The Hobwit

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Post by The Archet Bugle on Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:17 am

Chapter Seven continued.....

Bango sat on a log uncomfortably under a tree behind Bjorn's Anglo-Saxon style hall, having hidden his bangle of invisibility down the back of his trousers, and it having found its way around to his crevice, which all evil bangles (and rings) do eventually. You probably didn't know that. But however much it discomfitted him, he did not want to move it in case someone was watching. And now he felt like people were watching. But it was his bangle now, and no one was going to take it away from him, not if he could kill them first and drink their blood.

"Master Bigguns," he said to himself, with a jolly laugh. "I really don't know what's coming over you. It must be the... err.... uncomfortable sitting position... oh no one is looking, or are they? Now, now, don't be ridiculous, Bango. If anyone was looking, I'd have to become in.... err... inconsequential, and creep up behind them and throttle them and drink their blood... No, I wouldn't...why would I?" And he laughed again, though a little nervously.

"What are you gabbing about?" Snodgrass asked, appearing from behind the tree and coming to sit on the log beside the hobwit. "Something about slitting the dragons throat, or something? Good luck with that." And Snodgrass, as was his way, laughed sniggeringly. "Not even if you could turn invisible could you do that. No, there are not many magic rings like that left anymore. Fat chance if you did!"

"Or bangles."

"No, bangles are even rarer. Magic ones, that is. Smug would sniff you out with his great nostrils long before you could ever do that."

"Ever find a magic bangle?"

"No, ever sneak up with a magic ring on."

'It's a magic bangle."

"Huh?"

"And, anyway, I haven't got one."

"No."

"Well, I do have a bangle, to be honest,"  Bango admitted hastily, but not trying to sound too hasty, "but honestly it's not a magic bangle."

"What are you going on about? It's like you've had a glamour put on you."

"Don't be ridiculous," Bango snapped. "It's not a magic bangle. How many times do you need to hear it?"

"Just the once. You seem uncomfortable..."

"What! So now you're saying I've got a bangle up my crack!"

"Have you?"

"Yes... I admit it!" Bango grouched. "And it's uncomfortable. But it's not a magic bangle. Not in the least! Best get that thought out of your head!"

Snodgrass frowned. "You seem pretty fixated on that bangle of yours. I'd get rid of it, if I was you. If I didn't know better, like I said already, I'd think you were falling under some kind of glamour...." And Snodgrass got up and walked away, looking a little perplexed. "Funny little prick," he muttered under his breath.

"I'll decapitate him and drink his blood if he keeps carrying on like that," Bango thought in annoyance. Then another thought crossed his mind. Carefully, first looking around to make sure no one was watching, he slipped the bangle from his trousers. He sighed. "That feels better. I need to find a more comfortable hideyhole to hide it. One can get quite irritable sitting on a bangle, I see... Glamour? How ridiculous. What's this on the bangle...  Oooooh... it's writing. Didn't see that before. It looks like it's in a foreign language...."

Bango did not know it, but the words only appeared when the bangle was heated up. Now, don’t be alarmed, because the heat of Bango's crack was not hot enough to melt even ordinary gold, and this was gold forged in the fires of a very hot furnace, so he was not at any risk of getting a burn, then, or at some future time.... but enough of that until later.

Bango put the bangle into his pocket. It was very Special. Alluring. Shiny. "It's a very Special bangle, and I'm sure it will be useful later on to perform laudable deeds - though where this sudden desire to drink fresh blood comes from, I may never know."

Just then, he heard a loud brusque jolly voice coming from the hall. Bjorn had come back at last!
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Post by The Archet Bugle on Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:53 am

Chapter Seven continued.....


"Well, i have been back over all the places Grandelf mentioned in his tale." Bjorn was saying shortly afterward. "And it's not all cock and bull as I anticipated. It appears you guys did have some rather exciting adventures under mountain and under moon and on high ledges with giant sparrowhawks, and you did kill that pompous Great Gobbler, Grandelf."

"How did you find all that out?" Bwalin asked politely."Did you catch a gobbler and beat it out of him?"

"In a fashion, my friend. I found a lady gobbler and beat the crap our of her, just as menfolk have done since time immemorial, especially if they wanted something from them around the kitchen or in the boudoir. Works every time. Then I killed her, of course. Not because she was a lady gobbler, mind. But because she was a gobbler. And all gobblers are equal as far as I am concerned."

"I didn't even know gobblers had ladies among them," Bango put in thoughtfully. "Though it does seem reasonable to assume so now the question about how they procreate occurs to me."

Bjorn laughed and put Bango up on his knee as they sat in his Anglo-Saxon type fall with the faggots roaring. "What? Do you think they have anal sex and gestate babies in their anal cavities? Of course, being from Hobwitton, you are probably ignorantly naive about things like this. Is it true Hobwits gestate embryos in little pouches on their tummies? You know, like the mythical kangaroo."

"Never mind all that stuff that has nothing to do with this story," Grandelf put in. "So, Bjorn, if you are satisfied my tale wasn't, as you put it, 'all cock and bull', will you help us on the next stage of our journey? If  you had some ponies - natural ponies not strange abominations - to lend us, we could ride to the Wldwoods and be out of your hair."

"I guess I could lend you some of my natural ponies. But as soon as you get to the Wildwoods you'll have to turn them loose. They'll find their way back to me. They are a bit like homing pigeons in a way, though without wings. i'll give you some food too to see you through the bulk of the Wildwoods, but, frankly, you won't be able to carry enough food to get all the way through the Wildwoods. You could have carried enough food on the ponies, but I don't want them to go off to certain death in the Wildwoods. Now, to press the point slightly. There is not much for for dwarfs or hobwits to eat in the Wildwoods and you'll have to hope something unexpected happens so that you don't starve to death in the Wildwoods. It's very dangerous there. That should also be noted."

"Well, I'm sure with Grandelf to help us, we'll be fine," Thorny said optimistically, though he did not see Grandelf's smirk.

"Anyway, off to bed everyone," Grandelf instructed them. "There is a whole day of riding ahead of us tomorrow. And after that... we'll, who can say?"

The secretive knowing wink Grandelf gave Bango just then annoyed rather than alarmed him. "What's that smug bastard up to, I wonder?" Bango yawned. "Probably something as annoying as it is alarming. Oh well, I guess I'll find out soon enough." And he yawned again and went off to find his cushion.
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Post by azriel on Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:18 am

""How did you find all that out?" Bwalin asked politely."Did you catch a gobbler and beat it out of him?"

"In a fashion, my friend. I found a lady gobbler and beat the crap our of her,"

" "What's that smug bastard up to, I wonder?" Bango yawned. "
Razz Laughing

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Post by The Archet Bugle on Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:13 pm

CHAPTER 8

Pies and Cider


Early next morning, as dawn broke silently, except for the morning chorus outside and Snodgrass' loud and resonant predawn farting, the Companions got ready to leave, packing the gobbler-skin clothes Brawny Bjorn's half-beasts had set out for for them in the Anglo-Saxon style hall.  On heading outside, they found ponies waiting for them, laden down with enough bags of food and enough matches from modern Eurooe to get them about three quarters of the way through the Wildwoods, all things being equal.

Bjorn met them in the yard.

"Now, make sure you send these ponies back when you get to the parh that begins at the edge of the Wildwoods. I really mean it."

Poin smiled crookedly. "How much do you mean it?"

"Enough to turn into a beast of some sort and kill us all?" asked Boppo testingly.

"Maybe," was Brawny Bjorn's somewhat oblique reply, as he gave the two dwarfs a penetrating glare, possibly a bit of warning in it, and just maybe a hint of old fashioned carnivorous hunger too. "There is a certain beast I know of who should never be crossed. Not saying I know much more than that."

"A bear beast?" Bango suggested, nervously.

"Maybe," the great big hairy Nordic bear of a man answered mysteriously.

"Or even... a werebear?"  Bango gulped.

"Who can really say," Bjorn said, and began to whistle nonchalantly. "I'm not one to give hints about things like that, being generally a reticent type of man... but I just can't bear the thought of dishonest folk, and if you don't act with integrity in this, I would find it unbearable, and you really wouldn't like it much if I came bearing down on you all when you least expected it, would you! You don't want to be asking all the time, where's the bear, where's the bear - where bear? - now do you? Not hinting I'm a werebear, of course, as that might be giving too much away at this early juncture."

"So you are a $&@*^%# werebear!" Fowly offered, wearily.

"Pretty obvious if you ask me," Growly growled.

"I wouldn't be so hasty if I were you," Bjorn said mysteriously and began to whistle nonchalantly again.

Snodgrass sniggered. He muttered in Bango's ear, "Where's the wanker, where's the wanker, where wanker... Bloody wanker!"

"Come along," Grandelf spoke up authoritively. "We best be on our way. I don't want to be late for an important engagement..."

"Engagement?" Thorny asked as he took up a pony's bridle and made to lead it out of the yard. "What important engagement?"

"Never mind, never mind..."

And so they all set off, with Brawny's half-beasts singing a song as they went.

"Off you go, off you go,
The morning is bright and chirpy,
The sun is getting higher in the sky,
And Biffo is getting flirty.

The road is long, the road is hard,
Some of it is flinty,
Watch out for the morning sun,
It’ll make your eyes go squinty.

The Wildwoods wait, menacingly,
The trees are full of evil,
Some as say it is green and lush,
And some as say, primeval.

Take care, take care, you hairy dwarfs,
This adventure could be your decider,
Hunger and fear await you (perhaps?)
And (perhaps?) some pies and cider."

And with those jolly and somewhat esotetic words resounding in their ears, the Companions made their way to the eastern boundary of Brawny Bjorn's estate, leading a troop of ponies laden as they were with not quite enough supplies to get them through the Wildwoods, but enough of that until later....


*****
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Post by The Archet Bugle on Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:15 pm

Chapter 8.... continued....


“It seems ever so long ago we began this adventure,” Bango commented morosely as he sat upon a pony with a speckled coat. “I would much prefer to be in my hole eating crumpets and honey and not riding toward a dark and foreboding forest full of perilous possibilities.”

“Probabilities,”  Snodgrass corrected him, cynical a# ever, as he rode up Bango’s rear.

“What do you mean by ‘probabilities’?” Bango wanted to know, suddenly thinking that it might not go all as well as he had hoped in the Wildwood and wondering what Mole must have felt like when he went into that dark place even if it was in another story.

“Well,” Bwalin said helpfully as he in turn rode up Snodgrass’s rear even as Smodgrass was riding up Bango’s rear. “Probability is a future term for the mathematical odds of something occurring. It’s something that mathematicians will event some time in the future. I read about it once.”

“Mathematicians?” Bango asked.

“People who are experts at maths,” Bwalin informed him sagely. Bwalin was very well informed about the future. Not so much the short term future, but the long term future. He had no idea what perils they would face in the Wildwood, just knew the probability was high something adventuresome would happen there. Probably something very dangerous. “Arachnids, I’d guess.” Bwalin said suddenly. It was an odd outburst, but as it was Bwalin who burst out with it, none of them minded.

Time, after that, passed.

The morning turned to afternoon and then to evening and Bango started seeing startling darting shadows off across the grassland. They looked like large animals of some kind.

“Grandelf!” Bango asked as he rode to the head of the line of ponies and addressed the wizard. “I think I can see bears or similar darting startlingly across the grassland to the west. Over there!” And Bango pointed.

“Never mind them. They don’t come into this story. Well, only fleetingly.”

“Could it be animals sent by Bjorn to watch over his ponies?” Growly asked from down the line riding up the rear of Fowly three ponies back.

“F#$k Bjorn,” opined Fowly. “I say we keep his f#$*&g ponies. If we get hungry enough we can always eat them.”

“Eat yourself, fatso,” said his pony.

“F$&k me dead!” Fowly exclaimed. “My f#&$#@g pony can f#$&*@g talk!

“All we need is talking ponies,” Growly growled. “I bet they’re from Narnia.”

“F#$@*g Narnia!”

“I don’t think it would be polite to eat talking ponies,” Poin called from where he rode up the rear of the entire troop. “My Mother is descended from a Narnian pony and it’s never polite to eat your relative.”

“What if you are starving in a forest?” Biffo grumbled. “I’d eat the arse out a lion if I was hungry enough.”

“I’d much prefer we dropped this conversation,” Biffo’s pony said testily. ‘It can only end in an argument.”

“True'” Bwalin said helpfully. “Narnian ponies can be quite touchy on subjects like this.”

“I wouldn’t say ‘touchy’ as much as ‘jittery’,” said Boppo’s pony, who was your nervous kind of pony.

“I frankly am unmoved,” said Grandelf’s pony. “What with Bjorn and his bears watching our every move.”

This made the dwarfs a little more cautious in what they said. But they gave each other surreptitious glances and Bango, catching some of those glances, and still seeing the startling shadows darting on the edge of sight as the night drew in, had a very bad feeling about things.



To be continued...









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Post by halfwise on Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:12 pm

Wait, what, huh?! This is still around!! Great.

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Post by azriel on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:39 pm

Yay ! Smile

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:16 pm

Haha, Narnian ponies. Well done, I love it.

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Post by The Archet Bugle on Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:08 pm

Chapter 8... continued....

It soon came that time when the most powerful figure in a tale disappears for some reason. And this is exactly what happened when they got to the signpost that read: The Riding, turn left, the Wildwood, turn right, north the Greysilver Mountains, south, Brawny Bjorn’s Anglo-Saxon style Hall’.

Grandelf emitted a huge fatalistic sigh as he dismounted, his long straggly beard swinging like a noose, his grey eyes pits of doom, and his smile, kind of smug in the grey of evening.

“What’s coming now?” Snodgrass grumbled to Growly.

“You know I hate it when he gets that smug look.”

“F#$&*$g smug b#$&*&$d!”

“No, let’s not be hasty,”  Bwalin said reasonably. “Grandelf has been annoying many, many times on this journey, but that does not mean he will do something annoying now.”

“I don’t know,” said Boppo. “Not only do I think his noose-swinging beard looks too perfectly timed to be true, but his eyes have that doomy look they had when he was over-reaching in his portrayal of Hamlet. Yeah, Hamlet! How he got the part in the first place is anyone’s guess.”

“Was he in Hamlet?” Bango asked. He loved Shakespeare, though he had trouble understanding the archaic language. “Was that at the Longbottom Hall second Solstice to last? I would never have recognised him.”

“No, it was in some shoddy pub on the coast, best not mention it,” Dwarfen put in. “He wasn’t very good. We don’t talk about it.”

Grandelf drew himself up his full height.

“Here we go,” Snodgrass sniggered.

“Friends, it has been a hard journey, a long journey, a journey full of all sorts of interesting, sometimes dangerous events. I have lead you, if I might indulge myself a moment, with bravery, prudence, intelligence and a wonderful persistence and perspicacity...”

Now Grandelf would gone on for hours in this pompous manner if they had let him, but none of the companions could be bothered with that kind of crap just now. They knew he was building up to something. They had read the hints all along up to this moment.

Snodgrass spoke first: “So you’re going to piss-off on us. Get to the point.”

“We kind of knew, you know,” said Bumburr as he sat on the grass looking at the dark track leading into the Wildwood. “A guy could starve in a place like that if he got lost....”

“Well,” Grandelf said slowly. “Anyone could starve in a place like that, even with a wizard at your side.”

“Do you remember when you turned that branch into a leg of lamb...”  Bumburr said and sniffed sadly. “Back before we ever thought of robbing firedrakes....”

“Yes, but, I mean, surely you can scratch up a rat or something... or a squirrel.... it is a bad forest, i know, shocking reputation, but we shouldn’t be too hard on it! Anyway, you do have food with you and will probably make it most of the way through before you run out.”

“And that rock into a pot roast....”

“Now Bumburr, I have to leave,” Grandelf grumbled sounding a bit guilty now. “I have some important top secret business to attend to....”

“What top secret business?” Bango wanted to know.

“If I knew that it wouldn’t be top secret, now would it!” Grandelf barked.

“And what am I supposed to do?” Dwarfen asked looking like a lady dwarf about to get very angry, and nobody likes that. “It’s not like I can leave the boys. There’ll be thirteen, and that’s unlucky.”

“Well, I guess you’ll just have to stay with them then.” Grandelf informed her, looking nervous and relieved at the same time.

“Ha!” Dwarfen shouted. ‘I knew it! You’re off to see that Necromuncher. You have never got that sexually ambiguous Dark Lord out of your head! I just knew it!”

And Dwarfen collected her pack, swept it up onto her back, and trudged off into the Wildwood.

“I never said I was off to see the Necromuncher,” Grandelf said to the others, a trifle unconvincingly.

The other dwarfs said nothing. Gobblers and wild pigs might be one thing, but a wizard and a dwarf having a barney was not anything any dwarf wanted to get mixed up in. So they swung up their packs and followed Dwarfen.

So, at the last, it was just Bango and Grandelf. Bango looked up into Grandelf’s troubled face. It was a rather fraught moment.

“I guess if you have to, you have to,” Bango said, half sad that he and Grandelf were parting ways, half glad he was going to be free of the annoying bastard.

They shook hands in silence.

It was quite a poignant moment....

Bango smiled grimly and then walked after the dwarfs into the darkness of the Wildwood....


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Post by azriel on Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:30 pm

Laughing

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Post by The Archet Bugle on Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:55 pm

Chapter 8.... continued....


The first part of the journey went well. Grandelf was gone for a start. And the canopy of the forest was not so thick as to keep out the ghostly silver rays of the moon. The air was fresh and woody.  The path lay under a carpet of soft leaves and when crunched underfoot let loose a scent of mushrooms and nicely composted earth. There was a naturalness in the air and the spirits of the troop were suddenly high.

“This is not so bad,” said Thorny as they set up camp in a clearing just off the path. “I have an intuition we will get through quite easily and that all those absolutely horrible terrifying tales we heard from our gaffers while sitting around our bonfires in the Solitaire Mountain as little dwarf lads and lasses were substantially the product of Bardic imagination and paranoia.”

“Just like that tale we tell little dwarf lads and lasses at Bludicross, the place ofour long and impoverished and tedious exile, about Smug the Firedrake and how many houses he burnt and how many men and dwarfs and virgins he ate, all in one sitting,” Snodgrass commented as he threw his pack on the ground and looked up at the moon suddenly revealed above the tree tops. ‘Is that moon one of ill-omen?”

‘Now, now,” said Bwalin intervened politely. “We must try and fight our pessimism, Snoddy. Things may turn out for best.”

“I love your eternal optimism, Bwalin,” said Snodgrass. “Maybe I should stop being such a realist.”

And so, with those positive thoughts, the troop crawled into their warm cloaks and tried to get some sleep.

In a nonce, Bango felt a presence wriggling close up to him as he lay.

“Please, not tonight, Biffo,” Bango said as firmly as he could, for all that he had begun to grow quite fond of Biffo.

“It’s not Biffo,” sighed a female voice, “You don’t mind, do you? Well, with Grandelf gone, and me a dwarf who really has no time for the male of my species, the patriarchal bastards, well... you know... a girl likes a bit of comfort....” And Dwarfen pressed up to him in the spooning position.

Bango brightened. Without her false beard, Dwarfen was as comely a dwarf as you would ever meet. But he did not remain brightened for long.

“Just be careful how comfortable you get,”  Biffo was heard to mutter from just across the way. “We woukdn’t want any misunderstandings, now would we, cousin.”

‘No, of course not, cousin,” Dwarfen replied. Somewhat tensely, to be sure, and snuggling up even closer to the hobwit.

Bango suddenly had a very uneasy feeling...


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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:03 am

{{you know Orwell when you write stuff like this is both a brilliant satirical stab at Tolkien and a beautiful homage to him and his writing all at once. On a good day I can do one or the other, but only you I think could do both at once and get away with it so elegantly and so bloody funnily.
So do me a favour, please stop doing it! I hate impossible standards! Bloody OZ-hobbits, upping the ante- theyre like this in sport too you know and prawn wrangling Mad Mad  }}}

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Post by Orwell on Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:10 am

Thanks Petty. I value your opinions on writing very much. I, of course, am incredibly jealous of what you do and will never, of course, say anything good about you. I hope you understand...

As to Tolkien, I absolutely adore him and The Hobbit. I think it is his most perfect work. And being so perfect, and me being such a lover of the naughty and absolutely clever Benny Hill and the Two Ronnie’s, and some of the even ruder and cruder modern comics to boot, it ain’t half easy to write a parody of this beloved work.

And Forumshire, where one gets to write lots and lots of stuff without fear or favour, certainly helps - I hope - hone ones skills!

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Post by The Archet Bugle on Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:03 am

Chapter 8... continued....

The night passed without incident, which was nice for a change. And Dwarfen kept her hands to herself. Though one can’t have everything, Bango decided. He was tired anyway. He slept.

The next morning, after a very light breakfast so as to ensure from the start that their precious supplies did not get wasted, much to Bumbur’s displeasure, they hoisted their packs and set off deeper into the Wildwood.

At first the light was quite good, not a trace of the ethereal rays of the unseen sun filtering through the leafy canopy seemed evil. The rays seemed, indeed, quite saintly: you being a clever child, i’m sure you understand perfectly such esoteric concepts. Which makes me wonder what time it is... Oh is that the time? Just a little more of the story. I’ll stop when the story starts getting scary, or, if you like, interesting, because I certainly would not like you to have nightmares, now would I?

“Perhaps we should sing an old dwarf song to keep up our spirits,” Thorny said around mid morning. “Not that we need to just yet. But, you know, positive is as positive goes.”

“Did you learn that at Prince School?” Ignory asked, quite impressed. ‘Sounds like something you’d learn at Prince School, I think.”

“No, made it up myself,” Thorny answered, sounding pleased. “You know, lads, I’m glad in a way that the wizard has gone and left us.”

“I’m glad in many ways” Groin offered.

“Let us count the ways,” Snodgrass put in.

“Yes, just so, Snoddy,” Bwalin said pleasantly. “It will give us a chance to problem solve ourselves as we go. Not that I recall him problem solving all that much. Up to now, well, let’s be frank, up to now it’s like we were little more than children with Grandelf our fatherly figure.”

“And what an example to children he is,” offered Growly.

“Now, now, Growly,’ Bwalin smilied at him engagingly. “Thisis no time for making negative commentary on our trusty wizard. I’m sure he will turn up again and give us plenty of opportunity to do that before the end. Come! Thorny! What song shall we sing? Something suitable for children, of course.”

“What about  Betty Bigbreasts the Dwarfish Harlot,” suggested Ignory. “It certainly was my favourite when I was a lad.”

“I have heard that song,” Dwarfen sniffed. “And it certainly is not suitable for a dwarf lad, however cracking the chorus is... At the risk of sounding anachronistic, it’s blooming X-Rated. And not respectful to women to boot!”

“What!” Ignory cried defensively. “It’s a song that shows total respect to women!”

“What! Dwarfs at a bar trying to out-crude each other while Betty serves lager in an ultra low cut top! It manifestly celebrates abuse to women and is tantamount to encouraging sexual assault!”

“Well, the way you’re going, Dwarfen, we’ll soon be calling you Anna Chronistic,” Growly growled. “Sexual assault! Poo! In this day and age! Doesn’t exist, not even in theory! Look here, girlie. Whatever social and psychological changes which occur in the future, and any law changes that eventually evolve in line with them, should stay in the future in my opinion. That’s where they belong. I’m going to call you Annie from now on!”

The truth was, Growly did not much like Dwarfen, nor the future neither.

“Let’s not fight,” Thorny interrupted them. “What say we sing the Lay of Perrywinkle. It’s definitely respectful to women.”

“There’re no women even in that song!” Dwarfen complained.

“Well, it’s as close as we can get, sis,” Bwalin put in a helpful brotherly fashion. “It is 1435 by the Riding Reckoning, after all.”

Dwarfen frowned.

Biffo, walking beside Bango just then, said, “This is why you don’t have women on a quest, my friend. It’s not the age for it. Like having women on a fishing trip. Bloody ludicrous!”

“Come on guys, surely there is a song we can all enjoy singing together!” Thorny cajoled them.

But the mood had been dampened and they decided to not sing a song. It was around this time, truth be known, that the later tension which caused all sorts of angst originated....

But off to bed now... yes, yes, the scary part comes next.... I promise...

...


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Post by azriel on Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:21 am

Laughing

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Post by The Archet Bugle on Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:32 pm

Chapter 8.... continued.....

Lunch was quite silent.

Afternoon tea rather dreary.

Dinner a study in reticence.

That night, Bango experienced the peculiar situation where Dwarfen and Biffo both became possessive of him. They took up a position on each side of him, lying close. A part of him had misgivings. Part of him liked it. Not saying which part. Some things should remain out of reach of anyone’s business but the parts involved... my apologies... I mean the the parties involved. Anyway...

...night darkened the world, making it scary, not helped by the fact that the moon, unseen above the leafy canopy, only managed to sneak a few rays of light through to illuminate the troop camping on the path, and those rays were positively evil and.. well....scary....  really, really scary in fact....

Now, if you don’t want to be really scared, we can skip a few pages... No! Well, up to you, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Bango fell uneasily to sleep. His mind was a flitting sideshow of images. From his past. From his present. From somewhere in his subconscious. Strange figures, symbols, faces - horrible ugly faces. Claws! Long claws with talons dripping with red wine.... no! It was blood! Firedrakes lighting their farts. Terrible eyes. Gleeful eyes. Oh the eyes! Some of them were bloodshot!

Now, are you sure you don’t want to skip a few pages? Okay... thought I’d just give you one more chance.

Bango could feel something crawling from his knee up his leg... then something else crawling up his other leg from his other knee...

Spiders?

Scorpions?

Bango froze. Was he asleep? Was he having one of those horrible dreams you have when something bad is going to happen to you but you just can’t move...

Oh fuck!

What was that?

Oh sorry. Bloody cat! Jumped up on me from nowhere! Scared the living shit out of me. Hang on dear reader, just letting the cat out. Where was I? Oh yes, I was reading you a story, wasn’t I... or are you reading this yourself....queer business, really...

Those legs. Four of them on each leg, then each thigh, then... they met... two crawly horrid creatures... giant insects... Arachnoids... is that the word? Oh who cares. Look no one likes one giant spider crawling up onto your groin, but TWO!!!

Then the spiders began to wrestle... and then Bango heard Biffo and Dwarfen beginning to groan... and groan..  and he heard some creaky-cranky noises, straining cartillage under stress noises... spider legs tussling and pulling and stretching...and it WAS cartilage under stress, but Bango did not know exactly what kind of cartilage... was it spider leg cartilage? Or scorpion leg cartilage?

Suddenly, dark shapes thrust up on each side of him. They were hulking ink-dark shapes in slightly less darkness around them... Bango wanted to scream but couldn’t...

“Bitch!” cried one dark shadow.

“Bastard!” cried the other.

“I think you broke my fingers, you slut.”

“What about mine, you poofter.”

It was only then that Bango came to his senses. He sat bolt upright and yelled at them both.

“Do you mind! You scared the crap out of me!”

“Sorry,” said Biffo.

“Sorry,” said Dwarfen.

“Go back to sleep,” Bango told them off in no uncertain term. “Turn over and go to sleep. And don’t touch me again. I really thought two spiders were about to suck the gristle out of my testicles! Go to sleep!”

Soon after he could hear Biffo’s obnoxious uncultured snores and Dwarfen’s obnoxious ladylike snores.

Bango sat seething. “Could have given me a heart attack,” he said to himself.

Then he saw the eyes. They were bright red eyes. And they were staring at him from somewhere among the  dark lower branches and trunks of gnarled old trees across the path from him.

A peculiar voice said, “Special... Special....Special...”

And the bangle in his pocket seemed to throb... like it was answering that evil voice...

FUUUCK!!!

Cough... sorry, just the cat scratching at the door...


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Post by azriel on Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:31 pm

Still Laughing

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Post by halfwise on Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:02 pm

"suck the gristle out of my testicles" Laughing

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Post by The Archet Bugle on Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:47 pm

Chapter 8... continued....


The days that passed therefrom, if you call can them days, because they were more like silvery dusks, passed with a sense of doom falling upon the troop, if you can call it a troop and not a group of companions. Biffo and Dwarfen kept obsessively close at all times to Bango, and he felt positively claustrophobic whenever they got too close, and every time they did, something started to throb in his pocket, and a little voice would whisper, ‘There’s something Special in your pocket, come on, put your hand in and touch me. You know you want to!” Strange business, I can hear you saying, and you’re right, it was strange, weird, uncanny, bizarre, and even esoteric, and it was not even always the same pocket.

The rest of the troop (or companions) had become reticent, buried in their own thoughts: Bumbur thinking of large sirloin chops; Thorny of nothing else but the Farkenstone, often waking in the night hissing, ‘That Farkenstone is mine, it’s mine!”; Poin constantly thinking of his dear departed mother, Pliny; Ignory of a game of chess he lost against Groin just before the Second Dwarf-Gobbler War and now wondering if Groin had cheated; Groin wondering if he should have cheated at chess against Ignory and if something negative might come of it; Bwalin, wondering if he preferred yellow daisies or pink, but generally agreeing he liked both, which was only fair; Snodgrass imagining Grandelf turning up with a dozen fairy maidens and not wanting to share; Dwarfen: why did she feel so needy that she had come to fancy a fat middleaged hobwit; Biffo wondering if he should kill Dwarfen and how he could get away with it because he was fully aware he would be the prime suspect; Growly having visions of his father Towelly, a career pool attendant, disappearing with that geisha girl into the boathouse and not knowing if he was truly English or just half Japanese; Fowly wondering if Growly had an asiatic look to him, and f#@k him if he did, because no one (in those far off times) liked having brother who might be half asiatic; Boppo thinking of those mental patients he had suffocated in the night to end their poor delirious suffering, or was it his own delirium, because night shift is shit; and the last dwarf whose name I can’t think of just now, because thirteeen is a lot of names to remember, you know....

As I mentioned earlier, it was Biffo and Dwarfen who started up the tension. And then Bango’s bangle started throbbing. And then the tension, some of it throbbing tension, had began to pass, like a psychological plague, to everyone else.

And then the food started to run out and Bumbur began to complain that the others were eating too much and that’s why the others were so angry with him when they caught him stealing food at night while they slept. It took four of them to hold the big selfish mongrel down and three to kick sense into him.

Then they came to a dark stream in the Wildwood.

“I don’t think we can touch that water,” Thorny said as they stood in consternation on its bank. “Could be enchanted or something.”

“Why?” Bango felt impelled to ask.

“Why is anything enchanted?” Growly growled.

“Well, usually because a wizard or an enchantress has put a spell on it,” Bango offered.

“So there’s your f#$&*g answer!’ Fowly told him.

So there they were. Fourteen not very companionlike companions, a troop of them one might say, and they were hungry, at their wits end, and on the bank of an enchanted stream in a forest as dark as very late dusk.

Now, I’m not sure what you would have done in the circumstances, but if it was me I would have dug deep into my memory to see if I had read a similar type story to see if I could find an answer to this dilemma. But our dwarfs and hobwit were barely literate, so what chance did they have?

Then Bwalin, whose eyesight was better than the rest, espied something on the far bank.

“Well, blow me dead! Is that a boat over there. Pulled up on the bank.”

“Fat lot of good that is to us on this side,” grumbled Snodgrass.

“Have we got a length of rope?” Thorny cried after a moment.

“And a fish hook?” Bwalin cried a moment later.

In fact, they did.

Hope brightened in their hearts. They slapped each other on the back and guffawed. Relief was in those hearts that for so many days had grown tense and paranoid and hungry.

They all knew what to do. Ignory, the most agile, was delegated to throw the rope across the stream and try to hook the boat. And things went well. The first two throws were either too short or too far but the third was just right. Ignory wore gloves, so the wet rope did not enchanterate him.

Six of them got on  the end of the rope and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled,and pulled... then the boat shot across the stream lot a shot because it had been tethered to a peg and released like the bolt from a compound bow. The dwarfs pulling all fell backwards in an ungainly heap.

“Now,” Thorny instructed them as he dusted leaves and twigs from his cloak. “We will first throw the rope over and catch the hook in the trees. That way we can pull ourselves across. Bumbur, you’ll have to come last by yourself, you ignorant fat bastard. And if the boat sinks under your weight because you’ve been keeping fat while we got thinner, then so be it, you bastard.”

And it all went well to begin with. Soon they were nearly all of them safely across the stream It was almost as if this tale had become a proper adventure story without any innendos or outright stupidity. But it didn’t last.

Bumbur was just about out of the boat on the far bank when disaster hit. The stupid fat idiot was just stepping out of the boat when he lost balance and fell into the stream with a huge splash. The others instinctively grabbed him and pulled him out, and sure enough, he was already under the sway of a glamour. Which manifested as a deep contented sleep.

“Let’s just leave the useless blob of lard,’ Snodgrass averred.

“That would be a hard thing to countenance,” Thorny said solemnly. “But practical I have to say.”

“Why not take him,”  Bango piped up. “And if we get hungry enough we can drink his blood.”

“Actually, that’s not a bad idea,” offered Poin. “I mean, if we were in a plane crash in the alps - hypothetically speaking - and there were dead bodies all around and no help nearby, then no one could question our need to eat the dead ones.”

“That’s so anachronistic as to be nigh on unbelievable,” Dwarfen scoffed, “but you do have a point.”

“But poor Bumbur is still alive,” Bwalin felt obliged to mention, as he was still a nice dwarf irrespective of their desperate situation.

“I’d have no trouble killing the narcissistic pig,” Boppo averred, not very kindly.

“But we have some food left,” Bango said. “So we could drag him on a stretcher of branches and when the food runs out, then Boppo could cut his throat and I could drink his blood.”

“We could all drink his blood, you mean,” Ignory asked suspiciously.

“That’s what I meant,” Bango said lightly, though a trifle resentfully.

“I’d rather we make black pudding, to be honest,’ Dwarfen felt obliged to say, as she did not much care for drinking blood, though would at a pinch.

So it was decided , and they put together a stretcher made of branches and twigs and rolled Bumbur’s flabby and no doubt succulent frame onto it.
 
“Heave to!” Horny yelled and Biffo and Boppo hoisted it by the the poles on the front end of the stretcher and the long drag began.

And what a drag it was to be for the next six days until the food ran out.
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Post by azriel on Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:02 pm

Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Post by The Archet Bugle on Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:08 am

Chapter 8... continued...


They were dark dusky days. Six days during which two at a time members of the uncompanionable troop took it in turns to drag that annoying lump of flesh, Bumbur, through a forest that seemed duskier by the day and jet blacker by the night. From time to time when they rested and nibbled their meagre rations, a dwarf would give Bumbur a kick, tenderising him so to speak, while letting off a bit of steam at the same time.

On the sixth day, Thorny had an idea. A desperate idea.

“Bango. Climb to the top of a tree and see if you can see the edge of the forest. Boppo, you start sharpening your knife, just in case, as I fully expect, the forest goes on for ever.”

So, reluctantly, Bango climbed to the top of a tree and perched himself on its topmost branches. All he could see after his eyes grew accustomed to the bright light of morning was blankets of leaves as far as the eye could see.

“Well, it looks like Bumbur’s day has come,” he said, licking his lips. “Though I guess I should not be so happy about it. I mean, I’ve never had to eat a dwarf before. But, I guess there is a time and place for everything. I bet his blood is rather nice... ... Why do I keep thinking like that?” He asked in sudden alarm. He felt for the bangle in his pocket. It throbbed and seemed to say: ‘Blood is nice. Drippy, drippy, fresh...” Bango removed his hand. “Maybe Snodgrass was right when he said this bangle has put a glamour on me. Mind you, drinking blood is not all that glamorous. Yes, that’s right. Don’t be silly. Glamour! Stupid! This bangle is Special.... my special... And, yet, I think I will take Dwarfen’s suggestion and only eat Bumbur’s blood in a yummy black pudding...”

With this more positive thought in mind, he descended from the tree.
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Post by The Archet Bugle on Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:25 am

Chapter 8.... continued...


They had just gathered round Bumbur to pay their final respects, and Boppo had only just whetstoned his knife to a razor edge and was bending over the generously proportioned fellow, when Bumbur suddenly opened his eyes. Another second and... well, anyway, that was just like Bumbur! Self centred to a tee in every way, even when unconscious.

“I was having such a lovely dream,” he said with a seraphic smile. “There was black pudding, lashings of black pudding, and there was... Hey! Boppo! What are you doing with that knife.... ... oh my gawwwwd!”

“It’s not like what you think,” Boppo said, uncomfortable, embarrassed, and uncertain if it was too late... no, it was.... He put the knife back in his apron.

Bumbur looked accusingly around the circle of guilty disappointed faces. “You were going to eat me, weren’t you!”

“Well,” Bwalin said, the voice of reason as always. “We had run out of food and wouldn’t have had the strength to drag you much further anyway. You know the old saying, one must die so many shall live.”

“I hadn’t heard that one,” Thorny mused aloud. “Would be good to mention it at next Princes school and get it put into the curriculum...”

“I just can’t believe you’d actually eat me,” Bumbur complained. He sounded almost like he was in shock.

And I guess we might all feel that way if we were put in such a position, so we must be fair and not judge him too harshly.  

“Well, it seems we won’t be eating you,” said Snodgrass. “I’ve really lost the urge for some reason anyway.”

“I won’t be able to sleep at night now,” Bumbur further complained. “I’ll keep imagining Boppo creeping up on me in the dark and slitting my throat. Oh yes, no doubt he’ll say he was just sleep walking and all, but I can hear you all excusing his murderous behaviour and saying things like, ‘Well, the facts are, poor fat beloved Bumbur is dead and so there’s no point wasting him, you know, two wrongs never make a right.’ You monsters!”

“I can see why you’d feel that way, Bumbur,” Bwalin said comfortingly. “But there’s nothing for it. We’ll just have to press on and hope it doesn’t come to that.”

And so, with Bwalin’s practical words in their thoughts, the less than companionable troop girded their loins (the thirteen who had them) and hoisted their sadly empty packs, and made one last desperate effort to reach the end of the forest before night fell, with Bumbur leading the way at a cracking pace.
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Post by azriel on Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:20 am

This is so funny Razz I love the flow, weave & wave of this Smile

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Post by Orwell on Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:36 am

Look I don’t mind a bit of flow and weave, but don’t you think any waving is just one step too far!!! Mad


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Post by The Archet Bugle on Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:34 pm

Chapter 8.... continued....

Before going any further with the story, I thought it might be appropriate to tell you that if you ever go on a school camp and your teacher leads you and the other school children on an excursion into a forest and you get lost and are starving it is unlikely, according to the Law of Probability, that you will be the fattest child there, but, still, with this in mind, if you are a little pudgy, and anticipate a school camp down the track sometime, I would suggest you either not go on said school camp or, if you can’t avoid it, now is as good a time as any to take up athletics.

....

The troop of uncompanionlike companions were quite peckish by lunch time, actually hungry by afternoon tea, and as the dusky darkness turned to pitch darkness, they were famished as they prepared to make camp on the path in pitch darkness.

Indeed, the darkness was so pitch, Bango could not see his hand when he waved it in front of his face. He jumped involuntarily when Dwarfen (or Biffo) give his left buttock a possessive squeeze, but he could not see whose hand it was and only could guess. It might have been any of the dwarfs as a matter of fact, yet he was only aware that Dwarfen (and Biffo) fancied him. More likely than not it was Dwarfen’s hand, her fingers after all, were smaller than Biffo’s, or so he surmised, as he had never taken particular notice, and if he was ever to know whose hand the fingers belonged to, he would have to make a (tactful) examination of Dwarfen and Biffo’s hands when it got light enough again to do so in this horrid forest; anyhow, the fingers felt small, nimble even, and more likely than not belonged to Dwarfen (and not Biffo) though Bango could not be absolutely certain, just reasonably certain. Anyway, it was pretty dark, and that’s my point.

And that’s exactly the time Bumbur saw the glint of firelight far off somewhere in the trees.

“Firelight!” Bumbur exclaimed as they were unhoisting their too-light packs. Packs that had not one crumb of food in them.

“Firelight?” Thorny queried. “Are you sure?”

“Torchlight maybe,” Bumbur told him. His voice sounded sweaty. Strange thing to say, I know. “Yes! It must be wood cutters. There must be a wood cutters cottage out there.”

“Wood cutters?” Poin queried. “Out here on the middle of a dark, dank and dangerous woodland?”

“Look!” Bumbur insisted in a high pitched tone. “Can’t you see them?”

“Them?” Snodgrass inquired querulously.

“Lots of them!” Bumbur positively squealed.

“Now, now,” said Bwalin calmly. “I have the best eyesight so I will have a look... Mmm.... Ummm.... no, I can’t see anything but inky blackness.”

“Maybe you’re just imagining it,” Groin put in queringly. “You sound a little stressed, Bumbur. Hope you haven’t decided to get scared of the dark. We’ve been in this dark forest for days now. Stupid time to start being scared of the dark and having hysterical visions.”

“Well, I can see lights. Probably elfs having a banquet,” Bumbur almost shrieked, clearly agitated now.

“Elfs?” Dwarfen queried querulously. “I thought you said wood cutters?”

“Elfish wood cutters!” Bumbur positively yelled at her.

“But elfs don’t cut down trees. They talk to them. Some of them are good friends, it’s said. Least that’s what I’ve heard,” Bango said. He, like the rest of them, was trying desperately to see those torch lights, but he could not see a thing in the all pervading blackness.

“I think you’re tired, Bumbur. We all are,” Boppo said reassuringly. “What you need is a long deep sleep. A very long, long deep sleep. Do you the world of good.”

Suddenly there was a muted choked off squeal and a very loud thud.

“What’s happened? What’s happened?” Growly  cried out in alarm. “What the hell was that noise?”

And then they all were thrown into a panic.

The whole group of trooping companions began to scramble around in the dark trying to run away from what the hell they did not know.

Bango, his mind full of the worst visions of drear danger and fright, sped off into into bushes by the path and knocked his forehead on a low hanging  branch and knocked himself out stone cold.....
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