left Sigworth's Dust

Sunday, 11 May 2008

The dust rose like steam from a boiling kettle as five heavy feet shuffled along the sandy path. The afternoon was coming to an end and the light was gradually beginning to fade. In the distance, a cluster of caves were coming into view. The village of Gitwit. Boffwungler territory.

‘Faster!’ ordered Tolita as they approached the final bend.

George was running as fast as her legs would carry her. She was heading for the clearing which she remembered from her journey earlier that day. Unfortunately, she was so busy pinching her arm, slapping her own face and telling herself that if this was a dream, now would be a good time to wake up, that she failed to notice another party travelling towards her in the opposite direction. She raised her head just in time to see a petrified look occupy Umpwiffle’s face before she crashed headlong into him.

George felt slightly concussed. Her first instinct was to glance behind to see if she had been followed. As she had guessed, the two frantic Boffwunglers were bounding towards her at full speed. She felt furious that they had dared to come after her and was about to shout and tell them so when they stopped dead in their tracks. Panic surged through her whole body as she became aware that the two of them were staring at her, their faces masked in horror. Correction, they were staring at something directly behind her.

George sluggishly turned her head. To her left, collapsed in a heap on the ground, was an unusually large creature whose build seemed out of all proportion. It appeared dazed and confused. George, of course, was unaware that Trunglers always looked like that. However, she was all too aware that this thing was three times bigger than herself and did not want to rely on the hope that it was vegetarian. Perhaps it eats Boffwunglers, she thought, that’s why Ponkle and Sigworth are afraid of it. She lifted herself up off the ground and dusted herself off. Her leg ached from the collision.

The creature let out a mighty groan and began to sit, rubbing its head. To George’s amazement, the creature pulled a third leg out from under him and tried to haul himself up. Then another leg appeared, then another. Trungler! she remembered from her discussion with Ponkle. George tested her foot, hoping above all else that she hadn’t twisted an ankle. Then in one swift move she kicked a spray of dust and sand into the surprised animal’s face. As it stumbled backwards rubbing its eyes. George made her getaway, constantly looking behind her to see if the monstrous creature was pursuing her. She didn’t get far. Something stepped out infront of her, blocking her way. George halted and her mouth dropped open. The woman, who had been thrown into a bush by the collision and had used the ensuing period of time to come to terms with the girl’s presence, stood smiling down at her.

Yet the smile brought little reassurance - non infact.

George thought that calmness would be the best option and screamed. She then decided to leg it.

‘Master of Darkness, look what I’ve found...Make this child’s feet one with the ground!’ boomed Tolita, almost deafening anyone within a twenty mile radius.

George’s feet ground to a sudden halt, sending the rest of her body flying forwards, as if a ten ton weight had just been tied to both of her ankles. Not the most comfortable thing in the world.

She recovered her balance and tried to turn the top half of her body, to get Ponkle and Sigworth’s attention. They were both avoiding her gaze. She waived her arms at them in despair, shouting their names over and over until her throat was sore. Then a vivid image popped into her troubled head. Wumple Boffwungler’s exotic dance of the Twing-Twops. She scowled then tried with all her might to move her feet. They would not budge. She began to sweat with fear.

‘I don’t believe we have been introduced,’ said Tolita, coldly.

George urgently looked again to Ponkle for assistance and got none. She also noticed that the giant-like Trungler had now recovered from her little attack and was glaring at her in wonder.

‘What is your name, child?’

‘G-Georgina Hartwell,’ mumbled George, wiping the sweat from her forehead.

‘I don’t think I need ask how you come to be here,’ she bellowed. ‘I believe this sort of behaviour is against our rules?’

George felt the heat lessen as Tolita’s attention miraculously shifted elsewhere.

Ponkle gasped as his eyes suddenly became a lot closer to the dusty path beneath him.

‘Punishment is severe for those that disobey me, Boffwungler.’ She paused for effect. It worked. ‘Oh and you,’ she said, mentally pointing at Sigworth, ‘you can join him!’

‘B-but...b-b-but..w-what h-have I d-d-done?’ he begged, having been the brunt of the Judgess’ anger only once before and the dramatic memories of that were enough to last him for the rest of his life.

‘Since when did that matter?’ she replied and with a click of the fingers, both miserable creatures vanished into the cold air.