the past presented to me by Tasman. The strange, unrecognisable hand gun hung from an iron hook that had been driven into one of the oak uprights.

I felt a pain in my head. My hand discovered that someone had inexpertly wrapped my head in a bandage. I was relieved when it came away unbloodied, and the pain subsided.

Feeling better I decided to take stock of the situation in which I found myself. Firstly I knew that my name was Felicity Goldsmith.

‘A good place to start.’

I appeared to be some form of soldier. Or was I a paint-baller? The thought appalled me. No, I was certain that I’d never been a paint-baller.

‘What else?’

I knew a boy who has eyes like a goat. It was odd that I didn’t think of his eyes as particularly unusual.

‘Again what else?’

I came up empty. Try as I may, I could find nothing more leaking out from my closed-off memory. I knew that I should have felt fear – or at least an appropriate portion of apprehension – with the situation. It was quite possible that I was brain damaged, or I’d simply lost my mind. But Tasman’s calm demeanour, and his gentle delivery had staved off the panic for another time.

‘Or preferably never.’

With nothing better to do I climbed to my feet. I felt stiff, and wondered if that was what octogenarians felt like all the time. I then placed the weapons belt around my waist; and made for the large rickety double doors.

Upon emerging from the ancient barn, I wasn’t surprised to find myself standing in an old flint and brick walled farm yard. Beside the barn there stood several lichen-coated brick buildings originating in several eras. They all showed the evidence of a great passing of time, and it occurred to me that the farm might not be a working farm, but was instead a farm museum. The area was littered by the detritus of years. Old farm equipment lay about that looked not only decades out of date, but possibly centuries. Masonry crumbled here and there, and the roof of one particularly old outbuilding had been stoved in. Patches of briar were encroaching, and weeds abounded everywhere except the areas that were either paved with concrete, or cobbled. I could see young animals corralled at several points within the farmstead. From my position I could make out small numbers of sheep, cattle, pigs, and goats. Through a gap in some mature trees I discerned a pond upon which ducks sailed less than majestically. From a rickety edifice beside the charming flint farmhouse emerged the sounds of chickens clucking contentedly.

I was still studying the inexpertly erected chicken coop when a boy of roughly ten years emerged from the farmhouse. He held an empty wicker basket in each hand. Without noticing me standing there in my incongruous ‘uniform’ he let himself into the coop through a shaky wire door.

“Hello…” I called in what I hoped was a friendly inquiring tone.

The boy looked up. His recognition of me was instantaneous, and he smiled broadly, before dropping his baskets; letting himself back out of the coop; and dashing back inside the farmhouse.

“Tasman,” I heard him calling as his booted feet thundered up the stair to the upper floor, “Felicity’s up and about!”

I smiled as those same two feet then raced back down the stair; carried their owner across the yard at break neck speed; and then stopped dead in front of me. I then received a hug that almost crushed the wind out of me.

“Oh Fel,” he breathed, “I never thought you’d ever open your eyes again.”

I had no idea who the urchin was, or why he was so glad to see me, but it was nice to be wanted.

“Thank you.” I replied. “It’s nice to be back: Where have I been?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

These books are also available at Amazon, Lulu, Apple iBooks, and various others. And very nice they are too – if rather violent at times. Well they do feature genocide, so a little violence is to be expected.

 

 

The Causality Casualty

A few years ago – maybe four or five – I began writing the third in my ‘serious’ Causality Merchant series of sci-fi mysteries. Half way through the third draft I tossed it aside and (instead) took on the mantle of the “world’s premier earplug author”*. I keep promising myself to pick it up again and give it a second chance; but, somehow, it just never seems to happen. So, to this end, I’ve decided to give myself a metaphorical kick up the arse and try to produce some inspiration to continue. And what better way than to test out a snippet from the first book…

If the response from readers is good enough, I just might give it another try. Here it is – selected purely at random. Hope you enjoy it…

It was an hour later when Janice passed by the Study window, en route to the sideboard. Her timing was such that she witnessed Wozniak ease the slightly battered sports car into the driveway. He then drove it from sight around the end of the house. She found the packet of Band-Aids she was looking for in a drawer, and quickly made her way into the hallway, where she opened the front door – leaving it slightly ajar.

A half-minute later Wozniak slipped into the house. As carefully as his big frame would allow, he crept to the kitchen door, which Janice had also deliberately left ajar for him, and paused to listen.

Katherine Marcus was sitting at the table as Janice gently applied a Band-Aid to a small wound upon her forehead.

“There, that should keep the bugs at bay.” Janice said in a satisfied tone.

Katherine was clearly still suffering from a degree of shock – as well as a splitting headache; but she still managed a smile of thanks to Janice.

Janice may not have believed that this Katherine Marcus seated before her was in anyway different to the Katherine Marcus who verbally abused her on an almost daily basis; but if the woman was going to play the role of innocent victim, Janice was all for going along with it – just to see how far the other woman was prepared to go. Why Marcus was doing this to Peter remained a mystery to her: But if her friend and employer needed his help – and clearly he did – she was prepared to go to pretty much any length to be there for him. To this end she regarded Katherine with a friendly demeanour as she placed the kettle upon the stove.

“I expect you’d like a nice hot cup of tea after that nasty bang.”

“Sorry…?” Katherine tried to find a name.

“Janice Gale.” Janice replied with a smile upon her face. “I’m the housekeeper here: The ‘woman who does’. Do you take sugar in your tea?”

Katherine appeared confused.

“Tea?” She inquired through a puzzled expression.

It’s a good act’, Janice thought, as she smiled sweetly in response. Out loud she said, “Perhaps you’d prefer coffee? It’s only instant I’m afraid: the coffee machine sprang a leak weeks ago, and I haven’t got round to mending it yet.”

Katherine appeared grateful at the suggestion:

“Coffee would be wonderful. Perhaps you have something for pain too? I have a headache the size of Wycksford.”

Janice’s eyes narrowed at the mention of the imaginary village. She knew for certain that the illusionary village of Wycksford did not exist; and Marcus must surely know that she knew.

What is this woman up to?’ She asked herself. Then a sudden thought struck that caused Janice to feel very uncomfortable in her presence. ‘Heavens: Maybe she’s schizoid: She could be as mad as a March hare!’

“Certainly,” she said in the most matronly manner she could muster, “but I don’t think I have any aspirins: would paracetamols do? You’re not allergic, or anything?”

Katherine shook her head. “I don’t know what paracetamols are. I might be allergic to them. I don’t know. I suffer quite a few allergies you know. Are you sure you don’t have aspirins? I think my head’s about to explode.”

“Well I could look in the bathroom.” Janice replied – uncertain if she should leave the strange woman alone in the kitchen. “There might be an old packet lying about in the cabinet. Just wait here a moment; I’ll take a look.”

Janice quickly exited the kitchen – where she found Wozniak skulking in the shadows of the hall.

“Did you see that?” He whispered as he made sure that the kitchen door was closed securely behind Janice. “She’s never heard of something as dull and ordinary as paracetamol: surely that must mean something.”

Janice brushed past him toward the stairs.

“She’s never heard of tea either, apparently. What does it mean? It means that she’s probably suffering from concussion. Now I’m going to see if I can find some aspirins. Then I really think we should take her to a doctor.”

Wozniak pounced upon this.

“Then you think she’s behaving oddly too?”

Janice started up the stairs.

“I always think she’s behaving oddly: she’s an odd woman. But she could also be play-acting, or suffering from some form of schizophrenia. But whichever it is – that head wound is real enough.”

Wozniak pursued Janice up the stairs, speaking louder with every step:

“I saw you jump when she mentioned Wycksford: doesn’t that suggest something?”

“What?” Janice stopped upon the stair for a moment. She was becoming frustrated with a situation – the like of which she had never experienced before. She felt ill equipped to handle it sensibly anymore. This was definitely ‘Wozniak Territory’.

“What does it suggest?” She snapped. “Nothing: that’s what. Of course she mentioned Wycksford.” She said desperately. “She invented the damned place!”

With that she continued upon her way up the stair, and entered the bathroom. There she began going through the contents of the vanity unit.

“No, Janice; you’re wrong:” Wozniak appeared at the head of the stairs. He shook his head. “She mentioned Wycksford because to her it’s a real place. Somewhere she knows well. Home perhaps. The way she described her headache suggests that it’s quite a big place too.”

Janice emerged from the vanity unit clutching a foil wrapper containing just two tablets.

“Look I don’t care right now.” She said. “I’m going to take that woman these last two aspirins in the house; and then perhaps we’ll take a little air in the garden. I take it you’ve hidden the car sufficiently well?”

“In the garage.” Wozniak replied whilst letting Janice past. “I’ll watch from the window.”

“Whatever.” Janice spoke curtly over her shoulder as she descended the stair.

I’m pushing too hard’, Wozniak thought to himself as he heard the kitchen door open, and Janice’s gentle voice offering Katherine the aspirins; ‘Just let the facts speak for themselves’.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

This book, and it’s sequel, are available at Lulu, iBooks, Amazon and Barnes & Noble (see sidebar or relevant page beneath the header) and most other e-book stockists. The paperback is available at Lulu.com.

* Quote from a work colleague who is a supportive follower of my earplug escapades and who has often supplied me with the raw materials required to shoot the pictures. i.e earplugs.

Silence, Please!

I couldn’t help but notice that, incredibly (and against the grain of recent times), sales of this book…

…have perked up. Thank you to all those e-book purchasers. Of course, what I’d really like is for those readers (and others) to come back for the (better) sequel – written a full decade after the original. It looks like this…

And a portion of the text closely resembles this. All the characters in this extract are teenagers, by the way.

For whatever reason, everyone had expected that we’d take the bus upon our sojourn. Everyone with the exception of Jason. If the rest had thought they’d properly explored Crag Base, they were all very mistaken. Jason, though, had thoroughly explored the huge subterranean refuge. He’d been over it with a fine tooth comb. With the exception of Tasman and I he was the only person who knew about the lower garage in which various United Nations vehicles had been mothballed for the duration. There were several types hidden beneath heavy canvas covers – ranging from single seated ‘despatch rider’ motorcycles to large six-wheeled amphibious off-roaders. In between these extremes were several small four-wheelers ranging from quad bikes through Land Rovers, Humvees, and three lightly armoured vehicles, the design of which none of us recognised.

The general consensus (once I’d presented everyone with the sight of the cavernous garage) was that the amphibious vehicles were beyond our ability to drive safely; the Humvees would stand out like a sore thumb; but that the Land Rovers would do fine once we’d stripped them of their very obvious military appearance.

‘Exactly what I was thinking.’

 Stripping away the U.N insignia from (and re-pressurising the tyres of) the two Land Rovers that Jason selected took perhaps a half-hour. Charging the batteries naturally took considerably longer; but by nightfall we had ourselves two pristine, low-mileage, ex-Ministry of Defence Land Rovers ready to roll.

Jason, I’d decided, would drive one: Kylie the other. Two vehicles, I considered, was prudent. Three might have gained someone’s attention, and looked too much like a tempting convoy just begging to be ambushed. If we took one and it became disabled it might be a long walk home. Two seemed to me to be the perfect number.

Jason was unable to disguise his eagerness. “When do we shove off?” He asked. “It’ll be dark outside by now. It’s the perfect time to leave.”

“Yes it is.” I replied as I checked my watch. “Why don’t you bring down the elevator.”

Had there been any exterior lights on Crag Base they would have been far astern of us when I finally stole a backward glance. The world around us was cloaked in impenetrable blackness. Even the Moon and stars had failed to make an appearance in the overcast late autumn sky. I’d hoped that the drivers could use night vision goggles to see where they were going without the need of headlights, but we hadn’t driven more than a hundred metres from the derelict service station before Jason ran off the road, and slithered to a halt upon the tussock-strewn verge. I’d suggested that perhaps we could run on minimal lighting in the shape of side lights, but Jason had discovered an unmarked switch upon the dashboard that when depressed lit up his goggles almost as brightly as day.

“Infra-red headlights.” He cheered. “We can see, but to anyone else we’re invisible.”

“That’s comforting.” Kylie had replied as she ran back to her vehicle to find a similar switch upon her dashboard. “Just as long as they don’t have night vision goggles too.”

Before long we’d passed the roadside café and were amongst the hills. With the loosest of plans to guide us we began the long descent to the level ground beyond the ridge of hills that hid the sea. We were once more amongst the overgrown back roads when I finally began to question the wisdom of the trip. How exactly did I intend to find the Espeeg? Let them find me perhaps? Should we turn on the lights and draw some attention to ourselves? But what if we drew the attention of the wrong people? What if we encountered terrestrial humans? Did we surrender to them – or fight our way through? Neither was acceptable: ergo we could not make our presence obvious. Then an idea formed inside my head…    

“Pull over.” I instructed Kylie.

She gave me a questioning look, but complied without speaking. As the Land Rover bounced to a halt upon the muddy verge Jason followed with the second vehicle. As he drew alongside he shouted through his side window.

“Forgot to pack your mascara or something?”

“I have a stunning plan.” I said as I opened my door and dismounted. “I don’t think you’re going to like it. Let’s have a pow-wow.”

I’d been quite accurate when I’d told Jason that I had a stunning plan; I just didn’t realise how stunning and in what manner it would affect the others. I watched as a look of incredulity appeared upon all their faces.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

The aforementioned tomes are available on-line at many e-book suppliers. Check out the page beneath the header or on the side bar → to access Lulu / iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Also appears in paperback form at Lulu. Just thought you should know.

Sample the Silence Once More

Every so often I try to introduce readers of this blog to my more serious fiction. It’s not exactly plentiful. Four books in total – and I haven’t written a new one in years. But oldies can be goldies – right? Right! And just to prove it, here is a sample from this book/e-book…

Although it was now over a year since disaster had struck across the entire globe, and reduced humanity to scattered remnants, we were still careful to walk at the side of the road, and be prepared to leap to safety on the verge or through a hedge. Few cars remained running – their owners eking out what remained of their precious fuel – but we weren’t surprised to hear the approach of an aging diesel engine.

Stepping onto the grassy verge we checked each other’s haversacks for signs of protruding semi-automatics. Of course, had there been a need for rapid deployment of self-defence weapons, we both carried Colonel Cosgrove-supplied Berreta 84Fs strapped to our ankles.   

Unsurprisingly a well-worn four-wheel-drive vehicle rounded the nearest corner. It was towing a small trailer upon which several straw bales were lashed expertly. I couldn’t help but notice that the vehicle was a Land Rover, and appeared to my eyes to be identical to the one in which Candice had sacrificed her life so that the rest of us could escape the clutches of Nigel Hawley and his private army. It even had the same fawn canvas cover on the rear bed. Even now I could still see that cover bursting off as the two hand grenades exploded inside the vehicle.

I must have made some sound at the recollection, because Tasman’s head snapped around to look at me.

“What is it?” He said nervously as his hand began to reach downwards towards his hidden Beretta.

I shook my head. “Nothing.” I said, “Don’t worry about me. Just concentrate on the driver; see if you can deduce his intentions.”

It was necessary for Tasman to relax in order to best use his telepathic powers. He shook his joints loose; closed his eyes; and breathed out slowly through his nose.

“I don’t get a name.” He said as the Land Rover laboured up the rise to where we stood, “But he comes across as non-belligerent. Ah, he’s a farmer’s son. Hmm – he seems to be having trouble keeping the farm going. Lack of staff, maybe. He could be eyeing us up as potential work-mates.”

“No thanks; done that; bought several T-shirts.” I replied. “Is he alone?”

Tasman nodded. Moments later the vehicle covered the final few metres.

“Here he comes.” I said out of the side of my mouth. “Big cheesy smiles.”

As the Land Rover pulled alongside us, we could barely hear the driver’s cheerful hail above the din of its clattering diesel engine.

“Hello, you two.” He shouted from the side window of the two-seat cabin, “You’re from yon farm along the way, aint ya?”

I raised an eyebrow at this; I was somewhat surprised that the young man of (I estimated) eighteen or nineteen was aware of us. We’d chosen a well-hidden spot in a shallow valley that was all but invisible from the road.

He must have read my mind because he tapped the side of his nose, winked, and said, “Spent all me life ‘round these parts: pays to know who the competition are – ‘specially during times of plague and pestilence.”

“Yes, I imagine so.” I said as I extended a hand towards him. “Felicity Goldsmith.”

“Graham Perkins.” He replied – cutting the engine, and taking my fingers in his huge, calloused hands. “It’s nice to meet someone’s what’s civilised for a change.”

I was surprised at the coarseness of his hands. They felt like those of a man three times his age that had spent a lifetime tilling the land.

‘A farmer’s son. I think I can trust this man.’

Tasman then introduced himself as Brian Wilkins. I was glad that Tasman had slipped in a pair of his contact lenses; explaining his oblong pupils would have been problematical.

“I hope you don’t mind,” Graham spoke to both of us, “but I’ve been keeping a bit of an eye on your farm. I figured everybody’d be here when I found Soverton empty a few months back.”

I nodded; it was from the village of Soverton that we’d recruited the members of our co-operative.

“If you don’t mind me saying,” Graham was continuing, “you could use a bit of expertise down there.”

Although I bristled inside, I said nothing to the older boy. I merely looked at him with what I hoped was an inquiring expression.

“Them winter crops in the lower field.” He went on, “You need to sow ‘em further up the slope.”

Tasman threw me a glance. I could read nothing into it, and so wished that he could have used his telepathy upon me.

“Would you be interested in joining our co-operative?” He asked the young farmer.

Graham pretended to pause for thought. “Well I wasn’t exactly planning on something quite so bold.” He replied eventually.

Tasman continued as though the other boy hadn’t spoken, “It’s just that Felicity and I have business elsewhere, and it’s…you know…”

It let his words trail off into nothingness.

Graham grinned. “And you’d like someone what knows what he’s doing to take over?” He said hopefully.

“Pretty much.” Tasman replied.

I was surprised at the sudden turn of events.

‘Hey, this isn’t part of the master plan!’

I was concerned that we were in the process of giving away the fruits of many week’s labour to a complete stranger.

‘But wait a moment, Fel: Tasman might be too polite to read your mind, but you can bet your last…whatever…that he’s read Graham’s. Now would be the perfect time for two-way silent communication between us.’

I tried ‘sending’ Tasman a thought, but I expected him to be too busy concentrating his attention upon Graham to even begin to ‘hear’ me.

“Is this boy the real deal?”

Tasman’s eyes flicked in my direction: I detected the minutest of nods.

Graham appeared to be prevaricating, though I was certain it was just an act.

“It’s not every day that a lad your age gets offered the manager’s job on a working farm, complete with live-in staff.” I pointed out to him.

Graham’s head tipped to one side slightly in agreement. He then added, “No, and it isn’t every day that world ends either.”

I wasn’t absolutely certain what he meant by that remark. Perhaps he had more work on his hands than he could deal with. Maybe running our farm as well as his own would be too much for him.

“Could you give me a tour?” He inquired.

Had he asked the question twenty-four hours earlier, Tasman would undoubtedly have agreed to his request: But today wasn’t yesterday. Although no one at the farm knew it yet, Tasman and I were Absent Without Leave. Or in Lee’s parlance, we’d ‘done a runner’. We couldn’t go back; it would require that we explain the reason for our departure, and then face all the arguments that would no doubt be intended to keep us there.

“Tell you what.” Tasman said, “You know where the turning to the farm is: If I write a quick note of introduction, you can find your own way there. Ask for Carl, and show it to him. He’ll gladly show you around. He knows the farm isn’t nearly as efficient as it should be, and could use some pointers. And if truth be known – we’re a little over-manned: Perhaps you could take a few kids back to your place?”

‘Brilliant!’

This must have been exactly what Graham had wanted to hear. “I accept your kind offer.” He said whilst shaking Tasman’s hand.

He then produced a dog-eared note pad and an almost blunt pencil from a cubbyhole in the dashboard of his Land Rover.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

Needless to say, this charming (and at times violent) e-book is available all over the place – see beneath the header, or on the sidebar, for some of the better-known outlets – and as a paperback at Lulu.com.

A Silence Concerning the ‘Silent’ Books

I can’t remember when I last posted an extract of my best work – that being these books…

So today I’m correcting that omission. Ladies and Gentlemen may I present an excerpt from Silent Resistance – a book I’m rather proud of…

It was only as we approached the last door in line along the corridor that I realized that I’d made a mistake. In my reality this final door opened into an office: here it led to a stairway. I could see the stairs as I dared take a quick peek through a small wired glass window set into the door. In that nervous glance I’d also noticed something else: a shotgun booby trap much like the one upon the floor below. I informed the others about the situation.

“Great.” Shane said in her most sarcastic manner, “So how are we supposed to get at him now?

“We don’t.” Dainam answered her question. “We make him come to us.”

Leaving Shane and Killer to keep watch upon the door to the upper floor, Dainam and I returned to the lower level where he’d noticed various cupboards, filing cabinets, and drawers. After a couple of minutes searching through them Dainam came up trumps. He brandished a plastic box containing a set of screwdrivers.

‘Seek and ye shall find.’

Returning to the next floor we propped a table from one of the offices against the door to the stair so that it couldn’t move outward. Then using the screwdrivers Dainam and I set about the screws that held the door hinges in place.

The screws had been wound into the timber frame many decades past – probably by burly builders, and for several minutes neither of us could make much headway with the task; but we stuck at it – often cursing as we whacked our knuckles each time the screwdrivers slipped. But fifteen sweat-inducing minutes later we had unfastened all of them, and now only the office table held the door in situ. Shane then tied a length of electrical cable to one of the table legs, and holding the other end of the cable in her free hand she retreated to where Dainam, Killer, and I waited in the relative safety of the adjacent room.

As she backed into our temporary sanctuary she said, “Ready?”

I nodded, and she yanked firmly upon the cable. This in turn twisted the table away from the door, which allowed it to fall outwards into the corridor – pulling with it a length of string that was attached to the shotgun trigger as it did so.The double blast of both barrels in such a confined space almost deafened us, and sent us reeling further into the office to escape the cloud of dust and smoke that suddenly filled every available space. Fortunately the blast destroyed the exterior window – sending an avalanche of splintered glass out into the bus park, where it fell to the tarmac surface below. This had the effect of venting some of the smoke and dust, for which we were most grateful; but it was still very difficult to see in the murk and gloom of the grey autumn day. As we emerged into the blasted corridor we all heard the clatter of feet descending the stair. The next second I realized that we were not alone as a dark shape passed between me and the feeble light that the ruined window allowed in. Whether he saw me I don’t know, but I was taking no chances. I lashed out at his head with the butt of my MP7. It wasn’t a telling blow, but it made the booby-trapper stumble. Dainam released Killer, and in bound from a standing start she brought the person crashing down, and pinned him face-down among the debris. The dust continued to dissipate, and as Shane disarmed him, it was obvious that he was an adult. He was also unconscious – or at least pretending to be. A quick check of his eyes, and I kicked him in the stomach for good measure. He wasn’t acting.

“He’s out cold.” I said as Dainam pulled Killer away.

“If he’s not, I’ll set Killer on him again.” Dainam replied.

“Say that again – in Espeeg.” Shane suggested.

Dainam did so, but the Espeeg failed to respond.

“You’re right, Fel.” She said. “He’s out cold.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

These books are available in e-book and paperback. Click here to see the better-known outlets.

Time For Some Hamster Fiction Methinks!

On this occasion I think I’ll serve up a nice little (random) extract from this rather pleasant e-book…

And here it is…

Well after that it all went swimmingly. Both Rootley and Joan learned that Darkwood’s father – Longbeach the King of Sponx – had sent his eldest son out into the world to ‘learn a few things’ before he returned to his homeland where he was expected to dispatch his father (enfeebled by age as he would undoubtedly be by then) into the next realm of existence, and then take over the throne.

Darkwood had been interrupted only once, and surprisingly it had been by the normally quiescent Joan.“Excuse me for interrupting – but you have a most unusual name. Your dad does too. How come?”

Darkwood was surprised that none of his audience was aware that in Sponx the royal children are always named after the place of their birth. “I, for example,” Darkwood had explained, “was born in a dark wood. My father came into this world upon a long beach. Of course naming a child after their place of birth doesn’t always result in names quite so poetic: My younger brother, for example, was born in a public lavatory when the Queen was caught short on a Royal Visit to a neighbouring land. Now everyone in Sponx prays that I survive my experience in The University of Life: The name King Brick Shit-House would make their kingdom the laughing stock of the known world.

Well as time went by they all learned something of each other – though neither Darkwood nor Rootley could comprehend either that Joan had slipped from her own technologically advanced world, via an invisible, and undetectable, trans-dimensional portal: through into their semi-medieval land. Or that custard could be frozen: And that there was at least one factory in Hamster Britain producing the delicious sweet.

Margarita comprehended in a second, as cavies often do, and was most impressed with Joan’s ability to ‘walk between worlds’, and offered to carry her wherever she desired, free-of-charge, with the promise that although she was a cavy she would temporarily refrain from the characteristic Perambulatory Defecation Syndrome that was so prevalent with beasts of burden like herself.

“Thank you,” Joan replied, “I might take you up on your kind offer. Of course I didn’t know I could walk between worlds: They must have inadvertently opened a door inside my brain when I visited the Institute of Hugely Important Studies for a series of psychic tests. I’m certainly feeling cleverer and cleverer with every passing second: Perhaps in time I might achieve the level of genius. Or perhaps it’s nothing more than the lovely clean air you have here. I don’t know. But that’s by the by: What do we do next?”

Darkwood was very impressed with Joan’s verbosity, and recognised that he would have fallen helplessly head-over-heels in love with her if he hadn’t been hamster-sexual, and only really fancied hamsters with squelchy bits that dangled. And as things stood, Rootley appeared to be the only ‘talent’ available currently. Unfortunately he was a mere serf with whom Darkwood would countenance no dalliance under any circumstances.

“You’re looking at me funny.” Rootley observed.

Although caught out, Darkwood quickly recovered. “I’m royalty: I’m allowed to look at people funny.” He snapped. Then added, “You’re local: Answer me this: To which location do you suggest we transport ourselves next? Food, shelter, and a safe refuge from an inevitable pursuit by the Lawmen of Weasels Pit would be a prerequisite.”

“Dunno,” replied Rootley, “I’ll have to think about it.”

“Well don’t think too long,” Margarita piped up from the shrubbery, “I can hear horns being blown in the village below.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan

This e-book is available at many outlets. Might I suggest you take a look at some of the better-known ones by checking beneath the ‘header’ or looking on the ‘sidebar’ for easy access.

Again the Psychic Historian!

Following a period of near blogging silence, I felt that you, as my loyal readers, deserved another bout of the Hamster-Sapiens giggles. So here is another excerpt from this most wondrous tome…

It had been a shorter tale than anyone had expected. The audience was caught totally unaware as the screen seemed to go out of focus, then turn dark once more.

“Is that it?” Farmer Jacksey exploded, “I was just getting into that. All those references to debauched sex – but none on view. I feel empty inside – like me guts have been torn out!”

But others felt differently. They also felt differently towards Henderson, who was just regaining consciousness. His upbringing must have been difficult. Having a fondant profiteer as a father, and a brother called Legsakimbo who was a ‘chip off the old block’, and who in turn became a fondant pirate, must have made his childhood a living hell.

This opinion was reinforced when Henderson, still a little groggy, confessed, “And I was terribly ill too. I suffer from the worst kind of motion sickness: The sort that makes you really sick. And I mean really sick: Sick for days on end just for riding pillion on foldaway scooter. So sick, in fact, that I actually considered throwing myself from the gondola of my father’s dirigible.”

“What stopped ya?” Farmer Jacksey jeered from where he sat beside his diminutive wife, the former Miss Gultrot.

“I threw up before I could clamber over the rail.” Henderson replied with a complete lack of defensiveness in his tone, “I then slipped in my own vomit, and knocked myself stupid on a cast iron support flange. I was hospitalised for a week. That’s when they revoked my flying licence. But my love of fondant remained, and in between becoming a professor of Pox and Pustules, I opened my own shop on the promenade at Chunderford. When Horatio Horseblanket destroyed that wonderful emporium of nature’s elixir of life he took everything that was precious to me. I now pray that you understand my motivation for wanting to kill him, and request that you turn your backs whilst I conduct the dirty deed.”

Horatio may not have been the sharpest blade in the cutlery drawer, but he could recognise a fabulous argument in favour of murder at a hundred paces.

“But I didn’t destroy your fondant shop,” he yelled as he stood – heedless of the imaginary sniper, “I was on board the Dragon Slayer that day – but I didn’t make the propeller fall off. A board of enquiry exonerated me utterly. It was determined that the fault lay with a boiler-room technician who accidentally whacked it with a broom whilst fighting off an attack of mosquitoes. If you want revenge – then I suggest that you turn your considerable mental ability to finding a means of eradicating the mosquito.”

For a moment utter silence reigned. No one had ever heard a young hamster say so many words without breathing in pure oxygen for at least five minutes previously. They were astounded. But once they’d recovered from the intense feeling of admiration for their local celebrity, good sense made them consider his words.

“Yeah,” Boney was the first to speak. He addressed Henderson Dangerpimple directly, “Why don’t you do exactly what he said – and do us all a favour? I hate mozzies. I s’pect we all do – deep down inside.”

Well the inference was clear to Dangerpimple as the crowd quickly got behind Boney and Horatio. “Death to mozzies! Death to mozzies!” They cried.

“Is it true?” Dangerpimple spoke directly to Horatio for the first time since Colleen Slapper had walked away whilst still wearing her wedding dress, and with her knickers still firmly hitched. “Did they really exonerate you?”

“Scout’s honour.” Horatio smiled with relief, “But if you don’t believe me you can look it up in the town library. There was a full transcript printed in The Bucktooth Times. I’m sure they’ll have a copy of it: It was a big story.”

Henderson Dangerpimple nodded acceptance. “Thank you, Horatio.” He said.

Horatio was puzzled. “For what?”

“For giving new meaning to my life.” Dangerpimple replied, “I realise now that a future in fondant icing isn’t for me: I shall do as you suggest, and turn my considerable intellect to the problem of exterminating an entire species. And as regards your theft of my wife…well I now consider that fair payment. She was really only window dressing anyway: She couldn’t hope to have competed with me in intellectual conversation: I would have tired of her very quickly, I realise that now. But for you she’s perfect. You can both talk endless crap from dawn ‘til dusk. When you finally marry her I hope that you produce a vast number of small Horatios: Hamster-Britain needs more heroes. Good luck.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan

This e-book has been available at pretty much every e-book seller upon the planet. It has not sold in its millions. So, if you would be so kind, how about you visit some of those stockists (mentioned beneath the header of this blog) and make it a huge hit. After all I can’t really call myself a literary genius and Internet sensation without your help can I!

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

Back – After Six Years Absence

Thought you might enjoy a reblog of something I wrote way-back-when…

How many times has your rip-roaring tale of gung-ho-ness stuttered to a halt because you’ve written your characters into a desperate corner, and you can’t find a logical way out? Loads of times, I’m sure – especially if (like me) you’re the sort of writer who can’t stand planning the whole story out before hitting the first key of the story proper. There’s nothing worse for a writer (other than writer’s block) than thinking up a fabulous new direction in which to take the story – only to be forced to ignore it because you can’t fit it into the pre-existing plot.

So my tip for today is this…

Insert needless asides and details that move the story along not one jot, and which might appear at first to be totally spurious, but will later be called upon to get you right out of the literary shit. As an example I bring you this extract from my book ‘Danglydong Dell Diaries’. You will find that it appears needlessly rude – but boy did it come to my rescue when I needed to save my characters from oblivion later in the book…

Blubbersday, the Forty-sixth of Plinth. Like the other two parties before them, the group that was psychically protected by Primrose Pickles entered Far Kinell through one of the four main gates. In their case it was the rickety old Historic gate, where market stalls had been set up that sold ‘old fashioned’ or ‘retro’ stuff – like woollen bloomers, clogs, wooden false teeth, earthenware bed-warmers, beetroot wine, and a plethora of multifarious strap-on dildos.

For a brief moment Colin was quite taken by the latter, and even went so far as to study one or two of them minutely.

“Ere,” Boney called down to him from the broad back of Gargantua the giant cavy, “leave them fake dicks alone. Nothing good can come of tinkerin’ with the unnatural.”

“But I’m unnatural.” Colin reminded his current owner. “There isn’t a natural product in my body. And I was just wondering if I could utilise one of these as an addendum to my ‘special tool’. It could be fun. I could frighten sailors with it.”

Boney had to think about this for a few seconds. “Yeah that sounds alright.” He replied finally, “Maybe we can mass produce ‘em too, and sell ‘em as advanced alien trinkets. They don’t have no patent laws in this world, do they?”

It was a brilliant idea, and Colin duly flicked a few coins in the vendor’s direction, and snatched up the largest, most impressive specimen on his stall. It wobbled alarmingly in his paw as he walked away, and appeared almost too real for comfort. “Indeed they don’t.” He said quietly.

Primrose, meanwhile, was reconnoitring the immediate area with all six senses. She cocked her head upon one side – as if listening to something that no one else could hear.

Gargantua noticed this, and immediately he began mimicking her.

“What are you doing?” Primrose inquired.

“Hoping that whatever you’ve got rubs off on me.” Gargantua replied. “Maybe I can be the first recorded psychic cavy in history.”

“Do they keep such records in Prannick?” Primrose was instantly fascinated.

Gargantua shrugged his shoulders, which almost flipped Boney from his elevated perch. “Somewhere in some secretive cubby hole of The Wheel they do, no doubt.” He said.

Primrose’s fascination dissipated. “I’m trying to sense Tybrow Mooney’s presence, or at least his spore.” She spoke sternly, “Don’t interrupt with mindless trivialities.”

Colin arrived. He waved his wobbly dildo in Primrose’s direction. “What do you think of this, Primrose?” He asked politely.

Primrose wasn’t really paying much attention. “Lovely.” She said absentmindedly.

“Would you like me to go back and buy one for you?” Colin offered generously, “There was a sign that said ‘One size fits all’. Obviously I wouldn’t know what that means, but I’m sure it must be a positive attribute.”

Primrose then noticed the dildo as it wobbled like an elongated jellybean. “No!” she screamed. “It’s disgusting. Put it away.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan

To discover how this was put to good use later in the tale, check out Danglydong Dell Diaries at any e-book retailer. It’s also available from the stockists mentioned on the sidebar and under the header – those being Lulu, Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.