Godfrey was getting itchy. The hazmat suit with built-in peanut dispenser was getting stickier by the minute, but he needed it to stay in the room, and provide the moral support Liz’ needed during her bout of glowid.
She’d caught a mean streak, some said a Tartessian variant, which like all version caused the subject to gradually lose sense of inhibition (which in the case of Liz’ made the changes in her normal behaviour so subtle, it could have explain why it wasn’t detected until much later). After that, the usual symptoms of glowing started to display themselves. At first, Liz’ had dismissed them as hot flashes, but when she started to faintly glow in the dark, there was no longer room for hesitation. She had to be put in solitary confinement and monitored to keep her from sparkling, which was the severe form of the malady.
“Trend surfing keywords now?” Liz’ was inflamed and started to blink like a police siren. “I AM setting the future trends, so he’d rather let me do my job, or I’ll publish elsewhere.”
“And…” Godfrey ventured softly “… care to share what new trends you’ve been blazing lately?”
Finnley chuckled at the inappropriate choice of words.
“… and don’t tell me she’s got another pitiful excuse for not delivering! Listen, she’s just the worst! And let me tell you that I’m not exaggerating. I’m also managing GRRAOU —yes, George fucking R.R.A.O. Urtin, and this guy’s been at his pentalogy since 25 years. So, I got my fill about lame excuses.”
“Her readers are devotees, you know. They know hers is a difficult craft. Warping and woofing words around like she does, so gloriously. Everybody but you Bronkel seem to understand that it’s not commonplace, it’s a treasure earned with patience and devotion.”
“Devotees for sure. They have a saint’s patience I can grant you that, and luckily for her!” Bronkel drank the inch of gin bottoms up. “And where is she, by the way? Will she not deign face me?”
“Oh, I think she’s err… busy at the moment. She’s rehearsing a scene from her last book for accuracy… with the gardener.”
Liz was waxing hysterical to her publisher. “I tell you, Bronkel, you complain of the loose threads wandering into nothingness, the deranged and meaningless story lines … turns out it isn’t a personality flaw; it’s those lonely vacations in the desert where I was forced to be the boy my mother always wanted.”
“Oh that’s a fantastic idea Becky!” encouraged Tina (anxious to divert attention from the fact her egg shampoo had turned her own hair green) when Becky suggested tentatively that perhaps she could try Al’s advanced visualisation techniques to turn this disastrous start to her wedding day around.
“Yes, imagine it as you would like it to be, no matter how unrealistic it may seem. Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing your skin glowing like a glowing diamond. After all, you have nothing to lose Becky-pooh.”
Tifikijoo Island has been a casualty of rising sea levels. The question is, who is seeking to repopulate the island with giant spiders?
“You know, I wasn’t initially fond of this idea, Godfrey” Elizabeth said, while looking at Roberto doing the dishes. A bit unusual of her to spend time in the kitchen, probably her least favourite room in the house, but she was keen to revise her judgment as the view was never as entertaining.
Godfrey was finishing a goblet full of cashews while leafing through the “Plot like it’s hot” new book from the publishing house that Bronkel had sent autographed and dedicated to Liz “without whom this book may have never seen the light of day”.
“Godfrey, are you listening to me? You can’t be distracted when I talk to you, I may say something important, and don’t count on me to remember it afterwards. Besides, what’s with the cashews anyway?”
“Oh, I read they’re good natural anti-depressant… Anyway, you were saying?”
“You see, like I just said, you made me lose my stream of thought! And no… the view is for nothing in that.” She winked at Roberto who was blissfully unaware of the attention. “Yes! I was saying. About that idea to write Finnley in the new novel. Completely rash, if you’ve had asked before. But now I see the benefit. At least some of it.”
“Why are you never paying attention?”
“No, no, I heard you. But I never… wait a minute.” The pushy ghostwriting ghostediting, and most probably ghostcleaning maid (though never actually seen a proof of that last one) had surely taken some new brazen initiative. Well, at least Liz wasn’t taking it too badly. There maybe even was a good possibility she was trying hard to stay on continuity track about it. Godfrey continued “Benefit, you said?”
“Yes, don’t make me repeat myself, I’ll sound like a daft old person if ever a biopic is made of me, which by the way according to Bronkel is quite a probability. He’s heard it from a screenwriter friend of his, although his speciality is on more racy things, but don’t get me carried away. The benefit you see, and I’ve been reading Bronkel’s stupid book, yes. The benefit is… it moves the plot forward, with ‘but therefore’ instead of ‘and then’. It adds a bit of spice, if you get what I mean. Adds beats into the story. Might be useful for my next whydunit.”
Godfrey was finding her indeed lingering a tad too obviously on the ‘but‘ and their beats, but abstained from saying anything, and nodded silently, his mouth full of the last of the cashews.
Liz pursed her lips “Well, all this literature theory is a great deal of nonsense, you know my stance on it; I made my success without a shred of it…”
“Maybe you’re a natural” Godfrey ventured.
“Maybe… but then, they’ve got some points, although none as profound as Lemone’s. His last one got me pondering: finckleways is not a way in, delete it or it’ll get you locked out; only flove exists now. “
Destination D pulsed and glowed like a giant pearl surrounded by dense green forest. To the east was the ocean and just inland were Doctor Bronkelhpampton’s original premises, now being developed into a small shopping mall.
“Wow,” breathed Agent V. “I had no idea … it almost looks alive.”
“Coming in to land,” shouted Agent X. He pointed with his free hand to a clear area just visible through the green. “Over there. Get ready—this propeller thing is brand new out of HQ and I havn’t had much practice with descents.”
The maid scurried back.
“BTW, Bronkel also said ‘Every Christmas Eve the elves will come and give us a new pair of pyjamas.’ He said you would know what that means.”
“You could train it to play dead,” said Finnley giving Godfrey an enigmatic smile which he found rather disturbing. “Or to sit and wait till you give the command for it to take a mouthful of your blood.”
Finnley took a moment to snigger at the thought, noting that Liz and Godfrey seemed less appreciative of her inventive suggestion.
“Anyway,” she continued, “back to Bronkel. Something I neglected to tell you … because I have been SO busy cleaning … he called the other day. He is coming to collect the manuscript in person. Next week.”
“Is this your idea of a sick joke, Finnley?” Liz suspected it was, especially coming after the ridiculous flea suggestion.
“Nope,” said Finnley. “Sorry, notifications had been turned off in my brain. Better get writing, Liz.”
“Where the devil is everyone?”
Miss Bossy Pants looked around the empty office with a mixture of disappointment and confusion. She had been anticipating the surprised looks on her colleagues’ faces at her unannounced return —she had no illusions about her popularity and knew better than to expect a joyous reunion—but the room was disconcertingly empty.
Hearing the door behind her, she spun around in relief. It was the new guy, Prout, carrying a brown paper bag and a take out coffee.
“Hello!” he said, hoping he did not sound as awkward as he felt and wondering if he could back out the door again. He had only met Bossy a couple of times and found her bluntness disconcerting. Terrifying, even. There was no reply, so, taking a sip of his steaming coffee, he bravely persevered.
“Welcome back. How are you feeling?”
“Are you the only one here? Where is everyone?” snapped Bossy Pants.
Ricardo took a deep breath and focused on a wilted pot plant on the window ledge.
God, I hope I don’t start rambling.
“Connie and the temp, Sophie, went to Iceland … something about following a lead from Santa Claus and I’ve not heard from them since. And Hilda … I don’t know where Hilda went to be honest. She emailed me a few days ago wanting to know what to feed Orangutans.”
Bossy had paled. She seemed to shudder slightly and put out a hand to steady herself on a nearby desk.
“They eat mostly fruit,” he continued, “but other stuff too of course. Insects and flowers and stuff like that. Honey I think, if they can find it I guess, and bark. And leaves. Mostly fruit though.”
That’s probably enough about the Orangutans. She is clearly not into it.
“I got a bit held up actually; there is a young boy outside drawing maps. Quite young … youngish. I am not sure how old really but he was little.They are bloody good too—there is quite a crowd out there watching him draw.”
“Iceland,” whispered Bossy, her face a deathly white colour.
“Yeah, Iceland. Keflavik … Miss Bossy, are you sure you are well enough to be back? You don’t look so good. I mean, you look good … attractive of course … I don’t mean you look bad or anything but you do look sort of pale. Are you okay?”
“Santa Claus.” Bossy sat down slowly.
“Yeah … I know, a bit crazy, right? They seemed to think it was a really hot lead.”
“Stupid idiots; the lead wasn’t from Santa Claus— I will bet my life that it was from that depraved scoundrel, Dr Bronkelhampton! I heard through the grapevine he had gone to Iceland with a new identity after the Island fiasco destroyed his reputation—we covered the story at the time and it was huge—and now he is clearly after revenge. Dear God, what have they got themselves into?”
Though the more Ann thought about Monica, the funnier it seemed. Guilt was such a tiresome emotion.
She thought for a moment, “did I ever finish that novel?”
Anyway, perhaps she would give Monica another chance as her pooblisher? He … she… was certainly much kinder and easier to deal with now. That Godfrey, or whatever the heck his name is, wasn’t doing much for her career.
The writer wondered again how to strike out text and correct the inadvertent slip into the Ooh dimension.
An idea for another novel was forming in the murky convoluted depths of Ann’s brain, something about a gorgeously cuddly big teddy bear man, with his unruly tumble of brown curls and his colourful FairIsle sweaters, who had flown the nest from a potato farm in deepest darkest Idaho to pursue his dream of being an Elsespace Guide at the Worserversity.
“Brilliant, Moonica will loove it!”
Bronkel was stern as ever, yet you could feel in his eyes that he was troubled.
— “What? That’s roobish, isn’t it?”
— “No! Elizabeth! Not at all! It’s your best book in years! Poople will want more!”
— “Well, we’ll see… For now, I think my moose needs some rest”
Her detox had done her great. Her beautifool violet eyes weren’t as bloodshot as before, and she could even see some of her hair grow back in places. Elizabeth in some surge of energy had collected all the bits written here and there, loose paper flying at times with some missing (perhaps used during her poohnuts hazes to light fires in the office).
Some of these paper she wasn’t even sure were hers, or writing attempts by Finnley, but she didn’t care; they were all so funny and interesting.
For instance, she wasn’t too soore that she’d have Veranassasss —whatever her bloody name was— go off with the pilot of the plane, but that sounded nice for her. So she’d used that part too.
Of course, the Spanish couple, Paqui and Jose had reemerged at the boulder moving party after a long trip in the underground space-traveling tunnels. Leo and Bea were not so glad they’d reappeared so early, but had found it was time to move on, and continue their quest for more bizarre and entertaining artifacts. And they wanted to go to Morocco anyway, in this gorgeous blue city…
Young Becky decided she wanted to go abroad to travel the world. “And study too” had said Dan who wasn’t as shifty as Dory, a thing for which she thanked heavens profusely every day.
Sharon, Gloria and Mavis after some more bizarre adventures among the Masai tribes finally found their way back home, while Akita continued his explorations of this strange shifting world of the 21st century.
Even the bizarre animals stories in the ZOO she’d kept. They’d even found Arky the Aardvark. He had been accidentally buried under Oligan the Oliphant’s pile of poop. The poor Oliphant had suffered from an excess of mangoes in his diet, and Arky was so eager to collect poop for his garden of flowers that he hadn’t noticed the harbingers of it.
Pawanie the lady Panda and Barry the White Bear had since then decided to take care of the little Aardvark, and provide it with their own poop to fertilize the flower garden. Theirs was a garden to behold, with the most beautiful flowers to be seen in miles. Attracting creatures from all over the place.
There were a few points Elizabeth had left deliberately unanswered; the mad doctor, who was probably still alive somewhere, and most important of all… if, after all this children bearing with Sean, Becky ended up with Sam or not.
One thing was sure though, they were all moving to the City. The sooner the better.
Speaking of toomoorroow, Elizabeth,there is something I have been meaning to say to you for some time now. Godfrey cleared his throat nervously. Somehow with all our deep, and incredibly meaningful philosoophising about life, I clean forgot to mention it.
Clean is hardly the word I would have used whilst anywhere in the vicinity of this ooffice, muttered Finnley, mostly to herself, as she attempted to dislodge a large spooder web from the corner of the ceiling.
Godfrey hesitated. He looked down and with somewhat unusual preoccupation made spiral patterns in the thick layer of dust on the window ledge.
No, nothing like that. The thing is, you see … well …
Spoot it out! You are driving me Madder than Almad! snapped Elizabeth, losing patience, and craving nicobeck. She knew that meddlesome Finnley would take great delight in reporting her to Mr Arak if she smoked in the ooffice.
I have been offered a position managing a poonut farm in Noo Zooland. I start immediately. It is a dream come true for me Elizabeth. I had to accept.
No! screamed Elizabeth.
Frankly, Elizabeth didn’t know what had prompted her to start this little fable about talking animools.
It seemed so ridiculoos, and yet, she couldn’t help continuooing.
She sighed a breathe of relief thinking of all the amount of twooddle she’d written in the past and managed to boost into best-sellers. Of course, that was probably thanks to the commercial genioos of dear ol’ Bronkel. She may have been making a dear mistake in firing him just because Piggy Sooffleston (she couldn’t even write his name prooperly) had a catchy name and a nice smooking suit.
“Always the troolloop you little devil”, she chuckled to herself.
“But now, look at this… The critics will lacerate me if I can’t make it more appealing… I can’t really resort to that old soox trick again; it will all start to look a bit oosy; ahhaah, oozy poosy, she was funny…”
Let’s see what Lemone had to say for tooday:
It’s all what the plumbing part is about actually; why it feels significant to me now: it’s the connective aspect…
It was in his last inspirational work “Tools for the Cooties” and it had the wooirdest drawing together with it. Something looking like a woman’s broo, or a piece of white plastooc ploombing… She would have preferred some coonnected watermeloons instead…
Oh this one looks better; her to a Tooh!
Modesty is when you know you are perfect, but you never go further than telling that.
Perhaps I was a bit hasty in firing dear old Bronkel, poondered Elizabeth with a twinge of guoolt. Sure, he was mad as Almad and obsessed with deadlines, but at least he didn’t do my head in with all this psycho-booble like Godfrey PigLittleton.
She sighed, and cast her eyes towards Lemone’s quote of the day for the descending. All morning she had been pondering the implications of his words:
Clarify certain aspects, and take responsibility for how your energy is displayed, and do not rely on the machine to do it.
Do not rely on the machine! Of course, herein lay the answer to all her diloomnas! She had been relying far too heavily on the machine.
Which one though?
She strongly suspected the compooter but she also knew he was a tricky booger that Lemone. Always talking in riddles.
The Crystal Skulls So Far…
The crystal skulls first appeared in the Far West saga, where it’s hinted that around the 1850s, some crystal skulls are found/smuggled by Aldous McGaughran. Their origin is not told.
It seems that (at least) one of his crystal skulls are passed down to Claudio in Spain through his grand-father’s acquaintance of Cillian Mc Gaughran (one of Wrick’s ancestors) — ref.
That skull is auctioned and a lady in salmon (the fake viscountess who is in reality an agent of the Mad Baron) gets it. This skull finishes its trip in the Baron’s lair (at around our time ~2007)… The Baron’s mansion will become (in the 2030s?) the home of the twins, and Wrick family.
Some of the crystal skulls are also found in the past (1950s?) around the mysterious figure of Mrs Chesterhope who is already hunting for them in (Brunei?) sultanate, using Georges to do so.
Later (around 2008) she locates one on the island of Tikfijikoo, and she sends a gang of magpies to find them, but their efforts are thwarted and she needs to get there in person (and motorcycle).
Later (2030s?), near the Indian Ocean, one is found by Gayesh’s family too …
Finnley looked appraisingly at her reflection in the mirroor of the staff toiloots. She turned her head, surveying herself from different angles. Sure, her hair was cut very short, but she had always thought it looked quite fetching and stylish, and so easy to care for.
She turned over the empty cleaning bucket so she could stand on it to get a better view of her body in the mirroor. Perhaps the baggy blue cleaning dungaroos she wore were not the most flattering on her slim figure, yet incredibly practical nonetheless, with 6 large pockets. She had bought several pairs on special, so she could alternate them.
That Elizabeth Tattler was clearly just one of the mindblown ones. Mad as Almad.
And getting worse by the day!
Perhaps it was just THAT time of the moonth, but for some reason Elizabeth’s insistence on referring to her as a male had really hurt Finnley today. Ever since she had attempted to help Elizabeth with the Island story by modifying the love scene , just slightly, Elizabeth had been intent on undermining Finnley’s sexooality. Not only that, she appeared to be fabricating Finnley’s involvement with the noovel she was writing. Just yesterday she had overheard Elizabeth telling her publisher, Bronkel, that Finnley was telepoothically implanting evil suggestions in her head.
Finnley shook her head again, this time in bewilderment. For Foocks sake, someone should do something about that woman, before it is too late!
Studying herself in the mirroor again she undid the top 3 buttons of the shirt she was wearing under her dungaroos and made a mental note to buy a poosh-up bra after work today. She mussed her hair up in what she hoped was a sexy look and made her way to clean the computer gooks office.
Where in the name of Floove is it?
Elizabeth Tattler held the telepooh away from her ear, and reflected serenely on the dust particles illuminated by the sunlight streaming in the window, while she waited for Bronkel to end his tirade.
She was proud of herself for managing to keep her voodish nature in check and attributed this new found calm to the latest book by Lemone, although unfortunately, with all the brain foog she was experiencing lately she was unable to recall the name of it …. Wisp Away Your Energy Balls?
Well no matter, something like that anyway ….
And what was that bloody man going on about? WHAT deadline for her book! 8/8/08 ???
Oh what absoloote rubbish, giggled Elizabeth Tattler, taking another large sloorp from her 4th glass of red wine and putting large determined scribbles through the last chapter of the latest Noovel. It was the continuing saga of the Tifijikoo Island story. She really had to finish it, old whats-his-face was on the telepooh to her daily now, demanding to know when it was to be finished.
More Sex! he had shouted at her last time. More sex, we want the bloody thing to sell don’t we!
Well I have shut you up haven’t I, she snorted to herself, thinking happily of Dr Bronkelhampton passed out on the couch wearing a pink dress and mascara running down his face.
More sex eh? Hooommmm, Elizabeth did not particularly believe in putting extraneous sex in her noovels. At the same time that character Veranassessee was annoying her a bit with all her indecisiveness. And what a bloody mouthful that name was. Was it too late to change it? hooommm probably. She had modelled her roughly on the cleaner, Finnley, quite an attractive girl despite her pooty face and superior, bossy ways.
Make your writing detailed, with accurate depiction of suction noises
You know Robbie-pooh what is wrong with this?
Robbie-Pooh, Robbie-Pooh, cackled Robert X.
IT’S BOORING, The damn characters never do anything. Right well, time to fix that. She took another few slugs of her wine.
Oh God, said Agent Gabriele. Who gives a shit about the Doctor or bloody magpies. I can’t stand this any longer. I must have you Agent V. He lunged towards her, ripping open her robe and exposing her naked body.
You are so beautiful. All I ever wanted is you. That’s why I demanded this assignment on the Island … to see you again. I have not been able to get you out of my head. You’ve been driving me crazy
NO NO, cried Veranassessee weakly, but her body said YES YES
Agent Gabriele kissed her on the mouth, making strange and passionate slurping noises, and, unable to resist any longer, she gave in to his need for her.
Mahiliki stared anxiously out at the storm. He could think of nothing but his darling Veranassessee. He must know if she was alright. He must go to her. He grabbed his car keys and drove like a madman to the airport.
( Hoommm, thought Elizabeth, I really don’t know anything about small island airports and planes. Well booger that, I will research them later on the internoot )
Are you mad? said the pilot. There’s a freakin cyclone, or hadn’t you noticed?
Yes, I am mad, I am mad with love. Fly me there or you are a dead man.
ahahahaahah, laughed Elizabeth happily.
Dr Bronkelhampton was eager to come back to the fridge to see if one of his patients had taken the bait.
So far, his new discoveries have been promising. The use of honeycomb was a clever move, that would drastically lessen the need for expensive and cumbersome machineries. All he had to work out was the dosage.
He was not sure the induced mutations wouldn’t be deadly…
After all, that was what guinea pigs were meant for.
MWAHAHAAHaaahAHha… cough cough… His Machiavellian manic laugh died in a raucous fit of coughing.
That had almost ruined his eyeliner.
She put down the plate of honeycomb and turned round slowly, her calm exterior belying the fear which had suddenly gripped her insides.
He had called her Agent V!
She had to stay calm, think quickly.
And why is that, Jarvis?
Jarvis, what did she know about him? He had been employed by Dr Bronkelhampton, although Veranassessee had resisted the idea vigorously. The fewer people on the island the better as far as she was concerned. But the doctor had insisted he needed someone to tend the gardens, and in the end she had decided it wasn’t worth making an issue of.
I think I might be able to answer that question. Agent Gabriele entered the kitchen. His sudden presence had almost as disconcerting effect on Veranassessee as the revelation that Jarvis knew her identity.
A little sideline of our beloved Doctor is to experiment with honeybee mutations. Isn’t that right, Jarvis? And in the process he has discovered a way to alter the chemical composition of the honeycomb. It looks and tastes like honey, but too much of it is deadly.
Wasn’t me left it in the fridge. I saw it there earlier. I figured the Doctor left it there. Buggered if I know why. He’s an odd one that one. Getting odder by the minute too.
A loud clattering outside and they all turned.
Winds getting up quickly, said Agent Gabriele in clipped tones. Secure the hives Jarvis. God knows we don’t need mutated bees on the loose. V tell the guests to stay in their rooms and away from the windows, and then meet me in my room. I’ll deal with the Doctor.
Bloody windy here aint it. Thought I was coming to a bloody tropical paradise! Mavis was looking outside anxiously.
Oh this aint typical. The weathers been grand. We’ve been out bloody sun baking most days.
Oh we have! The sun and airs got special beauty qualities here. That Vessie told us that. Encourages us to get out and about.
Ere I know what will cheer you up. Lets get a snack from the kitchen. There’s some special ureu beauty biscuits in the pantry, and the chocolate brownies are bloody delicious. Who’d have thought chocolate had special beauty qualities eh. She’s a genius that Vassie. Oh I tell you what, I found some lovely honeycomb in the fridge this morning! Sharon licked her lips in anticipation.
Oh I’m bloody drooling here, Sha! You’re a bloody genius you are
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