Thursday, 6 October 2022

Muddy Meanderings and an Octopus Sucker Bath Mat

Continued from ... When Worlds Collide and a Pair of Striped Tights

 "STOP HER!!!" I shrieked screeched yelled, mindful of The Very Mistress's observation about my apparent tendency to 'scream like a girl'.
 "Who are you shrieking at?" the aforementioned Very Mistress enquired.  Well, her be-tighted legs appeared to as they hung from the bUbble Haze™, anyway.
 "Yes" said Dinahmow as she used her wand to lift up the edge of the drape that was covering me.  "I'm hardly likely to stop Ms Scarlet as I helped her to leave, and Mistress MJ is just a pair of stripy legs."
 "Well, maybe Beaky could?"  My blood suddenly ran cold and I looked around wildly.  "Where is that dratted bird, anyway?"
 "Oh, he flew off.  But don't worry, I'm sure he'll be waiting for you when you get home!"  If it was possible for legs to grin evilly, The Very Mistress's legs did so.
 "Hmmph!  I'm sure" I said as I threw off the drapes and got to my feet, kicking aside a muddy Wellington boot that Ms Scarlet must have used to trudge across her swamp lawn.  "So, where did you send Ms Scarlet, Dinah?"
 "Oh, up Jon's back passage."
 "Award winning back passage" The Very Mistress's legs corrected.
 "Yes, award winning back passage" Dinah said.
 "Right.  Then that's where we'll go.  I just hope we'll all fit?
 "Up Jon's back passage?" The Very Mistress snorted.  "There'll be room to spare!  Besides, I'm not going."
 "What?  Why not?"
 "Because I'm not getting paid enough, nothing's been disinfected, and the longer I spend here the more chance there is of someone mentioning the C word."
 "The C word?  But you have no qualms about saying cu-"
 "She means 'Crocs'" Dinah helpfully cut in, which I was grateful for because the one I was going to utter is a vile word and I hate saying it.  Well, unless someone fails to indicate and/or cuts me up whilst I'm driving...
 There was a deathly silence from the bUbble Haze™ but we did notice The Very Mistress's toes curl into a tight clench.
 "Anyway" Dinah continued, pointing at  me with her wand, "you're not going anywhere until this place is clean, tidy, and germ free."
 "What?!  This isn't my mess!  Well, apart from the drapes.  Or, drape singular, rather" I conceded.  "I'll put them back up but I'm not clearing up someone else's mess - I've got my own mess to tidy up back home!  Besides, it doesn't need cleaning now that The Very Mistress isn't hanging around."
 "Well, I might pop in now and again to give you the benefit of my observations and keep things moving along" The Very Mistress said, her toes uncurling somewhat.  "These things always need a bit of directio-"

W A R N I N G !   S T O R Y   R E I N I T I A L I S A T I O N   I M M I N E N T 


S T A N D   B Y   F O R   I N S E R T I O N   I N T O   S T O R Y L I N E

 "What's going on?  Who said that?" Dinah looked up into the air for the source of the disembodied voice.
 "I'm out of here" The Very Mistress declared, and her stripy tights-clad legs withdrew into the bUbble Haze™ and disappeared.
 "Quick!  We need a story for the reinitialisation otherwise who knows what sort of hodge-podge tale we might end up reenacting" I said in a bit of a panic.  I couldn't think of anything - my mind had gone blank.
 "My mind has gone blank" Dinah said helpfully, and then her face lit up.  "Oh!  Can't we just do a nice fairy tale?  What about Sleeping Beauty?"

S T A N D   B Y . . .

 I pondered Dinah's suggestion.  Our adventures Over the Cusp did often have us blundering around in a mixed-up version of some old folk story, but before I could think on it any further, the SubConsciousnessesses* cut in.
Not Sleeping Beauty as we did that on our birthday in 2008.
Snow White?
The Princess and the Pea?
The Frog Prince?
Cinderella, then.  Look, she's even left a Wellington boot!
Cinderella?  But we did that for Hallowe'en back in 2007!
Then it's high time for a reboot.  Besides, I'm sick of trawling through the 'Tales from the Ambassador's Party' in our sideboard searching for all the fairy tales we've crashed over the years.  I wasted most of Saturday cringing through all the terrible grammar and characterisation, not to mention getting whiplash from all the different tenses in use.  The spelling was okay, though...
I should hope so!  We are a witch, after all.
And anyway, The Very Mistress is the only one from back then who's still around to remember it.  Unless she managed to forget that travesty...
I just hope she can still manage to get out of a car or coach without showing any snatch.
* Not sure how to stop spelling this. Probably should have just settled for SubCs as normal...
S T A N D   B Y . . . 

 "We don't have time for any more squabbling - Cinderella it is then!  Don't think of anything else until the story change is complete!"
 "I need a drink" Dinah muttered and began searching through Ms Scarlet's empty bottles for any dregs.  "Bah!  There's only whisky.  And some suspicious looking vials with 'Drink Me' written on them..."

R E I N I T I A L I S I N G . . .

o d e A  r  .   .    .

 "Is everyone still in one piece?" I asked as the story-change wavefront faded into the distance.
 Clink clank.  Dinah looked up from the bottle crate and nodded. 
 "S'pose so" came a voice from the bUbble Haze™.
 "Muriel!" Dinah snapped, and poked her head in.  "This doesn't concern you.  Oh, and you can dump those bottles now as Ms Scarlet's getting some from Jon."
 The only answer was a put-upon sigh.
 "Come on.  Let's go and find the prince" I said, ignoring Muriel.
 "You what?"  Dinah appeared confused.  "What prince?"
 "The prince who needs to go on a quest with this" I held up the muddy welly for Dinah to see, "and find Ms Scarlet, of course!  Or have you forgotten already?"
 "Bloody script changes..."
 "I don't suppose you happen to know whereabouts in Franconia that Mago resides, do you?"
 "Mago?  Aren't you going to do it?"
 "Pffft!  No!"  After expressing my feelings about undertaking princely duties, I scrabbled around in the flotsam and jetsam strewn over Ms Scarlet's work table, swiping aside unfinished calligraphy, sketches, her calendar - which, I was pleased to see, was marked with a reminder to submit her photos for the Garden Photos Event - until I found a scrap of paper upon which Mago's address was scrawled.  "Found it!"
 "Ooh!  Are we going to have a ride in your new car?" Dinah asked.
 "Oh.  Um, no" I muttered.  "It'll take too long in Car as we'll have to go on a ferry or through the tunnel, and my Passport's expired anyway.  Can't you magic us there with your wand?"
 "Cripes, no!  It'll take the rest of the day to recharge after my jaunt here from Oz.  What about Broom?"
 "Ha!  While Broom might be able to manage a short, low altitude night flight, or a wobbly ascent to a second storey window - purely for reconnaissance purposes" I added at Dinah's disapproving look, "I wouldn't trust it to get us across the Channel.  No, we'll need another means of transport."
 "Bath mat" came a new and rather disinterested voice from outside.
 "What?  Who said that?"  Dinah poked her head out to have a look.  "Charmaine?"
 "Take her bath mat" Ms Scarlet's niece mooed from her spot beneath the window.  "And turn the light off before you leave so I don't have to come back here and do it myself.  Aunt Scarlet doesn't like me in her garret.  She says I've got a perfectly good attic to lump around in, so I don't need to come in here and get gruel on everything."
 "Thanks, Charmaine" Dinah said.  "Can you get it for u-  Oh, she's gone."  
 I stuck my head out of the window with Dinah and watched as Charmaine plodded through the mud and into Ms Scarlet's house singing tunelessly as she went.  Oooo-eee-ooo.  Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep.
 "Well, we'd better go and get it ourselves.  Come on Mr Device."
 We left the garret and picked our way across the garden in footwear totally unsuitable for Devon's moistness.  We also had to skirt around the electricity that was lurking in the corner, fizzing and crackling to itself rather disconcertingly.
 "Oog...  All this mud.  How can Ms Scarlet stand it?"  Dinah remarked.  "I've never seen the fascination myself."
 "Oh, I don't know?" I replied, pondering Mr Tonking's recent mud post [Danger: RUDE!]
 "Wipe your feet!"  As we entered Ms Scarlet's back door, Charmaine's voice didn't so much as drift downstairs to greet us, as thunder down like an avalanche.
 "She's a fine one to talk" Dinah muttered, pointing out the muddy footprints that headed towards the stairs.  "Now, where's that bath mat?"
 "The bathroom?"  I rolled my eyes, but Dinah noticed and narrowed hers in response.  I hastily continued: "I mean, why don't you check the bathroom while I sort out some snacks for the trip?"
 Dinah huffed and headed off to find Ms Scarlet's bathroom and bathmat, while I went to the kitchen and prepared some snacks for our flight.  Fortunately, it looked like Ms Scarlet had recently had a big shop from Waitrose delivered as there was plenty to choose from.  There was also, pinned to a notice board, some tickets for a grand ball at Mogwash Manor...

 A little while later, we had congregated on the back door step - well, as much as a half-hearted fairy godmother, a witch and their two noncorporeal SubCs can congregate, that is.  Dinah was staring down at the bath mat which she'd laid out on the flagstone step.
 "How do you make it go?" she said.
 "Up!" I commanded.  And to my relief, the bath mat obediantly rose a couple of feet into the air.  "Although, I'm not keen on this, you know.  Are you sure you can't just magic us there?"
 "No.  I told you, it's the bath mat or wait until tomorrow.  Or go in your car" Dinah said as she clambered on board, and then muttered "I'd've preferred the Alfa, though".
 "Hmmph!"  Car's premature passing still smarted.  "Hang on.  There's not enough room for me on there!"
 "Oh, yes" said Dinah as she looked at all the Tupperware snack boxes surrounding her.  "I know!"  And she leaned over and began sticking the boxes to the octopus suckers on the underside of the bath mat.
 I looked around to see if anyone was witness to this inappropriate spectacle, then alighted with a wince.  "This is undignified!  Nearly as much as dangling beneath a brolly!"
 A long and rather fraught journey later...
 "Oh Götter..." said Mago as he stared at the two weirdos on a bath mat hovering outside his balcony.


  1. This has more plot twists than Twin Peaks...

    Can't wait to see how Ms Scarlet muddles her way out of/into this one! Jx

    1. Oh, you’re going to like it, Jon! I hope!

    2. Hopefully! My back passage is in imminent danger of being overrun by strangers... Jx

    3. Perhaps we will have a brief interlude from all the madness. Maybe we will sit on the bench up your back passage, maybe I can smoke a crafty fag, enjoy some Soft Tempo Lounge, look at some flowers, and then we can choose a glorious gown for me to wear to the ball at Mogwash Manor.

    4. Carry on. I'm just going to have a cup of coffee and some cherry pie...

  2. Yay, for Charmaine! She knows her place.
    Now then, I’m going to be extremely annoyed if my favourite nibs have been swept off my desk, and even more annoyed when I get home to find my fridge empty, and my bathmat gone!
    A ball!! At Mogwash Manor!!! Wonderful….. but I have nothing to wear!!

    1. Oops! I forgot to give Charmaine and Harold a spoonful of sugar each to get them to tidy up!

  3. Will this all be published one day in a nice single volume? Covered in 1970's era neon pink furry shag carpeting? It's just that I hate coming in the middle of things... oh. Well. We all know THAT's not true! Kizzes.

    1. Ooh, there's an idea. we'll be rich, RICH! Or, slightly less poor than we are now, anyway...

      Actually, maybe the shag cover isn't the best idea? Maybe something wipe clean?

  4. Forgive me. Whenever I come here I become perplexed, never sure exactly what's happening. That just happened again.

    1. How peculiar, Norma. I wonder what could possibly trigger such episodes, as nothing out of the ordinary is happening here? Nothing at all.
      Perhaps I should pull the fainting chaise out?

    2. The fainting chaise? Norma will have to push me off it, first.

      By the way, my toes aren't the only thing curled into a tight clench.

    3. We'll never pry you off that chaise then!

  5. I just read about a myriad of things in one post and still have no idea what it said. I'll write it off as too much gin?

    1. Don't worry, Maddie - it was just a lot of squabbling in order to courier a muddy Welly to Germany.
      Can I top you up?

    2. You're not alone Maddie. When I was 10, we had a locum teacher for a few weeks called Mrs Obi, whilst she was explaining the rudiments of calculating fractions, I let my mind slip away to a nicer topic, seeing Mrs Obi lecturing at the blackboard my brain blocked out her words and I replaced them with Donna Summer's I Feel Love, along with robotic hand movements as seen in the live performance video. After Mrs Obi's amazing performance of a disco classic, she came round with worksheets for us to fill in and I couldn't understand any of it, a bit like this post.

    3. Gods dammit! I knew I should have gone with Donna Summer and not Nicola Roberts!

  6. It's 4 o'clock in the morning and after trawling through this nonsense(some of which I seem to have had a hand in.Que??) I think I'll be able to sleep now.

    1. Oh, Dinah, you didn't follow the links as well, did you?
      Still, if it helped you off to the land of nod, then my work here is done.

      No, really, it's done. I've put up two more posts since this one!

  7. You've been so busy! I can't keep up! I am trailing along as best I can though.

    1. Well, you can have a little breather because Part 6 won't be ready until at least late tomorrow (but probably not until Mon/Tue).


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