Chapter 6 – What happens next?

They sat together in the Great Hall. Now they were seven, Queen Dillberry would have to play keyboards.

Rooty toot toot!

The pondering had long since finished and all seven were now deep in dialogue. Peter was more than happy with his newly acquired underclothing, though a little perturbed at the potential embarrassment and inherent danger of bending over with his rear end pointing up toward the Moon. Greg felt the outcome so far had been successful and quietly fulfilling, though he knew the task wasn’t over yet. This would be nothing more than a temporary respite.

A chance to draw breath.

A chance to draw little stick men in the corners of a book and animate them to produce a very poor cartoon effect.

A chance to ask the King and Queen what is blowing in the wind.

A chance to write and talk in clichés, as it were.

A chance to play strip poker with three lovely young ladies.

No chance.

The Fairies felt it was time to bring the travellers down to the ground.

They pointed out that despite the pleasure given by the magic underpants it was only a brief measure and to find permanent relief Peter would have to travel deep inside his head, and deep inside the interior of the continent to search for a Permanent Cure.

“Is there such a thing as a Permanent Cure for the Dukes!?” asked Hanny.

“Legend says there is…” said the Queen.

“Well let´s ask Legend then,” said Greg.

“…but the journey is perilous,” continued Dillberry, ignoring the stupidity of the diminutive Goblin. “Many have attempted it, none have returned. It is written that the quest involves a journey Down South to find the Fabled Lake of the Gloompty Fish. There the intrepid explorer must find a Bold Imp with a Sturdy Boat that will take the courageous adventurer out into the middle of the Great Fabled Lake. Then he must sort out his tackle and begin the Herculean task of fishing for the Great Gloompty Fish. After writhing and fighting the Monster fish for many hours he will land the catch on the Sturdy Boat and bas h the fucker to death. At the end of this arduous task the Hero must rapidly get back to the shore of the Town on the edge of the Great Fabled Lake of the Gloompty Fish, find the legendary Imp who extracts potions from Strange Fabled Creatures and persuade this other Hero to extract the oil from the Magical Liver of the Gloompty Fish. Legend then says applying this fresh Liver Oil to the affected parts will lead to a Permanent Cure for the Dukes!”

“Well that sounds just fabulous,” said Peter. “I suppose I’d best be off as soon as I can. It’s me with the sore bottom and me that needs to cure it. So Queenie, if you could just give me a map and a bit of scran to see me through the next few days then I’ll be off love.”

“It could just be a fable,” added the Queen.20100425132030!Hieronymus_Bosch-Removing_the_Rocks_from_the_Head-Detail

The Queen smiled at him, her beast like face almost betraying a touch of childhood beauty.

“No way young Pixy. You can’t undertake that journey alone. I would expect that your facially challenged friend (she grimaced at Greg) at least he will want to travel with you. And I will grant you a further companion. I will send one of my lovely Fairy Maidens with you.”

Hanny, Nouf and Thanthat all looked eagerly toward the Queen. They were all eager to take any chance to get out of washing the floppy flappy flabby bits of the Majestic King.

Dillberry looked from one to the other then back again. She knew that Innocent had more than an inkling in his dinkling for Hanny.

“It will be Fairy Hanny all the way!” declared the Queen,” She will be a good guide for you and is skilled in many tongues; I hear many great compliments regarding her tongue work. Besides she will be able to monitor your use of the Magic Underpants, report back to me on their effectiveness ensuring they are fit for purpose. It´s always important to have standards and meaningful targets, don´t you know! And if you eventually get the Fabled Bum Cure I would hope that Hanny would bring back any spare Gloompty Fish Liver Oil for my experiments.”

Greg bowed. “Majestic Queen Dillberry, I will gladly travel with Peter. He needs my looks and my brains if we are to make any progress.”

“That’s that failed then,” said the King in an aside to Nouf.

“And Majesty I too will be more than pleased to travel on this quest,” said Hanny. “This journey to destroy the burning ring. It will be an amusement; it will get me away from having to scrub the hygienically challenged Monarch, a pleasure I can survive without for as long as necessary!”

“That’s settled then,” said the Queen. “See ya!”

With that the Pixy, the Goblin and Fairy Hanny departed the Great Hall, with its fine columns, its four walls and its roof, to head Down South to the fabled land of the Lake of the Gloompty Fish.

What adventures would befall them?

What fun would they have?

Would there be any shenanigans with two guys and one doll?

Would they meet many strange and interesting characters that seemed too outlandish to be true?

It was time to make preparations.

Hanny took charge of this and put together packs of food and spare clothing. Being a logical and highly intelligent young gal she put each of the prepared goods into packs and labelled them. There were eight packs in all so she wrote down the contents on a list and labelled them from ‘A’ to ‘H’. She then assigned the packs amongst the three of them.

She made sure that Peter was carrying preparation ‘H’.

They left the Great Castle of Setebos via door number three, turned right, went up the road and bumped into Steve of the Guard. Being a nosey Gnome he asked how it had gone, what was happening, any juicy gossip to tell the guys as they stagged on overnight?

“What’s the buzz, tell me what a happening is!” he said.

Hanny explained the scenario and the quest to a scintillated Steve.

“Sounds cool,” said the Head of the Guard, “any chance of coming with you?”

“But what about your duties here?”

“Bored! It’s crap! I’d rather watch paint dry or be eaten by a fabled multi-coloured fish. This isn’t the life for me. I want adventure!”

So it was that that evening Peter the Pixy, Greg the Goblin, Steve the Gnome and the Fairy Hanny headed out of the West Gate of the Great City of Setebos.

They walked several miles before one of them remembered that the quest lay Down South. So turning left they set off on what would be the Greatest Adventure of their lives, a Magnificent Swashbuckling Tale on the Quest to find a Permanent Cure for Piles!

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Chapter 5 – Of Gold mines and magic undies.

Cover 5The sextet could have formed a magical jazz band. Innocent would have to be the drummer what with being fat and lazy, with Greg on the double bass – his overlong arms and squat legs made him ideal to handle the instrument, while his ugly face would look cool if adorned with shades. Peter would have a choice of instruments but would no doubt go for virtuoso guitar, sitting down to play as this suggests a more studied approach to music. The three babes would form the brass section and vocals. Hanny would play alto sax, caressing the long slender metal as she oozed each silky note; Nouf the trumpeter would cradle the moon with its bright shiny notes; Thanthat would play trombone and sing with a deep sexy voice that could turn saints into jazz fans.

King Innocent and his Unstable Mates play ‘Blues on Uranus’.

Radical.

They left the Great Hall with all its attributes – walls and roof and that – sliding off amongst the highways and byways that formed the Majestic Castle of the Fairy Kings of Setebos. Soon they were descending below ground, past the long disused dungeons, past the food stores (Peter was not tempted), and on toward the Magic Cellars of Queen Dillberry.

It was rumoured all over the planet that the Queen dibbled and dabbled in Magic. Everybody hoped that she dealt in Good Magic or White Magic as it is known, though many of the noble Fairy’s wanted to see some of that old Black Magic called love. Was the Queen a Black Magic woman? There are many dark secrets in Black Magic, but we won’t look into them as it may spoil our appetite.

They entered a room filled with bubbling cauldrons, smokes, fumes and strange coloured liquids. The smell was foul; there were bits of animals lying on worktops and odd looking roots were arranged on shelves. There were jars containing potions and powders with strange labels like ‘Mango Chutney’ and ¨Piccalilli´ and ´Gherkins´ and ´Crabs dicks.

“I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere as we appear to be in the kitchens,” said the King.

It took a little more pondering and deliberating but they eventually reached the magic workshop of the Queen. The four Fairy’s had been here on the odd occasion; the King liked to see his Fairy Queen now and again. To the dynamic duo it was a place of awe. There were jars of green and yellow goo on the shelves; sticks; cauliflowers and potatoes with eyes; there were four and twenty years ago, baked in a pie; the were runes and prunes; nuts and bolts; there was a magic dog that made a bolt for the door and a guinea pig that made a run for a rabbit; there were birds that sing and bees that sting, a frog that walks and a dog that talks; they came upon a child of God who was walking along the road; there was a magical mystery tour just waiting to take them away; there were three blind mice training guide dogs; and there in the corner stood the wonderful Queen Dillberry, clearly a salad dodger just like her beloved King, but with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp.

“Hello love,” said the King, “I’ve brought a couple of the lads around for a pint. Oh and one of them’s got a sore bum he’d like some advice on! Come on girls, get us a drink.”

As the handmaidens searched for a few beers Queen Dillberry looked deep into the eyes of the frightened Pixy.

“I suppose I should shout ´off with his head!’ but I´ll leave that to another fantastic Queen.

“And there could be a copyright problem too,” suggested Hanny, practical as ever.

“Well yes – just copy it if it seems right,” said the Queen.

The Queen pondered and looked askance.

“Off with his head!” she shouted.

“And off his head we have done,” muttered Hanny, “with what shall we do with it?”

“Say that again!”

“What shall we do with his head when it comes off?” asked Nouf.

“Fairy Nouf, good question,“ said the Queen and pondered some more.

“Give it to Lord Chalfont,” suggested the pondered Queen.

“Oh my love, “said the King. “You´re always saying give Head to Lord Chalfont! It´s not really his role to be collecting Heads. He collects taxes!”

“Fair enough,” said the Queen.

“Yes Your Majesty?”  said fairy Nouf.

The Queen decided it was time to look askance again.

Peter looked upon her doubtfully. Would he lose his head? Quite a price to pay for a Fairy Tart and a sore arse.

“Worry not oh anally challenged Pixy! For I am the Queen Dillberry! Star of the Sea! Mother of Invention! Zapper of flies and Captain in the heart of Beef! I can kill or cure you young Pixy! Choose wisely or the consequences could be fatal!”

“A cure would be best I think your ladyship.”

“You chose well my young friend. Tell me what can ail thee, sprite at arms, alone and palely loitering?”

“Well if you go back a few pages you can see that I´m stricken with the Dukes! Due to having one of your tarts,” explained Peter.

So the Queen read the story so far.

“The Dukes! So the prophecy is true. Praise Oberon and Titania! And Puck and Quince! And a man named Vince! Oh Sweet Gene Vincent! So no more chasing after my beautiful tarts anymore?”

Peter adorned his guilty look.

“I might be tempted if they taste of raspberry,” he admitted.

“Saints preserve us!” squealed the Queen. “He likes raspberry tarts!”

“And strangled farts!”

“Oh aye!” said the Pixy. “If the most beautiful tart in the world stood before me now, tempting me to lick and munch and drool all over it, I would be able to say No! I do not want my lust turned into a stinging pain down below!”

“Even if it is a raspberry tart?”

Peter thunk it through. Raspberry?

He loved raspberry tarts, though he hadn´t tried many.

He could raspberry tart all day and be happy.

But then the bum grapes would expand.

“No! Not even a raspberry tart!” declared the pitiful Pixy.


HieronymusBosch-473265“Good! Then I can help. Hanny!” she cried, “go to the cupboard in the back of my bedroom, the black cupboard with all the lovely pictures of hosts of golden daffodils, and open up the Golden Box. In it you will find a garment that will help our stricken companion. Go quickly girl for his arse has a burning ring of fire!”

Hanny returned after a period in which Peter and Greg felt their souls had been read by the Fairy Queen. Hanny held a small package that she handed to the Queen.

“My forbears knew of the prophecy and prepared for such an event. Long ago in the depths of time Queen Spenser sat in the light of the moon knitting her magic into this garment. The garment has the power to relieve a sore arse. I present now to you, troubled Pixy that you are, the magic underpants of the Fairy Queen Spenser!”

“Pardon?” said Peter

“Magic underpants?” asked Greg

“Yup!” said the Queen. “These will give better relief than CO2 or lard. However they must be looked after carefully. Too much time with the magic underpants can be addictive. They really should come with a government health warning.”

“What, like don´t smoke death sticks or drink Brownie Beer?”

“Something like that. Magic in your pants can be a bit bad,” explained the Queen.

“But what do I do oh bog eyed Majestic Queen?” asked Peter.

“Get your kecks off, chuck you lard stained trolleys away, divest your chuff of the semi-liquid lard and put these on. You’ll get instant relief.”

“Could you give me a hand please Hanny?” asked the Pixy in feigned innocence.

Hanny snorted derisively.

“If you want a hand that’s a job you can do yourself!” she said.

When Peter donned the magic pants his life changed instantly. The screeching, searing spikes that had insinuated their metaphorical presence in his rectum were immediately cast out like leftover cabbage. The tight pulsating smouldering sphincter lost its dominating authority in his brain. Freedom surged through his nether regions like a spring tide on a marsh. No longer would he walk in pain, carrying the fear of a leaking bum.

This was self-determination.

This was bliss.

Personal motivation to be the best of the best.

Yes Sir!

This was the magic underpants effect.

“Feeling better then son?” asked the King as he supped on a glass of brown ale.

“Better! I feel pretty and witty and gay!”

“Now, take care young Pixy,” warned the Queen. “You are using powerful magic; magic that can dampen the dark power of the burning ring. But beware. The magic doesn’t last forever. Those pants will need recharging every now and again if they are to maintain their effectiveness.”

Peter looked confused.

What could she mean by recharging? These pants had instantly rejuvenated his Jacksy – was she implying the effect wouldn’t last?

“The effect won’t last if they aren’t properly maintained, washed regularly and re-energised,” said the Queen.

Hanny looked at the perplexed Pixy in exasperation.

“Didn’t you listen to what her Majesty said? These are Underpants knitted in the light of the Magical Moon. Moonlight waxes and wanes! If you don’t keep them on full charge then the power will wane and you’ll be in pain!”

“Pardon me for butting in,” intruded the gob smacked Goblin, “but how exactly does one go about recharging a pair of underpants, even given that they are magic?”

“Moonlight!” chorused the Fairy’s.

“Moonlight?” questioned the brave travellers.

“And roses?”  asked the King.

Fairy Thanthat folded her arms in disbelief.

“You two really are as thick as pig shit aren’t you!” she declared.Fairy Hanny

“Fair cop!” agreed the Pixy and Goblin.

“Look,” continued Thanthat. “The power of the pants will reduce over the lunar cycle. So when there is a full moon you have to recharge them. And before you ask,” she continued, preventing the thickos from interrupting, “the method is quite easy. You drop your trousers and point your underpants clad bottom at the moon.”

“In the world of magic we call this Mooning,” said Queen Dillberry.

Pondering continued for some time until Greg had the courage to ask “Which Moon does he point his bum at? After all there are seventeen.”

Fairy Hanny giggled.

“Surely it’s obvious. Oberon, King of the Fairies. Point your bum at that one!”

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Chapter 4 – Bearing Our Souls.

titleIt was now a delight to be in the presence of the newly perfumed King, in the Great Hall with its Great Walls and Great Columns and Great Roof and Great Gargoyles. Add to that the  of the three most gorgeous babes they had ever seen, the stars of this epic tale were finally ready to take another step in the right direction.

“As I was saying before I was turned into a powder puff; what can I do for you lads?” repeated the King.

“Before we go any further, oh majestically scented one,” said Greg. “Before we get any further could you give us a proper introduction to your lusciously lovely assistants?”

“I’d should say so too, oh fragranced one that no longer smells!” added Peter.

“Sorry lads, quite remiss of me. These are my favourite handmaidens, good for all the jobs that need to be done by hand. Let me introduce you to Fairy Hanny, Fairy Nouf and the other one.”

“Well hello ladies,” chorused the hopeful duet, eyes dancing a quick step up and down the obvious protuberances of the scrumptious trio.

“Hello lads,” they shrilled in return.

“But tell me, oh father of all things that no longer smell of Dragon shite,” continued the perplexed Pixy, “why do you call this third fair maiden ‘the other one’?”

The King looked away, the anger dancing back up his trouser leg, out of his shirt and onto his Crimson face. Anger personified!

Peter was worried. Had he accidently stood in a social dog turd, a faux pas that could get him twenty years in the doghouse?

He turned to Hanny.

“Have I done something to offend, fair maiden?”

Hanny returned a gracious and condescending smile, like a Hollywood actor thanking a fan for pointing out what a great guy he was in his last movie.

“Not really,” said the buxom babe. “It’s just that the King sometimes has trouble in pronouncing certain names.”

“You mean like Siobhan, Niamh, Caoimhe and Aoife?” enquired Greg.

“Don´t be feckin ridiculous,” snorted Hanny. “Her name is Thanthat.”

“So it isn’t Beibhinn?”

“I can´t see how it could be any harder than those names!” stated Peter.

A glint of a memory came into Hanny´s eye. Had she travelled to the Emerald isle and the land of Faery? There was something troubling her, a memory that could not exist, a sense of déjà vu without a view. Her vision glazed temporarily. Who is Turenn she asked herself.

Peter and Greg just assumed she had wind.

Fairy Nouf took up the tale.

“As well as starting each day smelling like a teenage boys bedroom covered in monkey ordure, the King just struggles with some names. We try not to make too big a deal of it,” she whispered conspiratorially.

“So what is the problem with saying her name?” asked Greg.

“Can´t you see,” said Nouf, “he’s the King, the most wonderful being in this Universe, the most Majestic Majesty ever!”

“And he can’t say Fairy Thanthat.”

The King smiled, then expelled his angry look, along with a large amount of home grown  methane.

“Get out and walk!” shouted the King as he airbrushed his recently changed underpants.greg the Goblin

Peter and Greg, not being use to Royal Protocol, turned to leave the Great Hall.

Hanny and Nouf stopped them, while Thanthat giggled at their lack of sophistication.

The King chortled.

“Sorry lads,” he said, “ I didn’t mean you had to get out and walk away from here. It´s just a little encouragement for the Lean Bean Machine to leave the room! You don’t want them air biscuits hanging round too long.

The boys sort of felt chastened and embarrassed; fancy not understanding what to do in the case of a Royal Anal Foghorn.

King Innocent calmed his chortle to a snigger.

“So lads; what is the problem?” he asked. “ Why am I sitting here in my Great Hall waiting to listen to some petition from a hideous Goblin that is ugly as sin (no offence, and a Cardinal sin at that), and a Pixy that looks as though he has been riding a horse for the last fifty years and smells of part heated lard?”

Peter went simply red, then deep purple. The glow from his face began to light up the Great Hall and made the King even more Crimson. He tried to shift on his feet but each small movement told him that the lard was losing its effectiveness; the Dukes! were sending little spear parties deep into his jacksy. He looked lovingly into the eyes of Fairy Hanny; this was no time to beat about the bush, much as he would have enjoyed doing so; this was a time for action and honesty. And he was scared to fart.

Faint heart never won Fairy maiden.

Mind you in the annals of history a pile ridden Pixy never won a Fair maiden.

I digress.

“Your Majesty, here I am in the court of the most munificent monarch on Uranus.  I have a confession to make and a tale to tell, which might just explain the lardy smell.”

Greg nodded sagely; a decent rhyme was never a crime.

“Well hurry up lad, me dinners nearly ready!” said the King as he lifted his excess tummy flab.

“Sorry oh newly fragrant one. I stand before you, a poor humble Pixy, a forlorn hope for I have been stricken with a foul case of the Dukes!”

There was no reaction from the Fairies. They knew the implications of this confession. The dammed Pixy had been at the tarts. Fairy tarts at that. The Kings tarts, possibly. The King looked at his three lovelies. They shook their heads in denial.

No.

Peter the Pixy

 

No way would any of these three ever consort with a Pixy, letting him help himself to a tart. They were too loyal.

He looked at Thanthat. He couldn’t say it for certain with that one.

Trust.

“How did a hairy arsed little scumbag like you get his hands on one of my tarts!” belched the King.

Peter began to shake violently. The rapidity of the shakiness caused the now partially melted lard to slip down and out of  his chuff. The fear of the King outweighed the fear of losing the contents of his bottom, and slowly the life saving lard slid down his leg, like a sloppy turd escaping from the badly fitted nappy on a two year old.

The King grew more crimson as rage took the stage and treachery superceded lechery.

Hanny intervened.

 

“Majesty! It is your munificence to forgive and forget. It is obvious that our sore bottomed friend has suffered. But, on the positive side, he has proved to us that the old prophecy is true. This will be a good advert for the Kingdom. We won’t see many other reprobates wanting to suffer this type of anal embarrassment!”

The King subsided and released his pent up anger by peppering the air with a staccato burst of trouser trumpets.

“True enough love; true enough,” said the King as he frowned upon his handmaidens clutching their noses. “In fact you really have done us a favour here young sore b

um. I apologise for my harsh words but you have to admit, if you thought someone had had your tart you’d be nonplussed!”

Peter cast himself on the floor. He was filled with a mixture of shame for his

actions and the pain in his arse. The tears began to flow. A shiny brownish white puddle also began to flow from the bottom of his trousers.

Greg looked to the King.

“Oh sweet-smelling sovereign! Please show forgiveness on your humble subject. Forgive him his trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us. Your tarts probably led him into temptation; now deliver him from the evil that resides in his jacksy.”

King Innocent allowed his eyes to do a little jig; there is nothing quite so fetching as a cross-eyed Fairy. Alas Innocent wasn’t particularly handsome. Never mind. He had a decision to make.

The King was far from displaying nominative determinism. When it came to temptation he gave in to his urges. He had a penchant for tarts, despite the warnings of revenge from his Queen. In the history of the Kings of Setebos, Innocent was the fattest bastard who had ever attempted to sit on the throne. His predecessors had taken care to diet properly, taking pride in their food intake. They loved fairy cakes and angel delight but knew when to stop. They understood the food pyramid, the importance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the correct proportions. It was the Age of the Thin Kings and all was well on Uranus.

Those days had long gone and now we have King Innocent the Salad Dodger.

He knew what is like to be tempted by a strawberry tart on a sleepy afternoon. He had his own little stick of Blackpool rock, and liked to have a nibble on it now and again.

“You’re right,” said the King, “the Pixy has suffered and will continue to suffer in his secret parts unless we can find a cure. You Goblin! Get some fresh lard up his chod bin before he starts screaming like a banshee.”

The Goblin rapidly got to work, pondering the origin of purified pig fat. Who first thought of that? Mind you who first thought of mixing hops and barley with water to make beer? And who thought reality TV would be a good thing? And who thought putting six hundred and thirty five cheats and liars in a building would lead to good government?

There are stranger things in heaven and Earth than you would ever find on Uranus.

Hanny, Nouf and Thanthat watched in disbelief. They were used to unsoiling a fat Ruler but cramming a bum with lard was a new experience for them all.

“Can I have a go?” asked Hanny.

The remnants of Peters dignity careered out of control. How weird to have the girl of your dreams cramming a medicine up your troublesome chuffer. Should he be pleased with the intimacy or horrified at the loss of self-esteem? It was hard to work out. Would it be ok to ask her for a quiet drink that evening knowing that she had spent time stuffing his donk with lard?

The butt packing was soon done and Greg looked for a place to put the empty wrappers.

Time appeared to stand still for a few moments.

The six of them sat or stood in the Great Hall, with its walls and roof, not to mention its columns and windows, pondering. Each pondered in his or her own way, remembering previous times when pondering was less of a challenge.

The King intervened.

“I was just wondering as I was pondering,” he said, “as to why a Pixy and a Goblin should come in here as though they have been best friends forever. I just don´t get it. Pixies are fine enough creatures, with their little hats and pointy toed shoes, even if they do nick tarts and get the Dukes! But Goblins! Scum personified. Scum! I would not trust one as far as I could throw him!”

Greg looked at the fat bastard and realised the King probably couldn’t even throw a sprout at a Christmas Turkey.

Fairy Thanthat tried to pacify the King.

“My lord, don’t you remember you said you wanted to be more accessible to everyone on the planet. That you want to be seen as The Monarch of The Many. The King of the Kindred. The Leader of The Lowly. A friendly Fairy King with his beautiful Fairy Queen.”

“Fat chance of that, considering the bag of spanners I’m married to!”

Fairy Thanthat was taken aback; then she was taken a-sideways and a-down.

“Unfair my Lord. Queen Dillberry is one of the bestest Fairies ever. She is popular with all, even the Imps and Gremlins love her.”

“Do the Trolls love her?”

“Majesty the Trolls don’t love anyone since you sent Fub to crush their revolution.”

The pondering continued, before turning into deliberating; after a while the pondering returned.

“You’re right as always, the other one. Why even my daughter Princess Layer says she likes Goblin friends. Bless me with the sign of Titania but you’re right! Sorry disgusting Goblin scum; didn’t mean to offend.”

“I’m not offended boss. I’m used to being at the foot of the tree. However I am a really useful Goblin when you get to know me.”

The panel continued to ponderously ponder possibilities. Was there a way to help the petrified Pixy in his quest for a cure? Would he be forever reliant on lard? Would he ever manage to pull Fairy Hanny?

“Queen Dillberry could probably help,” said Fairy Nouf.

“Fair enough,” said the King. “Let’s go and ask her.”

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Chapter 3 – In the Court of the King with the Crimson Face.

HieronymusBosch-473265It turned out to be much easier than ever to find their way there, to the Great Hall in the Great Castle in the Great City of Setebos.

They did turn left and enter door number three. From there they had to work their way along a few deep and dreary back passages but eventually they emerged from a little entrance into the Great Hall.

It was magnificent.

And Great.

And wonderful – and marvellous and that.

There were beams a plenty that stretched from floor to ceiling, majestically holding the splendour of the roof in its splendid place on top of the walls. Of walls there were four, one at each side of the Hall. Each wall consisted of bricks, magnificently place on top of each other in a Flemish bond to add strength, and magically held together by mortar. Then in his perversity the Master Builder said what is it all made of; so rendered the walls in rendering. The brilliance of the architect was shown by having windows in each wall, windows that, should the observer be fifteen feet tall, would allow one to look outside. This was majestic splendour on a magnificent scale.

From the buttresses rose magnificent gargoyle sculptures, such that, if one peered at them with a slight squint in the right eye and a fist pushed into the left side of ones head, one could easily believe the masons had captured Prime Ministers Question Time. Or the Liverpool team from 1974.

At the far end of the Hall, or the near end if you were coming in from the other side, lay a raised dais upon which stood two magnificently majestic thrones. Each throne was raised above the dais on another, smaller dais in order for the occupants to take an even more condescending view of any grovelling bastard who dared ask for extra sandwiches. The cannier observer would detect that both thrones were in fact commodes, a device that has saved many a monarch when having the shit bored out of them by whinging politicians.

Greg and Peter did not notice this as it is not really relevant, but worth mentioning in trying to understand the mind of the planners, who are also full of shite.

They looked at each other.

“What happens next?” asked Peter.

“Search me,” said Greg.

“You’ve got some coins in your left pocket, a knife in your right, lots of useful pens, a pocket watch, a fire extinguisher, a comb, two hard boiled eggs and a decent supply of lard in your ruck sack,” said Peter ten minutes later, having taken Greg literally.

“I think the Dukes! are starting to affect you mental skills,” said Greg.

Cover 5

“I think I have always had mental bits,” said Peter.

Just then there came the sounds of horns blazing.

‘Parp! Parp! Parpety Parp!’ went the horns.

The dynamic duo were drawn magnetically toward the dais. As the horns parped louder and louder there appeared from the side of the Great hall the Fattest Fairy imaginable, his face glowing crimson with the effort of moving. As this figure waddled carefully toward the larger of the two thrones there came a stench as though every demon in Hell had farted simultaneously; hydrogen sulphide overdose with mega portions of skatole. The pair gagged and shuddered in disbelief.

The figure sat down and looked down at his strange subjects.

“Don’t blame me lads; I’m Innocent!” he said with more than a hint of mischief in his eyes.

 

[It needs to be noted at this juncture in the story that one of the strangest things about Uranus is it is full of wormholes.  These wormholes convey not only images and stories but also notions. One of the funniest ideas to traverse the interplanetary quite extraordinary Space is the Liverpool accent. Scholars in the Greater Library of the Gods in Bootle and the What The Fuck Happened Library of Alexandria can’t decide the direction in which the accent travelled; suffice it to say that the Fairies speak with a Scouse accent. If you can grasp this concept it will make the narrative even funnier. Funnier than flu.]

 

“What can I do for you, lads?” asked the munificent King Innocent.

The intrepid pair were still trying to get their breathing sorted. It takes some skill to breath only through the mouth; a talent achieved every night by many a drunk producing the most horrendous snoring to the annoyance of countless gorgeous young ladies. If perfected it eliminates the intensity of the smell. Schoolteachers and Nurses are highly proficient at this due to the horrible stinking environments in which they carry out their trades – I don´t mean those in their care, merely the shit they get chucked at them from governments. Mind you, taxi drivers have to be good at it too. As for sewage workers, they probably just enjoy the smell of shite.

Greg pulled himself together.

“Oh most noble and wonderful King; oh Glorious Master of all the Fairies and the lesser peoples of Uranus; oh tower of bulk and stoutness personified. There are many things we would like to ask. And may be so bold as to ask my first question; why do you smell like a ton of camel droppings mixed with rotten eggs and cabbages?”

The King paused.

Pausing is all part of the game on Uranus.

The King continued his pause.

A look of anger danced across his face, down his shirt and out of his trousers. Then a smile crossed his face.

“I haven’t had a shower today yet lads, sorry! And with a chod bin as wide as mine, getting things spick and span takes a little extra support.”

The King turned to his left.

He shouted.

“Hanny! Nouf!  The other one! Come out here and make your King a little more presentable for his raggedy arsed guests!”

The music of the wordy hurdy gurdy filled the room and a scent of lavender and vanilla attempted to hide the Monarchs stench.

There emerged from a side door to the rear of the dais, in the middle of one of the walls that held up the roof, the three most gorgeous Fairy babes that either of our heroes had ever seen. They were the kind of gals that made any male want to fall in love, have babies and never spend a night in the pub with his mates ever again – ok this is a fairy story…

The young females brought in with them a large bowl of steaming hot water, towels and soap, perfumes made from the finest spices the planet could produce. Fairy Nouf ran immediately to the two travellers giving each a Nosegay, saying “This’ll mask the pong until we’ve cleaned the Gloriously Reeking Ruler!”

It took a good long time for the Malodorous Sovereign to be made presentable, in which time the two heroes sat and watched the dance of the three gorgeous handmaidens as they spruced up the bulky old git. Peter became more and more enamoured of Hanny, her hair cascading in corkscrews down her shoulders, flashing and parting to display fine young breasts enclosed in green linen. Her skull was crowned with the latest in Fairy Hairy-do’s; a v-shaped wedge that drew the viewer’s eyes up along that pretty face. Her beautiful almond eyes glowed blue in the half light of the Hall. Her waist suggested an athletic existence, the six pack tastefully covered by a short gypsy skirt. Beneath the flowing skirts he could see long lithesome legs, lovely legends living lavishly, lustful lingerie lengthening the alliteration. At the end of those lovely legs were calf high black boots, army issue, and 24 lace holes.

Fairies wear boots and you’ve got to believe me.

All three girls fluttered vestigial gossamer wings as they danced and entranced the Minging  Stinking King. The Fairies have evolved on Uranus to a point where they can no longer use their wings. As they get older and slightly more tubby the wings become more colourful but less useful. These older Fairy gals refer to them as Bright Imitation Non Gliding Objects; or BINGO wings for short.

Peter had to stop looking for fear of making a fool of himself, as a priapism attempted to keep him seated for an hour or two.

He wanted to declare his love instantly. But what would she see? A Pixy fallen on hard times, who had betrayed the trust placed in him, lying there with an arse packed with purified pig fat. Who could fall in love with such a forlorn creature?

In that instant Peter felt that Hanny had broken off a corner of his mind, a corner she would hold onto until he could rid himself of the curse of the Dukes! If he could atone for his sins then maybe she would give back that little corner of him, and he could be the Pixy he had always been. Then maybe they could live happy ever after, Pixy and Fairy in perfect harmony.

Bollocks!

Too many obstacles.

Still, the road without obstacles never leads anywhere interesting. And if you don’t know where youre going then youre bound to get there.

A road to far?

Are we on the road to nowhere?

Will it be a long and winding road?

Any road, let´s continue with peter´s random thoughts…

A Fairy marry a Pixy?

Unheard of!

Peter ended his reverie as the more pleasant smells of perfume and parfum drifted up his nostrils, reminding him that Uranus can be quite a pleasant place to spend an evening. The King no longer smelt like a leather tanning factory in Morocco. He was all sweetness and light, and no longer smelt of shite. This was a new day. The aromas brought Peter back down from his musings. He could not afford to fall in love with anyone, let alone one of the Kings handmaidens.

In the midst of this romantic contemplation, Peter murmured out loud the thoughts wiggling a salsa through his imagination, “You can’t always get what you want!”

“I can!” said the King.

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Chapter 2 – Desperately seeking Innocent.

It was a relatively short, though oppressive walk to the City of Setebos. The woodland clung to their breath as they toddled along in search of forgiveness and a potential cure. The sky looked down gravely on the heroes, overcasting doubt on the success of their mission. The Sun beamed her glorious smile onto the walls of the City, though her mind was elsewhere; she was trying to find a solution for a disenfranchised Sloth in the jungles of South America.

Peter the Pixy

The City walls of Setebos had once been magnificent, a testament to the Greatness of the Old Fairies, The Lords of Uranus. Creatures had travelled from all over the planet to gaze upon the high white marble structures that told a tale of great wealth and great breeding. In those days the walls had been more than necessary.

They exhibited the splendour of the Fairy Kings but also were needed to keep out the riff raff, the ne’er do wells, down and outs, Harold Ramps, disgraced Defence Ministers, Letting agents and marauding Orcs.

Long gone were the times of the deadly Wars of the Fairies and Orcs. Many an Orc had been toasted before, during and after a battle and many a Fairy turned into a spit–roasted delicacy.

Fortunately this is no longer the Norm.

At the last great Siege of Setebos in the reign of King Grayson of Everard, the Orcs had caught a case of Darwinian Evolution. They went for a full one hundred and eighty degree about turn in their attitude. Here they lay at the walls of Setebos demanding the surrender of the City and the consumption of the majority of its inhabitants and then suddenly, shazam, they left to research the pros and cons of the Financial Services Industry.

Legend has it that the leader of the Orc Army, Krak Ed, sat musing on the costs of the siege. His men were getting very hungry, what with the long trek north, the building of siege wagons and the constant bombardment of the city with anything that could be catapulted; so Krak Ed began a  cost-benefit analysis of being a devastating Warlord. What was the point, he thought, of putting in all this effort, losing good men to the slings and arrows of outrageous Fairies, only to find he was out of pocket at the end? This was not great asset management. He’d raised his own venture capital by stealing from everyone he’d ever met and his potential profit would be to eat the King of the Fairies.

Is this my raison d’être he mused in a pretentious manner.

His head began to fill with Profit and Loss accounts, Angel Investors, Debt Management, Claims Management, Fraud, Theft and Financial Scamming. There was more than enough reason to create a Financial Cartel.

So he called his Chieftains together and explained their new approach.

They would become Financial Advisors, Accountants and Tax Inspectors.

He had to eat a couple of the guys who initially disagreed with his plan; however they soon all approved so they packed up and went home. Thus began a New Age of Enlightenment on Uranus. Nobody would dare cheat at Tax because the consequences could be fatal; despite the attempt at civilisation some Orcs were still partial to eating their victims, and of course being eaten for failing to declare a proper income was considered a just punishment in these parts.

Many of the Orcs began to take on more conventional names in order to appear more acceptable to their clients. No one would be tempted to visit a Financial Advisor called Rippy Zedoff or Head Muncher or Fairy Eater; so they changed their names to things like Bob, Steve and Rupert. However in these later days there are some of the younger Orcs who like to be a bit of a throwback and take on names such as Gaz, Jonno or Wayne, Dwayne, Rap and David.

Thus it had been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since anyone had attacked the great City of Setebos. As a result the Great Walls had fallen somewhat into decay, with buddleia, wall flowers and mosses covering much of the once Magnificent Marbled exterior. There were gaps that grew larger each year as the inhabitants helped themselves to the stones for more useful functions such as Wall Fillers, Door Stops and Argument Solvers. Even the Great Gate at the Western side of the Great City stood permanently open, its Great hinges rusted into place after so many Great Generations of Great Peace.

Things were just Great.

The City did like to maintain some semblance of its former glory, so posted a Guard on the bridge in front of the West Gate. The Guard usually consisted of ten to a dozen of the most friendly and helpful creatures to be found on Uranus, the Gnomes. The Gnomes that formed the Guard came from families in which generation after generation had dedicated their lives to the service of the City, not unlike The Household Cavalry and The Swiss Guard and The Hell´s Angels. These wonderful Gnomish families were known collectively as the Guarding Gnomes and wore the livery of the Guard, a green tunic, red belt, blue trousers and brown Welly-Bobs; headgear was left as a personal choice. In an attempt at remembering their role in the defence of the city each carried a shield of Red bearing a golden wheelbarrow and also carried a ceremonial Fishing Rod.

They were always very, very helpful.

Hence it was that Peter and Greg meandered out of the wood toward the Great Gate at the Western edge of Setebos. Greg lurched along like an Orang Utan on Valium, whilst Peter minced forward, buttocks pulling his legs in strange directions, chuff stuffed with melting lard. They made a handsome sight which any unattached female would have run from; except perhaps one of those girls you meet just before the last dance at a nightclub.

They approached the Gate. greg the Goblin

A friendly Gnome approached, bowed and smiled a smile that would have made the smileyist thing in the Universe envious.

“Good day to you gentleman,” said the Gnome. “I am Steve, the captain of the Guard for today. What can I do for you? I would guess by the way you are moving that there is a tale of Great Deeds attached to you two fine young travellers!”

“He’s got the Dukes!” declared the Goblin, demonstrating his total lack of tact.

The Gnomes on the bridge took a collective deep breath and blessed themselves with the sign of the wheelbarrow. A Pixy with the Dukes! was more than a tale of Great Adventure, it was a tale of Derring-Do, without a Poo. It was a tragedy they had not experienced before, and one that threw their communal morality into a spin. There was only one way a Pixy could find himself in such a State, and that was a betrayal of the Royal Trust.

And yet deep down who wouldn’t risk their all for a chance with fine looking tart?

“In the name of the great Fishing Rod!” declared Steve, “you will need a lot of help with finding a solution to that problem.”

“Yes I worked that one out for myself!” said Peter.

“If the Dukes! strike harder it will be the only thing you can work out for yourself!” said Steve gravely.

“Well look at this, a Gnome with a sense of humour, how unusual.”

The scene could have got ugly now if it wasn’t for the inbreeding amongst the Guards and the subsequent automatic sense of duty to help.

“You’ll need some advice from the King,” said Steve.

“Is he at home today?”

“As luck would have it, yes!”

“So how do we get to see him?”

“Normally,” said Steve in a business like manner, “you would have to go and see the First Minister Lord Tchod or his assistant The Fub. However today those two are off playing a game of golf, so I reckon you should just go up to the castle, ring the bell and say ‘Is Innocent in?’”

“And that’s it?”

The Gnome continued his explanation.

“If Lord Tchod was here he would make you fill in Fairy Interview request form 117B ‘Audience with the King’. He would then interview you and ask the purpose of your visit and what you hoped to gain from the visit and any noticeable benefits to the King.”

“What type of benefits?”

“Oh the usual, you know; Gold, Silver, Silk, Pies, Cakes etc. The King is very fond of his Pies.”

“I see,” gloomed Peter.

“And after that interview you would be expected to spend a similar interview with The Fub, a scary experience by all accounts.”

“In what way?”

“Well apparently The Fub turned up here one day from the lord knows where. He is a fearsome creature, half man, half lard; some say he is a demon from another planet. But Lord Tchod likes him. Fub can scare away most folk that want an audience with the King. I believe he can just scare most people with his smell, his red face and very fat tummy. I think he is a semi-civilised Ogre myself, though a bit too intelligent. Lord Tchod likes Ogres too!”

“So have I got to see this Fub then?” asked a confused Peter.

“No,” said Steve. “I just told you he’s playing golf! Just go straight in. You’ll be more than welcome I’m sure.”

Peter and Greg looked at each other.

“So where are we going?”

“You walk down on the street, turn left and it´s door number three.”

The intrepid duo thanked the worrisome Gnome and set off for the next phase of this Great Adventure.

summer 2013 012

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Chapter 1 – The hero

The screams were unmerciful.

It was as though all the sinners of the world had combined into one unholy union and screeched their anguish into a synthesised megaphone.

Was someone being whipped a cripple?

The yelps of misery continued but fluctuated with a moaning like the desperate sob of a Brontosaurus attempting to open a packet of salt and vinegar crisps. Gregory the Goblin lurched silently toward the sounds, his fear being overtaken by his rubber-necked curiosity.

What could be making such a noise?

Here he waltzed, deep in the Dingleberry Dell, renowned for being one of the safest havens on the whole of Uranus. Could it be that one of the Ogres of The North had lost his way and fallen into disarray? Or perhaps a Harpy had crash landed and was pissed off at the lack of decent runways.

He inched forward.

The desire to witness someone in pain is strong, stronger than the desire to put someone in pain; which probably explains the profusion of Dentists, Teachers, Pox Doctors, Taxmen and Karaoke Singers.

Greg tried to move as quietly as possible, but being a lumbering galoot made that near impossible.

Another terrific squeal wrenched the Worried Woodland. Here lies bitter anguish, thought Greg. Here is a guilty party caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Or maybe even a cricketer bowled to middle stump without a box.

He tried to stoop, but remembered that he was bowlegged with a bad back, so just moved as normal. The Woodland thinned and the light grew stronger as Greg took the challenge of moving just that little bit more. The sneaky beaky instinct of a feral soldier lay deep in his Psyche. He peered out from behind one of the last trees and beheld an image that would haunt him for the rest of his days.

Fishcakes!

There in the middle of the glade, writhing like a demented eel in a bucketful of snot, was his old friend Peter the Pixy. He rocked and rolled across the ground, both hands grabbing tightly onto his arse, screaming for help.

“The Ring! The Ring!” he cried.

Greg watched for a while, keeping himself hidden in the gloom on the edge of the opening. This could be a dangerous trap.

Wizards, Warlocks and Wives are the only creatures with magic rings.

Perhaps some evil Wizard was watching and waiting, using Peter as bait to try and capture and enslave the unwary. Should he sidle off backwards and leave Peter to his fate, recalling later in life that it was either kill or be killed, and that a blast form a Wizards staff was not quite what he had in mind that day.

Fishcakes!

Or should he be a tough guy and dive in there, facing up to whatever Beastie was trying to destroy his old friend.

Fishcakes!

Greg watched as the pain ripped across his old friends face, dancing a Calypso as it pulled down the corners of his mouth, wrinkled his nose and made his eyes bulge like a Bubble Eye Goldfish!

Fishcakes!

As he pondered this dilemma Peter rolled closer and caught his eye.

“Greg you idle bastard get over here and help me!” yelled the noble Pixy. “My rear is on fire and I don’t have a way of extinguishing the flames.”

Greg hesitated for just a short while as the news was assimilated into his delightfully slow brain.

“Ok!” he said, casually sauntering toward his stricken pal, as he dabbed a handkerchief on the eye which Peter had caught.

Greg was a bit slow in the head but he had been trained well at the Goblin Military Academy in Goblin Town as a part of his Yoof Training Programme. He knew how to assess a situation, searching for emergency exits and potential traps. He was also rather good at First Aid, having spent some time doing a Lifesaver course with the St. Johnswort Ambivalence Brigade. He felt competent to assess the situation and to then formulate a plan.

“Dr ABC and two packets of Fishcakes! What’s the matter then mate?” asked the Goblin.

“Hell and high water!” squealed the Pixy, “I’ve been stricken by the Dukes!”

How the Fates laughed.

(Though nobody else did)

Only the good die young, they say; everyone else is destroyed slowly by the Dukes! What kind of dice did God have when he invented ailments?

‘Here’s a good one’ mused Odin; ‘I’ll let the veins pop out of their ringpiece!’

Bacchus saying ‘Look lets make them get addicted to this so that their livers stop working and they lose family and friends and spend nights with pox riddled whores!’

And the Lord put emerods in their secret places.

Still, without ailments, how would we ever get to heaven?

Greg surveyed, perused and summed up the situation. There were no evil monsters waiting to grab him; no Harpies with Herpes; no wee timorous beasties desirous of nesting in his underpants; no Double Glazing salesmen hovering on the edge of Time with a Special Offer from The Manager that can only be held open until six o´clock that evening; and certainly no Timeshare tarts ready to enslave his income for the rest of his life.

Just his old friend Peter writhing in agony whilst clutching tightly onto his buttocks.

“The Dukes!” mused the gregarious Goblin. “How did that happen?”

There was anguish, fear and guilt in the eyes of the Pixy.

Greg mused again – if we need to vote I´d say the eyes have it.

“I will tell you the whys and wherefores after you have extinguished or at least dampened the burning!” strained Peter.

Greg considered.

Fishcakes!

As usual he was carrying his rather useful twenty five litre day pack, with integral meshing, a top pocket and a double zip; with a breathable day sack and neoprene labels. It contained all of the items any person could expect for emergency aid, including a mobile phone with GPS, three glue sticks, a tampon, a calculator, a cuddly toy, three banjo sprockets, a camel pack and a packet of camels, stapler and hole punch, a crocodile clip and an alligator clasp, a First Aid Kit from Boots the Shoe Shiner, a torch, three felt tip pens in contrasting colours, a waterproof pad and pencil and a pack of cheese and chutney sandwiches, on wholegrain, wrapped carefully in a resealable bag. He dug deep and found a fire extinguisher.

“Get you kecks off mate.”

Peter paused his pulsating writhing.

“What Class of Fire Extinguisher is that?” asked the pained Pixy.

Greg checked carefully.

“Foam,” he said, “suitable for both Class A and Class B fires.”

“I´d much prefer a powder extinguisher as they are far more suitable for organic materials,” rejoined Peter.

“But devilishly difficult to clean up the mess later, and if inhaled could cause damage to the upper respiratory system,” explained Greg.

Peter paused and felt the fire burning in his ring.

“Feck it, foam will do!” he squealed in agony.

There was a scything whoosh as a jet of freezing foam attacked the burning in the Pixys bum. The air froze momentarily as ecstasy overtook Peter’s mind. Endorphins poured around his brain, having been relieved of the duty of trying to hide the pain, they now decided to give him a party in his head.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Where once the throngs of decay had waltzed on his face Peter now felt the Bosa Nova shimmying across his physiognomy.

This was pleasure.

This was relief.

This was foam up the jacksy.

“Another squirt please mate!”

Time passed slowly, but then it always does when waiting for something to happen. Like waiting for last nights conquest to leave your apartment the next morning, without dying of embarrassment; Or waiting for the government to make a decision about pay rises for key workers; Or sitting through a Maths test; Or watching teenagers have a great time at a Halloween Disco organised by Mrs. Skank.

For Peter the natural opiates dissipated their relief, causing the Pixy to start assessing his anal situation seriously. He couldn’t spend the rest of his days walking round with a fire extinguisher, dreading an attack and the ensuing embarrassment. Dropping his trousers mid dinner party would be quite a social faux pas.

Oh how the other Pixy’s would gossip!

“Well there I was just about to take a sip of my Cranberry juice when low and behold Peter puts his bare bottom in the middle of the table and shoots it full of Foam; I mean really!”

The two friends sat nervously on the grass, Greg repacking his daysack while Peter pulled his kecks up and tried his best to sit on one buttock at a time. Peter could tell that Greg was slowly disapproving of his old friend.

Old Friend!

A Pixy and a Goblin with a close friendship was certainly a rarity on Uranus. The Class Consciousness of Uranus makes the Gimps of Britain look relatively Socialistic.

It was the reforms of the Great Fairy King, Peter the Grate, that established a ranking system on Uranus. The Fairies are at the top of the Social tree, being more naturally gifted, talented and good looking than anything else you would find. The current Absolute Constitutional Ruler was Innocent, King of the Fairies, who had ruled for many a happy and glorious year along with his wife Queen Dillberry.

The Pixy’s liked to consider themselves as the next level in Society even if this was often disputed by the Elfs and the Brownies. Then somewhere below this came the Orcs and Goblins; though with the high tech world on Uranus, and a good understanding of the Financial Markets, many of the Orcs were making their way up the slippery social ladder.

So with potentially four ranks between them, a Pixy and Goblin really shouldn’t be close friends.  The reality is they shouldn’t even spend time at the same urinal.

The thing is, see, they are the same age, give a day or two, and enjoy the same interests and pursuits. Both have marvellous stamp collections, Peter specialising in blue coloured stamps, Greg having a post-modernist compilation of red examples. Both had a penchant for model railways, spending many a happy hour arguing the merits of the different gauges available (even though mostly by mail order). They loved to go fishing, hiking, camping and drinking together. The drinking sometimes caused a few problems, as the more respectable boozing dens were not too keen on letting Goblins onto the premises.

“Keep an eye on that Goblin or it will steal something” was a common taunt. Rightly so as it turned out, as Greg loved to take cutlery and coffee cups from wherever he went.

Still, that’s life.

Or is that Still Life?

Peter turned back to the immediate.

“Listen, Greg, I need a proper cure for this problem.”

Greg paused.

“What caused it?”

Peter paused.

It was clearly a time for pauses, though just at this moment there was a distinct absence of canines.

Peter did not like to admit to his mistakes. In fact he oafishly boasted that he no longer made mistakes, claiming that whatever action he took was the right one at the time and of course hindsight would often show he should have made a different decision.

But you can’t.

When it’s done it’s done.

Live for today and tomorrow and forget the past.

Actually if we forget all of the Living in the Past there would never be any need for Historians, Archivists, Librarians, English Teachers or Jethro Tull.

Peter guiltily reflected on his actions in the last few months.

He had always been happy with the food he had eaten for so many years. Yes it was getting a bit repetitive but it was solid sustenance.  Double burger and chips and beans Pixy style; Acorn soup; Macaroni cheese; Cauliflower in gravy; Avocado if it was in season; Cheddar Cheese on Water Biscuits; a Partridge in a pear tree; Full English from the Greasy Spoon; Chips and Curry; Naan and a Balti;  and Whisky on a Sunday.

But as he got older he began to crave some excitement. He wanted to let himself into the kitchens of the Fairy King and feast on Fairy Cream Pies. He knew this could be dangerous as the inner workings of a lowly Pixy must, by definition and nature, be very different to the plop producing biomes of the higher echelons. Does a Pixy produce the same food reducing enzymes as a Fairy? Would both creatures have the same number of Villi? Perhaps Fairies could break down cellulose and avoid the need ever to poop! Did they even possess a colon? And how many Angels can dance the Light Fandango on the top of a pin? These questions soared through his brain, tempting and teasing him into action.

It is irrelevant and dangerous to allow ones mind to wander like this.

Still Peters craving for a nice bit of Fairy Pie persisted.

As a Pixy, Peter was very much amongst the privileged members of Society in the Government City of Setebos. He didn’t have to live under a bridge like a Troll, or collect pieces of hazardous waste like a Gremlin. He could have as much mischievous fun as an Imp without carrying the stigma or he could be as imperious as a Fairy without having to keep a rod up his backside. It was the best position to have in Society, being near the top but still having the fun of the bottom feeders.

Still the craving persisted.

Fairy Pies and Fairy Cakes.

He thought about the Queens dainties and the Kings Hot Cross Buns. He dreamt about Fairy Cakes and Custard Cream Pies; of Apple Crumble and Raspberry Tarts.

Of Battenberg and Muffins.

He dreamt of Fairy Muffin until it became an insatiable craving.

It was the Queens Tarts that got him in the end.

“I sneaked in to the Fairy kitchens and stole a Tart,” he admitted.

Greg was dumbstruck, dumbfounded and dumb.

“Of all the most stupid and reckless things to have done!” squawked the Goblin. “Did you forget the prophecy?”

Peter reflected again.

“Where did you get that mirror?” asked Greg.

Peter chewed his bottom lip in contemplation of his silly misdeed.

Of course he knew the prophecy.

Every Pixy knew the prophecy, but it became so much of a myth, such as old wives tell, a bedside story for Pixylets, that he didn’t really believe it. Just a way for the anally retentive Fairies to try and keep us in our place, he thought.

Greg chanted out the old verse to remove Peter´s self-indulgent reverie;

 

“If a Pixy does eat some Fairy Tarts

The first he’ll feel is strangled farts,

And though such sounds produce big smiles

His bum will soon be bulging piles”

 

It was a daft prophecy.

Though in this case it turned out to be true.

When it comes to prophecies and old sayings Peter personally preferred the one about ‘he who smelt it dealt it’.

“My poop chute hurts so much mate, you’ve got to help me sort it out!”

Greg felt sympathy well up as rapidly as a slug on Valium.

In his book ´sympathy´ lay somewhere between ´shit´ and ´syphillis´.

The Military training took over with the grave Goblin. ´There is no such thing as a problem, only a solution´, he glibly said to himself.

“Listen Old Peter Old Pixy Old pal. I can get you a series of temporary solutions but you’re gonna have to sort yourself out in the long run. It’s relatively easy to get a short term cure for the pain but in the end you need to go deep inside your head and find out what possessed you to go chasing after an unattainable Tart.”

“OK”

Greg was stunned that his condescending friend readily agreed.

“Cripes, Are you Ok Peter,” asked the querying Goblin.

Peter paused.

Again.

“My arse is on fire and my future is probably blighted,” said the piqued Pixy.

“No I am not alright!”

Greg paused.

Again.

Never mind,” said Greg. “It doesn’t really matter.”

Greg paused as he waited for Peter to pause.

“Meanwhile you have to accept what I say,” said Greg once the pauses were complete.

Rummaging through his bag the Goblin withdrew a 454 gram block of lard.

“Here, stick this up your jacksy, it will act as a temporary lubricant, reduce the swelling and make you feel darned uncomfortable.”

“Why 454 grams?” asked the puzzled Pixy.

“Just pound it in there!” said Greg, secretly laughing at his own joke.

Peter rapidly followed his friends’ instructions, having no desire to put up with the pain of a broken bum for any longer than necessary. The lard worked, though made his nethers feel unpleasant. It was though he had followed through with a big pancake in his pants, without the embarrassment or the smell.

“What do I do next?” enquired the relieved Pixy as he pulled up his breeches.

“You may not like this bit but it has to be done.”

“What?”

“We have to go and see King Innocent in the Court of the Fairies and ask his advice. If he can’t suggest a cure then you’re doomed to a lifetime of Foam Fire Extinguisher and lard.”

Peter reflected on this.

“That´s a really beautiful mirror,” observed Greg.

It had been oh so easy to get into this trouble.

A craving and a bit of daring.

A Tart.

Then trouble and strife.

A total pain in the bumhole.

How could a Fairy Pie cause so much trouble?

Now he needed to follow a plan to get himself out of this mess, a plan that would mean walking up the King and admitting what he had done. A plan that would take him to a place he had never visited before, where the streets have no names and the birds sing with French accents.

“No I will have no regrets.”

It would be the greatest challenge of his life, to finally admit that he had done something wrong and accept the consequences. Perhaps he would need to buy a pack of fags for the King and some Chocolates for the Queen.

“I’m ready,” said the chastened Pixy as he followed the lurching form of his old friend toward the City of Setebos and the Court of King Innocent.

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Strange Things from Uranus – Second Edition

I decided it was worth a second edition as there are now three in the series, so it makes sense to unite them properly. Enjoy the new Intro.

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Fairies wear boots

 

It may have been the night before Christmas, or the night after Christmas or even Christmas night; well it was definitely the end of December.

I think.

And it was definitely a night.

It may have been Easter but Easter is in May.

Or Maybe not.

The clichés crowded my brain like a thousand railroad trains, though they didn’t give me all the confidence I lacked; still only Time will tell.  I told myself a thousand times to avoid the exaggerations but to no avail. I was having the time of my life and things would sort themselves out in a jiffy. Joey tried his best to mess me up – a day on the lash and a night on the hash and I rambled on without a care in the world.

Catherine Street.

Could be the name of an ex-girlfriend.

Paranoia was in a taxi and following close on my heels, I was certain of it. Turned left, turned right, left, right; military two-step in the back end of Liverpool. Oh hello Mr Hardman I seem to be stumbling down your street.

Bizzies eyeing me , waiting to pounce and complete their monthly quotas.

“I met my target Sarge!”.

Paranoia.

Or just sleighted?

I had the moody blues in my days of future pissed.

As I was walking down this high street I heard a funny noise behind me. It could have been yet another cliché but my tingling spine told me otherwise.

“Ha ha ha, he he he!”

I refused to look back.

I felt as brave as a lion but as weak as a kitten.

Liverpool City Centre can be wonderful or scary, like a diamond in the rough.

I was in fear of being beaten to a pulp with a crow bar, but I had nerves of steel and knees like jelly.

“Ha ha ha, he he he!”

My pharmaceutically enhanced brain conjured evil clowns, demons, assassins and politicians scheming slyly in the theatre of my brain. Well not that slowly really, as the dope, beer and speed were sending my neurons round and round and round like electricity.

Which they are anyway – neurons and synapses and that.

But this was electricity with a spark.

I was confused – could it be Muriel?

“Ha ha ha, he he he!”

I suspected a good pasting from an over zealous Scuffer; so I slowly turned.

If my eyes had been working properly I would have described the sight before me; being stoned I couldn´t. However now with the passage of Time I will attempt a recall.

No more than three feet behind me and two foot tall stood a laughing gnome, his middle finger on each hand explaining quite clearly his contempt for my state of repair. He grimaced beneath his overly long beard, red eyes blazing amusement as I worked to comprehend this vision. Hallucinating again Mr Swifty?

I should have expelled an expletive but the connection between my conscious brain and my tongue had long ceased to operate.

Something really Strange was taking place. An overdose of beer?

Possible.

I heard the sounds again and thought maybe laughter is the best medicine.

Was something triggering my clichés?

“Look up in the sky now!” he said. “Can you see any flying saucers?”

I looked.

Flying saucers, flying teacups and flying teapots.

“Feck, feck, feck and Feckity feck!” was the best I could manage.

“I bet you can’t catch me,” said the laughing gnome.

Well smoking and drinking was par for the course but I decided a cheeky little fecker like this would probably benefit from a decent kicking. I mean, it´s always the little things that drive me to distraction.

In my inebriated state I tried my best to say “Come here you little twat and I’ll kick your head in” but the actual utterance went more like

“Cmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeerrrrswaaasssssreeeeeedddin”.

No matter.

We were off.

My tormentor, dressed in green (which I now understand is the favourite colour for visitors day) sped off down Hardman Street, his wheelbarrow kicking up dust and fag ends as his little legs carried him out of my reach. He shot across the road, weaving in between the cars, the drivers of which were attempting to get home before the breathalyser crews stopped them; the drivers not noticing him but cursing me with such dainties as “You feckin’ nutter!” or “You want yer ‘ead testin’ pal!” or “The cunt’s pissed!” or “He’s bloody bugs!” and “I say old chap, take a care with your running technique!”

No matter.

“Come here you bearded clam!” I screamed amongst the screeching tyres.

The Policeman held me up firmly by the collar. He tried to look me in the eye but became confused as they changed colour and focus like the lights on a Christmas tree.

His face told me he needed back up.

I told him I needed to catch that annoying little gnome who was taking the piss out of me.

His face told me he would be requesting an ambulance and the on-call trick cyclist.

The gnome stopped, smirked, gave me the middle finger again. The red mist that descended completed the evening’s clichés; a quick spin, push, kick and run ensured my name on a wanted list. The Rozza hit me in the head but it was tough like lead; so I punched him in the eye and he started to cry.

Another dodge.

A sidestep.

A shimmy.

The gnome was by St. Luke’s shouting Gimmee Gimmee Gimmee.

“I’ll get the little fecker now Officer and you’ll see what I mean!”

I ran through the gates, stopped and wondered.

I ran through the gates!

But they weren’t open!

I ran through the gates!

Feck – smoked too much!

Well you’d better cut down a little.

Sorry?

A burnt out shell since 1941when a drunken German Pilot dropped his load and shouted ´Gott mit uns!´only for the scousers to shout back ´we got mittens too!´

Or was that another terrible tragedy?

And here I am melting, running, transcending, going through the gates.

“Twat!” said the laughing gnome.

“Ha ha ha, he he he! I’m a laughing gnome and you can’t catch me!”

Somewhere inside a voice told me this wasn’t really happening and actually I was on the sofa at Joey’s brother’s house tripping the light fandango. A riff burst through my brain like a heavy metal thunder.

Then there she stood.

The most beautiful girl I’d ever laid eyes on.

Well not quite a girl.

A Fairy.

Not just any Fairy.

It was Fairy Hanny.

“Hello Swifty,” she said. “I thought you’d never get here!”

“Why didn’t you say ‘doo wah diddy diddy dum diddy do’?” I asked.

“Because I wasn’t just a walking down the street,” explained the succulent succubus.

She shimmered in a diaphanous rhapsody of light, the angel of the rainbow having cast his spell upon her. Her hair shone like the girl over there with the fair hair. Hanny is a vision of beauty in a way unknown.

Inexplicably stunning.

Deliciously described.

Her eyes milked the Milky Way, strode across the Universe, encapsulated the Galaxy, and glistened like raindrops on Mars. Like all of the heroines of such tales she was a lusciously lithesome lovely.

And she has big tits.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” she said.

“Waiting?”

“Waiting!”

“Waiting?”

“Waiting for you!”

I drooled a bit, calculating my options; she didn’t seem to notice so it must have been a sly drool.

“Waiting for me? Have you tried writing letters?” I asked.

“You need to come with us so you can write your letters about all of us, and all of our lives, and all of our tales, and capture in words all of our souls,” she explained.

Then she laughed.

Music started – a Solar Music Suite played by a Lunar Music Person Of Restricted Growth.

It was the Gnome.

His wheelbarrow was now a Wordy Hurdy Gurdy, Music and Lyrics pouring out as if by Magic.

So Hanny began to dance.

With veils of delight slipping sensually from her slender frame, lithesome litigious long legs looped through the trance that was her dance. Every nuance of nicety nestled neatly knowing nothing needed now to get me to follow her wherever she led.

Then I noticed.

Those luscious legs laden with boots.

Big black military boots.

High lace.

Twenty four lace holes.

Brightly polished to a parade ground mirror shine.

“Fairies wear boots!” I exclaimed.

“Of course we do; else how would I get to kick your arse into the rest of this narrative!”

Things became a little strange after that…

An awesome sulphuric smell filled the Church.

“Oops!” said the Hanny, “probably those Dwarf Beans I had for breakfast.”

Then I was choking, smoking, yoking in a rhythmic union, beside the Sun, the one, that makes all the flowers grow. Here and now and then.

It was what is and what should never be.

From the corner of my eye I caught the shimmering silhouette of a Floppy Haired Fop, fiddling with something in his pockets.

“Am I going Insane?”

A worm hole caught me in his majesty and spun me through the Seven Open Lotuses on The Pool of Life, past seven Sides of Heaven and introduced me to Dawn on the other side of the Sky, coughed just the once, then deposited me on an alternative surface of our Solar System.

I sang my song to keep me alive as I landed on Planet Number Seven at Seven on the Seventh day of the Seventh month of the Seventh year in the Seventh Heaven of Outer Space. The Sun smiled on my predicament, which of course can cause a chap to lose confidence in the Lady Department of the Great Supermarket in the Sky.

The Moon Chortled from his Dark Side.

“You’ve landed on Uranus,” he laughed.

From that day on I met them all.

Pixy’s, Goblins, Ogres, Brownies, Imps, Gremlins, Trolls and of course the beautiful Fairies.

So I was compelled to write down everything about the Strange Things From Uranus.

 

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