left Sigworth's Dust: Ponkle

Thursday, 15 November 2007


‘No...please...I really don’t know where he keeps it!.....No..not that..I beg of you ..please..anything but that!’

Ponkle’s plea was blatantly ignored as the sheets from under him were mightily yanked, sending the half-asleep creature to the ground below. As he rose his hand to rub the aching lump now appearing over his left ear, his eyes focussed on the stubby figure hovering over him.

‘It’s a q-q-quarter to Sixteen!’ pronounced Sigworth, who was becoming rather bored with Ponkle’s curious ability to sleep for so many days at a time.

‘Oarghh,’ was all that Ponkle could manage as he curled up into a ball on the floor and once more closed his heavy eye-lids.

Sigworth decided to utilise plan B, considering the drowsy state in which he had found his companion.

'I’ve just had news that T-T-Tolita is swiftly on her way to G-Gitwit after hearing a vicious rumour that someone not t-too f-far from here is l-l-late for work!’

That did the trick. Ponkle was on his oddly formed feet before Sigworth even had time to stop chuckling. Of course, the mere mention of Tolita’s name was enough to make anyone wary.

Once Ponkle was fully conscious, Sigworth explained that his last statement may have contained a slight exaggeration (he knew that Ponkle would not remember that Tolita always indulged in a game of chess at a quarter to Sixteen) and began to cook dinner.

'W-what on earth h-happened h-here?’ said Sigworth with a handful of vegetables, noticing that the furniture was in minor disarray, then he dropped the vegetables, ‘and what have you d-done to our b-b-beautiful door? I wasn’t out for long!’

‘Oh that,’ replied Ponkle who was now dressed in his black uniform.

‘Yes, that!’ Sigworth said, gathering up the ingredients and giving them a quick wipe with the bottom of his sleeve. Yet he didn’t really have to ask.

Ponkle ignored him and studied himself in the small oval mirror. No, he could not get used to this ‘look’. It was not simply the fact that the mirror made him look shorter and fatter than he already was. Or that it made his bottom stick out more than it already did. He felt too, well, dull. Something was definitely missing. He reached into the wardrobe he shared with Sigworth. Yes, that was more like it. He strolled into the kitchen and was greeted by a most wonderful smell.

‘I must say, I think you’re the best cook I know,’ said Ponkle grabbing a nearby cushion, trying to steer the conversation away from earlier events.

‘Why th-thank you, I’ve just whipped up a little.....w-what in g-goodness name is that you’re w-wearing?’

‘What does it look like? There’s no need to look so horrified, it’s only a waistcoat!’

'B-b-but it’s b-bright purple! H-hardly suitable for the occasion! I th-th-thought the idea was to b-blend into the night not leap b-brightly out of it!’

Ponkle shrugged his round shoulders and quietly ate Sigworth’s delicious concoction. As soon as he had emptied his bowl he rose to his feet, walked silently across the cave and cautiously removed the brown sack from the hatstand, being extra careful not to disturb what was inside and disappeared through the front door into the cover of darkness.