Continued from . . . PART 5 of The Epic Collaboration
Because our last effort made some people very confused/cross/consider legal action,
Ms Scarlet had to turn part five into a very short recap of what's happened so far.
And there are still threats of legal action!
So, in an effort to make things clearer-
A futile effort, methinks.
Well, yes, but let's give it a try okay?
Oh, okay. Carry on, then.
Right. Where was I? Oh, yes: In an effort to make things clearer, think of this part as
volume six in an ongoing book series. A volume that only has four quite short chapters.
And they look longer than they are because of the pictures and the music video.
'Music video'? Christ. You sound like you're a hundred million years old!
Well, what would you call it, then?
I knew it was a mistake to involve the SubCs in this! Let's just get on with it.
Fine. Are you putting the chapters in, or am I?
C H A P T E R O N E
"Oof!" said Mago as he extricated himself from a collection of now crushed and broken lily stems.
"What happened, Mr Device?!" said an annoyed sounding clump of Eucomis zambesiaca with a Dinah in it. Miraculously, all flower spikes were still fully erect.
"Ow" I replied, trying to unpick myself from a very thorny 'Gertrude Jeckyll'. Again. Albeit in someone else's garden. "Sorry, Dinah. Sorry, Mago. That story change wave-front came out of nowhere, and that reinitialisation so soon afterwards was totally unexpected."
"Wo sind wir?"
"Up someone's back passage, by the look of it" Dinah said hauling herself out of the Eucomis.
|Someone's back passage. German and Australasian not pictured|
"My back passage!" a stern voice announced. Yikes!
"Our back passage, dear" a second voice corrected. "Why is there a witch in our rose bush? And why are there Tupperware boxes strewn around the garden, a muddy welly in the fuchsias, and a bath mat in me Wine Time Corner™?"
"And a German in the lilies, and an Australasian of sorts in the Eucomis, hmm? Why, indeed?"
It was Jon and Madam Arcati, of course. Not the German and Australasian, the new, and rather ticked off voices.
"Ah. Hello. Um..." I said addressing our unwitting hosts. "Sorry. We hit rather a lot of story change turbulence when Ms Scarlet fast-forwarded the story somewhat unexpectedly. The poor bath mat wasn't designed to cope with such stresses. As you can see..." I gestured at the partially flattened garden. "Sorry."
"Diese Lilien smell of urine" Mago muttered. "I smell of urine."
C H A P T E R T W OA short while later, as Mago dried himself off with a
"... and then we threw them out in the street" Jon finished.
"Oh. Um, I don't suppose you saw which way she went, did you?" I asked. "It's just that we have to get to Mogwash, and I'm not entirely sure how to get there from here."
"Sorry. I can't say that we did" Jon sniffed then eyed me accusatorily. "We rushed back here to find out what all the banging and crashing around was!"
"Oh, we hardly use it anymore, and she needed something for the Grand Ball at Mogwash Manor."
"We'll never get it back, you know" Jon complained. "And I might have squeezed into it after a dodgy kebab or two."
"Anyway, she took the dress and headed for that rabbit hole at the bottom of the tree outside number forty."
"The rabbit hole? Really? But that's almost always out of order. Good luck to her I say, if she managed to get it working!"
Jon and Madam A's conversation was interrupted by the frustrated clinking of glass against glass then Dinah spoke up.
"'Ere, this wine's not working. I think it's broken" she said, shaking the bottle over her empty glass and then squinting at what fell out. "It's turned into a map!"
C H A P T E R T H R E EHaving raided Jon's dressing-up box for finery fit for the Grand Ball, many hours later, and after only several wrong turns, some accusatory pointing, a lot of swearing - including a really shocking one that stopped conversation for nearly twenty minutes - and the sucking of the last broken travel sweet in the tin (which may have been the cause of the shocking swear, come to think of it?), our overladen bath mat
It's probably a good job the bathmat was overloaded really, as it only managed an altitude of about two metres at best, so we didn't have far to fall...
"Oof!" said Mago as he extricated himself from a collection of now crushed and broken foxgloves.
|Dinah's in there somewhere...|
"What happened, Mr Device?!" said an annoyed sounding clump of lords and ladies (Arum maculatum, don't you know) with a Dinah in it. Miraculously, all seed head spikes were still fully erect."Ow" I replied, trying to unpick myself from a very thorny bramble.
"Remind me never to fly anywhere with you again, okay?" Jon said from his prone position amidst a bed of sticky willies (that's goosegrass, or Galium aparine, for the uninitiated).
"Me too" added a barely recognisable Madam A from within a thick coating of burdock burrs.
Before my autopolite kicked in with an apology - even though it wasn't my fault we crashed! (This time...) - another voice spoke up.
"How did you all fit on that bath mat?"
"Well, it's tiny!" A fey-looking wood nymph appeared from behind a tree and took in the scene with polite bemusement. "How was there room for the five of you? Is it a TARDIS bath mat?"
There was something oddly familiar about her. "Are you an American?" I asked.
"Um, no?" she said trying and failing to disguise her accent.
"Yes you are! Melanie? Is that you?!"
"Oh, all right" she relented. "Yes, it's me. I just wanted to see if you were going to finish this story off before the Garden Party, but I still want to know about the bath mat."
"There's nothing strange about it" I began.
"Apart from the flying bit!" Dinah cut in.
"Well, yes, apart from the flying bit. Anyway, it's just a standard sized bath mat, I think?" I continued squinting at the mat, half rolled and flaccid as it was in a bed of nettles that I'm glad none of us had landed in. "Seventy four centimetres by-"
"Oh, you Brits and your suspicious metric sizing dimensions!" Melanie laughed and waved away the rest of my answer. But then her laugh cut off, replaced by a look of shock. "Is... Is that Poldark?"
I followed her gaze to witness Mago clad only in that flannel and a dark wig wandering away from the foxgloves.
"What? Poldark? No, it's Mago!" Although, in the fading light, and through squinted eyes, poor Mago - who was last to Jon's dressing-up box and only had the choice of the wig and a couple of dead spiders - did vaguely resemble Aidan Turner. As I wondered what had happened to his own clothes - probably in Jon's and Madam A's washing machine - Jon interjected.
"Look, I don't suppose you know the way to Mogwash Manor, do you?"
"And is it within walking distance, as I'm not getting on that thing again" Madam A said narrowing her eyes at the floppy bath mat.
"I'm not sure? But why don't you ask those sticks" and Melanie pointed at some broken twigs in a little clearing that had been arranged to spell out 'Who?'.
|Sticks in post-'Who?' configuration [via my own blog, actually...]|
C H A P T E R F O U RComplete with Melanie on board, we headed in the direction that the arrow-formed-by-the-twigs had pointed in - through the woods, across a country lane and through a meadow. And as dusk fell, we found ourselves in the grounds of a large country house. Drawn to a bass beat, a couple of minutes later we all piled up the steps from a formal garden and onto a terrace which was lit up with fairy lights and the yellow glow of the chandeliers inside spilling out of the huge floor-to-ceiling windows of Mogwash Manor.
Fortunately, I'd had the foresight to nab the tickets from Ms Scarlet's pinboard two episodes ago, and we were ushered in to the ball to the delightful strains of Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love'.
What sights awaited us! As we entered the ballroom, on our right Mrs Fitzpatrick from the village was casting disapproving looks at Pam Demic strutting around on the bar with Mr Tonking, while Moonchild Etherington-Smythe was swaying about with her eyes shut on the edge of the dancefloor. Further in, flashes of gold and silver revealed C3-Peenee and Norma D-2 jerking about rhythmically, as was Mitzi - rather appropriately doing 'the Robot'. Even The Very Mistress's stripy tighted legs were kicking about above it all from a bUbble Haze™. At the far end from behind his raised decks, LL Cool Joe gave us a wave. And Hound was sat in the far left corner with a big grin on his face waiting for everything to kick off.
"I need a drink" Dinah announced, and made a beeline for the bar where Savvy looked like she had already settled in. Taramind Dewhurst and Sebastian St. Johnson parted with frowns as Dinah barrelled through, oblivious to their conversation. Behind the mildly vexed Mogwashians a group of Blogorati from Ms Scarlet's Sideboard were trying - and failing - to have an important conversation.
"I’m a little tired and struggling to follow a story, any story" Kylie sighed.
"I’ve been briefing my wig-less solicitor on possible legal action if I am in any way traduced and my glittering global reputation left in tatters" Nick huffed.
"Well, that all sounds very jolly, I’m sure. Whatever it’s about" Batarde muttered, not really listening to the others as Ms Scarlet had caught his eye on her way past. "Can’t imagine for a moment that there’ll be any need to disturb the slumbers of Messrs Beelzebub, Bumble and Bobblehat at their chambers … will there, Scarlet?"
Ms Scarlet ignored Cousin Batarde as she headed towards us - well, one of us in particular, anyway - she had far more important things to concern herself with:
Aidan Turner had arrived!
To be continued . . .