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  • #1391

      Let’s insert :tile: a similar structure

      Tada! :home: :bounce:

      It may require a bit of dusting first, ahem: :sweep:

      The exterior may look flimsy, but the interior is :expand: expanded



        Sanso emerged from the dark cave, squinting in the bright sunlight. He could hear a bit of a commotion going on, and while his eyes adjusted to the light, he heard a voice in his head reciting as if from a book:

        « Lord Gustard Willoughby Fergusson helped his wife Floribunda onto the camel, and clamboured onto his own. Cranky and Illi were mounted on donkeys, as were Tibn Zig and Tanlil Ubt, their local guides. Three hot dusty days, and two bitterly cold nights away lay their destination: Tsnit n’Agger and the home of the legendary giant of the…… »

        Sanso found himself looking into the eyes of a curious child, and presumed correctly that the child was Illi. Illi stared at the apparition in indigo blue robes, without mentioning him to the other members of her group. After some moments of wordless communication and understanding, they winked at each other.

        Sanso, Illi now knew, would lead them to the giant bones.


          — The legend of Mævel — (Part IV)

          Mævel’s mind was made up, she was leaving tonight. She took a few of her belongings in a little bundle, and all very silently, moved to the door, the bundle in one hand, and the key in the other.

          But when she tried to put the key into the lock, she noticed something was wrong. The key was way too big for the small lock. What was the purpose of materializing a big key unfit to the locks that were in front of us? she wondered.
          Perhaps the key will have another use, she said to herself, and she put it into her bundle, and wondered whether she could find another way to get out of the bedroom.

          « Use your magic,… you don’t need to play by the rules » a tiny voice whispered in her ear.
          « What does that mean? » she asked, befuddled, as perhaps her parents where right after all, she was becoming nuts… Well, that might attract squirrels and have them gnaw a hole in that wall, she said giggling to herself.
          « You don’t need draw squirrels,… you can draw a door directly »

          What a strange idea, Mævel thought, drawing a door… It sounded so funny at the moment, that she could feel her heart lift and her spirits as well. What could she use to draw that door… Her gaze ran quickly through the bedroom, looking for a bit of chalk, or charcoal, or whatever else. What a terrible thing that she was so obsessed by dusting, as there wasn’t even a single dust bunny left to draw that door.

          « Now, will you pay attention? »
          « I beg your pardon? »
          « What did I told you? »
          « Mmmm, let me think… Oh! I don’t have to play by the rules… »

          So, in a bout of genius, Mævel ran her finger on the wall, starting from the floor, straight upwards, then to the right, and straight down again, until… well, nothing happened.

          « That wall hasn’t budged any! »
          « Are you sure?… Look closer »

          And Mævel saw that the wall had become like a shiny surface of water, right inside where she had drawn the limits of that imaginary door. And when she pressed her finger, it was simply going through it, as though the surface had just been an illusion.

          With a thank for the helpful voice in her head, she was about to cross the surface, but was stopped in her track by a moment of hesitation. Could she change the destination behind the wall as well?
          Why not, after all, she didn’t have to play by the rules.

          « To the forest! » Mævel ordered intently to the wall before jumping in.

          The voice smiled to her fondly.


            Sumelfi had already tried to nudge Becky into adopting a nine-tailed fox for cleaning up some of her stuff, but she had repeatedly delayed it.

            At least, she had whispered in Becky’s ears, with the fox, I can teach the little thing some tricks to eat out the crappy stuff, so that you can make a good impression.
            Well, she loathed to compare, but at least she never had to be assigned to Tina, as her dusting skills were irreproachable.

            Becky was considering… Better a nine-tailed fox than nine fox puppies… She had seen some of the new advertised creatures in the Pup’ shop on her way to Sam the other day, and that could be fun.


              Lord Gustard Willoughby Fergusson helped his wife Floribunda onto the camel, and clamboured onto his own. Cranky and Illi were mounted on donkeys, as were Tibn Zig and Tanlil Ubt, their local guides. Three hot dusty days, and two bitterly cold nights away lay their destination: Tsnit n’Agger and the home of the legendary giant of the Alal’ Azntignit.

              Cranky was feeling like a fish out of water in the desert, but Illi had taken to it like a duck to water. Not that there was alot of water about in the desert, Cranky grumbled to herself. What she wouldn’t have given for a nice hot cup of tea and a crumpet. She looked at Illi and her face softened. Just look at the delight in that dear childs eyes, she said to herself. My, but she’s a chip off the old block. Make herself at home anywhere, she would. Or make her home anywhere, Cranky thought, wistfully remembering their games of Wish House back at Rubbingdon.

              Let’s just hope Lord Gus finds those bones quickly and we can all go home.


                Illi was quite pleased with the sand dragons.

                HHHMMM, they don’t repulse me like dragons usually do. I think it’s because they are sand dragons, and sand is so much nicer than slimy cold scales. Well! Illi thought, I really wouldn’t know if they are slimy or cold, because, for the love of all-that-is, I would not choose to venture that close!

                Illi chose to ignore her rather paradoxical musings on loving all that is, which would by definition include the beastly dragons, and turned her attention to the sand giant slouching patiently at the end of the beach.

                Now giants, that’s another thing entirely. I am quite enamoured of giants, and this one looks so familiar!

                Illi leaned back against the sand dragons bulky body and closed her eyes, reminiscing about her early years as Illi Fergusson, and her eccentric family.


                When Illi was a young child she rarely saw her parents, the eccentric Lord Gustard Willoughby Fergusson and his charmingly batty second wife, Floribunda Chaiise-Loriket. Illi stayed at home in the anscestral country pile in Dorset, Rubbingdon Hall, with Nanny Chraddock while her parents travelled the world in search of giant bones and artifacts. Their travels took them far and wide, from the jungles of South America to the deserts of North Africa; from the mountains of Spain to the arid eternity of the Australian outback.

                Illi used to play a game with Cranky (as she affectionately called nanny Chraddock) in the long months while her parents were away, called Wish House. Every room in the sprawling Elizabethan house was a different time and place, and the moment they entered the room they imagined themselves to be different people, in other times. Petunia Duster the maid loved to join in too; consequently not alot of housework got done, but with Gus and Flora always off travelling, nobody minded. Playing was, after all, so much more important than dust. In fact, a thick layer of dust made the rooms all the more mysterious and magical.


                  As the moment of dizzyness was fading out, Dory had the weird impression that the coleslaw shouldn’t be there, not like this… she hadn’t smelled anything before that man arrived and then there was only that dusty moisty smell, and now, it was coleslaw…

                  She didn’t want to go crazy so she moved her attention away from that thought and what it implied.

                  “Oh you have coleslaw? It was exactly what I wanted to eat.”

                  “hehehe, I know, I just helped you remember how to create it…”

                  Again, she moved her attention away deliberately.

                  “You eat with me? Come on, sit down and tell me how you got there?”


                    Dory stretched and yawned, and took in her surroundings. The terrain was dry and desert-like, with strange tall rock formations with sheer sides, and hard dusty ground. A strong dry and hot wind whipped her shawl around her shoulders and face. Momentarily blinded, she turned her back to the wind to disentangle her shawl. She finally surfaced from the flapping tangle of cloth just in time to see the van disappearing in a cloud of dust.

                    PPFFT! I’m on an expedition all on my own. Dory was momentarily speechless.


                      By the time Illi had finished reading the newspaper article she felt thoroughly confused. Mechanically she folded the newspaper neatly and then lit a cigarette, resting her elbows on the breakfast table and her chin in her hands. She gazed through the ribbons of blue smoke and the dust drifting through the sunbeams, wondering if she was dreaming, dead, or alive. It was becoming so hard to tell the difference.

                      Oh well, I’ll think about it later, she thought, and mentally popped it into her clue and riddle box. Her mind wandered back to the story she’d just been reading, and the charming illustrations. The drawing of the young man in the white robe had seemed familiar, and she liked his name too…Sanso, The Wanderer.

                      As she imagined him, she felt herself lurch ever so slightly sideways, and as she did, the image in her mind of Sanso became suddenly life-like…incredibly so! He was looking at her in astonishment, and taking a step backwards, saying Lordy! not another one appearing out of thin air!

                      Illi looked around and found herself not in the sunny breakfast room but in a sandy cave, with a little girl in a wooly jumper, a young man in a white robe holding a large rusty key, and a parrot.

                      Suddenly Illi didn’t care anymore whether she was alive or dead, dreaming or awake. This was beginning to look like fun.


                        When Dorothy Mc Leane, the imperviously impetuous and buoyant archaeologist, temporarily reduced to dust shawls in a small antique boutique of the coast of Madagascar, had been finally coming to her mind, she had felt so out of place.

                        She had been in many places at once, and these have hardly been vacations at all. Well, all she had wanted at first was to follow that funny lemur winking on a placard, which was hinting at a funny expedition in a cave.

                        But that may just have been phoney gooey advertisement, as she was now stranded in that shoppe with a stupid parrot. No-name parrot…

                        That’d make Fiona laugh for sure… she thought; she would say that she wasn’t doing things in halves. Can’t even think if I can find a postcard big enough to tell her everything, she had laughed.

                        Well, you don’t have a name by chance? she suddenly asked the bright bird.

                        Archibaaaaald howled the parrot joyfully.

                        Bugger this, I knew that… Dory couldn’t help but thinking.


                        Oh!, she had started to feel exasperated. Archibald would take care of the key anyway, no need to stay here any much longer.

                        And right after the parrot had flown through the window, as she was leaving the shoppe and heading to the mini-van where the distraught guide had been obviously looking for her since hours, she couldn’t help but wonder at the number of noisy Italian tourists who had just seemed to pop in, crowding the tiny shawl shoppe…

                        Wow… She could have bet they could have been as many as fifty seven…

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