left Sigworth's Dust: Ponkles home

Monday, 7 April 2008

Ponkles home

Is this where you live?’


Ponkle pushed open the front door. It creaked, then silence. He had seen the Trungler’s footprints leading up to the cave and although he also saw sets of prints leading away from the cave, he did not dismiss the idea that a trap may have been set for him. Fortunately, Trunglers are not that intelligent. They wouldn’t know how to set a trap if they were given a book on it. Ponkle knew it was inevitable that the Judgess would eventually catch up with him but he rather hoped it would be on his own terms. For now he had a weapon and it was standing right next to him. Yet before he even thought about using it, he was in need of a little help.

He peered into the cave. The room appeared untouched. The thought entered Ponkle’s mind that the Trunglers must have cleared up after themselves but then the thought gave up and went back to bed.

‘It’s safe,’ he said cheerily. ‘They’ve gone.’

‘How do you know?’ asked George who had learned most of what there is to know about Trunglers, which actually isn’t much, on the way here.

‘Sigworth’s here,’ said Ponkle.

They now entered the cave and Ponkle firmly shut the red door behind them, making sure it was bolted. He placed a stool behind it too, just to be sure.

‘Who’s Sigworth?’

George was enthralled by the inside of the cave. It was so much bigger on the inside and full of such weird and wonderful things. Over by the wall a beautiful satin box caught her eye and the floor was carpeted by an immense number of multi-coloured patchwork cushions, hand-made, she thought.

Ponkle was pleased that George was so taken with his home and gestured to her to sit down. George did so, her feet were so sore. She wondered if it would be rude to take her socks off. Probably, she concluded.

‘He’s a friend. Well, he’s more than that to be honest,’ he said, hanging the sack, containing one decidedly annoyed mare, back on the hatstand. ‘He gave me a home when my family vanished twenty-two years ago.’

‘Vanished?’ gasped George.

‘I should count myself lucky I suppose. I had just nipped out to gather some firewood when it happened. When I returned, there was no sign of them. Vanished into thin air. Mind you,’ he said sadly, ‘nothing surprises me here anymore.’

‘That’s terrible,’ said George sympathetically.

‘Vobwibble?’ said Ponkle, crossing to the far side of the cave, completely changing the subject.

‘Excuse me?’

‘Vobwibble. Would you like some? I don’t know about you but I’m starved!’