left Sigworth's Dust: George meets Sigworth

Saturday, 26 April 2008

George meets Sigworth

George heard a sound coming from the back of the cave which was sectioned off by a red velvet curtain. The same curtain which Ponkle had mysteriously disappeared through a while earlier. Her curiosity got the better of her and she rose from her soft cushion to explore matters further.

As she hesitantly peeked behind the curtain, she thought that she must be imagining things again, for there was nothing to be seen.

‘Where is he?’ she whispered under her breath. She was beginning to think that the funny creature had abandoned her.

All she could see was a gigantic pile of dirty clothes.

‘Onward!’ boomed Tolita, wondering if this thing could go any faster.

Umpwiffle groaned.

As George was staring at the heap of clothes in dismay, an odd thing happened.

‘Aaaggh!’ grunted Ponkle as he strenuously pushed open the hatch.

George watched in awe as two figures made a magical entrance from under a couple of creased nightshirts and an excessive number of dirty socks.

Ponkle shuffled across the room and clumsily deposited the body he was carrying on the bottom hammock.

‘Is he dead?’ came a squeaky voice from a distant corner.

Ponkle turned to see George cowering behind the purple satin box. She had turned a very pale colour.

‘Of course he’s not dead!’ said Ponkle kindly. ‘He’s sleeping.’

Sigworth, as if on cue, let out another earth shattering snore. George relaxed and decided to risk a closer look. She tiptoed towards the hammock.

‘What in heavens name are you walking like that for? Have you hurt your feet?’

‘I don’t want to wake him,’ said George.

‘I don’t think there’s much chance of that,’ replied Ponkle. ‘He’ll probably be out for a long time.’ This was a problem. The Trunglers might return at any moment and if they found him like this... and with that thought, he picked up a glass of murky water which was on the floor nearby and chucked it all over his friend.

‘What did you do that for?’ asked George, stifling laughter.

‘Well, I’ve got to do something,’ Ponkle said angrily, causing George to take a step back, then he calmed down a little. ‘Sorry,’ he added, ‘I didn’t mean to shout but I’m worried. If the potion’s too strong, he’ll be asleep for days, maybe weeks.’


Ponkle shut his eyes for a moment and cursed himself for being so careless with his words.

‘Please, you must tell no-one,’ he said flopping guiltily onto the hammock next to Sigworth.

‘I promise,’ said George, crossing her fingers.

‘It’s Sigworth’s hobby,’ said Ponkle, ‘it all started a while ago. He’s trying to create an antidote.’

‘Antidote for what?’ asked George with interest.

‘The mares, what do you think! Only he hasn’t got it quite right yet....’ Something next to him began to stir. ‘Look, it might be better if he tells you himself once he wakes up.’

‘Alright,’ said George, absent mindedly. She was looking at Sigworth’s arms which were covered with brown and black markings. She looked back to Ponkle.

Battle scars,’ he said, reading her mind. ‘When Tolita first took over the Kingdom, many Boffwunglers put up a fight. From what I can gather, it all got a bit messy. They didn’t try again after that. I’m a bit too young to remember.’

‘How old are you exactly?’

‘A true Boffwungler never likes to say,’ said Ponkle mischievously.

The first thought in George’s head was that Ponkle couldn’t count.

She lent closer and gawped at Sigworth. She wondered how old he was. She hadn’t been wondering long when Sigworth’s eyes suddenly flipped open.

‘Aaarghh!’ yelled Sigworth.

‘Aaarghh!’ retaliated George.

Sigworth fainted.