Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy what you find here. Whilst you may not agree with everything I post, if you respect my right to my opinion I'll respect your right to disagree with it and we should get along just fine. :)

Disclaimer: the views expressed by the characters in these works may not necessarily represent the views of the author. Got that? Good.

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Friday, 5 February 2010

#FridayFlash: UCF #3: The Package


Swazzle and Pogmorton pelted down the forest path as fast as their short little legs could carry them. Before long they were both completely out of breath and collapsed against an old Ash tree, sucking in great lungfulls of air, their faces the colour of ripe beetroot.

‘Oh bollocks,’ wheezed Swazzle, ‘I’m getting too old for this.’

Pogmorton could only grimace, his chest heaving. He was still a long way from being able to speak. After some moments of careful walking up and down and stretching to ease his screaming muscles, Swazzle settled down with his back to the tree trunk to wait for his body to recover.

A scrabbling sound from behind him soon got the better of his curiosity, and peering round the trunk, Swazzle saw Pogmorton, now also much recovered, holding a small, plain wooden box, its hessian wrapping lying discarded at his feet.

‘What are you doing?’ Swazzle demanded, ‘You know what Flaarti said, that we were to bring “the package” directly to him. He never said anything about peeking at it first.’

‘All right,’ replied Pogmorton, ‘Keep your hair on, I’m just having a quick look. I’d rather like to know what we nearly died to get hold of.’

Flipping open the box’s lid, Pogmorton took a delicate sniff of the contents and Swazzle watched in horror as a look of pure lust stole across his friend’s face.

‘Fairy Dust!’ Pogmorton whooped, ‘It’s Fairy Dust!’

Snatching a twig from a nearby bush, Pogmorton expertly stripped the bark with his sharp, pointed teeth, then rolled it neatly into a short tube.

‘Oh no,’ Swazzle began, a feeling of deep trepidation sweeping over him, ‘You’re not going to…’

‘Only a pinch,’ interrupted Pogmorton, ‘Just a little bit to err…check the quality, like.’ He winked.

Swazzle was on his feet and running towards Pogmorton in an instant. It was an instant too late however, and he watched fearfully as Pogmorton stuffed the bark tube up his right nostril, lowered his head to the box and inhaled.

‘Now you’ve done it,’ wailed Swazzle, skidding to a halt in front of him as a strange and unusual reaction took over Pogmorton. His face grew redder and redder, his eyes bulged and tears ran down his cheeks. Pormorton’s belly began to swell, his stomach growling and grumbling until, with a grimace he doubled over holding his stomach and broke wind long and loud, the sound somewhat reminiscent of a ship’s hooter.

Caught in the noxious blast, the Elderberry bush wilted, its leaves withered and fell, floating down in a crispy brown cloud to half cover the body of a wood mouse which, also caught in the blast, had expired with a very surprised look upon its whiskers.

Swazzle was on the point of asking Pogmorton if he was all right when his friend straightened up, fury writ large upon his face.

‘Twinkle!’ he roared, then let fly such a tirade of foul language that, by the end of it, Swazzle was taking notes in the hope of increasing his vocabulary.

‘What? What is it?’ Swazzle asked when Pogmorton paused for breath.

‘That rotten, double-crossing, bloody fairy,’ fumed Pogmorton, ‘She’s cut the Dust with flour. How the hell did she find out I’m gluten intolerant?’

‘Aye,’ replied Swazzle, ‘or that you’re a recovering Dust addict. She must have known you wouldn’t be able to resist what’s in that box.’

Pogmorton snapped the box lid shut, rubbed his sore stomach and said wryly, ‘The Big Folk must have it easier than this with allergies I reckon, otherwise they'd all explode. Anyway, better out than in.’

The Elderberry bush begged to differ.

‘By the gods, that nearly did me a mischief,’ continued Pogmorton.

Swazzle, who had just spotted the wood mouse, began to chuckle, spasms of laughter rippling through his body until he collapsed at Pogmorton’s feet, tears of mirth streaming down his cheeks.

‘It didn’t do that mouse much good either,’ he gasped between guffaws.

Pogmorton stooped and brushed away the shroud of Elderberry leaves. Turning back to Swazzle, he stood up holding the mouse by its tail. The mouse was as stiff as a board.

Pogmorton popped the mouse into his mouth and was twirling the end of its tail from one side of his mouth to the other like a spiv with a toothpick as Swazzle heaved himself to feet.

‘You might have saved me a bit,’ he complained as Pogmorton crunched his way through the carcass.

‘Aw, come on,’ mumbled Pogmorton through a mouthful of mouse, ‘After what I’ve just been through? It’s only a little ‘un, hardly enough for two, and anyway, you know how much I enjoy a freshly smoked mouse. Come on, we’d better get going.’

This is not going to end well, thought Swazzle, as together he and Pogmorton marched off down the path again. And what was Flaarti going to say about the Fairy Dust – it was damn hard to get hold of at the best of times, but with this war on…



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50 comments:

Marisa Birns said...

Oh quite entertaining, Sam!

Your descriptions are such a you-are-there type that I've lost my appetite for dinner because of the bad smell in the air!

And laughed out loud at the "freshly smoked mouse"!

Really enjoyed the continuing story of these two.

Josie said...

Oh that is excellent :-D

Especially:
"a very surprised look upon its whiskers."
"The Elderberry bush begged to differ."

I am so enjoying this story. Made me laugh.

mazzz in Leeds said...

heh heh, loving the deadly fart!
I wonder what Twinkle's up to - didn't expect her to be a drug dealer!

phonelady said...

thanks for another installment sam see a publisher I do think that you have an award winning story here .

Laura Eno said...

That poor Elderberry bush and "smoked mouse"! Very funny, Sam, and your descriptions were vivid. Made me wrinkle my nose. :)

Sam said...

Marisa - Thanks for those kind words and apologies if I put you off your dinner.

Josie - Thanks. Glad to hear the Pixies are still making you laugh.

mazzz in Leeds - Ah, all will be revealed; I'm not convinced Twinkle knows the full story yet.

phonelady - Thanks for your kind comment. I would like to see these two in print, though I need to see where the story leads first.

Laura Eno - Thanks Laura, since embarking on this writer's road I've tried to work on my descriptions - I'm amazed just what can be evoked with only a few words. Apologies for the Pixies making your nose wrinkle.

Emma Newman said...

EEEUUUWWWWW!

Delightfully gross! Made me giggle :)

shannon said...

"A mouthful of mouse"! Bahhaha Pixie dust cut with flour?! How do you think of these things? Very entertaining, I must say. Looking forward to next week. :-)

Tony Noland said...

I'll agree with Marisa and Laura - the descriptions of place and people is very well done, very immersive.

And I loved the image of a courier trying to sneak a little hit of fairy dust.

CJ Hodges MacFarlane said...

You are so GOOD at the little humorous bits that make this great story even better. I find it's incredibly hard to write funny - but you do it with such ease! Can't wait for next installment.

Sam said...

Emma Newman - LOL! Sorry Emma. Those Pixies can be really disgusting, eh? Glad you enjoyed the story.

Eric J. Krause said...

Great job on this. Quite entertaining. You peppered it with so many great lines.

Sam said...

shannon - Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for your great comment. I really have no clue where the ideas come from, they just sort of pop into my head. I wonder if I'm channeling Pixies?!

Tony Noland - Thanks Tony. I used to find brevity in my descriptive writing very difficult, this is something I've been trying to work on recently and judging by your (and Marisa's and Laura's) comment, I must be beginning to get the hang of it.

CJ Hodges MacFarlane - Thanks you, very kind of you to say so. I don't know how I do it, the ideas just seem to come to me. Very pleased you're enjoying this series of stories.

Sam said...

Eric J. Krause - Thanks Eric, glad you enjoyed it.

jim wisneski said...

I will agree with everyone else that the descriptions were great. Really felt like I was there.

Well done!

Jim

Draco Torre said...

Like the little quips like taking notes to increase vocabulary. Fun characters that work great together. More Twinkle!

Sam said...

jim wisneski - Much appreciated Jim. Looks like I'm finally starting to get a handle on my descriptions, which I have always felt let me down in my early writing years ago.

Sam said...

Draco Torre - Thanks for those kind words. I'm glad you like the characters and want to read more because they're stuck in my head right now and I reckon the only way to shift them is to write them out of it.

Amy J Taylor said...

Ha! Loving the deadly fart! And the freshly smoked mouse! :D Delightfully funny...but also really foul! Good stuff!

And I know what you mean about getting stuck with characters (not that you should be complaining with this little lot!)...I get stuck with poetic themes. It's true...the only way to lose them, is to write them out!

Sam said...

Amy J Taylor - I'm really pleased you enjoyed this installment, and I'm glad it's not just me who gets stuck with themes; I was beginning to wonder there for a moment.

Guess that means I'll have to keep writing with these characters. ;)

Heather Lloyd said...

Really enjoyed reading this chapter, the sense of humour is great (who doesn't love a fart joke?). The characters are likeable and I agree that you should definitely continue with them - whilst this chapter stands well by itself in the flash format I would love to see how you could develop them in a longer story without word count constraints....

Sam said...

Heather Lloyd - Thanks Heather, much appreciated. The odd fart joke is unavoidable when dealing with Pixies! ;)

I'd quite like to write these characters into a longer piece, I'll have to give that some serious thought.

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Sam,

That was utterly delightful! I was laughing out loud over and over! That fairy dust laced with flour and him being gluten intolerant was genius!

These characters are so interesting and your descriptions of their lives are very well-written.

Truly a joy!

Sam said...

Anne Tyler Lord - Thanks for those kind words. I'm really glad you enjoyed it, especially as those Pixies seem to have rather taken over at the moment!

Skycycler said...

Gluten intolerance was a stroke of comic genius, Sam. A very funny read!

Deanna Schrayer said...

Sam, it takes a lot to make me cackle, but this did it with ease. Such hilarious images throughout. I'd love to have a whole book of these little...critters. So keep on going!

Julie (Okami) said...

Sam - I'll say it again, you have truly found your calling.

Please keep it up.

Sam said...

Skycycler - Thanks for your great comment. The gluten intolerance just came to me as I was writing this story, I'm glad it had the desired effect.

Deanna Schrayer - I'm pleased I could make you laugh, looks like the Pixies are working their magic on you! I'd quite like to write these characters into a longer piece too, so I will keep going with them - not difficult as they're stuck in my head at the moment.

Julie (Okami) - Thanks for those very kind words. It really means a lot to know that I may not be too bad at this writing lark. :)

David Masters said...

Was wondering Sam, could you get hold of some of the Fairy Dust for me? It's done wonders for your writing...

Linda said...

Your stories always leave me smiling... love the names, the gluten intolerance, all of it. Colorful stuff -- will you write more about Swazzle and Pogmorton? Peace, Linda

Laurita said...

Oh, do I enjoy these stories. Such vivid descriptions and characters. The part about being gluten intolerant was priceless.

John Wiswell said...

It's not useful criticism, but I just wanted to praise your taste in names.

Sam said...

David Masters - I'll see what I can do about some Fairy Dust for you, I'll be speaking to the Pixies shortly and I'm sure they'll know where some may be had. ;)

Linda - Thanks, glad you liked it. Yes, I think I will be writing more about Swazzle and Pormorton.

Laurita - The gluten intolerance was a last minute idea which just sort of came to me, I'm so pleased it did.

John Wiswell - Thanks John, I do appreciate the feedback.

Karen from Mentor said...

"Swazzle and Pogmorton pelted down the forest path as fast as their short little legs could carry them."

Twinkle! I sat up and rubbed my hands together in glee as soon as I read that very first line. VERY Fun story.
[Although I did feel bad for the poor surprised mousie.]

:0)

Sam said...

Karen from Mentor - Thanks for the lovely comment, I'm so glad you were pleased it was another Twinkle story.

I'm not done with this series yet as I can't seem to get the Pixies out of my head (I think they have my Muse bound and gagged somewhere!).

Cynthia Schuerr said...

Very Vivid, Sam. I could have been right there with those little guys, Swazzle and Pogmorton. Love those names. The name Flaarti is also very funny. Is that sort of a nickname for flatulence? LOL You rocked it!

Sam said...

Cynthia Schuerr - Thanks Cynthia, I've been trying to work on my descriptions, great to hear it's paying off. The names just popped into my head, no connections to anything were intended, but now you come to mention it... ;)

Deb said...

Hi Sam,

I love your fantasy world! Your writing just keeps getting tighter and tighter!
I laughed at the "Fairy Dust Addict!"

Great stuff!

Sam said...

Deb - Thanks so much for those kind words, I really appreciate the feedback. Very pleased you're enjoying this series of stories.

Al Bruno III said...

Very entertaining! I look forward to reading more.

Sam said...

Al Bruno III - Thanks, I'm pleased you enjoyed it. There will be more in this series. :)

Cathy Olliffe said...

Hey Sam! Thought your characters were as cute as bugs. And any time you can get a good fart into a story is just a bonus!

Sam said...

Cathy Olliffe - Thanks for a great comment Cathy. I'm pleased you enjoyed the story and like the characters as those Pixies are stuck in my head at the moment, so I guess there will be more stories in this series.

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Hi Sam,

Rules state I must notify you in a comment that you have an award at my site.

Donna Carrick said...

A jewel of a story, Sam, with terrific turns of phrase throughout. My favourite gem, though, was "The Elderberry bush begged to differ." ha ha
Loving it -- thanks for sharing with us all!

Sam said...

Donna Carrick - Thanks so much for the lovely comment. I'm really pleased you're enjoying this series of stories. More adventures with the Pixies coming soon.

ej said...

Very clever idea and very funny. I laughed out loud when I realised what he was doing with the bark! The characters are instantly likeable and I look forward to reading more about them!

Sam said...

ej - Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the story. Have you had a chance to check out the previous two episodes?

Those characters have grown on me - they were only ever intended to be one-shot throw aways, but they've got inside my head so I guess they'll be around for a while yet.

Stay tuned for more adventures from Swazzle and Pogmorton...

Kim Batchelor said...

There's nothing I can add that hasn't already been said. Such a foul but funny little couple.

Sam said...

Kim - Thanks. I'll pass your kind comments along to Swazzle & Pogmorton, don't be surprised if you find them raiding your bins. ;)

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